Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day Forty-Five

Still sick.  Still sound like I've been smoking cartons of cigarettes.  I have hopes for tomorrow being a return to normal.  I did think about going running, but my voice was so scratchy and weird, I knew I'd be kicking myself big time for running in the cool autumn air and got sicker tomorrow.  See you soon...honest!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day Forty-Three

I have the funk.  I sound like a circus seal (HOOP HOOP).  I didn't work out, because I feel like hammered poop.  Part of me is bothered, but then I just have to tell myself, "Dude, you're sick.  Get over it."  I'm going to bed.  See you tomorrow!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day Forty-One, Numbers for Week Six

I want to start by saying that I am really pleased with six weeks' worth of work.  I have been pushing myself and I am glad I have stuck with this so far, even with the speedbumps, gullywashers, and broken fanbelts that have popped up along the way.  I also need to remember that this is a lifestyle change, not a crash diet.  This is not about a scale, or a number, but the whole picture.  I am changing my activity level, my health, my mental state, my coordination, as well as my fat content (not to sound like a bag of Doritos or anything, but you know what I mean). 

I also want to take time to give the largest shout out I can to the people who have tirelessly stuck by me and this blog, who have patted me on the back, and shared my happy moments and who have helped me keep my perspective and get back up on the horse again when I have been frustrated.  You all help me so very much, I cannot tell you, except to say thank you again.

So, let's do 'dis.

Weight:       178 (down a whole pound.  uh, whoop.)  Down 12 pounds total
Bust:           42.75" (up an inch)  Down .25" total.  h-o-r-m-o-n-e-s.
Upper Arm: 12.75" (down .50") Down .75" total.
Waist:         38.50" (down .75") Down 4.5" total.  YAY!
Abdomen:   42.25" (down .25") Down 2.25" total.
Butt:            42.25" (down .75") Down 3.25" total.  YAY!
Thigh:          24.50" (no change) Down 3.50" total.
Calf:            15.25" (down .25") Down .25" total. 
BMI:           29.6 (down .2) Down 2 points total. 

I think that this is one of those times when the scale doesn't fully show the work that has been done since the last weigh in.  This is why I am glad I took measurements along the way.  Without the tape measure, I'd have no idea that, contrary to what I was convinced of, I actually got smaller in my waist and my butt.  Hey, even my calves are starting to shrink down.  I also really pushed hard with weights the past two weeks, and I have been building up muscles, which skew the number on the scale as well.  If I were going to Weight Watchers (and I have done that several times in the past), that number on the scale would be the only thing I would be able to pin my progress on.  And, knowing me, I would be feeling mighty discouraged right about now.  But now I can see that I am getting smaller.  It's not as flashy as the first couple of weigh ins and measurements were, but it is still going on. 

I wish the scale had a bigger number to show me, but I don't really feel that disappointed.  I worked really hard with weights and built up some good muscle.  I can tell because I am stronger, I can carry heavier things (like my son), and I can see it on myself, my leg, my arms, their shape is changing from doughy to...less doughy.  I am going to keep up the hard work!  I am very curious to see what I will look like in another six weeks, but first things first...on to Week Seven!  See you Monday!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day Forty

Well, I think it's safe to say I learned some stuff this week.  I learned a couple things today already.

For one, when I go seven hours without eating (due to circumstances beyond my control), I am pretty much going to throw nutrition out the window when all I have left to eat in the house is frozen chicken breasts.  Domino's will be my official BFL food provider at that point, and it will look like portion control to a giant. 

Also, when I feel sick and have a cold....well, see number one again.

And when I'm cranky and hormonal, well, yeah, you  know.  Number one.  Again.

So there you go.  I missed my workout today because I also learned another thing...when I combine two workouts into one really long workout, with running like a maniac and lifting weights like I'm training for the UFC, then I become so sore and bone-weary exhausted that the idea of working out with weights again becomes laughable.

And the last thing, whenever I get to talking or worse yet, bragging about progress I have made, or how long I have stuck with something, anything at all, it's like a guarantee I will screw it up at the earliest possible opportunity.  So....


See you tomorrow. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day Thirty-Nine, and what it was like.

Well, I woke up and decided that, being it was a new day and all, to let the past be the past and to not have a foodie/binge-y hangover and feel the funk any more than I had to.  So I went to the Y this morning and dropped Andrew off in Child Watch so I could work out.  And I did it me-style.  Let me 'splain....

I went to run, since it is an Aerobics Solution day.  I got all set on the treadmill, popped Pearl in my ears, and started chugging away.  I had propped my BFL journal up on the little crap ledge thingy that all treadmills have, and tried to use it like I normally do, to keep track of what speed I need to go at what time.  It proved to be too much book on too small of a display screen, so I shut the book and only opened it when I needed to.  Then I dropped it and caught it in mid-air, only to have knocked off the emergency magnet thingy that is supposed to save me from being launched across the room in case I fall.  I had to smile to myself...ha ha, how cute, I messed up and have to re-enter my speed, my course, my weight, my horoscope, my second grade teacher's favorite color, and on and on.  So I did it and started running again.  Trying to remember how much I had run before so I could see if I could make it past the mile-and-a-half mark I've been logging in previous runs.  Then I knocked the little frackin' magnet off AGAIN!  This time the funk roared out of me and I full-fledged gave my treadmill the very obvious finger.  Mature, right?  What does that rate me, middle school or high school level maturity?  Mind you, I'm at the YMCA, the Young Men's Christian Association.  And that little gesture wasn't like saying "peace be unto you."  It's more like saying, "help, I need meds."

I finished my run...have no clue how far I went, and decided to break the rules.  I went into the weight area.  This area scares me.  There are machines here that look like they could double for the iron maiden during the Spanish Inquisition (Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!).  There are big ole dumb bells, and there are people working out with barbells and stuff.  People who look like they know what they're doing, and will probably laugh me out of there once I start heaving weights around.  But the funk will not be denied.  I march in there, blaring ABBA in my Pearl (dork alert), and start lifting weights for the missed Upper Body Workout I didn't do yesterday.  And I do the whole thing. 

I have some funny observations from my time in the weight area.  First, all weights smell funny.  I thought it was just mine at home (they smell like kerosone, even after I washed them).  Must be some kind of rule.  Secondly, I lift heavier weights than ever before when I'm in public.  Because, you know, everyone is looking at me.  No one could possibly be there to work out and focus only on themselves.  Shuh.  I mean, I even caught myself in the 412 mirrors in the weight area, doing bench dips and trying to set my jawline like I was a bad-ass.  I am such a poser!  I just have to laugh at myself.  Apparently my maturity level is still below average, but I kinda already knew that.

Today I got to thinking about the moment in my life regarding food that spurred me into taking action, and into doing Body-for-LIFE.  I was cranky, upset, very resentful in general, and feeling like a member of the Donner party, except with cabin fever thrown in.  I had driven to the nearby gas station to get "bad food."  I was wearing pajamas basically, really baggy pants and a horrible looking T-shirt.  My hair was all over the place, and I was very big and obviously very unhappy.  Plus, I had my brain on auto-loop, constantly berating myself over my appearance and what I was eating, especially when I was eating the "bad food."  "What are you doing, fatty?" my brain would hiss at me.  "Don't you know everyone can see how fat you are and is thinking that?"  Literally, that is how mean my mind is to me when I get to feeling low. 

So I grabbed king size candy bars, chips, sodas, fruit candy, and more stuff.  Then is where it felt more painful than it ever has before.  That slow shuffle to the counter, where I'm trying to walk as if I have confidence in myself and don't care about the 1400 calories worth of crap I have in my arms.  I think about pretending I am getting all of this for a group of people, not just for myself.  Maybe I could tell him I'm getting these snacks for friends at home who are going to watch a movie with me?  I remember distinctly thinking that.  I set the food down, and this painful lump in my throat was just killing me.  I knew this wasn't working, that this was not good for me, but I felt like I just had to have this stuff.  That it was all the enjoyment I had left at that point.  And a still, quiet voice (my own voice, too) said to me,

 "You know that you don't have to do this if you don't want to." 

I went through the motions after that.  I paid the cashier, lugged home the crap, and proceeded to eat it, but my little routine was spoiled.  I could still hear that little voice and I knew it was speaking the truth.  I didn't have to live like that, not if I didn't want to.  And I didn't want to any more.  I think a few days later or so the idea for BFL came to me, and I started this blog.  I am so very grateful that voice spoke to me when it did, when I felt so embarrassed and hideous about myself.  I know that voice was more than just myself, but a glimpse into what I could be, if I just would put down the self-sabotaging behavior.  I've heard that voice before, and it has always helped me.  And I know that voice comes from the God of my understanding, and I am so glad for my relationship with Him.  I know that God, and God-talk doesn't float a lot of people's boats, and if that guy doesn't figure into your life, that's cool, it's totally your business.  I'm only relating what happened to me that caused me to try to change what I did so I can have a better life. 

I slip up with that stuff from time to time (hey, see last night's post!), but I always try and usually succeed at getting back on the wagon again.  I do that because I do not ever want to do that shuffle to the counter at the gas station.  Ever again.  Good night, and see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day Thirty-Eight. Meh.

Bless me, dude, 'cause I am cranky.  It has been about 20 minutes since I last professed crankiness.  Here are my "things".

Thing 1:  I have been overtired all day.

Thing 2:  I ate three (!) Clif bars today and my stomach is

Thing 3:  My hors are moning, to quote from the Sweet Potato Queens by Jill Connor Browne.  In English, my hormones are running rampant like lemmings off a cliff.

Thing 4:  I am so sensitive that I am positive that the Dalai Lama just gave me the finger.  That son of a gun.

Thing 5:  I ate Wendy's tonight.  For spite.  Kind of like eating rat poison and waiting for other people to die.  Aaaaawwweeesooommme and SO proud of the choice I made.

I need absolution.  Or maybe some chocolate.  Or a tazer.  I can't decide which.  So I better go to bed, because this evening has blown royally.  And the only thing that's genuinely the matter is the space between my ears.  Oh well, this too shall pass.  Meh.

Day Thirty-Seven

It's late, and I am feeling a little bothered.

First off, thank you very much for your supportive comments on my post yesterday.  It's always a good feeling when I come to a strong opinion on something, and other people end up saying that it is English I'm speaking in, it does make sense, and they sympathize.  Triple score!

Today I am feeling irritated because of the dumbest thing in the world.  That doggone number on the scale looks like it is creeping up, even though I have been behaving myself.  I know that number doesn't define me, and that I am working out with weights, and I'm not seventeen years old so it might take a while, and on and on, but I admit, I still totally get hung up on that number.  I had to work so hard to lose the eleven pounds (w00t) that I have lost, I sure as hell don't want to see any of those suckers creeping back onto my body.  I had to think to myself, "what am I not doing right?"  I am eating the right way, my meals are not spaced too far apart, I worked out yesterday and today.  Last week I missed two out of three of my Aerobics workouts (oops), so maybe that's what's going on?  It is so stupid to get hung up on, but I want the FAT OFFFFFF! 

On the plus side, when I was putting lotion on my legs (go self-care!), I noticed that my calf muscle looks very lovely.  It has muscle showing through, and I can see it flex and stuff.  I definitely felt it flexing this morning when I had the charley horse from hell, too!  I was whimpering and trying to hobble off of the bed so I could stand on my leg and work the charley horse out.   And why on earth is it called a charley horse?!  I guess I better head to wikipedia to answer that one....

Also, I forgot to tell you something else I did this weekend.  I signed up for the Pumpkin Run 4k Race!  It is October 24th, and I get a pair of socks for running in it.  I'm so neurotic that I'm already getting a little nervous about it.  Silly questions floated through my head today regarding the race...can I run with my little Pearly iPod in my ears?  Is that against the rules?  What if I have to walk a fair bit?  What if I fall?  Ahhhh, glad to see my brain is still reliable in respect to coming up with ways to trip me up.

So now I'm off to bed.  It's late, and I don't want to oversleep two days in a row for work.  Thank God Andrew wandered in to wake me up this morning at 7:20--we were supposed to be at work at 8:00!  We made it in, but were late by nearly 10 minutes.  So I better get to sleep so I don't play whack-a-mole with the snooze button in the morning.  See you tomorrow!

PS:  I just had to sneak off and look up Charley Horses.  This is a hoot.  It can be known as a "dead leg" or a "granddaddy".  In Australia it can be called a corked leg or a "corky."  It can be in the thigh (traditional location), from getting a bruise on the thigh muscles (like when playing soccer and you catch a knee up there--sort of makes the same mark as a kick from a horse), or a simple muscle cramp in the leg or foot.  I am such a dork!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day Thirty-Six, and I wanna tell you something...

Hey everyone.  Saturday sort of slipped by me and I didn't do my usual blogging routine.  But today, oh man, have I got something to say.

Now, to be fair, I will try to avoid generalizations, although it's very easy.  I remember "The Big Chill" when Jeff Goldblum's character (the reporter) was talking about generalizations.  Something to the tune of it being not such a big deal when people proclaim they're going without sex or whatever, but the real trick is to try to go a week without making a generalization.  I'm not aiming for a week, but I am going to aim for an entire post, ok?

It was a bumpy weekend.  In BFL, I got plenty of warning to expect life to come at me.  My family, my job, my hair, my car weren't going to go on pause and wait patiently while I did 84 days of self-transformation.  I was going to have to be ready for obstacles, and to turn it into something positive, or at least to not let it derail me.  So this Saturday was one of those times.  Without going into too much detail, it was made somewhat plain to me that my whole little "routine", getting out for a few short hours on Saturday night, was inconvenient because...well, because it just was, I guess.  It would have been preferred if I could have put Andrew to bed by myself (again) and stayed home (again) in case someone needed something (again).  And this time, I had a breakthrough. 

In the past, I might have just stuffed my feelings and stayed home, burning with resentment and anger, and even have tamped the feelings down with a supply of Dove Bars and the boob tube.  This time, though, I turned and asked what in particular could I do at that moment that would make things better.  I asked how I could be "of service", as they put it in my favorite 12-step program.  When no answer was forthcoming, I just said, as neutrally as possible:

"This doesn't sound like my problem.  This doesn't sound like my stuff.  And it is not a crime for me to leave the house."


No, nothing went flying, no one got smacked, but it fell like a bowling ball off of a skyscraper for me.  I finally said what I'd been thinking in calmer moments, when this situation would come up, time and again.  I didn't elaborate, I just continued on my way out.  I was very nice about the whole thing.  Dinner was made and served up for the two men in my life.  The pots and pans were already washed and drying.  Laundry was going, and everything was as ready for bedtime as I could make it.  I admit I was angry and took advantage of some chairs being moved around where I went in order to get out some frustration (PS:  I can lift two folding chairs in each hand now--ka-ching!), and I have been muttering to myself a little bit, but in all, this was a real moment for me. 

I had read in the BFL for Women book about taking the time for yourself, for your self care, and it really got driven home for me this weekend.  Pamela Peeke, the author, has a charming little bit about "someone" taking the hard-working woman aside and saying, "oh honey, you've worked so hard, let me go to the store for you and buy that chicken breast.  I'll cook it up for you, too.  Why don't you go to a matinee or something?"  If I wait for that to happen--well, it just won't happen.  So I have to take the time, steal it, hold it up at gunpoint, whatever, to get what I need.  I'm not looking for an unreasonable amount of time for myself.  Two evenings a week, one where I get to be gone until late, if I want to, and time, when needed (like once a week), to have Andrew be watched so I can work out for 45 minutes, tops.  I'm not asking for human sacrifice, I'm not asking for anyone to miss out on their needs so that mine can be met, and I'm starting to not be so shy about asking, either.  It is only fair.  And yeah, I know life's not fair, but screw that, parenting should be.  Or at least somewhat close. 

So, that's my big breakthrough.  I'm sure people have opinions on that sort of thing, and I'm interested in hearing yours...though, to be honest, if it is along the lines that I should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and proud of it...maybe you should tell it to someone else. 

In other news, I am proud to say that I worked out this evening, even though I was so close to calling it off and going to bed early.  I knew that I would be more bothered by missing the workout than by actually doing it, so I just put in my little iPod (I love you, Pearl) and gritted my teeth and, soon enough, the endorphins were going and I was feeling pretty glad about myself.  I am at the start of Week Six, and I have to say, how the hell did six weeks go by already?  Well, five weeks, but still!  I am almost to the halfway mark, and I am really enjoying the strength I have, the discipline I am building, and the mental clarity and sense of self that is getting dusted off after three years of being pregnant/being a new mom/being a working mom/being a working mom of a toddler.  It's nice to be Erin again, rather than just Andrew's Mommy, although that is a pretty sweet gig, too.

It is very late, and I will have to cut this short, but I just want to say this to you.  If there is something you really want to do, and you feel like it would just inconvenience others or rock the boat or whatever...well, they're grown-ups too, just like you, and if you've been sucking it up for this long, then they can start sucking it up while you go grab what you need.  Go get 'em!  I'll see you tomorrow!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day Thirty-Three

I just, five minutes ago, got in my Upper Body Workout.  It's a damn good thing I'm a born night owl, otherwise this exercising stuff would be even harder to fit in. 

Today I realized how precious my time is.  I was so wacky at work from lack of sleep (Andrew caught a minor cold and spent the night kvetching at/for me) that I practically insisted on knitting my way through my shift.  Yeah, it's not so bad to be caught knitting on the job.  It's not like I was lurching around, twirling batons that were lit on fire.  That's next week.

I can actually knit without looking at my hands (sort of), and I was still running around, playing with the kids and being an involved employee, but I just had a ball of yarn in my armpit and an ever-lengthening scarf on my needles.  I must be rubbing off on people, because no one even batted an eye at me.  I just felt like I needed to do it, for my sanity.  I don't even know if I can make it make sense to you, but I just feel like I run from one small fire/responsibility to another, and then poof, it's 1:30am again and I'm trying to resign myself to ending another day, getting a shorter amount of sleep than I wanted, so I can do it all over again the next day.  I work, I parent, I knit for a sideline job, I knit for fun, I have to read something every day (no, really I do), and then there's cooking, cleaning, and exercising.  The day is just not long enough...seriously, could we expand the day to about 30 hours--just the sleeping part?  That would be grrrreeaaat.

Today I sort of didn't eat.  I overslept for work, and in the rushing around to get out of the house to work/school, I just couldn't find the time to make a breakfast for myself.  I packed extra food in the lunch bag to compensate, and I thought I'd eat once I got to work.  All I ate, though, from waking up at 7:30am to about 8:00pm, was a cup of coffee and one cheese stick, and water.  My appetite has been diminishing, but this is ridiculous.  Andrew and I ended up visiting Steve at work (he works at Weaver Street Market--a kick ass natural foods store, for the uninitiated), and nothing started bothering me until we were leaving and there were baskets of "staffed" food, things that were free for employees.  There were tubs of pimiento cheese, fresh fruit, cookies, and....cupcakes.  I managed to hang on until we left and were in the parking lot.  I then steered the car defiantly towards a Wendy's and got a burger and fries.  However, I found I couldn't eat all of it.  A few fries, about 2/3 of the sandwich, and I bagged up the remainder and threw it in the apartment dumpster so I wouldn't be tempted later.  Progress, not perfection....

I am hanging on for the weekend.  To not have to be anywhere by a certain time.  I am looking forward to getting out on my own on Saturday night, and my men will have a boys' night in without me (yay!), and Sunday morning, where I will go again and leave the boys for an hour or two.  Then it's back to the mines.  But in the meantime, I pushed myself hard for my workout, and I will be sure to take time to eat and eat well tomorrow.  I will see you then!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day Thirty-Two...Greased Lightning!

Another day, another dollar.  Well, no.

Pretty laid back day.  Last night was wild, though.  I was going to bed (late, again) and had just turned off the lights and was laying on my side, looking out the windows when there was this unbelievably bright greenish blue light and sizzling sounds and WHHOOOOMMMP, all the lights, all the electricity, were out like candles.  As I laid there, feeling my heart rate climb (it doesn't take much), there was a flicker and then another seriously bigger flash and buzzing sound and then complete and utter silence.  It was pitch black and I was sitting in bed like a scared little Girl Scout after ghost stories around the campfire.  Seriously, I own up to it...I was s-c-a-r-e-d.

I'm one of those people that are wound a little tight.  For example, when you're vacuuming and you're in the zone, spacing out, just hearing the loud drone of the vacuum, and then someone comes up behind you and taps you on the shoulder?  You know, where you just about bust a lung yelping and you jump out of your skin?  I'm wired like that all the time.  Sometimes I just have that fight or flight reaction for no reason, just out of the blue.  I hate it when I read about people likening adrenaline flowing through their veins like champagne, 'cause let me tell you, those prickly bubbles sting!  So when the mothership (or whatever the hell it was) landed last night, I could feel the adrenaline prickling in the backs of my hands, in my throat as it closed over, and all over my back.  I crept out of bed, trying to see in the dark and get to the flashlight.  I know now what a complete city girl I am because, while I appreciate nature and a starry sky and deer and stuff, I never realized how dependent I am on ambient city lighting (stuff like streetlamps, stoplights, car headlights, etc).  I felt like I could have poked myself in the eye and not have seen it.  I called to Steve and asked him to come to I was eight years old again.  It was wild and humbling.

Steve and I (like a couple of ninnies) went outside with our flashlights and peered around the neighborhood to see how much of it was out of power.  All of my neighborhood was completely out.  It was as if flat black paint had been coated all over everything.  There was no moon, no stars, just a steady, cloudy sky with a drizzling of rain.  There had been no lightning, and I had heard no thunder at all.  We guessed that a transformer or two had blown, and finally we got back into bed (with a candle for little ole me).

The power came back on in a few hours, and between that, and Andrew waking up two or three times in the night (water, company, breakfast at 4am), I am amazed I have any energy at all.  Granted, coffee figured largely into my day.  I love that stuff, seriously.  Big huge fan of it.  That's the crap that's flowing through my veins, thank you very much.  But I didn't go running.  Sue me, the mothership landed last night and sapped my strength for the day.  I did eat well and have been productive in other ways, but I also did something funky to my left thigh muscles when I was lifting weights last night.  It was just a twinge, but now I am noticing it when I climb stairs, and when I get up and move around after sitting for more than a few minutes.  Since I had little sleep and have a twitchy weird leg, I decided to give myself permission to miss a workout this week.  I had been figuring on having elusive perfect week.  All workouts done, all meals well-made and healthy.  When will I ever remember that little tidbit about life being about progress, not perfection?

Probably the day after I stop spouting adrenaline like a humpack whale spouts water.  G'night.  See you tomorrow!

Day Thirty-One

I just got back from a walk in the rain, barefoot.

I have been having some negative thinking, and it was nice to get out, blast some music into my headphones, and stroll around my neighborhood barefoot, just feeling the cool puddles under my feet and mellowing out.  God knows what my neighbors think, but I'm sure that'll be a post for another time. 

I feel like I have finally had the first chance this week to sit down and write.  Steve has been extremely busy this semester and has had to commandeer the computer for goofy stuff like homework and studying.  I admit, I really missed being able to write, and I'm glad to be back up and running.  That is, until the next round of tests and lab reports come around. 

I finished my Lower Body Workout just about a half hour ago.  My workouts seem to be occurring more in the evening, once Andrew is in bed and the house quiets down.  I keep meaning to wake up early to do it, but hey, to thine own self be true.  It just doesn't happen for me.  Go figure.

Food has been going really well.  My appetite has really diminished lately.  For instance, I haven't felt like eating at all after dinner time, which is around 6 to 7 o'clock.  I haven't been wanting to eat as much for my midmorning snack, either.  I am pretty hungry at breakfast, and eat well for that and dinner, but even lunch has been a little scaled back.  I'm not expecting this to last, but I am not pushing myself to eat when I don't feel like it, even if that means I don't get the full six meals I'm supposed to get on BFL.  I figure, for each time I eat less food, that's more fat globules getting broken down for energy.  I'm all about that, my friends!

I am going back to the Y tomorrow, on my day off, so I can try to sign up for the Pumpkin Run.  It is in November (I think), and it's a short run, only 4k, which is something like 2.5 miles, I think (conversion chart, anyone?).  I hope they haven't run out of slots for the race.  I also signed up to donate blood, but that won't be until October 29th.  I hope I (A) remember and (B) actually show up.  Sometimes it seems like a good idea way before I get there, and then I remember stuff like how I feel faint when I give blood, that it's kind of a hassle, and that I have a two-year old and won't that be fun to hang out with him after!  Oh well, I'll jump off that bridge when I get to it. 

My friend Liz wants me to try this other aerobics class that is tomorrow.  It is not the one where I am forced to do the pony and the cha-cha for minutes on end, but it is a dance-based workout class.  Liz tells me it is loosely based on dancing.  I feel compelled to check it out, in a car-wreck-can't-look-away kind of way, and at the same time, do I really want to spend an hour in this class?  I'll decide in the morning. 

I am gonna go hit the showers and get ready for bed.  I am glad I have had such a productive week this week.  I have hit all my workouts and have eaten really very well all week.  I will see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day Thirty

I just elbowed Steve off of the computer.  He's being so annoying, what with all this "studying" and "working" and now he's snapping my picture with the frackin' digital camera because he's laughing at what I'm wearing.  It's not fair!  I'm sufffering from Facebook withdrawal and I missed my blog entry for yesterday because of his *stupid* school stuff...I mean, who really needs to be all smart like that, really??

Things have been ok.  My free day was actually pretty understated (for me).  I didn't feel like digging a deep hole for myself, so I enjoyed myself, but I didn't go out and buy a Buddha carved out of butter or anything (bummer).  I worked out really well yesterday, and I even ran this evening at about 9:45, to make sure I got it in, even though I feel a bit funky and kind of didn't want to do it.

Part of me is bummed, too.  I have been working pretty hard with BFL, and it's been almost a month exactly since I started BFL, and my brain is telling me that I should be right up there with Bar Rafael or something (substitute Linda Evangelista if you have no idea who Bar is).  I know it's going to take some time for my body shape to change, but I am feeling a wee bit impatient.  I don't necessarily want the unreasonable...I just want to see my upper arms shrink down, so those muscles I've worked on can show.  Or maybe that gnarly stomach of mine will stop pooching and slouching everywhere, since I've been lifting weights, running, and doing stomach crunches like a weightlifter who ran out of steroids. 

I think I'm going to tell my head to stuff it, and stop talking to me and telling me this is going nowhere.  I know that's not true, but I feel a little discouraged this evening, for some reason.  I will get some sleep, and be back tomorrow.  I'll see you then!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day Twenty-Seven

It's late, but I just got back from running my Aerobics workout.  Just wanted to let y'all know because I'm digging that whole accountability thing.  I'm sure you were waiting with baited breath, right?

The day went well, and I had a really nice nap this afternoon, got to go out and play with my grown up friends (playdate for Mommy=yay!), and I am proud of myself for making sure I got my workout in, even though it meant going to the gym at nearly midnight. 

I will see you all Monday.  Have a restful Sunday and take care of each other!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day Twenty-Six, Numbers For Week Four

Hi everyone.

Dang, I nearly forgot to write today!  Things are well here.  Andrew is a bit unruly today, and I think the beginnings of some serious independence are showing.  But that's a story for another day.  I worked out like a...uh...well, I worked out my lower body really hard today, and lifted up to 30 POUNDS for dumb bells working out my calves.  I've never wielded such heavy weights before, and this increase in strength is so wild and surprising to me!  I had to pick up a big stack of nested glass bowls, and I had braced myself to pick them all up in one hand.  Before I couldn't really do it at all, without being afraid my wrist would break off and I'd drop and crash all the glass bowls.  This time, I tensed up, ready to lift some seriously heavy glass bowls, and the bowls all jetted up into the air with not nearly as much effort as I thought I'd need.  Me and Popeye...we're likethis.

I meant to wait until tomorrow for numbers, but I got anxious, I guess.  I was wondering how I was doing.  I was worried nothing much had happened, since Week Three had been such a bust with lack of workouts and food issues.  I missed running yesterday since Andrew was a little sick, and I just finally decided to get it over with and find out what my progress has been.  So, here it is:

Weight:         179! (That's down five pounds from Week Two, and down ELEVEN POUNDS TOTAL!)

Bust:             41.75" (Down .5" from Week Two, and down 1.25" total)

Upper Arm:  13.25" (Up .25" from Week Two, and down .25" total)

Waist:           39.25" (Down 1.75" from Week Two, and down 3.75" total)

Abdomen:    42.5" (Down .25" from Week Two, and down 2.00" total)

Butt:             43" (Down 1.00" from Week Two, and down 2.50" total)

Thigh:           24.5" (Down .75" from Week Two, and down 3.50" total)

Calf:             15.5" (Absolutely no change yet at all...that's ok, I like my calves!)

I was getting bummed as I was taking measurements, but then I looked back at the Week Two numbers, and then back to the beginning, before I started.  This is real progress.  It isn't necessarily flashy, look-I-lost-seventy-pounds-in-two-weeks, but this is real, tangible progress.  I can wear size 12 jeans now, which I had not been able to do.  I can tell a very slight difference in myself, how I stand, how my body moves.  It doesn't feel like I'm moving a Jell-O mountain when I am running.  When I move, I don't really hurt later, as opposed to before, when I was sore a fair bit.  I am enjoying being active, and I can see and feel how I feel better when I am putting better, whole foods, in my body.  My mental state and clarity are improved, and I just feel good.  It is really wild.  I mean, excuse me for saying it twice, but I lost three and a half inches off of my thighs.  That is a fair amount, in my humble opinion.

The measuring tape, while I fear it and have a fixation on it (well, not really), has really been a useful tool for me so far.  It is one thing to see a number on a scale, and I am glad the number is lower, don't get me wrong (ahemELEVENahem), to be able to see where the weight is coming off from is very cool.  I find it interesting that my arms got a wee bit bigger, and at first I was chagrined, but then I realized that that is muscle growing there, and I think that is just fine, thank you very much! 

So here, let me put it this way.  I have lost 44 sticks of butter off of my frame (and it really might all be from butter, who knows?) .  I can lift heavier weights than I have ever lifted before.  I did 10 pushups (okay, so they were the "girly" ones, but still), and my BMI, that good old controversial measurement, has dropped down to.......(drumroll)..................29.8!!  That is down from 31.6, and I am no longer considered obese!  That might just be my biggest, happiest surprise this week.  I am far from being at a healthy weight, but I am no longer OBESE!  I never thought I'd be so happy to be just "overweight", but try thinking of yourself in terms of that word and see how you feel.  Obese.  Just so glad it doesn't apply to me anymore! 

I'm looking forward to tomorrow, to running for my Aerobics workout, and to walking with Andrew at the farmer's market again.  I look forward to talking to you again, tomorrow!  See you then!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day Twenty-Five, and I'm stunned.

Hey everyone.  Things are going pretty well here at my casa, except Andrew is a bit sicky with some weird tepid stomach bug, but that's ok, as long as I don't catch it!  God forbid the Mommy gets sick, then all hell will break loose!

So I did some researching today on Wikipedia, the most trusted name in research (um, no).  I started out with a fun list of phobias, just to warm up the old brain.  I got a whole list of 'em!  Good luck on pronounciation, because some of this is going to take me six weeks just to type up the word, let alone say it!

Aichmophobia:  Fear of sharp or pointed objects (needle, knife, a pointing finger)
Catoptrophobia:  fear of mirrors or of one's own reflection (bummer)
Algophobia:  fear of pain (seems like a smart one to have)
Gelotophobia:  fear of being laughed at (glad I don't have that one)

I loved this one....

Coulrophobia:  fear of clowns (not restricted to evil clowns) --->totally quoting straight from the page.  Not restricted to evil clowns!  ha ha ha ha!

Emetophobia:  fear of vomiting (I got that one!)

ok...let me try this one on for size:

hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia:  fear of the number 666.   Sheesh.

nomophobia:  fear of being out of mobile phone contact (*smirk*...shouldn't it be nomophonophobia?)
selachophobia:  fear of sharks

The list has lots of other phobias on there, and I looked it over and saw this one:

Cibophobia, Sitophobia:  aversion to food, synonomous to Anorexia Nervosa.

I decided to go and follow the path, so to speak.  I looked up Anorexia Nervosa.  Where this took me is really amazing, depressing, stunning, and on and on.  Before I write another word, though, I am going to preface the rest by saying this.  I am just a goofbutt with a laptop, writing a blog about health and fitness.  I wanted to learn a little bit more about this area of living and self-care, since I am not very good at it yet.  I am not a learned professional in this topic, I will try very hard to not cast an insensitive view on what I write, and I will try very hard not to offend.  However, I am human, and may very well do just what I try not to do.  I write this in advance so that you might remember this as you read someting that makes your blood pressure rise and the condemnations fly.  I'm just a regular Joe...Anne.  Also, I want to say that if you, for any reason, feel that you are having trouble with eating disorders, I hope you know that there are many places you can turn to for help and a someone to listen.  I will try to include a couple of options as I go.  Ok, ready? 

Anorexia Nervosa is from the Greek words for A- or An- (meaning a lack of) and orexis, meaning appetite.  This is literally "a lack of desire to eat."

It is a psychiatric illness that has social, economic, psychological, neurochemical, and other layers, levels, intersections, you name it.  It is an eating disorder with hallmarks of low body weight, body image distortion, obsessive fear of gaining weight, and an inability to recognize the gravity of the situation when continued behaviors of Anorexia Nervosa can lead to death.  People with Anorexia Nervosa are known to control their body weight through various means.  Starvation, excess exercise, diuretics, diet pills.  The disorder primarily affects adolescent women ages 15-19, but up to 10% of the sufferers are men.  It can affect any age group, and the onset has been documented as late in life as the early 90s. 

People suffering with Anorexia Nervosa refuse to maintain a healthy body weight, such as beneath a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 17.5 or 85% of body weight expected for an age group.  There is also intense fear of being overweight or gaining weight, even when the person is underweight.  Also, there is a change in the way the person assesses their own body shape or weight, and a denial of the seriousness of the disorder.  Interestingly, people with Anorexia Nervosa have a very clear-sighted view of their own bodies in relation to other, healthy people.  From what I've read, healthy people have a tendency towards overconfidence in regards to their looks and body shapes (explains why I'm always a little disappointed when I look in a full-length mirror!).  The person suffering from AN sees more clearly what they look like, and then proceeds to reinforce their belief that their looks or what-have-you would improve with the loss of more weight.

There are two sub-types of AN:
1)Restricting Type:  the person doesn't regularly engage in binge eating or purging behavior.  Weight loss for the current episode is accomplished mostly through dieting, fasting, or execessive exercise.
2)Binge-Eating Type or Purging Type:  the person has regularly performed binge-eating or purging behavior (laxatives, enemas, diuretics). 

What is interesting to me as well about AN is that individuals can move from one sub-type to another, and from Anorexia Nervosa to Bulimia Nervosa, over time, as their thinking patterns and behaviors change over time. 

There have been observable changes in the brain in people suffering from AN, but it is difficult to tell the relationship between the damage to the brain and the eating disorder (chicken or egg kind of a thing).  This damage can be partially reversed when normal weight is regained. 

There is a whole laundry list of symptoms of AN.  Some (and really just a few, compared to the list) are extreme weight loss, stunted growth, decreased libido, impotence in males, thinning of hair, constantly feeling cold, zinc deficiency, creaking joints and bones, dry skin, chapped lips, extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating, memory deficits.  The person suffering with AN has a distorted body image, their self-evaluation is solely in terms of their weight and shape.  Can you imagine being able to only relate to life via your size?  I try to sit back and imagine relating everything from how I feel to whether or not that boy I liked back in fifth grade like me back...and feeding it through that mental state, putting it all in terms of my size and shape, my weight.  Perfectionism also tends to be evident here, as well as clinical depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

There has also been strenuous debate over whether or not Anorexia Nervosa is considered an illness or a choice.  One person, Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the US National Institue of Mental Health ( wrote a letter to the National Eating Disorder Association ( stating that "eating disorders are brain disorders."

I got a bit sidetracked at this point.  It goes on and on.  Medication may help, but studies are dubious.  Family therapy may help, but rehabilitation of people with AN has a low success rate.  But the topic of whether or not AN was a choice really got my attention.  "Why, isn't it obviously a disorder?" I thought to myself.  Aside from the person involved, who may be so far advanced they can't see the damage done to themselves (how like an active alcoholic or drug addict!), wouldn't it be obvious the person needs help? 

As I read along, I came to the part describing societal and environmental factors.  Here is where everything seemed to go all pear-shaped.  I read that the internet has enabled anorexics and bulimics to communicate with one another outside of treatment.  That some of these sites are pro-anorexia (pro-ana) and pro-bulimic (pro-mia).

I admit, the first thing I thought was....WTF?!

I then went to look further into this.  Pro-ana's reject the medical viewpoint that Anorexia Nervosa is a disorder, and argue it is a lifestyle choice.  There are websites similar in scope to MySpace or Facebook, where they get together and support one another's eating (or non-eating, really) choices, swap ideas for losing weight, compete with one another regarding weight, and advise each other on subjects like subduing hunger pangs.  Some people even come to personify "Ana" as a helper to the person with AN.  There is a sense of feeling "clean, pure, spiritual" to be abstaining or fasting from food, whereas sin can be denoted with eating imagery. 

There is "Ana's Creed":

I believe in control, the only force mighty enough to bring order in the chaos that is my world.

I believe that I am the most vile, worthless and useless person ever have to existed on this planet, and that I am totally unworthy of anyone's time and attention.

I believe in oughts, musts and shoulds, as unbreakable laws to determine my daily behaviour.

I believe in perfection and strive to attain it.

I believe in salvation through starvation.

I believe in calorie counters as the inspired word of God, and memorize them accordingly.

I believe in bathroom scales as an indicator of my daily succeses and failures.

I believe in hell, cause sometimes I think I live in it.

I believe in a wholly black and white world, the losing of weight, recrimination for sins, the alonegation of the body and a life ever fasting.

 and "Ana's Commandments":

1. If you aren't thin you aren't attractive.

2. Being thin is more important than being healthy.
3. You must buy small clothes, cut your hair, take diet pills, starve yourself, do anything to make yourself look thinner.
4. Thou shall not eat without feeling guilty.
5. Thou shall not eat fattening food without punishing oneself afterwards.
6. Thou shall count calories and restrict intake accordingly.
7. What the scale says is the most important thing.
8. Losing weight is good / gaining weight is bad.
9. You can never be too thin.
10. Being thin and not eating are signs of true will power and success.

To be fair, not every single Pro-Ana site has the same aims.  Many claim to be a place where anorexics can be to discuss their illness, and discuss recovery.  It has been noted that anorexics can "pool" together at websites like these to normalize their condition, and to have a sense of identity amongst others.  Some of these sites (and again, not necessarily all of them) offer tips on crash dieting, advise on how to purge, how to hide weight loss from parents and doctors, how to appease the side effects of Anorexia Nervosa.  On and on.

Then another word came up I was unfamiliar with.  Thinspiration.  These are images or montages of slim women, even emaciated women, to offer encouragement (?) to others.  Also, there is reverse thinspiration, where there are images of fatty foods, overweight or obese people, designed to inspire disgust and fear of weight gain. 

And there are red and blue and purple beaded bracelets that are worn by supporters of this lifestyle. 

I went and Googled Pro-Ana, and Ana's Creed, and Ana's Commandments.  I ended up finding imagery for Ana-lifestyle people.  One image was of a cadaverous, green angel leaning out of a computer screen, hugging a woman sitting in front of it.  A plate with what appeared to be two rice cakes on it sat next to the computer.  I saw imagery of thin women, emaciated women, and I stumbled onto one or two blogs of active Anorexics who were attempting to get even thinner, and were blogging their lives and their self-control.  I didn't notice any recent entries for one of them (I do not recall the address), and I had to wonder if she was still alive. 

There is no happy ending for this report, guys.  AN is thought to have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.  Up to 20% eventually die from related causes to AN.  The suicide rate for people with AN is higher than the general population, and is thought to be the major cause of death for people with AN.

It has a tendency to be more prevalent in Western societies, among the more wealthy as well, but this is spreading across the planet as Western media reaches further across the globe.  Yet there is no clear causality between the imagery of thin women in the media and Anorexia Nervosa. 

All I can do is to say this.  If you or someone you love might be suffering from this disorder, there are options.  You can call your local hospital, your physician.  You can visit the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Eating Disorders (  You can visit as well.  There are places to go for help. 

With the exception of the Ana material (creed, commandments), almost everything I found was through wikipedia.  I simply typed in Anorexia Nervosa and took it from there, so you can read more about this disorder if you choose to. 

As for me, I am very grateful to not be affected by AN.  I know there are times when I have joked that I wish I had the discipline to be an anorexic, but I take it back 100%.  Never would I want to know the fearful discipline and measuring rod of the anorexic.  For what I have, I am truly grateful, and I hope you are, too.   

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day Twenty-Four

I woke up at 5:45 and worked out.  I went to work, did odds and ends at home.  I didn't nap when Andrew fell asleep, either.  Which leads me to tell you all that I am sooooooooooo tired.

I .  uh, hang on.  um.


Sorry, more tomorrow.  G'nite.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day Twenty-Three

So, uh, I didn't get up at 5:30.  Like a dummy, I stayed up too late, thinking I'd suck it up and just get up in the morning.  What did happen was that I played a little game called "wonder if I can hit the snooze button before the third beep."  I played that game a lot.  I got pretty good at it.  I got so good at it we were about ten minutes late to school/work this morning.  Oops.

I did go back to the Y and run, though.  I put on my snazzy new sneakers and my iPod Shuffle.  I love this little toy.  I just got it last week, and it's the last generation, not the newest one, so the price is more reasonable.  I love it so much I named it Pearl.  Pearl and I ran together today, stomping it out on the treadmill to Lenny Kravitz "Are You Gonna Go My Way" and "Lady Lumps" (or whatever it's called) by the Black-Eyed Peas.   And I took off the volume limiter, so when I got going, I think the two people next to me could hear what I was running to (hello, if you heard Snow Patrol playing...that was me).  I actually got the old treadmill (and my lumps) up to 6.0 (mph?).  That's the fastest I've gone, perhaps ever.  I figure I might go faster than that one day, but someone will have to chase me with a meat cleaver or a gasoline-powered chainsaw. 

I notice it also helps with running if you have shoes that are the correct size!  I have been squeezing my post-baby bigger feet into my old pre-pregnancy sneakers.  When you have a kid, your feet get bigger, and mine grew pretty much a whole size.  It's such a nice treat to not have my toes crammed all the way to the top of my shoes, and to not have them numb from having the arch press into the wrong part of my foot.  My hypochondriac self was convinced the numbness was a sign that I had a really crappy circulatory system and was getting heart disease or something!  (knock on wood)

Food went all right.  I was grumpy and hormonal yet again this morning, and did some emotional eating when I got home from work.  Granted, on the bright side, it was all food I had planned for eating all that day.  All healthy food.  The downside was that I ate three meals in about four hours.  Oh well.  Steve made us dinner tonight, which was very sweet.  He used up some of the pre-cooked chicken breast and made a homemade tomato sauce to go over whole wheat pasta, and he tossed in some of the fresh farmers' market peppers and the little broiled fairytale eggplant.  It was delicious with a side of boiled and salted shelled edamame.

I am still pondering what topic to chat about tomorrow.  I might visit Wikipedia and play around and see if something stands out to me.  Binge eating was brought up in the comments (thanks Justine!), and I definitely have issues with that, myself.  Eating disorders seems to be the topic that is coming up for other people, too.  I also feel it is a hugely emotional and sensitive subject, and I would hate to even remotely offend someone suffering out there, or seem insensitive.  Probably don't have to worry that much, though, since my lovely readers (and I'm so glad you read it, guys, really!) are a pretty manageably small group.  Not that I'm complaining.  I most likely will not have to worry about starting a firestorm up in here!

If you do stop and read, will you please do me a favor and sign up as a follower, if you haven't already?  It's nice to know who I'm talking to, and honestly, it does give me a boost!  I don't think you have to worry about spam or anything...but you could chalk it up to doing a good deed or something.  Yeah, that's right. Signing up to follow my blog is right up there with saving baby dolphins and stuff.  Yeah, that's it.....

I'm glad I did my workout and ate pretty well today.  I'll do it tomorrow, and I'll even have a bit of a blurb about some health topic for you folks.  I'll see you tomorrow!  In the meantime, I will leave you with a picture from my most favorite website (  This so completely says me, I can't even find where to start.  :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day Twenty-Two

Today felt pretty doggone good.  I woke up at 6-ish and did my Lower Body Workout.  I will give you a general rundown of what a BFL workout is like.  First off, it is based on a scale of intensity, from one to ten, with one being the lowest (like sitting there, breathing) and ten being the highest (jumping three feet up into the air, over and over).  There are two exercises per muscle group, with reps of 12, 10, 8, and 6 before launghing into the "high point", where there are two sets of 12, one for each exercise.  Confused yet?  Let me illustrate:

This morning, I started with my quadriceps exercises.  I chose the Dumb bell Squat, where I basically bend over and straighten back up, with dumb bells.  I want to aim for an intensity of five with my first set of reps (12 reps for this one).  So I pick a weight that will give me some work to do, but not kill me.  Not yet.  :)

Then I pick a heavier weight and commence doing the same exercise, except with only ten reps.  The intensity I'm shooting for is a six.  Then I go up in intensity again, doing eight reps, and I'm shooting for an intensity of seven.  See where this is going?  The next set of reps (six times), I want to be feeling a bit of a burn with an intensity of eight.  Then comes the high point.  This is sort of where I work until I have muscle fatigue.  I pick a weight that will really make me work, and I do twelve reps for my Dumb Bell Squats.  I'm sweating, I'm having to think a little too hard about what I'm doing, and I'm using my mental strength to go the distance instead of thunking the dumb bells down and saying "close enough."  I want an intensity of nine here.  But I'm still not done.  Then I immediately (with no break) switch into my second exercise (for instance, the Plie Dumb Bell Squat) and do twelve reps again.  This time, I'm feeling it at about the third rep.  I'm even maybe a little shaky by the tenth rep.  And I really feel like I can't go any further by the time I do the twelfth one--here's my intensity of ten.  Then I take a break for a couple of minutes and then prep my next muscle group exercise...for the hamstrings.  And I do it all over again.

The Lower Body Workout covers my quadriceps, my hamstrings, my calves, and my abs.  It is supposed to last about 42 minutes (how they figure this is beyond me), but it is definitely not supposed to last longer than this.  With this level of intensity, I can understand the idea of not overworking too much. 

The Upper Body Workout covers the shoulders, the back, the triceps, and the biceps.  This one, because there are more muscles involved, is supposed to be no longer than 46 minutes (why 46...seriously?).  I'll be doing the Upper Body the day after tomorrow, because I alternate the weight lifting with aerobic/cardio workouts that (fortunately) last twenty minutes, tops.  Those are kind of my favorite days....wonder why?

So anyway, I woke up and exercised and dusted off my meditation routine again.  It was funnier than ever to try to meditate because, this time, my brain had no chance at all to screw up, because of my cat, Peach.  Peach is very friendly, and pretty much figures we're all here on this planet to pet her.  She doesn't care if I'm me, Steve, the weirdo down the street, the Dalai Lama, or Stalin.  Just pet her.  I'm sitting there, trying for some conscious contact with the God of my understanding, and Peach is rubbing her head all over my folded hands, stepping all over my lap.  I couldn't decide if this was a message from God (like, "hey lady, good job this morning, have a cuddle") or just His sense of humor ("think you can get back into your old routine that easily?  I'll show you!"). 

After that, since there was no jobby job to be at (thank you, Labor Day!), I went back to bed, sweaty and all.  I was just too tired.  Andrew got up at almost 9:00, and we had a pretty regular day.  Nothing too exciting happened.  We played outside, we watched (too much) TV, we had a family dinner together.  It is really nice to be able to sit together as a family and eat, especially a healthy meal.  What's even better is that we have four new-ish matching dinner table chairs that I am still so grateful for.  We had chairs, but they were secondhand and broke, and we didn't replace them until one day, recently, when I realized that I had scooted a rocking chair up to the dinner table, and Andrew was using a ratty old computer desk chair.  Steve and I ate in shifts, since there was no third chair.  So now we have four (!) matching chairs, and I'm still so glad for them.  Andrew likes to sit right between us at the long side of the table, with our chairs so close together they touch.  He was sitting at the table's end, but he likes to be right next to us, and we find it's much easier to keep him at the dinner table, instead of wandering around, munching on a handful of peas.

I feel so much better already, having decided to go back to my early morning routine.  To start the day knowing that I am already done with most of my self-care is a good feeling.  Much better than the dread of last week, knowing I still had yet to do it, and then the self-flagellation when I would decide to skip it.  I'll have to work harder at getting to bed sooner (instead of after midnight!), but the rest of my day is on a much more even keel. 

I made some food in advance for my week this week.  I cooked up a bag of chicken breasts very simply, just olive oil and salt and cooked them through in a pan.  Once they're cooled, I cut them in strips and put them in a tupperware container.  I just reach in and get what I want, when I want it.  It's very easy.  Steve is actually going to the grocery store right now, and he's going to bring me home some apples and string cheese and stuff like that.  Love that man!  He was only going to get himself a notebook, but then he asked me if there was anything else I needed.  I just expanded his shopping list by about 200%, and he didn't even grumble...what a rockstar!

I have yet to decide what this week's report might be about.  Does anyone have a preference?  Does anyone care?  Shall I skip it?  I was toying with a bit of a look into eating disorders, maybe just one disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia alone, rather than together.  I don't know...maybe the thyroid?  I guess I'll have to sleep on that one. 

I better go.  I have to plan my menu for tomorrow and my workout, too.  Then I can go to sleep!  I'm so glad I did my self-care today;  my workout, my meditation, and ate well today, too. I'll be doing it again tomorrow!  See you then!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day Twenty. Would someone please....

Come over to my house and kick me in the ass, just once? 

Another day down the tubes.  This week has basically been a bust.  Haven't worked out since Thursday.  Food is pretty good now, not so terrible with the nighttime snacking, but I am having a hard time with planning my meals, being mindful of how much time has gone by since I've last eaten, etc. etc. etc.  Today I just feel sick of all this hard work!  I know I won't feel this way forever, but today I'm kind of tired of the whole eat-sleep-breathe-pray BFL.  On the other hand, I can tell I don't feel as good as I had been feeling, when I was making the time to eat every three hours, planning my meals in advance, and exercising.  And, also, I am bummed and aggravated at my lethargy for the past three days in regards to working out.  So really, could you come kick the seat of my pants and help me out here?

I am surrendering this week, as it is, in all its imperfect glory.  I can't do a thing about what has already happened, and all I can do is work on the day I'm in, the moment I'm in.  Since that is about 18 minutes away from my third Free Day (and, of course, I'm not about to give that up), that means I will step back and blow off this week, and come back like gangbusters for this upcoming Monday, the start of Week Four. 

However, I do want to show you what I made for lunch.  It was so good, very healthy, and pretty too!  I went to the farmer's market yet again and this time I made out like a bandit.  I got peppers, tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, fairytale eggplant, and even the yarn I've been lusting after.  Here is a shot of my loot:

Isn't that gorgeous?  There was so much more I wanted to get.  They have local farmers coming in from all over with so many different things...homegrown, grassfed beef, homemade soap, carved wooden utensils, pottery, etc.  I'm going to try to stick with just the vegetables and fruit, though.

Ha ha, how'd that get in there!  That's sock yarn from the Three Waters Farm.  It's B-E-A-utiful.  This yarn and I are just starting to get to know each other, so we're not a serious item yet, but I think there will be a date set in the future for it, me, and some sock knitting.  Oh yes, we shall be together, darling, and soon.

Anyway, I cut an heirloom tomato into wedges, and opened a can of tuna.  I made this:

which is tasty enough, especially with a sprinkling of salt all over to bring out the flavor.  But I took it a notch up, with my homemade dressing of equal parts balsamic vinegar, mustard, Splenda, and olive oil.  It sort of destroys the beauty of my lunch, but the taste of it was amazing.  Here you go:
I am going to ask God to please give me some more gumption for next week.  Maybe I'll ask for a kick in the pants, too.  See you Monday!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day Nineteen, A few of my favorite things....

I think I figured something out.  This week has been rather lackluster.  I missed a workout on Wednesday, I messed up my eating for a few days straight now (nighttime snacking), and my get up and go has got up and went.  What has changed?  My times for working out, that's what.  I haven't meditated in a few days, either.  I guess taking the time to get up, quietly before dawn, to work out and meditate, really makes the rest of the day go much better.  Otherwise all this regular life stuff gets in the way and I end up too tired to do what I know I need to do, or I make excuses, like tonight--again, I totally didn't exercise. 
I did not start yet another lifestyle change just to discard it after a few weeks.  I do not have that short of an attention span, thank you very much.  I did not just buy new running shoes just to let them collect dust, and so on and so forth.  So, I am re-instituting the good old (dreaded) 5:45am wake up call.  This is just too important to me to piss it away, you know what I mean?

So, on to another topic.  My sister Lynda has visited my blog (hey Lynda!) and told me she liked to see the pictures of what I eat.  I'm always happy to oblige, and I have been taking some shots of things I've been eating that have been delicious/nutritious/beautiful, so I'm going to put 'em up and tell you how some of it was made.  None of this is very difficult to make, and all of it is very tasty.

First up, this one is awesome as a snack, breakfast, whatever.  Start with a half cup of low-fat cottage cheese.  In a separate, microwaveable bowl, dice up an apple, add fresh lemon juice, cinnamon, and Splenda.  Toss and microwave until the apple is to your desired level of stewed.  It's nice if it's just barely heated and the apple is crispy, and it's also good if you nuke it until it is nearly applesauce.  Combine the two, stir, and enjoy.  The apples warm up the cottage cheese, which takes away some of the cheese taste and renders it almost like a riccotta.  It is very nice when you are craving something sweet. 
Next up, one of my most favorite dishes, even before BFL.  Get a grill pan (highly highly recommend All-Clad's grill pan) and heat it thoroughly with olive oil, but do not let it smoke.  Meanwhile slice cleaned zucchinis lengthwise and salt rather liberally.  If you choose to, cut the zucchinis first and salt them and let the liquid render out.  Blot them with paper towels.  Place the zucchinis, cut side down, in the grill pan and go to town on it.  The browner you let it get, the better, flip it over, and repeat.  Continue until the zucchini is cooked through and is soft but not mushy.  It is wonderful, even my two-year old loves these.
Here are the beautiful, teensy "fairytale" eggplant I got at the farmer's market last weekend.  I cut them lengthwise and salted them to bring out the liquid, which relives the bitterness in the eggplants.  I tossed them with a fair bit of olive oil and rosemary and salt.  Here they are before being cooked:
And, after some time spent under the oven's broiler:

They lose that gorgeous color, but the broiler crisps the skins and makes for a wonderful little side dish.  All of this stuff is really pretty simple, but that's what I'm a fan of.  I don't mind making complicated stuff, but if it gets too tedious, then I'm probably not going to make it!

Other things that have been helpful for me is to make my food look attractive, not like prison slop.  I stop before eating each meal and look over the entire plate to remind myself that the smaller portions I am eating are actually just fine for me, that this is actually quite a bit of food, and that it is beautiful, and on and on.  Steve made my dinner the other night, and just about outdid himself for a simple dish of lean steak, brussels sprouts, and a kiwi.

He is such a show-off, isn't he!  :)
Other things I have started doing since starting BFL has been to label all the leftovers.  It's not because I think I'm going to have trouble identifying a salmon filet or frozen veggies, but because I am so leery of old leftovers getting eaten and all of us getting violently ill.  I admit, after about three or four days I pretty much toss the old stuff.  Steve will eat something until it's all gone, even if it's growing a beard, but I'm just not that way!  So I keep a fine permanent marker and some masking tape in my junk drawer in the kitchen, which is above the good old tupperware cabinet.  I write what it is and the date.  Behold the absolute height of my OCD! 
I never have to figure out when was the last time I made that casserole, or whatever.  I never used to freak out about that stuff, but when my dad became horribly, severely ill from salmonella, I started really paying attention.  For me, a few extra seconds in storing my food saves me standing in front of the refrigerator days later, doing weird food math.  "So...if it was a full moon and we had friends over, then this meatloaf is from...last Wednesday?"
And, just for grins, here are some cute pictures of my son doing something unheard of (in my opinion):  eating a homegrown tomato!  Note the cut up grilled zucchini on the plate behind him.
Can you belive that?  And, so you know he's also a fan of my Free Days, here is a clue as to what got eaten last Free Day:
Good night, everyone.  I am going to get back in the saddle tomorrow.  In the morning.  The very early, predawn, 5:45am morning.  I am getting back in the middle of this thing, so I don't lose out on what I've worked so hard for already!  See you tomorrow!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day Eighteen

I just crawled out of bed about twenty minutes ago.  My son just started sleeping in a big bed (a double) so, for the past night or two, I have laid beside him to help him fall asleep (read as "so he doesn't get out of bed and run around like a banshee in his room").  Apparently tonight I was no match for lying in the dark, covered in a blanket, pretending to be I fell asleep for real.  I feel a bit groggy, but it'll have to do until I go to bed in a few more minutes!

I promised y'all some blurb about female body shapes, so here goes:

According to Wikipedia, female body shape is the "cumulative product of a woman's skeletal structure (her build) and the quantity and distribution of muscle and fat on the body."  Across time and across the globe, there have been and still are wide differences of opinion as to what is considered most attractive for a woman's shape.  There is, of course, naturally a wide range of body shapes, and the bust, waist, and hips are considered to be inflection points, where the ratio of these are used to define the basic shape of a woman. 

The hourglass is considered by the Western world to be the "ideal" female shape, where the waist is smaller than the bust and hips.  The bust and hips are almost of equal size in contrast with the smaller waist measurement.  This underlines symmetry in the human form that tends to be seen as attractive by others, and many movie stars falsely claim to have body shapes that are "hourglass", when, in reality, only about 8% of women are shaped that way.

There is also the banana shape, where the waist measures less than nine inches smaller than the hips or bust.  Women with banana shapes tend to have higher androgen levels (in comparison to estrogen), and the body's skeleton develops into this shape.  A study of 6,000 women in 2005 at NC State found that about 46% of women measured were banana, or rectangle-shaped.

There is the apple shape, where women have broader shoulders and bust, and narrower hips.  These body shapes have higher androgen levels compared to women with other body types.  This body shape has a higher risk towards some diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.  It is found among about 14% of women.

There is the pear shape, where the hips measure greater than the bust, with fat depositing more in the buttocks, hips and thighs.  About 20% of women were found to be pear-shaped.

Since the 1950s, the average woman's waistline has increased by six inches and women are taller and have bigger busts and hips than women from that era.

Since early times, women have struggled to fit their various body shapes into the desired proportions of their contemporaries.  Among many different types of restraints, constraints, clothes, and cosmetics, such things come to mind as "lotus feet", planing the forehead, lengthening the neck, breast implants, and corsetting the waist.  Boned corsets were in vogue for centuries, and have since been replaced by more humane "foundation garments" (Spanx anyone?).  As fashions and ideals have changed over time, what has remained mostly constant throughout history has been the preference for a small waist.  A low waist/hip ratio has often been seen as a sign of good health and fertility.

A waist/hip ratio is the waist measurement divided by the hip measurement.  This ratio has been shown to correlate with attractiveness, even across cultures.  Women with a waist circumference that is 70% of the hip measurement have consistently been rated most attractive.  Some unforgettably shaped women, such as Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, the Venus de Milo, all have the ratio of 70%. 

Do I think this stuff remotely determines a woman's worth?  Heck no!  Do I think we need to suffer needlessly and bust back out the corsets or get implants...hell no!  But I thought the topic was interesting, and I have always heard about pear and apple shapes (banana was unknown to me, but interesting nonetheless).  I am not very surprised that the most "desired" body shape would be the one that is least naturally occurring...of course it's the most desirable--hardly anyone has that shape!

I hope my sleepy brain isn't so addled that any of this was muddled or hard to read.  I got up and went to an aerobics class this morning, doing aerobics in front of others (!) for sixty minutes.  Um.  Dude, sixty minutes is a LOOOOONG time to be doing any damn thing.  It also reminded me again why I so love doing exercises in the comfort and privacy of my own home.  I know the instructor can help someone who is struggling with how to hold their body, or their posture, or whatever, but getting barked at by someone who makes me do the pony for minutes on end isn't high up there on my list of stuff I enjoy.  But I shouldn't really kvetch, since I have never personally taught aerobics, so I would hardly know how to do it myself.  Which is why I enjoy aerobics...on DVD.  Alone.  At home.

Food went pretty well all day, except for this evening.  Both last night and tonight I have had a hard time withstanding some temptation.  Last night I got really hungry in the presence of hummus and ended up eating a fair bit of hummus with tortilla chips and then a PB&J sandwich (ugh), and tonight I had a hard time saying no to some fried potatoes and the damn hummus again.  I am not happy about the extra eating, but I am resolving to not A) beat myself up about it and B) not throw the baby out with the bathwater and eat everything in sight.  I have to remember that, as a woman and all that, hormones can play underlying factors in day-to-day stuff with food.  Every once in a while my body just says, "hey, YOU, chubby chick!  Bring on the salt!" or some other random thing.  I figure as long as I'm not eating spackling with a butterknife, I probably don't need to freak out too bad, but I do need to be honest and tell it like it is, which means telling you that I'm not being angelic over here with the people kibble. 

I'm going (back) to bed.  I'll see you all tomorrow! 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day Seventeen...uh, guys?

Hey, it's been a day. 

I hesitate to say a bad one, but let's just say that it took all of me to not run screaming to Belize. 

I didn't get the time to work out today.  I am not happy about it.  :(

I did get some new running shoes...but they are too small.  :(

I meant to write about women's body sizes, but it's way too late and I'm going to have to ask for an extension, folks. 

S'okay with you? 

I will see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day Sixteen, Action and Gratitude

I find it interesting how many times I have lazed around, thinking to myself and not doing much of anything about it.  It's totally normal for me to daydream, to have these fantastic dreams of hiking a mountain, running a race, being able to gallop on a horse, give my acceptance speech for my Lifetime Achievement Academy Award (uh, well, maybe not that one...).  But those vaporous thoughts dissolve and disappear when I don't take conscious action and take steps, even tiny ones, towards making them realities.  I would be sitting on the couch, stuffing my face with Dove bars, watching TV and bemoaning how I felt fat and looked fat.  Then I would be daydreaming of having six-pack abs and being able to run with just a sports bra and shorts on and looking fabulous.  This was a pretty frequent fantasy for me.  I swear I daydreamed that one so many times, and with such intensity, that I'm guessing I could have spent all that energy on doing something and I could have lost the weight two times over with all the thinking I did about it.  But, without action, thoughts come to nought. 

I got to thinking about this because of that little list I wrote last night.  One of the things I wanted to do, to run or walk a race for a good cause, came up today.  My friend at work had these kooky socks on and I remembered she got them from running in a race.  So I asked her about it, and it turns out it's coming up in November.  For me, taking the time to write the list, to pull the vapors out of my head, where they roll around like marbles, and putting it on paper, setting an intention (so to speak), and voila, suddenly there's an opportunity for me to try something I've always wanted to do, but never put action towards.  It's a small step, but steps add up, and distances get covered, and suddenly I'm somewhere I never thought I would be, somewhere I never thought I could get to.

I'm grateful for the actions I have decided to do.  I'm grateful that my body is able to make a U-turn and slowly climb the hill back to being fit and healthy.  I'm pretty dang grateful that it's not taking as long as I thought it would to stop feeling so sore and tired--I had more energy just a few short days into BFL.  I'm also mindful that I am just barely starting this journey, so I'm not even close to giving any kind of acceptance speech! 

Food went well today, and I had to make a special effort to not let more than three hours go by without eating something.  I don't know about you, but I get almost crazed when I'm overhungry and in the presence of food.  Portions get larger, and then I add more types of food, and suddenly the butter is coming out, and it gets foggy, and then I practically come to, overstuffed and chagrined.  I'm only kidding a little.  With working and having my two-year old, sometimes it's easier to put myself last and just wait until a more convenient time to eat.  I pack a snack for myself at work, but it's hard to find time when kids are trooping in and out and it gets hectic, and sometimes I feel a little embarassed to ask for a moment to go eat.   It's one thing to take a break to go feed your kid, but another to be like, "hey, if you don't mind, can I go leave you here and eat a little snack?"  Fortunately I have very nice coworkers who know what I'm trying to do, but it's still striking me as a little humorous and embarassing. 

I ended up eating carrots (furtively) out of a baggie while watching the kids run around.  It is hilarious to me how small children wander up and ask, "what are you eating?" when they can fully see what you have.  One older child, a girl who I know well, asked me and I (just for grins) said back, "well, what does it look like to you?"  "It's carrots," she said.  Ding ding ding, we have a winner!  Even funnier is the fact that they all were watching me (there were four kids there, two four-year olds and two two-year olds) as if I were eating a fudgesicle covered in whipped cream.  My son even wandered over and demanded a bite of raw carrot--this child won't eat carrots, period, but let him see me eat it and not look like I want to share, and suddenly  it's all he's ever wanted his entire life.  I ended up sharing carrots with Andrew and his friend, Katie, who is also two.  And they actually ate them.  Who knew?!  Maybe next time I want Andrew to try a new food, I just have to act like it's just for me and I'm trying to eat it in front of him without sharing.  Maybe that's the secret to feeding two-year olds....

I ran on ye olde treadmill today, and I think it's fair to say I'm not getting any faster, but that's ok.  The speeds I am running and walking at are just right for me, and I never was a very good runner in high school, either, when I did track and field.  I used to joke that I was built for neither speed nor distance, and apparently that is still true. 

To quote Scarlett O'Hara, tomorrow is another day, and I'll see you then!