Friday, April 30, 2010

Beach challenge finale

This week I plummeted all of 0.2 pounds to weigh 199.6. That's my final weigh in for Tammy's Beach challenge, so I didn't meet the goal of losing ten pounds, but I managed to stay in Onederland 2 weeks in a row! Given some iffy food days, I'm thrilled. I was actually 197 Tuesday, but ate out 2 nights in a row, and even with good choices, the paltry loss (rather staying essentially the same) is likely due to salt content. Though I didn't hit the goal, this challenge definitely helped me break back through the 200 mark, I pray for the last time. I thank Tammy for all her effort with it, and also congratulate her for losing 15 pounds this mornth herself!

My exercise has continued to be kind of shoddy this week as well and I haven't started the early morning walking. This morning I slept in until 5:40, and that was too late to walk, shower and get to the morning meeting ready to head on to work directly following.

I realize that next week, I'm going to have my walking clothes literally at the ready (in fact I may sleep in them since it will be dark when I get out there) and just have to don socks and shoes as soon as I wake up. I'll have to do it for some consecutive days before it becomes part of the routine. But I'm very geared up to do it. Hopefully it will loosen my knees for the day as well as providing exercise.

Also, I flagged with the picture taking of food this week pretty much, and I want to return to doing more of it again, even if only one meal and snack a day. My very best food days were the ones where I took pictures of all my food. My intention is to start back Monday.

This weekend is a busy and full one. Tomorrow I'm going to Avalon, New Jersey at the Jersey shore with 3 friends. There is an all day Women's AA conference, with some of it taking place on the beach! It's supposed to be hot (90s) here this weekend, so it should be a great day for this. I'm excited about even the car ride down with these friends - I know we'll have a blast. Wild sober women, all of whom know how to have a good time but do it sanely now. I know I'm not going to want to take pictures of food, though I plan to take pictures of the beach and other assorted sites of interest or ridiculousness.

I've been very busy at work the last few days, hence the decreased posting. I still have a lot going on, so I'm going to sign off. Have a good weekend, everyone. Hopefully I'll get a post in on Sunday.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The verdict's in...I'm NOT OLD!

Wow - I was only (half) kidding yesterday when I claimed to be old, but you wonderful bloogy peeps unanimously declared me NOT OLD. And I agree - totally. Why, in my mind I think of myself as around 17; and there are plenty of times when friends and family (read: husband) would wholeheartedly confirm that. Young at heart and young in my thinking; though my kids would tell you different, as it says in my profile. When they are around, it's open season on Mom and her difficulties with items "of today", and I love every minute of it.

The only time I feel old-ish of mind is when I try to use new fangled contraptions like cell phones that have capacity beyond the "hello" function. And were it not for certain tell-tale clues of the physical nature, like the "points all her own NOT sitting way up high" (apologies to Bob Seeger), knees that go bump in the night and lock in the morning, and the sleep that ends all too early, I could easily pass for a much younger gal.

What I love about being human (among other things) is the continued evidence of the universality of all these aspects of existence. There truly is comfort in not being the only one to experience the inevitable changes that unfold as we travel along our individual timelines. When I was young, people my age now didn't interest me much at all. I thought they were sort of sad diminished versions of the younger selves about whom they wistfully spun stories of adventures living life without all the modern conveniences we young folk had. Now, I love nothing better than to recount harrowing tales of having to GET UP OFF THE COUCH AND WALK TO THE TV TO MANUALLY CLICK THE DIAL TO CHANGE THE CHANNEL. (Is this the baby boomer equivalent of walking 5 miles to return a library book that we had to listen to ad-nauseum when we were young!?) Or having to dial a number on the phone and have to wait for the dial to complete before dialing the next number. (These were trying times, youthful bloggers). Of 5 cent Hershey bars (figures that would be on my radar), seeing movies at the theater for less than a dollar. I love being a baby boomer - another "greatest generation" in terms of breaking new ground in virtually every realm of American life, especially staying young and vital well into their 60's and beyond.

Holy crow! (I love when Chris says that and have adopted it for daily use.) I was just going to put up a few food pictures - yet off I went waxing poetic about living and aging in America. Anyway - Thanks for the comments and head nods. I know I'm not old; rather just of a certain age =D.

I had several people suggest I walk early in the mornings, since I'm up so early. Gheesh! I coulda had a V8! That's a great idea, and when I was running, up to 5 or 6 years ago, I ran before the crack of dawn, and have always loved being out early, before and as the sun comes up. I'm definitely going to start doing that again. Especially now that it's getting warm, it'll be a wonderful way to loosen and lube up the joints, as well as getting some exercise in. I can still do the gym later if I have time and inclination, but the walk (without puppy) will be great. Thanks for reminding me of that!

Finally - somehow I managed to delete yesterday's breakfast and lunch pics, but they were nothing different than you've already seen. I'll just show the few different things I had - for the after work snack, I had a lemon Luna bar. I hadn't had one in a long time, and it tasted awesome! I remember they had an aftertaste before, but I didn't detect it yesterday at all. High calorie toll - 180 cal, 9 gms protein.

Dinner was the last leftover stuffed peppers, still yummy, plus a huge amount of roasted broccoli, zucchini, summer squash onions and garlic. Roasted a massive amount tossed in only 2T olive oil and 1T of lemon juice. While hot, I sprinkled a bit of fresh parmesean cheese over it all and let it brown. Delish-ous! And very righteous. Finally, don't hate me because I love Lime Diet Coke. I only have a couple a week because I know diet soda isn't great for you. Definitely better than it's full calorie uncle. I didn't even tally the calories yesterday, but they were probably between 1400 and 1500...again. For me, that's good.

This seems like a really rambling nutty post because I've been writing a sentence, then going a doing nursing assessments, passing meds, and other assorted tasks for which I'm being pain. Sorry if disjointed! Very affectionately, your young friend!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The morning after the day before

No - the title doesn't mean I gave up 18+ years of sobriety yesterday in order to tie one on. It refers to something more benign, thank goodness.

I've posted about being a morning person before, and it seems to only continue, seeping into my very bone marrow with each passing day and beyond. Everything in my mind is percolating at high speed in the mornings - right through early afternoon. But from about 4 p.m. on, it's a slow and steady decline of mind, body and spirit. I'm old, people, and my inate biorhythms have changed. I continually see how I need to adjust my patterns to best be a productive and perky member of society.

"What the hell is she rambling about NOW", you ask? It's the fact that the absolute hardest part of photographing my food and and posting the pictures is posting them in the evenings after dinner. Here's a description of yesterday late afternoon - I came home from work, walked the dog, had a snack that I dutifully recorded for posterity with the camera, turned on Oprah and promptly fell asleep until 6:30, when I heard the Mister rummaging in the kitchen presumably for dinner. About a 2 hour nap, for Pete's sake.

I dragged myself resentfully off the couch and got my own stuffed pepper leftovers along with the fresh salad and asparagus Tom made, took the picture of the plate (or so I thought), then ate dinner and within another hour was back asleep! Before I nodded off for the second time I kept thinking I needed to get on the computer and do the whole picture post thing, but every cell in the body resisted. So I'm going to do the posting this morning, and also say that I'm doing that from now on (through Friday, which is my initial committment for the pictures). It just works better for me that way. I have no idea why I was so tired yesterday other than the fact that I accomplished the Herculean task of staying up 'til 11 to watch the Lois Wilson movie Sunday night (with a little help from Starbucks). To think I used to be a total night crawler. I'd probably be a little concerned about this change in my sleep patterns were it not for the fact that all my baby boomer friends are experiencing the same thing!

As I just got the pics into my work computer, I see I don't have the dinner picture. I swore I took it, but it isn't there, though my snack after dinner is. Go figure. Breakfast was an orange, a cup of Go Lean in a Snoopy Christmas cup with 1 ounce of 1% milk, and an HB egg - 280 calories. Didn't eat until 11 because I just wasn't hungry. I know! How odd is that??

Lunch at 1:30 was a good size salad with a few green olives, cut up tomatoes, cucumber and carrots, and packet of tuna and one Tbs. of salad dsg - 290 calories.

My after work snack was a Chobani yogurt, peach flavor - 140 calories

The unphotographed dinner was 2 stuffed pepper halves, 10 spears of asparagus, a large salad with avocado and a Tbsp of dsg - around 500 calories. Great dinner and filling enough to put me right back to sleep!
Dessert was a Vitamuffin chocolate muffin top - 100 calories. I came within a millisecond of having a second one, but didn't! A real victory for this gal!

Calorie total for the day was approximately 1310. Again a little lower than I'm going for. I suspect I'd have eaten something else had not fallen back to sleep around 8. Since I got no formal exercise yesterday, it's just as well.

My exercise has definitely been light for the last week - mainly dog walks and a couple dogless ones that were MUCH more prductive and aerobic, but not enough mileage. I need to get back on track with it, hitting the gym after work. Can't do it today because of a late meeting about a client, and tomorrow a manicure. Hmmm, not a good pattern, but I'll get back to it. That is never the hardest part of the healthy life style for me.

On another subject, some of you were reading last year when I was going through a series of 3 thyroid biopsies over 9 months because I have a lot of nodules. It all turned out fine - finally - but it was nerve wracking during the process. It finally ended with the Endocrinologist letting me know that the nodule in question was FINE, and that she'd follow me once a year. Well, yesterday I had a message reminding me that my appointment is May 5, next Wednesday. Siiiigh...I know there is nothing to worry about, but it'll be a long morning during which time the doc herself will do an ultrasound to survey the landscape of my neck and it'll just make me nervous. It's a whole week away, so a little soon to get cranked up yet, but I'm not looking forward to it. One good thing, I love the doctor and I know she likes me. She told me last year that I'm very "grounded". Huh?? But she's mine forever because of that. I didn't tell her my grounding was due in large part to regular attendance at AA meetings!

Have a good day dear blogger buddies!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday food pics and calories

Sunday breakfast:
3/4 cup eggbeaters with 1 cup spinach, 1 big mushroom, 2 scallions and 1 Tbsp 2% grated cheddar plus an orange - 185 calories

Lunch - 1 WW sandwich thing, 1 Morningstar Farm Griller, 1 triangle LC lite cheese spread on bread, carrot, lettuce, tomato and onion slices; plus 1 cup Chobani strawberry yogurt and 2/3 c frozen straberries - 475 calories

Dinner was 1 artichoke with 1 Tbsp melted butter, salad with 1 Tbsp balsamic vinaigrette, homemade stuffed pepper with brown rice, turkey sausage, veggies and tomato sauce, calorie estimate 666 - Note large Starbucks coffee. This was with a double shot because otherwise I'd never have made it up last night to watch the Lois Wilson Story about the founder of Alanon, whose husband was the co-founder of AA. (a little aside there!)

Dessert of cottage cheese and strawberry preserves - 125

Total for Sunday - 1451

I made a big pan and a half of homemade stuffed peppers yesterday that are just delicious. I used 4 colors of peppers and par boiled them to tenderize them before stuffing, and then cut them in half. The stuffing has low fat turkey breakfast sausage, chopped up carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and spinach. Then I added 1 1/2 cups of brown rice, about a cup of tomato sauce and a few good splashes of Worcestershire sauce and mixed it all together. I spooned the mix into the prepared peppers, then topped with more tomato sauce and W. sauce mixed, and sprinkled parmesean over it all. Baked at 350 for 30 minutes. This made enough to take 4 half peppers to my friend who had the double knee replacement, and left us with this:
Before covered with sauce and baked: And after:
If I was home alone, I'd have made this without the turkey sausage or any meat. It's a great vegetarian dish when meat is left out. I've put garbanzo beans in the rice mix to protein it up a bit. Also have added cut up asparagus, broccoli - whatever's on hand. Definitely a winner.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Catching up with myself - Day 3 TamCam + Stuff

I'm definitely behind on posting food pics. I'm going to do Friday's pics, but yesterday I didn't do pics because I was on a day trip with a couple of friends and forgot the DamnTamCam! Drat! And can I tell you that while I was still pretty good yesterday without the camera, I did have a few extra things that I might not have otherwise. I will confess them here after the Friday pictures. And today, I've already been clicking away so will be back on track with the photos tonight. So Friday's food:
Breakfast was 1 cup Go-Lean cereal (not Crunch, which has too many cals!), 1 cup TJoe's nonfat plain Gr. yogurt, 1/2 grapefruit and 1 ounce 1% milk (use tiniest amount possible to moisten cereal because I HATE milk!) - 328 calories

Snack at 11:30 a.m. as I was starving and wouldn't get to eat until one-ish - 15 leftover Roma beans that were part of my lunch - 10 calories

Lunch was a leftover hamburger made from 90/10 ground beef that was coated with Monterey seasoning prior to broiling - delish! which I cut up into 1 cup of the homemade ratatouille - 300 calories

After work around 4 p.m. a Chobani yogurt - yes, you've seen this picture before because it's easier than taking the same pic every day when I have one of these almost every day! Think of it as a newspaper's stock photos :) 140 calories

Dinner - another stock photo because it was an exact redo of the lunch I had on day 2 of my Tamcam photos - all leftover food from earlier in the week - 310 calories

After dinner "still hungry" snack - 1 container 1% cottage cheese with 2 Tbs. of TJoe's low sugar strawberry preserves - 125 calories
Total for the day - 1213 calories - too low, but I fell asleep early and that kept helped me eat less for the day. Just as well because I know I probably had about 1800 or more on Saturday.

Saturday I had an egg white omelet with onions, tomatoes, sausage and swiss cheese at a restaurant, plus one piece of buttered pumpernickel toast. Ahhhh, butter! Had lunch at the conference I attended, and had some chicken salad, tuna salad, cut up veggies, ranch dip, couple of cheese cubes, a roll (white bread roll which I almost never eat) and a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie for dessert. Then dinner was a chicken ceasar salad with dsg on the side that I used very little of. Another role that was heavy whole grain and yummy - with more ahh butter. Plus a cannoli! I have no clue of the count for the day.

Today I'm 100% back on track with pictures and eating. Yesterday was difficult because I had no control over what was served. (yeah, yeah, I had control of what I put on board, though, and could have left out certain items, but they were soooo good!

Before I sign off until later when I post today's pics, I want to show you what I treated myself with today...a few non-food treats! Four of them to be exact:
. I love books! Two are food issue oriented - Geneen Roth's new one titled Women, Food and God that I've read reviews of from a few bloggers who said it was excellent; Living Without Ed by Jennie Schaefer about her recovery from her Eating Disorder (this is her first book; she has a new one Goodbye Ed, Hello Me).
Then 2 non-eating related books, Shelter Me, a novel that sounded good when I was browsing at Target, and one that my daughter told me about yesterday titled Merle's Door - Lessons from a Freethinking Dog. It's a memoir by Ted Kerasote about his partnership and love affair with a dog who "picked him up" during a camping/rafting trip with friends, and stayed with him for the duration. Jean (daughter) loved it and said it had the bonus of being extremely well-written. So - I'll let you know what I think about these as I read them! This was a big splurge, but I haven't bought anything for myself for a long while, and it felt like time.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday weigh in

I'm a little bit psyched because this morning I weighed 199.8. It's also a loss of 2.6 pounds in a week that started out pretty high in the eating realm! I'm more than satisfied with the number today, and also relieved.

Now I'm hardly miles into Onederland, but it's my first time there since mid December, and there scenery looks great! Hoping for more, and it's going to happen. I'm not taking a break this week after the weigh in like I did last week. I'm going to keep food journaling with pictures because by some miracle it's helping me. And I'm loving doing it for some weird reason. I feel like an ace reporter doing research or something! My friend at dinner last night doesn't know about the blog, so I had to kind of stammer out a reason I was photographing my vittles (which is actually spelled victuals but I was afraid you might not know what I was talking about).

I walked about 2.4 miles yesterday afternoon and it felt good. I know I could have gone a good bit further, but with the dog being totally annoying and wanting to smell and pee on every blade of grass along the way, I was happy to cut it off. Today I think I'm going dogless. He'll get a quickie, I'll get a longie. Interesting that during the walk the knees feel good, but after wards for a few hours - they are stiff as boards. So I'm back to icing after walking, and adding back in an extra dose of nature's nectar, Ibuprofen. Thank goodness it helps. I'd gotten down to one dose a day in the morning thinking "a little dab'll do ya", but as I increase the movement, 2 dabs do me better.

Well, off to eat breakfast - gotta break out the TamCam. Have a good day fellow bloggers!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

TamCam pics day 2

Another good day. I had dinner out with a friend, but ate accordingly all day to have a good allotment of calories left for dinner. There really is no way I can quantify my dinner calories - I took pictures and I've estimated a calorie total of the meal that I think is probably over what I ate. Rather guesstimate too much than not enough. And though I won't be eating another bite tonight, I definitely could. Were it not for the TamCam project, I'd be grazing within the hour!

Breakfast: one hard boiled egg mixed with 1/2 cup 1% fat cottage cheese and a squirt of yellow mustard, 1/2 grapefruit - 219 calories

Lunch - 1 1/2 carrots, 2/3 roma tomato, 1 TJoe's chicken sausage with 1 cup roasted broccoli and zucchini - 260 calories

3 p.m. snack before walk: 1 medium banana with 1/2 cup TJoes non fat Gr. Yogurt 160 calories

Restaurant meal - 2 small slices of Italian bread dipped in marinara sauce; I definitely should have stopped at 1 piece 'cuz it wasn't that good. They look like huge pieces in the pic, but were actually very small. Honest! - 100 cal.

Entree - 5 oz blackened salmon with mesclun greens, sliced red onion, few sliced black olives, few tomato wedges, mango salsa, with 2 tsp balsamic vinaigrette - AWESOME - I ate every bite of this - calorie estimate 500 cal.

1 cup Chobani Strawberry - probably should have left this out, but needed wanted "dessert" - 140 calories

Total calorie estimate for the day - 1439 - again I believe the actual total is between 1400 and 1500. Now I'm finished eating for the night because my camera battery is out of juice and if I can't photograph it, I'm not eating it!

On the drive home, it was raining while the sun was shining. You know what that means...a rainbow! In fact, a double, but I doubt the lighter one will show on the pics. The lighting at the time was surreal:

Sorry the pics are pretty similar - hey, if one's good, three are better! Have a good night.

Thursday morning quarterback

This will be a brief post since I'm going to be putting up the food pics in the evenings. I don't want to overdo it with pictures and writing a zillion paragraphs each day, but you know how I like to chat;D !

Yesterday really felt great, and was the cleanest day I've had in a while with not one extra bite of anything...even vegetables. Not that extra bites of veggies wouldn't be okay, but as Tammy wrote when she started out with her TamCam, if it's going into the body, it's getting photographed first. It was actually kind of fun!

Anyone who happened to read the comments about my day 1 pics saw the comment by someone who said, "That's an awful lot of food for someone who wants to lose weight." I'm striving to be magnanimous about it, but I have to say it made me first VERY irritated; but I quickly felt ashamed and then was compelled to look back and see if in fact it was too much food, or bad choices, or I coulda/shoulda /woulda...blah blah blah. The calories came in at 1510, which I guarantee is more than I actually ate. I gave high estimates on things I couldn't be sure of, like the roasted veggies. I'm sure my actual caloric total was between 1400 and 1500, which for me is FANTASTIC. And for pete's sake...I don't need to defend myself! But interesting how a comment by someone from whom I've almost never had a comment could have me questioning myself. That's entirely about me, not about the commenter...I'm well aware of that!

I remember reading someone else's blog a few months back who was posting food pics (can't recall who) for awhile; at the beginning she stated clearly that she wasn't looking for a critique of her choices - like about how processed the food was or if it was organic, or was it enough of whatever nutrients...rather she was just trying to hold herself accountable. I didn't think it necessary to say that about my own food pics, but after day 1, maybe I do. Tell me it looks good, tell me you hate ________ that I love, or that you wouldn't touch raw squid if that's one of my choices which it would never be...but don't criticize the choices, UNLESS I specifically ask for that kind of feedback. Chris O. wrote about eating 10 saltines with real butter every other day - no one took her to task for that. (Of course the fact that she's lost over 100 pounds might be why!)

I emailed the gal and very nicely thanked her for caring enough to read and comment, but told her I felt criticized in a way that I hadn't asked for. If I said, "Do you guys think this is too much food? Please be honest", that's an entirely different story. I don't want to be a jerk. I love comments - the more the better. People have offered me suggestions and expressed concerns the whole time I've been blogging, but I've never felt blatantly criticized. Maybe I'm over-sensitive (I totally am). Anyhoodles - that's my rant for the day.

In the interest of not further glazing over any of your eyes, I'll sign off here. Thanks so much for the support and positivity that abounds from all of you. When one of us is down, others rally round to bouy that one up, and so on, and so on. We all have ups, downs and frustrations - no one is immune from struggles. We're lucky to have this amazing tool that even 15 years ago (maybe less?) didn't exist.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

TamCam food pics day 1

Day 1 is done, and at 7 p.m., I'm finished eating for the day. Here's all my food:

Breakfast around 8:45 - leftover quiche - 275 calories

1/2 grapefuit - 53 calories

1 cup Trader Joe's 0% Greek yogurt - 120 calories

Lunch at 1:00 p.m. Maple Glen Farms Low carb no sugar fat free Rasp. vinagrette - 2 Tbs - 5 calories

1 1/2 carrots sliced, 3 slices roma tomatoe - 50 calories

Chicken salad - 1 cup cooked chicken with 2 scallions, 3 green olives, 1/8 avocado on 1 cup shredded cabbage - 387 calories

Home from work - snack around 4 p.m. - 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 2 Tbsp TJoes organic reduced sugar strawberry preserves 140 calories

5:00, hungry for dinner but too early - 2 tiny clementines - 70 calories

Dinner at 6:20:
TJoes chicken sausage, 1 cup homemade ratatouille, 1 cup roasted zucchini and broccoli - 330 calories

Dessert - 1 cup strawberry Chobani yogurt - 140 calories

1/2 100% whole wheat sandwich thin with 1 triangle LC lite cheese

Total for the day - 1510 calories
Feeling satisfied and with no binge thoughts.

Game plan

Thank you all so much for the wonderful and long (I love long!) comments yesterday. Everyone was optimistic and supportive and non-judgemental and had a unique perspective, even though I can't recall each one without constantly flipping back to the post.

I was feeling so ashamed of admitting to saltines and butter, and then the uber-successful Chris wrote about eating that same thing every other day but just adding it into the calorie mix for the day. Who'da thought of that?? Deb wrote about her own trials with gluten sensitivity and brought up the notion that there may indeed be a physical component. Loretta mentioned how the sugar metabolism of alcoholics is definitely altered which I've known but hadn't thought about recently. See why I'm a support group kind of gal? I NEED support, motivation and validation. Some people can conjur those things up on their own, but this puppy needs all the help she can get! And you dear people always offer that up. Once again, I puffy heart blogging!

I had a good day yesterday and feel better today (after dumping all the toxicity yesterday) about dusting myself off and knowing full well I'm moving forward and making progress. I made a decisison that I'm going to steal a strategy from Tammy for the rest of the month of April, which is the duration of her challenge. I seriously doubt I'll lose the 10 pounds set out by the challenge, but I'm still wanting to try and lose enough to get back to freaking glorious Onederland FOR THE LAST FREAKING TIME. Ahhhh - that felt good to shout.

Anyhoo - the strategy I'm extorting from Tammy - with her permission BTW, is to commit to take a picture of everything I eat each day. Just like she's doing. So not original, but it seems to be helping her and so I figure I should give it a go. I thank her for the idea, and mostly for being fully supportive of me doing the same thing. Maybe I should name the strategy in her honor (though she's not the first blogger to do it, but she's the one who's inspired me to do it)...maybe I'll call it my TamCam! No shit - that just came to me. Something brilliant is definitely brewing!! I'm cracking myself up here - sorry. It feels good to be laughing rather than whining today! TamCam it is. Tonight I'll post my first pics.

As a warm up, here's a picture of my breakfast yesterday and today - the leftover quiche I mentioned yesterday.
Remember, the one that took way longer to cook than the recipe said which made me eat those saltines? Kidding - it wasn't the quiche's fault - I was just testing you guys. Were you ready to lambaste me for blaming an innocent egg product for my Monday demise? This was a recipe I got from Biz at Biggest Diabetic Loser. Her blog is delightful, wonderful - like TJ's. Lots of recipes, great food pics and great ideas.
The link will take you to her post with the recipe. It was the best tasting quiche I've had in years, and is crustless! Really excellent, and easy to make. Highly recommended. I'll post the picture again tonight with my TamCam report.

I can see where it will be challenge enough to remember to take pictures of my food. And I am promising to take pictures of everything, including if I go off the deep end, which I'm hoping I won't since I'll have to post them, too.

I wanted to follow up on my friend who had the double knee replacement less than 2 weeks ago. She is now home and doing very well. Her spirits are great, and she's already walking (still with a walker) so much more easily and painfree than she has for years. And my own knees are feeling pretty good as well. I'm starting to focus on quadricep strengthening, because it's still hard to walk down stairs "the normal way" of one foot and then the other. I'm having to do one stair at a time, and once I get those quad muscles stronger, that should help a lot. But excellent progress is evident, and I'm very thankful for that.

Thanks again for the support, and for reading my blog! It's a little beyond my wildest dreams :) !

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Disorder me up another clean day

I haven't posted since Friday, which is unusual for me. It's also "a bad sign" according to Tammy, and damned if she isn't right. After logging a paltry 1.2 pound loss last week in the Beach Challenge, I decided to take a day off (from the paltry effort that yielded the paltry loss) on Friday, which extended into Saturday and through Sunday. Yesterday I was back on track except a few saltines and butter that never have been and never will be part of my program. They did not trigger me, and were eaten while I waited for a quiche to cook that took 30 minutes longer to cook than the longest end of the time noted in the recipe. More on that later. But I was READY to eat (more in my head and mouth than my stomach, though I'd had a clean day to that point) when the quiche was supposed to be done. Me want my food NOW! And so I grabbed the saltines, which I don't ever get into. They're in the house for the mister. WTF?? But they did provide a good vehicle with which to get a few spreads of butter on board.

How sick are you of hearing me struggle? How much do you think, "She doesn't really want this..."? How many of you are thinking of nice ways to suggest I go into therapy or food rehab or eating disorder treatment or heavy psychotropic drugs? These are rhetorical questions by the waywith tongue in cheek; so it's not necessary to call the paddy wagon to cart me off to a loony bin. I'm embarrassed to again have had a relapse into bad eating, even though according to the scale there has not been harm done...translate no gain. Yet. Am heading this off at the pass for today and feel strong about it. But my pattern is to start having the food thoughts late afternoon and then to capitulate after dinner. There ARE things I could do - go to a meeting, take an after dinner walk that lasts until I'm virtually asleep on my feet and come back to fall directly into bed.

Here's the thing. I was so pumped up about the Tammy's April challenge. I felt the fire in the belly to stay the course. It felt real; it was real. And then I tried things like the Yoplait Delights Lemon Torte I wrote about some days back that was like a strong hit of crack. Tried one piece of chocolate another day. The meals out where I make good choices but come home feeling like I want something else. I know...tell myself, "You're not having something else, so find something to do!"

As much as blogging helps, right now it feels like I'm exposing the underbelly of a rather substantial eating disorder at this point. I'm not beating myself up or acting like I've committed the worst sin, as was mentioned to me a while back when I posted being frustrated with my eating issues. I'm just getting a little scared that for some reason I'm struggling right now. I've done more therapy and have more insight into my issues that probably any human being on the planet. I'm evolved in so many ways at this ripe old age. I have a great family, many friends, a satisfying career and lots of interests. I mean it with all my heart when I say I want to lose my excess weight.

When I tell my AA story at a meeting, one of the truths I always tell about myself was that I "quit" drinking many many times. I'd do a good "talking to" myself and say, "This has to're a mom, a nurse, a smart person." I meant it with every fiber of my being. And I'd stop for a week, or a couple, or one time even 5 weeks...aware of every non-drinking second of the dry time. And at some point I'd finally say, "Oh, I've stopped for ________ long (fill in blank with # of days or weeks) so I can't be an alcoholic." I could stop drinking, but I couldn't stay stopped over the long haul until I started going to AA, and even then it took a while to put it down for good (through today, because in AA there is no "never again").

The food misuse is very similar, but much more insidious. And for goodness sake - it's bad enough I'm not normal with alcohol, but food too? No way...I can master this. I CAN DO IT. Please understand that this is the "poor me" attitude that I start ruminating when I find myself in this place of really having a hard time putting more than 3 or 4 days of clean eating together.

I know a lot about addiction, and one truth is that addiction is a progressive disease. Abstinence from the substance or the behavior does not stop that progression. People have stopped drinking for 20+ years, and if they have a drink - odds are good that they will be back to the races and worse than 20+ years before in short order. Sounds crazy; is crazy; is true. I understnad this at a deep level, and I can absolutely see the progressive nature of my food addiction in these last months. Even though I had several really good months of sane eating last summer and fall, I haven't been able to get any sustained clean time since. Is it absence of will power? Am I using addiction as an excuse? Am I not truly accepting of the fact that I really may be a person who has to have a pretty regimented food plan in order to not get triggered? Points to ponder or more excuses to not take action? I do take action every day - I just don't always continue it through the entire time I'm awake. It's what has to happen. I'm not a person who can take one bite of something. Never was. Dare I say never will be?

I wrote a month or so back about ways to catch myself when a binge or even dangerous extra eating is storyboarding or writing out a sequence of thoughts and behaviors that usually proceed my eating forays. It's not necessary. Know why? Because I know full well when thoughts and behaviors come that I'm at risk. There is a point that I make the decision - is the food plan a go or is the disordered eating a go? What'll it be today? Today, Tuesday April 20th, at this moment, the food plan is a go. Addiction or not - I am in control of what goes in. No one is forcing a whole box of Special K crackers down my throat. But not having the first 17 that are a 90 calorie serving makes it a lot easier to say no to the whole box. There are things I know I can't have or the momster gets unleashed.

I know this is going to be an epic-ly long post and I'm sorry for that. Can I claim it to be the combined post of the today and last 3 days I wrote nothing, smile smile? I've never felt judged or shunned in blogdom for having a brain explosion like I'm having today. I have gotten a few insensitive comments, but I welcome it all. When someone calls me on my shit, it feels insensitive because I am over sensitive. It's very true that no one is likely to judge me more harshly than I judege myself, but I need to say again that I'm not beating myself up. What is truly going on today is that I feel a little scared. That maybe I'm not going to be able to press on and get remotivated. How can I be remotivated every morning and then slowly lose it over the course of the day?

Yesterday I ran across an article titled "Why We Think Thin and Eat Fat" posted on a Psychology Today blog March of 2009. I'd printed it last August, finding it through Roni's Weigh. Roni wrote about a whole series on eating issues written by this author, Steven Sosny. It's pretty short, and the links to the other articles in the series are available at the first link. I highly recommend reading this if you've ever been baffled and perplexed by your eating behaviors. It talks about emotional eating in a unique way, noting that there is biological programming involved. The fact that I found it yesterday in a stack of papers I had folded up in a South Beach Diet book is surreal, given my current struggle. My Higher Power has an interesting sense of humor!

Well, if you made it to the end of this novella, congratulations, or my deepest sympathy, whichever feels appropriate. And I'm not kidding when I say that the article is worth the few minutes it'll take to read it. If nothing else, it helped me to see that I'm not simply weak willed, excuse filled and doomed to eternal fatness. But it doesn't give any answers either. I know the answer - continued, persistent sustained effort. Never giving up. And as I say everytime I spill the contents of my brain like this...I never will give up.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Weigh in - and Know Thy Knees!

Weigh in day # 2 for the Beach Challenge and I was not surprised to see less than stellar results. I was 203.6 last Friday, and today I'm 202.4. Yeah yeah, a loss is a loss. I'm fine with it, but am thinking perhaps I need to temper my fervent desire for a tacky beach souvenir down a few notches. I'm really happy to have lost anything.

I went to visit a close friend last night who had both knees replaced last Thursday. She's done well with her recovery, and is now at a rehab facility for about a week, doing intense physical and occupational therapy (who knew putting one's own socks on could be such a challenge!?) and practicing activities of daily living like getting up stairs, in and out of cars, and such.

This friend, like me, has battled with her weight for years. Up and down. In the past couple of years she's added more pounds because of her true inability to move much at all due to the horrendous status of her knees. So she's optimistic that once she's recovered and therapied back to optimal function, she'll be able to do more, and stress eat less.

After we were talking awhile, she remarked that when I walked in her room, she noticed I looked "good", and thought "she's keeping her weight off". I chuckle-choked a bit and said actually I'd put on a few from my lowest weight back in November. Nice to hear that at least I'm looking like I'm holding my own, even if I know how precarious the holding feels.

I then said that she was surely going to have lost a few pounds when she got home after this, and that when walking with the walker I noticed she looked "narrower", which she did. I went on and asker her what the new knees are made of...and she, "Titanium, and they're very heavy. I'm 10 pounds higher on the scale now!" She's so frustrated! That would play with my eating disordered head big time. Turns out she can set off metal detectors and will need some kind of special paperwork to fly in the future due to her packing titanium knees! With all the baby-boomers getting joints replaced, I guess there's a lot of this going on that I never thought about before.

I asked if they feel heavy or different, and she said no. She did not that the way they do feel different is they don't hurt in the way they did before. She has post surgical pain and muscle stiffness, but that's nothing compared to what this gal went through for a long time. I'm really happy that she's finally done this for herself because it will likely change her life hugely. But slowly.

Speaking of knees, I mentioned I hadn't exercised as much this week and was definitely going to do a long walk yesterday. It never happened because I had to stay late at work, had an appointment, and then had to do an early dinner so I could go see the friend. Well, this morning, my knees feel as stiff and tight as if I'd been cryo-preserved for ten years and was just now thawing. I know it's due to the lack of movement. I have my gym clothes with me and am going to go bike the second I get off today. And hopefully a dog walk will also be in the cards if it isn't raining. Not gonna overdo, but with arthritis, the daily movement is vital to keep the joints lubricated and functioning. Every single treatment plan for arthritis lists movement and exercise at the top of the list! They also note that it actually decreases pain, and I have found that to be true.

They also all list weight loss as a very important tool to decrease the pressure on joints. Read this from an Orthopedic suregeon: "Carrying extra weight is problematic for your knees. This is because for each extra pound you carry, your knees feel 4 or 5 pounds. So, if you're 10 pounds overweight, your knees think that you are carrying 40to 50 extra pounds! If you're running or jumping, the forces across your joints are even higher. Small amounts of weight are amplified across your joints and that‘s why it can be damaging to the joints. This is why a small amount of weight loss can go a long way in keeping your knees healthy."

Okay - I didn't mean to turn this post into an arthritis Primer. But how interesting that each pound results in 4-5 extra pounds of impact on the knees! That's pretty startling. Hopefully motivating. I'd really like to post a big loss next week. Happy Friday fellow bloggers!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Baloney phone-y

Thank you to every single commenter about my phone drama yesterday who suggested I try calling the phone. I got a good chuckle over that, and how by the end people were saying they were going to suggest it but saw everyone else had! I've used that clever tactic before with amazing success. However, it requires one complicated maneuver...the volume on the ringer has to be turned up. Mine was down at "0" because I'd been in a meeting earlier and never thought to turn it back up. Big frowny face when I realized that as I was running around having people dial the # and hearing the sounds of silence. When it was resting on my desk, it vibrated quietly but of course I was right there and saw/heard it. Another life lesson learned.

The phone must still lying at the bottom of an ocean or deep ravine as it hasn't turned up. After work I went back to AT&T only to find Mohammed not working. Hopefully he wasn't traumatized by the whacked out customer the day before who'd lost her phone. A nice gal named Alicia helped me, showing me a pitiful display of 4simple phones that would be under $300. Sensing my despair, she got all "on the down low" with me and said, "If I were you, you know what I'd do?" She gave me a free SIM card and linked it to my plan. Then she suggested go to Target or any big box store and get an AT&T Go Phone, pop in the card and I'd be good to go.

So that's what I did. Tar-jhay's Go phones ranged in price from $29.99 to over a hundred. I ended up with a 59.99 model that is just fine. Truth be told, I like it much better than my "old" new phone. It's a little simpler, lighter and slimmer. I haven't had a chance yet to play with it's limited bells and whistles, but have used it enough to know it texts and talks just fine. One of my sons got a go phone when his own died during his freshman college year (took matters in his own hands rather than incur my wrath at having to get him another). He got a real el-cheapo, and it's still humming along. So all my whiny verbiage yesterday was somewhat over dramatic. But therapeutic, let me tell you! A girl's gotta get this stuff out.

Yesterday turned out to be not the greatest food day for me. I was perfect until I met a friend for dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant, Fellini's. I took her out to celebrate her AA anniversary. I had every intention of immediately dividing my entree in half an taking the remainder home. I ordered Paste Puttanesca, which was just incredibly delicious (and pretty salty, with capers, anchovies (undetectable visually) and Med. olives. I did in fact eat only half. However, I ended up having 3 pieces of freshly made Italian bread with butter on every single bite. Ohmigod, it was good in the way that puts one in mind of the "O" word. Multiple Oooooos. Also we had Bruschetta, since the bread and butter wasn't enough simple carbs and fat. Once home, I ate a number of York peppermint patties that were in the freezer - the small ones. I'm not sure what the number was, but it was over 6 and less than 10. UGH.

The only thing that makes me feel better this morning is that I've read 2 blogs already today where women had many more calories in their dinners than they intended. Also - it was a fabulous meal, and the frozen PPs were perfect dessert. Lifestyle, not deprivation. Today will be a clean and austere food day. Tasty, but not so much that I want 2nds of anything.

Also, for the last 2 days I didn't get in any exercise due to busy-ness, phone drama and appointments. Today I will be taking the dog alone for a long brisk walk. We never get as much of a workout when we go with our friends.

Tomorrow is weigh in day for the challenge, and I'm noivous after that salt onslaught of last night. I know it takes several days to release retained water, so it'll be what it is. Overall, my eating has been good this week. I'm feeling real progress in my day to day habits and thoughts, and thought stopping when a binge food appears in my mind's eye. An someone at work yesterday told me I look "skinny". That's a load of crap, but I must have looked at least less fat than I used to! So whatever the scale's verdict tomorrow, I'm doing better.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Untethered, or why I hate the mobile phone industry

**added in after original posting** I just looked at the graphic of the cell phone...doesn't it look like it's resting on a mini-pad? Just noticing!

I'm am madder than a wet hen right now. Yesterday around 1:10 p.m., a friend called on my cell phone while I was in my office. We chatted a few minutes; the call ended. Nothing unusual, except that just after I left work yesterday around 3 and was halfway home, I reached into my purse for my phone AND IT WASN'T THERE. No problem - I reached into the left pocket of my scrub top. Then the right. AND IT WASN'T THERE. Still not concerned. I merely pulled into a parking lot, dumped out the entire contents of my purse, my lunch bag and my tote that I carry essential items like a spare Oprah mag and knitting in case I get locked down at work and need mindless diversion. AND IT WASN'T ANYWHERE.

Vapors of concern were starting to waft in from the periphery, but still optimistic, I turned the car around, headed back to work, and spent the next 1/2 hour doing a CSI search of my office, the classrooms, the trash cans and the contents of the aforementioned bags again. Vapors of concern have become large dark thunderheads. It is nowhere. I just got the phone via an upgrade last month while in Atlanta for the wedding, so it was cheapish, and I'm still waiting for the $50 mail in rebate to arrive in my mailbox because I was a good doobee and sent in all the required paperwork in plenty of time. I know that if the phone doesn't materialize, I will have to buy a new one outright, which will likely cost about a third of the national debt.

After the lengthy work search, I headed to my phone service purveyor, AT$T, to recount my dilemma and see if I can get the service suspended for a short time to provide a grace period for the phone to resurface. "Absolutely we can suspend the service for up to 45 days, but you still have to pay for it", Mohammed, the sales associate tells me earnestly, hopefully. No prob - at least I can thwart the heinous cell phone thief from serial crank calling Tahiti on my dime.

While at the phone joint, I look at other phones and find one I like if I end up having to get another, which I won't because of course mine will turn up tomorrow (today) when I get to work. I find one I like better than my new one that is actually cheaper by $50 than my last, just $49.99. I ask Mohammed how much the phone would be if I buy it outright, since I already used my upgrade and was too cheap to insure my 1 month old new phone. "$250", he answers ruefully. "$250 dollars? Are you f-ing kidding me?" I bark back. "I know", Mohammed murmurs sympathetically. I avow with seething certainty, "This is an f-ing racket." I did apologize to messenger Mohammed for my wrath, for he is not the author of this ridiculous f-ing racket that is the mobile phone industry. I blew out the door in a cloud of righteous indignation. Once in my car, I assured myself that my phone would be handed to me by a smiling co-worker in the morning. And then shake my head in disbelief over what some poor slob would have to pay if their phone wasn't found.

Poor slob, thy name is Leslie. As I sit here now, it's 12:06; the phone has not appeared. It's as if it disappeared into a rare troposheric black hole. I had it for that phone call at 1:10. 2 hours later it was MIA, and in 50 minutes it will be gone for roughly 24 hours. Without a trace.

The good news is that it isn't an I-phone or blackberry or some fancy schmancy pricey piece of techno-gold. It's a fairly basic phone with a slide out texting pad that I hadn't even gotten used to yet. In this day and age, even many homeless people have cell phones, so it's unlikely that a heinous thief did in fact break into my office and make off with the goods.

It really kills me to have to chunk out $250 for a new phone, esp. after that $64.00 paycheck 10 ten days ago because my off time used up all my accrued paid time off and then some. I'm extremely cash-poor right now. But I'm fortunate that I can pull out a credit card, get the new phone after work today, and start rebuilding my extensive address book that is gone with the wind, with the phone. This isn't the end of the world. Just the end of that phone, probably. I'm still holding out a smidgen of hope that I'll find it before I leave work today.

In the short time I haven't had the phone, it's amazing how unconnected I feel. I had amany thoughts on the way home from the phone store yesterday, and on the way to work this morning. I'm used to automatically pulling out the phone and dialing someone up - and just typing that dates me totally because who has dialed a phone in years??? I well remember dialing, riding my finger back through the dial, trying to make it go faster. Along with the excrutiatingly difficult task of having to get up to change the t.v. channel by clicking the dial - adjusting the horizontal and vertical hold buttons! Can you imagine such travesty, young bloggers!? How did we ever live through such primitive times ;) ! And how quickly do even old gals like myself get soft and find the rigors of a day without instant connection almost not worth living. It's a wonder I didn't have to take to my bed.

My emotional eating response to this yesterday afternoon? I came home and had an organic natural peanut butter sandwich on beautiful 100% whole 7 grain aldark bread. That was my snack, instead of yogurt and fruit. I needed something more of the comfort food variety, and it did the trick without undoing my good eating day. This phone thing would have been ticket to binge, as silly as that sounds. Silly but true. So all in all, yesterday was not such a bad day.

And guess what??? I'm probably getting a shiny new phone later!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What would happen if????????

I've been having a hard time coming up with something to write about today, so I thought I'd bootleg off other bloggers' posts and ideas. No need to reinvent the wheel when my creative juices are at rest and my mind seems a virtual wasteland of flotsam and jetsam.

Today on Helen's blog, she posed some questions for her readers to respond to. That kind of thing is right up my alley, esp. when the questions don't involve algebra or rocket science. Check them out if you get a chance as it's a very interesting post. Helen specifically offers us to answer any or all of the queries, so you don't have to negotiate mental olympics if your brain is lying dormant, as mine is today.

However, I did choose to answer all of hers, or so I thought. Her 2nd question was whether, when getting to comment on another's blog, we see previous comments that sound good and insightful, and then wonder if our own comment is worthy of publishing. My response was yes, that does happen to me. But also, I wrote that sometimes I'd read a comment that refers to something I'd totally missed in the post to which I'm about to comment and have to go back and re-read the piece to find what I missed.

Guess what? It happened today with Helen's blog, and finally gave me something about which to write today. While goofing off at work, I revisited her blog to see how other commenters answered her questions, and one of them numbered each answer, like I did, but at the end, wrote, "Main Question..." and had an answer that didn't relate to any of the questions I'd answered! I referred back to the main post, and sure enough, I'd missed the MAIN QUESTION!!! DOH! (does any of this make sense? it's okay to say NO)

So Helen's main question will be my topic:
"What would happen if you just buckled down (no swerving, no splurging, no side trips) and committed to 4 months of giving this weight loss thing your all?"

The answer: I would lose 25 or more pounds if I stuck to my food and exercise program, with no swerving, splurging or side trips, for 4 entire months. Without question, I'd be very close to goal weight. How can I be sure? Because 2 summers ago, I joined a pretty rigid 12 step program called Food Addicts In Recovery and had a food plan that I followed to the letter for over 6 weeks before I started to bob and weave (translate: eat what I damn well pleased). And in that short time, I lost 28 pounds. My body has proven to me time and time again that if I do the right things, it will reward me with releasing those extra pounds and giving me energy and vitality for each day.

I'm so glad Helen posed that question and that I eventually stumbled upon it, because reflecting on my answer reminds me that the rewards of the hard work of eating cleanly and exercising regularly are worth every ource of effort I put in. In fact, the pay off is always greater than my effort! Even before a substantial amount of the weight begins to fall away, my head clears up, I feel energetic and I feel great about myself. That's where I'm heading right now, and it feels good! Thanks, Helen!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekend update

I had a good, fun and busy weekend. The weather was perfection here both days, esp. yesterday when it was a little warmer than Saturday. I had good walks both days - 2.3 miles on Saturday, and 2 walks yesterday for a total of 3.2 miles. In the middle of the night when I got up to go to the BR, both knees were STIFF! Not painful, but stiff. I know that's classic osteoarthritis, and that the best remedy for stiffness is continued moving and exercise. This morning it took about an hour for the stiffness to subside, and now they feel pretty good. Later today I'm going to Google knee arthritis and search for tips for optimizing function. My orthopedic doc told me that the scoping of arthritic knees often sets of more inflammation of existing arthritis. It seems to be true, because I never had a knee issue until the 2 meniscus tears. Even though I had substantial bone on bone arthritis on both sides! Anyhoo - the knees are doing great and I'm increasing my exercise almost daily.

My food wasn't as clean and perfect over the weekend, but it was okay. Today I'm back to 100% on track. Bob Greene, Oprah's trainer, said in the same article I quoted last week to remember the 80-20 rule. If you follow your plan 80% of the time and relax a little the other 20%, you'll still have success. Of course the 20% can't be bingeing or eating those red-light foods that set one to irresistabe cravings. I always seem to be more liberal with my weekend eating, but my goal for the next weekend is to stay within my 1600-1700 range on one of the 2 days, and not exceed 2000 on the other. This is lifestyle change and management, not rigorous restricting of calories, aka dieting. But in order to lose the remaining 7.6 calories this month for the Beach Challenge, I have to keep nose to the grindstone. I want one of the tacky beach souvenirs! With her 8 pound loss during week 1, Tammy may be awarding herself some tacky souvenirs :D

I have a few spring pics to share - more flowering trees and plants that have caught my fancy. I have to remember to have my camera with me more often because I've passed a few amazing gardens that I couldn't capture because the camera was at home. DOH!

I love these bleeding hears - one of my favorites, and if you blink, you can miss their beautiful blooms!

The husband has been gone since Last Thursday to be in Georgia for the Masters tournament and is staying through today to clean up lose ends with our soon to be college senior's FAFSA application for next year. He'll be home tomorrow and I'm ready! It's nice for a few days to have the house to myself, but enough is enough. I'm even looking forward to cooking more official meals again! That'll last for maybe a day, so I better do some extra cooking while the mood is here.