Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 27 of Phase 4 Challenge: Where we jump around celebrating Japan's win, and where my panties are getting baggy, and where I wanna go out, and where there's not much else to say, really...

Scale: 226.6

Salty cheese x2 uptick. Was hoping to see a nice round 226.0  Weigh-in for Challenge, well, sent it today so I don't risk missing the deadline on Sun noon. 227, rounded up. I believe that's an official 2 lbs gone this week. (Or is it three? Ya know, I gotta check.)

Yeah: 2.2 lbs. Would have been more had I not gone on the Salt Wagon yesterday. :)

Calories: 1194
Exercise: walking, stairs, jumping jacks
Mood: very good
Hunger: minimal to moderate (early versus evening)

Got up earlier than usual to watch Japan kick Aussie butt for the Asia Cup. Hubby found a site to stream the game form Qatar. It's the only team I'd get up for early. I've enjoyed rooting for them since the World Cup. Delighted they won. Rooting hard for my man Eiji (Kawashima, goalie). He's so fierce looking, then so goofy when he smiles when they win. HAH. The Lee guy who got the goal is super cute. Adorable. I imagine schoolgirls with his poster up in their rooms next to J-Pop-pers.

Today is lovely and cool and I wanna go out. Gotta go wash the curls and find underwear that fits (my undies have gotten baggy in the butt).

Other than that, I got nothing. Just wishing us all a great weekend of NOT overeating.

Ja ne...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 26 of the Phase 4 Challenge: Where there are 96 Days to Go and In Which I'm Feeling Lethargic...then don't feel lethargic and laugh and walk my way back to ENERGIZED!

Scale: 226.2

Whoa. Almost a pound down from yesterday....

I slept a lot. Eleven hours. I started feeling that little lethargy come in yesterday and it hit today. I go through those cycles. I will need to check my blood pressure to make sure that going back to less sodium hasn't plunked my pressure too low again. I did get woozy once yesterday.

Had only two meals yesterday (hit the sack and skipped dinner). I bought extra nice ingredients to add the to quality of my food. Breakfast was a Greek Omelette--2 eggs, egg whites, oregano, Mt. Vikos gourmet barrel-aged feta, a cup of cooked organic spinach, java, water. So good. It was only an ounce of the feta, but it was so tasty. Lots and lots of oregano. Mmmm. Crisp graps on the side.

Lunch/DinnerWhatever: Rotisserie chicken breast to which I added some spices, beautiful fresh asparagus sauteed in minimal EVOO with garlic, artichoke hearts with lemon juice and garlic. Cantaloupe and raspberries on the side.  I had a square of dark, sugar-free chocolate as a treat.

Since I didn't have my usual yogurt, I took calcium supplements, and magnesium.

Really delicious. I so enjoyed my food yesterday. The 866 calories tasted like a lot more, I can tell you, just by having spices and those quality and fresh ingredients, so many colors and bursting flavors. I was happy. Yum.

Hope the mango I got is good. I want to have it later for dessert.

A cold front came in yesterday, and the walk was pleasant with the cool win in my face.

I have no appetite right now. None. But I'm gonna go make a meal and hope that spurs the salivary juices.

Allan's email told us that there are 96 days left in this challenge phase. It feels like a long time...more than 3 months....but it will pass as quickly as this month has been passing. It's gonna pass ANYWAY, so might as well let it pass healthfully and end up trimmer.

I've slacked with the strength exercises. No excuses. Just have. It's on the agenda for today, but feel free to kick my butt over it. The lethargy took over....

Happy Friday, folks. Feel the freedom from fat coming? It's already partly here, right, but it's coming!

Update: Lethary has moved on. The walk helped oodles. The stairs...well, only made it to the third one though the pace was relatively fast. I got woozy. Getting cool in Miami and I love it!  Talked to my health insurance nurse (they check on me every 2 months), and she said I sounded great, upbeat, motivated and happy. I realize that I keep hearing this lately. I keep being told I look good, smile a lot, look happy and energetic. Hubby came into the kitchen yesterday, from where he was noshing in the living room, setting up our evening's anime streaming, as I was fixing my second meal,  and said, "I love hearing you laugh." He hugged me and was grinning. Yep...I was laughing in the kitchen. I've been laughing a lot. Even over the phone, the nurse sensed my joy. :D  I would not trade a binge for this. This is amazing, feeling like this.  While walking, the UPS guy shouted, "Looking good!" I've been getting some, um, male looks on my walk. Maybe I am looking good....maybe? ; )

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 25 of Phase 4 Challenge: 72 lbs down; appetite had mild upsurge last night, then calm again; Deliveries of goodies; Stair exercise and the crunchy knee; and the 9% and the Challenges....

Scale: 227.0

That makes a nice, even 72 lbs lost.


Calories: 935
Exercise: Walking, stairs
Mood: calm, good
Hunger: minimal except for an evening uptick

Felt really suddenly with appetite while we were trying out some new animes last night. Caught me by surprise, as I've had a nice tamed appetite beast lately.

We were enjoying sampling Welcome to the NHK, about a quirky hikkikomori, his neighbor, an anime otaku, and the gal who wants to get him out of his reclusive ways; and Hayate, The Combat Butler, about a kid with shiftless parents and bad luck (even Santa won't give him a Christmas present), but whose fighting skills and haplessness lead him to end up as a rich gal's protective butler (and it's funny!) Also got to watch the third episode of Kimi Ni Todoke (very sweet, gently paced, often hilarious school romance, definitely NOT for guys), and the latest episode of Wandering Son (school life with a cross-dressing boy, his "might be gay" best pal, his sister, and circle of friends, and how they are coping with life issues). Hubby likes Infinite Stratos now (very predictable futuristic mecha school life meets "harem" thingie, that is funny, so I enjoy it.) If I can laugh, I like it.

So, there I am, anime-marathoning with the hubster, and I am HUNGRY.  I make him pause the streaming and make a quickie bit of egg white and fat free cheese with two cups of decaf tea and water. After an hour, I'm settled. No mad rush to eat more.

I ended up with fewer calories than I realized when I sparked them. I guess cause I had nuts, in my mind it was "Nuts, lotsa calories." But I weigh them, portion them carefully, so it ended up not so much.

I hope today the hunger stays DOWN. :)

I got deliveries: nuts of different sorts from The Nutty Guys (had a groupon, decided to try). Eh. The ones I get from Fresh market are just as good if not better. No big whoop. The other one was from Netrition: my EZ Sweetz sucralose drops for my coffee; low carb tortillas; no-sugar strawberry preserves I like in my yogurt and (when I allow it) my toast; sugar-free dark chocolate bars for my upcoming birthday party (my family is chockabloc with chocoholics, and I wanted the option without the sugar).

So, back to yesterday:  I went outside to do my stair stuff. I made it to the fourth stair sequence, but the crunching in my R knee was...well...quite offputting...disturbing. I wondered if I was further damaging it, quite frankly. Does anyone else's knees crunch? Ew. My L one, with the messed up ACL, will make snapping and popping sounds, and it will sometimes just give way (really unstable, and I cannot do pivoting sorts of moves without risking a jam or give-way). But the crunch is even ore disconcerting than the snaps/pops/creaks. Ew.

I envy y'all with great joints. Really, I do. :)

Anyway, if you haven't seen Allan's chart over at Almost Gastric Bypass, go take a look. I'm the fifth name down on his chart: "Mir". Pretty nifty, huh? The tortoise just hangs in there and does okay....

Have a Thursday your body will thank you for, k?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 24 of Phase 4 Challenge: Yesterday's Particulars, Calm Mood Persists, Hot Cake Hankering, the Joy of a Flatter TumTum, the pain of hips that endured too much fat for too long....Litany for Fearful Overeaters (with apologies to Frank Herbert),

Scale: 227.4

Movement in right direction continues to cheer me.

Calories: 1074
Exercise: walking (flaked on the strength ones, so must face them TODAY, scared of stairs)
Mood: very peaceful and content
Hunger: minimal

I'm less "high on happy", but still feeling good. It's a tranquil sort of happy. I'm moving slowly and with pondering. My pondering told me that hot cakes sounded good for breakfast.

Okay, I've been eating almost 100% clean--eggs, egg whites, veggies galore, some fruit, lean meats, cheese, nuts, Greek yogurt, water. The only "unclean stuff" was my sucralose and the occasional low-carb, low-sugar nibbly treat. Some days, not even a single sweet nibble.

My WonderSlim hot cakes are low cal, lower carb, higher protein, but not "clean". Didn't care. Wanted hot cakes. So, I made a smaller portion of egg whites and veggies and had my hot cakes and my java and water, and it was gooooooooooooooooooooooooooood. And I feel very satisfied. Fewer than 300 calories. :D

Sooooo....Yeah....backtrack: I liked waking up today. It was slow and easy and some trailing dreams lingering in my eyes as I opened them. Nice dreams. I felt my body, as I do when I wake up, and it felt...smaller. The belly felt flatter. Okay, liking it. I got up naked and went to the mirror. Yeah, looks flatter. Boobies look flatter, too, but not going there. Tranquil, tranquil....

I like how my hands can lay on my torso when I lay on my back (and yes, I'm back to sleeping in my fave position, thank you weight loss). It's not trying to stretch over the fat barrel of my torso. My hands were comby. My elbows flush on the mattress at my waist. It was nice. Real nice.

Then I thought about the strength exercises and shuddered a bit. I've been putting them off.

I've seen blog entries lately on fear--fear of failure, fear of socializing, fear of dating, fear of one's own fat body, fear of the future.

I'm a champ at fear. I am a worry wart, an anxious Annabella. I have sabotaged myself over and over out of assorted fears, including fear of failure.

I almost didn't join the P4 challenge out of fear of 1200 calories and the exercises we'd have to do. Seriously, how defective am I?

I'm no longer afraid of 1200 calories, as I barely make it some days and don't even bother to try and make it others when eating has no allure.

Exercise is still a fear-generator. I have discovered that my hips are WORSE than I realized. My knees and right ankle--I knew those were crap, especially the L unstable knee. And while after age 49, I noticed increasing aches in my right hip, since losing weight and beginning walking and doing squats, I have come to the realization that my hips are really not so good. I have more mobility there since the fat has moved out of the way to some degree. (I have a lot less thigh and hip and pubic fat.)

My hips hurt EVERY DAY. When I walk, the first few minutes are painful, then things ease up.

I think the thing that may have happened (and this will be another subject to discuss with my ortho come the future appointment I will make when I'm ready to ratchet up activity and see if my knee has a fix) is that I damaged those hips through nearly 20 sedentary years. Years of sitting with little movement. Years of fat causing pressure on those joints--and abdominal obesity like mine has to be hard on that area, has to be! Years of deforming movement requiring the hips to be a way that's unnatural, unintended.

Well, the damage is done. But the fear remains. So, I brought back an old habit of mine from my teen years (when I was more risk-taking than now). I brought back the Litany of Fear.

Did you catch that reference? No??

Pity. You've missed one of the grandest reading experiences science fiction has to offer. My fave sci-fi novel: DUNE. I have read it at least 14 to 16 times since I was 16...the age at which I discovered it and my passion for this genre.

Here is the Litany of Fear, a chant used by characters to calm and center themselves when they were in dire situations:

"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing...... Only I will remain."

I wish I had heeded this message fully when I was younger. I might have accomplished a lot more of what I wished to in life had I not been crippled by self-doubt, insecurity,  and fear.

One could easily rewrite it for a particular situation:

I will not fear lowering my calories...
I will face 1200 calories..
I will allow it to satisfy me, nourish me...
Where the extra calories and fear have gone, nothing will remain, only a slenderer me.

I will not fear stairwork....
Where the fear is gone, there will be nothing ...only I with stronger muscles.

I will not overeat.
Overeating is a mind and body killer.
Overeating is the little-death that brings the big-death sooner
I will allow the urge to overeat pass through me...
Only I will remain.

I will not fear the stressors and emotions that make me want to eat...
Stress is the mind killer....
I will let those feelings and fears and anxieties pass through me...
Only I, calm and centered and undefeated,  will remain.

Something like that.

This is part of my day today. Not fearing. Letting it pass through me. I will remain..and it will be a better, less anxious me. A stronger me.

I hope if you are, like me, one of those people riddled with self-doubt, fears, whatever: use the litany. If it  helps, why not?

And let's get over our fears --of giving up food luxuries for a while or forever, of moving a body that hasn't been used to movement of certain kinds (or any), of a changing body (not always for the best, as we saggy-skinners can attest post-weight loss), of a changing life.

Change can be scary. But change says LIFE. LIFE IS CHANGE. I wanna feel MORE alive.

Have a Well Wednesday. Eat soundly. Move . Drink clean water. Love yourself enough to change for health....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 23 Phase 4 Challenge: Mellow, cloudy day...a pound down...eating when not hungry...wanna nap...but will walk! And some words for and a request of my Phase 4 Challenge Comrades!

Scale: 227.8

Okay, good. I want to have a good weigh-in and not stall that number makes me smile.

I'm feeling uber-mellow today. It's the gray, cloudy day. It's hubby going in to work late (dental stuff) and giving me a sweet double-kiss this AM, which made me roll over and sleep until noon. Magic kisses. Calmed me all down.

Really don't wanna exercise. Today, I feel like napping, napping. BUT...I will. I put on my shorts, a sports bra, and now the socks and t-shirt will follow after this post. And sneaks. I will exercise, though I just wanna loll and dream and read and loll some more. :)

Calories: 1268
Water: Met
Exercise: walking
Mood: wonderful
Hunger: pretty much not there

Calories are much higher than if I hadn't forced some dinner into me. I was close to going to bed with fewer than 700 calories under my big, fat belt. I had no hunger. But I actually took a little nap before hubby got home (he worked late cause he went in late) and thought, "I did not have enough. Not enough calcium, not enough protein,e tc.) So, after napping, I made a meal and made sure to get the stuff I lacked. While I didn't really wanna eat, once I smelled the food and saw the lovely blueberries on my yogurt and noshed some cashews and tasted the perfect Florida avocado I cut up on my gelled. I got my appetite and enjoyed it tremendously.

It would have been easy to stay under 700, but it would not have been smart to rob my bones and skin of nutrients. So...I ate.

Funny, usually the problem is stopping eating. This week it's been making sure I get proper nutrition when I'm merely occasionally peckish.

I gotta enjoy this low appetite thing while it lasts. Cause these blessings tend to be transitory. Hah.

It occurred to me after reading a blog by a fellow challenger that it might be hard for some to read my posts of my good/happy/no appetite days when they are struggling. Yeah, I get that. When I was weepy and stalled and struggling, it was tough to see folks dropping 3 or 5 or 8 pounds a week and not having issues with the lunges or push-ups, when they were making me nuts.

It's all phases. Their easy phase will come. Mine will pass. We'll continue to go through hells, paradises, purgatories, heavens, and back again...that's just how it is. When y'all were breezing, I was dragging. When I'm breezing, maybe you're dragging. Let's just continue to cheer each other on so that we all make the finish line, no matter how much we flew or dragged or ran or crawled or did or did not manage to do all the exercises or managed to stay just or a lot under 1200 ......   We're a challenge group. We run this race together--or walk it, as the case may be.

We need to hang in together and care about each other's journey.

I don't know all the blogs that are on the Challenge. I know the names on the list--first names, nicknames-- but not necessarily which blog is yours. If you are on the challenge, the Phase 4 toughness of it, then drop me a comment here so I can drop in and say hi, especially if I never did and don't know who you are bloggy-wise. I'd like to "see" you. Say, hey, okay?

Happy, healthy Tuesday, folks. Keep going. The finish line is attainable for us. Keep going!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 22 of Phase 4 Challenge: Laughing Like Mad, Motivated Like Crazy, Happy as a Total Loon, Reducing BP Meds, Excellent Labwork from early Dec, and a new week on P4, with New Exercises-- & The Stair Exercises...Yikes..My Knees are Looking At Me With Despair! Hah!

Scale: Holding at 228.8

Calories: 954
Exercise: Walking, some stair-climbing, some salsa dancing
Mood: Unbelievable! Like I got dosed with happy juice!!
Hunger: practically non-existent

(I thought I had had a bit more at dinner out, but when I calculated it on SparkPeople, it was well below. I was being supercautious at dinner not to overdo, and I guess that worked.)

Since we had such fun walking on the Broadwalk Saturday, I said, "Let'g so again." Hubby suggested the Gulfstream Race Park (has a casino and "village" of shops and restaurants.) I balked just a bit, then said, "Okay, let's do it."

It was GREAT. I've never gambled in a casino or slot machine. I still haven't. We pretty much just enjoyed the uncrowded village streets, wide and comfy staircases that my knees tolerated, the breezy race track area, and we did our walking. Then we danced. To a live band. Under the stars with a great breeze swept in from the East (smelled like the ocean), and Orion peeping down when the scattered clouds parted. Ooooh, yeah!

It's been a long time since we just danced to live music. OH MAN, was that fun!

The band played salsa and Reggaeton, and we danced to two looooooooooooooooooong salsa tunes till I thought my breath would kill me, then I semi-danced to a Reggaeton by myself (between salsa tunes, to catch my breath a bit). F.U.N. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNN. And romantic. And I laughed and laughed all over that race track.

I turned to hubby and said, "Do you feel it? This is like when we were dating. This is great."

He agreed. He siled non-stop (well,  except to chew food). I think he was happy to have his wife back in upbeat, energetic, "youthful" form.

I've been waking up cheerful and going to bed after having laughed a lot. I am noticing a lot more cheer and laughter in general in my days. It's a delight to face the day now, not a chore. My body doesn't feel lke lead. It feels lighter and sprightlier, even while still severely obese.

I think the regular walking is doing me a world of good.

No tiredness. Just some exercise, sweat, and a ridiculous amount of chuckling, guffawing, giggling, smiling, and all-out belly laughter.

No hurting feet, though my bad ankle did feel it a bit this AM. And my hips are always painful when I start up moving, then they ease up.

We had dinner there, in an outdoor patio setting with twinkly lights on the palms.

I told hubby I wanna go back next Sunday night if the weather is clement and do it again!

Today was the appointment with doc to check on the blood pressure meds issue. In the office, I came to 105/68 in one arm; 106/63 in the other. She cut my low dose in half, and I'll check to see if that keeps me in range or still too low, and then I proceed accordingly. She thinks that as I continue to lose, I may not need it in a month or two. I got mega-kudos for the loss since last visit. Hurrah.

Got my labs: For the first time since I stopped taking statins due to them damaging my muscles/liver, my cholesterol is under 200, triglycerides are really low, HDL is high. The LDL is a smidge-smidgen over range, but I suspect that's the good LDL (the fluffy kind) from lower-carbing back in November (I had the labs done in early December). My numbers should be even better NOW.  Will find out in a few months.

So, all in all, things are great as we enter the fourth week of the fourth phase of the DDDY Challenge.

Plan for today: drink my water, begin new strength-training exercises (whoa, stair stuff!!!), and stay at or under 1200 calories eating soundly.

Let's do it. Let's make this a week that gives us vigor and kills some fat.

Happy Monday!!!!! (First month of the year is are the resolutions?)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saturday Night Walking Exercise....Hollywood Broadwalk, Chilly Night, Gibbous Moon over the Atlantic...

It was getting late--nearing 9pm--and I hadn't done my walking. Yes, though I've already walked four times this week, I'm really starting to enjoy that blood-pumping sensation and how, though my hips always hurt for the first 5 to 10 mins, they loosen up and feel great afterwards.

It was a cool day and we'd gone to the Japanese market to get me teas and some nice traditional tea mugs. We hit Walmart for some essentials, too--toilet paper (since I forgot to online order my recybled Green Forest, we had to make do with Angel Soft), water bottles for hubby (I drink tap from a filtering pitcher), cleansers, etc.

I say to hubby. I want to walk. He says, it's late, is it safe? I say, not in our neighborhood, but let's go to the Broadwalk. We drive the 15 minutes, park at the Ramada's pay lot, and--surprise!--had the moonlit ocean, palms, breeze, sand and Broadwalk pretty much to ourselves. The cold front kept many home. It was great. GREAT for walking. Lovely air, lovely sky, and no crowds Hurrah.

We stopped into a Mexican place for dinner and I kept it minimal--not even 300 cals of grilled chicken on lettuce, with cukes, some pico de gallo, tea...two nibbly bites of hubby's soft chicken taco. Water, natch. I told hubby to put the nachos on the far side of the table and said not to the dressing.

I came home and calculated the dinner calories and was still under 800 for the day. I've been keeping portions pretty small, and without the use of starches (ie, rice, toast with breakfast, no tortilla chips at dinner), I always end up with plenty of calories to play with by evening. This is intentional. If I get hungry, I get hungry at NIGHT. So, I need to save at least 500 to 550 cals for after 6pm.

I wasn't too peckish, not even with less than 800 for the day,  but I didn't wanna end the day at VLC--the body needs daily nutritious foods, imo-- so I had my current fave mini-meal/big snack: yogurt, fruit, walnuts. Calories came to a bit under 1100 for the day.

All in all, a lot of fun for few calories.

Here's a pic hubby took just outside the Mexican place that's right on the Broadwalk. The white hanging stalky things are lights on the restaurant's awning and the curvy things behind me are the trunks of palm trees.  That bright spot over my head ain't no streetlight. It's the gibbous moon...
Moon over my head, beach and ocean at my back...
(click to enlarge)

I'm actually nicely bundled up. I have a thick pullover sweater under, and the overcoat thingie is this Japanese-influenced style sort of wrap/kimono in a knit fabric that's many sizes too big now and I use a pin to keep it crossed over my front. Hubby chuckled when I put it on over my sweater. It was like someone had erected a tent around me. keeps me warm and I like it. :)

So, make your walking fun. Go somewhere different. Somewhere pretty or evocative or artsy or!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 20 Phase 4 Challenge: Another small downtick, so weigh-in for Challenge should be my best yet! R.D. Delighted with me! A dose of deep optimism; A Lazy Saturday with NPR while Hubby Works On Book, and pretty much the only stuff you can do to help your loved ones choose to eat more healthfully when they refuse to commit....

Tanita-san: 228.8

calories: 1074
exercise: rest day
hunger: very little appetite
mood: very, very good

My appointment with the R.D. went great. Her scale showed a 5 lb loss. Energy is zooming. Sleep is good. Mood is amazing. She said, "Well, my job doesn't get better than on days like this." I was pleased. Since I'm still crazy motivated, she said we could schedule the next meeting in 2 weeks, rather than one week, and then see if I only want monitoring once a month or whatever I desire.

I have never felt this "high" on a healthy eating plan. I've been steadily losing for over a 6 months, and it just seems to get better the more I try and the more I learn about my body and its needs. I'm sure there is loads more to learn, but I am feeling genuinely psyched and optimistic about goal NOT being a pipe dream..and that, in itself, is a major change. In the back of my mind, even when I mouthed optimistic affirmations, I didn't really BELIEVE THEM, not fully in my brain, and not in the depths of my heart.

I believe now.

It's cool and overcast, and hubby does his work on the 2nd edition of his textbook Saturdays early, so I put on NPR and enjoyed the last bit of Car Talk, then Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! (My fave funny NPR program, and the "fake news" blurb about a Menudo member was so hilarious, I almost dropped my eggs wile cooking), and after some non-comedic stuff (the one old abuse, yowza, that was painful), there's the lighter/funny Says, You.

I woke up totally NOT hungry. For some folks,this is par. Not me. My appetite tends to be ready for breakfast. I looooooove breakfast. I adore having breakfast. I am eager for it.

Today, meh. Not so much. So, I chopped my veggies, got the pan ready, made my egg and egg whites very pretty, like a sombero, with the veggies embedded into the round "brim" of eggwhites and the "crown" the egg yolk. Had papaya and raspberries on the side. Great Brazilian Safira Bourbon java.

Trying to decide if I should just shoot my weigh-in to A today or wait til tomorrow? I'm always nervous I'll miss the deadline. Well, I'll think on it.

Had a long chat with my eldest sis yesterday. She's been anxious and vexed for years about the obesity of her two kids. I explained my journey a bit, and how for me, just making a bit of change, trying out stuff, learning, getting into regular was a process, not a "fell swift" sort of thing. And that I had to learn this stuff--what goes on in my brain, what goes on in my hormones, how much I needed to cut back to lose roughly X a week, the effects of macronutrients on hunger and progress. I tried raw foods. I tried vegetarian most-days. I tried higher dieting calories. I am doing now lower dieting claories. I tried low carb, lower carb, Zone-ish carbs, High Carb/low fat. I find lower carb (not induction low, but lower than average for sure) works best for my Insulin Resistance, while allowing me the fruits and yogurt I love and the occasional whole grain I enjoy.

I said all she can do is not have crap at her house (which she does, deny it as much as she likes, she does--soda with sugar, chocolates, white crackers, and when we get together, Cuban pastries, cookies, etc). I said the only thing in her control is to control her own environment, so that when the son visits and daugher are home, and they want something, there's nothing on hand but what's healthful. If there isn't junk there, then they can't have it, unless they buy it and bring it themselves. That puts it on them, not her. She can say, "I have salad fixings and some chicken. Want some?" She can keep veggies and fresh fruit and offer that. Maybe cut it up and put it out to tempt. She can keep water front and center, not juices or sodas. She could have sugar free fudgsicles or Jell-o to offer as a "sweet treat". (I guarantee you that my niece and nephew are I.R. as well, as they have abdominal obesity and I've seen the darkening skin marker on nephew.)

I said, "That's all you can do. Be someone who refuses to stock, store, display, or offer crap."

Because, ultimately, we choose what to eat.

We can call it a craving or a preference or a stressful day or TOM or whatever, but when the food goes in the mouth, we made that choice. You can blame your mom for giving you crap growing up, but you can't blame her once you're old enough to think of yourself as more independent, your own "self", and are able to make your own meals (and by age 15 we pretty much are staking out our territory , and we could all make our own sandwiches, salads, beverages, etc, unless we're handicapped in some way.) By age 18, barring disability, you eat what you choose from what's at home. The worst choices...they're on you, not mom, not dad, not nana.

So, we hope our loved ones make better choices and spare themselves the agonies of increasing girth and limited mobility and incipient heart disease and diabetes (and heart disease and diabetes runs in their Pa's side of the family). But you cannot force. YOu can only encourage and support and NOT be a food-drug dealer.

Give your loved ones love and real loving food, which is not cakes/pies/crap. Real loving food helps them be well and live longer...

Happy Weekend, folks!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 19 of Phase 4 Challenge: Still not very hungry, still losing: 70 POUNDS LOST!!! :) Orthostatic appt with Primary Doc, And today I see the R.D. for a follow-up. Plus Yesterday's particulars, "Walking in the Rain..."

Scale: 229.0

Seventh straight day of loss, even though I doubled my salt intake yesterday. And I'm now officially 70 pounds down from highest home-recorded weight of 299. Yes!!!!!!

Now, why increase sodium? Isn't that a bad, bad thing?

I've been having orthostatic hypotension--it's been increasing in the last couple months, but got so bad Wednesday, I had to lie down and hubby got worried--and in general, my BP has gone way down. I think the triple combo of:

1. more weight loss
2. starkly reduced carbs from previous eating plan
3. lowered salt intake this week

combined to do this. I may need to be on less or off my BP meds.

My blood pressure yesterday without taking my regular dose that day (left it for evening, when I usually do morning, cause I was afraid of it affecting me too much during the active hours of the day) after walking, right after getting home and still all blood-pumping from the exercise: 125/68 with a pulse of 76
Forty minutes later when I was "calm" again: 129/71 pulse 66 on right arm, 117/63 on left.

Before bed, after supper, after dose, after three salty meals: 113/58 with a pulse of 60.

This morning after waking and bathroom: 111/60 with a pulse of 60

I think those number would be fine if I had no symptoms, but I was woozy at Pilates and when I'd get up suddenly from the couch. Normally, my diastolic was in the 70 to 80 range when checked at the doc offices and at home...and I was HEAVIER than I am now when I got started on

I'm hoping the added sodium yesterday (I pretty much doubled Thursday's sodium intake from that of Wednesday's), will keep things a little perkier BP-wise until Monday's doc appt.


calories: 1119
water: met
exercise: Pilates and walking
mood: very, very good!
hunger: pretty low

I've had an issue with taste-pickiness. This happens to me sometimes, since forever. I'll cook chicken or steak or some meat, taste it, and something in my mouth rejects it. Happened with last night's palomilla I made mostly for hubby (he loves his palomilla). I took a small bite, went, EW, and tried to figure out yet again how to fit protein. Since I needed some sodium, I hit a couple ounces of deli ham. Not a lot of calories, didn't make me gag. Ate my veggies and had my yogurt/nut/fruit snack for dessert instead. Yum. So, today, I'm gonna go see if there's some fresh rotisserie turkey and if my mouth will tolerate it. If not, it will be tofu for me.

My walk was kinda fun, if solitary. "Walking in the rain with the one I love, feels so fine; walking in the rain with the one I love on my mind..." Anyone remember that one from the seventies?

Yes. It rained. I can't remember the last time I voluntarily walked in the rain. :) Nice smell of wet grass and foliage. Kept me cool. And curly people know what rain does to curly hair--yes! It gets curlier. No problem there. hahahah

Today, the R.D. A rest day, probably, since I don't wanna risk too much wooziness.

Belly fat is noticeably lessening, for a dang change. :)

Okay, another day to work our plans. Let's be healthier tomorrow. Happy Friday, folks!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 18 Phase 4 Challenge: Not hungry--like at all; blood pressure meds may need ditching; Whoo, I BROKE INTO THE 220s!!!!!! ...And hooked by WHY WE GET FAT....

Scale: 229.6

Holy Whoas!

Very happy. This puts me now in 1996ish weight zone. More time travel backwards fat-wise.

For a couple months, I've had some wooziness on standing suddenly. Yesterday, after my walk, before dinner, when hubby came through the door, I stood up suddenly and just got dizzy. I had to lie down. I took my blood pressure and it was 118/60 and 123/61 (I took it twice, spacing the time).

I thought back on when I got on blood pressure meds. Yeah, I was in the 230s. So, it's quite possible that my low dose Ramipril is gonna be history. Right now, I may be stradding that zone where the meds will do too much for me at peak (when the drug is strongest in the circulation), while keeping me normal at non-peak.

I will have to see the doc to get her recommendation, cause wooziness, I don't like. Definitely the combo of losing more weight and cutting back salt have dipped my BP.

Yesterday's Particulars:

Calories: 929
Water: met
Exercise: walked 25 mins
Mood: excellent
Hunger: pretty NON-existent.

I really was not hungry. Had my usual multi-veggie egg white omelette and fruit for breakfast, with lowfat cheese instead of fat-free as I've been eating quite low-cal, so had leeway. I had zip appetite for lunch. I drank my fluids. Made chicken breast with some buffalo sauce and a lot of spinach and mushroom on the side. I ate maybe 2 oz of the chicken and forced myself to finish the veggies. I just was NOT HUNGRY. I was too low cal--less than 600-- so I rummaged my brain for what to get up my protein and nutrients (esp calcium ), so I made a Greek yogurt/walnuts/strawberries sundae and had a protein shake. That was actually pleasant and stimulated the appetite.

Am reading several books at once (I dip in one, then I dip in the other). The one that is most interesting to me of the three/four is WHY WE GET FAT by Gary Taubes. I had read his controversial GOOD CALORIES, BAD CALORIES a few years back and thought it was amazingly interesting, with all the case studies, the historical-scientific-anthropological info. This one is an easier read, but certainly does make a compelling case.

In my case, his assertions have worked out. I do better lowering my starches/carbs. It worked for me on my own from June one (when I finally broke my years long dithering by going lower carb). I stalled when I added a lot more starches/carbs early in Phase 4. I began losing again immediately when I curtailed bread/pasta/rice/etc.

My insulin resistance is pretty bad. The skin of my inner thighs/armpit/back of neck had turned nearly black with Acanthosis Nigricans. It's MUCH lighter now in all those places (got better when I started lower carb). For me, the experiment is over: I don't do well on higher carb meal plans, no matter how much the government wants to push them. My body does not handle these. It just takes food and makes it stored fat. That's what insulin DOES.

If you suspect you're insulin resistant, you need to read WHY WE GET FAT.

Anyway, happy day, folks. I have Pilates today (hope the wooziness doesn't return). Energy has been great, and I hope the less sleep I got last night (stayed up late reading) won't impede my workout.

Be well...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Any Other Menopausal Gals Spot with Weight Loss?

I have been menopausal for 2 years. But I get spotting after losing X amount of pounds. Always happens Usually, it's like 10, or it's like consistent loss over a couple weeks will do it. I had it checked out in 2009--intravaginal ultrasound, uterine biopsy. Everything fine. But I've been trying to lose weight for 3.5 years, and the spotting comes after a drop of poundage.

Today, happened. It's very small spotting, but since my ovaries are in their dotage, I assume it's the weight loss of 5 1/2 pounds in the last couple weeks that triggered it(like I said, I saw the pattern). This might explain my crying jag last a weird mini-PMS. And the tender bosoms when hubby grabbed em yesterday.

Here, from Women to Women site:

Post-menopausal bleeding may also occur with a drastic weight loss and reduction in body fat, which I have seen on occasion with my own patients. Dramatic weight loss can occur when women have gastric by-pass surgery or join an assertive program like Food Addicts Anonymous (FAA) or Overeaters Anonymous (OA). What’s happening here is that estrogen stored in fat tissue becomes liberated into the bloodstream as a woman loses weight. Bleeding may also occur with weight loss as estrone (E1, one of three main types of estrogen naturally occurring in the body), which relies largely on fat as its source, is reduced as weight loss occurs, resulting in a shift in the relationship between estrogen and progesterone. This rebalancing of hormones, among other health reasons, is why we say gradual weight loss is usually best.

Just wondering if the other "my ovaries are done" gals out there have had a similar thing happen during their losses.

Dance Central on KINECT

One word: Outstanding.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, here:

The folks who came up with this baby did a truly, truly applause-worthy job. It's fun. Themusic does not suck. :) It's colorful. It gives you energy. You don't realize until you stop dancing that you're all out of breath.

Hubby is hooked on this. And he gets sore from the moves. :)

It's a fun way to increase energy for people who hate to exercise, cause it's more like playing around, playtime.

I hate where we have it set-up (can't wait to get a bigger living room and be able to play around more freely). But this is a really cool product, well-done, fun, and it has the levels to continue to make it challenging.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 16 Phase 4 Challenge: Getting Close to the 220s, Another Moonlit Walk with Hubby, Groceries done, And Appetite back to "Challenge Normal"....

Scale: 230.6

Maybe by Sunday's weigh-in, maybe, I can be in the 220's? I'd like that a whole lot.

Eating is very good. The last couple days, I didn't crack 1000 just cause the night munchies have disappeared, so I ate less. Yesterday was 847. Today, I had a good appetite after our evening walk, so I combined dinner with snacks and it was DELICIOUS.

I will need to wean off the Montreal seasoning. I used too much with tonights dinner, and it only just occurred to me that it's very salty. I looked at the cannister, and "coarse salt" is the first ingredient. I'm a dork. I assumed cause a nutritionist recommended it, that it would be lower salt to salt free. Yeah, yeah. I should read ingredients for everything.

Anyway, I bought almost all the Mrs. Dash products at Publix, and some other salt-free seasonings. I've been trying to cut back on my sodium addiction. (I got it bad. Junkie, salt JUNKIE.) So, I may let hubby have the Montreal Seasoning on his stuff and find alternatives for myself. Or just use it sparingly and not every day.

I expect some bloat tomorrow after the super-shake of the stuff tonight. So, I'll go easy on the salty stuff and hope it doesn't halt my excellent progress since Friday.

Our walk was 35 minutes. Beautiful full moon. Beautiful stars. Was humid, but not hot. A mild tinge of coolness in the moist air. For a while, the moon had a gorgeous halo around it. We crossed paths with a very cute Schnauzer and a very old  black pit bull who let the Schnauzer climb all over its head. FUNNY!. I like meeting cute and friendly dogs on our walk. Hubby is totally a dog dude. They LOVE him. They perk up and always want to go to him. If I weren't crazy allergic, I suspect we'd have a passel of pooches. He grew up with a boxer and a schnauzer and, for part of the time, his grandma kept a poodle around. So, he's very natural with doggies. :)

I did my groceries today--and parked at the farthest spot so I had a bit of walking to and fro-- and am restocked with egg whites, veggies, fruit, yogurt, lean protein, and spices. I got ground chicken and want to see if I can make a tasty, herbally pseuco-burger. I never made it at home, though I've had those chicken patties at Pasha's and the Middle Eastern place...chicken adama or somesuch. I like those. Worth a shot.

Yesterday and Today:
~calories below 1200
~water met or exceeded
~walking done today
~mood, excellent; hunger, minimal

I hope your day was great. Feels weird to blog THIS LATE, but, hey, just didn't have the blogging mojo.

Sleep well, fellow fatfighters...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 15 Phase 4 Challenge: Tornado Watch, Appetite, Exercise plans for the day, Mellow MLK Day Otherwise...

Scale still going down...

Calories: 962 (Wasn't hungry, so instead of a dinner, just had a small snack)
Water: met
Exercise: Walking, Whoopie, a little Dance Central on Kinect
Mood: excellent!

I'm a wee bit miffed at the weather...

We were gonna do a mini-cruise today (have a coupon, wanna use it), but the tornado watch in our area pretty much just killed that idea.

I do need to do some groceries (produce gets used up fast), but I'll leave it to tomorrow. I don't wanna go out and then have to bring in the goods in a downpour should we get hit hard.

This time of year, we do sometimes get tornadoes. It's not enough we have hurricane season June through November, right? No, now we're in the tornado-worrisome time. We lost half of our beloved gardenia bush one winter. A storm wind event (tornado hit a couple miles north) cracked it right in two. One half survives and still gives me blooms a couple times a year. :)

I will look on the bright side. My dry lawn grass may get a nice drenching.

I guess I'll do strengthening exercises today since we may be stuck indoors for the day. I noticed COMCAST has a couple Jackie Warner workouts. I may attempt one. :-O

I wish you all a happy MLK Day. Use the great man as an inspiration. Think of all the very hard things he had to do to move towards his goal of a more equal society.

Move towards your goals today, be they weight or other-related. Make them happen.

:::looks up toward Heaven::: Thank you, Rev King. Today, we remember your strength, vision, and courage. We still look forward to the day when skin color means squat and it's all about character.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What 232 Pounds Looks Like On Me (with links to me in the 270s on down) AKA I Hated Yesterday's No MakeUp, Ugly Outfit Pics, so I Call DO OVER!

For the 242 lb pics, HERE.
For the 252 pics, HERE.
For the 265 pics, HERE.
For roughly 278, HERE.

Same walking route with hubby today (such a beautiful twilit sky on the way back after this, the wonderful blues and moon and planets and stars and palm tree silhouettes and the scent of assorted subtropical blooms. NIIIIICE!!!)

This is more my usual workout stuff--a lot of black and navy, more formitting (for Pilates, that helps). This racer-back tunic, this is the first time I've worn it. IT FITS. I bought it a few years ago, but it was too tight. I was rummaging for something to wear (the pipes were replaced and the washer can now be used without causing a flood, but I didn't have time to wash my workout stuff). It fits! So happy. It's "minidress length", but I wear it with shorts under with a sports bra (in lavender). I put on lipstic and face powder and put some conditioner to moisten my curls, so I feel...a lot less dumpy and old than yesterday.

Here we go:

That's me laughing cause the wind is blowing the fountain water at me. :D

Compare to January 2009 in the high 270s, early in my Pilates journey, struggling to move down (I stayed around the 270s for ages):

Look at THAT BELLY! You can imagine how hard it was for me to walk into any fitness studio/gym!!!

ANYWAY...back to the present...
Fun walk. 30 minutes. Beautiful hubby makes the time go faster. And I'm willing to walk brisker with him cause if my knee/ankle/foot give out, I have a way to get help. Tomorrow, he's off and we don't need (I hope, Please God) to deal with anymore repairs. Our last weekend was also taken up with plumbing issues (different ones). I want to do something FUN FUN FUN....enjoy the winter. Miami is glorious in winter.

Happy evening to all! (Go walk if you haven't.)

Day 14 of Phase 4 Challenge: Where I can FINALLY FRICKEN Report a Loss to A, and the same top last May versus Yesterday, for my 51st Birthday, Foodwise....


I set the alarm so I could meet the challenge deadline for the weigh-in. And, while the last two weeks I had to send "235" (rounded down, then up), I hovered in the 234.2 to 234.6 range pretty much since the challenge started. TWELVE days of non-movement despite meeting caloric goals weekly and doing my exercises and drinking my water.

Friday, I started the plan my registered dietitian gave me. In 2 days, down to 232.6, roughly two pounds. So, I'm happy I can report a lower number at last to the Fearless Challenge Leader.

Hubby said he'd walk with me again today, so I'm happy. :D  Plumber to come again today, cause apparently some dark star has fallen on our laundry room. I have NOT been able to do laundry for a week cause of it, hence the dorkyish outfit I used for walking yesterday instead of my sleeker, all black, nice n snug Danskin wear. It is to be hope that today, yes, today, I can have clean workout clothes and can do my preferred sheets and towels instead of the second stringers.

Well, it ended up being useful. Not just cause I sometimes really have crappy taste in clothes (I sometimes just grab what looks comfy and longer than belly-length and go with it), but cause I wore a shirt I haven't worn in months and months and can compare some:

May 2010 267 lbs

Jan 15 2011 233 lbs
Jan 2011 233 lbs

This top is pretty stretchy. Back last May, it fit snugly in the tummy/hips and I had more bosom, clearly, stretching it out.  In the bottom pic, you can see the shirt has "folds" showing it's not snug anymore. My thighs have made a lot of loss progress, and I wish my belly would make BETTER progress. It was hard to walk last May. Reducing the bulk even 34 pounds makes walking so much easier! Hair's longer and face is thinner, too. I take lousy pics...but I hope you can tell there is improvement. And the FEELING of improvement is radical (I cannot tell you how much more comfy I am in my body. I can cross my legs!!!! I missed that.) Now, I sit cross-legged on the couch with ease, and back then, it was tough.

I was thinking today I need to start seriously considering what I wanna do for my 51st birthday in a month. I already told my family I want NO CAKE, NO JUNK, NO FATTENING STUFF. I got the: "What? No Cake?"  Me: "That's right. I don't want a cake. Or cookies. Or cupcakes. Or marzipan. Or pastelitos." (Man, I love me guava pastelitos, but I have them maybe once or twice a year max. All my family's gals have a marzipan weakness. It's the Spanish blood....)  I said I wanted veggie stuff, fruit/fruit salads, and lighter fare.

My eldest sis makes a really good shredded chicken creole style that we put over yellow rice (a sort of low-cal deconstruction of a Cuban party fave: Arroz Imperial , ie, imperial rice) No mayo, no cheese, and she makes the shredded white meat in a lighter tomatoey sauce with green olives. I love the stuff. That doesn't damage the diet like so many other traditional offerings. I asked if she'd make that. I can easily sidetrack or minimize the rice (as sis puts it on the side, not UNDER, the chicken).

I want to figure out some activity thing we can do (ie, burn calories).

I also have to figure out Vanlentine's Day. That's a big eat-out day for me and the hubster.

Well, that's yet to come. Today is just another day to eat well, move well, treat myself well, and KILL THIS FRICKEN FAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DIE, DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, sorry. Back to a Calm and Poised Princess. :) About to have a healthy breakfast.

Take care, peops!

A Terrific Post....So a link....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 13, Phase 4 Challenge: Today is Activity Day, My depleted savings, and Mood is GREAT! Feeling, um, like Whoopie, too... heh...

The Princess is back!

Woke up thirsty  (which is one of those things that still amazes me given how much fluid I consume since the Challenge Series started). The plumber did his thing, we paid the insane amount of property insurance. (We're talking over 6K here, and next time, we rent. Screw owning in Miami. Between hurricane/flood/storm/fire insurance and property taxes and repairs and upkeep, it's just not a sane proposition!) This has been one heckuva an expensive month, home-wise, and it ain't done for th year. Geesh.

But despite the shrinking savings account, I feel great. I feel like myself again. No shakes. No moodiness. I am recovering from some eczema (my face was scaly and deep pink, now it's scaly and light pink), and the bowels are moving nicely. TMI?

Had my "new plan" breakfast--280 calories. Lots of veggies. No starchy foods, and the  total of carbs came from the veggies with the egg whites (broccoli, onions, red peppers, tomato)  and the lowfat/fat-free cheese melange (I mix the two kinds, since fat free is kinda "eh"--the combo works) and the papaya with lime juice.  I have my planned snacks (looks like the regular packet, a yogurt one OR the apple and peanut butter and another of 10 cashews). Lunch is already prepped and refrigerated (the chicken with salad option, with some fresh cilantro, some fresh jalapeno, and salsa to perk up the grilled chicken, and I might have the yogurt here or some milk if I choose the non-dairy snacks).

I get one-ish starch serving that I can use at any meal I wish--whether it's a sweet potato with my dinner protein, or pasta, or a legume serving, or corn with meals, or toast with breakfast, or a sandwich at lunch.  Yesterday (I was on new plan yesterday), I used that serving at dinner.

Yesterday's Particulars:

Calories: 1120 ( 128 grams crarbs; 30 fat 88 protein)
Exercise: None.
Water: Met
Hunger: some late evening (which is pretty par, my hunger is always more in the evening), but manageable, not vexing.
Mood: better than previous days :)

Today is activity day. Hubby says he'll do my walk with me. YES!!! Romantic!!!! Then strength stuff when we're warmed up from walking. He has his own exercises to do now (I got him a Men's Health magazine with a plan for him.)

Now that the teary gloom has passed, I'm feeling very, er, in the mood. So today, I fully attacked the hubster. He did not object. I may attack again. Energy is good. :D

But walk and exercise first.

Enjoy your weekend. Be well...and weigh in for challenge tomorrow. I gotta set the alarm and remember the noon deadline. Not stressing. The mood is good....

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 12 of P4: Consult with Dietitian, Herbes de Provence is a fun seasoning, Overcast day But Sunnier Mood...and yesterday's challenge particulars...

Scale: not budging.


Calories: 1253
Exercise: 55 mins Pilates, 25 minute walk
Water: met
Mood: weepy and "off" early in the day; better after the relaxing walk; some irritability with hunger in the early eveing; much better in the evening watching the new animes with hubster


Meeting with Dietitian: Pleasant. Nice gal. I took the Challenge packet, told her about teh 1200 calories and what we were doing exercise-wise, etc. She reviewed my eating log (I printed out my SparkPeople food log). We discussed my medical conditions and what foods I had to avoid (ie, allergies). She talked about weight stalls (ie, not using the P word cause Allan is not liking it, heh).  She discussed my new plan (very similar to the packet one, naturally, since you have to get standard  nutrition out of 1200 calories, but she did change the macronutrient ratio for my Metabolic Syndrome), and made my folder for me. Of course, she weighed me (2.5 lbs more than at home, which is likely the jeans/shirt/jewelry/undies/bit of water I had). And she calculated BMI, got my fat % from some doohickey.

We'll meet again next Friday.

She did say that with her clients, reaching a point where the body just hangs on and hangs on can happen, and it's frustrating. For some clients, she tweaks the macronutrients, for others she counsels staying the course a bit longer before making changes. In my case, she strongly felt the packet plan was NOT individualized enough for my medical conditions and that it would suit me to tweak it a bit. We'll see.

It's still in the 1200 calories range--she said she doesn't usually make this restrictive a diet for her clients, but understands that I have particular goals, a challenge, etc. She was fine with the water intake and happy to hear the level was adjusted with losses.

We discussed my vitamin/supplements intake, too, and then made an appt for next week.

Afterwards, I did my shopping (fresh produce, roast turkey breat, yogurt, eggs, etc). Came home to my water and meal. I had lovely just rotisseried turkey breast--and don't have to cook tonight, as there's enough for hubby to have for supper--with a pretty salad (orange peppers, 3 baby carrots the same color as the peppers, romaine, cucumbers, red wine vinegar, 1 tsp EVOO, sprinkling of Herbes de Provence). Tea. Water.

I had never put HdP on my salad (usually oregano or basil or just pepper or parmesan). I rarely have had it. My sister is hooked on it and I've eaten chicken or turkey or other stuff she's used it on for family gatherings. But on a salad--that was just  whim to perk it up.

It's interesting. Every now and then I'd chew something that tasted like, what, fennel or anise, and then I'd chew a bit that tasted flowery. I'm not sure what goes into HdP--gotta look it up--but it was nice on top of a salad. Kind of whimsical and playful, even, all these bits of uncommon flavor (for me) coming through.

It's not as nice today for a walk--kept looking like rain--but I'm gonna put my sneakers on and get some movement in before the light is gone. Gets dark early in winter, yeah...

It's Friday. Enjoy it! Enjoy all the weekend with loved ones and healthful meals...and some movement! 


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 11 of Phase 4: Where I have a couple weepy moments, exercise hard, haven't much of an appetite, and call up to get a pro's input to personalize me, tell you 7 things about me, and thank my supportive fatfighting pals!

Scale: 234.2 (nekkid, post poop, post pee)

Calories: 1173
Water for challenge: met
Exercise: rest day

Slept: a scosh under 7 hours
Hunger: a bit hungry round dinnertime, but that's it
Mood: still frustrated, a bit down

Okay, so Pilates is done today (55 minutes). She did a set of exercises that served as my alternate side lunges and, since I can't do regular push-ups either, we did several sets of modified ones on the barrel.

On the good front: one of the trainers who hadn't seen me in a bit came up to the Reformer right before we started working out and said, "Mirta, you're looking so good." I went, "Huh?" She said, "You're looking good! Really good!"

That was a nice thing.

Mid-exercise, I had another weepy bit. The trainer asked if I wanted to stop. I said no, and just kept doing my thing while tears leaked out. I wiped my face and pushed on. The hell with that. My chemical/emotional thing might be whack, but I'm not gonna let it interfere with my Pilates. :D

Trainer was great. Very positive, upbeat, encouraging...and I felt much better afterwards, as is usual with a good workout. I always feel better when I'm done and blood is pumping, joints are loose, muscles are warm...

Appetite has been on the low side and I didn't wanna make meals. But I am drinking my water, had my eggs/toast...yadda.

I already cooked the chicken for dinner (last night), so it's just a matter of adding the veggies and stuff.  I really like that Montreal seasoning, and so does hubby, so it's a keeper.

Because I have felt this emotional blip and have had the weight stall and am increasingly concerned about the starches/carbs with my insulin resistance/Metabolic syndrome, I made an appointment to see a local registered dietitian. This is the practice.  And this is the registered dietitian with whom I made an appointment TOMORROW.  I'm gonna take the challenge eating plan, print my food log since Jan 2 (I didn't log Jan 1 as we were out a whole lot), if I can--let's see what my old printer'll do--and discuss how I can stay in the challenge's 1200 calorie range while making a plan that addresses my hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance/diabetes risk, allergies (including seafood and citrus), hypothyroidism, autoimmune state,  eczema, asthma, and can incorporate foods I enjoy and allow for safe eating out. I'd feel better having this tailored to my own host of medical issues.

It's expensive (first visit is 200 bucks and subsequent less lengthy ones are 65 bucks. Ouchie. BUT...if we can find a way to keep me low calorie, healthy eating, and address those many individual screwy issues of mine to boot, I'll have peace of mind about the contiuing journey.

I also want to ask my doc to check my labs in a month after starting whatever program I'll be on--she may well say the challenge packet is fine, or she may modify it--to see if internally there's no issue cholesterol-wise or sugar-wise from the added carbs and that the emotional/mood issue isn't from the thryoid meds needing adjustment. Folks with thyroid issues know how mood is really affected by fluctuations. I've felt a bit shaky and apprehensive and I've had an increase in lost hairs in the shower, and it could be that I tipped a a bit into hyperthyroid from losing a mite 10 pounds since my mid-December consultation (although you'd think would make me show a scale drop,  the "hyper" thing if it's so, but anyway,  I was told to keep an eye out for symptoms as I lost weight when I saw endo mid-December.)

I feel better already having done that and to have continuing official monitoring while I'm working the lower-calorie/more exercise thing.

Anyway, on to a cheery thing: I got an award, as I mentioned, from Karen of Sunshine's Heart blog. Here it is:

Synonyms of stylish:
I'd never be tagged as stylish in the real world as I am not someone who tends to follow fashion trends and my hair is natural, not in the current mode. BUT...I like "sharp, smart, snappy, supercool." Oh, okay, so supercool doesn't apply to me. But I'll take it. Whatever it means, I'll take it. Thanks, K!
Here are the particulars of the award:
1.Post the award and link it back to the person who gave it to me.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.
There's a third thing about choosing 15 other bloggers. Um, okay, this is the part of awards I don't like, cause it starts to feel chain-lettery. So, here:  If you're on my blogroll and haven't gotten this, consider yourself tagged if you wanna. If not, I'm okay with that. :)

Well, 1 is done and 3 is covered. Here's 2...and you probably already know this stuff if you've been reading me from this and Once Upon a Diet:

1. I was born in Cuba, but my heart is American--so much so I was called a "cubana arrepentida" when I moved to Miami from The Bronx, which essentially meant I was too acculturated to the US and not "Cuban" enough for the Miami Cuban contingent. Too effin' bad. Both my flags are red, white and blue, and I love me the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the US, and apple pie. Though I haven't had any of the latter lately. My English is better than 99% of the native-born peops of the US I have met, even though for the first few years of life, all I heard was Spanish;  which just goes to show you become what you love. (I love fat, so I  guess that shows, too.)

2. I am a dual "ophile"--for Britain and for Japan. I'd love to take a Literary/Historical tour of Britain and see the historical sights (I know more British monarchs than US presidents) and literary ones (like where the Bloomsbury group hung out, the Lake District that inspired Wordsworth, the Bronte parsonage (Jane Eyre has been my fave classic novel since I was 9), and anywhere mentioned in Austen novels. I want to see the great cathedrals and museums and battlegrounds. AND...I want to do an Historical/Otaku tour of Japan, and see traditional teahouses, Kyoto shrines, Harajuku, castles, museums, and anywhere mentioned in cool animes. :D And , if possible, tour a manga publishing house. And Ghibli Studios--because I love me Miyazaki films! Who wouldn't wanna fly in the sky with O-Totoro!  And if I can get a good close up look at lots of those Japanese hotties with spiked hair and tight jeans, all the better.

3. I am married to a man who is ridiculously amazing. Why he married ME is a continuing mystery. But I confess that I am not worthy. He is a modern Rennaissance man--creates electronica music, has multiple software patents, drums wonderfully in various genres from jazz to J-rock, once set a Guinness record with his team for Ultimate Frisbee, has authored a book, speaks Spanish and English and some Portuguese and Yiddish, is tall and handsome, loves God, loves his country, never loses his temper, dosen't drink or smoke or cuss,  is great with kids, with dogs, with cats, is unliked by none, and after 28.5 years together, is still super-adoringly nuts in love his fat Cuban-American wife. :D  I am also a lot biased.

4.  I collect science fiction and fantasy art, books with retro SF Richard Powers covers,  and lip glosses. There is no connection that I can think of, other than they are beautiful and make me happy.

5. I edit at an online SF magazine and have sponsored and judged various SF contests (poetry, short fiction, and art).

6. I always do my own toenails and polish them with OPI varnish, usually some shade of red, from orange red to true red to blue red to burgundy red. I love me red toenails! Right now, I'm wearing DEAR SANTA shade that I put on for Christmas/New Year.

7. I like to sleep on my back. I hadn't been able to for 6 years, until just recently, due to obesity. I would choke in my sleep from the fat--sleep apnea. I've slept on my back for a month.

There it is. Seven things about me.

I'd like to thank the folks who offered encouragement to me this rather emotional week. I love you for it. Hugs all around.

Okay, time for more water and a snack. Happy Thursday to all!

UPDATE added: Just got back from doing my walk--25 mins. Gorgeous outside. Raspberry sherbet glowy clouds and chilly for Miami and breezy and it felt really good. Being all stretched out from Pilates (we did toe/heel stuff on the Reformer) means my feet handled it pretty good.

Quickie Thanks Until I Can Post Properly

I'm super-rushed cause I got up LATE!!!! And I have to go shower an stuff.

I got an award from the sweet and darling Karen/Sunshine, and I'll post that later when I can do it properly.

And my mood is better though the scale, yet again, yet again, won't move.

I decided to rest yesterday, as I was so sore and given my dumpy mood. I read from an engrossing novel. I watched some new anime with hubby--and laughed and laughed and laughed. That helped my mood alot. Something about laughing until you're drooling will do that. Thanks to Beelzebub. I almost had an asthma attack laughing through episode 1.

I have no desire to binge, which is amazing, as usually a frustrating or vexing event will manifest as food-desire. So, Thank God for this favor.

Okay, off to get sweet-smelling and Pilates-wear clad...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 10 Phase 4: Where I begin to understand the seeds of the "other" kind of disordered eating, Yesterday's Challenge Particulars, and where the Princess still can't frakkin' do Push-Ups!

I had some scary thoughts in my head a couple of times yesterday...and this morning. This plateau/whatever-it-is is starting to F with my Head.

First, the background: I've never been this long on a diet. Ever. I've never had this many accumulated lost pounds stay off, ever. And I've never been anorexic, bulimic, or done the sporadic fasting or any other weird diet thing. I never did the Cabbage Diet or Food all One Color A Day diet or detox or eat only fiber cookies or any other weird thing that promises FAST FAST FAST weight loss.

Basically, I liked food too much to try anything extreme.

So, yesterday, when my brain started getting this little voice: Just stop eating. Maybe just eat dinner. How about just stay in bed, sleep all day, and don't eat anything at all.Yeah, just sleep for a day straight...

Same thing this morning with the immovable scale darkening my mood.

Don't eat breakfast. Skip lunch. Just one egg. Just water and coffee, maybe.

Okay, now I get it. I totally get how women start to do weird diet shit. I never ever understood before, but I do now. It comes on, creeps in, doesn't it?

Oh, well, I came on here to confess that, cause it scared me. And cause I am gonna go eat my sound brekkie--egg white, toast, fruit, milk-- and refuse to listen to those weird, alien, who-are-you-and-where-did-you-come-from voices.

This not-budging weight, though I'm eating at the 1200 calorie level and exercising nearly DAILY in some way, is messing with me. Really messing with my spirit.

Today, I had to drag myself out of bed. I did not wanna wake up. And this though I'm smart enough to know that I've seen dieters go through the plateaus and suffer them and eventually the shiny sky comes again and things get moving.

Intellectually, I know that. Emotionally, it's messing with me.

I behave well, so I want my damn rewards, ya know?

It ends up feeling unjust--and though this whole metabolism thing is unjust as well, just look at your pal who can eat four cows and twelve cherry pies and stay size 4-- there is a greater sense of not getting the paycheck when you did the hard work.

Hopefully, it's not a depressive episode coming on--the "stay in bed and sleep" thing is generally the first symptom for me-- cause then the whole weird voice that says to do something extreme could be a new part of the whole depressive thing....

Anyway, yesterday I walked 25 mins, Monday, too. I plan to do that again today if it doesn't rain. I need the light and air and just to clear my head with the cool winds. I wanna see egrets and ospreys and funny little dogs and say hi to strangers to lift my mood.

Calories yesterday: 1232
Water: met and exceeded
Exercise: walked, torso raises, squats, no-go on the pushups. 
Sleep: 7.5 hours
Hunger: some mid-level pangs in the evening, but calmed after 30 mins with water.  No desire to binge.

On the push-ups. I tried until I was nauseous from the effort. No go. I could not do them.

I never have been able, not when I was a kid, not when I was thin and in junior high, not in my 130s in high school, not in the gym in 2002. Never. I thought maybe after 2.5 years of doing bicep curls, pectoral exercises, triceps exercises, modified ones on fitness balls and barrels (at a 45 degree angle), that I'd manage, you know, some. No....not one in proper form as described in the packet. Oh, well. For those of you who managed 20 push-ups in good form, I congratulate you. I clearly have some sort of weird body!

And please tell me I'm not the only one who's been sore from these strengthening thingies. On top of my usual Pilates soreness, it's like, wow! Inner thighs are definitely complaining.

So, today, I'm gonna focus on just keeping on and not losing heart cause I'm doing things right and the scale won't move as it should. There's no reason other than the plateau/starches/or depression theory or a combo thereof that I am not dropping nicely at 1200 when I was dropping roughly .2 lbs a day at 1500. No sense that.

I  put on a nice soothing ladies talk show (their voices are calming) and just hope the voices stay away. I don't like peeking into that particular ED abyss.

I wish you a lovely and wellness-focused Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 9 Phase 4: "Status: Sore" is my new daily normal , some plan stuff from a Metabolic Syndrome perspective, pics of the traditional family tasty I did NOT eat NYE, and Yesterday's Particulars...

I exercised for an hour and twenty minutes yesterday. I'm sore today. No kidding. :)

I've been used to being sore about half or more of the week due to Pilates on Mon and Thurs. But now, with the added stuff, I'm just sore 24/7. Seriously. Every day. :D

I did a hard Pilates workout (my "lunge alternates" included). Then I came home and did a 25 minute walk (the 5 minute warm-up, 15 minutes "brisker", and 5 minute cool-down). The weather was amazing and just perfect for being outside. An osprey glided overhead and kept me company. No doggies barked this time. Last time, I got lots of barks, even though I'd coo, "nice doggy, I'm a nice person, don't hate me". Maybe the weather mellowed them out.

Today, I aim to get done the non-lunge strength training as per the packet. I am worried about the push-ups. :-/

I notice on Allan's blog today he is still doing his low/lower carb thing (ie, not the packet plan). I liked doing lower carb. After doing this high carb /low fat packet thing for a spell, if it's not my thing, I will go back to the lower carb. It makes eating out way easier, too. It's always easy to get a protein and salad or protein and veggies and just hand the starch to my hubby, who adores his taters and rice. I can live without taters and rice. Pasta I do like. A lot. But since I'm sensitive to concentrated tomato (paste, sauce, marinara, etc), when I have it, my eczema blooms, so I don't have it 2 or 3x a week like I used to since my skinny days. The only option other than my beloved marinara are the Alfredo (no way), Pesto (love, but can only use sparingly, lotsa oil), Aglio Olio (more oil), or just have it, as I sometimes have, with just veggies and some parmesan sprinkled and only enough EVOO to moisten the pasta (no more than a couple teaspoons).

But really, pasta with a good marinara and some Italian cheese is my idea of a heavenly entree.

My first visit to a dietitian in 1989--I was under 200 back then, but still fat--I was put on a low fat, high carb diet, lots and lots of pasta. Like 2 cups pasta for dinner several times a week. I lost weight. Hell, I was in my 20's and didn't have a dead thyroid and didn't have Metabolic Syndrome.

The diet recommended for folks with Insulin Resistance/Metabolic Syndrome is not like the packet one, I'll add. It's lower carb to low carb (since starches stimulate more insulin production). But since both my DNA results and the packet are high carb, I figured, ok, good time to test that. :)

Perhaps part of my not dropping is that the higher starch aspect is making me pump out insulin like nobody's business. It is a possibility.

Anyway, plenty of folks in the challenge are doing their own meal configurations (ie, not doing the 3 meals, 2 snacks, low fat, high carb), including our Fearless Leader. If it's the starches/high carbs and my insulin response, well, that's easily tweaked. May not be Challenge Packet adherent to do lower carb, but if it's better for me, that will be the way to go.

Oh, and speaking of FOOD, here's a couple pics of my brother making the family-tradition "empanadillas", of which I had...none. And these babies, when fried up, are da bombalicious!

First the grinding of the grainy/starchy outer goodness (the filling is spiced beef):

And behold the assembled from scratch yumminess before frying:

When I was a kid, I'd ask my mom to make scalloped edges for me, cause I liked it to look sorta like a picture-book rising sun--yellow and cute, half-emerged behind the horizon, with soft, friendly "rays"....

My brother has an electric grinder. And I'm pretty sure he buys ground beef. Back in the 60's and 70's etc, when mom made it, this was LABOR INTENSIVE. The men and mom would take turns grinding, cause it was an old-fashioned, heavy, metal grinder that you cranked by hand (it attached via vise grippy thing to the edge of the counter or table). Grinding YUCA is tough. It takes muscle. Corn got ground. Meat got ground. I remember trying to grind when I was around 11 or so, and it was HAAAAAAAAAAAAAARD. I gave up and left it to dad and bro. Yeah, you try grinding yuca (cassava) with a hand grinder. Whoa.

Mom's was da best. For sure. (Miss you, Mami and Papi!)

Next year, I'm gonna have one. I don't know how much longer my siblings will be alive, and by next year, my weight should be at or near goal and my fitness level much improved, too. It's worth budgeting for this tradition. This year, cause of the challenge and all, I decided to say no. Next year: yes.

Yesterday's Particulars:

Calories yesterday: 1246
water/fluid goal: met
exercise: Pilates, lunge-equivalent, walking
Sleep: 7 hours
Hunger: minimal at dinnertime

Okay, on to another day. I am feeling calm and ready to continue the fat fight. To be honest, I am amazed every day that I wake up and don't want to stuff my these months of not having food be my God have been lovely.

Hope everyone else has a wonderful day moving more and eating less.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 8 Phase 4: Where I decide this is the week I get results or I Make a Change....and how the hunger has not been an issue even at our belated "Christmas" celebration....where I shot temptations down!

Scale has not budged.

I say this the day after I had my family's Three King's Day (belated Christmas) celebration. I turned down the dip and chips. I rejected the chocolate and cake. I had to literally just move away from the dining area cause of all the festive yummies on there. I did not have the turkey fricasse, corn, etc. I had none of the homemade pineapple upside down cake. Most telling, I had none of the Cuban coffee my brother brewed.

That's not unimportant. Several stunned familial heads turned to me to say, "What, Mirty's not having coffee? She's really esrious."

I never turn down Cuban coffee. :) I did. It has sugar. (Note: Eldest sis makes it sans sugar, give me my portion, then adds sugar for everyone else when she makes it at her house. Ain't that really sweet?)

I had taken my decaf green tea bags and made me a mug o' that. Snack time, I had my string cheese. Bottle of water in hand, I learned to say no, no , no.

My caloric count for the day was 1093. I had switched to a different string cheese that had fewer calories and a fat free instead of lowfat yogurt yesterday, so the calories reflected that.

I am on the verge of tears. Seriously. Seven days averaging less than 1200 calories and I'm only 0.8 pounds lower than P4 Weigh-in. I've never had such a crappy scale week while eating low-cal. Never.

I'm feeling a bit fragile. Not just the scale, just some other issues, too, that have come up this weekend, but mostly it's the being good calorically with dashed expectations.

So, I give it this week. This week makes or breaks it.

I did my groceries for the plan last night on the way home. I have my egg whites, fruit, salad fixings, chicken breast, oatmeal (it's actually made and tupperwared in the fridge to portion when I want it this week), string cheese, yogurt, cashews, raisins, deli turkey, fat free hot dogs (never had these in my life and don't know if I'll even like em, but chicken gets old and these were something different), lite high fiber breads, lower sodieum canned soups, veggies, Mrs Dash, Montreal Seasoning, etc.

This week. I see results or I go back to my three meals no snacks from 1200 up to 1600 cals, different cals each day according to how I feel like eating. (I'm not huge on snacking, and I only do it cause of the plan. I much prefer 3 more substantial meals than smaller meals + snacks.)

I will say it's NOT cause of hunger. I felt none yesterday. NONE AT ALL. Did I WANT to eat dips, chip, etc. Yes. But there is a difference between appetite and hunger. I felt no hunger. The day before, I don't remember if I did--I'd have to check my bloggy info. I have not felt pangs or anything.

I just cannot deal with crap results when the math says 1200 calories should give me 1.8 + pounds loss per week....

I have no desire to go bonkers. I have no binge inclination right now. Those are blessings. :) The journey the past few months has helped a lot. And like Karen/Sunshine often advises, I've come to tell myself when the temptations are before me: "It's just food."

Energy is fine. Yesterday it was good. I played some football/catch (not running, as I had chunky heels on), but lots of throwing and catching, bending, and going after missed balls. Got my breathing up and sweated enough to glow a bit. :D I'm gonna have to keep sneakers in my trunk so I can change into when a spontaneous chance to burn some calories comes up.

Got nice compliments yesterday, too. "Looking slimmer!" Heard a "skinny" tossed about, but that's a relative "skinny".hahah. Compared to previous Pentagon-sized me, I guess. I felt attractive, which is nice.

Today, Pilates and strength training and my walk (hope the weather doesn't go bad). My butt is still some sore from FRIDAY's squats, can you believe it?

So, that's my recap and the day's plan.

Doing breakfast and water now. Well, the coffee and water part. Food part is done: egg white (with Mrs. Dash onion/herb for flavor), lite bread, banana, milk with cinnamon. I expect lunch to be the salad option, just cause it's easy and I get my veggies.

Have a great, fresh, new 2011 week. Be well...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 7 of P4: Weigh-in, Saturday Particulars, Challenge Challenges, "Christmas" for My Family (Part II, the 2011 Edition) , and Whose Book I'm Gonna Start Reading This Week!

Saturday particulars:

Calories: 1199 (that's hilarious, when numbers end up like that. ONE calorie away from a round number. Snarf.)
Water: yep
Walk: yep


Today's weight: 234.6
Last Sunday's weigh-in: 235.4

Last Sunday's weight as emailed to Allan (rounded): 235
This week's weight as emailed to Allan (rounded): 235

 Calories Mon thru Sat:   1216, 1019, 1205, 1205  ,1277, 1199
The average caloric intake: 1187

And the loss showing on my scale is:  0.8 lbs.

Waist and hips, the same. Upper thigh a scosh less there.... and the bust.

:::eyes rolling:::

Anyway....enough with that....

Today will be my family's "Christmas". Hubby wrapped the gifties.

I plan to take bottles of water and my own food/snack. I hope to do something a bit active.

I heard from someone who dropped outta the challenge, and I understand her medical/other reasons. Hey, it's very limited. We were warned, but I guess I thought limitation would be on crap, not, say, normal protein sources. In any case, it's what it is and we do it or we don't. No one is breaking our arms to force us, right? If we need to--or want to--do another plan, as long as we get healthy, no harm no foul. It's about eating a desirable amount and healthful foods...and things we can enjoy, too, to some extent. (I mean, okay, no enjoying a double fudge sundae). And it's about eating less so we can lose. I support challengers and non-challengers, as long as y'all are trying to get healthy and lose the fat, people, I'll blow my own wee bit of encouraging wind to your back!

Keeping motivation up matters, so this week, I'll be reading EATING LESS by Gillian Riley. Here's the gal herself:

I find her voice calming. :)

I've only read the first few pages where she talks about "myths" and it's really good.Just those couple of pages would have nabbed me in a bookstore.

So, what are you reading to keep your mojo going?

Happy Sunday, people. Another week toward the goal. Blessing upon you!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

For Those of You Curious After I Mentioned Returning to My Novel Manuscript (or, really, just starting fresh at this point)....and my creative freak outs that sort of parallel my dieting tendency to freak out...

Here's one of my stories.  It's speculative fiction. Here's how it opens:

“Time’s a prancing ninny, the practical joker of the universe,” says the marriage merchant, the Matcher, to none of us in particular. He hasn’t shut up once since we left Earth bound for Phlida. “Space, on the other hand, has no sense of humor whatsoever. It just broods out there like a lonely, tongue-tied bachelor. Well, see for yourself.” 
     We take the cue, all six of us who are stuck for the duration in the saferoom with the loquacious Matcher and his ceaseless attempts to spark conversation. We all look toward the single viewport overhead that serves up a slice of darkness pierced by pinpoints of light. The starview is meant to keep claustrophobia at bay during the journey. The conversation is meant to keep us sane. 
     Really, what choice do we have but to look up? What else can any of us do, bound as we are by our seats, bound together by the stabilizers that keep us in a single timestream, bound by the yearnings that have driven us from the home planet? Tell us to look, we look. Tell us to sleep, we sleep. Tell us to press that spot in our earlobes to quell the spacesickness, and we press. Tell us to sip nutrients, we sip. Tell us to forget who we are and we just may forget, if we knew to begin with. 
     But don’t make me talk, Matcher. 
     I’m a novice to space travel, but I have read and heard the stories of what can happen once the gravity of homeworld ceases to bind you.  Everything loosens. Things fly free. Secrets escape. And the only ones unaffected, so I’ve read, are the Loners, those genetically-gifted few who live in the belly of spaceships, navigating, maintaining, recording. They fly without risk, immune to the strange effects of these outer wilds—yes, utterly free of any susceptibility to space madness—and they are themselves bound to the normal timeflow by the complex mechanism implanted in their bodies. The operation, they say, is irrevocable. 
     I find it easy to believe such tales of space and spacemen.
Another story (also speculative) is in  this (now out of print)  anthology.

My Rhysling Award nominated poem is found in the 2007 anthology.  

You can read some of the cool poems in that issue here on Google books for free, but the preview is cut off before mine on page 39.  I still get high seeing something I created in a book sharing space with the amazing Ursula Le Guin, the prolifically talented Bruce Boston, the justly often-awarded Joe Haldeman, and some of my personal fave SF poets. I'm a puny, neurotic midget among giants. But hey, I'm still in there. :D

I haven't written creatively for, um, almost there years. Part was really bad depression. Part was my neurotic tendency to self-sabotage in utter fear of failure whenever a hint of success comes my way (and yes, including dieting, I do that there, too). I had 3 editors wanting to see my manuscript after reading the opening chapter(s), and I freaked. Totally freaked. Second time this happened. Back in 2003, on a differnt novel, I had 2 editors wanting to see it. I freaked and turned reclusive and stopped writing.

It's a repulsive habit of mine. And I will conquer it THIS YEAR. No more freaking when things are going well. No more!

So, I want to give it as shot again. Without freaking or running away. If I fail giving it my best, then I fail. But I will do this, too. The weight...the words. Both.  For the last 3 years, it's like my brain was dry.

Just posting about haiku made me want to get back to poetry.


Yesterday, I actually shot myself an email with an image and sketchy premise for a story or chapter (unsure at this point, just a seed). Seeds should grow, right?

Day 6 Phase 4: Recap of Yesterday's Challenge Particulars, The Vexing Scale, Exercise, Sore Butt, Primo Poops, Great Mood, Not Hungry on Waking, Plumbing Frustrations, Food Temptation Tomorrow at 3 Kings Day Belated Celebration, and it's Walk Day!

The second week of 2011 BEGINS....and I wake up....and I get on the scale cause I
sometimes get Allan my weigh-in result prior to Sunday so I don't miss the deadline...and...

Huh. Hmm.



I guess I'll wait till tomorrow and see if I can erase this from my memory...with a better result.

235.2 is .2 lbs MORE than last Sunday's official challenge start. MORE! (Culprit: Ham steak for dinner, maybe? 100 calories but like 800 sodium grams? But I had potato with it, and that has balancing potassium, AND I took 2 potassium supplements as well and drank 3 cups green tea.)

I'm glad I fortified myself with Beth's comment in my previous post this AM. Because what she said is true. Anyone who has dieted for any extended period of time (ie, more than a couple months) knows the weirdnesses and the whooshes and the retentions and the retrograde wackiness.

I think I moped for all of 10 minutes then got on to making my ON PLAN breakfast. Interesting phenomenon: Not very hungry.

Yesterday: Calories 1277. Water: Done +  Exercise: Squats and torso raises. (I can't do side lunges, period, so I do side lunge "equivalents"--ie, exercises that work THOSE muscles--with my trainer on Monday and Thursdays to spare my damaged knees/ankle.) Hunger: hungry on awakening, no weird hunger at night. The protein emphasis on the later snack helped loads, I think, with me waking up food-calm.

Exercise note: I had gotten a phone call after doing my squats (oh, lawdy, oh, lawdy, ouchie), and got sidetracked. Realized shortly before bedtime I never did my torso raises, so I got my mat out, got on the floor, and did my 4 sets of 10. Yes!  I also did tabletop leg divided The Hundred, some roll ups and roll downs, some crunches, and some stretches. Figured might as well while I was down there anyway....


I'm sitting on a fluffy pillow as I type. Seriously. Owie. Isn't that great? I love being exercise sore (as long as I can, ya know, MOVE).  If you aren't sore the day after exercising, let's face it, you didn't work it. Not pain--pain as in you hurt your joint or pulled a muscle. No...soreness. Soreness that said you stressed that muscle and it's gonna build up more tissue. Yes! More muscle. Give me MORE muscle!

While my butt may be sore, my poops are great. If you're following the Phase 4 Packet,  you shouldn't be having poop issues (like I did on the low carb at times). Man, I go like 4 times a it. Love cleaning things out.

Speaking of Cleaning Out: We had the plumber here day before yesterday to unclog a big clog. Now hubby and the exterminator, on the rounds of the building, noticed some sort of water leak in the back/side. Oh, gosh, another plumber visit. The cost of plumbers is numbing, but got no choice. I'm scared the leak may end up being a costly thing. Egads....I want to win the Lottoa nd have a custom made, spanking new home with indestructible pipes. How much is that? ; )

So, today's requirement, besides the 1200 cals and the 143 oz water is to WALK. So, today, sometime after cable man/plumber/exterminator trifecta--we walk! (I wonder if all those bathroom runs add up to some sort of exercise?)

Tomorrow it's our belated Christmas, so I assume some food temptations will be around. I plan to just take my own stuff. Makes life easier, frankly. I don't even want to look at fancy food right now. I'll take presents and probably the salad/yogurt or sandwich option (easiest to carry) and some hummus/carrots for my snack (as we'll stay longer than just one meal). Hubby loves sammies and salads and carrots and hummus, so with enough for two, we're covered, foodwise and can focus on playing Scrabble, video games, backyard toss/catch or whatever the kids are running around doing. As Allan says, it's about family, NOT food, even if it's BELATED, that's still how it is.

I hope today you have a kinder scale than I do, and that we all keep our zen calm as we face each meal/snack/temptation.