Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another day, another dollar...

Sorry, I am just lame today. This is true in both the slang usage way and the literal way. I feel blah. My right foot and shin are hurting, and so I am limping a bit. I was going to make more gazpacho this evening, and then was just too lazy to do so. I ordered a calzone from the local pizza joint. It was OK, not great, and probably more calories than I needed. I walked the dog, but didn't have the energy to go far (plus my foot was hurting). I really have nothing more to say. I don't feel at all entertaining, nor do I feel like I have anything of real value to contribute to this blog today. Then again, we all have days like this, so just letting everyone know that I am having one, because maybe you can relate.

Monday, July 12, 2010

All about gazpacho

Yes, it is true, these past few days, I am all about gazpacho (that veggie-rich refreshing cold summer soup with countless variations). I have made several types since Saturday, and they have all been yummy, low-calorie, and very nutritious. And I'm not done yet- I plan to try a couple more gazpacho recipes and invent several of my own variations over the next few days. Part of my motivation is that they are tasty and complex (yet still somewhat delicate in flavor), and another part of my motivation is that I went swimming yesterday, and saw myself in a bathing suit, and it ain't pretty. Really, I know most women can be critical of their bathing-suited selves, but I truly look like an aging sea cow who is 10 months pregnant. I must do whatever it takes to make next summer less stressful at the pool and/or beach, since I do love to swim. Anyhow, for those of you who are culinarily adventurous, I suggest watermelon gazpacho. I kind of made it up (although there are some internet gazpacho recipes that incorporate watermelon). For mine, you put the following stuff in a blender: 1 cup white grape juice, 1 large cucumber, peeled and cubed, 2 cups of seedless watermelon chunks, 2 small tomatillos, quartered, 5-7 leaves of fresh basil, 1 teaspoon sea salt. Blend it. Drink it, or add a few smallish chunks of cucumber and watermelon to give it "body" and eat it with a spoon. It's different, it's refreshing, it's lovely. If you want it a bit thicker, add in some plain yogurt. If you want it to taste a bit more tart, add in a teaspoon of lemon juice.

Oh, and by the way, I deliberately skipped blogging this past weekend. This is my show, so I get to make the rules for myself, and I will from now on only commit to blogging on the weekdays. So there.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Automatic, systematic, hydromatic

So, I had a productive day, in that I made some pretty good food choices, and went for a walk after work, and didn't give in to a craving for a soft-serve ice cream cone dipped in chocolate from the place down the street... although I did stock up on some lower calorie frozen treats, like Skinny Cow ice cream bars, and Popsicles. But I feel the need for more organization around losing weight. I don't want to set up too many rules and restrictions for myself, because when I feel deprived I rebel with a vengeance.
However, I do want to come up with a better system, so that I don't have to do actual labor-intensive calorie counting on a daily basis, but can be reasonably sure that my calorie intake stays consistently low enough to assure that I will lose weight. I think I'd like to figure out a few food combinations that add up to approximately 200 or approximately 500 calories each, so that I can select 2 of the 500 cal and 2 or 3 of the 200 cal options per day, and keep my intake to about 1400-1600 calories per day. For instance, I already know that a salmon & avocado maki roll in the average sushi restaurant is 304 calories, an order of maguro (tuna) nigiri sushi (2 pieces) is 100 calories, and that a serving of edamame (the green fresh soy beans) is 100 calories, and therefore if I go out for Japanese, I could order the edamame appetizer, a salmon avocado maki, and maguro nigiri, and I would be consuming 504 calories.
Hopefully I can figure out about a dozen more of these 500 calorie meals, and then a bunch that are closer to 200 for breakfasts and snacks (I would guess that oatmeal and a fresh apple or yogurt with fresh blueberries adds up to around 200 calories, but I will research it tomorrow.) I will also allow myself unlimited extra non-starchy vegetables to supplement, because those will add a negligible amount of calories, all of which will be more bang for my nutritional buck, so to speak. And just to be extra certain that I do not feel deprived and overly restricted, I will have one "freebie" day per week, when I don't need to stick to the formula at all.

I feel very hopeful about this new plan! I probably will not try to implement it right away, because I need to do some math first, and then do some shopping, but perhaps by Sunday I can start this in earnest. It really seems manageable. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bikes not bon-bons

I keep seeing people riding bikes. It looks like fun, and I remember feeling carefree and almost as if I could fly the last time I rode a bike, which was over 2 years ago (and many pounds lighter). I think I would simply feel awkward and unwieldy if I tried to hop on one of mine these days. I actually own two bikes, and they are just sitting around sadly mourning their loss of motion. I need to lose enough weight that, by next spring and summer, I can enjoy bikes and beaches. This means I need to get more serious, and eschew more ice cream, candy, and calzones. Speaking of which, I had a bacon, onion, and mushroom calzone for dinner, and it made me feel heavy and overfull, even though I gave a piece of it to my roommate, a few tiny pieces to her dog, and even threw away part of it. Still, I need to remind myself how much cleaner and lighter I feel after a dinner with more veggies and less fat. Tomorrow I will not eat anything without asking myself, "How will this make me feel after I am finished consuming it?"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

After the long weekend

OK, so I didn't post for a few days, but I figure that should be allowed on holiday long weekends. But now it is Tuesday and no more excuses. I did OK over the weekend. I walked much more than usual (for instance, I walked from the train to the esplanade and back on the 4th of July, and that was probably over a mile of walking by day's end- more than I have walked in many a moon), but then I did eat quite a bit of food over the weekend too. Nothing too horrible - I managed to avoid fried dough at the festivities, but then again I caved in to the craving for an Italian sausage with grilled peppers and onions. Oh well, I would say I am still generally moving in the right direction. By the way, not that it has much of anything to do with losing weight, but I bought the best mascara today! Diorshow by Dior, and yes it is more expensive than Maybelline, but I'm worth it. I do think self-esteem boosters help with motivation in the long run, and I gotta tell ya, that with this fancy mascara on, my eyes look amazing!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Oh, the Shame of it all...

I almost didn't write anything. But that would just make things worse. I've basically promised myself I will write about my food/fat/weight stuff every day, and I would be even more upset with myself if I broke that promise. So, yeah, um, I ate myself into oblivion today. Well, that may be an overstatement, but suffice it to say that although I did start out well, with fresh blueberries and yogurt for breakfast, it was downhill from there: pizza for lunch, my remaining kimchee stew from yesterday as a mid-afternoon snack, and McDonald's chicken nuggets and fries for dinner. Blech. I feel gross now. But, I did go to the gym after work, and weighed myself like I said I would. That nasty little digital scale said 309.6 pounds. Now, I am not really surprised, and yet some little wishfully thinking part of my brain had hoped that I was maybe just slightly under 300 lbs, like maybe 299.5 lbs or something. And for many normal people, weighing more than they want to is motivation to eat less and exercise more, but not for me. It was depressing and discouraging and made it harder to eat healthy foods instead of junk. However, I did manage to use the stationary bike for 10 minutes. I could barely force myself to do it, but somehow the fact that I could sit while exercising made it bearable. I even saw another woman at my gym knitting while using a stationary bike. Yeah, it's not so strenuous or anything, but it counts as moving my body!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 2 Part 2

Well, it is nearly bedtime, and I have managed to get through the rest of my day without any major food regrets. After work I got a lowfat frozen yogurt with fresh fruit, when I would have preferred actual ice cream. (The yogurt was actually quite yummy- it was coconut flavored, and I topped it with fresh mango.) I had sushi for dinner, (salmon and avacado) which is packed with protein and the "good" fats. I also ordered some kimchee jigae (couldn't resist, as I was dining in a Korean/sushi restaurant), and I could have probably lived without it, but at least I ordered it with just tofu instead of with pork and/or beef. Plus I took half of it home with me, to have for lunch tomorrow. I even went for a 10 minute walk after work, which is not as good as a 20 minute walk, but is significantly better than no walk at all. Oh, and I did eat a very little corner of one of the brownies my roommate made last night and kindly left on the counter for all to share. I mean, come on, I'm only human! Brownies, for heaven's sake: Who can resist at least a taste?!? Considering that I have often, in recent years, managed to sup on an entire small pizza by myself, followed by a pint of full fat ice cream -- and I do mean a full pint, often every last drop--(Yes, I can lick the inside of a Ben & Jerry's pint container clean. I've got skills, what can I say?) ... overall, today's menu was progress.

Anyhow, I feel like I ought to reveal a bit more of my history, in light of the fact that I already seem to have folks who have never met me following this blog, and hope to attract many more as I go along. I have downloaded a full-length pic of myself, taken back in the fall, so nearly a year ago. I was probably weighing about 10 pounds less than I do now at that point. I have not weighed myself in a couple of months, and don't own a scale. When I do weigh myself, I do so at my gym. And guess why I have not weighed myself in a few months? That's right- it's because I have not seen the inside of my gym since April. But my last recorded weight was about 314 lbs. I may have lost a few pounds since then, as I have been going out dancing and taking salsa and swing dancing lessons occasionally, and have also been starting to watch what I eat over the past few weeks. Anyhow, I will go to the gym tomorrow, and weigh my ass (well, all of me actually), and let y'all know the number, just so we can keep track as time goes on.

As you can see, in the image above, I'm a large woman, and carry much of my excess weight smack dab in my middle, and most of the rest of it in the caboose. I am 44 years old, and have been overweight for much of my adult life, although I never weighed over 200 pounds until I was over 25 years of age. I don't even have any kids, so I can't blame pregnancies. I just eat a lot and don't move much. The older I get, the more difficult it gets to even maintain weight, much less lose it. I did get down to well under 200 pounds in my late 30's, but I did it by giving up ALL sugar and flour, eating only 3 meals a day, and weighing and measuring every bite I put into my mouth. I had a lot of support, through a 12-step group, but after about 9 months I just couldn't do it anymore, and gained back all of what I'd lost, and then some. I really believe that the only lasting lifestyle changes I can make and stick with are moderate and gradual ones. My goal is simply to eat less and move more, and to make slightly healthier choices, one day at a time.

I am fat because I love food, and because I use it for comfort when I'm blue, and to celebrate when I'm psyched, and to counteract boredom, and as a consolation when I can't have other things I want. I am fat because my mom was rather controlling of my food when I was a child, and I spent much of my childhood promising myself that when I grew up, I could eat as much as I wanted whenever I wanted, and nobody would be able to stop me. I am fat because I have a very pretty face and got too much sexual attention of the wrong kind when I was a young teenager and was not yet overweight. I am fat because I love many sedentary activities such as reading and watching movies and sitting around chatting with friends and drinking wine. For much of my adulthood, I was mostly OK with the side-effects of my food abuse. It almost seemed worth the luxury of eating so many delicious things. But because I am getting older, and because I am not stupid, I know that I can't continue to ignore the grave danger I am in. So, here I am, and like I said, I will go to my gym tomorrow to weigh myself, and while I'm in there... hey, I might even use some equipment other than their scale. Plus I already bought my breakfast for tomorrow (greek yogurt and fresh blueberries) so that I can start the day off right. Wish me luck!

Day Two as a blogger, Part 1

Wow, I just started last night, and already several people have read my blog, a few have commented, and I have one follower! This is very encouraging. I've had a bit of a rough day food-wise so far, because I was running late this morning and didn't have time to eat at home, or to stop and get breakfast on my way to work, or even to pack a breakfast, and I just really did not feel like eating the instant oatmeal that I keep at my office for just such emergencies. So, along came 10 a.m. and I was STARVING. (Keep in mind that I usually eat breakfast around 7 a.m.) So I took an early lunch break, and went out to get something to eat at the neighboring Whole Foods. Needless to say, my hunger spurred me to buy more than I needed. I even caved in to the urge to buy a chocolate beignet, which is a type of donut. However, when I took a bite out of it, I discovered that the taste was less than fabulous, and so... I threw out the rest! I am very proud of that. I figure I should not waste any calories on eating something that is neither nutritious nor absolutely delicious. So yay for me! But unfortunately I then commenced snacking on other (somewhat better choices) for over an hour. I had some rice crackers with some vegan "chicken" salad, and some herbed popcorn (which is very tasty, and a better choice than chips, but a little too tempting as far as portion control). Still, I should be able to feel like I had a productive day as long as I can stick with some sushi for dinner, and maybe a side salad and some fruit as well... and as long as I can go for a walk after work. OK, better end this now, since I am at work and just taking a very short "mental health break" while things are slow here. Still, my boss may read this, so if you are she, know that I am getting back to work pronto!!