Tuesday, December 30, 2008

That Withdrawaly Feeling

I feel like poo. Part of this is because of the whole TOM thing because while I do, in fact, enjoy being a girl, sometimes the girlyness kind of sucks and gives me migraines and such.

However, I think part of the reason I'm feeling bad is honest to goodness withdrawal. Yesterday I had no sugar, no refined carbs of any kind and no caffeine. Although my caffeine intake was only about 1 can of Diet Dr. Pepper a day, my sugar intake equaled several mini peanut butter cups, a few cookies, maybe a brownie, and a slice of Panettone with ice cream. Then we have all the bread and crackers I've been eating, usually with some sort of delectable cheese on top.

Yesterday on my walk home from work I listened to a podcast talking about the insulin spikes from refined carbs and it's no wonder I'm feeling yucky. I've been flying on a carbohydrate high for the past couple of months. Now I have crashed to the earth. But I know it's a much kinder, more even-keeled way to be generally.

Today I'm just trying to make it through work and keep my head from exploding.

Monday, December 29, 2008


I was just having a "Why, oh why" moment, as in "Why, oh why do I keep gaining back the weight?" or "Why, oh why did I gain 6 pounds in a week and a half?" when I realized the answers to my own questions.

So, two reasons: 1) PMS is happening. In all honesty, I probably did not gain 6 pounds in a week and a half; 2) Like everyone else in the world - emotional eating. Mint M&M's and frozen custard and brie make me happy. Literally. And help me to ignore the glaring issues in front of me. Apparently in my head I think it's better to keep things inside rather than feel a feeling that if discovered may hurt someone else's feelings and leave me wracked with guilt. Because that's how I operate. However, as I relearned, keeping things inside only makes my stomach hurt and also makes me really, really want something tasty and maybe a little salty sweet. Chocolate-dipped pretzel, anyone?

Jason drives me crazy with his logic sometimes, but sometimes it's what I need to hear and he's very good at pointing out that making myself ill isn't helping anyone. So there was some drama. I think he would have preferred there be no drama, but I keep it in and then explode.

But at least my stomach didn't hurt anymore.


I stepped on the scale this morning. Not good. I keep sabotaging myself during the last 3 months of the year and it's really starting to tick me off. It starts with my birthday in October and I just go on a birthday/holiday celebration extravaganza. I wind up gaining back almost everything it took me the first 9 months of the year to lose.

Although I was planning on starting the good eating on the 1st with the rest of the entire country, I started today instead. I'm back to my old plan: at least 150 g of protein, less than 100 g of carbs and no refined sugar or flour. I'm also going to try the monthly splurge day thing again, which worked really well a couple of years ago. I give myself one splurge day a month during which I can eat whatever I want. I found that after just a couple of months, my tolerance for sugar-filled foods had decreased a lot and I didn't want to "splurge" so much after all. I still have some mint M&M's in a cupboard at home, but they will have to wait until January 31.

I walked to work today and will be walking home and then walking to the store a mile away. That will be 6 miles of walking today, which is good. It helps that it's a casual day at work and I'm in jeans and sneakers.

I downloaded a bunch of fitness podcasts to my iPod to listen to on my walks, which are inspirational, particularly shows like Livin' La Vida Low Carb, where the host has on both experts and average folks extolling the virtues of doing things low carb. I realize 100 g is not "low" carb, but it's lower than the 200-300 g that is my norm when I'm not paying attention.

Today is my day one. Again.

I'm starting to realize that this is never going to stop. I am always, always going to have food and weight issues. Sigh.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's Something

I have been feeling like absolute poo for a little while now. Work has been crazy busy, there's some family stuff I'm really stressed about, I've been eating crap and I haven't been working out. In theory I know I'll feel better if I work out, but getting up so early in the cold and the dark isn't happening. Mostly because I'm exhausted. Which I know would be alleviated by working out. Which I can't do because I can't get my tired bum out of bed. Vicious circle.

All day yesterday I completely dragged through my work day with a partial headache clouding my mental functions. Even though I wasn't dressed for it, I decided to walk the 2 miles home. I took a long route, so it might have been more like 2 1/4 miles. By the time I got home, I felt infinitely better. My headache was gone and I felt completely alert.

Since it's cold out, I can actually walk the two miles without getting gross and sweaty. So this morning I woke up about 10 minutes earlier than usual and walked to work, where I changed into a skirt and did my make-up. Tonight I'm going to walk home. The podcasts that used to get me through my 2 hour commute every day when I was still working up in Boston are now entertaining me on my walks to and from work.

So this is what I'm going to do, at least until the New Year, when I plan to rededicate myself to my healthy lifestyle like I do every New Year. If I can walk at least one way, that's 2 miles more than I would be walking otherwise and equals a little more fitness for me. My goal is to walk both ways as many days as I can.

Monday, December 01, 2008


I was all psyched to head out to the pool this morning, or at least to the elliptical, and then Jason decided to add snoring to his sleeping repertoire. Usually I can get him to turn over on his side and that will stop it, but not last night. After almost falling back asleep only to be rewoken up for an hour, I tried to go sleep on the couch, but by that time I was so awake, I couldn't get back to sleep. I read for awhile and then managed to get back to sleep about an hour before I needed to wake up to get ready for work. That is usually when I would be getting up to go to the gym, but I was exhausted and needed another hour of sleep since I had been awake for almost three hours.


I joined a fitness challenge on Elastic Waist to give me some motivation. The goal is to work out for at least 30 minutes for 30 of the next 36 days. The pool was open on Thanksgiving so I swam for 40 minutes. Then Friday I had to come into work, so I walked the two miles. I planned to walk home too, but what was supposed to be an hour or two of catch-up wound up being 4 1/2 hours and I was STARVING because it was 2:30 in the afternoon and I had missed lunch. But at least I got that half hour in. Saturday and Sunday I planned to swim first thing, but we wound up being out and about both Friday and Saturday nights. Sigh. I know exercising will give me energy, but when I'm so bone tired, I just can't get out of bed. I've been really busy at work too (thus the coming into the office on Friday) so I am beat. Again, I know exercising will help, but it's hard to convince myself of that at 6 AM.

I will get my mojo back eventually. I will not gain back all the weight I lost this year. How depressing would that be to start January 1 back at square one?

Monday, November 24, 2008


I went to the doctor today and when I stepped up on the scale to get weighed, the nurse flipped the weight to "100" and then started futzing with the little numbers. I said, "Um, you're going to need to start at '150'. But thank you."

Friday, November 21, 2008


Yeah, so, working out... Not really happening.

However, I have a new plan that does not involve getting up at 6 AM and heading out into below-freezing temperatures to jump into a pool. Basically I'm going to be ellipticaling because I would rather be sweaty than soaking wet when I return home in the freezing cold. Also, now that our houseguests are gone, I'm going to bust out the pilates DVDs again because now there is much less chance of someone walking in on me in the living room when I'm doing something weird looking.

Also, Jason bought himself a little running watch that records distance and stuff and he swears as soon as it arrives, he's going to start running. He actually weighed himself a week or so ago and discovered he's gained 10 pounds in the last few months. Because he wasn't weighing himself first thing in the morning, after peeing and naked like the last time he weighed himself, I figure he has really only gained maybe 7 pounds. But still. I think that shocked him into action. There has been no action as of yet, but I think once he gets a toy that will record statistics and lend itself to cool spreadsheets and charts, he'll be more apt to get up and go.

If he really does start working out then I will have to make a point of getting to the gym, lest I lose my moral superiority for being the One Who Exercises.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Eternal Struggle

Sometimes it seems really daunting to realize that every time I go exercise I'm going to have this internal argument with myself about how I would much rather stay in bed. It's exhausting.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Swim Through the Pain

I woke up with a headache this morning. I know exactly why. I've been busy at work, working longer hours, and I tend to hold all my tension in my right shoulder. This tension turns to aching and crawls up my neck periodically and gives me a headache. Also, my workstation is not ergonomically correct in the slightest. We've talked about fixing that, but so far it's only been talk. (Personally, I would really like to get a Walkstation)

So anyway my normal "I don't want to get out of bed" banter in my mind when my alarm went off was coupled with another voice whining, "But I have a headache!" However, the logical part of my brain realized that since the headache is obviously due to tension, swimming might actually loosen up my back and shoulders and make my head feel better. That part of my brain won and I crawled out of bed, ate my pre-workout string cheese, and went to the gym.

And it did help. My head still ached a little when I left for work this morning, but nothing like it did before I went swimming. I did a lot of pulling to work my upper body muscles and I feel better. Of course, now that I'm at work I'm tightening up again. I really wish my husband gave massages. That is one area where he is sorely lacking. Apparently some of the repetitive things he does working in the lab make his thumbs hurt and whenever he tries to massage my shoulder, he winds up with aching hands. Oh well.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Getting it Done

So I'm doing okay with the exercising this week. Swam Monday, walked to work Tuesday and Wednesday ('cause after Tuesday night I was NOT getting up at 6 AM, I'll tell you that much), and swam this morning. I'll be in the pool again tomorrow morning.

However, my eating is not so good. We had pizza on election night and it's been a carb free-for-all for me since then. I haven't had the time or energy to cook healthy breakfasts and lunches for myself so I've just been grabbing whatever is nearby. Granted, I could be making healthier choices, but I've been lazy. Everything is so carbtastic. Downtown Providence is not known for its healthy eating options.

I'm planning to get a little more reasonable about food next week. I'm going to the grocery store tomorrow night so I'll grab some green leafy things and make an effort to actually eat them.

I know I said I was going to enjoy the fruits of the season (meaning Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies), but I honestly don't like how I feel when my diet is full of carbs on a regular basis. Plus, I feel like I am dragging in the pool and swimming reeeeeally slowly. No one wants to see that.

By the way, I would pay someone good money (like $100) to invent a durable workout suit for someone with a long torso that doesn't look like a granny suit. You can buy one Speedo suit in long torso in navy or black (boring) and it's got thick straps and a low leg, which just accentuates my giant thighs. Seriously, I am so tired of the suit riding up every time I doing a flipturn. Do you have any idea how awkward it is to flip, reach down to pull your suit down and push off the wall all at the same time? All done, of course, underwater while holding your breath. Awkward.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Soda Detox

I have determined that caffeine isn't really a problem for me. I drink one can of Diet Dr. Pepper or Diet Coke with Lime a day and don't feel the need for more. Last Monday I stopped drinking soda and announced on Facebook that my caffeine detox had begun.

Only it wasn't so much a detox as just a good thing to do because it meant I was drinking more water. I didn't have any withdrawal headaches or other aches. I was fine and just kind of noticed it around lunch time when I usually had a can of soda.

So Saturday we went out for linner (because it was 3:30 PM) and I got a Diet Coke with Lime. Yesterday I had a Diet Dr. Pepper with dinner, but only as an afterthought. It took me about 2 hours to finish the can.

Today at work our office supply shipment came in and among the items were two 12-packs of Diet Dr. Pepper for me. (There are only 3 of us in the office, so the secretary orders whatever we happen to like). So I'll probably have a can today because she was so excited to get me something I liked and I would feel bad.

70 laps this morning. I got out of the pool sooner than I wanted to and STILL missed my bus. Then I discovered that when Jason reset the clock last night, he set it 3 minutes slow. 3 minutes are KEY when you live 50 feet away from the bus stop and time things precisely to minimize the time standing out in the cold.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Treats or Treats!

The other night I noticed Fun Size Butterfingers on sale at the grocery store and spent the next day thinking about how much I wanted a Butterfinger. Last night I bought a pack of little ones, along with a couple of other things, and I came to the conclusion that I do want to enjoy the treats of the season, from now until Christmas. You know, within moderation.

I made pumpkin bread last night and had some for breakfast, along with eggs for the shot of protein, after I swam 70 laps. Because I have also come to the conclusion that in order to enjoy treats and not gain 10 pounds like I did last holiday season, I need to work out as nearly close to every day as I can, which I most definitely did not do last holiday season.

I had a full-on argument with myself this morning, knowing that if I just got out of bed, I would rock the swimming. The first step every single morning of pulling myself out of bed when it's warm and cozy and I know it's (literally) freezing outside is so, SO hard. But once I'm up I'm fine. And truthfully I felt kind of awesomely hardcore walking home in temperatures cold enough to see my breath, in my warm-up pants and a fleece, with my wet hair tucked under a ski cap.

Swimming laps in the winter is great because you get a lane to yourself most of the time. And you also build up a camaraderie with the other people who are there, braving the cold to get in their laps.

So I'm not looking to lose any weight in the next 2 months, I just want to maintain. I can get back on with the weight loss after the Hallowthanksgivmas bacchanalia is over. Because this is my favorite time of year, and it's partly because of the yummy foods, and I want to enjoy them.

I swam on Tuesday morning and this morning and I'm going to go tomorrow morning. Next week I'm going to go every day that I can. And enjoy the Butterfinger leftovers.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hello There

I've put on a couple of pounds since my no working out workout plan began several weeks ago. Not that it's an actual plan, just a result of the mornings being darker and me being lazier.

I'm trying to be optimistic by thinking that I still weigh less than this time last year, which means I have taken off all last year's holiday weight gain (like 10 pounds) plus some.

I'm trying not to think things like, "Gee, if I had keep up with my super awesome eating and exercising diligence I would probably weigh at least 7 pounds less than I do instead of creeping back up." Trying to keep those thoughts at bay.

The good news is, we're going to Maine for 4 days, during which I will be hiking up peaks. Well, not really peaks so much. But I will start out at a lower place than I end up and that counts for something.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's A Conspiracy

This morning I had to drop my car off for a repair at 7:30 AM. Thus, no gym.

Tomorrow morning I have to catch the 7:12 AM train up to Boston for a meeting. Again, no gym.

So even if I COULD drag myself out of bed, I still couldn't go. Yes, that's it. It's all my schedule's fault.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Exercise Drought

Sigh. I seem to have hit a road bump again. I went to sleep by 11:30 last night and had every intention to get up and go swimming. Actually, I woke up at 3:30 and was awake for about a half hour for some reason. Then I couldn't wake up when my alarm went off 2 hours later.

I just can't seem to get motivated. I know if I want to keep losing weight and keep off the weight I've lost, I have to exercise. I also know that if I want to allow myself to have treats, I have to exercise to balance it all out. A treat here and there is fine when I'm swimming 80 laps 4 days a week. A treat here and there when I'm sleeping an hour later and sitting on my bum in the evenings is going to result in a spreading bum.

I'm just not feeling it. I have a vague idea of ellipticaling tonight, which may or may not happen. The problem is, I make plans to work out and then I let myself off the hook for dumb reasons. I know as soon as I get out of bed and over to the pool, I'll be fine. It's just that giant leap from warm comfy bed to putting on my swimsuit and going.

How do I stop myself from letting myself off the hook?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Now that the birthday nonsense is over...

I think I can safely say that I have hit my Death By Chocolate cake limit. Jason, however, has not. We still have over a quarter of this massive cake left and he wouldn't let me throw it away last night because he loves it so.

I fully planned to go swimming this morning. I had my gym bag all ready to go and everything. Then I was up until 12:30. Even though I slept until 7 and snoozed until 7:30, I'm yawning right this very second.

Tonight I am going to bed earlier. Possibly.

It's hard when there's company in the house. Company that enjoys entertaining my husband by playing Rock Band with him at very loud volumes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hiatus - For the Moment

Birthday Weekend Extravaganza!!!!

That is all.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Switchin' It Up

So we've had two mornings of frosty chilly weather and that has equaled two mornings of not being able to get myself out of bed because I'm tucked in between a husband and a cat all under a down comforter. The 5:45 AM alarm stands no chance.

Even though the pool is not open for lap swimming when it would be most convenient for me to go in the evenings, I think if there's any chance that workouts will continue over the next few months, I will have to start working out in the evening. Tonight is my first night and I'm going to do the elliptical. There are a couple of nights I might be able to work in a swim, but generally the schedule doesn't really work. I figure I can still swim on Saturdays.

I used to swim at the local pool in the evenings, even when it was so cold that I had long johns, warm-up pants, a long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt AND giant puffy coat on over my swimsuit, topped off with a warm moleskin ski cap on my head with all my hair tucked inside. I looked ridiculous, but the Boston weather was not getting through to my damp skin after a swim. I loved coming home from work, eating a quick snack and taking off for the pool. As a bonus, I got to sleep in for a whole additional hour every morning. Totally worth it.

I emailed Jason to ask if he wants to work out with me tonight. My gym will let him come a couple of times as my guest. I don't think he's signed up for the Brown gym yet this semester and I would love for us to get on a family plan. I mean, it's right across the street from our apartment, for heaven's sake. I have 2 motivations for signing him up: 1) He needs it. He's constantly whining about how his shorts and pants and shirts are so much tighter than they used to be. Well, there IS something that you can do about that, you know? But his laziness wins out every time. I honestly don't mind that he's getting a belly, but I know he does, and I also know it's not healthy for him. 2) Purely selfish - I want a gym buddy. It's so much easier when you have someone else to go with you.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Last Week

It's always obvious what's going on when the weight loss bloggers stop blogging, isn't it? There's nothing to blog about when you're not doing anything.

Actually, I got sick with some weird stomach bug last week that made me well enough to get to work (barely), but not really up for much else, including swimming. My weight is steady, even though I only swam once all week. This morning I'm still not feeling fabulous, but I'm determined that tomorrow I'll be back in the pool. Which is getting increasingly harder as the weather gets cooler. I may have to switch to the elliptical for the winter. Getting hot and sweaty when it's 20 degrees out may actually be a good thing for getting me going in the morning, especially since heat will be expensive and our heating method this winter will consist of large piles of blankets.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Favorite Jeans Are Too Big

So I guess jeans really do shrink when you wash them. I thought I just imagined that. I went to Lane Bryant on Friday and bought 2 pairs of jeans with a coupon. I'm wearing the smallest size there now which is good, but makes me kind of sad because they're still the only people who really understand the whole hip to waist ratio thing. Where do I buy pants for my itty bitty waist and that round thing in your face* after I lose a few more pounds?

I bought the same exact jeans that I've been wearing and loving for the past few months. 2 pairs actually. But see, I've washed the jeans I already owned probably at least 20 times. I never dry them, but I kind of thought they were getting a little tighter each time I washed them. I'm a big believer in the multiple wearing theory (in that your clothes don't really get dirty when you've only worn them once unless you're doing some manual labor), but jeans have to be washed at some point and I thought they were tighter.

Turns out it wasn't my imagination. Today I put on one of the new pairs and they went on all nice and comfy. However, after sitting in a car for a couple of hours and walking around an apple orchard** for a bit, they have become kind of super baggy, and I'm starting to realize that maybe I only still fit into Lane Bryant jeans after they've been washed a bunch of times. Guess I'll be doing some laundry.

* Thank you, Sir Mix-a-Lot.
**Apple picking! I will be sabotaging my food plan at some point in the next couple of weeks when I make an apple crisp.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Scale Hates Me and the Feeling is Mutual

So I know we're not supposed to weigh ourselves every day, but what if my weekly weigh-in day is my high for the week? I would never know if I was lower at some other point during the week.

However, the frustrations continue. I think I have this all figured out and then something comes along to tell me, yeah, not really.

Wednesday: 178.2
Thursday: 179 (after fulling expecting to be back in 177 territory as I stepped on the scale)
Friday: 179.6 (okay, this is just irritating)

I'm going to chalk it up to my lack of exercise this week. I swam Monday and then nothing until this morning, although, as you'll see from my post yesterday, I fully planned to go yesterday, it just didn't work out. I'm going tomorrow too.

Anyway, scales and weight and the associated nonsense are all on my crap list today.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Guess I Was Sleepy

I hate it when I have real and honest intentions to go swimming and then I do something lame like turn off my alarm in my sleep. I go through stages of doing this and may have to start putting the alarm across the room so I have to actually get out of bed in order to turn it off.

So no swimming today and I'm bummed about that.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Little Treat

Jason came home after over two weeks away yesterday. Yay!

We went to Texas Roadhouse to celebrate. Yay!

I ate two of their luscious rolls (along with a sirloin, salad and beans). Yay!

This morning I weighed 178.8. Yay! I'm almost to my July low of 177.8.

I love that when I eat healthy most of the time, I can give myself a little splurge now and again and it's basically no harm, no foul.

I also swam 80 laps yesterday morning and ate protein heavy before we went in order to prime myself for the treat I knew was coming.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It Hurts to Sneeze

I swam 110 laps today in an hour. Even though it doesn't seem like my lap times are getting faster, I must be waiting for shorter spans of time in between sets or something because I used to only do 100 laps in an hour.

On my first flipturn I realized my abs were SORE from the Pilates yesterday. After a few laps, I stretched out the muscles and wasn't hurting anymore. But when I got home and sat still for a little bit, I was very aware of my abs and how sore they could be. I still am as I sit here trying not to breathe in too deeply. And, as I discovered while doing some cleaning today, it really does hurt to sneeze. Good excuse not to do anything crazy like cleaning, which would only stir up more dust.

Steady at 179.6.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Babying the Muscles

I'm trying to ease back into the swimming thing to avoid hurting my shoulder or arm or any other body part like I did last time I started up swimming. So I swam Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and then I'm going tomorrow morning.

This morning I did Pilates and I can already tell I am going to be sore tomorrow. I'm kind of miffed because the whole point of the DVD I bought is that you can customize your workout by picking from 4 10-minute workouts plus a 10-minute stretching session. However, my DVD has stopped working. I go and select a series of workouts then hit Play and this screen pops up that says, Congratulations, you have completed your workout. Um, no actually, I haven't. I can still play each session individually, it's just a bummer that one of the fun features of this particular DVD doesn't work anymore.

I own a couple of different Pilates DVD's, but I find I get kind of bored with them. After you've heard the instructor's banter 10 or 11 times, it gets kind of old. I used to Tivo Denise Austin workouts on Lifetime (because I'm 62 apparently) and that worked well because every day there was a new workout. Maybe I would do better in a Pilates class, although I'm sort of scared that a real life instructor would tell me how I'm doing everything wrong.

Holding steady at 179.6 today.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I just read in Women's Health, via Elastic Waist, about produce delivery services. There is one company located in New York that delivers to Rhode Island and I'm considering it. We can get bi-weekly organic produce deliveries for either $50 or $60, depending on what size box of produce we choose. Plus it comes with recipes on how to cook the stuff you get. After poking around a little online I found one horrible review and one glowing review of the company, so it's kind of hard to gauge from that if the company is good or bad.

I'm kind of curious as to how exactly it works during the winter. Do we just get potato after potato with some beets and turnips thrown in, or do they import other fresh fruits and vegetables? I may call the 800 number to find out.

The scale is still creeping down. This morning: 179.6. Back in the 170's! That means I'm down 1.4 pounds since Sunday, and a total of 6 pounds since the Sunday before. This high protein, lower carb + exercise thing is working well. And I even had a couple of handfuls of kettle corn last night. It's probably a bad thing that I found out I can actually make kettle corn in my Whirley Pop. I love my Whirley Pop AND kettle corn.

84 laps this morning, which I realize is an odd number. I swam 80 laps, planning for them to take 45 minutes, but when I finished number 80, I still had a couple of minutes left. So I swam another 4.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I'm going to start posting my weight again, now that I'm getting back in the saddle and the game and any other metaphor you can think of to equal I'm exercising and eating well again.

180.4. The exact same as yesterday. And only .5 away from being back in the elusive 170's. Just so we're all on the same page, my goal is 155-160. I used to say a solid 160, but now I think some wiggle room would be nice, so I'm shooting for 155. Once I get back into the 170's, I will be dealing with some firmly entrenched flab. I'm trying to be realistic with my goals.

80 laps this morning, so go me. I was doing this alternating pull/kick series, but got bored with the kicking so I started alternating pulling* and swimming. Maybe if I had music it would keep me entertained while I'm kicking. I lust after the SwiMP3.

I've been working on alternate-side breathing. I always breathe on my right, but over the past few years my right shoulder has become a little touchy, and breathing on the right too much seems to aggravate it. When my shoulder is really sore, the pain eventually crawls up my neck and into my head and I wind up with a migraine. No good. So I'm working on breathing on the left.

Speaking of breathing, a few months ago one of the lifeguards critiqued my breathing. I tend to breathe in a 4-2-2 pattern when I'm doing freestyle and he asked me if I realized that. I said I did, and he said I might want to try alternating sides (which I do, he just missed that part of my workout) or not breathe so often. Well, when I was watching the Olympics I noted that many Olympic swimmers breathe every 2 strokes. I'm just sayin'.

* For those not up on their swim lingo, pulling is when you stick a pair of pull buoys between your legs to keep your legs floating and just focus on your stroke. I also use paddles for more resistance.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I think you all saw this coming. The South Beach Diet did not make it past day 5 1/2. I had a work function on Friday night and there were this lovely little petit fours and mini cheesecakes on the table. I had a mocha petit four and a teeny cheesecake round about a third the size of my palm with a dark chocolate brownie crust. I have no regrets.

Saturday I went to a clambake. While seafood is allowed and encouraged on SBD, the corn on the cob and the white chocolate chip cookie I had are forbidden. Immediately afterwards I went to a bridal shower where a friend had made her famous oatmeal, chocolate, everything good in all the world cookies. Frankly, though, I can never eat very many of those. They are very filling what with the oats and all. Saturday night I thought I was going to go out to dinner with a friend, but she wound up getting fed at the place she was at before she came over, so I ran out and got sesame tofu with a giant pile of broccoli for dinner.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up yesterday morning and found that not only had I lost those couple of pounds I had gained back by Friday morning, but I was even less than I had been earlier in the week. Plus, every single measurement went down at least a quarter of an inch (1 whole inch off the waist).

Yesterday I ate very well, and made an eggplant soup for dinner to bring for lunches this week (in fact, I'm eating some right now on my lunch break). Note: if you simmer eggplant in broth for too long, it dissolves. I didn't know that and was like, Where did the eggplant go? The only sign of the existence of the entire eggplant that I cubed and dumped in are the seeds bobbing around in the broth.

Honestly, I think the key for me is to be reasonable. 1 cookie occasionally at a party is ok. 17 are not. Ice cream once every couple of weeks is ok. Ice cream every day is not.* Also, my body seems to react really, really well to the lower carb and high protein thing. Yesterday I had some whole wheat toast with my soup and was down another half pound this morning, so obviously the carbs didn't make me explode or anything. But yesterday I ate almost 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight and kept my carbs well under 100 grams.** And for those of you who may be concerned that I'm eating the equivalent of 3 chickens every day, a big portion of my protein yesterday came from beans.

It's just a matter of getting back into a healthy groove. I think SBD did help me do that by reminding me that I do like vegetables and really making me think when I have the munchies about what would be a good thing for me to eat at that moment (i.e., not a peppermint patty).

Also, I woke up this morning and dragged my bum to the pool. Finally! I only swam 60 laps, but at least I was there. I think the swimming crowd is starting to thin out a bit as it gets cooler, so I had the lane to myself the entire time.

*Although my sister-in-law eats ice cream almost every day and is tiny and that kind of drives me nuts. I would wager I love ice cream just as much as she does, but she unfairly gets to have it as often as she likes. Stupid slow metabolism.

** Yes, I'm still recording my calories and consequently all of that other nutritional information. Because it's fun.

Friday, September 12, 2008

SBD Day 6

Well now the scale is inching up. I'm up a pound since Wednesday so now my loss for the week is 3.2 (which isn't too shabby, of course). That's not supposed to happen in Phase 1. Any thoughts as to why? Too many cheese products?

As a side note, I love me some cheese, but I'm getting kind of tired of the creamy texture.

Maybe I'm not eating enough calories. I haven't been working out much, but my BMR is probably around 1400 or so. It's really hard to find easy and quick calories when you're limited to proteins and vegetables. So sometimes I might feel like having a snack, or know I need a snack to get my calories up, but I just don't feel like putting in the prep work. I really do like cooking, but this week I've been cleaning and moving stuff around the apartment AND have been really busy at work. So my cooking energy is spent.

This weekend I'm going to make one of those vegetable stews that I got the recipe for when I was hunting for Phase 1 recipes last week. That should give me something quick and easy for the week.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

SBD Day 4 - Ow

I think I have selective memory when it comes to Pilates. Every time I start up again I think, Oh this isn't too hard. Then I skip through the day all la la la, I exercised, and feel a little worried that maybe I'm not getting enough out of my Pilates DVDs. Then comes day two. Day two is the day of pain. Today my quadriceps and my triceps are begging for mercy. I am always so amazed that those Pilates movements that don't feel like much do have a heavy impact on my muscles. I was actually going to do more Pilates this morning since I felt so great when I went to bed last night. Yeah, not so much.

Like I said I would, I got a lot of cleaning done last night. I'm having people over tonight so I had to do a quickie clean-up and not really get as down and dirty with the cleaning as I wanted to. I can start that tomorrow night. There are still a few boxes and other bits and pieces left over from my sister-in-law's move out, but I've managed to contain it all in one part of the living room, while the rest of the common areas look okay. Except the kitchen. One of the problems with eating healthy is that there is a never-ending onslaught of dishes and pots and pans. I cleaned the kitchen when I got home last night and then I cooked dinner and just couldn't work up the energy to clean the kitchen AGAIN. We have no dishwasher, so it's a very slow and involved process.

In South Beach Diet news, I'm just chowing down on the protein and veggies. I think my stomach is getting smaller. Or I'm just getting sick of chicken breasts. I brought some chicken in tomato sauce and about a cup and a half of veggies I cooked last night to work for lunch. I ate about 2/3 of the chicken and haven't even heated up the veggies. I'm stuffed.

This morning I was down .4 pounds, so the loss has slowed. 4.2 pounds total.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

SBD Day 3

Down another 2.2 pounds this morning, which makes the total 3.8 in 2 days. Kind of cool just to see the numbers go down, although I'm still a bit higher than I was in July.

I don't know what is up with me and my swimming mental block. This morning I couldn't get to the pool and I place the blame squarely on the cat who was curled up next to me and purring. It has been a long time since he's slept with us because it's been hot, but now that the nights are a little cooler, he's back and it's so cozy. I did get up a little later and do 45 minutes of Pilates. I also brought clothes to change into so I could walk home from work, but we're apparently having a monsoon right now in Rhode Island so I don't know if that will happen. I'm sure by this evening, the rain will have stopped.

I also cleaned like a madwoman last night and I'll be cleaning more tonight. If you plug in "house cleaning" on any of those sites that tell you how many calories you burn, it's always a surprisingly high number. I was totally breaking a sweat so that should count for something.

For breakfast this morning I had 1/2 C. cottage cheese and 2 egg muffins. Egg muffins are eggs, turkey bacon, cheese, zucchini and mushrooms all baked together in muffin cups. I made 12 on Sunday. Then I accidentally left 2 of them on the kitchen counter instead of bringing them to work yesterday and Tiny devoured them while I was gone. In a house of hardwood floors he always seems to make his way to the rug-covered parts before he makes a complete mess. Thanks, Tiny. So helpful.

I just ate my lunch of chicken breasts, homemade tomato sauce, 1/4 C. ricotta, and a sprinkling of parmesan, plus a 1/2 C. of chopped radishes. I always forget how much I like radishes, but their spiciness really appeals to me.

Tonight for dinner I'll probably have salmon and some sort of veggie stir-fry. I'm not really missing the carbs much.

Monday, September 08, 2008

SBD Days 1 & 2

I started Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet yesterday and so far, so good. I went grocery shopping on Saturday and stocked up on lots of veggies and am excited about the prospect of getting to know my kitchen again after a few weeks apart while I dined almost exclusively outside of the home. I have armed myself with a bunch of delectable Phase 1 recipes, mostly from compiled lists at Kalyn's Kitchen.

Last night for dinner I made lemon-dill salmon* and ricotta and herb stuffed mushrooms. If I had realized it was so easy to make stuffed mushrooms, one of my favorite hors d'oeuvres, I would have started making them years ago. The "herbs" in my mushrooms were chives and 3 kinds of basil (we grow a lot of basil in our home). I also started hydrating some garbanzo beans and shelled some edamame in preparation for making chick pea soup and edamame salad later this week.

Today I actually ate some fruit, which is forbidden, but I was at a work breakfast and it would have been very obvious if I had turned up my nose at everything. So I had a few strawberries and a couple chunks of melon, which are lower on the glycemic index, as fruits go. Look at me, talking the lingo.

In addition to the fruit, I ate some cottage cheese for breakfast. For lunch I had a salad of romaine, black beans, chicken, cheese and salsa with a side of steamed broccoli.

I think this is going to go more smoothly than the detox I did before, which did not allow me to eat beans. Beans have the high level of fiber that helps me feel full. On the other detox we just ate protein, fruits and vegetables. No grains, no dairy, no legumes. It was hard for me to stay full for more than 10 minutes at a time and I felt like I was constantly looking for something to eat so my stomach would stop growling.

I am rediscovering my deep and abiding love for ricotta cheese. I forgot how great it is. So sweet and creamy. Yesterday for lunch I ate a leftover chicken breast with leftover homemade tomato sauce and for kicks I threw some ricotta into the mix. Fabulous!

In between yesterday morning and this morning I lost 1.6 pounds. I know this is only because on Saturday I ate sushi and ice cream as a last hurrah for me and the simple carbohydrates. Still, it's encouraging.

One of the things that I know in my mind logically, but always seem to forget when presented with yummy, bad-for-me things is that I honestly feel better when I eat healthy. I look forward to tasty fresh vegetables. I never have mid-afternoon crashes, or crashes at any time of day for that matter.

I have noticed that my senses are more attuned to simple carbohydrates now that they're not allowed. The secretary in my office always has a turkey sandwich with a side of garlic Wheat Thins for lunch. Today when I walked by her desk, I could totally smell the carbs. I don't know how to desribe the smell, and I've been accused of having an overly sensitive nose so going off flour may not affect other people this way, but there was just this alluring scent to everything she was eating.

I was going to go swimming this morning, but I stayed up too late watching TV, which is a lame-o excuse, but it's all I've got. I just signed up for a swimming challenge in one of my SparkPeople groups so now I have points for motivation until I get back into the swing of exercising and actually want to get up and go every morning. Tomorrow morning I will be in the pool, earning my weekly points.

* Basically I saute a salmon fillet, squirt some lemon juice on top while it's cooking, and scatter some fresh dill on it right before it comes out of the pan. Voila!

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Today I discovered that the relatively decent* Mexican place down the street with the giant burritos sells something called the "Belly". The Belly is just the burrito innards.

So I got black beans, carnitas, a touch of sour cream, mild and medium salsas, and a bunch of lettuce. I asked for extra lettuce. Not too bad, although I know it's rolling in sodium. And yes, I am aware carnitas is not the most healthful choice, but it's yummy.

I'm still off my healthy eating and exercising game. I went kayaking on Monday and jumped around in some pretty big waves in the ocean so that's something. My shoulders are still a little tender from the paddling. I planned to not waste all that exertion and actually go swimming this week so that this week would be a productive exercising week, but it hasn't happened. Seriously, why is it so hard to start back up with the exercising even when I know I'm still 20 pounds from my goal and I know how good endorphins feel and I know how awesome it is to be fitting into the smaller sizes and I don't want to gain back the 15 pounds and several inches I've lost this year? I have no logical explanation besides I'm lazy and I like ice cream.

However, Jason leaves Saturday and I am putting my South Beach Diet Phase 1 plan into play. I've already downloaded a bunch of amazing-sounding recipes (good things come from combining vegetables and cheese) and I'll be grocery shopping Saturday afternoon for the SBD P1 start on Sunday.

* Having grown up 45 minutes from the border, I will never be fully satisfied by New England Mexican food.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm Off My Game

There are all these health-related articles out there that tell you it takes a few weeks to build up a healthy habit. For instance, it took a few weeks for me to not feel like I was going to die when I had to peel myself out of bed in the morning to go to the pool and swim 80 to 100 laps. I started to miss the endorphins when I didn't make it to the pool.

What they don't tell you is it takes about a day and a half to totally forget why you ever wanted to do that healthy habit in the first place. I mean, I remember. Of course I remember. I remembered when I tried on two of my favorite dresses this weekend only to relegate them to the give-away pile because they hung on me like very pretty potato sacks. I remembered when I put together my food for the day this morning before I left for work and made an attempt to maximize my protein. But it's been nearly impossible to get to the gym. I blame the Olympics. I did swim twice last week, but that's not nearly enough.

I know that healthy eating without exercise will only get me so far, and frankly, I haven't been eating ALL that healthy. Marginally healthy. Healthy in a way that gives a nod to the things that I know I need to do, but doesn't embrace and love and caress them.

This week the pool is closed for cleaning and so I figured I could alternate days and do some HIIT elliptical 3 days and pilates the other 3 days and be good to go. Could I get out of bed this morning? The answer would be no.

However, I did pack sneakers and some workout clothes and I'm going to walk the couple of miles home from work tonight. So that's something at least. Maybe if Jason and his brother aren't back from Newport yet when I get home, I'll throw in a pilates DVD. Also, we went kayaking on Saturday and my shoulders are sore. Let's hear it for working muscles you forgot about.

Anyway, I bought and read the South Beach Diet book a few weeks ago and feel like the principles in it make a lot of sense. I think I'll try out Phase 1, if only to get the bad carbs out of my body for a couple of weeks and maybe make me not crave them so much. The good thing is, Jason is going out of town for a couple of weeks this month. Even though I'll miss him a lot, it's a perfect time for me to do a two-week food plan. I also plan to purge our home of the simple carbs that he either bought or we inherited from people trying to clean out their pantries and which Jason snapped up because he can't stand to see anything go to waste. I have no problem with tossing stuff in the garbage, I just have to do it while he's not watching or he will fish it out. Sort of like George Costanza.

So come September 7, I will be all about the protein and veggies. One thing I like about SBD versus the detox I have done in the past is that I can eat beans, which I really like and know are a great way to get protein and fiber. One thing I do not like about SBD is the limited amount of fruit. Once I get out of Phase 1 I will probably allow myself more fruit than SBD calls for, because, hi, it's fruit. Fruit is a good thing. AND it's apple-picking season soon. Apples are my favorite, especially right off the tree, and I will be eating apples every day for awhile and loving them.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hiatus Over

Last week I took an unintentional hiatus from the gym. For the first half of the week, I was sick, coughing ostentatiously every time I did something as dramatic as getting up from a seated position and walking into the next room. For the second half of the week (including last night), I was involved with the Olympics. When the games go until 12 or 1, I just can't get out of bed at 6 to go to the gym. Maybe you can, and you're a stronger person than I, but since I'm not a morning person anyway, forcing me to be a morning person on less than 6 hours of sleep is not happening.

However, swimming and gymnastics are over now. While I'm sure we'll have the Olympics on in the background as we putter around the apartment, I'm not really emotionally invested in the track and field events like I am with swimming and gymnastics.

So tonight I will be in bed at a reasonable hour and tomorrow morning I will be swimming.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Trying On

I'm becoming very philosophical about trying on clothes. First of all, I know that most stores will have horrible lighting in the dressing rooms. Second, the mirrors come in all varieties, from super pretty slim me down mirror (Yay, Ann Taylor!) to funhouse wide angle mirror (Target can suck it). Third, I know that I have lost weight and even though I'm not tiny, the fact that my smallest Lane Bryant pants are getting too big and that I can fit into regular size 14's makes me giddy and no matter what else does or does not fit, I know for a fact that my bum is smaller than it used to be and that's all that matters.

I have also learned that sizes aren't the same anywhere. Heck, they're not the same in the same store. I went to the outlets last night and spent some quality time in the dressing rooms of Banana Republic and Ann Taylor Loft. I am the shopgirl's worst nightmare. I walk through the store picking up everything that looks like it might slightly fit me and be flattering, in various sizes and colors, winding up with a 50 pound pile of clothes that I can just barely peek over as I ask for a dressing room. The Banana Republic outlet was so huge that I actually made two rounds.

Then I try everything on. This routine is one reason I hate stores with dressing room limits. I am fully aware that out of this whole pile of clothes, one, maybe two items will fit me well, but I need to try them ALL on to see which ones. Having to redress and walk in and out of the dressing room dropping off 6 items and grabbing 6 more off of my pile is just a major hassle for everyone involved.

Last night after a couple of hours of trying stuff on I wound up with 3 shirts and a sweater. The thing that I find kind of infuriating about the process is how the same size in the same store can be very different depending on fabric, style, whimsy of the person putting the labels on in the factory that day. In most BR shirts I wear a medium. However, not all. Who decides that? Shouldn't there be a standard set of measurements in use so that a medium actually equals a medium no matter what? The website has a size chart, but I am skeptical as to how many items of clothing the chart actually applies to.

So I have determined that sizes are a farce. I'm trying to keep that in mind when I try things on.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I didn't get up to go to the gym at 6:30 this morning because I was up until 1:00 watching the US Men's Gymnastics team win bronze. The Olympics are going to make me all doughy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I Heart the Olympics

Um, yeah, that about sums it up.

Even though they make me feel slow. If I halved my times I would be at Olympic level. No problem.

Friday, August 08, 2008


I'm sick. Head full of gross body fluids kind of sick. My nose is red, my eyes are pink, I'm tired of coughing my feeble little coughs, although I am happy they're not body-racking, lung-shaking kind of coughs because then I would probably have bronchitis instead of just an annoying little cold.

I came home from work early and spent the next hour cleaning the floors of the apartment because we're having people over tonight and tomorrow. Jason is a prince among men in my mind today. I wanted to spend Wednesday and Thursday cleaning, but instead spent Wednesday having lunch and shopping with a friend while I had a vague idea in the back of my mind that I was probably getting sick. Thursday I spent lounging in different spots of the apartment (depending on which window the shinglers weren't standing outside of) with no energy to clean. I did get some grocery shopping done, and then I collapsed on the couch.

Last night when Jason came home from work I looked around the room and said, pitifully, "It's so messy still. I didn't get anything done today! I wanted to get it all clean." He assured me it was no problem and he would clean last night.

And he did. He got the clutter off of most of the surfaces and made things look relatively tidy. I have no idea how late he was up, but I woke up several times during the night to blow my nose and to try to find a comfortable sleeping position and he wasn't in bed yet. The only thing left to be done was the floors, which I just did. And now I'm recuperating. I don't think stirring up dust and cat hair tumbleweeds helped the stuffed nose situation.

So the point of all this whining is my workouts have been knocked off my schedule again. I swam Monday and Wednesday and that's it. I have done a good job of keeping my calories on the low end over the past couple of days so hopefully that will keep me steady until I stop projectile sneezing and can swim again.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


So I was a little freaked out about my weight gain over my 5 days of debauched eating, but apparently it was all just a bunch of smoke and mirrors. According to the scale I've lost 6 pounds in 3 days, which is just not physically possible. I think I was just bloated and had too much sodium in my system. Now I'm back on track weight-wise and will hopefully keep on losing now that I'm eating right and exercising again.

100 laps this morning, but I think I'm getting a cold so I took it a little easy by alternating sets of kicking and pulling. I honestly think that being healthy keeps me from getting sick, but the last couple of weeks of being not so healthy may have allowed some sort of bug to get through my defenses. Seriously, Jason had a BAD cold in June and I didn't make any attempt to stay away from him and I didn't get so much as a sniffle. Exercise and healthy eating is a great immunity builder.

Monday, August 04, 2008


I have indulged in my favorite of the 7 deadly sins over the past 5 days. The Bar was Tuesday and Wednesday and Wednesday night Jason took me to one of our favorite places where I ate seafood mac and cheese and a chocolate pot de creme. Nothing redeeming in any of that, except maybe the seafood, though it was slathered with piles of fontina and mascarpone.

Thursday I got a big thing of Cold Stone ice cream (sweet cream with toasted almonds, Oreos and M&M's) and ate it all. Friday we went to Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island and I ate fried clams and I think two servings of ice cream*. Then we came home and got Chinese food. Saturday we went to the Texas Roadhouse and I ate cheese fries and rolls, among other things. Yesterday Jason and I scrounged through the kitchen and finally settled on potato chips and ice cream for lunch**.

So, yeah.

The problem with having a big thing like the Bar come along is that everyone (including me) keeps encouraging me to have a treat because I've worked so hard. Say no more. I am on top of the treats. It occurred to me yesterday that if I keep saying to myself, I just took the Bar, I deserve a treat, then I will rapidly gain back everything I've lost. I weighed myself yesterday morning and sighed at the unfairness of the universe. It is so hard to lose even a half a pound. Lots of eating strictly and exercising daily and such. Yet it is so easy to gain back that half a pound, plus a few more of that half a pound's friends.

Today I am back on task. Last night I spent about an hour prepping food to take for lunches this week. This morning I swam 80 laps. Tonight I am going to the grocery store and stocking up on fruits and veggies.

I've also been thinking about instituting a one-day-a-month splurge rule. I did that a few years ago and it worked very well. I didn't feel bad about not eating desserts because I knew come splurge day I could eat whatever. Right now I'm very good at saying to myself that I'll just have a treat this once and that will be it for the week. But then another treat opportunity pops up the next day, and the next. A positive side effect of splurge day was that I ate less of the splurge foods each month. In the first month I could eat a whole pint of ice cream, but by the fourth or fifth month it was just too much sweetness and fat and I could maybe get through half a pint. Splurge day works for me.

*In case you haven't noticed, ice cream is my Achilles heel.
** I have informed Jason that we just can't have that stuff in the house anymore. I will eat it because it's there and it's easy. That's why I don't buy it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Jason commented to me yesterday that I am looking really skinny on top. Which means what about the bottom exactly...? He sure does know how to put his foot in his mouth. But after letting him stammer around for a bit during which the words "upper arms" and "solid like tree trunks"* actually left his mouth, I told him I knew what he meant. For one, I have large upper arms. Most of the women in my family who also struggle with their weight have large upper arms. However, now they're still proportionately larger, but more curvy and toned. Rather than just solid columns of flabbiness.

Also, I lose weight on my upper body faster than my lower body. While I still have 20 pounds to lose, I feel like I'm almost done on the upper body and that 20 pounds is just hanging around my bum and thighs. Even my calves are more toned and have gone down about an inch each.

So despite his poor, poor choice of words, Jason was actually complimenting me and once I made my way through the mire of poor word choice, I felt complimented. Honestly, he tells me I'm pretty all the time and how proud he is of my exercising efforts, just sometimes he trips over his own words. I seem to remember hearing something somewhere about smart boys lacking social graces...

One thing I myself noticed yesterday as I was trying to stay cool in our house in a tank top and track shorts is that even though there is still a layer of cellulite on my thighs, when I walk, I can see my muscles clench and release with every step. I can't remember the last time my thighs looked so good and strong.

* As in, that's what they used to look like.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I wasn't planning on swimming today, but when I woke up wide awake at 6:45 with pieces of law scrolling through my head, I figured I might as well get up and head to the pool and try to work off some of that stress energy. I wound up swimming for an hour and now I feel a little more calm as I plan out my day of studying.

I can't believe there are only 3 days left until the Bar. I know I don't know everything I need to know, but I also have to be realistic and realize I will never know everything I need to know. And everyone else is in the exact same boat, which is good.

I snuck some spinach into our smoothies this morning. Each smoothie had:
1/2 C. orange juice
1/2 C. unsweetened Almond Breeze
1/2 C. chunk pineapple
6 strawberries
1/4 C. plain yogurt
1 1/2 scoops protein powder
1/2 C. spinach
bunch of ice cubes

I've read about putting veggies into smoothies and thought I would give it a try. Other than turning the smoothies kind of a gross beige color, I couldn't even tell.

Off to study.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Abducted by the Bar

I'm still here, but the Bar has taken over my life. A week from today it will be done. That's kind of scary. I want to be done, but in no way do I really feel prepared. I'm trying to remember if when I took (and passed) the Bar 3 years ago I felt this unsure. I'm pretty sure I did.

My food plan is on the sidelines right now. I'm still eating healthy because that keeps my brain sharp and helps me stay focused. FYI, if you're in Providence, on Thayer Street and looking for quick, healthy fare, I highly recommend East Side Pockets. I've been lunching on the combo salad with chicken and falafel for the past few days. With that I get a big pile of lettuce, a boneless chicken breast, a couple falafel patties, tzatziki, hummus, tabbouli, hot peppers and feta. I love how Greek/Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food is so yummy yet still relatively good for you.

However, all my little measurements of so many veggies and fruits, so much fiber, so much blah blah blah has gone by the wayside as I just try to get food in me and make sure it's relatively decent. I bought a pile of berries on sale last week so I have a berry protein smoothie every morning. Then the salad lunch. Then I've sort of been alternating between store-bought sushi and already cooked baked chicken (with the skin peeled off) for dinners. Whole Foods multi-grain sushi is pretty awesome.

I'm also still swimming because that helps to keep the stress demons slightly at bay. I slept in this morning, but I went Monday and Tuesday and I'll go tomorrow, Friday and Saturday.

After the 2nd day of the Bar I plan to splurge on some ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery. I know, I know. I'm not supposed to use food as a reward. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE ice cream. And I haven't had real full-fat ice cream in a long time. I'm also getting a massage the next day, which will be heavenly.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lap Swimmer Anger

I swam for an hour today, which was great. Yesterday my arm was sore for part of the day, and then felt better that night. When I woke up this morning it was a bit sore, so I stretched and stretched and then made sure my pre-swim rinse-off shower* was warm and stretched the muscle under the water. Then I kicked through most of my workout. Sometimes I forget how hard kicking can be when you do 20 laps of kicking in a row. My legs were SORE afterward.

When I got home, I stretched a little more and iced it and so far, so good.

So, not to be all pool ragey, but the guy who got in the lane with me today was kind of annoying. Most of the people who swim at the Y are actually pretty decent swimmers and I generally don't mind sharing a lane at all because everyone knows what they are doing and there are no flailing arms and/or legs and excessive wake or splashing.** All in all it's pretty pleasant.

Today there was one person in every lane and I had put myself in the "Fast" lane because I was faster than everyone else there when I got in and the lane was open. A guy came out and headed straight for the "Fast" lane and got in with me. OK, no problem. Then he started swimming and, I'm just going to say it, he was a lot slower than me. Which is no problem either, I just passed him when I was swimming.

The annoying bit came when I was doing one of my long sets of kicking and every time I tried to pass him, he sped up. He sped up such that he was keeping pace with me and every time his hands hit the water, it would splash in my face. I don't know if it hurt his pride to get lapped by the girl who was just kicking or what, but it was annoying and I would wind up kicking half a lap with my head turned to the side. The good thing is, he couldn't keep up the pace and would eventually have to slow back down so I could pass him. But that whole speeding up thing happened at least four times while we were sharing a lane.


* Actually the Rhode Island Department of Health requires a WARM, NUDE, SOAP shower, as the signs in the locker room proclaim, but considering the majority of the people there don't even rinse off before they get in the pool, I figure my warm little rinse is plenty.

** Except for this one guy who must have heard at some point in his swimming past that when you do a flipturn you're supposed to make sure your calves slap the water AS HARD AS POSSIBLE so that you splash the people two lanes over. Yeah, someone needs to tell him that's really not necessary.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Getting into the major stressful bar studying is making me crave all sorts of crap food. For instance, another blog I read just posted an ode to nachos - with pictures - and now I'm mulling over whether I should call Jason and ask him to stop by Gordito Burrito* on his way home from work.

* I love that name.


My right arm is out of commission again. I don't think this is necessarily swimming related, apparently I just have a gimpy arm.

This morning I woke up and stretched and my arm was kind of stiff and felt like it needed to pop. So I stretched and such until I heard a pop and it felt better. About a half hour later the muscle started aching and now it hurts to do things as intense as raising my arm an inch or trying to hold anything or petting the cat.

Last time it took WEEKS for my arm to feel better. I am so annoyed. I need to be swimming while I'm studying so that the stress doesn't eat me alive, but my arm has other ideas.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Like Lightning

I really am getting faster, it's not all in my head. This morning I did 32 laps (800 yards) in 13-13:30 minutes.

Yeah, I know, that's kind of a wide range. But I actually got stopped at lap 26. They made me change lanes to make room for the water aerobics class only 6 laps before I was done. The aerobics class is supposed to start at 8:30, but the start time is pretty arbitrary and usually starts anywhere from 8:45-9. This morning, they started on time, cutting my 800 short by a couple minutes.

For any of you watching the Olympic trials, I freely admit that my pace is a snail's pace compared to them, but I never claimed to be anything like an Olympic swimmer. I am a casual swimmer who is happy when I shave a few seconds off my times.

I used to swim an 800 almost every workout and time myself so it's a good gauge for where I am, speed-wise. To give you an idea, a couple of months ago I was swimming 800's in 14:00 or so. Today I was supposed to swim 3 500's (20 laps). I decided to time my first one and then I figured out how fast the 800 would have been if I kept up that pace and was kind of shocked, so I decided to swim an 800 just to see. When I got stopped with 6 laps to go, I felt fine and definitely could have kept up that pace for 6 more laps. The problem is, I was kind of flustered and didn't get a good look at the clock until a little bit after I stopped. I'm pretty sure I did 26 laps somewhere between 10:30 and 11 minutes

So when I got home I had my math geek husband figure out the seconds per lap and then tacked on a couple more minutes to account for the 6 laps I missed.

Friday I'm going to swim a 800 for real and get a real time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Swimming Hard

First, hi to every who got here from the Livin' La Vida Low-Carb blog. My site meter stats were a lot higher today and now I know why.

After a slacker week last week, I'm back in the pool. My swimplan work outs have kind of been kicking my butt the last couple of days. It's not so much that the sets are difficult, it's that there are a lot of them in a row so by the end I am worn out.

Yesterday after warming up I did:
4 50's breathing on the wrong side (for me, the left side); R :15
4 50's breathing bilaterally (alternating sides) R :15
6 50's breathing normal, but progressive 1-3 and 4-6 (so 1 is slow, 2 is medium, 3 is sprint) R :20
Do above twice, cool down, pull tired body out of pool

My sprints came in at about 41 seconds, which is okay. I want to get down in the 30's.

Then today after warming up:
4 100's on 2:00
4 100's on 1:55
8 50's on 1:00

Like I said, it's not that the sets are hard, just that they just keep going with no reprieve.

This week is off to a good start with workouts both today and yesterday. However, I ate a Frosty today. See, today was my last day of my Bar prep class and there's a Wendy's close to the class. I don't know if there are any Wendy's around where I live at all. For a month and a half of classes I planned to treat myself to a Frosty on the last day of class. So I did. And now I can go another year, or however long it's been since I had one, before I have another one.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Am Not A Morning Person

Lest you think I'm perfect little workout girl, I haven't been to the gym in 2 days. And I realized this morning AFTER I slept for another hour instead of going swimming that I probably won't be able to go tomorrow. We're going on a dinner cruise up in Boston tonight and won't get home until probably close to 1 so early morning swimming is out. The next lap swim time on Saturdays is at noon, but we're going to our friend's son's first birthday party. So 3 days in a row, no swimming.

I've been so tired the past couple mornings that I just couldn't get up. I tried to talk myself into going this morning, I really did. I reminded myself how I usually have the greatest workouts on the days when I truly and honestly don't feel like going. But I was having none of it and I reset my alarm ahead an hour and curled up next to Jason.

I swam twice this week and I guess I'll have to make do with that. Today is my last day of work until after the Bar and my last Bar class is Tuesday so I will be able to create a regimented schedule for myself, including working out every morning. I know as the Bar gets closer, I'm going to need that stress outlet.

Also on the agenda for alleviating stress: studying at the beach. A lady I work with told me about this great secluded beach just south of us where the parking is free. Perfect for studying!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I'm having a hard time throwing away my old swimsuit. Granted, it's currently in a heap on the floor, so it's not like I'm taking great care of it, I just haven't wanted to throw it away quite yet.

I actually bought the suit about 7 years ago. I ordered it online because I thought the pattern was cute and I wanted to start swimming again and needed a new suit. I ordered the size I wore when I finished college the year before. However, since then I had put on some weight and the suit didn't fit. Specifically, there wasn't enough fabric to cover my rapidly expanding bum. And the last thing you want when you're swimming is plumber's butt.

I kept it anyway, thinking since I was going to start swimming, I would shed that weight no problem. Instead I gained about 30 more pounds and have spent the last few years trying to get rid of all of that. It wasn't until earlier this year that I thought maybe the suit would actually fit. It did.

So I wore it and I wore it out. When you swim every day, or close to every day, the average Speedo only last a few months. Then the elastic in the fabric starts deteriorating, creating massive spots where the fabric is completely transparent that gradually expand until you might as well be naked. Not good in a public pool.

Last month I noticed a creeping see-through spot on my chest and one on my bum. So I ordered a new suit*. I've been wearing the new suit for a couple of weeks now, but I still have the old suit. I feel like I should frame it or something. I've packed and repacked that suit for many moves and kept it tucked away in the back of a dresser drawer, saving it for that day when it would finally fit. Maybe I should cut out a piece of fabric with the worn out Speedo logo and keep it tucked away to remind myself of what I have accomplished so far.

90 laps this morning.
Weight: 177.8

* This time I ordered one made of "Endurance" fabric for a few bucks more that's supposed to last longer. It seems sturdier, so hopefully it will.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


So I've never actually had a hangover, but I have a feeling that the way I feel today is a pretty good approximation. Yesterday there was no redeeming value to the food I consumed. Happy 4th of July!

Basically, I think my downfall was too many simple carbohydrates. Lots of sugar and white flour combined with zero fruits and vegetables - unless you count the piece of lettuce on my hamburger, which I don't. I woke up this morning with a headache and I felt completely wiped out.

I still made it to the pool and got in 100 laps, but they were kind of a lazy 100 as I willed my head not to fall off of my neck and sink to the bottom of the pool like it wanted to do. I have managed to do 4 Barbri Multistate practice sets (and am actually doing well enough to pass the Bar if they asked me those particular questions. Hooray!) But my head still hurts and I'm in a complete fog.

Jason is out with his sister running errands. I'm taking advantage of the down time by popping a couple Excedrin and laying down in my comfy bed, watching TV shows on my computer. When they get back we'll be going out to dinner tonight wherein I will be eating lean protein, fruits and vegetables and severely limiting the bread basket.

We played on our friends' Wii Fit again last night and now I really want one. So expensive, though! My thighs were actually sore this morning from the hula hooping. It's really a fun time and I think that if we had one, it would be a good way to get Jason up off the couch and active when we're home in the evenings. I won't be stopping my regular work outs, obviously, but I think the Wii Fit would be a good supplement for me.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


So while it's good that I'm getting faster, it also means I have to swim more laps to get in as much time as I want. For instance, today I planned to swim for an hour, which usually equals 100 laps. Well, I finished 100 laps and still had 6 minutes left. Huh. So I did 10 more laps for 110 laps in 61 minutes.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Having a fat day.

That is all.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Yesterday was an amazing food day, in that it all tasted really, really good. Not so much for the healthy side, but whatever.

First, we went to brunch. I had an omelet and realized piles of gloppy cheese don't really appeal to me anymore. I ate around the cheese and just ate the eggs and veggies. I ate a lot of canteloupe, which was lovely and sweet, and had a couple helpings of breakfast meats of assorted varieties. The only really "bad" thing I had was a mini corn muffin and a mini key lime square. Not too bad.

Then we went to my friend's wedding in Connecticut wherein I ate many helpings of brie and saga bleu on water crackers. Oh and mini crabcakes. Dinner was delectable roast beef with horseradish cream and skewers of swordfish, scallops and shrimp, along with salad and mixed vegetables and potatoes. It was all so good.

We couldn't stay for cake because we needed to head back, but we took a rest stop at McDonald's and I got a soft serve cone. Love the soft serve cone.

I didn't get to the pool this morning because, oh yeah, it was really hot and muggy at my friend's outdoor wedding. The wedding was lovely, but as I stood there listening to the service, I could feel rivulets of sweat streaming down my back. Then we came home to our non-air conditioned apartment and sweat our way through the night. Heat really saps the energy right out of me and I just couldn't wake up at 6 this morning. Tomorrow, definitely.

So Sunday was kind of a wash and I didn't even bother with recording things on SparkPeople. The good thing about letting myself have an off day now and again, particularly for special occasions, is I just brush it off and wake up the next day and I'm back on track. Other than the OCD numbers and counting fixation that I have*, I think I'm staying pretty mentally healthy with this weight loss thing.

*And really, if I wasn't counting calories or lap strokes, I would just be counting something else.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I'm really interested in monitoring my heart rate at various points in my day and while working out. I need to get one of those groovy Polar heart rate monitors.

At the beginning of January when I restarted my weight loss effort, my resting heart rate was about 65. Last night it was 47. Last week it was 48. A couple of weeks ago it was 53. I love that I can measurably see my heart getting more fit.

Jason asked in response to 47, "At what point do you have to be worried about your heart stopping?"

This morning I was swimming fast sets and at the end, I took my heart rate: 144. One minute later: 102. I read that if your heart rate decreases by 20-30 beats within a minute of finishing a fast workout, you're in pretty good shape. So I'm pleased with that.

And yes, I'm a little OCD about the numbers. Heart rate, calories, lap count, etc. Don't even get me started on how I count strokes while I'm swimming and have certain set patterns that I rotate. I argue that it helps me keep track of how many laps I've swum, but in reality I think the counting helps me zone out a little. Like repeating a mantra when you're meditating.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

High-er Protein, Low-er Carb

So I've added a twist to my food plan. Lately I've been listening to a lot of podcasts as I drive the 45 minutes in between home and my Barbri class every day. Since my focus is on fitness, I've been listening to fitness podcasts like Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy*, Fitness Rocks** and Livin' La Vida Low Carb. Obviously, the low carb podcast is all about just that. The host is on Atkins.

The low carb podcast often has experts on who talk about studies that support the low carb lifestyle. Of course, I realize there's an agenda, but it's interesting to hear what sort of data is out there. Basically, the host and his guests spend a lot of time talking about how we've been fed lies for so many years about how low-fat, high-carb is the healthy way to lose weight.

Add to that the fact that my Calorie Cycling team leader is always posting articles about how important protein is to building muscle and I started thinking about focusing more on where my food was coming from, macronutrient-wise. A lot of the articles suggest 1 g of protein (as a macronutrient, not by weight) per pound of body weight, although I've only managed that on one day so far.

So I'm not doing "low carb", I'm just doing lower carb. My goals are modest right now: get the protein up to my body weight (179 g) and keep the carbs under 200 g per day. Low carb people eat a LOT fewer carbs than that. However, I just can't get behind cutting apples out of my life. I am not that strong.

I've started slowly, but already I'm seeing results. Remember how I've been plateauing forever and then this weekend I broke through to the 170's at 179.6? This morning I was 179 even. Basically every day since I started consciously upping my protein, I've seen a loss the next morning.*** My measurements are going down too, so maybe the protein really is helping to build that lean muscle.

Maximizing proteins and limiting carbs really affects my food choices. I have to consciously figure out when I will be eating carbs and, when I do eat them, I have to make them count, since I'm still trying to get 25 g of fiber and 3 servings of whole grains per day. I also have to make sure there's some protein in almost every meal or snack that I eat to get up to 179 g per day. It's a challenge, but I like the results I'm seeing so far and I'm willing to keep trying.

* I like their enthusiasm, but Dr. Fitness is starting to get on my nerves with his slightly misogynistic comments on the attractiveness of their co-host and the women they have as guests.

** My favorite. A former physician who talks about scientific studies showing the benefits of fitness. I find his own story pretty interesting. He used to run a pain clinic in which exercise played a large part in his patients' recoveries.

*** Speaking of which, I need to break the scale addiction I have lately. I keep telling myself to weigh once a week, but every morning I'm curious as to what's going on and I pull out the scale.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I've Still Got It

I think one of the cute little lifeguards at the pool was flirting with me this morning. Guess I don't look too lumpy in my swimsuit.

Friday, June 20, 2008

170's, Baby!

This morning I stepped on the scale: 179.6

I am in the 170's! I haven't been less than 180 since...I don't really know. It must be at least 10 years. My junior year of college maybe?

I realize that .4 pounds is just a cup of water or so from 180, but the point is I haven't actually seen the number 170-anything for years and years. This is such excellent motivation to keep doing what I'm doing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Favorite Website

Have you all seen Steep and Cheap? It's a site that has revolving outdoorsy products for sale at deep discounts. They sell one product until it runs out and then move on to the next one.

Two warnings:

1) Act quickly! They had a great backpack for about $20 cheaper than anywhere else and I hemmed and hawed and checked with Jason to get his opinion and all of a sudden it was gone! There's a gauge on the page to give you a rough idea of how many are left and I kept hitting refresh and it kept telling me there were a bunch and then one time I hit refresh and the backpack had disappeared to be replaced by an ugly men's jacket. Boo!

2) It's kind of addictive. I find myself popping over every few minutes to refresh the page. Also, when I started watching the site I knew I wanted a heart rate monitor so I was on the lookout for that. Now I want a heart rate monitor and a good hiking day pack. I have a feeling, the more I watch the site, the more I will realize how much stuff I need...er...want.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why Pilates is Awesome

Or whatever it is that my DVD is. It's called a Pilates DVD, but Pilates purists on Amazon have said it's really a combo of Yoga, Pilates and calisthenics. Whatever. I like it.

Saturday I swam 120 laps. It's the first time I've done that in awhile. Guess what? My left shoulder was hurting when I got home. Last time it was my right shoulder, and then let's not forget how I hurt my calf. Getting old sucks. I just can't do the things I could do a few years ago. I stretch religiously before and after workouts now (which I never used to do) and I still get hurt. My body doesn't bounce back as easily anymore.

I'm only 31!

Anyway, Sunday morning I woke up way before I needed to and so I decided to do a half hour of Pilates to start my day. I didn't do the arm exercises because I wanted to give my shoulder a rest, but I did thighs, bum and this 10-minute stretching segment at the end. I LOVE the stretching. It feels so, SO good, especially after a hard workout.

When I got up from the last stretch I realized my shoulder pain was gone. Monday morning I swam 80 laps and had no pain at all. My shoulder is still fine.


Friday, June 13, 2008

With Friends Like These...

You know how there are all those articles about how the people you hang out with influence things like how much you exercise, what you eat, even how much you weigh? If your friends like to work out, they're a good influence on you and you will probably all encourage each other to work out. And vice versa. I am discovering that Jason is a BAD influence on me.

I was so virtuous last week while he was gone. I met most, if not all, of my food goals every day AND worked out every day. Every day. I felt great.

This week has been, shall we say, not so good. I swam Monday morning and Jason got back Monday afternoon. I didn't make it to the gym either Tuesday or Thursday because of staying up late with Jason the night owl who thinks going to bed at 3 is normal and thinks I'm a pansy when my eyes start drooping at 11. OK, I like staying up late too, but I just can't if I'm going to get to the gym by 6:30 the next morning and get through my day.

Then there is the eating. I've already had dinner out 3 times this week, twice at this cheapo pan-Asian place that is so good. I try to get the healthiest things they have, which are summer rolls (rice paper, shrimp and veggies) and sesame tofu (bad sauce, but comes with a big pile of broccoli that is not drowned in sauce at all and that I always eat FIRST and then I often don't finish the tofu). Then last night I picked up Jason from work and we were both so starving* that we just went to East Side Pockets and I got a gyro. The bread they use isn't as bad as usual gyro pita bread, since it's not as thick and fatty, but still. It was so good. And I wanted another one when I finished.

Part of it is Jason, since I'm very capable of resisting take-out when he's not whispering in my ear about how easy and cheap it is. Part of it is my crazy schedule and how darn tired I am. Take yesterday (gyro night). I went to my Bar prep class for 3 1/2 hours, worked for 5 hours and then picked up Jason at around 7, knowing that I still had about 3 hours of studying left to do. I couldn't take the idea of going home and cooking and THEN studying.

So instead of hitting the 170's like I was hoping to do this week, I'm holding steady somewhere between 181 and 182, which is frustrating. I'm so close to crossing into this unknown territory and I just can't seem to do it.

I had a discussion last night with Jason about his habits and about how I need his help if I'm going to keep succeeding. I'm trying to encourage him to be healthier too. My first goal for him was to eat one piece of fresh fruit every day from Wednesday on this week. He missed Wednesday. Last night I forcibly put an apple in his hand. This morning I made him a fruit smoothie, so I know he got some fruit first thing. He tells me next week he's going to start jogging. We'll see. I've heard it before.

The thing is, no matter how much I want him to be healthy, he has to want it. I didn't get back to the gym and modify my eating until I dedicated myself to being healthy, and I know I can't force him to change.

It would just be so much easier for me to stick to my well-laid plans** if he was on board.

* Seriously. I walked up the hill to get to my car and couldn't get a deep breath in because my stomach hurt so bad from hunger it hurt to breathe in. Combination of a low-calorie day and not planning my snacks very well.
** Which last night consisted of salmon and broccoli for dinner with a popcorn snack. Healthy healthy healthy.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


So maybe it's all in my head, but I definitely think my arms are getting more defined. In fact, even though I still have some jiggle in the tricepular area at times, I can actually wave my hand a la the Queen and there is little to no jiggle in the wings. Nice.

80 laps Monday and today. I'm getting faster too. I think the Bar stress is starting to set in. Last time, my times totally rocked a week before the Bar exam.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

All the Right Moves

So I think I am doing some of my Pilates exercises correctly now. Not that I was doing them really incorrectly before, but I have done this particular inner thigh set twice before and didn't really feel it. Yesterday I did 45 minutes of Pilates, and I am really feeling it in my inner thighs today. I love that feeling of knowing that I'm getting it right and if I keep doing it I'll see some progress.

110 laps yesterday in an hour. Usually I can get 100 in an hour, but I think I was moving fast yesterday. In fact, I think I did a 400 (16 laps) in 6:25, but I'm not positive. The timing clock at the pool is at kind of a weird angle so some of the times are hard to read from a couple of the lanes. If I did the 400 at 6:25, that means I would be doing an 800 at 13:50, which is a decrease of 35 seconds from earlier this week. Of course, I won't really know until I do the longer swim, but I like seeing times like that and feeling like I'm getting faster.

Friday, June 06, 2008

What I'm Eating Lately

Last month I did a SparkPeople challenge in my Calorie Cycling team that really got me focused on what I eat every day. We were assigned to teams and we got points for certain foods and activities and at the end of each week the team members' points were added up and one team won. My team won every week. Awesome.

Some of the women on my team impressed me so much. Every day they were dedicated to eating what they needed to eat and exercising (sometimes exercising insane amounts). At the end of the challenge I was finally getting on a good path, food-wise, and the scale reflected that. I broke the plateau I've been at for, well, forever.

This week I have made a big effort to act like I was still in the challenge. In fact I even made little goals to check off every day on my SparkPeople site that make me accountable to myself (Plus, I get a little point every time I check one of the boxes. Yay, points!). Every day this week the scale has inched down a little bit.

So here are my daily food goals:
3 servings of fruit
5 servings of vegetables
3 servings of whole grains
At least 25 grams of fiber
Less than 2300 mg of sodium

My calorie cycle looks like this:
1500, 1800, 1600, 2200, 1500, 2200, 1800
Not necessarily in that order, but attempting to cycle from high one day to low the next day with the high calorie days being the days I work out the most. FYI, 2200 calories is a LOT of food, especially when you're keeping the sodium down and eating more produce. Those are the days I find myself going through the fridge in the evening wondering what to eat next. And yet the scale still goes down. It's kind of amazing.

I've exercised every day this week except Sunday (and I'll be going swimming tomorrow morning). I'm doing HIIT elliptical, swimming and pilates. Oh, and walking about a half hour every day down and up the big hill in between work and home. I actually think I'm already breathing less heavily on my trek up the hill. I might be wrong, but I like the delusion.

So wait. You're saying I have to eat really healthy and work out in order to lose weight? Amazing!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Mental Health

I have just started studying for the Rhode Island Bar Exam, which means my time will be strictly regimented for the next 2 months. Today was the first day of the Bar prep class and I can already tell it's all going to be a teensy bit stressful.

I'm taking the Bar class in the morning, working in the afternoons and supposedly eking out a few hours of studying in the evening. Last time I took the Bar (3 years ago) studying was all I did, so I had a lot more time to procrastinate. This time, I have to hit the ground running.

Of paramount importance is my workout and eating regimen. Before I started studying the first time an attorney friend of mine advised me to exercise every day while I was studying. She said every day she went for a good run and it helped her keep her head clear. Toward the end of July, as the test neared, all of her friends had giant explosive freakouts, but she managed to keep it together.

Three years ago, I kept that advice in mind and swam almost every day. I watched what I ate too because I knew that keeping my body fueled on healthy foods would help my mind concentrate and help me to be able to pack in the piles of information I needed to know by the end of July. As a side effect, I lost about 15 pounds. I also learned the information and even though I was stressed, I didn't have any major meltdowns - except for not being able to get more than 2 hours of sleep the night before the first day of the exam, but I think that's probably pretty normal. As the test got closer, my swimming times got faster and faster, so I know I was really working off a lot of the stress.

This time, I am starting the summer weighing a little less than I did at the end of the summer of 2005. If I lose 15 pounds this summer, I will be about 7 pounds away from my goal weight, which would be amazing. I can't even tell you when the last time I weighed anything near that was. Beginning of college maybe?

Even if I don't lose a bunch of weight, though, I am going to do all I can to be healthy and fit in my body, so that my mind has good energy coming to it. Speaking of which, now that I'm eating well, I notice I don't have those middle of the afternoon slumps anymore. Nice.

This morning I swam 80 laps and then I went to class with a berry smoothie and some whole wheat toast and honey, which I munched on during the 4 hour lecture. I felt completely focused and even found myself remembering some of the information from 2005. So that's encouraging.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


My new Pilates DVD kind of kicks my butt. I got 10 Minute Solutions: Rapid Results Pilates. First of all, the whole format of the DVD is pretty cool. There are 5 10-minute workouts and before you start you can go through and customize which ones you want to do and when you hit Play, they only play the workouts you selected. Pretty nifty.*

I read some of the Amazon reviews and some of the reviewers said the workouts are really more of a combination of pilates, yoga and calisthenics. Whatever works, I say. I have nothing against combining workout forces. All I know is, it works my muscles hard. The instructor is some sort of crazy robot lady who can do all of these moves while talking and smiling. I like her instructions, though, even if I'm jealous of her.

Tiny liked the pilates DVD too
I think he just thinks it's pretty awesome when I get down on the floor with him. He spends my whole workout weaving in and out of my legs, head butting me and, as you can see, flopping down on the mat right next to me. So helpful.

I think my shoulder is finally really on the mend. Last Saturday I only did 80 laps and had to do almost half of that kicking. I planned on doing 100 laps, but I get bored with the kicking. Today I did 100 laps, only 16 of that kicking. I stretched my shoulder out a couple of times during the workout, but it didn't hurt at all while I swam. I'm still not going to be swimming every day for a bit, but I think next week I could manage 2 or 3 times.

* In fact, it looks like the whole 10 Minute Solutions series has that same format. I'm kind of eying the kickboxing DVD.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


The other night we played with some friends on their Wii Fit. I know there has been much controversy surrounding the Wii Fit, but I really enjoyed it. Partly because I rocked the yoga.

I will put it out there that I added 3 inches to my height because I didn't want to be labeled "Obese". I stand by my previous statements that BMI is generally a crock, but I still didn't want the label, especially in front of everyone. I had also just eaten a bunch of sushi and I had to pee. As it was, I was "Overweight" and the Wii gave a distinct roundness to my avatar, which was kind of depressing. You should be able to categorize yourself as "pear" or "apple", with the fat stores distributed accordingly. The only one of all of us who wasn't round was Jason's teeny tiny little sister*.

I was skeptical of how good a workout the Wii Fit could actually give, but after watching one of our friends do 6 sets of push ups that then went straight into side planks, I don't really doubt it anymore. There's a pretty good variety of activities (I want to try Boxing) and it works your muscles and can get your heart pumping.

I am the yoga master. My first time in, wearing jeans, I got the "Yoga Trainer" rating. Apparently all those yoga moves I did with Denise Austin last year and all of my pilates has really improved my balance and my ability to center myself properly while leaning to the side or standing on one leg. One thing I liked about the Wii is that it can sense how you distribute your weight and help you adjust so that you are doing it properly. So when I did Warrior I discovered that I usually rely too much on the front leg and the Wii told me to put more weight on the back leg. I could definitely feel my hips stretching out more after I corrected my balance.

People are all upset because of the labels that the Wii gives the players, especially when kids get on it looking to have fun and are told they are Overweight or Obese. I think the Wii Fit is actually a good way to make fitness fun, although when I was little we did this crazy thing called "going outside". I just think everyone needs to keep some perspective on the limitations of a machine. Kids are growing and may need more body fat than an adult of the same height. Many kids and adults are active already and have more muscle mass, triggering a high BMI that inaccurately measures the content of the weight (my problem with BMI in the first place*).

If kids are going to use the Wii Fit, their parents should be able to help them analyze what the machine is telling them, and how it may not be that big a deal. The problem is, many parents aren't informed about this stuff themselves. So the kids and the parents take to heart the BMI labels, which are guidelines at best, and freak out and blame Nintendo for their poor self-esteem. Everyone is so reactionary.

*I want to get down to 160 pounds and at 5' 6" that definitely puts me in the overweight category of BMI. I have been in the Normal range once in my life after having jaw surgery and eating a liquid diet for more than a month. I looked sickly. Personally, I would rather be strong and fit and healthy and weigh a bit more than the BMI says I should.