Monday, March 31, 2008


Well, something's working. I weighed and measured yesterday and in just one week I've lost 1 pound and 2.75 inches! I'm thrilled about the inches.

I also ellipticaled 4 miles in 40 minutes on Friday morning and again this morning.

All in all, I think things are going well.

The detox is in full swing. Unlike last time, I think I'm eating enough this time. It's really hard to get my calories high, but at least I'm not starving. I brought a giant bag of food with me to work today and laughed at myself when I realized that the huge bag was just for today.

Today I've had:
Pre-Workout - Apple

Breakfast - 2 eggs, 3 egg whites, 3 mushrooms and 1/2 C. diced tomatoes all scrambled together in 1/2 T. olive oil; small cup of all-natural applesauce

Lunch - Salad of 1 C. green leaf lettuce, 1/2 C. spinach, 1/2 C. chopped celery, 1 chopped pear and a dressing I made up of olive oil, oregano, garlic and lime juice; 2 chicken breasts with 1 C. diced tomatoes.

Snack - 2 small cups of all-natural applesauce.

I still have a chopped cucumber, an apple and a pear in my big bag o' food.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


2 detox notes.

Detox Note #1:
As of Friday, I have gone 25 days without a soda. More specifically, that's 25 days without a Diet Coke with Lime. I used to drink 2 cans a day usually, and I would praise my beloved DCL to the skies as the best and my favorite and so much better than regular Diet Coke. I don't know if I've ever gone this long without a diet soda. Other times when I've detoxed, I've just done it for a week or so and then started up again, or made a deal with myself that I wouldn't drink soda during the week, but the weekend was a free for all.

Friday afternoon I decided to give myself a little treat and popped open a can of DCL, poured it over some sparkling ice cubes, and took a sip.

Um, I don't know if you know this, but Diet Coke (with or without lime) is disgusting! So fake tasting. The aftertaste was just foul.

So on the one hand, I'm kind of glad that I think it's gross because now I won't really be tempted and will spare myself that particular cup of chemicals and carcinogens. However, I now no longer have a bubbly, calorie-free treat to give myself every so often. Sigh.

Detox Note #2:
I'm doing a detox with a girl at work. It's the same one I did last year. The whole thing didn't thrill me last year, but I figured it might be good to kickstart my system. I've been on a plateau and I've been feeling all excited about Spring and renewal and doing some sort of body cleansing seemed appropriate. Plus, a friend of mine wanted to do something like this and I figured I've done this particular detox before, might as well do it again.

Basically, there are several categories of foods that you have to get in every day, plus drink lots of water. In reality it's eat all the fruits and vegetables and lean protein you want. You do that for 7 days, and then do a "fast" where you drink a cranberry spice drink* alternating with water for a day, and then you do 3 days of the food plan, with a couple of added things.

The lessons I learned last year will hopefully get me through until the end. The number one lesson is that I need a LOT of food to be full. Fruits, vegetables and lean protein don't have a lot of calories. Tonight for dinner I had fish and a giant pile of cooked veggies. Then a little while later I had some applesauce and half a chicken breast. I have eaten a big pile of food today, but my total calories for the day are still on the low side.

I already know that I will have to cheat tomorrow night. After spending all day today in detox mode, some friends invited us over for dinner tomorrow and I can pretty much guarantee the meal won't be detox-friendly. I don't want Jason to suffer because I happen to be doing this weird thing for the next 11 days, so we're going over. Maybe they'll have a salad I can fill up on.

* Jason LOVES the cranberry spice drink. He tasted it last year and thought it was great and I have promised him that this time I'll make him his very own pitcher.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Did you know that the Au Bon Pain roast beef has less sodium and cholesterol than their "all natural" chicken breast. Roast beef: 300 mg sodium, 55 mg cholesterol. Chicken breast: 440 mg sodium, 70 mg cholesterol. That's my new fun fact for the day, which influenced my decision to get a roast beef sandwich for lunch.

Which I ate with my new favorite lunch side - an entire cucumber chopped and mixed with 1/8 cup feta and 1 tablespoon of 365 (the Whole Foods brand) balsamic vinaigrette. I've been all about the cucumbers lately.

I am also all about calorie cycling again. I did it for a bit last year and while I'm not sure if it helped with the 22 pound loss, I will try most anything to get off this stinkin' plateau. I think one of my problems may be I wasn't eating enough. I went to the calorie cycling site and put in my stats and clicked "7-day calorie cycling". Lo and behold, my minimum should be 1512 calories. Considering I've been eating like my minimum was 1250, I think my body may be just holding on to all of those calories.

Now to the post subject. On Monday I had some Ann Taylor Loft coupons to use so I went to the mall. And bought my first pair of regular-size, regular store (ie, not Lane Bryant) pants in, oh, I don't know, SEVEN YEARS! I've been buying regular skirts for ages, but because of how I'm proportioned I've always had an insanely difficult time finding pants that fit me correctly. Even when I was a size 7. At least being bigger has allowed me to shop at LB where some of their pants are styled for women with the ample hips and the small waist.

I have bought Ann Taylor Loft pants in their highest size once before, but this time was different because it wasn't the biggest size in the store. I guess even though the scale isn't moving, SOMEthing positive is happening and I'm getting a little more toned. Good news.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I Am A Rock Star

I worked out 5 times last week! I'm sure some of you are like, pfft, whatever, I work out every day. But I haven't worked out 5 times in one week in a long time. So I'm pretty pleased with myself.

I also ellipticaled 3.97 miles on Friday morning. SO close to 4. Then on Saturday I was tired, but still managed 3.85. I would love to get up to 4. Considering a couple of weeks ago I was only getting a little less than 3.5 miles in the same amount of time, I think that's good progress as well.

This morning I could NOT get out of bed, so the gym didn't happen. Tomorrow, though. I'll be back tomorrow.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

3.82 Miles, Suckahs!

There are some mornings when I wake up and do NOT want to get out of bed to go to the gym. In fact, I'd like to sleep for a couple more hours and maybe be late for work too. This morning was one of those mornings. But I did what I needed to do and went to the gym.

And had a total kick-a** workout!

I always forget how the days I'm feeling the most tired and the most like I don't want to go to the gym are also the days when I have the best workouts. I go further and do it faster than I have before. What's that about?

I spent most of my ellipticaling time going well above 6 mph, which is not my usual at all. When I started, my muscles felt sore (lingering swimming aches), but I eventually worked those kinks out. I came home and announced to Jason, "3.82 miles!"

He replied, not really awake, "That'sss great Kelly..."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Swam. I Have Swum.

I just ate a whole cucumber! With some feta and balsamic vinaigrette. It was awesome.

I also went swimming this morning. Even though it was hard and my stroke is weak and girly, I managed 50 laps. That was awesome too. I got to work completely flowing with endorphins. What is it about me and swimming?

I'm ready for Spring and refuse to wear dark clothes anymore. In the Fall and Winter I love the deep rich reds and browns and greens of my winter wardrobe. They feel so warm and cozy.

Today I am wearing an aqua sweater over a white shirt because I just couldn't handle any more dark colors. On Easter, even though I will probably be shivering a bit, I'm wearing a cute little dress with a white cardigan. Take that, Winter.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Write to Proctor & Gamble

OK, first, go read this.

Here's what I just sent to P&G (with a little language taken from one of Kate Harding's very helpful commenters):

I was recently alerted to a troubling article on the website ( In this article, the author gives "tips" to young girls about how to avoid becoming obese. I am appalled by the tips in the article and see them as nothing more than a recipe for an eating disorder and other disordered behaviors amongst your audience. I wanted to bring this article and its inherent issues to your attention so you can address it immediately.

While encouraging people to examine the issues affecting their food choices is admirable, it must be noted that the site’s demographic consists of young, impressionable girls who are not emotionally or psychologically prepared to handle such problems without guidance. The site suggests professional help only as an afterthought, and nowhere does it encourage girls to talk to a parent or trusted adult.

Moreover, the tips encourage girls to criticize their growing and changing bodies, to ignore the perfectly natural signals their bodies give them regarding hunger, and to basically regard food and eating as bad.

Here is one “tip” from the article:

1. At the moment you grab for something to eat, tell yourself you can have it if you still want it but you have to wait 30 minutes. The craving may pass, you might get distracted, you might become wise enough in that half hour to find a more life affirming way of getting rid of that creepy stress.

The girls who this site targets are still growing. Ignoring their bodies’ needs could lead to malnutrition, health problems, and possibly an eating disorder. Playing such mind games can go too far for a girl who is insecure about her body and her weight: Well, I waited a half hour, so I can wait an hour. Then 2 hours. Then half a day. And so on.

With the proliferation of websites that glamorize anorexia and bulimia, I would hope that you would use your opportunity to reach out to young girls with better ideals in mind. Instead of jumping on the 9/11 bandwagon and using scare tactics to tell girls that the only reason they want to eat is because of stress, I think this entire article should be removed from your website and replaced by articles teaching girls about how their bodies change as they grow up, and telling them real facts about nutrition and exercise with a focus on a healthy lifestyle, not on losing weight.

If you took a few minutes to read the comments to this article, you would see how it simply perpetuates the negative messages young girls receive every day about how they are not skinny enough or pretty enough. I realize that Proctor & Gamble cannot change every girl’s negative self-perception, and you should not be responsible for that, but you are responsible for your articles that perpetuate the type of negative thinking about food and eating that leads directly to eating disorders.

I hope you will seriously consider the potential ramifications such an article poses for your young demographic and that Tampax and will remove this article and exercise caution and oversight in the future to see that these kinds of harmful messages are not published on your site.

Thank you.

Kellyim, Esq

(Oh yeah, I love throwing in the lawyer thing. Hee.)

I forgot to say something about how I bet there's no comparable article directed at the boys, so feel free to copy my letter and add that in.


I've been working out regularly for a few weeks now, keeping track of what I'm eating, drinking lots of water and I haven't had a diet soda (or any soda) in 2 weeks. I stepped on the scale this morning and I've gained three pounds.

OK, so I'm trying to be positive here and remember a few things. First, I feel more toned. My arms look better and my legs feel stronger. Second, muscle weighs more than fat. In the past when I have started getting healthy I've always experienced weight gain at first, which I chalk up to the whole muscle thing. I'm gaining muscle and the fat hasn't quite started coming off yet, so I gain. I would so fail on The Biggest Loser. I would be the first person voted off.

It's still frustrating, though. It makes it harder to talk myself into going to the gym when I just don't feel like the whole thing is working.

There's also the exercise element. The only time I've seriously lost weight in the past (ie, 20 pounds in 2001/2002, 20 pounds in 2005, and 22 pounds in 2007) is when I've been swimming. Even though I work my butt off on the elliptical, I usually don't lose a lot of weight. The elliptical might take off a pound or two, and it definitely gets me more toned, but generally I maintain my weight. Swimming seems to be the thing that really gets my metabolism going.

Does that make any sense, or am I just making this up? Are there certain exercises that resonate with individuals' bodies more than others?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Feeling Strong

Not only did I leave work a little early to go to the gym last night, but I woke up this morning and went again. The endorphins flooding through me this morning on my drive to work made me really really I did something that involved manual labor. Like construction. Or gymnastics.

Next week I think I'm going to start swimming again and maybe mix things up with alternating swimming and elliptical days. A few years ago, I bought this really cute Speedo on sale, but when it arrived at my house I realized it was a bit small. Specificlaly, the fabric covering the bum was a bit small. But I held onto it because it was cute and on sale and I was going to lose the weight anyway, right? They tell you to never buy clothes that are too small for you, but I actually don't think it's a bad thing to have one or two items that are a little snug for motivation.

This morning I tried on the suit to determine if I needed to order a new one or if that one would do. The bum fits great and actually the entire suit fits me like a glove and looks pretty darn good. We're going to ignore the cellulite on the thighs, because that's just a lost cause, but my workout efforts have gotten rid of all but a half roll of back flab and have shaped up my arms rather nicely. Dare I say, I wasn't horrified by the image in the mirror of myself in a swimsuit. That's progress.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I'm getting antsy to get back in the pool. Spring Fever has taken hold of me and I want warmth and sun and lighter-colored bed linens. Yes, I have seasonal bed linens. Don't mock.

I wanted to get my calves a little smaller, though. As I have lamented before, I have never been able to wear boots, even extended shaft boots, because my calves are perpetually pumped. I've been swimming since I was 6 and consequently have big calf muscles. However, with the elliptical workouts I've been doing for the past couple of months, my calves have magically shrunk. Actually my legs in general have gotten smaller, which is awesome since my legs have always been big and muscular (with a layer of fat on top for the past several years, but I'm not talking about that).

So instead of 18 inch calves that won't budge, I now have almost-17 inch calves. Amazing! It makes me start wondering if the extended shaft boots will fit now.

My thought was that before I started swimming again, I would try to elliptical away another inch or so and get myself definitely fitting into boots. Then when I start swimming, my calves may bulk up some again, but they probably won't get back to 18 inches. Right? Well, it's a theory anyway.

However, I don't know how much longer I can hold out against the siren call of the pool. There's just something in me that loves the water and any hint of warmth after a cold New England winter (warmth like we had last week) makes me want to hop back in the pool.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I H8 Headaches

Didn't get to the gym this morning because of a stupid headache. I still have it, despite a few Excedrin and a Coke Slurpee. Something about the frozen Coke usually helps my headaches. And the associated nausea. Today it's not really helping. I think I waited too long. The headache actually started before I went to sleep last night and I didn't do anything about it until this morning.

It's a slow day at work so I'm contemplating heading home if my boss doesn't have anything for me to do when he gets off the phone. I would rather stick it out, but if I feel like I'm going to keel over and really just want to lay my head down on the cool, cool laminate desk, isn't that a sign?

I have had a theory for some time about falling barometric pressure causing my headaches. My headaches seemed to come hand in hand with storm systems, at least since I started noticing several months ago. Last time I had a headache it was a cloudy yucky day heading up to a storm and the pressure was falling like crazy. However, today is beautiful and sunny and I figured this headache must be something else entirely. I just checked the weather and sure enough, the pressure is falling and we're supposed to get snow tonight. Get me, the human barometer.

Turns out I'm not crazy.

Also, it figures that my headaches/migraines only started in earnest once I moved to Chicago from Arizona. Guess what one of the cures is for people who suffer from weather-related headaches? Move to Arizona.

Well, I don't want to live in Arizona again. I like seasons. I just need to figure out a way to head my headaches off at the pass because honestly they kind of suck.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Cat Ate My Muffin!

I know it's my own fault. Our cat is an eating machine and we have rubbermaids on our kitchen shelves to hold cereal, oatmeal, crackers, rice, basically anything containing carbohydrates. Kitty loves the carbs. I have left food in my purse before, but I make sure that it is covered.

Yesterday I bought a Morning Glory muffin at Whole Foods because they were on sale and figured I would have it for part of my breakfast today. I left it in my purse last night, but covered it with some papers and another bag. This morning I came out of the bedroom and discovered that not only had Tiny found the muffin, but he had eaten about half of the top.

And still he was yelling at me to feed him. The nerve!

I told him that if he was going to eat my muffin, he could have at least done me the courtesy of finishing it and not left 2/3 of it staring at me, making me wonder if I could just eat around the areas he had nibbled.

Sigh. So instead of my yummy Whole Foods muffin I ran out of the apartment, in a hurry as always to catch my bus, and stopped at Starbucks on my way to work from the bus station for a yogurt parfait. I really wish I could find the nutritional information for the granola separate from the yogurt. I know the granola is a big part of the 320 calories and 4 grams of fat and I would have no problem replacing it with a sprinkle from the little stash of All Bran I have in my desk. But the nutritional information is for the whole shebang.

I really need to go grocery shopping.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Day 1 of the Diet Coke Detox

I keep reading more and more about things I already knew: Diet Coke is full of chemicals and not good for you and aspartame may cause cancer or just make you really, really unwell. Plus, my teeth are getting more yellow and I have a feeling my daily Diet Coke may have something to do with that. I've just been in denial about everything.

However, since our supply of Diet Coke is running low, it's the perfect time to stop drinking so much of it. I mean, I only drink 1 or 2 cans a day, but still.

Today I'm not drinking any at all. I was actually supposed to start on Saturday and I didn't have any soda all day. Then we went out for a late dinner after a concert and without thinking, I ordered a Diet Coke. It wasn't until I had the drink in my hands that I realized what I had done. Oh well. So today is Day 1.

Observation #1: I'm getting really sleepy as mid-afternoon creeps up on me. I have a pear, but I'm trying to hold out until 3 PM for the natural sugar high.

Observation #2: I'm less hungry. I don't know if this is a side effect that will stick around, but seriously, I'm just not that hungry today. Usually I need at least 300 calories for breakfast and then I'm hungry again by 11 AM. Today I had 212 calories for breakfast and didn't eat the other thing I brought with me to work. Around 12:30 I figured I should go get some lunch, but I wasn't starving by a long shot. Of course I don't know that it has anything to do with the Diet Coke, but here's hoping.