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.