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.