Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 2: Walk

Despite wanting to impress Leita at the Y with my consistency of 2 whole days, I didn't make it to the gym this morning. Instead, I woke up at 4 AM feeling kind of yucky and couldn't get back to sleep until about 6:30. Fitbit tells me I had 4 hours and 41 minutes of sleep last night. I had to be somewhere after work, but I left a bit early and walked halfway home .

35 minutes = I fulfilled my challenge.

Tomorrow I have the day off work and plan to roll into the gym sometime around 8 AM. If only I didn't have to be at work at a normal hour, I would be so good at this whole working out regularly thing.

I have to say, I am sore from yesterday's elliptical session. My calves, my thighs, my hips. It's a good pain and I actually mean that. It tells me that after taking way too long off, I'm finally getting back into fitness.

Also, I went to the doctor this afternoon and doctor scales are NOT KIND. On the other hand, my blood pressure is 110 over 70.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Muffins!

I made some lowish carb, gluten-free Happy Thanksgiving Muffins* last night to have on hand for breakfasts and snacks for the next several days. They are yummy!

A muffin was a good fill-in for a proper dinner tonight as I dashed in and out after work on my way to a Young Women's activity.

* So named because I made them for the first time on Thanksgiving morning.

30 Day Challenge (Take 2): Day 1

I just got home from the gym. The actual gym. I am so pleased with myself.

Also, a little aghast at how out of shape I am.

Also, excited to have access to HGTV for at least a half hour a day. (We haven't had cable for a few years now. Every so often I miss being able to just channel surf through all my favorite home and self improvement shows.)

I walked in and the same lady was working in the cardio and weights room who was there the last time I went, shortly after we moved. We always used to do the smile and say hi thing when I went before, so today she looked amazed and said, "Hi!" in this really excited way. Then she smirked (in a nice way) and said, "You've been coming in at another time, right?" I replied, "Um, riiight."

We both laughed and officially introduced ourselves to one another. I told her the big problem was our move a few months ago and the fact that I actually have to drive to the gym now instead of just stumbling across the street in a half-awake state.

When I left, she called out, "See you tomorrow, Kelly!" and I thanked her for saying that. It's not exactly the same as having a gym buddy, but now that she knows my name and knows I'm trying to get back into working out regularly, maybe Leita at the Y will help keep me accountable.

So I'm re-upping the 30 Day Challenge. I planned to start with the New Year, but I might as well get an early start and have a few days to enjoy the practically empty gym before it fills up with the well-intentioned resolutioners.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Clean Eating

We just got back yesterday from visiting my parents in the Chicago suburbs for Christmas. Magically, our flight was the first one of the day into Boston that wasn't delayed from the blizzard. I had been annoyed at Air Tran for changing our flight time not once, but twice, in between when we made the reservation and when we actually traveled. Our arrival time got pushed from 7:30 PM to 11 PM and I was worried that we wouldn't be back in time to catch the last train of the day to Providence at midnight.

Turns out, the later flight worked out great. We got in about 20 minutes early, hopped on the shuttle bus to South Station, and made our train down to Providence.

Anyway, as is usual with holidays, we ate a bunch of junk over the past several days. In addition to the pies and ice cream my parents had, some friends gave us a tin of Garrett's caramel corn, and Jason and I discovered Trader Joe's pfeffernusse, little spice cookies which we kept in the car for a driving treat. They're probably my new favorite thing and one of the better things about them is that they're very rich, so I can only eat a couple at a time.

By the time we got home last night I was craving something savory. While we waited for the train, Jason suggested getting a blizzard or an apple pie at the McDonald's in South Station. I requested a small order of fries. I was hungry, but I wanted salt in the worst way.

Next week Jason's brother and his wife and their baby are coming to visit for a few days and I'm sure we'll have treats again. But in between now and then, I am eating clean. Today I have had eggs and salad and nuts and clementines. Tonight I'll be making us chicken and broccoli. Last year in the post-Christmas sugar haze I wanted nothing more than a big pan of roast broccoli, and I feel the same way today.

I'm sure tomorrow the no-sugar and no-caffeine* malaise will hit, but today I feel good.

* Oh, yes, did I mention all the Diet Dr. Pepper I drank?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 22: Lots of Walking

We're just going to ignore that week off, k? Actually last week was pretty crazy and I did a lot. Just not a lot of exercising.

And I will admit that this weekend was about taking some much needed R&R time. In fairness, I am scrambling to get my Christmas knitting done, so I really needed to be still and watch movies for many hours while knitting. Even when I'm relaxing, I'm industrious. I totally think earnest industry should just magically burn calories.

Today has been good activity-wise and I'm already over 11,000 steps. I'm the only one in the office today so I wore jeans and decided to walk the 3 miles to work. Actually, I left a bit later than planned so I thought I would just walk most of the way, then hop on the bus, but my walking location never really matched up with the bus, and rather than stand and wait at the bus stop, I decided to just walk all the way.

At lunchtime, I walked over to the mall to (finally) buy a wedding presents for some friends we're going to see tonight. That's about a 10 minute walk.

So last week was a wash, but this week I have started with a bang.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Calories In/Calories Out - Or Not

Gary Taubes is blogging! Yay!

I finally got around to reading his first post and it's basically what I wrote about this morning. Only less personal anecdote and more logic and junk like that.

Does Not Compute

Through the magic of Fitbit, I now have a couple of weeks of data to review to see how I'm doing. Of course, I'm not doing spectacularly, as mentioned previously, but I just wanted to go on record as saying, I'm not doing THAT badly either.

I still dutifully record my calories most days on SparkPeople, including the cookies and other Christmas treats that I've consumed. I have made an amazing* discovery. You know that whole "calories in/calories out" rubric that the experts like to throw at us? It's just not true.

Since I started recording with my Fitbit, I've averaged a daily caloric burn of 2441 calories. My daily average caloric intake is 1612 calories. I just did a little figuring, and if 3500 calories is a pound, by the magic of calories in/calories out I should have lost 3 pounds in the last 2 weeks. 3.2 pounds., actually.

Instead, I weigh exactly what I did when I got the Fitbit. I'm really becoming a believer in the truth that it's so much more complicated than just calories in/calories out.

Also, I bought a Greek yogurt at Starbuck's this morning and the teeny tiny girl in front of me bought a gingerbread latte and a great big Morning Bun. Unless that's all she's eating today or she's bulimic (which I fully realize are possible), I think that the difference in our sizes (in that I am about 6 inches taller and 120 pounds heavier than her) may be based on more than just calories.

*heavy sarcasm

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Take A Step Back

I suppose this would be more productive (and emotionally healthy, if we're going to be all nit-picky about it).

Fatty McFatFat

OK, so I'm trying to be all positive and upbeat about this whole weight thing. I realize my 30 Day Challenge can't be perfect right now because there is literally too much other stuff going on. I realize that I need to eat better and I generally am, but there is also hot chocolate and Christmas brownies around and I'm only human.

And when I say that, I'm not trying to cover up binging behavior. I've actually never binged. I guess I just generally overeat. Or something. I suppose I overeat the wrong things (hello, carbs). I like food. And it shows.

Then tonight my in-laws took a couple of pictures of us in front of our Christmas tree to take home with them. We thought maybe we could use one to quickly churn out a Christmas card. I uploaded the pictures to my computer and just stared, aghast. Rolls and yuckiness and my face looks not happy.

I just...

I really...

I don't know how I let it get this far.

I feel gross, frankly, and I find myself doing weird machinations with my clothes to try to kid myself into thinking I'm actually hiding something. The pictures show me I am hiding nothing.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Christmas Miracle!

This morning I got into work and completely freaked out when I realized my Fitbit was no longer attached to my waistband. I checked my coat and my bag. I called Jason and he confirmed that it wasn't on my nightstand. I knew I had clipped it on this morning.

I bundled back into my coat and hat and gloves and headed out to retrace my steps. I scoured the ground and nearly did a little happy dance when I saw it lying in the street at the bus station, right next to the crosswalk I had walked through about 30 minutes earlier. Thank goodness it didn't fall off while I was actually on the bus. Thank goodness it didn't get run over by a bus. Thank goodness it looks pretty innocuous and doesn't draw attention to itself like, say, an iPod lying in the street would.

So. Relieved.

This sucker will be attached to my bra from now on.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Day 11: More Walking. And Cleaning

So Day 10 didn't work out like I had hoped. We wound up getting home at about 10:15 since my work party didn't end at 8 like advertised. It was fun and the food was outstanding, however, the only thing I managed to do once we got home was watch Glee and go to bed. Another loss in the 30 Day Challenge.

I'm just going to say, when you have a busy schedule and a busy yet sedentary job, getting in 30 minutes of activity a day can be difficult at times.

Anyway, on to Day 11!

I just got back from a 45 minute walk, even though it's 26 degrees and windy out. Toward the end, I couldn't so much feel my thighs. That'll teach me to not buy enough tights for super cheap at Target. I'm wearing pantyhose and they are just not the same when it comes to wintry winds.

I'm hoping to get out of work a little before 6 and then clean like crazy when I get home. So today will be the day I get over 10,000 steps again. I can feel it.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Days 9 and 10: Cleaning Frenzy

Yesterday was Day 9 and in addition to a 45-minute lunchtime walk (love!), I also woke up at 6:45 AM to do some vacuuming since it was literally the only time I had to do it before we had people come over last night. The walk got me up to about 6,800 steps, but then I came home from work, cleaned some more, then spent the evening on my feet, hosting a church ladies' cookie swap. Cookies for dinner is not very healthy, but logging another 4,000 steps is. I wound up with almost 11,000 steps yesterday. Not too shabby.

Today I had a meeting during my lunch hour, so no walk. Then our office Christmas party is tonight up in Boston. But then we come home and clean clean clean because my in-laws are coming into town tomorrow. It will be the first time my mother-in-law will see the new house. I know we won't be able to get the office tidied (someday!), but the rest of the place can be sparkling. I figure that will be about 2 hours of hard cleaning. I'll be surprised if I don't hit 10,000 steps again today.

OK, back to work. Have to leave early for the party in Boston and there is a lot to do yet.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Day 8: Whoa!

This morning I woke up with a migraine that took a fancy migraine pill and three more hours of sleep to get over. I finally got into work at around 1 PM, which kind of hurts my efforts to hit by billable hours goals for the month. Also, ditching work because I'm overstressed from all of my volunteer activities is so not ok.

So I'm modifying my challenge. For the next couple of weeks, until after the holidays and this most chaotic time of the year, I will give myself credit so long as I don't sit on my bum all day long. I will still shoot for 30 minutes of activity, and will work on C25K and getting outside on my lunchtime walks, but if I don't make it because I've been crazy busy all day with other things, then I get credit for my crazy busy-ness.

After the New Year, I will get more serious about getting to the actual gym and losing this excess poundage I have gained over the last several months, but I think that migraine was a warning that I need to let up a little on my expectations for myself for the time being.

Today, before I came into work, I ran some errands for a church service project. And I do mean "ran". I was practically jogging through Kohl's and Target, snatching things off of racks as I darted by.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Days 6 and 7

Does driving back and forth to Boston and chaperoning a gaggle of teenage girls count as exercising? Fitbit apparently thinks so because despite being in the car and sitting for a big chunk of time, I still managed to log over 10,000 steps and 5 miles on Saturday.

I also did Day 2 of C25K before the whole crazy day started.

I'm sad to say, though, that Day 7 was a fail. Or maybe I just need to start reclassifying what "activity" means. Here was my day - you tell me:

6:20 AM Wake up. Shower, get dressed, chop up an onion and brown some meat to start the Swiss Steak in the crock pot.
7:45 Leave for church.
8-9 Pre-church leadership meeting
9-9:30 Practice Evensong music in a back room of the church. Just me and my iPod.
9:30 Meeting with Jason and the bishop
10-1 Church. (Yes, we have church for 3 hours. As a bonus, from 11:10-12, I taught Sunday School.)
1:10-2:15 Drive to Cambridge.
2:30-3:30 Evensong rehearsal
3:50-5 Evensong service
5-5:45ish Post-Evensong reception, wherein Jason and I sold CDs to raise money for the choir's trip to England. Want to buy one? Only $20 and for a good cause (namely, to help people like us be able to afford to go on tour)
6-7:15 drive back to Providence
7:15-8 start one load of laundry and finish making cookies for the church ladies' Christmas cookie swap on Tuesday night at my house.
8-8:30 eat dinner and watch The Simpsons.
8:30-9:15 start second load of laundry and start cleaning up kitchen. Realize dishwasher is mostly full and start it. Go through Christmas decoration boxes one last time to make sure house is sufficiently festive for Tuesday night church ladies' party and that we can put away the bins tomorrow.
9:15-10:15 watch one X-Files episode and knit my winter hat. It's getting really cold and I need to finish it like yesterday. It's almost done. This is the first thing I've ever knit for myself. Exciting!
10:15-11:30 get ready for bed, respond to emails re: work and Young Womens stuff for church, write this
11:30 (fingers crossed) go to sleep

Anyway, despite not being "active", somehow my day filled up and I'm utterly pooped. Good night.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Calorie Sticker Shock

The other night we headed up to Boston for a choir rehearsal right after work so I stopped by Au Bon Pain to grab a quick dinner to eat in the car. I got a sandwich for Jason and a Turkey Cobb Salad for me.

I don't know if they're doing this everywhere, but ABP has started putting calorie counts on the menu, probably prompted by the fact that so many communities are starting to legally require it. I actually love having the information right in front of me. I know the impetus behind the laws is to legislate health, which I don't think works. I've been to Nathan's on Coney Island and still ate the corn dog and fries even with the calories staring me in the face because I was on Coney Island and I was going to eat a hot dog. And fries. I don't think you're going to convince most people to not eat something they've already decided to eat just because they can see the calories.

However, usually I like eating healthy and I like to be informed about what it is I'm eating. (I would also love to know carbs, fat and protein, but then the menus would be ridiculously cumbersome, so calories will do.)

So, anyway, the ABP Turkey Cobb Salad is listed at 650 calories, which was fine for me, taking into account what I had eaten already that day. Only then I noticed the calories for the dressings. 310 calories for the Blue Cheese Dressing! Which means the salad is really only 340 calories.

Really, ABP? 310 calories for dressing?! That's crazy.

That's assuming, of course, that you have them mix the dressing into the salad. I usually get the dressing on the side anyway because restaurants are so heavy-handed with the dressing that the salad winds up just tasting like crunchy dressing. I had them make my salad, and then I grabbed a packet of the Sesame Ginger dressing, which is 230 calories for the packet, of which I used about a third.

I was just shocked about the 310 calories. That's like 2 Cokes. Seriously, if I'm going to just eat 310 calories willy-nilly, I'd rather have 2 Mexican Cokes*, thanks .

* Made with real sugar, not corn syrup!

Day 5: Walkies!

My plan was to get up this morning and do Day 2 of Week 1 of C25K. Only, as usual, we were busy last night and I didn't get to sleep until late, then I had to catch the early bus to get to work early enough to talk about a bunch of stuff with my boss before he took off at 9:30 for all-day meetings. I'll do Day 2 tomorrow morning when I have the luxury of being all decadent and sleeping in until 8 AM.

I figured I would do another lunch-hour walk, but on the spur of the moment I packed up my backpack with clothes and sneakers, and decided a long walk home after work would be fantastic. Depending on the route I take, the walk can be up to 3 1/2 miles.

Only then at about 11:30, I started getting antsy. Apparently my body has really liked getting out at lunchtime, rather than sitting at my desk. So at 12:45 I set out for a walk and wound up spending 35 minutes winding through some of the old streets just up the hill from my office. Most of the houses have historic plaques on them, and the majority of them were built in the late 1700s and early 1800s. I walked by one lady decorating her flower boxes with greenery and red berries, and we called out a cheerful hello to each other, both filled with the Christmas spirit (well, I'm projecting onto her. But she did seem jolly).

Even if I get in other activity during the day, I think I'm going to make these lunchtime walks a regular thing. I wind up having such a nice time, and come back refreshed for my afternoon work.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Day 4: Lunchtime Walk

I went for another walk today on my lunch hour. It's chilly, but sunny and beautiful outside. I walked up the hill from my office, then up and down Benefit Street, which is my favorite street in town, full of Colonial and early Victorian homes and lined with trees and old-fashioned lamp posts. Not to mention the Athenaeum, on whose steps Edgar Allen Poe's ghost was once spotted, or so the Providence Ghost Tour people told me.

I wound up walking for an entire hour and the pedometer on my Fitbit is suddenly up to around 8200 steps for today. My goal every day is to get over 10,000, so I'm well on my way.

This morning I posted on Facebook that I was walking again today, and that the walks are kind of lame, and maybe next week will be a little less crazy and I can get in something more resembling a workout. An old friend from my swim team days commented that at least I was doing something! She's absolutely right, of course, and the whole point of challenging myself was so that I would be "active", in any sense of the word. Walking is valid activity, and much better than sitting on my bum reading blogs over my lunch hour, which is what I would have done if not for these lunchtime walks.

It's very indicative of my all or nothing mentality. Day 4 and I'm already beating myself up because I'm not being crazy athletic.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Day 3: Hmm...

It's only Day 3 and I'm not exactly sure when I'm going to get in my 30 minutes today. I'm hopeful that it won't have started raining by 12:30 and I can go walking on my lunch break. Yesterday I was basically going from 6 AM to 11 PM. Then this morning I had to drive Jason down to southern Rhode Island to pick up his car from the dealership where it was getting worked on. So in addition to being exhausted, I also didn't really have time to get up and work out. Tonight right after work we're heading up to Boston for a choir rehearsal. Basically, lunch time is the only time I'll have to do anything and if the weather doesn't cooperate (which weather.com tells me it won't), I'm not exactly sure what to do.

I'll check back in later. Fingers crossed for a nice long walk at 12:30.

Maybe the busiest time of the year wasn't the best time to start this challenge, but I know it's what I really need. I can't fail on Day 3!

UPDATE: Got in 35 minutes of brisk walking outside! I got rained on for the last 10 minutes, but that's ok. Back to work!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

30 Day Challenge: Day 2

Done!

I did day 1 of C25K. Again. I figure since I'm doing this 30 day challenge thing, I might as well see if I can get further than Week 1 in Couch to 5K. As I've mentioned before, we live right near this lovely path that is a little more than a 5K round trip. It's nice to get out in the fresh air, even when it's cold. The bonus of working out in the morning in the winter is that it warms me right up.

So I'm thinking about ending my membership at the Y and possibly joining the Gold's Gym down the street. We moved in July and I think I've made it to the Y maybe twice since then. Jason hasn't been at all. Kind of a waste of money. I have plans to go, but every time I think about getting in my car and driving over, I decide I don't want to and hit the path instead. We used to live across the street from the Y and I just walked over. We only live a couple miles away now, but it's a long stretch of road with several lights, past a busy coffee shop and highish traffic area, and is kind of a pain. On the other hand, the Gold's is literally just down the street. I could easily walk there if I make the time.

My main reason for sticking with the Y is that it has a pool. However, I haven't swum laps since probably May. Gold's does not have a pool so if I quit the Y I would be completely shutting down that option for myself. There aren't many gyms in Providence with a pool. But does it make any sense to keep the pool if the distance is preventing me from going at all?

That said, I haven't even checked out the Gold's yet. I've just driven by, and while it looks pretty nice, it may be full of meatheads and not really have an atmosphere I want to work out in. Jason and I are mulling this over.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fitbit

My friend Deborah gave me an awesome birthday present on Thanksgiving: a Fitbit. (Actually, both my and her birthdays were in October, but we haven't seen each other since then.) Deborah got herself a Fitbit awhile ago and I thought it was the coolest thing. It tracks your steps, miles walked/run, calories burned based on your BMR and activity level, and sleep. You wear it on a wristband at night and it tracks your sleep patterns.

Last night was the first night I wore it and it told me what I already knew about my sleep patterns: I sleep like a rock and barely move. Jason's cover-stealing accusations are completely unfounded.

As a bonus, it is teeny. It's so easy to clip on anywhere (like the middle of your bra, for example) and it doesn't show (so long as you're not wearing your hoochie-wear that day, I suppose).

For a numbers junkie like me, this is such a perfect little toy. The information automatically uploads to my computer and I can access the website from anywhere. The website also has a place for you to enter in your food eaten, but I already have a huge self-entered database on SparkPeople and I'm not about to switch now. However, one of the Fitbit gurus on the message boards had a good idea: enter my entire day's nutrition info in at the end of the day as one big food item. That way I can see the calories I'm eating compared with my BMR, plus my steps and activities all in one place. I love the numbers!

30 Day Challenge: Day 1

Today was the first official day of my self-imposed 30 Day Challenge. In case you've forgotten, that's 30 minutes of activity per day for 30 days. I sort of started on Saturday, though I'm not going to count it toward the 30-day total. On Saturday morning, Jason and I went for a walk to explore the big pretty cemetery near our house. You may think that's odd, but New England has lovely garden cemeteries that are so nice to ramble in. It's so interesting to read all of the headstone and think about the people buried there. There were a lot of Civil War veterans in this one. Yesterday, I went for another long morning walk before church.

I was going to get up and go for a walk/run this morning, but getting to bed too late nixed that. Note to self: watching X-Files DVDs is not vital to my mental and physical health. Exercise is.

So I went for a 45-minute walk on my lunch hour, and I'll be walking up the hill to fetch my car from Jason after work so I can run a few errands. His car is in the shop so he has mine.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Proselytizing

This morning my boss came in and told me about a New York Times magazine article he read about controlling epilepsy through a high fat diet. He said the kid in the article eats bacon and cream and meat, which is when our secretary commented that he's going to have such bad heart disease when he gets older. To which I responded, "Actually fat doesn't cause heart disease. Carbs do."

This initiated a conversation between me and my boss about low carb and I told him I started restricting my carbohydrates again as of Saturday. I recommended the Fat Head movie and told him how Jason verified the science was right on. I told him I'm not eating sugar or grains and he said he eats whole grains. To which I responded, whole grains spike insulin just as much as refined grains. It was kind of funny how I just couldn't let our secretary's comment slide like I have when other people have made similar comments. I had to say something. I guess I've become a true believer.

After my boss left my office, I looked up the article he was talking about. The thing that I find sad is how much Sam, the little boy in the article, struggles with the way he eats. I can understand it being difficult at school and at friends' homes, but the author notes that neither Sam's parents nor his twin sister eat the way Sam eats. Of course, they believe Sam's diet is incredibly unhealthy, but given what I've learned about restricting carbohydrates, Sam's diet is actually just an extreme version of a healthy way to eat. I feel bad for Sam, who has to watch while his parents and twin sister indulge in the carbs he knows taste so good. It's too bad the whole family couldn't break their carb habits together.

I'm sure there is a huge difference in Sam's perception of what he eats, compared to the children of low carbers like Tom Naughton of Fat Head or Sarah at Everyday Paleo or all the other low-carb people out there with kids. They are teaching their children that not eating a lot of carbs is a healthy way to eat, and teaching them to enjoy their food, while Sam is being taught that the only reason he's eating this way is because he has a disease. Sam probably perceives this way of eating as a punishment because he's sick, and I'm sure if the epilepsy wanes when he gets older, he'll be eating carbs with the rest of his family.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fitness Challenge: 30 Minutes for 30 Days

I totally just went public with this on Facebook so there's no turning back now!

I'm starting a fitness challenge on Monday, November 29. 30 minutes of activity for 30 days. Activity can be anything - cardio, weights, yoga, pilates, plyometrics, push ups, lunges, cross fit, etc.

I just need to do something to get in gear and make a habit of being active again. I had grand plans to work out both yesterday and today in the mornings, but sleep won. I'm just not motivated right now to get out there and move, even though I know I will love it once I do it. It's convincing myself of that at 6 AM that is providing to be difficult.

I realize this challenge encompasses Christmas, but if nothing else, I can walk loops around my parents' apartment complex for a half hour.

In other news, I'm still doing well on the food front. No sugar and no grains for 4 days now.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sugar Stop

So without making any big fanfare about it, I finally went off sugar (and wheat) this past weekend. I've been hemming and hawing for awhile (as evidenced by the last 20 or so posts on here), but I weighed myself Saturday morning and was absolutely horrified by the number. Just awful.

I knew my clothes were tight, but I didn't really want to admit how far I had let it go. I determined that Saturday morning I was turning over a new leaf, and that began with weighing myself and facing the brutal honesty of the digital scale. I'm really disappointed in myself, actually, and frustrated with the knowledge of all the work I'll need to do to get back to my weight of a few months ago, and then I still have 25 pounds I want to lose.

It's amazing what a number like that can do for my motivation, though. I went to a 3-hour long church function on Saturday, and at the end they brought out giant trays of cookies for all of the participants to munch on. (When they had said they would have refreshments at the end, I was hopeful that maybe there would be a veggie tray or a fruit bowl mixed in with the junk I knew was coming. Nothing healthy as far as the eye could see). I was starving by that point, but I can honestly say, I didn't want a cookie at all. So different from my point of view these last few months.

Jason went shopping Saturday and bought some dark chocolate mints for us to share. He said he knew I was trying to be good, but one wouldn't kill me. I decided to try one and it didn't taste that great, actually. I didn't want any more. I think last week I would have popped them in my mouth anyway, even if they did taste like they had been in the box too long.

What is my problem that is it so easy for me to slip into mindless eating?

Today I am at work with veggies and protein and a bit of fruit. I chopped a lot this weekend, and planned for the coming days. I've also planned our meals and am determined to stop our trend of getting take out several times a week because I didn't plan and we're both too tired to cook when we get home. Must remind myself: the crock pot is my friend.

I know this is a strange time to start, what with Thanksgiving coming up. However, I needed to start eating better, and after the holiday I can just pick up again. I actually found a great recipe for a low-carb pecan crust, and ran some experiments this weekend on pumpkin pie fillings with no sugar. Stevia was a no go - it tasted sweet when I put it in the oven, but came out tasting horrible. Agave nectar was the winner, though I'm not really sure what the current low-carb thoughts are on agave nectar. I'll need to research that a bit. I also substituted coconut milk for the evaporated milk and it added a nice flavor. Right now, the only really high carb things on the Thanksgiving menu are sweet potatoes (which I make with a pecan topping) and stuffing. If I don't overdo those, I think I can keep this Thanksgiving pretty reasonable.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Weaning

Health and me = epic fail

It's just not happening right now for whatever reason. I'm still feeling this extreme lack of motivation. And I have a cold. Bleh.

So anyway, I'm starting the weaning process of my personally addictive foods. Today is Day 1 of no caffeine. Not that I can't have caffeine ever, I've just slipped into the habit lately of having it every day, which I don't like, especially since that caffeine is usually ushered into my body along with many chemicals that will probably result in a third foot on my future baby (hypothetical future baby, that is).

Monday will be Day 1 of no sugar. I have discovered that buying Halloween candy early because I had a coupon and it was already on sale is a bad, BAD idea. Jason and I have both been downing the fun size candy bars like crazy. Especially stupid on my part was making sure to buy 2 bags of my favorite candy bar (Butterfinger).

On Halloween, a friend is coming over and we will be doing some Autumn baking. Then that's it. I'm sending all leftovers home with her, and the sugar detox will begin November 1.

Once I get over this cold, I'm going to get back to more strenuous workouts. I actually walked most of the way home from work the other night (Jason picked me up 10 minutes from home because he was impatient and wanted dinner). Our new house is a little more than 3 miles from work, so it's a good hike, especially since the house is at the top of a big hill in relation to downtown. I felt exhilarated. I need to get back in shape. And I think I've almost talked my friend Rachel in A) joining my Y, and B) going to 6:30 AM strength training classes with me. Because I think I would do much better if I had a buddy who is also angry to be awake so early, but there because we have a gym date.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cycling

Right before we left for Tucson last week, I started doing a little research into carb cycling. After several days of carbs below 50 g, I felt like poo and never got that low carb burst of energy that I've always had before when starting low carb. I also lost no weight.

I joined a carb cycling group on SparkPeople to investigate, and a kind person in that group sent me a whole bunch of information. It sounds like something I want to try. Basically, there are a few days per week of carbs below the 50 g mark, but then there are a few with carbs ranging higher (though never high, per se). Some people have high days at 300 g, but I think my high days will be more along the lines of 150 g max. The goal is to keep your body guessing. I've done calorie cycling before with some success and this is the same general idea, just with more emphasis on grams of carbohydrate versus calories. Since I really do feel a (better)difference when I'm eating lower carb, I think lower, but not necessarily low carb may be best for me.

Of course, in Tucson I ate Mexican food and lots of treats because I was having fun with family, back where I grew up for the first time in over 8 years, with access to old restaurant favorites. Also, it was my birthday. I don't feel bad about it, but I need to get back on the trolley in a big way. I'm tired of feeling persistently bloated and out of shape. Any definition I once had in my arms is completely gone, which is lame.

Anyway, I'll eat healthy this weekend, and then start paying serious attention to my carbs and exercise come Monday. Monday morning strength training class, here I come!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Whatevs

I posted this as my Facebook status 3 hours ago: Anyone else tired of trying to lose weight? Because I am.

So basically, I'm 190. I graduated from college 11 years ago weighing 190. I would LOVE to be 160. At one point in my life I was 235. But I've been hovering around 190 for several years now. I go down a bit here and there, depending on whatever my recent machinations toward weight loss happen to be.

I'm just feeling really frustrated with the lack of movement on low carb. Apparently I blew my low carb "magic bullet" moment and I didn't even know I was blowing it. Sunday morning I went down a pound, this morning I went up a pound.

My reaction: Whatever.

I'm having a hard time finding the motivation to care.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Throwing Up My Hand

This morning, instead of being the exact same weight I've been for the past 2 weeks, I went up 2 pounds. Sigh.

Anyway, I went for a nice long walk this morning on the path near our house. It was very nice and reminded me that I do like to move. Sometimes when I'm sedentary for so long, I forget. Here's to keeping up the exercise!

Friday, October 01, 2010

At A Loss

Unfortunately, when I say "at a loss" it's not the kind of loss I would like. I've been steady on with the low carb since the weekend and literally have not dropped an ounce. In low-carb terms, I've actually been "better" than I ever have before, keeping my carbs super low (for me). My net carbs for this week:

Monday 40 g
Tuesday 25 g
Wednesday 27 g
Thursday 28 g

I haven't been working out, but that's because I've been feeling so awful. I've been exhausted, but haven't been able to get to sleep at night, and when I do sleep, I don't really feel like I'm sleeping. On Monday night I didn't get to sleep until 3 AM, which I thought was due to the Diet Cokes at dinner. Only the same thing happened yesterday and all I drank yesterday was a bunch of water.

Even so, most people doing low carb will tell you that while strength training is great for building muscle and you want to do that, working out isn't strictly necessary on low carb. You lose weight initially at least because your body starts processing the fat in your diet and on your body for energy, rather than relying exclusively on all the carbs in your diet.

This is not like low-carbing in the past. Previously I felt kind of yucky for a couple days, then was infused with energy. Even when I felt bad, I was getting some sort of motivation because the scale dropped a pound or two, or at least a few ounces, every day.

I've read a couple of articles talking about how you really only have 1, maybe 2 shots to get the maximum benefits from starting low carb. After that, your body has adjusted and, for various reasons, won't let you lose weight so fast initially. Is that what's happened to me? Why am I not experiencing the burst of energy I usually feel on low carb? Is it because the weather has been crappy too and my SAD is kicking in?

I know I need to exercise, but when I'm not sleeping it's really hard to pull myself out of bed after the few hours of sleep I do get. I hope tonight my sleep is better and tomorrow morning I can hit the trail for a walk/run.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Back on Track

I've been told not to flagellate myself in this blog with regard to my weekend indiscretions.

But in the interest of honesty, and documenting my path (as sporadic as that may be at times), I ate some dessert on Saturday. I went to a wedding reception and a dessert party. Considering the temptation, I think I actually kept things pretty moderate. . .


Then I ate butternut squash soup, cornbread and pie on Sunday. We had friends over and we had two butternut squashes. The soup was fantastic, actually, as was the cornbread and the pie.


Yesterday morning I dragged into work and dutifully entered everything into SparkPeople. Actually, Saturday wasn't TOO bad. Carbs stayed under 100 g. Sunday I got up to 185 g of carbs, and as soon as I saw that number I realized why I felt tired and cloudy. It's amazing how the carbs impact how I feel. So yesterday and today I'm back on the low-carb track.

However, today I am cloudy and tired, but for a totally different reason. We went to Chili's for 2-for-1 fajitas. FAJITAS ARE NOT LOW CARB!, you say. Well, it is if you just eat the meat and the toppings. I didn't really miss the doughy tortilla, actually. I wish they had lettuce leaves so I could make wraps, but when I asked, they said their lettuce comes pre-shredded. Ooookay.


My downfall came in the 3 Diet Cokes I drank. See, the water in Pawtucket, Rhode Island tastes like dirt. The very first time we went to that Chili's, our friends warned us that we needed to order a drink. They weren't kidding. We thought it was just a clever ploy of Chili's to get us to order a drink, but when we moved to Pawtucket a couple months ago, we discovered that it's the city water that's bad. After not having any caffeine for a couple weeks I was buzzing after dinner. Then I was wide awake until 3:30. Since I had a meeting at 8:30, there was no sleeping in for me.

Next time, since I'm ordering a drink anyway, I'll get club soda.

Recent Thoughts On All the Big Fat Lies

America: A Big, Fat, Stupid Nation

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 4 - The New Day 3

So remember how I was dreading Day 3 because of the carb withdrawal and the achiness and the foggy-headedness, then was pleasantly pleased by how I felt yesterday? Apparently this time, Day 4 is my withdrawal day. I have kind of a general achiness and feel a bit cloudy. I would like a Diet Coke (with lime).

This explains why I felt fine yesterday. It would also explain why I was totally craving something sweet all yesterday afternoon and evening. My body's last ditch effort to get me to cave.

As the scale still hovers around a number I don't really like, I've had a couple of NSVs (non-scale victories) this week. First, I have baked twice this week. That's not the NSV. On Wednesday night I made pumpkin muffins (one of my favorites!) for the group of girls I work with at church. I admit, I dipped my finger in the batter once. As soon as the batter was in the muffin cups, I filled the mixing bowl with water so I wouldn't be tempted to go ahead and lick up the rest of the batter (yes, I know, salmonella blah blah blah. Pumpkin muffin batter is good!). I ate zero finished muffins and gave them all away.

Last night, I made another of my favorite recipes for cornbread because we had the college kids Jason teaches over to our house and one of them requested it. I plugged the recipe into the SparkRecipes calculator just for kicks, and wow, that is some unhealthy cornbread. I ate one corner of one piece and dutifully entered it into my SparkPeople nutrition chart.

The second NSV is, despite my little tastings, my net carbs so far are:
  • Day 1 44
  • Day 2 40
  • Day 3 43
I'm pretty proud of that.

OK, now to get through Day 4. I have a feeling this is going to be a long day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 3

Day 3 of low carb for reals and I actually feel fine. So either the serious withdrawal hasn't kicked in yet, or I wasn't doing that bad with my eating pre-Tuesday. I don't really believe the latter, but I hope it's true.

I think the only major side effect has been feeling tired. "Not setting my alarm correctly in my pre-sleep stupor and turning it off in my sleep when I do" tired. This morning I planned to go for a walk on the path near our house and instead I initially woke up an hour too late to do that, then woke up again 45 minutes later and missed the early bus. Darn it! Maybe that's my withdrawal this time.

Or it could just be the insanely busy schedule I'm keeping this week. All good things, just busy.

In other news, my new favorite things in the world are True Lime and True Orange. I had heard about these products before, but Charlotte at The Great Fitness Experiment* reminded me recently to try them out. I use half a packet in my cup of water that's always on my desk at work and it makes drinking water absolutely delightful. And overall is cheaper than the flavored fizzy water I buy sometimes to spice things up a little. (Woo! I am a wild child! Look at me with my flavored water!)

I like water anyway, but the flavors make me want a soda less come mid-afternoon when water starts to feel a little boring. No one is paying me, but I thought you should know that you can get free samples (which I totally did).

* Warning: Gross picture at top of post. But hilarious content, as always, which counteracts the grossness. Kind of.

Neat-O!

Just a quick thanks to Jimmy Moore for listing my blog in his Low-Carb and Health Blogs for September 2010!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Low Carb

So I'm back on the serious low carbing as of yesterday.

This past weekend we went to a wedding and had an absolutely fantastic time. The only thing is, I felt like kind of a whale next to most of the other girls my age there. Granted, most of them were super skinny to a degree that I will never reach (or want to really), but I haven't been feeling comfortable in my skin (or my clothes) lately anyway, so that just added to it.

Also, I think last week some guy might have called me fat. Maybe I'm being hypersensitive, but you tell me. We were discussing sciencey-type stuff, and the biochemical mechanisms behind fat storage (I was telling him what I've learned about low carb). Then he talked about something he was working on and said how they were studying, "no offense, how lack of sleep may increase obesity." I didn't flinch or comment or anything, but it left me wondering what exactly was implied by that "no offense".

Weird, right?

So I've been listening to my low carb podcasts for a few weeks, reading Gary Taubes, and feeling like I need to accept that this is the best way for me to eat. I feel best when I'm eating low carb - meaning under 100 g per day. Also, I have a bright idea for a new blog that is low carb-focused. Maybe I'll just convert this one over when the time comes. It's a fledgling idea inspired by people like Jimmy Moore and Tom Naughton who are educating people about the topic, though I don't think it's a niche that has been filled yet. I need to do some more research. We'll see what comes of that...

Yesterday, says SparkPeople, I ate 44 net carbs. Right now I am at 26 net carbs for today(including the afternoon snacks I haven't eaten yet and the zucchini I have on tap for dinner tonight). I need to add some more calories to today, but they will most likely be high fat/protein, so I don't anticipate the carbs being too much higher than that. I don't actually have to keep track in SparkPeople because I've done this often enough to know how. I do like numbers, though, so seeing the fat/protein/carb gram counts in their nice little columns gives me a bit of a thrill.

I'm starting to feel a little foggy-headed this afternoon. Day 3 is always the worst, so I kind of expect to feel like poo tomorrow, but to come out the other side on Day 4 feeling awesome.

Friday, September 10, 2010

No Farm Share This Week

With the move, I got totally thrown off track with my reporting about the Farm Share. We're still getting it every week, and it's been interesting to see what sort of new crops Farmer John planted this year. He seems heavy on the peppers this year, which is fine, except I have grown two extremely prolific pepper plants myself and have PLENTY of peppers. Maybe even a peck. (I know. That was very bad.)

Anyway, yesterday evening a combination of bad traffic, taking dinner to someone who just had a baby's house and trying to get my place straightened up to have people over meant I couldn't pick up the Farm Share. Jason would have, but he was in the middle of something at work (fruit fly experiments wait for no man!). So I'm disappointed, but it's not the end of the world since now we live about 30 seconds from the huge Saturday morning farmers' market.

We stopped by last Saturday and in addition to bringing home some zucchini, corn and a rosemary plant, I was so intrigued by the farmers selling grass-fed beef and other animals. Jason is out of town this weekend and I kind of want to buy a little something tomorrow morning just to see how it tastes compared to the regular store-bought beef. Maybe I will...

My ultimate fantasy is to buy a deep freezer and go in with someone to buy half a grass-fed cow, or something crazy like that. But I think the deep freezer will have to wait until we're a little more permanently settled. Shame.

Want to Win!

I don't usually post these links to contests, but Cheeseslave has a drawing for a Le Creuset stockpot.

**Le Creuset!!!***

So I'm blogging to let you know, but I can't wish you luck because I want to win!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

So Much for the Swim

I turned off my alarm in my sleep and finally woke up enough to realize it at about 6:30. Too late for a swim. My legs are really sore today too. According to Rachel, my PT guru, it's my muscles that are sore and I don't have shin splints. That's a relief.

So no workout. I'm busy tonight so going for a walk or an elliptical after work isn't an option.

I get frustrated sometimes when I just want to go go go with my newfound motivation, but my body holds me back (because, to be fair to my body, I have been pretty lazy this summer). I know it's all about gradually getting into the working out, and I definitely don't want to injure myself. So I'll work out tomorrow morning and Saturday morning* and call it good for the week.

* I have an early morning work meeting in Boston on Friday.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Keep Moving

This morning I did Week 1, Day 3 of C25K. And I decided to repeat Week 1. I'm having a hard time catching my breath after only 60 seconds of running. The idea of moving up to 90 seconds feels impossible. Last time I didn't have so many breathing issues because I had been doing other cardio stuff. Since I've had such a relatively lazy summer, my lungs need to warm up to this idea of working out again.

I'm going to do the unofficial Day 4 of Week 1 on Thursday. Tomorrow, my plan (if I can wake up early enough) is to go swimming. I need a little confidence boost in the exercise department since I feel like everything I've been doing lately has been further proof that I am a doughy, out of shape girl. Lap swimming, even slow laps, will soothe me. Being in water soothes me.

Yesterday I didn't work out in the morning because we went to the Newport Irish Festival and I knew I would be walking and standing (not to mention bouncing to the beat) all day. Actually, my calves were a little sore by the end of the day. There were some good beats. I did a lot of bouncing.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Labor Day

This has been a nice weekend, though not exactly what we had planned. The original plan was to go hiking and camping somewhere. I will confess, I was looking forward to that with a bit of trepidation. The last time I climbed a mountain in New Hampshire, I wound up feeling like I was going to throw up or pass out or fall down the rocks or all three. We went up a VERY. HARD. TRAIL. I think I just need to start out a little slower.

Then the next time we went hiking, I begged off of climbing up the whole mountain because after going up hardly any elevation for the first mile and a half, it suddenly became apparent that the main ascent was going to be just as steep as the last trip, even though I had explicitly told Jason I wanted something a bit more tame.

I guess my point is, I'm having a hard time catching the vision of climbing mountains. At least going up the very hard paths that leave me feeling sick. I know not everyone feels sick at the end of a hike like that, and I think if we could just maybe do an easier hike and I could work my way up to the harder hikes I might enjoy it more. However, the people I was going to go with this weekend wanted something more X-Treme, and I didn't want to ruin their weekend. At the same time, I wasn't really looking forward to looking like a wuss when, once again, I got sick trying to climb a mountain.

So I'm not going to lie. I wasn't completely devastated when the uncertainty of what Hurricane Earl would do to New England put the kibosh on this weekend's New Hampshire trip.

Saturday was an absolutely beautiful day. Earl came through on Friday night and rained away most of the heat and humidity and we woke up Saturday morning to bright blue sunny skies. I did Day 2 of Week 1 of C25K (very proud of myself for actually getting past Day 1 this time. Tomorrow I plan to do Day 3).

Then we went to the Indian buffet down the street and sat out in the sunshine enjoying our food. After that we headed over to Lincoln Woods, with a plan to walk around the 2.75 mile loop, then go for a swim in the pond. After our walk, we discovered that the area where you can actually swim in the pond is very small. Jason was bored just looking at the still pond. I kind of wanted to go to the lifeguards and ask if my many years of swim team gave me enough street cred to swim past the red buoys. We stood there for a minute, and decided to skip the pond and head to the beach.

We drove down to Narragansett Beach and jumped around in the huge waves Earl had left in his wake. Honestly, I've never been in waves quite that big. The current was super strong and kept pushing us down the beach. I decided to swim out where the waves were breaking and suddenly it got very calm. A little eerily so. We floated and wondered where the waves had gone, then suddenly there were two huge waves one right after the other. They crashed right on top of me and I didn't duck under quickly enough so I got spun around under the water as the first and then the second wave hit. I am a strong swimmer (see aforementioned years of swim team), but that shook me (and exhilarated me!) a bit. After that, I stayed a bit further in, where the waves reached me a few seconds after they crashed.

Being there reminded us that we really do have awesome beaches in Rhode Island and we need to take advantage of them more on those nice days when we're sitting around wondering what to do. The water stays warm (low 70s) until the end of September, so we will be going back.

So that was yesterday and I woke up pretty sore from my super active day. I forget how good it feels to get out and USE my muscles.

Today, on the other hand, has been dedicated to sloth. But sloth is good in its place. Tomorrow, I'll go for a jog, and then we're heading to the Newport Irish Festival for another active day.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Starting Over

Sunday night I planned to go to the Monday morning strength training class at the Y. Only I wound up hitting the snooze button for a whole hour in my sleep before the alarm even registered in my brain enough to wake me up.

Then Monday night we were up late, which is a very old and ragged excuse of mine. This morning, despite being up until 12:30 last night, I pulled myself out of bed at 6:15 and did Day 1 of Week 1 of Couch to 5K. I think this is the 4th or 5th time I've done Day 1, Week 1. I am determined that this time it will stick. Unless I get some sort of injury again, which is what stopped me during my 2nd effort. Then I will do something else and not stop all activity completely like a loser.

Since we moved, we now live about a minute from this amazing footpath that is very popular with the runners and walkers on our side of town. The path goes down the middle of a semi-busy street, but has enough grass and trees on either side to muffle the street noise pretty well. Lining the street are all these AMAZING homes. Sometimes I'll walk up the path, but then walk back on the sidewalk across the street so I can look more closely at the homes.

This morning I was out there with a bunch of other people, some walking, some running, some running while walking dogs. Some in amazing shape, some less so. I listened to a Livin' La Vida Low Carb podcast* and wogged** down the path.

* I've been avoiding my low-carb podcasts lately because I didn't want to hear about the unhealthiness of the yummy things I've been eating. On the upside, now I have a big backlog to listen to.

** This is what I tell Jason I'm going out to do early in the morning when he asks where I'm going or where I've been because as far as he's concerned no one in their right mind would be up and active so early. Walk + jog.

I have been so lazy this summer, and for no good reason. My motivation just completely vanished and the idea of exercising or eating healthy wasn't super appealing. I haven't been eating too horribly, but I have definitely been remiss in the exercising department. I stepped on the scale this morning for the first time in a few months and wasn't happy with what I saw. That was good motivation to get my wog on, rather than just walk down the pleasant path.

There are a couple of reasons I want to be healthier. The first one is just because I know I'll feel better. I feel better when I'm taking care of my body - physically and emotionally. It's a fact that is so easy for me to forget.

The second reason is because we're going to Tucson in October. I haven't been back since my Nana passed away in 2002 and I'm excited to show Jason where I grew up. We'll alternate staying with my aunt and my grandpa, and I fully intend to eat my way through Tucson*. And I plan to eat a strawberry/lemon Eegee every day we are there. So I think it would be best for everyone involved if I have a good baseline of healthiness before I head off to relive my youth through food.

* Fingers crossed that the Tohono O'odham ladies with the frybread and red chili are set up in front of the mission on the day we go.

Another important reason is because Jason and I are starting to talk about having a family. As I think about what it might be like to actually have another person inside of me, and then someone I am responsible for taking care of, I realize that I want to make sure the things that go into my body, and the child's body, are as healthy as possible. I've been gradually adding more organic produce into my menu, and really thinking critically about my options when it comes to my protein sources. If I don't have the money to eat grass-fed everything, should I be eating the alternative? It has really made me think.

Then there's the whole physical process of being pregnant and recovering. There's a blog I read by a woman who has a 5-month old and who is such an inspiration to me. She set monthly, weekly and daily goals for herself for both fitness and amounts of quality foods she wanted to eat the whole time she was pregnant. She ratcheted down the intensity of her workouts as her pregnancy progressed, but still managed to stay active. Once she was up and about after giving birth, she continued to set and achieve fitness goals and is already back in pretty great shape. I want to be like her when I grow up. I'm just starting to work on it again.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pictures

You know what's not helpful in losing weight? When you look at recent pictures of yourself and think, "Meh, I look fine." Of course, then I put on my jeans and remember that it would be nice if they were just a wee bit looser.

Starting a modified South Beach today. I have some grapes I don't want to waste, but I figure a little fruit won't kill me when everything else I eat all day is South Beach compliant.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Soreness

Yeah, so C25K did not happen Saturday. Neither did the strength training class this morning. My triceps are still so sore from Friday's class that it's kind of hard to dress myself. Well, I'll make it to class this Friday at least. Hopefully tomorrow morning my inner thighs will be recovered enough that I can go for a walk/run. Did I mention the sadistic version of sumo squats that the instructor had us do Friday?

I was at Sara's house for a little party last night and we were commiserating on how we should have started the strength training class 6 months ago. (We're not going to discuss the fact that she's done a half marathon recently, while I've been doing next to nothing. The class kicked both of our butts so I don't feel like too much of a loser.)

Sara's moving next weekend so I'll have to go it alone from now on. At least everyone else in the class was really friendly. I got the feeling there is a core group who I'll be seeing on a regular basis if I keep going.

Friday, July 30, 2010

1st Strength Training Class

This morning I went to my first strength training class at the Y. I guarantee it will not be my last.

Sara, one of the girls who works in Jason's lab, and I have been threatening to work out together for a few months now since we both belong to the Y. Our workout schedules are kind of opposite, though - in that I usually go early in the morning. She is not a morning person. Neither am I, really, but I have to be by necessity since I work a job with normal office-type hours.

Early this week I emailed Sara and asked if she was in for the Friday morning strength training class. She agreed.

But then last night Jason and I went to see the Indigo Girls in Newport, RI with Sara and her husband. It was a great show. We got back around 11. Then I woke up at 4:45 to drive a friend to the airport. I was seriously considering backing out, but I pulled myself out of bed again to make the 6:30 class (with a little encouragement from Jason who told me how proud he would be if I went).

Well, it kicked my butt. My legs and arms were a little shaky by the end. Tonight I'm trying really hard not to do anything that uses my pecs or my inner thighs.

It was really fun too. I definitely don't push myself hard enough when it's just me with the weight machines. In my opinion, classes are the way to go if you're looking for motivation. Between the instructor ordering you to do stuff and not wanting to look like an idiot in front of the other 15 people in the class, you get the job done.

So I think I'll make the class my regular Monday and Friday morning thing. It's an hour-long class, so that's about all I can squeeze in on those days, but the other days I'll do some cardio.

If I can walk when I wake up tomorrow morning, I'll do another day of C25K.

Now to just get my eating back on track. Half price cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory today! Yeah. Not helpful.

Monday, July 26, 2010

C25K - Again

Saturday morning I did Day 1 of Week 1 of Couch to 5K. Today my ankles HURT. I was hoping to run again tomorrow, but I may push it off to Wednesday to give my body a bit more time to recover. Maybe I'll do some elliptical tomorrow morning.

Sometimes I think about all of those very, very large people on The Biggest Loser and how much the trainers push them from day one. It's amazing that there aren't more stress fractures and heart attacks on that show. I ran for 8 bursts of 60 seconds in my slightly hilly neighborhood and was gasping by the end. And I have worked out a lot more recently and weigh anywhere from 100-300 pounds less than the average Biggest Loser contestant.

Saturday was muggy around here, so I was drenched by the end of my little excursion, but I kind of love that post-workout, super sweaty feeling. It makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something.

I loved checking out the new neighborhood a bit too. There are so many cute little houses and pretty gardens to look at as I walk/jog by. So far the new house is awesome and the new neighborhood adorable. I met a neighbor the other day who has lived there for 40 years. 4 - 0. That's amazing to me.

I planned to go to a strength training class at the Y this morning, but life got in the way. We're picking up my couch in Cambridge tonight* and I had to drop Jason off at the U-Haul place to get the van right when it opened. That plan didn't really work with the class schedule. There's another class on Friday morning and I'm determined to get there. With a C25K run (or two) in between.

Slowly but surely, I'm getting back into the exercise.

*I bought a couch several years ago that has spent the last few years being baby-sat by friends since there was no place for it in our old apartment. It's comfy and nice-looking so I didn't necessarily want to give it up. Now we have a living room with a big empty space in front of the window just perfect for my couch.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mid-July Status Update

So far July has been full of lots of packing, unpacking, hauling things up and down stairs, and eating out. Although most of the manual labor has been done in hot (or at least warm) and muggy circumstances, I think the eating out is negating any calories burned. Also, there's a fantastic homemade ice cream place about 45 seconds from our new house, which is dangerous. We've been there twice. Need to ration ice cream trips.

My plan was to get back to the gym this morning, but I got to bed late. Drat! Tomorrow it is! The fact that I now have to drive to the gym is a bummer, but I do need to get there. Despite Jason calling me "pretty" and "sexy" all the time (hello, fantastic ego boosts!), I feel doughy and lethargic.

I did manage to make 2 homemade meals in our kitchen this past weekend. They were both crock pot meals, so I have leftovers for lunches this week. Now I just need to get to the store and stock up on eggs and Greek yogurts so I can stop buying my breakfasts every morning. In addition to not eating the most healthy stuff lately, my credit card bill is a little crazy this month. Eating out just costs more.

Here's looking to a more healthy second half of July!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

New Month

I decided to start July off right. I walked to work and then went for a 40 minute walk at lunchtime.

Tonight is more packing. We're in the home stretch.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Exercise of Late

As I mentioned before, my exercise right now is packing and getting ready for our move. We pack and pack and pack some more. The apartment is completely trashed, but I swear all of the cabinets and drawers are empty, whereas before they were jam-packed full of stuff. Given the amount of sweat I have shed in the past few days of heat and humidity, I really think it counts for something.

I feel like I should be taking advantage of the fact that we live across the street from the Y while we still live across the street from the Y. After our move, I'll have to drive to the gym, which is a definite bummer and not conducive to wintry early morning workouts AT ALL. However, in our new place, I'll have more space to try out my fitness DVDs, which I'm looking forward to. My few feet of space in front of the TV right now is constantly being encroached upon by electronics and cat toys. I think the exercise DVDs will be just the ticket when there's too much snow, or it's -10 degrees out and I just can't bring myself to go outside

I'll tell you something, though. I am definitely feeling doughy. Do not like! My muscle definition is fading away and I'm starting to hate all of our take-out food options. I will be so happy to be in a new house, cooking again, and back on a regular workout schedule.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Farm Share Weeks 3 & 4

Rather than double-post, I'll just tell you that the Farm Share latest is over here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chaos

I feel like everything is pretty chaotic right now. We're moving in a couple of weeks and while I am thrilled beyond belief with the house we're moving to and the extra space we'll have and the nice neighborhood and our so far fantastic new landlords, I'm a little stressed by the big pile of mess that is our home.

I've learned that we have many, many books. MANY books. Books have to be packed in small to medium boxes so that each box doesn't weigh 500 pounds, and those little boxes fill up so fast. The stacks of boxes are officially taking over the living room. Despite the number of boxes we've already filled, there's still a lot more to pack. Well, there's still the kitchen and the dining room china cabinet to pack, which are going to take awhile, what with the number of breakables that have to be wrapped and packed securely.

In the meantime, work is CRAZY. We have several filings with the Department of Health that I'm working on, and one of our clients is under investigation and I'm organizing the documents they're sending to the government. One of our clients is totally breathing down my neck about the filing I'm doing for them. It would really help if they would actually read the documents I've sent them and realize this isn't going to be a quick process, despite them wanting it done right this second. I've been the first one to the office every morning for the past few weeks. I make myself take a little time off for lunch every day just to decompress a bit. I really do prefer to be busy, but I'm starting to feel it. Particularly in my right shoulder, where I store my stress.

Then I have to leave a little on the early side because there's so much to get done outside of work. By "early" I mean 6 or 6:30.

And in the meantime, the Young Women's President has left for the summer and I'm kind of in charge. There's another counselor, and she's a great help, but she works nights and is often unavailable, and I really feel like if things are going to get done and organized, it's up to me to take the initiative.

So, for instance, yesterday I worked from 8-6, pretty much straight. Then I went to the grocery store to buy food for the Young Women's camp fundraiser this Sunday (PS Since this is the only Sunday between now and camp that me and the other counselor will both be at church, we're doing it this week. However, the girls are at a retreat until Saturday night and the other counselor is working Saturday night, so I'll basically be prepping the food by myself. Which I can do. It's just another thing on the list). Then I came home and we ate dinner (grocery store sushi. Not the best choice. Not the worst.) Then I dropped off 3 sleeping bags with one of the Young Women for her, another YW and her brother to use at the retreat. Then I came home and needed to pack, but instead, I went to bed.

Tonight there's Jason's lab potluck. Friday night we said we would go see a Shakespeare play with some people. Saturday is an air show that Jason looks forward to all year and that I promised I would go to with him this year. Saturday night I have to cook. Sunday is the YW fundraiser. I know I could cut out some of the social obligations, but Jason is a social animal and he was really concerned that moving would ruin our summer so I'm trying to make sure it doesn't. And I know he'll be sad if I don't go. He'll get over it, but I know he likes me to be at stuff with him.

And it's not like I don't want to be social. There's just a lot going on.

I'm writing about all of this on this blog as some sort of paltry rationale for why my only exercise lately has been packing, and why I've been eating where and when I can, without much forethought, which is the death knell for healthy eating.

So here we are. I'm trying to decide if I should cut myself some slack, or cowboy up and get to the gym already.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Exercise!

I did it! I got up early and did something moderately active!

For some reason, I woke up all on my own at 5:30 this morning. So I got up, got into my workout clothes, and headed out. (I also managed to finish up by 7 and get to work early. I love this whole "getting light at 5 AM" thing. So much easier to wake up and feel alive than those cold winter mornings when it's dark until after 8 AM)

My plan was to go to the Brown stadium around the corner from our house and do stadiums. I'm trying to get my quads and knees psyched up for a summer and fall of hiking (not to mention our move in a few weeks). Only the stadium was locked up tight. I don't really understand Brown's reasoning. All last summer it was open and lots of people in the neighborhood used the track. This summer it's been hit or miss as to whether you'll actually find it unlocked.

So instead I went for a 50 minute walk around the neighborhood. It was already pretty muggy, so I worked up a nice sweat at least. Not really the workout I was hoping for, but at least I did SOMEthing.

And I just love my neighborhood. There are so many lovely houses and gardens. I'm happy we're moving into another nice little neighborhood where we can go for walks and oo and aah over the pretty. I'm also absolutely thrilled to be moving into one of the pretty houses. I feel so lucky!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Moving

So I'm not really exercising, but we are going to be moving. I think the thrill I'm feeling over the new house has to be burning at least a few calories.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Farm Share Week 2

The Farm Share bounty is pretty impressive so far. If this keeps up, I think we'll be drowning in zucchini later in the summer.

Today's haul:
1 giant head of red leaf lettuce, 1/2 pound mesclun mix, 1 pound garlic scapes, 1/3 pound of mizuna and 2/3 pound kale. I had a big salad with dinner and tried making something using scapes, mizuna, sesame oil and teryaki sauce that turned out meh. Not horrible, but not great either. I'll experiment more later.

The lettuce was as big as my head.

No, seriously

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Slacker

We are going hiking and camping again this weekend, this time with Jason's lab. The hike we're going on gains about the same amount of elevation, but not quite as quickly as our last hike, and uses more switchbacks rather than going straight up as many rock faces.

My plan over the last 2 weeks was to a) break in my hiking shoes, and b) (which is related to a) walk up and down the steps in the Brown stadium to get my muscles more used to climbing and descending. The first problem was that my legs hurt for an entire week after the last hiking trip. Last Saturday I finally felt like I could walk down stairs like a normal person.

This week I have no excuse, other than being a slacker and staying up too late. Take last night. We went out to dinner with some friends who are moving and didn't get home until 10:30. Then we watched the season finale of Glee because you must have your priorities. Then I sat on the couch until almost 1 AM, just reading blogs and stuff online.

Why is it so easy to get out of a good routine? When I'm in the midst of being healthy, I can't imagine breaking that pattern because I feel so good. But over and over again, I write posts like this, talking about how I'm having a hard time getting motivated after something managed to knock me off track.

I really don't have an answer for myself. The ONLY thing to do is just get back on track already. Tomorrow is the only morning I will have before we leave for the mountains to do any exercise. I just have to do it, even if I'm feeling tired and lazy.

I will do it.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Return of the Farm Share!

(Also posted on my other blog, if you think you're seeing double)

Today was the first pick up for this year's farm share. I'm excited to see what this year has to bring, especially since (fingers crossed) there won't be any tomato blight and it won't rain for the ENTIRE month of June like last year.

(Though it's supposed to rain for the next 4 days and this had better not be a trend. You hear me, June!)

Today we got 5 farm share dollars to "spend" and two potted plants. It's the beginning of the season, so there are mostly greens. I got a head of lettuce, mesclun mix and some fava greens, as well as two black eyed susan plants that I'm going to plant outside.
Farmer John told us to try the fava greens because this is the only week he'll have them. Apparently, you use the greens like fresh spinach. I'll try throwing some in my lunch salad tomorrow and see how they taste.

Kitty wanted to get in on the farm share action:
Tonight I also planted my container plants for the season.

In the white bucket are 2 pepper plants that Sam, one of the Brown freshmen, started from seed in his dorm room, but then had to get rid of since the school year ended and he's going on a mission in August. So we got his peppers. We don't know what kind of peppers they are since Sam wasn't sure himself. They already have some blossoms on them so we'll see.

In the orange containers are a zucchini plant and a cucumber plant. I don't know which is which, because their leaves look surprisingly similar. (Despite my seed labeling, I have a sneaking suspicion they might actually be the same kind of plant...) These are the only two seedlings I got from the 12 seed starters I planted this year. They're thriving so far.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

We went camping and hiking. I almost considered calling in to work due to my inability to walk down stairs.

Monday, May 24, 2010

So Proud

Jason ran his first 5K on Saturday! I am so proud.

I wish I could have run with him, but the C25K plan didn't really agree with my knees. Not that I've gone to a physical therapist or anything, but the general consensus among my running friends is that it's probably my IT band (or bands, since it was both knees).

I don't feel all hot and bothered about finding out what the problem is officially and getting a fix for it. C25K appeals to me because it's nice to have a concrete goal, and I'll probably go back to it eventually. But for now I'm content to keep doing the weights/elliptical/swimming/walking thing.

In other news, inspired by Jason, on Saturday morning I worked out for the first time since coming home from Hawaii. I worked up a good sweat. Now I just need to keep it going.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Need to Find My Exercise Mojo...

...because apparently I left it in Hawaii.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What I Should Have Been

As of tomorrow it will be a week since I got back from Hawaii and I have to confess, I haven't been to the gym once. I had great intentions to go at least 3 times over the past 5 mornings, but it just hasn't happened. Part of the reason is because it took me a lot longer to get over jetlag than I thought it would. Hawaii is 6 hours behind us. When we traveled there, I was basically awake for 24 hours and easily got adjusted to the time. I thought I had managed to trick my body the same way when I came back since I was able to fall asleep at 11 PM on Wednesday night (5 PM Hawaii time), but the next few nights I had an awful time getting to sleep. Saturday morning I slept in until 11, which I never do.

Last night I was FINALLY able to get to sleep at a regularish time, but I was still exhausted when my alarm went off for the gym this morning and I just shut it off. Maybe tomorrow.

Also, I think I'm suffering from a minor depression based solely on not being in Hawaii anymore.

The older I get, the more I realize what I should have done with my life. For one, I should NOT have a desk job. My continually restless leg all day long as I sit at my desk should have told me that. I absolutely adored being out and about every day, being active and soaking in the sun. Two, I should have followed my gut when I was 19 years old and been a marine biologist. I said that to Jason last night and he said, "I don't think it's as exciting as you think it is..." I told him I don't think it's some exciting glamorous job or something. But when I think about what I truly love and could probably study the intricacies of all day long and find it fascinating, it's the ocean and ocean life. During my sophomore year of college I took an environmental biology class and was absolutely enthralled when we studied the ocean ecosystems.

Oh well.

When I have these life crises, I promise myself that I will somehow teach my children to figure out what they love and to pursue that in life.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Being Healthy in Hawaii

I'm back from Hawaii (though Jason is still there. I made him promise not to tell me about anything fun that happens in his 3 extra days until he gets back).

Hawaii has jaded me. Today is lovely and sunny and 60-something in Providence and all I can think is, "but it's not Hawaii..."

This was one of the most active vacations I've ever been on. We swam and hiked and snorkeled and swam and snorkeled some more. According to online calorie counters, snorkeling burns an insane amount of calories, but I'm not really sure I buy it. Or maybe I was just enjoying myself so much that I didn't notice the calorie burnage.

The pool at the first condo we stayed at on the Big Island had markings for lap swimming. Though I only got to swim laps one morning since we were out and about fairly early the other days, swimming in an outdoor pool again was heavenly. The pool in Maui was more of a resort spectacle with grottoes and waterfalls and slides. It was super fun, but not really good for laps.

For the record, my new favorite activity is swimming in waterfall pools. Particularly ones that are tucked away and you have to hike to for a bit. I need to find some local waterfalls. The water is probably a lot colder in New England, though, and it was pretty darn cold on Maui. So cold that I commented to Jason that the water feels fine - once your skin goes numb.

We stayed in a condo with a full kitchen and cooked most of our meals, which was fabulous. I have a reputation with Jason's family as a cook - in that, I suppose, I like to cook and I can make vegetables taste good - so on our first day on the Big Island I went shopping with Jason and his dad (who is usually the cook in their home). I suggested meals that focused on protein and vegetables. There was usually a rice or potato side as well, and I figured some of that wouldn't hurt since usually I was eating it after a full day of activity. I got a ton of eggs on sale and made scrambled eggs almost every morning. We had piles of papayas.

I got more lazy once we got to Maui. First off, we didn't cook as much at the condo there and went to a luau one night. Drinks were included in the luau price and since we don't drink, we took advantage of all the virgin drinks we could handle. Tip: virgin pina colada with passion orange juice is divine. As are the taro leaf-wrapped pork packets.

The family didn't make it to the grocery store until the 2nd or 3rd day we were on Maui so we were kind of improvising food for the other meals. I'm glad I brought snacks. Jason griped about the space they took up in my bag, but me and the rest of the family ate most of them. I figured there would be some times when getting a meal wasn't convenient, and I wouldn't want to be hungry and cranky on Hawaii. I got hungry and cranky when we were in Paris a couple years ago and it wasn't pretty. My mainstays in Hawaii were a big bag of almonds and Larabars.

Basically, during week one in Hawaii I was pretty successful with the healthy living. The few days I got on Maui during week two were not as regimented. I'm pretty proud of how I ate for most of the trip, chocolate-covered macadamia nuts and coconut M&M's nothwithstanding.

By the way, they have coconut M&M's. Each one is like a teeny Mounds bar. I brought some home.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pre-Hawaii Assessment

Back in January, I set a goal to lose 19 pounds, or 10% of my weight in an effort to reset my set point and feel more confident in my body for our trip to Hawaii.

Well, I didn't quite lose 19 pounds. As of this morning, I am down 7 pounds from that January starting point. If you've been reading, you know why. Suffice it to say, I kept getting sick and wasn't really up to regular working out status until February. Then, despite workouts and eating relatively well, the scale refused to get out of a 4 pound range and definitely didn't show signs of going down. This is the plateau I've been fighting for almost 2 years.

The 7 pounds I've lost have all been in the last 3 weeks. The ONLY thing I've done differently, as I also mentioned, is stop taking the birth control pill for the past 2 weeks. I've been eating the same foods (higher protein and fat, lower carb) and doing the same workouts (HIIT elliptical, strength training a couple times a week, lap swimming). I haven't yet determined if there is a true connection between the weight and the synthetic hormones, but after showing 183 on the scale this morning, I'm tempted to point the finger squarely at that little green pill.

Despite not having lost 19 pounds (which would have been AMAZING!) I feel great with 7 fewer pounds. I feel more toned and fit. I feel healthy. I feel comfortable in my clothes.

I am hopeful that I'll be able to stay in my healthy routine while we're in Hawaii. Jason and I have both scoped out the places we're staying and noted that they both have gyms, and the whole family plans to have a very active trip full of hikes and snorkeling and all sorts of fun. I'm taking a big bag of almonds and a bunch of Larabars for snacks on the go.

Plus, I feel like there's just been a change in my mindset lately. I find myself really evaluating whether I truly want to eat something, or if it's just boredom or laziness talking. Today I got a big salad for lunch and it came with a bunch of onion rings on top. In the past, I have LOVED onion rings. I ate one, deemed it super greasy and not worth it, and removed the onion rings to get to the yummy salad. An hour later, I could STILL feel the grease of that one onion ring coating my mouth. Gross.

When I'm full, I stop eating. I usually have leftovers now wherever we go.

I've even found that I can eat a square of dark Ghiradelli chocolate or a Lindt ball and I'm all set.

The key is to remember this focus, and to not be enticed by a big bowl of M&Ms, which, if I'm being honest, really aren't that good anyway and not worth the slightly sick feeling I get now if I indulge in too many sweets.

I will say one thing - I'm looking forward to the produce in Hawaii. Yum!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Can It Be True?

This morning the scale said 183.2.

Granted, yesterday I had a very bad day. So bad that I never ate lunch and only kind of nibbled at my dinner.

Still, though, I haven't seen anything below 185 in I can't remember how long.

Today has been a more normal eating day so we'll see where I stand tomorrow. I usually weigh and measure on Saturday, but since we'll be on a plane Saturday morning, I'll be doing it tomorrow.

Regardless of weight, my waist and hips are already measuring less than last Saturday. I'm feeling thinner (even if it's all in my head).

So, not to overshare, but I stopped taking The Pill. It's only been a couple of weeks, but I'm starting to think that might have been the key to my 2-year plateau. Stupid synthetic hormones. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Busy Weekend

(Saturday night dinner. A HUGE dosa. It was fantastic, but rest assured, I didn't eat the whole thing. For Boston people, I highly recommend the lamb dosa at Diva in Davis Square.)

So I wrote a whole post about how weekend workouts are great and then I didn't workout on either Saturday or Sunday. Saturday morning we took off for Warwick and Cranston to get some last minute shopping done for our Hawaii trip. We don't leave until Saturday, but we have a busy week ahead of us and Saturday morning/afternoon was the best time to be out and about.

Saturday night we went to a concert in Boston that we thought would be done at 10, but which didn't end until 11, meaning we got home at 12. It was a fantastic show, but the late night meant I just couldn't wake up to get to the gym before church. We did a lot of cleaning yesterday so that counts for something, right?

The good news is, it looks like I'm finally doing something right. I was down 2 pounds this week to a new low I haven't seen in over a year. And after a carbtastic Saturday and Sunday, I'm up today, but my water-retaining baseline is now 187 rather than 190.

Also, I lost a half an inch off both my waist and my hips this week, but my chest seems to have stabilized. I'm thrilled to finally be seeing a change in my lower body.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Weekend Workouts

Do you work out on the weekend?

I know a lot of people take weekends off, but I'm discovering that Saturday and Sunday mornings may be my absolute best guaranteed times to work out.

First of all, I can sleep in a bit more on Saturdays and Sundays. Working out at 7 or 8 AM is WAY different than working out at 6 AM. It's so easy for me to turn off the alarm on the weekday mornings and let myself sleep through my allotted workout time. Sometimes I turn off the alarm in my sleep (like, ahem, this morning). It's just hard to get to bed before 11 or 11:30, what with busy days at work, cooking dinner, trying to keep some semblance of a handle on cleaning and wanting to spend at least a couple of hours hanging out with Jason.

Because I get some extra sleep on the weekend mornings, I find my workouts are more effective and I can go longer and harder. I've never had a problem with working out on Saturdays, but have always shied away from Sundays because of the whole religious thing. Suffice it to say, in my religion, we're taught to "keep the Sabbath day holy." What "holy" means is generally left up to personal interpretation, though some people have VERY SOLID IDEAS on what that means. But I don't think working out is necessarily anti-holy.

Enter the justifications:
1) We're supposed to take care of our bodies (the body is a temple, etc). Exercising makes my body healthy.
2) Exercising ultimately puts me in a good mood, helps me stay focused on the things I need to do and is a stress-reducing and relaxing start to my day.
3) I find exercising on Sunday mornings peaceful because there is seriously no one else out at that time of the morning. It's me and maybe 2 other people at the gym. No one is on the street.

I suppose I don't have any more justifications. I know some people who would probably argue with me, and others who are thinking, "I seriously don't get what the big deal is." But I think I'll keep working out on Sunday mornings because it makes me feel good and it is really a good time for me to get it done.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Suit!

Not a swimsuit this time, but a real lawyer suit.

So, I'm not really the kind of lawyer who goes to court much, and our firm has a business casual dress code (except on Fridays since I single-handedly instituted "casual Fridays" in the Providence office. Yay jeans!) So I own one suit. I have a notoriously hard time finding suits that fit me well because of my body shape. Two main problems: 1) it's hard to find suit separates and I am two different sizes on the top and the bottom, and 2) my booty fits horribly in pencil skirts, which make up 99.9% of the bottoms available with women's suits.

Let's not even get started on trousers. I've determined that once I'm too small for the Lane Bryant trousers, I can never wear pants again. Regular stores just don't make pants for women whose hips are 12 inches bigger than their waist. Even when I was my thinnest, I had an awful time trying to find pants or shorts that fit because my hips were still 12 inches bigger than my waist. I always had huge gaps at the waist.

Anyway, yesterday I was at a hearing for most of the afternoon, in my suit, the pencil skirt stretching TIGHTLY across my hips and thighs. The hearing was continued until today. Crap. I can't wear the same suit 2 days in a row.

So I dashed over to Macy's after work to try to find something before the Young Women's activity. Now, the last 2 or 3 times I've tried to find a suit, I have left empty-handed. They just don't make suits for a girl shaped like me.

Or do they?

Yesterday I found the PERFECT suit. Calvin Klein suit separates. Kind of a medium charcoal gray with a slightly A-lined flared skirt. A-line? Yes, please!

Only the largest skirt they had was a 10. I tried it on, just in case I had magically shrunk. It was just a touch too small. Oh, if only they had a 12! Then I swear to you, a voice in my head said, "Go look through the sale racks and see if someone dumped a size 12 skirt there." Sure enough, I walked up to the sale racks on the other side of the suit department and perched right on the end of the long line of skirts, was the size 12 gray Calvin Klein A-line skirt.

I am not kidding.

Jason joked that it must have been the Holy Spirit guiding me. I am not above claiming that. Why wouldn't God want me to look good in front of my colleagues in court?

So I got my suit. Sadly I'm wearing it with an old shirt because apparently Macy's doesn't think it worthwhile to carry shells to go with its suits. Seriously, could someone just make a plain scoop-necked shirt? Why is that so hard?