Friday, January 29, 2010

Gah - Sodium!

Could someone please invent a cottage cheese with less sodium? Not no sodium. I've eaten that - well, to be more accurate, I took a bite and then went searching for the salt shaker. It's vile. I LOVE cottage cheese and this morning ate a cup of it with breakfast, which gave me 960 mg of sodium. Could we maybe half that, cottage cheese makers? It's a little ridiculous.

In other news, I'm in the course of ridding my environment of carbs - by eating them. No, seriously, it's not as bad as it sounds. We have some friends who lost a bunch of weight and got more fit last year. I've been talking with Annie about the food plan they followed and it was a modified low-carb, which is basically what I'm shooting for in general.

Monday is the day when I'm getting serious. New month, new week, finally not coughing so much - it seems like a good time. I did not, in fact, get to the gym this week, because my body wanted to sleep and I decided to let it, thus hopefully giving it the strength to fend off the next cold/bronchial plague I come into contact with.

So this week I've been eating my sugar-free pudding and my Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches and my melba toast (with Laughing Cow cheese. Yum!) to get them done and out of the house. I've been tracking my calories and am right on track in the 1400-1600 range, but have been eating more carbs that I want to be eating (though fewer than the typical American, which is something like 300 g per day. I'm at about 130).

Looking forward to starting February with a bang!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Which Order?

I read something recently (that I can't find now) about it being better to do cardio before weight training. The idea is that whatever you do second, you're going to be doing when you're more tired, and you want to have the energy to get through your cardio.

Frankly, I've had the opposite experience. I enjoy doing the weight machine circuit and then hopping on the elliptical. The weights wake me up and I'm more raring to go when I get on the elliptical. Also, I feel like doing a half hour of the elliptical gives my muscles a really good stretch and I'm less sore from the weights as a result.

Do you have a preference?

Back to the Gym

Tomorrow, that is.

I was just reading at Endurance Isn't Only Physical about her injury that is going to keep her from running for 6 weeks (and also prevent her from competing in a race she's been training for). Major drag, right? Only she has taken an upbeat attitude and is figuring out ways to move.


So I'm tired of sickness keeping me down. I'm well enough now to do some strength training at least. I don't think that will result in a major coughing fit. Tomorrow morning I will head to the Y and do every single one of the weight machines. Thursday I may not be able to move, but I am going to get something done, darn it!

Monday, January 25, 2010



Yep, I'm still sick. I am MUCH better, though the cough lingers. I walked to the bank at lunchtime today and very nearly had an embarrassing coughing attack at the teller line. I don't know if you heard, but New England is in the clutches of an insane storm today. It's raining, but the main issue is the wind, which is gusting to 50 MPH, says my secretary.

So what precipitated the almost coughing fit? Battling the wind for the half block between my office building and the bank. Oo wind. Oo walking half a block. Yeah, I don't think the elliptical is in the cards for at least the next couple of days.

I'm losing my motivation. My body is so weary of coughing. I feel like I've been coughing for about 2 months, though I know there were a couple of weeks in there where I wasn't. Last year, I cracked a rib from coughing. I know I haven't done anything that serious this time, but every time I cough, my sides hurt. My muscles are officially sore from coughing. I would like them to be sore from, you know, crunches and weights and things that are useful.

Jason got our plane tickets for Hawaii on Friday night. We leave April 24th. I am sticking to my original goal of losing 19 pounds by then. Think I can still lose 5 pounds this month? Yeah, I don't either. But I'm keeping the goal and as soon as I stop coughing, it is on!

Of note: the two batches of ginger cookies I made this weekend are NOT PRODUCTIVE. Sigh. I had been craving cookies - specifically, cookies dunked in milk - for a couple of weeks and Friday night I gave in and made some. What I SHOULD have done was bake maybe 10 cookies for me and Jason and put the rest of the dough in the freezer. That is not what I did. There are still cookies at home, but I'm not eating anymore of them. Maybe I should just freeze the cookies... Do cookies freeze?

Sunday, January 17, 2010


That's right. I'm coughing. Again.


I can't even express how completely annoyed I am.

I also can't express how annoying I must be to everyone around me. When I cough it's this wracking, lung-wrenching, soul-crushing cough. My body does not go about things half-a**ed.

At least we have tomorrow off of work so I can drag myself around the house, coughing my brains out, and won't bug my co-workers. Here's hoping it's better by Tuesday. If my doctor's office is open tomorrow, I will be giving them a call.

In other, more interesting and positive news, Jason has said he definitely wants to join the Y with me. Yay! So I'll have a workout buddy on Saturdays. Hopefully we'll motivate each other and won't be a drag on each other, convincing the other one to stay in bed all morning. I was pretty good on Saturday at getting him out the door. The key for me was that I had eaten a little breakfast and didn't want to wait too long before going to the gym because then I would have gotten hungry during the workout and that's no fun. And sometimes results in a migraine. So I had a time limit and I told him I was leaving and he needed to get ready to go.

I had hoped to go over with him tomorrow and get him signed up and work out together again. Well, at least we can get him signed up.


Working Hard

According to the scale, I'm down about 2 pounds this week. However, I'm not going to crow about that until I actually go down some more next week or the next week. I got to the gym 3 times, which is way better than nothing, which is what's been going on for the past several weeks. I was relatively careful about my food choices, and logged everything, but didn't go overboard with any extreme restrictions. If that keeps working, then I'm happy because what I did this week feels liveable. My plan is to steadily increase my gym time to 5 times a week.

Jason came to the gym with me today! We did the weight machines for about 20 minutes and then I hopped on the elliptical and he got on the treadmill. Even though he hasn't run for a few months, he did a half hour on the treadmill, with about 20 of those minutes running. So proud!

I did 35 minutes on the elliptical and was working hard! Dripping sweat working hard. I forgot how good that feels. I need some new music, but was getting pumped up by some of my old, fun music that I haven't listened to in awhile.

Even though I was coughing and feeling kind of bleh this morning, once I got on the elliptical, I was able to push all that aside and work hard. Since then, I've been coughing and my throat is sore and I'm just annoyed about that. But so long as I can still go to the gym and not die with the coughing, I'm ok.

Also, I've decided that if I'm still coughing by Tuesday (after the MLK holiday) I'm going to the doctor and demanding that we figure out why I keep getting sick over and over and over again. Seriously, this is getting very old. Maybe I do have walking pneumonia or something, what with the cough and all.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Are You Kidding Me?

This morning I have a tickle in my throat and am coughing more.

I REFUSE to get sick again! Hear that, body? REFUSE!

Another New Year Thought

I read this post the other day at Endurance Isn't Only Physical and it made me hopeful. The author wrote about how this new year is the first year since she was 12 that she hasn't made a resolution to lose weight because during 2009 she lost 119 pounds.

Here's hoping that next January 1, I won't be resolving to lose weight. Again.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Working Out With the Husband

I planned to go to the gym this morning, but despite stretching after my workouts the last 2 days, my left calf is super sore. So I decided it was best to rest today. I have a doctor's appointment early tomorrow morning, but am going to try to get to the gym anyway.

In other gym-related news, I think I've talked Jason into coming to the gym with me on Saturday. I can add him to my membership for only $15 and the front desk lady said he could come in one day to check things out before he commits to a membership. He started running a bit last year and was getting into a good groove, but then stopped for some reason. I think it may have to do with me getting sick and stopping my own workouts. I think he felt more motivated when I was exercising too.

I'm hoping exercising might improve his mood. He seems to be in a bit of a funk lately. As he said last night, he is full of ennui. Read: he's bored. All of his Providence buddies have moved away, as have most of the Boston ones (and it's kind of an ordeal to make plans with most of the remaining Boston friends). He feels like life has become a cycle of work, TV, sleep, repeat. I have noticed that trend as well, though I am lucky to have a mid-week activity with the Young Women every week to break up some of the monotony, as well as my weekly craft night with some of the ladies from church. We do have a few local friends who would be fun to hang out with more, it's just easier to continue with the routine than do something different. Inertia.

I did mention that maybe one of these nights instead of plunking down in front of the TV, he could start on one of the myriad cleaning projects he's been meaning to work on for the last year and a half or so. He wasn't too keen on that suggestion.

Anyway, I think exercising would at least give him something different to do. Also, he still complains about the advent of his belly, so maybe moving more would actually help in that regard as well. Call me crazy. Plus, if he ever gets to the point where the endorphins start kicking in, it can only improve his outlook in general.

Also, in a selfish vein, it would be fabulous to have a workout buddy once a week. Our schedules are so different that he would never wake up at 6 to go to the gym with me, but on Saturday mornings we can go together a bit later. So this Saturday, I'm planning on going with him. Hopefully he is too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Today I did the recumbent bike for 35 minutes. Yeah, it got me a little sweaty, but overall I wasn't feeling it. For one, I think I tweaked something in my thigh yesterday so for the first 10 minutes of the workout I kept leaning my right leg to the right and then to the left while I was pedaling trying to stretch out whatever it was. The ache finally went away, so I kept going.

Two, it's kind of boring.

Three, the recumbent bike hurts my tailbone. I have a bent tailbone from a bike accident when I was 8 or so. I was riding my bike, caught a pedal on the curb, stopped fast and flew forward a bit, then back, which is when the pointy part of the bike seat jabbed right into my tailbone. X-rays revealed that while it's not broken, it bends inward ever so slightly. I still have a hard time sitting for more than a little while on hard surfaces and often my bum will just go numb. The gym has ONE regular stationary bike, and it was being used while I was there today. If it's ever free when I go, I'll give that a try.

Eating has been pretty stellar for the past few days, and also pretty clean. I'm not eating low or high anything right now, but just trying to get in fruits and vegetables and eat balanced meals. My one heavily processed indulgence has been sugar-free pudding (a mix of cheesecake and chocolate fudge) because it's yummy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I love the breakfast I had this morning, so I thought I would share:

1 packet instant Cream of Wheat, mixed with the appropriate amount of hot water
1 T. natural peanut butter
A drizzle (maybe a teaspoon) of maple syrup

You may think peanut butter and maple sounds gross, but I discovered I really like it the last time Jason made crepes and my crepe filled with peanut butter got some syrup on it.

Exercising Again

Who went to the gym this morning?


Who is amazingly out of shape?

Again, me.

Not so excited about that second one. I did a half hour on the elliptical and my legs are sore and I was TIRED at the end of it. I'm going to ease myself back into this exercise thing so that I don't hurt myself (which has happened before). This week, I'm going to alternate elliptical with the exercycle. I used to use the exercycle a lot when I was younger, but haven't in years. Maybe it will get me psyched up for actually getting my sister-in-law's bike (that she left for me when she moved across the country) out of the basement (where it has been gathering lots of dust) in the Spring.

Next week, I will add strength training to the mix. I know that it's important and I will do it, but if my legs are this sore after just a half hour on the elliptical, I think squats can wait a week.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Starting the Week

My cough is much better, but I was so exhausted that I let myself sleep rather than go to the gym this morning. Tomorrow, though, me and the gym have a date.

After church yesterday we cleaned all afternoon and evening, including taking down our Christmas tree. Christmas decorating/undecorating includes lugging our multiple Christmas bins up from the basement to our second floor apartment and back down. We also wrangled the tree outside and to the curb for the trash people to pick. I also did about 7 loads of laundry (in the basement). So basically, there were a lot of stairs yesterday.

Plus, I deep-cleaned the kitchen and emptied the litter box (which is always a joy). I started feeling sleepy at about 10:30 and slept straight through until 7:30, when I got up in mild protest.

Tonight I plan to put some of the stuff that is being stored in the guest room back in the living room, and also clean the bathroom. And maybe the dining room.

I made a point of cooking some big batch food this weekend so I would have lunches all week and not have to pick from the limited eating out options in downtown Providence. Also, spending $6 a day on soup seems pretty ridiculous. Saturday I made some chili in the crock pot. Note to self: more chili powder. And maybe some cayenne. Yesterday I made black eyed peas, since I didn't get to make them for the new year.

Now I have little containers all prepped for lunches this week (and probably part of next week). Both meals are full of fiber and veggies and made by my own hand so I know they're healthy. I love it when I plan ahead.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Eating the BMR

Since I'm not working out, my plan is to eat at about my BMR - which according to the equation on the Jillian Michaels site (which I'm pretty sure is the same as the one my nutrition specialist friend recommended to me) is 1627. This is with no exercise, since I'm a lazy bum right now, sitting around all day to minimize coughing.

I'm trying to remember that it's important that I eat enough. The last thing I want is to have my body in "starvation mode", holding onto everything I eat. I honestly think that's one problem I had last year. I'm sure I'll have to remind myself of this AGAIN when I start working out.

The one diet thing I would change right now is to lower my sodium. Generally, I eat pretty low-sodium, but since I still haven't made it to the store yet (happening tonight!), I've been indulging in the Au Bon Pain soup buffet for lunch. I love love love soup in the winter! The ABP stuff isn't high calorie, generally, but wow is there a lot of sodium. I'm sure once I stop eating the soup on a regular basis, I'll probably deflate a bit.

Last night at the Young Women's mid-week activity we had a discussion about New Year's Resolutions and talked to the girls about what they want to accomplish. The YW President and her husband dedicated themselves to healthy living last year and they are looking fantastic! I am so impressed by them. I made sure to tell her so last night and told her that as soon as I'm well, it's back to the gym I go. She emphasized to me that it's most important for me to get well, which I thought was sweet.

It's hard to be patient, though. I have a plan and I want to get going with it. Though maybe it's best. Maybe by the time I head back to the gym, the giant resolutioner crowd will have thinned out some.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Cheese Question

Still waiting for the coughing to stop, so no gym yet. Judging by the coughing fits I had last night, it may be optimistic to think I'll be back in the gym next week. Sigh. Since cardio is out, I think I'll try to wake up early tomorrow and see if strength training makes me cough. Fingers crossed.

On the food front, I've been pretty sensible. More carbs than I would like, but I haven't made it to the grocery store yet so I'm dealing with what we have in the house, which is nonperishable and carb-ful. Oatmeal and such. However, I have some ground turkey thawing and some kidney beans hydrating and I plan to make healthy chili in the crock pot either tomorrow or Friday.

I've discovered that I LOVE Laughing Cow cheese wedges. Some friends moved away at the end of November and I inherited their leftover Laughing Cow cheeses. Tasty! So I snapped up a couple packages when I saw them on sale a few weeks later and am now wondering what to do with them if I want to limit carbs. Sure, they're delicious on bread and crackers, but does anyone have any other ideas of how to use them? Other than on celery.

Monday, January 04, 2010


We're going to Hawaii at the end of April. I love the ocean so much that it's a bit ridiculous actually. I want to be able to enjoy the beach and the water without being completely self conscious about my body in a swimsuit.

My goal is to improve my muscle tone and to lose that first 10% of weight to reset my set point by the time we go. 19 pounds in a smidge less than 4 months. I think that's perfectly reasonable.

We get home tomorrow and on Tuesday after work I'm going to go through our freezer and figure out what we have so I can plan menus. Then I'm going to pick up some fresh produce.

As for the working out... I need to stop coughing first. I'm much, much better, but I'm still having coughing fits if I exert myself too much. This week I'll concentrate on food, next week I'll add in the gym. And as I've discussed before, strength training will play a key part in my workouts. My goal is to feel HOT in Hawaii.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Holiday Food

My in-laws are snackers. Meals aren't really a priority for them, but there are always snacks around. We've been here for a week and a half and I can officially say that I am over sugar for the immediate future.

So. Much. Sugar.

Peanut M&M's, cheesecake, chocolate cream pie, pecan pie, macadamia nut clusters. And on the savory side we've had fondue and raclette and artichoke dip and cheese balls and sandwiches with salami and provolone. It's all tasty but after so many days of eating such rich food, I'm about done. They bought stuff to make chocolate fondue on Christmas Eve and every night it's proposed as a possible dessert and everyone says no thanks because we've all had quite enough sweets during the rest of the day. I have 3 or 4 Lindt balls in my stocking and I can't work up any enthusiasm about eating them. I'll save them for a time when I feel like eating sugar again. Like March.

I am honestly craving the simple, healthy fare that I make at home. Vegetables sound amazing right now.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Goal: Athleticism

A few days ago we saw Avatar. The movie was fun - great effects, predictable story, which is pretty much exactly what I was expecting.

Here was the weird take away I had from it: I'm tired of my fat body keeping me from doing things. I realize I won't be able to leap from treetop to floating mountain anytime soon, but there was just something about the athleticism of the characters that appealed to me. I know that I would enjoy hiking and other activities more if I had less weight on my frame. I've felt better at a lower weight. And really, it's not as much about the weight as it is about the flabbiness. I want to be stronger.

I'm also tired of sickness keeping me from doing things. I'm sick, yet again. We're in Utah visiting the in-laws and when we arrived on the 23rd I was a week into a cold. I figured I had a week, max, left before I felt better. Instead I picked up a new and exciting bug and am now coughing like a fiend and having problems catching my breath if I do something crazy like stand for too long.

I had planned to bring my workout clothes and go to the gym with my mother-in-law while we were here since she goes pretty much every day. But since I've been sick the whole time, that hasn't happened. What a waste of a bunch of vacation days.

This has been the most maddening year for me and sickness, although I'm starting to recognize a pattern, which I don't think is psychosomatic since I JUST realized it. The pattern is, I eat healthy and work out and I'm well. It's when I fall off the healthy living wagon that I get sick soon after. When I think back, it seems like the last 3 times I've been sick fall neatly into this pattern.

So my goal - once the cough goes away and the lung capacity comes back - is to focus yet again on the healthy living. I just hope that I'm better soon.