Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Blog

As someone who is very anxious about any sort of change, this gives me spikes of nerves to say, but I'm ready to stop posting here and start only posting at my new blog. It's in the process of getting a makeover by the talented Emily at www.theblogfairy.com, but I couldn't wait to start posting over there! It's still me, but a bit less stream-of-consciousness and a bit more organized. And hopefully the new look marks the turning over of a new leaf health-wise.

My intention for that space, besides keeping track of my weight loss and the lessons I learn through that, is that it will be a place where I can report on and keep track of other things I'm learning about like ways of living that are greener, healthier and more organized. Right now I'm working on learning about being more environmentally conscious and will be posting some tips I've read about related to food, eating and restaurants later today.

I don't know if anyone still visits me over here, but if you do and if you'd like to know where I've gone, the new address is www.rachelsroad.com

Hope to see you there!

Refusing to sit on the sidelines

I always knew I was stubborn - maybe that's why it takes me so long to learn simple life lessons and make long-lasting, healthy changes.
I'm starting to change my mindset, however. I'm not letting myself avoid experiences because they make me nervous. I do have some real problems with anxiety and I try to be gentle with myself about that (e.g. I'm not ready to step on a plane or take a cross-country road trip yet), but I'm not avoiding the little things that I worry will be embarassing or uncomfortable.

Last week I faced a big fear when I went on that long hike in the Tennessee summer heat.
Today I'm taking some of my kids to the pool....in a swimsuit! In public!
On Saturday Ryan and I are going out to a local club where actual people will be able to see me! :)
And in two weeks we have our big Farm Community 'family' reunion and even though I haven't lost the weight I wanted to before seeing everybody again, I'm going to focus on being myself and having a great time no matter what that paranoid little person who lives in my skull thinks people are whispering about me.
I'm ready to get out there!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Update from June 17th: Turns out the girls weren't scared at all and wanted to clamber up and down rocks to get all the way to the bottom of the biggest waterfall.

I was way braver than I thought I'd be because while focusing on the well being of little ones, there's not much energy left for my own anxieties. On the way back up I overheated and got a bit worried, but slowed down, drank water and everything turned out fine.
Here we are almost at the water's edge. We stayed down for awhile, dipped our feet in the water, found dragonflies and looked for rocks for one of the girls' rock collections. The hardest part was the long trip back UP. We emerged from the experience exhausted, but totally unscathed, picnicked on fruit, veggies, cheese and crackers and topped off the day with a trip to Marble Slab for sundaes and to Walgreens to print out some pics for them to keep and show their parents. Fun!

100th post!

I don't really have anything momentus to type about for this occassion, but I thought it was a nice milestone to mention :) I've rambled on for 100 posts without finding any sort of regular posting rhythm or consistent theme....yay? I do want to eventually become more defined and regular, and I'm working on that. I'm setting up a new blog that should be up by July. Right now I'm looking for a good Blogger template. I know what I want, but I don't know what to call it when I'm searching for it. I want 3 columns with the largest on the left, and I want a space to insert a Picasa (or whatever) slide show that spans across the top of the 2 right columns. So, basically I want the 1st column to start at the top, but I want the other columns to start below a box for a slide show. It's times like these I wish I could just write code.

This week Ryan and I started our own little BL competition. We weighed in on Monday - I was at 173.5. And we're going to weigh in every week to see who's lost the biggest percentage of weight (you know how it goes). Prizes for each week are going to be massages if he wins or back tickles if I do (like very, very light back rubs - it relaxes me). We might add different prizes, but since those are free and we couldn't think of anything that would be better, we're sticking with that idea for now. We're going to go in rounds. The first 'round' is 8 weeks long. At the end of that 8 weeks, whoever wins gets to plan a weekend trip for the 2 of us. It's not like there's a lot of pressure to win, because neither of us would plan a trip that the other wouldn't enjoy...just a little friendly competition to keep us focused.

My eating has been so-so and I haven't been exercising. Yesterday Ryan and I planned to meet at the gym, but I've been feeling very strange and didn't feel up to it. I've just been having a lot of dizziness and headaches or head pressure. I've also been feeling funny in my chest which is a very annoying lifelong theme for me. I've been short of breath, probably from allergies, but since I'm paranoid I always think there's something wrong with my heart, which makes me anxious - and I feel that in my chest too so it makes it all much worse. I've also been really exhausted and have been extra sensitive to the heat. I think all I need is a good, solid week of enough rest, hydration and clean eating. I'm going to keep the exercise gentle for now.

Today I'm going hiking, but since I'm taking a few of my students with me (and maybe their older sister whose in middle school?) it won't be too strenuous. It's not that I don't think they're capable of climbing down the rocky parts, but it makes ME too nervous to watch them do it! So we'll stay on the trails and see some waterfalls. It should be fun :) This is going to be my busiest week for the summer with plans to do things with kids from school. Yesterday I took 2 to the library to see Safari Greg and then out for lunch. Today - hiking. Thursday I'm taking my regular 3 to see the same show at the library, check out new books, play in the park, and work on a few reading skills. And on Saturday, Ryan is going to come with me when I take that same group to see a play at the Children's Theater in Nashville. I can't wait! 2 of the kids are boys, so I asked Ryan to come with us so I'd have someone to supervise the boys' bathroom trips. It's not that I don't think he'll enjoy "Lily's Purple Plastic Purse" :) I just need an extra hand.

I've got to plan a picnic for the girls and I for our hiking trip...I have no idea what they like to eat...probably something not vegetarian that I don't know how to make....hmmmm....maybe they'll be happy with PB&J :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

starting summer

I just got back from a week in Chicago. I saw some of my best friends, visited with my family, tried to stay busy and ate a lot of birthday cake/petite fours. It was great! It's not actually my birthday until July, but since I won't see my family again before then we celebrated summer birthday's together early.

During the week I went shopping for makeup, scarves, tank tops (unsuccessfully), and a few things at Ikea. I went to a White Sox game (Gasp! Horror!) even though I've been a HUGE Cubs fan my entire life. But, hey, the Cubs were out of town, I don't hate the Sox, and I wanted to see a game. Plus, they were playing a team that has a few of my favorite ex-Cubs on it. The park was really nice and still very new-looking. I was shocked to find out that they had veggie hot dogs, too!

Early in the week I helped one of my friends by grading papers at her school all day and then met another of my friends for dinner at a cafe where her super-talented jazz drumming husband was playing that night.

On the way up to Chicago we stopped at a place in Indiana that has something like 270 flavors of popcorn! We tried a few and bought a few more to try later. Honestly, they were mostly not really my taste, but it was a fun experience recommended by the widower of my former work friend and colleague.

Other than that I got a cute summery pedicure (purplish-pink with a rhinestone flower on each big toe), ate at some great restaurants (Harry Carey's, Blind Faith vegetarian cafe, Goose Island Brewery, Wholy Frijoles Mexican restaurant) and enjoyed the unseasonably cool weather in beautiful Chi-town! The only thing I didn't get to do was spend time at the lake - the one day I had time, it was freezing and rainy all day. Maybe I'll have to go back soon :)

I was too busy to exercise, but did walk a lot. I didn't really pay attention to my food choices either. I just enjoyed my time and came back at the exact same weight I was when I left town last week: 171.

My mom drove back with me yesterday and is flying back out today. I didn't ask her to do that, but she worries about me doing the 10 hour drive by myself and I had free plane tickets, so that's how it worked out. Before she leaves I'm going to take her for a walk in our local park and maybe go see the Appalachian Center for Craft which is on the way to the airport.

Tomorrow I have a literacy conference all day and I'm tutoring a group of students at the library in the afternoon. After that I hope to get started on my summer routine of exercise, studying teaching writing and practicing Spanish. I can't wait!

Here I am with mom and Ryan at the Sox game in Chicago

Saturday, May 30, 2009

School's out!

Today is the last day of the school year! I don't know why it's on a Saturday, but apparently this isn't out of the ordinary in my crazy little town. There's no bus service and a 10 AM dismissal, so I'll be surprised if any kids actually show up. I can't say that I'd send my own kids if I had any.

We have a fund raiser for our school playground at 11, a memorial for a co-worker who passed away from breast cancer last week at 3 :( :( :( and then will be cleaning, cleaning, cleaning in preparation for my mom to get here tomorrow.

It's been a crazy-busy last few weeks of school. I've been scrambling trying to make plans to see a bunch of my kids this summer and get our files in order. It should be fun! So far I made plans to meet regularly with 3 of my kids going into 2nd grade. I gave them each backpacks filled with stuff that I want them to work with this summer and am going to see them once a week. Mostly, we'll go to the library, look at books and study, but I planned field trips to the zoo, a children's theatre and a minor league baseball game.
I'm trying to get in touch with the parents of 3 boys who are going into 3rd grade to ask if I can take them to the science museum/planetarium at the end of June, and I already got permission to take one group to the library when they're having a special animal-guy guest, another to the hands-on museum, and another to a picnic at a nearby state park with waterfalls.

I'm so glad I decided against continuing grad school this summer - I never would've been able to do this stuff if I hadn't.

I'll be in Chicago next week seeing some friends and family. I want to try this semi-fancy vegetarian restaurant I've never been to before (Green Zebra), help one of my other teacher friends out at her school, maybe see a play, get a pedicure, shop for makeup and a new bag or purse and go to a baseball game. Unfortunately, my Cubs are on the road, so it'll be a White Sox game (gasp!). At least they're playing the Indians which is the team a few of my favorite ex-Cubs were traded to this winter.

By the way - my garden (er...Ryan's garden) is HUGE! We picked broccoli last week, have been picking lettuce and herbs for a few, and just saw the beginnings of baby tomatoes, cucumber and squash! I'm such the proud mama!
I'll post pics later.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

been busy

I've had a very elementary school-teacherish week.
After baking up a storm Monday night, I set to work on these pinatas with my kids. They designed, planned and started them at school, and I just got finished making what we didn't finish (most of it). Whew!
I think they look pretty cute :)
They go with units on plant parts, weather/wind/energy, and shapes (round things)
We break them Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

life gets in the way

I haven't fallen off the wagon. Everything's fine. But this week hasn't been as strong as last week on the eating and exercise front.

I've been crazy busy and keep forgetting to eat all day, getting exhausted and not feeling well, then eating so-so at best at night. No binges though. I picked up my M&M/Reece's bulk mix at the grocery store today but put to back before checking out. I haven't even really been hungry.

Monday grades were due and I spent all night getting ready for an ESL parent breakfast party Tuesday morning. I made 100 cupcakes, some lemon bundt thingies and a crumb cake, put together a slide show and generally worried a bunch...

Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment right after school so I didn't head to the gym, and I promised Ryan I'd help him bottle his 2nd batch of homebrew because he'd been my baking assistant the day before. So, there went Tuesday night.

Today (Wednesday)I've spent the night papier mache-ing the bases for 4 pinatas. I'm making the shell for my kids to decorate. They've each come up with an idea for a pinata that illustrates the theme for the books/unit we've been working on. In short, it's a banana tree and a daisy for the 2 groups working on parts of plants, a kite for the group working on wind (energy and weather), and a watermelon for the group working on shapes (our last book was about 'round things').

I'm beat! Next week is the last week of school and I'll be in a much better routine after that, hopefully. In the meantime I'm doing the best I can given crazy circumstances.

Monday, May 18, 2009


After losing every day this week (including yesterday, the day after being sick), I gained 0.8 lbs today. Oh well. It's still a total loss of 5.6 lbs for the week. I'll take it!
I didn't over eat yesterday and I went hiking for a couple hours, so I'm not worried that I did anything 'wrong' that caused a little gain - just a normal fluctuation combined with sleeping really poorly...I usually won't lose if I don't get enough sleep.

Victories for the past week include exercising every day, pushing my limits (even though that didn't turn out so well), no binging, no sugary snacks, generally eating well and drinking enough everyday, studying Spanish when I could, doing pretty well keeping up with the house, feeling like I was accomplishing what I wanted to at work and getting the grades back from my spring semester at UT that maintained my 4.0.

I didn't do everything I wanted, but I didn't get frustrated about that. Very successful week, I think! The only thing that's bugging me is that my anxiety is feeling a bit worse for some reason. I'd think the better diet and exercise would help. Maybe it's something physiological about losing weight that messes with my meds or anxiety levels. I plan on just keeping up what I'm doing, though. I see my doctor tomorrow for a check-up, so I'll ask her about that.

We have 2 weeks left of school and I'm ready to go! I have my lunch and breakfast packed, my clothes for the week laid out, and a to-do list a mile long. First item: average grades.
Better get going!

Getting active! Here I am at the bottom of the big waterfall at Fall Creek Falls, TN yesterday. Scary, rocky hike for me, but I did it!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

overdoing it

When I started eating healthily and working out this Monday I said "I'm doing this Biggest Loser style!". And what I meant was that I wanted to test out the idea that maybe my biggest obstacle is a lack of belief in myself and maybe what I need to do is push past what I think my limits are, work harder and have the experience of doing something I didn't think my body would do. I wanted to work out long and hard and know that I wouldn't die and that nothing terrible would happen.

So, yesterday I did day 2 of the C25K program. I extended it to 30 min. instead of 20, but my running pace is only 5.0 mph. Even though any running is hard for me, that's not a ridiculous pace at all. Then I went on the elliptical for an hour. I felt terrible. I was wiped out and lowered my resistance for the last 10 minutes, but pushed through. At the end I went over to free weights and did shoulder front raises, overhead presses and lateral raises. I felt tired but good that I'd done what I'd planned.

When we were just about to leave I got a little dizzy. Then I got so dizzy that I had to sit down for a minute. I didn't know if I could drive but I just wanted to get home. When I got home I threw up, ate some strawberries and toast (because I thought that might be what I needed), felt terrible for an hour, threw up again and stayed miserable for the next several hours. It was a really rough night. I drank Gatorade and later nibbled a few plain tortellinis and finally feel much better after a good night's sleep.

I know I over-react and am completely paranoid about my health. And I probably shouldn't have Googled the reasons behind post-workout puking and dizziness because I inadvertently came across warnings about having a heart attack. But, even knowing that I overreact and that a lot of people have that experience after pushing too hard, I think that was not worth it for me. If pushing my limits means feeling that terrible for so long after my workout, I'm going to take it a little easier until my endurance is built up again. I'm also thinking about breaking up my workouts into AM and PM sessions and maybe eating a little more before I head to the gym. (yesterday I had an apple and string cheese).

On the schedule for this weekend is walking and biking today (changed from an original plan of a more strenuous gym workout) and hiking tomorrow. I'll probably also do the leg workout section of my Cher tape.

P.S. - I weighed in just now and am at 169 which means I have (maybe) lost 6 pounds since Monday and reached my goal for the week 2 days early! I'm fully aware that it's probably a false low because of last night, that it's possible I'm dehydrated, and that it's likely the scale will go up a bit tomorrow, but it's still fun to see the scale out of the 170s again :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

not fighting myself

This week has gone really well so far. I already feel like the healthy choices I'm making are becoming a part of my natural routine.

Since I regained all the weight I'd lost, and the last part of that pretty rapidly, I set a goal of losing 6 lbs this week with a Monday weigh day. That's just for the first week back in this thing. So far I've lost 4.6 with 3 more days to go! I'm focused on making long term lifestyle changes, but also on losing the pounds...and I'm comfortable with that as long as I don't get obsessed or down on myself because of a number on the scale. But so far so good!

Every day this week I've had the same breakfast and lunch and that seems to be working well for me. I've had 5.3 oz. non-fat, plain Greek yogurt with strawberries and Ezekiel flax cereal for breakfast, a big salad with either tempeh or garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds and a dressing of 1 tsp. each olive and flaxseed oils, red wine vinegar, basil and pepper for lunch and a different snack and dinner. Monday through Thursday it's been...

Snacks: veggies and hummus, string cheese and apple, banana (and unplanned corn chips with salsa), rice cake with peanut butter and apple
Dinners: steamed veggies, rice and tofu; veggie, cheese and hummus sandwich; leftover steamed veggies and rice with tempeh; cheese and bean quesadilla with roasted veggies

I've exercised everyday too. I want to do about an hour a day but my most important goal is just to move everyday even if it's just a walk in the neighborhood.

Monday: 1 hour on Precor AMT; 20 min. walk around the neighborhood
Tuesday: 30 min. of C25K program day 1; back and biceps; step and abs class (This class nearly killed me!!! But I think I'm going to go back next week)
Wednesday: 53 min. walk in the neighborhood; chest and triceps (could've done better this day but I came home after work to watch the BL finale I'd recorded instead of going to the gym because I was worried I'd hear the outcome...doesn't make much sense - oh well)
Thursday: Cher step aerobics video
Friday: I'm planning to go do a 10 min. abs video now, then after work I'm going to do the 2nd day of the C25K program for 30 min., get on an elliptical for an hour and do a quick shoulder workout

I can't emphasize enough how much of a difference ending the grad-school semester and making the decision to take a break has made for me in terms of healthy decisions! I don't know how I feel about the idea will-power, but my sense is that it can play a small part in helping me to make good decisions in the moment, but that it's no match for feelings of shame, guilt, helplessness or being overwhelmed. I was fighting a losing battle trying to use will-power to push me through a situation that I just wasn't able to handle right now and because I was setting myself up for failure and more importantly, feeling like a failure, I was never going to be able to use 'will power' to have eating/exercising successes.

It's still spring and school's not out, but I feel like I'm setting the foundations for a great, productive summer :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


As you know if you've read this page before, I've had a lot of ups and downs this year (mostly downs) and I'm trying to figure out what to do to set things right once and for all. My biggest obstacle is binging, and my biggest binging trigger is feeling shame. It seems to me like people who are happy and fulfilled in their lives and who stay productive and busy (but balanced, NOT overwhelmed) don't participate in those sorts of self-destructive behaviors. So what I've been trying to do is concentrate on being balanced and feeling together. For me, this involves being prepared for work, looking the best I can, being physically active, keeping the house clean and organized, being social, having a creative outlet and doing some sort of self-improvement/studying project.

After I turned in my final last week I went shopping and for the past week I've really been trying to pay attention to the way I look. I've been planning my outfits, which are now composed of clothes that fit me and are not falling apart, the night before. I've been doing my hair and makeup and wearing jewelry.

I've reconnected with some long-lost friends on facebook and through some overdue phone calls and have been trying to be more outgoing at work.

I've started my Rosetta Stone Spanish lessons.

The house is...well....getting there. Not a disaster zone.

Having these things in place sets me up for success. And I'm definitely ready for some success. I've regained the weight I lost last fall and when I weighed in yesterday was back at 175 - a nice, round, restarting number, right? It seemed like as good a day as any to re-focus, I guess! I set a goal of losing 60 pounds and feel totally ready now that I've decided to take the summer (at least) off from grad school. I got my grades from the spring semester this morning and miraculously maintained my 4.0! I have no idea how that happened, but I'm extremely relieved and ready to put the stress of that semester behind me once and for all.

Yesterday and today I planned healthy meals and have been doing well so far with not feeling snacky. Both days I had Greek yogurt with strawberries and Ezekiel cereal for breakfast and a salad with garbanzo beans for lunch. Yesterday's snack was veggies and hummus. Today's is string cheese and an apple. Yesterday's dinner was brown rice, steamed veggies, yeasty tofu and soy vey teriyaki sauce. Today either leftovers or hummus/cheese/veggie sandwiches.

Yesterday I also went to the gym for the first time in a looooong time. I did an hour on the new Precor AMT (?) (half in elliptical motion, half in step motion). Then Ryan and I went for a short (20 min) walk in the evening.
Today I'm planning to start the C25K program, maybe do some weights and then go to a step class at 5:15. It will be my first class ever at the gym :) I'm a little nervous that I'll look stupid, but mostly excited that I'm going to try something new.

Ryan's meeting me at the gym after work. Now that I've set myself up for success and with the two of us committed to a healthy lifestyle together, I'm feeling hopeful that a lot of great changes will take place with my fitness and health this summer.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Last Friday at 4:30 AM I finally crawled over the finish line of this semester, turned in my papers and collapsed. Whew! I'm so glad that semester is behind me. I was really getting sucked into some sort of abyss of fatigue, stress and self-pity.
I didn't quite start Friday with the lifestyle-makeover-bang I'd hoped to. But, you know, only getting 2 hours of sleep will do that to a girl.

But, Saturday! Saturday was much better. I made a decision that I need to start getting out there and just trying things that I've lacked the confidence to try so far. I'm talking basic things here....I pretty much look like a slob, or at least extremely plain and casual all the time since I've thought I didn't know how to/couldn't dress in a way that was flattering, do makeup, do my hair, etc. I've had a lot of negative self-talk going on for years and that's led me to give up on quite a bit. I think I'll fail at something, so I give up before I start. OR, I plan and plan and plan my life away waiting for 'it' to be perfect before I start. Maybe that means I wait to like my body before I buy clothes or wait to have figured out some magical, perfect meal plan before I change my diet. In terms of appearance, I think my hair will always be frizzy, so I just put it in a ponytail (like that's better?!). I'm a size 16 but also have petite proportions, so I think I won't find clothes that fit and look good, so I buy something with out trying it on and feel embarassed (seriously, that's better?!!)

So, Saturday I decided I wasn't going to wait anymore. I went on a bit of a shopping spree. This happens whenever I decide to bite the bullet and shop. Since I NEVER shop, historically, whenever I do I usually have some sort of revelation about how much I really 'need' and go overboard. Well, this was no exception. I have been rotating the same 3 pairs of ill-fitting, fraying pants day after day along with a pilling sweater, an old, faded zip-up sweatshirt with a broken zipper and miscellaneous other clothes meant for hiding in. So I needed a lot. I got several new jackets, shirts, pants and shoes plus a bunch of cheap, but cute costume jewelry. I had to buy most of it online because of the afore mentioned size conundrum, but that's okay. I went to the department store (best we have in our little town is Kohl's), found out my size and some brands and styles that worked, and ordered the rest at home. Everything should be here by Thursday and I'm super excited!

I got dressed up and went to a retirement party on Saturday, then went to work in another outfit I was proud of yesterday and felt immesurably better than I have been/would've wearing the old duds. I'm sure everyone on Earth has learned this but me, but it really is amazing what wonders it can do for confidence to wear clothes you like! The biggest difference for me is that they aren't too tight, reminding me of my weight gains every second. I can forget about feeling humiliated and down on myself which leads to happier me, which probably leads to less shame/stress-induced bingey behaviors.
I win! :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

impromptu weigh-day

Ryan weighed this morning heavier than he's ever been. Still not 'fat', but it's a rapid, significant gain & he doesn't feel well. So we decided that even though we've been planning turning things around and making a lot of lifestyle changes with a deadline of Friday after my finals are turned in, that maybe we should make some changes today.

We'd definitely been falling into the trap of "I'm starting healthy habits (insert day coming up soon), so I'll just eat this (insert random unhealthy junk) while I can." After he weighed I said "well, I guess I'll weigh today, too...but I know my body and I weigh 174. I don't even need to get on the scale."But I did so I could have an official # to write down and guess what? 173.6 I really can tell what I weigh with pretty good accuracy...I guess most of us can.

I'm 'this close' to having all my research gathered and organized and will be ready to start writing the papers tonight. Once I have all my ideas down, notes gathered and outline finished it won't take me that long....one or two evenings. I decided to quit grad school, simplify and minimize stress and outside-of-work obligations so I could focus on my health, and I've been soooo looking forward to it. We have a lot of physical activity planned for the weekend and blocks of time scheduled for healthy cooking.

I'm really glad because besides regaining pretty much all of my weight (I started WW at 176 last July) I have had a few mystery ailments pop up & they certainly aren't going to be made better by NON-healthy choices. I'm hoping they'll just magically clear up while I focus on health over the summer, but I think I'm going to have to go to the dr. for one today. I'm dreading getting on that scale...it makes me not want to go because I don't want them writing this # in my chart!!! I know that's silly, but it's how I feel. I'm writing these down so I can document them here for myself, but read on if you're so inclined. :)

#1 - From Sept. through ~Feb. my lips were peeling. I told my doc and we talked about basic things like staying hydrated and wearing chapstick...duh. A week or 2 ago I got some sore or irritation in the corner of my mouth...it got better but then a milder version popped up on the other side. Then my lips got irritated, red and painful including the area around my lips. I stopped using my chapstick and have been using Carmex and it's been a lot better but not great. I don't know if I developed an allergy to chapstick or what...

#2 - For a while now I've had mild, slightly annoying pain or soreness in my left index finger knuckle. I'm right handed and don't do anything with my left hand that should be able to cause a repetitive use injury. Yesterday, all of a sudden, the knuckle got painful and swollen and now it hurts to move it in any direction and it's hard to make a fist with that finger down. I'm not able to type with that finger either, which is really slowing me down. I'm a fast typist and I think while I type, so to have to think about which fingers to use instead distracts me from what I'm typing about. Not so much a problem here, but definitely bothersome for these final papers.

#3 - I'm getting what look like liver spots...a bunch on my lower legs and 2 on my face. I've showed them to my doctor and she doesn't think they're anything to worry about, but they sure ain't cute. :-Z

So...I'm drinking my plain lemon, ginger tea now and am going to eat clean and light today and probably bite the bullet and try to get in to see my doctor about the knuckle. I've really let my body down, but I hope it's not too late to turn it around!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quick Post

Note: I tried to post this here yesterday and couldn't figure out why it never showed up. I'm working on putting together a new blog, but am not planning on posting content there for another month or so and I just found it posted over there....hmmmmmm....
Anyway - it was just a quick post - here it is.

I just discovered facebook....I know, I know - I'm behind the times :) But, wow! Wow! The crazy names that pop out from the past! I'm not linking to the blog although for all I know people there will be able to find me here. I don't have it figured out yet. But, it is making me think that if I ever post a link to my blog on my facebook page, that I'll want to think before I type and not just spew out every whiney, stream-of-consciousness nonsense that pops through my brain. Hmmm...Maybe I should do that anyway! So many people are there from so many different areas and times in my life. It could feel a little exposing.

It's definitely a time stealer, too. I should stay away until this final paper is finished. I'm still procrastinating with that, but feeling slightly less hopeless.I'm waaaaay happier since I decided to give grad school a break - good decision, I think. Off to work!

Monday, April 13, 2009

on hold/holding on

I'm in the final few weeks of this semester. I'm sick again. I've been having anxiety spikes after cutting my meds for that in half. I'm having a super rough time with my final papers. I haven't been bingey, but haven't been great either and the only exercise I've been getting is through cleaning and walks.

I've made a decision. I swear I used to be able to multi-task, but the degree to which I keep getting derailed from my routine and goals this year and the frequency with which I'm getting sick is freaking me out. My body is clearly sending me messages that I need to simplify and prioritize. So, I'm putting grad school on hold indefinitely after I finish my final papers over the next 2 weeks.

I've known that I'm overwhelmed, run-down, stressed out and pretty much losing it for months now, and I finally decided that I couldn't just push through and ignore it. I sat down and thought hard about my priorities and what I want long and short term...what's really important and what I'm willing to sacrifice to get it.

What I came up with is this. My top three priorities are my kids at school, my health and my family, friends and daily life...like keeping organized, keeping the house clean - just the baseline things that are essential for me to have a reasonably happy existance that involves the people I love.
My fourth priority is my future growth in terms of education, career, and other development. This includes grad school, going for my NBTS certification, and other 'optional' things that I sometimes think are essential like spending time on crafts, learning new skills, etc.

What I realized is that I have been letting the thing that's fourth on my list of priorities prevent me from doing well the things that are in the top three. That's just silly. Doesn't make any sense at all.

So, until I feel that I'm doing my kids justice, my health is under control and my daily home and family life is supported by a stable, healthy routine, that 4th priority is going to have to wait.
It's a big load off to finally have made that decision. It's a difficult and emotional one for me since it's been so long in the making and I was so proud to finally be on my way to those goals after crashing and burning as an undergrad and gradually working my way back through straight A's in my first Master's and in my ESL certification. But I know by the sense of peace that I've had since I made that decision that it's the right one.

The next few weeks are going to be difficult and hectic while I finish this semester up, but as soon as it's through I have at least 3 months, even if I do decide to go back to UT in the fall, to focus on those priorities. With the summer off from work and school, 2 of those months will be without the daily work schedule. I, of course, will need to work to get ready for the next school year, but I won't have to be anywhere specific at any exact time to do that work.

I'm going to focus on diet, exercise, greening our lives (composting, gardening, making cleaning products, cooking from scratch, etc.), learning Spanish, reading some books on teaching reading and writing, making unit plans for next year, researching ways others school systems have improved ESL parent involvement, and reading, reading, reading. I'm really excited. This will be the first summer I've had completely off - no work, no school since I started teaching besides the summer my dad died which was, of course, hectic and un-relaxing in its own horrible way.

If I get rehired next year at the same school I've been at for the last 2 years (it's always up in the air with ESL) I'll be so thrilled. I drove by the site where they're rebuilding our school and it's an easy bike ride no more than a mile from my house. How awesome would that be to ride to and from work every day?! I'm so hoping that I get to go back there and really work on strengthening my ties with the parents and other teachers now that I'll have made the time to focus on that.

I'm so ready for this shift. It feels good to know I'm stopping fighting myself and starting to do what's simplest, healthiest and best for me right now. I just have to keep telling myself to push through these papers and that the sooner I finish them, the sooner I can get started on this new path. It's super difficult to push through when you're sick and burned out, but I know I can do it and it will be so worth it to get to this new place.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

weekly prep

Ryan and I spent a lot of time this weekend going over 5 of our cookbooks, picking out recipes that sound good and planning for the week.

I'm going to take a cue from Toni at The Happy Housewife and plan dinners for the month ahead of time - not specifically what I'm going to eat everyday, but a list of meals that I will choose from at the beginning of each week. I love the simple food we eat, but it will be good for us to try new things. We're going to do this Monday through Friday because Ryan wants to leave room for spontaneity on the weekends and that's cool with me.

I'm still sticking with that general shell I talked about that serves as a guide for planning the nutritional content of the day. For example, before I planned the specifics for tomorrow I knew that I'd be having a smoothie for breakfast, a sandwich with some kind of bean spread and veggies for lunch, fruit and nuts for snack and a salad with tofu or tempeh and a grain for dinner.

I have my list divided into tempeh/tofu dishes, bean/legume dishes, and miscellaneous (grains, veggies, sides, soups without beans or tempeh, etc.) I don't have all the meals for this month chosen yet, but I do have this week planned. I'll post the 20 days of dinners when I can. We decided to make things easier that we would choose one grain for the week and make it on Sunday. This week I made 8 servings of quinoa for use in 3 recipes and to have plain with my salad tomorrow.

Breakfasts: fruit, yogurt, protein powder, flaxseed oil, E3Live and cran-water smoothies x2; greek yogurt with 1/4 c. Ezekiel flax cereal, banana and almonds x2; steel cut oats with apple, almond butter and cinnamon

Lunches: bagel, cheese, chick pea spread and veggie sandwich with raw veggies; leftover corn chowder and cold bean salad (from Sunday's dinner); leftover yeasty tofu, quinoa and veggie stir-fry (from Tuesday's planned dinner); leftover curried quinoa with peas, garbanzo beans and cashews with raw veggies (from Wednesday's dinner); salad with garbanzo beans

Snacks: apple or grapes & 1/2 oz. nuts x2; raw veggies & chick pea spread; light string cheese and light Wasa crackers; fruit alone

Dinners: salad with baked tempeh, sunflower seeds and veggies with quinoa x2; yeasty tofu, veggie and quinoa stir fry; curried quinoa with peas, garbanzo beans and cashews; spicy quinoa and potato croquettes with szechuan tofu triangles

Desserts: tea; hot cocoa; fruit and almond butter; fruit and tea; popcorn

I'm excited to start actually using my cookbooks, helping out in the kitchen and trying new things. I do want to track the nutritional info on these new things, but am entering the home stretch of this semester of grad school and will probably not have time to do much else than work on my research papers this week when I'm not at school.

Right now I need to get some readings done for tomorrow's class so I can get to bed!
I'm not ready for the week like I want to be, but at least my meals are packed for tomorrow, the laundry's done and put away and the house isn't a complete disaster zone.

Here's a few pics of prepping corn chowder, chick pea spread, baked tempeh and quinoa for the week.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

trying to get it right

I thought I did really well yesterday, but I entered my food on SparkPeople this morning and I'm STILL getting too much fat (64 g. when my recommended max is 56). According to the goals they set up for me I'm also slightly too low on carbs and too high on fiber, but probably not enough to be worrisome.
Printable Nutrition Report

It is helpful for me to enter my food and get that feedback though - otherwise I wouldn't have realized that my 4 oz. of tempeh had 8 g. of fat! I wouldn't have even thought to factor that in as a fat source. Seeing what I eat all laid out in front of me helps me understand where the little bits of fat are coming from and how they add up (4 g. in the crackers, 2 in the lowfat yogurt, 2 in the protein powder, 3 in the hummus, etc.)

The problem I'm still having with fat is trying to integrate these recommendations I hear about oil and still not go over. I'm trying to get 1 tbsp. each of flaxseed oil and olive oil, which is 28 g. of fat right there. I'm also trying to eat seeds or nuts regularly. I only had 1/2 an oz. but that's another 7 g.

I wrote about this last week or the week before, but I think I still need to search for another source of long-chain omega-3s that is lower in fat. And maybe I'll cut down on the olive oil, although it's going to be hard to get less than 2 tsp. if I use it for cooking and in my salad dressing...

I woke up at 4 AM from a nightmare and that spiked my anxiety which somehow led to me lying awake worrying about my health instead of doing what's good for my health and resting!
I'm already planning a nap later when I get home from work.

Even though I didn't feel ready, it was so great to be back at work and see my kids yesterday. They were so excited when I came to pick them up and were hyper and huggy and a little clingy all day. With the standardized testing nonsense we'd been doing before break I hadn't really had classes with them consistently for a month, so they were relieved to get back to normal.
Such angels :)
I really am lucky to have that job and be in their lives. I want to get my health together for me but for them too - as an example and as a more energetic teacher.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Oh the horror of weigh day!

169.4 this morning. Yup...mmhmmm....sounds about right after last week. Even when I stopped binging on Friday I still ate crap.
Okay, then.

In other, better news, food for the day is packed and meals for the week are mostly planned. My work for the week (grad school) is NOT done, but I plan to take care of that today.
I made a sort of outline of meals that I'm going to try to stick with for at least a month...it doesn't tell me what specific dishes we're having, but has broader categories like 'bean soup' or 'tempeh/veggie dish'. It outlines the main nutritional components I should choose so I know that whatever specifics I choose at the beginning of the week I'll be on target for protein, fat, carbs, fruit, veggies, etc. Should be close on calories too without too much specific planning.

I made oatmeal, walnut, chocolate chip cookies last night (some with butterscotch) but sent 3/4 of them with Ryan to work.

Stayed up too late last night trying to choose a topic for my final papers (I'm choosing one topic for both classes so my research will overlap and be kinder with time demands on me), then trying to choose an article to represent that topic for the rest of the students in my Thursday class to read before then, then wrestling with the printer to scan it in so I could send it. I actually thought it would take me 15 minutes, but it wound up somehow taking 2 1/2 hours!

So, this morning I was all set to be early and now I'm late to my first day back at work after spring break.
Better get a move on.

Friday, March 27, 2009

turning it around

Wow. This week was fantasticly horrid. Bingey and stress-filled and just bad. I was worried about classes at UT and stressed about it all week. Monday's class was fine even though I wasn't prepared. Thursday's class was a huge, anxious train-wreck.
Ug. I don't want to talk about it.
Every day I'd feel sick at the end of the day and feel SURE that I would turn things around the next morning. And every morning (Tuesday through today - Friday), I'd fall apart before noon.

Today was going similarly, but I decided to change course midway through the day.
I showered, put on make up, got dressed and drove to Nashville where Ryan was attending the ASCE (civil engineering) conference. I hung out with other adult humans which is a sadly rare occurence these days, cheered on teams and ate a salad for dinner.

I have a pretty unpleasant stomach ache right now even though I finished my peanut M&Ms 11 hours ago - I can't believe it's my first one of the week - I totally deserve it. But, I feel really good about stopping the badness and confident about tomorrow.

I'm going back to Nashville to get my hair cut and colored and meet up with Ryan and his engineer friends again. I also need to get some work finished, clean up and get a bit of exercise in. I'm going to start cleaning right now - at least the kitchen - so that tomorrow morning I won't have hours of work to do.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Grilling - just pics

veggie prep

veggies on the grill

Ryan - hard at work grilling potatoes

Finished! Yummmmmm
counter-clockwise from bottom left: BBQ tempeh, teriyaki tofu, shiitakes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, ciabatta sandwich with roasted veggies, avocado, goat cheese, feta cheese, pesto, balsamic vinegar and marinated tempeh (marinated in oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper)


Yesterday unraveled a bit, but it's still not bingey and that's still my measure of good or bad.
I wasn't hungry at all in the morning, so I skipped breakfast which turned out well because I had a huge lunch.
That was the one thing I entered in SparkPeople before I stopped keeping track and it added up to 750 calories with the veggie burger, fake bacon, bun, cheese, sweet potato for fries, olive oil for cooking those (now I know I could've used less), etc...
The rest of the day I didn't photograph or count too closely....
There was a potato chip, um, incident and I have no idea how much I had. I'm trying to see how much is left in the bag this morning and Ryan's trying to remember how much of them he ate, but it's a guess at best. I tried to recreate the food journal this morning and I think I had ~2,100 calories and about double the fat I should've.
I had a very light dinner of leftover brown rice, steamed veggies and tofu (about half as much as last night), but then had a glass of wine and Ryan and I sampled a few of our chocoaltes (Indian curry/coconut, dark with almonds and dark with cocoa nibs).

With the chocolate and cheese this is the first day I've gone over my saturated fat limit. And with the chips, this is the first day (I think) that I've gone over in sodium.
Maybe I should be more upset at my choices, but that's life and it's going to happen and I'm moving on. I was very crave-y all day and had to run out to Walmart by myself for something, but got what I was there for (a funnel and rubbing alcohol for Ryan's home brew experiment) and nothing else - no junk food. Small victory.

We have a good day planned today - eating and otherwise. Ryan's mom and aunt Mary are coming to visit Ryan for his 25th birthday. His birthday was actually a month ago but this is the first weekend that everyone's been in town and off work since.
I'm obviously not hungry for breakfast.
For lunch we're grilling out. We're going to make a salad and try to recreate the yummy roasted veggie panini sandwich Ryan had at Greenlife in Asheville last weekend. We got a bunch of different cheeses but are probably going to use goat cheese. We're using ciabatta bread so it'll be a little different, but good.
I'm off to look up marinades for the eggplant and portobello mushrooms and then try to get some studying done before they arrive.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

spring cleaning

Well, it was slow going, but I spent the last 2 days on and off and on and off cleaning and I'm pretty much finished! I reorganized the pantry and fridge, took things off shelves to dust and clean underneath, did all the laundry, straightening, organizing, windows, scrubbing - everything. I just have to mop and clean the humidifier (to put away) and the dehydrater (to start using) and I'm finished! I love having a clean house. I feel like it sets a good foundation for feeling in control of my environment and myself. Plus, it can only help me going off allergy pills.
I'm about to head to the post office to mail in my tax forms, too. I'm getting a big return which will be very helpful whatever I decide to do with it...probably save for next year's tuition if I stay in this program.

On the eating front, I got a little snacky yesterday and went over my calories, but it wasn't unhealthy snacking (except for the amount of almond butter) and it wasn't bingey so I'm okay with it.

Breakfast: Smoothie with 1/4 c. raspberries, 4 strawberries, 1 tbsp. flaxseed oil, 1/2 cup lowfat plain yogurt, 1/2 c. diluted, unsweetened cranberry juice and protein powder. (I cut the amount of cran-water I'd been using in half and blended at a slower speed for less volume and fewer bubbles)
Lunch: MorningStar Farms ginger teriyaki patty, 3 veggie pot stickers, 1/2 c. edamame, 1 tbsp. Soy Vey teriyaki
Snacks: 1) rice cake with apple and 2 tbsp. almond butter; 2) 19 brown rice thins with 2 tbsp. hummus (this would've been fine to have 2 snacks since I skipped my popcorn dessert IF I had only had 1 tbsp. almond butter...oh well)
Dinner: ate very late - that's probably why I still feel full this morning - had 1/4 block of tofu made with soy sauce, nutritional yeast and 1/2 tsp. olive oil, ~1 c. steamed veggies, 1/2 c. brown rice, sauteed shiitake mushrooms with garlic and another 1/3 tsp. olive oil, more nutritional yeast on top; multi-vitamin

1,716 calories
66 g. fat
204 g. carbs
81 g. protein
26 g. fiber
2,076 mg. sodium

Note on vitamins & supplements:
I'm still low on calcium even though I had tofu and yogurt and took my mulit - I was at 90% of RDA. I hate milk and don't really want to have too much more dairy from cheese. So I probably need to start taking my cal-mag.
I've also been tracking vitamin D since it was suggested to me (by my mom?) that I might have a deficiency, and although I get plenty in my multi, not once has vitamin D shown up in any food I've eaten this week...and I'm hardly ever in the sun...not good. I looked it up and vitamin D is in fish and foods that are fortified with it...I don't have any foods fortified with it and I don't eat fish.
However, I have been thinking about starting to take a fish oil supplement. I've been reading a bit on how vegetarians get long chain Omega-3s and I took Dr. Weil's vitamin advisor quiz. According to him, I can get short chain Omega-3s from flaxseeds, walnuts, hempseeds and I don't know what else and I can get long chains from algae, but it's not converted efficiently by my body. I thought I was doing okay by getting my tbsp. of flaxseed oil each day, but maybe I'm not. I'm going to look into that a little more. I'm not a vegetarian because I think it's wrong to eat animals, I'm veggie because I think the way animals are abused and degraded by a factory system of production is immoral. So I'm open to taking fish oil supplements if I'm convinced it's what my body needs and I can find a good source...not sure what 'good source' means to me but I'll think about it. I'm definitely more comfortable taking an algae supplement if I need to...I just need more information.

Happy weekend!

Friday, March 20, 2009

daily weigh ins

I've been weighing everyday and I think I have to stop or learn not to worry about it so much. On Tuesday and Wednesday I lost, but then I gained Thursday. I lost again today but not down to Tuesday's #. I'm not sure why....I'm diligently tracking everything I eat and staying in my range. I exercised by walking Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - I missed yesterday but cleaned & organized the house almost the whole day, so at least I was active.
It's pretty deflating to do everything right and see those numbers on the scale go up, so I think I might just weigh Mondays and leave it alone.

I think my brain is adjusting to trying to focus on health rather than quick weight loss. I can remember in the past losing half a pound a day....but the thing is, I never kept it up, always gained it back, etc... Now I'm hoping to lose 1-2 pounds a week, but more importantly to improve my long and short-term health, and feel happier and more active. Before, I always JUST wanted to be skinny. So - I'm trying to change my state of mind, but am partially still expecting the same quick results I'd get briefly before. I logically know that my weight will fluctuate due to differences in hydration, elimination, time of day or whatever, but since I have such huge guilt and shame issues with my body, seeing a number go up triggers something bad there.

After feeling great and having an easy time sticking to my meal plans the first 3 days of the week, I struggled a little yesterday and I'm not sure why, but one possibility is the disappointment about that stupid #. (I also got less sleep, was worried about how much time my organization projects were taking and was starting to stress about school work - plus I had cocoa Wednesday night after not having any sugar for 2 weeks, so that could've triggered something I suppose).

My calories and other #s actually turned out fine. I'm still labeling this a 'good day' (I have so many more posts labeled good days than 'bad day' now! It's nice to see. For a long while they were neck and neck). At the end of the day the only difference between the plan and what I ate was that I had 2 flatbread crackers instead of fruit. Fat was better because I didn't have a smoothie or salad with 1 tbsp. of flaxseed oil - which isn't really something I want to make a habit of. Here's the rundown.

Breakfast: 1 c. lowfat plain yogurt with 1 banana, 1/4 c. Ezekiel flax cereal and 10 almonds
Lunch: 'leftover' gobbetti whole wheat pasta (3/4 c. dry), 3 meatless meatballs, 1/2 c. Amy's tomato basil sauce, 1 c. broccoli (boiled with pasta for 2 min.), lemon juice and 1 tbsp. parmesan. (Actually, I didn't make enough for leftovers Wednesday so I just made the same thing)
Snack: 2 multigrain flatbread crackers and 12 cashews (no picture)
Dinner: leftover split pea soup with 5 pieces tempeh and 1 slice Ezekiel sesame toast with 1 tsp. olive oil and nutritional yeast; 5 carrots and 1 c. raw, red cabbage (not pictured)
No dessert

1,515 calories
44 g. fat
210 g. carbs
69 g. protein
43 g. fiber
2,219 mg. sodium

Printable Nutrition Report

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I will be productive today!

Yesterday I took my anxiety meds as normal and was promptly knocked on my butt for 2 hours feeling horribly dizzy, tingly and nauseous. I had these symptoms when I first went on them almost a year ago, but they hadn't shown up in awhile - only if I don't eat before I take them. But yesterday I had that nice, big bowl of steel cut oats, apples and almond butter first...so it didn't make sense.
I'm trying to get my intake as clean as possible so I went off my allergy meds (haven't noticed much of a difference) and birth control pills (started Fertility Awareness Method) this week - one or the other of them must've been interacting with the anxiety pills in some way. I went off my asthma meds a couple months ago and haven't noticed a difference. My asthma has been really mild for years now and I don't have problems unless it's extremely hot or cold or I'm otherwise sick in a way that affects my lungs.
So - I called my doctor & cut my dose back, but in the meantime it seriously put a damper on my planned productive morning.

Today I got up at 5:15 with Ryan, made his lunch (since I made a mess in the kitchen, didn't clean up and didn't want him to have to deal with it), and now I'm going to have my tea and get right to work before I eat or take that pill.

Yesterday was the 3rd day of eating my pre-planned meals (seems longer) and it went well!
I'm still too high on fat and fiber...should've replaced my celery and guacamole snack with crackers or something...it's a funny dilemma to have, but as a vegetarian, trying to avoid going too low on calories and trying to eat fewer processed foods most of my choices are either higher in fat or fiber than I necessarily need. Hmmm....I have some low-fat string cheese...that might be a good option. Maybe more yogurt is in order, except I usually try to get the plain and add my own fruit and other toppings to stay away from the sugar in most fruit-flavored yogurts - so that makes it become more of a meal than a snack. I'll figure it out.

I needed to pick up my car from getting worked on, and Ryan wasn't going to get home before they closed. I didn't want to bother anyone else for a ride and I still needed to get in my exercise, so I walked! It took me an hour and 20 minutes, my pedometer says it was 9,550 steps and I think it was ~3.5 miles. It was sunny and windy and on a busy street, so it wasn't the most relaxing or enjoyable walk, but I'm really glad I did it.

Here's the journal:
Breakfast: 1/4 c. (dry) steel cut oats cooked with 1 apple; topped with cinnamon and 1 tbsp. almond butter
Lunch: salad with romaine, red cabbage, red pepper, carrots, cucumber, 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds, 1 tsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. flaxseed oil, 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar and 1/2 serving of szechuan smoked sprouted tofu
Snack: 2 celery stalks; guacamole (1/2 avocado, lime juice, salt, garlic powder)
Dinner: gobbetti shaped whole wheat pasta (3/4 c. dry), 1/2 c. Amy's tomato basil pasta sauce, 3 Veggie Patch meatless meatballs, steamed broccoli (3/4 c.), lemon juice, 1 tbsp. parmesan cheese
Dessert: huge mug of hot chocolate (4 tsp. Green & Black's hot chocolate powder, 1 c. vanilla soy milk, filled the rest with hot water)

1,426 calories
60 g. fat
172 g. carbs
58 g. protein
42 g. fiber
2,179 mg. sodium

Printable Nutrition Report

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I heart spring break

Aaaahhhh....relaxation :)
It was so nice spending the day with Ryan yesterday.
We went for a walk, went shopping for the rest of his homebrew supplies, ran errands and watched Matrix Reloaded (I hadn't seen any but the 1st one...apparently I'm a little slow).

The only negative was, remember how his car needed $900 of work done in it last week? Well, I took mine in for 60,000 mile service (it's over 120,000 mi.) and it needs $1,000! I knew this one would hurt - I think last time I had the 60,000 mile service it was $600-$700....but it's older now and needed more done. Ug. That's pretty brutal.
I really need my car to be reliable though, so I told them to go ahead and do it. I've never had 1 thing go wrong with that car mechanically - it's been great. It's pretty beat up physically from a deer running into it years ago (I swear! I didn't hit it! It ran right into the side of my car...I cried and cried and cried...I'm too sensitive for the country...anyway...)...and 2 of the windows don't roll down...but in terms of getting me from place to place, I've never had a problem and that's the most important thing. I figure, even $1000 if it's just every few years is better than having a car payment again.

The walk was my exercise - 45 minutes (~4500 steps)
For diet, I planned my whole week ahead of time without checking nutritional info first. I just sort of guessed at what I thought would be about right. So - yesterday I ate what I'd planned to except a piece of fruit I wasn't hungry for at dessert-time. But, it didn't turn out the best nutritionally. I went a little over on calories over on fat, over on fiber (probably not a big deal), and came up to the maximum of my sodium intake. I learned how easy it is to eat too much fat when I wasn't paying attention - especially since I'm trying to get in 1 tbsp. each of flaxseed oil and olive oil each day for health reasons...when doing that I really can't have, for example, nuts or almond butter AND guacamole on the same day. Yesterday I had chips, guacamole and cheese...can't do that apparently. Like I said yesterday - I'm not sweating it too much if I get too much fat because of flaxseed oil, tofu, nuts and avocado (Omega-3, mono- and poly-unsaturated)...but I do need to watch the cheese and chips.

I can't tell you how much I'm loving planning all my meals, snacks, everything ahead of time for the week. I have a super-anxious personality and I feel like this takes some pressure off for some reason...and I never remember ahead of time what I'd planned, so I feel like I get a happy surprise each day. My real test will be when my stress level rises again for whatever reason...that's when the cravings start - but I think planning ahead and having something specific to look forward to every few hours really does help me combat that. It's a good thing to get into the habit during these 2 weeks of spring break. Maybe that will help it stick later.

Breakfast: smoothie with frozen berries, protein powder, 1 tbsp. flaxseed oil, diluted and unsweetened cranberry juice, and 1/2 c. low-fat, plain yogurt
Lunch: leftover split pea soup with tempeh; Ezekiel sesame toast w/1 tsp. olive oil and nutritional yeast; raw baby carrots and red cabbage
Snack: 2 tbsp. roasted red pepper hummus with raw celery and baby carrots
Dinner: 2 corn tacos with cheddar cheese, mixed beans, a mixture of romaine, red cabbage, vinegar, & olive oil, and hot sauce (Wizard's Hot Stuff - my favorite...actually not hot at all); guacamole (1/2 avocado, lime juice, salt, & garlic powder); 1 serving tortilla chips (10 chips)

1,602 calories
71 g. fat
173 g. carbs
68 g. protein
42 g. fiber
2,230 mg. sodium

here's the full details: Printable Nutrition Report

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

tracking calories

Yesterday went well.
I planned ahead for the whole week, so I'm excited about what's coming up - I think Diet Girl wrote a post about this recently...or maybe it was in her book....I don't know, but either way, she's right on. I can definitely see how having a planned, nutritious, yummy meal to look forward to would curb cravings.
I felt satisfied and happy with everything I ate yesterday, it was all good for me, and the calories were evenly spaced out so my energy stayed up. I'm so glad I have the time while I'm on spring break to track nutritional info. I'm starting to record that info for foods I eat frequently so that I won't have to spend so much time looking it up and so I'll have a better sense of how to plan my days when I'm not on break.

Yesterday I walked for 40+ minutes for exercise.
Food Journal -
Breakfast: 6 oz. plain, nonfat, Chobani Greek yogurt with 1/4 c. Ezekiel flax cereal, 1 banana and 7 almonds (347 cal., 6 g. fat, 55 carbs, 25 g. protein)
Lunch: Romaine salad with peas, carrots, red pepper, red cabbage, 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds, 2 oz. peanut ginger tofu and dressing with 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp. flaxseed oil and 1 tsp. olive oil with seasonings (345 cal., 22 g. fat, 25 carbs, 14 g. protein)
Snack: 1 oz. cheddar cheese, 9 rice crackers, 1 flax multigrain flatbread cracker (220 cal., 11 g. fat, 20 g. carbs, 9 g. protein)
Dinner: Split pea soup with potatoes, celery, parsley, and tempeh baked with olive oil; also split the rest of the cornbread from Greenlife with Ryan (368 cal., 11 g. fat, 53 g. carbs, 9 g. protein)
Dessert: apple with 1 tbsp. almond butter (183 cal., 10 g. fat, 24 g. carbs, 3 g. protein)

Totals: 1,462 calores, 60 g. fat (36.5%), 177 g. carbs (47.4%), 60 g. protein (16.1%), 30 g. fiber

So - pretty good except a little high on the fat - that's always where I'm off. I am going to try to watch that, but I'm not stressing too much because it's all 'good fat' except from the cheese.

Printable Nutrition Report

Today I'd planned to clean all day and watch some of my recorded shows from Monday, but Ryan's home sick, so I'll just clean up and then see what he feels up to. He almost fell asleep in the shower and was so dizzy he could barely stand. He's sleeping now. I think he's just exhausted, so it's a good thing we have nutritious meals planned and I'm home to take care of chores. His eating has been pretty bad lately, he hasn't had time for exercise and he has an hour and 15 min. commute to and from work everyday - I think all that's catching up with him. He was always super skinny, so never had to think about calories or 'diet'. I've always been heavier than I wanted to be (although now I'm kicking myself for hating my 135 pound body all those years and 30 pounds ago), but at least all that obsessing and worrying about my health and weight translates to a good understanding of nutrition now. I guess that's a benefit for all us serial dieters if we can channel it for good.

I'm so glad we have DVR now. I love my tv but can't justify all the time I'd spend watching it if I couldn't do chores at the same time and fast forward through commercials. (I probably still can't justify it, but that's not changing today)

I watch House, 24 and Medium and they're all on the same night, so I record them. I also watch CSI and usually record 18 Kids and Counting, Ace of Cakes, and sometimes watch other cooking shows like Iron Chef. I also sometimes watch Jon & Kate + 8, but I don't know what happened to that show - Jon and Kate seem different now - always angry and really short with the kids - and the kids are picking up on the adults' conflict resolution 'techniques', so it gets on my nerves. I know that's judgmental and they're probably great parents who are tired of having cameras around, but it just seems like the show was more fun to watch before Kate, especially, became a different person because of the success of the show. Hmmm...maybe I should stop watching if I'm going to be negative :)

Okay - I get a smoothie this morning :) Mmmmmm

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weigh-Day & Greenlife haul

163.8 this morning.
Down from 165.4 last Monday for a loss of 1.6 pounds.
Total loss of 12.2 pounds.
I exercised very lightly this week and didn't count calories - just tried to eat well. So, I'm happy with that :)
It's still a part of those same 5-10 pounds that I keep gaining and losing over and over again, but a loss is a loss and I'll take it! Plus - I haven't had any bad (i.e. bingy and careless) eating days for 10 full days now and I feel tons better - just happier and lighter and more energetic and hopeful.

We're back from Asheville and I'm officially on spring break and loving it! I slept in an extra 2 hours until 7:30 this morning and that feels great. I have our meals planned for the week already and I think that will help me stay on track.

Yesterday (3/15) I exercised for 30 min. on the elliptical at level 8 out of 25. I've noticed that I'd been getting headaches after I work out strenuously and I thought that might be because my heart rate is getting too high. So - yesterday I checked every once in awhile and I think I was right. I'm going to take it a little easier than my body feels like it wants to and keep an eye on that until it gets better. If I get day-long headaches every time I work out I don't think I'll be very motivated to do it, so - slow and steady seems like the way to go. Anway...yesterday's journal...

Breakfast: apple and 60 cal. light & fit strawberry yogurt at the hotel (if you're not used to eating aspartame, which I haven't had in a long while, it is really over-sweet and chemically tasting and pretty gross...but it was the best choice I felt I had)
Lunch: I thought we'd order pizza at the homebrew lesson but that must just be for the longer classes (ours was just 4 hours - some are 5-6), so I didn't eat lunch until 4-ish. I had a handful of raw cashews in the car and then at Greenlife (grocery store) I had tofu, steamed veggies, a small piece of cornbread and a piece of Ryan's super yummy roasted veggie panini (~2"x2")
Other: No dinner or snack because when we got home it was too late to eat. But I did have a taste of one of the new crackers we got from Greenlife (just 1 bite); and I tried one of my new teas (plain - no sugar, milk, etc.) - Moroccan Orange Spice. Good!

We got a huge haul of groceries at Greenlife - sooooo expensive :(
But we got great stuff and a lot of it was staples that we shouldn't have to buy again for months. I got a bunch of good quality dark chocolate because I feel like I can have a really small amount and satisfy a sweet tooth so it doesn't turn into an out of control craving. I got hot cocoa for the same reason. I only plan to have either about twice a week. All together the chocolate haul should last a month. (famous last words?) So - here's what we bought...

- tons of veggies (cabbage, broccoli, romaine, cucumber, red pepper, celery, squash, garlic shitakes, asparagus (just Ryan), parsley, sweet potatoes, garlic, English peas and kale)
- fruit (bag of apples, pears, bananas, lemons, limes, and avocado)
Vegenaise (vegan mayonaise - really good, although I never liked mayo, so I can't say if it's a good substitute)
teriyaki baked tofu
peanut ginger baked tofu
extra firm tofu (2 blocks)
tempeh (2 pound block)
garlic herb almond cheese
cheddar cheese
coconut oil
bulk tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
Amy's tomato basil pasta sauce (my favorite but it's ~$7!!! So I only get it maybe twice a year)
brown rice cakes
brown rice thins (crackers) x2
multigrain flatbread
pasta (gobbetti shape, whole wheat)
rice noodle soup packets x4 (1 lemongrass chili, 1 garlic veg, 1 thai ginger, 1 Bangkok curry)
dried apricots (just Ryan)
dried figs (just Ryan)
raw almonds
raw cashews
dried pinto beans
dried kidney beans
dried black beans
dried split peas
large container of Nancy's low-fat plain yogurt (Just me)
2 Stonyfield Farms strawberries and cream yogurt (just Ryan)
2 Stonyfield Farms French vanilla yogurt (just Ryan)
Siggi's "Icelandic style skyr - strained, nonfat yogurt" - orange and ginger (just me)
Chobani non-fat, plain Greek yogurt (just me)
4 Yogi Herbal Teas (Moroccan Orange Spice, Lemon & Ginger, Berry Antioxidant, and Mexican Sweet Pepper - I'm anxious to try that one!)
Earl Grey tea (just Ryan)
Green & Black's hot chocolate
Vosges Naga Bar (half ounce chocolate bar, 41% cacao, "sweet Indian curry powder, coconut flakes, deep milk chocolate")
Lake Champlain Chocolates - peppermint crunch dark chocolate, 54% cocoa
Theo 84% cacao chocolate from Ghana
Rapunzel dark chocolate with almonds - 55% cocoa
Equal Exchange "dark chocolate with pure cocoa nibs" 68% cacao

and that's it!
pretty much all organic...maybe all - not sure.
Of course I forgot carrots and coconut milk...it's so annoying when you do a big, expensive shopping trip and forget 1 or 2 little things...oh well.
I'm off to see what's on my meal plan today. Something yummy I'm sure :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

March 14 food journal

Really quick journal - we're at the hotel in Asheville and Ryan's anxious to get to breakfast, but I want to get this down before I forget.

Breakfast: 3 veggie links with potatoes, hot sauce, salt and other seasonings. (Ryan made the potatoes - so good! - he added cumin seeds, smoked paprika, and garlic)

Lunch: apple, baby carrots and more potatoes (snacks on the road). Total with the potatoes at breakfast I probably had 3/4 of a white potato and 2 small red potatoes

Dinner: out for Japanese (not my favorite, but it makes Ryan happy) 1 piece of an "Altenderfer roll" with tempeh, avocado, almond butter and maple syrup; 1 piece of a "veggie futomaki" with avocado, cucumber, broccoli and smoked tofu; 2 veggie gyoza dumplings; 3 pieces of spicy garlic tofu; 4 pieces of tempura (2 squash, 1 carrot, 1 broccoli); brown rice (maybe 1/2 cup); 3 pieces steamed broccoli; soy sauce; barley tea (mild and earthy and weird)

Later: 1 glass white wine

Today we have our beer-making lesson.
I'm going to try to get a workout in at the hotel before that :) It's raining so we'd just as soon stay here than walk around Asheville today.

I feel like I'm going to have a loss on Monday's weigh-in. Feeling lighter :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

not weigh day

I've moved my weigh day to Monday to provide some extra motivation over the weekends. I think when I initially set my weigh day as Saturday a part of me wasn't wanting weekend eating to effect weigh ins...I know it all works out the same and doesn't really matter, but maybe it'll provide a psychological boost.
That being said, I did weigh in this morning because I've been doing that most mornings and I'm down a pound from last Monday. Up .4 from yesterday which, I think, is because I ate much, much later than usual. So, I weigh 164.4 but it's not 'official' until Monday :)

I feel like I've had a great week! I haven't had sugar in 8 days, I've been journaling when I remember and I'm starting to remember to take pics. I've remembered my multi a few days, been good about water and fruits and veggies. I've been walking just a little in the neighborhood. I plan to step that up quite a bit this week. Today we're going back to Asheville because we didn't get to do Ryan's beer homebrew lesson last time when he got sick - this time will actually be better because it's for beginners. But, I hope to get plenty of exercise walking around there as long as it doesn't rain all day...which it very well might. Sigh... It's all good though.

Here's yesterday's food journal.

Breakfast: 2 veggie links, Ezekiel toast with olive oil (~1 tsp) and nutritional yeast (~1 tbsp.)
Lunch: baked potato bar at work - 1 baked potato, lots of broccoli, cheddar cheese (?), salsa, salt and pepper
Snack: apple, rice cake and almond butter; handful of blue corn chips
Dinner: veggie burger with 2 slices veggie bacon, pickles, lettuce, ketchup, mustard and a high fiber whole wheat bun; 1/2 package of plain baked lays (split a 3 serving package with Ryan)

Friday, March 13, 2009


Yesterday - March 12 - Journal
Breakfast: smoothie with frozen raspberries and strawberries, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 tsp. flaxseed oil and 8 oz. diluted unsweetened cranberry juice (~1 part juice, 7 parts water)
Lunch: bagel sandwich with cheddar cheese, cream cheese, roasted red pepper hummus and TONS of veggies
Snack: apple (I packed almonds but they tasted off)
Dinner: salad with garbanzo beans and tons more veggies (cabbage, carrots, red pepper, cucumber and romaine); salad dressing with 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar, 2 tsp. olive oil and 2 tsp. flaxseed oil

I felt hungry and probably could've eaten more, but I get home late Thursdays and don't like eating late. I usually put yogurt in the smoothie, but we're out - I'd usually have more snack too.

We finished our standardized ESL tests at work! Yay! We're boxing them up and turning them in to central office today. This is exciting because 1) it's been going on for weeks, 2) the kids are extremely impatient and frustrated that I haven't been able to pull them, 3) it won't be hanging over our heads during spring break...which starts after school TODAY!!! :) Yay!

Bad news with one of our cars (the one Ryan drives) - it was rattling a little, so Ryan took it in to get an oil change and have the tires rotated...long story-short it needed $900 worth of work! Ug. That hurts. It was out of alignment and some tire rod had worn down and was almost broken. Then there was something cracked and leaking on the engine. And because it had been out of alignment 2 of the tires were worn down and needed to be replaced. Plus little things like the oil change and replacing the windshield wipers. The labor is the big part of it though. So - he has my car today while his is at the shop and I'm getting a ride in and back from work.
I'm due for my regular service at 120,000 miles - that's a big one too.
Good thing we just last week made a budget and talked about saving for car maintenance and repairs. We decided we'd each save $100 a month toward that so now we can just think of the repairs as coming from that and that we have $300 left for the remainder of the year for that car....although that's just a comfort for our heads because we hadn't actually had that plan in place for more than 1 week.

I was really stressed about class yesterday - I just feel lost, as I keep going on about. I don't know what it is about me, but if I don't understand something fundamental about an article I'm reading I have a really hard time feeling comfortable 'getting the gist of it' and moving on. It tears me up. I either figure it out or agonize. To make another long story short, my prof asked for my comments about something (there were only 2 of us in class, so there was a lot of pressure) and I didn't answer and instead got up my courage to say that I needed to ask some questions first - she thought they were really good questions and kept saying so and that she wasn't sure she could even answer them well - and she spent a pretty long time addressing them and talking about the fact that they are huge, long-standing issues in the field. I felt better after that because I realized that she didn't just sigh and ask me to talk to her after class or scold me or look down on me with her manner.
Hopefully I'll have a lot of time to study and work on that class over break. I just need to get through the semester - just to the end of April, I think.

I'm off to get ready for my last day before break! Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

doing alright

I finally got batteries for my camera so I can post pics again.
Yesterday was just fine - I did get way to hungry between lunch and dinner but it wasn't a disaster.
Breakfast - apple with almond butter.
Lunch - brown rice, steamed veggies, and teriyaki tempeh
Snacks - carrots and roasted red pepper hummus, 4 blue chips, rice cake with almond butter (too much almond butter)
Dinner - leftover cheese tortellini with steamed veggies and pesto

If I do well today (and I totally plan to...everything's packed), I will have gone 1 week without sugar. No sugar = no binges = happier me. Well...that's 1 week without sugary treats - I'm not counting foods that probably have sugar, but aren't sugary treats. Like - last Friday I had veggie lettuce wraps from PF Chang's and the sauce probably had sugar....anyway - it's an improvement. I realized I keep losing the same 5-10 pounds over and over, but I'm down to 164.2 today from 165.4 on Monday and that's encouraging to me. I was worried I would do well this week but not lose at all because I would be regaining from having strep and not eating much.

I keep having recession dreams. Last night there was hardly any food left in the grocery store and the custodian from school was there working a 2nd job (in my dream). We started the year with 3 custodians and so far 2 have been laid off. It's so sad. The director is doing everything she can to avoid cutting teachers - we've cut programs, supplies, buses (now each bus runs double duty), support staff....I hope everyone gets to come back next year.
Okay - no point dwelling on that. I'm off to work.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

being reasonable

After I posted yesterday all about how great I felt not eating sugar right now, I had all these sugar cravings! I don't know if it was blogging about it or that I didn't have enough of a lunch or what....
But I was able to think about how I'd feel - physically and emotionally - if I ate sugar and decided against it.
I ate as planned yesterday - I had the lasagna for dinner. I was so hungry when I got home from school, that I put that in the oven right away and ate by 5. Before that I had a half a rice cake with almond butter and a handful of blue corn sesame chips while I was waiting. I also had a 100 calorie kettle corn pack at school.
I went out to the disc golf course with Ryan and walked while he played. Didn't eat anything else the rest of the day.
I only walked about a mile, but it was hilly and better than nothing. I'm just trying to stay in the habit of getting any exercise at all.

Last night I planned my meals out for today. I had planned to have a smoothie for breakfast but woke up at 4 after doing something tretcherous to my back - I think I pinched a nerve - I could barely move, took some advil and laid on an ice pack for a while before I got up. By that point I needed a quick breakfast so I had an apple with almond butter (which I'd planned as my snack) and I'll just have the smoothie for snack.

I'm cautiously positive right now.
I'm working a bit on housework everyday to catch up and things are looking better. I'm starting to listen to my 7 Habits cds. I'm pretty much hanging in there with my schoolwork. I know that doesn't sound too awesome, but it's the best I can hope for right now. The stuff is just way over my head. I feel like I don't have the appropriate prerequisites...anyway....I'll muddle through.
I'm eating pretty sensibly and enjoying eating less and feeling lighter.
I have my sights set on some goal weights for upcoming 'events'. I'd love to be below 160 by the time I get back from spring break (starts next week - goes for 2 weeks). I'd really be proud of myself if I could be back in my 10s (for me - about 135 pounds) by our 5 year anniversary and family-reunion-type event over 4th of July weekend.
So far, so good.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

better without sugar

I'm back at work and feeling relatively healthy! Luckily, since yesterday was a county-wide sick day, I didn't have to take any days off work.
I've been off sugar again since I got sick - today is the 5th day. I feel a lot better without sugar. I'm sure it wouldn't matter if I had a little, but if I had a little it would probably snow ball into a lot - I don't have a great track record there. I'm not having cravings....just commenting.

Yesterday I went to class and cleaned when I got home until after midnight. It felt great to make a dent in the disaster area that is my house.
We're having a hard time keeping up with chores with me always sick or recovering from being sick or scrambling to make up work that wasn't done when I was sick (or wasn't done because I didn't get it done) in time for a deadline. Ryan's exhausted from his hour and 15 minute drive to and from his internship everyday. Plus it's hard for him to get motivated to do his half of the chores when I'm not doing my half. Sometimes that irks me - like on Sunday when I woke up after a marathon 11 hour fever-filled night of sleep to see that Ryan was still there beside me. It makes me feel like 'mom'. Like, if I don't get up and set an example, no matter what the differences in our circumstances are, nothing will get done. I'm not saying I don't appreciate him or everything he does (like cooking, etc.), because I am extremely grateful for him, but I don't want to be mom. So I'm just going to try to get the rest of the cleaning finished this afternoon and then we'll just have regular chores to keep up with everyday. At this point it doesn't matter who does what - I just don't want it hanging over my head.

Eating has been fine since I haven't been allowing myself sugar. Of course, those days of not being able to swallow anything but soup helped keep the calories low too.

Today, so far, I've had an apple for breakfast and a bowl of brown rice, steamed veggies, teriyaki tempeh and cashews for lunch.
For dinner I'm going to see if our leftover lasagna is still good and have that if it is. If not, I'll have leftover tortellini with pesto or a veggie burger. I haven't decided.

For exercise...last week Ryan and I made that commitment to walk at least 20 minutes a day together, and for the days I've been home we've done well. Even on the really sick days we took a leisurely stroll around the block. If it's not raining we have a walking date today.
I haven't been counting calories or sticking to any plan, but I feel really good right now and think I'm going to just try to keep up with no sugar and 20 minute walks (as min. exercise standard) for now.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

this is ridiculous

Well - I can't believe it but I have strep again. This has been the worst year for illness in our county. Schools were actually closed Friday and will be again Monday because of it.
I've definitely been sick more than anyone, but I'm never alone with it - someone always has something - or more like a dozen 'someones'.
It's hard not to feel guilty and stupid over it. I'm such a worrier. Ug.
I have so much work to do, but I'm not sure how I'm going to - My heartrate's been hovering around 120 lying down for awhile now, so all I really want to do is lie as still as possible and try to lower it. I guess elevated heartrates are normal with fever and pain but it freaks me out!
Well...guess I'm off to the couch.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Yesterday was okay-ish...I mean - judging by very low standards (i.e. not stopping and buying my usual junk food at any store) it was better. Calorie-wise - better. Not super.
I had a banana and yogurt for breakfast.
I had a big salad with lots of veggies, garbanzo beans, ~1/8 cup of cashews and dressing with flaxseed oil, olive oil and red wine vinegar for lunch.
After school I made nachos....yeah - not so good. I also had a handful of Thai Kettle chips.
The nachos were made of 3 handfuls of corn chips (about a single layer of chips on a medium dinner plate), ~1/2 cup of black beans, cheese sprinkled on top (probably 1/4 c.) and salsa.
I totally skipped dinner but did have 2 squares of dark chocolate.
I really don't do well with afternoons, do I? :)

I know I don't deserve a pat on the back for not eating multiple candy bars, but I actually do feel a lot better this morning. I'm not in that sugar-hangover fog.
I'm still gnat-like in my ability to focus, though.

I was thinking of looking into books about sugar - like Sugar Busters, for example, and just reading about the ways in which it's harmful, why it's so addictive, etc. This sugar thing...obsession...fixation...whatever you want to call it, is a big part of my life and I really should learn more about it. At the very least, maybe it would help motivate (or guilt) me into making it easier to avoid. If I could just get this sugar habit licked, I think I'd have a really good foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

I love veggies. Broccoli and red cabbage are 2 of my favorite foods right up there with raspberries and chocolate. I love whole grains and always prefer them by taste & texture to white flour-based products. I love beans, tofu, low-fat yogurt, tempeh, fruit, nuts, etc....all the good stuff. I don't like fried foods or fast foods at all with the exception of Indian fried foods (pakora, samosas). I prefer to drink water and never have soda with the very, very occasional exception of a natural ginger brew. The only juice I drink is highly diluted unsweetened cranberry juice and the only 'teas' I drink are really just 'herbal infusions' (don't know if this is a good thing, but at the very least it's neutral - no caffeine, calories, etc.).

These habits aren't because I'm disciplined (obviously) - it's just the way my tastes naturally lean. If I don't descend into a sugary, bingey, state of zero control, I think I'd do alright. I don't have to learn to dress up or choke down healthy foods. I don't have to be taught about normal portions.
But that's the tricky part for a lot of people, right? Just tackling that one, huge, ugly demon.

If, in a moment of sugar-craving or too-hungry/low energy weakness, I were offered a plate of steamed veggies, tofu and rice OR a bowl of ice cream, I really think I'd go for option #1. Maybe the key is to just have those foods readily available to me because I know if I have to spend 45 minutes making it, I'll go for option #2 in a heartbeat.

I'll work on that this weekend and see if it helps. Maybe I do have some sense in me afterall!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Even though I had the real food right here in front of me I always liked seeing my meals pop up in picture form & for the world to see (theoretically) on this page, so I'm going to try that again.
I just posted my breakfast (a banana and a carton of strawberry yogurt), lunch (salad with lots of veggies and garbanzo beans - dressing is 1 tbsp. flaxseed oil, 1 tsp. olive oil and 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar), snack (apple and cashews - some of which may wind up in my salad), and my mulitvitamins.

I'm sort of cringing as I type this 'plan-for-the-day' because the way I am with my 'plans', I keep telling myself I should just post what I do instead of what I kind of think I'm maybe going to do.
But anyway, I'm going to try to write down what I eat and enter it into SparkPeople the next morning while I have my tea. (I drink a huge, 3 cup mug of tea every morning to get a jump on hydration, but it takes me awhile). And Ryan and I have made a committment to each other to, at minimum, go on a 20 minute walk around the neighborhood every day that I'm here in the evenings (i.e., not Monday or Thursday). I feel good this morning, so we'll see how it goes :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

WW drop-out

Just dropping by since it seems I haven't posted in more than a week...
I've been reading and lurking but not feeling talkative.
The way things have been going these past few months, it's no surprise that I've been off plan, but I am trying to do positive things in other ways like schoolwork, work-work, getting organized, making a budget, etc.

I don't know why I've been struggling so much.
Yesterday I was soooooo exhausted all day after sleeping ~6 hours (not enough for me, but still, the extreme level of exhaustion was a little silly). I set my alarm to get 8 hours last night but overslept and got 9 - it was like I just was physically incapable of budging into consciousness. Then I felt sort of dizzy and woozy and distant and just crappy for hours until this afternoon. Not sure what's going on, but right now I feel short of breath and just blah so I know I need to need to need to crack down on getting my health on track - this isn't even about the scale right now although that's one measure of whether or not I'm doing healthy things for my body.

So - I'm dropping out of Weight Watchers because I never use their tools, don't follow the plan and don't need to pay them for me to sit on my tush and whine.
I think it's a fine plan that does work and did work quite effortlessly for me (to the tune of -18 pounds) for 2 1/2 months before I fell off the wagon in truly spectacular fashion. That was October and I haven't picked myself back up yet, so it's time to move on.
What I'm thinking is that if I'm on plan and tracking my food or counting something about what I'm eating or looking up nutritional values of food, it could just as well be through a free site like SparkPeople that gives me detailed nutritional info as through WW which only gives me points info. Plus, when I did that detox week and tracked everything through both sites, it did concern me that I could be eating so clean and healthy and mostly under 1200 calories a day and still come in at or above my daily points allowance.
I'm not knocking WW, but I just feel like it's not for me right now.

I had good intentions today, packed all my food and gym clothes, but then got so busy at work that I didn't have a bite to eat until 2 PM and was too low energy for a workout.
I left the food that I didn't eat in the fridge at work, so I just need to pack another salad for lunch tomorrow and try again to have an on-track day.

We have a 2 week spring break coming up next week and the week after, and besides attending an ESL conference the first little bit of that, I'm going to try to take the time to reformulate my daily operations around here. Ryan's mom is visiting that first weekend, and mine may or may not be popping in sometime, but that's all good.

I'm still thinking that the way to go for me is focusing on clean, organic-when-possible, whole foods. I'm also considering switching from birth control pills to "natural family planning" and going off my allergy meds and just using my neti pot and keeping the house super clean, etc. I feel like my body is more unhappy with me than it usually would be from just not eating the best and I want to eliminate as many variables as I can in trying to figure out the exhaustion and such.

I'll try to be around more regularly, but it's not easy to get motivated to post stupid decisions, whines, binges, and that sort of thing. I'd be much more prolific if I were having more success.