Tuesday, March 31, 2009

get back on that pony and ride

Okay so I sort of dodged responsible dieting this weekend. Pretty tired of salad, pretty tired of thinking about every single thing I eat, and basically I just let a bad attitude have my weekend.

The good thing is I don't believe either day was a 5,000 calorie blowout. I think I was somewhere in the neighborhood of maintenance or just above it.

Yesterday I was better, though I am hurrying this morning and not taking the time to count calories retroactively. It was a very full day, with work and then my late-night Bible study...when I finally got to bed around 11:30 I didn't feel like doing the reconstruct.

This is where the rubber meets the road in a life change. My jeans fit so much better and I'm bored with thinking of food when there are so much more interesting things to think of and it would be easy to just quit. AGAIN.

Picking the naked blog back up in hopes of kicking my own butt over my self-made mountain of resistance.

Breakfast oatmeal (150) banana (100) sugar (135) skim milk (25).

And off I go, before I manage to be late for work.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

end of an acceptable day

snack: 20 baby carrots (100)

supper out: 2 breadsticks w/marinara (300)
stuffed pizza - 2 small pieces (400)

snack: low fat frozen yogurt (160)

1959 for the day.

hey, that'll do!

Friday, March 27, 2009

quick day-so-far summary between tasks

breakfast: cereal (260) and milk (68)

coffee w/sugar at work (135)

attended a 1st birthday party at the shelter - chocolate cake! (235)

salad (141) and baked potato (160) for lunch

total calories so far today: 999

looking for my baby carrots....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

late yummy supper

Home at 8. Terrible time to eat! But I was so hungry that not eating was not an option.

Improvised tacos:

3 corn shells (150)
refried beans (200)
1 oz cheddar cheese (170)
sliced olives (25)
salsa (10)
romaine (2)
onions (2)

Total for the day so far: 1719

early evening count

Just got home from the shelter and now heading to do more work at City Hall. Quick update first.

Coffee w/sugar when I got to work (135)

Salad w/lite balsamic (140)
hard boiled egg w/salt n pepper (77)
baked potato w/salt n pepper (160)
bottle of water

Snack: apple (100)

Snack: 20 grapes (60)

Calories so far today: 1160

And off I go.

downsizing, ill-fitting jeans and breakfast

My washer is now deceased.

Happily, I have been offered a replacement; I just have to make the time and borrow a truck to go get it. In the meanwhile, it presents a wardrobe dilemma this morning; my usual stuff is all piled high in a basket.

I got down 4 pairs of jeans from the top of my closet - things I haven't been able to wear for a number of months.

One of them fits! Hooray!

And 2 thumbs up for this bonus fact: the pair that fits come from back when jeans actually fit right! Today, my underwear will not show if I sit down without first hiking my jeans and tugging my shirt down. Today, I will not have to pull my pants up every time this body moves. I'm pretty psyched about that.

I keep hoping one of these days the fashion police will relent on making all of us wear a style of jeans that only look good on tiny people. I mean...I'm gonna look fat no matter what I wear at this point; it's the nature of carrying 100 extra pounds. But these darn low riding jeans, especially in combination with shirts that are nowhere near long enough anymore, make a whole lot of very reasonably, even nicely shaped ladies look...well...FAT.

Now that I have established myself as hopelessly old and out of touch, on to breakfast:

cereal (260) and milk (68)

Today promises to be a hectic one at work. Off to enjoy 25 quiet minutes before I get in the car.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

food summary for the day so far

Coffee w/sugar to start my work morning (135)
bottle of water

salad w/lite balsamic vinaigrette but alas, no feta (91)
baked potato w/salt & pepper (160)
hard boiled egg w/salt & pepper (77)
bottle of water

Snack: 2 kiwi (92)

Snack: McDonalds fruit & yogurt parfait (160)
glass of ice water

1.5 cups basmati rice (255)
3 cups chicken stir fry (301)
1 tbsp soy sauce (10)
1 cup skim milk (90)

Total so far: 1699

Might be done for the day. Might snack.

feeling less condemned this morning, and the rule of changing up

Okay last night at another midnight-ish bedtime, I felt pretty bad when I ran my total and it was so much higher than my weight loss number for calories.

But this morning I realize that I still was 40ish calories under maintenance. I am choosing to decide a maintenance day is nothing to feel horrible about. This is a life change, not a speed diet, and some days maintaining has to be good enough.

On a slightly related note, I was talking to my mom last night and she mentioned that the newest research (oh yeah, we do love the newest research in our family!) shows that keeping one's body on the exact same routine every day is a surefire way to re-set it. For instance, if I eat exactly 1500 calories every day, my body decides that's what we will live on, and it stops losing. If I do the same workout every day, ditto. I've called our bodies miraculously made more than once, and this is a great example of that! If I lived in a situation where I couldn't get more food, my body would basically decide to survive at that level (within reason - people do indeed starve to death in this world, but not under the conditions I am living!)

So the theme of the above paragraph is: change up, if you want to keep losing! I appreciate that word.

Also: I realized yesterday that my calorie markers will change as I lose weight (duh), so I can't put off the scale indefinitely. I mentioned this to a fellow diet sufferer, who dutifully offered a scale (doh!) and I did try it out. Clearly it weighs differently than my doctor's office, OR I got the wrong number in my head the last time I was in to see the doc. My friend's scale had me heavier than when I started, and that just doesn't seem possible to me since I have clothes fitting so much better. I'm thinking I'll call my doc's office and just ask if I can stop by and weigh...seems like that should be okay to support my overall health, right?

(No, I don't want to buy a scale!)

Breakfast: Cereal is working swimmingly (proof that my body changes) so I'm having it again. 1.5 cups (260) with .75 cup skim milk (68).

Happy hump day, all.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

biggish total

Hmmm I didn't have internet access most of the day. Let's see if I can reconstruct enough to do a calorie count.

Coffee w/sugar in the morning (135)

awesome salad (140)
hard boiled egg w/salt & pepper (77)
med. baked potato w/salt & pepper (160)
diet soda

Snack: 10 baby carrots (50)
diet soda (needing the caffeine)

Snack: apple (100)

Snack: 3 chocolate sandwich cookies (375)

Supper: chicken noodle soup, pimped out (450 best guess)
panera bread 2 small slices (250)
5 saltines (50)
10 oz grape kool aid (100)
1/2 cup rainbow sherbet (130)

Total for the day: 2345

Ouch! Looks like tomorrow I need to be very good!

allergies, interrupted sleep, and breakfast

Allergy season has hit me. I'm not going to pretend I hailed its coming with strength - I was one major Whiner Baby about it last night! I just want my body to be well and whole and not continually suffering some malfunction! Made good friends with the Kleenex box and found my 24-hour claritin. Now I'm less drippy but that stuff definitely interferes with my sleep.

Accidentally stayed up till almost midnight last night (a combination of the momentum I had going on a work project I was doing, and the effects of the medicine, and interest in old Smallville episodes on the telly). Hating morning more than usual just now.

I noticed yesterday that my cereal breakfast did not send me into carb overdrive, so I'm trying that again now.

Breakfast: 1.5 cups cereal (Honey Bunches of Oats, to be precise) (260) and .75 cup of skim milk (68).

Off to greet the day.

Monday, March 23, 2009

i love stir fry

1 cup basmati rice (170)
stir-fry consisting of 1 cup chicken breast (231) and 2 cups mixed veggies (onions, red and green bell peppers, brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower) (40) cooked in sesame oil (30) and topped with 1 tbsp soy sauce (10)

Calories so far: 1570. And I haven't been hungry today!

Built beautiful salads for myself and daughter for the rest of our week's lunches tonight.

i didn't derail the train so far today...

Coffee when I got to work with sugar (135)

Salad (romaine, tomatoes, green olives, sweet peppers, feta cheese, lite balsamic vinaigrette dressing) (111)
Hard boiled egg w/salt & pepper (77)
Medium baked potato w/salt & pepper (160)
bottle of water

Snack on the way home - apple (100)

Snack when I got home - 1/2 oz cheddar cheese (95) & 5 snack crackers (75)

Total so far today: 1089 and only supper to go. Looks to be a good daily total ahead!

monday monday

Breakfast: 1.5 cups cereal (260) and .75 cup skim milk (68).

Got the bag loaded down with lunch goodness.

Here comes Monday!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

snack while chillaxin

1 cup frozen yogurt with a splash of root beer (200)

Total for the day 1798.


post-supper count

Snack:  10 oz. hot cocoa at youth group (190)

Supper: more tacos!
1/8 lb meat 100

1/8 can of refried beans 61
1/2 oz quesadilla cheese 45
2 flour tortillas 110 each for a total of 220
.5 cup homemade fresh salsa 12
1/4 cup lettuce 2

Total so far for the day: 1598.

No nausea today. And not as
tired as I was this morning!

I am realizing that while I drank a
bottle of water in the night,
I haven't touched it today. I need to do better.

perhaps i'm about to move beyond whining....

Breakfast today: 1.5 cups cereal (260)
and .75 cups skim milk (68).

Coffee at Sunday School with 3 tbsp sugar (135).

Lunch: leftover tacos! YAY!
1/8 lb meat 100
1/8 can of refried beans 61
1/2 oz quesadilla cheese 45
5 hard corn shells 50 each for a total of 250
1.5 cups homemade fresh salsa 37
1/2 cup lettuce 4
1 tbsp black olives 8
diet sprite

Total for the day so far: 968.

Today, I am not nauseous. Three cheers!
Still pretty tired, but at least I can feel
me advancing.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

all in one - here's my saturday

1 bowl old fashioned oatmeal 150
3 tbsp sugar 135
1/4 cup skim milk 22
banana 100

1/3 box of mac n cheese
made w/skim milk & 1/2 the butter 340
1/2 cup cottage cheese 110
diet sprite

Fruit n yogurt parfait from McDonalds 160
glass of ice water

1/4 lb meat (very lean ground beef w/chili powder) 197

1/4 can of refried beans (not the lowfat kind) 122
1 oz quesadilla cheese 90
1 soft flour shell 110
3 hard corn shells 50 each for a total of 150
1 cup homemade fresh salsa 25
1/2 cup lettuce 4
1 tbsp black olives 8
1 oz guacamole 60
diet sprite

Total calories for the day 1783

Still some queasies today (which is why the strange lunch)
but not as many. Awfully tired though.

But still managed to get quite a bit done today.
And feeling good tonight.

Friday, March 20, 2009

end of the day: squishy tummy and thoughts on too few calories

Snack when I got home, sooooooo hungry: 1.5 cups cereal (260) and .75 cup skim milk (68). It was good, but I was still very hungry.

Supper later - the only thing that sounded comforting: pot pie (300) and 1 cup skim milk (90). Made me instantly queasy as soon as I finished it. Guess sounding comforting ain't good enough.

Total calories today: 1372.

I am a little worried about my calories being so consistently low while I'm feeling so punk. My recommended weight loss calories are 1876. While once upon a time doctors thought a 1000 calorie weight loss diet was for everyone, since then they have learned that the count has to be set by both body weight and activity levels. My body weight is high, so my calorie level, even for weight loss, is high.

Contrary to what might "make sense" to us, that going lower equals losing faster, the truth is that going too low sends our miraculously made bodies into survival mode. In that mode, our bodies hang onto the fat for all they are worth. Therefore, lower calories can equal slower weight loss.

Man, I'd hate to be slowing my weight loss right now!


'Nuther hustling morning, after a horrible struggle to stay awake on the road coming into work. Hit desperately hungry about 10:30 and ate 2 hard boiled eggs with salt and pepper (154). Bottle of water.

Lunch: ramen noodle soup (380). Bottle of water.

Total for the day so far: 654.

I know I am being a nutritional nightmare right now. Just trying to quiet the tummy.

Still tired.

sleepy bad attitude beginning

Breakfast whole grain toast (100), tsp homemade peach jam (20), diet root beer because it's the only thing bubbly here that sounds manageable. Losing my sense of humor on this stomach thing, and way beyond tired of being as tired as I am just now.

If you looked up "in a funk" in the dictionary just now, you could see my picture.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

wiped out

I'm in bed, and couldn't be gladder (not a word and I don't care) to be here.

Struggled not to nod off while driving to work. The struggle came earlier than usual and was harder to fight off than usual. Oy. I gotta turn this around.

Working in a domestic violence shelter sometimes feels almost like a "normal" job, but today was not one of those days. It's a crisis center, and today it was one long crisis. I couldn't get lunch till 1:15, which was mostly fine because my stomach didn't get better. Had another can of chicken noodle soup (220). Drank 2 bottles of water at work.

On the way home I was wiped out, emotional, and really hungry. I counted my calories for the day and realized I could do some stress eating, if I was careful. Drove through McDonalds and got a cheeseburger (310) and an ice cream cone (150) and an ice water. Felt almost better after that, though I almost nodded off again on the drive home.

Dinner at my parents' tonight to see my brother again...last time I'll see him before he goes home tomorrow. Had 7 oz steak from the grill (500), 1 oz grilled catfish (30), slice of grilled portabella mushroom (10), 1/2 cup frozen fruit mix (40), 1/2 cup cottage cheese (116), and 1/2 cup a sugar-free dessert (30) my sister made with a bit of fruit in it. Most numbers in this paragraph are very rough estimates. The food was amazing and delicious, but my stomach definitely got worse immediately after eating...I guess I should have had another can of soup instead.

Calories for the day: 1626.

Came home at 8 pm to get in bed, because I just felt too icky to be around people one minute longer. Not "sick"...just incredibly tired and uncomfortably nauseous.

my body is talking, and i am listening

Tis another queasy morning. Bowl of chicken noodle soup is waiting for me to work up the courage. I'll go ahead and count the (220) on the presumption that I'm gonna do it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

exquisite dinner

Tonight the Swank posse, minus the minors, enjoyed a nice dinner at the Livermore, which is unquestionably the nicest restaurant in my town. I am happy to report that I behaved Pretty Darn Well.

1 honey glazed chicken breast (250) with 1 tbsp walnuts (50)
1/2 cup wild rice (100 calories)
1/2 cup roasted green beans (40)
1/2 cup cottage cheese (116)
and ice water with lemon

I have even have leftovers to take for lunch tomorrow...how cool is that?!

Ummm I think I also had another (100) calories' worth of 7up in the afternoon. Really didn't feel snacky because everything available made my tummy hurt to think of it.

Total calories for the day: 1409.

I'm a little hungry, but I'm in bed, so I think maybe I'm done.

recovery sometimes sucks, but it's better than being sick

Okay so I rode out the consequences of my breakfast and just let me be very clear: I got the message. Listen to my body. Didn't I just write about that?! Apparently I am still a slow learner...

Way sleepy too, this morning. Hard to make it to work without nodding off in traffic.

Being nice to me today, after that bit of hard-headedness this morning. I sipped another (100) calories' worth of 7up through the morning, and had a can of chunky chicken noodle soup for lunch (220) with the last 4 saltines in my drawer (48).

I cannot tolerate water just now (bleh, I shudder just thinking of it), though my almost complete alienation from "the little room" is a clear indicator of dehydration. Sipping that 7up and working up the courage to do the right thing. Body. Needs. Water. Just do it, Karen!

Total calories so far today: 753 and not craving anything at all.

early and elvis-ish

Starting out pretty icky this morning, but I am confident that will pass. When I was pregnant with my son (who is now 19), I was morning-noon-and-night sick for the entire nine months, including in the delivery room. The leftover effect of that is that my body sometimes plays "morning sick" for awhile after I've had a round of stomach stuff. It's trying to bully me this morning, but it'll shut up soon enough.

Confident of that, I had this breakfast: whole grain toast (100), 1 tbsp smuckers (105), 1 small banana (90), (yeah call me Elvis, I like peanut butter and banana) and 1 cup skim milk (90).

Slightly regretting challenging the nausea just now. It'll pass. It'll pass.

I hope.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

much mo betta

So I got through my afternoon, though I did wish for my bed approximately every 4 seconds. Skipped youth church tonight and went right to my parents' house to see my nieces one last time while they are here visiting. Sat out on the front porch, watching them play, and that fresh spring air really did it for me...just blew my yuckies away. HALLELUJAH!!!

Supper out as one very large, very loud, very fun group (you KNOW when the Swanks walk in the room, all 14 of us and no one serious in the whole bunch)!

I had already had another 100 calories' worth of 7up when I got there. Had diet soda and 2 square pieces of pizza (one all meat, one everything in the house). I am supposing it was 500ish calories worth.

That puts me at 1410 for the day, and this tummy don't want no mo.

toughing it out - lunch report

How can it be only noon? Oh golly, where is my bed?

7up this morning 2 cups (200)

Lunch: can of chicken noodle soup (220), 10 saltines (120), 1/2 cup 7up (50).

Total calories for the day: 810.

There is not a choice of "what to eat" at this time - I will be eating what my stomach will permit.

Back to attempting productivity.


my tummy is mad at me

It was okay when I first woke up, but the effort of showering sent it into yuck land and here I am. Coming into the kitchen, it threatened to take the situation over.


Summary from yesterday: I ate 10 saltines before bed, so that bumps my count up another (120) for a day's total of 1440. I have no idea if that's good or bad on a day that I mostly slept, but I suspect that my body's ummm activity canceled all of it anyway.


Breakfast today: one slice whole grain toast (100) and a 1 tsp homemade peach jam (20) with a cup of 7up (100).

Not doing this day is not an option, so we're gonna do it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

one wasted day of my life

Today I have mostly slept, with short intervals of being (sort of) awake.

I have eaten:

2 packages of chicken ramen soup (not at the same time, but I have no earthly idea other than one was sort of "lunch" and one was sort of "supper"): 760

3 pint glasses of grape kool aid: 360

1 pint glass of 7up: 200

Calories for this almost-sleep-only day, so far: 1320

Diddling with the Wii, making lots of Miis because I am too exhausted to do anything that takes actual effort. Think I'll test and see if I can do it reclining.

being sick sucks

Yesterday I went from "fine" to "hmmmm something's not quite right" to "oh golly kill me now" in a very short period of time (unfortunately I was in the midst of a large family gathering when it hit me).

Stomach stuff is no fun. Up every 20 minutes or so in the night. In between stumbling, wobbly dashes for the bathroom, I was under 3 comforters with that strange feeling of "I am burning hot but I can't get warm no matter how hard I try." I presume that was a fever.

I hope I didn't infect others. Really it came on so fast I didn't quite know how to react.

I ate some stuff there before I got sick, but even trying to remember what it was makes my stomach flip. It probably doesn't matter since my body didn't exactly do normal processing. There will be no attempt at calorie counting for yesterday.

Trying to gather enough courage to eat some soup or something right now.


I'm out.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

breakfast and a better fitting t-shirt

Breakfast: whole wheat toast (100), 1 tbsp smucker's all natural peanut butter (105), homemade peach jam (60), 1 cup skim milk (90).

Today after church I will be at my parents' house, as my brother is home visiting from Phoenix. Mom is great at coming up with amazing food that is not a calorie disaster, so I think it will all come out okay.

Off to church! Oh, I almost forgot to share this happy news: this morning I am wearing my "THIS SHIRT IS ILLEGAL IN 52 COUNTRIES" t-shirt, which fits me now. When I got it, it would go on me, but it was the kind of tight that made me not want to wear it. You know, like tight across the belly and needed to be tucked in so that it wouldn't roll up and expose my fat. Today it feels right, and this is good. Who knows, before long, maybe I'll be able to wear my "JESUS LOVES PORN STARS" shirt...it's still tight like that I think...but I'm closing in on it.

Now. The question of WHERE I can wear that shirt without causing undue anger...

super saturday without a precise count

Well once again I am updating the morning after. Yesterday my daughter and I had a list of errands we needed to run in the Quad Cities, and we had also been given free hockey tickets. We combined it all, so that we left home at 3 pm and were gone until something like 11. One of the errands was grocery shopping and we are now loaded down once again with good stuff we can actually eat. We also went out for supper at one of our favorite restaurants, called Habaneros. We love it for the good food, low prices, and consistently charming help (I get especially tickled that at both locations we visit, there is at least one guy who calls us fun names like "muchachos" and sits at the table with us a moment while taking the order). We also like the fact that the serving sizes are reasonable, because if you give us an enormous plate of food, we WILL eat it. It's the way we are made. At Habaneros, we get enough to get pleasantly full and we don't walk out groaning from being overly full. Yes, we should have more willpower than that, but this is the naked blog and I am being nothing but real here.

I ordered differently than usual, as something called the "taco loco" looked really good. I got it with grilled chicken instead of beef, but it turned out not to be the best choice I could have made - it had guacamole, sour cream, and lots of cheese in it. And it was pretty big. I am not going to guess at the calories.

Having eaten supper at something like 4 pm, we were hungry during the game. I had Whitey's ice cream (moose tracks, to be precise) and it had 540 calories.

So the calories that I know from yesterday were 1335. I am thinking even with that taco loco, my day's end total was probably somewhere between my loss total of 1876 and my maintenance total of 2376. And you know, that's okay with me.

If I had ten or even thirty pounds to lose, I might be very stringent and uncompromising in how I do this. But DUDE. I have 100 pounds to go. This is probably a two-year proposition. Realistically, I am not going to hit the mark every single day. If I try, I am going to tank and go right back to where I started. This is a life change, not a "diet," though I refer to it as such because it's an easy way to talk.

Onward and upward.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

power breakfast a little before noon

Breakfast late enough to be lunch: bowl of old fashioned oatmeal (150) with 3 tbsp sugar (135) and 1/4 cup skim milk (25), plus an awesome omelette made of:

3 medium eggs (195)
2 tbsp onion (8)
1 small potato (128)
2 small peppers (30)
1/4 cup tomatoes (8)
1/2 slice bacon (25)
4 olives (16)
1/2 ounce asiago cheese (55)
and I'll figure the oil at 1/2 tsp (20)

Total calories: 795. Now THAT'S a breakfast! Heh. Good thing it's gonna be a 2 meal day...

unsmelling and unknowing - body awareness thoughts

I lost my sense of smell sometime in my twenties; 99% of the time, I smell nothing at all, even when an odor is overpowering everyone else in the room. Occasionally I get a few seconds of that sense back, and I absolutely relish it. It behaves weirdly in those times; one time at a Pampered Chef party, I was busy gleefully breathing in the aroma of bell pepper filled with salsa (absolutely delicious) while everyone else in the room was choking on the simultaneous stench of burnt chocolate.

The point of the above paragraph is that I lost my sense of smell "sometime in my twenties." I don't know when - that's how bad my level of body awareness has been in my adult life. Other people notice when their skin is dry, when their lips are chapped, which foods cause unwelcome reactions in their bodies...but from sometime in my twenties until just the past couple of years, I had pretty much no awareness of these things. The first I became really aware of this was maybe four years ago, when I started to notice that I would sit or lay (or is it lie? who cares...) in a truly uncomfortable position without even noticing my own discomfort for a very long time. It was "new" to me to feel that my neck didn't like how fat the pillow was and was developing a crick.

These days I am becoming increasingly aware of how my body feels and how it works. I suppose that I stopped listening to it along about the time I passed some magic line on the scale - it was probably a hate reaction. I don't "know" this, but I think I'm probably right about that reason.

I am greatly encouraged that these days I notice stuff that is second nature for others to know about their bodies, like when my skin wants lotion or when my body is protesting something I've done. I suspect this is part of the long journey God has taken me on, away from self-loathing and toward seeing myself through His merciful and loving eyes.

When I was in high school, we had a college student aide for awhile in my social studies class. She was very overweight, and I was entirely too aware of that. I recall staring her up and down daily and asking myself why she hadn't noticed she was getting fat and stopped it before it happened. I was one unmerciful little snot in my insecurity (recall that I already thought I was an Enormous Cow by then in all of my size 10 glory).

I've thought more than once that my weight issues were at least in part a punishment for how horrible I silently was to her at that time (I still feel so apologetic every time I think of her, and I DO think of her).

But the point of this little ponder is that I ended up much heavier than she was, and a lot of that happened because I simply stopped really hearing from my body at all. Countless times over the years, I have been shocked when I've caught myself in the mirror or seen a picture of myself - something in me has said, "hey, when did THAT happen?"

Body awareness can go too far, I am sure. But ability to hear what one's body is saying, I think, is one of the keys to not landing in the I-need-to-lose-100-pounds place.

So maybe I am finally finding my escape.

Friday, March 13, 2009

fried fiday night

Working at a shelter has its jolts; this afternoon I encountered one big enough to make me too busy to eat at all. Afterward it took what felt like superhuman strength to resist stress eating fast food on the drive home. BUT I RESISTED! Yay me!

Daughter bought me dinner out, as I was completely fried and had a meeting at 7. I got shell pasta loaded with olives, peppers, onions and sauce, and had them leave the mozzarella off. Enjoyed the garlic bread too, and ate my salad and my daughter's, with just a tiny bit of italian dressing. I have studied it a bit and am guessing that supper at 770 calories.

Before bed, we had root beer floats made with diet root beer and fat free frozen yogurt (90).

Count for the day: 1759, if I got it right.

lunch and thoughts on less being...not less

Coffee w/sugar (135).

Mid morning 10 baby carrots (50).

Diet soda to hold me till noonish for lunch, which was:

Salad w/raspberry vinaigrette dressing (162), small baked potato (130), hard boiled egg (77). Salt and pepper in there too.

Total so far today: 899.

Surprising ongoing discovery: less breakfast does not make me more hungry, I think. In the first week of this thing, I cut my breakfast almost in half and it was fine; later I cut my milk at breakfast in half and it was fine; now I cut my peanut butter in half at breakfast and it seems to be fine. Quite confounding, to discover that filling the tank fuller does not necessarily make me run further. Apparently I don't yet know Everything There Is To Know about dieting.

Shocker, eh?

friday startup

Breakfast: one slice multigrain toast (100), 1 tbsp Smucker's peanut butter (105), crabapple jelly (50) and 1 cup of skim milk (90). Yeah, I spread it thin, because I feel like I can. Let's see how that plays out.

I think maybe the peanut butter toast is not holding me as well as the old fashioned oats. But life tosses in so many variables, I don't feel sure about that yet.

delayed thursday summary

Hey now it's Friday morning, and I haven't yet summarized Thursday! Came home to Much To Do and never got back to blogging fun. Twas a Very Late Night. Grrr.

Finishing up yesterday:

2 afternoon snacks: 15 carrots (75) and 1 large apple (100). Bottle of water.

Driving home snack: 1 oz mixed nuts (170). Bottle of water.

Supper: 1 cup basmati rice (210) and stir-fry made of chicken breast, bell peppers, and onions, - my best guess based on a cup of chicken, a cup of onions, a cup of peppers, and a tsp of olive oil, is (376),
and of course a bottle of water.

Total for the day: 1975, which is 99 calories over my target, which ain't bad for a very hungry, way too busy, extremely distracted day.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

lunch update, obsessing too much about food

The usual morning jump start - coffee with sugar (135).

Snack about 10 a.m. - 15 baby carrots (75). Bottle of water to try and stave off hunger pangs.

Ravenous at 11. Lunch: I brought the last cup of my wonderful chicken stir-fry (142) with 1.5 cups leftover rice (300), so I left my beloved feta cheese off my salad with lite balsamic vinaigrette dressing, bringing the salad total down to (77). And another bottle of water. Lunch was grrrrrreat!

Total for the day so far: 1044

I am too food oriented. Worrying right now about whether my snacks are sufficient.

I annoy me.

are we there yet? how about now?

Breakfast: one slice multigrain toast (100), 2 tbsp Smucker's peanut butter (210), crabapple jelly (50) and 1 cup of skim milk (90).

Tired. Dreading the drive to work, which will almost certainly be Horribly Sleepy. Where is Saturday? I want my Saturday....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

hey, i was bad and it still came out good!

Afternoon snack: large apple (100).

Drive-thru McDonald's between work and meeting: chicken caesar salad w/lite vinaigrette dressing (220), a hamburger (270), and diet soda (0).

Naughty snack after incredibly frustrating meeting: snicker's bar (280). Bottle of water too.

Check it out: today, I ate at McDonald's AND had a snicker's bar and still came in 134 calories under the bar!!!

How cool is that?!

scintillating lunch report

Coffee with sugar, but you knew I was gonna say that (135)

Morning snack 10 carrots (50)

Lunch: salad w/lite balsamic vinaigrette (127), homemade soup from mom (150), bottle of water

Total so far today: 872. I have 2 meetings tonight, back to back, right after work, so I'll be doing drive-thru McDonald's. Thank God for a plan!

more pep today? one hopes.

Breakfast: bowl of old fashioned oats (150), 3 tbsp sugar (135), banana (100), 1/4 cup skim milk (25).

Did some housework at 5 a.m. this morning, which was good since I crashed last night and accomplished pretty much nothing after I got home at 7:30ish. Was a tired day yesterday - I fought sleep hard in the car all the way to work, felt drowsy in the afternoon, and then was sort of a waste of life in the evening.

Here's hoping today's got more energy in it. Hmmm. I wonder where that bottle of vitamins is.....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

steady as she goes...

Shortly-after-lunch-needing-sweet snack: banana (100)

A little while later still munchy snack: large apple (100)

Snack while driving to youth church: 1 oz mixed nuts (170) and bottle of water.

Supper at youth church: 1.5 cups oven baked french fries (260), 2 cups of a wonderful chili/cheese concoction by the master pastor cook (heh, how do you like THAT title?)...my best guess is (650). Half cup rainbow sherbet (130).

Total for the day: 2319. Well, that's not at goal. But it could be worse. But I need to try harder. But I don't think I'll throw myself off a bridge.

Two days in a row of maintenance. Goal for tomorrow: get back to loss numbers.

lunchtime and not rawring today

Coffee with sugar when I got to work (135).

No morning snack.

Lunch: salad w/lite balsamic vinaigrette dressing (127), hard boiled egg with salt and pepper (77), baked potato with salt and pepper (160), bottle of water.

Calories so far today: 909

1, 2, 3, and off we go

Feeling much more rested this morning than yesterday...I maybe might be recovered from that double whammy of the time change and my very late night.

Breakfast: bowl of old fashioned oats (150), 3 tbsp sugar (135), banana (100), 1/4 cup skim milk (25).

Tuesday, here I come!

Monday, March 9, 2009

a rather too inner-ish bit

What's your favorite picture of you?

My favorite picture of me is from when I was 11 or 12. In the picture it is late spring and I am standing, holding onto the halter of the horse I had just bought. I am in jeans and a denim jacket. It's a picture I've held tightly over the years - proof of how cute I used to be.

Today I read this very moving piece called "Why Your Friends Like Your Least Favorite Pictures." Seriously, go read it. My blog will wait.

Okay, back? That article first made me think about my son's girlfriend. I have two favorite pictures of her, both from when they went to prom. In one picture, she has her arms around his waist and her face is scrunched up in a silly affectionate bunch that just makes me hear the word "squeeeeeeze!" In the other, her head is back, her eyes are closed, and her mouth is open in hilarious laughter. I am guessing of the scores of pictures we took that day, those two are probably very low on her list. She's a really beautiful girl and there are plenty of other pictures of her in more composed states.

But I love those two, because they capture one of her best qualities - a very real part of her. Some of the uninhibited joy in her jumps right out of the picture and tickles me every time I see them.

But then pondering it all further made me think of me.

My favorite picture of me - in it, I am still a child. Only a part of who I am. Nowhere close to fully developed, either physically or emotionally. Yeah, I was skinny (other than my thighs)...but I was also a child.

I have no favorite pictures of me from my adulthood, and that's because when I look at them, I only see what I don't like. I have different objections to different pictures: bad hair, bad skin, bad fashion, dumb expressions, and always too many pounds.

That's wrong. I don't have a handle on how to get me from where I am to a place where I can like my own picture, but I am pretty sure that it's not only a losing-enough-weight proposition.

end of the day: i won by not losing

Driving home snack: ounce of salted nuts (170) and a bottle of water.

Having been hungry and tired all day, I knew if I didn't make a plan, I would surely blow it, and blow it big. Lovely daughter was feeling pretty much the same. Thinking of new ideas was beyond me in that mode, so today, I didn't shoot for making my 1876 calories. I made a plan just to stay within my maintenance number, which is 2376. And I'd indulge myself within reason, to avoid sending me off to binge land. The plan: tacos!

Now here's the trick with that: in our family, we eat tacos fast and hard. So what we did was divvy up what we could have into our own bowls, rather than eating "family style," other than practically-free stuff like onions, lettuce, and tomatoes. My personal stash of stuff that made up my tacos consisted of:

1/3 lb meat (very lean ground beef w/chili powder) 263
1/3 can of refried beans (not the lowfat kind) 163
1 oz cheese (the crumbly goat cheese kind) 80
1 soft flour shell 150
3 hard corn shells 50 each for a total of 150
1/2 cup tomatoes 18
1/2 cup lettuce 4
1/8 cup onion 16
1/3 avocado, chopped (106)
tabasco sauce, negligible amount

And a bottle of water, of course.
My surprise for tonight: a small study on taco shells. My daughter and I had discovered awhile back, to our horror, that flour tortillas had a lot more calories than we'd have guessed (in all those many diets in my life, I had not learned this). One flour tortilla, the medium size that is kind of standard, runs between 110 and 260 calories, according to some informal research we've done. ONE TORTILLA. It seems like 1 tortilla should be like, half the value of a slice of bread, doesn't it?

Furthermore, I had always presumed corn tortillas (not the flat kind that need cooked, but the shaped, crunchy, ready-to-eat ones) were pure junk and nonsense. They seem like just an oversized tortilla chip, don't they? Here's what surprised me: they are only 50 calories each! Hmmm tortillas....

Crunchy, shaped, corn tortillas.... Flour tortillas
50 calories each.....................110-260 calories ea.
no sodium at all..................... 450 mg sodium each
1 gram fiber each................... no fiber at all
2 grams fat each.................... 3.5 grams fat each

Now, admittedly, the flour ones are bigger...but hey, this does NOT look like any kind of easy or obvious choice to me!

Calories for the day: 2319. I am still 57 calories under maintenance, and need to shoot for 500 under to lose. Rather than saying that I failed, I'm naming that a victory, on a very hard Monday.


Afternoon snack #1: angel food cake with lite frosting (250).

Afternoon snack #2: small apple (80).

Maybe I'm hungry or maybe I'm just craving. All I know: ME WANT FOOD.

okay okay so one more thing

When I put my jeans on this morning (fresh out of the dryer), they fit like they normally fit on day 2 (if you don't do a "day 2" on your jeans, please pretend you didn't read this).

A.K.A.: apparent weight loss!

Party on, dude.


Coffee with sugar when I got to work (135). Oh MAN I needed that coffee!

Morning snack - hungry enough to eat 2 horses and a side of squirrel, but I settled for 15 baby carrots (75). Hungry hungry hungry. I would blame it on not having protein at breakfast but I don't want to jump to conclusions...after all I had hungry mornings last week WITH protein, and this morning there are all of those other factors like the time change and my late night. RAWR. So hungry.

Lunch. Well the good news about my salad is my daughter added pepperoncini this week and they are to die for. The bad news is I was tired and in a hurry this morning, and forgot to add the feta. Oh boy did THAT make me grumble when I realized it. (112 for the salad and raspberry vinaigrette dressing). Hard boiled egg with salt and pepper (77). Baked potato with salt and pepper (160). Bottle of water.

A client got a deli angel food cake with lite frosting for me and another coworker, who also had a birthday over the weekend. Researching calories, I found quite a difference between "commercially prepared," which has no sugar, and "from a mix," which has very high sugar. Difference amounts to 50 calories per slice. This is a bakery cake, but just to be safe we're going to assume it's the sugary sort. That will be my afternoon snack, but I'm going to have to be careful...already so hungry and I don't need to trip any triggers.

In other news, one of my 3 bottles of water disappeared over the weekend even though I wrote on it with black sharpie. Grrr. Guess I'll get by on 2 bottles today, since I'm not feeling tap water (some days I do, but this ain't one of them).

Calorie count so far today: 869. Hey, no wonder I'm so hungry! That's about 200 calories lower than usual for me by this point in the day!

there be bones in these feet

I've been retaining water for years. When I learned how to use the emergency defibrulator machine at the Y where I used to work, our instructor talked us through enough heart stuff that I understand water retention is Not a Good Sign. My feet...they've looked like they belonged on the Michelin Man or maybe that Sta-Puff guy for a very long time. If you still have "sock marks" on your legs half an hour after you take your socks off....you probably have a water retention issue.

Part of that comes from dehydration, believe it or not. A lot of it comes from high sodium. Also lack of exercise comes into play, and excess weight does not help the equation. I'm sure there's more to it, but that's my short summary while running late for work.

In the last week, the bones and veins have reappeared in my feet! That's been such a rare thing that I've practically thrown a party when it's happened for just a few hours...and it's been DAYS now.

I'm guessing the reason is partly that I'm staying consistently hydrated (and as I write that, I realize I didn't yesterday), but mostly because as I eat so much less in general and so much less absolutely decadent stuff, my sodium level is probably coming down. I still have a long way to go on that because I know for sure I'm over the limits...but progress is a good thing to note on a Monday morning, is it not?

In other news, I was a Very Good Girl at Harris Pizza last night. We got the pizza with everything in the house on it, loaded down thicker than anywhere else I've ever seen. They cut the pieces into strips rather than triangles; I think what I ate was probably the equivalent of 1.5 pieces of regular take-out pizza. With that and the half an apple I had before I left, I am guestimating my total yesterday for right at or around my 1876.

Breakfast today: old-fashioned oatmeal (150), 3 tbsp sugar (135), 1/4 cup skim milk (25).

Got in WAY past my bedtime last night, so I'm feeling all of my 43 years. But Revive, Brandon Heath, and Third Day - THEY WERE TOTALLY WORTH IT.

And off we go!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

sunday afternoon summary before pizza

On a happy note, unlike last Sunday, I didn't wake up feeling fatter than ever. YAY!

Breakfast: 1 slice whole grain toast (100), 2 tbsp smucker's (210), 1 tbsp home canned peach jam (60), 1 cup skim milk (90).

Coffee with sugar at Sunday School (135).

Lunch: 1.5 cups basmati rice with soy cause (310), 4 ounces lemon pepper chicken breast (160), bowl of homemade soup from my mom (150), 1 cup skim milk (90).

1305 calories so far.

Tonight, friends are taking me to a Third Day concert for my birthday. And before that: Harris Pizza! Ima hafta be very good....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

wow what a birthday feast

Birthday supper at my parents' house. Mom's been working on her own diet stuff and is in general a cooking genius. Supper was beyond amazing, and all very much allowable food (well the steak wasn't exactly diet food, but it fit for me). I have made only the roughest possible estimates, as I didn't make any of it and was too busy enjoying the food to really take stock of its caloric value.

Steak from the grill, 10 oz I think (510)
Huge pile of oven roasted veggies and big chunk of roasted cabbage (200)
Huge lettuce salad with grape tomatoes, black olives, and lite Italian dressing (50)
Sugar-free raspberry jello salad (30)
Pudding layered cup (100)

Also had a dozen grapes before I left for the dinner (36)

So with my best guesses, that's 1621 calories. I probably guessed some of it low, but it looks like I am probably at least in under or around my 1876.


Fun stuff.

birthday: late start, so far so good

I stayed in bed working on a (non-diet) blog this morning right up until I got an offer to babysit. Ran out the door once again with leftovers in hand to eat while I drove. 2 ounces cold lemon pepper chicken breast (80) and some more of that amazing potato concoction from the other night (200). Also a bottle of water.

Fed the baby lunch when I got home, then enjoyed last night's leftovers for lunch. 1 cup basmati rice (205) and 1.5 cups chicken stir fry (210), with soy sauce.

Going soon to my parents' house for supper - we are having steaks on the grill and I don't know what else. All I know for sure is it will be GREAT!

Calories so far: 695 and I'm not starving. Tonight, I can enjoy supper! Though after last night's lesson, I'll be more careful not to stuff myself...

Friday, March 6, 2009

more naked than i really feel like being...

So it's 9:41 and I am STILL in pain from having eaten too much supper. WOW.

In bed with my laptop, reading grat lists, which is one of my favorite little extras of working a 12-step program for codependents. And then...I remembered something I've sort of forgotten for awhile. Something I am pretty sure I never told another soul (maybe I did and just forgot, but I don't think so). And I promised myself and God that I'd be up front and fully honest on this blog, as part of the deal for making a real and permanent change. So I guess I'm going to write about it. Hmmm. I feel truly uncomfortable just now, and it ain't just my overly full tummy.

A little over 20 years ago now, I was substitute teaching and spending as much time as possible at home with my daughter, who was about 4 at the time. We lived way out in the country (our road turned to dirt just about a quarter of a mile beyond our house) and sometimes I went weeks without seeing anyone other than my daughter and husband. I liked it that way - I was in a depression and I didn't want to be around people.

Food got way out of control, to a point that kind of scared me. The television was on all day, and on a talk show I learned about Overeater's Anonymous. I studied the newspaper and the yellow pages, and eventually found a phone number, which led me to a meeting. I think I planned grocery shopping around the meeting, so that I could get a babysitter without actually having to tell anyone where I would be.

The meeting was in a church. I remember the table of books (as all 12 step meetings have), and I remember a bulimic lady telling stories that made me feel like I must not be out of control, after all. One of the ladies at the meeting gave me a Blue Book and told me I could pay for it "next time." I took it, even knowing there was probably not going to be a next time.

I only remember one small snippet of conversation I had with anyone there, strangely. For some reason I told 2 ladies about soothing my daughter when she was crying, by saying, "It's okay, don't cry." (I have no idea how that came up, since I was definitely there just for me!) The 2 ladies were gentle but urgent as they told me that I must not say that to her anymore...that I was teaching her to stuff her emotions.

I didn't listen then, so I'm not sure why I remember it still all of these years later, except for this: they were right. Stuffing one's emotions is a hard habit to unlearn.

That Blue Book is long gone by now; I vaguely remember smuggling it out in a huge pile of books being donated somewhere I wouldn't be known. The 12 steps of Overeaters Anonymous are here, if you're interested. I guess I'll be considering them.

end of day summary on the verge of exploding

Next morning snack: apple (80).

Lunch: salad w/balsamic vinagrette (122), 2 hard boiled eggs with salt and pepper (154), 2 dozen grapes (72), bottle of water

Afternoon snack (170).

Supper: 1.5 cups basmati rice with soy sauce (310) and a mountain (3 cups, I think) of homemade chicken stir-fry (my best guess is 425), and water.

Total for the day: 1938.

It looked so good I took too much...it tasted so good I ate every bite. I am so full that I am in pain. Ate like it was still pre-blog, and my stomach is very much Not That Big anymore.

Ow. Lesson learned.

sleepy distracted coffeeless friday morn

Breakfast: 1 slice whole grain toast (100), 2 tbsp smucker's (210), 1 tbsp home canned peach jam (60), 1.5 cups skim milk (135).

My mind was not on food this morning; I'm in the middle of writing something non-diet related, and time isn't letting it happen all at once. Hard to do anything else when a piece is constructing itself so loudly inside my head.

Dangerously sleepy on the drive in. It was good to make it to work in one piece.

Tried the coffee when I arrived, but it was too strong even for me. On a good note, that saved me 135 calories' worth of sugar.

Ate a banana instead (100).

Thursday, March 5, 2009

scaley issues

So one of the cool things that has happened with this blog is it turns out a number of others have come along with me on the journey. Today, one of those people got good news from the scale: 11 pounds lighter! How cool is that?! I am excited with and for her. Congratulations, you!

She's weighing as part of her participation in a temporary motivational program, and today it worked out great for her. The scale definitely has its place, sometimes, in our weight loss routine.

Nonetheless, I am no hurry to weigh. I've been doing so much wrong for such a long time, and I have such a very long way to go, that for me, I need to not get too quickly attentive to that detail. I'm just gonna work on improving my habits, and when the time comes that I just can't stand not to weigh anymore...or when life forces the issue...then I'll weigh.

Not before then.

water water everywhere

Back in September, one week I suddenly found myself plagued by a myriad of physical miseries. I cried most of the drive home from work one afternoon from the way it was all piled up on top of me. I had a lot of pain in almost all of my joints. My hands and feet were swelling even more than usual. My back was killing me. I had a headache that just would not quit. I was exhausted almost beyond my will to keep going. And on top of it all, my carpal tunnel was raging out of control, to the point where I was wearing compression gloves all day and arm braces all night, just to keep my hands somewhat functional.

When I got home, I attacked the problem via google, typing in all the symptoms together in one search. I was so surprised to discover how simple my problem really was: I was dehydrated.

Sometimes I love water and can't get enough, and other times I go through phases where I can hardly swallow it. I had been in a "despising water" phase for a Very Long Time, and it had finally accumulated enough consequences in my body to force the issue.

Think I'm crazy? I'll let you google it yourself, but my testimony is this: I forced my self to drink water really aggressively that night, and by morning I was substantially better. I continued with the water the next day, and by the end of the day most of my symptoms were either gone or dramatically reduced. Within a few days, the problems were banished.


I got reminded of all of this today when I got the following facts in a forward, which I'd seen before but not for awhile:

#1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
(Likely applies to half the world population.)

#2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak
that it is mistaken for hunger.

#3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.

#4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs
for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of
Washington study.

#5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

#6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of
water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain
for up to 80% of sufferers.

#7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term
memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on
the computer screen or on a printed page.

#8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of
colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast
cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop
bladder cancer.

There's more to water than I've listed here, but that's enough for tonight, folks. I have another blog in mind. For now, go get a drink of water.

total for the day

Afternoon snack 10 carrots (50).

Supper out with a friend I haven't caught up with in at least a coon's age. Village Inn Cobb Salad. I asked them to leave the bacon off, and I got a lite dressing (olive oil something). (600) And ate my friend's fruit cup (40). Ice water to drink.

Count for the day: 1869.

CHYEAH!!!! I coulda had 7 more calories.

quick mid-day update

Coffee and sugar when I got to work (yes, I am a creature of habit) (135).

Morning snack: banana (100) and bottle of water.

Lunch: again with the salad, raspberry vinaigrette dressing today (157), hard-boiled egg w/salt & pepper (77), baked potato w/salt & pepper (160).

Calories thus far today: 1179. Think I'll stick to baby carrots for afternoon snacks today.

Tonight I'll be blogging about water.

belly-laugh breakfast and pondering sleep issues

Breakfast: 1 slice whole grain toast (100), 2 tbsp smucker's (210), 1 tbsp home canned peach jam (60), 2 cups skim milk (180). Yeah, I'm still out of old fashioned oats, and I really do want to get some, to further test my theories.

Over breakfast I laughed til my stomach hurt over an email from a fellow struggler in the diet department - hey, that's a good way to start a day! By the way, my friend, I realized yesterday that I think you removed all the temptations from the church kitchen counter for me Tuesday, didn't you? I'm such an oblivious wonder. Thank you!

My mom and several others have pointed out that my achy legs and getting hot in the night might be menopause. Well, it IS true that I'll be 43 on Saturday and I think in my family we start young-ish on that. So that could be. Actually I guess I kind of hope that's what it is, because the other possibility I can see is that it's blood-sugar related; I read that having hypoglycemic incidents in the nights can result in night sweats, nightmares, and confusion. The fact that at least one of those nights I distinctly remembered taking my shirt off amidst the heat...only to wake in the morning with it on, and neither inside out nor backward, and no memory of putting it back on...has made me wonder if that was a dream.

I dunno.

The good thing is, none of that stuff has happened in the night for several nights running now. YAY! I have said for years that being able to sleep quickly and consistently under almost any circumstance is high on my list of excellent skills (I am also great at forgetting stuff instantly, and choosing items at the store that lost their tag and/or won't scan for whatever reason). I'd rather not give up my sleeping skillz, thank you very much.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

the end of day 10, best calorie count thus far

Afternoon snack: 5 carrots (25)

Driving home snack: 1 oz mixed nuts (170) and bottle of water.

Prayer meeting took awhile and as usual I had no plan for supper, which left us in a bit of a twist for what to do. Not having a plan is NOT a good idea when one is trying to make such changes.

Ended up like this: lemon pepper chicken breast 6 oz (240), baby carrots cooked in crushed pineapple (60), and a concoction we dreamed up of cubed potatoes, tomatoes and green chillis, black olives, and crumbling queso cheese (200). And a bottle of water.

Calories for the day: 1788! **party dance**

And I'm in bed, so that's the count for the day!!!

snackish morning but all is well

Coffee with sugar when I got to work (135).

Morning snack: banana (100).

Morning snack: apple (80). (Yes, I am hungry today.)

Lunch: great salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing (122). Green grapes, a dozen (36). Baked potato with salt and pepper (160). Bottle of water.

Lunch was late, but that was okay because of all those snacks! Total at 1:30 pm: 1093.

breakfast without oatmeal, and a non-perfection confession

Breakfast: whole grain toast (100), 2 tbsp smucker's all natural peanut butter (210), 1 tbsp home canned peach jam (60), one cup skim milk (90). I ate the last of the old fashioned oats yesterday and while we still have a bunch of "quick" oats, I am not feeling them just now. Besides, peach jam just sounded so good!

I've scanned back over this blog enough times by now to catch a whole pile of errors, from spelling to grammar to some apparent inconsistencies in information. Part of me wants to fix that, but I think I'll stick with my current format, which means doing it very quickly and not taking time to proofread. I need this all not to take up too much of my day.

Part of the equation is this: I get my calorie counts mostly off the internet, by googling. Occasionally I stop to read the sides of packages. And sometimes I do a little "customizing" on an item that messes with its count, but I don't really spell that out on the page. All that just to say that if this process looks awfully random...it is and it isn't, and that's the way it's gonna be.

Besides, perfectionism has never been my friend (it hangs around a lot, but has a Very Negative Voice), and I have no need to give it voice on my blog!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

blood sugar is fun - NOT!

Almost a decade ago now, a friend of mine's daughter was diagnosed as hypoglycemic. This meant that her blood sugar would sometimes suddenly plummet. When this happens, one can become dizzy, disoriented, shaky, sweaty, hungry, nervous, confused, irritable, weak, and may have trouble speaking. This often goes along with diabetes, but also sometimes plays out in kids for a little while as a phase.

During one of the most difficult passages of my life, I had a series of panic attacks. My heart pounded like it was going to tear out of my chest, I hyperventilated, and there was also a lot of sweating and dizziness. The first time it happened, I thought it was maybe a heart attack, so I ran to my doctor, who took some blood tests and told me I was hyperglycemic, which meant my blood sugar was dangerously high. He gave me a pre-printed diet and told me to follow it, lest I become diabetic. The diet took away most of my carbs, and at the time I was on a low-fat, high-carb diet and it was going well.

Since I didn't like his answer, like any good red-blooded American I got a second opinion I liked better. The second doctor did an EKG on me, reviewed my labs, and pronounced my doctor wrong. I worked out the panic attacks with my counselor over time and forgot all about that icky blood sugar stuff...at least for awhile.

A few years later, I was without health insurance. living on multiple minimum wage jobs and working almost every minute I was awake. I developed strange breath problems. Sometimes my breath smelled yeasty - someone close to me said it smelled like I'd been drinking beer (I don't know why anyone would put that stuff in their mouth...tastes worse than horrible to me). Other times it would smell like the most rancid rotten fruit that ever existed, and no amount of breath-freshening tactics would touch that smell. 99% of the time, I can't smell at all (which is a whole other story)...but I could smell this and there's no getting away from your own breath. Also my breath got severely hot on a regular basis.

Since I had neither the funds nor the time to go to the doctor, I used the internet. It seemed to indicate this could well be blood-sugar related, so I got serious about learning how to combat it - especially when I learned the rotten-fruity breath I'd had so many times might be a sign of ketoacidosis, which is a very dangerous state diabetics sometimes reach...it can be life threatening.

While I am certainly no expert, paying attention has shown me that I have episodes of both hypo- and hyperglycemia from time to time. This combined with the fact that my grandma is now diabetic and my mom seems to be headed that way....all mean I can't keep monkeying around with my weight. My daily lunch crash is probably hypoglycemia. Ergh.

So while I'm counting calories and trying to become more aware of sodium issues (since heart problems run in my family too)...it's also really important that I dodge "fast carbs" like white sugar and refined flour. Highly processed stuff is a real threat to me. I need to stick to lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies, and whole grains. Exercise is also key to this equation...it's a great regulator of blood sugars, when done right.

Unfortunately, my practice these last few years has been to only respond when my body's "alarms" go off and do Whatever I Damn Well Pleased the rest of the time. That will be an enormous part of turning this ship that is my life in a better direction - not pushing the alarms...

total for the day - close enough to make me smile

Afternoon snack: a dozen grapes (36) and an apple (80).

On the way from work to youth church: an ounce of mixed nuts (170) and used the hour and fifteen minutes to catch up via phone with a couple of people I don't talk to enough.

Supper at youth church: chicken noodles alfredo (an invention of my friend the pastor) 1.5 cups (best guess I can make is 600 calories), half a slice of panera bread (150), 1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce (70), bottle of water

Total calories: 1965.

Well that's 89 over my goal, but I feel pretty good about that considering it was youth church night! It coulda been so much worse.

Didn't drink enough water, though.

midday report...i think today's day 9

Cold again this morning...wore a coat at my desk all morning, and still cold. I gotta buy me some sweaters and wool socks or something.

Coffee with sugar when I got to work (135).

Bottle of water, but no other snack urges mid-morning. Huh. Yesterday I was still crashing at lunch time; today, not so much. Interesting.

Lunch: great salad, like yesterday, only with light balsamic vinaigrette dressing (122), 8 baby carrots (40), hard boiled egg (77), apple (80).

Calories so far: 859. I feel munchy. Might be a long afternoon.....

breakfast and being cold

Breakfast: 1 banana (100 calories), bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal (150) with 1/4 cup skim milk (20 calories) and 3 tbsp sugar (135 calories).

Yesterday at work I was cold all day, though the thermostat said 72 degrees. It reminded me that when I was on a long-term fast a number of years ago, I learned in a very vivid way that a lot of what keeps me warm is the energy of my body processing food. Fasting = frigid cold to me. I'm wondering if the lower calories are part of why I'm so cold lately. If you think that's ridiculous because 2000ish calories is not low, what you have to know is before I was blogging my food, my days looked more like that infamous 5000+ calorie Day 1. This is lower calories for me.

Not a problem; I can dress for it. Just pondering!

Monday, March 2, 2009

let's play comparative calories

M&Ms, plain: one piece: 3.44 calories
one cup: 1023 calories

M&Ms, peanut: one piece: 10.32 calories
one cup: 877 calories

Hershey's Kisses: one piece: 26 calories
(can't find a figure for 1 cup)

Grapes: one piece: 3 calories
one cup: 110 calories

Baby Carrots: one piece: 3 to 5 calories
one cup: 60 calories

I gotta keep focused on stuff like this...little slips go a long way, and little good choices do too!

a naughty treat, and still under the wire...

2 girl scout cookies...caramel delite, to be precise (140)

I couldn't get away with that if I needed to actually function, but I'm just going to sleep...and it did knock the fuzzy off of me....hopefully even enough for me to write one more entry that I've been working out in my head, before I sleep.

Total for the Day 1820!!!

I made it! I made it! Wahooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

almost the end of the day

Afternoon snack: 1 hard boiled egg with salt and pepper (77) and 8 baby carrots (40). Also, bottle of water. Let me tell you, that's a decent-sized pile of food for 117 calories!

Second afternoon snack: a dozen green grapes (36). It's a very hungry day!

Supper on the way from work to my meeting: stopped at McDonald's, having studied hard online in advance. I had: Chicken Caesar Salad (with grilled chicken) and lowfat balsamic vinaigrette (220) and a hamburger (270) with a bottle of water.

Snack after the meeting: 1 banana (100) and 1 bite-size snickers (45).

Total so far: 1680. I am home, and I AM HUNGRY! Gonna go find a snack. Will say more when I can think again.

my well-planned lunch, and pondering unstuffed life briefly

Coffee with sugar when I got to work (135).

7 baby carrots mid-morning snack (35). And a bottle of water.

Lunch - delectable salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing - ingredients below (157) and a baked potato with salt & pepper (160). And a bottle of water.

Lettuce (Romaine)
Sweet Peppers - 6 strips
Grape Tomatoes - 6
Black Olives - 3
Green Olives - 2
Feta Cheese - 1/8 cup
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing - 2 tbsp

I am realizing that I have been terribly accustomed to being stuffed, overly full, bloated, etc pretty much always. That's a spiritual issue. Learning to operate once again outside those parameters is pushing me to get real with myself and with God. Wonder what all will be uncovered in the mix. Talk about naked. Oy.

Total calories thus far today: 892

monday morning experimental thoughts and stocking the work fridge

Breakfast: 1 banana (100 calories), bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal (150) with 1/4 cup skim milk (20 calories) and 3 tbsp sugar (135 calories). I am thinking of experimenting with breakfasts. Once upon a time, I only ate breakfast cereal and I loved it. Later, I discovered that eating cold cereal just starts my body craving carbs and drives binges hard. I switched to having some form of protein and it shut off my morning hungries, which is why I never eat a morning snack.

Nonetheless, I AM crashing every day at 11ish, which makes lunch a rather desperate venture. So perhaps I'll experiment a bit and test whether I absolutely must have protein at breakfast or not. Old-fashioned oatmeal is a good piece better for me than cold breakfast cereal - maybe it won't drive a binge. I don't mind a morning snack...I just don't want to do an all-a.m. feast...

I have stocked my workplace for good choices (I work at a shelter and I've been eating what the clients eat, which has been less about saving money than about being "beside" the clients in a meaningful way...but for now, I guess I need to work on me, so I'll use the staff fridge like the rest of the staff). My staff fridge stash (say that 3 times quickly, I dare you): big bowl of baby carrots, little bowl of hard boiled eggs. Also brought my lunch, which I guess I'm doing daily now.

Feeling progress-ish this morning.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

a surprisingly good end to the day

Afternoon snack - a dozen grapes (36 calories).

Supper - Omelette with bacon (541 Calories) and 1 cup chocolate milk (160).

Total for the day: 1949! Only 73 calories above my target. The funniest part of that: I've felt like I was failing every bit of the way.

Lovely daughter and I spent some time today assembling salads and other fresh/nutritious/low calorie items for our lunches.

Next difficulty: tomorrow night I have a meeting directly after work. Usually I grab McDonald's and eat it on the 40 minute drive, but that doesn't seem like a great option. Maybe I'll go explore their menu.

a failure to plan is a plan to fail - breakfast and lunch

So I have good food in the house. But not really a plan. And this day has had its share of bumps, which has not helped. Both meals, I ate in a hurry and way too hungry to think it through.

I was cold in church today...like, "I can't think straight" cold. But didn't want to make the commotion of getting up to go get my coat. And then if I'm cold very long...then I need the bathroom. But didn't want to make the commotion of getting up to go to the bathroom. And then the hungries hit me when the sermon wasn't done yet. And the very beginning of my day was begun by feeling Fatter Than Usual. Net result: I was downright surly and desperate before church was done. Not sociable, not open to the message, bleh.

Breakfast: 1 banana (100 calories), bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal (150) with 1/4 cup skim milk (20 calories) and 3 tbsp sugar (135 calories).

Lunch: two 1/8 lb hamburgers (244 calories), two buns (220), ketchup (20 calories), mustard (0), 2 dill pickle spears (8), baked beans (157), broccoli (42), 1/8 cup cheese (56), 1 cup grape kool aid (60).

Total so far: 1212. Well, it could be worse. It WOULD be worse on my average Sunday. Think positive, Karen.