I’ve been slacking off lately. Got back from snowboarding and dug into job hunting, spring cleaning and taxes. But slacked off mightily from exercise, eating right and taking care of myself. Why? Why do I do that to myself?

Spent some time working on it with Rebecca, my weight loss therapist. And I know you’re surprised, but turns out I had some strange and crazy things going on in my head.  I was subconsciously feeling that since my job was supposed to be taking care of myself and doing well at my job so I could take care of my family financially and since I wasn’t able to do the last, due to losing my job, then I shouldn’t be doing the first.

How lame is that? Anyway – moving on.

Got up this morning and made myself a protein drink, a batch of protein power oatmeal with apples, cranberries and cinnamon and packed up my vitamins for the week. Then I actually made it to a kickboxing class. Boy did that kick my butt. I’m gonna be hurting tomorrow. One does not skip exercise for most of the last three weeks (yes, three weeks – I told you I was slacking) and expect to skate through one of Stephen’s kickboxing classes.

59 minutes and 58 seconds later I was lying on the floor, grateful that I wasn’t dead. But also, feeling really good about getting back into the saddle again.

Later today, a bike ride with my son.

Life is good.

The Dragon’s Tail

My Weight Watcher leader, Jane Brown, has a great way to describe what just happened to me: I was prepared for the dragon that I had to fight with all the travel and the training and the vacationing. But then I came home and collapsed and the dragon’s tail got me.

Yup. Home and getting back into my routine, but three weeks of making good choices and this weekend I went off the rails big time. Ate fried ham and hashbrowns. Ate barbecue and french fries. Drank a lot of wine. The wine is probably the scariest, since I am for damnsure not going to follow the path that leads to: transference of addictions.

I had a random glass of wine while I was traveling and just loved it. I’d forgotten how much I like wine. And I drank a nightly hot chocolate with schnapps while I was vacationing at the ski resort and I really enjoyed that. But it’s been a long time since I drank to the point where I was toasted. Well, I got toasted Saturday night. Sitting at home, drinking wine, by myself.  I was drinking the Muscodo – very sweet, and goes right to my head. Also, makes me want to eat snacky, munchy stuff. Not good. Sounds like the beginning of a story that, frankly, I don’t want to know the ending, so I’m going to skip the item on my to do list that says “Buy more wine.”

So, yay! I’ve identified another land mine and I can safely remove it from my perimeter.

Also a yay! I walked almost 7 miles yesterday in under 2 hours. I think that is my best time yet. And I didn’t feel destroyed when I got home, so good progress. Next weekend I need to go for 8 miles so I can keep up with my half marathon training plan for Walk the Walk in May. I’m not making it to kickboxing class, though. I guess I just feel really worn down and walking is all I want to do. And I’ve kind of sabotaged myself by setting up early meetings all week to work with my offshore team.

Hmm. Maybe another dragon’s tail?

I’m finishing up my morning tea and my pumpkin spiced peanut butter oatmeal now. As soon as I’m done I’m going to hop on the  treadmill and finish my movie and get in a few miles before I head for work.
Have a great day everyone!

Night of Deployment (NOD)

Had to get to work by 3:00 am on Sunday morning for a software release. These nights are hard and not just because of the short sleep and stress. It’s the kindness of the management who think that filling the break rooms with free soda, cookies, cake, candy, snack food and pretzels is a good way to make to make them easier for everyone.

I did not eat one of the beautiful, perfect red devil mini-cakes with cream cheese frosting.

I did not eat one of the two bite brownies with the little crispy edges that are so perfect and so chocolately.

I did not eat a slice of the pizza. The pepperoni or the veggie or the meat lovers special or the cheese.

I did not eat the milky way bars, the m&ms or the snickers.

I did not have a soda.

I did not eat muffins.

I did not have chips, Doritos or Cheetos.

I did have one tangerine and a couple of peanuts in the shell.

I took my own snacks in – a batch of the no-bake chocolate protein peanut butter oatmeal bars (they definitely need a catchy name) which were loved by all who tried them.

I took in some almonds and an apple and an orange.

I took in some chicken and veggies and quinoa for a meal.

I took in a cold, creamy protein drink with chocolate protein powder, peanut butter, milk, ice and a piece of frozen banana.

I did bring home one tiny, miniature twix bar and I ate that after I got home and after I had lunch. I love twix bars, so if I’d had it at work, I would have just kept eating them.

I also brought home the bagels and a few of the tangerines that were left and had a half toasted bagel with my lunch.

I did use being tired as an excuse not to exercise yesterday and for sleeping in late today, so have to get onto the treadmill now.

But I think overall, I did pretty well. After working 65 hours this week, I still stuck to my plan and feel good about the exercise I did and the food choices I made. Maybe a bit more volume than I should have had – it’s hard not to compensate with food for the tiredness.  But yesterday, at the end of the long, long week and huge effort, I can say that  I ate well and didn’t use it as an excuse to snack.

Now, I’m just about finished with my first big glass of water and I’m going to whip up a protein shake to drink while I’m on the treadmill.

Ya’ll have a good time today. Have fun. Be happy. Do something that makes you smile and feel good about yourself.

Cholesterol and a new blog site

This morning I’m making up a batch of protein power oatmeal and then going for a spa pedicure with my friend.  Later today the boys and I are going on an outdoor adventure to try out my son’s new metal detector.  But first – a little bit of info I found.  I confess: I surf the web a lot.  I am always looking for inspiration, information and entertainment. Yesterday I found this site: a blog written by a medical librarian. She had a great list of information about cutting cholesterol. I realized that I was doing a lot of these things last summer, which is probably why my cholesterol was so good at my last check up. But good to be reminded, so I can incorporate back into my menu plan for the week:

Harvard Heart Letter’s Top 11 Foods That Lower Cholesterol–vol. 20(2): Oct. 2009

1.  Oats – soluble fiber

2.  Barley & other whole grains – soluble fiber

3.  Beans – soluble fiber

4.  Eggplant & Okra – soluble fiber

5.  Nuts – 2 ounces a day can lower LDLs by about 5% (based on previous research)

6.  Vegetable oils – I’m not advocating this one, but it’s on the Harvard list as a replacement for butter, lard, & shortening

7.  Apples, grapes, strawberries, citrus fruits – these fruits are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber that lowers LDL

8.  Foods fortified with sterols and stanols – 2 grams a day can lower LDL cholesterol by about 10%.  My comment:  skip the fortified margarine & juice & take them in supplement form

9. Soy – consuming 25 grams of soy protein a day (10 ounces of tofu or 3 cups of soy milk) can lower LDL by 5-6%

10.  Fatty fish – the omega-3s lower LDLs & triglycerides.  My comment: skip the fish & go for high-grade pharmaceutical quality fish oil, or the algae vegetarian equivalents.  Note: recent research by Dr. Christopher Gardner of Stanford University has shown that flax does not come anywhere close to the triglyeride-lowering effect of fish oil. Very disappointing. 

11.  Fiber supplements – the least appealing way to get soluble fiber.  2 tsp a day of psyllium, which is found in Metamucil, provides 4 grams of soluble fiber

Back to Basics

Well, yesterday was a good day. Got back to some pretty fundamental basics and it felt good. Did 45 minutes on my treadmill at 3.5-4.0 mph and a 4% incline – good, hard, sweaty walk. Then I ate well all day, though since I was paying attention I noticed a lot more snacking so it’s back to tracking today. I got in all my water and MOST of my vitamins (I remembered them pretty late).

This morning I’m sipping a fabulous coffee with chocolate protein powder. Tastes better than Starbucks and not only a heck of a lot cheaper, but healthier, too. Got my first glass of water and my vitamins handy and I’m trying to put together a menu for the week. Getting back on track after vacation is surprisingly hard. Especially since I had a great plan and stayed on track all DURING vacation.

Got a good butt kicking from my weight watcher’s leader (Thanks, Jane!) and some good advice from my online friend Teresa. I think I’ll take both and keep moving forward. My little binge and post-vacation vacation/cabin fever cost me 4 pounds but I know it will come off quickly and I’ll get back to working on my goal in a few days. I feel like a 3 Day LPT – lean protein train. That will de-carb my system and take off those 4 pounds and get me back to where I was last week. Easy-peasy. Plus, I’ve gotten really good at making protein food in the last 15 months. My menu sounds wonderful doesn’t it?

Breakfast: Cafe Brier Marvelous Mocha
Snack: Caribbean Cooler Tea
Lunch: 1/2 cup of bean, kale and sausage soup with Pure unflavored protein powder
Snack: Roadside Lemonade protein cooler and 1/4 almonds
Dinner: Going out with some friends for a birthday celebration, so I’ll take a protein bar and a shake with me in case there’s nothing on the menu that is protein friendly (rarely happens – everyone has chicken and salad!)

I’m putting all my stuff into weight watchers online tracker to see how many points that is (Probably way under, but I also need to calculate how many points those no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal protein bars are (they need a catchy name…).

I also need some time to work on my hair this morning. I did something I haven’t done in years which is hack at my own hair with the scissors. It doesn’t look as bad as I thought it would this morning, but I might need time to run by the barber shop!

Well, gotta get started and then hit the treadmill before work. Have a great day everyone and THANK YOU!

Natural Gas Remedies

My friend Gail sent me this! Loved it – had to share:

Natural Health Options for Gas

A natural way to reduce mild, occasional gas could be right in your kitchen! Cooking with a few common culinary herbs helps reduce intestinal gas by 80%. Work 1 teaspoon of the following herbs into your favorite dishes:

  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Dill
  • Caraway
  • Ginger
  • Cloves

Source: Woman’s World

Read past tips at Swanson Health Product’s Daily Tips Blog.

Maintenance Wrap-up Report

Successfully maintaining a 149 pound weight loss

Well, my self-imposed maintenance was officially over yesterday. I made it through the holiday season and vacation. When I stepped on the scale I was overjoyed to see that I weighed in at 172.5 pounds! That’s several pounds lighter than when I declared maintenance and only one pound heavier than my overall lowest.  Success! I’m starting to realize and to believe that the changes I’ve made are lifetime habits now, not just something I’m doing to lose weight.

Here are my measurements from October:

Weight: 175, Waist: 34 inches, Hips: 37 inches, Pants size: 12 (some 10’s); Tops: size 10/Medium

Compared to today:

Weight: 172.5, Waist: 31 inches, Hips: 39 inches, Pants size: 12 (no 10’s 😦 ); Tops: size 10/Medium

My fat percentage measured 36% – I need to look up where I was in October last year, but I think it’s a bit higher. Interesting re-distribution on the measurements: my waist is 3 inches smaller and my hips are 2 inches bigger. Whatever! My jeans are loser than when I left on vacation right after Christmas, so I know that the snowboarding must have done some good in terms of toning my waist. My hips/belly will most likely always be a problem area, so I will just have to work on cranking up the weight lifting and core work.

Overall, I feel like I’ve “reset” myself and I’m ready to tackle my next goal of losing another 5% of my body weight:  another 9  pounds.   Oh! And since my current weight is only 2.5 pounds from my  doctor’s healthy weight goal for me, then this goal will accomplish three things since it also gets me to Lifetime Member at Weight Watchers. Time for a triple celebration! After I lose this 5%, I’ll probably take another maintenance break and focus on maintaining for another month or two because I think it will take me another two 5% efforts to get to my ultimate all-time, maybe-not-that-realistic, goal of 147. Since I haven’t weighed 150 pounds since high school, not sure that I’ll ever make it.

But do I really care? It’s just a number and I hope I’m starting to realize that everyone is right – it’s not the number on the scale. It’s how I feel – which is fabulous – and what I can do with my body – which is a lot more than I could do 150 pounds ago!

Thanks for all the love and support during this first effort at maintenance. Knowing that you are out there helps keep me focused and from going too far off track.