Frightful Weekend

Hope everyone had a happy Halloween! Mostly it was great, but I got stuck on a work problem and spent too much of the afternoon and evening on the phone. You’d think that would mean I was able to avoid the party temptations, but instead, I ate MORE than I would than if I’d been out talking to people and not sitting on the phone. I would wander out to the party and get a plate, then go back and listen to my headset and nibble. Feeling sorry for myself and comforting with food. Classic.

But that was one afternoon. All morning I knew I was going to a party and I thought I’d be going out to a trick or treat event, so I made super  good choices for breakfast (veggie frittata) and had a protein drink before heading to the party. Then AFTER the party, I reclaimed my health and made a healthy dinner so I ended the grazing with some beautiful lamb chops, green peas and baked brown rice made with chicken broth. Now I’m sipping my hot lemon tea and when that’s done, I’ll eat my protein power oatmeal.

Routine? Yes, but routines are what will save me from the holidays and my usual weight gain.  I was trying to find statistics on weight and found this on Wikipedia:

Yanovski et al.[5] investigated the assertion that the average American gains 2.3 kg (5 lb) over the Christmas and holiday season, and found that in fact the data do not support this assertion. They found rather that average weight gain over the Christmas and holiday season is somewhat less, at around 0.48 kg (1 lb). They also found that this weight gain is not reversed over the rest of the year, and concluded that this “probably contributes to the increase in body weight that frequently occurs during adulthood”.
Chan et al.[8] investigated the increases in A1C and fasting plasma glucose in type 2 diabetic patients, to see whether these increases were steady throughout the year or varied seasonally. They concluded that the winter holidays did influence the glycemic control of the patients, with the largest increases being during that period, increases that “might not be reversed during the summer and autumn months”.

But the study went on to say that this is only true for the AVERAGE American. Overweight and Obese people gained more:

….overweight and obese volunteers were more likely to gain five pounds than were those who were not overweight, which suggests that the holiday season may present special risks for those who are already overweight.

So the (on average) 10 pounds a year, if you are obese, gained from Halloween to New Years can really account for 150 pounds after 15 years, if you gain too much and don’t lose all of it.

Well, duh! If we didn’t have a problem with food, dude, we wouldn’t be obese! And yes, the holidays pose a special risk. There’s more food around, more social events centered on food, it’s cold and dark outside and we are creatures who have been trained over the millennia to store fat over the winter.

The good news is that we are not mindless primitives, scrabbling for our livelihood. So don’t use that as an excuse. If you go overboard on food, go overboard on exercise. If you skip your workout to go to a party, sip some seltzer and nibble on the fruit and cheese platter. Find your balance.

And if and when you fall down, get up and dust yourself off and go back to your healthy routines.

That’s gonna save me from the holidays. Which means I get to ENJOY the holidays and not worry about the food or the weight gain. So now, off to the gym to burn off the dip, the cake, the booze and the chips. It might take a few hours…

Climbing the walls

I was literally climbing the wall yesterday. We went back to Stone Mountain and I stood on-line for over an hour for a chance at the 40 foot climbing wall next to the Skyhike we did last week. I made it almost halfway before I got stuck and couldn’t get any higher. I learned two lessons: one – I could climb the easy wall and my old fear of heights did not come into play at all. Two – my arms are still not strong enough to pull me up when there’s no toe hold.  I’ll just have to keep doing the pull up machine.

Speaking of pull up machines, I spent three hours at the gym yesterday. It wasn’t all extreme, kill myself craziness. I worked out for an hour with Cathy, the trainer who created my last workout and she put together a new workout for me. This will do a couple of things for me – keep me from getting bored and keep my body from getting used to the exercises. Now I can switch back and forth on weight lifting days. I like that.

After the workout I treated myself to 15 minutes in the jacuzzi and then 20 minutes in the sauna. Then I got dressed and went to Beth’s yoga class. It was a winner! When I walked out of the gym, passing up all the treats they had out for Halloween, I felt very virtuous, relaxed and frankly, smug.

Then we went to Stone Mountain and climbed the walls. My son made it all the way to the top of his wall, twice! I’m so proud. Then we played miniature golf and rode the Ducks. The ducks are amphibious vehicles that go from land to water. We had a good driver who was entertaining and my husband and I enjoyed it, but the speakers were too loud and my son does NOT like loud noises.  It took him a while to recover.

Then back home to enjoy the Jamaican beef and sweet potato stew I made. General consensus was “Not bad, but no cinnamon next time.” Plus, we stayed later than I thought, so the beef was a little overcooked, in my opinion.

All in all it was a great day. Only thing that was negative was the 1/5 of a funnel cake that I ate. Deep fried white bread dough sprinkled with powdered sugar and covered in whipped cream and  cooked apple topping. Can you say CARBS?

My husband ate a whole one and my son ate 1/2 of the one we shared.  My tummy was okay, but my head was beating me up. But you know what? I passed up all the Halloween treats and other temptations and we all agreed this was the best funnel cakes we’d ever tasted. Once in a while, I guess it’s okay to splurge. My blood sugar was a bit up this morning, but still under 100. Like everything else, I have to make sure it’s a once in a while thing, not a regular indulgence.

Busy day today: a work thing and a party at the same time. Need to figure that out. I really can’t be in two places at once and it is stressing me out.

The Gaintenance Quiz

I’ve never really been on maintenance before. I’ve gone right from losing to gaintenance. Okay so that’s not a word. But it should be.  It perfectly describes the act of not watching what you are eating, not exercising and therefore purposefully going right back to where you were.  But I looked it up and even Wikipedia hadn’t heard it before. I’ll have to submit an article!

So if you aren’t on maintenance and you aren’t losing weight – are you on gaintenance?

Here’s a quiz to find out:

  1. Did you weigh yourself this morning?
  2. Have you weighed yourself lately?
  3. Have you measured yourself lately?
  4. Did you exercise this morning?
  5. Will you exercise later today?
  6. Have you exercised lately?
  7. Did you plan this week’s menus?
  8. Did you go shopping with a grocery list?
  9. Are you taking your lunch and a healthy snack to work?
  10. Did you eat on plan today?
  11. Do you even have a plan?
  12. Did you track what you ate yesterday?
  13. Will you track what you ate today?
  14. Have you tracked what you ate lately?
  15. Are you  eating at the table?
  16. Are you taking small bites, putting down your fork and chewing?
  17. Are you stopping when you are full?
  18. Are you drinking enough water?
  19. Did you take your vitamins?
  20. Did you eat a variety of healthy foods?
  21. Did you get enough protein?
  22. Did you eat enough healthy carbs?
  23. Did you get enough fiber?
  24. Are the messages in your head kind or killing?
  25. Did you notice the sunrise this morning?
  26. Did you see the sunset last night?
  27. Did you spend time doing something you love this week?
  28. Did you spend time with someone you love this week?
  29. Do you have a dream?
  30. Are you working on that dream?
  31. Have you worked on that dream lately?
  32. Have you been accountable to anyone for your weight, measurements, food, exercise and attitude lately?
  33. Are you doing everything you should be to take care of your health and happiness?

For every Yes answer give yourself three points.

If you scored 99 points or more – you are on Maintenance and may even be losing weight.

If you scored 50 or higher, you are on Maintenance, but don’t expect much weight loss.

If you scored less than 50 points then you, my friend, are on gaintenance.

What are you going to do about it?

My Team

In January 2007, I started building my team to help me with weight loss. Doctor Shulman was the first person and I went in for a checkup to make sure I wouldn’t die if I started exercising. Seriously. I had a heart test and full workup because I was having chest pains and was convinced I might die if I walked. Nope. I was just monstrously out of shape.  But the checkup was good, because it gave me a starting point and confidence that I could push myself (gently) and not fall down dead. He’s happy with my progress and I see him every six months to keep a watch on any potential vitamin deficiencies.

My next stop was the nutritionist/dietitian in his office, Alyssa. She was teaching an 8 week class and I signed up – in September!  Took me that long to take advantage of her, but when I did, I started to learn a lot that I’d forgotten or just suppressed about good nutrition and healthy habits. I saw her again yesterday – first time since July. That was a good session – she’s pleased that I’m keeping up my healthy habits and that I’ve lost 6 inches off my waist since she saw me. She says my true goal should be to have my waist be half my height. So the goal is half of 64 inches = 32. I’m at 38, so that’s 6 more inches. I can do that – might take me 6 or 12 months, but I can do that.

Next was my Weight Watchers group. I joined an at work group. The leader then wasn’t someone who I really connected with and for a year or so I really didn’t get into it and follow the program. Then my friend Jane became our leader. Wow! What a difference! If you are struggling with WW, do yourself a favor and shop around the different groups.  I had to change meetings recently when my at work program folded, but followed Jane and I’m convinced that the leader makes the meeting.  Find a great one.

During that first year I saw my endocrinologist, Dr Silverman, who strongly recommended weight loss surgery. I said no,  but went to check it out anyway. I met Dr Finley and was really impressed with him.  He’s brilliant and capable and very caring. I still thought it wasn’t right for me, though. I saw my OB/GYN about a year into my effort – it was my annual physical. He’s really the person that convinced me to check out the surgery again. Then my endo retired and I got a new one, Dr Ralwani, who confirmed my blood sugar was continuing to spiral out of control. Time passed and I really was making some progress on my own, but then I had that big fall in Singapore and pushed for the surgery.  Since I’d gone for the consultation and then done the diet program and waiting period (unintentionally, I guess) the approval came through pretty quickly.

Then I saw the shrink from the insurance company who recommended Rebecca for follow-up when I asked for a weight loss therapist for continuing work. Rebecca has been amazing. She’s been my anchor. She’s taking care of some personal things right now and I really miss her. I feel as if that weekly or bi-weekly visit made all the difference between success and failure. Come back soon – I need you!

So that’s my “professional” team: three doctors, one surgeon, a nutritionist, a therapist and a Weight Watcher’s leader. Then there’s all the other critical players: my husband. His just being there means so much. But he cooks for me and keeps me on track (when I let him). My son is there, too, constantly looking at me and praising me and telling me I look beautiful and skinny. He’s noticed that I like that word! My friends and family on Facebook who read my posts and encourage me and don’t let me give up when I slip. And my blog readers.  I had over 6000 hits in the last six months – and even if it is the same 15 people over and over, it seems incredible to me and keeps me coming back every day to write and think out loud because I love hearing when something I say touches someone or gives them information that helps them.

So many people – without you I couldn’t have made it this far. I just want to say “Thank You!”

This journey doesn’t have to be a lonely one. In fact, it’s a lot more fun and a lot more successful with a team. Start building your team today!

Lose for Good

Lose for Good

Happy October 26th! Today is my 14 month surg-aversary since gastric bypass. In the last three years I have lost 146 pounds and yesterday I celebrated by taking 144 pounds of food to the Weight Watcher’s Lose for Good Campaign. That’s a lot of food! It filled my trunk. It took two of us four trips to haul it all in. It made a stack almost as tall as me. Do you know how good that feels? To know that I LOST that much weight? To be able to give to a great cause and celebrate my victory over obesity.

Today I am indulging myself with my favorite past time: measurements! I started out by comparing the measurements from last month and there was some slight gain there:

Compare: 26-Sep 26-Oct
Weight: 171.5 174.7
Waist: 32.5 33
Hips: 38 39
Arms: 13 12.5
Thighs: 23 23
Calf: 17 16
Bust: “35/40” “35/40”

So that wasn’t making me very happy. But then I decided that was not very positive, so I decided to take a friends advice and look at where I am today, with where I started in August last year:

Compare: Oct-10 Aug-09 May-07
Weight: 175 279 321
Waist: 33 50 59
Hips: 38 58 64
Arms: 13 17 18
Thighs: 23 33 34
Calf: 17 20 21
Bust: “35/40” “44/50” “48/54”

So that’s what I’m going to focus on – those changes and improvements. I can run a mile, I can swim a mile, I can lift weights and kickbox and do yoga and ride my bike for 23 miles.

For next month, and until January 9, 2011, my goal is to maintain where I am. Once I’ve mastered the art of maintenance, I can set a new goal to lose another 5% – which is less than 10 pounds. Then another 5% and another until I get to my ultimate goal. I will get there. I just have to get the fear of maintaining that goal out of my head first, so I don’t keep sabotaging myself with negative thoughts like: “What’s the point? I’m just going to regain it all.”

Because I’m not. I’m losing for good.

Wanted: Good Yoga

The Saturday yoga class at my fitness center is taught by  a “rotation”. I hate that. One week it could be my favorite instructor, Beth, who does an amazing job of stretching, balancing, relaxing and teaching. There are two others who are okay and their classes are fine, just don’t really take me anywhere special. But sometimes it is THE OTHER ONE, who invariable rushes through the moves (because she is sitting and talking to us, not doing them with us) and often I leave early, in pain, from some contortion she is talking us through that does not flow and I can’t see that anyone in the class can actually move from the first position to the next. ARGH!

So what do I do? I can’t afford ANOTHER fitness center – I’ve got two memberships already. I can’t afford to pay for yoga classes in addition to what I’m already paying. I’ve spoken to the management about at least posting who is going to teach each Saturday so I can plan. Because when I show up, I feel like I have to stay, even if it is the bad yoga teacher.

Today I’m getting ready for a healthy week – making my oatmeal for quick, fast and no-excuse breakfasts. Set up a batch of Greek yogurt to cook all day and packed my vitamins for the next two weeks. Now I need to clean my bedroom and put away all the nice clean clothes my husband washed and dried and folded for me. Then I should do some laundry.

After that, we are going to do something fun and go to Stone Mountain Park for the day. We’ll visit all the attractions and ride all the rides. Later tonight is Jacob’s end of baseball season team party. He had a great season and finished up by pitching one inning where he struck out the best hitter in the league, much to the joy of the coaches. (The kid came to bat with bases loaded, they were anticipating a very different outcome!) Tonight I’ll crash and finish making the mummy costume for my son.

Oh – before I forget – I should mention how nice yesterday was in terms of family time – starting with breakfast together, then my son’s baseball game and going to the farmer’s market together for shopping and dinner.

That was the good part. The bad part was that I ate stupidly ate a pastry at the farmer’s market. It was a small apple tart and I thought – apples – healthy. WRONG! I have no idea how much sugar was in there, but I barely made it home before my pouch took revenge. Today I’m focusing on lean protein to clear out the carb cravings and balance out yesterday.

Tomorrow, I can start work again with the satisfaction of having an entire weekend off for the first time in a month. Feels good.

Have a great day and enjoy your Sunday doing something special.

Maintenace – Week Two

Starting Stats: Weight: 175, Waist: 34 inches, Hips (really belly button): 37 inches, Pants size: 12 (some 10’s); Tops: size 10/Medium
Week Two Stats: Weight 176, Waist: 34 inches, Hips(really belly button: 39, Hips: 41, Pants size: 12 (no 10’s); Tops: size 10/Medium

Am I doing the math right? A year of “maintenance” like last week will put me at 52 pounds higher and 104 inches bigger on my stomach! Okay, maybe not that bad, but bad enough. Here’s what I did and didn’t do last week, on my plan:


MOVE PLAN: 30-45 minutes of exercise 5-6 days a week. Long hike or bike ride, start riding my bike to work, swimming once, weight lifting twice a week

Actual: I made it to the gym twice for weight lifting – check! 1 swim – check! Several walks, 1 easy run, 1 short bike ride. 5 days – check! On the other hand – I don’t think it was intense enough. I feel a bit flabbier and my belly measurement supports that. Need to crank it up a bit. M/W: Weight lifting; T.Th: Running; Fri: Swimming; Sat: yoga or kickboxing class; Sunday – long bike ride.  Walk at lunchtime every day. Bike to work at least once this week.

EAT PLAN: Concentrate on the Weight Watchers’ Simply Filling technique. Stick lean protein, and add as many veggies as I can eat until I feel SATISFIED.

Actual: I feel as if I was constantly eating, stuffing something into my mouth. I ate mindlessly, I ate poorly, I did all the things I said I would not do.  This week has to be different. Period.

LIVE PLAN: Starting to explore my dream job. Spend as much fun, active time as I can with my son and husband. See my girl friends more frequently and have people over more. We need to socialize as a family.

Actual: Did more with Fred and Jacob: bowling, baseball, more evenings at home, dinner together, time in the mornings. Did a little research on the dream job. Didn’t see any girlfriends, but talked to them. No friends over.  Still needs work.

THINK PLAN: Working on my book – finish the first draft by December 10th.

Actual: Not a word. I did blog a bit, that was all. Put in 10 extra hours at work, I think that is where my time went.

With that down in black and white, I’m going to the gym to work out and focus on getting more exercise into my life this week. The sun is up and the sky is filled with pink and blue streaks. It’s a good day to ride my bike to work, but I need to finish the weight lifting.

Run With Me

Lately my husband and son have been getting up earlier, so those early mornings alone, focused on writing and exercising have turned into early mornings spent talking and planning and catching up on our lives. On Thursday morning I really needed to get in a workout, but I just didn’t want to leave them. We’ve been talking for weeks about the boys starting the Couch to 5k program, so I decided this was the perfect time to make that happen.

First, the boys are not morning people. There was kind of a blank look and then a bit of resistance, but they both agreed. Then there was the drama of finding their MP3 players and downloading the first week “Wheezing your way from Couch to 5k” – Chubby Jones, aka Mia – love it. That took MUCH longer than it should have but I kept my cool and kept reminding myself that I had to work late, then I had a Women in Technology seminar so I wouldn’t really see them that evening.

FINALLY – we were all dressed, fitted out with our mp3 players, the podcast and out the door. Then we struggled to get everyone synched up so we could start at the same time. That did not work. My son hated the headphones while he was running and my husband’s was always 2 minutes behind me. So we ended up following my lead and I called out the time and passed on Mia’s encouragements.

And – we did it! Towards the end my son was definitely flagging, and he cried a little when we were finished – it was definitely harder than he thought. But on the other hand, he did it! Then we started talking about running a 5k together next year and how this was all good practice for ski season. Immediately he was excited and talking about skiing black diamonds again and taking snow boarding lessons. My husband did well, he said because of the interval training program I created for him on the treadmill.

And though it wasn’t hard for me, since I’ve been running longer, I really enjoyed running together. I think it will be good for all of us and yet another way to spend time together and maintain the new level of overall health we’ve achieved.

Speaking of maintenance, found a great new blog for my blogroll this morning called Debra’s Just Maintaining.

I loved all the links to medical studies and she’s a good writer. I’m going to check out the link to Dr. Berkely

who is a doctor that focuses on maintaining weight loss and has written a book. I’m going to check out the website first, then maybe I’ll check out the book.  But for the first time in my life, I’d rather get active than get a book! I really have to get going because we’re going on a bike ride this morning, followed by a picnic. Then we’ve got baseball practice and at some point I’ve got to fit in some housework, laundry, paperwork and cooking!

Have a fantastic weekend and enjoy this gorgeous fall day with someone you love.

Fright, Flight or Fight

Today I woke up with three or four different topics running around in my head, but they were all driven out by what will go down as The Great Possum Incident of 2010. I went down at 6:00 AM as usual to let my dogs, “the Girls”, out and instead of running out to do their business, they started circling the grill and barking. I thought it was either a squirrel or the neighbor’s cat, which had both happened before. Then I heard the snarl and saw the tail.

As possums go, this one was on the large side, about twenty-four inches long. It had crawled under the grill to eat some spilled dog food (I’ll be having words with my son about that) and saw no reason to leave such a cozy, autumn bed. Until my three ferocious girls arrived to put his morning off to a really bad start.

A possum will play dead – not a very successful defense mechanism when you are surrounded by three snarling dogs that are determined to get you.  I put the Girls in the basement and then put my boots on and went outside to encourage the possum to move on to his next stop. I stomped my feet, it played dead. I pushed with the broom and it played dead and when I poked harder, it snarled at me.

That was a scary site – those little sharp teeth and wide gaping mouth. Despite the fact that I am 100 times bigger, I was a unnerved. But I knew if I didn’t get it off the deck that the girls would either get it or get bitten or both. I finally hit on the idea of spraying it with the water hose and that worked and it came out of its hiding place and ran across the deck. It ran until it got face to face with the Girls peering out from the door and then dropped down again, playing dead. I don’t think a possum can be very smart. I mean, why stop and freeze right in front of your worst natural enemy, waiting for it to devour you?

Hey, I think there’s a life lesson here!

Think of all the times you’ve been frozen with fear. Have you ever been afraid to get a lump checked out because it might be cancer? Afraid to get a physical because you were in such bad shape you didn’t want to hear the results? Afraid to start exercising and eating right because you knew it would be hard? Yes, been there, done that, got the tee-shirt.

What finally makes you unfreeze and move? What triggers the fight or flight part? I think there should be three parts, not two. Because before you decide to run with your tail between your legs or stand up to whatever it is, there’s that moment of stillness. That timeless eternity that could last a fraction of a second in a critical situation. Or in my case, it became years of apathy while I was obese and not doing anything about it.

What finally triggers you? The bad news from the doctor? The invitation to the big event? The photo you can’t ignore?

For me it was falling down in Singapore and being hurt and alone on the other side of the planet. Surrounded by kind and helpful people who picked me up and dusted me off and helped me to the hospital. Those tiny Asians who don’t even have clothes to sell that are that big in their whole country.

They were so gentle with me. What must they have been thinking? Maybe it was something along the lines of what I was thinking about that possum this morning. Boy that’s ugly! But it’s scared and it needs my help to get out of this mess.  Maybe not. Maybe they just saw someone frightened and in pain who needed their help. I would love to go back to Singapore someday and thank all the people who helped me. The people at the Eye, the Army doctors who responded to the call for help, the soldiers who came with them and ended up having to hoist me into a wheel chair, their guns strapped to their backs. The nurses and doctors at Raffles hospital who tended me and treated me and gave me pain pills and salve for my wounds. The specialist who came in to check out my eye and make sure the retina wasn’t detached. The staff at the InterContinental who brought me ice packs and cups of tea and room service while I recovered.

For the possum, it was the a wet, frightening morning that ended with scampering off into the woods behind my house, hopefully never to return. But possums aren’t very smart. And there was food under that grill. Tasty chicken and rice dog food. Perhaps tempting enough to risk the snarling dogs and crazy, booted woman with the water hose to get more of it.

Ah! Another life lesson!

Yesterday there were a lot of temptations that made me, apparently, willing to risk going back to lying on the ground in Singapore. There was the slice of pizza that I had instead of my packed lunch of grilled tuna and veggies. Then there was dinner in front of the television, which ALWAYS leads to snacking. In this case it was a second bowl of yogurt and blueberries, a hefty slice of meatloaf and two servings of almonds and a dove chocolate heart.

That is not weight maintenance, that is more than likely a weight gain.

So what was going on? When I finally stopped being frozen and started talking about it with my husband, I realized that this is the week, ten years ago that I found out I’d lost my first baby. I’m also worried about two women I know and like tremendously who are battling cancer, one who will, God willing, be fine and one who, no matter what, most likely won’t.  Then there was the frenzy of work – much crazier than I’m used to because of the software release this weekend. The last few days have been like my old job was all the time. It’s clear to me that because this job has been relatively stress free, that I haven’t really learned how to manage that without eating my way through the day.

So, today, I’ll work on that and try to be gentle with myself. After all, I’m a fierce warrier, able to banish demons and possum before breakfast. Now I’m going to go run off that pizza!

Maintenance – Day Three

Yesterday was so busy that I forgot to publish my blog. First the insurance exam, and then work was nuts. It is a pre-release week for my software project and the usual scramble to get everything finished and into the release. It’s my first truly Agile project and I find that I love the energy and the flexibility.  Except that I tried to leave a little early to go bowling with my family.  Nuts, right? In the middle of all that was going on, and I was trying to get out at 4:30. I actually made it at 5:00 and it appears from checking my email that nothing catastrophic occurred because I left. Ha ha! Good reminder for me to keep my life balanced and that I am not indispensable.  With the unexpected hours I put in this weekend, I was 4 hours above plan, so I’m glad I took the extra couple of hours yesterday and today. Keeping promises to my son is so important and I didn’t get to spend much time with him this weekend.

I was working with someone yesterday whose signature line says “I do what I can, as well as I can, when I can”. I think that is so sensible an attitude. Not my old mantra, which was “I will do everything perfect and as soon as I can no matter what”. The result of my mantra was missed promises to my family, my friends and my job, since NO ONE can do everything, do it perfectly and keep up the pace I was trying to keep. No wonder I was hard to work with at my old job – my standards were impossible to meet, so I was always disappointed and critically judgemental.

I like the new attitude. I like my new schedule where I get my exercise and health stuff done and then I go into the office. Works out well, since I work with a Seattle-based team. I shoot for 9:30, but if I get in at 10, I can just work until 6 and get my hours in and be there during critical hours. A lot of the time that slips to 7 or later, so I don’t have any guilt about coming in at 10:30 or a couple of times at 11 because I was running behind or pushed my workout a little extra.

All this is good reminders because I didn’t work out yesterday – didn’t even get a walk in. I was planning to ride my bike and didn’t do that. So I’m up at 6 this morning to finish my writing and get to the gym for a solid workout and some good cardio. I’ve got my glass of water and my oatmeal is waiting as soon as I get rehydrated.

I realized yesterday that one of the reasons I’ve been overeating at my desk is that I have a huge bag of almonds at my desk. It makes it easy to grab a handful when I’m hungry, and that’s a great snack for me. But it also makes it too easy to overeat. So I’m going to go back to measuring out and packing my almonds for the day and keep the big bags at home, out of sight in the pantry. I think I had 3 servings yesterday. On a day with no exercise, that’s not good. Okay, part of that was that I went to get my greek yogurt and fruit and while trying to pour off a little extra liquid, I accidentally tipped the entire container of yogurt into the trash. So I had the almonds with the blueberries. But still! The extra handful was pure mindless snacking because I got caught up in a problem solving frenzy. Frankly, if it isn’t there, I can’t eat it. And I think I’ve gotten control of myself enough that I’m not going to go down to the cafe and buy something crappy, I’ll have a protein drink or something I’ve brought from home or fallback on the emergency Rock n Roll protein bar.  It’s a big part of the Weight Watchers program success: you have to prepare your environment for success.

One thing I still have to think about is what I did after bowling last night. Yesterday morning my husband commented that in my current collection of clothes there were a lot of black and white – not as much color as I’d had. So I took that as permission to go to the Goodwill last night – despite my self-imposed and budget-imposed moratorium on shopping. On the one hand, I found 1 jacket, two sweaters and a blouse all in gorgeous colors that look good on me. On the other hand, I spent $30. I have worked a lot of overtime this week, so the budget was more flush than usual, but we’re still in the red, so I really didn’t NEED to do it. I have to admit, I felt a litttle of the same mental feeling I used to get on a binge. It would have been easy to race up and down, grabbing anything that looked good and piling it into the cart and then recklessly ringing it all up, no matter how much it was.

But I didn’t. I piled my cart up and then went to try on everything, then picked the four best pieces. Then my son insisted I add a really gorgeous blue sweater, so I ended up with five. Part of me is thinking that if I’d bought those things new, I would have been lucky to find one of the sweaters on sale for $30. The jacket would have put me out at least $100 and all five pieces would have been more than $300 – easily.

The OTHER part of my brain is thinking, you said you wouldn’t shop. You don’t really need those clothes. You have enough clothes. And here’s the part that’s hard to admit: the reason that my husband saw only black and white in my closet is that all my more colorful clothes, that I like to wear every day, are in the laundry. I just didn’t do laundry this weekend because I worked all weekend. So really, truly, I was lying to him and to myself when I said I NEEDED them. So I made it only eleven days without shopping. Sigh. Two steps forward, one step back. 

So, I start again! Hello, my name is Karen and it’s been one day since I shopped.

Well, it’s getting late and I want to be at the gym by 7, so I’m wrapping up for the day. Have a really special day today – do something you’ve been putting off – you’ll feel better for it!