Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dreams (the sleep kind and the aspirational kind)

Sometimes I really think I'm crazier than most people. I have the most vivid dreams every night that I remember fully when I wake up. They aren't horrible nightmares or anything just stress dreams involving packing for a trip to Scotland or planning my wedding or losing my wallet. The worst one is that I'm not graduating from college because I haven't gone to a class all year or something. I probably have that more than any others or mixed in with the others. When I wake up, I feel as tired as if I had actually been through what was in my dream. I've done some research about controlling dreams but it doesn't seem to be working. I think I will try to learn how to meditate. I also thought about hanging my college diploma by my bed to remind myself I graduated 10 years ago :) It's frustrating so if anyone has any advice it would be much appreciated!

Now on to the Big Dream. My mother (and father when he was alive) have always taught me that I can do anything I want to do and be anyone I want to be. They never even blinked when I died my hair blue or told them I wanted to go to art school. I feel that I have something in me as a designer that would free me from a hateful work schedule and commute. The idea I've been pursuing and it's been much more difficult that I'd anticipated. Some days I think it's going to work and other days I wonder if it's a good idea. It's made me very scattered and unfocused but I still feel like it might be worth the work.

It's hard to take an hour a day out of the crazy to exercise and another hour to cook healthy meals. Combine that with 2 hours of driving and 9 hours work and there's not much left of the day for the Big Dream.

In the mean time I'm to find a balance between all the things I want to do and all the things I have to do. Last nights dinner of pork tenderloin and roasted brussels sprouts was worthy of a photograph if I would have had the energy! I know I have it in me. I guess I should listen to my dad's voice in my head saying "no one every got anywhere without hard work". True dat daddy-o.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The rollercoaster

I swear, I gain weight faster than anyone I know. 7 pounds in 7 days. I've even had my thyroid tested a million times and nothing is wrong in that department. The strange thing is my body fat percentage has gone down 1.5% if the Tanita scale can be trusted. It also says my water percentage is up. I'm not too frustrated though because I'm sure a lot of is water from all the salty food I ate. Today I'm really taking it easy on the calories and drinking a ton of water. Simple soup and salad for lunch and some ww pasta and homemade sauce after my water aerobics class tonight.

We went and saw The English Beat (or The Beat as they are know in the UK) on Saturday night. I sure wish someone would teach a Ska/Reggae dance class because I've been so sore ever since! It was fun and obviously good exercise. That combined with 2 hours of I-pod vacuuming and a romp with the dogs made for a fun workout weekend.

I'm not going to let the scale get me down. "Onward and Downward" as Dietgirl would say. I finished her book over my vacation and it was totally amazing and inspiring. I'm almost done with Half of Me by Pastaqueen which has also been a really fun read. Both of these girls never gave up and neither will I.

My sweet husband has lost 8 pounds and I'm so happy for him. Boys. Sheesh. All they have to do is quit drinking beer on weekdays :)

On a fun note I've been working on an idea for my own business that's looking like it might actually come together. It's part of my never ending quest to ditch my commute and stay home with the dogs. It's taking tons of time and brain space but it will be worth it if it works out.

I hope everyone out there has a great week!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Back to the grind

It feels great to be back to my husband and my dogs but the office, not so much! I have tons of work piled up but it was worth it. So was all the food I ate!

Sometimes you just have to enjoy the chance to indulge a little. I was at a conference and food was astonishing and everywhere. I had caramelized onion and roast beef sliders, pork carnitas, mini cobb salads in martini glasses, chocolate fondue. I stayed away from the junk I could get anywhere and chose to eat the really unique things you don't see everyday. Plus I walked so much I had to soak my feet!

I didn't weigh in this morning but I will tomorrow and asess the damage. Then I will get right back on track as I promised myself I would. I'm not waiting until Monday :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Outa here

I'm off to Florida for some much needed warmth and some time with girlfriends. Then, a work event in Orlando. I will be back next Thursday. I have healthy snacks packed and have checked out the gym at both hotels so hopefully it won't be too much of a disaster!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I love what Dr. Oz says about the ups and downs of a weight loss journey. He says to think of a navigation system. It doesn't scream at you, quit or keep you going in the wrong direction when you make a wrong a turn. It simply tells you to make the first available u-turn.

I think my biggest problem has been taking the rest of the week off when I mess up and "starting over again on Monday". Ahhh maybe that's why I've hated Mondays most of my life? Same with New Years Eve?

Last night was chaos. I worked super late so I missed my class. Then we had a pizza. 2 slices of thin crust. But I didn't let it throw me off. I got up this morning, worked out on the elliptical for 30 minutes and I'm eating well again today.

I'm not going to blow it this time. I'm not going to sabotage my success by waiting until Monday to get back on track time I eat something unhealthy. I'm going to make the first available u-turn and stay the course.

I've been reading The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl and she never gave up. Even after days, weeks, or even months of bad eating. She always got back on track. Talk about inspiration!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lazy weekend

I survived my first week and did reasonably well. I ate way too much over the weekend but I learned a few things from my mistakes. Like not having any chocolate in the house at all even though it's portion controlled dark chocolate. Lets just say there was an incident.

I was SO incredibly sore from my Friday night water aerobics class that I didn't do much exercise either. I worked myself extra hard and it felt great. Once it's not freezing and raining I'll be much more inclined to exercise on the weekend outdoors with my husband and the dogs. Something to look forward to!

According to the scales I put back on 2 pounds over the weekend but I'm not going to record weight daily this week nor am I going to obsess about it. That's only for the first week "honeymoon" pounds :) Friday will be my weigh in day from now on.

Once again I have meals planned for the whole week and I've even switched over to greek yogurt with frozen berries instead of my loaded with Aspertame old standby. I'm really liking it.

Tonight is water aerobics again which I can't fathom as I sit shivering at my desk right now. Hopefully I can get as great of a workout with the Monday night instructor even though he talks too much to the old ladies. It's making me feel great to back in the pool again so I will carry on.

Hope everyone has a fantastic week!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Raging against the machine

Last night was a strange one. I picked my husband up from the gym, traffic was horrible and took an hour and a half to get home. Thursday is the new Friday in Atlanta for some reason traffic wise. We are both feeling under the weather and fighting this cold only to get home and find they've shut off our water for me forgetting to pay the December bill. I just flat out forgot due to Christmas but the bastards shut off our water anyway. Just a little over a month late. I guess what really sent me over the edge is that our water meter is mere feet away from one in front of an empty house that has been leaking water and gushing down the street for 2 months. So they can be bothered to come shut off my water for a slightly late bill but can't be bothered to fix the one that's losing hundreds of gallons a day. I love it when they say "thank you for being a valued customer". Like I have a choice. I'll just go sign up for Florida water or something? BAH!

So this sparks some pent up anger in both my husband and I over the state of this city. On Tuesday night, a bartender in one of the pubs nearby was shot 9 times and killed. 4 guys broke in at closing, they gave them all of the money but they shot him anyway. We didn't know him personally but we know the owners well and loads of friends of his. It's really turned more into an outcry from the neighborhood about police cutbacks. Suddenly the thugs seem to be winning again. I love my neighborhood so much and I want us to win this war. I really really do.

So my husband is raging on about America and guns and how can people in this country just cut you off of life's essentials like water at the drop of hat and not care if you die etc. etc. I'm balling on the couch for forgetting to pay a stupid bill as they are telling me it will be 24-48 hours before we have water again. It was not a good night.

Finally we settled down to eat our dinner which I fortunately had already planned on bringing home from the rotisserie chicken place. He had chicken and green beans and I had an awesome salad. We watched the Daily Show and Thursday night tv and went to bed.

Since I didn't work out yesterday, I was planning on going to the gym this morning, mostly to shower, but somehow I forgot to set the alarm clock. I boiled the water that was left in the kettle and at least managed to wash my face. My husband stayed home from work which means he is REALLY not feeling well but was happy to report the water was back on a half hour after I left.

Isn't it funny how one stupid thing can snowball into a giant crisis? My husband and I always talk about our feelings (Scottish men are SO sweet and sensitive!) but I don't think we properly addressed all the rage building up in both of this over the shooting. I think we were too busy working out this week! Must remember to vent as well as exercise : )

Whew that feels good to get that all out!!

In all the chaos I forgot to weigh in this morning but I've been perfect so I'm not worried about it. I'm treating myself to a grilled chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A for lunch and we are having oven fried buffalo chicken and sweet potato and zucchini fries for dinner. I thought that would be a great substitute for the 2 pounds of chicken wings we usually consume on a Friday night. That's part of my eating strategy right now - healthy versions of our favorite things. In fack I'm going to look up some Juan Carlos Cruz recipes for that very thang.

One more quick story before I bore you to tears. I had a coupon for $2 off Tums (antacid) that I wanted to use before it expired. I was about to go buy some until I realized that I haven't had to take one since cutting out the crap. Immediately, my heartburn went away. It was so bad it was waking me up in the middle of the night. It stopped after 1 day of eating better. ONE DAY!

I'm really feelin' it people. I'm proud of myself for the good choices I've made this week. I didn't die, I didn't go hungry, and this 5+ pounds I've lost has already made a huge difference. I'm going to water aerobics tonight. People actually go to the gym on a Friday night. Who knew? : )

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Triceps Biceps and Glutes - Oh My!

It was so great to be back at water aerobics last night and aside from the fact that I was breathing heavy in the first minute, it was like I was never gone. There is a girl there that I've become friendly with and she was as happy to see me as I was to see her. We had my favorite instructor who does a great job of explaining what you are supposed to be feeling with each exercise and how to make it harder if you want to. This is great for the "younger" crowd in the class because we need to work a little harder than the sweet old ladies. Man am I feeling it in my muscles today. Pain is good : )

I feel totally in control of our eating and I haven't been craving anything because I've been keeping full of the good stuff. Last night I really wanted a little something sweet so the husband and I split a Ghirardelli chocolate square. We later had a cup of hot chocolate. The 25 calorie stuff is really satisfying! Normally, if we want something sweet we eat 2 candy bars or a whole pack of cookies so that was a big success. I really noticed how nice it was to go up the stairs to bed not feeling stuffed and fat and exhausted.

So the really good news is I lost 5.25 pounds so far this week. Obviously I won't continue to lose this quickly forever but it sure lightens the load for now. Rock on people.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Not giving in

I feel like I've been getting a cold for a few days now but I'm not going to give in! I've had my extra vitamins and even a tiny glass of orange juice. It did keep me off the elliptical this morning but I'm doing water aerobics tonight so that shouldn't be too much of a problem. I did get up at my new early time even though I decided to skip the morning workout. I HAVE to stay on the new schedule.

Last night I walked the dogs with the husband because he went to the gym and we got home at the same time. He's usually home an hour before me and already had them out. It was a warm, windy night but I felt better than I had in a long time. I felt stronger and a little less winded. I had done my workout in the morning so I managed a full hour of exercise yesterday.

I'm doing great so far this week with exercise every day and no real problems with cravings. I've been keeping myself full of protein, veggies and water and even managing to eat breakfast. I had some of the frozen steel cut oats from Trader Joes this morning and they were absolutely divine! I know I can make my own but sometimes it's nice to eat a perfect bowl. I'm still perfecting my cooking method. (speaking of TJ's they have added a few new varieties of low fat cheeses to their selection including provolone and muenster for you cheese freaks out there)

I'm excited for lunch because I have assembled what I hope to be a good substitute for my favorite sandwich on earth which is a Tuna Mushroom Melt from a deli chain in town. I had been eating this for YEARS thinking it was healthy (because it comes on a Pita) and kept going back and searching for nutrition info. Finally I emailed them and asked for the nutrition info on their tuna. Thank God I did because it probably would have killed me eventually since I managed not to die of shock from the data. Get this: 815 calories and 70 grams of fat. That's just for the tuna and doesn't include the cheese. Basically for my version I just made the tuna as I always have with some low fat mayo, stuffed it in half of a whole wheat pita with a half slice of low fat provolone and some raw mushrooms. I will microwave it for a few seconds just like they do and I'm sure it will be just as good. I thought I would take a picture of it but it doesn't really look all that exciting.

Tonights dinner is mahi-mahi and soycutash. That's succotash with edamame instead of limas. Yum! I hope the fish is okay in the oven because the grill ran out of propane on Sunday and I won't be able to do anything about it until the weekend.

Long may this motivation continue!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Feeling better already

I've only been working out again for 2 days and it's amazing how much better I feel already. Getting up the first day was hard but today was already easier. Not only does exercise burn calories but it regulates my body. I sleep better and therefore it's easier to get up and therefore it gives me the time to work out and therefore gives me energy to make lunches and get through my day. I handle stress better and am generally happier. Why I ever stop I will never know. It takes only a day or 2 to get lazy again and I'm not going to let that happen this time.

I did 30 minutes on the elliptical this morning followed by another delicious plate of scrambled egg and Canadian bacon. I'm having a yogurt right now and will have a big salad for lunch (that I had the energy to make because I worked out!) Tonight's dinner is pork chops and broccolini which I have never made.

Luckily I'm not traveling this week like I thought I was however next Friday I'm leaving for Florida to hang out with some girlfriends and then attend a conference in Orlando. For the first time ever, I have checked out the workout facilities and all the hotels and plan on exercising every day I'm away just like I would here. The food will be a little more difficult but I will be prepared!

One last thing, If you haven't been watching Ruby then by all means do. The last 2 episodes have brought me to tears out of happiness for her and her successes. I'm really pulling for her and she is inspiring me. Plus, I just love me some funny southern girls : )

Monday, January 5, 2009

A good start on some new habits

Finally, the holidays are behind me and I can get back to my routine...even though it's going to be nothing like my old routine! I only put on 3 pounds over the holidays which is less than I was expecting but at this weight 3 pounds doesn't matter much. I can probably lose that this week. Other than my boss being a complete jackass, I'm off to a good start.

I got up at 6 this morning and did 30 minutes on the elliptical, had a scrambled egg, a piece of Canadian bacon and a V8. 2 things I never do in the morning. Workout and eat breakfast. I did both and I'm very proud of myself.

I packed a good lunch for both of us and dinner, which is mini turkey meatloaf muffins, is ready to go in the oven. I found a great recipe in Eating Well that uses whole wheat couscous instead of breadcrumbs and it sounds delicious.

My plan going forward really consists of 2 parts.

Being prepared. Planning and prepping meals on Sunday for the whole week.
*Note to self: this includes work travel days and the weekends which are indeed part of the

New Habits. I'm planning on it taking me about a month to make getting up early and exercising a habit. I've also been working on a "do something else" strategy when I'm having weak moments. I just have to distract myself by reading a book or doing my toes or something other than snacking and watching TV.

My husband was really quiet and sad on Saturday night and I asked him what was wrong. He said his friend had just posted some pictures on the website from a party we were at earlier in the day and that they were very unflattering pictures of both of us. I didn't even want to look. I blame myself for the both of us gaining so much weight and I have the power to change that.

I feel like I have a different attitude now. If I don't do this this year I never will. If WE don't do this now, one of us will be dead before we're 50. The new year has once again reminded me of how quickly time passes and we haven't gotten any younger in the mean time.

I hope everyone is off to a great start in 2009!