Saturday, May 7, 2011

Here I Am

This is me, photo taken just the other night.

Just because.

Still not

Ugh, I am still not below 300 pounds yet. Grrr. I was down as low as 300.6 but for no apparent reason (seriously!) went back up to 302.

Yesterday I had another "fail" at going out to eat with friends, but to be fair, it was rather accidental on my part; I ordered a main dish that was totally on program (chicken with greens and tomatoes at a Lebanese place), but then also ordered an appetizer of spinach pies, which in retrospect was a dumb move... anything with the word "pie" in it is surely something to avoid when I am in diet phase. They ended up being three little dough pillows filled with spinach, and no one in my party wanted them and I knew that my partner wouldn't want to eat them if I brought them home. Honestly, I just couldn't bear wasting the money or the food. Stupid, I know. So, I ended up eating them.

That wasn't the worst of it, though. It ended up being a full-blown bad day. My relationship has been very stressful lately for reasons that I won't go into here, and yesterday I just lost the ability to deal with it rationally anymore. I've been very consciously trying NOT to turn to food when I am upset these days and it's been working pretty well, but yesterday after the spinach pies thing I pretty much decided to just eat. I ended up eating 6 (rather thin) slices of pizza that my partner got, and a bowl of ice cream, and some pretzels and cheese dip, and a bowl of popcorn. All told I suppose I have certainly done worse for myself, and I never really felt out of control, but it was still something I was just compelled to do, like it was all I could do. Of course I do know otherwise.

I really, really lucked out — or maybe it was the yard work I also did yesterday — but I didn't show a gain today.

Also, my period is finally over.

I will be eating totally on plan today, and crossing my fingers that I finally reach my first big goal tomorrow. It often happens that way post-binge.

Technically tomorrow begins my first day on maintenance, but I've made the executive decision to remain on program until I go away to Michigan on Saturday, and then I will go on maintenance. I would like some padding between me and 300 pounds if at all possible before I leave — and yes, I am bringing my scale with me!

In other news, those size 22 pants I have in my wardrobe are just about wearable outside the house. I was even able to squeeze into those size 20 jeans I bought the last time I lost weight and never got to wear — tags still on, even! That's awesome.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


So, I am one of those bloggers who doesn't really post photos very often. I suppose that makes me a little boring!

Well, here is a photo for you. It is of me and my dad along with my uncle and cousins. I'm on the far left.

This isn't a recent photo; it's actually from October 2008, and that was the last time that I weighed about what I weigh now. Actually, I am probably a few pounds lighter now than I was then, but not by much. The main point of showing you this is that today, I am wearing the same jeans that I wore in that photo, and they are comfortable! They fit perfectly! It's been a long time coming, let me tell you. I can't tell you how many times I've looked at that exact photograph and pined over those jeans. (They're just cheap ones from K-Mart, actually, but one of the best-fitting pairs I've owned!)

So here I am. It's funny, because I feel a lot differently now at this weight than I did then. It's less exciting in a way, this time around; maybe because it's still kind of old hat, making up for lost time. Maybe once I get below 300 it'll start to feel different. I don't feel as "skinny" even though my partner has told me that my body seems like it, as if my body changed composition since 2008 or something. Who knows?

That's not to say that I don't feel good, because I do. I feel fantastic. Just making observations, is all.

Eating today was still a bit of a challenge because we're still broke and I can't go out and replenish my stock of veggies and fruits. I still have some frozen items, which is good, but I will admit it: I am spoiled when it comes to fresh! Today I made up a dish using some defrosted chicken, frozen peas, and the two asparagus stalks that showed up in my garden. I made a Thai-inspired stir fry that also involved fresh minced garlic and a minced chile that came out of the freezer (we froze a ton of our home-grown chiles last year!), plus some red curry paste, a splash of milk, and some homemade red pepper flakes. It was pretty good, and it made enough for two meals, so I'll have it again for tomorrow. I've had my last two apples and peanut butter for each meal, and for dinner I just made myself a can of tomato soup since I ate all my protein for the day at lunch. Not the best choice, but not terrible, either. Oh, and one indiscretion: a few tiny pretzels with a couple tablespoons of cheese dip (i.e. one serving of each, I'd guess). I don't think it's going to mess things up too much, if at all, considering how much little else I've had to eat today.

I haven't even mentioned the best part! Scale read 301.8 this morning, so close to my first big goal.

Well, my first big goal is to get below 300 pounds. I have another one close on its heels, too. A 50 pound loss, which would put me at 298.8. Here's hoping that both happen before the end of the week — I start maintenance on Sunday!

A word about maintenance. I want to psych myself up for it, first of all. I absolutely have to maintain my weight across this next maintenance, particularly because I will be yet so close to the 300 mark. I won't ever want to see a 3 at the beginning of my weight again. One thing that will be interesting is that for most of that time, I will be away from home! I'm going to a book arts workshop retreat that's two weeks long! I think this could be a really good thing for my eating. For one, I will be very busy most of the time, and probably very active, too. I've indicated on the dietary form that I would prefer to eat mostly fruits and vegetables and lean meats while I am there.

On the other hand, it could be really difficult. I really won't know until I get there, and the one thing I can do is just envision myself making the best choices I can, getting lots of exercise, drink lots of water, all that. I think visualization is a really powerful tool, and from here on out each night before I go to bed, I will picture myself doing all kind of good things for myself while I am away.

Do you have any good suggestions for strategies I can use going into the unknown? From what I hear, the place I am going to serves excellent food.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What I ate today

The further I go along in this program, the more I feel adjusted to the amount of food I eat. As a reminder, here is what I am supposed to eat each day:

No breakfast, but can have coffee or tea

Lunch & dinner, each: 4 oz. lean meat/seafood, 2-3 cups vegetables, 1-2 fruits, and 2 melba toast or grissini breadstick.

Recently we've been flat broke, so the past couple days have been more challenging to try to get what I need in each day. Yesterday, for instance, I didn't eat as much as I should have. Today, I was able to get everything in, but funny enough, I feel like I went overboard somehow. That's why I wanted to take notes about what I ate today, because I know that I didn't.


Bowl of mixed greens with sliced strawberries and balsamic vinegar
1 small corn muffin (I made these for my partner and had one because I ran out of Melba toast, but forgot that I had grissini)
Sliced apple with spoonful of peanut butter


Roasted cauliflower with one teaspoon of olive oil, salt and pepper
~8 oz. steak
Four grissini breadsticks
Sliced apple with spoonful of peanut butter

I ate all my protein at dinner, and yes, I had the verboten peanut butter and olive oil, but that is not unusual for me. Why do I feel so full? It is downright weird! I guess that it is just female stuff, with my tummy in a dull pain and feeling loagy in general.

It's nice to see that I stayed on track. I haven't had any urges to snack in between meals or in the evening at all this round, which is so great. I've been focusing instead on doing things around the house, keeping things in order, preparing my studio for an intense work period and hopefully some studio visits... I guess it is my lifestyle that is changing quite a lot, too.

Don't get me wrong. I still have trouble with certain things, like eating out. On Friday, for instance, I went out for Indian food with a couple former co-workers. It was great because I haven't seen them in so long, but on the other hand, I found it really hard to stay on program, or even to just avoid starchy foods even though at home I wouldn't generally think about indulging in, say, four pieces of naan. So there is clearly some behavior that is going to take time to unlearn, but I'm getting there. Having that awareness is a good step in the right direction, at least. I think my main problem with eating out is that it always feels like a special occasion, and so then "why not?" eat what I want? That is a mindset that I need to adjust.

Looking forward to another good day tomorrow. Last day of class at the college where I teach! Woo!

Thanks, TOM!


I have been doing mostly well on plan since I was last here, but making zero progress. It's annoying, but I fully blame TOM. Female stuff. Every time I get there, it always causes a stall, so I am not too worried. I am still going to call my practitioner tomorrow just to see what she has to say, if there is anything I can do additionally, but I really think once this is over, I'll probably have a big drop.

If not, whatever. I'm still sticking with it. Here are a few good reasons why!

1. I promised myself that if I am hanging all out here without any health insurance (though I will have it again starting in late August, hooray!), that I'd better start taking care of myself a lot better. And I have. Things have been good health-wise, knock on wood, and continue to get better. I can sense that.

2. I need to fit into the airplane seat in October!

3. I am so close to wearing a whole new wardrobe, it isn't even funny. Ooh, on Friday I was able to wear outside of the house a pair of pants I wore when I lost weight about eight years ago! My body must have changed a lot over the years, because I was wearing those pants a good 40, almost 50 pounds lighter back then.

4. I have an extreme psychological need to get below 300 pounds. Once I get there (and comfortably stay there), I will feel a weird sort of safety and achievement. Not that I will rest on my laurels!

5. I just want to finally DO IT. I don't want to spend the rest of my life futzing around with this crap. Like my mom said, with the plan we are working with, now we have a go-to, clear-cut thing we can do immediately if the weight starts to creep up again. I do not want to be 50 and still working on losing weight. Heck, I don't even want to be 45 and doing it. I could very well be done with the losing by the time I am 42 if I remain vigilant.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Continued Success!


I haven't been this low in weight in a good three years... 304 this morning!

I am so relieved to be away from 306. I know that sounds ridiculous, as it is only two pounds' difference, but trust me, in my mindset and with the effort I have been making, it makes ALL the difference mentally. Plus, it just feels really good to break a sort of plateau. I mean, my lowest weight this time around had been 306 since my last diet phase! Finally, I'm on the road to progress again, little by little.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Good Day

As a follow up to my earlier post today, I wanted to check in and say that I had a good day! The only thing that I "shouldn't" have eaten was a tiny bit of goat cheese on my salad earlier and a tiny bit of olive oil I used in my shrimp and spinach saute for dinner. I did drink plenty of water, and the day was a bit on the physical side, as I stood quite a bit while teaching (hey, it's better than sitting all day!) and while taking a photography class earlier this evening. I'm actually pretty bushed, but feel accomplished and happy with how things went today overall.

That's the most important thing.

I must say, this third diet phase has been perhaps the most easy time so far of all. I guess that I'm getting more used to the amount of food, and that my body is perhaps less accustomed to eating crap all the time, so I don't get such intense cravings? Whatever it is, I'll take it. It feels great. Of course, it's nice that the cycle only lasts 18 days this time around. My goal will be to really keep the weight off during maintenance, unlike last time. I can do it!

Holding Steady

Hm, it's been a little frustrating the past few days. I did gain two pounds from Easter dinner at my cousin's (best laid plans, I guess), but I did lose those the very next day. Today I weighed in the same, 306 even. I'm not discouraged, but I am a wee frustrated. I even had a dream just before I woke up this morning that I dropped an amazing amount of weight — that is how much it is on my mind. I am very focused on my goal.

Well, I ate well yesterday but I did have a bit of cheese, maybe an ounce, and a spoon of peanut butter. I didn't drink as much water as I should have. Today I aim to stay totally on program with none of my usual deviations (well, except that I will have a wee bit of goat cheese on my salad), and I plan to drink lots of water. Hopefully that will help me get past this point. Ooh, and I also took my vitamins this morning, which I haven't been doing.

Another thing that I should consider is that this is TOM week, so I have no doubt that is having an effect on my results.

I'm going to continue doing what I am doing, and if I don't see a loss tomorrow, I'll call my practitioner and see what she suggests.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Broke it!

No, I didn't break a chair. I didn't break the scale. Ha ha.

Nope, I just broke my last lowest weight by .6 pounds this morning! I'm down to 306 today, and I couldn't be happier... well, unless I broke the 300 mark. I'll be there soon enough — honestly, hoping by the end of the week for that event. I'm totally on a roll. And I'm not talking dinner rolls, either.

Today is Easter, which doesn't mean anything to me as someone like me who does not identify as a Christian, but I'm going to a family gathering my cousin is having that is sure to have a huge spread of food. The one good thing is that I am not alone in my efforts to lose weight in my family, so I'll have plenty of support and commiseration; no doubt there will be plenty of on-program stuffs to eat. My practitioner said that as long as I try to stay away from really sweet desserts and try to eat limited amounts of obvious carbs, I should be good, so that is my plan. I'll have some turkey and some ham, and plenty of veggies. I would like to have a piece of my homemade cheese braid bread (it is rising as I type this!), and maybe some potatoes, but I think this will be a fairly easy event to navigate.

On top of having a plan, it really helps that I had a good weigh-in this morning. I do NOT want to back track at all — I want to keep making progress and show another loss tomorrow if I can help it. And, of course, I have the power to make all the right decisions here. Of that I am certain.

For those of you who celebrate it, happy Easter! One thing I can relate to as far as the story behind it goes is the rebirth, the rising from the dead. The further I go along, the more I feel like I am waking from a very long sleep, giving way to a new approach and outlook on life, despite any obstacles or mistakes I encounter along the way.

I am emerging from behind the rock and into the sunshine.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Back on Track

Heading into Day 4 of my current diet phase and things have been going great! I was up to 314 and change (and probably a little more since I didn't weigh on Wednesday after eating crap on Tuesday – I just didn't want to know), and today I am back down to 308, which is awesome. Just another few pounds and I'm into uncharted territory and starting to make progress again. I feel great.

The eating has been pretty easy this time around. I was prescribed about the same amounts of food again, which works for me, along with my "adjustments". I do have a teaspoon or two of high-quality olive oil just about every day, and I do have a spoonful or two of peanut butter most days. Seems to work out OK, and it makes things SO much easier for me. I'm obviously still getting great results. Hm, I actually added on one more little item to that list, since my new favorite salad is field greens with strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and... goat cheese! Just a little bit of the crumbles goes a long way, and adds a delicious, savory-sweet creamy taste to the salad that really turns it into something VERY special. I guess my thinking is that as long as it's something that is mostly protein, I'm OK. And I don't go crazy with these additions – just enough to make me feel like I'm not deprived.

Of course, I'd say that the main key about not feeling deprived is to eat quality food, even if it is "just" lean meats, veggies, and fruits. (Imagine! Just!) I mean, yeah, if you're living on overcooked chicken breast and iceberg lettuce and a not-very-flavorful variety of apple, then yes, you're going to start feeling pretty desperate. My approach from the very beginning has been to eat delicious food, even if it is a small amount. More bang for your buck, literally and figuratively.

Yesterday was a good lesson in how to handle going out to eat with a friend. Jan and I did lunch at a local Italian place. I resolved to stick to the program as much as I could, but with a bit of leeway. My plan was then to just have a salad and fruit later on. I ended up having a broccoli parmesan, which did have some light breading and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese – nothing too bad, though. I had a small side salad with a balsamic vinaigrette, and while the meal came with a side of pasta, I had just a few nibbles of the gnocchi I ordered and then let Jan take the rest home. I also had a dinner roll with butter. I drank water and diet Pepsi.

I was full! The food was good, but honestly I enjoy my own cooking better. The best part of the meal was really time spent with my friend and our great conversation.

I didn't really eat for the rest of the day – didn't feel like it – until later on after a late afternoon-early evening nap (we have a weird schedule). I stayed true to my intentions and had the aforementioned spring greens salad and an apple with peanut butter for dessert. It was more than satisfying and I felt like I was really in tune with my body's needs as opposed to dealing with unreasonable cravings.

Another friend of mine recently gifted me Geneen Roth's book Women, Food, and God after we'd had a conversation that led to sharing with each other a little bit about the history of our respective eating disorders. She's reading it, too, and I think it will be a lovely thing to be able to have someone to bounce this stuff off of when we're done. I just started reading the other night and it's already interesting and certainly relevant to my own experience. I can't wait to see what sorts of revelations I might have as a result. Assuming I do, of course.

Just something about the past two weeks has led me to a feeling of happiness and content in the various aspects of my life. I know that those feelings will have a positive impact on my efforts here, too. It helps to feel good about yourself; it may be the key to success!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Diet phase #3

Well, I am back on the diet phase, number 3 already! Unfortunately during my last maintenance phase I ended up putting back on about half of what I lost in the last diet phase (translation: my total loss last diet phase was just under 10 pounds), but after meeting with my practitioner on Tuesday (not today like I originally posted) I felt a renewed sense of dedication and just belief in the fact that I can really reach my goal if I don't give up.

This time around I got no load days assigned to me, so I launched right into diet phase yesterday. So far, so good. I'm 312.6 today, which is six pounds over my lowest weight since I started the program... but I think that I will be back there within the week and well on my way to busting the 300 pound mark.

I think that the weather is finally going to be conducive to walking soon, finally! Mother Nature's really been dealing some grey, sad weather to us lately and that makes it hard to feel motivated about much. We're all champing at the bit for some lovely spring temperatures and temperment.

I've been getting nice comments about the way I look and my overall temperment, and things like how my skin is glowing. Hm, I don't know about the last comment; maybe, but I have also been trying to use skin products the past few weeks, too. The more I am taking care of myself health-wise, the more I want to have fun with girly stuff like that.

Anyway. So that's where I'm at. Overall with a very positive outlook on many aspects of my life, and looking forward to tomorrow, and next week, and next month, and next year...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I'm still here

I really am! I'm still on maintenance phase and going to get re-evaluated by my practitioner for the next diet phase on Thursday. Maybe you're wondering how things are going?

Well... not bad, I guess. I am up about five pounds from my lowest weight so far on this program, which... isn't great, but it isn't terrible considering how I've been eating. Well, not great, not terrible, I guess. I am still mindful but sometimes just eat whatever anyway. I am looking forward to getting back into the structured eating of the diet phase again. I really want to get below 300 pounds!

I've just been super busy lately, which also makes it hard to eat well in general. Lots of times I get home and just feel too tired to fix something decent, or fix anything at all. I do know that the stuff I generally eat doesn't take much effort to put together, but it's just that exhausted mindset that distorts everything, I guess.

Anyway, I am here and I have not given up! :) Just taking a break from documenting every failure and every success and everything else. ;)

I hope this finds YOU well!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Food Fail

Ugh. I neglected to log my food yesterday. Didn't do so hot anyway, plus I ended up drinking a bit (OK, so a lot, which I never do anymore) at the end of the night and eating an entire package of Pim's orange chocolate cookies. Way to go.

I got really lucky on the scale this morning, though, at 308, just .2 above my ending weight of the last diet phase. That's good.

Today, though? I was totally off the rails again. I didn't mean to.... ah, the road is paved with good intentions, isn't it?

I had a fantastic lunch out with three girlfriends at the same fab place I went to with one of them a while back. The food was so, so delicious and the company was equally wonderful. Superlatives abound. I almost got the same thing that I did last time, which would have been a better choice, health-wise, but I indulged both food-wise and money-wise and got the lobster mac & cheese. Good god. I also had the strawberry goat cheese salad. I ate just over half the mac & cheese and also had gelato for dessert.

Maybe not bad if I had stuck to my original plan of not eating much for the rest of the day. Only I picked up a pizza for my partner later and ended up eating too many pieces. I will just leave it at that. Epic food fail today. I just finished off my lunch leftovers, too — I am going away for the weekend and... get this... didn't want it to go to waste. Blegh.

I'm headed up to Potsdam to pick up my paintings and spend the weekend with my dad and stepmom and family friends who live in town. Fortunately, the host is also watching her diet so I don't see it being too terrible, but, well... best intentions and all.

I'll try to stay positive. I'm not losing sight of my goals. They still exist. One day does not obliterate them.

Onward and upward.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hanging In There

Haven't weighed myself yet this morning. I am sort of afraid to, but I will... for me, it is the best way for me to stay on track during maintenance. I need to have a Steak Day today. Yesterday was sort of off.

I guess I wasn't that bad with my eating yesterday, but I wasn't great. Technically I shouldn't be eating any starch or sugar until tomorrow (there are two phases to maintenance), but, well, I did.

Just like last time, I plan to log everything I eat during maintenance so that I have a clear vision of what works and what doesn't.

So, here's yesterday's food. It's not pretty.

Food Log 4/6

• Apple with dark chocolate peanut butter

• Small bowl of chili and one small corn muffin

• A few handfuls of wasabi almonds

• A handful of Hershey's kisses

• A spoonful of dark chocolate peanut butter

• One and a half bowls of chicken-asparagus pasta

• One dinner roll

See, not so hot. I didn't need the kisses, and I didn't need the pasta. I could have just have the chicken and asparagus part of the meal. I sort of lost my head there.

I think part of my problem is that I messed up financially this week. I was trying to hold on to my "buffer" and instead, I frittered it away, thinking that I was comfortable and that my bank account was fine... and then when I finally went to check my account balance... I was headed for trouble and not getting paid until Friday (this happened on Monday). So now I am overdrawn (big sad face) but having learned another important lesson. Just because you've had success in one area doesn't mean that you shouldn't remain vigilant and thoughtful about the choices you make.

Sound familiar? I have talked about this before, long ago when I still had my Forty Project blog, about the correlation between my relationships with food and money? I have the same issues. My finances have stabilized quite a lot in the past couple years, but clearly I still have some work to do. I am trying not to be too stressed out or upset about the money (I'm in effect throwing it out the window with the fees I've incurred — OUCH!), but rather to really take this as (another) learning experience. I'm not ever going to get so "comfortable" that I feel like I don't need to keep track of my daily expenditures.

It's JUST like with food!

Anyway, on top of that the stress of the situation is sublimated a bit (again, trying to not let it bother me since I can't do anything about it until I get paid tomorrow) and it's reflected in how I ate yesterday. Not only because I turned to some of my more traditional comfort foods (pasta, bread, chocolate), but also because I can't go to the store and buy anything to supplement what we have in the house. Thankfully, we have plenty to eat, and I do have fruits and veggies and stuff... *sigh* I don't know. I wasn't really thinking right yesterday, when it comes down to it.

Today I would like to be back on track and eating reasonably. I don't like how that food made me feel yesterday and sort of missed my usual approach to eating. One thing I will note though is that my portions are definitely much smaller than they used to be, which is great! You gotta take credit where credit is due, right?

Here's to a better day, no matter what the scale says.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Maintenance, again.

First day of maintenance, and all is well... I think. :)

So, yesterday I had a picture perfect eating day, totally according to plan. What happened on the scale?

Nothing. I stayed the same at 307.8 (after gaining a pound from being mad about staying the same at 306.6 for three days).

This leads me to believe that this little plateau might be because of a couple things: One, hormones as I started a new pack of BC pills this week, and two, maybe that my body is like, "Sheesh! I've already lost nine pounds in five days! What more do you want from me?" I can hardly blame her.

So, I am happy at 41 pounds lost heading into maintenance. That's 41 pounds lost since January 15! Wow.

Today I sat at the lunch table with some colleagues at the college and one said, "You look different!" He usually sees me at least once a week, so I thought it was funny. I replied, "Well, I've lost some weight..." He said that he could really see it in my face, and that I look good. I thought that was so nice. I don't get a lot of overt comments about my weight loss so I assume that it's not that noticeable. I need to hear stuff like this once in a while, you know?

I had a great day overall. I didn't get to eat anything until about 3pm, though, due to my busy schedule and lack of preparation. Not to mention, I am broke (or worse) until Friday. When I did eat, I only had a few minutes, so I munched on some wasabi almonds, and had an Icelandic-style yogurt (Siggi's; it was different than what I am used to) supplemented with some fresh blackberries. Then I was out the door again.

When I got home later, I wanted to make a batch of chili to tide us over the next couple days, so I did. Some corn muffins, too, mainly for my partner, though I did sample one small one (it was good!). I had about a cup of chili, which was also delicious though not exactly in accordance with this part of maintenance. The beans in it are starch, no two ways about it; at least they are good starch, though, and again — I had a small amount during a day where I didn't eat much anyway.

I'm actually really full, too!

Haven't yet gone for another walk. The weather is still cheeky and I was just too busy today. I cannot WAIT for the next one, though, really! C25K, here I come.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's Official: I Rock.

After having that little pity party for myself, I decided that a walk was just what the doctor ordered. It's something that I've been thinking about doing for the past week or so but just haven't gotten around to. Wouldn't you know I just had to do it at 9pm on a snowy night?

Of course, I hadn't realized that it was snowing when I opened the door outside. What a surprise to see everything coated in white as I was about to head out sans coat. I went back inside and got my coat, got my leather gloves from the car, and embarked on my journey.

The snow was falling in big, wet flakes, and the neighborhood was quiet and glistening! Beautiful, but cold. I probably should have worn a hat, too. But I was feeling good and my body performed well, another surprise this evening. In the past when I have started up walking again, I always have to go through a few days of shin pain and not being able to walk more than 10 minutes or so. Well, I guess what a difference 40 pounds (or even 20 for that matter) makes! This walk was almost effortless except for some very slight cramping in my side, no doubt from having just eaten dinner. Also, it's kind of hard to see where your feet are landing when your glasses are covered in snowflakes.

I ended up walking just over a mile in a time that is comparable to when I was last "into" my runs, about two years ago. In fact, based on the time I walked tonight (just over a 19 minute mile), I'll bet my running time would be among my best ever. I have to keep in mind that the last time I was really into running, I was about the same weight and that's as low as I got. I see SO much potential here! I am hopping back on the C25K train this week. Woo!

This may or may not affect the outcome of the scale tomorrow, but no matter. I feel fucking awesome.

I Get Mad, I Get "Even"

I always speak too soon. No sooner was I puffing about how great I feel and how awesome things are going, I run into another somewhat "off" day.

I haven't been too bad, and the worst of it was earlier this morning, but still. And for the dumbest reason in the world, one that only hurts myself.

I weighed in at 306.6 for the third day in a row, and got pissed off so I ate some pretzels with cheese dip and finished off my small bag of cinnamon chocolate gummi bears. Then I realized how dumb I was being and got over it. Ooh! Didn't lose weight again! Why, I'll show you! I'll eat what I want! Heh... oh.

Ha. Dumbass.

I spent most of the day over at the university working on one of the murals, so maybe that'll burn some of the damage off (hours of standing, bending, stretching... though I think the old bod is pretty used to it now). I came home and made myself a shrimp cauliflower curry and then had a small apple with some peanut butter. And some candied ginger (two small pieces!). And a little piece of caramel chocolate candy.

Clearly I have a sweet tooth today and I'm not doing myself any good by feeding it.

I still think it is funny that whenever I get mad, I eat. More than any other emotion I've noticed it happens. Must find a new coping mechanism. Deep breathing, perhaps? A time out in the corner? Cleaning the bathroom?

Anyway, we'll see what happens on the scale tomorrow. I'm sure it won't bode well, but I will accept whatever and move forward. So there. Nyah. ;)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Feeling Fine

I'm just feeling awesome this week. Things have been going well and I feel confident in many ways.

And... I am well on my way to 305. I've held steady at 306.6 today and yesterday. I have three more weigh-ins before starting maintenance, so we'll see where I land!

The other night I went through my closet, my drawers, and the big piles of clean laundry I've been neglecting for god knows how long. I wanted to get an inventory of the things I have and still want to wear, and the things that I should say sayonara to, whether via the trash or Salvation Army. I made the decision to get rid of any piece of clothing that I've outgrown (that is, stuff that is too big for me), which is something that I haven't ever done as long as I can remember. I've held on to clothes that are too small because I had hopes of wearing them one day, but never the opposite. I wonder if that has been part of my problem, having this sort of "insurance" around. It's like I'm giving myself permission to get big enough to wear that stuff again.

This time, it won't be an option. I absolutely feel dedicated to keeping myself in check — to nip any gain whatsoever in the bud. I feel that this program I am on is helping me to learn to do that. Steak Day might be unconventional and weird, but I tell you what: it's an effective way to get yourself right back on track while you're maintaining.

I tried on every pair of pants I own. I happily discovered that I am firmly in size 24 territory and headed into 22s in the next 10–15 pounds or so. When I started, I owned a couple pairs of 28s depending on the brand, and those were in danger of getting too tight! This is progress. Fortunately, I have several pairs of jeans and corduroys to wear now, and even a pair of dress pants that fits perfectly. Waiting for me in the 22s is a whole pants wardrobe — these were left over from the time I lost 60 pounds about eight years ago and got down to just over 250. Yep, my starting weight back then was 310 pounds and I never thought back then that I'd be even more than that one day. I don't know if my body has changed shape, or I wear my pants differently now, but I think I'll be wearing those same pants I wore at 250 when I get down to 290. What's up with that?

I even have a couple pairs of 20s that I bought in anticipation of being that size. It won't be wishful thinking this time. I'm fully looking forward to wearing them for real later this year! Definitely to England, anyway. :)

It's such a wonderful thing to anticipate so much positivity in my life. I had a delightful lunch with a former co-worker yesterday who is on a similar journey in life (not the weight loss so much as relationship with food, among some other professional goals), and she said the coolest thing. "It's great that you're aiming to fit into an airplane seat, not to fit into a swimsuit." Jennifer, I agree wholeheartedly. I couldn't have said it better!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Milestone redux

Woo hoo!

308.8 this morning. You know what that means? 40 pounds down. I'm thrilled.

And slightly surprised, too. While I didn't eat horribly yesterday, I went a bit out of bounds in snippets. You just never know. I just kept thinking to myself, please, PLEASE, please, get below 310. I just needed it psychologically.

Yesterday I went out to lunch with a curator friend and we met at one of the best places for vegetarian fare in town (although they have meat dishes, too). The salads at Betty's are phenomenal, so I felt I was missing out on nothing by ordering the house salad with roasted vegetables and asiago with miso dressing. My friend got the same thing, and we both had a cup of the fantastic sweet potato, leek, and garlic soup. So, you see that what I ate was nothing but good stuff for anyone trying to eat healthfully, but it's not quite on plan for what I am doing... just a bit off with the sweet potato and probably the dressing.

Afterward, I met with another friend for coffee. You can bet I was tempted by the wonderful liquid treats at your typical cafe, but I stuck with a café au lait, really a compromise as I'm not supposed to have millk except for an optional tablespoon's worth with breakfast coffee or tea. With a little Equal, it tasted delish though, and again, I felt no deprivation. The conversation with my friend made it most enjoyable anyway, not what I was drinking.

Later on, I had a normal dinner — a little boneless pork chop and some roasted asparagus with one teaspoon of olive oil. Funny, since I've been measuring the oil with the teaspoon, I really find it's more than enough for the servings of veggies I make for myself, versus the full tablespoon (or more!) I used to use. For dessert I had a lovely sliced apple and a dollop of some honey roasted peanut butter from Nutty Guys to go with. Again, PB is not allowed in the diet phase but I do it sometimes anyway to no ill effect.

Finally, I had tiny bits of some of the other items I bought from Nutty Guys. Wasabi almonds, cheddar sesame sticks (these are for my partner), and worst (or best, depending on how you look at it) of all, the chocolate-covered cinnamon gummi bears. (I bought those for me to eat when I had my load days, or for small treats during maintenance.) Tiny nibbles, yes, but maybe you can see why I was a little worried about what the scale would show today. It really could have gone either way, I feel.

Anyway. The good news is I have five more weigh-ins before I start maintenance, which means that it is still perhaps possible for me to see 300 before I am through. I know, it's probably a long shot, but I am aiming high. I am ON a high! That airplane seat is not getting any bigger, after all.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lowest yet! (By a smidge)

Hooray! I am down to 310.2 today, just a couple ounces below my previous lowest weight. I am looking forward to seeing those 30_ numbers coming up, and then... see ya later, 300s! I suppose it is possible before the end of my diet cycle this time; we'll see how I do. Either way I am pretty pleased.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Back on Track (again)

I don't know what happens to me or why, but I got back on track after that big gain and I'm almost back down to my lowest weight again (hoping tomorrow or the next day I'll be all set). After letting go for a day or two, I find it insanely easy to just do what I need to do for a while. Maybe I should just accept that and roll with it when I lose sight of my goals on a given day, as long as I get back on it right away? After years and years of struggling with food issues, I don't know if I will ever have solid answers to these questions, but I do know that I will not give up trying. You've seen, since I've started the blogs, that I haven't given up, even if months pass with no posting. I feel I really owe it to myself to finally come to terms with these issues and with my body.

I keep telling my friends, I'm 40 now, and there is just no option. It needs to get done once and for all. And I truly believe that. Lately I have been trying to envision myself at various lower weights, what it will be like to see certain numbers on the scale. I am glad that I can picture those things; it gives me hope.

Another is that I've been walking around feeling very confident and attractive. I'm not sure where this is coming from, but I am embracing it. Maybe it's that spring is really just around the corner and that always makes you feel good. Likely that it's something bigger, though, something more, and that it comes from inside. All the things I have been trying to do for myself, from THIS, to my professional life, to cultivating friendships old and new. I have so much to be thankful for.

Yesterday and today have both been easy eating days. I wonder why it can't always be like this? Maybe I should take out a few minutes each day to meditate on my goals and visualize myself achieving them.

It's like I can almost taste success!

I have various reasons for doing what I am doing, but one of them makes staying on plan easier because I know what it is like to ride in an airplane as a fat woman. The last time I flew I probably weighed about what I do now, and it was just an hour flight to New York City. It really sucked. I am flying to England in October and want to be as comfortable as I can on the plane ride — I forget how long it is, 8 hours or so? Yes, I am doing this for bigger reasons than international travel, but that is a huge and palpable impetus in the meantime. If things go as planned, I could be as low as 220-something, at the very least under 250, which should put me in the OK zone. I just have to keep going and do well, as well as I can.

I got the chance to walk a wee bit today — from the parking lot to a campus building to work on the mural, and back. Of course campus parking is never particularly convenient, so the little walk was quite nice. I realize that I am in not horrible shape and should really get out there for some real walks to see how I do in my proper walking/running sneaks.

Feeling good. Feeling hopeful.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Oops, I did it again

About ten days ago I went through the exact same scenario. Had a bad day, gained five pounds overnight. Except this time it took me two days to do it. So frustrating! I feel like a dumbass, to be honest.

The way I figure it, though, is that I will get right back on program diligently for the next seven days (just like last time), and lose another ten pounds. While I really wanted to get below 300 this round, it looks like I'll have to settle for 305 if I am lucky. I've got ten days left on the diet phase which gives me enough time to do 305. I will be happy and grateful for that. Bottom line is, I'll still be looking at over a 40 pound loss in just under three months. That is pretty spectacular.

In the coming (hopefully warmer) days, I plan to start walking again. Maybe I should set a date? Maybe I should do it today?

We'll see.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Good Intentions

Good intentions, I got 'em.

Today has turned out to be another not-so-great day after all. As I write this I am finishing up the last of a pint of ice cream (it was in the freezer from my last gorge days), and for lunch I had a couple small slices of pizza... and then some pretzels with cheese dip... and then the ice cream. Blech.

I don't feel good about this at all.

But I am writing it down.

As I was working on the ice cream, I was thinking to myself, "Why have I always been a secret eater?" See, I couldn't sit there in front of my partner and eat all this stuff. He did know about the pizza, though. He's been napping and I am working upstairs and *sigh* what is wrong with me???

I know this is but one day in a journey lasting most of my life, but it is still discouraging. Maybe I will give myself a little bit of a break because I (just realized) am totally PMSing? I just feel so desperate and f&%$ed up about this. How can I ever get past this?

Well, the day is not over, and tomorrow's another chance to embark anew. If nothing else I need to keep my eye on the goal of fitting comfortably in an airplane seat for my trip to England in October!

It was the Orange Chocolate Ice Cream's Fault!

That's my story and I am sticking to it.

One of the local eateries known for its beef on weck and its array of ice cream treats is the only place I know of that has orange chocolate ice cream — except that for a long time, it just never had it available. Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to stop by and get a cone... to my pleasant (or maybe not so pleasant) surprise, they had it!

Let me go back a little bit. You see, I had a lunch out with a former co-worker at my favorite Thai place. I had a nice shrimp curry, a coconut chicken soup, and a shrimp and chicken spring roll. Not great, but not bad considering that I was planning on having nothing else to eat the rest of the day (I know, not my best strategy, but it was what it was). That was all well and good, but then I started thinking about ice cream for some reason... maybe because I knew that there was an Anderson's on the way home, who knows. Logic defies me sometimes — who wants an ice cream cone in the freezing weather we've been having this past week?!? Yup. Me.

Once again, it's that syndrome where I get feeling entitled, I guess... having a great week weight loss-wise and feeling loosier and goosier. A small cone! Why shouldn't I?

You might guess what really happened. Once I saw that they had orange chocolate, I ordered a large. In one of those dipped waffle cones with sprinkles, no less.

Oh my, it was delicious. It was heavenly. I don't regret it.

(The lunch was fantastic, too, by the way.)

Surprisingly enough, I showed just about a pound gain on the scale this morning. I was down just above 310; now I am just above 311. I'm OK with it. I got lucky, I feel.

So yes, I LOVED eating that ice cream, but man oh man, do I want to get myself below 310. SO badly.

Today you will find me right back on track, and happily so.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Get My Head Right

One thing I have noticed about doing this program is that because it is so restrictive, I can respond in one of several ways. One, I want to rebel against it, and even get pretty mad about it sometimes. Two, I "get with it" and find myself reverting back to my late high school days when I would be pleased about NOT eating. My third response seems to be something resembling normal behavior, that is, following the regimen, eating what I am supposed to eat, and being done with it. No drama.

I wish it could be the latter all the time, but maybe someday it will. I consider myself a lifelong learner and goodness knows that there are some things that I need to unlearn, like those unhealthy behaviors.

Yesterday, I ended up having a nice lunch of shrimp and cauliflower curry — a nice big helping. I had the amount of shrimp allotted, but probably had "too many" vegetables (ha! Is there such a thing?). It filled me up and was very satisfying, and I was so pleased with it that I ended up not eating again for the rest of the day.

The sad thing is, I was so proud of myself! I was certain to lose a LOT of weight now, I thought. I went to bed hungry and woke up hungry, but it got me the same loss I've been getting all week: just about a pound.

Hey, I am not complaining, but it just goes to show that starving oneself is not a solution. I mean, I knew that, but you know, sometimes it takes something obvious for me to accept it. Not to mention, starving myself is no fun and not healthy.

So, today, I was back on the program in the sense that I am eating what I should be eating. I had a nice pork chop and some roasted asparagus for lunch, and a little steak and brussels sprouts for dinner. Strawberries for dessert. Lots of water for the rest of the evening. Steady as she goes.

Bonus! We got several inches of snow last night, so I got some exercise in the form of shoveling. It can go melt now.

Down to 312 and change. Zow.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Today I am happy to announce a couple milestones.

One, I am down 10% of my starting weight.

Two, I am down just over 35 pounds. Ha.

313.4! Woo!

It seems that even with the small adjustments I have made to the protocol, I'm still getting results. The long and short of it is, I am eating mostly fresh veggies and fruits, with small amounts of lean meats and fishes. ;) Most of the time. The past couple days I have been fitting in small amounts of verboten items, like nibbles of chocolate (Hershey's kisses), a spoonful or two of ice cream (last night only), coconut milk, olive oil in small amounts, and a few bread products (not much at all, but I wanted to mention it anyway).

I am still eating much less than I ever do in my previous "normal" life, too. I drink a lot of water.

(I still need to start some form of exercise!)

In other words, I am doing what I need to do to stay on track. It feels good! Maybe that great big off-day was just what I needed to slip into high gear again.

One thing I have figured out in recent days is that when I am upset, the first thing I want to do is eat something crappy. I realized this last night as I grabbed the pint of Ben & Jerry's from the freezer after having words with my partner. It was so glaringly obvious what was going on. I almost laughed! I was also able to remove myself from the situation and let the ice cream sit for a few minutes. I still did have some, but literally a few spoonfuls. Then, I closed it up and put it away right away.

I averted what could have been... well, not disaster certainly... a real setback. That sounds more proportional. ;)

I'm taking the good days and making it through the bad ones. Either way, I'm going to get to where I am going, finally. Doesn't matter if it takes a year or 10 years, I am NOT giving up.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Down, down, down...

I've been doing much better since my last post and that big gain. As of today, I finally made up for that gain and then some — an extra pound off from my previous lowest. Feels good.

I'm still struggling with control and food. I feel best when I have structure around mealtimes and meals. Unfortunately, my schedule often varies so I find myself eating when it is convenient, and not at the same time every day necessarily. The past few days I've actually only been able to fit one meal in, and while I'd guess it is not the best strategy, I also find that it is working well for me. It's as if the fewer times I have to eat, the better. I don't have to struggle so much about what I am putting in my mouth. This will change, I am sure... it's after that binge a few days ago I felt a great need to really tighten the reins just so that I can get myself into a better mindset when it comes to dealing with food.

Sounds crazy, I know. Don't worry, it's not permanent; it's just something that works for me at this moment. I am enjoying eating healthier foods again and I am making some concessions here and there — small amounts of olive oil, for example, a few pretzels and almonds yesterday, some coconut milk in my curry today (which, by the way, I made so hot and spicy that it nearly made me dizzy! Wow!). I still don't know if the hcG drops that I am taking actually do anything, but I appreciate them whether it's physiological or psychological. Whatever works, right?

I guess I am feeling a bit philosophical tonight. I feel very (I want to say "zen" but know that's probably not the right word) about things since my binge. If something goes into my mouth, I want it to be something not only healthy, but also delicious. I don't want to waste my time and energy on anything less while I am being so restrictive.

Roasted vegetables are my not-so-new best friend these past couple months. Lately I've been making a delicious mixture in the oven involving cauliflower florets, whole garlic cloves, and onion (though I think shallots would be particularly divine). Drizzle very lightly with olive oil, and bake at 375 for 25 to 30 minutes. East it as is, or throw it together with some curry sauce like I have been, and maybe some shrimp. Fresh herbs like cilantro and basil make it even better. Good lord.

Anyway, I felt driven today to succeed at this thing and hope that the feeling lasts for the next few weeks. The best I can do, though, is continue taking it one day at a time. I will get there in time.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Need to Reach Out

I feel like I am hanging by a thread today, so it's probably best that I blog. I really find that it helps me a lot in troubled times.

Sure enough, after my disaster of an eating day yesterday, I found myself up FIVE pounds! Wow. I guess I really packed it in.

So that sucked. When I told my partner, he said, "Well, it'll come off fast!" which made me feel better. It might take a couple days, but yes, it will come off. To be more proactive, today I sat down with my calendar and decided to effectively restart my diet phase. I had a few leftover days after maintenance before I see my practitioner again, so I figured that I would do a few more diet days starting today and still be OK to fit the maintenance in like I need to — two weeks' worth.

I like having a fresh start; I just wish that it was not back at the weight I started this session! Tsk.

I ate what I was supposed to today, and I even had a little bit of some physical activity in the form of art-making. It feels good to be back on my regimen, but wouldn't you know that I still have little twingy cravings every so often? The thing is, I KNOW the junk's not going to taste that great, and it's not going to make me feel good (mentally or physically!) I must break this terrible addiction. (Continued thanks to the lovely Claire for her very astute comments!)

That's about it, I guess. Just trying to stay motivated and focused. This is something I simply must do, so I will continue getting back up and brushing myself off when I fall to the ground.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I just realized that I haven't checked in since Sunday... how can that be true? Here we are at Wednesday already!

Well, truthfully, I have been having a hard time and have not been eating the way I should be. For some reason, compulsive feelings have been plaguing me for the past week or so, and I just decided to give in, I guess. Generally what happens is I'll have a "bad" day, then be super austere the next day (and lose any of the weight I gained), then get back to feeling those feelings again. I'm still holding at just around 316, which is good, but honestly I should be way past that by now. I'm too busy futzing around and fearing success, apparently. Ridiculous.

Yesterday I was on the road all day — I made a five and half hour drive to Potsdam to do an artist's talk at the gallery where I have a show of my paintings on the SUNY campus there. The last time I made the trip, I brought healthy snacks and a lot of water, and we had dinner out and it was fine. This time, I wasn't as well prepared and only had water and two apples with me, not to mention the compulsive urges. That meant two bad meals (two different fast food restaurants, ugh!), two apples, and lots of water. Believe me, my body did not like that at all. For the last two or three hours of the five and a half hour drive home (I did a round trip in one day!), my stomach doth protested indeed! I felt like I was going to hurl, it came in waves. Fortunately, I made it home without incident but man! Ouch. Lesson learned, right?

Ha. Well, I didn't suffer on the scale at all really this morning since my body pretty much rejected the food — I won't get into any more detail than that. Did I learn my lesson, though? No. No, I didn't. I ended up gorging again today, and I really don't know why. All I can tell you is that I feel bad about it and that I am looking forward to some healthy eating again tomorrow (and hopefully the next day, and the next), and lots of water for the rest of the evening. Blegh.

As I as have said previously, I just don't know why I do stuff like this when it doesn't really even feel good. Junk food doesn't really even taste that great anymore, but there is something about the experience of eating it that makes me want it anyway. It's the strangest thing! I like the bright taste of healthy, fresh foods much more, so I just can't figure this out. Maybe it is just bad habits — ones that are lifelong? No doubt there is some psychology involved, too, but either way it's frustrating as hell.

I mean, I am pretty close to my first big goal of getting below 300 pounds! With the program I'm on, it should happen quickly, too! I have received a lot of positive feedback from friends, family, and my partner in the past few days, which has been great, but I wonder if getting such encouragement is actually bad for me? That it makes me overconfident or cocky? Like, "Oh! I am doing enough!" There is still so far to go, though, and I need to keep that in mind.

Like, the other day I went to Target to see about getting a new shirt for my talk. What a sad experience that was, as I am sure many of you can relate to. My feeling was, Wow. I've lost over 30 pounds and I still don't see a big difference in the way my body looks in the dressing room mirror, and I still don't fit into most of the clothes here. I walked away with new socks and new Converse One-Star slip-ons (really love, by the way!). When you're really fat, at least you can get new socks and shoes, I guess.

I tried on some pants and jeans that I've had tucked away unwearable for quite a while now, and good news on that front: some fit comfortably now, and others are 10-15 pounds away. I'm telling you, that 300 pound weight is magic for me. I NEED to get there.

Well, the best I can say for today is that I am happy I've written this all out. It did make me feel a little better and I know that I will get back on track. I have to keep reminding myself that it doesn't matter how long it takes me to get where I want to go, as long as I keep trying.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What Is Wrong With Me?

That's all I can ask myself at the moment.

I had a great day yesterday, food-wise. I had a nice lunch and, to be honest, did not eat dinner. I drank lots of water. I dropped three pounds. 316.6 this morning, totally chuffed!

I seem to be having a problem with going out for now. Today wasn't technically out, like restaurant out, but out to my cousin's to celebrate my mom's 67th birthday. Most of the women of the family are watching their diets in some capacity, so there was plenty of the "right" foods to eat. But I also had a delicious multi-grain roll, and I had a tiny bit of cheese, and then a no-fat, no-sugar dairy dessert. Pudding and Cool Whip, basically.

That all would be fine, no doubt, but I swear all day since I have been jonesing like you would not believe for something, anything. I want to really eat, even though I have been eating some healthy foods that taste good.

So it was back to the darned jelly beans in my office, along with a handful of Hershey's kisses. I know, I need to get that crap out of sight so that I don't think about it for a while. Except, the kisses were tucked away in the cupboard. And I am sneaking these little "cheats" because I know my partner would dissuade me from them. Double crap.

This is NOT how I want to be. This is the kind of behavior that I want to be rid of once and for all. It's going to take time, I know. I am willing to give myself that time to work on it. I will not beat myself up over this, but I did want to document it in full disclosure to you and to myself. That's important to me.

So, to answer my question, "What's wrong with me?", well, I have no idea. Fear of success, maybe? I don't believe it has anything to do with willpower. It feels like compulsion when I have those cravings.

I'm going to call my practitioner tomorrow and see if she can offer any help with this. I have to do it. I have to get past it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I was fairly pleased when I got on the scale today — only up a pound and a half, and still under 320. Yes, it sucks, but I was honestly expecting much worse. I've been able to stick with the program pretty well today and feel totally back and track physically and mentally.

The latter is SO important, isn't it?

Anyway, just reporting in. Hope all is well with you.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Off Day

Yep, I finally ran into an off day. It's almost as if I hit some sort of milestone that I feel obligated to sabotage myself or something. (I'm half-laughing about that.) It really wouldn't have been such a "bad" day except that I let my emotions get the best of me and reached for junk food to make myself feel better.

I had a lovely lunch out with my friend Jan, who is also an artist. She just had her 41st birthday, so it was sort of a birthday lunch, too. We went to a place right in town and the food was to die for, seriously. I did pretty well with my choices for the meal — mussels (albeit in a wine, mascarpone cheese and dijon broth) and a delicious salad of field greens and strawberries with a balsamic reduction and some sprinkles of goat cheese. Not exactly on plan, but aside from the cheeses, not too far off.

Then it was decided that we'd try some of the gelato they had to offer. Two flavors: Red Velvet and Cannoli. We got one of each to share, and it turns out that the servings were pretty substantial, unfortunately. I think I gave myself too much credit being able to deal with it, and ended up eating the whole serving. OK, I thought, I'll just have some veggies for dinner. No big deal, not really.

I did fine for the rest of the day and drank lots of water, and had just a small salad for dinner. A while after that, I got into a little spat with my partner about something stupid, headed upstairs to work at my desk, and where do you think my hand went to first? Right into the jellybeans, which really shouldn't have been there in the first place. Ugh. So stupid. I won't go into detail, but I also ended up going out to get a flash drive at K-Mart and then to the Burger King drive-thru. I was just having one of those nights, I guess. Angry about nothing and just wanting to eat. So that was that.

I am only regretful about how I ate in the latter part of the day. The lunch? It was phenomenal food, and aside from the gelato, not far off track. Jellybeans and Burger King are another story, though.

Anyway. I am sure the scale will show something awful tomorrow, but I feel secure knowing that I will get back on track right away and see more weight loss in no time. I was down another half pound today. I'll do it again, and again.

I will get there.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

30 pounds!

Today's weight was 318.4... putting me at a 30-pound loss! Hooray.

I did have a bit more to eat than I have been prescribed, but I think it will be OK. I've been told in the past that if I get really hungry or want to eat more, it should be protein if possible. That's pretty much what I ended up doing today. For lunch, I had about 6oz. of chicken as opposed to the 3.5oz I should have had. I also squeezed in an extra Melba toast (gasp!). I considered eating just a nibble of meat for dinner, but had about 3.5oz. of a little steak plus a wee bit more veggies... roasted cauliflower, by the way. So tasty. And I did my steak in that delish balsamic vinegar I bought recently. I dress it with Lawry's salt and pepper, and minced garlic, then slap it into the sauté pan with no oil for a minute or two on each side to brown it. Then, it goes into the oven right in the pan for five to seven more minutes — I like my steak pretty rare, so this is ideal, and the balsamic caramelizes just enough. Oh my. It's good stuff.

I haven't yet talked about it, but it makes me so mad to hear how people talk about the way you have to eat on this program. On Dr. Oz's show, they literally had a plate of lame iceberg lettuce and some dull looking piece of meat and it looked so unappetizing! So people are all like, "Oh no, I can only eat lettuce!" So OK, maybe I am not as strict a follower of this thing as some people, but for goodness sake, throw some sliced onion or some cherry tomatoes in there and get some good balsamic to drizzle over it! Seriously, it's delicious. My meats are always very satisfying, too. Again, seasoning rules.

One thing I really do stray on is that for my roasted veggies (anything from broccoli to asparagus), I do drizzle just the slightest bit of olive oil on before I slide them into the oven. At first I tried them dry, then with some veggie broth, and I just felt like... mmmm... this is one thing that I will do my own way. I'm probably talking like a teaspoon of oil each time. Still, no oil means no oil, yet I am still getting amazing results so I'm not going to worry about it. Maybe I would lose even more, who knows? But this way I feel happier with what I am eating and not doing anything too horrible to get it that way.

I do want to stress again that I eat well! I would think it helps to be a fairly decent and imaginative cook at home — I do feel bad for someone who doesn't like to cook or doesn't know little tricks to doctor things up a bit, else this diet does seem really bland. That just hasn't been my experience, though. I laugh in the face of that plate of plain iceberg lettuce.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Breaking Barriers


I broke 320... weighed in at 319.4 this morning. What a feeling!

300, here I come! Chug chug chug chug chug.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


That's how I feel. Great!

I'm on Day 3 of the diet phase and it is going way better than last time. I don't usually feel hungry, my meals always satisfy me, and I'm just like... on my way. That's all.

We won't talk about my weight much yet because after two load days, I gained more than a few pounds. At least three, but probably more like five — but I don't know for sure because I was too chicken to weigh myself on Day 1. This morning had me a few ounces more than my EOD (end of diet) weight, so I am definitely on the right track. I am expecting to be below that tomorrow, finally. Then I can just coast on down to 300 and beyond.

My partner said to me today that I seemed smaller. That's always nice, especially since I really haven't lost any more weight in the past few weeks (yet). I have read that people on this program experience a dramatic shift in their body shape sometimes, so maybe that is what's starting to happen. Either way, I'll take it.

I'm sitting here with a big thing of jelly beans on my desk, leftover from load days. They're OK. I'm not interested in dipping in. :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Second Cycle!

Today was Day 1 of the second cycle I'm doing. This time, it's 24 days, and it's expected that I'll lose 25 pounds. That will put me firmly under 300 pounds, which is thrilling — I haven't been there since summer 2008 and never really was able to keep it under at that time. This time will be different, and it's exciting!

My two load days were not as enjoyable as I thought they'd be. It's almost as if my thinking about food, my desires, are already starting to shift. I found myself looking forward to starting up on the diet again, to be honest. I ate a lot of crap, but not as much as I thought I would, and I just didn't get that much pleasure out of it. Weird!

I'll be eating about the same as I did in my first diet cycle, but a tiny bit less. For lunch and dinner each 3.5 oz. of protein, 2 cups of veggies, 2 Melba toast, and one fruit. The other day I treated myself to a wonderful gourmet balsamic vinegar that makes salad and even just plain tomatoes something extra special, so that'll be nice. I've said this before, but I really like the structure I have when doing the diet phase, and not really having to think too much about what I'll be eating. I wonder if I'll have as hard of a time on certain days with cravings — I suspect not, or at least less so. Those were more psychological than anything anyway. Now I know that those foods I really wanted to eat during the last cycle are not "all that", so who knows. We'll see. I have a feeling that after several cycles, I might just break my problem with food at long last. Stay posted!

Oh, and a note about finishing up maintenance this last time: my final weigh-in before the load days was just ounces above my final diet weigh — perfect! Just where I wanted to be.

Going in to my second round with a really positive outlook. I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to waving good-bye to the 300s!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dun Dun DUN!

It's been a few days since my last post, and here I find myself doing yet another steak day. Oops.

The days in between the last one and now have been fine — I've indulged a little bit here and there, but mostly, the weight has been stabilized slightly above my final diet phase weight. I have five days left on maintenance before the two load days (that is, eating whatever I want) I have prior to beginning my next diet phase (excited!), and I hope to make the most of those days staying on track, eating healthfully and in reasonable portions. I think I can handle it.

On Friday I'll be visiting my practitioner to see what is in store for me in the next diet phase. It could be a little different from my first round — the length of time I do it, the amounts of food. I'm interested to see what I'll be prescribed!

The cause of today's steak day was a lovely dinner at a friend's house yesterday. I did have two small slices of pizza for lunch, but I don't think that's what did it. At Katie's I had dinner and a quite indulgent dessert that involved several different types of cupcakes. I probably ate too much bread and too much dessert. Wait, no. I KNOW I did.

And you know what? This morning when I woke up, I felt hungover and it wasn't because of any alcohol — there wasn't any! I believe that I had a food hangover, if you can imagine. Honestly, fasting today feels kind of good, but I will enjoy the big steak (and apple) at the end of the day.

Overall, I still feel very positive about my experience and also feel that I am learning a lot about myself and my relationship to food. If all goes well, I'll be doing the diet phase for a total of six, maybe seven times, and it seems to me that I will have plenty of practice establishing a new set of habits, once and for all.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sure enough! Steak Day Part 2

Yup, just as I suspected. I was up three pounds from yesterday. I could sense that as soon as I ate that stupid Chinese take-out. Oh, and the few pretzels and cheese dip I indulged in after I posted last night. It is like my mom says, as long as we stick with foods that are actually good for us, we do OK. It's when we start adding crap here and there that gives us trouble. That's so true, at least for now. I need to focus more and more on healthy, whole foods and much less on foods with little or no nutritional value. It's not always the most fun, I grant you that, but it's what most effective and what ultimately makes me the most happy. I tend to get a little sad when I eat junk food.

So, as per Steak Day regulations, I just finished up my dinner of a lovely chuck eye steak, just over a pound's worth of meat. I also had an apple. And that's what I get to eat today, along with all the water I can force myself to drink.

See, wouldn't it be so much easier to just eat reasonably every day so that I don't have to have a Steak Day? Yes, I believe so.

I'm learning, I'm learning.

It's all good.

NEXT: More on this whole hcG thingy, from my perspective, plus a Dr. Oz video!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Food Diary 2/23

Things have been going well. Yesterday I was on the road all day driving to and from Potsdam, NY to deliver thirty-five pieces of art to the gallery at the SUNY college there. All told, it was a 12-hour trip and I did pack some healthy snacks, and two water bottles. I drank both water bottles and ate an apple and some raisins, but we didn't stop to eat a meal until about 3:30pm. I ended up ordering a big old jalapeno cheeseburger and some garlic mashed potatoes, which I savored and enjoyed, fully expecting to have to do a steak day today.

Surprise! Instead I dropped a half pound. Got lucky. :)

I don't know about today. That Chinese for lunch will probably get me with its sodium, but no matter.

Also, can you tell I love steak? I am surprised I am not all steaked out by now, but I do really enjoy it. The one I made tonight was particularly good; the olive oil really improves the flavor (I also put minced garlic on it, too, before I throw it in the pan.


Here's what I'm working on today.

Raisin Bran with whole milk and a sprinkle of sugar

Chinese take-out: General Tsao's bean curd (about a cup) and 1/2 c. or so of white rice, and one eggroll

(Not the best choice, I know. I ended up eating in a real hurry in order to get to work on time, too! Ugh.)

handful of raisins
half a sliced cucumber

8oz. chuck eye steak
8oz. brussels sprouts
about 1.5T olive oil


Monday, February 21, 2011

Food Diary 2/21

This is my last day on phase 1 maintenance. I showed up on the scale by about 1/2 pound from yesterday, but I am still under the "over 2 pound" limit for doing a steak day. ;)

Water throughout the day (though not as much as I'd have liked)

1oz. gruyère cheese
Chobani pomegranate Greek yogurt
diet Pepsi (I know, weird — I don't really care for coffee or tea in the morning!)

8oz chuck eye steak
a shitload of roasted brussels sprouts (still working on portion control, but whatever — it's veggies!)
about 2T olive oil
diet pepsi

about 12 medium shrimp
a big salad: veggies with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese, parnesan asiago dressing, and black olives
diet pepsi

about 2T white chocolate peanut butter (less of everything than regular PB!)
another 1T of aformentioned peanut butter
1/4 c. of raisins

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Food stuffs

I'm not counting calories while on maintenance, but I thought it might be a good idea to take note of what I eat each day to see what works and what potentially doesn't. Obviously truffles and donuts are no good at this point. ;)

Sunday, 2/20

Water throughout the day, and one or two cans of diet Pepsi.

One Empire apple with about 2T. peanut butter

One top round steak, about 6oz
8-10 asparagus spears, tossed in a swig of olive oil, sea salt and pepper, and roasted

A handful of roasted almonds

Shrimp scramble made with four eggs, 15 smallish shrimp, 1oz. pepper jack cheese, handful of cherry tomatoes, two green onions and various aromatics, also about 1T olive oil, plus a dollop of sour cream, salsa, cilantro, and hot sauce
1/3 an avocado

about 2T white chocolate peanut butter
a handful of raisins

Saturday, 2/19

Note: I was teaching until 3pm and didn't have much time to eat anything until dinner.

Water throughout the day, and one or two cans of diet Pepsi.

A sandwich baggie full of green grapes

Shrimp scramble made with four eggs, 12 smallish shrimp, 2oz. pepper jack cheese, handful of cherry tomatoes, two green onions and various aromatics, also about 1T olive oil, plus more sour cream than was necessary (adjusted the next day), salsa, and cilantro
1/2 a can of black olives

An Empire apple with a spoonful of peanut butter

Friday, 2/18

Note: A did a steak day today, after showing just about a two pound gain.

Water throughout the day

One HUGE steak (a pound and a half!)
One large tomato

Thursday, 2/17

Water throughout the day, and one or two cans of diet Pepsi.

About 8 medium plain shrimp, 1oz gruyère cheese, and a small bowl full of fresh strawberries

Open chicken souvlaki (salad, dressing, and chicken only — no pita)

Two homemade peanut butter truffles
One glazed donut stick (ugh, that thing was huge, too!)

8oz. strip steak
Brussels sprouts, tossed in olive oil and sea salt and pepper, roasted

The Concept of Maintenance

I'm back!

So, I wanted to at least say a bit more about the hcG Protocol. Here is a link where I found some useful information beyond what my practitioner gave me. Yes, the website is annoying but the info is there if you filter out the ads and other crap.

Basically, you're in diet phase for prescribed amount of time; my first one was 31 days. During that time, you eat about 500 calories a day and also take hcG drops, which purportedly allow your body to produce an extra 1000 to 1500 calories to make up for such a low actual intake. Some people inject the drops; I do it orally three times a day. You eat no starches, sugar, or oils, little to no milk, no eggs. You can eat a variety of protein sources – meats with visible fat trimmed, most seafood. Lots of veggies, and some fruit. Oh, and I got to have two melba toasts with my lunch and dinner. How could I forget? No breakfast except coffee or tea.

I know, it sounds weird and slightly sketchy. But, it works very effectively. For my mom, it was great because she never really experienced hunger or cravings at all. It was harder for me, but obviously not impossible. Some days I skated through, while others it was all I could do not to do something. My partner was a wonderful help keeping me focused on why I was doing what I was doing. So, obviously different people have different experiences, but everyone as far as I know, gets amazing results.

My practitioner said that I could expect to lose 36 pounds in the first 31 days. I didn't quite make it with my 27, but I also had two days in there where I totally went off course. If I hadn't done that I'd probably have dropped at least another five pounds, I think.

My mom is a superstar. I honestly have not seen her so beautiful and so happy in a really long time. Maybe never, in fact. She's lost fifty pounds since late September and hopes to lose a little bit more. She just loves the diet and hates being on maintenance – but that is an important element of the program. It's what, for me at least, makes this so doable. Yes, the diet for a month is hard, but it's only a month. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm now in my fourth day of the first phase of maintenance, which involves eating what you want as long as it's not sugar or starch. Then, starting on day 6 for another ten days, I'll be in phase two, which allows the slow and limited introduction of sugar and starch. All the while, you're still trying to eat reasonably. If you gain more than two pounds above your diet phase end weight, you take a "steak day". You eat nothing all day but drink as much liquid as you can (preferably water). Then, for dinner you have the biggest steak you can find and either an apple or a tomato. (I know, more wackiness! But, I had to do a steak day on day two and lo and behold, it works.)

Beyond maintenance phase, you get two days of eating anything you want; then you go back into diet phase. Each time you start a new diet phase, you get re-evaluated by your practitioner who tells you how long to stay on it and how much you'll expect to lose. You do this ad infinitum until you're done losing the weight you want to lose.

So that's it in a nutshell. It sounds wacky, I was skeptical at first. All I know is that I finally got to the point where I just had enough and I think I really needed to see a fast result in order to really want to stick with this effort to finally lose the weight I need to lose. I'm eating so much more healthfully now AND I am really learning how to gauge my portions, which has always been a big problem for me.

It's interesting, in fact. I am finding being on maintenance right now a little scary. It feels like I am flying without a safety net. The first day on it, in fact, I did go a little... well, I didn't go crazy, but I was much more liberal than I should have been. Like, I ate some of those handmade truffles given to me by a friend (why not? they are small!) and I did have quite a large donut at the art opening I attended that night (what's the big deal? I am on maintenance!) paired with three reasonable meals equaled a two pound gain the next day. Did I ever learn my lesson! (Not to mention that I wasn't even supposed to have any sugar or starch yet, duh!)

The ensuing steak day worked, and yesterday I had a fine day. Today feels good, too. I'm calming down a bit now and realize that hey, silly! It is GOOD that you are just a few ounces above the final weigh of the diet phase! You are not supposed to lose weight right now. Your body needs to adjust.

It's all pretty interesting stuff. And it's working for me!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hello, again

Here I am! Back from the dead! Well, not really... though I do enjoy all things zombie, I am not one myself. ;)

For the past month, I've been following the hcG Protocol which was gifted to me by my mom – you go to a practitioner and get your instructions and your special hcG drops and everything – and have dropped 27 pounds.

This, of course, was after having reverted back to just under 350 pounds. Drastic measures were needed, and after seeing how much success my mom had (50 pounds in a few months, and she felt amazing), I decided to take her up on the offer. Yes, it is extreme. Yes, I know it's a lot of weight to lose in so little time. But after this lifetime of struggle and being so big, I realized, holy crap I have to do something drastically different. I need to get rid of this extra weight before it really wreaks havoc on my health. Up until now I've been lucky and I am perfectly healthy except for some vitamin deficiencies common to where I live – D and B12.

So anyway, I just finished up my first diet cycle and today started my two weeks of maintenance. Then, I'll start again and hopefully lose another 25-30 pounds, and so on.

I'm doing well and will write more soon. How about you?