Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I've Moved!

In case anyone is still reading/subscribed here, just wanted to let you know that for various reasons I decided to relaunch my blog over on Wordpress. Please follow me at my new space, Lettuce Eat Cake!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Updates Coming...

Wow, I've been ridiculously out of pocket lately! Work and choir season have really been kicking my ass lately. I have some big posts roaming around in my head, but here are some hints of things to come...

--When last we spoke, I weighed around 193. I now weigh 184!
--For the first time in about four years, people are commenting that I've lost weight.
--I've been doing a somewhat intense diet, something I haven't done in many years. But I'm learning a lot.
--I think it's time for some updated pictures! In my first post, I showed you the typical "before" picture. Let me tell you, I now look a lot thinner than that picture!
--I feel really proud of myself.

As I said above, more to come!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dear Lauren,

Well, that was pretty fun, huh? Full-fat salad dressing and a tall Blue Moon on Friday night, accompanied by at least three servings of cookies and cream Edy’s once you got home?

A double serving of pumpkin pancakes on Saturday morning, once everyone was gone? If no one saw you eat them, they don’t count, right?

And who can forget the seven beers you had over the course of Saturday, three of them high in calories? Not to mention the extremely greasy pizza you had later, and the slice of banana cream pie once you got home. You made the pie “for Jeff’s birthday”, right? Funny that thus far you’ve eaten more of it than he has.

Okay, so we’ve been over Friday and Saturday—what the hell happened on Sunday? After having a healthy, filling lunch you proceeded to lay in bed and snack ALL day. By 4 p.m. you were eating vanilla ice cream out of the carton. Another slice of that damn pie. Pretzels. Then a slice of leftover pizza. And a small bowl of cereal.

And the icing on the cake? No workouts since Wednesday. Despite your attempt to stick to a manageable workout schedule this week, you let life intervene. Jeff’s friend was coming into town, so you needed to clean, get groceries and run errands. Then it was Jeff’s birthday, so you couldn’t possibly find time to do a 30-minute DVD.

Now the new body fat scale you treated yourself to has arrived, sitting like a cruel joke in its unopened box. Remember how you were excited to start watching your body fat go down?

I’m not intending to beat you up here; you and I both know making yourself feel like shit won’t help the situation at all. This was a slip up, and you can absolutely recover from it. You used to eat like that every weekend, remember? You often went weeks without working out, didn’t you? And on Saturday you sure got your heart pumping by walking around town and lugging groceries five blocks home. Old Lauren would have waited until a car was available.

So we can turn this around, okay? First of all, start tracking. Right now. Get it on paper. Secondly, make a healthy dinner and work out tonight. And then weigh yourself tomorrow on your fancy new scale. Are you up? Probably. But you need to see the damage if you want Saturday’s weigh in to be a success.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Additional Car Sharing Benefits

So as I mentioned, Jeff and I are now sharing a car. While it's certainly inconvenient at times (like Thursday, when I was stuck waiting for him after an on-site client meeting for 70 minutes), I realized there are some definite benefits:

1. Eliminates temptation to make secret drive-thru runs

It doesn't happen too often anymore, thankfully, but occasionally I still have the urge for a "secret" snack at McDonald's or Burger King. I'd run out on lunch for BK chicken fingers and fries, or swing by McDonald's for a milkshake on the way home from work. While I wouldn't exactly classify it as "secret" eating (I wouldn't go out of my way to make sure Jeff didn't know about it), I wouldn't be shouting my little indulgence from the rafters. Now if I want to stop for ice cream on the way home, I have to tell Jeff about it. And we can go together. Just not very often!

2. No more lunch-break shopping runs

At least once a month, I go to the TJ Maxx near my work and spend anywhere from $30-$80 on crap for myself. A new top, new shoes, housewares stuff, a new purse. I look forward to these trips and usually plan them around my paychecks. I've even had months where I've spent up to $170 on these little lunch-time escapades. Without a car, I am no longer able to incur this sort of damage.

3. Cuts into afternoon snacking time

Jeff's schedule is a bit later than mine, so back when I had my own car, I'd usually beat him home. The first 45 minutes after I walked in the door weren't far from a snacking free for all. Granted it wasn't extremely unhealthy food, but it wasn't uncommon for me to have three snacks in a row during that time. Grab some almonds, have a string cheese, grab a sugar-free rice pudding cup. All of this on top of my real afternoon snack at work. Before I knew it, I could easily consume up to 500 calories of unplanned snacks. It's sad to admit, but I loved this time. I loved coming home and spending an hour and half alone, snacking in bed while watching trash TV. It was MY time. As much as I love Jeff, I thoroughly enjoyed that little hour to myself to eat, watch TV and nap. It was my favorite time of the day.

That time no longer exists. We get home together, and it would be weird for me to start snacking when dinner needs to be made. So I make dinner, work out, shower and read in bed. Reading in bed has become the new snacking in bed. I suppose that's progress! :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Great weather, great tunes

We're having gorgeous weather here in Boston! I'm planning a nice long jog/walk after work tomorrow, and I decided to make an awesome playlist to go with it:

I forgot the difference awesome tunes and good weather can make in a workout. I'm expecting to feel energized and fantastic afterward. Bring on Spring!

Monday, March 15, 2010

No One Said It Would Be Easy

Sorry I’ve been so MIA! Work has been really crazy lately. Also, the lease on my car ended a few weeks ago, so Jeff and I are now sharing his. My office is right on the way to his work, but it adds time to my days since he works later than I do, generally. Although the past couple weeks I’ve repeatedly had to make him wait outside for over an hour while I frantically finished up things at work. Like I said, it’s been hectic! I really dislike March; it feels like five weeks long.

I’ve been doing pretty well on the weight loss front. Because of the car sharing situation, I can no longer attend my Wednesday Weight Watchers meeting. My usual routine was to have a small breakfast and only one cup of coffee on Wednesday mornings, get weighed in around noon, and then drink my water and have a pre-lunch snack during the subsequent meeting. It worked well. The meetings felt like a fun distraction from work.

Now that I don’t have a car with me at work, I can’t leave during my lunch, so I’m forced to attend Saturday morning meetings. This means Fridays now become my “cram day” before my weigh in. Anyone who has ever done WW knows what I’m talking about. You count your Points carefully, making sure to get a lot of fiber and avoid high-sodium foods. You drink a lot of water. You try to get in a really hard workout. Usually, if I craft my cram days smartly, I can drop an extra .5 pounds before my weigh in. And if I’m not down or slightly up by cram day, I can usually eek out a small loss or at least maintain by really pushing myself and watching my Points.

Now all of this has to take place on Friday nights. Instead of coming home and relaxing with a glass of wine and a special dinner to reward, I have to have something low in Points, avoid the alcohol and exercise HARD. Quite the rewarding evening.

For the past couple weekends, I’ve struggled immensely with feelings of entitlement. I worked late on Friday night, and even once we got home around 7:30, I still had to spend about an hour finishing up a project before I could officially declare it The Weekend. I could feel my resolve weakening, so we stopped at Dunkin Donuts on the way home so I could grab an iced coffee with a splash of skim and Splenda. I knew I needed a caffeine burst to help avoid the wine/beer temptation. Having a drink would have been detrimental for four reasons: I’d have less motivation to finish my work project, I’d be virtually unable to do an intense workout, I’d be more prone to snacking and overeating, and lastly, the alcohol itself would likely make me retain water before my weigh in.

Once home, I threw together some dinner before starting my work project. I cut up about two pounds of red potatoes in wedges, then tossed them with 2T olive oil, 3T Dijon mustard, a splash of Balsamic vinegar, some minced garlic and rosemary, salt and pepper. I threw them in the oven to roast along with two frozen chicken breasts. Knowing the meal would take at least 45 minutes, I finished my work project and downed my coffee. Toward the end, I had Jeff cut up two yellow squash and put them in the oven with everything else to roast.

We sat down to eat—finally—a little before 10. I was deliriously hungry at that point. Jeff opened a bottle of Sam Adams Light, and I felt incredibly tempted to pour myself a glass of red. I felt ENTITLED to it. Hadn’t I just finished a grueling 60-hour work week? Isn’t everyone else my age out enjoying themselves? Shouldn’t I be able to have ONE drink and have it not affect my weight loss? Why do I have to spend my Friday night obsessing about a weigh in, anyway?

I knew I’d been pretty lazy with tracking and exercise this week, so I stuck it out. I’d stepped on the scale on Wednesday and registered 195.6. That’s a full pound a half more than last Saturday. Suffice to say, I didn’t have any wiggle room.

After dinner settled, I did an INTENSE hour of Taebo. I seriously got light-headed and felt sick a few times, but I pushed through. Then I enjoyed a hot shower, read a book in bed, and went to sleep trying to ignore the grumbling in my stomach.

I woke up and weighed: 194.4. Pretty good given my mid-week gain, but only .2 less than last week before my weigh in. I knew I wouldn’t register a loss at my official weigh in. I decided to go to Sunday’s meeting instead so I could have another day to work off a little bit more.

So Saturday I was good. I had a healthy breakfast, a grilled chicken salad from Chick Fil-A for lunch, a small portion of baked eggplant parm for dinner, and I got in a great 45-minute workout. I woke up the next morning expecting to see something in the 193 range. Nope. 194.8! Higher than the day before!

The only thing I can think of is maybe the Chick Fil-A salad was high in sodium and made me retain water. But regardless, I felt discouraged. I decided to skip the meeting again and went back to sleep for a couple hours. When I woke up, Jeff asked, “Did you go to your weigh in and come back? Or did you skip it?” I explained the .4 gain and my decision to skip the meeting. He insisted I should have gone anyway, but here’s my logic: I can accept a gain at my weigh in if I know I haven’t been working very hard. But registering a gain when I’ve been busting my ass? That just kills my spirit. I was already extremely frustrated, and I know I would have cried.

He understood that logic, but looking back he was right. I did not have a good day yesterday. I had two glasses of wine with dinner, and I way overindulged on some pita chips and this pumpkin gingerbread I made. I was pissed. This has just been so much harder than I thought it would be. In the last ten weeks, I’ve only lost 7.6 pounds. I’m only halfway to my first goal of losing 15 pounds. At this rate, it will take me 20 weeks (5 months) to reach that goal. I guess that time will pass regardless of what I’m doing, so I just have to accept how slow it will be. I do feel a fire lighting under my ass, though. I’m feeling fired up to completely own my weigh in next week. We’ll see!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Feeling Better

Sorry to be so negative yesterday—just needed to express my frustration. I have no intention of giving up. :)

I ate well yesterday, went to choir practice and got home at 10:15. I STILL did an intense 45-minute workout DVD. I took a shower and went right to bed, since I have to get up every day at 6:30.

And guess what? Scales says 196.4 this morning. A new low! I guess the universe is rewarding me for pushing through yesterday. I commented to Jeff this morning that my weight was down and I was happy. He made a really interesting observation: “Your body responds really well to exercise. I don’t think counting Points alone is enough for you. It’s like good eating opens the door of opportunity for your weight loss, but exercise is what really pushes it through.”

Very interesting thought. I mean, this guy has known me for eight years and dated me for almost six. I think it’s possible he’s observed me enough to pick up on a few things. :P

On the agenda for today: Go to the dentist for my first Invisalign appointment, quick workout, make dinner and watch LOST with the guy who knows me oh so well. Have a great night!