Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Now seems like as good a time as any to talk about New Year's Resolutions. I used to not make New Year's resolutions. I don't know if this is true or if they've always been the same. Lose weight. Get a boyfriend. I wonder if I just stopped making them after a while. I can't remember a specific resolution so it almost seems silly to do this.

HOWEVER. This blog now exists. And I update it! So maybe there's some accountability.

New Year's Resolution: Get fit. Yes, part of that entails getting to my goal weight. But also I want to become strong. Firm up. I'd say 95% of my weightloss has been diet related. Maybe even a higher pecentage than that. I'd like to now take my new, leaner body to the gym. I pay for a gym membership. I should use it.

  • Cook more. Try and cook a homemade dinner at least twice a week. Buy a crockpot (I'm currently obsessed with this idea) and get it done.
  • Bring lunches. Don't buy lunch except for VERY rare occasions.
  • Don't stop seeing Christine. I don't think this will be an issue at all considering my undying love and devotion to her.
  • Do not punish myself. 'Nuff said.
  • Continue blogging - maybe try and build a readership (not that you guys aren't THE BEST).
  • Work as hard as I can. Push myself to be better. Get to higher ground in my company.
And that's them! I'm sure most of these are just the whim of the moment (crockpot), but I hope I actually stick to some of it and continue working to improve myself (body, mind, spirit type stuff).

What are your goals for the 2012?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

And then... a binge.

Honestly for the first time in a long time I really seriously binged.

I can sit here and write you excuses. I am tired. I am sick. It was a party. Hormones. Boys. Stress. Holidays. But all of that add up to nothing. I've been all of those things before. Food isn't an excuse. I even was aware of what was going on at the time. I just didn't care and it reached a point where I felt I was SO FAR GONE that I might as well finish what I started. Healthy choices weren't there and MODERATION (which should have been MY healthy choice) didn't happen.

I've been sending my food to Christine and I sent her a really pathetic one telling her I didn't want to send her my food for the day (I've sent her even bad days before so she probably knew this was a horrific one). Her response was short and sweet: "Anna, take a deep breath, the holiday season is almost over, C."

The incredible amount of support I have from her is awesome. What's been SO important about my process (I think) is finding a human support system for this. I get sensitive and udgy when anyone talks about my weight and so it was not easy.

I think my plan right now is actually to eat a little more early in the day. Not that last night was even a little about hunger. I was stuffing my face long after I felt sick I was so full. I got on the scale this morning to a HUGE number for me at this point. But I'm going to try and get in the mentality of evenly spreading calories throughout the day and not LOADING at dinner. This week I think I wanted to step up my diet and eat even LESS and I've overdone it TWICE now. Clearly that is not the answer.

My hopefully more-filling snacks for today (I've already eaten some FiberOne...).

And now I'm feeling anxious for New Year's Eve. I overdid Christmas. I overdid my brother's birthday. I overdid the Hanukkah party. I also don't really know how to plan (THOUGH the amazing lady who is hosting does read my blog... :-) ). I'll bring lots of snacks and not drink too much alcohol (I'm sick anyway so this shouldn't be so hard). Good choices. Good choices. Good choices. And if the choice isn't obvious then moderation is a good choice that can come from me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Omelette Muffins!!

Yesterday was my lay-low day. It was pouring and all I wanted to do was go home, read, mess around on the internet, and cook dinner. One of my favorite people from college was coming over after a date and so I wanted something easy, vegetarian and, of course, healthy. Originally the thought was to make a fritatta. I had a bunch of egg whites in a carton, some frozen spinach (leftover from the chickpeas) and some fat free feta.

I have discovered this blog called It is a really awesome blog. I am kind of obsessed (and trying to find others like her!). She is a Weight Watchers member and so posts points(+) (for all/any of you on the WW plan) as well as nutritional information for everyone else. And lo and behold! She had a spinach/feta fritatta recipe! I thought I was golden. Linked at the bottom though was this recipe for broccoli/cheddar mini omelettes. And I knew that I had to make the omelette muffins. I used the 2nd recipe and just subbed in my carton of my (defrosted and patted dry) frozen spinach for the broccoli, and my fat free feta for the cheddar. And they came out SO WELL. Baked through perfectly in 20 minutes. They heat up well (or so I'm told... gave one to my college friend this morning). And store easily.

I will definitely be repeating this recipe for Jamie when she gets back. A very fruitful experiment! I also imagine these would be great if you're hosting some kind of brunch or even some kind of easy party appetizer. The only thing I would be mindful of is not adding too much salt to your vegetables or eggs because the cheese itself is pretty salty. Mine weren't TOO salty but I could see how it would be easy to forget to hold back a little.
You can see why I like to call them Omelette Muffins

My lovely roommate enjoying! Also that's her thumb and not a weird chin-growth.
Though I must be honest. The rest of my eating has been a little subpar. I WAY overdid it for my brother's birthday. I've been noshing a lot (which is a habit from my Anna-not-losing-weight-only-maintaining days). It's not even that I'm noshing on BAD foods. It's just that I'm not really lowering my intake enough. I'll be working on this this week. Tonight is my mother's Hanukkah party. Which means lots of food and latkes. I requested my dad do some baked latkes (which is sort of besides the point ... Hanukkah is about eating foods DRIPPING in oil). So hopefully he does some of that. My mom will make her Jewish Soul Food lamb/rice dish. Not THE HEALTHIEST but also doesn't take too much to fill up on.

I think once my head is out of the game... even for a little. It's a lot of work to get back in it. Also the wham of the holidays is hard to resist. I did well staying away from the preamble but can you really say NO that much on ACTUAL Christmas. And then New Years. Hopefully I'll pull myself out of it to not go too crazy tonight. And to refocus and GET IT DONE. Only 6lbs to go to my first goal (well... as of Sunday morning... I actually think it's more than that after the past few days...). SO CLOSE I can taste it (bad metaphor?).

Friday, December 23, 2011

How to say NO

Dieting is hard.

Dieting during the holidays is really freaking hard.

I'm sure you're all experiencing this and I know I've mentioned it here before. But I also hate when other people get offended when you're trying to make good choices. The whole "my diet starts January 1" is a poor mentality at best. So what is this? A final hurrah MONTH before you "start your diet"? I've been on a diet for over a year now. Why would I take a break? I sent my thoughts to Christine who said it best: "I find people encourage you to binge like they are so that they won't feel guilty that you have self control.  I wonder if they really enjoy what they are stuffing themselves with. Most have 3 to five pound gain during holidays, I know because I have seen it for 30 years after January 1, a very busy time of year for me with sinners!"

So I'm going to share with you all the things I successfully said no to (and the things I -- oops -- didn't!).

This is all the snack table at work. I successfully said no to EVERYTHING. Not even one measly truffle!

Ironically enough, where I had trouble saying no was to myself. I baked over 4 dozen cookies for my department at work. And I ate a lot of cookies. And cookie dough. I probably had at least 5 cookies that night. I woke up ill and gross. And kind of angry at myself. I wanted to try what I was giving away, I suppose. I felt entitled to eat them because I spent such a long time making them. I don't think I can bake like that in my apartment again any time soon. Then again, there's no cause for it anytime soon. So that can be my holiday splurge, I suppose.

I felt immediately guilty after. What's so interesting is that once you've made the choice to eat the item... there's no going back. You've made that choice, it's in your system and that's that. It's constantly a I'll make a better choice next time.

Christine and I were talking and she said that when she was craving something really decadent, she'd have a piece of chocolate cake for dinner... with some salad on the side or something. Or you have the cake, and the next day you compensate. It's not anything absolute. Youc an always change.

It's never "Oh I'll just start Jan 1!" 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Are we there yet?

I'm sick! I have this awful habit of running myself down until my body just says STOP. And I think that's what's going on right now. I did cancel my evening plans last night and instead sat at home watching The Biggest Loser reruns. My roommate and I also lit the menorah (my tradition) and watched the Charlie Brown Christmas Special (her tradition). It was a lovely Judeo-Christian night.
Note the menorah in the corner
The lunch exchange has been going strong this week even though it was a three-day week for Jamie. She's out of town for the next couple weeks for vacation. I plan to cook lunch for myself at least once a week in her absence. Which might only be one week? Need to figure that out. I will miss my lunch partner!!

Jamie brought vegetarian chilli. She adapted from this recipe. She used small white, black and red beans and added Tabasco. No textured vegetable protein but it really didn't need it! Quite delicious without, actually.

Then yesterday I made Butter Chickpeas adapted from this recipe (scroll down). I don't know why they're called Butter Chickpeas as there is no butter in the recipe. I used Pam instead of oil and substituted fat free plain yogurt for the cream. I also added a carton of frozen peas and some frozen spinach. Just to veggify it a little.

I put in one teaspoon of chilli peppers and it KILLED us. It was SO SPICY. I don't know what the deal was with those little pepper flakes but I definitely overdid it. It was borderline inedible. I brought rice and milk and even that was not enough to cut the spice. We ended up sharing a bread roll... which ultimately helped. I gave the rest to Jamie in hopes she could pawn it off on her boyfriend... but he deemed it too spicy too. I feel bad because I actually think it was a really nice recipe. I just messed it up with the spice.

Photo evidence of Jamie and I surviving (but kind of in pain) after the lunch.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Keepin' On

I lost a pretty insiginficant amount of weight and ALSO was weighed in the morning (I'm usually weighed right before dinner). I found this a little discouraging, but it's better than gaining!

Last week for our lunch exchange I brought Jamie falafel. This was super lazy/cop out but actually a pretty quick lunch option for any of you looking for that. I bought boxed falafel mix and instead of frying it, I baked it on parchment paper (no need for oil at all!).
I bought this brand but I wasn't totally tied to it.

Brought that in with some 100-calorie pita (I was a little bothered to learn that by "pita" they meant "half a pita" but there you have it. I also brought some hummus, tomatoes, pepper and spinach. Clementines for dessert.
Mmmmm delish!

It was super easy/mostly bought and VERY filling.

Today Jamie is bringing some vegetarian chilli and I'm pretty excited about it. She gets a little nervous cooking (ridiculous) and I'm sure it will be awesome. Stay tuned.

I'm baking cookies for my department at work (they're each getting a batch)! I made three batches of dough this weekend (one more to make tonight) and will finally be baking them all tonight. I hope I can get through tonight without consuming too many (any?). I halved a lot of the recipes with the idea that if I only made a dozen cookies... I had to GIVE a dozen cookies. Somehow now there are four other people joining me and I feel a little bad because I am not sure I will have the cookies to feed them all! Still. Give myself credit for planning, right?

For another little pat-on-the-back moment I'm going to take a picture of our snack table at work yesterday (none of which I consumed).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

More Lunches

So my last post sort of outlined the details of the Jamie/Anna Lunch Project. Later that week I brought in a Tofu Stir-Fry. I made it in three steps but was pretty unspecific about it so posting a recipe seems weird but I'll approximate it for you as much as possible. Also keep in mind I'm not great at writing recipes (as you will soon see) but you'll get the idea of how it all came together. And it was super tasty. Here's a picture:
The peanut butter cups were from my Secret Snowflake at work and so I pawned it off on Jamie. She didn't protest. The grapefruit was for me!

1 head of broccoli cut into bit sized pieces
1 bunch of spinach
1 carton of mushrooms
1 block of extra firm tofu
1 cup of quinoa
Soy sauce
Curry powder
Pam cooking spray

1) Take out the tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and leave on a paper towel to drain (you can also squeeze out some of the extra moisture with a paper towel). Try and get as much of the water out as possible. When you've gotten out as much moisture as possible, marinate the drained tofu in a little bit of cornstarch, soy sauce and curry powder. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
2) Coat a frying pan with Pam and sautee the garlic.
3) Add broccoli, mushrooms and spinach. Cover and let everything cook. If the broccoli is still hard, consider adding some water. Add some soy sauce if you'd like (or any sort of hot sauce... spices... whatever you want).
4) While that's cooking, add some Pam to another pan and start frying the tofu until it's golden-brown/to your liking.
5) Cook 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
6) I combined the tofu and the vegetables right away and then scooped in quinoa as I wanted. I didn't add Sriracha but I kind of wish I had!

I have to say. It is HARD to be at my office during the holidays! Especially when I'm trying to diet! There is an OBSCENE amount of food here. It only occurred to me today that maybe I should document it so people BELIEVE me when I explain how insane it is. Here is a picture of our snack table (and yes, there is a designated SNACK TABLE) from this afternoon. This was after two cartons of brownies were already consumed. Temptations around every corner.

Insane right? And people are constantly feeling bad for me because I cannot flock around the snack table like they can... so there are several people who say, "Oh Anna, want something?" "NO!" I feel like even a few weeks ago I would've been like "Oh alright, something small." But now I'm on a mission. Even at home the temptations flock! Last night my roommate was making DELICIOUS LOOKING Christmas cookies and some sort of Almond Brittle.

Tomorrow we're having a Holiday Party featuring PIZZA. I'm sure it will be good. I MISS pizza (Healthy Choice really doesn't begin to cut it). My OTHER roommate tempted me with pizza earlier this week. It's been ON MY MIND. The HR person even came by (since it's unclear whether or not I can go to the party due to SOMEONE needing to man my desk) and said that if I didn't get to go she'd bring me a slice. I told her that it was okay since I wasn't really into pizza. She stared at me. "You don't like pizza?" I felt my entire value as a human being called into question. WHAT KIND OF NEW YORKER DOESN'T LIKE PIZZA. I said, "Oh no, I do! Just dieting right now." Honesty is the best policy, right? Another long hard stare. "You are not allowed to diet. It's the holidays. Dieting isn't allowed to start until January 1."

I wanted to say: Sorry! I've actually been dieting for about 14 months now. I've lost almost 70lbs. I sure as hell can diet through the holidays. But instead I just smiled politely. A girl came by later saying she'd bring me a slice too. It's exhausting to say no! I find it really tiring at best. Why do people care so much what I put in my mouth? But actually? Why?

I'm debating bringing a Healthy Choice Pizza in (I know I hated on them earlier ... but I take what I can get)! And being like, OH LOOK I HAVE PIZZA TOO. HOW CUTE IS THAT? But it's Jamie's turn to make lunch... though we're not 100% sure that's happening. Stay tuned.

Today I took a picture of my lunch. Amy's burrito and an apple with some Sriracha on the side! Not the most special, but filling and tastes wholesome enough to me. Definitely holds me. And much better than the popcorn, brownies, cookies and candies filling my office.

Eyes on the prize, guys!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jamie/Anna Lunch Project!

Jamie is my coworker from my last job and I love her a whole lot. My last job is when I started my weightloss journey too so she's seen me work on this all the way through. I feel like not many other people (I guess aside from family) can say the same. I've moved. I've changed jobs. Somehow, though, Jamie has remained a constant for me. We both have gotten new jobs since we worked together, but through a bout of fate and good luck, we work across the street from eachother. AND we both get an hour for lunch.

Jamie and I... in April I think?
Lunch with Jamie is my favorite hour of the day. We galavant around people watching, attempting to get strangers to smile at us, talking about our weeks, and I bother her with my trials and tribulations around food. I usually have trouble talking about my weight issues with people who don't/haven't had weight issues themselves. I feel like being overweight is an incredibly specific problem that's hard to understand if you're not in it. Jamie doesn't offer advice, or criticism, but she does offer an ear. That is probably the most helpful thing of all.

One day (the day after Jamie and I went to the farmer's market), she brought in this totally insanely looking stew. Carrots, potatos, kale, beans. Ahhhh so delightful. I was jealous. A lightbulb went off! "Jamie, how about you bring lunch for the two of us (THESTEWKTHNX) and I'll bring lunch for the two of us at another point! And we can do this every week so we have at least two home cooked meals every week?" She agreed and the next day I got stew:

It tasted so fresh and delicious! Jamie said she added tobasco to the recipe. I think this is good for a couple meals/lunches too. And totally wholesome and fills you to the brim. I had hersend me the recipe so any of you all can have some too!

3 cans of vegetable stock
1 onion

2 carrots
celery or red pepper optional (or any other stew appropriate veggies)
1 bunch of kale or spinach or swiss chard
1 can red kidney beans
1 can cannelloni beans
4 or 5 small to med red or yukon gold potatoes
olive oil

1) Chop and boil the potatoes just until soft. The smaller you chop, the faster they cook.
2) Dice carrots and onion (and optional celery or pepper). Put a little olive oil in the bottom of a big pot, then saute the carrots and onions, until the carrots are a little soft. Season with salt and pepper.
3) Drain and rinse the beans.
4) Dump the stock, a tablespoon of thyme (don't be stingy, it tastes great), salt and pepper to taste, the beans, and the kale into the pot. Wilt down the greens.
5) Dump the potatoes in. Simmer for awhile so the flavors meld. Voila. A chunky, rustic, yummy stew!

Tomorrow I'll post about what I brought for her later that week! Stay tuned!

What is your favorite thing to bring to work for lunch? Help inspire the Jamie/Anna Lunch Project!!

Monday, December 12, 2011


Lost 2.5 pounds this week! In my celebratory state I went back through all my past weights to see where exactly my plateau/laziness started. I am a little hesitant to call it a plateau because what really happened is I stopped trying. It's not like I was on my diet and not losing. But I suppose the fact remains that my weight plateaued diet or no diet.

Also for the first time I could see the weightloss. I usually don't notice the physical changes in myself until my clothes feel big, or it's become drastic. But I started feeling bones (I guess primarily my hip bones) sticking out a little more. I sleep on my side and my knees started banging against eachother uncomfortably because they lost a little layer of cushion there.

So the past two weeks have been pretty good in terms of my eating. A couple slip ups here and there including a ridiculous sushi dinner with my brother (right after I weighed in... not sure that's the healthiest way to celebrate but so goes). But all in all I'm feeling jazzed about losing again. Officially down 67lbs. That's three pounds away from 70lbs. I don't even understand what that means. I put on some "skinny" jeans I bought at the beginning of the summer (with my aunt ... maybe you remember) and the waist is big on me already. They look like a normal pair of jeans and not the skinny ones I remember buying/wearing.

I think sending my food to Christine has been instrumental. I don't want to let her down, and even when I think I'm having an okay-day foodwise, she can help me make better choices next time. "Watch the fat grams on this day. PEANUT BUTTER IS A LOT OF FAT!" (Peanut butter also happens to be my weakness.) This bout of dieting feels more difficult than my pre-plateau state. I wonder if that's because it's always hard starting or maybe because I'm at a lower weight so dieting is going to be more difficult now anyway. Either way, eyes on the prize.

Only 7.25lbs to go before I hit my goal part 1!

And here are some pics from before to keep me motivated.

And some from now:

Monday, December 5, 2011


My Perfect Week went just about as perfectly as it could've. I planned. I brought lunches. I brought healthy snacks. I didn't feel bad about saying no. I avoided Friday Snack, I drank lots of water, I went to my coworker's birthday and DIDN'T drink alcohol (even Christine didn't understand this one "You mean you left your apartment, went to midtown, and didn't drink? Why?" Why? Because I like my coworker and wanted to celebrate with her!).

Though I suppose as predicted, I had a little trouble with my Long Island friends. I was told that when I got in, we'd all go to brunch. I can do brunch. Two eggs. Toast. Bruch: done. When we walked into the brunch place I knew it wouldn't be as easy as all of that. They literally had an entire ballroom buffet. Dozens upon dozens of tables of food: penne a la vodka, sliced meats, omelette bar, french toast, sausage, bacon, and an entire WALL of desserts. I was shocked. And unprepared. So I tried to make do.

Before I touched a plate I walked around the entire place. I was a little sad to see the salad bar was tiny (literally mixed greens, tomatos, cucumbers and croutons) with only creamy (or Russian) dressings. Really? Tucked away in the back, I noticed a seafood section! Lox, white fish, crab claws. I knew I'd start there. The omelettes were being doused in oil. I picked up a taste of the fish section, I went over to the french toast section and lo and behold, the guy there had eggs for poaching! So I added a poached egg and half an English muffin to my plate. And then I filled it out with some cucumbers and tomatos.

And got criticized. My friends were all like "That's all you're eating!?" And coming off a perfect week I was a little stressed. I kept saying yes, and that I didn't have a SMALL amount of food. They kept pushing and I started feeling like it wasn't worth it and that I should just grab some more food to appease them. I grabbed some more fish and crab even though I wasn't hungry for it. Then they started commenting that I was only picking at the healthy stuff! They know I'm on a diet! Of course I am!

Finally dessert course came and I got some fruit and berries. More critique of my food choices.

Why is this everyone/anyone's business?? I just don't get it. I'm not sitting here commenting on every bite of food you put in your mouth. You're an adult. Make your choices. I'll make mine. Fine? Fine.

I remember back to when I started this whole thing, I stopped going out with friends. I knew that when I was out with friends 1) I ate 2) I was expected to eat and 3) I'd REALLY WANT to eat. And now I know why that helped so much. The Old Anna would have just caved. Or not even be making choices to cave FROM. I'd go for the omelette, and chocolate fountain, and pasta, fried chicken, bagels. I love my friends but at that brunch I felt like they weren't being good friends.

I felt okay about the choices I made given the situation though.

The most disheartening thing was going to Christine and only losing .25lb. I couldn't believe it. I've been SO good this week. I emailed her EVERYTHING I put in my mouth. I stuck to the diet like I did when I was first on it. And that was it. She said to just keep going, I'm doing everything right and it will come off soon. And then, of course, I went home and ATE. Not bad foods per se... just quantity. Two bars, a bowl of soup, spoonfulls of peanut butter, rice cakes. Why did I feel like this was an appropriate response? To be upset about a lack of weight loss and have the answer be EAT MORE? What was I thinking?

I just did a whole big FreshDirect order so I should be pretty well stocked with supplies for this week which is a good thing. I just need to have faith that if I stick to my diet, I will lose. Losing .25 of a pound is losing weight. And that's the goal, right? Celebrate, Anna! Don't get down on yourself.

Some pictures from the weekend!
Dancin' on a tree stump!

Family portrait under the Christmas Tree my friends ended up getting!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pefect Week

I want to have a perfect week on my diet. I've been sending Christine my meals every week. I've brought lunch twice so far (one tuna salad sandwich and today a PBJ). I've been that obnoxious person at restaurants "Uh... which of those salad dressings is low fat?" and haven't felt bad about it. I am feeling like I did at the beginning of my diet. Well at least the strict and focused part. I feel confident that I can maintain ... it's basically what I've been doing for the past few months. So at least that's a comfort.

I'm a little nervous about the weekend though because I'm facing two situations where I have had trouble historically. Friday night we're going out to celebrate my coworker's birthday.
Now, I've been blessed since moving to New York of having some really incredibly wonderful coworkers (some of whom read this! Hi!). But ever since switching jobs, I have just a huge quantity of coworkers. And I'm very happy that I've been so welcomed into hanging out with them. But these girls like to DRINK and then EAT and then DRINK some more. And they don't really take abstaining as an option. Some situations you can gracefully bow out, but not these girls. So I anticipate Friday will be a little bit of a struggle. (After a drink or so in me, the idea of a perfect diet week is completely lost. Nachos, mac and cheese, anything fatty or greasy sounds like an INCREDIBLE plan.) If I can go in there, have ONE (read: 1) light beer, then all is well. But... I'm nervous.

Also, I am going out on Sunday to see friends in Long Island, who similarly LOVE to eat. And have been texting me about brunch reservations etc. Another situation I hope I can escape unscathed... especially since I weigh-in with Christine Sunday evenings.

Tomorrow is Friday. My work has this awesome-for-everyone-not-me program where they give wonderful (often fattneing) snacks on Friday. Trouble spot.

I'm trying to plan but I'm having trouble finding the answer. I just don't know but what I DO know is I have trouble when this happens. Trying to avoid that. For now.

How do you guys deal with going out? Especially with people you love but who aren't necessarily the most sensitive to your diet? Is there a good game plan or is it just about putting your foot down?

Also a little PSA from me to you. Clif has a new bar out. AND IT IS DELICIOUS. You should try one. I'm not a big coconut person myself but I am really into this. Also I'm looking for some more snacky ideas as well as some quick-to-pack lunches. Advice, friends?

Monday, November 28, 2011


So many people have posted such lovely posts about what they're grateful for and it's been lovely to read. I'm grateful for this journey (as frustrating as it may be) and I'm grateful for all of you who read this. Even if you stop by and don't comment, just knowing that there is an audience who might take a tiny something away from this is reassuring.

Thank you.

And I'm grateful that I managed to lose weight Thanksgiving week. Whaaaaaaaat? Okay so it was 3/4 of a pound and then I proceeded to go home and eat a Healthy Choice Meal (started out with good intentions), two cookies, an English Muffin, and a few spoonfuls of peanut butter. Oh well. I woke up this morning weighing more than I did the afternoon before.

This final Christine-approved weight brings me back (again) to my lowest weight. She finally asked me (after weeks of not pushing the issue) what I wanted to do. She said something like "Do you just want to maintain here? I know all your clothes fit, you look good... what's the next step?" I know I've been lax about this all. So does Christine. I told her I want to lose 10 more pounds and then reevaluate (though considering how difficult these past 5 have been to 1) lose and 2) keep off) I can't imagine how long that would take.

She said that I should send her diaries. This is a good idea for several reasons. 1) I'm accountable. So long as I don't lie and 2) She can help me see what better choices I could be making if I feel like I have a PERFECT week and yet the scale does not budge.

So I will be doing that. In preparation (and a testament to the first point I just made) I packed my lunch today. Tuna salad, bagel thin, yogurt, apple and I popped a 100 calorie bag of popped corn to eat before bell practice so I'm not famished by the time it's over.

Now how is THAT for prepared. When I get home I have more Healthy Choice meals and I think that will round out a very diet-friendly day.

Plan: stick to that. Then email Christine about it and feel good/proud of all my choices.

Also Thanksgiving was really a turning point in my diet. I started seeing Christine just after my birthday (late October) and had been seeing her regularly but kind of futzing around and not losing weight. Finally, she asked me why I was wasting my money on her. I was sort of upset by this question and huffed out of the session. Then Thanksgiving came and I stuffed my face to the point of feeling ill. And I remember sitting there, bloated and gross, knowing exactly where all those extra pounds came from.

It was also the Thanksgiving where my grandmother announce to the whole crowd (family, extended family... their plus ones etc). That she had a dream that she and I went to a "reduction farm" and that I lost a ton of weight and when we left my mother was SO happy with her because I looked SO good. I was totally mortified. Not only was it public, and humiliating. But probably if she took me to a fat farm and I lost a bunch of weight, EVERYONE would be really happy for her. The fact that the dream was theoretically true, was also totally upsetting. I was furious with my mom for not standing up for me. She said that my grandma was just going to say what she was going to say and there was nothing she could do to stop it.

The fact that my mother was so resigned to this kind of hurtful talk toward me was a sign that I needed to change. And take things into my own hands. And get it done.

Final stretch. No more binging. Focus. Don't lie. Send diaries to Christine. Blog!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I feel almost embarrassed to write this. But the point of this blog is not to document my successes but to document the journey. I suppose. Ideally it's more successes than not but...

I am in a dieting rut. From what I'm reading, it seems like I'm not alone which is comforting to a point. I gained 3.75lbs last week! How did I do that? Even for most of the week I felt like I was mostly on track. And then the weekend came, and I just didn't care. Saturday night I ate practically TWO dinners. I chugged alcohol like it was my job and then got up and hand brunch. But is that 4lbs worth of overeating? Lord.

So I came out of that saying JEEZ, ANNA, CALM IT DOWN. So yesterday I was on track until I went to a rehearsal. Someone had brought Dunkin Donuts Munchkins. I swear there was one point in my dieting life where I could have a TASTE. A MODERATE taste of anything (one fry, one bite, etc). So that's what my plan was. Deprivation is not the answer, I told myself. MODERATION is the answer. If you REALLY want one, just have one. So I had one. And you know, it wasn't that good. So I tried a different kind. Not that good either. So I tried a different one. Etc.

I had somewhere in between 5 and 10 munchkins before I took a step back. This is how you gain 4lbs in a week. This is how you sabotage all the work you're doing. Blame hormones or whatever, but you are responsible for your actions. Be accountable.

I was so angry at myself. I went home, skipped dinner, and went to bed super early.

This morning, I planned. I had a little cup of cottage cheese, coffee and an apple for breakfast. I have a bar for noontime and I'll get some soup or something small for lunch. And dinner I'll figure out. I'm also trying to look for ways to cut calories while keeping my routine. Going from skim lattes to coffee with skim milk etc. Do you guys have any little things like this you use to help?

One of the ladies in rehearsal turned to me this weekend and said. "You've lost a lot of weight!" I confirmed what she was saying. "How much?" she asked. "65" She looked hard at me. "I lost 85lbs seven years ago. It's work to keep it off." She smiled at me and I smiled back. I'm beginning to understand why so many people gain back the weight. The momentum is lost, it becomes a chore and not a way to success and happiness. People stop noticing. 5lbs gained seems like NOT A BIG DEAL in the whole context of it all. And pound by pound, inch by inch it comes back.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Onwards and Upwards

So first an update: no news from the boy.

I think in this instance no news is BAD news. But I'm feeling a lot better. Thank you to everyone who reached out to me. I feel very supported and I'm grateful to have you all in my life.

It will be good to take some Anna-time. I figured I saw the boy about twice a week and so now I'm going to do yoga at least twice a week. I bought a Groupon for a studio near my office and ideally it will be awesome and I can just do that for a while. I think getting physically stronger will be good for me both for body and mind. I can't tell you the last time I went to the gym (though I could probably go through old posts and find it!).

I got a manicure and pedicure yesterday and took care of some errands that I needed to get done... it all felt very indulgent yet productive. I signed up for yoga tonight... I feel like in my prime I was rocking level 2, but I signed up for a level 1 class. So, either it will be an appropriate level or I will rock it and know I can move forward. The goal is to not scare myself out of exercising. Let's see if I can actually stick to it for once. I have strong intentions of becoming a yoga goddess.

Also, for all you gym rats out there are there any gym-based programs that you really love? Or routines you follow? Or anything like that? I have a gym membership that I should probably attempt to get some use out of... the treadmill started hurting my hips and knees though and I feel like maybe that's just not the best form for me.

I also noticed something about myself yesterday that I think actually pertains to weightloss quite well. My dermatologist perscribed some face wash for my acne. Now, I have never thought of myself as an acne-ridden person. I guess I've always had pimples but never a distracting amount (to me anyway). But I bought the stuff so I figure I may as well try it out. And now all I can do is obsessively hate my face. Every blemish feels like a failure.

I think this 1) blindness and 2) incredible self criticism is why I had so much trouble losing weight in the first place.

One, I was happily overweight. I really was. Of course I had my body issues... but 65lbs thinner... I still do. Who doesn't? I really didn't have a lot of self loathing problems though. I thought I was cuteand fabulous with my curvy stature. I didn't hate myself.

Two, the second I started trying to lose weight was when the self loathing would start. Every pound of flesh seemed disgusting. I couldn't look at myself in mirrors, I wouldn't gussy up becasue... why bother? I hated pictures. I avoided Facebook.

I'm not sure what changed about this round of weightloss attempts, because clearly this weird two-step delay to self improvement is still there. I haven't beaten that (yet). What are some tools you guys use to get over hurdles like that? How do you beat the cycle of self loathing and instead pat yourself on the back for doing something good for yourself?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sad Sad Sad

It's funny how fast things can change. I was riding a total high at the beginning of the week. I was happy, I was productive, I was jet-setting to DC, I was finally feeling motivated. Really truly motivated.

And then...

Basically details aren't super important but I was put in a category somewhere between limbo and rejected. By a boy (of course, right?). And I fell. I was in the shower trying to figure out how to craft this post. I've been engaging in a lot of Destiny's Child therapy and one of Beyonce's glorious lyrics is sticking out to me:

You know I'm not gonna diss you on the internet, cuz my momma taught me better than that.

Though I guess this is not dissing, but rather a processing of what I'm going through. In the shower I figured I'd walk you through my week. And I also think my food consumption over the past seven days or so has been interesting as well. So we'll include that.

Monday was the day with the weird planned binge that never happened. It was also the night I showed up to DC. In DC I didn't eat particularly horribly until my mom's big dinner where I just didn't hold back. I stocked up on appetizers and pretty much ate everything put in front of me (except I did leave half of the dessert). Wednesday was my big positive thinking day. I was exhausted due to the late DC train ride and so work was a little difficult but I was cheerful and planning on GETTING THINGS DONE. Thursday was a really good day. Work was fun and busy due to opening night that night. I got home, got all dolled up and looked pretty hot (if I don't say so myself!). I took the boy with me to opening night and we had a really swell time and got a drink together after and that's where shit went down.

I didn't get home until super late and I felt terrible. I could not sleep for the life of me. And I'm a sleeper. I VERY RARELY have trouble falling asleep and so when I CAN'T it all feels particularly traumatic. I can't sleep because I'm upset and then I get upset that I can't sleep so I continue to not sleep and the spiral continues. I got up raccoon-faced with mascara blotches on my pillow. I put my hair up in a ponytail and set off for work.

I work reception. I am the front desk. I am the "face of". And while usually I love small talking with my coworkers and catching up on the little gossips of the day, I could not have resented my job more. Of COURSE everyone was asking me who the boy was (totally unaware of the complete misery going on inside of me). I regretted bringing him for this alone. And on top of that, it was my uncle's birthday after work so I had to trudge over there and put on a happy face. Completely against what I was feeling. Since it was a coworker's birthday and my uncle's party I managed to consume two slices of DENSE chocolate cake that day. Also someone brought me a picnic lunch from one of the meetings they were having. I had already brought lunch for the day. So what did I do? Ate both.

Total disregard for myself, my hunger, my happiness.

By dinner I was more in control, maybe because of the food scarfing that happened earlier. Though I felt like people were REALLY pushing food on me (it was family-style eating) and I started to resent that too. I've lost 65lbs, you really want to shove food in my face? What's that statistic? Obese people who lose a significant amount of weight almost ALWAYS gain it back within 5 years? You want to put me on that path??

I got home early, fell into bed, woke up 11 hours later. Upset still. The unhappiness I was feeling managed to infiltrate my day. I managed to drop off laundry, got home, got into PJs and watched Breaking Bad. I couldn't even tell you how many episodes I watched, but it was not insignificant. My unhappiness started getting channeled at things. I looked at my living room; it was filthy. I walked into the kitchen; dishes piled high. I walked into the bathroom; hair freaking everywhere. Four girls in one apartment is a fun time usually, but I think standard of living has dropped a little. Between episodes of Breaking Bad I would tackle clean-up tasks. I managed to clean out the entire kitchen, living room and bathroom.

But I couldn't eat. Even now the thought of consuming food is upsetting to me and makes me feel sick. I know I talked about the emotional eating bell curve earlier, but here it is in full effect. As time goes on, I get more and more upset. Probably because I haven't heard from him. When he and I ended the conversation he said we should talk about it more and soon. I agreed. And yet nothing from him. The first day or so there's the promise of a quick turnaround "What was I thinking??" But as time goes on, it feels more and more like the decision has been made. And I'm not the choice. And this puts a pit in my stomach to the point where adding anything just sounds horrible.

It was depressing that this was Daylights Savings Time too... as opposed to one more hour of FUN TIMES it's one more hour of wallowing while watching Breaking Bad.

And I know, I know. Why want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with you? You're young, you're now conventionally hotter than you were before. You get exponentially more attention from men than you ever have in your life. Go out. Get drunk. Kiss some boys. Have fun.

But I'm still pretty freaking said. I also almost resent all the new attention I get. I also am going to put this out there. I know a lot of you ladies who read this blog (not that there are a lot of people reading this blog but ...) who are on your own weight loss journeys have had a significant other with you the whole way through. I envy you that. I really do. I'm super jealous. I think it says a lot about you and a lot about your relationships. I'm sure it has a fair deal of complications that goes along with it, but to me the grass is greener on your side.

Sorry for the emoblog. Supposed to meet my brother for dinner tonight (bailed on him for lunch yesterday) so maybe that will help pull me out of my funk. Also here is a picture from when my friends surprised me at work on my birthday. I think I look cute and am super happy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I just had a revelation. I think.

It's not profound. But it feels like a shift in my head.

I've been sitting around the same 60-65 off for a couple months now. It's a comfortable weight. I kind of like being here. I don't feel like I stand out. I don't look unhealthy. I eat my vegetables.

But I've also been indulging (as you've been hearing all about). Not being strict. Eating more than I should. Eating a large quantity of sweets when I used to be satisfied with a bite.

Just sitting here this morning though I thought to myself. Hey Anna. Let's lose this next 10lbs.

As I edge toward my goal I know that I'm going to be done losing soon. I am not sure how much I want gone, but I'm pretty sure I want at least 10 more down.

And let's do it, shall we? I know how. I know why I'm not. And I think I'm ready to say goodbye to the last of it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sweet Tooth

I managed to lose 1.75lbs last week. So I'm still up a little from my lowest but that's marginal enough for me not to care. This is going to be a tricky food week for me and I haven't really started out the best.

I've realized that my serious downfall is sweets. I always knew I had a sweet tooth and all of that but didn't quite understand the extent. Someone puts a plate of french fries, mac and cheese, chicken fingers or whatever savory fattening delight they can muster and I can totally pass on it. Or try a tiny bit and be satisfied.

Birthday party in the office yesterday? Chocolate cake? Let me eat that WHOLE SLICE. Roommate baking Halloween cupcakes? Two please. And... it's only Tuesday. I'm actually in DC right now for a big benefit dinner for my mom. Dinner? Delicious steak and crab cakes (plus appetizer, plus dessert, of course).

When I first started dieting (about a year ago), I knew I had to cut out certain foods. I had to cleanse and sort of revamp my style of living. I had to be strict about what was going in and out of my mouth.

Though I will say that yesterday was some sort of success for me. I was sort of preparing for a binge. Traveling always makes me want to eat. A lot. And I think the THOUGHT of traveling also starts to gear me up. I woke up ate a cupcake, peanut butter rice cake, got to work and had a breakfast bar and a latte, had a soup and a LARGE half duck and fig sandwich, got back to the office had a HUGE slice of chocolate cake, went to get food for the train (would be traveling through dinner) and bought a tuna salad sandwich. I got to the train station and decided I would want to have TWO dinners (totally reasonable--a WHOPPING 3 hour train ride) and so I bought some (baked) falafel. The train was delayed so I started picking at the falafel. I probably got about halfway through.

But then I stopped and checked in. Anna, you've been putting shit in your body all day. Let's stop for a second.

Are you hungry? ... No.

Is there something you're getting out of this food? ... No?

Well how about you save it until you need it. Like... use it for what it was meant to be used for. ...Ooookay.

So I brought it on the train and just was not hungry. So I have 1/2 a falafel platter and a whole tuna salad sandwich sitting in my fridge now. I'm sure I still managed to go overboard yesterday, but at least I stopped myself. Small victories. And I'm at a point where I need to celebrate all victories.

Christine said she wants me maintaining in 5-10 more pounds. My feeling is I will be stuck around my current weight for a while... which doesn't bother me. I actually feel pretty good in my skin at this point. I'd love to start introducing exercise. I think I need to find a place near work that 1) has a class at 5:30 and 2) has a shower. I see a lot of theater at around 8 and if I could squeeze in an exercise before that, I think that would lead to some great success.

Here's to finding that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Power in No

I have to remember that there is power in saying no. That it's NOT that I'm choosing to be a party pooper, or to have no fun, or to make people feel bad for their choices. Instead I'm choosing myself. I'm making myself a priority.

Why do I have such a hard time remembering this?

Today is a bakesale at my job and I volunteered to bake some things, which meant last night turned into a total sugarfest and ended with me dipping pretzels into leftover icing.

I know better than that. Why can't I say no? Granted, that's a difficult situation for anything. It's like -- hey alcoholic! Be a bartender!

I woke up early this morning and packed my freakin meals. A yogurt for breakfast. An apple for mid-morning. Tuna salad on a sandwich thin for lunch. Bag of carrots for whatever. A healthy day. And I'm meeting friends for Ethiopian food for dinner... which as far as eating out goes is not bad. If I can manage to not go to the bake sale I should be fine. I only saved a tiny bit of cookies for home (because I want to share them with that boy I'm seeing! Way to a man's heart is through his stomach ... and all that).

Plan. Refocus. Get it done. Lose some weight. Solid.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


So I gained two pounds.

It's hard to write that. I just want to disappear. Be unaccountable. But I know what I did. I ate copious amounts of food and consumed ridiculous amounts of alcohol. That'll do it.

It's also my birthday week. I was whining to Christine and she said that most people gain 3-5lbs on the week of their birthday. She also said, while she's never thrilled about the foodfest, that most people who deprive themselves of cake or whatever on their birthday, are upset and dwell about it for a while. So the trick is to enjoy the celebration but then leave it and move on.

I woke up this morning and I went to Whole Foods and I bought my breakfast bars. I will go shopping after work so that I can resume making lunch for myself at work. When turkey/cheese sandwiches sound unappealing, I'll get a cup of soup instead.

I know how to do this. I've been doing this. I don't feel deprived and I don't feel lost. I think the truth is I'm bored and I like fun food.

My issue has always been that I LOVE food. I don't usually wrap up emotions or stress or whatever in my eating. It's just that I like it and I like it all. My mom sent me to a psychologist when I was in high school because she felt I was "self destructing" with food. Week after week I spoke to this psychologist and she came to agree that really the issue was I like food and I like going out and having fun (yes, even in high school). That was when my mom decided that psychologists were silly.

I'm not going to beat myself up about 2lbs in one freaking week.

Though it is interesting that for me "celebrating" and "food" go hand in hand. Though this notion is not just for me. Yesterday someone bought me lunch, my roommate gave me pinkberry, a colleague gave me a box of chocolates, my office threw a party with jelly donuts, my other roommate gave me a cupcake, my family bought me dinner.

It's not just me. Celebration = Food. And FUN food at that.

But, whatever, I will not change that. I just have to understand that that's how things go and react accordingly.

My birthday is over. It was a totally magical day. I have never in my life felt so loved as I did yesterday. I'm an old lady now! And it's time to refocus my energies on what's important: my health and my life. So I can have many more happy birthdays.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's not about being hungry

I feel like I'm very rarely hungry.

I don't know if that's normal, but I don't get famished particularly often. But for the past two weeks, all I've wanted to do is eat. And I'll eat and just want more. I think I'm bored with my routine. I'm bored with Clif bars being the answer. I'm bored with peanut butter being the answer. I want to eat chocolate. I want to eat salt.

But I'm not hungry, yet the feeling is totally overwhelming. And my office is not the best place to be when I'm feeling this EMPTY. Because there is food everywhere. And usually it's chocolate. Or at least sweet. Or salty. And since technically I can't leave my desk, my lovely coworkers will tramp down the hall and either ask me if I want anything, or just take it upon their kind selves to make me a plate.

How do I get this feeling to stop?

My answer before used to be to just eat a whole bag of kettle corn 94% fat free popcorn. But I'm bored of that, and it kind of lacks nutritional value.

I feel like I'm searching for a food, and just eating everything in my way and STILL not finding the food that will make this hunger go away. I gained a tiny insignficant amount of weight last week, but I'm worried this week will be more. I'm worried my body is trying to stay at my current weight but will give in and gain soon.

My birthday is next week. My party is Friday. I feel out of sorts and disorganized in my eating. I've been making bad choices. I haven't been berating myself but I also haven't been adjusting behavior.

What is going on?

How do I get focused again?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Fun Food Friend

My friend Emily blogged about me last week and it enlightened a few things for me. Emily and I were friends in college and both (pretty parallel journeys, actually) have been losing weight for about the same amout of time. Em is down 50lbs and I really suggest you follow her if you want an awesome read.

When I started to lose weight, I had to redefine the relationships in my life. Mostly my friendships. This was maybe trickier than ordering my salads with dressing on the side. I have a wide array of friends that I hang out with one-on-one. I don't usually do large groups and I prefer it that way. I'm never stuck hanging out with people I don't want to see that way.

However, I became the fun-food friend. Anytime someone wanted to try a new chocolate beer, or burger joint, or dessert shop, I'd be the one to call. While my individual friends were having a once-in-a-while splurge. I would be splurging many nights a week. I'd go out drinking, get the fruitiest cocktail I could find, and completely ignore the fact that there was a high chance I was consuming hundreds of calories of alcohol etc. I'd be the first to suggest we split an order of fries and be proud of myself for not eating it all by myself. I was living with someone whose favorite foods were mac and cheese, chicken fingers, grilled cheese and french fries and so we'd frequent joints that had those foods. Also known as restaurants that don't have the best healthy selections. And even if they DID have solid healthy choices, I just wouldn't make them.

Food was fun. Eating was fun. Drinking was fun. Partying was fun.

When I finally decided I was going to do this lose-weight thing for real, I was shocked at how much my friends were tempting me. Now, this is far from their fault. But we'd go to restaurants and a friend would be like "Hey, let's split an order of fries!" And I would feel terrible saying no. I set up this expectation for myself. I am supposed to be fun. And I wasn't anymore.

Bud lights instead of Long Island Ice Teas? Really? Salads instead of burgers? Really? Fruit instead of chocolate? Really??

Could I be fun without food?

I am not sure when it became easier. I think once I'd started losing visible amounts of poundage, people started piecing together what was going on. I'd start suggesting non-food related activities that were also fun, and non fat! Walks in the parks, Broadway shows, boardgame nights.

Eventually my friends started to realize that well... no. I would not split the fries anymore. Maybe I'd take one or two, but that was it. And so my relationships changed. People started respecting my journey and my choices. And when they could see the pay-off. They changed into either silent observers, or cheerleaders. Both totally respectable choices.

I was on the journey for me. And my friends rose to the occasion and changed with me. Allowed our friendship to change and for me to step down from my Fun Food Friend position. And instead just be a friend.

This is not to say I am completely perfect in my diet and that I don't indulge with friends. But my friensd no longer see me as the go-to person for gluttony and debauchery. In fact, the opposite. "Hey Anna, let's try this new vegan place!" "Hey Anna, walk in Central Park?" "Hey Anna, let's go get some new clothes!"

And I really appreciate my friends for changing with me. I didn't realize when I started this journey that it wouldn't be JUST ME my diet would effect. But every single interpersonal relationship I have. And that's a lot to ask of my frienships.

So thank you.

And thank you, Emily, for helping me think this through!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Strange Feeling

So I've sort of been seeing a boy. I hesitate to say too much here since I'm not totally sure what the deal is. We've been seeing eachother pretty consistently over the past month or so. Again, I always am surprised as to how different my body feels next to someone else these days. It's when I become the most aware of much less space I take up and almost how it's EASIER to be comfortable in your skin.

This is not to say I was uncomfortable before. I was actually pretty confident and happy. My size never bothered me until I tried to diet. And then I would become overly critical of every part of myself. It would be difficult to look in the mirror because I would suddenly be aware of every flaw. However now, of course I'm still working and there is time/energy to be spent on dieting, I am not critical of myself or my body much at all. It's much easier to just focus on the goal and keep going.

But not to get sidetracked. This weekend, when said boy and I were hanging out he propopsed we become Facebook friends. So we added eachother right then and there. And then he wanted to look at pictures. So we went through his first, and then we went through mine. And as the pictures got further and further back in time, I started getting a little stressed out about what he was seeing. I never really thought about it before, but my weight is EASILY and READILY trackable. And also something I have not discussed with this boy. I started feeling embarrassed. Of myself. Something I'd never felt before and something I HATED feeling.

Why would I feel embarrassed and not proud? I've come so far. That's awesome, right? I have not changed as a human, I'm still the same person I was when I was 65 (well--64) pounds heavier. I've just made changes. I'm a little angry at myself for the way I felt.

I didn't really talk specifically about this with Christine, but I told her some about the boy and she asked me how it felt to be dating this boy. And the truth is, I never really had trouble getting dates before. I just think that who I'm going out with has changed. And while before I'd be going on dates with bigger guys (for the most part), now thinner fitter people are finding me attractive. And before I would probably think it was weird for a thinner guy to be chasing me, now I'm not skeptical of it. What's interesting now, is the bigger guys aren't really going for me so much anymore. How little they know.

I don't know if I need to 'come out' as being a Prior Fat Girl. It's probably something he can piece together on his own, and while it's a big deal for me and still a huge part of my every day life, I don't know if it's something I need to share with him right now.

And, as promised, here are a couple up to date pictures of me. I wore the t-shirts especially for you.
Cupcakes Are Evil
I'm a PriorFatGirl. What are you?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Perhaps you've been noting how "average" I feel. I walk down the street and I feel average. I fit into subway seats like an average person. I think if you met me for the first time you wouldn't guess that I've lost 60+ lbs in the past year. You'd guess I was average and have probably sat comfortably at this weight for my adult life.

While that's not true, I do feel like I've hit somewhere nice. I'm fitting into normally sized clothing, I can even share clothes with some of my roommates -- something I never thought would happen. I'm dating and I feel like my size is not a factor. I did some online dating and in the past I felt like I NEEDED to have them friend me on Facebook before we met in the event that my pictures were misleading. My biggest fear was that I'd show up and they'd look at me and be immediately disappointed. I don't worry about this at all anymore.

I went to Christine and I had gained a pound. Not a big deal and if I've learned anything, it's not to beat yourself up, but just to regroup and push forward. If I dwell, I quit. But Christine and I was talking and she said that this happens a lot. People hit a weight where they feel good and comfortable and even if the UTIMATE goal is not reached, people stall for a bit. They want that extra beer, they want that cookie. I do not feel like I'm overdoing anything. I just am giving into temptation a little more than I had been.

The truth is, as irrelevant as I'm sure BMI is, I'd LOVE to get into the "normal" range. The "healthy" range. And that's about ten pounds away. Once I hit that, I feel like I can regroup and settle on a goal that makes sense for me and my body.

I do think though that I really need to focus though. Not get too comfortable. Not get too lazy. Not get too into old habbits. I bought a food journal and am going to do my best to track the food/beverages I consume. I think a big part of it is just sitting in my kitchen eating peanut butter with a spoon. And I think if I start tracking all of that, I'll start figuring out patterns. Also I'm more accountable to myself. Odds are this trend won't last long, but let's hope.

Also I need to branch out my bar choices. I am getting sick of Bud Light but that's the only drink that feels "safe" for me. Do you guys have any low-calorie drinks/beers that you gravitate towards?

Friday, September 16, 2011

When are you done?

Now, before I get started I want to be clear that I know I'm never done. I know that this is a journey and a struggle that, if I plan on maintaining, will be a significant part of my relationship with food for the rest of my life.

I know that in my head.

But part of me watches my roommates, my coworkers, all trim young women who can eat a cookie, or chips and guac, or a slice of pizza and not have a meltdown. It doesn't have to be a big decision, they don't have to think about what they're eating for dinner, when the last time they had a dessert was, or anything like that. They just allow themselves to eat fun food.

Granted, this is the only context I see them in. They could live at the gym (which I certainly do not), they could eat raw broccoli for the rest of the day (again, not a regular habbit of mine) but just the fact that they seem to so effortlessly eat foods that I have to really mind myself around, makes me jealous.

Why them? Why not me?

When will I be a petite young thang who can scarf down pizza and brownies and still fit into my size 4 skinny jeans?

I've been having issues this week. There has been a lot of sweets around (mostly the office ... but not exclusively) and I have been consuming them. Just because I want to. And not even because it's THAT GOOD. They had apple pie for someone's birthday... it was not fresh, it was not warm, it was not great. But I ate it. A la mode.

My roommate and I went to a vegan restaurant and she wanted a dessert so we picked a CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER cake. (1. A bad choice anyway and 2. Wasn't even all that great.) Yet we scarfed down the whole thing.

These are old-Anna habits. They feel so so so familiar. Almost comfortable. And at this point I look more or less average. I don't think people look at me and see a fat girl anymore. I fit into normal size clothes at normal sized stores. And I want to eat like a normal person. I want to be able to have a burger and fries.

But I can't. And I just have to come to grips with this, I think. That I am NOT normal in my eating. That's how I became an OBESE twenty-something. And because of that, I will never eat like a normal person. I fought to get thinner... why stop the fight?

I guess I just realized that it will take a lot more time and work for my eating to become easier.

Does this make any sense? I'm probably just rambling at this point. I just know I have to start saying "no" to office foods and that is bumming me out. Yet for the past ... 10 months or whatever, I've been doing nothing but saying "no" to foods. Why is it so much harder all of a sudden?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I am sleep deprived and cranky.

There was chocolate cake at work. I ate about half a piece before I realized that I was using food to cheer me up. Not to say the chocolate cake wasn't delicious on it's own (because ... it seriously was), but I usually have enough will power to say no. Or to really only serve myself a taste.

Old habits die hard? Any advice you guys have on not eating to make yourself feel better? Because seriously all I want to do right now is order a big honking portion of Ethiopian food, watch Mulan and go to sleep.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What are you doing?

My mom's side of the family had a reunion a couple of weeks ago (during Hurricane Irene, in fact!). Due to the entire city shutting down, only the real hardcore (ie. my not-so-far-extended family) made it to my uncle's apartment for a makeshift potluck. The restaurant we had planned to attend shut down.

My immediate family, of course, has been a witness to my whole journey. And sometimes an overly-active participant. My extended family, I see at large family events (weddings, funerals, births, bar/bat mitzvahs). The last time I saw them was in Brazil in May 2010 at my uncle's wedding. In fact, the "Before" picture of me on the right is from that trip. One of my uncles came to pick me up from my apartment and he hardly recognized me. My aunts all gushed and gushed about how brilliant I looked. We talked about losing weight and mommy-issues and everything that ensued.

I felt more on the spot than anything else, but I am always reassured to learn that EVERYONE has weight issues.

One of my aunts pulled me aside and said, "Anna, seriously, what is your secret?" I have an answer that I use to get out of situations like this. Most people don't actually want the long winded answer. I replied "I eat less." She was unsatisfied. "I mean, there's gotta be something you're doing that's not just eating carrots and rice cakes." And I wasn't quite sure how to answer. I laid out my diet plan in excruciating detail in the first post I ever made on this blog. I hardly follow that to a T. And, actually, I think the success I had is just knowing how much I can eat, what is the better choice of food and knowing when I eat a lot so I can compensate in other ways.

The trick is to not punish myself, but just acknowledge and move forward. The trick is to plan. The trick is to love yourself. The trick is to get to a place where losing weight is what you want. I don't even know the transformation that has to have happened in me in order for this go-around to be successful. I don't have words for it, or enough self-awareness to totally understand it. But it must have happened, and as I keep going will probably clarify itself and change and grow inside of me.

How do you explain something you don't even understand? How did I do it? I decided to.

This reunion was tricky in other ways. I was struggling through my first big, overwhelming, seemingly never-ending plateau. Christine doesn't really believe in plateaus. I'm not sure I disagree with her. I think that during my unemployment, my eating changed. Food became a large part of my day. I lost routine. I lost balance. I lost money and options. To have everyone flipping out over how good I looked when I felt like I'd lost my footing was hard. I've come a long way, the end is in sight, but I still have a ways to go. It's hard to get so much positive feedback when you feel so lost.

I'm back though. I'm preparing lunches, I'm cooking dinners. I joined the gym. I'm planning snacks for when I know I'm going to need them. I feel like I know what I'm doing again. And, lo and behold, have started losing weight again.

Christine even asked me if we should only see each other every other week. I'm not quite ready to release my grip on my safety blanket just yet, but it felt good to know that she thought I was ready to graduate.

That said, I am looking for recipes that freeze well that I can bring for lunches at work. Any suggestions? That chicken chili was great but I don't know that just making that every week is a lasting solution! Or quick lunches that are easy to make/bring to work. I really don't have time for elaborate fixings in the morning, but I feel like bringing lunch is the cheap/healthy thing to do. Help!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Good day!

Yesterday, I decided to get everything done that I needed to get done. It was remarkably fruitful and effective! I even surprised myself. I dropped off some electronics for my parents, picked up my knitting needles (essential), reactivated my gym membership, bought 7/$25 Victoria's Secret underwear, got a manicure/pedicure, tried to get my boots repaired (the place was closed!), went to the gym and cooked dinner.

My gym had upgraded the equipment since I'd been there last. They had this new system set up where you can track your workouts online and set up playlists and everything. It is so freaking cool. I also really impressed myself at the gym yesterday. I've decided that a comfortable jog for me at this place in my fitness is about a 4.5 on the treadmill. A 4 is a fast-walk for me and a 5 is a RUN. So 4.5 feels like a nice jog. I just felt like running and wanted to see how far I could get. I started to get really tired at around 1.5 miles, but I really really wanted to hit 2 miles. And after a lot of mental games, I did. I got off the treadmill feeling like my legs were going to fall off. I'm still sore today. I logged onto that gym thing online and while it recorded the run, it said I burned 8 calories... Now, I can tell you for sure, that's a lie!

Though something I wanted to bring up here! I had a Clif bar before going to the gym so I'd have the energy to get through the workout. A Clif bar is 240 calories and (according to the treadmill) I burned about 208 calories... Is there something wrong with that math? What do you guys think? How do you fuel yourselves for workouts? Did I make my workout moot by having that Clif bar??

I came home, showered, and started on the white bean chicken chili.

It was so delicious. My roommate ended up having to work late so I cooked it all myself and had it ready for when she got home. What a good wifey.

I am the biggest spaz about cutting onions. I don't know if I'm more sensitive to it, but I can hardly be in a room when someone else is cutting one. And due to the fact that I was the only one in the apartment, I had to cut the onion. No one to pawn it off on. Otherwise there would be no onion. And, of course, the onion was the first item to put in! I couldn't even wait for my roommate to get home and toss it in at the end.

So I just did it. I probably ran out of the kitchen every 30 seconds. But after about 20 minutes (hahaha) the onion was chopped. I should have taken a picture. I was very proud of my accomplishment. After prepping all my ingredients to throw in, I started a'cookin.

Here's the recipe again:

And here's a picture of the final product:
My roommate's cousin also ended up coming over and she got seconds! The cheese on top really adds so much to the dish. By the end we were just spooning Parmesan into our mouths. Classy classy ladies. My roommate works for Origins and so we did face masks after! How beautiful am I? 

Happy Labor Day, everyone! Hope you're all enjoying the long weekend.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Scale

I know everyone has a totally different relationship to their scales. My mother, for instance, gets on the scale every day at least twice. Beginning of the day and end of the day. She will bemoan every single ounce gained and celebrate every ounce lost. In fact, in the apartment I grew up in, the scale is directly in front of the bathroom sink. Totally unavoidable. You practically have to step on it to wash your hands. My father, on the other hand, only steps on it when my mother tells him to.

When I'm at my parent's apartment, the temptation to step on the scale is too great. My days revolve around running to their bathroom to see how much I've gained or lost. That's an exaggeration, but it's not uncommon that I would weigh myself 4-5 times a day.

At my old apartment, we didn't have a scale. I was okay with ignoring my weight for the most part and then just checking in once in a while at a doctor's appointment or at my parent's apartment. When I started losing weight, I would weigh in once a week with Christine. And for months and months and months I could count on the facts that I was 1) sticking with the diet and 2) going to lose weight. Once I hit 60lbs down, losing weight became far more difficult and unreliable.

I was supposed to see Christine last week, but due to the hurricane, she couldn't get into the city from Vermont and this week she took off because of Labor Day. After two weeks of not weighing myself and not OVERDOING it, but not completely sticking to my diet to a T... I was going crazy. Every part of my body seemed to be getting bigger and I started panicking that I was eating my way back into unhealthiness. Every choice I was making to drink a beer or to have a bite of chocolate was stressing me out. Again, I didn't think I was making outrageous choices, but this simple fact of not knowing what I weighed was freaking me out.

Despite the fact that this kind of thinking is probably not vaguely healthy, I knew what I had to do. I wandered down to my parents apartment. Took off my jeans. Stepped on the scale.

And, of course, I weighed about what I've been weighing if not a little less. But the fact that I went 40 blocks out of my way just to know that made me question how far I am on my journey. I also wonder if I should buy a scale or if that would make me even more weird/obsessive. I can usually count on Christine weighing me once a week and going on my third week of no Christine is not a situation I usually deal with. But Christine will not always be there. And is supposed to be a tool, not a crutch.

However, I did manage to be on my own and not put on any weight. That's a success right? Should I be celebrating this?

On a different note, I'm making this DELICIOUS chicken chili recipe for dinner tonight for some roommate bonding. I highly recommend. It's also a really good weekend dish to cook up and then package away for work lunches. Seriously, it's so good. Eat it.

Also I know I owe you all a 60lbs down picture. It's coming soon! Do not fear. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Baking Galore!

I don't know why, but all I want is cookies. Seriously. I thought at first the craving was just to bake, so I made a batch of them for my office (only actually consumed one during that process). But somehow that didn't quite do the trick. I then decided that if I was going to make these cookies, they better at least try and vaguely resemble something not totally fattening. And I found the most delicious recipe.

I guess I hesitate to share it with you because I'm not sure that they're actually HEALTHY so much as healthIER. But I guess this is a better option if you (like me) are seriously craving cookies.

Here is the recipe from BakingBites.
We did face Hurricane Irene! I wanted cookies! Also, I hoarded up on bananas because that seemed like a solid option if we were facing the most horrible hurricane (as Irene was promised to be). However this week, I found that I had three unappealingly browning bananas sitting on my shelf. I decided to hop on that and bake some banana bread. I found another low fat recipe. Or, again, lowER fat. And it was totally delicious. All in I probably only had one slice. I brought about half the loaf in to work and my roommates finished the rest. It was a really fun project though.

Here is the recipe from Laura Rebecca's Kitchen. It's a really really simple recipe and is not jazzed up with nuts or chocolate, but the result is moist and delicious.

I don't have a working scale at home. Christine is was hurricaned out and then on vacation this week, and I'm a little nervous for the result. I've been concious of the food I'm making but (maybe clearly?) am not making the best decisions. I've been packing lunch, but I've also been drinking far more than usual. I don't know if this is what goes along with a new job...
The worst is my coworkers and I all made plans to go out for drinks at 8pm this week. I was really grateful that they all extended their welcome to me and was SO excited to go out. I knew I'd be drinking so planned my day accordingly. I rushed home and made myself a DELICIOUS goat cheese omlette with an English muffin. However, I get to the restaurant/bar and I realize they're ALL ordering dinner. I tense up and don't want to seem like the weirdo new girl. Going through the menu I admitted I'd never had fried green tomatos and the girls all INSISTED I  try them (and thereby getting the fried green tomato flatbread). Which was probably more like an individual pesto pizza with fried green tomatos on top. Nowhere close to the diet I'm supposed to be on.

And I eat the whole thing. I wanted to go out with my coworkers and have a good time and not make it about me and my weight! But I need to do that, right? Right?? I think so.

I'm getting complacent with my weight. I'm officially 60 pounds thinner than when I started this journey (or at least was the last time I saw Christine). At work, a whole bunch of the security guards have little crushes on me and are constantly going out of their way to help me. I'm not going to jynx myself but I went on two dates with a very nice boy who is cute and normal and attractive. And I kind of don't feel like obsessing over my weight anymore.

However. I'm 20lbs away from my original goal. I'm starting to think more and more that maybe 10lbs and I'll be happy. I already think I look really good. People don't recognize me who haven't seen me in a while (which is unsatisfyingly flattering). I need to find the will within myself to push through. I think it's hard not seeing Christine for so many weeks. Also having no concept of my weight is both a little relieving and nerve wracking all at the same time. I should probably check it out and see if I'm actually vaguely following my diet or if I've strayed as much as I fear.