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: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/white-bean-and-chicken-chili-recipe/index.html

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.