Friday, November 9, 2012

Off the Wagon

As of this morning I am up 6lbs from my lowest maintained weight. Considering how difficult it was to lose them it's a little appalling how easy it is to come back.

You know it's bad news when weight loss bloggers disappear. 

I have a lot that I want to blame. 


Not fair. The fact is. Once I got off... I wanted to stay off. I missed the foods I'd prided myself on staying away from. Fried foods (REALLY!?) back in the picture. Chocolate (excessively) back in the picture. 

I've prided on myself on turning a healthy leaf and it is all too clear to me how easy it is to flip back.

I think Weight Watchers is not for me. I really can't put my finger on it, but I really really really think it allows too much freedom for me. The bottom line is I need to NOT eat certain foods except in EXTREME moderation. Once I'm "allowed" everything, I flip.

I'm not better yet. I'm not back on the wagon yet.

I did show up to work armed.

Armed with strawberries, a bar, a grapefruit, steamed veggies, and a frozen meal. Disappointed. Yes. Distressed. Yes. Scared that the light that turned off will STAY off. Yes.

What I'm trying to remind myself is when I started this whole shebang ... the light was off. There is a way to force the light on and I've done it before. HOW? I am not sure, but the fact is, I have done it.

Christine says it's hard to force people to get motivated. 

What is my motivation? 
Health is kind of intangible ... and honestly my health hasn't significantly improved with the tens of pounds lost. 
I feel like at this point my weight and happiness are not super tied together. Why I am happy or unhappy is separate from my weight. I think.
Friends? I have friends! They don't judge?
Clothes? Material girl I'm not though I would find it distressing to stop fitting into my clothing.

Does anyone have advice? How do you force yourself away from the fat and onto the wagon?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Inner Fat Girl

I read this little open letter the other day and it got me thinking:

I think if you didn't know my story and we met on the street, I'd look about average weight. Maybe on the curvier end of average, but I don't think my weight would stand out particularly. My frizzy hair, my big lips, my chipping nail polish are likely more distracting than my size 8 pants and medium shirt. However, whenever I see an overweight woman, I feel as though she is my kindred spirit. Especially if she's exercising or eating a salad -- dressing on the side. But even not.

When I see overweight people trying to change their habits to become healthier, I have a great sense of oneness with them. Me too! Me too! I think. Let's do this together. How about you read my blog? Do you have one? I hate jogging... maybe we can run the reservoir together. We don't need to talk (I can't run and talk at the same time) but we can just BE together. We can do this TOGETHER. 

And then I think if some size 8 chica with a medium shirt was sitting across from me 70lbs ago, I probably would think something like: "Her. I'm not asking to be THIN or SKINNY. I just want to look normal. Like her. Why is it so easy for some people? Why not me?"

That size 8 girl would not be on my team. She would not be in my CLUB. She has it EASY.

But then there's the question of my inner fat girl. Do I lose her? Probably never completely. Probably lessens with time. Do I have it easy? Did I make it easy? It still feels hard sometimes. Is my inner fat girl allowed to be friends with their inner fat girl? Or is my membership revoked? How does this work? Or is the point to GET RID of my inner fat girl. Make her no part of me anymore.

I'm different (am I?)! I've changed (have I?)!


In the past (even like ... 2 months ago), if I got into a situation where I was eating poorly, I would simply take a step back the next day and try and compensate to the best of my ability. If pizza was for dinner then ... fine. I'd do pizza and a light beer and call it done. Next day: eggs, salad, whatever. And then I figured most of the damage was reversed.

I should be clear: I actually think that way of eating/compensating is healthy. I was not WAY overdoing anything and moderation is the key to weight loss success. Skinny people overeat (I know I say this constantly... but it's true). Skinny people don't get caught up in negative spirals of self-hate and punishment and lash out by negating efforts and stuffing themselves from that point out. Anyway, that's beside the point. 

Weight Watchers is teaching me to be even more moderate than I was being before. If I know I'm going to be in a situation where food is going to be a hard choice. I can plan for it. Salads and fruit that day. My boyfriend really wanted a bbq pulled chicken sandwich. In the past I would've said, "Special treat. Special night. Back on track tomorrow." Weight Watchers allows me to sit back and say, alright. Pulled chicken - 5 points, bun - 4 points, BBQ sauce - 3 points, beer in sauce - 2 points. 14 point sandwich. How do I treat the rest of my day accordingly? So that even when I want to splurge, I don't have to go off my diet to do it. I can eat a 26 point day while having a 14 point sandwich.

I'm a solid planner. I feel like I've been a fairly good planner throughout this process. So Weight Watchers allows me to plan for splurges even better than I did before. Also, I know this speaks for itself, but being OPEN about dieting and Weight Watchers has been really useful for me. I am trying to lose weight. I am counting points and so yes, we can get brunch but then we have to get salad or eggs for dinner. That's that. I've found that people respect that but have a harder time accepting your eating choices when they don't know WHY. Like oh no, we can't go to the pizza place or the Thai place or the Chinese place etc etc etc. Last night, I was at dinner with a friend and said I only have 6 points left so we have to get creative about dinner. She understood. I got poached eggs. Everyone was happy. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Calorie is not a Calorie?

I thought this was an interesting article on calories.

I don't totally understand what it all means. It also seems like we usually OVERESTIMATE calories which is not really a big problem in the great scheme of things. Considering so many Americans are overweight anyway if they WERE trying to calculate calories isn't it better to overestimate. 

I don't know.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Scared of Skinny

So I'm doing Weight Watchers, yes? Presumably to lose weight, yes?

I have been a little lax-er this week with my diet. Actually consuming some of my Flex points of whatever they call them these days. WW gives you an extra 49 points a week to use (or not) at will.

Step on the scale this morning and see the lowest weight I've seen in recent memory. And instead of feeling happy about it, I sort of panicked. I don't really know why. Maybe I'm used to being this weight by now? Maybe I didn't think it would actually happen and now that it's happening I am not sure how to process it?

But... just keep chugging right? I guess I'm still trying to understand and I think I'm still a little un-clearly panicky.

Weird, right?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Anna Watches Her Weight

Yesterday I went back to Weight Watchers with my father. He lost 3.8lbs and I lost 3.2. Quite a lot for one week. I have an unfair advantage though as I was just about to get my time-of-the-month last week. But nothing like a little extra boost. I stepped on my scale this morning and saw a weight I haven't seen since March. Nice to feel like the changes I'm making are working.

What's the difference? Honestly, portion control. I have trained myself to eat in a very healthy manner. I go gaga at the farmer's market. I broil fish and eat peaches like it's my job. And I seriously enjoy doing it. Of course, I have a penchant for unhealthy foods. I love chocolate. I can eat a jar of peanut butter in a couple days. I like fried things. I like greasy things. But I'm fairly comfortable repressing all that at this point and keeping the unhealthy choices as SOMETIMES. There does seem to be just plain eating too much and I think that's what Weight Watchers is helping me reassess. A cup of pasta... 1/5 of my daily intake is NOT a lot of pasta. Also Weight Watchers puts an incredible emphasis on fruit and vegetables. So now, if I want to snack, I'm grabbing a grapefruit or orange instead of a Luna Bar (5 points). 

I'm shocked how quickly I can burn through points. I'm also shocked that I'm allowed unlimited fruits and vegetables (more or less). 

I first joined Weight Watchers in the seventh grade. They had a branch a couple blocks from my apartment. I remember my mom calling and seeing if a 12 year old was allowed to join. I was (I wonder if that's still true). Crazy that that's half my life ago now. What a long struggle this has been. I actually really enjoyed going to meetings. I was kind of the mascot of the group. I think the ladies liked having a kid around. My mom would accompany me to meetings. Sometimes I'd bring random friends from school to sit in with me. Weight Watchers was a social event. 

I don't quite remember when I stopped. Probably got busy with school. Went to summer camp. Was in a play. Didn't have time for it. Didn't have the focus for it. 

I joined again in high school. This time without my mother. This time with a growing despair; a growing unhappiness towards my body. It didn't stick. I'd lose weight and be really into the program but the SECOND I reached a hiccup it would be Armageddon. I'd grow resentful, unhappy, unfocused and lose energy and motivation. 

I joined a second time in high school. This time with a friend of mine. Same story. Initial interest, eventual dissipation. Every time I'd swear this was it. This was the time I was going to lose all the weight. My friend would put olive oil on her chicken to grill it and I'd insist she count the points for the oil. She got annoyed with me, I got annoyed with her. We stopped going.

I joined a third time in high school. This time with my father. My dad is like me except has a longer attention span. My dad when he sets his mind to something follows through 100%. It's insane. I don't think at this point I was ready to be back. It was pressure from home. An over involvement of my family and my desire to appease everyone. I stopped going. My dad kept going. Unintentionally shaming me. My dad lost around 30lbs, looked svelte. I was still fat. Still unsuccessful. 

Off to college.

True to form, I gained my freshman 15. I tried a different diet, lost 40lbs. Gained 40lbs somewhere in my junior year. Senior year I decided I would try to lose weight again. I signed up for Weight Watchers online. And guiltily kept paying for it far longer than I was using it. I'm not even sure I really did much toward it. I remember my boyfriend at the time was on my computer when I got an email update from them and I felt so humiliated. How could he know I was trying to lose weight? I'm sure he didn't think twice about it. But, years later, I remember that horrific moment.

After graduating I started an incredibly emotionally taxing and stressful job where I gained another 15 pounds. My "before" picture to the right is a pretty solid example of that time. I was big. I felt big. Not unattractive, but a large person. My BMI was close to 38 (keep in mind "obese" is a BMI of 30, "healthy" is below 25 -- I was farther away from "overweight" than a borderline "obese" person was from "healthy"). I joined Weight Watchers again, encouraged by a wonderful coworker. I went to a few meetings. I halfheartedly kept open on my browser. I tracked sometimes. Eventually, again, I stopped. Weight Watchers was not for me, I ultimately concluded. Clearly I was no good at this. No attention for this. And this would NOT be where I would lose my weight.

Finally found a new job. An incredibly boring job. A three person office for a job that one efficient person could do part-time. Around the same time I got a call from my internist (who I had tried to forcibly remove from my weight) with Christine's name and phone number. 

Christine is amazing. Simply amazing. I'm not totally sure how she got through to me but considering we're approaching our two year anniversary, she's done incredibly well. I've dropped (from her last calculation) 69lbs. I try to be a healthy person. I am trying to renegotiate all the relationships in my life (both with myself, food and inter-personally). And then I hit a bump. I don't know if it's fair to call it a plateau because I think I was eating to sustain my weight. I was eating to maintain and I really had trouble imagining cutting out food. So I sit within 10lbs for a year. I honestly don't think I was significantly heavier than I am right now a year ago. maybe 6-8lbs? 

And so finally, it's time to try something new. My Google Reader is FILLED with blogs of people trying to be healthy and/or lose weight. Chock full of them. A really resonant strand is Weight Watchers. So many of the people I follow use Weight Watchers to help them achieve their goal. And I have focus now. It's taken a lot to get me down to this weight. I have a degree of motivation (my stronger motivation will always be to not feel deprived/hungry). And I finally thought that maybe this was it. Maybe Weight Watchers could help me now. Maybe it was not right in the past but it is now.

My father needs to lose weight. He's getting older, it's putting stress on his body. He'll be healthier thinner. That's fact. He just needs a push in the right direction. A roll down the hill to get him on the band wagon again. I figured even if I decided Weight Watcher wasn't for me, at least it would be a good thing to get my dad on the program.

A while back I found the weigh in book from the first time I ever went to Weight Watchers. My starting weight was somewhere around 127 pounds. I continue to be depressed that I saw myself as needing to change my body. That I managed to gain almost 100lbs since the first time I conceived of myself as overweight. 127 isn't even my GOAL weight at this point. I don't think I'll ever be 127lbs again and that is just peachy. I just wish my 12 year old self had a clue.

I'm feeling really happy and comfortable in Weight Watchers (for the one week I've been on it --- stay tuned as always). My boyfriend helps me tally points at the end of the night. I reach out to friends/coworkers for support. It's not a humiliating act. It's not a negative act. I feel REALLY good about where my body is at this point in time and I also feel really good about the changes and mindfulness that are accompanying it. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weight Watchers

So I did it.

For the BILLIONTH time in my life, I joined Weight Watchers. Went to my first meeting on Wednesday were a buff middle-aged gay man named Roger lectured us on which alcoholic beverages were points-friendly and where to get the most bang for your buck. I've long since given up heavy drinking (except on my birthday -- so sue me!). But it was still nice to feel like there were other people surviving on light beer and vodka sodas. I don't usually like meetings (this is from the 10000000 times I've joined Weight Watchers), but it's probably good for accountability.

And so far, I'm liking the plan. I have the minimum number of points they assign which at first I was thrilled about. CHECK IT OUT WORLD, I'M SO SKINNY! But the following day was a harsh reality check. WTF!? 4 points in a fat free YOGURT? I can't eat ANYTHING! Though now I've figured out a sort of balance. Basically they give you all fruit and most veggies for 0 points. SO... anytime I get hungry, I snack on that. Christine used to warn me about overdoing it on fruit but I'm putting that out of my head now since I feel like my eating/portions have been severely restricted.

One of my coworkers who used to be on Weight Watchers said to just think of it as a game. Think of the math and points etc as fun. Now I would not go so far as to say I'm having a BLAST here but there is something satisfying about having a concrete goal. I also am not ashamed about it? Is that weird? I feel like formerly I was embarrassed for needing to/trying to lose weight. It would be my secret. Now that I'm thinner I find it easier to be open about my weight loss goals. I'm not sure why that is exactly.

It's also really nice to do it with my dad. He's so anal that it lets me do a little less work because if I get dinner with him, he calculates everything. (It got to the point where he was looking up points values for Pam... I was like... Dad that's nothing. Don't worry!) I feel thinner already though most of that is probably taking off the little bit I put on over the past few weeks. Though that's nothing to scoff at either. I see Christine tomorrow so I'll get a better sense of how this is all going for me then.

But I'm feeling happy and balanced. Usually when I diet TOO seriously I get fed up and eat a ton. Weight Watchers is nice in that nothing is severely off limits. And any diet where I'm allowed unlimited fruit (within reason) is probably a good match for me. I even managed to cook a baby-versary dinner for my boyfriend (9 months... but why not celebrate?) consisting of pesto and chocolate covered strawberries and only went 2 points into my reserve bank. I think he's sort of sickly fascinated by Weight Watchers too and laughs trying to calculate the amount of points he eats in a day (like... double mine... at least... stupid young male metabolism).

So here's to Weight Watchers and taking off the last 10-15lbs. Still working on it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Pull Back Dieting

I'm sorry. It's been close to a month.

I've started countless entries but I either get interrupted midway or I just can't find the words to express where I'm at right now.

Last Monday I saw Christine and had somewhat of a rude awakening. I'd gained weight. Nothing drastic, but still an awakening. I was up about 5lbs from my lowest weight (keeping in mind I never maintained my lowest weight) and 3lbs up from where I was maintaining pretty consistently. I know I'd been lazy and lax but honestly, after two years of dieting (well... almost anyway... I started seeing Christine in October of 2010), I'm kind of sick of it. I want to go out and get drinks and have some fries and a burger sometimes. I just DO.

I sat in Christine's office and I said that I forgot what I was doing. I forgot I was trying to get healthy. I allowed myself to be an emotional eater -- something that when I was heavier I used to brag about not being. "I don't soothe my soul with food... I just like eating!" but somehow my relationship with food has changed. Somehow now, food is a comfort, when I never saw it as such before. It could be that I overate so consistently that I just didn't connect overeating with comfort. It wasn't particularly different from my 'normal' eating patterns.

Christine said, "Let's try something. For 7 days I tell you what to eat for a change." Usually Christine gives you guidelines and suggestions/hints but at the end of the day I'm telling her what I ate. Time to flip it.

She gave me something called the Pull Back Dieting Plan. Looking at it feels kind of atrocious, honestly. But today, as I'm into day 4, I'm actually finding it pretty reasonable. I'll outline it for you here (pick one food from each line).

  • 1 egg; 2 eggwhites; 1 oz cheese; 2/3 cup cottage cheese; 2 slices fat free cheese
  • 1 apple; 1 orange; 1/2 grapefruit; cup of berries; peach
Snack (optional)
  • 1/2 cup FiberOne original
  • 1 can water-packed tuna; 1 cup cottage cheese; 6oz broiled fish; 4oz roast beef; 6 shrimp; turkey burger; veggie burger
  • Salad with 2T fat free dressing with any veggies except peas, corn, beans or beets
  • Fruit
  •  2 pineapple rings; 4 prunes; apple; small banana; Luna bar; fat free yogurt
  • 6oz hamburger; 6oz fillet mignon; 8 shrimp; 8 medium scallops; 6oz fish; 1 chicken breast; 1 chicken leg/thigh (no skin)
  • 1 small baked potato; 1 cob of corn; 1 cup of peas; 2/3 cup rice; small dinner roll; English muffin
  • Salad (see above)
  • Broccoli; cauliflower; asparagus
Bedtime (optional)
  • 1 diet hot cocoa; 1 fat free yogurt; 1 cup skim milk; 1 WW fudge bar; fruit; 100 calorie popcorn; VitaMuffin Top 
And there it is. Does that seem difficult to anyone but me? You're actually eating pretty frequently throughout the day. Most of it is pretty natural/fresh which I like. I think this would be hard to do in the winter because I NEVER want to eat salad in the winter. The great thing about doing this though is I don't have to stress about choices. I can say no easier because I can tell everybody in my life that I'm on a strict diet this week... and no one pushes me. It also allows me to not think about food. I can only pick and choose from this list. No exceptions. And it's so short lived that I feel like I can do this.

I've added a coffee in the morning because it helps me feel full (and I have it on good authority it will only make me as fat as the milk I put in it).

I'm feeling more focused and centered about my diet than I have before. I had a party at the farmer's market yesterday and I just sauteed up some tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash for lunch with some broiled fish. Delightful.

The troubling part of this all though is the SECOND I left Christine's office on Monday I started STUFFING MY FACE. In a real and seemingly destructive way. I remember even thinking that "Look at you sabotaging yourself..." but did not want to adjust my behavior. I bought a muffin and ate the whole thing even though I wasn't hungry. I got yogurt (full fat) with granola and fruit and honey. I got a sandwich with PESTO and CHEESE (LORD HAVE MERCY), I got a salad with a creamy dressing, I got a brownie, I got Ethiopian food and ate more than my share of it. All in one day. Probably pick any one of these by itself and it's not so bad (not so great either). I got on my scale that night and saw a number I had not seen in... a year?

I will not beat myself up about it. Instead, I will pull back. I will remember that there are more important things and that my body, health and well being should always top that list. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Global Fat Scale

The BBC has this fun little Global Fat Scale Calculator where you put in your height/weight/gender/age/location and it tells you how you stack up against populations around the world.

My results:

Your numbers

Obesity Index
BMI is an estimate of how "overweight" or "obese" a person is
Below average
You have a lower BMI than59% of females aged 15-29in your country
Above average
You have a higher BMI than81% of females aged 15-29in the world

You know... at first I was like ... wow. Globally I'm still a fatty.

And then I plugged in my "before" weight and I'm feeling pretty good.

Your numbers

Obesity Index
BMI is an estimate of how "overweight" or "obese" a person is
Above average
You have a higher BMI than98% of females aged 15-29in your country
Above average
You have a higher BMI than100% of females aged 15-29in the world

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Are you tired of eating?

I'm feeling better.

Since my realization that my non-dieting wasn't working out, I've tried to be more mindful. I've been bringing lunches (lazy lunches ie blueberries, cottage cheese, hard boiled egg -- but still!). I'm trying to cut carbs out of one meal a day (has been lunch so far). I've chosen salads, dressing on the side. I'm feeling good about it. I think maybe it was important for my psyche to relax a little bit. I mean almost 1.5 years of DIETING is exhausting and then when you stop seeing results it starts feeling futile (of course it's not futile... I am much much thinner than I ever thought I'd be). But now it's time to get in gear again, to make smart choices.

That being said, I'm on the search for REALLY quick grab and go lazy summer lunches. My crockpot was great for the summer but it all seems too heavy for the summer. Cottage cheese is great and all but... getting old.

Christine posed a theory to me on Monday. She told me of a client she had who lost a lot of weight with her and then disappeared, stopped returning calls etc. He recently called her (a year or two later) to say that he needed to see her again and had gained all the weight back. She said there's a point with heavy people where they get tired of eating. She asked me if that was my experience and my gut reaction was ... no. I love eating. I could go get a cheeseburger with fries, a milk shake, and a piece of chocolate cake right now and really enjoy eating it. I frequently feel like it would not be so hard for me to slip back into bad habits.

Confession: there was a night not too long ago where my I knew boyfriend was cooking me dinner (he usually fries chicken but he baked it because he knew I was coming over and it was healthier ... aww!). I had to run home to get some things and I stumbled into my kitchen ... suddenly wanting to eat everything in my way. I noticed leftover chinese food ... cold sesame noodles and shrimp dumplings slathered in peanut sauce (omg so good) and I ate it all. Just like that. And then I went to my boyfriend's apartment and had dinner. Why eat the leftovers if I knew I was getting a tasty (and filling) meal? Could this be the action of someone on a diet? Of someone tired of eating? Granted I didn't feel good about it. I told my boyfriend I wasn't feeling that well and so I didn't OVEREAT over there but still.

But I don't mean to dwell. I firmly believe that dwelling is the least constructive thing you can do. The trick is to look forward.

I know I've said this before but it's worth repeating:

Skinny people overeat. Just not all the time.

I think instead of getting tired of eating, I hit a point where I got tired of my weight being an "issue." And at the same time, I had Christine who made it pretty simple to start losing weight. Her initial stance with me was EAT LESS THAN YOU DID. So basically if you went to a company picnic and had three brownies last year and you had two brownies this year... that's progress. Something was very intuitive about what she was teaching me. Eat less. Not eat nothing, not eat raw or vegan or clean or Paleo. Just less. And I started seeing results. There was a run of probably close to a year where I lost weight every single week. I was getting such tangible results. And now here I am. The novelty of skinnier-Anna has worn off. Most people are used to the way I look. I think I've lost under 10lbs in the past year. I'm still waiting to post my 70lbs down picture because it seems like I can't maintain 70lbs down and so that feels dishonest.

But I'm proud of myself for maintaining. I'm proud that I still see Christine. I'm proud that I still try to live my life in a healthy way (even if I do trip up sometimes). I'm proud that my boyfriend knows to bake chicken when I'm coming over. I'm proud that friends constantly ask me for health/nutrition advice.

I'm proud that I've come such a long way.

Sassy stance (and my most popular Facebook photo ever!)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Diet time?

So I'm feeling a little down. Saw Christine this morning and got weighed for the first time in three weeks and I was up 2.5lbs. I knew I hadn't been eating the best but almost 3lbs in 3 weeks seemed like a lot. She basically was like... you know what you need to do... not much new information I have for you.

I think it may be time to (temporarily) end this no-dieting phase. I mean... I see myself doing it. Two pieces of bread at dinner, a couple cookies at work, a few extra nuts in my handful. Nothing catastrophic. I'm not eating muffins and bagels for breakfast. No chocolate cake every night. No Chinese food (fine fine... not REGULARLY).

I also had another thought. What about Weight Watchers? I've signed up for Weight Watchers no fewer than... 12 times in my life starting at age 12. But at this point I just want to lose the last 10 (now closer to 15 I suppose), I'm used to tracking my foods, and I also am more diet/health/etc minded than I've ever been. I brought the idea up to my mom and she was like MAKE YOUR FATHER GO WITH YOU. I'LL PAY. My dad often has trouble getting in the door with weight things, but once he does he commits 100%. Like seriously my dad is incredible. He also did March Madness thing with me and lost 10lbs that he's managed to keep off and feels so much better. So I guess if anything this is good for my dad and not costing me anything since my mom said she'd cover the costs.

I suggested the idea to my dad and he seemed game.

I briefly brought it up to Christine who said that their diet is different than hers but can work together. My dad is going to Hawaii for the last two weeks of July and we'd start after that so I have a little time to consider. I have gotten into trouble in the past for trying to do TOO MUCH diet-wise. I get overwhelmed and quit them all instead of going back to what worked. Though I think it would be really difficult for me to quit Christine even if I'm flailing diet wise...

I'm just not sure which way to go. Advice is welcome. Time to cut out mindless eating, eh?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Sunday!

Celebrate your sweet bod!

Friday, July 6, 2012


So as I mentioned before, I haven't been feeling very well physically. I don't know how to describe it exactly but it's mostly been a feeling of general icky-ness. Not so much as to be inhibiting at all but enough that I notice it constantly. I've been trying to make changes, take vitamins etc. I went to my doctor who took me off birth control, loaded me up with supplements, and took a ton of blood. My blood work came back as relatively normal except I showed mild levels of "oxidative stress." Now what does that mean? Honestly, I still don't really know. I asked Christine about it and she said she'd never heard the term. Grumble grumble...

After a little research I basically determined that it seems like in order to correct it I need to consume more antioxidants. Thankfully, this is berry season and last weekend I went blueberry and raspberry picking in Poughkeepsie so I have a tub of blueberries I've been rationing out across the week. I also went to Whole Foods and bought some 100% cranberry juice. Have you ever tried it? Man that stuff is ICKY. Sooooo bitter. The only way I can stomach it is by adding a splenda AND watering it down.

I have been trying to NOT be on a diet but instead live in a healthy way. It's been good for my head but I've been starting to feel a little heavier. I got on my scale yesterday and I was a few pounds up from where I wanted to be. I think part of that is I've been staying at my boyfriend's a lot (he has AC... and it's freaking HOT in NYC) and so have been in less control of my food/eating choices. My boyfriend 1) weighs less than I do 2) cannot gain weight 3) has a metabolism to make any overweight person jealous. So he's constantly eating junk food. I try to be mindful, he knows my situation, but it's not always easy. I am hoping to do a little detox this weekend.

Do you guys have any method for consuming your antioxidants? I'd rather not take any more supplements than I already am and instead get my nutrition from foods. Acai and Gogi berries are supposed to be good, right? I just don't know where to find/how to consume them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Stuffed Peppers

I've been experimenting with overnight oats still and I've found that adding Greek yogurt makes all the difference. I know Gina over at doesn't like it... but it makes it nice and thick. I used half a container of Chobani original and it was so thick I had to add some almond milk to thicken it up (I'm all about Silk Original Almond Milk -- delightful). I also have been adding berries since -- 'tis the season! I meant to take a picture but I ate it before I remembered.

Now... fact of my life: I don't really like peppers. I can kind of deal with them raw but overall... peppers are not my thing. Now for the past two weeks I've been having INTENSE cravings for ... stuffed peppers. What?? I tried to just ignore it but it was relentless. So yesterday I gave in.

I couldn't find a recipe that really looked delightful so I kind of pieced it together.

6 Bell Peppers that look like they will stand
1.3lbs of 99% lean turkey
1 cup cooked rice (whatever variety you prefer... I'd imagine quinoa would also do well)
1 small zucchini
1 cup mushrooms
1 small onion
1 cup of fat free/low sodium chicken broth - divided
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
salt - to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
14.5 oz of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup grated cheese (I went for cheddar)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Mince the garlic and the onion and saute with olive oil until translucent. Dice the zucchini and mushrooms. Cut the tops off of the peppers at the widest point and dice the tops.

Add the pepper, zucchini and mushrooms to the skillet and saute until they start to cook down. Add the turkey and spices. Stir continuously, breaking it apart regularly until the meat is cooked through (no pink!). Add the diced tomatoes and 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Let it simmer until the sauce is greatly reduced (mine probably sat there for 10 minutes).

Add the rice. Fill the peppers with the mixture and top with cheese. Place the peppers in an oven safe tray and add the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock to the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan tightly with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and let it cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted/starting to brown. 

I remembered to take pictures during the process but forgot to take a picture of the end product. So you get a picture of my lunch today instead.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Overnight Oats!

You are all aware of my obsession with chia seeds. My experimentation with them is basically endless. I find that they're delicious in almond milk. Hot or cold. So when one of my favorite cooking blogs (yes, yes, posted a recipe for overnight oats that incorporated chia seeds, I knew I had to try it.

It was late and I basically adapted to whatever I had on hand (not much) and used 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 1/4 cup of quick oats. This morning I added walnuts and a sprinkle of agave.

It was kind of odd but kind of delightful. I think the chia seeds overpowered a little and I missed the cold-oat feel to it. But I will definitely experiment again! I'm also going grocery shopping this evening and I'll get some fruit (blueberries look delicious) to throw in there.

It's nice to have an alternative to oatmeal in the summers. Lately I've just been eating Fudge Graham Zone Bars (also delicious... but variety is the spice of life). I had the oats with some Good Earth tea (my favorite) and it was a really satisfying way to start my morning.

Do you guys have favorite summer breakfasts?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Missing in Action

So sorry I've been MIA.

Truthfully, I am trying to be less compulsive about my diet. I do remember a point where I felt like I had my groove and I was just living life (and losing weight) and not the other way around. I've decided that if I sit in this range forever... I could be worse off.

I went to Italy and I ate pasta. I tried to be mindful and not overdo anything but also enjoy food, wine, olive oil, company.

Due to Memorial Day and my vacation I haven't seen Christine in almost a month and I think I'm ready to see her once every other week instead of every week.

In terms of food I'm trying to cut down on snacking and to eat "healthy" and not obsess over calories like I have been. Clearly obsessing has gotten me nowhere. I bought some walnuts (GASP!) and am keeping them in my desk at work. If I get hungry I have two or three. I made lentils and rice with a hard boiled egg for lunches. Produce is good. Salads are wonderful.

I feel like if I try and really listen to my body instead of having all these pre-determined snacks, I'll be better off. Emily is coming to NYC for grad school this summer and maybe I can convince her to do some exercise with me. I'm moving soon and will be living right across the street from Central Park and hopefully I can begin to see that as a playground.

I bought a scale right before I left for Italy and I don't seem to have gained weight. Maybe a little. I was having some trouble the week before I left (food-wise) and so I'm pretty sure I'm a little up from when I saw Christine last but I'm not sure.

I've been having some not-feeling-that-great issues and went to my primary care doctor to get some blood taken and he didn't recognize me when I walked into the office. Most people I see on a semi regular basis are used to the way I look right now and so I haven't gotten that reaction in a while. Honestly, it felt good. Better than when EVERYONE was obsessing. Just a little reminder of how far I've come.

I'll try to blog more but I also don't want blogging to get in the way of living. I feel like obsessing doesn't make me lose weight and I was much more successful when I was just embracing life and being mindful. I may turn this into a more life-style type blog with pictures of meals and friends and life a la Balance and Spice.

So. Here's to loving yourself. Here's to good food. Here's to mindfulness.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I know you shouldn't be hungry on a diet.

But let's be real. A large part of dieting is retraining your body to take in what it needs. Whenever you start a diet, you're hungry. You're taking in fewer calories, fewer fats, fewer carbs. Your body is used to consuming more and soon it will figure out that it doesn't need such a vast quantity to survive.

Yesterday I stuck to my diet in a real way. I logged everything. I've been a little lazy about fresh fruits/vegetables but I did choose diet friendly packaged foods: oatmeal, fiberone, luna bars, nugo bars, veggie burgers. I went to bed early. I didn't night eat.


I woke up this morning FAMISHED. I think my body is used to eating at night and when I don't it's like WTF ANNA!! WHERE ARE ALL THE CALORIES?? I WANT THEM NOW KTHNX. Now, recently whenever I have those feelings... I eat. I'll take a spoonful of peanut butter (or two), I'll nibble on some cereal or granola. I'll take a handful of M&Ms.

This morning I said NO. I packed my lunch as usual and walked out of the door. Done. I got to work and made oatmeal (usually I wait until 10) and ate it! If I get hungrier earlier I'll figure it out then, but once again I need to retrain my body to only eat what it needs and to not give in to impulses that are the result of bad choices (night/morning binging).

It was hard to say no. I don't like saying no. I'm kind of a spoiled eater and I know that. Unlike a lot of dieters it doesn't make me feel powerful and mindful... it makes me feel grumpy and hungry. But still, soon I'll have figured it out again. I'll take pride in being able to control my hunger and impulses again. Something I think I've lost a little these past few months. Honestly though, it's hard to get past this hurdle of feeling hungry.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

5lbs 3 weeks

A weekend update. Que raro!

After a particularly whiny session with Christine I'm a little unsure of what to do. I've developed a sort of screw-it attitude about food. I've been maintaining my weight more or less (literally more or less... I'm not up 5lbs or anything).

Christine sort of hurt my feelings today when she said, "We can maintain here... which is really what you've been doing... but I think you'd look better with more weight off."

I find that totally exasperating. I've lost 70lbs. I'm probably the healthiest I've been in a decade and a half. I have a good job, I am getting a good apartment, I have a good boyfriend, I have good friends. There is nothing I feel my weight is holding me back from. I don't think I'm being closed to any opportunities. And yet, she's right. I would look better thinner. I'm not a thin girl. I'm an above-average sized girl. Not a big girl, not husky, not chunky, not fat, not obese.

I am trying to figure out how to get my head back in the game and actually start losing weight again. I'm debating giving it a timeline. I go to Italy June 2. I wonder if I can try and lose 5lbs by then. Don't worry about exercise, just really stick to a diet. Throw away all the chocolate chips in the apartment. No more baking cookies (even if they are low fat) no more pumpkin muffins. Back to strict head-in-the-game-diet. A friend gave me an organic chocolate bar for letting her stay with me and I think maybe that's my chocolate fix for the next two weeks. I can eat it all right now... but better to budget it out. A piece here and there will last the whole while. 5lbs in three weeks may be ambitious especially with memorial day in the middle but let's try. Eye on the prize. 5lbs down would put me at Christine's original goal for me (though she's seemed to have shifted it down a little bit but we haven't really talked number goals yet).

No late night eating. When it's evening and I get munchy I can have a bar. Or FiberOne brownie. Fin.

No more eating roommates food.

No more dessert.

No more bread and oil at restaurants before dinner.

Do not make this even though I have short bread cookies to get rid of:

I will try to:

Log my calories every day

Walk to work

Drink a lot of water

Buy fruit and eat that instead of sweets.

Three weeks of diet.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mindful Bad Eating

I do enjoy eating healthy food.

I also enjoy eating unhealthy food.

This weekend has been an experiment in mindful bad eating. I wanted to eat unhealthy foods but didn't want to gain 5lbs (as can happen in one week!). It was all about subbing M&Ms for dinner, alcohol for snacks. Ultimately the QUANTITY of food I ate was not a whole lot but calorically pretty substantial.

I'm not advocating this.

I'm just trying to explain my relationship with unhealthy foods right now. I don't think this was a particularly good answer as I'm sure I wasn't getting any vague nutritional value. But man, it felt good to eat those foods.

I saw Christine in the morning (rare) and was the same weight as my (afternoon) weight the previous week. She said that that could mean up to a two pound gain but it was hard to say. I'll take my 0lbs up and try and focus on better choices this week.

Tricky business this week:
A baby shower ... are those things slammed with food? I've never been!
I'm hosting a movie screening. This means I'll have some control over what food is there but also means I will have guests bringing food/booze.

Next week will be LOTS of these tricky business situations... but one week at a time, yes?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Feeling Better

Sorry I didn't check in on Monday. I lost 2lbs this week making my March Madness weight loss a sum total of 0. There's only a week left on the challenge but I've learned a lot about myself.

I eat 3 servings of vegetables pretty naturally.
I drink 64oz of water pretty naturally.
I love fruit.
I like checking in with people (not a new realization but still... worth mentioning).
Exercising makes me hungry. It feels good in the moment but I'm not sure I can manage hearty exercise with weightloss right now.
I freaking love sugar and eat more of it than I realize.

Last week I lessened my exercise goal for myself. I said, sure... do it 5 days a week. But have it be intentional walking. No gym clothes packed. Just put on sneakers and march around a little. I walked to work, I walked to bells, I walked and walked. I don't know what I'm burning and I'm sure it's a fraction of what I would've burnt on an elliptical, but I felt better. I also feel like my headspace is improved because not only am I not hungry all the time, but also I'm not as compulsive all the time either. I am feeling a great relief of that anxiety that was bumming me out in my last post.

So I'll add the weights etc after I hit goal weight and am no longer concerned with losing.

I really want to eat sugar all the time. Even if it's just a nibble there... a hershey's kiss there. I love sugar. I've been coming up with desserts that have been satisfying that itch but man. I really didn't understand how much sugar I consumed on a regular basis. Honestly, it's a trap that is probably really easy to fall back into. Awarness is good though. Perhaps a first step?

Another thing I've learned (unrelated to the challenge but still) is that I'm much more inclined to night eat if I eat dinner at home. Why would that be? I think if I go out to a meal it feels really final, but if I'm microwaving an Amy's burrito or something like that. Even if I make a nice sit-down meal... it feels like a cop out. I probably ate out 4 times last week. I was able to make smart restaurant choices with reasonable requests/substitutions. And that feels final. You pay the bill. You go home. You do what you need to do. You go to bed. No eating. But if I'm sitting in my kitchen making food... nibble there... bite there... then after I'm doing dishes and I want some chocolate and nothing is really satisfying and I'm just taking bites of things waiting to settle on that PERFECT THING I WANT. Which part of me knows I won't find in my apartment but part of me doesn't care and just keeps grazing.

How to end this pattern... I'm not sure. But it's good to be aware of when it happens.

I'm learning still. Understanding how to be at this weight is key. Christine was like... hey if you maintain this for the next six months, I'll be happy! Obviously, I'd like to lose still. If that weren't abundantly clear. But fact is that I am doing okay. And I am feeling good about pushing forward.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Now, more than ever (I think), I've been feeling a lot of anxiety around weight loss. I've come far. I'm not done. But I'm close. I'm also at the point where I need to eat like a skinny bitch (pardon my French) in order to look like one.

I think this stresses me out.

And so I eat more.

It's a really unfortunate cycle. I have been just walking a lot lately (no hardcore exercise) and I still have been having my eating/grazing fests. I've been sleeping more. I'm not doing any kind of crazy extra work stuff. And yet, I find myself staring at my food shelf just EATING.

Punishing myself is a bad thing. But compensating for these outbursts are also necessary. And I feel like at one point I understood how to compensate without that seeming like a punishment.

For example, say I eat a ton of sugary cereal some morning. Like a ton. I know that at the end of the day if I make myself an eggwhite omelette with some mushrooms and laughing cow... everyone wins. I got to eat my sugary carbs, and end with a nutritious, low fat, low calorie, protein heavy dinner. But these days I'll eat that dinner. And want more. I'll want spoons of peanut butter or popcorn or ice cream. And I'll take it. And then I feel guilty about that so make OTHER food promises for the next day that I will ALSO not keep.

How do I find that motivation? How do I reduce the anxiety of this? How do I stop punishing myself for bad eating choices WHILE reducing them?

How have I gained 2lbs doing this weight loss challenge?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Celebrating Victories

I only ate food that was mine. This is big.

I went to a Mexican restaurant with coworkers and felt like a tool BUT:
Opted out of sangria
Had one (1) Corona Light
Ordered Mesclun Greens with Grilled Ghicken (not the taco salad... not tacos... not a BURRITO) with dressing on the side.

Again, I felt kind of like an asshole but the ladies know I'm working on my weight. I feel like I'm getting my head back in the game. Finding balance where I can feel happy and not compulsive. Once I feel like I'm in a better headspace we can try this whole LOSING WEIGHT ACTIVELY thing again.

I walked to work for the second day in a row. This serves as an actually lovely way to start my day (listening to Dan Savage walking along Central Park... no complaints), my exercise for the challenge, and a way to be in my body without feeling famished after. Again, once I feel happier/healthier I can start looking at more hardcore exercising again. But this is satisfactory for now.

Feeling better. One successful day at a time, right?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bad week

Need to refocus.

Gained 2.5lbs.

Then binged.

And drank.

Wah wah!

Resolutions for (the rest of) this week:
Don't go over my calories.
Don't eat food that isn't mine.
Get my head in line.
Cool it on the exercise -- I think it's making me tired/hungry.
Walk to work.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Yesterday morning I was late to work.

I set my alarm for 6:30 and all but slept in my gym clothes. Lunch was packed. Everything was ready. I crawled out of bed at 7 and ran to the gym. As I was chugging away at the elliptical I remembered the slow cooker meal that I didn't get a chance to prepare the night before. I still had the shopping list on a post-it note. So I figured... why not? Get it done.

I ran my sweaty self to the grocery store and gave myself 5 minutes to grab everything. 10 minute later I was home. My roommate was in the shower so I started chopping. I forget chopping in my ingredient prep time. I need to get better knives. Or one of those as-seen-on-TV choppers! By the time my roommate got out of the shower. I was almost done preparing my ingredients. And had 30 minutes to get to work (it takes me about 20 if everything is working more or less in my favor).

So a decision: go to work sweaty, oniony and garlicky? Shower and push it?

I opted to shower. Figuring it was probably the best choice for everyone around me. Myself included.

And then the trains were SERIOUSLY delayed.

Is this a win?

Or a lose?

Also the dish I made (from was really good! I served it with a side of quinoa (kosher for Passover!!) and another skinnytaste recipe.
Crockpot Chicken La Criolla
Asparagus with Turkey Bacon (I substituted turkey bacon for the prosciutto)

I wish I remembered to take pictures! It made enough for me, my boyfriend and three lunches!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Week 5 Recap: I miss carbs

I didn't do as great on my March Madness this week. It was hard with Passover (and Easter candy everywhere!). Excuses, I know... but still.

The past two weeks I've made a real commitment to counting carbs. I'm kind of sick of it. I made that big batch of ground turkey that HURT me to pack for lunch again today.  Salads are tasty, I like them. I like eating fresh foods. But it's been too much. I need to find lunch options that satisfy. I found some Weight Watchers bread that is 10 carb for two slices. So maybe it's time (after Passover, of course) for some tuna salad sandwiches. Or Veggie Burgers. Do you guys have low-carby stuff you like to make. All my quinoa and lentils etc are putting me over the edge!! I should probably just slow cook a batch of chicken and have that for the week.

Christine assures me all this carb nonsense can stop once I get to my ideal weight but JEEZ. I'm bored of healthy food. I am craving sugar. I think a lot of my sugar-fixers (VitaMuffins, Yogurts, Fruit, etc) are all higher carb than I feel like entertaining and so... I've lost that. I've been giving in to a lot of my cravings and I'm not totally sure why. Why is it harder all of a sudden to NOT eat a handfull of M&Ms? Part of me thinks I should not resist. Pack myself 10 M&Ms for the day. Part of me knows that that is a HORRIBLY slippery slope.

I gained weight. 1.25lbs to be exact. I'm okay with this as I thought it was going to be closer to 4 (post Passover dinner it WAS 4... that was distressing). I was reading a blog that said her goal for the week was to cut out BLT (bites, licks and tastes). Intellectually I know I should probably commit to something similar, but practically, I don't want to!

I've been getting into grazing patterns. I don't want to call them binges because it's not vast quantities. It's more standing around my kitchen, M&M there, peanut butter there, cracker there, nuts there. Just little nibbles that I'm sure add up to at least 2-300 calories a go. I think part of it is feeling entitled/hungrier after exercising. I think part of it is I am SO anal about my food during the day that the second I give up my rigid structure, I bask in my food freedom.

At one point I had my doctor print out all my weights from years past (starting in around 2006 or 7, I believe). It was interesting to revisit those numbers. Christine said I should be really proud and that most healthcare professionals would probably just try to have me maintain here as weight is not easy to keep off.


Not productive thinking. Of course I can keep off the weight. Of course a few M&Ms does not mean my ultimate demise. The trick is keeping it to a few. And I know that. This is not new information, this is not a new negotiation with myself. I'm at a weight I really never DREAMED of being and I'm grateful for that. I am happy, I am healthy, I am strong, and I just need to keep going.

Part of me wonders if my current happiness in pretty much EVERY aspect of my life is what is keeping me back from focusing on this. I am not unhappy with the way I look. Christine sort of tried to force some motivation (as she did in the beginning). "Don't you want to look good for Italy (yes, family vacation to Italy in June)? There will be lots of photos being taken!" And instead that sort of hurt my feelings. Why wouldn't I want my photos taken NOW? There was a picture posted of me from a friend's wedding on March 25th and I got a whole host of compliments. Are those to be taken with a grain of salt? You look so much BETTER? Not you look so GOOD?

Is this vain? At this point, I'm pretty sure all my looming health issues regarding weight are fixed. So I'm also pretty sure that completing this journey is, to some point, a vanity issue. Yes, I'm techincally still overweight by BMI standards. But hardly. I'm sure if/when I get my hemoglobin A1C (diabetes test) done, it will be fine. I'm going to the gym. I feel stronger than ever (I even made my mom touch my bicep at Passover...hahah). Is this enough?

I want to lose 10 more pounds. I really do. I am 4 pounds away from Christine's initial goal for me. Is that crazy? It feels sort of wacky to be so close. I don't feel close to done. Granted it's taken me probably about 6 months to lose 4lbs so... maybe it's not SO close. I remember the days when I would be totally unfazed by losing 3lbs in a week. Ah, the early weight loss days. Thank god it was so reinforcing!

I hope everyone who celebrated had a wonderful holiday weekend!

March Madness Weight Loss: -0.5lbs

Monday, April 2, 2012

Week 4 Recap

This week went pretty perfectly as far as my March Madness thing went though I did seriously sugar binge this weekend. When I lose the structure that I self-impose my Monday-Friday, I have a much harder time keeping it together. There has also been a ton of candy and chocolate floating around my life (in no small part due to Easter). I do know that I'm going to have two BIG meals this week for Passover, so I'm going to try and keep it together until then.

All said though, I lost another .5lbs. While that may seem pretty minimal, I am pretty thrilled that there is movement in the right direction. I was a little nervous last week that this would be a fluke and that the weight came off for some weird reason, but after this weeks weigh in, I think that weight is gone for good. Let's hope, shall we?

I planned really carefully today and since I'm spending the night in Brooklyn tonight, I went so far as to pack TWO lunches/snacks/etc for tomorrow so I don't get thrown. I made some lean ground turkey with carrots, celery, soy sauce and chili sauce to put on top of salads this week. It actually was quite tasty, very low carb and fairly low calorie. It doesn't look particularly beautiful, but I think it will taste really good over my greens.

Sorry I've been a little slow on posting, my show opened on Friday and there has just been so much running around. I'll get back to details soon.

Also seriously I'm obsessed with The app is really great too. You should all join it and be my friend! I'm a good commenter. I went to a Total Body Conditioning class (you may remember the one from Week 1?) this morning. Already I'm feeling achy. Does not bode well for tomorrow. Though I did feel stronger in the class and didn't leave feeling as completely physically wiped (though I was also a few minutes late so missed the crazy cardio warm up).

It's April, yes, but I'm still considering this my March Madness challenge. Sorry.

March Madness Weight Loss: - 1.75

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Week 3 Recap: Results!

What a huge milestone for me! Finally ACTUALLY hit the 70lbs lost! 70.25 to be exact. I've been sitting around 68lbs down and rounding up to 70 for the longest time that this feels like less of a milestone than the rest. However, I have NEVER been happier to get to a weight. I'm in a weight zone I honestly cannot recall being in in the past.

Now how I got here is a little suspect? I had a wedding this weekend. It was a really topsy turvy weekend for me emotionally (on several fronts). A lot of highs and a lot of lows. I binged. Twice. I went to the wedding and though I danced a lot ... I ate a lot of dessert without much thought or regard.

So honestly... maybe the carb counting was working? Maybe all the calories were such a shock to my system that all my body could do was dump them?

Whatever was/is going on I will take it.

March Madness Weight Loss: -1.25lbs

I know I owe you a picture. I'll get one up soon.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Oh Carbs!

My head is swimming in carbs. I actually donwloaded an app to help. It's called MyFitnessPal and there's also a really good website it goes along with! If you're on there already, we should connect. It seems to be concerned I have no friends! My screenname is FoxyGazelle.

Here is what I ate yesterday along with my guestimates of the carbs.

Breakfast 17
FiberOne (11)
Emergen C (6)

Snack 41
Banana (27)
PB2 (5)
Mini Babybel light cheese (0)
Celery (4)
PB2 (5)

Lunch 40
Lentils with chicken sausage (40)

Snack 1
Light Mozzarella Cheese Stick (1)

Dinner: 35
Salad with chicken, cheese, hard boiled egg, corn teensy bit of creamy Dijon on the side  (14)
Green beans (6)
Orange (15)

133 carb for the day.

That was a lot of work and it was still just the middle of my range. You will also notice my many servings of vegetables on fruit. March Madness competing! Not letting that up yet. I've been to the gym three times this week (didn't go Monday because I saw Christine... I feel like I should get points for that too!). I am on the prowl for satisfying lower carb snacks. Christine suggested the 100-Calorie snack packs but I sort of feel like those are unsatisfying pockets of air. Do you have anything you like?

I'm sore and hungry from working out (I went to a Total Body Conditioning class on Tuesday that just started hitting me this morning). I'm trying to keep the eating in check though! It hits a certain point in the morning and late afternoon where I just want to eat. I'm trying to make it things like ... lite string cheese. Or a hard boiled egg. Enough to tide the hunger over. Snacking is the name of the game right now.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 2 Recap: Counting counting counting

Saw Christine again this morning. Weight stayed the same from last week.


Though considering I had a bachelorette party AND a rehearsal dinner this weekend maybe that should be viewed as a success. However I did, once again, hit the gym 5 times this week.

I was whining to a wonderful, lovely, tolerant friend this morning (you know who you are!!) and she said I should really view weight loss and exercise independently. They both effect your body in different ways and to appreciate the toning/shrinking/strengthening from exercise as a reward separate from weight loss. The two are so intertwined in my head, but I think that's a really wise way of looking at it. I do feel smaller. I feel more toned. I'm not losing weight but can all that really be considered a failure?

I did whine a lot to Christine this morning again and she sat me down and basically said. COUNT CARBS. I feel like in the beginning I was counting calories and then stalled. Then Christine stressed fat. Count fat grams. So I did. Now stalled again and it's time to count carbs.

Never in my whole life have I counted carbs. I did South Beach way back when but that was a more feel-it-out kind of method (or at least how I interpreted it). I don't have a good way to estimate this either. Christine and I went through a "normal" eating day for me and counted out about 185 carb. She said that that amount of carb equals a small weight gain. Add in exercise for the day (you can subtract 25 carb for exercise ... per Christine anyway) and 160 carb is maintenance (hello!). She said in order to lose I need to be eating somewhere in between 125 and 145 carb per day.

So after weeks of her telling me this, I'm going to actually try and COUNT carbs. The issue is I can't even guesstimate (like I can with both fat and calories at this point). The veggie burger I bought is 3 while 8.5 baby carrots are 5? The logic isn't there for me. Though, likely, the more I do it, the more I can figure it out. So... now to do it.

To help myself I'm making a google document with the nutrition info for the foods I eat a lot of. I also downloaded an app that saves your google documents to your phone. SO theoretically I will be able to have this list wherever I am. Smart no? Let me know if you want me to add you to view it. It's pretty short now but theortically will grow as I gain speed and momentum. Most of the nutrition info I've been getting has been from So... thanks guys! Unfortunately a lot of the serving sizes are in grams. Which I don't really understand either. So I'm thinking about acquiring a food scale (sigh) just go get a sense of what this all means.

My wise friend from before said after all of this I will be as good as a nutritionist. I think that's crazy true.

I really hope this is actually the ticket to the last 10lbs. Because if it isn't, I honestly have no idea what I am going to do besides sit here. Christine assures me that this happens to her all the time. She gets many new clients who just cannot for the life of them lose the last 10lbs. She usually puts them on 90 carb diets. I said no way, Jose. 90 carb!? As it is, it seems like this restriction to 145 carb will be cutting my intake. So we'll start with that.

March Madness Weight Loss: +1.5

Friday, March 16, 2012

In the HeightsI

I love In the Heights (for those who don't know it's a musical about living in Washington Heights... and super terrific. Spotify it!). I also love working out to In the Heights. The opening is a great start to a routine. 96,000 is great for the really difficult time-to-push-through-this parts of the fat burn section of the ellpitical. When You're Home is great to jam to. And there are countless others.

A line that keeps reappearing is "No pare! Sigue sigue!"

It translates to: "Don't stop! Keep going, keep going!"

I have the t-shirt. Yes, really.

And in the second week of my March Madness Healthiness Challenge and my 9th day at the gym in two weeks, it was great to hear. I really jammed through my workout today.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


This month will be a test of time. As you know, my job is a 9-5 position. It's great. It allows me to get a lot done/live my life/be active/be social. As many of you also know, my dream is to be a director/producer. So when another aspiring director at work asked if I wanted to be involved in assisting him on his latest project, I jumped at the opportunity and said yes!

Fast forward a few weeks. I start my March Madness health challenge. Part of this challenge is excercising up to 5 days a week.

Now you may start to see the problem I'm having.

The show is in Brooklyn so I've been crashing at my boyfriend's apartment since it's considerably closer than mine. He has to be at work at 8, which is actually really condusive to working out.

I also brought a bunch of groceries to his apartment so I could still be prepared for work. He even packed me a lunch for today.

My schedule is as follows:
6:30am Wake up
7:05am Get on train
8:00am Arrive at gym
9:00am Arrive at work
5:00pm Work ends, run and find food
6:00pm Rehearsal begins
10:00-10:30pm Rehearsal ends
11-11:30pm Arrive at Brooklyn crash-pad
????pm/am SLEEP

I'm tired. This isn't sustainable but the show is over April 7. Hopefully I can make it until then with some semblance of sanity.

Wish me luck!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Week 1 Recap

Well. I saw Christine this morning (keep in mind, I don't usually see her in the morning) and I was up 1.5lbs. Disappointing considering I feel like I've eaten a ton of vegetables and fruits (and not a whole lot else!). Not to mention I went to the gym 5 days this week! I know muscle builds and all of that. And honestly I feel my body composition shifting a little. I feel more compact. I don't feel larger at all. However, Christine thinks it's BS that if you exercise you "gain" muscle mass. Honestly, I kind of agree. Though I whined to her this morning that EVERYTIME I start an exercise routine, I don't lose weight. Which is the appeal of this 8 week thing. I have to commit to it for 8 weeks! NO BACKSIES. One week down. Seven to go. I already have gym clothes in my bag ready to go for after work today (and before rehearsal).

Ideally my body will adjust, figure out what's going on, and drop some poundage. And if not, it's 2 months and I'll reevaluate at the end. I haven't lost significant weight since CHRISTMAS. Christmas. So what's another two months of flailing around?

It does feel bad though. Not getting that reinforcement. Almost like my actions are not being rewarded ... but actually sort of punished. 1.5lbs in the morning is at least 3lbs in the afternoon (when I usually get weighed).

Christine predicts a 3-4lb drop next week. She thinks I might be retaining water due to all the exerise (and added water). I am not so sure considering I ALWAYS drank a lot of water. I'd say MAXIMUM I'm drinking 2 cups more than I usually did. Maximum.

I will keep this up though. I will commit to this 8 weeks. It's also good to be diligent when I have a LOT of unhealthy events coming up (bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, wedding, dinner at my aunts etc etc). I'm also starting to assistant direct a musical in BROOKLYN which goes on from 6-10 on most evenings, meaning I'll come home tired and be automatically up past my bed time, which will also make getting to the gym a little tricky. But I am still going to aim for that 5 days a week. (Even though... let's be real... I almost slacked today. The thought of going from work, to the gym, to rehearsal was WILDLY unappealing to me. And it's going to be worse when I have to wake up early after a late rehearsal to get it done!)

I pulled out the food I brought for 9-5 this morning when I saw her. She was sort of surprised at the amount of food. I will break it down for you.

Breakfast: Oatmeal, grapes
Snack: Baybell light cheese (those wheely ones!) and a cup or so of raw carrots
Lunch: Chicken chili (white beans, corn, chicken, swiss chard)
Snack: Orange and Fiber One

I guess I see how that seems like a lot of food? But really how caloric are we talking. Maybe 200 calories for breakfast, no more than 100 for snack, 300 for the chili, and 150 for the afternoon snack? So, what 750? Want to round up to 800? And I have plenty of room for a respectable dinner!

She started giving me grief about the amount of carbs I'm eating. Saying that it was 2 carb per grape and GASP look at all those carrots AND CHEESE ON TOP OF THAT? That is a LARGE ORANGE.

But... really folks? Let's break it down. Carrots!? Carrots and grapes are the difference here!? How can that be? I feel like I'm not doing anything destructive. I feel like I'm eating like a skinny person!! Do you have thoughts? Is Christine right and I'm totally crazy? Is that WAY TOO MUCH!? I am going to exercise after work but I firmly believe that even that shouldn't make a difference!

Anyway. That's that.

I did make a really delicious dish somewhat adapted from this recipe. I basically chopped up a bunch of Brussel sprouts (not as finely as they did on the blog but I ran out of time!) mushrooms and one link of a fully cooked chicken sausage. I sprayed a pan with Pam, cooked down the sprouts and mushrooms, and then added in the sausage at the end (just to heat through). Add some salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and PRESTO. It was delicious. I think if/when I do this again I'll add some soy sauce too just to get it a little wetter.

March Madness Weight Loss: +1.5

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 2!

I. Am. In. Pain.

Woooweeeee. I hurt. That stupid full body conditioning!!! Grumble grumble grumble. At least it worked, right? I'm going to aim to make that class every Monday. Today I spent half an hour on the elliptical in the morning. I wasn't sure I was going to make it because I woke up totally paralyzed. Though I limped into workout clothes, hobbled down the steps and made it to the gym. The original plan was to do the stairmaster, however considering the great amount of pain I experienced going DOWN stairs, a half an hour of climbing into oblivion was just not going to happen. So I put on In the Heights, hopped on the elliptical and it actually went by pretty fast. I did whatever their basic fatburn workout was and I made it through. Sweaty but accomplished!

There was a time my sophomore year of college where I went to the gym pretty regularly and I remember sometimes having trouble with the preset, so I was pretty proud of myself for being able to get through it despite my muscles being pretty unhappy.

The walk home was much more difficult than the walk there. Oh well. Tomorrow I am going to go to a yoga class in the morning which I hope will help stretch out my muscles because they are feeling tiiiiight. I'm still undecided on Thursday. I guess it depends on the level of pain I'm feeling. Maybe an easy go on the elliptical again.

Now technically we only get 5 points for 30 minutes of exercise ... but I did walk to and from the gym (16 blocks total) so I kind of want to give myself points for 45 minutes of exercise. Is that acceptable?!

I also didn't realize how difficult it would be to not eat after 9pm. Perhaps the issue is that most of my mindless eating happens at night and so I don't think about eating at night. HOWEVER, I think I usually do. So 9pm hit and I was like... what? I can't have a VitaMuffin??? But I resisted and instead watched The Biggest Loser on

It's kind of nice to be starting my exercise journey and watching The Biggest Loser. If they can go from a sedentary life to going to the gym and working that hard, so can I! I did note that none of them really talk about soreness!! I'm sure they're all DYING of soreness. Where's the mention??

I also think I'm going to look up fruits/vegetables that help with soreness (banana is one right? strawberries?). Two birds with one stone there. I actually realized at like ... 7:45 last night that I had only had one serving of fruit and all I had at home were apples (and I didn't want another one) so I ran out and got strawberries, grapefruit, oranges, a peach and a nectarine. I'm excited to eat all of these!

I sent Christine my food diaries and she said it's the best dieting she's seen from me in a while. Success!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 1!

So I'm really excited about my March Madness plan. You can tell because I took a lot of pictures. Now the issue is to really focus on this being an 8-week event! Not two weeks. No burning out. Just strength and sugar free life for a MEASLY 8 weeks. My boyfriend mentioned (over some big ass pancakes... of course) that that means I can have sugar again in May. That was a realization that seemed a little intimidating, honestly. MAY?

8 weeks. No big deal. I can do 8 weeks. And then reevaluate.

I know I was being wishy washy about the gym. Per usual. But I think if I can actually get into a routine and STICK WITH IT for 8 weeks, I might feel better.

Way back when I bought The New Rules of Weightlifting for Women. I am determined to actually read it. There. I put it on my blog, can't take it back. Right? Right???

I found the link for the March Madness plan from one of my friends from lower/middle school (her mom was my girl scout troup leader!). And she invited me to jump on her 8 week challenge starting ... today! So I took it into my own hands to get some people in on it with me. I have two co-workers, my dad, my roommate and one of my best friends all doing this with me. I feel like I'm covered in ever aspect of my life! Lots of partners to keep me honest.

I weighed in with Christine yesterday and I maintained my lowest weight from last week. I was almost a little sad that I didn't gain a little (higher weight ... easier to lose... twisted logic but there you go), but I'm going to use this program to PUSH MYSELF. For 8 weeks.

Basically the program is that you get points for the following behaviors:
  • Drink 64 oz of water - Monday-Friday I pretty much do this already. I get bored at work and drink water. Done.
  • Eat 3 (1/2 cup) servings of vegetables. This is also not a really challenging one for me. If I eat a salad for a meal. Done!
  • Eat 2 (1/2 cup) servings of fruit. I usually have one piece of fruit per day. I'm thinking that I'll substitute out a snack for a piece of fruit to get these points.
  • Nothing with added sugar. This is the CONTROVERSIAL category. I'm taking it to mean nothing that isn't DIET (my instant oatmeal is sweetened... but also a healthy choice... and I buy the LOW SUGAR variety so...). I'm interpreting this to be desserts and sugary cereals and those little nibbles that I know I shouldn't take but "It's just ONE bite!" Cut that shit out. (You can only get points for this 6/7 days)
  • No eating after 9pm. Only exceptions are fruit, vegetables and water.
  • Contact with your partner every day. Considering I have 5 partners I don't anticipate this being an issue whatsoever.
  • Go to the gym. You get points for 30 minute workouts and 45 minute workouts. (You can only get points for this 5/7 days.) I plan on going Monday - Friday and take the weekends off. Or use the weekends to make up workouts I missed Monday - Friday.
  • Keep a food journal. I already do this. Christine gets to read about every oz of food I put in my mouth. So another non-issue.
You pony up $15 dollars. There are two winners: the person who lost the greatest percentage of weight and the person who racks up the most numbers of points and they end up splitting the final pot. Also if you get at least 80% of your points, you get back $10 dollars. And realistically I think my best shot is to go for those $10 dollars (I think there are somewhere around 35 people participating!). My roommate asked me what my weightloss goal was. I told her 5lbs (which considering it's taken me MONTHS AND MONTHS to lose this last 5lbs I thought that was pretty reasonable. If I could lose 10 I would be the happiest person. But I'm going to shoot for 5lbs.

I went grocery shopping yesterday and bought a ton of veggies for snacks and salads along with some low-sugar oatmeal, tuna and capers. I need to go back and pick up some fruit but my arms were hurting me.

Last night I prepped a salad for myself (I have this awesome 5-cup tupperware that I seriously love and keeps salad frsh so you can make them the night before).
Then this morning I got my butt out of bed at 6:00am to go to a 6:30 Full Body Conditioning class at my gym. It was run by this beefy beefy sadistically funny man who had an affinity for 80s pop music. I really didn't get through all the sets/reps but I worked really hard. I had trouble climbing the stairs to my apartment right after the gym. I can't imagine how I'm going to feel tomorrow. Tomorrow I'm going to do a basic cardio workout on the elliptical. Wednesday I'm going to get to yoga and then we'll see if there is a class I feel up to on Thursday. 8 weeks! Full throttle.

I packed myself a whole lot of healthy looking foods for work today including a spinach salad with celery, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and some grilled chicken on top. I brought celery with 4tbs of PB2 for snack. An apple for early morning hunger and some FiberOne for post work.

Alice (the girl running the challenge) suggested we take before pictures now. So we can have after pictures later. I never did this while losing weight (I wanted to kep my weight loss on the DL for about the first 40lbs). So I decided it would be fun. I'm also 1lb away from 70lbs down so I (hopefully) will need to update the sidebar pictures soon. But here's me from last night! My before SLASH after pictures.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March Madness!

As I was puzzling over what to do for March Madness (by messing around on Facebook, of course), I stumbled across an old friend's page. She and her husband are competing against eachother in an 8-week Weight Loss/Get Healthy challenge. I clicked on the link and it sounds great, easy enough to figure out.

So here! I challenge you to join me!

I'm thinking a minimal buy in. Like $10 dollars or something. And I like the notion that 1/2 goes to the person who dropped the most poundage and 1/2 goes to the person who racked up the most points. Already my roommate and one of my friends from middle school are in. Are you?

You definitely don't have to be in NYC to join either! It's honor code anyway.

Who is in?!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blast from the Past

This has been a kind of interesting diet week for me! As I mentioned last week, I went to California and really disregarded a lot of my dieting. No ATROCIOUS (for me atrocious means something along the lines of burgers and fries) eating. But it was large portions and though I was mindful when ordering (go for the seafood-tofu etc) I really didn't limit much of anything. No moderation. Moderation being the key thing I've learned this diet around. Moderation being the thing that has allowed me to lose the weight.

And then last week I was getting back into the swing of life. Excuse? Perhaps. I wanted to see my friends, my roommates, my parents. I've been chomping down on a box of chocolate kind of consistently. A piece or two (sometimes three) every day. Mind you they are small, though I'm sure they amount to something. As all those little nibblets do.

I finally did not restock my peanut butter. This is a big step. I ordered two more jars of the PB2. And did not purchase any more delicious, creamy Smart Balance brand peanut butter. Well done, me.

Then late Saturday night (early Sunday morning?). My friend Emily (who I have mentioned here before) posted some pictures from the fall 2008 -- my senior year at college. I was floored. I was a big girl. I don't remember every feeling like I looked that big. Honestly. And it's not a BAD picture. It's even a flattering angle. I'm dressed up because I was the director. I look ... nice. Just BIG. I also happened to get notified that there was a picture of me on Facebook while with my boyfriend (as you may recall he didn't really know that I used to be morbidly obese). Also important to note is this picture is not taken at my largest. I probably gained about 15lbs before I started losing.

So that was the moment. I basically said that he should probably know that I'd lost a lot of weight in the last year/year and a half. He didn't really know what to say and kind of flailed haha. He's not someone who has vaguely struggled with his weight (beyond being unable to keep much weight on himself). But basically... it doesn't change anything. Of course not. He likes me now. But it is a part of me and probably valuable for him to know. So he knows.

I talked about this with Christine and she asked me if it bothered me that there's really not too much of a chance that he'd date me before. I guess it does feel a little bad? My sparkling personality likely would not have been sufficient. Though I do also do not fault people for what they're attracted to. If he were 5'1 would I be dating him now? Possibly? Probably not. So can I fault him for having a preference?

And I lost 4.25lbs. A SHOCKING amount considering California and my general lack of attention to diet. This puts me at my lowest ever and about 5lbs away from Christine's goal for me (and 10lbs away from my goal for me). It felt really good (if oddly unearned?).

I am trying to sort of go back to my protein on leaves thing that I was so discouraged by before. Emily set a goal for herself for March and I'm kind of thinking I'd like to come up with something for me. something I can really focus on for this month. I kind of would rather it be food related than exercise related. (I have not really been exercising but I'm thinking I want to lose 5 more pounds and get into maintenance a little before really trying to add that... I'm not sure that's really the best idea but that's my feeling right now in this moment. I don't really know why.)

Any ideas for good habit-changing, healthy-eating, happy-inducing resolutions for March? March Madness!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blah. Again.

Wow. What a whirlwind week! I know I owe you guys some Jamie/Anna lunch project dishes. I also have been having trouble coming up with what to tell you.

I'm having motivational issues. I don't really want to be on a diet anymore.

Surprise surprise, right? I feel like I know how to eat to maintain this weight I'm at right now. So that's pretty much what I've been doing this week. Though I went to California Thursday through Monday to see one of my best friends and I really wasn't very food/health concious. I walked a lot, but I really didn't hold back from much in terms of portions or choices. But I ate well and had a good time. It sort of felt like a little throw-back to old-Anna eating styles. Fun and mindless. And you know what? I still liked it. A lot. Back in New York it's easier to get back into the habits that I had here. Honestly though, I don't know that it would be so hard for me to slip into old-Anna.

I got a box of chocolate for Valentine's Day (I have not "came out" to my boyfriend... theoretically with some minor Facebook stalking he could figure out that I used to be much bigger. But somehow I really don't think he knows--but that's another post for another time!). And while I did a really good job of not eating it all in one sitting, every day I feel the need to have a piece. What's a piece?? But that's basically been my attitude. And why I can only hope to maintain this week.

That's not to say that sitting here maintaining this weight is difficult for me. I totally know how to do it. I enjoy the way I eat. I enjoy cooking for myself. I enjoy cooking for Jamie and my boyfriend and my roommates and my parents. In a way I think I turned my FUN eating into FUN cooking. Which is clearly healthier and happier. I am a social person. I like being surrounded by people. The amount of alone time I require is pretty limited. There is something about food (and my life in general) that I like to have a social aspect. So I guess I've done an okay job of redefining it all.
I think the root of my frustration is that I didn't get instant results from my Protein on Leaves week. I like instant gratification. I like seeing big results when I feel like I make big changes.

So I suppose here is to maintaining this week. Having Christine kick my butt this weekend (am I overly relient on her??). And figuring out something feasible and not discouraging. Eternally figuring this out. I really hate this last leg in case that wasn't evident.