Monthly Archives: August 2010

Cheese Dogs, Cheese Fries and Baby Steps!

This past WW week (last Wednesday, 8/18 through yesterday, 8/25) was decidedly NOT the best eating/tracking week since I’ve been on WW. Patrick was working a lot of night shifts and I slacked off and ordered food in, but the biggest trauma of the week was Friday, when we went to Bourbonnais, IL, to visit his parents.

The day started out lovely, as any day off should — Honey Nut Cheerios with fresh blueberries! Yum. We figured we would drive down to his parents in the morning, grab lunch there and then we were going to cook out for dinner. What I did not plan for in this lovely schedule of eating was the nearly 2.5 hour drive to Kankakee thanks to half a mile of road construction on I-57, an hour-long detour past MY parents’ house and then chit-chat time that prevented me from getting food. By the time we had dropped the puggies off at Casa de Brown, and then proceeded on to lunch, it was nearly 2:00 p.m.  Which is 2 hours after I normally eat lunch, and nearly 6 hours past when I had last eaten at breakfast.  Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a crabby bitch when I get hungry — well that turns into Hulk-like anger and hostility directed at those within a 500 foot radius of me if my blood sugars drop below a certain point, which they did back when we were in the car.  By the time we got to Jaenicke’s Drive-In, Patrick’s beloved childhood food stand, I was ready to move through the long line like the Kool-Aid Man to get to the food faster.  EVERYTHING they had looked and sounded amazing — breaded tenderloin sandwich, cheese dogs, cheese fries, hot pretzels, sauce buns, Green River, root beer floats….the list goes on and on.

(Note on picture — that’s me, when I don’t eat for many, many hours!)  After spending about 25 minutes waiting for everyone in line ahead of us to get off their dead asses and decide what they wanted to eat, it was finally our turn and we ran to the window, practically elbowing each other in the ribs intending to do bodily harm so that we could be the first to order. I was famished at this point, and about to eat my own arm, so I immediately ordered two cheese-dogs, and cheese fries and the largest diet Coke known to man (hey, at least I didn’t have regular Coke!). Patrick ordered the tenderloin sandwich, 2 sauce buns with cheese, cheese fries, and a root beer float. I scarfed down my food the second I had it in front of me, I was so hungry, and against all better judgment (let’s face it, the rational part of my brain was NOT working or even attempting to make a peep at this point) raced back up to the food stand to order another hot dog. Yes, dear readers, that is right–I feel off the wagon on Friday and ate three, yes, three, cheese dogs.

All three of those hot dogs, and the fries, were AMAZING going down.  However, there really is no saving grace in this situation, other than to say that eating in such a manner at least got me fed (and feeling gross about 20 minutes later) and prevented a mass casualty situation in a small town that likely doesn’t have a level 1 trauma center.

Normally when I indulge in a craving and have something that I shouldn’t eat, or should eat only in moderation, there is a voice in my head asking if that’s what I really want to do, if it is worth it to use my Points on this and if I truly want to proceed. I did not have that at the hot dog stand, which worried me at first. Until I realized that twenty minutes after this eating event, and it was an event, I physically felt gross, bloated and in need of a good, long nap (and possibly a stomach pumping).  As I thought back on that day, I realized that in this instance, perhaps the lack of the voice cautioning me against eating in such a way was okay, as I still have the visceral memory of what it felt like after I ate like a hog before slaughter. It is the memory of that feeling that right now is keeping me in check, because I do NOT want to feel that way again.

This situation also highlighted for me that this is an ongoing, evolving process to change habits that I have had for a lifetime that cannot be modified overnight. Whereas before, falling off the wagon like this incident at the hot dog stand would have resulted in me going on a binge for the next week, eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, this time, I realized pretty damn quickly that I had made a mistake, I already KNEW that I didn’t feel good about the mistake, and I resolved to be better about my eating. That evening, while we were having a little barbecue out back, I had one hamburger, loaded up on corn and veggies, and limited my share of the macaroni salad (though it was VERY good). I did have dessert, but it was a small Blizzard from Dairy Queen and I found I couldn’t even finish it.

Now, all that being said, come Wednesday Weigh-In Day, I was TERRIFIED of what would be on the scale when I got on….in my mind’s eye, I was imagining that 15 pounds had been gained back. Surprisingly, even after the debacle that was the hot dog stand, I was DOWN half a pound! I gave a silent prayer to whatever God was looking down on me and helped make that happen and turned the page on that week.

Lessons Learned: Multiple — have a snack in the car, avoid I-57, do not go to Jaenicki’s, three cheese-dogs will not end well, it is only one day, and I can do this. Final Score:  Kelly, 1; Hot Dog Stand, 0.  Take that!

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Goodbye you sack of potatoes!

Yup, that’s right, kids, I was down 3.2 lbs at my Wednesday WW weigh-in and that pushed me past another 5lb marker! Which means I get a sticker:) I do like stickers, which are a visual representation of my success.  But those bastards at WW also took away 2 of my points for food. It is taking me a few days to adjust, but I’m sure I’ll live!

It’s hard to think of 5 lbs being a LOT when I look at what I’d like to lose, but for those who wish to see the visual representation — here ya go — here is what 5 lbs looks like:

THAT is a frightening thought — to think that weight that comprised a sack of potatoes was on my thighs and ass — ICKY! The sweet smell of success is intoxicating enough, but what is more inspirational and motivational is not having THAT come back to my body!  Which is good because I’ve got quite an active schedule of exercise coming up this week between yoga and Zumba (I got my half-price class card this week on MamaLoot, did you???) Until next time, keep it healthy!

Today I Conquered ‘The Cake Boys’ and Zumba….Tomorrow, the World!

Many of you will remember that about 2 weeks ago, I wrote about four guys at my office who had banded together to join in some camaraderie over a cake and a gallon of milk during the afternoon workday.  The photo that I posted was pretty clear about just what these guys were doing, but many still asked — why? Why would they do this?

After the cake boys received such an honorable mention in my blog, I was inundated with emails at work about the reason why they snack like children at a birthday party in the middle of the afternoon while at their grown-up jobs…and, by inundated, I mean Graham emailed me on behalf of “The Bro Bro Brotherhood of the Traveling Cake.” Graham was quick to advise that these poor gents were now all on their own in this world, motherless, if you will (his word, not mine) and simply sought to recreate the secure and happy feelings of childhood by purchasing a cake and downing it with milk.  Simply put, the cake took them back to a happier time when they knew mom was just in another room, contentedly folding their laundry and preparing delicious meals of their favorite comfort foods for them.  Now, each of thee poor young men lives far away from their beloved mothers, and miss out on warmth of kith and kin (as Clark W. Griswold would say), folded laundry, home cooked lasagna, and homemade birthday cakes, among other things.  These young men have banded together to form “The Bro Bro Brotherhood of the Traveling Cake.” (Honestly, I think they decided to give themselves a formal name after they were mentioned here.) (Note: I am not a trained professional therapist, but I do know emotional eating when I see it — yoo hoo, guys, over here — take it from me, this is emotional eating and you won’t feel better in the morning!) Continue reading Today I Conquered ‘The Cake Boys’ and Zumba….Tomorrow, the World!

Success, You Elusive Little Bastard, You’re Mine!

Well, readers, this past week has been quite an adventurous one for me. I’ve tried new exercise (Zumba), hiked a couple of miles at the Chicago Botanical Garden, (if you’re on FB and we’re friends, check out my pics) resisted the urge to bitch-slap the menfolk at my office who insist on eating cake every day, and stayed on track with my Points (even with wine and eating out). And man, oh man, did it all pay off. I went to my Weight Watchers weigh-in this morning and was down 1.6 pounds from last week.  FUCK AND YES!

While I am super excited about my weight loss this week, the sad thing that I was thinking about on my way to work after weigh-in was that it probably took half an hour of eating to put those 1.6 pounds ON my ass, yet it took NON-STOP discipline to get it off.  (Please Note: I do believe it is a sign of spiritual and personal growth that I am not lamenting how unfair it is that so much work was required to get those few pounds off that got here so quickly and easily. It is what it is.)  It really just goes to show what a process this all is, and how looking at this from a day-to-day and week-to-week perspective, rather than the “big goal” is allowing me to get through this. 1.6 pounds is a drop in the bucket of where I would like to go on WW, but it’s a pretty big drop.

I also set goals last week, for what I wanted to accomplish during the past seven days. How did I come in with those? Well, let’s just say, “check and check and check.”  I wanted to try at least one new, vegetarian recipe for dinner – I made a lovely Pasta Farfalle with Creamy Mushroom Sauce.  I wanted to attend 2 yoga classes, which I did! (More importantly, I would have gone to more than 2 yoga classes if the studio hadn’t been closed for their summer vacation after Monday.) And, I wanted to walk 8 miles, cumulatively during the week, which thanks to my trust little pedometer, I did as well. I also broke out of the mold of what I previously had been doing for exercise and did Zumba (a goal from a few weeks ago was to try a new exercise class) and I liked it (and hurt/almost died) but am going to go back.

So, it is time for a new set of goals for the week to get me through (can you tell I like check-lists?):

  1. We’re going to continue with trying new recipes this week – at least 1 new vegetarian recipe, and 1 new recipe (that may have meat).
  2. Attend at least 3 exercise classes this week.
  3. Make yoga part of my daily routine, even if just at home and doing a few poses to stretch in the morning or relax at night.
  4. Track my cravings for foods — part of this for me is that I need to learn what my weaknesses are, my triggers and how to avoid them. I think that the best way for me to do this is to track when I start to crave certain things, what was going on and how I get past each individual trigger.
  5. Limit my diet coke intake to 2 per day. I kicked the regular soda habit many years ago, but I still drink diet coke daily.  Multiple times daily. Sometimes, I will not even realize that I have sucked down 6 diet cokes by lunchtime when I’m at work. And even though diet coke is 0 points, it does have aspartame in it, which I should work on avoiding. I figure if I cut back to a reasonable amount, I may even be able to kick the habit altogether. But I don’t want to get crazy all at once…baby steps, people, baby steps.

I’ve also been advised that the menfolk are planning some type of “cake extravaganza” for Tuesday, which if it is pulled off, will quickly become the subject of yet another blog post. In the meantime, I’ve got to keep on keeping on.

Oh Barbara Kingsolver….you’re my new Babs!

After preparing a lengthy review of Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna the other day, I hit the “save draft” button, walked away to make myself some dinner, and was going to come back to it so that I could finish my edits. When I returned to my post, lo and behold, damn WordPress ate my entire thing, except for the first sentence, despite having both the “auto save” feature AND my having clicked “safe draft.” I will admit, I was quite upset about this technological turn of events, but now that I have grieved for my lost post, I feel comfortable attempting to reconstruct the review, to the best of my ability.

I must also apologize for not having posted anything for a while on this blog. Now, this is not simply because I have started another blog that has been getting attention, Fat Girl No More. Rather, it actually took me about 2 weeks to read The Lacuna! Shocking, I know, for someone who usually polishes off 2 books per week and listens to a book a week in the car while commuting. Anywho, my review shall now commence! Continue reading Oh Barbara Kingsolver….you’re my new Babs!

I Lost My Leg Muscles, and My Dignity, at Zumba…

OH.  MY.  GAWD.  I went to my first ever Zumba class tonight at Hip Circle Studio in Evanston.  Carolyne went with me, and we met up with our friend Abby, who has been doing Zumba at the dance studio for a while now.  I honestly did not know what to expect, but I can certainly tell you, I did not expect to lose feeling in my legs so quickly.

For those not in-the-know, Zumba is the Latin dance workout that is sweeping health clubs across America….essentially, it’s a high-intensity workout set to Latin dance music that uses the essentials of Latin dance to get your workout in….some cha cha, salsa, meringue etc. The beats are great, and what with my recent forays into yoga, where I’ve been building muscle and tone, I thought I’d be fine at it.  Lord was I wrong….. Continue reading I Lost My Leg Muscles, and My Dignity, at Zumba…

A Picture Says 1,000 Words…..

THIS was the scene in the lunchroom at work on Friday, when Graham, Dean, Rob and Nick, decided that they were going to share an entire chocolate cake from Dominick’s, along with TWO PERCENT MILK, while they kvetch to get all caught up on the office gossip.

A couple of weeks ago, these guys got together and decided they would buy a chocolate cake and split it for a “snack” and enjoy it with some milk. (Word on the street is that someone did not particularly like the Boston Cream Pie Cake that had been brought in that day, but I cannot comment on the veracity of that.) Although I was kindly offered a piece of the original deliciousness, they had the cake on a Wednesday, which is weigh-in day, so I did not partake. I did, however, rant that only men would go out and buy an ENTIRE CAKE for a snack, and then proceed to cut it into 4 pieces, which each gent getting a quarter of the cake. Aside from the sheer gluttony of such a decision, only men would have the ability to eat 1/4 of a cake and NOT immediately have it appear on their ass or thighs. The other women in the office agreed with me and confirmed the truth of that comment!

Almost two weeks went by and we did not see a re-emergence of the cake, so I thought it had been a one-time thing.  UNTIL FRIDAY.  At which time, a walk by the lunchroom revealed the four above gentleman partaking in yet another cake, with more 2% milk!!! (Who over the age of 10 drinks anything but skim these days anyway?) Seriously, the torture is just not even funny on that score!

The best part, though, my fair readers, is what they have decided to do for next week, and presumably the weeks beyond  — SHEET CAKE! Their new theory is that if they buy a sheet cake at Costco on Monday, they’ll have enough cake for their daily snack for the entire week, and will save more money than if they buy an individual cake each day.  Although I sincerely applaud the financial stability of this decision, I have to say to them, I NOW CONSIDER EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU GUYS A PERSONAL TORTURER OF MINE!  There is nothing better than a piece of good cake, and to know that they are going to be enjoying it every day within feet of my desk is an awful bit of knowledge.  However, I am going to turn it into a challenge –> can I resist the temptation and stay the course with my weight loss and food goals? I’m going with yes.  I’ll keep you all updated.

Until then, I bid you all a lovely Saturday!

Why do I need goals, again?

Something that I have been thinking about a lot lately is what are my “goals” for this entire process of losing weight and changing the overall structure of my life (which I will get to, keep reading)….but more elemental than this question is why are goals important? Every magazine article I read in Shape, or Self, or Weight Watchers, or Health, starts off asking the question “what are your goals?” But why is this really important?

If you do a simple Google search of “why are goals important” you’ll get more than a million hits to websites that discuss and dissect this very issue, from individual blogs, to studies that one only hopes were official and in accordance with some type of scientific methodology.  Without going into a lengthy review of each such article, as each says essentially the same thing, let’s try to boil it down…without goals we cannot define what we intend to do, how we are doing in the process of it, and if we have accomplished anything.  Continue reading Why do I need goals, again?

Quick Check In! Awwww, yeah….

Well, as I said in my post from earlier today, which was really from last night but I didn’t post it because I was busy watching Mad Men episodes and didn’t want to get off the couch…..today was weigh-in day at Weight Watchers. I did pretty decently for the week with respect to my goals, but did eat out twice. Got on the scale and maintained, so I literally did not gain or lose a single ounce. Which, I am fine with, as the week before I had been up and was fearful to see that again.  I’m also trying to be very cognizant of the fact that by actually exercising, I am building muscle, which weighs more than fat. Ergo, I may actually be getting leaner, but have more muscle, which weighs more. Regardless of how I choose to spin this, I have to admit that I’m pretty pleased with the result. And that’s what counts (said in my best faux Jack Handy voice).

It also made me even more committed to continuing on with exercising. Just finished up the evening by hitting up a yoga class (with Patrick, no less) and I’m feeling leaner, longer and more relaxed. All three of which are good things that I will take.  Tomorrow is day one of the new WW week, and I’m hoping it will be a good one (please, God, let the pounds just start to melt off, won’t that work for you?)

Why Must Italian Food Torture Me So????? a/k/a How I Survived Saturday Night!

In my last post I gave an introduction to who I am, this blog, and what I am doing here, although, it DID end up being a little bit longer than I initially intended.  Whoops! It is also my goal to try to check in on a pretty regular basis to talk about what is going on in my world (what isn’t, these days) and chronicle my struggles with getting the number on the scale lower and getting my exercise ramped up.  So, let’s just jump right in, shall we?

One of the things that I find so debilitating about  trying to lose weight is that I truly just enjoy food. I love the texture and taste of new foods, and enjoy nothing more than gathering with friends and loved ones over a good meal, with a bottle of wine to catch up, laugh and enjoy each other’s company.  Such a gathering is made even better when the food is prepared with butter, is rich in cheeses and lots of flavor.  Doesn’t it just sound heavenly?

Continue reading Why Must Italian Food Torture Me So????? a/k/a How I Survived Saturday Night!