eat, move, think, feel


February 2009

Sleepy Saturday

I’m really tired today. I woke up at 4:30 because my daughter had a crew race and it wasn’t certain if I was going to drive her, or her dad. Then blew a lot of adrenaline jumping up and down and yelling for her team. When I got home, I had all good intentions of erging, but I’m just. too. tired. So instead of not exercising at all, I’m going to take a very long, steady walk through the trees. Which I’m hoping will be better than nothing.

I went to another WW meeting today, hoping to find that elusive Great Leader. The GL on the schedule was out today, and there was a Not So Great substitute. But I ran into a friend of mine there (surprise!) and we talked for a bit. Turns out she is rowing for a womens’ master team and really, really encouraged me to join. It really does sound like it could be fun, now that I am not so intimidated by the erg machine.

They practice at 5:30 in the morning. Talk about bleary. I either have to force myself to go to bed much, much earlier, or I will end up trashed like I am today.

But… I’m considering it. I’m considering ANYthing these days that will take me in the right direction on this path.

Bad Day/Good Day

Yesterday was just one of those super funky days.  Today has been a very good day. The difference? E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E.

So yesterday I got up with good intentions. I put on my workout clothes.  Drove my daughter to school.  My plan was to come back, eat breakfast, charge up my iPod, work out on the erg machine, then shower and go to work. (luckily, or unluckily, I have a VERY flexible schedule and boss)

I had been thinking that maybe I ought to add back some “good carbs” into my eating. I’ve been eating more eggs than I can count, mostly egg whites.  So I thought to change things up I’d have a little oatmeal. Now, I am not a huge fan of oatmeal. I loooove “smooth” hot cereals like Malt O Meal but not sure how it compares health wise. I remembered seeing an ad for Starbucks “Perfect Oatmeal.” I got the oatmeal and was quite charmed by the tiny little packets of brown sugar, chopped nuts and dried fruit. I passed on the sugar, and added about 1/2 packet each of the nuts and fruit. Then I ran into someone I knew and chatted for a while. MISTAKE. When I got to my car, there was a bright green $45 parking ticket. BOOOOOO.

I came home. I was upset. I added up my points for the oatmeal etc and was mad when I realized it was more than I’d anticipated/wanted. I went into a funk. I started fooling around on Twitter/Facebook and before I knew it, hours had passed. I kept saying, “I ought to go exercise” but I didn’t. Then I started feeling HUNGRY and that made me even madder. Damn that oatmeal!!

I ended up not exercising at all. I had to go somewhere and didn’t have time to exercise AND shower, and I really needed to shower. I was in a funk. For some bizarro reason I had the weirdest, strongest craving for HOT DOGS all day. Really? Hot dogs? Why crave what is basically a NON food but really a piece of garbage? I don’t know. But I could not get hot dogs out of my mind.  My brain was crawling with hot dogs.

Fortunately, I practiced some deep breathing and managed to get through the day without eating any hot dogs. I was in a big rush. I ordered Indian food takeout. I ate much much much too quickly although did not eat any naan or rice. It was good but I probably ate too much. (note to self: buy food scale next time at WW) Went out to see a friend’s performance. Bought a bottle of water at intermission. Went to bed vowing to have a better day today.

TODAY, I woke up and after driving girl to school, went straight to my trainer. He was fa-bu-lo-so. He gave me a great Biggest Loser type workout. I felt like Sione. He kept hooting and yelling, GIRL, you are really BRINGING IT! I was happy and sweaty.

I have been having some hip muscle pain for the past couple months -first the inside of my hip (groin) and then it migrated to the outside. My trainer’s bodyworker came in and he so very generously GAVE ME half of his time with her. She had just done this workshop on hips and she was eager to try out all her new tricks. I was so excited!! She worked on me for 30 mins and when I hopped off the table I felt like a million bucks. Seriously. It was sooooooooo good. (note to self: schedule more bodywork)

Then I had a pre-existing appointment to go to this chair massage place (yeah! another bodywork) with a friend. We each got mini 15-minute chair massages which was great since this one focused mostly on my neck and shoulders. YAY. Then we had lunch and I had a very satisfying/modest bean soup, Mediterranean salad and a few steamed clams. All good.

I feel sooooooooooooo much better today.  It’s like a different universe.  I have to remember this every single day. If I don’t get my dose of endorphins, I feel awful. If I do, everything is easier.

When Everyone is Not On Board: The White Rice Wars

So there are five people in my family: myself, husband, two daughters (one away at college) and my mother. She is Japanese-American, in her 80s, and quite attached to her white rice.  For a long while, my husband was the only one who generally didn’t eat the rice (he’s been doing South Beach for almost 2 years, more or less). Then in January, after a big lunch with white rice almost threw me into a postprandial coma, and I started this New Lifestyle, I stopped.  Every night at dinner, my mother would cook up a big pot of rice and then ask, with an undertone of shock in her voice, “You’re not having any?” But my younger daughter loves her rice and would always keep my mom company on the white-rice bus.

But younger daughter appears to be changing her food habits as well. I have not wanted to pressure her in the least, but she is entering the competitive season with her novice rowing team, and I notice she has begun preparing and making salads, and believe me, this is new for her. She’s eating differently overall.

So last night my mom made the usual pot of rice.  My daughter declined, because I had also made pureed cauliflower which is our new stand-in for mashed potatoes. And suddenly my mother was alone with the rice. She BANGED the metal pot lid down on the counter and made us all jump. She was so mad. I think that this new diet is so so threatening and upsetting to her. People who don’t eat rice don’t deserve to be called Japanese, in her mind. The whole thing is intensely disturbing to her. She considers brown rice to be highly suspect and inferior (“hippy food”).

I was reading a profile somewhere (on the WW site, I think?) and a Latina woman was talking about how hard it is to deal with many traditional (Mexican I think) foods because to say no to certain things is like turning one’s back on one’s culture. I think that is what’s going on in our house.

It’s really hard when not everyone in a household is on the same page.

My mom is 86 years old. She doesn’t have diabetes. It’s totally fine if she has her white rice. But it isn’t totally fine with HER if we do not.


PS. If you ask me, the best rice these days is Free Rice, where you get smarter while feeding hungry people who really NEED the rice.

Ten Pound Reward

I guess I can safely say I’ve lost my first ten pounds. And my clothes are definitely fitting differently.  A friend of mine, the friend of mine who has the most fashion sense (and I have absolutely none) took me on a forced clothes shopping spree the last time I lost (the same) ten pounds. I bought two pairs of pants that fit me in a shockingly nice way. Who knew!

I am also the kind of person who haaaaaaates to spend money on clothes. I will spend money on many many other things: travel, FOOD (of course!), presents for other people, books, music, entertainment, but clothes are not my Thing at all. I literally have about five pairs of shoes- one of everything: Dansko clogs (for every day), a pair of New Balance athletic shoes, one pair of sandals, one pair of dress shoes, a pair of Uggs boots and a pair of Tevas. That’s IT. Part of it is that I have super wide feet and I can never ever ever find comfortable shoes. If I find something that feels good, like Danskos or Uggs, that’s it, I’m done.

Anyway, now that I’m back to the weight of my two pairs of nice pants, I thought, I KNOW these fit. I know they work for me, and I know what size.  So I did an online search and found that a fancy department store nearby sells them in JEANS form. Well, they’re not at the store so I can’t try them on. But I know these pants work for me.

It was a big leap. Let me see they cost… more than $100. This was painful for me. I can’t deal with the idea of spending that much on JEANS. But they are nice jeans, so I guess I can call them semi-nice pants. OK. I ordered them! They were my reward for the first ten pounds.

I can’t wait for them to come so I can try them on!

Good Doctor

I had my first visit with my endocrinologist this morning. It was good!! I really like her. She’s very young but super friendly and seems to really know her stuff. She was easy to talk to. She took her time, didn’t seem rushed, let me ask all my questions and was overall just great. YAY!

So, my big question #1: do I have diabetes? The answer was, no, not YET but I am certainly at very high risk. The lab slip shows that I am no in the “diabetic” range but am in the “impaired” range. She gave me big credit for losing 12 lbs (yes! finally cracked that wall!) in the past month, and said that obviously made a big difference. I still have about 16 to go. (at least)

I have to go for an oral glucose tolerance test, which for those of you who have not had the pleasure, is one of the nastiest experiences ever. You have to chug a huge quantity (a quart?) of what is essentially SYRUP and then get your blood tested as you see how your body responds to this mass sugar intake. I am SO not looking forward to it, especially since I have had about zero sugar in the past month (except that teeny slice of chocolate cake) and I know my body is not going to respond in a pretty way.  I had to take this test several times while pregnant. Once I chugged too fast, trying to get it over with, you know? and ended up puking it all up and having to START ALL OVER again. I remember sitting down on the floor and just bawling my eyes out. Hopefully it will go better this time – but man, I am not looking forward to it.

But otherwise we had a good chat. She said it was more important to lose the weight than to actually do a diabetic diet at this point, and whatever combination of food plan/exercise/emotional support will get me to the weight loss, that’s the best plan. She did give a shout-out, however, to the Zone Diet and the Mediterranean Diet. I’m going to check out the Zone book.

So that’s the plan. Exercise every day if possible.  Continue whatever diet feels the most do-able, but most definitely try to stay away from anything high carb. Check back in five weeks. I am actually very happy to have this five-week appointment because it gives me a target date. I want to have lost weight in five weeks. I want my numbers to be even better.

It took a few minutes for her to come in to the exam room, and while I was waiting I looked at this big DIABETES poster on the wall right next to me.  What are the results of untreated Diabetes 2? Heart attack! Stroke! Amputations! Blindness and neurological problems!!!  With nice illustrations for each! Oh, boy. Yeah, I do not want these things. I am going to walk/row/pedal my way away from that stuff and fast.

I feel like I’m in a good place right now. I feel like I can do it and it’s not painful.

Oh yeah, I am excited because Biggest Loser is on AGAIN tonight! I’d love it if they could do two one-hour shows every week.

And LOST! And Top Chef!!

Liveblogging The Biggest Loser

So I have no idea what to expect from TBL tonight. My daughter (who is 2 times zones ahead) texted me and said it was “crazy.” Crazy good, crazy bad, I don’t know. So here goes.

  • Helen recaps the decision to send Shanon home. She questions herself as a mother. I don’t. Mama, you did the right thing.
  • Music of doom. Pop challenge: black and blue shirts -the teams are going to reconfigure. I don’t understand Sione’s attachment to Bob. Ooh the winners get to choose trainers. WHO ON EARTH would choose to work with Bob? Psycho yoga man.
  • Challenge: up and down, 100x in the mud. They love mud wrestling! Kristin will win, ha. 🙂 Kristin FLOPS. I love her! I can tell you these up-down things are damn hard. I’ve done a version of this (sans mud) with my trainer, all the way down and then leaping up. It’s hard. Tara wins. She’s bawling in the mud. I’d be bawling too. Sometimes these exercises are really emotionally draining. I’ve burst into tears more than once after finishing a real killer.
  • I have to say I really don’t understand the concept of this team thing on this show.
  • Wow, NOBODY is getting what they want. Sione is such a sad little hangdog.
  • Sione, Jillian is going to push you a millionx more than Bob. You have no idea how much better this is going to be.
  • Mikey has a great attitude, and J is pushing him SO MUCH.
  • Wah wah wah wah.  All the guys are crying. Cue the violins!! Now the cheesy vocals. BAD.
  • Bob, be a man. Be a professional.
  • STOP WHINING PEOPLE! You know, I love my trainer. I adore my trainer. But he needed to take some time off and he handed me off to someone he trusted. (his own trainer) and guess what? Trainer #2 was freaking AWESOME. I learned new great things. It was tremendous.
  • They’re trying not to laugh their faces off at Jillian’s Ziploc product placement. Hah.
  • Bike challenge. I would SO FAIL at this!! It’s like “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” (about the dance marathons of olden days)
  • Favorite quotes so far: “My ass is on fire.” “Uh huh, it will go numb, don’t worry.” HA!
  • Cue the Gladiator music!
  • Wow. Mandi wants to throw in the towel!  BLACK TEAM, SAY NO!
  • Aw Sione is not a quitter. Blue team is bummmmmmmmed.
  • “the reason we are all here is that we always quit before, we didn’t finish what we started.” YEAH.
  • One minute left! This is very exciting. Ha, Helen’s still going even though they counted to zero.
  • GO BLACK TEAM. Yeahhhh…
  • I love how the two teams are hugging each other.
  • More tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!

My response overall: this was a good show. I got all choked up AGAIN when Sione talked about not quitting. I can remember my earliest days of quitting in the face of a physical challenge. I was on the high school track team. Originally I was supposed to be a sprinter, doing the 220m (1/4 mile) but like EVERYOne wanted to do the 220m so they switched me over to the 880. Which is just a brutal, horrible killer, of having to really pump out for two entire laps rather than.. half a lap.  So many times, during a meet I would end up dying somehow at around 1.5 laps; I’d twist my ankle, or get injured, or throw up or pass out or god knows what. But I was so terrified of losing that I just took myself out, over and over. That was a very bad precedent to set. However, I do not remember ANYbody being there or encouraging me to keep going, so I never did. It was very lonely. I didn’t last too long at track, maybe 2 years max.

Better! Better! Better!

I just got a call with my lab test results. It’s only been a month since my first wake-up call lab tests. And while my numbers are not IDEAL, they are much much much better.

I am particularly proud of my triglycerides. Normal is less than 150. A month ago, they measured 240. 😦 And yesterday, they were 185. I am so definitely moving in the right direction.

My blood sugar was 110.  Moving further and further away from that diagnosis, YAY. I feel confident that if I keep this up, my numbers will be absolutely, completely normal.

Three Cheers for the Torture Machine

I’m only half kidding when I say that about our beloved (cough) erg machine (ie rowing machine). Both of my daughters, as I’ve mentioned before, are rowers, one on a Division I college level. I’ve watched them and their teammates erg for years. It looks like torture. But they are not kidding when they say that rowing is a full-body sport.

I just got off my third 20-minute erg session. The sweat is running in rivers down my head and body. I know I’ve gotten an amazing workout. And the cool thing is that the machine actually shows you your progress. The first time, I was averaging (“splitting”) 3 minutes and six seconds per 500 meters. (to give you some perspective, the young athletes are always trying to get a “sub-two”) The second time, I got a 2:56 (YAY! a sub-three!!) and today I got down to 2:50.4.  I was very proud of myself. If I can get into the 2:30s by this summer, I will be a happy person.

I have to thank The Biggest Loser and my daughters for even getting me to try this (my older daughter for being an example of a MONSTER rower, and my younger one for not laughing TOO hard when she tried to show me proper form). But it’s a crazy awesome HARD workout that I can do from my garage. With all my best music on my iPod.

Yay for the torture machine!!

Note to self: do NOT eat hard boiled eggs prior to erging. Burps will be very nasty.

I have to say, I’m pretty pumped full of endorphins right now.

Watching, Again

So yesterday I spontaneously decided to pick myself up and go to a Weight Watchers meeting.  I have been doing pretty well overall but had hit a bit of a plateau and figured I needed something a little more structured.

I had such mixed feelings when I walked through that door. I have been through a LOT in that little room and not all of it was positive.  I could feel the resistance roiling up in my stomach as I came in and filled out the familiar form on the familiar clipboard. I took a deep breath and went back to the scale. I knew it would be way more than my home scale, since I was fully clothed and it was in the middle of the day, but I still didn’t like seeing that number. Boo. Oh well, we can only go down from here (I hope).

The leader was someone I think I’d seen before. My heart sank. She was NOT one of the inspiring ones but rather one of the ones that instantly evoke a Bad Attitude in me.  She’s nice enough, but tends to talk to the group as if we were a bunch of kindergarteners. Could she make the “lesson” any more dumbed-down? I felt really condescended to. Some people were good sports about it, but lots of people in the room were looking about a millimeter away from a group eye-roll. I know they have this set “lesson” every week that every WW leader everywhere is supposed to follow – but I was fighting the urge to leap up there and take over for her. Of course I had no right to do that, considering *I* haven’t lost 40 lbs and kept it off for 9 years, but damn, I’m a better teacher. WAY better.

I have a secret desire to one day become a WW or other weight loss kind of teacher/leader, but I guess I’d better get to my goal weight before I think about that path. I love teaching and think it would be awesome to teach this kind of thing. If I am successful with the Beck program maybe I could do that. ANYway, cart before horse much?

I was chagrined to learn that I now am allotted 2 fewer “points” than the last time I was here. Bummer. That’s what happens when you get old! Bleah.

But I did get all the paraphernalia, and yesterday dutifully “tracked” the points of the day. At the end of the day I came in 5 points SHORT. What’s that about? I was psyched to realized that my sugar free tapioca pudding has only 1 point and a ton of fiber! Who knew.

So, here I go. I am definitely going to be checking out different meetings to find a leader who is a better fit for me. Why are WW leaders so … straight?  I’ve had two fantastic leaders in my long journey through WW – one man who was a really big, funny goofball, and another woman who dropped like 200 lbs and was really honest and awesome about her struggles. Why do they all look and dress like Laura Bush?  I’d be so psyched to find a WW leader who looks like Michelle Obama. I’d do anything for those arms!!

If anybody out there is also doing WW, please chime in. I could use the company.

PS. I went to get my blood drawn again today in preparation for my endocrinologist appointment today. The blood-drawing tech was super awesome (no pain!) and he said a magic “Shazaam!” over my lab slip to encourage Good Numbers. Let’s hope.

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