Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Yo, I'm here

and I've lost 19.4 pounds total. I worked too hard then had a brief vacation. And now I'm struggling to get used to it being dark when I leave for work.

Monday, August 17, 2009


It's been a while. August, allergies, and slow slow movement. But I'm down 16.6 so in spite of dead slow, it's moving in the right direction. Next plan: develop a regular yoga practice.

Monday, June 15, 2009


is amazing. I usually run on about 5 hours during the week and catch up a bit on weekends, but I'm always tired. I took a long weekend to do nothing much, caught up on sleep, and dropped a bit of weight as a bonus. I'm down 15.8 lbs. and I'm pretty pleased about it. I'm past that first burst of enthusiasm and still hanging in.

Friday, May 29, 2009

What A Surprise!

I was slogging along gaining and losing the same 2 pounds and all of a sudden, whoop. Nearly 4 lbs. down. Now I'm trying to remind myself of the importance of persistence and tenacity. That, I believe, is the lesson for the long term. For now, though, I've lost 14.6 pounds and I'm quite pleased about it. It seems like beyond the range of normal fluctuation and on the right road.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Long Weekend

with sun and pool opening and a NEW BICYCLE. Yes, I'm out of practice. It has been a long time since I went everywhere on a bike. And I'm quite ungainly with a bad knee to boot. Be that as it may, I've been a few yards every day. Well maybe more than a few yards, but not many.

Oh, and I lost a few pounds. I've lost 7 since I started Weight Watchers four weeks ago, 12 since I decided to get serious about getting healthier and feeling better. It's interesting that I can feel 5 or 10 pounds lost. Why didn't I feel 5 or 10 pounds gained? Because I really didn't notice? More likely I was ignoring all of those signals, how my body felt. You can't get to be 100+ pounds overweight if you're noticing how lousy it feels all the time.

Interestingly enough, I've thought a lot about how I feel. It's difficult to do so becausse I feel so narcissistic. On the other hand I've paid enough attention to the needs of others over the years. I'm due a little narcissism. Back to the point. I think I felt the best in my life when I was 11. I was strong and free and smart and puberty hadn't messed all that up yet. I wandered about, walked and rode my bike and swam miles just because it felt good. I realized that I've totally lost that feeling. I want it back. Even when I'm not so comfortable with what I have to do to get there.

Hence the bike. That looks like this:

(That one isn't mine, although it is the same brand and color. That one belongs to and was uploaded to Flickr by Melly Bee. Mine has a removable basket. It will have panniers when I find some I love.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Yo, Something New

I started going to Weight Watchers two weeks ago. I hate the meetings but I figured it was time to switch up, to try something new. As you can see I'm trying lots new.

Turns out I've lost 5.4 pounds in the last two weeks which gets me past the 10 pounds lost threshold. It's hard to think of that as substantial when I have so much to go, but I'm working on it. And I'm celebrating with a massage today. And a new button over there on the right. (Thanks Diana.)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Insight. Duh!

After struggling for a week to take my lunch to work every day I figured out that I should buy stuff at the supermarket to take. Sometimes my stupidity amazes me.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Treadmill Test

I've been struggling with knee pain, new orthotics, and what not. The pain has been much less for the past two weeks so I gave the treadmill at the nearby gym a very easy test. Ten minutes at a very easy pace. I got there and got back. And am pain free. If I'm still pain free tomorrow, I'll try again another day.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Not Good

Seriously, what's the matter with Australia that they think this is the ideal look. In case you don't know, this is Australia's entrant into the Miss Universe pageant. She is 6' tall and weight 105. Can we have a little sense here?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hither and Yon

I made two significant trips this week, both close to home.

On Wednesday I went to a Weight Watchers meeting. I'm not a social sort, so the idea of all of us there together isn't appealing. On the other hand, the meeting, according to the Blessed Google, turns out to be 2.4 miles from my house. I don't have the too far or too inconvenient excuses. It was upbeat and cheerleady but not so much that I barfed. And I signed up ahead of time for a month on line, so I might as well show up for a while and see how that goes.

Wednesday was my birthday. So instead of cake I gave myself Weight Watchers. I was really proud of myself.

Today I went to the gym, did three whole minutes on a stationary bike which sounds ridiculous even to me. Then again my allergies are in full flower (ha ha) and after three minutes I had no breath. Instead of skulking off, discouraged (which I was) I did 1/2 hour of weight training. Yay me!

I think my main goal at this point is just to do anything regularly -- anything at all. The habit is so important and the distractions so great.

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's A Puzzle

I've been pretty much stuck on the same weight for a good long while. I've adjusted my exercise, how I eat, what I eat, my sleeping schedule, and a bunch of other things, but the baseline seems about the same. It's good that I seem to have a bit more energy and more resilience. But I really really want to weigh less.

Struggling with this, I decided to read Jennette's book knowing how much weight she lost. But the transition from toying with losing weight to actually doing it eludes me.

When I (finally)quit smoking I had to decide that I couldn't have any cigarettes ever. Not one. Not one puff. No cheating. Hot a hint. I even avoided the smell of smoke for months. Most people can have a puff or sneak an occasional cigarette, but I couldn't. Ok, I know that but how does that translate into food? I have to eat.

Maybe for some people that would translate into one of those liquid diets or the Jenny Craig sort of thing where you only eat what somebody prepares for you. And that might work for me for a while. I lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers once, but then I stopped losing weight. Six months later I was bored, discouraged, and still not losing more weight. I guess size inertia is a theme here.

Well let me ponder my successes instead of my failures and see what I can figure out. Meanwhile, I'll go get a pedicure.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's Been A While

Thanks to those of you who gave me a shout out.

The Excuses: I've been working too hard, allergies are kicking my butt, and (as always) I'm horribly discouraged about my seeming inability to develop habits. Or my unwillingness to work hard enough at it. There surely is something I haven't glommed onto yet, even if it is single-minded persistence.

The Good: After a physician -- a podiatrist of all things -- decided that my leg/knee pain could be a vitamin D deficiency he tested me and I was, in fact, low. That actually isn't amazing when I leave for work in the dark and mostly get home in the dark. I've been using a blue light (15 min/day) for a while so that clearly wasn't enough. So I started using a D supplement.

While I was at it I added a Glusosamine/Chondroitin/MSM supplement as well. Ok, I'm a lazy twit, but I'm also in pain a good deal of the time and that isn't helping anything. After a few weeks my pain seemed a little less -- I wasn't too sure -- but my range of joint motion was way improved. I first noticed this with regard to bra-hooking. That putting your arms behind your back to hook your bra thing is a dead giveaway. Not only is it easier, but it is a LOT easier.

I procured for myself a propane grill, the better to toss fish, cow, and shrimp on. It is a terrific addition for flavor and it also makes me less inclined to stop by and grab fast food on the way home from work.

The Pitiful: I've lost a grand total of 8.6 pounds. That shouldn't bother me so much. I'm eating much better. I'm moving more. Yada, yada, yada. But damn I hate being fat.

Until next time ...

Monday, March 9, 2009

What I Learned This Week

The snow last Monday in no way predicted the 70+ degree weather today.

The change to daylight savings time still knocks me out.

Squats hurt my ass. Even my first squat hurt my ass. Half a dozen of them, especially when one is 100+ lbs. overweight really hurt two days later.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Let It Snow!

It is a semi-snow day. That means there is 8" outside my door (and I live in the mid-atlantic, so we aren't hardy.) Schools are closed but workplaces graciously allowed us to use leave. Or telework. I picked leave because I didn't want to spend the day worrying about whether I was working hard enough.

Yes, I should fix that problem.

After three visits to the frigid windy out-of-doors to shovel out my car. And a path to my car. And the lumps of sodden detrius (snowius?) that the plow left in an attempt to shovel my car in. (In between the last two I got a better hat and ate a bowl of potato-cheddar soup.) I finally finished, laughingly asking myself if I could count that shoveling as exercise.

Gob-smacked I realized that it is exercise. That wet snow at the end of a lever counts as moving a weight. That doing it swiftly and getting out of breath counts as aerobic activity. Well golly gee, why am I minimizing my actual work by laughing at myself.

Sheesh. I hate that. But at least I figured it out. Everything counts. Running up six steps to get the mail counts. Carrying groceries counts. It's all work. Maybe if I stop calling it exercise, it won't seem so trivial.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Negative Thoughts

I've had a rotten cold. I did the weight routine three more times -- good on me -- but fell off the wagon with a horrid cold and fever. I'm not sure the trainer got my two email messages canceling and I'm obsessing over that. As if no one else ever got sick.

I'm also obsessing over when to restart weights. I found a medically decent piece that says weights with a head cold and no fever do no harm. I have a chest cold and fever. And asthma which gets seriously awful with the least virus or infection.

I figured out today -- I'm clearly on the mend but no where near well -- after about two hours of research that this feeling of being overwhelmed and inadequate is a big chunk of why I just give up. Or it is a ploy to let me give up. I have no idea which.

While I'm being all negative, why does everybody call this a journey? It's as if we're going on a lovely trip to Tahiti. Just pack your bags and you're on your way. No it isn't a lovely trip. It's all about changing habits and learning new things and facing yourself and it's all very very hard. That 'journey' stuff seems like the same kind of denial that got a lot of us here, you know.

My apologies to anybody I offended, but I know if I'm going to do this I need to tell myself the truth. I do some of that here.

In spite of it all, I'm down 8.4 lbs. Not a lot but the direction is right.

I found this at the WomanaSports Foundation. It is about core training for athletes. If I start thinking of myself as an athlete maybe I'll treat my body better.

o when training the core for sports, it's best to have the hips and back in the open air, supported only by the core muscles. The following core exercises do just that:

* Planks - Hold the core in an isometric position and challenge the entire core. A plank is done in the push up position – hold that position for 4 – 6 deep breaths.

* Standing Leg Circles - Circle your leg to the front, hips and upper body should not move. Add a resistance band around your legs for a greater challenge - the hips and shoulders stay squared to the front. Circle 8 times to clockwise, 8 times counterclockwise.

* Standing Leg Lifts - Work the core from all directions. Keep your hips and upper body still while you lift your leg to the front, side and on a diagonal. Use quick, short lifts and only move your leg. Add a resistance band around your legs for a greater challenge. Perform 16 quick pulses to the front, side and diagonal.

* Standing Arm Circles - With a hand held weight, challenge the core to stay still. Hold a dumbbell with two hands. Make a big circle to the front using the weight. Keep your middle tight and don't sway your hips. Circle 8 times clockwise, 8 times counterclockwise.

Working the core as a unit can be done everyday. You'll only need to spend 10 minutes each day for great looking abs. The secret is out. Spread the word.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Woo Hoo!

Ok, it's not much. But it is for me.

Here's what I did today:
Chest press
High cable row
Bicep curl
Tricep cable pulldown
Shoulder side raises
Leg lift (Knee problems prevent squats)
Leg curl machine

10 reps each

Let's see if I do it again Sunday.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Baby Steps

I ordered some yoga pants from the Land's End outlet for about ten bucks. I also got a locker at the gym to eliminate some of my perpetual excuses. Shampoo, a spare towel, and some basic gym clothes mean that I can drop by whenever without having to go home and collect what I need.

I also went to the gym and spent an hour with the manager. We interviewed each other so that she could recommend a personal trainer for me. She's going to get back to me. I'll get a free hour orientation with whoever she finds that seems to fit my needs and schedule.

This was really hard. Among other things I had to be assertive about what I need. And to figure out what I want.

What is my goal? To do one pull up (or chin up). That's all.

Sounds really simple, doesn't it? It'll either have to get strong as hell or lose some serious weight or both. I guess I'll figure that part out as I go along. But somewhere along the way having a simple single-minded goal seemed like a good idea. Not get in shape or lose weight or look better or feel better. Just something simple and measurable.

Next goal: Feel valuable enough to get my butt there and act like I am entitled to take up space.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Quandry

What do fat women wear to the gym?

I have ratty sweats, but they make me feel like crap. I don't want a new wardrobe -- investing money in clothes will just make me feel like I need to get a lot of use out of them and discourage me from losing weight. I need things that are close enough to my body so that I can see what it is doing but not so close that I am too embarrassed to go out of the house. And all of those jock stores that have such cool stuff don't have clothes that fit me.


Why in the bloody blue blazes does everything have to be so much harder when you aren't average?

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Confession

I've never told anybody this. And I don't know why it tapped into my core so badly.

The last time I tried to exercise outside was a very very long time and a great many pounds ago. I weighed like 180 and was focusing on fitness. I was by myself, on a bicycle in a flat agricultural area nearby. It isn't well traveled so I was ok about going slowly if I needed to or stopping when necessary.

I was struggling up a small grade when a car whizzed by, then screeched to a stop about 100 feet in front of me. It was an old beater and the young man on the right -- an old teenager with long hair and a ripped tee shirt -- leaned half of his body out of the car window and shouted at me "Get off the road you fat cow." He then threw an open beer in my direction and the car took off like a bat out of hell.

I stood there for the longest time, shaking. The situation felt totally unsafe, but the fact that I was being ridiculed overwhelmed me. I trembled while I struggled my way back to my car, put the bicycle in, and went home. And never did it again.

I'm sitting here trying to make myself go to the gym, all of 7 minutes away. And all I can think about is how embarrassed I am. Maybe it's an excuse but maybe not. I think I need to work on this.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today it is very cold ... nine degrees I believe ... and I was craving creamed chipped beef. So after a bit of fussing, some Pam in a pan, heavily browned dried beef strips, about half a tsp of flour for thickening, and non-fat milk, I made an amazingly satisfactory concoction. It was thinner than it might have been but ok. I toasted a slice of 9 grain toast and pre-diced it. Covering it with the "milked" concoction, the toast squares soaked up the mixture. I now have a very warm tummy.

And the day before yesterday I made french toast. I soaked leftover italian bread in a mixture of non-fat eggnog mixed with one egg, a little nutmeg, and (my favorite) black pepper. Fried two sliced on a Pam-sprayed pan. I don't know what the calories were, but it was different and tasty and couldn't have been so bad as a Sunday brunch.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Ten days after the beginning of the new year I have lost .2 lbs. Oh it seems trivial to you, but it is the lowest in six months and going in the right direction. So YAY!

And I'm going for a massage and the roads aren't covered with the threatened ice. YAY!


I think Sunday is a good day for a regular weigh.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm Tired

and that's one of the times I eat. But I'm always tired when I go to work at 6AM. I have to deal.

Baby steps.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Chinese Food

does such a dance on the scale numbers. I know, I know. The scale shouldn't matter but it does. It is the simplest way to measure day by day. And dammit, I need feedback.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The New Year

I've never been inclined to make resolutions. I'm more inclined to mark the passage of time with a little reflection. Today I've learned that for the first time I'm actually changing my life style instead of just saying it is the right thing to do. I'm not eating what I want every single time but I'm making better choices. Sometimes that means not eating crap now so I can eat crap later. That's an improvement.

I'm also feeling more settled, less desperate, than I have in the past. I don't know what that means or even why. I'm just observing.

In the spirit of that balance I'm going to work on developing the habit of exercise and movement. That may mean 5 minutes a day but nearly every day. I think my goal is six days a week but it may have to be seven for the habit to take root. I'm also working on sleeping more. I typically sleep 5 to 6 hours a night during the week, catching up a bit on weekends. I can muddle through but that's just not enough.

Now I'm going to stop talking about what I'm going to do and look forward to reporting on what I've done.

And today I weight 259. One of these days I'll put that in the sidebar.