Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hot 100 Update

Time to check in on the progress of my Hot 100 challenge! Actually, I'm not sure if we are to update today or tomorrow, but I've got the time this morning so I'm weighing in.

Not literally, because I can't trust my wonky bathroom scale anymore (the one that erroneously said I gained 54 pounds over the summer -- die, SOD, die).

But a quick look-see at how I'm doing:

Goal #1: I'm still sticking with the running, although it's been truncated this week due to nasty weather, a bad knee and foot, and yet another effing cold (just a small one, thank goodness). My knee has been sore all week still, but I gently pushed through it, aggressively iced the knees (not frosting Peridot!) and took some anti-inflammatory ibuprofen. The foot problem came from new shoes that I bought -- cross-training shoes to run and walk in! Yay!

Except the shoes gave me big blisters and a serious sharp pain under my toe as I walked. Upon reflection, I'm going to have to keep my big Frankenstein walking shoes for walking to/from work, and carry the running shoes with me for the moments I'm on the treadmill.

To that end, I bought myself a new backpack to haul my extra stuff around. Funny how one purchase always leads to another. But it's been great so far, and in a weird way, it helps me to stick to my plan. You bought it, you better use it, right?

Goal # 2: Eat weight-loss portions at every meal: wow, I'm pleased to say that this has been going pretty well. Yay! It's not easy for me, but I've really been focusing hard on keeping it small, eating slowly and spacing my meals out better. I have stuck to my usual 300 to 400 calorie breakfast, but added a small portion of fruit later in the morning, a bigger lunch -- about 600 calories -- but broken into two meals. One about 1pm, another one about 3 or 4pm. This has helped me stave off my usual 5pm blood sugar drop, but to be extra sure, and to power my evening workout, I've taken to eating a handful of chopped walnuts and some fruit (actually prunes this week!) before I leave work.

In turn, I do believe this has helped me tone down the overeating at night. I get home hungry for dinner, but not wolfishly ravenous. We have lightened up on the carbs at night -- even though we always ate healthy quinoa instead of rice/cous cous, it's still a carb and all too tempting to load up on it.

Goal # 3: Lose 25 lbs. So, I have no actual proof on this one, but I believe I'm on my way. Because of my idiot scale, I have to weigh at my gym, and since I'm rarely there in the mornings now the only time I can weigh myself is at night, obviously not the ideal time. Sometimes when I change things up and start working out a little harder, I show a stall or a gain on the scale -- usually just for four or five days, and then it will drop. But if I get on now, it very likely won't have budged, and that depresses me. Right now I'm going to stick to holding to my good habits and get on the scale in the next few days.

In other news, I'm very unhappy at having a niggling cold again. What is it about me that makes me so prone to these things? They always start out the same -- ear ache, then soreness in the throat on that side, then pain in the lung and some congestion, then a few days of sinus problems. It always starts on the right side and spreads -- although this one is holding firm on the right side b/c it's very light.

Is it possible that my weight loss efforts are making me more prone to colds? I eat a ton of fruit, but maybe I need to add multivitamins or more vitamin C.... I've taken to throwing Arame seafood into my dinner, surely that will help too. In anycase, boosting the immune system is my shadow Hot 100 goal!

This weekend I plan to spend time checking out everyone else's Hot 100 blogs. Let's go Hotties!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Garlic Extravaganza

Check it out folks -- garlic galore at the weekend Garlic Festival in beautiful upstate New York. What a fun way to pass a sunny Sunday, if you discount the rather tedious two-hour drive each way to get to Saugerties from NYC.

I headed up bright and early with some friends on Sunday for my first ever garlic festival. It was great to stroll across a big field, kicking autumn leaves and bits of stray hay with my feet until we got to the very crowded entrance. This festival is so big that the state troopers have to come out to direct traffic! There were tons of people, all eager to sample the gorgeous garlic fare sold by organic garlic farmers. It was quite rustic and homey and fun -- and full of food, of course.

There were all kinds of samples to eat, many of them garlic aioli and mayo and mustard or pesto and chutney and cheese and on and on and on. The sample sizes were small, but I still had to keep an eye on how many nibbles I had because it was all too easy to nosh on endlessly, all morning long.

There were some things that I was easily able to pass up!

But others, like garlic chocolate chip cookies, were all too appealing. Seriously, it tastes much better than you would think.

The real danger came at lunchtime. We had gotten up early and so I missed breakfast, but had a banana and small portion of cheese to tide me over on the ride up. We got there around 11am and immediately started sampling, so I wasn't all that hungry when we wandered into the food court around 2pm for lunch.

I guess because this was an outdoorsy festival I expected healthy options. Boy, was I wrong! Click on this picture to blow it up - do you see what I do?

Everything was fried at most of the food stands -- fried garlic is still fried garlic, and ditto for artichokes and ravioli (which I will admit to sampling when my friend got some, but it was gross. A ravioli is just not meant to be deep fried, and then covered in a slimy melted butter and garlic topping, itck).

The garlic theme was everywhere, as you would expect, but I passed on the garlic ice cream, the deep fried garlic cloves and especially the roasted garlic covered in chocolate, but my friend tried it.

I strolled forever looking for something that was a small portion. Everything I saw was huge -- and I mean HUGE. One place sold massive bowls of freshly fried potato chips, another sold Greek salads that used a mountain of feta cheese. I lamented that the b/f wasn't with me, because I would have gotten a veggie quesadilla for us to share. That was the healthiest option I found, but the portion was immense.

I knew if I ate it I would be sick, and I knew if I bought it I would eat too much. In the end, I just bought one slice of pizza with whole roasted tomatoes and basil on it and a few splotches of mozzarella cheese. It was the portion size I wanted -- one small slice, and looked like a fairly healthy choice. When I look back on Sunday, I'm pleased with myself. I was able to be in the moment and enjoy what was offered without struggling, but I picked my indulgences carefully, instead of just losing control and stuffing myself. I was in the moment, but also aware of my larger goals; relaxed, but in control at the same time. I wish every day could be like that!

I was able to make it through the weekend without a binge. Yay! I attribute my success to not buying any temptations and bringing them home. I just ate what I had normally planned for dinner and kept the portions in hand. I'm really relieved that's over!

The bad news is that my knees are still sore from the hiking/jogging, and so I'm resting and icing them still. It's been a few days since I worked out and I want to get back to it, but it's not worth causing a permanent injury. I've got to let them heal a bit.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hot 100

It's that time of year again! Hot 100, here I come.

My goals are simple:

1) Build my endurance until I can jog for five miles
2) Lose 25 lbs
3) Eat weight-loss portions EVERY MEAL

Of all of these, I think that # 3 is perhaps the most important. It's the behavioral foundation of my long-term goal of learning to be satisfied with less food. Eat less to weigh less, as the old saying goes.

This week I drew particular comfort from something that *Bitchcakes* wrote about. For those of you who haven't checked out her blog, Bitchcakes is a fiercely independent and out there weight-loss blogger who has achieved tremendous things, and is incredibly dedicated to working out. Her energy levels are awe-inducing.

She recently made her goal weight -- something that, try as I might, I just cannot ever truly believe will happen to me. I want to believe it, I make every effort to force myself to believe it, but ... always there is fear and doubt.

This week she spoke about handling a binge, or a less than perfect day. It helped me recover from a less than perfect day on Monday and then on Tuesday, as we returned from the Catskills. It was stressful to return to the city, get caught in terrible United Nations traffic (thanks Ahmadinejad) for the General Assembly, and have to rush around trying to get back to work and unpack and go shopping and return the car. It set off a mini-binge.

I truly wish it hadn't happened. But it did, and there's no taking it back, or changing it. Yesterday I suited up and biked to work, and then made sure to hit the gym on the way home. It wasn't a great workout (low blood sugar, but more on that in a minute) but it was something. And I jogged again, even though my knees have been stiff and creaky since the mega-hike on Sunday. Those steep downhills are murder on tender joints!

I biked again today, and will run again today, I hope. Even if it's just for 10 minutes, and then back to walking. I can run for much longer (albeit it very slowly) but my knees are somewhat inflamed still.

I am having a problem sticking to my weight-loss habits for longer than 3 or 4 days at a time. This is not good. I need a long time "clean" to start dropping weight again. I'll never make progress if I do great for the weekdays and lose it on weekends. It's a terrible cycle -- work hard to lose 1 or 2 lbs all week, then blow it every weekend. Ugh, I hate it.

This weekend has more challenges. The b/f will be gone for business. That means I'll be home alone Friday and Saturday nights. I should be happy at this -- full control of the kitchen, for once! Instead I'm worried. In the past, any change in routine has meant a binge.

There's something about having nobody home that incites me to go too far -- nobody's watching, you see. I've planned a big activity with friends for Sunday. It won't involve much physical activity beyond light walking, but it's much better than sitting at home alone. And I have to get up very early on Sunday, so I am hoping this will reduce the temptation to stay up late and stuff myself on Saturday.

Forewarned is forearmed.

If I can get through the next four days without a binge (or even just over-eating) I will declare a major personal victory.

On another note, I'm having a problem getting through the afternoon without a major blood sugar drop, usually around 5pm. I like to leave work, bike home and hit the gym for a while, and many times recently I've had to curtail parts because of dizziness. I've experimented with Luna bars, Kashi bars, apples, even some nuts, but I find it hard to get something in me that gives me the long-term kick I need (and isn't high calorie). The other problem is that even if I eat a Luna bar, say...and it gets me through my workout and home, I'm so starving by the time I get there that I can't wait for dinner and start snacking while I prepare the meal.

Last night I ate two slices of mozzarella low fat cheese and a serving of cottage cheese when I got in because I was about to keel over. I'd had to stop running because I was so weak feeling. I guess if that was all I ate for dinner it would have been ok, but it wasn't. I had some swordfish and Brussels sprouts too. It all adds up.

Anyway, any suggestions? What's a good thing to eat in late afternoon for a long power snack? Preferably under 250 calories. I'd do some kind of nut butter, but forget it..I can never stop eating that once I start.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Country Life

**PIctures added 10am Sunday***
We are in the Catskills for the weekend, yay!

A long overdue break from city life. It's been too many months since I've had a real vacation -- one where I rest and do nothing that I don't want to do (within reason).

We hiked up Overlook Mountain today, it's about five miles round trip -- 2.5 miles straight up, and 2.5 straight down. The path is well tended, wide and with some loose gravel over rocks and stones. Very easy, if slightly one-note (I preferred our last crazy hike, which had dips and streams and tree trunks to climb over). At the very top -- about 1,400 ft elevation -- is an old abandoned hotel, or the remnants of it, and a tall, six-story fire tower that affords incredible views into four neighboring states.

This pic below is the sign-in station, run by weekend volunteers who hike up the mountain, sit in chairs at the summit and answer questions. Oh, and they bring nice homemade treats, as you can see here. They were slightly burnt, but I ate one anyway (of course).

Alas, I can't speak to the amazing views because I got three flights up this slender, steel structure and the vertigo kicked in. I panicked, got overcome with that horrible hollow feeling in my stomach and legs and knew I couldn't go on. I backed down. The b/f went all the way up, but he couldn't brag about it, because he was the one who started whimpering and whining halfway up the hike and wanted to quit. Hah! I said no way, Jose. We started this, and we are finishing it. And we did, with him scowling and gasping and going on like he was about to expire on the spot. He's a bit of a drama queen, if I haven't mentioned that before.

I found the hike up to be quite easy, in that you didn't have to worry much about where you put your feet, and I worked up a real lather, but felt great the whole time. At one point I was walking backwards up the hill to give my knees a break and nearly stepped on a huge black snake. It chose that moment to slowly ease across the path. The b/f actually spotted it and gave a shout, preventing me from smishing the poor thing (and scaring myself out of my own skin, I might add).

Despite the b/f pouting, we did have a good time, and the view from the top was spectacular, even without scaling the fire tower rather precariously perched on a big slab of rock way up top of the mountain.

I found the way down excrutiatingly painful. My knees were killing me and I'm icing them now.

All the walking today was grand, but I am afraid I have not been doing well food-wise on this trip.

I was down 2 lbs this week when I got on the scales before I left, and I was proud to have a loss even after my mildly indulgent French dinner last week. I had all sorts of plans for this weekend, and everything went out the window on Saturday as we traveled up here.

We got stuck in a massive traffic jam getting out of the city -- and that was after a 60-minute delay getting the car, and dropping off keys to the cat-sitter.

So what should have been a 9am start was really more like 11:30am start. We'd planned to stop on the way for a healthy breakfast (I'd had two bananas around six o'clock that morning to tide me over) but that wasn't going to happen at that point.

We sat in traffic for so long we were about to go crazy, so I ran into a Dunkin Donuts for coffee and the healthiest choice they had -- a biscuit with sausage, no cheese, no eggs. It was 260 cals. I figured it's better than a donut, which would have no protein and leave me hungry again in all of 20 seconds.

Proof positive that I get hungrier faster than other people -- by 1pm I was starving again. The b/f was completely non-committal about eating lunch. I hate it when I'm starved and others are not. Mind you, I'd also eaten two bananas that he had not. He'd had the sausage biscuit and nothing else. I would have eaten one of his arms at that point but he needed both for driving.

I grumpily abstained along with him. Not smart. By the time we got settled in the cabin, I was ravenous. I scarfed two big protein bars when we went to buy groceries -- a vain attempt not to shop while hungry. We didn't do too badly, but I got trail know, for my big hike today. Except I started eating it last night. Trail mix is very fattening, and I had several handfuls.

Then I got into the cheese with dill we bought...oh god. So good. And some tortilla chips with homemade salsa our host left for us. My eating was so out of whack that when the boyfriend finally finished cooking dinner around 9pm, I ate the entire massive portion even though at that point I was no longer hungry at all and had to groaningly stuff in the last bites (it was a huge steak and potato dinner). I ate to a point of fullness I never want to experience again....but still had trouble shutting off the eating impulse!

Finally I just went to bed. Today (so far) has been better, starting with a proper breakfast, and I made sure to bring a low-cal homemade sandwich on the hike with fruit and trail mix. But I limited the trail mix intake, given my problems last night.

It just goes to show... it doesn't pay to get too hungry. Nothing good can come of it.

We're about to have dinner tonight, squash, lean turkey burgers and salad. Then I will definitely be ready to hit the hay.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yes I Can

Monday was one of those days...

There was nothing wrong, exactly, but I did not feel right.

I was teetering on the brink of a "poor me" session.

Poor me because houses don't magically clean themselves...

...bills pile up no matter what you do throws you curveballs in the form of phantom bedbugs
...your loving partner can sometimes drive you crazy
...things just aren't "easy" because you want them to be
...and being a grown up can really be no fun at all, some days, but you know you should be grateful for all you have and all you can do, and you feel guilty for being such a baby.

I climbed on to my treadmill at the gym nonetheless for a lackluster walking session. As I moped along, a figure appeared in the corner of my eye: a stranger, just another person doing her thing, except her thing was running on the treadmill.

She bounced along, ponytail swinging.

I wanted to run too. But the excuses came ...

...I don't have the right sneakers
...I'm not wearing the right clothes
...My knees can't take it

But then I decided that day -- right then -- was the time. I knew all the reasons why not to do it, but there was also a very good reason to do it: because I can. I can do it.

So I ramped it up (gently), and started picking up the feet. And I jogged, and I kept jogging, and in the end, it was a 40 minute gentle run, just about three miles. Slow and steady.

I'm going careful because of the knees. I did nothing more than a gentle walk the day after, on Tuesday, to avoid strain (I had to ice a lot Monday night). But folks, inside my heart is the voice of Forrest Gump:

"From then on, anywhere I went, I. WAS. RUNNIN!"

Eating update: lunch out Tuesday was phenomenal, salade nicoise, no potatoes, one half slice bread, dressing on the side, no drinks, just water and iced coffee. Later, cottage cheese and raspberries to keep hunger at bay, and dinner out was also pretty good, a small slice of goat cheese/tomato appetizer with salad on side and sea scallops on pasta (small amount of pasta) and a shared blueberry tart for dessert. It was a lovely French restaurant, invite from friends from France, and the restaurant has a new thing that I really like: on the menu for entrees you can ask for a regular size entree or a small plate entree (more like an appetizer size). Isn't that smart?

Monday, September 13, 2010

At the Gym

I hit it hard on Sunday and was really very proud of myself.

Even though I gained some weight this summer, I must have biked enough to keep the worst of the out-of-shapeness at bay, because I didn't find it overly challenging to get right back on the elliptical at the same settings as three months ago.

Or I was slacking three months ago! That's another thought.

I have some residual back stiffness from the intense pumping yesterday on the elliptical but nothing too terrible.

My eating was pretty good this weekend, but I am still working my way back into weight-loss mindset. There are some challenges looming this week, but I think I can handle them: lunch AND dinner out on Tuesday.

The lunch is easy; salade nicoise is my choice. Dinner I don't know, but my goal is to stay away from the alcohol. No wine -- that's been a real bugaboo for me this summer.

Workouts every day is the goal, if I can manage to wake up early enough!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


This is the day, more than any other day, that I can hear the painful wisdom behind my grandmother's favorite saying:

"Never regret growing old. It is a privilege denied to many."

Last night I had to meet a 9/11 family we are writing a story about.

I sat for about three hours with the mother, sister and aunt of an FDNY firefighter who was part of Engine 33 and who died when the North Tower came down.

These stories don't get easier to write as the years go by, they get harder. The losses are deeper. People cope, but there are things they can't forget.

It's too sad to talk about really. People die unfair deaths all over the world every day. It's important to know that, but it doesn't make it any easy to bear.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


On my lunch break, quick update to say my computer is on the fritz. No idea what happened, woke up the other day and it wouldn't boot up, blinking lights all over the place, rush to the repair shop.

Except I can't rush anywhere this week until Sunday, so it's sitting at home like a forlorn paperweight.

(I sneak read all your blogs while I'm at work on my lunch hour, but shhhhh! that's a secret).

But of course, my ego imagines that the world at large is simply dying to have the latest Ish update. The show must go on! The audience is everything! (This is what happens to you when you work in midtown near the theater district).

In brief, a spring has returned to my step this week. I'm working very hard to lose the weight I gained this summer and get back on track to take off my other 25, hopefully by Christmas.

Walked the reservoir once this week, bike riding every day (and really biking, not just peddling along) and a visit to the gym last night. Weird and strange to walk back into it after three months away. I used to go every day. It felt so familiar... and yet it had been such a long time.

Before long, felt like home again.

SOD played a nasty trick on me yesterday (which actually is probably why I returned to the gym).

I haven't touched the scale in weeks. So I put it down and said hello and gave it a gentle tap in the middle, per the instructions. Then I stepped on.

Oh, how sweet. SOD said I lost 16 lbs. Yeah right. Sell me a bridge why don't you?

I figured it was just getting warmed up, so I waited, tapped it again, and hopped on.

Up 36 lbs, SOD said. "*$*%&*$ You," I said.

Did my dance again, and hopped on once more. Up 41, and when I waited two minutes and got on again, up 42 pounds, SOD said.

Fifth and final time, it said I gained 54 lbs.

That's when I hissed at it and jumped away. Evil Satanic thing, messing with my head.

The funny thing is that it *DID* mess with my head. Could I have gained back all that weight and be in denial? I did really get scared.

But there's no way I could fit into my skinny jeans if I had gained 36 or 54 pounds -- and I can still fit in them. They are slightly tighter than they were three months ago, but they fit. I don't have to struggle to pull them on (however they definitely were a LOT looser earlier this summer).

Finally I let the more neutral gym scale decide: up about 10 lbs, which I already knew. And I hope it's actually a little less, since I was weighting with clothes on and after eating a big tub of cottage cheese. But either way, this I can handle. Thirty-six pounds I cannot!

So, all systems go as I ramp back into weight loss. I hope to be posting a loss on Tuesday, or at least a no gain. Assuming my computer works and I can post, that is!

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Fool and Her Burrito Are Surprisingly Parted

Sometimes you have what you want right in your hand, and the cruel Gods of fate conspire to take it away.

And just when you're ready to curse the unfeeling universe and gnash your teeth at the sky, you realize you're better off without it.

At least, that's what I hope. But I'm pretty sure that I'm better off without eating burritos, intense hunger aside.

My lesson in weight-loss philosophy (or is this weight-loss theology? I'm not sure) began with a long bike ride this morning downtown. For sustenance I had a slice of bread and a bit of cheese (that was breakfast, really), then when I got to where I was meeting friends, I had two teeny tiny poached eggs (no butter AT ALL, dammit) on a wee crisp of toasted bread (maybe half a slice, if that).

Then I biked all the way back uptown, stopping to do the week's shopping. I was just going to buy the usual stuff, but then I saw so many sales going on that I thought, ok, I'd better take advantage.

This is probably a city person ritual, but every few months I do a super big purchase of heavy goods, like cans of beans, tuna fish, olive oil, vinegar, water, kitty litter, etc... and have it all delivered. Then I go a few weeks just buying produce and perishables until the staple supplies run low and I make a big buy and have it delivered. Try as I might, I just can't bike home with all that stuff.

So this quickly became a big purchase because so much stuff was on sale and I figured why not stock up? It took longer than I thought, and I began to feel the first little glimmers of a low-blood sugar situation about halfway through the process.

I decided I could hold out until I got home for something healthy. But I hadn't counted on the massive Labor Day lines. By the time I got close to the checkout line I was starting to shake. Luckily I was right by the prepared foods section. I looked at the rows of pizza, pre-cooked quiche, sandwiches (yucky and unappealing) and spied a bean burrito in a wrap.

Well, I figured that was the best of the lot, so I grabbed one. And after I paid for my groceries and left them in the hands of the teller, I exited Whole Foods with my burrito in my hot little palm, fully intending to snarf it ASAP.

Side note: why is that the hungrier you are and the faster you want to shop, the more young kids there are in the grocery store accompanied by parents who just can't quite seem to realize that their adorable offspring are a bloody pain in the ass when they block the aisles? I'm all for kids, but a child raised without consideration for others I can definitely do without.

Anyway, that's probably the low blood sugar talking, but I practically ran out of the store, threw myself on my bike and ravenously unwrapped the top half of the burrito. I kept the slippery plastic wrapping as a barrier around the second half so I could protect it from my germy fingers while still eating it.

Not very smart, as it turns out.

So there I was, rather dangerously riding with one hand free to steer and apply brakes as needed, and the other clutching a burrito applied all too frequently to my mouth.

It was GOOD. But I doubt very much it was healthy. Simply put, it tasted too much like a high-fat treat to be low-calorie. I am sure those beans were refried or something like that. I will admit to being naive in the general sense of the word, but I've long ago given up pretending things are low calorie when they are not. If you are going to eat something, eat it, I say. But let's not blur the picture with self-delusion and lame justifications.

So I chomped away at the burrito, registering that it wasn't a really low-cal option, but too hungry to stop eating it.

I was three big bites in and already sensing a lessening of the weird hollow feeling that indicates a sugar drop is coming when I saw a big bump ahead that had to be navigated.

I put my left hand down to the handlebar, still holding the burrito, and carefully wound my way over the curb and pothole.

Only I hadn't accounted for the effect of trying to squeeze my brake, hold the handlebar and absorb the big shock that came from dropping about three inches from curb to street again.

The burrito completely fell out of my hand when I hit that street. SPLAT. Or, as Fonzi might have said a long time ago, Splatamundo.

It happened in a heartbeat. One second I was fiercely clutching my six-dollar burrito. The next, it was gone.

I didn't even stop. It wasn't going to be salvaged. The damage was irreparable. I knew it right away. Let some carnivorous squirrel reap the rewards, or a hungry doggie. I peddled on, the empty plastic wrapping fruitlessly held in my hand.

But within a few peddle pumps, a strange feeling of indifference stole over me. I lamented the waste of six dollars, to be sure. But I was no longer starvingly hungry. Those three bites had helped a lot.

So what did it really matter that I had lost the rest? Maybe, just maybe, it was a boon from the all-knowing Gods. That burrito was surely loaded with calories, and since I'd had enough, wasn't that all I needed to eat?

As the old saying goes, which I've quoted here before, "Enough is as good as a feast."

I guess sometimes the universe does hear us. I've been caterwauling about how I want to learn to control portions effortlessly, and today I got a very vivid, physical example of just how it is done: drop the food when you've taken the edge off your hunger.

It's as easy as that: Just drop it, and move on. Thanks for the philosophy lesson, Life. I think I like it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Life Without Internet

It's like living in the Dark Ages when your Internet goes down. We might as well have lost all contact with the outer world, I felt so cut off!

Don't know why it crashed but it did. Woke up this morning and it was back, like a Christmas Miracle in September. Such a relief.

I've been unable to blog about several weird things; namely my last 24 hours.

Working my way back into weight-loss habits (not maintenance) and it's been hard.

HARD, folks! I still haven't found time to get back into the gym, although I've been biking a lot, and working on portion control A LOT.

There's so much to catch up on...things I ignored for months...that I'm still so busy every day. I look back and think, "Gosh, this time last year I was in the gym and biking to work AND making time to walk the reservoir once in the morning. How did I do it?"

It was my main -- and only -- priority at that time. That's how.

So I'm trying to push myself back into that mindset. Weight LOSS mind set.

I read something in a book that has become my new mantra: Discipline is remembering what you want.

Yes. For me, that's what it is. I want to be able to go horseback riding with my nephew and not worry secretly that I'm killing the horse. I want to be able to go kayaking with my nephew or white-water rafting and not be afraid I'll sink the boats. Or that I look a fool.

That's what I want. More than an extra bite, an extra portion, an extra glass of wine.

So, in the last 24 hours I had to dash to one party, talk to sources, tossed back two glasses of wine (didn't have to do that but did it) but successfully fled when the bar snacks appeared. Dashed 100 blocks north to Washington Heights, went to another source party, drank water, then one beer, and again fled as soon as the snacks appeared (awful fried things -- like fried empanadas or something --- I took one look and ran the other way).

Discipline is remembering what I want.

I got home, ate something healthy (veg chili with quinoa, made by the lovely BF) and tumbled into bed.

Three hours later, approx 3a.m., a huge blaring sound rips me awake. Smoke alarm.

Yes, the crazy man who lives down and across the way fell asleep with something on the stove, it smoked up and set off the fire alarm.

Everyone had to evacuate while firefighters came. It was a small fire, but the smoke was really awful! When we opened the door to flee down the hallway it came billowing up, thick and dark grey. The BF lost his head a bit, rushing around in a panic.

If I hadn't been trying to catch the cat and stuff him in his box it might have been funny. As it was I could have done without the boyfriend trying to drape a wet towel over my head so I could breathe on the way out. Good idea, except he nearly suffocated my by dropping a thick sopping towel on my face while I was bent over wrestling with my six-pound psycho cat, who was determined not to go into his carrier.

It was very wet, and very drippy. When I got outside I looked down and my shirt was drenched. As was the cat. Poor thing.

OK, gotta run!