Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Hallow's Eve

I love Halloween. The colors, the smells, the crisp bite to the air.

What's more Halloweeny than a headless horseman lurking in the graveyard of the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow?

I can't think of a thing. Only needed Ichabod Crane to emerge from the shadows to be complete.

We went to Sleepy Hollow to hike today in Rockefeller State Park. It was gorgeous and sunny (but brisk). We walked/hiked about 5 miles through the woodsy lanes, surprising a couple of wild turkeys and one young deer.

At one point, when the B/F told me he planned to make spaghetti for dinner, I began to jog (got to make room for those carbs). Sadly, I can jog at about the pace the much taller B/F walks. I'm definitely a plodder.

But it was fun to plod along side him for a mile or so. Great day. I leave you with these photos. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Yes, it's Hot 100 Update #5. I don't know why Buster Poindexter's "Hot Hot Hot" song popped into my head. Perhaps because of Steve's confession last night that he associates people with songs -- and he likes hot peppers, and started the Hot 100 contest. So apparently, that's his song -- in my head, anyway.

I've had a wonderful time cruising among your blogs this week -- I've found lots of inspiration and motivation and plenty of thoughtful commentary that encourages me to delve deeper into my own mental blocks regarding weight loss/food addiction.

Right, to the goals:

#1: Eat Weight Loss Portions Every Meal: I have worked harder on this in the past four days than ever before. It requires me to REALLY slow down when I eat, and that's always a challenge for me. I am trying with all my might to STOP EATING when I'm about 80 percent full.

For lunch now I'm eating small, organic burritos that have 370 calories. It's a decent amount of calories, I think, but the portion is very controlled. It's a deliberate training technique -- I challenge myself to make that burrito last as loooong as possible and enjoy it thoroughly. And when it's gone, it's gone.

I am not "full" after I eat it. But I am no longer hungry. I am trying to live in that state now, and be comfortable there. It does not feel comfortable to me yet. Or, I should say that physically it does, but emotionally and mentally it has the opposite effect. I feel anxious, a little nervous, I feel like something is missing.

It takes a lot of concentration to redirect my mind to something else and forget about eating more so I can feel just a little bit fuller (I have nothing else to eat, so I can't anyway!). But if I can distract myself for 10 minutes, the urge to stuff more goes away on its own.

Monday night we went to my friend's event (the one I was whining about) and on the way home we looked for a place to eat. We ended up at a Shake Shack, a gourmet burger joint that only sells burgers, hot dogs, fries, milkshakes and beer and wine. Fun, no? I vowed to drink only water, and that's what I did.

I was relieved to see when my cheeseburger came it was small -- very good portion control. Ditto the fries. I ate my meal slowly. It was good. And I wanted more. How hard was it to get up and walk away? SOOO hard. So very very hard. For inspiration, I came home and read The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser.

Sean has some great thoughts on how to handle food addiction and food freedom. He should know -- he went from over 500 lbs to the low 200s!

Goal #2: Run a 5K: I missed last week because of the hiking fall. This week I did two 5Ks (yay!). The first was Monday and I thought I'd smoked it. Seriously, the machine said I came in under 40 minutes and that I did my last mile in under 12 minutes.

Well, that was not what a different machine told me Thursday morning when I got up early to go to the gym for run No. 2! At the same rate of speed, this machine said I was doing about a 15-minute mile. Whoa. Big difference. I thought it strange that I was suddenly a Speedy Gonzalez on Monday. Bottom line: I ran two 5Ks. That's what counts.

Goal #3: Lose 25 lbs. A month ago I bought a light jacket in a size that usually fits my shoulders and bust but not my hips. It fit all over. I got excited. On Sunday I bought another, different light jacket in the same size. It fit my shoulders and bust. It did not fit my hips. ARRRRGH! These hips! I assume it's a different style and cut and all that, but I will be so excited when I lose a few more inches from the woolly mammoth hips. That said, the skinny jeans are slowing getting looser, back to where they were four months ago.

By the way, what does NSV mean? Good luck Hotties -- look forward to reading your updates!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Guilty Silver Lining

Is it a sign of diet-obsessiveness that my English friend had to cancel her family's trip to NYC this week and the kids (and she) are totally heartbroken and I am secretly relieved?

Not relieved that they aren't coming -- I really wanted to see them all. But relieved that the onslaught of food and drink temptations I was anticipating aren't going to materialize at all. Yeah, deeply, deeply relieved!

This weight-loss thing is just so much easier when everything is under my control. And that makes me try harder to control things and want more and more control over my schedule and rituals.

But, that way madness lies, methinks. Life's not really in our control (at least all the time), is it? And I need to remember that I CAN handle situations outside my usual food routine. That's one of my major non-weight-loss goals on this journey -- get rid of my fear (and longing) for food, and let it all just be .....well, food.

Checked out some Hot 100 Hotties last night! Lots of good stuff out there. I met some new faces, checked up on some old ones. Everybody looks to be doing well.

Yesterday was a very clean day for me with good exercise. I'm trying to use my lunch hour to walk around a little bit ever since reading that article that says Americans walk the least of all industrialized nations.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Fellow Animals!

I am 99.9 percent sure we were the only people to show up at the Animal Farm Sanctuary walk yesterday with the odor of bacon and fried sausage wafting in our wake. The b/f will do many things for me, but sacrificing his Sunday morning fry-up is not one of them.

I guess it's sort of hypocritical for us to attend (and gleefully participate in) a walk to help a sanctuary for abused animals, many of them rescued from really awful, gross conditions on industrial-style farms.

But even though we are not hard-core vegans, we do care deeply about animals being kept in humane conditions. Items like meat, butter, and cheese are not staples in our diet by any means, but occasional add-ins, and when we do buy some, it's only from local, animal-friendly providers. I try not to eat them mindlessly like I used to -- not just in terms of quantity, but in understanding where these foods have come from.

Ok, we're not perfect, but we're striving to be less empty-headed about what we consume, so we showed up yesterday (which is half the battle in life sometimes, or so I've always been told). It was a gorgeous, crisp and sunny October day, and we got there just in time to start the march around the park.

Lots of kids and families and calm banner waving. This was not a screamy "in-your-face" event but a low-key, groovy kinda thing.

It's hard to tell from the picture but I'd say there were several hundred folks who turned out.

After we gathered in Colombus Circle for our free vegan lunches! Yum. The b/f refused to try the seitan sandwich, being his stubborn self, but I finally coaxed him into taking a corner bite, then he took another, and another....well, half the sandwich finally went down his gullet. There was also pirate booty chips, organic chocolate squares, vegan cookies (very calorie-laden - I checked) and some neat 100 cal treats from "Live Foods." They were like yummy granola bars but with spirulina and raw sprouts in them; it really tasted good tho, which can only mean they packed them with some sort of sugar.

The Grandmaster of the march was John Salley, a Brooklyn born former NBA star who is a vegan. He gave a hilarious speech that had everyone laughing, which was a nice change from the overly serious and ranting tone some of these events can exude. We can be thoughtful, gracious earth companions without completely losing our sense of humor, right?

In the end, we got our t-shirts! I love t-shirts that have a memory attached.

Was a great day, overall. We walked home, so about 5 miles walking in all, I'd say, at a rather sedate, middle-aged pace. Was feeling like it was a good amount until I read this article: Americans Don't Walk Enough.

Got to run to gym now, then Whole Foods for dinner items, then home hopefully for a nap because I have to go to an event tonight (no food, thank goodness) for a friend that I really don't want to go to but must because it's one of those times when you must show no matter how annoying or inconvenient it is for you. And I'll probably enjoy it when I get there, right?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hot 100 Update # 4

Can't believe how fast this challenge is going. Do we really only have 60 or so days left? I think I've somehow slipped a gear and gone into dog years -- everything is going seven times faster than usual (except the weight loss, drat it).

To the challenge at hand:

1) Build up my endurance to run 5k: no additional 5k runs this week, although I had at least one planned. After the (ahem) incident on our hike upstate, I apparently strained some stomach muscles as well as bashing my arm and wrist. Was very sore all week. I did get in extra walking, but would have liked to at least hit the elliptical machine once. But... these were conscious choices I made due to injury, not flake-out or laziness, so I'm not going to dwell, just glad I'm healing and ready for a new week!

2) Weight loss portions at every meal: This was a toughie this week. I can't honestly say that I did it at every meal, especially while we were up in the cabin. What I can say is that I kept a firm grip on what I did eat. Yes, I would have liked to cut myself off a few bites earlier on a couple of occasions, and I snacked more than I would have liked. Yet, I didn't consume an entire cake (which I've been known to do) or a whole bag of chips, etc etc. I did keep reminding myself not to go really really far overboard, and it helped. I'll call it a qualified success.

3) Lose 25 lbs: I'm measuring by my clothes right now, not the scale. Put on a black shirt this week I haven't worn in a while and it was definitely bigger on me. And not just on the shoulders and bust, but actually looser around the woolly mammoth hips that Mother Nature insisted on gifting me with. That, my friends, is a pleasant surprise! I'd like to keep going on this though and get my skinny jeans loose on me once more, the way they were a few months ago when I guessed it, 25 lbs less!

Challenges ahead: The food-loving British friend and her always ravenous family arrive this week. Several dinners out and all manner of things.

Goal is to get back to the running, which for some odd reason always makes me feel thinner, even when I know that logically one can't run a mile and lose 10 inches. But what does logic have to do with weight loss anyway?

Let's go Hotties! I'll be checking updates and taking names this week!

Monday, October 18, 2010


We're back from a weekend in gorgeous upstate New York, all in one piece but not without war wounds!

Right -- let's get to it. I would give myself a C- on the eating front this weekend. It wasn't as awful as it could have been, but there were moments that got away from me.

I read Cindy's blog while I was upstate and she talked about the importance of fighting back against eating cues that send us into a feeding frenzy. It immediately dawned on me that going to the cabin sets off many cues for me -- namely, that we are in a beautiful, big log cabin, much bigger than our apartment in NYC, and the joy of being in a big kitchen, with so much space to move around and cook sets off both me and the boyfriend.

It brings me back to my rural New England childhood and our cozy house in the woods. Before I counted calories or worried about what I was eating. And I think the B/F has the same response -- we just go a little crazy when we get up there.

Here are the brass tacks. A late, late, late and rainy, dark drive up Friday night meant getting dinner close to midnight at the local diner. Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich, with a small order of fries -- not as terrible as they sound, as they were baked, not fried.

Saturday it was cold and rainy. To the Sheep and Wool Festival! Check out these guys -- who are obviously not sheep. There are a surprising number of Llama and Alpaca farms in upstate New York.

So, some of you will remember that I mentioned a certain craving for Apple Cider Donuts. When we first got there I could not find any -- although I did see the same food cart selling fried pierogies that I saw at the Garlic Festival. Ick! Almost as gross to me as Cotton Candy, which is really the one childhood treat I could never bring myself to eat. As we walked around the stalls and vendors, I began to panic. Could it be that there was not one single Apple Cider Donut to be found?

And then...

Turns out they had simply sold out when I got there. A second batch came in as we strolled around and I luckily found them.

I had one, although it was VERY hard to hold myself to just that. They were smallish, for donuts, which is good. To answer questions about what they are (Peridot and Dr. Fit to Fat asked), they are simply donuts made with fresh apple cider, and rolled in a combo of brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon. Ohhhh boy.

The next day the sun dawned and it was time to work it all off with a moderate hike up to the Giant Ledge. The hike was sort of steep, but not too bad. The challenge, however, was the footing. It was rocky, very very rocky, and muddy and slippery. And in places we had to use hands and feet to avoid sliding downwards. Check it out.

The first part was gorgeous - Ichabod Crane country.

Then it started to get very vertical, although someone kindly cut out some stone steps for part of it.

When we got to the trailhead, there was a fire engine and paramedic team standing by. Turns out a hiker had hurt himself part way up, and given the intense rockiness and steepness, it was quite a feat to organize a way to get the man out.

It was more than little disconcerting to come across the rescue team as we hiked up the slippery terrain!

Finally we got to the top -- and the views were amazing, and totally worth the effort (which took quite a toll on my bad knee, I must say). Here I am, catching some rays and my breath.

So all that remained was to refuel -- pears, prunes, a little trail mix, water and a ham-n-cheese sandwich (made and carried by the handy boyfriend) -- and walk back down. Easy, right?

Except downhill is often the most challenging. You're tired, a little unfocused, thinking about what comes next -- hot tub and dinner, in my case, and it's all too easy to take a tumble or a misstep and turn an ankle. Or worse!

As I picked my way C-A-R-E-F-U-L-L-Y downhill, around the muddy and slippery leaves, I kept replaying over and over to myself the horrors of putting a foot wrong. Above all, I dreaded the thought of having to say my size or weight to rescuers deciding if they could carry me out or have to call a helicopter. I would, naturally, require a Shamu-sized lift out via whirly-bird.

This is what I navigated for the hour-long trek down, as I chanted "don't fall, don't fall, don't fall."

Of course, only one thing could happen, right?

I fell.

Thank goodness, it was a simple slip. I didn't hurt a knee or an ankle on the way down, but did smash my palm and and forearm onto a rock. I don't mind telling you that the pain shot right through me and I saw stars! It was a corker of a landing. The b/f said I went down in slow motion and had a look of abject terror on my face (because I was thinking for sure I'd blow out a joint).

In the end, my poor palm took the worst of it.It doesn't look that bad, but it was a nasty scrape and it hurt like the dickens.

Once the pain subsided, I immediately started entertaining thoughts of taking a week off from work due to my terrible sprain. Would love it!

But alas, turned out to be nothing but a wee wrenched wrist, a bruise and a scrape. Not enough to warrant medical leave!

Right, so enough of the drama. On Saturday I ate not too badly at the fair, but over-indulged a little that night (chips and salsa). Not too much, but more than I had wanted.

Sunday night, after a day of hiking, we had a lovely dinner of roast chicken, but again I over did it. Most of the time I was restrained, but the weekend was one long struggle. I kept hearing EVL's (evil little voices) telling me to EAT, EAT, EAT!

I would say that all things considered I did ok. The point being that nobody is perfect, and some days the temptations are less .... well, tempting than on others. This was not one of those times, but it could have been way, way worse. And I now have an excuse to buy new hiking boots. I never would have fallen if I weren't wearing sneakers!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hot 100 Update # 3

It's Hot 100 Day! Everyone knows how much I love this part of the challenge, so without further ado...

Goal 1: Run 5k. Done and done. My first breakthrough came on Monday, and me and my gimpy knees were pretty much fine after my first slow 5k on the treadmill. Then I had to go and over do things with a yoga class that gave me a painful deep tissue stretch down the backs of the thighs (hurts still today). But I am more flexible -- I think the teacher stretched me about an inch! Too much downward dog pressure on the knees, tho - they were inflamed afterwards.

I tried not to panic and did only gentle bike riding and elliptical for the next two days. Then Thursday morning, I set my alarm and got up early (hate, black hatred, for the early morning wake up), and stumbled to the gym. Slowwwwwly eased into running, and I did my second 5k.

I really did not want to do it. I ran an average 14 minute mile (better than Monday), I think because I wanted so much for it to be over. I started at 15 minutes, but did my last two at 13:38.

Goal #2: Eat weight-loss portions at EVERY MEAL. Still going strong. Dinner is my most challenging meal. I sometimes grab an extra bite or two when I return my plate to the kitchen. But that's only happened twice. I try hard to not make any extra, just a small dinner for the two of us. Doesn't always work. Also, I think I may sometimes eat too much fruit in the day -- did you know that four prunes have 110 calories? I use prunes and walnuts to stave off the 5pm easy to over do that, too!

Goal #3: Lose 25lbs. I'm still not on the scale, because it messes with my head. My skinny jeans -- the ones that were super baggy on me last spring and tight two weeks ago -- are slowly getting looser. They are still tighter around the hips/legs than they were, but looser around the waist than Oct. 1st. Progress. But if I get on the scale and see I've lost only 2lbs (all too possible, given my Clydesdaleness) I will weep.

IN other news...our weekend upstate looks like it will be a rainfest. A Nor'easter is moving in and we are forecast for three days of wind and rain. Crap! That could be dangerous if it means nothing but lazing around the house. That leads to snacking.

As a backup, am bringing my workout DVDs, some books and my Kindle. Oh, and a rain poncho. Nothing says I can't walk in the rain. Last night I had to bike in the rain, and I survived.

How are you Hotties doing? I'll check blogs over the weekend.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sailing Along

Ahoy, matey. Trouble ahead.

Things are still going well this week, but as I sat down this morning to discuss future plans with the long-suffering B/F, it hit me: I have a hella challenging couple of weeks right around the corner, starting with this weekend.

One of the bitterest, most depressing, most evil little facts of weight loss that I have learned oh-so-heartbreakingly over the past 18 months is that two weeks of progress can be undone in an instant.

Well, maybe not an instant. But over weekend? Heck yeah.

We are going upstate again Friday night for a few days. That's the really good news, because we love it up there!

The bad news it that the last time we went up there a month ago my eating got totally out of whack, trail mix and chips and cheese were consumed, plus a huge dinner one night, and -- let's be real here -- our moderate little hikes didn't come close to burning the kind of calories I was eating. I wiped out a 2-lb weight loss in two days (and then some).

So we've made plans. I asked the B/F, who went out and bought a special type of salsa in anticipation of blue corn tortilla chip-eating after our hike, to please only put out a portion of chips for him and me, and then hide the rest. We aren't buying any cheese. We aren't going to the local diner for mammoth pancakes and egg platters. We have planned small meals. Luckily the B/F naturally eats "normal" portions. I'm the one who keeps shoveling it in without thought.

There will be wine. There is just no way I can hike all day, then come home and enjoy an outdoor hot tub without a glass of red. No way.

That's planned for, however, so I'm cool with that. But I have to be on high, high, HIGH alert this weekend. Oh, and did I mention the county fair? Yes, there will be one, full of fried things no doubt. I think I can meet any temptation, except apple cider donuts (if they're fresh).

When I get back, there's a big works drinks and dinner thing Tuesday night, then a week of a dear friend visiting from England with her hubby and kids. They are major foodies, and we are already booked for two dinners, a brunch, and I'm supposed to go along for a night of beers and bar food at our old frequent hang out.

We used to sit there and eat fried food and slurp the Stella Artois. I don't do that anymore; she'll have to make do with me sipping red wine and skipping the fried foods.

But I've got to stay sharp, or these things will sneak up on me. I can handle some variations, I can absorb a few extra bites or drinks here and there. I cannot -- CANNOT -- handle a major setback. I would be so so so disappointed in myself in the aftermath.

No. 1 rule: weight-loss portions no matter what I'm eating.

So far this week, on plan eating. Wondering if perhaps I'm eating a leeettle bit too much during the day. Will consider that.

Hit the gym Tuesday and today for elliptical sessions, 1 hour each. Rode my bike to and from work each day. If all goes as planned, another 5k tomorrow morning.

Rock on, folks!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Run 5k? Check.

One Hot 100 Goal is down. Today I ran 5k.

It wasn't an official 5k. There was no race or cause or banner or anything. Just me and my treadmill, plodding along. But it was great! I would sound more excited, but I am actually exhausted right now.

To celebrate my first 5k jog in..oh, 15 years, I came home and made lunch. This is normally what I eat for breakfast, but today it was my mid-day meal.

Can't tell you how good it tasted. Fresh tomato with spinach and a piece of low-cal mozzarella cheese and scrambled eggs. You can't see the eggs because I wasn't patient enough to wait for them to cook before taking the picture.

Then it was off on my bike (pedaling verrry slowly and gently because of my sore knees) to the Guggenheim for the Chaos and Classicism exhibit (lots of Picasso and Manet and Monet works). I didn't stay long; it was crowded. One of the joys of NYC is that working press get in free to all museums, so I never feel like I have to absorb every little thing of an exhibit. I can always go back. I'd have taken a picture of the Picassos, but they frown on that. Here's the lobby though, looking up.

After that, it was to the park on my trusty blue bike. I found a nice spot, and stretched out on the grass to chat with a friend. Then, under the 70-degree sun and bright blue skies, I took a wee nap. Only about 20 minutes, but it was nice.

Here's what my bike looks like when you lie down next to it.

After that I rode back to the gym. I had decided to take a 5:30 pm Hatha Yoga class. I did this because over the weekend I visited a lot of Hot 100 blogs (they are all so great!) and I saw a lot of posts about injuries -- many of them running related. I think that injuries are a byproduct of an active life. Chances are if you work out a lot, no matter how careful you are, a few injuries will occur. But nobody wants them to, least of all me!

So when I jogged this morning I did it very lightly, striking flat-footed more than on my heel, which is very jarring. I kept my knees soft and supple. I felt no pain. But I figured a yoga class would help with extra stretching of the legs.

Ow. Ow. Ow. That yoga class HUUUUURRRT! I am always shocked by the strength required to do yoga. After a few downward dogs to cobra and back, OMG, I was dripping sweat.

I've just gotten home and it's pouring rain. Glad I missed that. I'm once again icing the knees, but as a precaution more than anything. They are slightly inflamed, but no pain. I hope to soon muster up the energy to hobble to the kitchen to make dinner (dover sole with pesto sauce and broccoli).

Doing that yoga class was a bit of overkill and I am beyond exhausted, but it's a good feeling. I'd summon up an exclamation point if I weren't so tired. :-)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Me to World: BRING IT!!!!!!

Do you all remember way back when, to the night I brought the B/F to a special screening of Discover Channel's Life series?

Part of that series featured a tiny little baby ibex, which is a kind of mountain goat that has an incredible ability to cling to sheer, rocky cliffs (places you would think no four-legged creature could climb).

The segment on the ibex, narrated by Oprah at her soothing best, was a bit of film that caught a Mama ibex trying to come down off a safe mountain cliff to a river below for water. Her babies were following her, but one got distracted by something, and fell behind.

Well, you know what happened - and it played out in a huge theater, on a massive screen with a live orchestra booming out a "Bum-bum-bahhhhh" soundtrack, right in front of my horrified eyes. Yes, a fox -- a wily, hungry predator -- came loping out of nowhere, looking to catch the baby ibex and eat it for dinner.

I was writhing in my chair, covering my eyes as much as possible, and gnashing my teeth for the baby ibex, which made a desperate, galloping run back up the mountain, away from Mama, as fast as its little legs could carry it.

According to Oprah's dulcet tones, the ibex was only two days old, and operating solely on instinct. Man..that fox had it almost in its jaws so many times. I was wrung out like a wet washcloth watching it all unfold.

Just when the starving red fox (and I felt bad for him, too, poor hungry thing) was about to snap its jaws on the baby ibex's neck, the feisty goat to a flying leap and ended up with all four hooves clinging to an impossibly steep bit of rock, jutting waaay far out over the cliffside. It was so vertical that even the lightweight fox couldn't get out there without slipping. The fox hung there, right above the ibex, just inches away from snapping its fangs around its neck, totally frustrated.

And that little ibex, quickly realizing that it was safe -- at last, after a heartwrenching, terrifying uphill sprint -- suddenly stamped one of its tiny front hooves several times, right in the fox's face.

"Bring it!!" the ibex seemed to be saying, taunting his would be executor with the evidence of his own sure-footedness.

I have always remembered the image of the baby ibex giving a big "eff you" to the fox. I try to think of it when I'm confronted by food I don't really want to eat but part of me wants to eat just for the heck of it.

It's a race for survival -- and to the victor go the stamping rights.

This weekend, while I have not been perfect, I have much to stamp my feet about.

On Saturday, I was preparing to go to work as usual, and packing some kiwi and a frozen low-cal burrito for lunch. But I had two burritos left over from what I'd bought for the week. Take them both, I suddenly thought. You always get hungry around 5pm -- eat the second burrito then.

Folks, I had them both in my backpack and was out the door. Then I thought, "Why are you bringing another burrito? You have one, and two kiwi, and you are going to a friend's house for dinner tonight, so why tempt yourself?"

As much as I constructed a narrative in my head for why I needed that extra burrito and how it would be ok to eat the extra 370 cals because it would keep me from overeating later, I knew it was just a lie.

I took it out of the bag, put it back in the fridge, and went to work.

Later, I went for a drink after work with friends to kill sometime before the dinner party. I had one glass of wine, and split a plate of sweet potato fries. I did not order a second glass of wine even though everyone else got a second round, I did not clear the plate of sweet potato fries even though I wanted to, and I did not touch the jalapeno poppers that my friend ordered as a second appetizer. It took some concentration, but I just kept telling myself, "you are on your way to eat a dinner."

Finally my B/F arrived and we went to my friend's house. The irony here is that she is a great cook, from Italy, and since she moved to NYC 8 months ago we have been promised a fantastic home-cooked Italian meal. Yet every time they invite us over, it's take out. Go figure!

I was prepared last night to FINALLY get this gorgeous Italian pasta meal...only to be served once again takeout sushi and Chinese food! I had to laugh. It was really very good though, and I ate carefully and slowly. I had more sushi than Chinese food, but I limited my intake of both since I wasn't really starving anymore(because of the sweet potato fries).

I would change one thing: I ate too much avocado dip with tortilla chips (it was on the table when we arrived). I didn't eat a lot (compared to a year ago), but I wasn't hungry enough at that point to justify eating them when I knew a meal was coming. I ate them b/c they were there.

Our hostess served four desserts, but everyone just got a small bite of each. I liked that -- way to make it easy to portion control!

This morning I had to go to brunch with an old friend. I didn't snack beforehand, ate only a garden omelette (lot of veggies) with one piece of multigrain toast, no butter, and only a few bites of the hashbrowns that came with the eggs.

I left a piece of toast and 90 percent of the potatoes behind - and it really wasn't that hard to do. Unheard of for me!! In the past, I'd have been salivating constantly about the food available to me that I wasn't consuming. It would have been painful to leave it behind. This time I was able to disengage without too much effort -- it cost me a bit, but before long I was happily chatting with my friend, and then we were gone and the food was left behind. Sooooo much nicer than what would have happened before.

Now. Let's put all the cards on the table. It suddenly occurred to me that I've been able to hew to small portions so well recently because I haven't been working out a lot -- maybe appetite is easier to control when you aren't burning all those extra calories? I scared myself a little, thinking of what would happen when I do go back to the gym (tomorrow, by the way)...? Will I be ravenous and unable to control what I eat?

I hope not. I hope to be an ibex, clinging to my rock in the face of deadly destructive fox fangs and sending out a big "screw you" to those who would knock me off my perch.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hot 100 Update #2

Is it bizarre that I really look forward to the Hot 100 Update? It is, I truly swear, the highlight of my week. Sad, perhaps, but true!

First things first. If you haven't gone over to Beej's site recently, check out his new recipe for a cheese & onion frittata.

Also, let's say hello to some Hot 100 Hotties! These are folks who've come a visitin' to my blog since the challenge started:

The Ninja
Half of 360
Dr. Fat to Fit
Thanks for coming over folks, especially Dr. Fat to Fit, who had surgery last week! And of course, thanks to all my beloved regular visitors who are much appreciated.

So, on to my week. How did I do? At the risk of sounding smug, I think I did passably well.

1) Running 5k: I didn't have a chance to work on my running, thanks to my cold. But I got in several long walks, and allowed my knees to heal a bit. Now they only hurt when I go upstairs, and just a wee bit. I will be back on the treadmill soon, and I think the running will progress well.

2) Weight-loss portions every meal: miracle of miracles, this is still on track. I think the closest I've come to going off was two extra bites of yam and beans the other night at dinner. It doesn't sound like much, but it broke several rules, so I have to note it down. If you read my blog earlier this week, you'll know I had a day of eating nothing but fast-food, but still kept the portions and calories in hand. That's just unheard of for me. I'm writing down what I eat every night, and planning for the next day, and "no hunger, no food" is my mantra.

I also changed up my lunch routine. Now I bring an organic bean burrito to work, 370 calories, and then I supplement with a little salad. This way I can know for sure what calorie ballpark I'm in. Small lunch, small snack, small dinner.

3) Lose 25 lbs: I'm still not on the scale. However, this morning I walked into the bathroom at work, which has a full length mirror (unlike my house) and realized my clothes were swimming on me. Now, this isn't as dramatic as I'd like it to sound; both the shirt and pants I had on were voluminous on me to begin with. But they were definitely MORE voluminous this week than they were two weeks ago. I am not getting on the scale yet, but I have a plan: I will weigh myself on the day I try on my skinny jeans and find them sagging off my skeleton. I hope in another two weeks.

Hope everyone is doing well on their Hot 100 goals. I'll be checking your blogs this weekend!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Could I Be Normal?

I'm always asking myself what life might be like on the "other" side of weight loss.

Not the skinny side, per se, but the magical Shangri-la where food is no longer an issue. Where food doesn't have to be measured, trimmed and chopped so that it can then be corralled into a smaller size on your plate. Shangri-la is where you can just glance at a serving of food and say, that's too much thanks, let me get rid of half of that. Or look and say, that's just right, thanks, and eat only that portion, despite what other temptations might float by. It's magical because there's no struggle with yourself, no urge to eat more, no battling those "fill-me-to-the-rim" urges.

I never quite know which Ish will rise up when I'm confronted by a food challenge - will it be binge eater Ish? Controlled Ish (who tends to be something of a despot)? Stuff-yer-face-then-feel guilty Ish? Vigilant Ish (my favorite one, obviously)?

It's a scary feeling.

With any luck, that scary feeling will dissipate the more I focus on my portions. It must, right?

I am pleased to report that in the midst of an awful terrible day on Friday (I was sick and on a long, boring assignment in NJ in a torrential downpour), I did something I never thought I'd be able to do.

I spent the entire day with no eating options other than fast-food, and still got my calorie count in under 1,800.

I fought off lots of over-eating and binge impulses, and kept telling myself it was ok to eat at Wendy's (and Burger King later), but I just had to control how much I consumed. Start small, eat slow was my mantra.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner was fast-food, and by simply keeping everything small-sized, I got through the day.

Late that night, driving back through the Holland Tunnel, I felt sick as a dog from all the crap food. But that's another story. I was quite pleased that for one day, I'd slayed the mythical food dragon and made it to Shangri-la.