Friday, December 31, 2010

Haaappy New Year (and a Hot 100 Update)

I'm back in NYC, finally!

Thanks to a kindly ticket clerk at Delta, we snagged the last three seats on a flight into NYC on Wed night. That put us in town in time for the b/f's memorial service for his mom, planned for Thursday...only to be told by the church that it was going to have to be moved to Friday (today).

We rolled with the punches, and flew back Wednesday, and used Thursday -- a beautifully sunny day -- to go skiing with my nephew, who got to come back with us for the New Year. It was his first time ever, and he did great. And I love showing him that his ol' Auntie can still schuss with the best of them, even if I'm heavier than the average skier.

Today was the memorial service, and it was emotional and sad, but full of beautiful memories. We were so blessed to make it back in time. When I first learned our flight was canceled (on Dec. 27) we were told we couldn't get a flight back until 12/31!

On my Hot 100 goals: let's just say...I am still working hard on all of them. My skinny jeans might not fit after the week I had at home. No binging, but I am sure I gained some pounds. But it's nothing that can't be reversed, and it will be reversed.

Mr. Neuroma is still here, but I'm slowly gaining the upper hand. The temporary foot insert helps, and I will get official ones soon. I hope maybe to resume walking to work -- a sure fire way to take off the pounds.

I need to get back to weight-loss portions and I instituted that already. Today at the memorial service we were served greasy chicken, even greasier mac-n-cheese, and barely edible green beans, plus cranberry cake for dessert. I took a few bites of each, then stopped eating. Not worth it.

Tonight the plan is to try to use my press credentials to slip into Times Square for the ball drop with my nephew in tow. They may refuse us, I'm not sure. I've been there many times covering the ball drop for a local radio station, and it's pretty cool. I would love to give him this once-in-a-lifetime experience (we don't have to wait in line and can move freely around the Square once we are in the press zone), so fingers crossed.

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's a Blizzard!

Luckily, not the kind sold at Dairy Queen that contain a gazillion jillion calories.

Unluckily, the kind that closes airports like JFK -- which is now shut down while a record snowstorm blankets NYC. That means I'm stuck and unable to fly back as planned.

Things were crazy hectic over the holidays, but in a beautiful way. Despite my b/f's recent loss, we had some fun, a lot of quality time with family and everyone got really great gifts this year. That's kind of a record for us, since we usually somehow cross signals and someone ends up not getting what they wanted.

If I could just fly back as scheduled, it would have been the perfect trip.

I will have to institute a serious austerity plan when I return to take off the few pounds I am sure I have gained down here. I did sample (and in some cases more than sample) all the goodies that were abundantly at hand over the past five days.

A few times I ate past the point of comfort and got unhappy with myself. I also ran smack into the full-length mirror in the bathroom while exiting the shower. What I saw in the mirror sent me headfirst into a sort of anxiety attack/major depression ... but I fought it off.

What hit me hardest was the sense of futility. I saw a lot of loose skin and other unavoidable signs of long-term obesity, and I saw how much farther I have to go on my journey. I felt so powerless.

But I fought it. Hard. I can't change myself overnight. But I can change. I have changed. I just need to keep on changing.

As a reminder to myself about how far I've come, I took pains to note down how different my reactions were to food this year during the holidays. Emotions weren't a factor -- probably for the first Christmas ever in my life!

I ate when I was hungry, mostly. Other times I ate or snacked for flavor -- because I wanted a taste of something. I was able to keep that pretty much under control (ie, a bite or two, then moving on).

Sadness, nostalgia, guilt, anger, happiness (you know, the general holiday family gathering gamut) weren't factors. It just felt so different for me. And so much better.

So I have changed. I just can't seem to get the outside to catch up to the inside, dammit!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Big Wheels Keep on Turning...

Ahh..If only I had Tina Turner's legs. I'd be one Proud Mary indeed! But my big wheels DO keep on turnin'..and proud Ish keeps on burnin'. Oh yes. We're rollin' .. rollin'... rollin on the (Hudson) river.

Things are gradually lightening up here at Chez Ish, evidenced by the fact that the b/f , while still mourning his recent loss, joined in for a rousing rendition of "Proud Mary" as I tried to remember the lyrics to the song for this post.

I felt like I was rolling along today, as I ate my normal breakfast, rushed out of the house to go to the doctor (not the foot doc, just a check up) then to get a facial. OK, totally self-indulgent, but I needed an hour of pampering.

Then I had an hour to kill until my hair appointment (and that is not as self-indulgent as it sounds b/c my last hair cut was in August), so I walked the 30+ blocks to the hair dresser.

That's only about 1.5 miles, but given Mr. Neuroma, that's the longest I've walked for WEEKS!

It was pretty much pain free, thanks to the temporary inserts my doctor gave me. I can walk almost like normal now, but it's only a partial fix until I get real orthotics. Then I'll be back on my stride.

But the Proud Mary moment....yeah, that came when I walked to a pizza joint known to me through work, had a single slice of veggie pizza, and walked on even though I was still hungry. I knew that if I just gave myself enough time, I'd feel full.

It took a good 20 minutes, but happened. Then there was a shopping trip in which NO VEGAN CAKES were purchased, and many a sabotaging thought was shot down before it could blossom into real destruction.

Christmas cometh.... with a nephew demanding that I make all my grandmother's cookie recipes, the ones she brought from England (seriously, she used to make like 10 different types of cookies) and the b/f demanding another apple pie.

BUT! I've wrested control of the majority of the cooking for Xmas dinner from my lard-loving brother, and the b/f and I will be in charge of making just about all of our feast. My arteries rejoice at the news.

As I get ready to fly to my parents for Xmas, I am trying hard to maintain my focus on moderation. It is the key to my success. If I can be moderate in all things, I can be happy.

Thanks again to everyone who gave us good wishes. Yes, Roz, you are right. I've already gotten a glimpse at how touchy Mr. Neuroma is -- he does not like downward dog, for example! I'll have to devise a neuroma-friendly series of stretches for the New Year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hot 100 Update # 12

I think this is update #12 anyway -- kind of lost track. Yet I know there are only two Friday's left to the challenge. Scary!

This week....
1) I ate at weight loss portions -- most of the time. This afternoon I overate on multigrain snack chips. I immediately felt so full and uncomfortable. Salad for dinner.

Overall, despite a difficult few days, there's been no comfort eating (besides this afternoon), no extra sweets, no binging, even though my routine was thoroughly disrupted.

2) Lose 25 lbs: holding steady, doubt I've lost any thing this week.

3) New goal: thanks to Mr. Neuroma, I can't continue with my 5k jogs. However, the foot is healing, thank goodness. Steve suggested I pick a new goal, and that's a very good idea. This isn't for the rest of this challenge, but for the New Year: I'd like to start my day with some kind of yoga, stretching or calisthenics to get the heart pumping. Can be as simple as some push ups, a few downward dogs or whatever I feel like. But I hope to incorporate a few moments of physical exercise and mindful concentration into my day every morning.

Thanks for all the kind wishes, everyone. I stood by my lovely partner Wednesday as he stared down into his mother's eyes and stroked her face and her hand and said goodbye. I hugged him as hard as I could after and I went with him to pick up all her things, and I wish there was something more I could do but at times like this really the only thing you can do is be there. And I'm grateful that at least I've been able to take off from work and be there for him.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another Goodbye

Woken up by a phone call from local hospital in town where the b/f's mother lives -- she was taken in this morning non-responsive, and sadly, passed away about 9:00 am.

Natural causes, it appears. Was fine at 7am, fell back asleep and when someone checked her at 8:15am, she had no pulse. Can think of worse ways to go.

Crazy, sad day, more sad days to come, I suspect. Mostly sad for the b/f. His dad died in Sept. 2009. This is where it's really hard to be an only child, I see. He has to shoulder a lot on his own.

We're so tired, a long day with arrangements. Is it awful of me to note that despite all this, the special pads the foot doctor put on my tootsies this Monday seem to be really helping my neuroma? Silly thing for me to be crowing about, in the circumstances, but the mind often finds comfort in the mundane.

Hope to be back in time to update for Friday. Be well, all.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Resemble That Remark.....

So I'm out yesterday in horrifically crowded midtown Manhattan, running to pick up our lunch from the deli near work (I had a grilled chicken salad with slice of pita), when I notice a family of four coming at me on the street.

Mom, walking stiff-legged and rapidly several paces ahead of clearly irritated husband who is hauling two young kids along with him by the hand, turns to hiss something at him that I can't hear over the traffic.

Dad, whose face is quite red either from exertion (he's really got his hands full with the two young kids) or rage, or because like me he turns colors in the cold weather, completely loses it.

"For God's sake," he bellows at her, "if you want a damn pretzel then just go ahead and have one! What is your problem, you maniac?"

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hot 100 Update # 11

Tired, long day at work, pardon my brevity tonight (although maybe it's a welcome change from my usual verbosity!).


1) Weight loss portions at every meal: YES, by the gods, I am clinging to my "normal" sized portions. Forced myself to PUT. DOWN. THE. FORK. several times this week and just slow down on the eating. Really helps the brain catch up to the tummy.

2) Former goal: run a 5k. That's not working due to injury. Steve suggested I change to something else (er..he is exceptionally smart or am I realllllly dumb?), which is a great idea. What will it be? No clue, but will let you know as soon as I figure it out.

3) Lose 25lbs: Hmmmmmm..... eating-wise, I have many NSVs. To whit, on assignment Thursday, BITTER, BITTER cold, resist buying a huge pack of cashews in bodega when hunger strikes at noon. Seriously, one bag was 600 cals, and it wasn't even that big. I love nuts, but whoa.... got the single serving of 180 cals to tide me over.

Lunch was four hours later with skinny photographer. He took me to his favorite pizza joint. I got a whole wheat veggie slice. It was probably hugely caloric, since it had two types of cheese (feta and mozzarella) and avocado on it. And it was delicious.

I made do with one piece. And the follow up victory came later, when I was going to eat the frozen burrito I had planned for lunch. It was about 5pm and I was hungry'ish again, looking to nosh and I was talking myself into eating the burrito.

Then I said, hold had breakfast, you had cashews, you had pizza. Even though you are hungry, you don't need to eat a 370 calorie burrito. Save it for tomorrow.

And I did!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Trading Onion Rings for French Fries

We went out to dinner tonight with friends. Nice evening, nothing super special, just a regular ol' evening between some busy thirtysomethings who don't often get to see each other.

It was a restaurant we know well -- a modernized version of a French bistro. The b/f and I have our routine down pat here.

He orders the filet mignon that comes with frites (delicious and crispy). I get the seared tuna salad with artichoke hearts and other good veggies. And a side of onion rings.

When the food comes, I give him the onion rings. Those are his.

He takes my bread plate and puts a little bit less than half the frites on it. Those are mine.

Sometimes I'll filch an onion ring too, if I really want it.

This way I get *some* of the fried sides, but am automatically portion-controlled.

If I want frites and an onion ring, then I have no bread, no appetizer and no dessert. That's the deal.

Two years ago....well, this wouldn't even have occurred to me. One year ago, I would have done it, but gritting my teeth and consciously fighting to make the "right" choices for myself.

I never would have believed this at the beginning of my journey, but practicing good habits does get easier. Portion control can be automatic.

It's true that tonight wasn't a supremely low calorie dinner, but it's a dinner that kept me from overeating, feeling deprived, or somehow "punished" by the genetic Gods who don't want me to be able to enjoy yummy food.

Maybe I blog a bit too much about these kinds of moments -- I am kind of quick to pat myself on the back! But if you are anything like me, you'll know what a joy it is to be confronted by food and feel at peace.

When it happens, it's so magical I'm like a kid at Disney Land.

Now, if I could just hang on to these habits on Monday afternoons, when I seem destined to raid the Whole Food vegan cake section. Something about being home and relaxed on that day makes a binge hard to avoid.

Got to the gym yesterday, the feet held up great., had to do more walking than I wanted. The feet did NOT hold up. Both are twingy, with nerves popping all over the place.

But the good news is the pain and irritation was less than it was two weeks ago. Tomorrow I will stay off them as much as possible.

Thanks to everyone who visited my blog! Nice to see your digital faces!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Adapt. Or Die.

I'm feeling dramatic tonight, as you no doubt can tell.

I'm taking an offensive strategy toward the aggravated nerve in my left foot because (I hate to say this) I've started having the same symptoms in my RIGHT foot as well. And I refuse to let this stupid neuroma knock me off both my trotters.

No moving beyond the minimal for my two days off. I will not walk on this foot (and now feet) unless absolutely necessary for 48 hours.

Funny to say this, but can you imagine how frustrating it is to NOT be able to move when all you want to do is walk, run and work out as much as possible to make your goals before Christmas? I'm going meshuggeneh over here.

But part of the problem with an inflamed nerve in the foot is that you are always irritating it, my doc said, every time you take a step. So I'm not taking any extra steps, just for these two days and I will hope and pray it makes a difference.

That doesn't mean I can avoid the gym. No...a different strategy is called for. I went to the gym and did a combo of bike and rowing. Finally figured out how to get a good bike workout: crank up the resistance level and do the alpine challenge.

It keeps pressure off the tootsies and (if you believe the machine count at the gym) I burned nearly 500 cals. Walk there is 1.5 blocks, so just 3 blocks there and back.

Feeling weird things in the feet -- lots of tingling and burning spots and throbbing nerves. Can only hope that's a sign of healing, since I don't have the same pinched feeling I was getting with every step.

This injury is annoying and debilitating. But I am grateful it is nothing more serious. I don't wish to underplay it -- if it develops into a chronic condition I may need surgery, and I really hope that does not happen. It's not life-threatening at all, but could be (already is to a large degree) a serious complication to my lifestyle. could be worse. Much worse. So I'll count my blessings, put my feet up in an attempt to reduce any swelling to the nerve, and think good, positive thoughts.

Somehow don't think it's possible that my athletic career can go down in defeat this way (hahah -- get it?), but if so...I'll have to find other ways to keep myself active.

Adapt or die. Right?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hot 100 Update # 10

Well, well, well. We meet again, December. Temptation and good cheer coat this month like honey on a glazed ham.

Taking heart from Steve's Hot 100 post, I am determined that December will not lure me into sticky-fingered complacency. I will not slide into that mental place that says, 'Oh, it's ok, it's the holiday season.'

It's not ok. It's not. January looms ahead -- and I do not want to greet the New Year weighing more than I did last year. Even if it is *only* a few pounds, it is something I strongly DO.NOT.WANT.TO.SEE.

Let me say again how grateful I am for the Hot 100 challenge. It got me going again before I'd really clicked in to the passage of time and how close we'd gotten to the end of the year. It's such a fantastic concept and I can't thank Steve enough for all the work he puts into it. He makes it fun too, which I really appreciate.

My Goals This Week:

1) Weight loss portions at every meal: It was a struggle to return to my more controlled eating habits after Thanksgiving, but I've been doing pretty well this week. One thing that helped: I made sure to switch back to my "small" plate this week for dinner (after a weekend of using the larger plate that we got out for Thanksgiving). I am pleased that I enforced that rule on myself again after a few days of using the big holiday plates. It really hurts my sense of portion to have a larger canvas, so to speak. Being a Jackson Pollock type eater means I'll fill every inch. Too bad I'm not an Impressionist eater -- all light and shadow and essence of eating!

In anycase, I'm sticking to my portion rules, and my no eating standing up rule and my no eating muffins from the coffee cart rule, and so on.

2) Run a 5k: oh toe, why do you hate me so? I won't bemoan this situation all over again here. Walked to work once this week, and the toe let me know that it was way too soon. Made it to the gym, however, and did the dreaded stationary bike. Hateful, but I brought my kindle and read away the hour. Would vastly prefer a long walk or a short run, but is not meant to be.

I am adjusting and accepting that this isn't going to change overnight. I must be resilient, and deal with it.

3) Lose 25 lbs: I feel that I have had a bad setback with this annoying bloody nerve injury and a week of loose eating during Thanksgiving. Still.... one must soldier on. This is how it goes, right?

My stupid skinny jeans are still not as loose as I want them to be. Now I'm starting to wonder if maybe they were never as loose as I thought they were!

Could I have dreamt it? Or maybe I just wore them so long without washing them that they felt exceptionally loose? Anything seems possible now because the damn things simply will NOT fit the way I *think* they once did!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Advice Never Ends...

I should be working today and not fiddling on the Internets but this NYTimes article was too good not to share (and it's short).

One of my favorite pieces of diet advice came from a friend who periodically ate only lemons and sometimes would go home at night and inhale an entire bag (a big one) of unshelled peanuts. She ate the shells. That's a lot of fiber.

She would lecture me endlessly about losing weight, but saw nothing disordered in her own eating habits.

What's the funniest/weirdest bit of eating advice you ever got?