Wednesday, March 31, 2010


The taxman cometh. Aaaarrrgh. Wrestling with W-2's and 1099's right now.

Long, rough weekend. Had some planned indulgences, but did some extra indulging that left me feeling a little ... out of sorts afterward. Unfocused. Bloated, even.

It started Friday night, peaked Saturday night (there was a sticky toffee chocolate dessert involved) and then continued thru to Sunday and Monday nights. Like I said, all planned events. But a little too much.

Yesterday was a clean eating day. Also was able to walk home because the rain (finally) stopped, thank goodness. Needed that time to clear my head a bit.

Walked to and from work today. Very clean eating, but maybe too clean. I got light-headed and super dizzy and weak on my walk home. Of course it was the last mile, the hardest one to finish.

Had to fuel up on cashews to make it home. Tried to keep the dinner portion smaller to compensate.

On track for a beautiful day Thursday -- looking forward to a great walk. And filing my taxes.

Monday, March 29, 2010

File This Under: Jeez, Really?

Guess what? Rats who are given unlimited access to popular junk food -- ding dongs, chips, etc -- quickly develop a preference for ONLY those foods and can't stop eating them, not even in the presence of physical danger!

This has scientists thinking now that maybe this type of junk food is as addictive to humans as heroin and cocaine. Ohhhhh -- imagine that!

Guess what else science discovered? The rats become obese really fast when they pig out on junk food.

Gosh, I wonder how long it took them to figure that out? I wonder why "science" can't be bothered to listen to the millions of people struggling with obesity who report over and over and over again addiction-like feelings around certain types of food?

Who hasn't looked into the bottom of a Dorito bag at one point in their life, fingers and lips smeared with fluorescent orange cheesiness, and despairingly asked, "Why can't I stop eating these?"

This does NOT mean that I think people are hopeless food addicts. There is no "magic cure" for food compulsion, but behavioral and habit changes go a long way toward rewiring, I think.

However I find it really frustrating that people who struggle with weight are stigmatized as lazy, irresponsible, weak-willed and so on when clearly there's a lot more complexity to the whole issue.

But hey, why listen to the fatties? Let's just go to the rats. (Excuse my extra snarkiness today -- more rain in NYC, think it's messing with my head. Update soon on MIL situation, hope to be able to report some good news.)

Junk food addiction may be clue to obesity: study
JoAnne Allen
Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:38pm EDT
Related News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bingeing on high-calorie foods may be as addictive as cocaine or nicotine, and could cause compulsive eating and obesity, according to a study published on Sunday.

The findings in a study of animals cannot be directly applied to human obesity, but may help in understanding the condition and in developing therapies to treat it, researchers wrote in the journal "Nature Neuroscience."

The study, involving rats, found that overconsumption of high-calorie food can trigger addiction-like responses in the brain and that high-calorie food can turn rats into compulsive eaters in a laboratory setting, the article said.

The scientists also found decreased levels of a specific dopamine receptor -- a brain chemical that allows a feeling of reward -- in overweight rats, as has been reported in humans addicted to drugs, the article said.

"Obesity may be a form of compulsive eating. Other treatments in development for other forms of compulsion, for example drug addiction, may be very useful for the treatment of obesity," researcher Paul Kenny of The Scripps Research Institute in Florida said in a telephone interview.

Obesity-related diseases cost the United States an estimated $150 billion each year, according to U.S. federal agencies. An estimated two-thirds of American adults and one-third of children are obese or overweight.

For the study, Kenny and colleagues headed to the grocery store.

"We basically bought all of the stuff that people really like -- Ding-Dongs, cheesecake, bacon, sausage, the stuff that you enjoy, but you really shouldn't eat too often," he said.

They also bought healthy foods and devised a diet plan for three groups of rats.

One group ate a balanced healthy diet. Another group received healthy food, but had access to high-calorie food for one hour a day. Rats in the third group were fed healthy meals and given unlimited access to high-calorie foods.

The rats in the third group developed a preference for the high-calorie food, munched on it all day and quickly became obese, Kenny said.

The rats in the experiment had also been trained to expect a minor shock when exposed to a light. But when the rats that had unlimited access to high-calorie food were shown the light, they did not respond to the potential danger, Kenny said. Instead, they continued to eat their snacks.

"What we're seeing in our animals is very similar to what you'd see in humans who overindulge," he said. "It seemed that it was okay, from what we could tell, to enjoy snack foods, but if you repeatedly overindulge, that's where the problem comes in."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Don't Mean to Be Bad...

but South Beach Steve commented tonight on my blog that he was craving chocolate too, but dipped in (or rolled in or spiced with?) cayenne.

That got me thinking about my all-time favorite vegan chocolate truffle company. Maybe it's not a great idea to blog about what I'm about to blog about, but at the same time ... I love this particular company, as it's vegan, organic, fair trade and delicious.

So, hang on chocoholics, I'm about to rock your world: Lagusta's Luscious.

Lagusta's "Big Assortment"

I will allow myself one order of Lagusta's incredible, fantastic truffles a year, and I try to freeze as many as poss so as not to eat them all at once.

The best flavor of all? It might be the sea salt truffle. But honestly, they are all so beautifully handcrafted and homey that any of the flavors are to die for.

Those of you who visit the site will realize that Lagusta (that is a real person, and that's her name) started her company as a vegan food-service delivery.

She makes everything herself, using local produce first, organic second (luckily in New Paltz, NY there's a lot of organic farmers), and all is vegan. I used her vegan food service for about a year once -- it's what really taught me that healthy eating could be delectable.

I enjoyed her weekly meals SO much. Everyone in my office was jealous. Sadly, I couldn't afford to keep it going -- but if I ever hit the mega-millions, the first thing I'll do is sign up again!

Sidenote: I did not lose a lot of weight while eating Lagusta's food because I wasn't working out then, and I think I ate way too much of it in one sitting because it was just that good. It's supposed to be five meals -- but I'm sure I ate it all in three.

Back when I started Lagusta didn't do chocolate truffles regularly -- just once a year. They proved so popular she does them all the time now. I buy them for friends (non-dieting) to celebrate special events.

Weight-loss portions today. No chocolate (bummer). Walked to work, and home.

Irony alert: walked so much yesterday I got a small blister on bottom of my foot despite wearing my regular sneakers. Switched today to alternate sneakers to walk to and from work. Blisters on my heel. Lovely.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chocolate Craaavvvings

Honestly and truly, I'm not usually a chocoholic.

But for the past three days I have been dreaming of the dark stuff.

Oddly enough, I saw an article last night that listed 10 foods to eat when under stress. Chocolate was number one, of course.

The article said the flavonoids combat anxiety, plus it will help you feel full and satiated.

It didn't say anything about stress making you CRAVE chocolate, but I think that must be the case.

It was so strong today that as I walked past the Godiva shop en route to work I very nearly went in. And I did scavenge two local coffee shops, but walked out empty-handed.

As I went to the subway for an assignment, I bought a very small dark Hershey's mini bite. That was after I had picked up a large dark Lindt bar -- probably about 8 servings. They only had those big bars and so I rationalized myself into buying that size -- knowing on a certain level that if I bought something that big I would eat it all.

At the counter, pulling out my cash, I blurted out "You don't have any dark chocolate that's smaller, do you?" The clerk looked surprised -- I was surprised too! -- and showed me the small Hershey's. It was the equivalent to one cube of the huge Lindt bar. Thank goodness for that little voice that insisted on speaking up and asking about other options.

A little later, I walked by a specialty chocolate shop. Truffles, at $2.45 each. Good that they were so expensive -- couldn't get more than two.

Soooo rich and decadent. A bite apiece, and they were gone.

An hour after that, the woman I was meeting offered me one of her chocolate brownies. You all know how I love brownies. And chocolate.... I wanted it. Badly.

But I said no, thank you, I just had two truffles and I'm full. It killed me to say that.

Walked to work today, and then back home. No gym, but that's six miles.

Mostly weight-loss portions today to eat -- minus the chocolate.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It Is Scary to Get Old

At risk of harshing everyone's buzz, I have seen the future and it is frightening.

Reason # 4,748 to stay active: it becomes SO much more important as you age.

My poor MIL can barely walk 100 feet without needing to sit down. She's not heavy, she doesn't have osteoporosis, she's physically fine. She's just weak.

She was never active in life. And she has a life of 100 percent inactivity now. She moves from her bed to her chair in the dining room.

My goal, in adopting my new habits, was to lose weight.

But along the way that desire morphed into a real yearning to be fit and active -- to feel free, the way you feel when your body can do things without pain and pressure. When your joints move smoothly and the muscles pump deeply. It is to feel eternally youthful, no matter your age.

My pledge to myself this morning, even if I never lose another pound -- and seriously the way the scale has been behaving recently I'm starting to think that's a very real possibility -- is to never stop walking, never stop stretching and to lift weights as far into my dotage as I possibly can.

Aside from my terrifying glimpse into the cruelties of old age, things went ok with MIL. Thank you all for your prayers. We got the necessary documents signed. We'll see where all this goes. Still don't have her money back, though.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Consider Me Winston Churchill

Who, I might point out, was another pear-shaped loser.

But seriously, I inadvertently freaked out FitFunk and Beej with my post title the other day -- and I didn't mean to.

I said I was taking a break from daily weigh-ins for awhile (although I still see the value of such a tool), and I scared them into thinking I was taking a break from my weight-loss efforts.

Let me take a minute to reassure y'all that I may change tactics and approaches, but when it comes to weight loss, I will “never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in," as the big man Winston once said.

I needed to see peaceful images today, and I was happy when I spotted some daffodils in Central Park.

Tough day tomorrow, bringing MIL to the doctor's and a lawyer. Hope it goes well.

Goals for this week:

(I really can't believe I'm going to try and do this but what the heck -- it's spring, time to push for personal growth)

1) Get up early and get in a workout -- be it cardio or weight lifting. It just has to be something.

2) Walk to work at least four days

3) Eat on weight-loss portions

Hey -- isn't it amazing to think we may end this day with some kind of national healthcare program in place? I'm not 100 percent convinced this particular legislation is the best it could be, but I'm glad to see some kind of safety net put in place for uninsured folks.

I was a freelancer for a long time, and health insurance was always a big worry. It's just not right that people can be bankrupted by an illness or unfortunate accident. I'm glad at least that this should offer folks some protection against that (I hope, anyway).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Taking a Break

I'm going to heed the sage advice of my fellow weight-lossers and ease away from the daily weigh-ins right now.

It is depressing me that SOD bounced UP several pounds this week, despite almost zero off-plan eating, and decent (not great) exercise. It probably is stress -- and I think a respite is due.

I'm so stressed that I can't turn my neck to the right -- seem to have reactivated an old pinched nerve down my neck. Ow.

Apropos of nothing, should I be offended that a colleague of mine, one I do not know well and have spoken to only a few times on work-related issues, Facebooked me out of the blue to invite me to a Biggest Loser TV show weight loss event? Er, ex-squeeze me?

Wait, wait -- I know what you're going to say, he probably didn't meant it to be offensive, maybe even has noticed I've lost weight and was trying to include me in something helpful, etc etc.

It's true. I should not automatically prickle over such things.

But it's a kneejerk reaction, I guess.

Anyone else feel like they've spent their life -- their fat life anyway, for those who haven't always been larger -- fending off people who just assume that you, being heavy, must be unhappy with yourself and constantly dieting?

Anyone? Bueller, Bueller?

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Day

Trying to let go of all the negativity surrounding us right now.

Good news is that I haven't deviated (aside from a Kashi bar and a bag of soy chips) from my planned eating this week, in spite of everything.

Bad news is that I didn't get in the workouts I wanted, although I made a lot of effort to get in what exercise I could. Especially last night -- fit in a quick 30 minutes on elliptical even though it was close to 9pm.

However, SOD is up about five pounds this morning from my weekend low. With almost zero variation in diet, and some working out.

I'm starting to think maybe the daily weight tracking isn't for me. I definitely can see how it's a good tool, and if I ever get anywhere close to my goal weight I would definitely use it.

But at this moment, it's depressing to see my weight fluctuate so much within a 24 hour span. I'm starting to wonder how I ever lost any weight in the first place.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


At a certain point, there's really nothing more you can say.

After skipping work yesterday morning (again) and sitting for hours in a judge's chambers waiting, the B/F and I were allowed to briefly present the facts to a judge who barely listened. He cut us off about 30 seconds in, to rather nastily tell us we couldn't represent the MIL in court, and to start guardianship proceedings.

The cost of guardianship proceedings? $10,000. Yeah, that's not gonna happen.

He dismissed us so brusquely, with such nastiness, it left me breathless with outrage. Something happened to me that hasn't happened in a long time -- I got so angry and furious that it nearly drove me to tears. Not tears of sorrow or sadness, but rage. It's a curious thing that I think happens more to women or men -- when that amount of anger bubbles up, somehow angry tears accompany it. It sent the B/F into a panic until I explained that my teary eyes were to blur my vision so I didn't kill anyone in a fit of explosive emotion.

We now have to get a lawyer to file the fairly simple motion to stop the levy against her account. If I think about it too long I start to go radioactive and emit beams of nuclear rage. No wonder people have been giving me wide berth these past few days. They can feel it.

Thanks again to everyone for the very comforting support. We are caught in one of those nightmare scenarios where you can't do A because MIL's mental condition is too weak, but we can't do B because we don't have power of attorney or guardianship, and we can't do C because without a power or attorney, which she may now be too far gone to assign to her son, we aren't authorized to talk to her pension and ascertain which types of care they cover. It is such a nightmare mess.

I didn't get the gym time I wanted last night, and although I ate my usual food, I had two snacks in the afternoon. Not bad ones, but still. The SOD this morning bounced back up to my pre-weekend weight.

It's upsetting, but these fluctuations don't seem to make any sense whatsoever so I'm just going to ignore it (one more time).

Again, thanks everybody for the support. It has really helped.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Standing Firm

Running out the door, but a brief recap:

Thanks to everyone for the support yesterday. Really needed some help balancing out my sudden rush of negativity and frustration.

So, the mother-in-law (a/k/a MIL) situation is this: we're dealing with some complete *&$*)#(@@ credit card company that harangued the mother-in-law endlessly a few years ago -- when her dementia was more moderate -- and got her one day to sign up for some deal or something when nobody was home to block the call.

Nobody knew about it, she often hides mail and things, we noticed a sudden uptick in very aggressive collection calls from some firm, but they refused to talk to us, only very nastily said they had to talk to the MIL even when we told them repeatedly she has Alzheimers. They went away and we forgot about it.

Well, those %**#@)&$#*##'s went to court, did not explain her situation to the judge, probably sent us something in the mail that we never saw, and got a court order to take $2,714 from her account.

Except they took over $3,300 -- everything she had just gotten from her pension and SS payments -- and wiped her out for the month. They left $19. How is she to pay her rent? Buy food? Medication? LIVID!

Question: when you don't eat to cover up intense emotions, where do the emotions go?

I have had anger pouring out of me for the past 24 hours and I guess I'm a little shocked because maybe I'm not used to feeling my intense emotions this intensely, if you know what I mean. It's a weird sensation to feel like you are 100 percent molten lava because you are so boiling mad.

The good news: SOD took pity on me and let me keep holding my loss so far for the week. Despite my intense rage yesterday it never occurred to me to eat, overeat or indulge myself as a way to handle my anger.

I did briefly get a big craving for a glass of wine around 6pm, but brushed it aside.

I didn't get to the gym because the vet had to come after work to see to the cat -- but even though I took the morning off to make phone calls and try to figure out what had happened with the bank, I still walked to work.

That was a biggie, because I was already late -- had alerted my boss but it always gives me anxiety to be late for work -- and so furious I didn't know what to do with myself. But I figured I was already late, so I might as well take the extra hour and walk.

Thank goodness -- it made me feel so much better.

Today is rough. Up early to go to a court (in another state, no less, where MIL lives) and appeal to a judge to stop this motion and return her money. Hope to be in and out very early and back at work as soon as poss.

No time to workout this morning or walk to work, but will try to fit it in later. Otherwise, strict weight loss portions today!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This is Not a Good Morning

In brief, the cat's sick again, something strange has happened to the mother-in-law's bank account and we're locked out for no apparent reason (because banks have nothing better to do than screw around with the hard-earned little pension dollars of an octogenarian who needs that cash to pay her home health care aide), and so we're starting this day under a tremendous weight of anxiety.

I can report that while I did go up a little bit on the scale overnight, the weekly average is still good, and below my two-pound mark.

I wish I felt more joy at this, but right now I'm just consumed with worry.

All the paperwork required in the wake of the B/F's dad is still with us, still lingering, still pressing in on us. As soon as we fill out one form, another comes along. Now this with the bank. We feel so helpless, and so angry and frustrated. And as we all know, that's not a good way to feel.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spam Sucks

Yes, I was spammed -- and somehow became a spammer. Everyone in my e-mail address book last night got an e-mail touting the benefits of Viagra and an "erection pack." Oh my.

So my account was hacked, which meant scrambling around to find out if the virus is on my computer or what... anyway, it was resolved (I *think*), but it was very annoying. I hate spammers and hackers -- what sort of people are they, really? They're like parasites.

Anyway, the past 24 hours have been very challenging, and I can report that my two pounds are still gone -- yay!

But it's almost no thanks to me. I made enough good decisions to keep myself in the right place, but I made quite a few bad decisions too.

Stuck to my salad on Saturday for lunch, no snacks, and came home to enjoy a delicious catfish fry up, courtesy of the B/F. It's not a low-calorie meal so we only do it rarely. I planned for it, and enjoyed it. And ate to the point of being stuffed, something I have been trying to avoid. So mixed bag there.

The next day had a brunch with the girls. Fraught with peril. Am proud that I did NOT eat breakfast at home, even with the BF making a Sunday special. I had a handful of nuts and said that's it -- brunch was at 1pm, so I had to have something to carry me from 9am 'til then.

Ordered eggs, and the portions were just right -- there were potatoes on the side, but NOT a huge fried mess. Just one potato, small, cut into thirds.

We walked around as much as we could afterward, but it was still rainy and gross. I separated from my friends around 5, intending to run home and get in a quick workout before Sunday closing at 6pm.

In the end, that didn't happen. There was wine and some cheese, of course. These two being Europeans (of course they're skinny) that's a given on most days. I was able to restrain myself from eating too much cheese -- a first for me. And I really worked at going slow and sipping.

Still, none of this was planned, and I knew I was flirting with danger eating off-plan for the day.

Ultimately I seem to have squeaked out unharmed. The SOD was benevolent this morning and did not take away my two pounds. But now that I'm getting a sense of my daily fluctuations, I know that TODAY will be very important. I could hold the line, or screw it up.

Since it's Monday, it's go to Whole Foods day.

Goal: get in, get out. Do NOT buy any vegan desserts. I want to wake up tomorrow and see the same SOD reading I saw today. Or a lower one, if poss.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Small Victories

Count 'em with me, folks:

1) Clean eating yesterday, including a very late lunch when I was STARVING and managed to convince myself to stick with a nice hot soup (380 cals, according to Hale & Hearty)and not buy five different things because I was so hungry.

2) Got out of work at a decent hour, convinced myself to go to the gym even though it was rainy and cold. On way stopped to get turkey for my cat (trying to soothe his irritated belly with carb-free food) and realized I needed a snack to get through the workout. Impulses immediately flooded in, but I kept a tight rein on myself. It's these little decisions that have been tripping me up of late -- a 200 nutrition bar is still 200 calories. And as I said yesterday, my margin of error seems to have significantly shrunk. I skipped the nuts, the protein bars, and grabbed a banana.

3) Forced myself to gym. My deal to myself was I only had to put in 30 minutes on elliptical, but I had to make them count. I ramped up the interval training and really went for it. 400+calories burned, if you trust those machines.

4) Weight-loss portions at dinner last night, plus a glass of wine that I kept to a single serving (I actually measured out 4 ounces).

5) SOD beaten into submission this morning. Down two pounds. At last.

6) Woke up bizarrely early, don't know why, and again convinced myself to get up and go to the gym. Cold and rainy here. No chance to walk today, so I said, go now, or you won't go later. Another high-tempo 30 minutes.

7) Salad packed and ready to go for lunch today at work. No chance to slip out for a fat deli sandwich or to order in from the greasy spoon diner around the corner. Two temptations removed.

Goal for this weekend: HOLD ON TO MY TWO POUND LOSS. The SOD must not win this one.

PS: Still doing my pushups, slowly increasing on the incline ones and getting stronger. It may be wishful thinking, but I kinda sorta maybe think my arms are looking better. I haven't had to worry too much about loose skin (yet) because I've been losing slowly, but I did start seeing a bit on my upper arms and it seems to have slightly tightened up now that I'm pumping out the pushups. Go pushups!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Is it a LIFEstyle, or a LIEstyle?

Have I mentioned that I hate the SOD? Hate it. It is my sworn, mortal enemy.

I'm still logging my weight daily on

Here's what I realized: I need to exercise more, and I need to eat a little less.

Is that earth shattering or what?

Now I just have to do it. Eating was clean today -- very. And dinner was a controlled amount.

Yesterday I made a silly error in judgment -- a rookie mistake. A lucky assignment brought me near the apartment where my friends from Europe are staying around 5pm. I hadn't eaten too much on Wednesday, and was feeling kinda good about getting on the SOD this morning.

I dropped by their apartment for a lovely evening -- but when my friend brought out a beer and wanted to split it, I didn't say no. I kinda wanted to say no, felt like I should decline, but didn't. And when she brought out a second, I didn't say no to that one either. I protested, but not that strongly.

The good news is I didn't overeat -- much. But I was very hungry by the time I got home at 9pm, and so I did have a bigger than usual portion.

The SOD was up .5 this morning. Really, it put me in a funk. A bad one. It threw me into that "I just can't lose weight -- my body never cooperates" place.

Aarrrrrgh! But I shook it off. A nice walk to work cleared my head.

When I was in the right frame of mind, I reminded myself of the basic rule of weight-loss portions: Every bite (and sip) counts.

When I was 70lbs heavier and losing weight, I could slack off in places and still lose nice satisfying amounts. Not huge, but tangible.

My body's not cutting me much slack anymore. It's weird, because I'm not anywhere near goal. But that's how it is.

If I fail to adjust to that new reality, who am I fooling?

Yes, I've adopted a new lifestyle and I really love it, and I'm happy about it and I plan on being active and a careful eater for the rest of my life.

But that doesn't mean I can lie to myself about cutting corners, or my mistakes, or when I just don't put in the effort. I have been putting in a lot of effort lately -- but has it been every day? Or on for five days and off for two?

The SOD isn't cooperating with me not because I have some mutant freak body that never loses weight. It's not cooperating because I haven't adjusted all the way to my new reality: my margin for error is much smaller than it used to be.

PS: two great walks today, and the B/F mentioned that my legs were looking slimmer. Yay!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Snow Must Go On

'cuz I'm hooked on skiing!

Let's get right to the photographic evidence of how gorgeous Sunday was.

Yep, those are my ski tips. I'm riding the chairlift at Mt. Peter in Warwick, NY.

Here's the view from over my shoulder:

It was a gorgeous day. I didn't get sunburned, and we had so much fun in the snow.

The BF is not a skier. I am a former skier, now hoping to rekindle my interest in the slopes. I can happily report that the old lady has still got it -- I was able to bust out my slalom moves toward the end of the day and my knees held up just fine.

But the thigh muscles -- burn, burn, burn! My quads were on fire. I can't believe I used to do that for hours and hours on end every winter weekend as a kid/teenager.

I haven't updated for awhile, so here we go:

The Wednesday night birthday fete went well. The BF was gobsmacked with his night at Alice Tully Hall. Full disclosure: I took him to a free media event. The premiere of Discovery Channel's second season of LIFE, narrated by Oprah Winfrey.

Background: the BF loves nature programs and especially Discovery and its LIFE series. I can't stomach watching the inevitable gruesome death some animal suffers, and so he never gets to watch those shows at home. When I got the invite to the media screening in the mail I almost tossed it. Then I looked at the date, realized the BF would be over the moon to see it on a big screen and (for once) without me complaining in his ear.

So I reserved with a plus one, and in we went. The NY Pops orchestra played the accompanying music live in Alice Tully Hall -- that was cool. We sat in front of Ms. Glenn Close herself, and I saw the man who played Nick, the creepy ex-husband of Carla on Cheers. Oh yeah. A big night out for us.

After the showing there were snacks, of course. Free. We scarfed some, but didn't overdo it, and then realized we needed to stop and go home. And that's what we did.

Friday and Saturday were fairly normal, but busy, and then Sunday we were off to the slopes! Man, that is an expensive sport. But so much fun!

Fun fact about myself that I learned this Sunday while skiing: I am still way heavier than I have been in my past, but I am strong enough to ski backwards down a hill supporting the weight of my 210-lb boyfriend struggling to snowplow.

And, I hiked up the bunny hill in ski boots and carrying his poles, my poles and my skis about five times that day without giving it a second thought. OK, it was not steep, and perhaps only as long (gently sloping upward) as a football field, but in deep snow and ski boots, it took some effort. On my second to last trip up, I passed a group of three teenagers who were carrying snowboards up the hill. Hah! They were moving too slow.

So there you have it. Eating was pretty good all around. Sunday we didn't have time for breakfast, so I grabbed a bag of nut mix at the ski resort. In the past I would have told myself that I could eat more later because I "only" had nuts and they are so healthy.

Now I know better. I ate a lot of those nuts, so I really had to watch it at lunch and later at dinner. But I also didn't give what I was eating too much thought. For once, we had a day where it just was not about the food. At all. What a refreshing change.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bragging Rights

Bad news first: according to the SOD, I gained three pounds overnight.

However, since I know I did not consume 3,500 calories x 3 in 24 hours, I'm basically ignoring the scale reading from this morning. Sod off, SOD.

Please indulge me for a minute and let me brag about how delicious, truly, truly, delicious, my salade nicoise was Tuesday night.

I got the recipe off the web (bien sur) at, and it was a basic nicoise salad, but the vinaigrette was made with champagne vinegar.

So, in a nutshell, I left work late, but decided I had to walk from 47th St to 96th St to the Whole Foods to get in extra exercise (I also walked to work that morning). It took me about 45 minutes, I ran in and out of Whole Foods after buying basil, french bread (small loaf), nicoise olives, small potatoes and green beans, and some very expensive tuna steak (wow -- I had no idea it cost that much).

Ran home to discover BF stuck at work, so I had to clean apt, then quickly get the potatoes and eggs into boiling water.

I worked up quite a sweat, I can say that.

Boiled the potatoes, eggs, and green beans. Let them sit at room temp when done.

Then I made the bruschetta appetizer -- the same recipe I used for my super bowl party. So delicious. Everybody loved it.

When we were ready for the main meal, I went back to the kitchen and put some olive oil in our wok, then seared up that tuna.

Tossed the eggs, potatoes and green beans with shredded butter lettuce (yum, that's good lettuce), threw in tomato wedges and a few nicoise olives, then coated it all with the champagne vinegar vinaigrette (basically dijon mustard, the vinegar, a shallot, salt, pepper and olive oil whisked together).

The cooked pieces of tuna steak on top, and we were done.

And oh my oh my oh my, was it good. I'm sure that vinaigrette made the dish, and also had all the calories. Nearly 1 cup of olive oil -- next time I'm going to find a way to minimize that.

The bruschetta is pretty low-cal, I think, because I don't use any olive oil in the tomato mixture and just lightly brush the bread before toasting. But it's certainly not without calories, so I really tried to keep myself from indulging too much.

There's something so lovely about putting together a truly fantastic meal that everyone enjoys and doesn't make you feel like you are doing something "wrong."

Even my boyfriend -- who didn't for a minute want to eat salade nicoise but was too polite to kick up a fuss in front of company -- admitted that it was a spectacular meal.

Ok, so enough about the food. It was also a great night just in terms of enjoying my friends.

Wednesday morning I got up, saw I'd "gained" three pounds, logged it in, and walked to work.

Had a biz lunch today at a steakhouse -- got a greek salad, avoided the rest of the menu. No bread.

Trail mix at 4pm. 180 cals

Soy chips at 6 pm. 130 cals.

Walked home again.

Quinoa and beans for dinner, trying not to eat too much. I think I survived this day without a post party binge.

Tomorrow is the BF dinner. Special surprise for him at Lincoln Center; we're meeting there at 6:30. He's going to be floored.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

First Week of

Thanks to Andrew's tip, I think I may have gotten over my scale phobia -- or am close to it, anyway.

I've been using, an online place to go and log your daily weight. Based on your figures, the program gives you an "average" loss or gain for the week. (Hopefully a loss.)

Here's what I've found so far:

1) The fluctuations are startling sometimes, and even heartbreaking (like when the scale does way down one day and then back up the next).

2)You have to be able to shrug off the fluctuations, and focus more on your behaviors if you don't want to go crazy. This is a good thing -- it minimizes the scale's importance, but still recognizes it as a helpful tool.

3) Knowing I'm getting on the scale the next morning has helped reinvigorate that layer of watchfulness I've been missing for the past several months. I've looked at some snacks/bites over the past few days and thought, 'I'd better not eat that. It'll show up on the scale tomorrow.'

4) I have to guard against relaxed eating on the days the scale seems to magically bounce downward, ie 'oh, my weight was so low this morning, I can eat that burger for lunch!'

Yesterday my eating was not good. I didn't get breakfast, got way too hungry by noon, had a spicy shrimp sushi roll, then walked to meet some friends, who after strolling for a while wanted to stop and get lunch.

I wasn't all that hungry and probably shouldn't have eaten.

I got lentil soup, which was very good. It came with toasted pita points. I ate three too many (one would have been enough).

For some reason, that lunch threw me off. I looked at my two friends, in from Europe, neither 'skinny' but both normal weight. One of them had ordered a plate of hummus, which wasn't huge but was a nice mound, and immediately said she wouldn't be able to eat it all.

In fact, she didn't - not quite. And that was all she had, with pita too. She ate slowly and methodically, and when done declared herself really stuffed. The other friend got a chicken curry salad (I almost got that but was glad I didn't because it had a lot of mayo, turns out). She ate it, with some bread, and was done too. What I envied was their ease about it -- they didn't seem tortured, or worried, or even unhappy. They weren't forcing themselves to eat something they didn't really want because it was the "good" choice.

I left the lunch a little depressed, probably because I had eaten when I didn't really need to. And maybe I was off because of the weird no breakfast in the morning (I like breakfast and need to eat it).

I had struggled to find something on the menu that I would like and wouldn't feel like a punishment to eat. My two friends had very easily and with real pleasure zeroed in on yummy but healthy choices and really enjoyed them. I liked my lentil soup, but struggled with guilt the whole time.

"Should I be eating this?" I kept wondering, as I spooned up one of three pieces of potato in the broth.

As the funk of food depression descended upon me, I was in danger of really screwing up later in Whole Foods as I hovered near the vegan desserts.

Luckily, a disaster was averted and I found time to get to the gym yesterday evening. That was a very good thing. Go endorphins!

Goal today: eat light, workout at gym and walk to work, and be careful at dinner. Friends are coming over, and I'm planning to serve a hearty and healthy nicoise salad.