Dec 31, 2009

A Numbers Post

I'm worn out right now. I have spent my day trying to prepare for the coming of 2010 (both the festivities to come tonight and tomorrow, and the whole year coming after that), physically and I suppose emotionally. Anyway, mostly I 've been trying to plan my day, calorie-wise, and make it a good day. I know I'll be drinking at least 4 Yuenglings tonight and a glass of champagne, so I had to prepare... I'm tired, so this will be a post of lists and numbers.

My food for today:
  • Oat Bran Hot Cereal w/1 Splenda packet, cinnamon, and 1/3 of a Stretch Island Fruit Co grape leather cut up in it (wanted to change up the normal yogurt/grapenuts/blueberries routine)
  • Coffee with International Delight (6oz coffee, 1T Int'l D)
  • Lean Cuisine Grilled Chicken Primavera (sought out lowest calorie LC in the freezer, 220 calories)
  • remaining 2/3's of Stretch Island Fruit Co grape leather
[would have had a mango here, but realized I have poison-ivy-esque "mango lip syndrome" (yes, I get this) from previous 2 mangoes this week... laying off for a few days]
and I haven't had these things yet, but they are in my caloriecount database, already planned for:
  • Bryan's famous homemade chicken pot pie (entered all ingredients and got a calorie count: 489/serving)
  • Bryan's famous accompanying cheese biscuit atop pot pie
  • and then in the "snack" category
  • 4 Yuenglings (full calorie, just can't buy Yuengling Light... yet)
  • 1 glass champagne

I will probably end up throwing something else down the gullet this evening, but that's okay. This stuff adds up to 1,882 calories. It'll be fine, because...

I had an AMAZING workout today on the elliptical trainer!
My Stats for today:

12:34 minute mile to start (15 seconds better than my previous best)
Did 3.02 miles in the first 40 minutes (13.2 minute mile average)
then 0.32 miles in 5 minutes to cool down
total of 45 minutes and 3.34 miles
according to caloriecount's database, ellipticalling at "moderate effort" for 45 minutes at my weight burned 765 calories.

Now, I know that an elliptical trainer is not running, but elliptical-wise, did I just do a 5k, or did I just do a 5k? YES I DID. And a lot of that time, I was going fast enough to be running. Yeah. That's right. I did.

I'm going to go have a Yuengling now. Happy 2009, everybody, and bring on 2010, in which I will reach my healthiest point ever!

Dec 28, 2009

Doubts and Solutions

Okay, so I'm feeling a little panicked lately. Sure, it's been Christmas, and sure I'm expected to make mistakes once in awhile, but I'm starting to be afraid that I'm not doing good enough. For the last two months I've been averaging two pounds lost per month, and that's just not going to cut it. I'm teetering on a fence between being happy with results that I'm getting and just letting this whole thing fall by the wayside. I am not comfortable being on that fence. It's like when you're on a bike and you slow down too much... yeah, sure you're still moving, but you're right at that point where you're about to fall over because you're going so slow. I realize that I need to make some changes to get off of this fence, to pedal swiftly on the correct side of it.

First, I am re-assessing my daily calorie goals. My current goal has been 1500 calories consumed per day, and this was based on the fact that it was a big change for me to begin with. I had been eating upwards of 3 to 4 thousand calories per day, maybe more some days, and 1500 was a big step down from that. I've noticed that a lot of women lost weight eating around 1200 calories per day... I asked today what my calories/day should be if I want to be 185 pounds by the beginning of August, and it told me 1358, so I'm going with that. I'm going to try hard to start actually meeting this goal more days than not. After all, every day cannot be a special occasion.

Second, I'm fully committing myself to weighing what I eat. I want to know that I am actually consuming the amount of food that I report on my calorie database to have consumed. None of this "that felt like about 400 calories" crap. Data like that is inherently biased, because I know how many calories I have left to consume for the day, and I really have no idea how many calories are in my husband's famous chicken pot pie, for example. I will at least weigh what I eat, and enter it in as generic "homemade pot pie," or whatever it was. To do this, I need to buy an additional scale... maybe one of those small ones to carry in my purse. I can afford this; it's important.

Third, I will continue to exercise regularly, and commit to doing it at least 3 times per week. I love exercising... I love the feeling of accomplishment, I love my muscles being sore, I love having the ability to actually hold my body together using my stomach, and I love the flexibility that comes with it. I will continue to do the elliptical trainer for cardio, the Bowflex and floor exercises for strength, and by Spring I will have bought myself an appropriate pair of running shoes, and will get out there and start training for my 5k this fall.

I know that this is an appropriate time of year to be making all these new promises to myself. Lots of people feel this way immediately following the holidays. It's tough, and I have no idea why we associate eating ridiculous amounts of foods with having a good time at Christmas, but we do. Maybe by next year I'll be changed enough that most of these foods will look kinda gross to me. After all, I do already know that they make me feel crappy. This year I tried to stick to the dishes and confections that I knew I loved, but there were a darn lot of those!

Dec 22, 2009

Blizzard of ’09: Healthy-wise

Yeah, so West Virginia and surrounding East Coast states experienced quite the blizzard this past weekend. It started here at around 3 o’clock on Friday, and caused total chaos for everyone trying to get home from work, get to work, get to the grocery store, travel through the area, etc. Craziness all around. My family and I typically love the snow, and we love huge snow dumps like these, but it’s tough when some of us aren’t safe at home to watch it fall. It’s also tough, I have found, on the ole Healthy Diet.

For me, it started at 4:05 when I left work Friday evening. I ended up being in my car on the way home (with a few breaks in between, like the grocery store) for over five hours that night. Walked through my door for the evening at around 9:30. Needless to say, after 2 hours in the car sitting in traffic, 3 trips outside of the car to scrape snow out from under my wipers, and one emergency pee stop, I was not only a little on edge, but I was truly hungry. I remembered that I have an entire bag of snack food sitting behind my seat, so I dug in. Usually I relegate myself to only the granola bars and healthy stuff in the bag, which make up about 5% of the bag’s contents. This time, however, I grabbed what looked like the most spectacular thing I had ever seen: an unopened canister of full-fat Cheetos. I thought to myself, “Well, I can have one serving of this, right? Sure I can!” I checked the label, and it said one serving was 180 calories (22 Cheetos), and incidentally, the full canister contained 4.5 servings. I figured this sounded reasonable.

I proceeded to eat one Cheeto. Mmmmm. The next one was small, so I figured 2 small ones make up 1 regular one, right? Okay, 2 of those then. “As long as I eat them one at a time…” I thought. Meanwhile, I have moved one quarter of a car length. Before I know it, I’m eating them two at a time, and I don’t even care. Next thing I know, half the can is gone, and you know how it is… who wants half a can of leftover Cheetos? Plus, I’m really hungry! And stressed! And these stupid cars aren’t moving! And the light is friggin’ GREEN!

Needless to say, a few minutes later the canister was thankfully empty. I de-cheesed my fingers without the use of a napkin, and tackled my son’s water bottle in the back seat. 

Thus began my long weekend of the Blizzard of ’09. There was much food made lovingly at home (remember, “lovingly” means I’m allowed to eat it no matter what the contents), and much merriment in the form of alcoholic beverages (some warm and spicy, some cold and long-necked).

I found comfort in knowing that many healthy eaters out there like me were having trouble this weekend, because this snowed-inness was certainly much less expected than the Holiday parties and Christmas feasts we were all anticipating. This literally fell on top of us, and we had to deal with being stuck wherever we were, and bored for several days. I knew there were many of us out there, and some of us might find ourselves “derailed” after the weekend passed and the snow melted. I was determined that I would not be one of those. I know how my crazy mind works, and I am working to make it less crazy. There is no need to ruin the rest of my life because one snowstorm kept me cooped up for the weekend.

So, my New December22nd's Day Resolution: I will fear no food! (well, except donuts & cookie cake) No food can derail me (except aforementioned). And by the way, the weekend was awesome! We had time to relax with family, crazy overnighters, home made meals, Christmas presents, snowman making, shoveling, tottie-drinking… it was great. We were all safe, most of us remained warm (or were rescued by miracles and made warm), and all the Christmas bustle was ground to a beautifully screeching halt. It was fun. And healthy-wise, I am moving on.

Dec 8, 2009

"Movin' right along...

...foot loose and fancy free!" This is a song that Bryan and I often find ourselves singing because it often applies to a current situation. It's nice to be thrown back to that sweet moment of Fonzi and Kermit in the car, driving to go get their friends, just on the road and going... even though they go completely in the wrong direction. "...I never knew the sun came up in the West??"

I've been very busy lately... trying to finish up everything for my 2 classes, going on our annual trip to Universal, kids, work, etc. You know the drill. Taking time to write down what I've been up to just hasn't been able to be worked into my daily schedule.

But the song applies with me right now. I am moving right along. I AM foot loose and fancy free. I have lost 2 more pounds as of this morning, and yes those are the very next pounds in addition to the 20 pounds I mentioned before. It's been a long time coming for these next 2 pounds, but I have a lot of crazy times to show for it. Trips to Universal alone do not make it easy to maintain one's healthy diet... beer, popcorn, irregular meals, FREE club level food offered 4 times per day... you can see where that goes. Anyway, I did make good decisions sometimes, and sometimes I didn't. For the most part, I did well. I have maintained my weight, and haven't added any on. And a few weeks later... here I am, down 2 pounds. So, Kudos!

I've been trying to concentrate on how this is NOT about pounds though. I've narrowed this down to two things that it really should be about. One is: health, obviously. I want to be healthy, and being healthy will certainly cause me to lose a lot of weight in the long run. I want to be able to do whatever I want and not get overly winded. I want to feel like I'm not lugging myself around, but that I could bound up and off at any time if I wanted to. I want to have a healthy glow. The other thing is: economic concerns. If I had continued going the way I was going, I was going to have to buy new, bigger clothes. I had maxed out my current clothes, and eliminated tons of clothes that were too small for me. The good news is, I stored those clothes mostly in my basement, and they are still there waiting for my thinner self. Some of them are even still in my drawers and closet, and I've already started wearing them.

Also, I'm paying attention to my weightloss chart (on, where I log everything), and I noticed something cool about it. First of all, I'll have to clarify that when I say I've lost 22 pounds, that's from 250, my recent highest weight, back in early Summer. You'll see what I mean on the chart. So first, check out the chart.

See how back in June when I started trying to lose weight, I had a very steep drop in weight at the beginning, and then I totally gave up and creeped back up between then and September? Well, then notice that since I started my new plan, I have been dropping steadily, but with a much gentler grade. I like to picture it as a hill. I could walk down that 2nd hill. Some parts are steep, but for the most part I could walk down. The one back in June though, that's practically a cliff. No way you could walk down that without a repelling rope. Also, notice that while my brief attempt in June was merely a few weeks, my change in September has been constant for nearly 4 months. So, steep is bad; gradual is good. Keep an even keel... make it a hill that I could easily walk down, without even having to slide on my butt at all. I can do that. Heck, that's easier, right? It is easier. It means not starving myself, not making huge changes in my physiology over a short time... just taking it easy. Movin' right along. Foot loose and fancy free.

Nov 20, 2009

Zenith, my Gran: 8/9/20 - 11/20/04

I love to remember the crunchy feel of Gran's hair... the tiny tv next to her bed, and Tums (free for the taking) in her top drawer. I remember the journal she used to keep, and she would let me read it, when she lived in the old house. She said it wasn't personal stuff, just what happened every day. I loved that a journal could be like that, just an account of time. I loved the way she smelled, like fresh powder. And she would let me play with the skin on her hands, and I would press a vein and wonder if that would harm her. I remember when I became taller than she was, and to hug her felt so small, but full of bigness. I loved her vegetable soup and ground turkey salad, but most of all her cinnamon toast on white bread, with enough margarine that there were pockets of wetness.

Nov 11, 2009

Yucky food makes you feel yucky

Since my last blog post, I guess you couldn't say that I've been on a Yucky Food Bender, but in light of my desire to be healthy, lose weight, and feel great, I have been bending. Since that post, I have had:
  • Chipotle full-size (oversized really) veggie burrito (probably 800 calories by itself),
  • 2 Twinkies (thanks to listening to Twinkie podcast by Stuff You Should Know guys)
  • then for dinner that night, smartly only had about 2 cups of steamed cauliflower with about 1/2 tablespooon of butter
  • started out good the next day with 2 small David's Healthy Balls (made with oats, pecan, flax seed, agave nectar, dark chocolate, mango, and apricots)
  • then, Chinese Buffet, where I didn't really hold back, except for declining the fried donut afterwards
  • and for dinner last night, 2 canned biscuits, 2 pieces of maple sausage, and scrambled eggs

First, let's start with the Chipotle. I thought I was making somewhat of a healthy choice... veggie burrito and all that. However, once that thing got crammed with all the veggie stuff they had on the bar, it was big enough to wrap in a blanket to stand in as a newborn baby on a TV show. I physically could not fit any part of it in my mouth, and had to obtain a fork to shovel it out from the inside of the burrito. Needless to say, after that I was FULL. And also, even though there are no taste buds in my stomach, it was actually burning from all the hot stuff in there.

Driving home from Cleveland after Chipotle, my belly full of newborn-sized burrito, I felt hungry about an hour later. Not "hungry" per se, but felt like "I'd love something sweet right now, like 6 donuts."

Next, I listened to Stuff You Should Know's podcast about Twinkies. I have never craved a Twinkie in my life, and have eaten probably less than a dozen in that time. Well, after learning that there is pretty much nothing made by God in a Twinkie, and they are as resilient as Birkenstock uppers, I desired and caved in to not only one but two of those tasty treats.

Immediately after eating the Twinkies, I felt a dull throbbing headache behind my eyes. It's as if the unnatural glycerides in those pastries had already worked their evil selves into my brain, and were punishing me.

Made a good decision that night: decided to skip traditional "dinner," and go for a big bowl of cauliflower.

Yesterday at lunch, after having gotten busy and only eaten about 150 calories in delicious David's Balls for breakfast, and after the day had turned cloudy and rainy and cold, I suggested to my co-worker that we go to the Chinese buffet, our favorite place on such days. This decision was also a result of not having planned very well for my lunch that day, having only a Lean Cuisine and rotten broccoli to look forward to back at work. So, Chinese Buffet ensued, with all the pleasures that we know and love about it.

Yesterday afternoon, felt like crap. Bloated, thirsty, tired, depressed. Went to the gym that afternoon anyway, had a great time, and sweated out some of the horribleness.

For dinner, my plan was to again pretty much skip it for some steamed veggies, but I ended up at the dreaded Wal Mart (because I needed things that weren't available at Kroger), and it took me over an hour to find the things I had come for. Got home much later than I had planned, and didn't even feel like fighting the urge to have what everyone else was having: scrambled eggs, canned biscuits, and sausage.

This morning, woke up in excruciating stomach pain. Just some trapped gas in there that wanted to kill me for having eaten like I have, and it nearly succeeded.

So now I am feeling better. I am done with crap food for awhile. It sucks, and it makes me feel sucky. Why do I have to remind myself of that so often? By now I should know it by heart.

Nov 9, 2009

In Cleveland this morning at Bryan's eye appointment. Missing my boys, but also hated to leave Kevin's today. I've never known a place so warm and inviting; there's something so special about that place.

Ate pretty well this weekend, skipped dinner last night sortof by accident, and replaced it with a delicously-made apple tart with freshly whipped cream. I have a rule that food made with love is always okay, in reasonable quantities and accounted for in other ways. Another rule that has helped me to succeed so far has been that if I don't finish calorie counting one day, it doesn't make me feel like I should stop counting altogether. New day, fresh start! So, I'm off to enter my 2 deliciously poached eggs, 1 slice of fresh sour dough bread, and 1/4 piece of Lilly's Chocolate bar (thankfully the last bit, SO delicious).

Nov 4, 2009

Communing with Apples

When I was a little kid I used to love apples. On some days when we would come home from school, Mom would have a snack ready for us, which was often apple slices and peanut butter. She would sit down at the table with us while we ate, and ask us about our days. That's the kind of thing makes you feel loved after a hard day on the playground.

I think I had a bit of a hypochondriac thing going on when I was a kid though, because I heard once that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," and I decided to really take it to heart. I would literally eat one every day, and I remember being disappointed when my front teeth were gone and I could only eat apples with great effort.

As I grew up though, I came to like stuff like honey buns and cheese curls a lot more than crunchy, fresh apples. That seems like a normal progression for a kid... it would be nice if there were some way to keep kids eating the good stuff when they're little, and all the way 'till they're grown up. But instead, we all have to do it our own way for awhile, before we can come back to realizing that the good stuff really is good... and some of us never even get there.

So anyway, now I'm doing this low calorie healthy thing, and it's also prime apple season. I'm back to the apple a day routine, just like when I was 8. This time though, I'm eating an apple to help get me through the afternoon doldrums, and I need it to last. I need to really enjoy it. Well, I've found that with apples, that's not difficult.

Eating my afternoon apple has turned into a ritual for me. I don't just consume the apple: I commune with it. I chew each bite slowly and carefully, and not only have I found that different sections of an apple have different flavors, but that the flavors in different sections are different depending on what type of apple you're eating. I've learned that near the bottom is some of the best apple there is, and I've also learned to get every edible bite out of it before throwing out the core for the ants and worms.

I've even started thinking about the spiritual relevance of the apple... Eve and all that. Apples are a symbolic reminder to us. They remind us of what we've given up to be here in this life on Earth, and what we're allowed to enjoy because of our choice. So, I enjoy the apple, and I try to enjoy everything about this life that we have chosen for ourselves. I don't want to squander my time here, because this is it; this is my time away from God, out here on my own in the relative darkness. But with things like apples, magnificent gray clouds, and heartfelt hugs, we are never alone or forgotten.

Nov 3, 2009

Welcome to my blog!

Hello! So, this is going to be my blog... my very own spot on the web. So, I'm Laura. I am happily a wife and mother, and like most mothers, my family is the most important thing in the world to me. They are the biggest reason that I love life like I do. Every day is a beautiful adventure with them! For them, and because I want to be around a long time to see them and their children, and their children's children grow up... and because even now at age 31 I look forward to sitting around at age 90 with nothing to have to do with myself except make it to the bathroom... for these reasons, I have decided to live my life to the fullest, and part of that is being healthy.

For the past few months, I have been trying out a new way of life. I'm counting calories, eating healthier foods, and exercising regularly. This is something that I've been trying to do for a long time, and have never really been able to get myself motivated to do it. I was always telling myself that I was happy eating whatever I want to eat and not being able to jog even a few feet without feeling winded.

A few months ago though, I decided I had to change. I had already begun refusing to buy clothes a size bigger than my previous clothes had been, had begun feeling before and after huge fast food meals like I might actually be an the early stage of diabetes, and I was starting my second year of a degree program in Public Health. I just couldn't tell myself anymore that I could live this way forever, because I couldn't.

I was fortunate enough on that very day to run across two awesome podcasts that I have come to love. One is Roni's Weigh, which is done by this amazing lady who has lost 70-some pounds and kept it off for several years now. Her words really got into my head, and I realized that I didn't have to view a "diet" as an extreme way to lose weight fast; I can use the word "diet" to describe what I eat, and therefore I can never be "on" or "off" of my "diet." Sometimes what I eat could include a chocolate chip cookie or 3 slices of pizza, but usually what I eat will be healthy. It will promote health in my body and mind, and my body and mind will thrive because of it.

The other podcast, which I saw right away as a light-hearted counter to the first, is Two Gomers Run a Marathon (or, at that time, a Half Marathon). This one is just two guys, kinda geeky, never before have been runners, who decided "to do something they've never done before." I was surprised right away with how much I loved and identified with these guys. They are awesome, and they did end up running a half-marathon, and are on their way to the full marathon, even though when they started out, Gomer 1 (Anthony) said something like "Dude, after those first 15 steps, I hit... The Wall." They are great.

So now here I am. I've lost 20 pounds so far, I am in no hurry, and I've decided to branch out with a blog of my own... Here I go. The rest of my life, here I come!

P.S. If you'd like to read about my first few months of progress, check out my old blog at