Friday, December 19, 2008

In Which I Reflect Upon the Past Three Months








(Reflection. Get it?)








My Body Bugg web subscription expired today, which means its been three months since I started this, er, journey (?). It doesn't feel like it's been that long at all, but I thought I would take this post to reflect on the changes and progress I have made.

* I've lost 18 (or so-depending on which day you ask my stupid scale) pounds. I'm pretty far off my two pounds a week goal. Instead, I have been averaging about half a pound per week, sometimes a pound. It's not much, but its really sustainable at this rate, so I will just need to suck it up and be patient. I just watched the season finale of the Biggest Loser and compared to their 75, 80, 100 plus pounds lost, 18 looks and sounds pretty measly.Of course if I had the time and the resources to work out 4 hours a day with a trainer, I would probably be pretty smokin hot in 3 months, too. But alas, I have this whole JOB thing, and HOUSE thing and all the LAME responsibilities that come with it. Then I think that if I lose 75 pounds, I would be under 100 pounds and I'm pretty sure that would leave me looking pretty nasty (i.e. anorexic)
So I guess I will have to settle for 18 pounds. Whatever.

* I've been logging all of my calories consumed on a daily basis. I started off REALLY good at this and have since gotten a little lax, I will admit. But logging my food has really made me take a hard look at my day to day choices and I have been very consistent about making good food choices. This really just required a little tweaking for me, since I already ate pretty "clean" as they say in the world of fit blogging. I get lazy about logging in a bite of something or a cracker or a tootsie roll (I MUST get these out of my office!). I think this is due in part to the fact that logging my food takes a serious amount of time and it's not all that exciting. So I kind of half ass it. I am committed to being better at this going forward. Honestly. (Note: I have cut back on the boozing A LOT and now I just save it for one night per weekend. This, according to Andrew, makes me "no fun.")

* I've been incorporating exercize as part of my daily routine. Turns out, cleaning the house from top to bottom is the caloric equivalent of walking on the treadmill for an hour, and 20 minutes of the 30 Day Shred is the same as a 10 minute run. I have tried hard to keep my workouts interesting and incorporate a mix of strength traning and cardio. But lately, I've been overdoing the cardio becuase (I'll be honest) I'm a tad bit clueless when it comes to weight training on my own at the gym (I need you, Jillian Michaels!). BUUUUT, lucky for me, my chirporactor gave me a free personal traning session at our gym (thanks Dr. Shapiro, if you're reading!) so my revised plan is to meet with the tranier and get some new moves for the New Year! I'm guessing that this will be a return to my circuit training days of Spring, 2008.

*All my jeans fit comfortably. (With the exception of the official "skinny jeans"). In fact, the ratio of things too small for me to things too big for me is shifting as I write. I gave away my firts pair of "fat pants" over Thankgiving. This in and of itself is something to be eternally grateful for (and REALLY excited about!)

In conclusion:
* Today i renewed my Body Bugg subscription for another YEAR! My goal is that a year from now I won't need to renew again.

* Change is slow but oh-so WORTH IT!

* I do not need to be a slave to the gym to reach my goal weight, there are plenty of other activities that are just as effective and a lot less boring.

* If I love and respect my body, it will love and respect me back (a BIG apology to my liver for college, and to the rest of my organs for that whole puking for 7 years nonsense).

* Its okay to indulge every once in awhile. I won't gain 5 pounds from one stinking piece of cake (unless you ask the piece of shit scale that I have now, becuase he-yes its a HE-SUCKS!)

* Moderation, balance and satisfaction are all things to be enjoyed and celebrated.

* ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Streak (?)

This morning I got up early AGAIN to work out! I only did the Shred (I've been on and off with this lately) but it was better than nothing. I've noticed that even when I do a short workout in the morning, I burn WAY more calories by the end of the day.

But,
TWO DAYS IN A ROW!!!! I think this is the start of an awesome morning workout streak for me!
I'm told it takes 21 days to break or begin a new habit. WOO! 19 more days to go!
(And yes, I do realize how ridiculous I sound getting excited about 2 days in a row. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.)

But why I REALLY wanted to post was because I read an AWESOME post over at MizFit today on children and role models and respecting our bodies. It really raises an interesting issue. I left her a ridiculously long comment that resembles a therapeutic rant, but you don't have to read that part.

I really feel very strongly about this issue and I know that it was my mom's unhealthy relationship with food and non-existent relationship with exercise that played a major role in spawning my eating disorder. I mean, it its not her fault. I don't think she could have possibly known how it could have affected me years down the road. And even if it were her fault, she didn't force me to stick my fingers down my throat. (Someday I will write a post on how how weird it was for me to be totally cognizant of how ridiculous my eating disordered behaviors were. Sorry. Off topic.)
Anyhow, check it out. Let me know what you think. This is cheaper for me than therapy :-)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh the Irony..

Okay, so I have decided that I LOVE going to the gym first thing in the morning. I like it for several reasons:
1) hardly anyone is there = no wait for equipment
2) I've burned 1000 calories by the time I get in the shower at 8am
3) I have my WHOOOOLE night free (to cook dinner, do laundry, read my book, watch tv, bake cookies-whatever I fricken FEEL like, basically. Happy Hour, what?)
4) I have my whole MIND free (as in I don't spend the whole day dreading the gym and the things I hate about it and instead I can focus totally on blogs and gossip rags. and occasionally work.)
5) I feel basically awesome all day long (as long as I have a cup of coffee for my mid afternoon after-lunch slump)
6) No creepy TV watching guy (there is this guy at my gym-kinda old, always wears black sweatpants-and I've NEVER seen him work out. All he does is stand by the treadmills and ellipticals and watch TV. For HOURS. Its weird. And annoying. And when he's there, I get SO distracted on the treadmill thinking about why he never works out and why he doesn't just wacth tv at home....but I digress)

Great, right? With a list like that, I should have NO PROBLEM going to the gym in the morning.

Except....
I HATE getting up early and I HATE mornings.
But other than that, I'm totally sold on the morning gym visits.


We had a really low key weekend. I ran some errands, grocery shopped, read my book, had lunch with Andrew's mom...it was really nice. This week I have a million things to do: planning for our holiday party next weekend whilst trying to find our foster dog a new home, fix the leak in the roof, do 7 million loads of laundry, clean, bake cookies for my office-mates, and prep for our travel next week. (I yawned just WRITING all of that!) I'm in for a CRAZY week, I guess!


Here's our Christmas tree (we decorated last weekend):



























Oh, and I'm still in a fight with the scale. I'm giving it the silent treatment.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eff YOU, scale!




=










I feel like I am at war with this new scale. I can't decide if its my friend or foe. Andrew has been saying for the past week that it's off. He went to the doctor last week and said that he was heavier on the doctor's scale. For me, its not been as much about the numbers as it has been about the amount gained v. lost. But today I got on it and I am SIX POUNDS heavier? SIX POUNDS!?! In less than a week???? Actually, in like 3 days? I'm pretty much convinced this scale is either totally wrong or has some personal vendetta against me. There's just NO way I gained six pounds in three days (even with water weight, I only put on maybe 3)
I'm trying not to let it take over my day, but I'm seriously annoyed. I was cleaning last night and banged it around a little, could THAT make it get all messed up? UGH! either way, I'm not getting back on it for awhile. I need to cool off a bit. Because if it's STILL messed up the next time I get on it, its taking a nice trip out the flipping window (and no, I'm NOT kidding).

P.S. I LOOOVE oatmeal! Oh and I made this super tasty squash soup for dinner last night with both butternut AND acorn squash..and roasted garlic. MMMMMMM. I am such an awesome chef! I also spent 3.5 hours cleaning and doing laundry. Which makes me an awesome housekeeper as well! (okay maybe not. I really only spend that much cleaning about once a month).

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

My body officially HATES junk?!?!





<----- :-(



WTF?! This is no joke here, people. This is VERY serious. I promise that even though I have always wanted to be skinny, I have NEVER wanted to give up the tasty junky treats that have been the most steadfast contributors to my wobbly tummy pooch!
Yes, I gave them up willingly when I agreed to record all my food and count all my calories. But now, it would appear, that I can't have them at ALL! Even when I WANT THEM!
Examples: had french fries with cheese on Saturday. Promptly threw up. (not kidding)
Ate pancakes for breakfast at the neighborhood joint. Stomach ache (and other yucky stuff)ALL DAY LONG. Ate nothing else the rest of the day (except a latke).
Recently had 3 (yes, only THREE) glasses of wine at Holiday Party. Sick and hungover ALL the next day. Note: I have been drinking pretty regularly(i.e several times a week) for at least the past 10 years. Wow, I just re-read that and I sound like a total alcoholic. I'm not. Or if I am, so are all of my friends and everyone that ever went to my college.

I have pretty much stopped drinking as much booze (maybe once a week if that) and I have cut out all the crap food like fried stuff and sugary goodness as part of my attempts at healthy living. I take my vitamins, I work out, I drink plenty of water.

Is my body rebelling against junk since its been so ling since I've had it? Has it forgotten what to do with wine and french fries? I'm so confused. I want to be able to treat myself every once in awhile, but lately, it has NOT been worth it. I was a pretty decent eater before all of this. I cook a lot at home so I wasn't hitting the drive-thru every night, by any means. My "junk food" has always been things like cheese, beer, carbs and Bryers ice cream.
I guess this could be some kind of blessing in disguise, but it makes me a little sad. I mean, pancakes?!

In other news, I had the BEST run yesterday! It was fast and strong (EDIT: I AM FAST AND STRONG-Thanks, Miz!) and I felt GREAT!
Today I had a 3rd interview for a new job (more money! yay!). I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I'm excited. I will keep you all (all 4 of you) updated on that if I find anything out.

AAAND I'm down 18 pounds and only a few more to go before Christmas!
Its only Tuesday but so far its been an awesome week!
HO HO HO!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

(Mostly) Totally Unrelated














Oh man I just LOOOOOVE this time of year! Last night, I caught Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (the original, with Burl Ives) on prime time TV. I was SOO excited because every year I miss it and have to rent it instead. But this year, I got to see it the way I did when I was a kid: broken up into 7 minute segments and stretched out over an hour, with butt loads of commercials in between. I sang along to all of the songs, I laughed out loud at Hermie (he's my favorite!), I was all alone on the couch... it was glorious! I think I already missed the Grinch, but I saw commericals for Frosty, so hopefully I'll be able to catch that one, too!
I am also obsessed with the 24 hour Christmas music station. The othe rnight I heard "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" for the first time this year. My grandma used to get offended when we sang it to her, but it always makes me laugh.
This weekend we are getting our tree and decorating! I can't wait to hang all of our stockings from the railing (we have one for each of us and our pets). Maybe I will go all out and bake some cookies too!

I got on the scale this morning for the first time in over a week. The good news is that I didn't gain any weight over Thanksgiving. The bad news is I didn't lose any either. I'm about 6 pounds off from my intended goal, according to my Body Bugg program. Its coming off VEEERRRRY slowly, but at least its coming off. Oh, and my body fat is down aobut 5% overall. Remember I was experimenting with taking that Milk Thistle that I read helps liver function? I've been taking it for about 8 weeks or so. I honestly don't think its had any major effects. I've dropped 16 pounds and 5% body fat, which I think is pretty average. I would expect that if the Milk Thistle was working, my body fat would be much lower, but who knows? Its not hurting anything and there aren't any negative side effects so I think I will keep taking it for a bit.
Only 3 more weeks till Christmas! Which means I need to get back on track to losing 2 pounds per week (I've been averaging about half a pound per week). I am determined to stay focused even though I'm all crazy and giddy with holiday excitement and parties and fun stuff!!
Now, if only we had some snow.... ;-)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Nibbles and Bits



I googled "nibbles" and this is what came up. Totally irrelevant. Cute, though. ->



Around this time of year, I always develop an irrational fear of my scale. Ok, so I'm pretty much afraid of my scale almost every time of the year, but at this time, its WAY worse.
Most days, I have no idea what I'm eating. Ok, thats not true either. I do, in fact, recognize the food, I just have no idea how much of it I'm eating when I'm snacking or nibbling my way through work parties, happy hours, tree trimmings and other holiday foodstivities.
Since I've started using the Body Bugg, I've cut my snacking WAYYY down. A lot of that has to do with packing my lunches and coking my own dinners and PLANNING everything I'm going to eat in a day. But when there are little tins of candies and bowls of dips and delicious treats EVERYWHERE, it gets harder and harder to remember what exactly I've had. I got so far astray over Thanksgiving, that I just gave up on logging my food entirely.
I'm back on track this week and I feel pretty good about not having completely blown my eating and exercise goals (I did get in one looooong run before dinner on Thanksgiving and I only ate one dessert the entire weekend), but I couldn't POSSIBLY tell you how much delicious Brueggers cream cheese I had for breakfast or how many gallons of gin and tonic I drank at my high school reunion, or how many potato chips and french onion dip I nibbled (seriously, who invented that combination?! its like a hart attack with a side of angioplasty! and why is it so flipping GOOD?!) after my niece's baptism.
My new goal is 6 pounds by Christmas. It was really encouraging being home and having people tell me that I looked good. But I still have a lot of work to do.
Looks like I'll be spending many romantic evenings with Jillian Michaels and the treadmil. At least after this weekend, I'll have a Christmas tree to keep me company!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'M BAAAAACK!

WOW. I just had the most amazing weekend EVER. No joke. But it didn't have much to do with food, fitness or weight loss so I will spare you all too many of the details.

I spent all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday in a seminar that didn't end until midnight. Needless to say, I blew the whole weekend off exercise-wise. I did the best I could with my food, but we didn't have much time to eat so it ended up being mostly granola bars, fruit, some veggies, handfuls of Terra chips (LOVE these!), and pb & j sandwiches. I had a couple Naked Green Machine drinks to supplement all the fruits and veggies that I normally get but didn't this weekend. I must have done pretty well, becuase I FINALLY lost that stubborn pound and am now back to minus 14 pounds (which is where I was 2 weeks ago). So it begins again. I'm too excited for Thanksgiving to worry that the three pounds may come back and I am DEFNITELY not going to obsess about it for the 5 days a year I get to spend with my family. I'm trying EVERYTHING on that table! I'll just bump up the exercize a bit and enjoy in moderation. :-)
I'm traveling tomorrw and my HS reunion is Friday but I will try to post at least once over the weekend about my first real holiday with my Body Bugg and commitment to weight loss.
I hope everyone gives themselves a break and really, really enjoys themselves.
Yay organic, grass fed turkey and PIE! (my step mom makes the BEST pecan pie!)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oh Whatever....

I lost two of those stupid pounds that I gained back but I'm still back to having that one stupid pound hanging around.
Whatever. It's been such a crazy week that I'm too drained to even worry about it. (I'm sure Andrew will appreciate that)
I had to wear a suit to work today because I had to speak at an event and my Isaac Mizhari for Target pants (which cost $7, by the way) are nice and loose. And so was the stretchy t-shirt that I JUST BOUGHT LAST WEEKEND (both awesome and annoying). I guess I should just stop buying clothes until I'm done losing weight. But at this rate, I won't be buying any new clothes for the next 14 months. I always say that I have nothing to wear (despite a full closet of clothes) but this time, I really am telling the truth. I genuinely have very few things that don't look a little weird on me. On a positive note, I'm hoping I'm not too far away from getting back into my skinny jeans!

Also, I'm back on the Shred. I jumped back in a level 2 and was juuuust a little bit sore the next day. Oh Jillian, even when I've done your workout so many times that can recite every word you say for the entire 26 minutes, you still kick my ass. It is still the best workout you can do in 20 minutes. I did some other ON DEMAND workouts just for fun and none of them are as good at keeping me interested as Jillian. But maybe because I have a girl crush on her and her hot body.

My gym has a chiropractor and I had my first appointment with him tonight. I have been having some recurring lower back and shoulder pain that are residual from old rowing injuries and occasionally require some treatment. He has this wonderful bed with massaging vibrations and water that is so warm and cozy. I think it was the most enoyable 10 minutes of my entire week. I NEED one of these beds! It puts memory foam to shame! I did a short run after my appointment and I felt GREAT! I cannot wait to go back and get some more massagey treatments and lay on that bed!

I'm about to spend the next 3 days sitting on my ass in a conference that goes until almost midnight each night, so I'll be doing my workouts in the morning (insert fake enthused cheer here).

I'll be back on Monday. Have a SOOPER weekend! And if anyone has any ideas for creative ways to re-invent my too big clothes, I'm all ears, er, eyes. :-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Beyond Frustrated



I keep gaining and losing weight! On Monday, I was down an extra 2 pounds and now I'm back up 3!! WTF!?!?! I'm going insane and I'm taking my boyfriend with me!
I'm counting every calorie, working out like a mad woman...ARGH!
I haven't done the Shred in awhile, maybe that's the issue. I haven't done much weigh training at all, really, in the past month. Instead. I've just been a cardio-fiend. This is primarily because cardio burns more calories for me in the short term and that helps me meet my daily calorie burned v. eaten goal. But its doing CRAP in terms of weight loss. Annoying. Seriously annoying.

Tomorrow, I lift weights.

Monday, November 17, 2008

BRRRRRRRRRRRRR!




<---This is what I felt like this morning!



Its finally that time of the year when I begin to seriously debate putting my bike away for the year. This morning was FREEZING!! And they're calling for snow later this week. Even though I was born and raised in upstate New York, the mild Maryland winters and slushy Philadelphia streets have made me kind of a weather wimp. I still LOVE the snow, but I am getting soft on cold. Sorry, Syracuse.

Somehow, Andrew managed to get me out of bed this morning to go to the gym with very minimal effort. Maybe I haven't mentioned this before, but I HATE mornings. HATE. HATE. Yes, I was in fact a rower in college. Yes, I did spend the better part of my college career getting up at 4:15am. I did it out of necessity then and I guess it backfired because now, I really HATE mornings.
I think Andrew was pretty shocked when I not only got out of bed, but proceeded to put on my gym clothes and wash my face (admit it, you TOTALLY thought I was going to skip it).
I was actually surprised at me, too. Even while I was walking to the bathroom, I was thinking "do I REALLY want to be up right now?"
We biked to the gym all bundled up and I gave the treadmill the best 40 minutes that I could, given my creaking knees and tight muscles. I'm not going to lie, the run pretty much sucked. But I did it and I'm glad I did. Now when I get home tonight, I can relax and make us a nice dinner before we have to run out the door again. Maybe I'll try to make this morning work out a regular thing. But that would require us getting to bed quite a bit earlier, so we'll see.

This weekend we planted trees with our neighborhood association on Sunday and met up with some of my old college friends on Saturday (SO fun! Everyone that went to my college is awesome and hilarious!). I ended up having to explain my Body Bugg to at least 5 people, because I wore short sleeves. but I got a couple compliments on how I was looking so I felt pretty good. (I'm not sure if the Body Bugg prompted them or not, it was hard to tell).
Friday night, Andrew had some of his boys over to bottle his hard cider (and watch a TERRIBLE movie called "The Warriors") so I went to bed early-ish.

I honestly forgot to weigh myself this morning (I was so distracted with getting my butt to the gym!) so I'll do that tomorrow or Wednesday. I did a LOT of snacking this weekend (although I did keep the booze intake at a very reasonable level) so I'm a little nervous about whether or not that had any impact.

I am beyond excited to go home next week for Thanksgiving! I haven't seen my family since August! Andrew and I are bringing an organic, grass fed turkey! YUM!

I actually forgot to

Monday, November 10, 2008

Take THAT, Stupid Pound!


Hoooo RA! Not only did I lose that stupid pound that I gained and have been chilling out with the past two weeks, I lost two more! And it's not even my weigh-in day! I don't know what possessed me to get on the scale this morning, even though its not even Thursday. Andrew and I both slept like CRAP last night thanks to our plethora of animals. The dog was whining because we ran out of food and she didn't like the egg/cornmeal concoction that Andrew made her for dinner. Then Mr. Puss was locked in the bathroom all night because we were trying to get another urine sample to take to the vet with him this morning (he's having x-rays and some tests done). So he was crying all night and making this awful squeaking noise (I discovered this morning that it was him pawing the mirror-the paw prints showed up post-shower, after the mirror got all foggy!) We both got up numerous times to deal with the pets and I had to use the downstairs bathroom all night so Puss wouldn't get out. After I walked up and down the stairs, I was ready to get up, not go back to bed.
We both skipped the gym this morning, on account of no sleep and crankiness. Even so, I still had to get up early to drop the cat off at the vet, where some jerk yelled at me because I wasn't an employee and couldn't open the locked door for him.
All of this before 8:15! needless to say, my morning did not start out well. Given my relationship with the scale the past few weeks, the LAST thing I should have done was get on it this morning. I guess I figured I would let it determine how my day was going to be. If the pound was still there: shitty. If not: a reason to have a great day, despite no sleep, annoying pets and a hillbilly jerk (who had his dog locked in a box in the bed of his truck, by the way).
I'm SO GLAD the scale was in my favor today! Now I'm officially 14 pounds lighter! I'm a little off track, and still a pound away from my Halloween goal, but after 2 weeks of maintaining, I'm very relieved to see ANY downward movement! (Especially since my sister called me on Saturday to tell me that she lost 10 pounds by "doing nothing." She has 2 kids under the age of 4 so that TOTALLY does NOT count. I told her that I was happy for her but that she was a jerk.)

Other reasons I feel awesome today:
*I got a sweet haircut and color (back to the natural brunette; it was fun being blonde while it lasted) for 60 bucks at the beauty school
*Andrew and I went shopping yesterday and I got a BRAND new pashmina for 9 bucks at the consignment shop, AND a new eyeshadow palette from MAC on SALE at Macy's AND a delicious dinner out (duck tacos with pineapple salsa-YUM! I should start taking pictures of my food...)
* I made my lunch last night so it was all ready for this morning (I LOVE when I plan ahead)
* I'm off work tomorrow for Veteran's Day!!!!

Yesterday I decided that I needed a tan so I ran down to the tanning salon (about 1.4 miles away). It was one of those mornings where you just can't get in a groove. You know what I mean? (When I said that to Andrew, he said "no." So I'm asking to make sure I'm not insane.) Anyhow, it was a rough start but I took it easy and finally got there. I haven't run outside in awhile because the cold really aggravates the arthritis in my knees. On the way back I did intervals, which was equally (if not more) painful. Then I did some quick wights when I got home. I skipped Saturday because I'm lazy and I was a little hungover.
Anyhow, here's to hoping that I'm back on track. It would be AMAZING to lose 6 pounds before Thanksgiving to make it an even 20! I think that will be my new goal. Here's to keepin on...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Working Through the Frustration (and other tidbits of inspiration)









Get it? Pound?

So for two weeks now I have been carrying around an extra pound that I had previously lost and now (apparently) won't go away. It's probably the most annoying pound I've ever dealt with. before I started using the Body Bugg, I really only counted pounds in significant numbers, maybe 5 plus. A pound here, a pound there never really mattered that much to me. Now I'm obsessed with a pound.
Suffice it to say, I did NOT meet my Halloween goal (despite an awesome costume) and instead ended up sick in bed for 4 days. I feel like I have been back on track since I finally dragged my butt out of bed on Tuesday, but I guess two days wasn't enough to kick that pound's ass before I had to step on the scale (ugh) on Thursday. These times of not losing are really tough.
I attempted a run on Tuesday, made it about 2 miles before my chest started to burn and my nose was running profusely, then called it a night. I did what I THOUGHT was easy yoga that I found On Demand on Wednesday but was really sore afterwards (and a little dizzy). It wasn't much but it was better than nothing, I guess. Yesterday was the first day that I really had close to 100% of my energy back. I ran 4 miles on my already sore legs and called it a night. It was a nice, steady state run that took me just about 40-45 minutes. I felt 150% better afterwards but my legs were definitely NOT. I was planning on doing some Shred level 3 tonight, but I may just settle for another easy run. Or whatever I can squeeze in before game night tonight! (yes, I am in fact a total nerd). I think we're ordering pizza so I've been munching salads and veggies all day. Also, I'm having wine tonight. Because I can. (Don't worry, I won't overdo it. I made that mistake 2 weekends ago).

Sooo about this election.



Whoah. These past few days have been so overwhelming and almost surreal. I think Andrew is still in disbelief because he keeps saying "Obama WON!" I read a story that two days before she died, Barack's grandma mailed in her absentee ballot. Her vote was the last gift she gave him. I was crying like a baby reading it. When CNN announced he won, it was like the Phillies had won the World Series all over again! People cheering in the streets, honking horns, fireworks. But this time, nothing got set on fire (well done, Philly!)
It feels like a new era. It really does. Even people who didn't vote for Obama can sense it. There's this intense undercurrent of ownership and pride everywhere. John Stewart remarked that the day after the Election, he was walking down the street and a weird thing happened: eye contact. Suddenly, people were looking each other in the eye, smiling, nodding. Foreign countries are cheering for us(now maybe they won't make fun of us in their newspapers). We finally have a leader that we can be proud of (not that I wouldn't have been proud of McCain, I would have. He's a great man. Sarah Palin on the other hand...)
My only fear now is that people are going to sit back and just expect change to happen. But I think that Obama made it very clear that change doesn't just happen; we are responsible for it happening. Casting a vote for a candidate is only the first step, the follow through is the hard part. I think what is unique is that Obama has empowered voters in a way unlike any other candidate before him. He reaffirmed our belief in the idea that our votes are powerful tools, and created a sense of ownership in our communities and our country. I hope it sticks. I hope people accept the responsibility and the ownership. Because these next few years are going to be tough. We here in Philly are having our libraries closed, firehouses closed, pools and ice rinks closed, our winter plowing cut back, just to name a few. I can only imagine that it will be even worse at the federal level. But we, as citizens, need to realize that these cuts are absolutely necessary. And that we, as a community, need to take responsibility to come up with creative ways to deal with all of it. I would encourage everyone to join their local community group, civic association, neighborhood meet-up, whatever you have. Get involved. Take ownership. Be responsible for your community.

“Everybody counts, everybody deserves a chance, everybody has a responsible role to play and we all do better when we work together.” ~Bill Clinton

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes we DID!!

I'm so totally exhausted/elated/moved/inspired right now that I couldn't put what I'm feeling into words even if I tried. But I do want to just take one hot second to express my sincerest gratitude to the fine citizens of Ohio and Virginia.

Dear Ohio and Virginia,
Thanks for coming through for us. You guys are awesome!
Love,
Becky

More tomorrow.....

:-)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Eating Healthy When You're Not

Ugh. I've been sick since Saturday morning. It feels like a mix of the flu and strep throat, complete with body aches and all kinds of congestion. I skipped a Halloween party on Saturday and spent the night with Nyquil. I woke up Sunday feeling even worse and spent the day moving between the bed and the couch.
I am burning maybe 1500 calories a day, which is like 1000 less than I should be. In addition to that, I'm ridiculously off target with my eating too. I know I should keep trying to eat healthy since I'm NOT healthy, but let's be honest, the last thing I want right now is a salad. Instead, I've had toast, yogurt, orange juice, an apple cider doughnut, mac and cheese, clementines and GALLONS of water. I tried to eat eggs this morning, but they tasted funny to my sick taste buds and I passed them off to Andrew.
I feel like I should be trying harder to eat better, but I just don't have the energy. So I'm trying to just eat as many calories as I burn and get better fast. At least then, I won't GAIN anything.
Hopefully, I'll be feeling better tomorrow and I can at least catch up on the laundry, cleaning and chores that have been neglected all weekend. I'm hoping to get in a light run too. I need to get back on track ASAP. I've already blown my goal for last week, I'll be REALLY upset if I blow it 2 weeks in a row.
I'm excited for Election Day tomorrow! I definitely don't want to be sick for that! I better keep chugging the OJ...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

This is more important than my previous post in which I whined

Everyone should read this from Kelly at Grounded Fitness. We've all been thinking and talking about this forever, I'm glad someone finally put it in writing.

UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I wasn't going to post tonight because I am SO annoyed with myself and when I post here I can't avoid the truth. I gained a pound this week. I was honestly surprised that I didn't at LEAST maintain. I am SO frustrated with myself. Gaining a pound means that I have consistently eaten 250 more calories a day than I have burned. I will admit this week has been REALLY hectic with work and that I have been particularly tired and lethargic in the evenings. But I've hardly spent any time at my desk! I've been running all over the city all week! UGH! Andrew thinks I should try re-weighing myself tomorrow but I'm afraid if it doesn't change, I'll be even more bummed.
With Halloween tomorrow and two parties to go to, now I'm all worried about drinking too much and blowing it 2 weeks in a row. I know it makes me sound like a lush, but going to parties and NOT drinking is really tough for me. I guess I have no choice but to try. I'm starting to feel like a HUGE party pooper recently. We've been invited out several times this week but I don't want to go because the invites are to bars for drinks/happy hours etc. Drinking makes me hungry=bar food=blowing my calorie target for the day. Tonight, Andrew went to see a play with some friends and I decided not to go because I wanted to get a workout in. Am I all of a sudden one of those super obsessed lame girls who absolutely CANNOT skip a workout? I really hope not. The whole point of doing this was to make living healthy and losing weight a sustainable thing.
UGH! I guess I'm just bummed.
Have my big event for work tomorrow morning (the mayor is coming-SO NERVOUS!) and then the rest of the day off to enjoy the Phillies parade!
I worked on my Halloween costume tonight but I had some issues with super glue and now my fingers are a mess. I will be sure to post pictures of the finished product!
Happy Halloween weekend!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

INSANE


OH MY GOSH, THE PHILLIES JUST WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!! This city is CRAZY right now! The game ended over an hour ago and we are still hearing horns blaring, fireworks and people cheering.
This is the most amazing thing for this city. We SO desperately need something to unite behind. I'll write more on this after the victory parade on Friday, which I'm sure will be just as crazy as tonight.

I attempted level 3 of the Shred on Tuesday. Oh. My. God. I seriously HATED Jillian for he entire 20 minutes. That bitch is CRAZY! At one point I was actually laughing because I honestly couldn't believe I was hearing what she was suggesting I do. Jumping jacks with 5 pound weights in each hand?! GAH! I was curing and grunting like a madwoman. But it was an amazing workout. I guess I'm on my way to being shredded(?)
In all honesty though, I can't see how it only takes 30 days to get through the whole DVD. I spent 12 days on level one and almost 3 weeks on level 2. Granted, I wasn't doing it every single day, but I've been doing the DVD for over 6 weeks and only just felt ready enough to try level 3. Or maybe I'm a just a wimp.

Tomorrow is my weekly weigh-in and I'm a little nervous. I drank WAY too much last weekend and I have been stressed beyond belief this week with work. When I'm stressed out, I don't eat well. Actually, I hardly ever eat. Today I barely squeezed in 1200 calories and I think I only made it because I had seconds at dinner.
Anyhow, it should only be stressful for a few more weeks and then things should settle back into my routine. At least the Shred is good for squeezing in a quick workout, so that part of my routine hasn't suffered too much.

I'm so excited for Philly! But I HAVE to get to bed. I have 1.5 more crazy days of work before I'm allowing myself to celebrate at the Phillies parade on Friday. Which means I better finish my Halloween costume tomorrow. This is good for me. I ALWAYS wait until the last minute to throw a Halloween costume together. What's everyone else going to be? Until tomorrow...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Minor Distractions




You'll have to excuse me if my post comes out craptastic and rushed. I am in the middle of watching the Phillies play in game 2 of the World Series and we're behind by 2 :-(
Anyhow, today was my weekly weigh in and I lost another two pounds! That brings my total to 12 pounds!!! I'm feeling very encouraged; I am right on track with my goals. I decided that I want to lose 3 more pounds by Halloween next week, which will bring my total to 15 pounds. I'll need to be extra diligent this week to make that happen, but I'm pretty sure that I can do it.
Today I got all kinds of crazy and tried to wear those jeans that I haven't been able to fit into in awhile. I have at least 4 kinds of jeans in my closet: my fat jeans, my "these are the jeans I fit into most days" jeans, my "one size smaller" jeans and my official skinny jeans. Today I put on my "one size smaller" jeans. They're still a little snug, but they zippered AND buttoned which is PROGRESS!
ARGH! We're behind by 3 now!
Oh and we made delicious vegetarian cheesesteaks for dinner tonight with portabello mushrooms, onions and american cheese on awesome wholegrain bread-so yummy!
Oh and I found AMAZING peanut butter at Whole Foods, but I'll write more on that tomorrow.
Go Phils!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What if you can't choose?




Tonight I had a training session for my part time job, where I manage a program that prepares taxes for low income families. Its the most personally gratifying work that I have ever done (despite its challenges, which I'm sure you will all hear PLENTY about once the tax season starts). I really enjoy being a part of this program, really I do.
So tonight, I left right from my 9-5 to go to this training session. At the last training, they had a really nice meal for us: rotisserie chicken, green beans and potatoes (and plain caesar salads for us veggies). Last training session, I had a salad almost dry and half of a piece of cornbread. It was healthy enough and it filled up me up for the rest of the afternoon. So I was expecting something similar tonight.
Instead, we got pizza. Now, I already had my allotted pizza treat on Saturday (and a leftover piece on Monday) so the last thing I wanted (let alone NEEDED) was pizza. I was SO hungry that I ate a slice of pizza. But then I was still hungry and had 3 more hours of training left, so I had another. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, I do appreciate that they feed us. But, if given the choice, I would not have selected pizza for dinner. And, thinking I was getting something else, I didn't plan ahead and pack a dinner.
We talk so much about the choices we make every day and the challenges that come alone with them. So what do we (you) do when we don't have the option to choose? Do we intentionally eat something we don't want to, and get back on track later? Or do we become really unreasonable about our commitment and find a way to get something else?
I had a very interesting discussion earlier this week in which someone challenged me to the idea that unreasonableness in our commitments (that is, the idea that we go beyond what we think we can do to stick with our commitments) is what ultimately makes us successful. So maybe I should have excused myself for 15 minutes to go hunt down a salad. But next time I'm in a situation like that, I will. And not because I'm afraid that 2 pieces of unplanned pizza will kill my goals. Because I am committed enough not to look for (and take) the easy way out, even when doing so will make me look completely neurotic.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Big 10















I woke up feeling pretty exhausted after last night's HUGE Phillies win (WORLD SERIES, BABY!) and I almost forgot it was evil Thursday, my weigh-in day. I started the shower and went back to get on the scale and, to my surprise, I have lost 10 pounds! WHOOP!
I was pretty surprised that I lost 4 pounds this week, because I actually took a day off from working out on Friday and then, in lieu of a regular workout, decided to walk home across the city on Tuesday night (which actually burned a shit ton of calories). So I haven't been as maniacally active as I have been the past month or so. And my body fat didn't change at all this week, either (LAME!).
But either way, I'm really excited! My only issue is that I don't FEEL like I've lost 10 pounds, I don't even think I LOOK like it. Most of my pants are still pretty snug so I can't even attempt the skinny jeans yet. I was actually getting a little down on myself this morning, but then I had to remind myself that 1) the weight I was at before I started this was pretty much the heaviest I have ever been, 2) most of my "skinny jeans" are from when I was bulimic and 3)I'm all kinds of bloated since its just about my lady time. But I am encouraged, to say the least.

My doctor called on Tuesday to go over some blood work that I had gotten done a couple weeks back. Turns out I have a B12 deficiency. This is actually good news for me because I have been EXHAUSTED for the past few months. And not your run of the mill tired, I mean like mono tired. I knew something was wrong but I couldn't figure out what so I Googled fatigue and made a list of all the things it could be and asked my doctor to test for them. She said the deficiency is probably because I don't eat enough meat/animal by products, but it could be an absorption thing so I'm going to start with a supplement and then get tested again in a couple months. I really hope it helps, I am so tired of being tired.

Oh, and I've been taking the milk thistle for about a week but my body fat didn't change this week. It's probably not enough time to gauge its effectiveness, so I'm going to keep at it for a few more weeks and see what happens. I'll keep you posted.

Also, I'm a total slacker and didn't blog about poverty for Blog Action Day. I suck. I promise that I will do it before the end of the week.

I have some shout-outs for this week, here they are:
* To THE PHILLIES! For giving us bitter Philadelphians something to unite behind
* To The Taproom for 100% grass fed, local beef. Rock on, dudes!
* To Grocery for their hot oatmeal and fixins bar (LOVE IT!)
* To Emergen-C for the short, but much needed, burst of energy
* To Abby for NOT fixing the fax machine because it's funnier to watch The Lawyer get mad
* To Mr. Puss for not pissing on our bed
* To the guy on my block who told me I was "lookin skinny" (I'm not, but that was nice of him)
* To me for starting to plan my Halloween costume more than a day before Halloween
* And finally, to Andrew for doing the dishes AND taking out the trash at 6:50AM

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Eeeeek!


This is how I approach the scale now, after last week when I didn't lose any weight. I was kind of putting off weighing myself this morning; snoozed 4 times, took the dog out, rolled back into bed for a few minutes, then finally dragged myself up and out and onto the (eeek!) scale.

Aaaand I lost 2 more pounds!
Which brings my total weight loss to 6 pounds. So even though I maintained last week, I'm still right on target! WOOOO HOOOO! And ontop of that, my body fat has gone down 2% this week! Thank you Body Bugg for your accountability and Jillian Michaels (P.S.-I love you) for your ass kicking workouts!

So obviously I'm feeling pretty kick ass right now. Which is a marked improvement from yesterday, when I spent 3 hours at the Volkswagen dealership waiting for my car to be inspected (there's NO way its supposed to take that long). I was that girl sleeping in 2 chairs pushed together in the waiting room. I was annoyed that I didn't have time for a run because it was dark by the time I left, so I just did level 2 of the shred and called it a night. My back has been bothering me ever since my incident with the erg last week. I think tonight I will just go for a long, easy run, then out for a drink to celebrate because my friend Emily got a job! YAY!

The other thing that I'm proud of is the lunch I had today. Andrew and I went to grab a quick bite after a work event that I had on his side of town. The menu had so many delicious things but I opted for a vegetarian chili (without cheese since you can't really taste it anyway) and a side of sweet potato fries (a treat!) that I shared.
I ate MAYBE a cup of the chili and a handful of fries and was full. If I had eaten that same meal a month ago, I would have polished off the chili and the fries all at once. Is my stomach shrinking? My favorite part was that I stopped when I was full and not stuffed. I didn't feel gross from over eating AND I have leftovers that I can have for dinner with a nice little side salad. SCORE! Someone once told me it takes about 3 weeks to form a habit and they must have been right because I swear this gets easier everyday!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Diet Pills Be Gone!




I took my first diet pill when I was 13. I forget how I convinced my dad to drive me to the drug store and what I told him I was buying, but I had saved up my allowance money for weeks to buy Dexatrim. This is was in 1993. When the rest of the kids my age were going to pool parties and soccer practice, I was hiding diet pills in my sock drawer. I'm confident that this is how my eating disorder began, but I digress.
I'm sure you're thinking that I should have just tried out for a sports team, or taken a dance class or done SOMETHING active. But I was already too chunky to feel confident doing any of those things, and my family was the opposite of athletic. Literally. The opposite. My dad worked all the time and my mom was way too busy doing laundry, dishes, cleaning and keeping track of 5 kids to have time to lead by example. Its not anyone's fault really, I just didn't know where to start and I was too scared to ask. So I took the easy way out. Or what I THOUGHT was the easy way. Fifteen years later, I'm pretty sure that just taking a walk once a day would have been a shit ton easier than all of the pills, restricting, throwing up, lies, fatigue, heart burn, therapy and medical bills.
(I know this doesn't have anything to do with diet pills, I'll get there, I promise)

It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I started to exercise. Jogging a half mile at first, then three, then ten. I finally had enough confidence to try out for the crew team when I got to college. And I made it. Because I just plain REFUSED to give up. BUt when that year was over and I was at another school, my motivation fell apart and I got lazy. And fell back into my old unhealthy habits. In the worst way. And it took YEARS to come back from.
So here I am again. Yesterday my friend tells me about this diet supplement she knows about that is "supposed to be really great." And then there's the recent hype over Hoodia. These things FREAK ME OUT. I am FINALLY learning that the only way to lose weight is with hard work, diet and exercise. That's it. There really is no magic pill....at least no magic pill that will KEEP weight off.
Its about changing your ENTIRE lifestyle and committing, REALLY COMMITTING to making it happen. Even when you get discouraged and would kill a man just to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry's. I get this now. Its HARD. There are no shortcuts.
So when I read a blog earlier today suggesting a supplement, I was seriously skeptical. This blogger, Ashley, says her trainer told her about Milk Thistle when she was hitting a plateau. Milk Thistle is supposed to promote healthy liver function. (Which is probably good for you boozers out there too). But the connection that I didn't make (and I'm guessing most people don't) is that the liver is the primary fat burning organ in the body and also regulates the metabolism of fat. Sooooo Milk Thistle, if used properly, simply supports the liver, makes sure its doing its job, and (in sum) helps make the body more efficient at burning fat.
*Shout out to Ashley for this info, if she happens to read this*
Sounds really interesting. WHile I have sworn off diet pills FOR LIFE, I can certainly feel comfortable taking a natural supplement to help my liver work better. I mean, I take all kinds of natural supplements to make various parts of my body work better: glucosamine for my knees, acidophilus for my GI stuff...and they all work great. I think I may give this new one a try, too. Finally, a "diet pill" I don't have to hide in my sock drawer!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Shamless Plugging

Peppermint Giveaways

I'm digressing from my fitness obsession for two minutes to tell you about this page I found today. They have tons of great giveaways and showcase a bunch of really unique, handmade products from all over the place. I love supporting the little guys, so check it out (all 2 of you who read this) and enter to win some free stuff.



On other news, October 15th is National Blog Action Day 2008. This year's topic is poverty. I'm not sure exactly how I'll write about this yet, but I will definitely be participating. Anyone who has a blog should, really. Blogging has become a powerful way for previously unheard voices to speak their truth. If you've got a blog, sign up and participate. It only takes 2 minutes.



In other news, Bruce Springsteen gave a free concert on the Parkway today for Obama. It would be awesome if I could say for sure that all 50,000 attendees were also Obama supporters, but I can't. Although, Bruce had some very important things to say about this country and our future. Maybe he was able to sway some of those people who are undecided, he is The Boss afterall....
Shout out to Keeza for the sweet 5-feet-from-the-stage tickets! Bruce was pretty much sweating on us. It was awesome.
Other shout outs to:
The Phillies! For kicking some Brewers ass in game 4
To Chase Utley for being so damn CUTE!
To Brian Westbrook for bouncing back from an injury to do some damage in a seriously tough game (but the rest of you, except for Dawkins, are on my shit list)
To the South Philly Tap Room for an awesome grilled cheese sandwich (and the return of specials!)
To me, for kicking my own ass on a Sunday morning
To the dude I ran past 3 times who told me I'm inspiring
And to Andrew, for emptying the dishwasher this morning!

A quick update, the interval training is going well. Its seriously hard. On Friday and Sunday I did the Shred and then followed it with 20 minutes of interval training (running). Then I read an article that suggested doing interval training before a cardio or strength training workout to burn the extra trigylcerides (fat molecules) released by the body after a workout. Because women's muscles use more of these fat molecules for energy than men's, when we start exercising again, we have a bunch of extra fat molecules laying around to convert into energy, which means we burn more off than we would in a plain, old steady state workout. It sounds intriguing, so I may switch up the interval training and the Shred and see what happens. Pretty soon, I'm going to need some new workouts to keep me busy once the weather gets cold and I can't run outside anymore. Suggestions welcome...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Avoiding This

I've been avoiding posting this since I'm totally bummed. I didn't lose any weight this week. I'm still pretty much on track with my goals, I'm just bummed. I blame the beer! Its hard not to get discouraged when you don't see results, especially in the 2nd week. Maybe this is why my therapist took my scale away....I've never had what you would call a healthy relationship with numbers. All numbers, really, not just the ones on the scale. I'm terrible at math.
I'm starting to feel like I'm becoming a neurotic exerciser. I've been reading all these websites and articles on working out and being fit and cardio vs. strength training. I read an interesting article the other day about how steady state cardio does jack shit for burning fat. Wait, if I'm gonna talk about it, I should try to find the link... (https://www.figureathlete.com/free_online_article/training)*
Our new scale tells you your percent body fat and mine is WAYYY too high. And since my usual workouts are mostly steady state cardio, that would make sense, acoording to Rachel (the author of the article). Anyhow, since burning fat is really what I'm after, I decided to spice up my workout with some interval training, which I started last night. On the erg, of all places. I don't know what I was thinking since that machine is the bane of my existence and there were many a time in college where I would have gladly taken a chainsaw to one. Once a rower, always a rower, I guess. Its my go-to machine when I'm looking for a structured workout (i just use the ones we did in college). I started by running to the gym (about a mile or so) and then did 20 minutes of interval training on the erg: 1 minute on, 1 minute off. The I ran back home after stretching. It was tough and my back was BARKING but my heart rate shot right up after my rest minutes and I actually burned about 100-200 more calories than I would have in 20 minutes of steady state cardio. Pretty interesting. I think I will try to do 2 interval workouts a week. Maybe this will be more effective in burning fat and I can work on getting that body fat down...like, a lot.

* Can someone PLEASE help me post links??!?!?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Et Al.

Tomorrow will be my second weigh-in and I'm nervous that I haven't lost any weight this week. I'm afraid that even as careful as I was on Saturday with all the beer and Sunday with the pizza, it will have set me back. *Enter crazy, obsessive, eating-disordered Becky* I realize that when I start thinking like this, it only results in a downward spiral, so I'm really trying to commit to staying focused while at the same time giving myself a break. I know this all requires hard work but, again, if I'm killing myself then its not sustainable and, therefore, won't last. The point is to make it LAST!

I did a second day of Level 2 of the Shred last night (which is Day 12-almost half way!) after a short run. It's definitely tougher than Level 1, especially those evil chair squats with V-flys. If I didn't like Jillian so much, I would HATE her! I have talked this DVD up to everyone I know, no joke. Jillian should be paying me to market this thing. Although, to be fair, its not a hard sell and it only costs $9.99 on Amazon.

I'm getting much faster with the counting of calories and now that I have added most of my frequent foods into the Body Bugg web system, it takes seconds to manage my food for the day. My hunger throughout the day is scattered. I usually find that I am most hungry between lunch and mid-afternoon and even when I have a snack, I'm not satisfied. I have been drinking TONS of water as well and that hasn't helped, so I know the hunger is genuine. I'm having a hard time balancing the hunger with calories. I think I usually save most of my calories for dinner, but I may rearrange to have the bulk of my calories consumed between 12-4pm. Hmm...I'll try that tomorrow and see if it works.
Right now a typical day's meals look like this:

Breakfast:
2 cups Trader Joes cheerios
1 cup skim milk
1/2 banana (or 1/2 grapefruit)

Lunch:
PB& Jelly Sandwich (or rice cakes with lite cream cheese, onions & tomatoes)
2 cups mixed green salad w/dressing (1tbsp)
apple

Snack:
1/4 cup raw almonds
Trader Joe's dried fruit bar

Dinner:
i serving of Thai curry with tofu

Actually, after looking at that, most of my calories are in the first part of the day, so maybe I need to add in a morning snack and then eat lunch later? That seems like it would be more effective.

In other stuff:
I cannot WAIT for the VP debate tomorrow night! It should be "enlightening" at least..
AAANDD Andrew and I just found about this program Farm to City (www.farmtocity.org)* Now we can get all local produce throughout the winter! Hooray! We can also get bread, cheese, eggs, milk and a whole slew of other things-ALL LOCAL and we get to PICK what we need! See? Eating local isn't as restricting as people think it is! I'm SO excited! I might have to get everyone I know into THIS too!

*I have NO idea why I can't get links to work, but its really getting annoying!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fight Gone Bad

What a CRAZY weekend! I was feeling ambitious on Thursday so I decided to give Level 2 of the Shred a go. It wasn't NEARLY as bad as I had imagined. It was definitely challenging, but not at all impossible. I was proud of myself for getting through the entire workout with my 5 pound weights! Level 2 is harder in the cardio aspect, for sure. There's a lot more jumping and hopping around which helps keep the heart rate up. Level 1, while challenging, has several moves that allow for the heart rate to drop (or maybe they're just getting too easy for me?). Either way, I survived and it was great. I went back to Level 1 on Friday in preparation for my Fight Gone Bad workout on Saturday.
Saturday's workout with Jill's Crossfit group (www.delawarevalleycrossfit.com) was a fundraiser for Athletes for a Cure and the Wounded Warrior Project. The workout was done in pairs and consisted of three rotations of 5 1-minute stations (with 1 minute rest in between rotations). The stations were the erg, wall ball squats (squat, throw a medicine ball up against the wall catch it and repeat), sumo dead lifts (basically a squat lift with weight to the chin), box jumps and push up lifts (raising a bar from your chest up over your head).
After the first 4 minutes, I was pretty sure I would puke. It was WAYYY intense. I rocked on the erg, which was great. The points for the erg were based on how many calories you burned and since NO ONE uses the erg correctly, they were all killing themselves to burn 9 (or less) calories in a minute. When done properly, you use a LOT less energy and burn more calories because the correct motion is more efficient. Anyhow, that minute was my recovery. I just chilled on the erg, rowing away for a minute, with my splits barely under 2:30 and i was still burning 13-15 calories each minute. I was laughing to myself on the inside :-)
All in all, it was a GREAT workout. (Both Andrew and I are STILL sore though).

We had to rush home because we were late for Oktoberfest and we had VIP passes to get in an hour early. It was a GREAT time and we tried so many beers, new and old. Emily and I fell in love with a Berry Wheat. Delish! The only downside was the mile long line for 6 porta potties. SIX!? There must have been 250 people there-ALL drinking- and they get SIX porta potties? Not very well planned out, if you ask me. It led some people to desperate measures, like peeing in trash cans.

Next weekend is the opening of the new Bella Vista beer distributors and there is a definite possibility of it being a lot like this weekend, but without free beer steins and a lot more parking lots to pee in.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

First Week Weigh In

Its officially been one week with my Body Bugg and I weighed in this morning. I lost 4 pounds this week! I'm really excited and motivated! Don't get me wrong, it has been hard work and many, many instances of Andrew laughing at me while I measure out my cereal and salad and dressing and almonds, but its worth it! I even worked a cheat day into it! When you weigh in from week to week the Bugg tells you how many calories you actually ate based on how much you lost. I must have been overestimating my intake a bit (I did that in purpose) because my average deficit was about 1500 calories. I'm just really energized and I'm getting better and faster at knowing how many calories are in things and measuring portions. I think with enough practice, it could become a habit (and therefore, less of a pain in the neck). Only 39 more pounds to go!
I'm still on Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred. Its STILL challenging! Especially the side lunges with weights! I'm almost too scared to try level 2! My friend Emily said that the 30 Day Shred levels 1 and 2 are on demand, so if you don't want to buy the DVD, you can try it for free! Emily did level 1 the other day and really liked it, I swear its the best workout you can get in 20 minutes!
I have noticed a definite improvement in my abilities since I've started it. The first time I did it, I was panting, sweaty and barely made it through. Now, its still challenging (I wonder if I'll EVER be able to do regular push-ups) but I can get through the whole thing without stopping and without compromising the quality of the exercises.

This weekend is Oktoberfest here in Philly. I'm doing a fundraiser workout with Jill's Crossfit group on Saturday to raise money for Athletes for a Cure and the Wounded Warrior Project. I figure I should burn enough calories there to make up for all the beer I will be drinking this weekend. And the pizza I have promised myself :-)
If I can walk on Sunday, I hope to do our weekly bike ride on West River Drive...but I'm not making any promises! The last time I was at Crossfit, I couldn't move for 2 days!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Body Bugg + Weekened= UGH

I've been wearing the Body Bugg since Thursday and I have to admit, it is seriously a LOT of work. Measuring every bit of food, counting every calorie-its hard work. And most of the time, I'm STARVING. My body is definitely not used to running on a 1000+ calorie deficit. But I am learning a lot about my body and my lifestyle. For one, I am a LOT more active than I thought I was. On an average day, I have no trouble at all burning my target calories. In fact, I've been over my target by about 800 calories pretty consistently since Thursday. I'm also learning how many damn calories are in the things that I love the MOST (like bread and cheese). I made us a homemade pizza for dinner on Friday. Andrew laughed as I weighed and measured every single ingredient and then divided it into portions. Everything I used was organic and natural and one tiny slice still ended up being 228 calories! UGH!
Friday I skipped my usual "with dinner" beer altogether and on Saturday had 2 glasses of wine with dinner (100 calories each). But yesterday was football day and it was REALLY tough. The Tap Room has the greatest beers ever (Miller Lite and Coors Lite do not exist here) so I couldn't go there and order wine. But our cable went out and I HAD to watch the Eagles beat the Steelers, so I settled in at the bar and had a delicious wheat beer. To be fair to me, I drank it pretty slow and only had 3 the entire time I was there. (I would usually put away 6 or 7 during a game). So I drank about 600 of my calories yesterday and even with the beautiful looooong 15 mile bike ride Andrew and I went on yesterday, I was STILL under my target calories to burn for the day. I had a breakdown because I was STARVING (thats what happens when you DRINK all of your calories). I felt like such a failure for not meeting my target. The only reason I drank was because I had been going over my target by so much, I figured I would make up for it. But I didn't. And I got seriously upset. Andrew took my Body Bugg away and told me I could have it back in the morning. I started crying because I know that this is why diets and plans and things of the sort never work for me: because I get too rigid and they become unsustainable. Andrew pointed out that for anything to work long term it has to be sustainable and then he also pointed out that it was Sunday and I deserved some down time. He took the Bugg and we watched the Emmy's. I put it back on before bed, but not after promising myself to chill out a bit (or be less crazy, according to Andrew). Of course i want this to work, but I don't want to kill myself in the process (or end up bulimic again).
Eventually, I will find my balance. For now, I just need to focus and not be so damn hard on myself.
Tonight we are going for a run downtown and then tomorrow I'm back to the Shred. My goal is to be up to level 2 by the end of the week. I've heard its KILLER, but I'm determined. Like Jillian always says, "nothing comes for free.."

Friday, September 19, 2008

This Could Become An Obsession...

Yesterday was my first day with my body bugg. It is SO awesome! I found myself getting creative at work trying to find ways to burn calories while sitting at my desk. The digital display is really helpful in showing me where I'm at and it lets me see how many calories I'm burning during each activity. For example, I did my 1.5 mile run and the 30 Day Shred again last night. In my 1.5 mile run, I burned 200 calories, and in the Shred, I burned about 180-200 more. My target calories to burn is 2450 a day and my target calories to eat is 1450, which leaves me with 1000 calorie deficit, which I thought would be challenging. We went out to dinner at my most favorite restaurant, Amada, last night for restaurant week. I was sure that I would completely blow my calories with the dinner. I mean, I must have eaten/drank at least 1000 calories in that meal alone. But even so, I still had an 850 calorie deficit. So, not as much as I was trying for, but I still ate a fantastic meal and burned almost 3000 calories yesterday with minimal effort. All I did was my usual bike to and from work, my usual run and the Shred (which takes about 35 minutes total) and then Andrew and I took Summer for a walk. Oh, we biked to and from dinner too. But none of this was above and beyond my normal activity level. For me, the challenge is going to be keeping my calorie intake on target. Its tough work that I am NOT used to doing. But having to log every little thing is sure keeping me from having a bite here and a little snack there...and all of those little calories are what add up the most. That, and beer.
All in all, I think I can do this. I mean its not easy, but Andrew is totally supportive and encouraging and that helps a TON. I just keep focusing on fitting into my old Rock and Republic jeans again....that is really the best motivator.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pushing Through the Pain

I'm still sore. I'm frustrated because I feel like I'm in good enough shape that I shouldn't be. I don't know when its going to end, so I've decided to just suck it up and push through it. Doing squats and lunges with burning quads is kind of a good time, but I'm kind of a masochist when it comes to my workouts.
Yesterday, I did a 1.5 mile run before I did the shred. It was good for 2 reasons: I was totally warmed up when I started, and it extended my cardio by about 15 minutes or so. The running warm up actually loosened my sore muscles a little bit so that I could wince through the workout. My only complaint about the program so far is the lack of stretching. Having been a competitive athlete, I am disappointed by how the program brushes over the most important part of a workout. The stretches Jillian does are great, but she doesn't hold them nearly enough. There's no glute stretch, no back stretch...I've begun doing some yoga stretches afterwards and it has definitely helped ease the next day soreness. That, and a shit ton of Ben Gay. I'm taking today off though. As an athlete, I know that soreness often indicates small tears in muscle tissue. It's okay to push through it with light workouts (at around 60%) but I don't want to do any more damage. My muscles need a night to repair a little. SO tonight, just a long walk with the dog. And a good night's sleep!

My Body Bugg arrived today! FINALLY! I'll be strapping that on tonight and starting logging my food first thing tomorrow. My friend told me that her brother just got one and already lost 10 pounds in his first 10 days!! I can't wait to begin!!! My goal is 12 pounds by Halloween. Here we go...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Holy Soreness

I did my first run of the 30 Day Shred on Friday. I was sore afterwards and throughout the day. Mostly in my quads. The pain was rough, but manageable. Then I woke up Saturday morning. I could barely move!! Who knew 25 minutes could kick my ass so bad? I will admit that the strength training part of the video is heavy on knees and quads, and since I have bad knees, it was probably tougher for me. But still...whew!
I took the weekend off and, even though I was still a little sore, gave it anoter go last night. It was much less painful the second time around. I like it a lot and I feel great afterwards. I'm used to doing 30-40 minutes of cardio though (not 6 minutes) so I am going to try adding a short run to my workout before I do the video. It should keep my heart rate up longer and make it more challenging.
Andrew ordered us a new fancy scale yesterday so I can track my progress. I don't really like scales (I usually get obsessed with them if they're too accessible), but I can't see any other way to measure my progress, except for using measuring tape around each of my body parts which is too much work for not as much satisfaction). The scale also measures body fat, which I thought was kinda cool.
Tonight is day 3 of the shred, plus a little run..so far, so good!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thank You, Jillian Michaels!



I started the 30 Day Shred today. I actually woke up at 7:30 (this is HUGE for me), rearranged my living room and worked out. (Naturally, I began just as Andrew and Ben were getting back from their run so I had a little audience). I did level 1 because I was using 5 pound weights and some people in reviews had said that 3 pounds were the best place to start. But I only had 5-ers. I have to admit that even level 1 was challenging. I'm in decent shape so it wasn't impossible, but those 5 pound weights really kicked it up a notch. My legs were burning by the time I got into the shower and, hours later, I'm still a little sore. The whole workout is only 25 minutes so its something I should be able to squeeze in everyday, and eventually, twice a day. But I'll be on level 1 this week. We'll see how long it takes for the shredding to start.

Still no Body Bugg, but it should be here soon...maybe Monday??? I was hoping to have it on for our big bike ride out to Valley Forge this weekend. Boooooo!

javascript:void(0)
Publish Post

Thursday, September 11, 2008

F*ck You, Highland Park

As most bloggers do, I have several blogs that I read daily. This one is Jen Lancaster's who is a super hilarious writer based in Chicago, I believe. Anyhow, she got wind of this issue in Highland Park, IL and man did it piss me off!
The long story short: these two pretty pit bulls are about to lose their home.

From Jen's blog:
"The condensed version is this - a family just moved to a lovely neighborhood in Highland Park, IL. But apparently it's not so lovely because as soon as the neighbors caught sight of these two beautiful bullies, they began a petition to ban them. For a couple of different reasons, the new homeowners don't have the ability to fight the town and they're being forced to give up their dogs and they are HEARTSICK."

Then I go on to discover that Ohio is trying to pass a law banning pit bulls. Then I hear that Ontario already has. WHAT!?!?! Is this even LEGAL?

Maybe I should back up and explain why this pisses me off so much. Andrew and I had our house broken into last week. Naturally, it was a very stressful and anxious time for us. We both lost sleep, were terrified and felt completely violated and unsafe. So we got security doors for the front and back of our house, put up some motion sensor lights and then went out to our local shelter to look for a dog to foster. We have fostered both kittens and dogs from PAWS before and have had great experiences. Wehen we got there, we asked the guy who works with all of the dogs if he knew of one who was okay with cats (we have 3 little pain in the asses at home). Even dogs that are familiar with our kitties tend to chase or bark at them, so we weren't hopeful. But he said "i have the perfect dog." He went in the back and brought out Summer. She was pulling in her makeshift leash like a crazy woman and jumped on Andrew before he could even bend down to pet her. I was apprehensive. Her old owners had brought her back because they said she wasn't housebroken. The shelter had her listed as being 2-4 years old, and I was totally panicking about having to train a 4 year old dog. But we were sure that, if anything, just having her in the house would make us feel safer. So, we brought her home. Its been a week. not only is she housebroken (stupid old owners) but shes crate trained. She walks beautifully on a leash (doesn't even need one when we're not on an actual walk), comes when she's called, sits, lays down...the list goes on. I'm not kidding, this is the most well behaved, sweetest, loving dog I've ever met. Did I mention she's a pit bull?


My two sisters both have pits. Two of them live with a 3 year old and a 1 year old. They are gentle, friendly and well behaved. The other is just as well behaved (but not as bright).

What is wrong with these states? How is it possible to ban an entire BREED of dogs? Ontario has even gone so far as to ban any mixed breed dogs. I'm learning that some insurance companies won't cover people who have "agressive" breed dogs (rottweilers, terriers, chows, akitas, huskies, pits and dobermen to name a few). Are we really so far beyond the loss of our basic rights that our governments and private companies are trying to dictate what kinds of dogs we can own? Seriously?
Yes I know these breeds are aggressive and that pis are involved in over half of bite or attack incidents each year. But this data set doesn't include any information about the owners of these pits. Demographic factors are key in determining how a dog is raised and behaves. Was it raised in a urban or rural area? Is the dog registered and vaccinated? (in many low income areas, they aren't). Is the owner aggressive? Was the dog abused? There are SO MANY factors that determine a dog's behavior that it just seems impossible and ridiculous to euthanize an entire breed of dogs because their owners are irresponsible. My friend had a little black dacshund lab mix that is without a doubt the most aggressive dog I've ever seen. And he's a foot tall and weighs 20 pounds. I bet if Golden Retriever were cheap enough that low income city folk could afford them then even they could be fought to become aggressive.
You know what? I like that my dog looks scary. I like that people will cross the street to avoid her. If she gets close enough, she'll just lick them and then our badass cover is blown. Maybe she'll prevent those fuckers from coming back for our tv.
Basically, this is just bullshit. Straight up bullshit. Punish the owners, not the animals. And enough with trying to legislate our damn lives! I'm a democrat and all, but this has really gone too far.

And here's a link to the Ohio petition against the law, if anyone is interested in signing it.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/hb-568-ohio-pit-bull-ban

Also, I'll get some photos of Summer up soon. And I got my 30 Day Shred video today, so we'll see how tough it really is!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Body Buggin



I have a friend who I've known since forever who has been using this thing called the BodyBugg to lose weight. Its a monitor that you wear on your arm and it measures how many calories you burn each day. When you sync it up to their web-based program, you can calculate how many calories you've burned vs. eaten. They use it on the Biggest Loser. Ordinarily, I would scoff at something like this, but she's lost a shit ton of weight so I thought I'd give it a go. The idea of calories eaten vs. burned makes total sense to me and it seems like the easiest way to balance losing weight with eventually maintaining a weight. (Although my friend assures me that this thing does take serious work). It's my early Christmas present from Andrew and it should be here by the end of the week. In order to hold me more accountable for it, I'm going to blog about the experience. Don't worry (the zero people who read this), I won't ramble on about it every day. But I will give updates on the equipment, my workouts and my progress. My goal right now is 40 pounds, which seems like a ridiculous amount to me since even when I was in the throws of an eating disorder, I only lost like 15 pounds (this is not a complaint, just a basis of comparison. I'm trying to demonstrate that being healthy is more effective than puking 15 times a day). I'm hoping to drop at least 10 pounds by Halloween and 20 by Thanksgiving, but I'm keeping those deadlines loose. I've also gotten myself a new workout DVD, Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, which I have read awesome things about. I'm hoping this will keep me active on the days that I don't want to exercise at the gym or go for a run. Its only 25 minutes and is supposed to be super tough (I LOVE hard workouts. LOVE LOVE them). The DVD should be here by Monday, Amazon willing. So here goes...wish me luck!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Day That Politics Moved Me

By now it's no secret that I am a student of government and politics. I've spent many, many years studying voting behavior, politics, policy, international politics, conflict resolution, budgets....you name it, I've taken a class on it at some point. I have always been fascinated by politics and I have always loved the passion and the drama of the political scene ( did I mention I was a theater major too?)
But as much as I love these things about politics, I am hardly ever moved emotionally by the issues, actors or outcomes. I have always had an academic approach to politics; sure, I get fired up about issues, but (like a good student) my arguments and opinions always boil down to reason, to what "makes sense."
Two nights ago I watched the speeches at the Democratic National Convention. I have been thinking about this for a couple days now, but I finally have to admit that I have never been so moved about anything political as I was listening to Senator Ted Kennedy give his speech. (Yes, I was actually crying). This is a man who has seen it all. A man who's life and family had been ridden with tragedy. A man who has buried two of his brothers, both of his parents and become a father to all of his nieces and nephews. And while he was doing all this, never a day went by that he didn't spend serving someone: his constituents, his family, his country... This is a man who took it upon himself to carry on the legacy left before him ( a legacy which gave him some VERY big shoes to fill). As I was listening to him speak, and noticing how he was visibly not well, I became so overwhelmed with emotion and admiration for the work that Senator Kennedy has done. Work that began long before I was even born and the results of which will continue long after I am gone, I'm sure.
I think the most impressive part was when he vowed to be on the floor in January, ready to start a new term with a new President. The doctors have said that even just a few months will be a stretch for him, but every person in that room believed him. The statement was just further testament to the resolve of this man, his absolute unwillingness to give up until the job is done.
And it really reminded me that there are people who are in politics for the right reasons, even if it isn't always apparent (and yes, even amongst scandal). And then I felt lame for having removed emotion from politics for myself. Because while emotions hardly win arguments, they certainly keep them going. And if every important argument in this country (abortion, healthcare, social security) were ended by way of rationality, we wouldn't have gotten nearly as far as we've come. So today I salute Senator Kennedy. For his passion (and emotion), his service and his resolve to keeping fighting until the bittersweet end.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vote for Nobody

Whilst wasting time at work (again) with my favorite instrument of procrastination, StumbleUpon (thanks, Andrew), I found this on an Australian site, I think:



Don't get me wrong, I would never encourage people not to exercise their right to vote (and as the FAR lesser of two evils, I am supporting Obama), but even I have to admit that this message rings bitterly true. How cool would it be if everyone went to the polls in November and wrote in "Nobody"?! Of course I know it'll never happen (because I'm sure even if we were all somehow to agree to do it, there would still be one douche who votes for McCain) but a political science major can dream, can't she?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

WARNING: Shameless Gushing!

Last weekend we welcomed the newest addition to the Oot clan, Grace Marie. I booked it to Syracuse on Thursday morning even though I was pretty sure I would miss the birth. Luckily for me Grace is one of those chicks who just cannot be rushed (both mom and anxious waiting room denizens thank you, Grace). She took her sweet ass time arriving, finally "heading out" after 12 hours of serious labor. My trooper of a sister managed to get through about 8 hours before she gave up and asked for the drugs. I was impressed; I was damn near certain that she wouldn't last 3 contractions. Little Gracie arrived at 8:36pm and weighed 7 pounds and a few ounces (3 maybe? Sorry, Amanda!)
Anyhow, she's home now and SO cute (be honest, most newborns are fugly).

Both mom and baby are doing well. And Aunt Steph can't get enough of Grace, apparently Nate and Trev are old news :-) I still think they're the biggest hams I know, see?






































When I got back from NY, Andrew had already left for Wyoming(the whole state looks like a postcard) so I had the house to myself for a week. This basically meant that I ate cereal for dinner and watched as much reality tv as I could cram into 7 days. It rained a lot so I got out of watering the plants on two separate days, which was cool. I don't mind watering the plants, but I do sort of get annoyed when I have to douse myself in OFF! just to spend 15 minutes outside in the yard (especially if its after my morning shower). Flipping mosquitoes! If anyone knows how to get rid of an entire yard of them, I'm taking all practical, outlandish and amusing suggestions!
Happy Hump Day!
P.S. Whatever time it says this blog was published is wrong. 4.5 hours wrong, to be exact. Does anyone know how to fix that?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

This blog is so boring

I am fully aware that no one reads my blog except for me and the occasional Facebook stalker. I want to change this, I really do. I just can't think of enough consistently interesting things in my life to blab on about. I read an article in WIRED recently on how to get "internet famous." (I can't make the links work, but its on their site)
It appears that shameless self-promotion is the best way to go. But the part that fascinated me the most is that some of the most famous internet celebrities aren't the Perez Hilton's (although I ADORE him) who embrace a particular genre, they're Plain Jane people! People who have hours to devote to cataloguing their lives: posting pictures of their pets, their gardens. Twittering (I still have NO idea what this is) every 5 minutes about what they're doing THAT second, reminiscing about how interesting the shit they took this morning was. Its fascinating to me! Gossip rags are fun (www.dlisted.com, www.tmz.com) and I read them religiously, but there is something in the disconnect that we as everyday Joe Schmos have with celebrities. I'm convinced that it's why we flock to these internet celebrities who write about buying groceries, work sucking and getting a run in your pantyhose 5 minutes before a meeting (in January)--because we can actually relate to them. Some of us, I would argue, actually find comfort in them. I personally, feel much better knowing that there are other chicks out there who only mean to have a glass of wine and drink 2 bottles and who would rather watch jeopardy in their pjs instead of go to a club. They're just like me, but more interesting. Maybe they're not. I dunno. But people are reading their shit, not mine. Prior to now, I have only posted blogs occasionally about things that piss me off. I think now I will try to post about regular everyday stuff. Maybe at least my family will read it?

Anyhow, here's some "everyday" stuff that I'm loving right now:



My new washer and dryer ...

pretty much kick ass. I know I'm approaching 30 because I'm excited about appliances. But they're energy efficient, front loading, and I don't have to even bend over to switch loads. Thing I did not love: installing the dryer vent (which involved crawling behind a wall with power tools) which basically runs the length of the house.


Skoy Cloths




These cloths are reusable and one of them replaces 15 rolls of paper towels. AND you can put them in the washer! Which is a direct correlation to another thing I love (see above).

Post Secret

Sometimes I feel a little like a voyeur reading other people's secrets, especially since I've never sent in one of my own.





Okay I think I'm done for today. But coming soon is a new niece and my 10 year high school reunion! Pictures and drama to follow, I'm sure...