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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Well, what about Rome is that I'm planning to go there early next year. I mean, just LOOK at that gorgeous fountain (pretty much the first thing every tourist sees, apart from the airports and train stations)! It's beautiful. And just _look_ at that sky!

You'd think that would be enough motivation to "be good", right?


Apparently, "enough" motivation is the sight of something (ANYthing) remotely tempting enough to make my brain even go "hmm".

Yep. I fell off the wagon. Yesterday wasn't supposed to be a rest day - but by the time I was done with breakfast (clue: GYM first, THEN breakfast is my normal routine), there was no hope of moving for another couple of hours. I was like the python that's swallowed an elephant and needs to go into a digestive coma for a few days.

Followed that up by finishing off leftovers at lunchtime - oh, yes, the _yummy_ leftovers from having eaten lunch at "Little India" - biryani and curried fish. Neither awful in itself. Very tasty, too. But again, post-meal coma.

And then, I decided to skip dinner. BAD idea. By 9 p.m., I was hungry and trying to convince myself I wasn't. So what did I do? Instead of reaching for the instant oatmeal, I reached for something else: the bag of cashews that I'd bought while shopping - umm, clue: don't DO that. By this point, I was beyond thinking, far less thinking straight. So, I sat here at my laptop until 1 in the morning - mindlessly chewing the salt-and-pepper cashews (with a fork, yet, as if _that_ was going to make a difference), watching one silly flick after the other (I'd ALSO been to the library the previous day).

Stumbled off to bed content. Slept all night (yay - that's good, I usually wake up a couple of times!).

Woke up this morning feeling a little bloated. Gee, I wonder WHY?

Hmph. Okay, I WILL have to weigh-in to figure out the damage. I'll have to be better at the whole "planning" thing, too - no point letting the weight balloon when it doesn't have to. As usual, it's NOT the exercise that does me in. It's the simple mindless eating.

Right. Focus. Look at those blue skies. Look at all that gorgeous marble. Look at the fountain. Look at the tourists. Look at MY choices!

- Maya

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUGAUG 8/25/2008 9:19PM

    LOL Aliagogo!!!! emoticon

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AUGAUG 8/25/2008 9:18PM

    I just read (I was on the elliptical too) in a travel magazine that Rome is totally blossoming as a modern art scene--even more than before--and there were some beautiful photos of the spaces there!!

Remember, you are valuable--enough for a trip to Rome, and more than enough to be healthy for yourself.

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BEAR14GSB 8/24/2008 9:11AM

    I have had more days like this than I care to admit. But it is all within your power to change. I started out weighing 220 pounds. With only calorie counting and self-discipline (which was EXTREMELY hard because I was terribly sugar addicted when I began) I lost my first 50 pounds in about 3 1/2 months. I took a break from calorie counting for about 6 months,because I was moving and then remodeling our new home (which is now our old home). I managed to gain about 10 pounds back during that time. I wanted to get the rest of my weight off, and was afraid that if I didn't start doing SOMETHING, I would gain all the weight back. That is when I discovered SparkPeople. I was able to lose an additional 32 pounds in about 6 months. This time with calorie counting, water and exercise...following the SP guidelines. I have been stuck at 146.5 for 14 months. Part of my problem is that I have felt that 146.5 is not a bad weight to be stuck at. But I want to be firm and toned, which I am not. Thus...the exercise streak that I am trying to stick with.

The point I am trying to get at is this...sometimes you do the things you're supposed to do, and you see positive results. Sometimes you take a break (for a day, a week, a month, a year), and you do NOT see the results you would like. If I had stuck with my weight loss goals and not taken breaks here and there, I would have lost 75 pounds in less than 10 months. Instead, it took me nearly 18 months. But, I also never completely quit and gave up on myself. You're going to have days that you are less motivated...but if you beat yourself up over it, it will be harder the next day to get up and make the right choices again. So, forgive yourself and move on from here. Yesterday is can't be changed now. Just focus on today. Renew your commitment to yourself and this healthy life you want for yourself. You can do it.


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ALIAGOGO 8/24/2008 8:52AM

    Now imagine that you're eating those marble columns!! A little mental diversion from tasty savory snacks. Marble probably tastes nasty, and weighs a whole lot more!! Time to dust yourself off and keep walking forward... what IS your focus? Solely Rome? Or to have a 'pinchable' bum for the Roman boys to chase? No marble columns for bum-cheeks! Focus! (You can do it!)

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JAKINCA 8/24/2008 12:07AM

    I have had days like that. The key is to not turn those bad days into bad weeks or months. Just start fresh the next day. And don't beat yourself up about it.

Keep your eye on the prize.....looking and feeling great while tossing your coins into the Trevi Fountain in Rome!

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LIKEAMORPHO 8/23/2008 9:23PM

    Would it help to make yourself track your food BEFORE you eat it? Maybe seeing what it does to your ranges for the day will be incentive to have less of something or to have a healthier alternative?

You can do this. It's only mindless eating if you let it be - keep it in mind and it will never be mindless again :)

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MRSHONEYC 8/23/2008 9:43AM

SUCKS, huh? Well, now that you've pointed it out to YOURSELF, maybe fill up that water jug and start to reach for IT instead of the more 'yummy' cashews!!!
Today marks ME getting back TO THE GYM! And NONE too soon - I'm so embarassed by the (gulp!) 8 pounds I've packed on in this month ALONE. I'm up a total of 15 pounds from my 'goal' wt of 135 ... how embarassing! BUT I will NOT let it defeat me!
Like you, I've GOT to get a grip on reality!!!
GOOD LUCK to BOTH of us!
(reaching for the water now ...)

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

As far as I know, I _wasn't_ doing that kind of weighing when I weighed in this morning at the gym. But 5 times out of 5 times, the scales claimed I've lost between 3 and 5 pounds. Overnight.

Okay, that's completely impossible. I _did_ stay within my calorie range yesterday, and I did work out HARD. Starting at about 2:30 in the afternoon, I felt like I was starving. Tried to hold out and had a sensible dinner, but at 10 p.m., I wound up getting dressed, taking the elevator 29 floors down, walking across the street to the grocery store that closes at 11, and buying a bag of chips. Potato chips, not even the mildly-healthier corn chips. And then I trekked all the way back home (a 4 minute trip at most!) and scarfed down every single chip in that bag. Bleah.

Oh, all right, it was yummy as I savoured every kettle-cooked, sea-salted bite. Hmm - you know what? In hindsight, I was probably just craving a salt lick! :)

So, calorie-wise, no way could I possibly have lost that much weight overnight. But, having weighed myself 5 times, I also cannot really dispute the scales. So I'm staking a claim on the largest number I saw on there this morning. I know the extra salt will probably appear on my butt by tomorrow morning, but hey, today is a GREAT day! :)

And I'm going to try to stay within calories again - that way, I hopefully will offset some of the effects of those chips. Bad chips. Go away. (Hmm. Yummy chips! But let's NOT go into that!)

I did get in another intense workout today, so hopefully the chips didn't do too much damage to my good intentions!

Keep your eyes on the ticker - you never know, after all! :)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDIMOON 8/23/2008 12:09AM

    Chips!!AhhhhRRRGGGHH!! My downfall.. I saw this article on Hungrygirl... check it out if you can, because when nothing else will do there are some lower calorie alternatives... which for me is good, as I count calories... I like Lays Light... yes, the ones w/ Olestra, I have never had a problem with it... I am not advocating a binge mind you, single serving bags are the ticket...I am happy to see I am not the only one getting on and off the scale 1/2 a dozen times on weigh in day!
Your blog made my day!!!

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HISARTIST 8/21/2008 3:11PM

    Ahh yes, those horribly evil chips (incredibly yummy!!!). I know what you mean. And worse than the 29 floors is when your hubby has them right on the other side of the about lack of will power. I agree with you, your body probably needed the salt, of course the bloat (or at least I bloat up like a dead fish with too much salt) isn't necessary, but at times I even choose to live with the consequences. Hang in there, you'll make it up, especially with the hard workouts.

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PARIS2009 8/21/2008 7:44AM

  Hi there - you made me laugh with all the effort
you put into getting those chips -
maybe your body really did need the salt!

Keep up those intense workouts! Remember Rome ...

; )


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PYNK_PRINCESS 8/20/2008 5:27PM

    Good job on the lose! That's awesome. As for the chips oh well sometimes a women just needs some SALT!

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PHILSPHATWIFE 8/20/2008 4:28PM

    oh man 3 to 5 pounds!! i'm rolling in jealousy over Good for you working out hard two days in a row..that's how the streak gets started right. Me i'm going to this step aerobics class at 6:30 tonight..lets hope that's enough to off set the turkey sandwich i plan to eat for

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LAMPSFAN 8/20/2008 9:02AM

    Way to go on the big loss! Dont sweat the bag of chips unless it is to sweat it off with a workout! ;)
It just goes to show you that one 'no no' doesn't have to kill your program.

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ALIAGOGO 8/19/2008 10:24PM

    haha @ convenient stores! If only they weren't SO convenient! I've learned from living in a town where everything is closed at 8pm that I'd better plan ahead if I want sneaky treats, otherwise I'd have to drive half an hour into town, (spending $10 in gas for the round trip) for a $3 bag of chips. Luckily, I haven't reached that level of desperation yet! A late night grocery store would be a bane to my existence! Wooohooo on the weight loss! Take it and run with it! Who cares if it's impossible? It also seems impossible to work really really hard and GAIN weight, right? Good luck, you. stay in those calories, make the loss stick!

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LIKEAMORPHO 8/19/2008 1:27PM

    Nice! A loss is a loss, is generally my attitude, and I tend to get excited about EVERY loss! As long as you're prepared for the fact that it might go up tomorrow, no harm done. It could be water weight loss (despite the high sodium chips) because you're settling into healthier foods and drinking more water again? I don't know!

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What I did on my summer vacation ...

Monday, August 18, 2008

... isn't that the topic every one of us had to write an essay about when we were in school? I know I did, and I know my niece and nephew still do!

Truth to tell, I always had fun writing that essay as a child - even if we went nowhere, my life was FULL of fun things to do. We played outdoors, I read dozens of books, we got soaking wet in the monsoon rain, we had lots of friends over at our home and went and played with lots of other kids at their homes. When my brother was in boarding school (a couple of years), summers were even more fun, because I'd be seeing him after almost a year, and he'd catch me up on the latest silly jokes and fun games! :)

As an adult, summers have been fairly routine - go to work, come home. Right? Right.

This year was different - my parents came over from India and for the first time since my brother and I left home (about 20 years ago) we are both living in the same city (almost ... he lives in the suburbs). So, in some ways, it was very much like being small children again - the whole family together in one spot! I spent most of each week over at my brother's place (mine is too small to accommodate more than 1 person in any comfort) and had my parents stay at my place for a couple of nights as well.

Exciting? Yes. Fun? Yes. Frustrating? For sure.

But there was also a lot of love and joy in just simple things like holding Mum's or Dad's hand as we went out walking, hugging the kiddies (who, of course, were being spoiled rotten with auntie AND grandparents over all the time!), playing kiddie games like Snakes and Ladders or Monopoly on lazy, rainy afternoons.

It's over. A whole month of being with family. Traveling some, playing tourist lots. Eating (as usual) as if it were going out of style.

It was four weeks of tension, in many ways - being around family does that to me. My parents _and_ my brother treat me like a 5-year old. Which isn't helped by the fact that I then react like a toddler going through the terrible twos. :) This year, I promised myself I wouldn't lose my temper, no matter what - and, guess what, I didn't! I managed to smile and see the funny side of life, even when I was feeling mightily provoked. No, I didn't do all the nice things I'd been planning to do, but at least I didn't make it worse than it had to be! :)

Before the "vacation" started, I'd promised myself (and here on SP, in one of my blogs) to not gain more than 5 pounds. At the time I wrote that, I weighed 208 pounds. I weighed in off and on during the month - at one point, I'd reached 215 pounds. But today, the first day _after_ the vacation, I'm happy to say I weigh "only" 212.5 pounds. Yep. I haven't gained at all the past week or so. I guess choosing NOT to take third helpings at every meal, and sticking to ONE serving on the days I really indulged in plantain chips was enough to control the weight. Of course, it makes me wonder whether, if I'd said I'd continue to lose, I would have LOST weight during the month! :)

I'd had every intention of getting _some_ exercise most days. How did that work out? Surprisingly, it was _easy_! I wound up taking my niece and nephew to the park near home, or to the humongous amusement park right by their home most days. The days we stayed home were still filled with activities - either chasing them up and down stairs just for fun, or, on occasion, deciding to weed my brother's yard for 4+ hours (a wasted effort, as it turned out AFTER - he's planning to dig up that patch, which was why it had weeds! Okay, it wasn't wasted - I got MY exercise, after all, and that patch now looks neat!) And I took Mum and Dad shopping - lots of walking again. Plus, shopping on my own or with my brother for gifts for them. Lots of walking. Did I say that already? I did? Too bad. :)

None of that was stuff I felt comfortable putting into my SP exercise tracker, so I did not. But I can see clearly that ANY activity beats sitting on the couch reading (my activity of choice, any day!) and offsets even large quantities of home-cooked meals.

So, all in all? A great vacation! My parents left for Bangalore last night, I came home and fell into bed and slept for about 10 hours. Caught up (a bit) on SP. Went to the gym (how else would I know what I weigh??). Now I have to catch up on work and bill payments and other fun stuff - I'll still be MIA for a couple of days, I expect!

That's my essay. What's everyone else been up to this beautiful season? :)

Yes, in case you're wondering, that _is_ a street scene in Rome. :) NOT my family! :)

- Maya

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHACHASLIDE_1 8/19/2008 8:40AM

  Great Job Maya! Parents can be alot of influence....I was once convinced by my visiting Mom to go out and get Burger King at 10 PM!

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ALIAGOGO 8/19/2008 7:15AM

    Well done for staying in your goal range, girlie! That's sooo hard, especially with all the home cooked food... I'm such a sucker for homemade. I know, my brother is the same way, he knows exactly the thing to say to irk me JUST so. Good job for not throwing a temper-tantrum! Mind over matter, right? (the matter of a bludgeoning, I think. :) I'm sorry your family has to go, but it'll be nice to get back into a routine again, won't it? Here's to working towards the Colosseum at night! *clink*

Oh, I'll write my essay in March, when summer's over!! :)

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PHILSPHATWIFE 8/18/2008 2:50PM

    Families are always so hard for that kind of stuff because they know just what buttons to push and they push them repeatedly. I say kuddos on not acting like a toddler I wonder if i'd be able to behave so nicely if i was in your position..probably My summer is the same work; come home take care of the house and my more go to the gym work some yeah my life is basically about work..typical american i guess.

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MRSHONEYC 8/18/2008 2:04PM

    LOVELY essay!
A+ on the assignment and A for staying within your weight gauge!!! WOWIE! GREAT job! I know that was TOUGH with so many temptations - you did WONDERFUL!
I'll admit, I was grinning ear-to-ear re: weeding your brothers yard - terrif exercise! And walking, walking, walking!
And for not acting like a horrible baby-head ---- WOOOO HOO!!!!!!

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I have never seen ...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

the Colosseum at night. Imagine that. After having been in Rome twice, I've never managed to be in that neighbourhood that late in the evening. Ever.

Okay, I guess that's going on my to-do list, then! :)

As is simply walking everywhere in this beautiful city. Through the Roman Forum, up and down the city, past all those little side streets, where you find all sorts of ruined monuments and statues that no guide book tells you about.

Past the tall iron gates to private courtyards. Courtyards that look as if they might contain the path to that secret garden we've all dreamt about. Iron gates embellished with scrollwork. Yes, also in iron. Gates that are so tall, you wonder what or who they were trying to keep out.

And the glimpses you get, of the life behind those gates ... mmm. :)

Down to the Spanish steps, strolling past the Trevi Fountain, remembering a young and lovely Audrey Hepburn on the back of that scooter with Gregory Peck ...

Watching the cats. There are cats. And people. People who love the sunshine. People who love life. People who ... well, I don't actually know what they do in the winter, but I guess I'll be finding out, hmm?

Eating gelati. Oh, yes, I plan to. And those fantastic antipasti. And their superb zuppe di pesce. Yum. Did I mention I love Italian food, but only _in_ Italy? Even mozzarella tastes yummy there - might have something to do with the fact that it's made from buffalo milk and has flavour, unlike the rubbery stuff I've found in Canada and California. :)

So that's the current plan. Walk all day. Eat enough. Have a bit of gelato. Go dancing in the evenings. :)

One of these days. In Rome.

- Maya

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHILSPHATWIFE 8/14/2008 10:10AM

I want to go to Rome now..dang you make it sound all soft and warm and magical. Geez can i stowe away in your luggage??

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QKDEBB 8/13/2008 11:17AM

    Beautiful blog, lovely imagery, thanks.

Hang in there with your parents and all the distractions. Glad you are focused on the positive outcomes. Take good care of yourself. emoticon

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MRSHONEYC 8/12/2008 7:57PM

    GOOD! Now keep that GOAL in mind when you want to say "It's just one extra ___" or "I justa can't bear the thought of wasting $$"
KEEP YOUR GOAL IN MIND! and ... GOOD LUCK! I know you can conquer this lifestyle - you are DETERMINED and now armed with KNOWLEDGE!

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LIKEAMORPHO 8/12/2008 3:05PM

    Have you read "Eat, Pray, Love" ? For some reason, your trip to Italy made me think of it (the author travels to Italy, India, and somewhere else... Indonesia maybe? I can't believe I don't remember...)

Sounds like a wonderful trip. I'm jealous!

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NATTSO78 8/12/2008 2:35PM

  oh man - sounds like you have it all planned out! thanks for making me hungry.... :) you're going to have so much fun!

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Italy in 2009!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Okay, I'm done feeling "down" about my weight. It is what it is.

And there's no one but myself who actually caused that weight gain - it wasn't my parents - they didn't go stuffing things down my throat. It wasn't friends tempting me to eat just a little of this or that. It was _my_ eyes that misjudged the portion sizes, _my_ brain that said just one more bite wouldn't hurt, that this dish isn't _all_ that high in calories, or some other fun story. It was _my_ hand that picked up the food and guided it to my mouth. _My_ mouth that savoured that food. And, ultimately, _my_ hips, _my_ waist, _my_ arms and legs and cheeks and chin that are still savouring that food. At least I hope they are, they're clinging to it for soooooo long! :)

Inspired by Shawn, one of my SparkFriends here who's focusing on her upcoming trip to Paris (and doing a fantastic job at it!), I'm going to try to focus on a different goal for a while - for me, it's going to be Rome. In the spring, for a change, given that I've hitherto always gone to Rome in the fall.

Pick a date. Any date. Hmmm. Hmmm. Probably February-ish. What? That's NOT spring? Well, it is, compared to Toronto - just look at a map, if you're not convinced. :) Oh. I just DID look at a map - we're almost on the same latitude! Which means Toronto winters aren't as bad as people have been telling me they are (I love winter, personally ... missed the white stuff while I lived in sunny California!) But anyway, that's the trip I'm taking. Rome for 2 weeks, in February 2009.

What will I look like then? I don't know. I plan to look gorgeous, no matter what my weight.

I'm actually going to start over in some ways ... my parents will still be in town for another couple of weeks, so I'll probably not be sticking to my calorie ranges until they've left. However, I commit to working out at least 3 days a week until they leave. No matter what. And yes, walking at a snail's pace IS a workout if you do it for long enough.

I'm going to start noticing what I eat and when and why - I've been tracking the food, but just as a habit now, not actually noticing WHAT I've written, and not pondering WHY I ate whatever I ate! Satori again, being "in the moment" - something I tend not to do ... I'm always thinking of the NEXT thing! :)

So, no actual weight goals? No. Because mini-weight-goals are counter-productive for me, it looks like. As soon as I reach one of my mini-goals, I seem to decide it's time to celebrate - by EATING. Dash it all - that's what's brought this weight on and KEPT it on all these years, dingbat! :) Yes, me, not you! So, really, no weight goals. Just a commitment to keep Rome in mind and at the focus of my thoughts for 10 minutes each day from now until February.

That's about 6 months away ... lots of time to plot and plan and decide exactly what to do! Yay!

Rome. I can almost see it now ...

- Maya

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DENAKAY74 8/11/2008 10:43PM

    I'm with you on the goals--although I don't consciously celebrate by eating, I give myself a "break" from being so dilligent. Not a good idea! I'm starting to track everything I eat, and it totally makes me think twice about my choices. We'll see how that pans out in another week or two!

Anyway, yay for us for getting back on SP! We can do this!!! emoticon

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PHILSPHATWIFE 8/11/2008 4:03PM

    aww i was stopping by to check in on you and see how you were doing. It looks like you're doing fabulous!! Yay for Rome!! I know you can do it and you will be FIERCE!!!

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PARIS2009 8/11/2008 9:41AM

  Hurray for Rome! You're going to look & feel *fabulous* by February!!

Thanks for the kind words on my blog & here.
That made my day : )

Here's to Europe in 2009 - stay focused & keep going, no matter what!
We can do this!

Take care,

Comment edited on: 8/11/2008 9:39:49 AM

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MAJORMOM7 8/11/2008 8:45AM

    I LOVE IT! You have your eyes on the prize. Way to go.

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ALIAGOGO 8/11/2008 3:35AM

    *sigh* Roma. such a lovely idea.
but what happened to the hula-hoop?
how far did you get?
this is a great goal. Now to EARN that bad boy 10 minutes at a time! I'm glad you're readjusting short-term to long-term, sounds like you really know yourself and your habits. (I couldn't predict mine with a meterologist). Good job making the plan work for you. Don't forget to share when you've got the details worked out. I'll keep you on track. I want pictures of Rome, dangit! :)

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MRSHONEYC 8/10/2008 2:03PM

    Ah - I've been to Rome when I was like 14 --- LOVED Pompeii! At that time I really wanted to become an archeologist! LOL
Good idea, what you blogged about - and the direction of the finger has finally landed on the responsible party - good job on seeing it! A lot of others won't ever see it, so KUDOS to you!

Hey - how close was those explosions to you - just saw it on my news. Here's hoping you and yours are just fine!!!

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DRAGONFLY180 8/10/2008 11:50AM

    ROME! now, that's a goal. it makes my little heart rate monitor watch seem laughable. :o) i think a trip like that would definitely keep me motivated. you go there each fall? why not try someplace different? i think if i ever get to travel out of the country, i will do like my dad does and go to a different place every trip. that'd be so exciting!
best wishes to you!

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VASSARGIN 8/10/2008 11:40AM

    Yeah Rome!!!!

I would love to go on trip and see all the crazy things. Anyway Maya I think your plans are very good and could work for you. I also have just been tracking food lately without paying attention to why I ate what I did. Thanks for the reminder to keep up with it.

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NATTSO78 8/10/2008 11:28AM

  oooohhhh - Rome! So jealous.

As long as your happy hanging out with your friends and family, maybe you shouldn't stress about the food at all - put the diet out of your mind - you may just need a break from it. After that, then reassess & get back in there. there's no point in trying to be happy with food when all it does is make you self conscious all the time and guilty when what you should be doing and thinking about is enjoying yourself! Believe me - I've done it - we all have.

So stay happy!

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