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It's Never Too Late To Start Again (Put Down The Fork!)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I just ate half a cake.

OK - I'm lying. I just ate three quarters of a cake.

Stupid cake.

This is not me falling off the wagon. This is me sitting in the wagon...with my cake.

I denied myself the cookies all day long. I'm trying like mad to get back on a proper eating schedule without all the sweets and treats. But going from 3000+ calories a day over Christmas to 1800 is just proving to be SO DAMN DIFFICULT!

Problem #1 - I still don't have ANY groceries in my fridge. I cleaned out everything before I left for Germany and then didn't restock when I came back because I was only home for a week before going to Ontario for Christmas. And now I've only been home for a day and haven't yet had a chance to shop, so all meals have been out, which means they're high calories and high sodium. Yuck.

Problem #2 - My office mate gave me a birthday cake and Christmas cookies yesterday. AH MAN! I thought coming back home would rid my life of those things for another year. Not so much. Combine this with Problem #1 and you have the only really edible item in my house being a whole chocolate cake and a batch of cookies. Lord have mercy!

Problem #3 - I stayed at work late unexpectedly tonight which was NOT good for trying to get back on an eating schedule. I was SO hungry by the time I got home that I PLOWED through dinner...and then the cake started staring me down...

I was disappointed to discover that even though I chose a healthy salad and falafel in a pita for dinner, it still put me over my 1800 daily calories. I thought for sure that I'd still have a little room for a post-dinner treat. And for whatever reason that tiny thought of possible sweet treat deprivation triggered the "Well, you've blown it already - you may as well eat cake" voice in my head.

So I ate cake. I almost ate the WHOLE cake. But I stopped. Because IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO START AGAIN!

I may have blown the budget today for sure. But I put down the fork, I brewed a cup of tea, and now I am back on track. Right now. Not tomorrow, not in the morning, RIGHT NOW. In fact, when I was done with the cake, that silly voice in my head - you know - the one that said "Well, you've blown it already - you may as well eat cake"? That voice came back again and said "Well, you ate the may as well have the cookies too". But I put my foot down. No - I'm NOT eating the cookies right now. Why? Because IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO START AGAIN. And I'm starting right now. Which means the cookies will not own me, they will not beat me, and they will not be eaten. I'm taking them to work tomorrow and leaving them for the staff. HA! Take THAT cookies! And the quarter cake that is left? It's in the garbage. With the cat litter. I have come too far and worked too hard to be run down by some sugar, flour and cheap chocolate frosting.

For the record, the colleague who gave me this crap is a food pusher. She's also the one who just lost a pile of weight herself and I honestly think that she's starting to feel a little threatened by my success - it puts her out of the spotlight that she's been enjoying for some time now since people aren't commenting on her appearance so much anymore, but have certainly been commenting on mine. So beware acts of kindness wrapped in foil! She takes every chance she can get to feed me, and now I'm sitting up and taking notice.

But back to the message of the evening, and one that I really feel is SO important for everyone coming back from those high-calorie holidays and for all those who will join this site come January 1st - IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO START AGAIN. We all have bad days. We all have days where we just need to sit in the wagon and eat cake. But you don't have to eat the whole thing just because you took one bite. The choice is yours to start again at any point. No matter how big the snowball, all snow melts eventually with a little sunlight. So no matter how far off the path you've gotten over the holidays, with a little hard work, you can find the trail again. And all your Sparkfriends will be standing here waiting for your return.

This is me picking myself up, dusting myself off and plodding along into the New Year. More on track than I have ever been.

See ya cake!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WYND10 1/4/2011 10:28AM

    LOVE THIS. Such an inspiration!

I have officially put the fork down.

Thanks for an awesome blog.

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/4/2011 10:27AM

    Good for you for getting back on track NOW vs. tomorrow. Tea is so healing, too, isn't it? You will reach your goal in 2011, especially with your strength and attitude!!

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SILVERCHICK 12/31/2010 7:29PM

    Great blog. I loved this line, "This is not me falling off the wagon. This is me sitting in the wagon...with my cake." LOL. You're hilarious.

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KRAWRS 12/31/2010 6:36PM

    I LOVE THIS! OMG. Esp the part about being back on track RIGHT NOW... not tomorrow, not a few hours from now, but IN THIS MOMENT AS WE SPEAK RIIIIIIIIIGHHHHHHHT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!
Beautiful. I think I will share this with a billion people. Because its worth reading.

GREAT JOB on keeping on track, even after you slipped! Fantastic! Way to ring in the New Year! :D I mean it, really good job!

Now go shopping and stock up on good foods and snacks. :p I command you! emoticon

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LAURIETAIT 12/30/2010 4:20PM

    You stumbled but you didn't fall down. Way to go girl! I also find that good food choices go right out the window when I'm low on groceries. Get thee to a grocery store!

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DIASTER 12/30/2010 1:33PM

  Thanks for my laugh of the day. Let us all get rid of that wagon this year. You did so well by quitting when you did, I would have eaten every crumb.
You have just done an awesome job this year, you are a beautiful young lady, love following your progress. You have had us in tears at times and laughing hard enough to have to cross our legs at times. Continued good luck on this very interesting journey.

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SKINNYMISSKASEY 12/30/2010 11:28AM

    I did something similar the other morning with cookies. After eating 5 cookies (that were given to my father as a gift), I realized I can't eat them. I threw them in a bag and tossed them in the trash. Nobody missed them either!

But yes, you can start over any time you decide to!

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JENJESS48 12/30/2010 10:40AM

    Good for you! Nighttime is the hardest time of day for me, too: Pat brings goodies into the house and it's harder to resist them when he's chowing down. (Thus "The Underminer.") This time, though, the fault was purely mine. I baked the Christmas goodies, intending to give most of them away. And I ate the leftovers. But you're right: it's never too late to just stop. Why dig the hole any deeper than it already is?

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BALANCINGMACK 12/30/2010 10:30AM

    I laughed the whole time I read this ha ha ha. Your blogs are going to keep me going! You're very animated! I ♥ that about you!! Never too late to start again!

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RIGBY31 12/30/2010 10:14AM

    Chocolate cake sprinkled with cat litter! Love the mental image. My mantra: I will not be the human garbage disposal. I am reading then re-reading out loud your post. You're soooo strong, friend!

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TCPWADE 12/30/2010 9:23AM

    awesome blog and you're right, it's never too late to ditch the cake and get back where you were going! But definitely beware the co-worker/food-pusher.

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KEC1974 12/30/2010 8:12AM

    This is not me falling off the wagon. This is me sitting in the wagon...with my cake.

That line made me laugh out loud. Like, annoying, draw attention to myself loud. Good thing I'm by myself.

Yay, You!

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MESEATURTLE 12/30/2010 5:20AM

    I could totally relate to your colleague at work and your situation . Ditto case with me and a very close friend... And I am invited to go for dinner at her place tonight and I am getting so damn anxious as the day is going by .... I am gonna try some tricks tonight and I promise I will not let her sabotage all my efforts!! Thanx a million!!!

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VEGGIE-FITNESS 12/30/2010 3:59AM

    Okay, I wasn't going to say anything because you don't know me from name is Pam, the one who (in the past) ate ALL the cake and then ALL the cookies. Why? pick a reason and it will do. If you want to really feel empowered, in the future when the food pusher gives you sweets, go ahead and accept the cake, the cookies, whatever and as soon as you leave work, find the nearest dumpster and pitch it FAST. Then don't look back. Whether it goes in your mouth or in a dumpster, it had to end up somewhere and the dumpster is a better place. Don't let the food pusher win. You are beautiful and deserve to choose if and when you eat cake.
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KT-NICHOLS-13 12/30/2010 1:33AM

    Ah, the food pushers of the world ... I think they lurk in all dark corners of the world - waiting. I love that you are not (err, were not) off the wagon but merely sitting on it with your cake and that the remaing cake was tossed off into a bag of poo.

You are a Godess!

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SB3872004 12/30/2010 1:17AM

    Great Snowball analogy :-)

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NLS2013 12/30/2010 1:12AM

    Good job! Love the "sitting in the wagon" thing. Descriptive and true! And you are right, it is never too late to start again...and never too soon! We don't have to wait for the next day! emoticon emoticon

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JENORAMA1 12/30/2010 12:54AM

    Thank you for posting this! I was tempted to eat something, but I am going to have some green tea and call it a night. Good for you- putting down the fork!

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LIALOU70072 12/30/2010 12:40AM

    THANK YOU for this blog post!

I like how it's not falling off the's sitting in the wagon with our cake/cookies/candies/chips/whatever our vice may be!!!


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EMILYD1952 12/30/2010 12:11AM

    Great blog!

I LOL several times, you are a great communicator!

I loved your example of cake eating as well, I only take a piece of end with a big rose LOL and I usually leave the bottom half of the cake uneaten !

I am SOOOO PROUD of you!

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SHARON10002 12/30/2010 12:01AM

    Wonderful blog! Made me laugh, and you are absolutely right!

I also second Teeny's comment: I cannot let frosting be in the same zip-code with me! Give me cake and I eat the frosting every time - Don't really care for the cake at all, and I go for the corner pieces or the ones with the huge flowers! emoticon

You sprung back really quickly and for that you deserve a big emoticon!

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RUNNER12COM 12/30/2010 12:00AM

    You and your self-awareness are more than a match for any dessert. You are a rock star who knows what she needs to do.

Good on ya!


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SASSYBLONDE69 12/29/2010 11:56PM

    Food pushers are awful! They usually mean well, except for the ones who are trying to sabotage OUR success. Good for you throwing the cake away! Have a nice tall glass of water then brush your teeth. Feels so nice I never want to eat and mess it up! lol

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HEATHERLBARTH 12/29/2010 11:55PM

    Thank you so much for this post! Sometimes, it is very hard to remember that you have the right and the ability to stop. I forget often that I am WORTH putting that dang fork down and enjoying spending time with my family, instead of gorging myself on all of the fattening crap they like. So again, thank you, for that slap in the head that said "Shut up and put the fork DOWN!!"

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HEALTHYBY20 12/29/2010 11:48PM

    I really liked this blog. I am terrible about making one mistake and then just eating like crap for the rest of the day. I really need to work on that. Your blog helped drive home the fact that no matter when i mess up or what I have forgotten I can always decide what I do NOW.

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/29/2010 11:47PM

    "So beware acts of kindness wrapped in foil! She takes every chance she can get to feed me, and now I'm sitting up and taking notice. "

Stinkin' food pushers = bad, but I am glad you have her number.

Numbers 1 and 2 are really double whammies, but you are coming back strong - and quickly - which is just stellar.

The one thing I have learned over vacation is I cannot be trusted with frosting anywhere near my house. Why is frosting so delicious?!

Anyway, you are spot on - it is never ever too late. Battle on, gorgeous!

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PVILLAGO 12/29/2010 11:27PM

    At least you still have your sense of humor. I know it's hard when you haven't eaten and you come home and you want something NOW and unfortunately you had Cake and Cookies.
I know you've been out of town too so that made it hard to restock the kitchen. I try to always have yogurt on hand when I am in the gremlin gobbling mode. I try and head for that.
I have to make a Hershey Bar Cake for Church Sunday and I sure dread it too. We are all bringing desserts and having coffee. Maybe I can just load up on coffee but I am sure I will taste something sweet.
Once it's in my system it is in my brain and drives me crazy for more, more, more.
Good Luck to you

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Happy Birthday to Me - the best gift I have ever gotten

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Today is my 30th birthday. As I write this blog I am sitting in Greenjeans Restaurant in the Toronto Eaton Centre waiting for my family to descend on me and the party to begin. So before the chaos of Christmas happens, I wanted to take a few moments for a minute of self-reflection today.

When I turned 29 last year I was honestly scared of what would come of this year. I weighed over 300 pounds and though I wasn't unhappy (my therapy has been helping me overcome my unhappiness for a few years now), I wasn't satisfied either. I knew if change was going to happen that it had to happen soon - but I still didn't know how.

In April I discovered Spark and never looked back. Now 72 pounds lighter, I enter my 30s with a hope and a joy that I never experienced in the whole decade of my 20s. I'm down right exuberant! And though this journey has been challenging at times, I'm still doing it - something I never even thought possible given all my failed attempts.

This morning I woke up before my alarm. Even though I was at my brother's house I had been planning to run on my birthday for a few months now. I was excited. Last year I couldn't walk a mile without being winded. Today I ran 2 miles and wanted more. My brother helped me plan my route and watched in amazement as the person I have become headed out the door into the cold morning. What a gift. What an absolute wonder that I have given myself. I have given myself my life back...and this morning I ran 2 miles to prove it.

I have every hope that my 30s will quickly become the best years of my life. But for some reason I don't feel like I need to hope that hard - because I already KNOW they will be.

Happy Birthday Jenn! May you continue to love yourself in the future as much as you love yourself today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 12/30/2010 2:11AM

    Aww... Your "Flirty Thirties"!! HEhee.
You know that I know exactly what you mean. I started SparkPeople when I was 29. Lost 60 pounds by my 30th birthday. And there's still so much more to experience. You have a bright and beautiful future to behold!!

All the best!
Lots of love!

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ABB698 12/30/2010 1:45AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Happy 30th Birthday! So glad to hear it was DONE just right! Cheers to many more and to good health!
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KT-NICHOLS-13 12/30/2010 1:37AM

    You are amazing! What a fantastic gift you gave to yourself.

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RIGBY31 12/27/2010 8:33PM

    YOU are the gift that keeps on giving! Have a terrific 2011 (and you b-day next!)

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JENJESS48 12/27/2010 2:44PM

    You've done an amazing job this year! And take it from me: your 30s are WAY better than your 20s. Things aren't so dramatic, life-and-death all the time anymore. You know yourself better and are more confident in your own skin. And your journey to health is only going to help with that. Happy birthday!

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SLFRISBEY 12/27/2010 9:52AM

    Happy Birthday!!!!

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CHICAT63 12/27/2010 8:25AM

    Happy Belated Birthday, missed this blog earlier. Turning 30 is a new beginning and you doing amazing, you are down 72 pounds and counting. I am sure 2011 will bring you many joys and triumphs.

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BECOMESTRONGER 12/27/2010 1:31AM

    Happy Belated Birthday! The 30's are WAY BETTER than the 20's! emoticon

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RUNNINGOLLIE 12/27/2010 12:55AM

    What a great blog and a great accomplishment!!!! emoticon emoticon

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MESEATURTLE 12/26/2010 11:44PM

    Happy belated birthday to u!!!!!

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EUPHRATES 12/26/2010 11:31PM


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EAGLE101 12/26/2010 3:07PM


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YINYANGSJM 12/26/2010 2:29PM

    Happy Belated Birthday to you :). What a great present for yourself. I didn't realize until my 40's that I deserve to treat myself well and do things that make me happy, good for you realizing it now. Great job!!!!!

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RABBLEROUSER75 12/26/2010 2:05PM

    Love it!

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HSMOM2FOUR 12/26/2010 1:19PM

    Happy Birthday!! What an awesome start to your day! I hope it only got better from there! I know your 30's will be awesome - how can they not be when they are being started off in such a great way?! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/26/2010 1:19:37 PM

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KELSCATT 12/26/2010 1:12PM

  Happy Birthday and congrats on the weight loss and putting JENN first.
YAY for the 30's :)

congrats on the running - its something that continues to amaze me, like what we can do!!!

Spark on!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/26/2010 1:03PM

    Sweet. 30 has turned out well for me as well! Happy belated birthday to you.

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/26/2010 12:51PM

    Spark on, gorgeous. You deserve the best.


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KRAWRS 12/26/2010 12:47PM

    Fantastic! Happy Birthday (belated)! I love all your new pictures, they turned out GREAT!

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LAURIETAIT 12/25/2010 12:00PM

    Happy Birthday! You look great. You feel great. You're 30's will be awesome!

P.S. You've shamed me into getting out there and exercising. I can't use Winnipeg weather as an excuse. It's pretty nice here!

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MEADSBAY 12/23/2010 9:08PM

    Happy happy happy birthday, Jenn
You are an amazing young woman and you deserve every wonderful thing that has happened to you!
Savor it.
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LOVE your new profile pic- you're gorgeous!

Comment edited on: 12/23/2010 9:09:01 PM

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HDHAWK 12/23/2010 7:50PM

    Happy Birthday to you! You've accomplished so much!

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SYN-CA 12/23/2010 6:48PM

    Kith, what a wonderful story and birthday gift to yourself! One of the things I have owned in my life is that my body nor my weight defines who I am. The body is just the vehicle that carries YOU around! Though I have always been overweight since age 13, up/down/ up/down, it has not slowed me down. Wonderful victory for you in what you have accomplished so far! Happy Birthday and Happy Holidays! xxoo
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KSGROTHE 12/23/2010 6:34PM

    Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday, dear Je-ennnn!
Happy Birthday to you! (And many moooooore!)
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

- Karen

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TWOTIMESS 12/23/2010 6:06PM

    emoticon emoticon
Beautifully said! Happy birthday!

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CECE0330 12/23/2010 3:53PM

    What an excellent blog! Happy birthday & Congrats! You're absolutely right: The best gift you can give yourself is good health! Have a great day!

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KAKIPOPUP 12/23/2010 3:49PM

    So far my 40's have been my favorite decade - but the best is yet to be! Happy Birthday! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CALLIKIA 12/23/2010 3:35PM

    I love it! I hope to have a similar experience next month when I hit the big 3-0 (which I'm no longer at all terrified of...I'm looking FORWARD to it now! Who would've thunk it?) Happy birthday to you! Enjoy 30!

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SARAWALKS 12/23/2010 3:23PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to you! Rejoicing!

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TWANGGIRL 12/23/2010 3:07PM

    That is terrific! Congrats and happy b-day to you!

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Holiday Recipe Challenge!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hello my wonderful Spark Friends. I have a challenge for ALL of you! I just did this myself last night, so I'll be all set for going home.

I know that we're all about to embark on a crazy journey of yumminess over the weekend. Cookies, cakes and holiday savories that only come around once a year. And when you see these items so rarely, it's SO difficult not to stuff your face and wish it were Christmas EVERY day. With me in particular, since my birthday is also 2 days before Christmas, I get not only my mom's home cooking for the holiday, but also my special birthday cake (Flaming Baked Alaska) made ever so lovingly on the 23rd.

So the challenge is this:

Pick THREE of your absolute favorite, cannot possibly say "No" to, Holiday items that you KNOW will be on the table this Christmas. Call you mom, or your Grammy or your funny Uncle Ted and ask them for the recipe for that wonderful dish - every scrap of lard, every pound of butter that is in it. And then enter all 3 recipes as they are in their original form into SparkRecipes and figure out a serving size.

Now - come Christmas morning - you are all armed and ready! You know exactly how many calories, grams of fat and hidden nutrients are in your favorite dishes! So go ahead and EAT THEM! But make sure when you do, you track them as well! And we'll all make a promise here to track those items every time they cross our plates. Since so many things WILL cross our plates, knowing what's in just THREE of them will be a huge help.

Once you're done entering your recipes, post a blog and a link to them. I'm really interested to see what all your favorite items are!

I still need to get the recipe from Mom for my Baked Alaska, but here are two of my other absolute favorites!

Christmas Morning Quiche -

Aunt Edith's Welsh Cakes -

Merry Christmas Everyone! Happy Eating (and Healthy Eating!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RIGBY31 12/22/2010 3:38PM

    This is a great, scarey idea. I don't know how I'm going to wrap my brain around calculating ... Tamales... but I'll give it a shot. btw... our pbs stations showed Germany and their Christmast Markets and I immediately thought of you! I totally get gulwhein now!! And Happy Birthday tomorrow!

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LAURIETAIT 12/21/2010 1:46PM

    Great idea. Now I just need to narrow it down to three! emoticon

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WYND10 12/21/2010 1:22PM

    Great idea!!! I am entering the great unknown with Christmas spent with (I need a great moniker for my SO!) my SO and his family. I've asked what traditions they have and he basically described what we eat for Thanksgiving here, so I think I will be ok. But Christmas Eve is grazing through Appetizers, so that will be interesting.

But in honor of this challenge...I will track as best I can. Promise.

Also, did I mention you Rock? :D

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SARAWALKS 12/21/2010 1:14PM

    What a great idea! I am going to try to find time to do this with my mom's Cherry old Pillsbury Bake-Off recipe that became a family tradition for us. emoticon emoticon

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Slow Down

Monday, December 20, 2010

So I'm definitely NOT on vacation any more. The jet lag has faded, the memories are growing distant, and WORK will not let up long enough to let me breathe let alone get anything accomplished before Christmas. I MISS Spark, I miss reading articles and tracking throughout the day, and updating my status and wishing the Done Girls Happy Birthdays. I'm afraid that my time away from this community has become a little permanent and since I got in the habit of NOT logging in every day while I was away, it's no longer as second nature as it was before I left. I need to make that better!

I've been on the scale a couple of times this week and it hasn't budged an inch since my fantastic post-trip weigh-in. No chance of shedding a little vacation water weight I guess. Like I said - I'm pretty sure the reason I dropped weight in the first place was because of that flu bug I got the day before I came home, so I shouldn't be surprised that my body has fluctuated back up this week, but it's disappointing! I was really hoping for that magic 75 pound weight loss by Christmas. But I really should be happy with 70. I should. So 70 pounds gone is what I'm taking home with me for Christmas. In a Size L sweater from the Gap.

Since getting home I have tried to resume my running routine, and since the pool is closed until the New Year, I have added back in my 3rd day of weekly running. But for whatever reason (most likely that I am fighting a really bad chest cold), I have been hitting a wall at 1.5 miles and just can't seem to run any further than that before having to walk. I'm on my 5K route, so I'm only run/walking 3.1 miles anyway, when before I left for my trip I was up to running a full 4 miles. So 3 times this week I've gone out, 3 times I've stopped running just past 1 mile, walk for 5 minutes, run again, hit another wall, walk, run - and so it goes for the full route. It's FRUSTRATING!!! Yes, I know the weather has been 9 degrees when I'm running outside. Yes, I know I'm fighting a cold. But I HAVE to break through this wall if I'm to keep training for my 8K in March.

I guess I am just realizing how important my cross-training with swimming and Zumba have been for my running as well. I'm feeling flabby all over. Running is great for my legs and my core, but Zumba had me toned nicely and swimming is amazing for my arms. I might be smaller than I was before my trip, but I don't FEEL smaller and that's really getting to me - especially since the compliments on my appearance have kicked in to high gear since coming back to town. You leave for 3 weeks and people forget what you looked like, and then coming back and clearly being smaller than the last mental picture they had of me has shocked a few people I think. My office mate actually exclaimed "OMG your face is so thin!" So that makes me feel good I guess, but guilty at the same time because I'm just not in "Top Shape" right now in comparison to where I was before I left.

I had a great photo session yesterday for a show I have coming up. The photographer is a friend of mine and he took some REALLY beautiful shots of me (I get a disk tomorrow so I'll be sure to post a couple). But again, it was yet another reminder that no matter how fabulous I feel about where I am right now, I still have a long way to go. The great shots are great and made me feel really pretty, but there were definitely a few outtakes that had me saying "Oh God - I look like THAT? Where'd THAT roll come from? And I thought my double chin was on the way out?" I have certainly come a long way since 313 pounds, but I'm not even half way yet. There is so much work left to do.

So I'm on autopilot through the holidays. I have come to the conclusion that if I can make it to New Year's Eve and still be down 70 pounds, that's a huge accomplishment and I should take that and be happy for it. But we all want MORE don't we? We all want to be super fabulous AND lose weight during really stressful holiday times. I think I'm perfectly normal to feel a little "blah" about the scale not moving when I'm rocking it out as hard as I can right now! And I haven't forgotten about my WW2 Challenge which I won't now see the end of until well into the new year.

I just don't want this Slow Down to become a trend. I fear trends like this. I was on a roll, and even though I didn't gain in Germany, I need to stay on that roll into the new year. I still have 125 pounds to lose! I need to hit that perfect balance of food and exercise again to see those results on the scale.

So tomorrow I'm aiming to run at least 2 miles without stopping. After Christmas I'll be back at Zumba every Saturday. And then back in the pool shortly after - on track to being down 100 pounds by April at the latest!

I just have to ride this frustration through the holidays, do the best I can with what I am given, run, run, run like a rockstar, and HOPE that everything I'm doing now will continue to work when the stress of the season wears off in January.

Wishing all of you as little stress as possible over this next week. We'll all make it through - good or bad - but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing less of all of you in the New Year! (In the best of all possible ways!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLIGIRL523 12/23/2010 10:01AM

    You just make me smile.


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WYND10 12/21/2010 11:44AM

    Ain't no shame in maintaining through the holidays! That's my plan. MAINTAIN. And hon, it certainly not a trend, if it were you wouldn't be worried about getting back to running more, Zumba and all that fun sweaty stuff! And seriously, getting down on yourself because you are ONLY running 1.5 miles. In the cold. With a chest cold. Umm...can someone say YOU'RE STILL A ROCKSTAR???? ;)

I want to be you when I grow up. Seriously.


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KRAWRS 12/21/2010 11:03AM

    I'm not worried! I know you're frustrated, but I SO ADMIRE YOU for all your hard work in Germany. Yes, you played just as hard as you worked, but you utilized that all important principal... that this is a LIFESTYLE CHANGE... so in Germany, you weren't on a diet. You watched what you ate when you could and did the best you could when there were no "good" choices. So now you're back and a little slow to get back in the routine... so take those little baby steps again to get you back where you were, and in no time, you'll be back where you started and then some!

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LOTUSFLOWER 12/21/2010 10:29AM

    You are beautiful.

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CHICAT63 12/21/2010 10:05AM

    2011 is going to bring on even more great things for you ! 70 pounds lost is 70 pounds, euh that is 7 x 10 pounds of potatoes that is frigging awesome. Do not get discouraged, you can do it.

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KARVY09 12/21/2010 7:26AM

    You're a rockstar. 2011 will be great for you!

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-POOKIE- 12/21/2010 1:48AM


Sometimes when you look at the far off picture of losing so much... I know it made me feel daunted and put off. But you have already lost more than a lot of people ever do, which makes you an amazing success.

Don't beat yourself up for being ill either, I am feeling super guilty about not going out yesterday, but since I can't even walk around my flat without feeling ill... yet still feel guilt! Far cry from the girl who would happily do nothing for days.... and same for you, you are still running, just get well before taking it up a notch again.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 12/20/2010 10:33PM

    You're doing awesome. I certainly understand the frustration ... but being aware is part of the battle. Girl, you got this!

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SARAWALKS 12/20/2010 10:01PM

    Maintaining looks pretty good to me right now.
And you do need to be good to yourself so that you can get rid of the illness.
Wow, 8K! I'm impressed! I don't think there's any way you're going to backslide, so just get back in your tracking habit and welcome that NEW YEAR! emoticon

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LAURIETAIT 12/20/2010 9:40PM

    I hope to see less of you in the new year too! Don't sweat the slow downs. It will all come right in the end. Just keep doing all the things you have been doing and you will be down 125 in no time. Here's to us all surviving the season and maintaining the status quo. I really don't thing I'm capable of more.

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The Pork & Beer Diet; or, How to Lose Weight on Vacation

Friday, December 17, 2010

So if you really want to know how I lost weight on vacation (4 pounds), my answer is pretty simple...just get the flu at the end of it and rid your body of everything bad you ate over the course of 3 weeks. I honestly don't think I would have lost anything, were it not for that little hiccup at the end of my time away - HOWEVER, I DID at least maintain my weight for 3 weeks, and that in and of itself is a pretty awesome feat in the land of pig fat and carbs.

I wrote a blog before I left detailing my fear of gaining a lot of weight while I was away and my plan for keeping on track deep in the heart of Bavaria. I was honestly afraid that my old habits of throwing caution to the wind and eating like I had never seen food before would follow me across the ocean, despite my hard work and efforts over the last 7 months here. I am a self-confessed food addict after all, and not only that, I am also a foodie (two things which I consider to actually be very different - I both appreciate and love food, and abuse food by eating too much of it). So how could I go to a new country and not try a little bit of everything? Especially given that a good friend of mine and fellow foodie who had just returned from Germany not a couple of weeks before I left gave me one simple instruction before my departure: Eat Everything!

So with those two words echoing in my ears as I ventured into the unknown territories of delicious game meats and fresh baked breads, I was apprehensive at best about how successful I was going to be at keeping the vacation pounds at bay for 3 full weeks.

emoticon Challenge #1 - The Food Scale
True to word, I DID bring my food scale with me...and I used it! While at The Scientist's apartment in Berlin I weighed bread, cheese, muesli and a couple of other items and added them to my food tracker! The problem with the scale was that it stayed in Berlin while we went on to Munich, Rothenberg & Heidelberg. Whoops. But at least I stayed on track for the first week of the trip!

emoticon Challenge #2 - Stick To What I Know
I also did well with this one in Berlin. We went to a grocery store and purchased bread, eggs, cheese, bananas and yogurt for breakfasts so that I could start with something healthy and within my calorie range so indulging a bit at dinner wouldn't hurt my day as much. I won't say that this plan fell apart completely while we were on the road, since a traditional German breakfast consists of exactly those items listed above, but when put in a buffet form, it becomes ever so tempting to just have "one more roll" or "one more taste of jam" (something I NEVER eat anyway) or "one more nibble of cheese". Though the health value of the items consumed remained the same, my portion control did get out of whack towards the end of the trip for sure.

emoticon Challenge #3 - Fruits & Veggies
This one WAS hard. Though Europeans DO eat vegetables (I'm sure of it), there were none to be found but cabbage on the standard German menu. In many cases I ordered a side salad if I was feeling particularly deprived for the day, and endured strange looks from the wait staff. They would often then return with something that looked like it came out of a bag and that was drenched in oil and vinegar - not exactly the most appetizing thing in the world, unlike the rest of the meal which looked delicious. The breakfast table tended to have a bowl of seasonal fruit, which I helped myself to greedily and even, in some cases, stuck an extra piece in my purse for later in the day. Besides that, I feel that I was woefully undernourished in my greens for most of the trip. I was so happy the one night we gave up on the potato dumplings and found a Chinese food restaurant to order a vegetable stir-fry. Though overly greasy and covered in sauce, they were still vegetables, and I scarfed down most of the plate myself, leaving the meat for The Scientist. Since getting back, this is the one area I'm still struggling with getting back up to again. I'm short on groceries until after Christmas break since I don't want to fill the fridge only to leave again, so getting that daily fill of fruits and vegetables on the go is still hard, though considerably easier than in Deutschland!

emoticon Challenge #4 - WATER!
Believe it or not, this was almost harder than getting in fruits & veggies! Water is NOT served on the table in German restaurants. You have to ask for it. And when you do ask - they bring you expensive bottled sparkling water (Germans have a love affair with their carbonated bubbles). I did finally figure out how to say tap water, but that didn't always work as quite a few servers actually "forgot" to bring it over after I asked, or brought it in such a tiny glass it was barely 4 ounces and I didn't want to be a pain and ask for multiple refills. SO - I brought my water bottle from home, and I used it. When I'd finish a beer, I'd pull my bottle out of my purse and refill my glass myself! I think The Scientist thought I was going to get us kicked out of the restaurant for doing this - he was so embarrassed, but a girl's gotta get in her liquid kids! The only problem with this plan was that my bottle only holds 16oz, so required refills itself all day which I didn't always get around to. By the end of the trip I had worked out a system of guzzling 4 glasses of water before leaving our hotel room in the morning, drinking my 2 glasses from my bottle every day, attempting to get 2 more glasses at dinner, and in a worst case scenario, drinking 2-4 more glasses before bed every night. My poor bladder! But I did it! There were only 2 days that I didn't consume a full 8 glasses of water - the first day when I figured out that getting in 8 glasses was going to be tough, and the day I got sick since I wasn't consuming much of ANYTHING that day.

emoticon Challenge #5 - Exercise!
This is truly how I maintained my weight in Germany. While on the road we walked an average of 3-4 miles a day, sometimes covering up to 8 miles in a day. The day we saw the castles, we walked uphill about 2.5 miles, then back down hill, and then decided we weren't done yet and hiked back up the hill again on a steeper incline this time and in the snow. As most of you know, I ran in Berlin! And in between all of that walking and hiking, we stood for long periods of time talking in the architecture on our tours. I lost almost an inch off my calves this month - due fully, I'm sure, to the amount of pavement pounding & leg exercising I was doing the whole time. Since my calories in were somewhere around 3000-4000 a day, I know that it was only by burning about 1000-1500 calories a day that I was staying in a maintenance range for my weight.

emoticon Challenge #6 - Beer happened. A LOT. Beer definitely happened more than I expected or wanted it to happen initially, but it was SO DARN GOOD! Germans drink beer for breakfast. I did not drink beer for breakfast. I consider that an accomplishment - quite seriously. Haha. The most common size for beer in Germany is 0.5L which is definitely more than a bottle. The most common size for beer in Bavaria is a whopping 1L. And if you don't finish your litre, they throw pretzels at you. So I finished my litre. I couldn't handle being pelted with more carbs! Towards the end of the trip though, I cut back again. Not only because I was sick, but because I had actually had enough. I honestly didn't even feel like drinking it anymore. And that is REALLY an accomplishment.

emoticon Challenge #7 - The Bread Basket
Again - didn't fair so well with this one. I mean - European bread is unlike ANYTHING we have over here. It's all fresh baked, like THAT DAY. It's crusty and warm and I think laced with a little bit of crack. I already have a mad addiction to rye bread as well, and that was available in abundance! (They won't put water on the table, but you don't even have to ask for refills of rye!) Don't even get me started on pretzels... So all in, I will venture that I consumed the majority of my daily calories, every day, in bread. Thankfully, since it was not highly processed bread, like they have here in America, I would like to have faith that I was able to burn off those calories quickly with all of my exercise... (BAH! Wishful thinking I'm sure.)

emoticon Challenge #8 - Keep Current With Spark
As most of you know - I TRIED! I really did. While in Berlin I logged on frequently, posted blogs AND logged my food for a good 8 days of my vacation. But once we got on the road, signing in every day became too difficult, and seeing the sights was honestly more important in this situation, so I don't regret my decision to stop tracking. I didn't go totally crazy once I stopped tracking, but I did recognize that my portion sizes got a little out of control and I stopped eating regularly. My body paid for it, I know. It got to the point where I think I became physically ill from ingesting too much food, and specifically too much pork, so I recognized that as well and cut back again significantly. Usually daily meals consisted of a larger breakfast, small afternoon snack and a large dinner. It worked for the most part until I got so sick of eating pork and potatoes that I begged for some different cuisine. We sampled Chinese (as I mentioned earlier), Italian, Middle Eastern, and even found an American-Style bar in Heidelberg when all I really wanted was a hamburger. But for the most part, we ate Bavarian, which involves a lot of sausages, a lot of game meats (LOVE venison, rabbit and duck, but wasn't so crazy about wild boar), potatoes, potatoes, potatoes, and cabbage. May I never see sauerkraut again for at least 3 months!

My biggest problem for the whole trip was the Christmas Markets, which were WONDERFUL, but laced with so many goodies my eyes popped out of their sockets at each stall. Candied nuts, gingerbread so soft and chewy it made me cry, chocolate and candies, mousse kisses (oh my god those things were the most decadent thing I have ever eaten), waffles, meat on sticks, meat off sticks, meat in buns, pretzels, dumplings, and gluewein, gluewein, gluwein. Plan as you might to eat only at meal time - the Christmas Markets would trip you up at EVERY pass. Each one had something yummy that you've never seen at any other one, and you just had to sample one or two small goodies. Many a night we decided to forgo our dinner plans in lieu of just eating at the stalls since we had already managed to ruin our dinner at that point anyway by constantly snacking. It was because of the Christmas Markets that I ended up consuming far more desserts in Germany than I ever intended to, and FAR more alcohol than I ever intended to. Just something about being in the midst of one signaled the need for a mug of hot, mulled wine...well that and the fact that I started collecting the darn mugs themselves every time we went to a new market. Bad idea since when I finally got a full set of 6 of them (one from each city we went to on the trip), the one trip casualty on the return voyage to Berlin was the mug I got in Rothenburg. Sad face.

I also recognize that I didn't go very well equipped with another journalling solution when my ability to log on to my computer every day failed. I think had I been committed to writing everything I ate down in even just a notebook, I would have been more responsible and accountable with my choices. However, I am proud of the fact that for the most part, I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. Sometimes I ate too much, but I don't enjoy the feeling of being over stuffed anymore at all, so I avoided that whenever possible. I indulged in wine and beer, but only had too much of that once (and paid for it dearly the next morning so didn't do it again). I realized when I had consumed too much rich food and pulled back accordingly, returning to what I knew I could eat that didn't make my stomach turn. Overall, I think I was responsible enough in my choices to still have an amazing time on my vacation, sample the best possible assortment of the local cuisine, ENJOY every last bite that I put in my mouth, and exercise just enough to negate any damage that the food may have done otherwise.

And as a warm-up to Christmas and the endless treats and savories that await me at home, I now believe that I have faith in my abilities to do well there too. Since I feel that I indulged in Germany, I really don't think I'm going to indulge as much at home. I don't need to. For now, my palate has been satiated!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOTUSFLOWER 12/20/2010 11:56AM

    That is so awesome that you lost weight, you rock!!! I want to try some of that bread! Then again...maybe I don't, lol.

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/19/2010 9:21PM

    I think they [like people who do stuff like this] should make a commercial with you as the star of what to do on vacation. It is very, very impressive that you had such a comprehensive plan and - drum role please....

You brought a scale with you!!!! - to another continent!!! [I am pretty sure I will never forget that visual]

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Talk about balance and forethought and planning to the tenth friggin' power.

This is why you are so successful. This is why you will continue to be.


Comment edited on: 12/19/2010 9:28:00 PM

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SARAWALKS 12/19/2010 12:31PM

    Ooooooh, your Christmas market description has me drooling...
I've traveled in Austria so I can so sympathize with your veggie dilemma.
Gemischtes salat is NOT the most tempting item but about the only thing available!
And I didn't even LIKE beer until I went to Austria. So many different kinds of beers and all so tasty! Of course I went in the 80s before Americans began to get into different varieties of beer...
We won't even talk about the bread. I love it more than desserts...
It was such fun to read about your trip! I'll be going to France soon and am keeping your tips in mind! emoticon

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WYND10 12/18/2010 12:10PM

    I think that you did wonderfully, and it sounds like you had balance between healthy lifestyle and vacation. I am so happy for you.

Still sorry you got sick at the end though.

You will rock Christmas!!

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LAURIETAIT 12/18/2010 11:18AM

    I think you did great. You were on vacation after all. You are entitled to indulge yourself some. Your trip is a testament to the importance of exercise. An inch off your calves is nothing to sniff at! Most importantly you have proved to yourself that you can maintain your new habits in the face of great temptation! I can't wait for you to take another vacation. I really enjoyed this one!

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RIGBY31 12/18/2010 11:17AM

    Your vacation blogs... the thing tht always stood out to me was how much walking you did! And that kept burning for you all day long, even as you were swigging beers and strolling Christmas markets (again... strolling while eating... genius!). Congrats on your weight loss vacation!

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-POOKIE- 12/18/2010 2:59AM

    I think you did the very best you could, you remained mindful, yet enjoyed yourself, treated yet tried to maintain a healthy outlook.

If you think how you could have acted, thats a huge improvement!

Ive really enjoyed all your blogs *hugs*

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KRAWRS 12/17/2010 11:13PM

    This was fantastic. I think you did a GREAT job, especially considering all the deliciousness you were up against! That and all the exercise you got in just from sightseeing! I did see your previous blog, but I didn't read it yet. I don't know if I'll get around to commenting as its late, but I'm sure it'll be wonderful and I t hank you for sharing it!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 12/17/2010 11:07PM

    Girl, you a great job! You accomplished all the positives and lived the lifestyle you've created. I've taken notes from your experience and will incorporate them in my vacation home.

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MEADSBAY 12/17/2010 10:50PM

    emoticonon losing 4 pounds on the famous pork and beer diet!

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