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Me...2009 Style

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Before I write about who I am going to be in 2009, I am going to share a little story about who I will be leaving behind.

Yesterday was ALMOST a very successful day. I was at the gym all morning, full of energy, and had a fantastic workout. I got a haircut and did errands all afternoon, and then did my batch-cooking last night. Eating was going well, but then, for the second day in a row, I started to get very hungry in the later evening, even though I'd already had my 2,100ish calories and should have been done for the day.

This had happened the previous night as well, but that night, just as I was seriously contemplating having a little extra, Jess went to bed so I just went and joined him and went to sleep.

Last night, however, was a different story. Jess went out with his college buddies, so it was just me and the fridge. I even warned him as he left...I said I felt like a binge was coming on.

It was so odd...I was debating with myself as it was coming on.

"It'll be one's around...I can eat whatever I want, as much as I want...being back on track doesn't REALLY start until Monday anyway...and I'm so hungry."

"It's a bad idea and I know it. It might be 'fun' now, but I'll be so much happier in the morning if I don't. I should blog about this."

I even told myself that if I stayed on plan, I might be down a significant number of pounds on the scale in the morning thanks to getting a 3.5 inch haircut yesterday! Haha!

I put it off. "Let me just finish XXX, and then if I'm still hungry I can think about it." That lasted through several household chores I had to do.

I had tea. I even had a Diet Pepsi, and I almost NEVER drink soda (except when mixed with rum at a bar!).

Finally, when I should have just gone to bed, I decided to have a clementine. No harm there, right? I even added it to my nutrition tracker even though it brought my calorie total a bit over range. BUT, when I went to get the clementine, I allowed my eyes to linger over the other items in the fridge. And after I was done with the clementine, I made myself a turkey and swiss sandwich. Then I had cheese and crackers, a few almonds, and then just like my last binge, a TON of muesli. No more muesli until I get things under control! (It's now a trigger food, just like those delicious dates I don't allow myself to buy anymore.) After that I was thirsty, so I had a glass of orange juice and went to bed.

This morning I woke up thirsty and weighed in at 146.4. And I slept through Step Interval and Abs/Stretching classes.

Done. I am DONE being gross and piggy and slothful. I am DONE being a person who binge eats, and I am DONE with the debating. There is no debate: the healthy choice is always obviously, unquestionably the RIGHT choice.

I have super-healthy meal plans ready to go for the next week, and I have changed things up just a bit to account for this evening hunger, and also to ensure that I will meet my goal of spacing out my meals better.

Mornings: At least two cups of green tea and two cups of coffee before breakfast. (It's okay if the second cup of coffee is WITH breakfast, but no mid-morning snacks until coffee is done!) The tea will hydrate me, the coffee will energize me, and this rule will ensure that I don't eat tons of snacks in the morning.

Mornings II: Get up at 6 a.m. every weekday. I always feel so much better when I have the time to get ready in the morning and arrive on time to work. Try to get up early on weekends too, although I like to be well-rested...aim to be up by 8 on weekends. (In general I think the more consistency I have with when I sleep, wake, eat, and exercise, the better I will feel.)

Organization/routine: I feel SOOOO much better when I am organized, prepared, and things around me are clean and decluttered. Getting up at 6 a.m. will give me a few minutes in the mornings to neaten things up at home before I go to work. Aim to leave for school no later than 7:20 when I'm staying at my place, and 6:55 when I'm staying at Jess'.

Ideally I would like to even get to work a couple minutes early, so I have a few minutes to brew a pot of coffee (everyone loves the aroma in my classroom!) and settle in.

During the hours of 7:45-3:00, BE THERE at school! My principal introduced the faculty to the "Fish Philosophy" this year, and gave us all our own copy of _Schools of all comes from a famous fish store in Seattle (I think?) where the workers have lots of fun and the business is booming. Sometimes at school I get tired and I'm not really as into it as I should be. I need to save my own issues for outside of school hours, and while I'm there, really be actively present. (Exception: during lunch I give myself permission to deal with "me" issues, as needed!)

Having said that, I also want this to be the year I LEAVE school at 3:00 without feeling guilty! Of course that won't always be possible, but if I'm really active and efficient during school hours, that will help.

FOOD SCHEDULE: Hungry or not, there is no debating allowed. These are the rules I will stick with. If I follow them and I still find myself hungry, I need to add more calories to future meal plans, but I still have to stick to the plan!

Breakfast - already described above.

Midmorning snack - No earlier than 2nd period, cannot be started until breakfast, plus second cup of coffee, are fully consumed. Midmorning snack should be limited to nuts and one piece of fruit (change this rule if my tummy is growling, but still have a limit and stick to it).

Lunch - Eat JUST LUNCH. And just AT LUNCH TIME. Between mid-morning and lunch, I should consume at least one additional full beverage - water, tea, seltzer, or decaf. (Regular coffee should be limited to two cups a day, both early in the morning.)

Afternoon snack - Wait at least an hour after lunch. Space out afternoon snacks and be sure to keep drinking.

Dinner - No earlier than 2:30 p.m. I know that sounds ridiculously early, but I like to eat it for the energy before my late afternoon gym workouts. Plus, this week I've built in a significant snack that I WON'T bring to work to ensure that I eat it later...

Evening snack (**NEW!**) - Depending on my schedule, I can have this either before or after the gym, but it is NOT to be brought to school. My evening snack is going to be a ginormous salad! I had a salad yesterday, and I realized that you can have a HUGE one for barely any calories. Then when I read in StephJogo's blog that she usually eats salad for snacks for the same reason, that sealed the deal. I won't even be tempted to bring it to school because it takes up a lot of room and will take some fussy prep work (washing the lettuce, measuring the dressing, etc.) which is actually a good thing because that means I can't rush through it. For the same reason, I got some citrus fruits that will take me a long time to peel before I can eat them. As you can see, spacing out my food is a big priority in 2009!

Cardio: As time permits, aim for at least an hour of cardio a day. However, if I'm pressed for time, shoot for a minimum of 15 minutes. As energy levels permit, aim to make this high intensity cardio. (It really should be high intensity when it's short.) However, I know there are days when I'm tired and just can't do high intensity, and that's going to have to be OK, although when that happens I will need to investigate why I don't have as much energy as I should have (not enough sleep? not enough to eat?). It's NOT okay to skip a workout because I'm tired.

Strength training: Most weeks, do Body Pump on Saturdays and either Mon/Wed, Mon/Thurs, or Tues/Thurs. However, try to do strength training on my own every once in a while for a week or so at a time.

Stretching: Stretch every day. Try to get more flexible hamstrings. (Goal: being able to lie on my back and lift my leg, straight knee, to 90 degrees or even beyond. I've always had tight hamstrings.)

Bedtime: Aim to be in bed at 9 p.m., lights out no later than 10 p.m. I feel significantly better when I get 8-9 hours of sleep than when I'm sleep deprived. Try not to get too far off schedule on weekends.

Okay, that got way more specific than I'd imagined, but it was helpful for me to write it out like that. I will start following these rules tonight, and if I'm unbearably starving tomorrow morning I can always adjust the plan the next day...but like I've said, I have to follow a plan!

Tomorrow it will be exactly six weeks until I leave for the Carribbean. So being disciplined and working hard will really pay off.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZIRCADIA 1/6/2009 7:30PM

    I love the food and time organization planning you're doing to ensure you're not up late starving. :) Good thinking!

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FRIZGIRL 1/6/2009 7:37AM

    Wow! I love this blog... and you are doing so amazing!! You are an inspiration keep it up!

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TRACYZABELLE 1/6/2009 5:54AM

    Wish I could go away with you! maybe one day! Enjoy your countdown to the Caribbean!

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SEEHOLZ 1/5/2009 7:47PM

    Your plan is fail-proof if you stick to it! I really like the spacing your meals out and adequate amount of sleep-- that's a huge one for me...
As for early dinner, so what? I am playing around with the rule of no late night eating-- that was key to my success in the past...
You'll be rocking on vacation!!!Wa-hoo... it's such a motivator-- keep picturing yourself at that beach.. I so need to listen to that same advice myself about sticking to my plan, even if hungry or really tired and crabby....

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FITGIRL15 1/5/2009 7:22PM

    Your plan rocks! You can do it all girl!!! You have already made so many wonderful lifestyle changes... you are going to ROCK 2009!!!

PS... Carribbean vacation... you will have to let me know how it goes!!! I would love to go there one day!

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    You and I think a lot alike-- we both work things out in our head by making lists and organizing our thoughts. I like your plan, and you seemed to have covered all of your trouble areas. Good luck and remember, if things start to get chaotic (or you feel binges coming on, etc) adjust your plan to meet your needs. Also, check out some resources about emotional/overeating. They may help to give you some insight into your binges-- there are a lot of great books out there dedicated to helping us through our issues.

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TERRIANGEL 1/4/2009 10:03PM

    Very good plan. Not a lot of room for straying, which will probably help, right? It would sure help me.

I actually have my goals for 2009 AND action steps written down (I did them on the bike yesterday...a great way to make the hour+ go by!) but they're still in the basement and I have yet to type them into a blog. It's not a "plan" like you have, but along the same lines.

I love reading other people's goals and plans. We're all so motivated! You go, girl!

Have a good first day back tomorrow. It's mine, too (well, went in for like 5 hours last Wed...but barely a real work day). *sigh* Would be nice to be independently wealthy, wouldn't it? Then we could spend the whole week working out and getting HOT. Heee!


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BOOTS1221 1/4/2009 8:21PM

    great plan!! i am very much like you in the sense that i feel better when things are neat and organized around me. it seems like you've put a lot of thought and effort into this plan and making it detailed, and i am sure you'll be able to stick with it!!

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ASTARB1 1/4/2009 8:14PM

    Reading your blogs is like hearing my own thoughts! :-)

I love laying down plans. My husband thinks I'm slightly compulsive about it, but I figure if I only accomplish half of what I plan, I'll be better for it!


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SKYFYRE 1/4/2009 7:34PM

    Way to plan it out Susan!
I hope thatthis leaves you more satisfied and less crazy hungry!

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LYNN248 1/4/2009 6:53PM

    Wow maybe I actually need to sit and write out a detailed plan too.

I think We need to set up an emergency "text a friend" hotline !

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TMAC10 1/4/2009 4:01PM

    i love your plans and how detailed you always are! :) it is such great motivation & inspiration. good luck!

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PAMELA984 1/4/2009 3:38PM

    You can do this - and what a great incentive!

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BRUIN2 1/4/2009 3:37PM

    Great plan!!

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Cabbage Casserole

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I think there was a cabbage casserole recipe featured on SparkPeople the other day...but on Spark Recipes there are several versions. I have made this in the crockpot and also in the oven...I think I like the oven version better.

First, if you're going to make a cabbage casserole, I recommend you buy pre-chopped cabbage, or a bag of coleslaw veggies. It takes FOR-FREAKIN'-EVER to chop up a cabbage, and the amount it yields is practically overwhelming.

I probably got too many pre-chopped veggies...I got a bag of red cabbage, a bag of coleslaw (mostly green cabbage with bits of red, and also a little carrot), a bag of just carrot, and a bag of "broccoli slaw" that had basically the same as the coleslaw bag PLUS broccoli. I also added some chopped scallions and a can of no-salt diced tomatoes. So that, plus ground turkey (which you have to cook separately first, of course), and a bag of shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese. And spices - whatever you happen to have/like. I used Mrs. Dash and cilantro.

Since I did this in the crockpot, I had to wait until it was done and placed in single-serving containers before I sprinkled the cheese on top. When I make it in the oven, I mix the cheese in.

Oh, and I always start my recipes with some kind of oil - usually extra-virgin olive oil, but I also have some peanut and sesame oil I use to mix things up. I do this because a) I used to do Weight Watchers and one of their rules is that you eat two teaspoons of oil a day - a rule a lot of people seem to rebel against, including me before I started using the oil in my recipes; and b) from my reading about nutrition I've come to the conclusion that oil is good for you (certain kinds, anyway). There was one book in particular that really hammered the point home for me...but what book was it??? It was the one that said that veggies taste better (true!) and are better for you when drizzled with a little olive oil..._In Defense of Food_, maybe. I should read that book again.

Hopes/dreams blog to come later!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLUEBOOEYES 1/4/2009 1:25PM

    I've made reduced-fat egg rolls before using the cole slaw mixes and including a little EVOO. Haha. I might have to try this but nix the cheese. I am a big weirdo and I don't like cheese ::winces in fear of ridicule::

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It's time to become who I want to be in 2009

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Here it comes...the self-reflecting, goal setting blog entry that is almost obligatory for the start of a new year. It is rather appropriate that I am doing this today rather than New Year's Day, because school starts back tomorrow and THAT's when real life sets back in.

First, I would just like to simply appreciate this moment I have right now. It's late Sunday morning, I am cuddled into my fleece Red Sox blanket, sipping my hazelnut coffee spiked with unsweetened vanilla soy milk (I keep finding new flavors of unsweetened soy milk! can't wait to try the CHOCOLATE!). I slept in this morning, and I've been doing some cleaning. I have time to do all the necessary preparations today to make my work week go by more smoothly.

Today I will finish cleaning, finish meal planning for the week (it's all done except for snacks...yesterday I made cabbage casserole and chicken marsala so meals are all set), go grocery shopping to buy said snacks (usually I don't make more than one grocery trip per weekend, but I hadn't realized how low on fruit I am, plus I'm having a hankering for grapefruit!), either go to the gym or run outside, and go to bed early, although I know I will have trouble falling asleep early. be continued. My cutsie-cutes (AKA boyfriend Jess) just called saying he's too lazy to walk home from the train station (15 minute walk) and could I come pick him up? I asked if he doesn't mind if I kidnap him and take him to the grocery I'm about to use one stone to kill two birds! Poor little birds...what an awful expression. Haha. Oh well. Reflections and thoughts/goals/dreams to come later! Stay tuned!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLIANGEL 1/5/2009 1:13AM

    I don't remember the last time i had a hankering...

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BLUEBOOEYES 1/4/2009 1:28PM

    Oh, to have a "hankering" for fruit. Haha. How does one develop such a problem? I'd love to have that problem myself. Usually I have a hankering for sweets, which then ends up being fulfilled with fruit as the nearest healthy alternative.

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LILTROUBLE 1/4/2009 12:44PM

    Sounds like you have a great plan in place. And cabbage casserole - what is that? I have some cabbage in the fridge and was deciding what to make with it.

Have fun with the cutsie cute.

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WITTYFLOWER 1/4/2009 12:33PM

    Same here! School starts back up tomorrow for me too. I am kinda happy because then I am on my routine. I admit it! I am a routine person and when I am out of my routine, I am in trouble in every ways!!!

Today I am going to cook for the week and plan for the week as well. Have a great day back tomorrow. For me, just for faculty and not the kids. But, I already know what is waiting for me... TESTING BOOKLETS!

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TRACYZABELLE 1/4/2009 11:28AM

    I am more into my veggies this year-- I let them slip last year and was ignoring them a bit. I will be eating a lot more of the green stuff-- tell me what is in your cabbage casserole!


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Friday, January 02, 2009

Since a couple people asked, I am going to attempt to explain the difference between the lunges you do in Body Pump and the lunges I do when I'm strength training on my own.

Body Pump lunges are static least I hope I am using the right word. What I mean is that your feet and whole body stay in one position, and the only thing that moves is your knees, well, and of course when you bend your knees your upper half goes down, and then back up... you're standing with one foot flat in front and the other foot up on the toe/ball of the foot behind you, with a loaded barbell on your shoulders, and you're bending straight down and straight back up. Fore more of a challenge you can put your front foot on a step, which I tried the very first time I went to a Body Pump class and all of my leg muscles were burning so bad that I stopped trying that...well...I think I've tried it once since then on a day when I was feeling particularly ambitious. It's deceptively hard, at least it is for doesn't look like much but even with both feet on the floor it's so tough, especially when you do the singles and bottom halves! There are also other lunges in Body Pump where you step out and down and back, but those aren't as hard for me as the static ones.

The lunges I do when I'm strength training on my own were taught to me by a personal trainer back when I did my one free session as part of my gym membership (several years after I joined the gym though - ha). They can be a bit embarrassing because you're taking these huge exaggerated steps across your gym floor, but my gym has a hallway where I do my lunges. I hold dumbbells in my hands and step out, down almost all the way, then up and then do it with my other foot. It's a balance challenge, and it gets my heart rate up, but it doesn't really get my muscles burning at all!

Anyway, yesterday I managed to "stay good" all day with my eating for a change...I even contemplated having JUST ONE Lindt truffle, two varieties of which are prominently featured in Jess' refrigerator right now because Jess is just such a perfect eater that he only has one or two every couple days and still has plenty leftover even though they are from Santa Claus and therefore he's had them over a week.....but I decided not to because I am really sick of being a chubster. One Lindt truffle only has approximately 73 calories, but I just need to be in the mindset where I don't eat things like that, so I can get back on solid ground before I start allowing myself little cheats again. Which is why I will eat my own food tonight even when Jess' parents come over for a lime artichoke chicken dinner he is going to make. For me it's not about how healthy or unhealthy the food off my plan's just that I seem to do best when I stick to a plan. Eating healthy food off plan seems to trigger me to eat anything/everything off plan. I have issues with food.

Today I weigh 142.6. I think it is going to take a long, long time to take off all my holiday weight.

I was reading New York Times articles online the other day about weight loss and I came across a theory that I'd read about before, but it really seems relevant for me right now. It's rather depressing, but probably true...the set-point theory that each of us has a genetically built-in weight range of perhaps 30 pounds. We can deliberately force our weight out of that range by dieting or overeating, but once we do, all kinds of mechanisms kick in to drive us back to our set-point weight range. Well, I don't know about "all kinds of mechanisms," but if you go below your range you get an insatiable urge to eat and if you go above it, food becomes unappealing. You know how they always say it takes 3,500 calories to lose a pound? Well, let's say you go for a walk that burns 100 calories every day. 3,500 divided by 100 is 35, so it should in theory take 35 days to lose a pound. But that's assuming that calorie intake is held steady. Apparently our bodies "know" when our intake/output is out of balance and we'll feel compelled to have just a few extra bites the next day to make up the difference...and we won't even notice. Apparently this system is almost 100 percent accurate (the NYT aricle had an exact was like 96 percent or something).

So this is why I can watch my boyfriend, Jess, eat whatever he wants without thinking about his weight. He doesn't have to follow any eating rules like "stop when satisfied but not full" or anything. He eats fairly healthy, but when he wants tacos he eats tacos, and when he wants ice cream he eats ice cream, and his weight always stays in the same range, in the lower 160s, which for a 5'10" guy with just a touch of yummy muscle is just right. It's very pleasant for my eyes, but soooo frustrating when I compare it to my own weight struggles!!!

For me, on the other hand, I have to assume my set-point weight range is around 170-180, because I weighed around that much when I graduated from high school and I've always had to watch what I eat to go below that, even to go into the 160s. Maybe the fact that I've forcibly kept my weight below that for so long is the reason I get into these eating frenzies sometimes. I don't like this theory at all because it implies that it's inevitable that I'll do it again, but I don't have to look at it that way. Even if I have these drives to do it, what/how much I eat is still a CHOICE and I know ways to help, like keeping my regular calorie range high enough that I feel as satisfied as possible without gaining weight. I can think about it this way: managing my weight WILL be a lifelong struggle for me, but as long as I put in the effort, I can do it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNN248 1/3/2009 8:51AM

    So i just had to re subscribe to you blog, I thought everyone fell right off the wagon at xmas and nobody was posting which just made me continue on my "what diet" mind set.

YOU did fantanstic by getting back to it , I gained 5 lbs over xmas and now it going to take me all of Jauary to lose it. Instead of being 5 lbs less than that for my holiday i'll be slightly miserable every day when i have to put on my bathing suit.

Too late now, i'll just hope to drop these 5 lbs before i go. ~sigH~

I like walking lunges, they are the less painful on my knee kind:)

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SKYFYRE 1/3/2009 8:48AM

    Yes you can! (Do it that is!) Interesting article! I think I know what my set point is! Grrr! Thansk for the lungs explaination! Sounds like I should go to body pump! Eek!

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TERRIANGEL 1/2/2009 11:17PM

    Oh, girl, I'm so right there with ya. On it all (except the lunges. Don't do many of those unless they happen to be in a class or a video). :)

Lindt Truffles are worse than potato chips. Ya (read: "I") CANNOT eat just one. Those things are aweful. (yeah, awefully YUMMY!) My hubster is the same as Jess, too. He wants to have these delicious cookies in the house, or bars of Irish Chocolate so he can have one here and there "with a cup of tea". But the joke in the house is that he'd have to hide them from me or they'll all be gone when he wants one. Damn Irishman... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I've certainly heard about the weight setpoint, too. I just choose to deny that the mid 130s is my new (well, new for the last 8 years) set point. I believe it's the mid 120s like it was before I had kids. And I'll be right over here struggling to get and keep it there right along with ya, for the rest of our lives.

But lets just GET there, and take it from there, shall we?

Onward, chica! emoticon

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    i refer to those moving lunges as walking lunges. interesting article. i can feel it is somewhat true to. whenever my weight hits 126 lbs i get ravenous and eat everything in site. the most i have ever weighed (non pregnant) is 155 lbs and i pretty much stopped eating at that part and lost all interest in food.

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LILTROUBLE 1/2/2009 7:51PM

    Ohh man those lunges in BP are killer. I havent gotten up to the strength to do one foot up on the step yet.

I do think that there is an internal set point but I think if you stay at a certain weight long enough then your body just wants to stay there. I mean in general I think that our bodies like to stay the way they are because anything different is stress on our bodies. But hey I am no doctor.

I only say this because I think that you are doing great and your success at getting so close to your goal should be celebrated. And since you are healthy and strong you should be able to stay there.

You can do this!

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SEEHOLZ 1/2/2009 1:52PM

    I'm sure there is truth to that theory-- I have been between 155-170 since age 14, except for2001-2003 when I weight as low as 118 and as high as 205 plus lbs, but taking off the weight was not impossible and putting it on, well, very easy and very fast! Once I hit 160's, it became very hard to take off any additional weight- very hard. I agree that we have that choice, but fighting your body for the rest of your life doesn't seem so fun. Anyways, focusing on health is always the best choice and the weight will come off this way. I so understand you and I think we are very alike in that regard, except that you actually do follow a sound way of eating. I am going to, as well! I'm curious/excited to see if it will make a difference.
Jess souns exactly like my Dan-- he eats whatever he want, yet weighs 150 and has absolutely no fat on him--- he doesn't get anything related to emotional eating...
As for lunges- both are great choices. I love all kinds of lunges- the more, the merrier-LOL- did you try flying split? Those are good for balance and a little more burn and you definitely get your HR up!

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ZIRCADIA 1/2/2009 1:16PM

    Hey girl! I got SUPER PIGGY over the Holiday and my goal for the New Year is to live 90% super healthy. :) I don't want to go nuts just because it's a holiday. :P WAh. But I also don't want to be too hard on myself. It's a tough balance. Anyway. *HUGS* I get what you mean about the lunges. It's like a static/squat type lunge versus a walking/front lunge.

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BRUIN2 1/2/2009 12:59PM

    Did the article say whether or not you can re-set your "set point"? I sure hope their 30lb range is off - that's just freaky, isn't it. Oh well, can't dwell on that, right?! We just have to make the best decisions we can every day!!

Thanks for explaining your lunges! You got the static term right!! My bum burns like crazy when I do walking lunges, which is probably why I don't do them very often... I think I will do some today!

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WITTYFLOWER 1/2/2009 12:42PM

    I know don't you hate that? How can some people just eat whatever they want and don't gain an ounce and when I eat something off clean eating menu, I feel like I have gained 20 pounds in one day! You are doing great!

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Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

I've been wanting to write a deep and meaningful blog entry to describe my goals, hopes, and dreams for 2009, but that's too much pressure. So instead I'm just going to start writing!

Last you all heard from me was Saturday...I have been very good with my exercise since then and not quite as good with the eating. I won't bore you with all the details, but every day since then, except Monday and Tuesday when I was away skiing, I've been to the gym for about 60-90 minutes, doing strength training and either elliptical or running. No classes lately. Nice change of's how working out on my own and going to classes stack up:

Strength Training (ST) On My Own vs. Body Pump (BP) - which is the better workout for...
*squats - BP
*chest - tie
*back - ST
*triceps - tie
*biceps - tie
*lunges - OMG BP by FAR - Body Pump lunge tracks are SO HARD!!
*shoulders - BP (also hard)
*abs - BP, but only because I tend to skip abs otherwise, always telling myself I'll do it later, at home, but then I usually don't.

**the "ties" aren't exactly equal...Body Pump works the muscles longer, but strength training uses heavier weights.

Cardio Machines vs. Cardio Classes
It really depends, but I think I have to give cardio machines the edge. I tend to more reliably get good sweaty workouts on my own. Both can be either fun or horrible depending on the circumstances, and either could be the longer workout (with machines I can do less than an hour but when I have the time I usually don't....with classes I can double up and take two if I want a really long workout, and they're never less than an hour, although usually only 45 minutes of that is real cardio and the rest is warming up, cooling down, stretching, abs, and waiting around...)

So there's pros and cons to everything, so variety is the key!

I read a book recently that was mentioned in a SP article, _High Intensity Training_. The basic idea is that it is very slow strength training with perfect form where you never allow your muscle to lose tension throughout the entire set. It's written for athletes and those who train them. I'm not going to follow the program, but any fitness book kinda gets me inspired. I've been good with my exercise, although I could have been doing a bit more but really I think this past week I've done a good balanced amount. Now on to my eating...yikes.

Saturday and Sunday were perfect eating days and by Monday morning I was down to 140.8. We drove up to Pat's Peak in New Hampshire and got the "twilight" tickets, for 1:00-9:00. It's the same amount of time/same cost as the regular full-day tickets, but this way we got to sleep in. I'd never gone night skiing before, but it was really fun until it got too cold.

I look like I have a major belly problem here, but it's really basically the entire contents of my purse stuffed into my jacket pockets. :)

So I did really well with eating on Monday except for the "shot" of hot chocolate I added to my coffee (hey, the hot chocolate machine was right next to the Starbucks machine!)...and then the hot chocolate I shared with far not too bad, right? Then we get to our bed and breakfast and we're told there are COOKIES and hot drinks by the fire in the reading room! Oh no! I had another hot chocolate and...oh, at least four cookies, and then a few cups of hot tea. Oh, and I had one of the little chocolates they left in our room.

The next morning I weighed in.......YES, I brought my scale with me to New Hampshire....and was still at 140.8. I was lucky that apparently my activity balanced out my eating. Why couldn't I have just left it at that?

Breakfast was included with our stay, and I began to get a bit piggy. I had fruit, granola with yogurt, a piece of banana bread, an egg and sausage thing, two slices of bacon cooked in brown sugar (I never usually eat bacon but OMG YUM), an english muffin with butter, orange juice, tea, and then more coffee spiked with hot chocolate. Okay, I didn't get a BIT piggy, I got a LOT piggy. But the good news is that I made it through a morning of skiing without getting hungry again, which is highly unusual for me...I'm usually a big morning snacker, at least on days when I get up early. I was good at lunch, actually eating what I had brought with me... which reminds me, my recipes this week are really good and kind of unusual. I sort of based them on recipes I found on the internet by searching google for "healthy recipes," but I made up the specifics.

One of them is chicken pot pie without the pie. I put all the ingredients into the crockpot...actually there were so many ingredients I had to use two crockpots. It came out really yummy...I think the ingredients that really did it are the thyme and the white wine.

The other recipe is this spinach egg thing. It was supposed to be a frittata but I put the spinach, eggs, potato, feta, and mozzarrella (both cheeses are FAT FREE and you can't even tell because they're all mixed in) into the blender, then poured it in with chopped onions and sliced mushrooms into a casserole dish coated with extra-virgin olive oil, and then I baked it. I don't know what to call it - souffle??? But it's yummy and different.

So back to Tuesday. I had a nice healthy lunch and then we skied until my toe warmers got cold.

We left the mountain around 4 p.m. and Jess had a hankering for Mexican food. Once last year we stopped at Margarita's in Concord, NH on our way home from skiing and I think Mexican after skiing is going to become a routine. We made it all the way back into the state before we stopped. Was I good or was I bad at the restaurant? I ate TONS of chips and salsa. Very very piggy with that. BUT, I had water to drink even though Jess had a Margarita. And best of all, my dinner was the shrimp and avocado salad, and I didn't even finish all my dressing.

But as any good binger knows, it's not really what you eat in public that does the real damage. It's what you do when you get home. :(

As I was putting things away that night, I polished off Jess' Sour Patch Kids he'd gotten in his stocking. Then I had a portion of my spinach concoction, some nuts, and a few slices of swiss cheese I'd bought for Jess to make sandwiches this week. Dumb dumb dumb!!!

So Wednesday morning I was up to 145.4, which is proof that Tuesday night's fiasco was a real binge.

I started off good on Wednesday...ate well, stayed well hydrated, went to the gym....and then we went to a Chinese restaurant with a friend. It's one of those Chinese restaurants that also serves sushi. I got the "sashimi regular," which was very expensive - $25 for one person! But it was a special occasion - New Years Eve! And I didn't have any drinks or anything else. Sashimi is probably the healthiest thing you can order at a restaurant, unless you're pregnant. It's just fish, no rice, no mayo, nothing. Mine was served on a bed of lettuce and curly skinny strips of carrot, so I treated it like a salad. I drank hot tea and was very proud of myself.

But then I was hungry later. I was drinking wine and champagne and had a clementine. So far so good. But I wanted more to eat, so I took out a yogurt and my Bob's Red Mill muesli. It's a very healthy kind of muesli, with no salt or sugar, nothing but natural ingredients. It would have been a fantastic snack, except that I didn't portion out a quarter cup or even a half cup...I brought the whole bag to the couch......why?? I had some in my yogurt...and then I dipped my hand in the bag for more. And more. And more. And soon I was uncomfortably stuffed, but hey there was only a little bit left in the bag so I might as well finish it I did. Blah.

This morning I weighed 145.2, which was actually less than yesterday, but man, only recently I was 134! Grr!!

Today's been good though....exercise AND eating........and I have a solid plan for tomorrow too, except that Jess' parents are coming over for dinner. I should just eat my own food, I do so much better that way, especially when I'm on shaky ground like I have been lately.

So.......I was planning on writing about a New Year's goal...(I don't know, the idea of a "resolution" just seems too cliche to be taken seriously for me) to always start my day by having plenty to drink, and then spacing out my meals........but honestly, there is no plan I can set today that will still be completely relevant 365 days from now. That would be stagnant. I'm always learning, reading, observing myself, and hopefully I will have an even better plan by the end of 2009 than I do now, so I wouldn't WANT to still be doing something I promised myself I'd do today. is a promise to myself in the spirit of New Year's Day: Do the healthy thing. I don't have to spell that out...I know what it means, and what it means may evolve...just DO IT. As often as possible.

And PS - Bluebooees - Spark IDOL?!?! Yeah, RIGHT, but wow, way to blow my mind with the compliment. If I'm a Spark Idol, I better get back on track and start acting like one!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARLIE13 1/2/2009 1:31PM

    Do the healthy thing...I love that!! Here's to a great year!

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ASTARB1 1/2/2009 11:46AM

    I LOVED this blogpost. Especially the photos - makes me want to go skiing again soon.

I love your comment: "So there's pros and cons to everything, so variety is the key!"

This really rings true with me. I think shaking things up is key to staying motivated and preventing plateaus.

Happy New Year!!!

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PAMELA984 1/2/2009 6:50AM

    Hee!Hee! You are the only person I know (besides me!) that takes a scale with you when you travel. Nice to know I have a fellow scale addict!

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SKYFYRE 1/2/2009 2:30AM

    Seriously, you brought your scale with you?! I have so wanted to do that before, like when I went backpacking through Queensland, that would have been worth the extra weight, lemmetellya! Well, good for you there little miss ski bunny! Love the "healthy things" goal! Yay

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    "Do the healthy thing"-- I love it!! Binges and weight gain.. so what! We all have them-- you are still inspiring-- you overcome your challenges and stay motivated. You rock.

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RUNNERMOMTO3 1/1/2009 9:47PM

    Sounds like your ski trip was fun! yay you over indulged a bit, but you are getting back on track. You have a plan figured out, you know what has to be done and you'll do well.
I was also going to ask about those lunges?? what's the difference in BP lunge and a regular lunge??

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BRUIN2 1/1/2009 9:41PM

    I can tell you used fat free cheese from HERE!! bwahahaha.

Why, oh why, are the BP lunges better?!?!? Are they something I could duplicate at home?

Yay for so much skiing.

Too bad about the eating.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your goal for the year. Attainable, realistic - and it moves with you!! LOVE THAT!

2009 is going to be fab!!

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TRACYZABELLE 1/1/2009 9:25PM

    You look like you had a great time! May we do fine in 2009 and feel our best ever! Happy New Year!

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