CAROLINAMUSED's SparkPeople Blog CAROLINAMUSED's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Back at it It's been a while - I really had to stop doing anything but teaching and finishing my dissertation for a few weeks (a month? - I have no idea, because I really did not look up). In fact there were days and days when I stayed in my nightie all day, and I'd look up and realize it'd been 3 or 4 days since I'd taken a shower. Ick. So Mike and I are back on it, especially with food tracking. We've continued to measure stuff but the between-meals eating has not been all that healthy or measured, a... Thu, 11 Aug 2011 13:55:37 EST Absolutely awesome, and it's all his fault. Four-ish years ago, my friend, partner, and now (as of a year ago) husband moved in with me. The day he did, I went vegan, figuring it couldn't hurt, and would probably help. At least, we could save on groceries. <BR> <BR> Plus, you know, I had been diagnosed with diabetes, and I hated the whole metformin thing, hated measuring food, hated turning control of my life over to a bunch of doctors and dietitians. There I was, busy as all get-out, mid-doctoral coursework, and the doc wanted me in... Fri, 24 Jun 2011 17:46:46 EST Happy First Anniversary to my favorite husband! Mike and I are both fairly stressed out right now, and I've had limited time to do much of anything. He's finishing up his 2nd Master's while simultaneously doing all cooking and cleaning (and running to the store, etc.) while I'm closing out the spring semester on 3 courses, trying to prep for the 3 courses I'll be teaching this summer - and oh yeah, finishing my dissertation. We both are hanging in there, at times just barely, with running and staying on track with food intake - nothing li... Sun, 8 May 2011 14:14:48 EST When we married in May We'd had our rings custom made. The gold is reclaimed, and the design is a vine, because we thought it was beautiful. The rings are traditional and modern. <BR> <BR> We had to have them sized up a bit (the jeweler lives elsewhere) to fit. Mike has been carrying his on his keychain, and he can wear the ring with the keychain's ring still attached - with room enough to see plenty of daylight between his finger and the ring. Mine has been looser and looser but you know, I hated to take it off.... Sat, 5 Feb 2011 19:56:45 EST Unexpected joy: a milestone Saturday I had a meeting with students (I teach completely online, so this is an unusual thing - happens twice a semester). I love the opportunity to meet face-to-face and this time thought to bring a camera. I am in several of the pics, and this morning looked at them. Gasp! Fist pump! Newsflash! When I look at the pics of me I don't think: gawd I look fat. Even the pic of me and Mike in our running gear had me thinking that, to be honest - this does not, for the first time in far, far too... Mon, 31 Jan 2011 10:16:47 EST Self? How was that run today? Why, thank you kindly for asking! The run was one of those where you forget the cement-legged awkward toddle push-pushing toward a finish line, with the main reward being the burn of an acceptable number of calories. In this day's run I left behind the c25k beat and when the chimes dropped, indicating 'time to walk' - I did not. I like the image of myself loping through the woods (where our favorite running path is). Easy, feeling my limbs and my pleasure in their functioning. <BR> <BR> Ye... Sat, 29 Jan 2011 21:08:23 EST running to It's been a challenge lately to try to get it all done, which is why I've been sort of MIA. While continuing to track every bite, I've cut back my trips to the park for my run in favor of shorter jogs in my neighborhood, daily. <BR> <BR> At the same time, the semester has begun and I have been overwhelmed by this, by faculty meetings, by a new project, and not last, my research finally getting to the *actual* research phase (as opposed to the review, proposal, approval phases, and all the 1... Mon, 24 Jan 2011 08:17:40 EST I am a woman who ran in the rain Yesterday I ran in the rain. Not pouring rain, but nonetheless, I ran. I had awakened feeling stiff and sore, and my first thought was that a short run would help. Resisting the urge to resist the urge, I committed to action by telling Mike. And even though it was our 'rest' day (from running), I ran. <BR> <BR> I am having some foot pain I suspect is plantar fasciitis, due to having had it in the past. But the cool thing is, I am learning my own body better. I know that I'll get some pain a... Mon, 17 Jan 2011 08:10:08 EST a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid And now I know that we must lift the sail <BR> And catch the winds of destiny <BR> Wherever they drive the boat. <BR> To put meaning in one's life may end in madness, <BR> But life without meaning is the torture <BR> Of restlessness and vague desire -- <BR> It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid. <BR> <BR> - excerpt from George Gray, Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters <BR> <BR> The excerpt is one that's stuck in my mind since first I read it, back in high school. Reading ... Thu, 6 Jan 2011 20:41:01 EST The role of food: sustenance, comfort, sharing Mike and I are packing a box to send to my folks. In it are some goodies he made, including cookies, his awesome marinara, our favorite pasta, naan, a curry, and a few other things. I should say that Mom, who is 80, has been laid up and told by her doc not to be walking in order to encourage the healing of a wound on her calf, sustained last summer in a car wreck, and slow to heal. Because of this, Dad is doing all the cooking, and he has never cooked. He's also doing all the cleaning and st... Sun, 2 Jan 2011 22:02:13 EST two roads did not diverge, there was no wood... Frost was wrong. Aside from a singsongy rhyme scheme, his well loved work aims but misses. Because in truth, we have so often gone down one road far enough (or too far) that we are convinced to diverge from its path. And in truth, there are many more roads than two. Also, without a doubt, choices are commonly unclear: it's often not an issue of selection between two desirable avenues, but the press of circumstance, the shaping of choice by life events. <BR> <BR> So many of my own choices w... Fri, 31 Dec 2010 10:45:05 EST From the body of one guilty deed a thousand ghostly fears and haunting thoughts proceed (Wordsworth) To this, I'd add: To the commission of deeds that lead to guilt, a thousand precedents do lead. <BR> <BR> In blogs and postings this morning, I am reading messages from many who slipped and fell through the holidays, and now whip themselves, planning to exert a certain level of punishment for their sins. <BR> <BR> There are fallacies in the thinking that both lead from and lead to pain and self-hatred. I see it because I've felt it too, and because for my sisters and my mother, such thinki... Sun, 26 Dec 2010 08:42:31 EST The best present is what we are to one another For some years now, my husband and I have encouraged each other to improve our lives. It's the healthiest possible relationship that has led to so many changes! I wish all people could have this sort of mutual support. World peace is a worthy goal too, but I wonder if there wouldn't be a whole lot less anger and resentment in a world where we accepted one another and accorded one another the dignity and love we each deserve. It shouldn't matter what your beliefs are, or the color of your skin... Sat, 25 Dec 2010 08:17:38 EST I decided to ignore the markers I decided to ignore the markers on the park path we use for our walk/runs. I decided that I'd just run (to hell with my pace; this was about just lifting one foot and then the other). I noticed the markers in a sort of, 'oh right, another 1/8th mile' way - and continued. <BR> <BR> I told myself that if I wanted to I could walk an 1/8th at the halfway point - but at halfway, I felt fine. The wind had been at my back for that first half. So I told myself that at 1/4 of the way, I could slow ... Sun, 28 Nov 2010 14:19:19 EST Fire in the fireplace Dinner in my belly. 3 cats, in various stages of repose, Mike beside me. Phone calls made to family - wishing we were with them, but equally, fine with being here, just us, with our space and warm proximity, the sound of the postmeal dishwasher, and no miles to drive before bed. <BR> <BR> We had a lovely, non-traditional meal of carmelized tofu, Szechwan green beans, an apple-cabbage slaw with a dijon-agave dressing, and home made butterscotch pudding - all vegan, tasty, and within range. T... Thu, 25 Nov 2010 21:54:25 EST POWAH! I would have blogged earlier, but I have been working since 6 a.m. making changes to my IRB application (connected to my dissertation research - I can't do the research without human rights board approval) except for time to work out... oh, and opening up new modules for the 3 classes I'm teaching online. Nuts, that's my life right now. I'm brainfried and I don't do fried stuff! But that's not why I'm writing. <BR> <BR> Mike and I went to the gym for a bit of strength training, then out to... Tue, 9 Nov 2010 23:20:30 EST The first half year, portent of our future <img src=""> <BR> <BR> If I wasn't still blinking sleep from my eyes, I'd get more eloquent about this: today Mike and I have been married for six months! <BR> <BR> You know, it's really different to formalize a partnership at this stage of advanced decrepitude (I at 53, he 5 years younger, making me a gleeful cougar). And it's even more different to have made this choice with no sense of compromise: this man is my true partner. He is... Mon, 8 Nov 2010 08:46:15 EST gymratz This morning... this morning Mike and I had fun. No, not that kind (sheesh, people!) <BR> <BR> We joined a gym and today, met with a personal trainer to get a quick overview of proper use of the various machines. And we spent some time and sweat checking out some of the cardio equipment (love the treadmill, not nuts yet about the stationary bikes, need more seat padding now that my own seems to be on the decline!) - and we left in great moods, having thoroughly enjoyed the experience, as we... Tue, 19 Oct 2010 20:58:17 EST Sunday's child 52 minutes, 277 calories - stats lie by omission. <BR> <BR> What is unsaid: breeze, piercing sun, slow bugs crossing the path (one upended, waving legs). <BR> <BR> 2 laps on cement with more runners & walkers around me than usual, chalked remnants of what must've been a benefit run ('kure for kari' arrows) in blue and white. Strange monkey-mind musings, like: so, did the person(s) who wrote those words run round the path, or ride their bike to accomplish their task? Did the runners have... Sun, 10 Oct 2010 10:20:45 EST ooh baby - yes, that's my a.. Now, I've been sort of stalled on and off. It's been a challenge to work out, and my schedule's been nuts. Added to that I've been ill-ish on and off, and I've been going back & forth from 194-196. Even so, I have had many opportunities to hitch up my britches, and daily am confronted by a shrinking wardrobe, since I've removed & will donate a LOT of clothes that no longer fit. <BR> <BR> I ordered, with some trepidation, a new pair of slacks. Eileen Fisher, a favorite brand. Size XL, not 1... Thu, 7 Oct 2010 16:50:47 EST Success! Yes, Virginia, you can stay in range at a dinner party That went well! I was/was not concerned about dinner last night, and blogged about it - I did do as suggested, and intersperse wine with glasses of water. I actually only had 2 small glasses of wine and believe me, I felt that (this happens when you're a lightweight partier :) ). I am well within range for yesterday, though I estimated amounts - I made sure to fill up on what I knew were lower calorie foods (roasted carrots, asparagus, and green beans, salad) and thoroughly enjoyed the less... Thu, 30 Sep 2010 07:17:25 EST My first real challenge, coming right up Tomorrow I'm having a few people over for dinner, and there will be wine. We could have gone out for dinner but I checked out the restaurant menus and was not pleased to see that my choices as a vegan would have been: a side salad. So I'm making dinner: <BR> <BR> celery soup <BR> linguine with marinara <BR> roasted asparagus, green beans, and carrots <BR> garlic bread <BR> spring mix salad with several dressing choices <BR> - and I bought a few cookies but don't plan on having one. <BR> <B... Tue, 28 Sep 2010 23:29:11 EST some days it takes longer to get dressed - you know those days? Sometimes it's because nothing looks just right, or my outfit mojo is outta whack. Or the faded stain I had not noticed has become more evident. Or something needs ironing, and I ain't gonna do it (I have a number of days like this, which makes it problematic when you consider that almost everything I wear is natural fiber). <BR> <BR> But there are days like this, when most things I tried on were too large. Several jackets, mm hmm. Pants sliding down a bit (those will go longer oh ye of the... Fri, 17 Sep 2010 08:00:34 EST Mindbody - we are such balanced organisms! Mike pointed out a direct correlation between several stressful events last week and my ensuing colitis flare-up. Oh yeah. And now enough time has elapsed that I'm finally feeling good again. I have seen this before. When I defended my dissertation research proposal, I did very well - then came home and was out of it for a few days. Worn out and even a bit ill, stripped of resources. <BR> <BR> I have continued to act as if I can be unaffected physically by stress, while simultaneously contin... Wed, 15 Sep 2010 07:32:52 EST colitis and the cosh effect This is so not cool. But I've had a long and ...long week, a lot of it good (meeting with my students, fabulous!) and my body is once again letting me know that it was stressed. I feel good, dammit! - except that I don't. Lethargic, sapped of energy, the feeling of having been drained affects my abilities to process thoughts and (perhaps worse) my energy level in working out. After all these years I still do not know how to respond to this lethargy - fight it? indulge it? I did a bit of both... Sun, 12 Sep 2010 17:16:08 EST on a scale of 1-10 today's been a meh. I admit to being in a truly crappy mood. This week I've been at school a lot, and I've been so spoiled by being home with Mike all summer - working on our own schedules, having time to work out daily. We've been eating very well, and have had time to prepare terrific lowfat foods.. it's been ideal, since we both began to work out and focus on health right after we got married in May. <BR> <BR> Now things are speeding up again, so it's a time of transition. Pressures. Deadlines. Weird sched... Thu, 9 Sep 2010 23:13:57 EST The lift and flight! I do not wish to be a runner - only to move without the ponderous weighing-down of every step ending. I wondered, attempting to jog yesterday, when my steps had become so deliberate, when years back I had flown. I ran barefoot, a sprinter, the body of little concern, my focus on the air flow around me. <BR> <BR> Still, yesterday between every other set of lamp posts, I worked a slow jog that was differentiated from my brisk walk only in intent. My heart recognized the distinction, and sped ... Mon, 6 Sep 2010 08:27:00 EST It's great to have variation in exercise! Mike and I just got back from the park, where he walked/jogged for 2 1/2 miles and I walked/jogged for 1 1/4 miles. Last time we did that I was only able to jog about 50 feet, if that... this time, I feel definite improvement! We've been using our elliptical trainer every day, and it's great but it does not work the same muscles. I was THRILLED to get my heart rate up with brisk walking and jogging. We've talked about doing c25k... we'll see :) but for now have agreed that it's fantastic to ... Sun, 29 Aug 2010 09:00:44 EST Dysfunction as a coping mechanism When I was quitting smoking, 10 years ago as of this October (woot!) I discovered so many things about myself. It was an important journey that led to change in ways I could never have anticipated. <BR> <BR> In the early days of my quit I had the realization that from the age of 14, when I first lit a cigarette, I had been ignoring a promise made to myself, a contract with my own body. <BR> <BR> For all those years, in anger and fatigue, I'd lit up; in celebration, frustration, and to gai... Mon, 23 Aug 2010 08:27:43 EST "I don't want to HEAR ANY EXCUSES!!" It seems that an inescapable element of behavioral change support sites is the deliberate infliction of shame. 'I'm sick,' this latest says, 'of reading about how you can't exercise. Just DO IT!' <BR> <BR> And others respond: Great inspirational message! Yay you! Yep, me too - I'm sick of reading about others' excuses, their poor-poor-pitiful-me wailing, their paltry whining. Enough already: get with the program! Some respond: Yes, you're right... I've been lazy/bad/a whiner. I'll get th... Sun, 22 Aug 2010 15:12:37 EST bad girl/good woman I have seen grown women, even grandmothers, refer to themselves as having been 'bad girls' quite often, but it never fails to make me react. Actually, it does far more than that - it causes me to wonder about women, our bodies, and the tendency of our culture to encourage infantilization of (and by) women. Also tied up in that may be cultural messages about self control and self-image: fat=bad girl (infant); slim=? (adult?) <BR> <BR> When I think about this possible link, it makes my hea... Sun, 15 Aug 2010 09:03:22 EST ^&((*** and I mean that! I'll get over it. Before I rant, I'll say that. But right now I am pissed off and trying not to be discouraged. I am well aware that numbers are not the only indicator so ... but still. <BR> <BR> Here's the deal. We bought a used elliptical back a while and both of us have been working our tails off on it. It's been great! We both have made visible changes, and lost weight - we encourage and support one another, and it makes a tremendous difference. He just got his 25 lb loss trophy (yay l... Tue, 10 Aug 2010 10:55:39 EST Facing the Beast When I was quitting smoking, I found that it entailed so much more than just never smoking. I found myself facing old and undealt-with issues: anger, sorrow, self-doubt, the ugly comforting weighty quilt begun early, added to over the years. Quitting was a journey of self-discovery, and the more I realized, the better able I was to face the Beast. It will have been 10 years on October 24th, this year. <BR> <BR> One month in, I wrote the following, which I share here in response to a blog w... Fri, 6 Aug 2010 11:03:00 EST Here to help each other through In the year 2000, I quit smoking: October 24. 11:00 p.m. I had lit my last cigarette after 29 years of smoking and lay there in the dark, alone, feeling as if I'd just lost my last, best friend. <BR> <BR> In the days and weeks, the months that followed, I journeyed far within and beyond myself. I learned that I had an unstated pact with myself that for so long, I'd ignored - and I learned that by quitting smoking, I had the strength and heart to keep that pact. <BR> <BR> Now, I work to l... Sat, 31 Jul 2010 11:41:32 EST My sisters, my self Once again I read a post expressing distaste for all-female workplaces, a sentiment agreed to by others. "Oh yes, me too - women are drama queens, much as I hate to say that..." - I leave the vicinity, distressed. Is this just the female version of "all men are pigs" I've heard from so many men over many years? ARE we drama queens, workplace poison? <BR> <BR> I reject that notion. I must. It has been women in my life who spent - god, what must have been hundreds of thousands of hours listen... Tue, 27 Jul 2010 23:30:40 EST My inner self is a sulky child, I've decided There is no easy progress here. I've vacillated so much on the way from 219 to 207 that I'm reminded of one of those 'Family Circus' cartoons where Billy's path from place to place is charted as a zigzagging circuit of the entire house - several times. Another image that comes to mind is Lady MacBeth's damned spot - out, out! - and the spot refuses, it dawdles, whines, drags its feet (marking up the floor, naturally) and returns, it fades at one edge only to darken at another. Grimly, some da... Tue, 20 Jul 2010 08:44:28 EST ON YER KNEES, elliptical!! I keep feeling like I've reached my limits on the elliptical - and then I find that I have not yet done so! It's been so interesting listening to my body as it adjusts and reacts to being used in ways it's not been used for years - decades, really. I have been working out on the elliptical since June 1 - and in that time I have gone from 1/2 a mile, and 120 calories burned - to 5.26 miles and 1,000 calories burned (omg! - me? - yep, me). Mike keeps having to oil and adjust the gears on the ... Fri, 16 Jul 2010 11:46:58 EST lap bands, pills, and purging I read lots of blogs so see a continued focus on quick cures for obesity. looking at the words I have such mixed feelings. first, - I am reminded of the desperation of my mother and sisters, who between them have been addicted to speed (my mom, back when it was prescribed for weight loss), have had bariatric surgery (one sister, who now can never eat normally again), and sustained heart damage (other sister, due to phen-fen). and there's more: diabetes, sleep apnea, eating disorders. all due ... Thu, 15 Jul 2010 00:36:38 EST update: whole grain cereal definitely works - or at least it appears to have helped me through dual sessions in which I exceeded yesterday's triple sessions (in which I was totally dragging). Too many variables to be certain of the direct effects of my crockpot breakfast, a melange of quinoa, barley, amaranth, and oats, but I did notice that about 2/3 of the way through session 2, I began to feel tired. Yesterday I was tired from the start. <BR> <BR> I don't know if it's the 'right' way to do this but I've really come to appreciate ... Tue, 13 Jul 2010 12:12:34 EST whole grains for breakfast - a sort of disjointed ramble When I began to work out on the elliptical, I'd have a banana before I got going to sustain me, but over time, I found this wasn't really enough. Then I began to have smoothies and the occasional bowl of oatmeal, which worked for a while. But I'm still finding that my energy level is low - yesterday I had to split my workout into three sessions. Though the end result was that I burned more calories and worked out longer (which is just great with me!) I never did get that adrenaline going, and... Tue, 13 Jul 2010 08:41:35 EST Does splitting your workout into 2 sessions make a difference? I'm hoping I'll get some info on this by someone who knows - I certainly don't! I'm proud to say that I've steadily increased my time on the elliptical trainer over the past month from 20 minutes to 75 minutes per single session. But I've recently begun to split my session in two, taking 15-30 minutes between times. What I find is that with this sort of arrangement, I work out longer (2 sessions of 45 minutes each!) and harder (from about 500 to more than 700 calories burned). I think this ... Sat, 10 Jul 2010 10:52:58 EST I wonder why ... people use the tracker to record what they've already eaten, rather than as a planner? At first, at the urging of my husband (Franklyamused) I used the tracker just to see what my eating was like, but pretty soon (in days) the device became a menu planner. Maybe it's because in addition to being healthier, we're also trying to save money on groceries, one of our single biggest expenditures? I know that I'd live in dread of the end-of-day reckoning, if I recorded after the fact. Good th... Tue, 6 Jul 2010 09:21:03 EST Scent, memory, significance So many times I've thought about food and its significance - to culture, to our lives and families, and to myself. It is simplistic to say that overeating indicates an obsession with food, and probably wrong. We regard food in so many different ways, but nurturance is the core of it from conception, and from this point forth, we know (don't we?) what 'comfort food' is, our unique versions that feel like home on the tongue. <BR> <BR> From nurturance, to enjoyment: Our palates learn appreciat... Sun, 4 Jul 2010 13:34:04 EST Learning, moving forward, celebrating As so many others have done, I got on the scale for the first time this week and found that my weight had... not changed. It is easy to see how people (we, I) can become obsessed with the damned thing and push aside those other things. Enumerating: <BR> <BR> * My status update celebrates the fact that for the first time, I exceeded 2.5 miles and 500 calories burned (actually, it was 2.7 miles and 530 calories). I did so at the tail end of a week during which I felt ill (jaw pain) and stres... Sat, 3 Jul 2010 09:06:53 EST just wow :) 7 lbs down so far! <BR> <BR> I am pleased and proud of this, and motivated to continue. the elliptical is working out so well - certainly better than walking in texas heat (not happening - if I'm gonna sweat, it better be burning calories, just sayin). I'm nearing the 500 calorie mark per session, and very near to logging 2.5 miles per day - six days a week. I know it's affecting my energy level, which is one of my main motivations. <BR> <BR> if I'm having any problems right now it's ... Sat, 26 Jun 2010 11:26:40 EST Reading about 'crazy diet tips' today - reflecting Like others I grew up watching my mother fight fat, and she was one who was prescribed speed for weight loss. She used a ... what the heck were those machines called where you stood on a platform & adjusted a belt around your waist - turned it on and it supposedly jiggled off inches? Unreal. But there are equally questionable and occasionally laughable - though more frequently, life-threatening - solutions to weight loss these days. My older sister took PhenFen and sustained some heart damag... Thu, 24 Jun 2010 12:03:24 EST woooohoooooo!!!!!!!! I made a major goal today - over 2 miles & 400 calories burned on the elliptical trainer (as well as extending my time to 1 hour)! This has been a bit of a goal for me since I started using it; while we were walking in a park (before it got too damned hot) I'd gotten up to 2 miles on a concrete, flat pavement. Now, I've finally worked up to that, and the elliptical is far easier on my feet & joints. My actual counts: 2.16 miles and 442 calories burned. <BR> <BR> As I said - WOOOHOOOO :) go... Tue, 22 Jun 2010 11:53:50 EST Moving into acceptance I've been gradually entering the 'change zone' at the heels of my husband (makes me sound like a puppy dog!) - going along with his program for eating, then joining him on walks, ramping that up. Finally this week, I joined Sparks and started tracking nutrition for myself, and I've been working out 6x per week (up to 45 minutes!) and tracking that. So today I finally (shudder) measured myself at various points, and recorded that for posterity. I'm of 2 minds about this and I'm quite sure I'm ... Fri, 18 Jun 2010 18:02:13 EST