Yes you can do it!

by Christine on July 27th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

This morning I was making the first of three rounds of catching up with my blogs. I have the blogs I follow separated into three categories, and I do my best to hit the first group in the morning, the second around noonish, and the third in the afternoon. I seems that a lot of my bloggy-friends are having issues today finding the motivation to continue on with healthy eating, exercise, and staying committed to the promises they made themselves. I think this is due, in large part, to a hectic summer schedule, weeks of hauling children around, vacation schedules, and so forth. If you find yourself as part of this group, here is what I want to say to you:

YOU CAN DO IT, AND YOU CAN DO IT NOW. Don’t give up. Please don’t say, “I just have to get through this week, and then I’ll be back on track with the diet.” Please don’t excuse your behavior and say, “Well, I can eat like crap because I’m on vacation and I deserve it.”  Please don’t say, “I have been too busy to exercise. Once the kids go back to school, I’ll get back to the gym.”  All of these phrases are self-defeating and are the things that people who are not committed to their own health and well-being might say.  These are things that people say who think everyone else in the world is more important than themselves.

You are probably a very good person. Caring. Generous to a fault. The type of person that can’t say “no” to bake sales and PTA appointments. The type of person that stays late at work because the boss asked you to. You’re probably the type of person that is constantly tired, increasingly irritable, and tries to live a life of “convenience foods” in order to accommodate your busy schedule.  You’re probably the type of person that puts everyone’s needs before your own.

I have heard each one of you say, not so long ago, “I am important. I am worth it. I am fully committed to lose this weight and keep it off.”  And yet, lately, you are letting go of this resolve. You are letting life interfere with the goals you set for yourself.

Don’t fall into this mid-summer trap. Don’t let your busy life swallow you up. I promise, you will find yourself standing knee-deep in regret come September, re-affirming the goals you set at the beginning of the year and wondering how on earth those 10 pounds crept back on.  Don’t let this happen to you!

I want to say this to you: You’re important. You’re worth it. The world will not fall apart if you say “no” to one activity today, in order to allow you time to go to the gym.  The children will not burst into flames if you say “no” to that special pizza party and instead decide to cook a healthy meal at home.  You can do this, because you are worth it.

Besides, there are plenty of ways to fit in happy summer memories without compromising your individual goals.  Your goals are probably to enjoy the living crap out of summer, and to spend quality time with your family.  You can do all of this by taking a bike ride with the family. By hiking in the woods. By renting canoes and going for a ride. By playing frisbee with the kids. By packing a healthy lunch and going for a picnic in a park filled with flowers.

If there’s not time to be active and cook healthfully, then start saying “no” to activities that are preventing you from being healthy.

You can do this, and you can do it now. Please stay focused and please stay committed. Because you’re worth it.

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In other news….

Yesterday was an infuriating day for me at lunch. I ran out of soup here at work, so I decided to run down to the little store on the corner to get a side salad with a scoop of tuna fish. It’s a take-out joint, but I ended up waiting well over an hour for my salad! I would have left, except that I had already paid for the salad.   I finally said something to someone, and they were extremely apologetic and offered me a $6 credit to a lunch in the future. I’m not sure I want to go back. I know they were just busy (the staff was working so hard!) but the experience has left a terrible taste in my mouth. When I took the salad back to work, to eat at my desk, I only ate about half. I had lost my appetite!

For dinner I was craving a hamburger. It had been ages! I defrosted some ground beef and made homemade patties. I weighed each…pre-cooking they were 4.5 ounces each. I ate one. My husband was supposed to have only one, then put the rest away for leftovers in the week, but he ended up eating all three extras! I added some corn on the cob (I ate 1/4 of it) and a little scoop of homemade guacamole. Delicious!

After dinner we took a short walk (with my cat trotting at our heels the whole way). Then we sat outside to read our books outside for a bit. around 9 p.m. we headed to the gym for a workout. I still don’t feel well, so I took it easy on the stair-stepper. Then I had us do some crab-crawls, and downward-dog-leg-lifts, followed by 200 situps.

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138.8 pounds (86.2 pounds lost): Bachelorette Party #2

by Christine on July 26th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

Good morning Revolutionists!

I apologize for not writing over the weekend, but what a busy weekend it was! I had my second bachelorette party to attend, and it was down in NYC. I had lots to pack and plan for!

On Friday I left work early to go to the doctor’s office. I didn’t get to see my super-amazing Dr. M, but her co-doctor in the office is a really nice guy. He told me (1) that I was cleared to go to NYC, because (2) I wasn’t contageious. (3) As for my underlying condition, if I still feel gross by the end of this week, then call him again.

(4) While he was making me cough and breathe and take my temperature, he was pressing on my abs and said, “Yikes, is that your port site?” He said he has several patients that have had the gastric banding surgery, and not a single one has a port site that wiggles around and sticks out like mine. He told me to call my surgeon and get it fixed. I really need to get on that, don’t I?  He also said that of all the patients, he’s never had one as “enormously successful as you.” He said he would never guess by looking at me that I’ve had weight-loss surgery!

Saturday I woke up bright and early. We picked up Danielle (the bride-to-be) and Sue, because we’re all neighbors and live in the same street. My hubby took us to the train station to catch the MegaBus down to NYC. ($40 tickets…much cheaper than taking the train. And Megabus often has $1 tickets!)  Most of the ladies slept on the bus, so I got to read my book.

Checking into the hotel

We checked into our hotel at the Midtown Hilton, which was nice and spacious by NYC standards, but perhaps a little more run-down than I thought it would be. Maybe I just have high standards, I don’t know. We wandered down the street to a little Irish pub for some food. I had a bowl of French Onion Soup and a diet coke.  Not the healthiest choice, but I knew I couldn’t finish a whole plate of food, and I didn’t want to take leftovers home. Nor did I want to dish out $15 for a healthier meal option that I wouldn’t finish.

We walked around a little bit, to digest lunch. We wandered over to Rockefeller Plaza. Holy smokes it was hot and humid out! One thing about Rockefeller Plaza: once you’ve seen it, you’ve pretty much seen what there is to see.  I’ve been there maybe four times now. (Snore!)  But there’s a lovely swiss chocolate store there, so I took Danielle in and bought us each a chocolate with Dom Perignon champagne inside of it! Decadant, and well worth the treat! I only bought one candy piece for us, a piece, rather than a box of them. Built-in portion control!

Ha ha, the feathers were so silly!

(Debi from “Hawaii Bound Bandster”…check it out! Diana Gabaldon’s “Dragonfly in Amber” is on the desk behind me!)

We went back the hotel and got ready for our evening on the town. We met in the other hotel room (we had 2 rooms, with four people in each room) and had champagne and shots to start off the evening Ole!

The Bachelorette Party

We headed off to our first venue: LIPS, a drag queen show!  It was gaudy and over the top and totally a lot of fun! I ordered a “Buttery Nipple” shot that was pure deliciousness! I need a recipe for that! I also got a frozen cosmo.  For a meal I got the fish dish: filet of sole with crab topping. A side of rice and a side of veggies. I ate about 1/5th of the plate. I didn’t want to over-do it and feel stuffed all night long!

(The absolutely funniest part of the evening was after the show, and all eight of us had to use the bathroom. There was a line a mile long for the lady’s room, so we all decided to use the men’s room. Well, Sue ended up…literally picking up the toilet seat on the men’s room and tried to give poor Karen a halo! We were shrieking at the top of our lungs and nearly peed ourselves from laughing so hard!)

We caught a cab and went to a lovely rooftop bar at on 5th Avenue. There were flowers galore, palm trees, and beautifulness! But holy-expensive-drinks-batman!

From there we wandered off to find a 90s dance club. We took a taxi, but discovered that the club had closed down! We took another taxi to a salsa club, but the Maid of Honor wasn’t keen on the $20 cover charge. We asked the bouncer for a recommendation for an 80′s or 90s club, and he sent us to this club. Another taxi ride there…and the line was ten thousand miles long, wrapping around the block. No way were we going to stand in line! We needed to regroup, so I found a little Irish pub on the corner of the street. We had such a fun time there! It was quiet so we could actually talk, and we found a group of absolutely adorable, genuinely-nice guys to banter with.  Our group separated for a bit. I was in charge of liquoring up the bachelorette (easy-as-pie!) and the other group went off in search of another dance club. They called an hour later and said, “It’s great, come by!”

The Bride and Me!

The Canal Room was pretty awesome! When we got there, the first group had reserved us a VIP table up top, so we had LOADS of room to dance around and not get squished by the floor crowd. The band was great! The 80′s music was terrific! And we danced and danced and danced!  We had to order full bottles of alcohol (1 vodka, 1 rum) plus some mixers. We all got totally trashed. We danced with some guys at the adjacent VIP table. I ended up stealing another table’s Red Bull (they had left, so it wasn’t a terrible theft, I hope) so I could caffinate myself. We danced for maybe 5 hours…I burned off OODLES of calories!

At a little after 4 p.m., we caught some taxis to get back the hotel. By accident “Group B” ended up in a limo, and the driver took us to a pizza place. We bought a whole slab of cheese pizza and took it back to the hotel. I gobbled up the cheese on one slice of pizza (and then promptly puked it all up…ate WAY too fast. I was starving!) Then they all started passing out around the room. I put them all into bed, tucked them in, and took their pictures. I was getting anal retentive about having dirty feet, so I washed my feet in the tub, then curled up to sleep around 5 a.m.

Yesterday everyone was so hung over, but not me! I don’t know how I got out of the hangover. The bus ride home seemed incredibly long. I read my book on the way home and watched over the group.  When I got home, I had half a can of tomato soup, then went to the gym (!!!!) and then took a nap.  For dinner we went out, and I had some kind of weird greek soup (lemon, chicken, orzo in a cream sauce) but I barely had a third of it. I filled up way too fast.

This morning I had lost a pound! 138.8.  Terrific!

NSV this morning at work! One of our Ph.D. students asked me shyly, “Have you lost weight? I mean, a LOT of weight?” I told him that I had, and he said, “I can totally tell. It’s really obvious!”  NSV!

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Friday Update & Doctor’s Visit

by Christine on July 23rd, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Happy rainy Friday to you, Revolutionists!

Here’s a general update on my food and my life.  Yesterday it was purely painful to sit through work, not just because it’s a pretty painful job, but because I felt miserable. For breakfast I had a handful of almonds (100 calories). I had some orange juice that I sipped on all day (120 calories). For lunch I had some chicken noodle soup (120 calories).

After work I went over to a friend’s house. My head was stuffy and congested, and I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open! I begged him to let me take a nap before having dinner. I probably should have gone home and canceled my plans, but I have a big problem overextending myself saying no and canceling when I’ve committed to a plan.  He graciously said yes, and was patient as I zonked out. I don’t even remember laying down.

When I woke up, we made homemade crab cakes. I wish I had thought to look up the calories of the ingredients as we were cooking, but I was really out of it.  Normally I would take a mental tally of everything! We used: canned crab meat, lowfat mayo, and spices. Then we lightly breaded the cakes and fried then in EVOO. The cakes were pretty small, but because of the oil I’ll guesstimate the crabcakes at perhaps 200 calories, but really it was probably less than that. We made some cous cous (75 calories) and a side leafy green salad with light cesar dressing (60 calories).  I was stuffed, and the crab cakes were wonderful!  It was lovely to have dinner with a good friend, and we always have so much fun making homemade food.

Yesterday’s calories rang in at: 675. Much lower than normal, probably because I didn’t have a mid-afternoon snack.

Today I woke up and still felt miserable.  I was talking to my co-worker about this lingering cold, and he recommended that I call my doctor. Because I have some underlying health issues that may be contributing to this cold feeling worse than normal, I thought, what the heck? So I called my fantastic, awesome, amazing doctor and she said, “YES COME IN RIGHT AWAY.”  Oh boy!   I hope she gives me some meds to feel better soon! I have lots of questions for her about my underlying health issue, so this is actually very good, very productive to see her. Also, I haven’t seen her in many months, and she’s going to be blown away by how much weight I’ve lost! She’s the one that suggested the gastric banding surgery in the first place, so I am going to be happy to show her how successful I’ve been with the surgery. I owe much of my healthy, happier life to her. She believed in me when so many other doctors completely gave up on me.

Eating when you’re sick is difficult, I’ve learned, when you’re a normal-weighted person. As a fat person, I’d eat all the time, no matter what. “Loss of appetite, what is that?” But now I understand!  NOTHING sounds good to me. I crave nothing, and actually the idea of food pretty much repels me. Isn’t that funny how a body’s physiology changes?  To ensure I eat enough today, I’ve planned some of my food out:

Breakfast was some cheerios without milk (50 calories).  Mid-morning snack was almonds (100).  Lunch will be Healthy Harvest soup (180).  Mid-afternoon snack will be cheerios with skim milk (120).  Dinner will be out, since I have last-minute shopping to do. I suspect I will get soup of some kind, or perhaps a salad. I don’t feel up for any meat. I’ll guesstimate (250  calories) for my meal. Plus lots of water, all day, for the PEWC challenge! That makes 700 calories….a little low for me. Maybe I’ll throw in an evening treat of some kind to push that number to 800.

Here’s a fun note from my archives! A year ago today I heard John Williams conduct the Boston Pops at Tanglewood, for his annual Film Night. I love John Williams! He’s a god!!  Here’s a photo of me, from that night, with a photo of me, today at work:

Sorry for the “Pretty-girl, ‘facebook’” pose there. I often do not have anyone to take photos of me, so I have to take the pictures myself. It’s not a matter of me trying to look like a “hot girl” — I’m 32 years old and married for Christ’s sake! — but it’s a matter of convenience. I recently read a blog where the author was slamming the use of this “hot-girl pose” (aka: taking a picture of yourself, by yourself) but for me, it’s a matter of convenience. Just so we’re all on the same page.

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Clothes Shopping & Dinner Decisions

by Christine on July 22nd, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition

I went out shopping for clothes for the bachelorette party.  I asked two friends to go with me – the stunning-gorgeous bachelorette herself, and her extremely beautiful and totally sweet friend Karen. I was lucky – it was like getting a personal shopper to take me out!

Although my weight loss has admittedly slowed down, I’m still quite unsure what size I am when it comes to clothes, what clothes look good on me, and what is “appropriate” for a 32 year old woman to wear out dancing in NYC.  Today, I wanted to break out of my comfort zone and try on some clothes that I’ve never worn before.

First, Karen wanted to go into stores that I had previously designated as “Teeny-Bopper” stores and avoided like the plague.  The stores are even labeled on the mall map as “Children’s Fashions.”  Stores like Bebe, Cache, Forever 21, and Charlotte Russe.

Okay, first of all, children should not be wearing clothes that are so…revealing.  Just sayin’. Secondly, Karen threw a few things at me, with a happy “Try this one on!” to accompany the clothes. I swore to myself that I would try anything and everything on, so I acquiesced every single time.  Once I picked up a dress and Karen said, “Try it, but get it in a size smaller. That’s too big already, I can tell.”  Happy!

This might be a first, but:

  • Everything fit.  Everything.
  • Everything looked good.
  • I looked sexy!

It was exhilarating!  I opted for a skirt (Forever 21, $10) that was far too short to be decent and a shirt that slings over one shoulder (Forever 21, $22). I’m going to need to be drunk to pull this off,  so help me god.  I have to say, at least it’s mostly comfortable. And the shirt emphasizes my newly-skinny arms and collarbones!  Now I just need to find shoes and accessories to go with this outfit!

Afterwards, we were starving. It was 9 p.m. and we had been shopping for four hours. Plus, I hadn’t eaten much in the daytime: only a bowl of cereal, since I wasn’t feeling well.  We went to Houlihans. The restaurant now has calories posted in the menu, which I love!  Karen and Danielle didn’t like to see the calories, but I loved it. It made deciding so much easier.

I narrowed it down based on calories:  the ahi tuna wontons, the Tuscan side salad, or a bowl of French onion soup. All were well under 300 calories. I could have even combined two of the above items, but instead I decided that I wanted a cosmo.  So, with a mixed drink, that allowed me only the calories for one “main dish.” I opted for the side salad (the greens just sounded good to me), and for 231 calories it was absolutely delicious! The beans were terrific, and the salsa was decidedly yummy. It came with goat cheese, too – what could be better?  It came with two crispy bread pieces, like you would get with Bruchetta. I had one of them but left the other on the plate.

All in all, it was a good shopping day and a good dining-out day. I didn’t break the calorie bank, and I had a good time with friends.

When I got home, I asked Hubby about my newly-discovered bone under my collarbones. He said, “Oh yeah, I can see it even from over here. It stands out pretty well!”  Yay for…sternums or whatever it is!

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139.8 pounds (85.2 lost): MDR!

by Christine on July 22nd, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

1398Man, this might be the hardest that I have fought for weight loss in the last year! After being stuck on a stinking plateau for, what, a month now, I finally had my middle-digit rollover (MDR)!!  This morning I was 139.8! Wow! I’ve never ever been this thin!

I’m still feeling like crap today, but I can’t afford to take another sick day (not if I want to visit my parents for Christmas, anyway) so I came into work. My sore throat is better, but my cough is worse. Ugh. Just a silly cold, but I think because of some underlying health issues, it makes any little cold feel so much worse. Whatever, get over yourself Christine!

Here’s a picture of me holding my typical lunchtime meal!

Yesterday I found out that a very dear person, a former ex-colleague of mine, is in the hospital. He has battled obesity, depression, blood pressure, diabetes, and a number of other issues for many years. He’s been in the hospital for almost a week now, so whatever he’s in for is serious. I sure hope it wasn’t a heart attack or a stroke.  I hope that this will be the motivation that he needs to get his weight under control, at last. I know he has tried to diet numerous times, but he has a hard time following through with a “plan” for longer than two weeks.   He’s looked into the gastric banding surgery, but he can’t afford all the co-pays needed to go through with the surgery. To make matters worse, he’s lost several pets this week. Mike is older, and he and his (adorable, super-sweet) wife Kathy have no kids. Their pets are truly their family, and oh! how Mike’s eyes light up when he talks about his pet-family! He has photos of them all over his desk. Unfortunately he had to put two of them to sleep the day before he went into the hospital. It’s heartbreaking!

My point with all this? (1) Please keep Mike in your prayers today, even though you don’t really know who he is. He’s a super wonderful man and could use all the prayers you can deliver his way! And (2) please get control of your weight today so you don’t have to worry about serious health crises like this in your future.

Thank you to everyone that stopped by yesterday to wish me to “get well soon!” I appreciate the well-wishes and thoughtfulness!! **big, massive hugs for all**

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