Titilating Tuesday!

by Christine on August 31st, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Okay just ignore the title there. I wanted something alliterative, and this is all I could come up with.

Still sick. Getting better, definitely not going to die from this little cold. I went to bed around 8 p.m. last night. The sleep felt fantastic. I probably could use a little extra sleep now and then.

Yesterday I finally called my surgeon’s office and made an appointment with him. First of all, I want to get my port looked at.  I told my hubby that he has to come with me. What will happen is Dr. P will say, “Ah, Christine, that port is fine. Looks normal,” to which I’ll be a pussy and say, “Oh. Okay. It doesn’t seem ok to me, but whatever you say Dr. P, you’re the expert.”  Instead, hubby will be there to say, “Expert or not, this shit is NOT NORMAL and you WILL FIX IT. She does NOT want to go through life with this alien port getting in the way all the F-ing time. It’s broken. Fix it.”  See, I can’t seem to utter those words myself, so I need to bring in the reinforcements.

I’ve given it some thought, and I think I want a small fill as well. I’ve been eating more than I normally would, and things like bread are going down just fine, and they shouldn’t be. (DO NOT ask why I even KNOW that bread is going down. Why am I eating bread at all? Why go there??)  Anyway, a little tweak, and I should be fine. The weight loss should continue. It’ll be a challenge to convince Dr. P to trust me on this one when I know he’ll see my weight loss since my last doctor’s visit and claim that I’m doing just fine where I’m at.  I guess I’ll jump that hurdle when I get to it. My appointment isn’t for another three weeks anyway.

Hubby has never sat through a “fill” appointment before. I am secretly eager to see the look on his face when the doc pulls out the Mega Needle and jabs me with it. Ha.

Oh, the grand adventures in lap-band-land.

Yesterday’s intake:

8 a.m.: 3/4 cup cereal (100) plus skim milk (25), Dayquil (100)
10 a.m.: Almonds (45)
Noon: Homemade gazpacho soup (100 at most)
1 p.m.: Almonds (45)
3 p.m.: Crackers (60) and peanut butter (120)
7 p.m.:  Tyson chicken patty (180)  plus less than one slice bread (40), diet pepsi, Nyquil (100)

Total Cals: 915

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Catching a cold!

by Christine on August 30th, 2010

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

Cough cough! Sniff sniff! Yup, looks like I’m catching a cold! I actually started feeling miserable on Saturday, but it kicked into full gear by last night. Once upon a time, when I was bigger-and-getting-bigger, I NEVER got sick. I was like the freaking Super Immune Hulk. Not so much anymore! I guess last autumn’s bout with malaria, Lyme disease, mono, and god knows what else kicked my immune system’s butt for good. Needless to say, I’m subsisting on Nyquil and Dayquil.

Did you know that there are about 100 calories in 2 tbs of Nyquil? Remember those “liquid calories” the next time you’re sick. And there are about 15 calories per cough drop. That’s 13 cough drops to rack up an extra 200 calories on your daily Calorie Savings and Trust spreadsheet.

Yesterday I made a big pot of gazpacho soup again.  It’s easy as pie to make! First, throw all your veggies that are mostly-overripe, not “gross,” but that aren’t crisp anymore, and throw all of it into a blender or juicer. Throw in a cup of water just to make sure it blends up nicely, and make a smoothie out of it.  Stick the puree over a seive, drain it good, and get all the liquid out.  For calories, estimate one-third of the calories per veggie item you throw in. For instance, if you throw in a 30 calorie tomato, after the blending process it’s probably worth 10 calories. (Most of the calories are in the pulp, which you will throw out.)

Next, throw in a small can of tomato juice.  A little can like the one pictured has 70 calories for the whole can.  Now add 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (0 calories), 1/4 cup of lemon juice (13 calories).  For seasoning add a dash of garlic salt, dill, cilantro, basil.  If you like some chunks in there, dice up a 1/4 cucumber really small (6 calories) and some yellow onion (15 calories) and half a sweet tomato (6 calories).  Drizzle a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil on top if you wish….a little EVOO is great for gall bladder function. Serve it up cold. If you decide to eat the whole soup, that’s 180 calories, but it’s a lot of soup and I can make that last for 2-3 meals. What a calorie value, and it’s chok-full of vitamins and nutrients!

Yesterday I tried a protein bar. Now, I hate protein bars.  You know, Cliff bars and all that stuff? They taste like really horrible cardboard, and they are so full of calories that they’re devastating for any weight-loss plan. (Most people don’t understand that they are mean to be an entire meal replacement, not a snack!) Because we were out hiking, I decided to give one a try. After all, they’re easy to eat on a trail.  I love Snickers, and saw this on the shelf:

At 280 calories, it was pushing my calorie bank pretty close to the edge. At 21 g protein, it offered a healthy dose of protein, and I’m all good with that. But damn if the stuff didn’t taste like cardboard! I ate half and declared it a very poor use of my calorie bank, so I threw the rest out. In the future, I will bring a handful of raw almonds and perhaps one almond toffee chew for some sugar. That is a much better value for your calories.

So yesterday’s calories went down like this:

Breakfast: small skim milk (91)
11 a.m.: Half a snickers protein bar (140 calories), lots of water
3 p.m.:  About 4 oz seared ahi tuna steak (140) with ginger soy sauce (50?) and seaweed (wakame? 10), diet pepsi for the caffeine (restaurant in Woodstock, NY. Fantastic!)
7 p.m.: Homemade gazpacho soup (75 calories), water
9 p.m.: Nyquil (150) and 1 cough drop (15 calories)
9:30 p.m.: Some popcorn (100 calories)

Total calories: 771 calories
Exercise: 1.5 hours hiking

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Hiking Kaaterskill Falls

by Christine on August 29th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

1 hour drive south
1.5 hour hike
550 calories burned
260 foot waterfall drop, 2-story drop

Right at the street:

Going up the path….

What’s that we see through the trees?

Oh, that’s the falls!

Let’s climb higher!

One last look before we head out…

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Reward Day! Massage, Crepes, & Party!

by Christine on August 29th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Friday after work I met up with my friend Billi. She’s a sweetheart, and it was so nice to catch up with her!

We met at a restaurant and we shared an appetizer (bruchetta. OMG this restaurant has to-die-for bruchetta. I had 2 small slices) and then we decided instead of a meal we would split two deserts! We shared a canoli and some carrot cake.

Afterwards, I went up to Saratoga to the racino. I watched the harness track races for a little bit and lost $20 in the slot machines.  It was a relaxing way to pass a few hours.

I couldn’t wait for Saturday though! Saturday was my reward day! For losing 80 pounds, I wanted to reward myself with a 1 hour massage + mineral bath + sauna time.  My friend Danielle agreed to go with me. We went up to Saratoga Springs and oh, what a beautiful day it was! 70 degrees and sunny and absolutely perfect.  The sauna was warm and wonderful. The mineral bath was warm and relaxing. The massage was PERFECT and felt oh-so-good! I was particularly curious to know how the massage would feel after losing 80 pounds. Indeed I could tell a difference! Before I would have to tell the masseuse “please feel free to really press hard and get in there” because, let’s face it, there was a substantial amount of fat protecting against the muscles! This time I didn’t have to tell the masseuse that.  I could feel it in my muscles even more than before. The massage felt better this time than ever before!

Afterwards we were saying what a value the massage was. The Crystal Spa offers the 1 hour massage + mineral bath + sauna for only $90. That’s a real bargain! But I don’t want to have it all the time; some things are meant to be a real treat and reward, and massages are something that I like to keep in that “special circumstance” scenario.  I wish that going out to restaurants to eat is also something that is revered as a special occasion thing, but unfortunately it’s so commonplace with my household that it’s not special at all. I would like to try to change that little by little, if possible.

Afterwards we headed to downtown Saratoga for a special lunch. I really wanted a crepe to finish off the reward!  Ravenous is a wonderful crepe restaurant with real authentic French crepes, just like the ones I used to eat when I lived in Paris!  I couldn’t wait to order my favorite: nutella + banana.  Danielle ordered asparagus + goat cheese + tomatoes.  Both were delicious!

After a little bit of shopping downtown, we headed home to go to our neighbor’s pool party.

Before I went to the party, I wanted to make darn sure that I had healthy food on hand to munch on. I made a two-avocado bowl of fresh guacamole (I make awesome guac! It was devoured within seconds) and a large bowl of gazpacho soup.  I’m so glad that I had the foresight to bring over some healthy foods because there was nothing healthy to be found there! I had about 3 scoops of my guac with some nacho chips, plus two bowls of my gazpacho. I had 2 beers while I was there too (over the course of 8 hours) plus two butterscotch shots. I also managed to play a little volleyball and swim a little bit. I can’t call any of that really exercising, but I at least got a little movement in.

As a surprise, my hubby shaved his beard off! In all the years that I’ve known him, this is only the 2nd time he’s been beard-free. It was strange, like looking at a stranger, but nope, that’s still my awesome hubby! This morning he was proud to share that he’s lost almost 30 pounds!  I’m so proud of him!

I only have 12 pounds to go until I get to my goal of losing 100 pounds. This morning the scale was at 137.2.  I can lose this last 12 pounds, but I need to really focus on this and watch my eating better. My goal for reaching my 100 pound lost goal? Las Vegas baby!!  My 2-year bandiversary is at the end of February, and I would love to be at my goal weight by then.

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Dirty Heads Concert & Meeting the Prophet of Washington Park

by Christine on August 27th, 2010

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

TGIF Revolutionists!

What a busy day I had yesterday! Here’s a sampling of what went down!

Finding food

After work, I had plans to grab dinner with my friend Peter, then go to the Dirty Heads concert with him. We have similar tastes in music, and he loves concerts (my hubby does not), so Pete and I try to see as much live music as possible.  When I arrived at his house, our first question was: what do we want to eat tonight?

I didn’t want to go out to dinner; I wanted to have a picnic because the weather was so nice.  I didn’t want to go to the grocery store to pick up food, either. Wasn’t there some kind of local deli in the area that might have hot food and salad fixings?  After a little searching we found a little Italian deli called Cardona’s on Western Ave. It was newly renovated (by my architect friend, too! Lacey Covertino Architects) so it was a good excuse to check it out. What a delightful little store! There must have been easily 30 varieties of olives soaking in baskets, and another 40 or more varieties of Italian cheeses. There was a gentleman there offering samples of his middle-eastern fare (falafel, hummus, tabouleh) so we sampled some yummies and had some samples of cheese. It was so much fun exploring the store, and everyone was very nice there. We’ll definitely be back!

Picnic in the Park

We took our bag of food, plus a cooler of beer, to Washington Park in Albany.  Now Albany, NY is a very curious place architecturally. The downtown area is a strange mashup of concrete nastiness and some awe-inspiring gothic architecture. Near the state offices (Albany is the capital of New York, after all) is Washington Park. It is purported to have been designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who was the landscape architect that designed Central Park in NYC. Indeed, the park has the same Central Park feel to it, although it’s much smaller. It has “neighborhoods” and sections within the park. There are lots of shady trees and lots of areas to relax on the lawn. There’s a playhouse and bandshell, a pond, sculptures, fountains, beautiful sculptured gardens, playgrounds, and so much more! It’s surrounded by beautiful brownstone buildings, so even walking along the periphery of the park is a joy. Here is one nearby building, a firehouse designed by famous architect HH Richardson. (In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I find architecture really interesting and joyful!)

We busted out our food and chowed down. We had chicken marsala (white wine sauce with mushrooms); tomatoes and mozzarella with tomatoes in pesto sauce; some pasta fazioli soup; Blue Moon beer. It was all very yummy! Here’s how much I ate (nope, I don’t eat much):

Meeting the Prophet of Washington Park

While we were relaxing in the park, this older gentleman kept waving to Peter, and eventually hollered over to us, “I really just want to talk to you for a second. Can I intrude and stop by?”  Amused, we said, “Sure, why not?”

He comes over to us, and starts with the story, “I’m an old man, and I’m having surgery next week,” and immediately I think, “oh dear. He’s going to ruin our picnic by asking us for money.” How cynical of me, right? I hate to remind myself sometimes that not everyone is a criminal or panhandler or whatever. People are, after all, people. They deserve respect and love and kindness, regardless of their walk of life, gender, skin color, sexual preference, whatever, right? Mental check.

I’m glad that we took the opportunity to welcome him over. He starts telling us his mini-life story, how he grew up in NYC and worked for a valet parking garage for 35 years, and oh, he didn’t want for anything while he worked there, hallelujah! He told us about his wife and kids. He told us how life goes by so quickly, and to just enjoy the moments because they just go by so quickly. He told us how important it is to love one another, treat everybody with the same respect that you’d treat your own family.  My favorite story, he told us how he was picked on when he was a kid; all the neighborhood boys would tease him, call him names, beat him up. “Oh, I thank god every day that I was teased,” he said, “because I grew up spending so much time with my elders. My parents. My grandparents. I would have missed out on all that if I weren’t teased. Oh lordy, I miss you SO MUCH grandma,” he said, crying right there. (Yes, I believe it’s that kind of perspective that Sean was talking about in his blog yesterday.) “All those bad experiences, and isn’t life just full of them? They just make you stronger and stronger,” he said. “Me, I’m going to live to 500, I’m so strong!”

Oh, this guy kept talking and talking. And some of it was just rambling. I think the man was lonely and needed someone to talk to. But a lot of what he said really was quite profound. Afterwards Pete and I laughed that we met the Prophet of Washington Park. Indeed, I think we did. I’m glad we took a few minutes to listen. My only regret is that I didn’t turn my video on to record it for later. (I thought of it, but thought it would be rude.)

Dirtyheads Concert

After the sun went down, we picked up our mess up and drove to Northern Lights to see the Dirtyheads play. Oh, what a tremendous concert! We had SO MUCH FUN! We danced a little bit, waved our hands in the air, jumped around, and drank more beer. Their music is so much like Sublime (in fact, they are touring with the reincarnated Sublime band) but with their own sound. It was a great time! If you like the Dirtyheads, I can definitely recommend that you check out a show next time they are in your town.

Here’s a video if you want to hear their music:

Stand Tall

Sports Bra

The other day, Dr. F recommended a sports bra. Her recommendation came from yet another blogger that recommended the same one.  The claim: The bra doesn’t pull on over the head: it hooks like a real bra in the back. Also, it doesn’t squish you down and give you the uni-boob. It gives you two real breasticles. BUT they don’t move. And the sports bra has an underwire.

That doesn’t sound like a sports bra at all! I was definitely curious. Now, here’s where I’m coming from. I’m a TWO SPORTS BRA kind of girl. When I jog, I don’t want my shit flying all over the place and wacking me in the chin.  I also prefer not to disturb the poor people jogging next to me. I strap my ta-tas down with two sports bras to ensure maximal control.  Now, having lost 88 pounds…I’ve lost a lot of boobage. I’m not entirely sure what my biggest boob size was because I never really got measured for a proper bra, but I suspect I was something like a 42 DD.  These days I’m a 34C. So I really don’t NEED to strap them down so much, but I do, mainly out of habit.  (Okay, my brain hasn’t wrapped itself around my weight loss quite yet.)

The bra is a Moving Comfort by Maia. And it works. Check it out. It’s a little expensive at $46, but so far I declare it worth it. I wore it last night to the concert, and I danced around a bit…and no moving. Two separate boobs; NO MOVEAGE. Astonishing.

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