Wow, I’m eating wayyyy too much.

by Christine on July 21st, 2016

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


Okay, I’ve been faithfully tracking my food intake (journaling) for the past week….and the results aren’t pretty. Boy, I should have started to do this a long time ago so I could have been aware that my eating is out of control.

Day 1: 1816 calories consumed, no exercise.

Day 2: 1471 calories consumed, no exercise

Day 3: 1652 calories consumed: ran a 5K at the gym (45 minutes)

Day 4: 2196 calories consumed: golfed for 6 hours at a golf outing

Day 5: 2615 calories consumed: hiking for 7 hours up two mountains

Day 6: 1390 calories consumed: No exercise


Wow, did you see that? Every single day I am eating well over my goal of 800-1000 calories per day, and two days I ate over 2,000 calories worth of food! Holy moses!!! No wonder I’m packing on the pounds!

If I look at the information further, I see some general trends:

  • I eat a lot more on days when I exercise. I’m hungry.
  • I’m doing ok eating every few hours, but my portion sizes are much too big. I need to start whittling these down.
  • I’m drinking too many calories. Alcohol. That needs to stop. Over 2,000 of the calories those six days came from alcohol. That’s just silly.
  • My food choices have largely been pretty healthy. Lots of fruits and veggies and healthy protein.
  • I did spectacularly drinking water while at work (and hiking). Less spectacular at home. Noted: drinking lots of water isn’t doing shit to curb my appetite.
  • I did well planning out snacks and meals every few hours. The problem is that those snacks or meals were too high in calories/too large in size.

So: Smaller portion sizes is going to be key here, as well as cutting way back (preferably stopping) the alcohol consumption. This means breaking out the scale and measuring cups, and making sure that my mini-meals are of a reasonable size. That’s my task for Week 2.  I am going to try to start photographing my meals also, for additional accountability. I don’t think I’m going to be able to whittle my calories down to 800 calories by next week, but if I can get them in the area of 1000-1100 calories, that will be some progress.

Tips for myself for cutting back on food/hunger:

  • Quit the alcohol.
  • Quit the sugar. (I really did better with this, this past week though)
  • Eat protein shakes as snacks.
  • Measure and weigh food.
  • Keep some fresh veggies on hand for snacks. (carrots are mostly lower cal than fruits)
  • Leave food on your plate, or cut part of your food off to throw away.
  • Cut back on high-calorie fatty foods. I’m a sucker for caprese salads. The tomato is awesome, but cut back on the mozzarella. More tomato, less cheese. (But…not “no cheese.”)

Microbrew weekend

by Christine on October 17th, 2011

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

Good morning Revolutionists! Did everyone have a good weekend? I hope so! Mine was great, but not long enough. I could have used a lazy day to relax a bit! Friday night I did a little clothes shopping (apparently I’m still a Size 4, hooray!) and then I went to the “Racino” in Saratoga, which is a combination harness track and electronic slot machine facility. I love people-watching there! I lost about $10 over the course of about 3 hours (not bad), and I hit a really fun 50-free-spin game!  Everyone kept staring at me though; I felt really self-conscious. Did I have a booger hanging out of my nose? Toilet paper on my shoes? Weird. So I left and went home.

Tuesday I went to Peekskill, NY with a friend for a small brew festival. It was at the Peekskill Brewery, and they had several different breweries’ beer, some craft vendors, and some live music. We went to hear the Folkadelics play–what a great band! The beer was good, the price was good, the weather held out, and we made a few friends…a successful outing!


Beforehand we stopped for lunch at 12 Grapes.  I had a glass of Austrian wine (not good) and a crab cake (delicious). Unfortunately my band was giving me problems, so I ended up barfing up all the food.  Some days are good, some days are bad. Go figure.  On the way home we hit up a new brew pub in Catskill, NY call the Crossroads Brewery. Again…good beer, great venue, and a fun live band!  I would definitely stop by this brewery if I was going through the area again!

By the time I got home it was late, so I went to bed. I think we missed dinner….

Yesterday I went over to a friend’s house for a homemade card-making class, put on by a Stampin’ Up consultant. We made 20 homemade Christmas cards, and they turned out so cute! My friend had a great spread of food, and oh! The quiche! I had two slices! Piggy me! I was super hungry, which is no surprise after the day I had previously. I had lots of water, a few fresh veggies & dip, and a few crackers and cheese.  Super fun!


Scale today was 128.0. It’s a much-needed coffee kind of morning!

What did you guys all do this weekend?


How balanced should you be?

by Christine on June 14th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

So here’s what I’m thinking this morning, and maybe it’s my overly-obsessive, calorie-counting mind that is over-thinking things a little bit.

In an ideal world, we wouldn’t eat crap food or overindulge. I understand that optimal, healthy food choices and reasonable portion sizes are the ideal thing to strive for. But let’s face it, even the strongest-willed person can cave every now and then; 100% saintly eating just isn’t reasonable.

Well, on Sunday night we had friends come over to the house. I am always really excited to have guests because it means I can cook foods that I normally don’t (because hubby doesn’t eat it). I made bratwurst (what a treat!), hamburgers, fresh salad, homemade salad dressing, and pasta salad. Our friends brought over chocolate cake and rice krispy treats.   I had 1 bratwurst–no bun of course–and some fresh salad.  Until evening. Then I dove into that chocolate cake, pretty much head-first, like a baby attacking his first birthday cake. It’s weird because I normally don’t even like chocolate cake. But it was there, and I was PMSing, and I did some damage.

Let me tell you, it didn’t feel good. I felt sick to my stomach from the sugar. The taste wasn’t even all that great. And afterwards I started playing head games with myself:

How do I fix this mishap?

There’s three ways to go about this. First, there’s the balanced reaction. In order to balance a huge caloric mishap, shouldn’t you need to go to extreme measures in cutting your calories the next day or two in order to make up for the indulgence?  I mean, really restrict your calories until you’ve reset yourself to “ground zero?”  If your cake indulgence was, say 1400 calories, then cut 467 calories out of your diet for the next three days.  For me, since my Calorie Setpoint is somewhere around 800 calories, that would leave me 333 calories per day, for three days, to consume. That’s way extreme. But it IS balanced.

The next reaction is similar to the first: Burn those extra calories at the gym. In the end, the goal is the same as the first reaction: you’re balancing your calories. Except with this method you’re choosing to burn it with exercise instead of through food and diet.  If I exert myself with high-intensity interval training (read about that here), I can burn 700 calories per gym outing for two days to burn those extra cake-calories off.

But then there’s the third reaction: just go back to your normal eating. Eat nice balanced meals, at your Optimal Calorie Threshold, and basically just pretend that the OOPS never happened.

Which method do you take to counter-act your Oops? What is the correct answer?

I can tell you that, as an Eating Disordered person, I gravitate to the first method. I know I can control my food intake, and I can starve for as long as I need to in order to reset my calorie bank to equilibrium (read that story here).  It is drastic, and on the positive side it can balance you out in a day or two. On the other hand, this method theoretically screws up your metabolism.

I then gravitate to the second option.  Exercise. Punnish yourself. Beat yourself up. Sweat until you hurt and want to scream and teach yourself that having a weak will and eating that cake just isn’t worth the pain and suffering at the gym.  Yeah, it’s sadistic but haven’t we all done this, many times, in the past?  The benefit is that exercise is great for you, it boosts your metabolism. The downfall is that it can take longer to reset your calorie bank to zero (especially if you’re only burning 200-300 calories at a single gym outing) and you can really beat yourself up mentally with this method. At least, I know I can. I’m actually more likely to indulge in that cake when I’m done with the gym because, after 2 hours of telling myself how weak-willed, stupid, ugly, fat, and horrible I am, I need to console my bleeding heart with more chocolate cake.  It’s a viscious cycle, at least for me.

But then there’s the last method: Move forwards as normal and pretend the slip-up never happened. The benefit is that your mental health doesn’t take a beating, there’s no need for punishment.  The downside is that it may take a very long time for those chocolate cake calories to be reset, and you may not have the chance to learn from past mistakes.

All my life, I’ve been a drastic-action-taker. I have starved and exercised myself into exhaustion after dumb eating choices, and it just made me fatter and fatter and fatter.  One of the things that changed with the lap band surgery is that I stopped punnishing myself for indulging every now and then and I took the last method: I just move forwards, doing whatever I was doing normally, and pretended that the mishaps never happened.

And I lost weight.

It’s still hard for me, this big mental change of pace. After eating that cake on Sunday, I still wanted to starve myself silly the next day. Instead, I am carefully choosing a normal, healthy choice of meals in order to move forwards. Yesterday, in my “punishment day” I ate a perfectly normal amount of calories for me, and chose healthy options all day. Today will be the same.  But I’m on watch for myself, to make sure I don’t start slipping into extreme reactions.

My brain doesn’t believe that this will work, but the last 2 years (losing 100+ pounds, reaching my goal weight) tells me that it will. Hmmm.


Rainy Day

by Christine on October 1st, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

There’s a monsoon blowing in here, rain rain rain. If you close the windows, it’s too hot in the house, but if you leave the windows open, the rain blows in sideways and drenches the carpet.  I hope the rain ends soon because I’m going for a quick mini-hike this afternoon with a friend.  Indian Ladder Trail wraps around the side of the Helderberg Mountains with spectacular views of the Albany region.

I didn’t do very much yesterday,  not at all. The only thing I achieved was going to the gym, doing 3 loads of laundry, and cooking hubby some dinner. Today I have errands to run, plus the walk in the park. I should be much more productive.

I believe I overdid it with this last fill. I’m having a hard time eating pretty much anything. I had some soup yesterday for lunch and only had about 1/3 of it, mostly broth. For dinner I pureed the leftover soup, and only ate about half of what was left. I didn’t barf it up, but I was left feeling utterly and completely full.  Since my fill on Tuesday, I’ve been lucky to eat 400 calories max, which is clearly way, WAY under what I should be eating. This is not healthy, and I can feel the effects of eating too little: I’m shaky and tired all the time. and if I’m not able to eat more by next week, I’ll have to go back to the doctor.  I’m hoping it’s just general swelling and will go down and get better, which is why I’m giving it a few days to be sure.


Walking a marathon in NYC…

by Christine on August 9th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

This weekend a good friend of mine, Peter, and I went to NYC for a relaxing weekend away. We had a hotel reservation and that was it…no plans, no destination, no schedules to adhere to. I love that kind of weekend!  I guesstimated that we walked a marathon over the course of the two days. That’s 2,349 calories burned (walking at a pace of 3.0 MPH)! Poor Pete’s legs were killing him, and my feet were acutely aware that I was on them for two full days. It would have been much, much worse if I were 90 pounds heavier. I remember dreading weekends like this when I was heavier. I knew that no matter what shoes I wore, I would be sore and in blistery and in so much pain.  This trip was so much different. I wore sneakers and although my feet were weary yesterday, I wasn’t in pain. What a great feeling!

On Saturday we checked into our hotel in Midtown, a block from Times Square. We went to check out the new planetarium building. (Pete is an architect, and I used to work for architects, so architecture is one of the commonalities that we both enjoy.)  The new planetarium building isn’t exactly unique (after all, the Apple store is a glass box. And EMPAC at RPI has the suspended/interior theater-in-a-circle thing going on as well) but the building was quite beautiful nonetheless! I bet it’s is amazing lit up at night. I’d love to see the nighttime lighting design sometime.

Afterwards we went to the Guggenheim. I had never been there, and Pete wanted to show me the circular exhibit space inside. It was indeed a really cool floorplan, although the stark, cold whiteness left a little to be desired. Plus, it just kind of felt old and outdated. I didn’t enjoy the art inside — modern/contemporary really isn’t my thing, although they had a nice impressionist exhibit that I liked, but it was a delight to see the building!

We did a lot of walking through Central Park! We walked from one side to the other, then zig-zagged our way down. We saw one of the lakes, the castle, the Bethesda fountain, Strawberry Fields, the Rambles, watched the sunbathers and baseball players in the field, etc. It was a perfect, beautiful day, and we walked for miles and miles!

We “grazed” all day long. We had a short lunch, and I had tomato soup that was so light and delicious! it wasn’t like condensed tomato soup — this was pure and authentic tomato juice, with some cucumbers in it. Unfortunately it lacked calories, so I was starving a few hours later. We found an Italian bistro later, and we had two appetizers: a shrimp dish and some mozerella and tomatos with pesto. Both were delicious!  In the evening we got another fish appetizer, but I didn’t enjoy the fish so I ate a few potato chips. Not healthy, but that’s the way it goes. That was pretty much all I ate all day, but we drank (alcohol) all day long, including a 2-am bender at a few Irish pubs, so I consumed my fair share of calories. It just wasn’t very healthy, you know?

Sunday I wanted to shop a little bit! I had never been to SoHo, so we decided to check it out. I loved Soho! It was a great combination of cute boutique stores and name-brand stores. We went into Hugo Boss and gasped at the $600-for-one-shirt price tags, then dived into a no-name boutique store where shirts were $12. Much more in my price range! I bought some cute headbands with feathers and sparkles, a cheap bracelet, some Lush Karma soap, and two baby presents for my expectant cousin.  I could have shopped more, except that Pete’s legs hurt.  We had lunch at a little bistro and I had the gazpacho soup that was out of this world! I loved it!  We sat for a while in Washington Park and watched the kids play in the fountain. Then we braved the Times Square crowd (there was some Puerto Rican pride parade going on that was INSANE…trying to get our car and get out of there was a nightmare) and headed home.  I doubt I ate more than 400 calories all day yesterday.

On Friday I zoomed up to Lake George (upstate NY) to meet my husband’s company for dinner. My husband works for a great little company. They are small and family-sized, and the boss really cares about the work my hubby puts in. For instance, for Christmas he gave us a 60-something inch plasma TV and a Sonos speaker system w/remote. One day we woke up and boom, there was a ginormous tv! It was just a little bonus, a way to say “thank you” for all my hubby’s work. In the summertime they take a day off to get together, play at the lake house, go for boat rides, etc. This year they did an extreme challenge ropes course (with zip lines, copes course, etc), then played on the lake afterwards. Check it out at Adirondack Extreme Challenge. I can’t wait to try this course myself and see how far I get!

A few short years ago they bought two adjacent properties on Lake George. They tore down the waterfront property and built a house. I don’t want to call it a mansion, but I’d certainly call it a “great house.” It’s in authentic Adirondack style, and it’s absolutely beautiful. My favorite features are the smart windows that know when it’s raining and automatically close; the home theater in the basement with the staggered/elevated seating; the patio area and two-story boathouse and deck; the wood elevator that brings wood logs from the basement up to the fireplace on the first floor; and, oddly enough, the powder room sink that has a hand-carved rock and countertop to look like a running stream. It’s quite beautiful! (The last picture is their neighbor’s house.)

Anyway, I zoomed up north after work and fought the ridiculously bad New Jersey drivers. It took twice as long to get there as it should have. The traffic was awful! However, I still beat them there. I had a cosmo at the bar while I waited. For dinner I got the “queen sized” prime rib. I had about four bites and I was done. I still have 14 ounces or more left over in my fridge!  It was ridiculous! Look at the size of this “King size” prime rib!

Prime Rib

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