Adventuresome day driving in flood zones…

by Christine on September 7th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Today for work I had to drive to a project meeting in Cooperstown. That meant driving through the affected flooding area in Schoharie County. Well, it was raining like hell all day long. I counted 8 cars that had driven off the highway due to hydroplaning. In fact, I called 911 for two cars that went off the road right in front of me! One was particularly scary…he was doing probably 60-70 mph and zoomed off the road, down a huge ditch and towards a row of trees! Yikes, I sure hope that they were okay!

It turns out the flooding was a big deal. All the areas I drove through had evacuations because of the flooding. These poor people already dealt with flooding on Sunday! They don’t need this! What a shame. I wish there was more I could do to help.  I wouldn’t have been allowed into the towns to help though; they were only allowing traffic to leave the small towns, not go into town.

As for me…it was oatmeal for breakfast, a Subway salad for lunch (tuna fish, no cheese or dressing), and then chicken & a teeny baked potato for dinner. No snacks in between meals, which is a little unusual. I’ve been enjoying cucumbers with low-fat Ranch dressing as my mid-morning snack. That’s not such a good idea to eat in the car though.

Weight is still up. I have my next fill scheduled for 2 weeks.

“Maintenance mode” is such a daily struggle. Turns out it doesn’t get any easier, peeps.


Rollerblading during my lunch break…

by Christine on August 11th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

I’m doing pretty good with my 2-week XN Exercise Challenge! So far I’ve made it through 7 days of exercise with only 1 day missed. Not too bad. Yesterday I got my exercise in when I went rollerblading at lunchtime. I always keep my blades in the trunk of my car so I can go out.  The Mohawk-Hudson Bike Trail is close to my workplace and is a wonderful, paved recreational trail following the Mohawk River.

Yesterday was a lot of fun because a storm was rolling in. I thought I would get rained on at any moment! When I was on my return route, I kept feeling sprinkles fall on me; I kept pushing forwards faster and faster, trying to beat the storm. What a great workout, trying to keep ahead of the storm!

Calories Burned Rollerblading: 189 calories (30 minutes)

Food yesterday:

8 a.m.: Coffee (163 calories)
10 a.m.: Trail mix (150 calories)
1 pm: Salad from Subway with ham (110) plus salad dressing (60), diet coke
3 pm: Dried peach thing, fruit-roll-up-ishy (50)
7 pm: Tuna steak with peppercorn, maybe 3 oz (90) and about 1/2 cup rice (100) and a side salad with balsamic dressing (40), water
9 p.m.: Chocolate skim milk (200)
Total Calories: 963; Right on target!


A day in the life…

by Christine on August 10th, 2011

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

Yesterday and this morning I thought I would post some pictures of food and what I’m eating and whatnot.

It all started with a trip to the grocery store. After yoga (yes, I’ve managed to hit every day of my XN 2-Week Exercise Challenge, except for one! 6 days and going strong!) I was pondering what to do about dinner. Now, I live in a godforsaken part of the world that has no Trader Joe’s or Wholefoods. In fact, the nearest Co-op is about 40 minutes away and completely inconvenient to get to. However, there’s a new grocery store in town called the Fresh Market that I think is like a Trader Joe’s. I hadn’t been there before (it’s not really convenient for me…about 10 minutes out of the way) but I decided to hit it up last night.

What a wonderful store! The vegetables look great. Their cheeses went on for miles. Their heat-and-serve foods looked great, and I would have gotten some salmon except the line was too long. Oh, and my favorite part of the store…a long section will make-your-own-trail-mix! They had tons of kinds to choose from! It was terrific!

Have you ever noticed that you rarely see overweight people shopping at organic food stores? Not like you see overweight people shopping at the Walmart Supercenter. I wonder why that is. I mean, the foods that you get at stores like the Fresh Market, Trader Joes, Wholefoods, etc….they might have “Organic” on the box, but they have plenty of crappy foods littering their shelves. You can still get potato chips and boxed/frozen meals…things loaded with salt and preservatives and fat and sugar. Similarly, you can always shop healthfully at other grocery stores like Walmart. There are plenty of fresh veggies, fresh meat, and good natural produce you can buy there. So why the weight discrepancy? And what makes “Fresh Market” a draw over regular grocery chains? Is it the appearance of the products and the store? Or is the food really healthier and more savory? Hmmm. I wonder….

In the end I grabbed some fixings to make a cheese quesadilla and a few snackies for work.

I whipped up a quesadilla. (I ate 3/4 of it.)  It’s always important to measure! I took out the measuring cup to make sure I had exactly the right amount of countable cheese.

I wanted to indulge in a teeny tiny bit of sour cream, but not enough to break my calorie budget. So I took out a measuring spoon and gave myself just a little dab!

Homemade Quesadilla:

2 slices of whole wheat tortilla/low carb: 100 calories
Cheddar Cheese: 23 calories
Sour cream: 40 calories
Salsa: 10 calories
Total: 233; I ate 3/4 of the meal (but all of the sour cream and salsa), giving me 187 calories for the meal.

nom nom nom!

This morning I thought I would try some of this new granola cereal I bought at the store last night. Granola is yummy but it really high in calories (200 per 1 cup) and is high in sugar and carbs. Yikes! I better make this a once-a-week treat. I bet this stuff leaves me feeling hungry mid-morning, too. I would have been better off with an egg! Still, I measured out just a little bit and had my 150 calories worth. 150 calories is my goal for each meal….my lucky number!

Before I left for work I got the measuring spoon back out and measured out a small serving of nuts. You guessed it…about 150 calories worth!  Now the orange stuff is weird. I’ve never seen it before! It’s some kind of dried + pressed peach thing. It tastes like a fruit roll-up. There’s probably a lot of added sugar in the thing, but I can’t seem to find any calorie stats about it online. Still, it is at least kind of natural, and I was wondering if that would help control my mid-afternoon sugar cravings. We’ll see! I forgot to picture a handful of baby carrots as well.

So my total calories for the day yesterday clocked out at:

7:30 a.m.: Cheerios (110 calories) + skim milk (23)
8:30 a.m.: Dunkin donuts coffee (168 calories)
Noon: Out to Chilis with a colleague: 1 bowl of chili with no toppings (310 calories), diet coke
7 p.m.: Quesadilla (187)
8 p.m.: 1 glass of skim milk, on ice (136)
Total calories: 934 calories

Right on target! My goal is between 800-1000 calories. I should have had a lower-calorie lunch so I could have had some snackies in the afternoon, but I had to work with what I had ordered.

This morning I weighed in at 131.0 pounds.  Coming back down, but still up overall. I think the exercise is helping (duh!).

Good morning to you!


Strawberry Picking, Saratoga Walking, & Weight Gaining

by Christine on June 27th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Good morning Revolutionists! It’s been a busy weekend here with me, as usual. Here’s a little sampling of the goings-on this morning:

Strawberry Picking

Yesterday a friend and I meant to go hiking in the Berkshires, but it was a little rainy on the way there, so we stopped at a farm and went strawberry picking instead!  Unfortuntely the weather totally cleared up and we SHOULD have gone hiking, but ah well, you can’t predict these things!

The rest of the weekend was just as fun. Friday I wandered off on my own. I went to Paneras for a salad for dinner, then went to the mall and bought a cute skirt on sale.  On Saturday we went to the gym (I had a great arm-weight workout!) and in the evening we went to a friend’s house for a housewarming party. I had  a hot dog (no bun) while I was there and a beer or two. Yesterday was strawberry picking + dinner at home (salad with grilled chicken).

Saratoga Walking Tour

This is a little belated, but last weekend we went on a walking tour of Saratoga Springs, as a free event with the Saratoga History Museum.  What a great event, and what a great day! The guides were funny and informative. The group were very friendly. And we even got into the usually-locked Gideon Putnam burial ground, which was cool for me since I’m kind of a local-history-phile.  Since then I’ve reached out the history museum to see if there is any way I can help to volunteer with the organization, and I’ve got a meeting with them on Thursday.

Weight Gaining!

Oh dear. After 6 months of maintaining my weight loss, the pounds and EXPLODING back on! Not creeping…exploding! We’re talking 10 pounds in the matter of two weeks people. What’s the culprit? The big one is the fact that I’m on a new birth control system, and boy it’s like my hormones were zapped with electro-shock therapy!!  I’m distressed utterly about the very sudden weight gain. When I have my surgery next week I am going to ask for a big fill to see if I can counteract the weight by using the band, but I’m not sure. If the weight gain is due to hormones, then no amount of portion-controlling myself is going to counteract the effects. Oh dear.  I’m a little flustered and at a loss for what to do about this. I’m watching what I’m eating, I’m hitting the gym (like I did on Saturday), and I’m trying to make smart choices…not that that seems to matter at the moment.

But in better news….

My new optometrist told me this morning that my eyes look amazing one year after my laser eye surgery! Woohoo! Although it was somewhat of a traumatic surgery, the outcome has been fantastic!  (read about that here if you are considering laser eye surgery.)

Then my surgeon’s office called to say that my port re-attachment surgery next week was approved by insurance! Hooray! So we’re all good to go! I told my doc’s new assistant that I want to have a fill on the day of the surgery, so I only have one week to go until then. I hope my weight gain can take a break until then!

Just for my own records (I like to periodically keep myself in check) here is my food journal from the weekend. I was consistently losing weight when my calories were approx. 800 per day; I think 1000 calories was a good “maintenance” level. Keeping that in mind…


8 a.m.: Coffee (168)
Cheerios (80)
Skim milk (23)
10 a.m.: 1/4 of a tuna sandwich (150)
12:30 Select Harvest Soup (160)
7 p.m: Paneras You Pick Two with tomato soup and classic cafe salad (387), diet coke
Total Calories: 968


9 a.m. Coffee (90)
10:30 a.m. Cheerios (80) and skim milk (23)
11:30 a.m.: Select Harvest Soup (150)
4 pm: Coffee (168) and a donut (168)
7 pm: 2 hot dogs, plain, no bun (140?), 1 beer (100)
Total Calories: 1011


9 a.m.: Cheerios (80) and skim milk (23)
11 am: small bag of Doritos (150)
1:30 pm: 6 inch subway sandwich, only 1 bun, ham and turkey, veggies, vinegar, cheese (250)
3 pm: Wine tasting (100), strawberries (15)
5 pm: 1 Beer (150)
7 pm: Grilled chicken homemade (100), side salad homemade (30), water
9 pm: Skim milk (120)
Total calories: 1018

As you can see, my choices have been less than stellar and could use vast improvement. Furthermore, my calories need to be cut down by 10-20% as well (which would inevitably happen if I wasn’t drinking so many calories.)  That being said, I’m not eating so much that 10 pounds should have magically appeared overnight….sigh


A case of the headcase.

by Christine on May 17th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Today I was browsing through some three-year-old journal posts (for those of you that don’t know, I have an online forum here if you’re interested in joining) and came across this lovely “before” picture. This is about three years old now.

Look at that sad little fatty face of mine! And I remember that pink shirt, too. I liked it so much. It was a 1XL and it was tight on me. I also remember when I could finally throw that one in the “too big” bin.  Here’s another picture, more recent, this time wearing a Size 2 dress. What a difference with my chin! Oh, that laser eye surgery sure made a difference, too.

A case of the headcase

One thing that struck me as I was re-reading my old posts is that…well, I frequently suffer from a case of being a headcase. I have a tendency to over-exaggerate problems, create problems based on getting stressed out and worse-case-scenario-fearing, which just leads to more stress and fear, which leads to more stress and fear…

It’s a really rotten cycle. And I have no doubt that it has an impact on my weight, relationship with food, not to mention my mental health.

I’ve been in a real headcase cycle lately, and it is well past time to snap out of that. Instead of fearing the worst, I’m going to celebrate all the good things in life that exist CURRENTLY. Instead of exaggerating problems I’ll think of solutions. Instead of lamenting past problems, I will look to a bright and happy future. Starting now.

Do you ever work yourself into a headcase tizzy? How do you get yourself out of it?

How my eating has changed!

A review of my old posts were interesting from a food point of view now, too. Before, three years ago, when I was gaining weight at a rate of 5-10 pounds per week, I would:

  • Starve or have limited calories (500, say) one day, and have a lot of calories (2200, say) the next, for a wildly inconsistent eating pattern.
  • Drink a lot of alcohol. Every day, and perhaps 3-6 drinks a day.
  • Ate more carbs than I do now, which is quite a bit I suppose.
  • Ate a lot of healthy, full-of-vegetable meals.
  • I drank diet soda like it was water.

These days my eating could use improvement in terms of adding more healthy vegetables into my choices, but overall my new eating differs from my old eating because:

  • I eat a consistent amount of calories, every day, usually 800-1000 calories per day.
  • I still enjoy alcohol, but I drink a lot less apparently. Instead of 3-6 drinks every day, I might have 1-2 drinks, maybe 2 times a week. A drink a lot more beer now, too, as opposed to martinis.
  • I eat a lot fewer carbs because of my gastric band. I eat a lot more high-fat foods like fish, almonds, avocados, and even a limited amount of chocolate. However, I seriously limit my portion sizes with these high-fat foods.
  • I drink water like water, and drink diet soda as a special treat, maybe once per week.

I just thought the differences were interesting.

If Current Christine could meet Past Christine and share these differences with her….would it have helped Past Christine lose weight?  Could I have prevented the need for gastric banding surgery?

Honestly, I don’t know that I would want to change me. I’m so glad I had the surgery, and I’m so pleased for all it has done for me. I wouldn’t want to take that away from me, no matter what. Aside from marrying my husband and moving far, far away from home, getting the gastric band is one of the best things I ever did for myself.

What are the three best things you have ever done for yourself? If you could go back in time knowing what you know now, what would you tell your past self? Would you want to share your secrets with your past self and change the future?

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