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Monday, April 29, 2013

Days Off In Sight!!!

Well, I did it – I’ve asked for some days off.  There will never be a good time in my boss’s eyes, the calendar looks good as far as what is supposed to be going on those days, so I asked for them.  I am taking off next Monday and Tuesday, May 6 and 7, and also, the Friday before and Tuesday after Memorial Day.  I hope after those days off I will feel a little more ready to face my world.  I was fine all weekend, but this morning I felt like crying again.  I am really burned out.

I did not work out this morning (I overslept).  Not good, but I plan to get a good one tonight.  I will likely go to my gym and do something there, or else do a video.  I want it to be enough that I really feel it.  Not overdo, but a good, taxing workout.  (As it turned out, I had to work until 8:00.  This is why I think getting a morning workout is so important.  I have to do better for the rest of the week.)

I have pretty well decided to get me some roller skates.  It’s a little scary, because a fall would not be a great thing, but I plan to start in my parking garage on the levels that are for residents only and cut off from public access, and most people don’t want to go up that far.  The pavement should be smooth there, so no danger of hitting a rock.  I will wear knee and elbow pads and a helmet, at the very least.  Then when I am feeling more confident, I can go to Katy trail.  I will start out without Cas, then will take him in the parking garage, then progress from there.  I could also go on some downtown sidewalks in the evening or on the weekend that are pretty well deserted at that time.

Cas is definitely better behaved when he is getting exercised enough.  He was still better this morning than usual.  All that pent-up energy is contributing to his acting out.

My day got incredibly busy after writing the above.  My computer crashed and I lost some work that my second boss had to redictate.  He was not happy with me and was pretty much a jerk about it for a bit, but I can’t how it was my fault.  Didn’t actually make my day so pleasant.

Jerry told me to “take all the time I need” as far as days off, and “thanks for all my hard work.”  I couldn’t quit smiling after that (DAYS OFF!), until the stuff in the paragraph above happened.  That is all I will take for now, but I will want to take a whole week in the Summer.

Since I didn’t get a good workout in today, I stopped with 31 points.  I was plenty satisfied, so didn’t feel deprived.  I have been surprisingly unhungry since Saturday.  Breakfast was protein waffles with leftover Blackberry Sauce from dessert yesterday (yum!)  It was really good on the waffles.  I had a banana after I got to work.  Lunch was a tuna salad wrap, some baby carrots, sweet potato chips and 2 dill pickle spears.  I meant to bring some yogurt for a snack and forgot, so snack was another banana (I have to eat them before they turn).  I already have some really ripe ones for Banana Custard Oats, so wanted to eat this before they were too ripe.  Before I left work, I had 4 Starburst fruit chews from someone’s candy bowl, but I tracked them.  However, this breaks my “rule” about being intentional about eating.  I don’t want to eat things just because they are there.  Since I worked late and didn’t have anything cooked, I stopped and got a sandwich at Subway.  Then I ate some sliced strawberries, and that was it for today.  I asked them to put vinegar and oil on my sandwich, only because I had not eaten my healthy fats today.  I am supposed to eat 2 teaspoons a day, but by looking, I am guessing they only put about a teaspoon on it.

That’s it for today.  I’m going to do a little work on cleaning my bedroom and then get to bed so I can get up for a good workout in the morning.  I have to break this laziness thing (although I am pretty sore and achy from the ride on Saturday).  I did walk Cas this morning and at lunch, at least.

Night all.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekly Goal Met

The scale was down a little this morning.  I think the heavier workout yesterday helped.  I am going to do a couple of more of heavier workouts this week and see if I can get below my goal.

I got up to go to the singles class this morning.  I haven’t checked the class schedule in the last couple of weeks and what I did not know is they had changed it.  They changed all the classes to the earlier hour and consolidated both services into the later hour.  So I didn’t get to go to the class, but I went to the contemporary service.  I liked this one better than the last one I went to there.  It was more like I am used to.  The people around me were friendly.  However, they were more my kids’ age.  But there are all ages at the service, so the potential to meet people my own age is there.  I will go to the singles class next week.  They are also having a singles event night on the 10th, a Friday night, and I plan to go to that, as well as a Rangers game on the 17th for singles.  Hopefully I will get acquainted with some people before then.  It was a step, anyway, so I felt good about that.  I met my weekly goal of getting out of the house (WW meeting and Sunday church).  It's a start.

Breakfast was a a breakfast made from a light, wheat English muffin, a teaspoon of butter, Canadian bacon, an egg and one slice of RF pepper jack cheese.  I had that along with a banana.

I have been craving pizza and the “pizza” I made a couple of weeks on an English muffin just didn’t do it for me.  So I bought a ready-made whole wheat pizza crust and used that with some Classico pizza sauce, Canadian bacon, some part-skim mozzarella, some sautéed onion and bell pepper and some diced pickled jalapeno.  It was 6 points per slice.  I made a half pizza, which was 3 slices.  I wasn’t sure if I would eat one, two or three slices when I made it, but I had extra points to use if it came out good.  It was good!

I also made a reduced-size recipe of a dessert.  I remembered a recipe I used to make for a 3-6-9 cake.  As you can probably guess from the name, the recipe was easily divisible by 3.  It is usually made in a tube pan, but I made a one-third recipe and put it in a smallish loaf pan.  I cut the loaf in 6 slices, which was a decent sized serving, and it was 10 points per serving.  I also made a blackberry sauce from a recipe I found online.  It was 4 points.  It was uh-maz-ing.  I would definitely serve this to company.  A little whipped cream and it would be perfect.  I like planning a dessert once a week and it being something I really want, not just something that is there.  My daughters dropped by and each ate a serving, and I wrapped up the other three servings (individually) in plastic wrap and foil and put them in the freezer.  I will use the last serving of blackberry sauce on protein waffles tomorrow morning.

My snack today was some plain Greek yogurt (one-half cup) with a little honey and some sliced banana.  Dinner was a kind of hash, I guess you would describe it.  I sautéed some onion and poblano pepper, added a smallish diced up baked potato (not quite fully baked in the microwave), then added some egg and scrambled it and then shredded some 50% fat cheddar cheese on it.  I forgot to take a picture of it, but it was good.  It was 13 points, which is a little more than I usually spend in a meal, but I was using extra points today and it sounded good.  I had some baby carrots a bit later, when I felt a little hungry, but that was all I ate for the rest of the day.  I used a total of 24 weekly points this weekend.  I may use another one here and there, but don't plan to use much more.
I was pretty achy and tired today, so I did not do any kind of workout.  I did walk a number of blocks to church – say a total of 12.  Cas was really tired today too.

I can’t believe it is already 9:30 on Sunday night.  I am not ready to start another week.  Incidentally, I think the vitamins may be helping a little, but I really want some time off soon.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Weigh-In Day

As expected, my weight didn’t budge.  Now onto the positive things about today.

I went to my first WW meeting.  My daughter went too.  I liked it and think this will be a good fit for me (so far).  My leader is also a chef and she shares recipes, so I am hoping for some yummy ones.  I weighed 252.8 at home (same as last week), and after breakfast and wearing more clothes, I weighed 253.2 at WW.  Pretty close.

The positive for today is, after the meeting, my daughter and I went for a ride around White Rock Lake.  It was REALLY tough.  I estimate I did about 7 miles.  Some of it was walking, most of it was riding.  I don’t think I will ever take Cas on an outing like this again.  He gets too car sick and is miserable then, and although he had had plenty of time to recover from that, he also got motion sickness when riding in the basket.  I can run him around downtown a little, but taking him on these excursions is too much for him if I can’t put him in the basket part of the time.  (My best bet for him is roller skating/blading with him).  Anyway, I think part of the problem was my bike needs to be serviced.  The gears are not working correctly.  I never could work up a lot of speed on the downhill parts to get momentum to help with the uphill parts and that was really tough.  I think the wire is too tight the way the gear changer is attached, so I can’t change to a better gear.  I have to pedal all the time, even on downhill parts, to keep up my speed.  So uphill was too tough by the end of the ride.  But I got lots of exercise and probably burned a good amount of calories.

As soon as I can, I am going to buy me some roller skates.  Cas does better with more activity and I just don’t have enough time to walk him enough and can’t run at this point.  I think roller skating is the best option.  I am afraid I would fall more easily on roller blades.  That would not be helpful.

After being home for a couple of hours, Cas is worn out and I am sore and stiff.  Definitely feeling it in my back and joints.  But I feel good about it.  This is my future – I want to do this with future friends/ boyfriends/husband, so I want to get more conditioned so I can.  I want this to be a lifestyle.

We visited a tri store today (my daughter wanted to buy a gel seat for her bicycle, and there was a tri store in the same parking lot as WW).  They didn’t have the seat, but we got into a conversation with a girl who works there who just did her first tri.  She has lost 50 pounds in the training process.  She was telling me they have all kinds of events, including biking/swimming events, so I could do an event without having to run.  I could also just walk the run part, which a lot of people do.  They have mini-tris, which have short distances for beginners.  Something to think about preparing myself for in the future.  I can swim, but I have never really swam laps and gotten conditioned from it.  So that would be something I would have to work on too.  During Summer I may do some early morning workouts in the pool here at the lofts (when, hopefully, other people would not be at the pool).  I had hoped I would not need to join a gym with having the pool and the fitness center here at the loft, but it doesn’t have everything I need to get in as good of shape as I would like to.  So, one of these days, I may want to join a gym – one that has a good pool – again.  Probably the YMCA.  They have a great pool and everything I need.  But there is plenty for the stage I am in now – use  the fitness center, ride my bike, recumbent bike, and exercise routines that don’t require equipment.  After a couple of months, I may join the yoga class that meets a couple of nights a week at my lofts.  I want to get in a little better shape first (to make sure I don’t set something off that will set me back).

Sometimes I think I am too empathetic of a person to be a dog owner.  I place way too much weight on how my dog might be feeling.  I feel bad about leaving him alone too much, I feel bad if I don’t walk him enough, if running is too hard on him, worry about him getting motion sickness, etc., etc., etc.  I really need a time where I can work on me and enjoy life as I never have before.  But I spend a lot of time worrying about my dog.  Story of my life.  It’s okay for me to go bike riding and leave him at home.  I have to get that through my head.

I have been amazingly unhungry today.  I got tacos at Chipotle and could barely finish them (I was famished after riding, which I think was also part of the problem).  I have only used 2 weekly points.  I am planning to make a dessert tomorrow, so I will use some then.

I am planning to get up and go to the singles class at a downtown church in the morning.  I decided I will visit the class first and start trying to get to know some people, then add Sunday morning service once I do.  I find it kind of intimidating to go to the main church service and not know anyone.  I won’t ever get to know people that way.  If I decide this is where I am going to keep going, I will start going to choir on Wednesday nights.  Singing in the choir will give me a sense of belonging and I won’t feel so much like I am sitting by myself.  And it will give me a chance to use my God-given gift and to get to know more people.  Like the sign I posted yesterday, I just know I don’t want to stay where I am.  Baby steps.  But I have to start making them.

I am hoping that hard workout today shook something loose and I will see a difference on the scale tomorrow morning.  If a harder workout affects my appetite all the time like it did today, I need to do that more days of the week.  I just wasn’t very hungry.  I talked to the WW leader a little about my plateau and she suggests I eat a little less fruit and see if that helps.  I don’t know if I will do that, but I will count a point for any fruit over 2 servings.  I don’t think that’s it because I only had 30 points Thursday and Friday and that should have done the same thing.  I need to make sure I am getting my healthy oils.  I find out today that is not just any healthy fat, it has to be one of a few liquid oils recommended by WW (olive, canola, sunflower, flax and I can’t think of the others).  Even though avocado is a healthy fat, it is not one of the healthy fats they encourage you to check off every day.  I hope that once I move past this plateau, things will move along smoothly for a while.  I need to shake up my workouts and not do the same thing every morning.  I don’t think I have been doing it enough for that to be the problem – I just started doing the recumbent bike regularly again.  I just need to keep this in mind.

That’s it for tonight.  I’m going to dry my hair and get to bed so I get up in time for class in the morning.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Last Minute Struggles

I saw this in a FB post and thought it went right along with where I am right now.  Especially as it relates to getting out and making friends.

So true!

Well, I wasn’t too with it this morning.  I had trouble sleeping last night.  My cat kept messing with me and my dog, so finally, at about 12:30 a.m., I closed him in my big bathroom (he has a bed to lay on).  There are two doors to close between there and my bed, so I don’t hear him with my fan on.  I need him to learn to sleep at night!  I still had some trouble sleeping.  The last thing I was watching before I went to bed was Chopped.  I kept having some strange dream about making a gastrique, lol.  I looked up what that was (I kind of knew, but wanted to make sure).  Now I want to make one!  Anyway, I was not ready to get up this morning and overslept.  I did walk Cas, but did not do my recumbent bike workout or the stairs.  My daughter and I plan to ride around White Rock Lake tomorrow, so that will make up for it.
I was pretty hungry this morning.  Actually, I got hungry before bedtime last night, so ate some baby carrots and drank down some water.  I had yogurt and a banana this morning.  May have to have some more before lunchtime, but feel okay with it right now.  Actually, my boss came in and wanted to hunker down and work for a while, so I knew lunch would be delayed and I ate another one.

I wrote up a list of things I wanted to do this weekend.  Some of them are chores and things I want to get done at home, etc., and some are fun things to do.  For instance, I want to bike or walk to Clyde Warren Park, which is a new park in downtown Dallas.  I have been wanting to visit the food trucks there, but may not get a chance to do that tomorrow.  I think I need to get started on the stuff at home tonight, because I have a feeling time is going to get away from me tomorrow.  Once I leave the house, I have a hard time getting focused on chores when I get home and I am tired out, etc.  I don’t know if I am going to be able to get everything on my list done, but I guess it is just a goal.  Does a WW meeting count toward getting out of the house with someone other than just my kids?  Maybe to start with.  That is what I intended it for, but my daughter needs some motivation and I think it would help her (and me) if we do this together.
At home, I want to spend a couple of hours total getting rid of clutter.  I realized that when I moved, I kept a lot of stuff that I don’t really need and just made a place for it.  In other words, it is not something I really want, I am just displaying it (or putting it away) because I already have it.  And I have too much stuff.  I want a less cluttered look, so I am going to start the decluttering process.

I need to take my bike to the shop where I bought it to get it serviced.  They do that free after the first six months.  My chain has been coming off and my gears are not working correctly (those two could be related?).  I think the chain is more of a problem when you are going faster, because it has happened when Bethany is riding it, but has never happened for me.  But I will want to start pushing speed at some point and I don’t want that to keep happening.  Maybe Steph and I can take the ride around White Rock Lake after the WW meeting.  But I would want Cas with me, so I need to decide how to handle that.  If it is not too hot, I may just take him with me and leave him crated in the car while I am at the meeting, then we can grab something to eat and then ride.  She would have to go get Junior, though.  Junior needs a LOT of exercise.  I will likely have to put Cas in the basket part of the time when we are riding.  The goal is to go all the way around, which is 10 miles.  I do 6 most mornings with no problems.
I haven’t mentioned that I ordered me some new shorts to work out in and they came in this week.  I ordered a 1X.  They are too big!  I have already been wearing one pair, but I am going to send the other pair back and get a smaller size.  They are “bike shorts” and should fit very snugly, but they do not.  I need some other shorts that I just wear to walk Cas and around downtown in the Summer when I am not working.  I have one pair of knee-length denim shorts I am wearing now, and I do have some shorts in the bins in my closet and will probably get down into some of them soon.  I might buy me one other pair that is a little above knee length and looks decent.  It gets really hot in Dallas in the Summer.

Other things on my list for the weekend:  (1) Go to the singles class at the downtown church; (2) read (I’ve been watching TV instead of reading and I really enjoy reading; I haven’t done it as much since neck surgery and deteriorating eyesight – “over 40 eyes”); (3) a little grocery shopping (I am out of some essentials I need before payday on Tuesday; (4) take Cas to the dog park; (5) work on my checkbook.  So, some of these are fun things and some are chores.  A good mix.  Of course, mixed in there will be cleaning and walking Cas.
I was thinking, my scale blitzed out along about the time I started plateauing.  I changed the batteries and it seems to be working properly, yet my weight is not budging downward.  Wouldn’t it be funny if it is a scale problem?  Wishful thinking, I know.  We will see what the WW scale says Saturday.  (I have to get it in my head that I want to go to that, or I will mess around and forget.)

Jerry popped in to the office at about 11:00 and wanted to get a concentrated amount of work done in as little time as possible so he could get back to the hospital.  His wife is having pain issues that they are trying to get regulated, and will be in the hospital at least another day.  So I have been holed up in another office since 11:00 and only now got out where I could eat some lunch (it is 4:00).  Kind of late to go home for lunch, and most of the restaurants downstairs close up by 2:00, so I went across the street to Subway and got me a sandwich.  I was thinking I would be less concerned about how many points the sandwich has than usual because it will not be that long until dinner and I wanted to not save all my points for the end of the day like I often do, in case that affects my weigh-in in the morning.  But then, in some ways, I did not do that.  I got the BBQ chicken sandwich on wheat, no cheese, with lettuce, onion, bell pepper and banana peppers.  No dressing (since it has the barbecue sauce, it doesn’t need it).  I got baked chips to go with it, but got to thinking about the sodium issue and haven’t eaten them.  I will save those for another time.  The sandwich came up to 9 points.  So I do have a bit more to eat.  22 points left for the end of the day is too much.  Actually 17, because I am eating 30.  My friend has packages of peanut butter crackers, so I dusted the salt off and ate a package of that for 5 points.
So, I did not get to walk Cas during lunch.  I am going to go home at 5:30 and I will try to get in a longer walk than usual this evening.

It’s a little after 7:00 and things have been a little rocky.  After I got home, I remembered I needed some more cat food and I went to CVS.  I got the cat food and I got me some peanut M&M’s (6 points).  I ate those and some frozen peaches, that I really should have eaten after lunch but did not get a chance.  After that, I got to feeling like, “Dang it, I’m just going to eat some crackers (more than I had points for).  I don’t care about weigh-in tomorrow.”  I sat there and argued with myself, but in the end, I do care about the weigh-in tomorrow.  I decided I was going to weigh and if I didn’t weigh any less than I did the last couple of days at this time of day, I was going to eat what I wanted tonight – the rest of my daily and weekly points.  But the scale showed some potential.  So, I didn’t do it.  I had 6 points left.  I tried to think what I could and wanted to do with that.  I decided to eat ¾ cup of Greek yogurt, 2 tsp. of honey and ½ cup Kashi GoLean Crunch – 6 points.  I can also have some fresh pineapple later.  I think I am going to make it.  That struggle came from my frustration and also because I have tried to hold back the last week.  That’s why that can be dangerous sometimes.  I truly hope I break this plateau.  I need to drink some more water tonight and remember to take my BP med (going to now), since I forgot this morning.  That can make a difference.
I want to get to where this is more lifestyle than constantly thinking about points and using them all or not using them all.  But I am not sure that is going to happen, at least not yet.  In a way, it works for me.  It’s like a budget, and I am all about budgets.  I have even noticed I am the same with my points as I am about money.  When I have a chunk of money I can spend on clothes, for example, after having to be really frugal for a long time, all of a sudden I get really picky about what I want.  When I am being frugral, I can think about all kinds of things I want to spend money on.  I do the same thing with points.  When I come to a weekend where I am planning to use my weekly points, I get really picky and can’t decide if what I am thinking about is really worth that number of points.

Haven’t walked Cas yet, so guess I’d better get out and do that.  And get some stuff done around the loft.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Doing What I Need to Do to Be Successful?

I maybe felt a little more energy this morning.  But the scale is still not budging and, in fact, would show a substantial gain if today was weigh-in.  I am going to eat 30 points today and tomorrow (target is 35).  I do better if I have some points left at the end of the day, so I went light on breakfast this morning.  I probably won’t do that tomorrow night because it is the night before weigh-in.  I have not used 21 of my weekly points.  I think, eating-wise, I have handled this week’s challenges very well, but the scale still will not budge.  I am thinking about ordering a week’s worth of Medifast.  Anyone have any input on that?  This plateau has been at least six weeks if it doesn’t budge by weigh-in day.  Maybe instead of a Medifast week I should do a “simply filling” week.

I do wonder how much this plateau has to do with losing the first chunk of weight on Medifast, a VLCD (very low calorie diet) and then switching to WW.  Maybe it has everything to do with my body adjusting to the change.  I had begun the plateau on the last week of Medifast.  It just seems like this is an awfully long time for my body to make the adjustment.  Maybe Medifast was doing damage.  I know I just need to keep on keeping on and eventually things will begin moving again.
I have been successful this week at beginning to increase activity.  Of course, at the first of the week, I was struggling and just did short recumbent bike workouts.  But I have begun doing the stairs regularly (5 times yesterday) and I have done a 30-minute RB workout the last two days.  I still need to get going on strength training.  My back was feeling very twinge-y last night.  I was filling my water bottle from my water cooler and I could feel it beginning to grab.  I stopped just before it really spasmed, but it felt on the verge the rest of the evening.  I don’t think doing squats would be a wise thing to do when I am feeling like that.  And I am so tired already, the last thing I want to do is take more muscle relaxants.

I continue to struggle with my emotions.  I feel like crying off and on throughout the day, for no apparent reason.  I honestly think it is mostly about burn-out.  I need some time off.  At the same time, I keep thinking, even if I take a few days, I will feel the same way when I return to work.  I am never ready to return when I have to.  I am sure those feelings are common.  But it doesn’t mean I don’t need time off.  It has nothing to do with not liking my job, either.  I really do like my job.  It is just the constant day in and day out of having to be here.  But I would get unhappy staying at home all the time, too, at least with things the way they are now.  There would not be enough interaction with other people and I would sink into a pit.  I still need to work on that.  Last weekend was busy, but it was with my kids.  It did not accomplish anything toward building relationship with other people.  I need to make a goal to get out of the house and interact with friends or potential friends at least one time every week (besides work).  So the goal is set.
The last few days, I will be thinking about something and within a matter of minutes or hours, someone will say something that provides input to the very thing I was thinking about.  Like yesterday, with the top I was wearing.  I was walking through the lobby of our building thinking I didn’t like to wear that top much because it was drab.  In less than an hour, an attorney walked by my desk and complimented me on it.  Yesterday I was walking Cas during lunch, wondering about my pace – was it decent or do I need to speed up to get more out of my walks.  In less than two blocks, I stopped to wait on a light to change and a lady walked up behind me and said she had been trying to catch me for a while because she wanted to look at my dog.  She said I walked “really fast.”  And she was a decently fit looking person.  This weekend my daughter told me it was really time to get my hair done, so I had been planning to do that.  On Monday, someone complimented me on my hair and said I shouldn’t cut it because it looked so good at this length.  What’s going on?  Lol.  I still want to get my hair done.

Before work this morning, all I had was a small apple.  When I got to work I had a Dannon L&F Greek yogurt and a banana.  Later I had another yogurt.  Lunch was a wrap with tuna salad, some baby carrots and some FSTG sweet potato chips.  The only wraps I had were some large low carb tortillas that were 4 points apiece, so I used a half of one.  I am trying to watch my sodium at the end of the week before weigh-in, so I did not eat a pickle spear (like I wanted to) and I dusted the salt off of my chips.  Every little bit helps, I guess.

It is midday as I write this, but I plan to have a turkey burger for dinner.  I’m going to try to change up the mix of my foods today and tomorrow and go higher protein.  So I am going to make my burger double meat and double cheese (RF pepper jack) and add some spicy guacamole to it.  My side will be roasted broccoli.  Then to use the rest of my points tonight I am going to have some plain Greek yogurt with a half tablespoon of honey and some fresh pineapple.  That is a lot less carby than my food usually is in the evenings.  That puts me right at 30 points.  That’s the plan, anyway.  I’m pretty determined, so I think I will have no problem with that, and it should fill me up.
I was talking to a guy at work about my frustration and he asked if I had ever done carb cycling.  He lost a sizeable amount of weight in the past and has kept it off for some time (ever since I have known him – several years – and however long before).  He said the body adapts really easily and it is good to shake it up every so often.  In carb cycling you do, for example, 3 days of very low carbs and then 1 day of lots of carbs.  I may try that if this continues.  I also wonder if I am eating enough good fats (I mentioned that), so I am going to make sure I add a little more good fat to my diet, as well as increasing my protein ratio.  In fact, I am starting my grocery list right now and am going to add some things that will help me do that (some 100 calorie packs of almonds, string cheese, etc. for my snacks).  A 100-calorie pack of almonds is 3 points, which is how many points the chips I have been eating is.  I could substitute that some days and increase my good fat and my protein.  And if cutting back on the points a couple of days a week does not help, then I am going to try increasing how much I am eating a little bit.  In the past, I could get stalled on eating too little.  I don’t feel like I am eating too little right now.  But I have tended to have little carb binges, even when staying within my points.

One thing I have to keep in mind is my clothes are getting loser, slowly.  So something is happening even if the scale is not moving.  I am not totally stagnated on progress.
I had the dinner I planned and it was the best turkey burger I’ve had in a while.  I had some caramelized onions leftover and added that, plus I didn’t overcook the turkey burgers as I sometimes do.

The Greek yogurt could have used a little more honey (for me) and I checked after I ate it and could have had 2 teaspoons of honey instead of 1/2 tablespoon, but the pineapple helped sweeten it a little too.  I was well satisfied for the evening and hope the change-up helped shake things up.

I got 3 walks in, 30 minutes on the recumbent bike and I had 5 trips up and down the stairs today.  I burned almost 3,000 calories yesterday and got around 9,400 steps in before the day was over today.  I have accumulated 39 activity points so far this week.  Not bad.  Seems like I am doing what I need to do to be successful.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Street Where I Live

I am still really tired.  It is a chore to make myself get out of bed, much less walk my dog and do my workout.  But I did all of that.  I got up around 6:00 and got out to walk Cas shortly afterward.  It is harder when it is cold outside.  Although it was really more pleasant than I thought it would be, since there was not much wind.  The wind really whips around the tall buildings around here and I think it is windier downtown sometimes more than it is in other parts of the city.  Walking down Main Street is not bad, since I am in the shelter of the buildings, but as soon as I cross an intersection, the wind hits me, and the park I walk to is not very sheltered.  I got started a little bit later than I would like, but I did 30 minutes on the recumbent bike.  I am not really pushing it right now, but at least I am doing it.  I also took the stairs down and back up when I walked Cas, and down again on my way to work.  I think the stair climbing is giving me a good little bit of extra activity.

I am kind of wondering if I should go to the doctor and find out if there is a reason I am so tired.  I think, though, before I do that, I will try vitamins and taking some time off.  I think I am going to have to have some time off before Memorial Day.  I am looking into that now.  It is not a great time for my boss, since he is going through a lot with his wife, who is having surgery today, but there is someone who can back me up (who, actually, is not doing so well either, but…).  I have to take off sometime.
I think, all in all, I did pretty well yesterday with my challenge.  It was a little touchy last night, because I was hungry and “snacky” feeling, but I wanted to get past this plateau more than I wanted to eat what I was thinking about eating (or most anything else that racked up much of any points).  The only thing I had after I posted last night was about a teaspoon of Nutella.  It could have been much, much worse.

I was feeling very restless, so I took a hot bath.  I fell asleep in the bathtub for about 10 minutes, lol.  I mean, I was out.  Then one of the pets did something to wake me up (I had the door closed).  The bath helped a little and I went on to bed after that.  I woke up hungry in the early morning hours and had a little trouble going back to sleep.  I have to stay very still or I get the pets all stirred up and then they think it is time to get up and they start romping all over the place, including all over me.  I tell you, I am going to have to get some kind of “armor” on my feet that doesn’t make me hot, so I can get my feet outside of the cover without my cat attacking them!  I’m serious!  Hopefully he will grow out of that.  I am getting hot flashes a lot, which I think is medication-related, but I get so hot and I want to throw the cover off of me, but then my cat thinks I am fair game.  Cas likes to curl up next to me, which will set off a hot flash, and sometimes I wake up and my cat is sleeping on my stomach, which will also set off a hot flash.  Arrrrgh!
I am wearing an outfit today, the top of which I don’t wear often because I feel like the color is kind of drab.  It is a turquoise kind of color, but it has a gray undertone that makes me feel that way.  I was sitting here at my desk and an attorney walked by and said, “Nice outfit, Sheryl – great color!”  Then another attorney complimented my outfit too.  So I guess I should get over it.  The pants I am wearing I have just gotten down into.  They say they are a size 20, but they have to be an 18 (or they fit like an 18).  Anyway, I must be losing a little, size-wise, or I would not have felt comfortable wearing these pants.

I’m not doing so well on getting off the Red Bulls.  I didn’t have any Sunday or Monday, but then had one yesterday and today.  I am just so tired.  Otherwise, I am just drinking water (but not enough yesterday).
I was able to go to lunch today, so got 3 walks done today (and 5 trips up and down the stairs).  And for the first time, my armband registered some "strenuous" activity!    I am feeling those stairs!  Not so much in my muscles as in my lungs.  You know that feeling in your lungs when you have exerted yourself – because you have forced your lungs to take in more air?

I decided I needed to start having more pictures in my blog.  I have never been much of a picture-taker, but will try to do more.  I wanted to give you an idea of where I live.  This is a set of photos I call “On the Street Where I Live.”
The street where I live -- Main Street, Dallas.  My building
is toward the right, before the one with the awnings.
I can see my building on the right in this one too.
This is the park I walk to every morning.
About a block and a half down the street.
This is the park I walk to at lunch time.
About 4 blocks from my loft.
This could have been taken from my window.
Pegasus Plaza.

This was taken from my window.
The Kirby building -- a historic building --
is across the street.  It has also been
converted into loft apartments.

I live a little ways down on the right.

This is the building where I work.
About a 5-minute walk around
the corner from my loft.
 Soon, I will take some pictures of the inside of my loft.  I have been meaning to do that forever, but haven’t done it.

Breakfast this morning was Banana Custard Oats with a tablespoon of chopped pecans (it is surprising how many pecans a tablespoon actually is).  I also had a banana a while after getting to work.  Come to think of it, I also had a small apple before my workout, since I woke up with a gnawing stomach.

Banana Custard Oats with pecans.
I was a little unprepared today, so for lunch I thawed out some beef vegetable stew I cooked a couple of weeks ago and then froze.  Along with that, I had some FSTG blue corn tortilla chips and some spicy guacamole, and some frozen peaches.

Snack was Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt.  I may stop buying this and just eat plain Greek yogurt with a little honey added to it (in the interest of eating cleaner).  But I will at least use up what I have.

Dinner was some more pork tenderloin, with potatoes and carrots.  I made a little gravy to go on it.  I need to remember when I cook pork tenderloin that it is not like roast, where cooking it a long time makes it better.  It needs to be a little rare.  It was decently flavorful, anyway.  I have some spice pastes I have been buying in the produce section.  I squirted a line of garlic paste, basil paste and chili pepper paste down the length of the pork tenderloin and then massaged it in to both sides, along with salt and pepper.  Not bad, and easy.  The gravy helped the dryness, and helped the potatoes be more appealing.  I also had some sautéed fresh string beans.

For evening snack I had a serving of whole wheat Ritz crackers with a tablespoon of Nutella (this is what I was craving last night).  (Forgot to take a picture of that.)
Interesting fact:  2,000 steps is approximately 1 mile.  I didn’t know that.  That means if I walk 10,000 steps per day, I am walking 5 miles a day.  Not bad.  I got 8,800 today.

I wish so much of life was not about trying NOT to eat certain things all the time and trying to MAKE myself eat (or drink) other things – like my water.  We were talking about this at lunch yesterday.  Wouldn’t it be nice if sweets were one of the essential food groups? “Hurry and eat your ice cream, Junior, so you can have some spinach for dessert.”  Sigh.  I know I can have ice cream or jelly beans or anything else I want.  I just want it too much of the time.  I don’t know that that will ever change.
Pretty good day.  3 walks, 1 recumbent bike workout and 5 trips up and down 4 flights of stairs.  I have to drink a little more water and then I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sissy's Southern Kitchen

I got into the crackers after posting last night.  7 points worth.  Not that I didn’t have the weekly points to spend on them.  So I had 35 weekly points left for the week.

Today is our Administrative Assistant’s Week lunch.  We went to a place called Sissy's Southern Kitchen (I think that was the name).  My plan was to order basically what I want, but to eat half of it at lunch and half of it at dinner.  I planned to order a dessert, but would do the same thing with dessert.  I ate a light breakfast this morning in preparation.  I had some Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt (2 pts.)  Mid-morning I got hungry, so I had another one (2 pts.).  I also had 2 slices of fresh pineapple this morning and some more not too long before leaving for lunch (I didn’t want to arrive starving).  So a 4-point breakfast.  That’s fine.  I had 66 points left with daily and weekly points, but I didn’t want to use that many points.  I had shrimp and grits.  The other thing I was thinking about ordering was not on the lunch menu.  It was not a big serving.  There were only 4 shrimp and I would say 3/4 cup of grits, if that.

It was good, but not to die for.  I thought the shrimp was a little “fishy”.  Everyone (together) ordered some appetizers and sides (which are family style) to share.  I had one “squash puppy” (kind of like a hush puppy), about a third of a “purple hulled pea cake” with a spicy aioli on it (Southern food! but not impressed) and a red curry deviled egg (as in half of the egg) – not the best deviled egg I ever had.  I also ate about 1/4 cup each of whipped potatoes, squash casserole, and macaroni and cheese (if that much of each of those).  I had no input into the sides.  I wasn’t even sure if I was going to eat any, but when the entrée was as small as it turned out to be, I did.  I only ate half of the smallish serving of shrimp and grits.  The really good stuff was dessert.  I got a bread pudding with bourbon sauce and it was off the chart.  (I forgot to take pictures of anything else – great blogger that I am.)  I tried to find nutrition information on these foods and logged my points as best I could.  I think, if anything, I over-estimated.  Lunch came out to be a total of 36 points (that seems astronomical to me).  To think I used to eat this way without a second thought.  I really did have a second thought most of the time, but I did it anyway, although I was more prone to grazing or eating between meals than eating a huge meal (except on a holiday or something).  I have been feeling a little yucky this afternoon – all the rich food, I am sure.  I have been thinking about dinner, and really, the only thing I really care about finishing is the bread pudding.  I brought home the other half of the shrimp and grits, plus a little squash casserole and a little whipped potatoes.  The mac and cheese was not good enough to care about for seconds (I have had so much better).  I think I am going to toss the rest of the food and just eat the bread pudding.  I thought about giving it to my pets, but I think it might make them sick.  (The kitty tried to steal it off the cabinet.)  At the point before I went home, I felt like that would be enough for the day, but if I felt hungry by then, the plan was to have a light WW-type dinner and the bread pudding.  I felt better about that than eating a bunch of high points stuff I didn't care that much about.  Incidentally, the bread pudding was a HUGE serving, and I counted it as 1-1/2 of the serving for the recipe I found.
Interesting things:  (1) the deviled eggs had caviar on them; I took it off – it is probably good, but it is a mind thing for me; (2) a friend ordered the chocolate cake – I have said I am not a chocolate person; we all shared little slivers of our desserts with the others and I could only eat one bite of that cake – too rich for me; (3) the key lime pie was excellent, but I get that a lot, so I am glad I got the bread pudding; same with the buttermilk pecan pie (pecan pie is one of my favorites – I actually like my pecan pie better than this one J); (4) two of the girls got the chicken fried flat-iron steak – their portions were huge – twice the size of what was expected; it looked really good, but I wanted something “different” than I have gotten before.  This was a really cool place with really cute décor (why didn’t I take a picture of that?).  They had old fashioned tile in the entry and on the floor around the bar.  They had old fashioned china decorating one wall (I studied that wall quite a bit during the conversation) and our food was served on what looked like old-fashioned china.  Some of the patterns I had seen in people’s homes in my childhood – like blue willow.  They had a sitting room for people waiting for a table (there were none waiting today) that looked like an old-fashioned parlor.  Made me want to go in there and curl up in one of the chairs.  The bar was really quaint and nostalgic – I loved it.  I would definitely go here again, but it is really high points (calories) and there are other places I would prefer to spend that many points on.  But I like trying new places and this was fun.

In fact, the girls and I have decided we are going to try a new place once a month, and order pretty much what we want without worrying about calories so much – sharing meals, if necessary.  I just want to try some places I have never been to before.
I was not using my time efficiently this morning and I only got a 15-minute workout done.  My knee was hurting too, even on the recumbent bike.  I did take the stairs down when I left (hmm, I wonder if that is what made my knee hurt?).  Yesterday, my hands were filthy when I got to work from the handrail in the stairwell, so I took a couple of disinfectant wipes and cleaned it as I was walking down this morning.

I haven’t had much water today.  I know I need to go drink some down, but my tummy is too full.  I got full really easy.  After I wrote that, I emptied out some, so went and drank down a couple of glasses.  I will do a couple of more before bedtime – it will help with the extra calories, carbs and sodium, I am guessing.
It turned cold again!  This is getting a little old.  Low 40’s tonight.  Should warm back up starting tomorrow.  I guess I shouldn’t complain.  It will be way too hot all too soon.  But today was cold and wet (although it didn’t rain all day like they predicted).

It is really hard not to lose focus after a day like today.  I got home tonight and I ate my bread pudding.  I also ate a little popcorn and three clementines.  I am sure I should eat some protein – I am still kind of hungry.  I would like to get into the crackers again, but my resolve is stronger than my desire to do that.  I really want to keep moving.  I ended the day with 18 weekly points left.  I would like to keep it that way.  After writing this, I realized I was in full-blown withdrawal.  I was thinking I had taken some medicine today, but I have not, and I don't remember the one I took yesterday.  No wonder I was feeling so snacky, as well as sleepy and restless at the same, and dizzy.
My daughter (Bethany) had another fender bender today.  She just had one two or three months ago.  I will have to help her with the deductible (a loan) – again.  I sure will be glad when that is not necessary anymore.  There were extenuating circumstances, but it would not have happened if she were driving more defensively.  Of course, I could do better at that myself.  I just don’t drive very much anymore.

That’s it for today.  I need to get focused on the exercise again tomorrow.  I have had distractions the last couple of days.  And I need to finish this week strong.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Examining the Plateau

Goodness, I felt low this morning.  I guess it is the frustration from this plateau getting to me.  I know I cannot base my happiness on what the scale says, but it is difficult to work hard for something and have no fruit of your labor.  This plateau has gone on for 5 weeks, I believe.  And I am so very tired.  I thought I had vitamins with me and was going to take them when I got to work this morning, but then could not find them.

I really don’t think there is anything way out of the ordinary wrong with me.  But I am tired.  It was difficult to make myself do a workout this morning because of my mood and my lack of energy.  But I know that exercise is the best anti-depressant there is, and ultimately it will increase my energy.  I am not there yet.  I did do a little less than 20 minutes on the recumbent bike this morning.

I have some days off planned for around Memorial Day, but I am not sure I want to wait that long.

I had long planned for my reward for reaching 250 to be getting my hair cut and highlighted.  However, I have been stuck for weeks, and meanwhile, I really need to get this done.  I’ve been being stubborn about not doing it until I reach the goal, but my daughter told me I really needed to do it.  Lol.  So I am going to do that this week.  But I am going to fight hard to get to my goal on Saturday.

I decided to Google weight loss plateaus and started reading an article.  It talked about getting back on track after “falling off of the wagon.”  The thing is, I haven’t really fallen off of the wagon for more than a day.  I kept reading.  The only thing I can see that I might be doing wrong is if I am not measuring correctly.  I am going to be a stickler about that the rest of the week.  And I am going to count calories, as well as points.

I was trying to calculate how many calories I burn per day.  The method I used to calculate the base amount of calories I burn without added activity said I burn about 2,000 calories per day for my height, weight and age.  I chose “light activity,” preferring to err on the side of caution, and it came out to 2,500 calories per day.  I may be doing a little more than that with the recumbent bike workout and walking as much as I do most days.  I haven’t been wearing my armband the last couple of weeks, so need to get it back on.  I was averaging around 2,700 calories burned per day.  It doesn’t pick up bike riding very well either, so that was just with the amount of walking I do.  I am going to start trying to eke out as much activity as I can just in the normal course of my day.  I’ve talked before about climbing stairs to get to my loft, but I haven’t been doing it.  I need to start doing that, so when I went home for lunch, I climbed the stairs to my loft, picked up Cas for his walk, went down the stairs to go walk him, up the stairs again to take him home and eat lunch, then down again to go back to work.  I will try to remember to do the same thing when I go home this evening, and tomorrow morning.  Surely that will help, climbing 4 flights of stairs at least 4-6 times a day.  Do I feel motivated to do this, energy-wise?  NO.  But I want to get moving.  I feel more able to do that than to add a second workout every day.  However, I do need to start getting some strength training.

There is not as much equipment as I would like at the fitness center at my lofts, but there is some.  I need to finish the book I have started and get serious about that.  This is probably not going to help my fatigue at first, but it will in the long run.  I just need to tough it out.  I will start by doing some squats.  I hope I can still do them, given my back is being a little more difficult than it was last time I tried them.  So is my hip and knees.  Lunges are more difficult than squats, but I will see how I do.  First I will do squats a couple of times and make sure I don’t flare up.  Then I can try lunges.  That way, I know what causes a problem, if it does.

I was surprised at how hungry I was today.  I ate 2 clementines early this morning, before my workout, because I woke up feeling empty.  Then I had Banana Custard Oats for breakfast (7 pts.).  I added a tablespoon of chopped pecans (1 pt.) to get some more healthy fats, as I was discussing yesterday.  For lunch, I made a sandwich out of some pork tenderloin I made last night (which I way overcooked).  I measured the pork tenderloin down to the tenth of an ounce.  I put some RF pepper jack on it, as well as some sweet hot mustard.  With that I had FSTG sweet potato chips (I always count these – 12 chips is a serving), baby carrots and a dill pickle spear.  I didn’t have an afternoon snack since my boss called me into his office and we were holed up in there from 3:30 to 6:30.  So I had 18 points left when I got home  Dinner was some more pork tenderloin (I put a little teriyaki sauce on it to help with the dryness).  I roasted some potatoes and carrots with it when I cooked it, so I had some of those.  Then I had some popcorn and one individual container of Blue Bell for the last 4 points.

Even though I have plateaued this long, I have to admit I can tell a little difference in my size.  I see it the most in my legs.  I don’t think I am working out enough to where gaining muscle could be the explanation for the scale, however.  I try to watch my sodium, especially toward the end of the week.  I like to eat popcorn (which I make myself on the stovetop) and I am trying to be sparing with the salt.  I know I do a lot better than microwave popcorn, because someone made some at work the other day and I had one bite and it tasted super salty to me.

Instead of buying Food Should Taste Good chips next time, I am going to try making my own baked sweet potato chips.  Those will have no preservatives whatsoever, and I can control the sodium too.  I can also make my own tortilla chips using corn tortillas.  I’ll try that and see how I like them.  I have been eating pickles the last week, but only one or two spears a day, and I don’t eat them the last couple of days of the week, in case they cause water retention.  Of course, if I eat them all the time, then it shouldn’t make a difference.

I don’t know what else to do except bump up my activity some more.  I guess if this continues, I would have to surmise that 35 points is too many.  I don’t usually have that problem, but I am getting older.  In the past, I have had to make sure I am not eating too little.  I don’t think that is the case because, if so, the days I have messed up should have snapped me out of it.  Maybe it is just taking this much time after switching over from Medifast.  I did not lose on the last week of Medifast, either.  If I did decide to lower my points, I think I would rotate a day with 35 points and another day with 30 (or something like that).

It is Administrative Assistant’s Week and this arrived this afternoon.  Thanks Jerry!

My girls were over this evening, so nothing went much as planned.  But still a pretty good day.