Saturday, June 30, 2007

45 Minutes on the Elliptical Trainer

I am TIRED- but again, it's a good tired. I didn't think I could last that long on the E.T. but somehow, one song at a time, I made it to 45 minutes. I know I burned a decent amount of calories because I was sweating at 30 minutes the way I usually am when on the treadmill. I did 3.82 miles total and burned about 650 calories, according to Sparkpeople. I take the calorie-burning totals with a grain of salt, but as long as I burned more calories than through walking, I'm happy. Besides, after eating so much yesterday, burning off extra calories is a very good thing.

Today I had fat free cottage cheese and fruit about an hour before my workout. Cottage cheese is a good source of protein. For my late lunch I am having 2 turkey burgers with an oz of feta cheese for the fat, 2 slices of Ezekiel bread, and a cup of cauliflower. By the way, I am multitasking. I'm utilizing the 107 degree heat to give myself a southwestern hot oil treatment! I put olive oil in my hair after my shower, wrapped it in Saran wrap, put a hat on, and now I'm lounging on the balcony eating my healthy lunch, drinking iced tea, and typing out the blog. This is the life! The fan I have blowing on me is making the dry heat bearable.

I should add that my hair is looking halfway decent. I had gotten it straightened in May to assess how well it has grown out since my all-raw/low protein diet caused my hair to thin noticeably last year (I repeat the hair history for new readers). It's still not thick like it used to be, but with the new growth since May, my scalp is not so easy to see and I feel much better about my appearance. As I morph my diet into a vegetarian one, my complexion will start to look better again, too.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Mega-Cheat Day!

Whew- I had almost 3000 calories! I had pizza for lunch and a few chicken wings, and my usual Friday sushi. I planned each meal ahead of time, so I knew how many calories I was going to be consuming. It's actually very strange for me to count calories before I overeat. I liked doing it this way, though, because I took responsibility for my food ahead of time. I couldn't pretend that I "accidentally" overate, and I also couldn't miscalculate my portion sizes the way I usually end up doing when I sit down later and try to think back on what I had. I didn't even feel bad about eating so much because I was totally in control (although I am fighting a slight urge to run to the gym and burn some of it off!)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Made it to the Gym!

I had to fight with myself again to work out, but I convinced myself to do a 6:15 a.m. workout. This time I used the gym at my complex. I prayed and prayed that no one would be on the treadmill but someone was, so I decided to torture myself with the elliptical trainer rather than return home. The elliptical trainer burns more calories, which is a good thing, but not all of them have the right "feel." This was one of those trainers that just doesn't fit my body very well. Luckily the person on the treadmill left after about 10 minutes so I finished my workout by doing a walk at 3 to 3.2 mph, which was surprisingly easy. My leap in ability reminded me of my previous experience with regular workouts: after skipping two or three days I would hit a new level of fitness- be able to go longer or faster or at a higher incline. Today I found myself running for a tiny bit at 4 mph! (I remember that when I was in shape I used to WALK at 4 mph for 45 minutes. It's hard to imagine now, but I'm sure I'll be doing it again).

When I returned home from my workout I had oatmeal and yogurt with some thawed blackberries. For lunch I went to a Chinese restaurant with a co-worker and chose the mixed vegetables and white rice. Very tasty, and healthier than what I really wanted: cashew chicken or General Tso's chicken! I was proud for making the better choice, though. At the end of the day I was short on fiber (19 grams) so I ate two pieces of Ezekiel bread to add 6 grams. That's still low, but it puts me in the recommended range.

In response to the question of whether I lift weights (see comments below), I have thought of it but don't really want to do it until a trainer has gone over the correct use of the machines at the gym. But I do have access to dumbbells and could use those- I just haven't put a plan together yet. My goal is to do weights three days a week, two of them on days I don't do cardio.

I weighed myself and it appears I may be down a pound or two. Nothing "counts" until Sunday, but it was nice to see. But I'll probably gain it all back by Saturday, the way things have been going!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Scale Hates Me

This morning my blender committed hara kiri before my very eyes. No more smoothies until payday. Maybe that set me up for the annoying day I had: annoyance that I'm not losing any weight. Some days I don't think about the weight too much, while on days like today I feel like I'm failing. I would have loved to be approaching a 10-lb loss by my mid-July trip to San Diego, but no way is that going to happen now. My friends tell me I'm probably gaining muscle, or I'm probably getting smaller without it showing on the scale. Yes, those things happen but they aren't happening to me. My clothes don't feel any looser, and I don't see any evidence that I'm packing on muscle from walking, nor am I retaining fluid now. The bottom line is that I would like to combine the rate of weight loss I experienced from eating raw with the benefits I get from eating protein. If I don't start losing weight soon I'm gonna have to do something differently, and it might just be tweaking my diet to see if a diet like raw + fish would work. Maybe raw + fish + fruit/whey protein shakes.

Another tack I could take is to increase my exercise. Thing is, I think I'm doing enough at my current level of fitness. My goal is to burn no fewer than 1000 calories a week right now. The easiest way to do that is on the treadmill, but I have to admit I am getting bored. Interspersing racquetball helps, but I'm out of shape so racquetball is too tiring to completely replace the treadmill. I haven't tried the elliptical trainers yet, so maybe that would help. Swimming? Maybe sometimes. At night when no one can see me! It's 100 degrees at night here sometimes but walking outdoors is another option. Unfortunately, says I only burn 225 calories for 45 minutes of walking using a 21-minutes-per-mile pace. I wish I could burn more in that amount of time. I think I need ideas. Or maybe an exercise partner.

OK enough whining for the day!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pretty Good Day

Today I realized I have not consistently eaten enough fiber over the past couple of weeks, so I added FIBER to my short list of nutrients to track- an easy thing to do on I made sure to get extra fiber in today, and I will strive to reach the top of the recommended range in fiber daily. Today I had over 1600 calories but because I had a turkey burger instead of fish for dinner, I ate below the recommended fat amount (drats- I forgot the sliced avocado. The broccoli and cauliflower must've thrown me off!).

So now that I'm getting my eating squared away, I am trying to increase my fitness efforts. I haven't been losing anywhere close to 2 lbs a week, so I'm kinda bummed. But I feel very proud of my fitness efforts. I played racquetball this morning before work and I wasn't in pain all day as I thought I'd be (but I was sleepy). Now I'm thinking of trying to run- it'll be slow, of course, and I'll probably limit it to after dark/before sunrise when it's coolest. I just want to get this weight off of me ASAP without starving myself. I know that eating raw will accomplish that quickly, but I live in dread of losing more hair. I'm thinking that I should start eating vegetarian during my weight loss and then incorporate raw very slowly as I continue to lose weight but am much closer to my goal. I don't know though- I change my mind every few days!!

NUTRIENTS: GOAL 6/20 6/21 6/22 6/23 6/24 6/25 TODAY
Calories: 1260 - 1610 1,461 1,482 2,611 2,608 1,402 1,549 1,646
Fat: 34 - 59 53 58 120 87 46 57 23
Carbohydrates: 170 - 245 186 149 306 307 162 152 290
Protein: 60 - 132 79 101 92 152 87 103 76
Fiber, total dietary: 25 - 35 25 35 21 24 22 40 40

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sushi and Racquetball

I think two of my favorite healthy things in life are sushi and racquetball. Playing with Cindy this weekend reminded me of how much I love the sport, so I'm actually gearing up to go to bed early so that I can get court time early in the morning before work. I would never be so motivated to get up early just to use the treadmill. I know I am asking for trouble by working out so hard before work, but it'll be worth it. The only thing I hate about racquetball is the glass wall where people can stand and stare. I try to use the gawkers as motivators to force me to play better. If I don't think of them that way, I get self conscious and start to think I don't deserve time on the court because I'm not a good player. That's no way to think, though. After all, no one starts out playing great; we all have to start somewhere.

Today I ate pretty decently. I had an Egg Beater omelette with salsa, an ounce of feta and some avocado slices. For lunch I was at a work event where they served a fattening buffet, but I chose a salad, about 2 oz of grilled chicken, and fruit salad. I did eat one bite of a fudge brownie though. Boy was it delicious, and a bite was enough. Since my lunch was pretty small, I ate the bean soup I'd brought. For dinner I had 4 oz. of broiled salmon, a baked sweet potato, and some more avocado. I am actually within all the calorie, carb, protein and fat recommendations for SparkPeople, miracle of miracles.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Oh, the Pain....

I am really suffering from Saturday's racquetball session with my friend Cindy. My serving arm is killing me, my neck hurts, my legs hurt... but it's a good hurt! The hurt of doing well in the gym. After eating indulgently on Friday and Saturday, I am back to health today. Cindy made the healthy breakfast pictured here: a spinach and mushroom omelet with a little cheddar cheese on top (in honor of my love of cheese!), some tomato slices and strawberries.

Rather than driving straight to the house when I left Cindy's this morning I stopped at the gym and put my time in on the treadmill. As usual I didn't put much thought into my warm-up, but I noticed that it took longer for the front of my ankles to start hurting, and they didn't hurt as intensely or for as long as they have in the past. I started the workout at about 2.7 mph and quickly went up to 3.0. It seems my heart rate has improved so that working out at 3.0 is well within the 117 to 144 heart rate range I'm supposed to stay at for "fat burning." I did push it to 3.1 and 3.2 mph a couple of times because I am trying to work myself up to 3.5 mph.

Cindy is trying to get me out of my self-consciousness about my appearance, so she's been giving me her clothes as she loses weight. So far she's given me a swimsuit, a pair of swim trunks and a sleeveless gym shirt. I avoided the pool this weekend but I did wear the sleeveless shirt. I hated the look but she said I looked fine. I guess that's what friends are for, huh?

As I sit here I am really sore in my upper right arm and my neck, but yesterday's racquetball session was totally worth it. I am always up for a game of racquetball. I could be in a full leg cast and I would be happy to lean against the wall in the court and hit a few balls! Between racquetball and the treadmill I should be getting fit and losing weight pretty steadily. I hope to get back to my former racquetball form so that my friend won't kick my butt so badly again!

Cindy sent me home not only with clothes but with food- she's such a caretaker. So I've got frozen turkey burgers (I totally threw out the vegetarian thing this weekend!), some swordfish, haddock and cod to try this week. She's been very helpful to me despite the fact that we are competing for who loses the most weight this month. :-) I weighed myself at her place after breakfast and found I was up several pounds. I'll have to weigh tomorrow morning for a more accurate picture, but I do expect to have gained. I'm not upset! I had too much fun and too good a workout today to worry about a few pounds this week.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Fun at the Gym

I spent the weekend with my friend Cindy so I've backdated this blog to Saturday's date. Although I had a cheat day on Friday, Saturday was also a cheat day. We went to a buffet and thoroughly enjoyed a variety of seafood, including lobster, oysters, muscles and shrimp. I had about three rolls (on which I put a little butter), a piece of fried chicken, and a spoonful of each of a variety of foods such as pasta salad, cranberry sauce, turkey stuffing and scalloped potatoes. You know how a buffet is- a little bit of this, a little bit of that! For dessert(s) I had a bite of German chocolate cake, some frozen yogurt, bread pudding and tapioca pudding. WHEW what a time!! I tried to put everything in to SparkPeople but I'm sure I've forgotten or mis-estimated some items, and I had to make some substitutions to make up for what they lacked. SparkPeople tallies my day's total as less than 2,700 calories, including the lunch I ate at home that morning. I probably had a few hundred calories more than that, but I'm not going to drive myself crazy trying to figure it out.

Earlier that day we played racquetball for about 40 minutes, so we got our heart rates up and burned a good amount of calories. I was really worn out after that workout. Even though I chose the "casual racquetball" choice on SparkPeople it says I burned over 400 calories. That's good because it makes up for the skipped workout on Thursday.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Someone asked if the picture in my profile is my virtual model. Yes, that is her. I plan to shrink her as I shrink. Here is what she looks like now, as a size 26/28.

Today was my cheat day, so I ate a couple of my favorite foods, including Pepsi: Totino’s pizza rolls and roasted nuts. I easily got to the 2,400 calories my trainer recommended, and beyond! I felt a little guilty for having a cheat day when I skipped a workout this week, but so be it. I’m not going to be perfect every week.

I am looking forward to biking with Cindy this weekend. I am even taking my bathing suit with me, but I do not promise to get in the pool even though I absolutely love swimming. I’m way too shy about the way I look in a bathing suit. Yes, I know I shouldn’t care, but I do! I know I will be overeating this weekend but I will balance it out with the biking.

Today I went to the grocery store with my new list of foods. I got protein in the form of egg beaters, salmon and cottage cheese (I still have whey protein left), complex carbs in the form of sweet potatoes and 7-grain sprouted bread, an avocado for the fats (I already have nuts and olive oil), and some fruit for my “fibrous carbs.” I will wait until I return from my weekend with Cindy before buying the remainder of my fruits and vegetables for the fibrous carbs category, that way they won’t start to go bad before I have a chance to eat them. Between the new way of eating and my workouts, I hope to remain healthy while losing 2 lbs a week.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Skipped the Gym

I didn't eat anything I shouldn't have today, but I did skip the gym. I have plans to go bike riding with my friend Cindy this weekend, which would burn twice as many calories as I'd have burned today anyway. Basically, I'm just having an unmotivated week. I've been staying within the calorie range that is acceptable to me (although not to my trainer), been doing well at the gym, and have lost weight, so my malaise isn't about feeling like a failure. Maybe the change of pace this weekend will shake things up and bring back a little of my enthusiasm.

Cottage Cheese, 2% Milkfat, 1 cup (not packed)
Fruit Salad, 2 cup

Progresso Vegetable Classics Green Split Pea with Bacon, 2.25 cup

Broccoli, cooked, 1 cup, chopped
Atlantic Salmon (fish), 4 oz

Cashew Nuts, dry roasted (salt added), 3 oz
Daily Totals

Calories Fat Carbohydrates Protein
1,482 58 149 101

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I Did NOT Want to Workout Today

Today's photo is another healthy meal made by my "chef" friend Cindy. Today we have Curried Chicken Spears. Mmmm that looks delicious.

This week has been a little tougher for me. First of all, I'm HUNGRY more during the day. Secondly, I haven't felt like working out. And thirdly, I've been tempted to stop at McDonald's on the way home, or to order an entire pizza just for me! What is happening??

As far as the daytime hunger goes, I could resolve that by eating more at breakfast. I cut my Egg Beater portions in half, and I've also eaten oatmeal with fruit and yogurt, so I'm not eating a whole lot of calories in the morning this week.

The workouts- I'll just have to force myself through them, making sure I have good music. The first 20 minutes are always the roughest. The muscles in the front of my ankles hurt, causing me to have to slow down to under 3.0 mph- very disheartening! I guess I have to warm up for a much longer time than I've been willing to. During those first 20 minutes I've had to talk myself out of quitting. My reward for sticking it out is that my ankles suddenly stop hurting, the music seems to get better, and I find a walking style that is less awkward, and off I go! Usually when I hit that point, the workout is awesome and I am disappointed (and surprised) when 45 minutes have passed. Before that magic moment, though, I am uninspired and my leaden feet seem to be slamming the treadmill like Bozo the Clown! Maybe I have weak ankles.

The third problem- wanting to stuff myself with junk food- is probably more a function of missing the "fun" foods as well as missing the comfort I got from eating them. I think feeling lonely plays a role- most of the people I care about don't live near me. Food was my companion during a stretch of childhood when I felt isolated, and so it became a reliable "friend" during rough times in my adulthood. Healthy foods, no matter how good they taste, just don't offer that same sense of "you're not alone" for me. It helps me a lot to continue to go to the gym, and I hope to get active in other ways soon- playing racquetball again, going bike riding, playing volleyball, etc. When I work out, I see junk food as a waste all the effort I just expended, so workouts and sports are a good junk-food deterrent for me.

Anyway, another workout has come and gone and guess what? I've lost three more pounds! I can't log them on SparkPeople because it didn't happen until the day after weigh-in, but as long as I don't regain them I'll be fine. I would say at least a pound of that loss is water weight, because I can see my ankle bone again!

I've got two new goals to think about now: incorporating weight training into my workouts, and setting a date to go all vegetarian (my prelude to returning to raw). I'm thinking of doing Monday/Wednesday/Friday for weights, and to start them at home. I don't go to the gym on Monday and Friday, so that's perfect. Wednesdays I'm thinking can be an a.m. cardio/ p.m. weights day.

I should probably eat more vegetables and fruit before I go to bed, even though it's after 7 pm.

Steel Cut Oats, dry, 0.25 cup
Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla, 6 oz, 1 serving
Fruit Salad, 2 cup

Campbell's Condensed Beef w Veg & Barley 1/2 cup condensed, 1.5 cup
Einstein Bros Everything Bagel, 0.5 serving

Atlantic Salmon (fish), 4 oz
Gorgonzola Crumbles, 2 tbsp
Spinach, fresh, 2 cup
Salsa, 0.5 cup
Kraft Zesty Italian Salad Dressing, 1 tbsp

Cashew Nuts, dry roasted (salt added), 1.5 oz
Almonds, 0.25 oz (24 whole kernels)

Calories Fat Carbs Protein
1,461 186 53 79

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Early Morning Workout

This morning I actually dragged myself out of bed at 5 a.m. and worked out before work. Unbelievable. And because I did it so early, I had the time to make myself an Egg Beater omelet for breakfast. As for lunch, it was another "business lunch" and did not have a say in the restaurant we went to. It turned out to be a very nice neighborhood Italian place.

I already have it in my head to order salads when I eat out, so I perused the salad list and chose the seafood salad. It seemed the lesser of the 7 or so evils. When it arrived I was horrified to find that the calamari on it looked like so many gray spiders hunching among the lettuce leaves. I have a thing about spiders. It was horrendous! But I forced myself to eat them because I didn't want to appear immature! I popped them into my mouth along with whatever else would cover up the texture, and swallowed really quickly. UGH. There was also shrimp, shredded crab and bay scallops, but none of the seafood appeared in large amounts. Thank goodness the dressing wasn't drenching the salad.

For my SparkPeople tally I had to find what I believed to be an equivalent salad dressing, so I added an extra tablespoon of it just in case I've underestimated the caloric content. The only thing I had for lunch that I shouldn't have was a large roll, but I was SOOOOOO hungry because of my workout that I just went ahead and ate it. It had a slight hint of olive oil, so I just called it garlic bread and listed it as half a slice.

I'm not sure I'll go to the gym every morning like that, but it worked out pretty well for me today. I felt energetic most of the day and did not feel sleepy after lunch. In fact, I drank coffee because I was cold this morning rather than to wake myself up.

I'm still short of calories as the time approaches 7 pm (less than 1015 calories) so I might treat myself to some sushi later (any excuse for sushi, folks). Yes, I'll be breaking the don't-eat-after-7pm rule again (just like I broke the no-cheese rule again!) I guess I'm just a rebel...

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Competition is Launched!

My friend Cindy in Mesquite, Nevada, has challenged me to a month-long weight loss contest. She's a wonderful budding chef who finds these great, healthy recipes. I've been lucky enough to indulge in her cooking a few times, but I didn't get to try this one: a BLT wrap with colorful coleslaw. (That looks like turkey bacon, by the way.) Our challenge started today. Whoever loses the competition has to take the winner out for dinner. Better save up your money, Cindy!!

Today was a good day for me, although at 7 pm I realized I'd only had about 850 calories. Oops. That's because I'd forgotten to eat as soon as I got home home from . I broke the don't-eat-after-7 pm rule and made my yummy salmon salad, but I'd still had too few calories so I made a smoothie, using low-fat vanilla yogurt instead of the protein powder. (Today was not a workout day, but I will be in the gym tomorrow).


Egg Beaters 0.5 cup
Salsa, 0.25 cup

Campbell's Select New England Clam Chowder (98% Fat Free), 2 serving

Kraft Zesty Italian Salad Dressing, 1 tbsp
Gorgonzola Crumbles, 4 tbsp
Baked Salmon RECIPE, 1 serving
Spinach, fresh, 2 cup
Salsa, 0.5 cup
Strawberries 3 large
Cantaloupe, 2 cup, balls
Watermelon, 1 wedge (approx 1/16 of melon)

Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla, 6 oz, 1 serving
Blueberry Juice, 5 oz
Watermelon, 1 cup, balls
Blackberries, 0.25 cup
Mangos, 1
Strawberries,1 cup, halves

Calories Fat Carbs Protein
1,634 256 41 81

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I Ran!

I had a fun day today, even though I started the day a little annoyed that I lost not a single pound this week. I forgot about that though when a raw vegan friend gave a potluck, which I attended. Not all of the foods were raw. I can have one “cheat day” a week so I enjoyed my first pastry in a long while (I cut it in half), a slice of raw pie, some guacamole, tortilla chips and salsa, and fruit salad. I was surprised that I didn’t do badly on the calorie side of things, although raw pies tend to be fattening and I have no idea what the nutritional content of the pie is. That slice could have been 300 calories, for all I know. I’m not going to worry about it since it was my cheat day.

Before the potluck I worked out in the complex I live in. After 15 minutes I was so bored I was going to give up, but thank goodness for my iPod! The music gave me a boost. And since I was the only one in there I thought hey, let me try running to make this more interesting. I “ran” at a VERY slow pace because the machine is old and the belt “slips” a little, but I did run. I did it in half-minute spurts, and walked at 2.8 to 3.0 mph in between. I stopped the workout when I hit two miles, but my cooldown took me to 45 minutes. A woman entered the workout room during one of my sprints and I instantly went back to walking because I felt very self conscious, but then I thought, who cares what I look like running on this thing? And I started running again. I was very proud of myself for that.

It’s late and I’m too lazy to copy and paste my menu but I did eat over 2000 calories due to my salmon salad dinner and the pie slice. My friend who told me about the 2100- calories-per-day recommendation for people who weigh 300 lbs sent me a food list that I really like. There are four columns. “Five” appears to be a special number on this plan: you take one food from each column five times a day. Every five days you get a cheat day. You eat five times a day, all within a 12 hour period. Other rules: You cannot eat after 7 pm, and you cannot eat more fruits than vegetables. The plan allows nuts but no cheese. Everything I ate today (except feta) was allowed on the plan because it allows tortillas. (Oops- it doesn’t allow pastries!) Canned foods aren’t included, but I have some soups to eat up before I get into this plan fully.

So, I’ve lost no additional weight, but I made up for that disappointment by proving to myself that I can run on the treadmill. I cannot complain!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Very Good Week

I missed my Sushi Friday so I’m having LOTS of it tonight. Fourteen pieces of delicious nigiri sushi. I was very hungry so it wasn’t too much food today. In fact, I forgot to eat lunch and had to quick eat some yogurt before running out to the gym this afternoon. I had another great workout, but I really learned the detriments of not stretching. The front of both ankles felt so sore for the first 10 minutes that I thought I’d have to stick to 2.5 mph the whole time. Luckily the soreness went away and I was shocked when 45 minutes came to an end. I had to check the total miles (2.12) several times to be sure I hadn’t accidentally pushed the cooldown button. Since I was listening to a great song and still had energy, I decided to keep going. I did 55 minutes total, but slowed it way down for the last 6 minutes for a real cooldown.

A friend of mine who has her own personal trainer said she was told that if you weigh over 300 lbs you should eat 2100 calories (7 times 300 lbs) per day to lose weight. If you weigh under 300 just do 7 times whatever that weight is, she says. I don’t know… I’m just going to keep working out and eating between probably 1,200 and 1,700!

Mango (small)
Strawberries, fresh, 1 cup, halves
Cherry Juice, 4 oz
Protein Powder
Kiwi Fruit
Blackberries 0.5 cup
Egg Beaters 1 cup
Salsa, 0.25 cup
Feta Cheese, 1 oz
Meal Totals
Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla
Nigiri Salmon 4 pieces
Nigiri Tuna 4 pieces
Ikura maki, 6 pieces

Calories Fat Carbs Protein
1,826 21 249 89

Friday, June 15, 2007

To Work Out or Not Work Out?

I was able to get close to 2000 calories today because I had a leftover Jimmy John's lunch from yesterday's staff meeting- I just left out the chips this time. However, if I really want to be healthy, that's not the kind of stuff I should be eating twice a week, whether or not it fits into my calories/carbs/protein/fats scheme. It's a high-fat meal, and not the good fat kind. And it's not even vegetarian! Shame on me.

I weighed myself this morning and was very unhappy with the fact that I haven't lost a single pound STILL since last Sunday. Of course, it's not Sunday yet so I'm shouldn't get all excited. If I weigh on Sunday and still haven't lost a single pound, it could mean I'm not eating enough (seems unlikely), I'm eating too much (possibly), I'm retaining water (I don't think so)... Who knows? Guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Today is a rest day but I'm fighting the urge to work out.
Eating so many calories is what tempts me to go to the gym- I have this urge to burn off the calories. The gym here is open 24 hours so it's easy for me to be spontaneous and run there. However, I don't want to overdo it and hurt myself, or become addicted to the gym.


Mangos, 1 cup, sliced
Strawberries, 1 cup
Cherry Juice, 4 oz
Protein Powder, 6 tbsp
Jimmy John's Subs - #1 Pepe,
Chocolate Chip Cookie, 1 serving
Spinach, fresh, 2 cup
Feta Cheese, 1 oz
Salsa, 0.5 cup
Italian Salad Dressing, 1 tbsp
Atlantic Salmon (fish), 6 oz
Calories Fat Carbohydrates Protein
1,866 75 209 104

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Improvements at the Gym

Today I topped out at 3.1 mph on the treadmill. May seem dinky to those of you who have been working out for a while or are just more fit than I am, but I sure was proud! I was able to visualize myself running on the treadmill like I used to do a few years ago. I don't know how long it'll take for me to reach that point, but I'd like to wait until I get to 250 lbs just so I don't do harm to my knees. What made me especially happy about my workout was that I felt truly able to walk at 3.0 mph (3.1 was pushing it); I didn't feel like I was especially tired or out of breath. I can really see progress being made, although the scale has not budged.

I ate A LOT today. As of 7pm I've had over 1, 700 calories without having dinner yet. We had a staff meeting at my job, which normally involves ordering food. Today it was Jimmy John's sub lunch boxes. I had the #4 (turkey) but I ate the chips and the chocolate chip cookie that came in the box, too! I shouldn't have, but I get one "cheat day" a week which I rarely bother to use, plus I rarely eat the number of calories per day my trainer wants me to have per day (2,400) so I think I'll be ok. Besides, I had a great workout. Dinner will be a salad with salmon on it. I'm seeing that adding salmon to my meals has really helped me to raise my calorie count. Salmon has healthy fat in it.

Steel Cut Oats, dry, 0.25 cup
Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla, 6 oz

Jimmy Johns #4 Turkey sub
Campbell's beanw/ bacon
Potato Chips, 1 serving
Chocolate Chip Cookie

Atlantic Salmon (fish), 3 oz
Spinach, fresh, 2 cup
Feta Cheese, 1 oz
Salsa, 0.5 cup
Avocado, 1/2
Italian Salad Dressing, 1 tbsp

Calories Fat Carbs Protein
2,196 93 239 92

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Yummy Day

I had another good workout today. I truly meant to make it a “light” day but I get competitive with myself. I want to either burn more calories or go a little further each session. Today I decided to go for the increased calories, so I raised the incline up to 2.5% on the slow songs. But when I peeked at the time on the treadmill and saw that 37 minutes had passed and I had only gone about 1.75 miles, I ramped up the speed a little so I could complete 2 miles in 45 minutes. I still didn’t go over 3 mph, though because I’m supposed to keep my heart rate between 117 and 144.

Since I’m notoriously bad at drinking water (I could seriously go for days without any) I always make sure I drink 16 oz before I return to my car after the workout- at least I get 2 cups in that way. I am trying to get into the habit of drinking some in the morning and evening as well.

After my workout I went to the grocery store to stock up on more fresh salmon. Since I’m not used to cooking for myself- I went from a raw diet to a ghastly fast-food/frozen food diet - I had fun looking up recipes. I used a baked salmon recipe from SparkPeople for a 12-oz piece of salmon with the skin (I always eat the skin!), and I sautéed 4 six-oz fillets using a tiny bit of olive oil in a non-stick pan. While I was baking and sautéing I was also steaming broccoli in a makeshift steamer made of a steel strainer and a stock pot. The house smelled so good! The reason I steamed the broccoli is that I don’t like raw broccoli- never have. But it’s a good vegetable to have on hand.

I made an unfortunate discovery: those three salmon fillets I had previously were really SIX ounces each, not three ounces!! See what happens when you don’t have a food scale, boys and girls? The good news, however, is that on those days I was about 150 calories closer to the 2,400 calories my trainer wants me to consume daily. (I have ensured that I will not have this problem again by buying a food scale).

So I had a great workout, a huge dinner with vegetables, drank a little more water than usual, and feel great! I will weigh myself tomorrow morning (if I remember).

Mangos, 1 cup, sliced
Cherry Juice, 4 oz
Blackberries, fresh, 0.5 cup
Whey Protein Powder
Campbell's bean w/bacon soup
Baked Salmon, 4 oz
Broccoli, steamed, 1 cup
Spinach, fresh, 2 cup
Feta Cheese, 1 oz
Salsa, 0.5 cup
Avocados, 1/2
Italian Salad Dressing, 1 tbsp
Brown Rice, long grain, 1 cup

1,694 235 51 88

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Day of Rest

I had to take Alleve last night when I woke up around midnight, so I convinced myself to take today off from the gym. I get two days off, anyway. I made a real effort to get 2,400 calories in today, but I'll never do it this way again: I "frontloaded" at breakfast: smoothie and eggbeaters omelet at home, and then an Amy's burrito at work. I was sooooo full and it wasn't even 9 a.m. but I'd managed about 900 calories. I had lunch a little later than usual: Campbell's split pea soup (yes- too salty. Thank you for the tip!). Very filling and over 400 calories. I felt like an overstretched balloon after that. I had a late dinner of salmon, brown rice, a little salsa and half an avocado. Cherries brought me to over 2000. I won't be eating like that again, though. That was an experiment.

You know, overeating is fun only when the food is fattening and full of sugar.

Amy's Bean & Rice Burrito
Egg Beaters 1 cup
Salsa, 0.5 cup
Feta Cheese, 0.5 oz
Mango, 1/2
Blackberries0.25 cup
Cherry Juice, 4 oz
Whey Protein Powder
Split Pea soup with/Ham & Bacon
Atlantic Salmon 3 oz
Brown Rice 1 cup
Salsa, 0.5 cup
Avocados- Haas 1/2
Cherries, 2 cups

2,108 297 51 126

Monday, June 11, 2007

Swollen Feet

My sweet tooth is well taken care of with all of the fruit I'm eating and smoothies I drink. I even indulge in an occasional diet pop. But I find that I crave salt sometimes. I made salmon last night and maybe put too much salt on it because I noticed my feet were swollen today. Oops. My sandals were pretty tight this afternoon. I don't usually have concerns about swelling, so that was a little odd.

Today I signed up again on SparkPeople, the website that has you track your food, exercise, and other things. The Weight Watchers site doesn't allow you to track nutrients or even calories, so I figured if I'm gonna comply with my trainer's nutritional request (or at least try), I'd better find an easy way to analyze my meals. It is 5:30 pm as I type this and I have had:


Mangos, 1 cup, sliced 107 28 0 1
Strawberries, fresh, 1 cup, halves 46 11 1 1
Banana, fresh, 1 large 125 32 1 1
Cherry Juice, 4 oz 90 22 0 1
Whey Protein Powder 110 2 1 23
Sweet Cherries, 2 cups 147 37 0 2

Campbell's Savory Lentil, 2 cup 260 48 1 16
Amy's Kitchen, Breakfast Burrito
230 38 6 9

Atlantic Salmon (fish), 3 oz 155 0 7 22
Spinach, fresh, 1 cup 7 1 0 1
Salsa, 0.5 cup 36 8 0 2
Feta Cheese, 0.5 oz 37 1 3 2
Newman's Own Italian, 1 tbsp 60 1 7 1

Sweet Cherries, 1 cup, with pits 74 19 0 1


1,484 247 27 83

In case the above cut-and-paste doesn't come out on some browsers, the end result is 1,484 calories, 247 carbs, 27 grams of fat, and 83 grams of protein. I should state, in all honesty, I didn't do the visual portion control thing at all- I made a smoothie for breakfast and had two packaged foods for lunch. In retrospect, I trust that half a salmon fillet is the size of my palm and that the 1 1/2 cups of cherries I had were not too far off from the size of my fist.

So, it's not looking good for 2400 calories, and I am not hungry enough to eat another 900 + calories tonight. I'll be working out this evening and won't want to eat afterwards. According to WW I've consumed 33.5 points. I guess this would be the time to eat a protein bar, wouldn't it? But I don't want to, regardless of what my personal trainer recommends. I don't like those things. They are expensive and don't taste good and aren't real food, as far as I'm concerned. The fact that they resemble candy bars make them a trigger food for me, as well. Best to stay away.

Today she texted me to ask how I was and if I had any questions. I told her I couldn't figure out how to get 2400 calories in. She told me "you're an athlete! Cardio tonight!" Hmmm- that didn't help. I then told her I didn't think I could eat 2400 calories today. She said to "be honest and put it in my journal." Sigh... I need more guidance than that. I called a nutritionist today just to see what it would cost me. I could use the personal trainer just for the physical training and use the nutritionist for my nutritional concerns. The nutritionist charges $95 for a two-hour consultation, and an additional $100 to see her for a month. That's a lot. I hate it that preventative treatment costs so much! I'm trying to keep myself from getting diabetes, high blood pressure, a stroke, etc. but medical insurance kicks in after you've already been diagnosed. We need to be treating people who are in danger of getting those illnesses.

And on that note, I'm taking a nap!

(P.S. If any of you are on MySpace, feel free to visit and to give me your MySpace URL too. I'd be happy to visit your site as well.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Today I met with my trainer for our nutrition counseling. Now I'm seriously having doubts about this! She wants to train me as if I were an athlete. She wants me to eat 2,400 calories a day. You read that right- 2,400 calories! I don't know how I'm going to do that without cheese, nuts and other high fat foods. She wants me to eat 6 times a day, too. A protein bar and two protein shakes a day make up part of the daily plan. I don't want to get so much protein from those types of "foods" but I figure I'll try what I can for the next week or two and then see how flexible she can be if I decide I really cannot do this. I already know I won't be doing the protein bars; maybe 1 shake a day, though (the powder in my smoothie).

The exercise is less of a problem. I'm in pain (neck, shoulders, back, and the front of each ankle) but I can deal with that. I always push myself when it comes to physical training, anyway. Today I did 3 mph on a 2% incline for part of the workout, and then varied the speed and incline throughout the rest of the time. 40 minutes came and went just like that! I completed 2 miles this time. I'm probably overdoing it; based on the soreness I wonder if I should be working out every other day rather than daily, but I'm willing to see if I can keep up this pace.

I bought the groceries on the list of foods she gave me- $96. I feel very far away from my raw plan at this point, but I know I have to work my way back to it. I have yogurt, cottage cheese, egg beaters, salmon, oatmeal, and a host of fruits. I also bought my soups and two Amy's burritos. I don't have enough vegetables, however. More shopping! I only ate about 22 points today but considering she wants me to eat 2400 calories a day, the points will go up this week as I strive to increase the calories.

That's it for today. I can't wait to lie down, I'm so achy and tired.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I Love Sushi

Today went pretty well. I didn't have a smoothie; instead I started the day with watermelon and my brown rice salad, along with the other half of yesterday's avocado. For a snack I had a little fruit salad of watermelon, honeydew, strawberries and cherries. Lunch was Campbell's lentil soup. I didn't do much today; in fact, the day was very relaxing and non-demanding. However, by 8 pm I was read to work out. I had different sneakers and they fit me well enough to not aggravate the large blisters I still have from my previous workouts. I did 40 minutes on the treadmill, completing 1.95 miles. My goal when I work out is to do a little bit better than I did the previous time. This could be through increasing the incline a little more, increasing the speed, working out a little longer, etc. Today my goal was to walk a little further, so I didn't stick to the 2.5 mph suggested by the trainer; I hovered around 3.0 mph. Having my new earphones really helped; I considered doing more than 40 minutes because the music was so good, but I still needed to have time to eat. I decided to have nigiri sushi again. So now it's after 11 pm. I didn't mean to eat so late but if I had skipped dinner, I would have had only about 1/2 the day's calorie requirement.

I had joined Weight Watchers earlier this year (and since quit, of course) but I kept my membership to their e-tools website. I've been using it to enter my foods these past couple of weeks. At my current weight I'm supposed to eat 37 points worth of food a day, but today I only had 18.5, and I used up 3 points (or 4, I can't figure it out) when I worked out. This means that I ended the day with about 15 points. NOT GOOD! I will have to make up for this deficit over the upcoming week. Besides the 37 points a day, I get an extra 35 points a week. I didn't use those points last week. I can see already that I am probably going to have the same problem I usually have when I eat healthfully; my appetite lowers so much that I don't get enough calories and could end up losing weight too quickly (yeah, boo hoo, right?) But losing weight too quickly is not healthy. I'll just have to take this one day at a time, I guess!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Mmmm You Gotta Try This

I made my brown rice dish tonight and boy is it delicious- I just had to share. I eat it cold and I think I might have another serving, this time with avocado on the side. Between the olive oil and the avocado, I'm gettin' those good fats in.

Brown Rice Salad

  • Cook 1 cup dry brown rice according to the directions (and don't burn a batch like I did)
  • Add 1 large bunch of parsley minced/finely chopped (I used curly parsley)
  • Add 1 large clove of garlic, grated or minced
  • Add 1 cup salsa (or just chop up enough tomatoes to make one cup, and add 2 or three chopped scallions)
  • Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
  • Add 4 oz of crumbled feta
  • Add salt to taste
  • Add 1/8 cup of olive oil
Obviously you can add these ingredients in whatever proportions you want. Or add/subtract items- I'm all for creativity. Bon appetit!

I did not work out tonight but I did get the key to the workout room, which means I will have two locations to get my treadmill sessions in. I'm getting sneakers tomorrow. I did not meet with the trainer today because she was supposed to send me an email with information in it first, and also verify the specific time of our meeting but she never did. That's ok- I was sleepy as heck today anyway and wouldn't have been alert.

For my working lunch today we went to a sushi place. I had 7 pieces of nigiri sushi and 1 California roll. WAY too much food- I was stuffed! So yummy, though. I love my sushi Fridays.

Neither Lack of Cheese nor Blisters Will Stop Me!

I hope my personal trainer doesn't see this but I bought feta cheese yesterday. I decided I "can't live without it" right now. I like to make taboule and add feta to it. I also went against her advice and used the protein powder in my smoothie this morning. Why am I being defiant? Well, I eat probably between 1200 and 1700 calories a day including those items. When I cut out the cheese, nuts and protein powder it takes out over 500 calories. That, along with the exercise (I burned over 300 yesterday) will give me a huge calorie deficit. I recognize that I'm just being stubborn about eating the foods I like. I did make one concession though- I bought the brown rice she recommended. I am going to prepare it as if it were taboule and add feta to it!

Yesterday's workout was not especially fun. At the gym I discovered that the little rubber earbud thingies were missing from my earphones- that was enough to make me consider cancelling my workout right then- no music, no workout! But I decided to use the earphones anyway. The sound quality was horrid and make my workout much less pleasant. Plus, my sneakers, which a friend gave me, really are too narrow and were severely hurting my toes. Not wanting to be a wuss or use any more excuses to not work out, I pressed on. After the workout I sat in the nearest chair and took my shoes off. Blisters on both little toes! Today, the blister on one toe is almost as big as the toe itself! I have new earphones, but I won't work out at all today unless I can get some sports sandals that will leave my toes in the open.

So far I'm feeling good about the food. Since I'm considering my diet to be "high raw," eating out is not anxiety-provoking. I just get the salad that looks the tastiest and closest to raw, and make minor adjustments. Last week I ate at a restaurant with a coworker and had the candied walnuts removed from my salad and replaced with sliced avocado. Today I'm having another working lunch and am not anticipating major problems. Later, I have a meeting with my PT to discuss nutrition and I think it's important to tell her honestly what I'm willing and not willing to do. I want to keep the cheese, period. I can live without the nuts. And I think I would prefer to count WW points or some kind of food values rather than doing the visual portion control thing (that doesn't work with food addicts anyway- some days my fist will be a lot bigger than other days!!)

Things are going well so far.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

June, 2007

I'm sitting here in my lovely apartment after a 40 minute treadmill workout feeling pretty good: proud, capable and confident! It's been a loooong time since I've done anything decent with my health, and I have been paying the price with all the predictable effects - the weight gain, bad complexion, poor fitness level, lowered energy, not-very-happy-mood, low self esteem, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda. But last week I was ready to get back on the wagon, so up I hopped. I have lost about 8 lbs (the first week is always mostly water), and today I started working out.


To get me back into the gym, I found a personal trainer. Today was my first meeting with her. She recorded my BMI, measurements and starting weight. I have to get a doctor's release before we truly begin to work out, but she wants me to do 40 minutes on the treadmill at only 2.5 mph, 0 incline, 5 days a week. As my cardiovascular fitness improves we'll increase the speed and incline level. Eventually we'll add weights and do a 30-minute circuit training type of workout (ugh). I can only afford her once a week right now, but that's all right.

My initial weight goal is to lose about 30 lbs in three months. My overall goal is to reach 160 lbs by the time I earn my doctorate in 2009.

Although my goal is to eat a "high raw" (not all raw) diet, I am starting out cautiously. Last time I started raw I jumped in with both feet and lost 25 lbs in one month, and about 1/4 of my hair. I want to lose weight quickly, but not with that kind of side effect! I'm still growing my hair back and it looks better, one year later. I stopped wearing a wig last month- scary move, but a happy occasion.

My previous raw diet was very low in protein so this time around I plan to ensure that I get enough of it. Since I love nigiri sushi, I will be getting some of my protein raw. These past two weeks I've been having a fruit smoothie with protein powder every morning, low-fat vegetable or vegetable/bean soups for lunch, and then salads with some sort of cheese for dinner. For a snack I eat raw cashews and almonds. My trainer wants me to stop eating cheese and nuts, and to not do protein supplements. She recommends I eat oatmeal, egg whites and brown rice, all of which I am willing to do for a little while as I establish myself in this new health routine. She knows I am avoiding all red meats and fowl but I didn't go into the whole future raw thing with her- I'll do that later!

Now, I'm not sure if I like what my trainer is having me do for food: she uses the volume method for determining portion sizes rather than counting calories or food values. I mean, how do you determine an index finger's worth of olive oil? She admits that this is "ambiguous" but wants me to try it out before I completely reject it. We'll see how it goes but I am already not overjoyed with the foods or the portion-control method.


I am SO out of shape it is pitiful. She did a stress test on me and wanted me to stop when my heart rate went back down to 119, but it never went below 130! My resting pulse was 80. She set me up to do 40 minutes on the treadmill at 2.5 mph. When she left, I experimented with raising the incline to .5 and then 1, and raising the speed to 2.7 - just little changes to see how my heart rate was affected. She wants me to stay between 117 and 144 beats per minute and I did that, but overall I only achieved 1.75 miles in 41 minutes. I'm very impatient and want to go faster than that, but I know I have to start slowly. The good thing is that I can only get better, and it'll be fun seeing the improvement. My arms and my neck are a little sore, and I'm sure my legs will be sore tomorrow, but my iPod will help to distract me from pain when I work out tomorrow.

Well that's it for today. I'm about to see what I can eat for dinner! A fist-sized portion of something...



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