Monday, April 30, 2007

Dinner for one: Night 1 in my mini-series

Unfortunately, you only get to see one of my blurry test shots from my dinner, as my camera battery died before I got set up for better ones! Oh, well, it'll serve to give a general idea.

I wasn't terribly hungry tonight: I'm still a bit jet-lagged, and I exercised my upper body tonight. (The bands/ball exercises are working; I was sweating! More info on that when I hae the routine down better.) Sometimes hard exercise has the nice effect of making me less hungry afterward.

Of course, eating a salad for one is hardly a unique dinner. And salads can be so horribly boring, especially when you are used to filling a salad with tasteless iceberg lettuce coated in high-fat items like boiled egg, bacon, cheese, fried chicken, buttery croutons, etc., drenched in a high-fat dressing that leaves a shiny pool at the bottom of your salad bowl when you're done. If/when you then try to switch to a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, and vinegar alone (or something similar) to make your salad have nearly no calories, well, yech. All of your textures the same, all of your tastes melding into one . . . that's not fun at all. All of that former stuff can be lovely (even the iceberg lettuce, if it's very fresh and in just the right salad), but of course, a salad full of bunches of fattening food is no healthy meal at all.

I've found that putting more unique ingredients in my salads makes me enjoy a light meal very thoroughly. Each bite is deliciously flavorful; with a variety of textures and tastes, the salad stays interesting to my palate. When one of my college roommates graduated, I made her a cookbook of recipes I'd made that she enjoyed. One thing I included was a whole page of pick-and-choose ingredients for salads, everything from sesame seeds to roasted red peppers to strawberries to cilantro. Nearly anything can be good in a salad--I love roasted vegetables in a salad . . . or hot dressing that wilts the greens a bit . . . or pan-fried tofu. It's all about experimentation.

Tonight's salad consisted of spring greens (I'd rather use local organic ones, but I didn't have any, so I bought a bag at Whole Foods), sliced red onion (very thinly sliced, about 1/8 of the onion--too much red onion in a bite can knock out your taste buds), dried mixed berries (about 1/8 c.), pistachios (1/8 c.), and my easy homemade Meyer lemon dressing. That's it. I had planned to use feta as well, but the feta in our fridge was ancient and had developed green mold. My salad was delicious without it. The onion was crisp and pungent, the pistachios were crunchy and salty, the berries were chewy and sweet, the greens were fresh and peppery, and the dressing was slightly sour but also a bit sweet. The combination was simple and wonderful.

I've written out my dressing before, but here it is again. It's a great dressing for people who are recovering from Irritable Bowel Synrdome or Interstitial Cystitis (or people whose stomachs get easily upset in general) but still want a salad dressing that tastes like salad dressing. I never use vinegar in dressings because of my body's issues, and I couldn't have eaten this dressing without pain at the worst of my IC, but I love it now that I'm in the process of recovering.

My Old Stand-By: Meyer Lemon Dressing (No Vinegar!)

1 Meyer lemon (a Meyer lemon is a cross between a Mandarin orange and a regular lemon)
~3 times as much good olive oil as you got lemon juice (just eye it--it's really okay)
~1 tsp. Mrs. Dash garlic-and-herbs seasoning (or brown or spicy mustard, or your own seasoning mix)
couple of grinds of salt, or 1/2 tsp. Lawry's seasoning salt
1-2 tsp. of honey

I juice the lemon into an old jelly jar that has a lid. Then I pour and sprinkle all the rest into the jar, put the cap on, and shake it well. If I'm thinking ahead, I make it a day in advance, but I've made it and served it right away, too. With the lid screwed on the jar, it stays good in the fridge for a week or longer.

If you have any salad ingredients you love that some other people find strange, please share! Or . . . what's your favorite salad combination in general?

C25K Update . . . and a bit more

I did Day II of Week 5 again yesterday, and it was fine. It was hard, but it was fine! I could certainly feel my muscles working on the running sections, and I was slightly sore, but it was nothing worth stopping me. I ran two 8-minute segments with the end of the last one being a pretty steep incline. Talk about talking yourself through it! But I did it, and I'm very proud of that fact.

I realized this morning that I actually only have to do 20 minutes (ha! only . . . 20 minutes) once this week before dropping down to a lower level for the beginning of next week. I guess that's to push my muscles and then rest them some? In any case, I'm planning to do that on Wednesday, weather willing, and then move on to Week Six.

Do you know what? This was so cool to me. The skills I'm developing in C25K and with my healthy eating attitudes are paying off in other ways. Let me share. . . .

A few years ago, I developed a case of acrophobia (fear of heights), and it's never gone away. I went from being a fearless adolescent to being a very fearful adult rather suddenly. My parents had a very sudden separation and then a long, horrible divorce. My financial world fell apart. My emotional world fell apart. It seemed like I was just waiting for the next bad thing to happen. Then I got sick, several times, and then it turned out I had cancer. Then my first fiance and I broke up. Of course, plenty of good things happened in the meantime, but what it felt like was I was just holding my breath waiting for the next earthquake. I've let a lot of that go, but the fear of heights has stayed with me. When we were in Oregon on vacation, we were crossing, on foot, a bridge that was high over a rushing river. I felt woozy glancing down. I clung to the railing with each step. I had wanted to stop to take photos, but suddenly I felt like I couldn't do anything but be afraid. Then I thought (as I have used with foods I have craved but haven't really desired), "What if I just don't?" Only this time, I meant, "What if I just don't let myself be afraid?" And suddenly, I wasn't. I was able to look down, look up, walk without holding the railing, and take a great photo of my husband on the bridge. I was so excited that my diet trick worked. It's so basic . . . yet it worked.

The other thing is that I have decided to develop 3-4 blogs simultaneously for the next year to year-and-a-half. I am going to do them more professionally than I have done any blogging. I'm excited about it, and I find it a bit overwhelming. When I feel overwhelmed, it's easy to just STOP thinking about whatever is overwhelming me and do nothing. Today, instead, I thought, "Why don't I break this down the way C25K breaks down running? I can do anything in little pieces." So I emailed a very successful blogger I know to get some advice, and I broke through the paralysis.

What I find so completely refreshing and exciting about all of this is that I have never found losing weight contributing anything except resent-able restrictions on my life. With this path, instead, I really am learning to take care of myself and to move toward my goals slowly, with purpose and pleasure.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Meals for One (or Two)

I have five minutes until I get dressed to go for my run, my first run in a week since I didn't run on my vacation. This is going to be interesting, I have a feeling. . . . But I'm going to do it. I'll feel better once I've done it.

I went to Borders today, looked at a couple of great new cookbooks and came up with a plan for the meals I'm making this week . . . meals for one, except for the night one of my friends is in town visiting, and even then the meal could have been for one. When my husband is gone for a few days, I often eat out every night or nearly every night while he's gone. Our grocery budget, divided by 1 instead of 2, allows that. However, it's not the best way to go as far as taking care of myself, and taking time and energy to take care of myself is the name of the game these days. So check back each night this week, and I'll post a photo and recipe of what I've made that night. I'm worth a tasty, healthy home-cooked meal all on my own.

Any suggestions?

I'm home alone for a week now and really want to focus on some great, high-veggie, low-sugar, (possibly vegan or nearly vegan?) meals for one this week. I eschew highly processed foods as much as possible. Any suggestions? I have stir-fry on the menu but nothing else yet. A small amount of cheese or other dairy (or eggs, even--okay, that's very far from vegan, I know) would be okay, but I am craving some simple meals that show off fresh veggies, whole grains, and vegetarian protein.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I'm here, just . . .

. . . 3000 miles away at the moment. We're on vacation in Oregon. But I'll be back and alone (my husband is going to a conference in CA for a week after this) soon, so I'm sure I'll be posting lots next week.

This has been a fascinating vacation, for while I have indulged more often than usual, I have used the realization that stuffing myself makes me miserable to keep myself in check; I have enjoyed veggie-packed meals because I was craving them; I have realized that I not only am not craving desserts as I was before--I also cannot tolerate them in the same abundance as I used to; and I have (while not running--doesn't work with the schedule and weather) happily exercised with walking, hiking, etc. AND have realized I miss running. MISS it--Really!

This has also been a thoroughly enjoyable vacation because my husband and I saved money for it for half a year. Knowing the budget for our trip and knowing everything was paid for in advance has been marvelous. We're never getting back into consumer debt again--I swear!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Kitchen Sink Dinner

I conceived of the idea of making a frittata (basically a crustless quiche) last night as a way to use up vegetables we have left in our fridge before our vacation. (They'll rot while we're on vacation if I don't use them up.) Apparently, I'm the 8-billionth person to come up with this idea, as nearly every recipe site I visited to look at recipes discussed the history of the frittata as a way to use up vegetables, bread, or even pasta!

Here's what I made--which I'm calling my "Kitchen Sink Frittata" based on the saying "everything but the kitchen sink." I am not certain of the origin of the phrase, but I have heard it is from WWII when Americans were supposed to be exceedingly careful about their use of metal in their homes, because the military could potentially need from Americans' houses "everything but the kitchen sink" (the sink being ceramic). I don't know if that saying exists outside the US, but you should definitely try making a frittata with whatever you have on hand. . . . As a side note for you omnivores, we had a dinner guest who is a real lover of meat (he orders steak nearly every time we eat out with him), and he loved this meat-less meal.

I use organic and local ingredients wherever possible.

Kitchen Sink Frittata

Serves 6 (or 4 as a full meal)

1 bunch of spinach
1 yellow onion
2 tsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 zucchini
~3 T of sun-dried tomato pieces
8 eggs
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. crumbled feta
1/4 c. cheddar

I washed the spinach well and washed and chopped the onion. Because spinach releases so much water when it's heated, I sauteed the onion for a couple of minutes and then tossed in the spinach to steam out some of the water for 3-4 minutes. I chopped the garlic and zucchini and threw it in the last minute or so of the spinach cooking.

I turned that eye off and left the veggie mix in it.

I preheated the oven to 400 degrees.

I cracked the eggs into a large bowl, whisked them well, added the sundried tomatoes, cheeses, and seasonings, and whisked again. I sprayed with cooking spray and heated an oven-proof skillet (a seasoned cast-iron one, in my case) on medium heat. When it was hot, I added the veggie mix to it. Then I immediately poured the egg mixture on top. I used a spatula to lift the spinach bits to let egg swirl throughout. When the frittata was about half set, I carefully transferred it to the hot oven to finish cooking in about 15 minutes.

To go with the frittata slices, I served fresh snap peas quickly sauteed in sesame oil with lots of garlic and a bit of Bragg's on top.

It was a delicious, easy meal.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Back on track and a tasty vegetarian meal

Have I mentioned I can totally do this? Because I can. When I keep a positive attitude and don't let a bad day or three throw me off, I'm alright. I know what to do; it's just a matter of keeping it up.

I've been considering making videos of how to make some of the easier meals that I make. Would that help any of you be more committed to cooking meals full of healthy foods? For those of you who don't cook or do cook but are scared to experiment, what would help you be more comfortable and adventurous? You'd get to watch me lose weight in the course of videos. . . . That could be interesting for me, anyway! One of my friends mentioned this weekend she panics, basically, when she sees words she does not know in a recipe and just does not use that recipe. I wish everyone could enjoy cooking like I usually do--it can be such a centering pleasure--and I want to help people with that however I can.

I just finished pumping up my ball, so I'm going to do some exercises this morning with that and my resistance bands. I should stop typing for a minute and go take some meds for cramps. . . . Okay, let's hope I feel better now in a few minutes.

After I try out my various exercises with the ball and resistance bands, I'll post what I'm doing since some of you asked about that.

Oh, interestingly, I have noticed in the past couple of days that I am able to stretch a lot further than when I started stretching before running six weeks ago. (Can you believe it's been six weeks now? That's crazy!)

Another bonus is that I am developing crazy ab muscles! I keep making my husband feel them. (He always obliges me.) They are still under a layer of fat for the most part, but it's nice to feel how different I am becoming. Lifting your legs to run is a great core work-out, I've learned.

I found a picture of me from the fall that demonstrates how I looked at my recent highest weight. It's a physical picture, not a digital one, but I'm going to scan it soon to keep a record, I think. I don't think I still have any photos of me at my truly highest weight, which was about 40 pounds higher than I am now. (40 pounds!)

As I stayed home from work yesterday, I had plenty of time to make dinner last night. I made a much more elaborate meal than I would usually consider making on weeknights. I set stuff up to marinate, went for my run, came home and bathed, and finished the meal.

This is what I made (nearly every ingredient was organic, and the produce was local):

I peeled, chopped, and blanched (boiled and then plunged into ice-cold water) a couple of golden beets for about 8 minutes, adding a couple of peeled, chopped turnips the last four minutes.

I peeled and chopped several carrots. I tossed the carrots and the cooled-off beet/turnip mixture into a big plastic bag. I added some herbes de provence, garlic-and-herbs Mrs. Dash, a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and a couple of grinds of salt and pepper. I sealed the bag and spread the marinade around by lightly pressing together and shaking the contents of the bag. i stuck it in the fridge to marinate.

I chopped up a block of tempeh and put it in a smaller plastic bag. Then I stirred together some molasses, Bragg's amino acids (a soy sauce substitute), a bit of vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, some grated peel of a tangelo, and the juice of the tangelo. I poured that mixture into the tempeh bag and squished it all together. I stuck it in the fridge to marinate.

I sliced the ends off of fennel (I should have cut off a bit more and left just the bulbs--this was my first time cooking fennel, which has a mild licorice-like taste, delicious though I don't like licorice), doused it in a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and stuck it in another plastic bag in the fridge.

I put some rainbow chard in a big bowl of water to soak some of the dirt off.

I went for my run--Day 2 of Week 5 (I'm repeating Week 5's days for a while). It was a really hard day for running. But running 8 minutes at a time rocks to be able to do!

When I got home, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees. Then I took a quick bath.

While I was in the bath, my husband chopped a yellow onion for me and put it in a bit of olive oil on low heat in a non-stick pan.

I sprayed two cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray. I dumped the turnip/beet/carrot mix on one and put the fennel bulbs on the other. I put the turnip mix in the oven for about 40 minutes; ten minutes later, I added the fennel.

I stirred and covered the onions. Then I rinsed the chard off and tore it into bite-size pieces, dropping it into a bowl as I went.

I added about a tablespoon of brown sugar to the onions and stirred that in. The onions were caramelizing at this point.

With ten minutes before the veggies were going to be done roasting, I put water on to boil in a non-stick pan to make enough grits for two people.

When the water was boiling, I added a dash of salt and the grits to it. I stirred the grits in well.

I threw the chard into the onion mix, turned the heat up to medium, stirred the onions and chard together, and put a lid on that pan.

I heated another eye on the stove to med-high heat and, when it was hot, tossed in the tempeh, which cooked quickly.

I stirred the grits, grated a bit of sharp cheese, and added the cheese and a teaspoon of butter to the grits. I added a dash of my ever-present Lawry's seasoning salt (ooh, a recipe to make your own here) and a few grinds of pepper. (Grits--a Southern US staple which are a whole-grain version of corn meal, basically--are ready to eat in 5-7 minutes, depending on how thick you want them.)

I pulled the roasted veggies out of the oven to finish the prep.

To serve, I put the grits in two bowls, topped them with the roasted vegetables, put the chard/onion mix on that, and topped that with the tempeh.

Then I drizzled a very small amount of truffle oil around the edges of the bowls. I have eaten truffle oil in restaurants but never cooked with it before. It is amazingly rich and wonderful. If you are trying to be careful of your fat consumption, I encourage you to use a small amount of truffle oil in savory foods that you want to be rich. It made a huge difference in the meal.

The end result was rather pretty.

I loved the grits, roasted veggies, fennel, and chard/onion mix; the grits were rich and creamy, the roasted veggies were earthy and slightly bitter, and the chard/onion mix was earthy but sweet from the caramelized onions. I thought the tempeh was a little too sweet. I also had given myself way too much food in my bowl, so I only ate about half of it. My husband really liked it all, including the tempeh; he ate part of what I had left in my bowl.

This recipe used a good bit of oil but did not have much fat otherwise, and nearly all of the ingredients were healthy, so I consider the meal a success. It was beautiful and delicious--just what you want from a healthy meal.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Just a glitch . . . and a question for you

Okay, I knew this day would come.

I did. It was just going to happen. And it did.

I had a gain this week.

And I know what caused it. We had a crazy weekend last weekend--starting with a big Easter breakfast--with our car getting broken into, and it turned into a bigger deal than it initially was where the insurance company wanted to total the car. (They aren't, though.) That didn't cause weight gain, but it caused the week to be a bit haywire. (We share one car.) I got sick. My period is coming. Things at work made me want to cry. Several times this past week, I said, "Ooh, I am stuffed" at the end of the meal instead of slowing down and stopping when I was becoming satisfied. (You know how the food keeps hitting your belly for about twenty minutes after you eat.) This weekend, I went to another city for a bridal shower and bachelorette party. I ate less than other people but still ate until I was uncomfortable. I didn't listen to my body enough. Because of an issue with the exercise ball I bought, I haven't used it yet. I have one to use now and am starting either today or tomorrow. (Today, I run. Can't decide whether it's okay to do them the same day.)

Those aren't excuses; they're just facts. "One week doesn't mean you're forever off-track; it's just part of life." That's my zen weight-loss-of-70-pounds-maintained-for-years husband speaking. And he's right. 1.2 pounds up this week is a bit disappointing, but only because I know I haven't been taking as good of care of myself as I could. It's not really about the weight; it's really about the weight being a marker to demonstrate how much I'm nurturing myself. The real problem would be if I let this past week become a habit. I don't feel well when I'm not caring for myself.

I am at home (in my home city, I mean) today through Thursday evening. I'm going to be concentrating on making us meals with lots of fresh, loca, organicl veggies, whole grains, great herbs, and lean vegeterian protein until then. Thursday, we leave for my grandmother's house in SC to visit for her 92nd birthday. We drive back here late Friday. Saturday morning, we are flying to Oregon for a week for a much-needed vacation. While we are there, we are going to have many culinary feasts. But I'm going to remember that just because something is fantastically tasty and full of local, fresh, organic ingredients doesn't mean I want to eat all of it. Better to leave satisfied and feel well (ready to wander around and hike) than stuff myself and feel sick. (I don't binge, by the way--I just mean eating a whole restaurant meal is usually eating way too much food.)

I am still confident I can do this, though. This slow, steady weight loss that's not about beating myself up has me feeling wonderful, and I can't give that up. Nor can I give up the exercise that makes me excited to look at and feel my various body parts to feel how I am remaking myself.

Going to the mall last night and finding size-12 dresses that fit me . . . size 16 pants that were too big . . . that's exciting. This blip on my radar can't change that unless I let it.

Statistics like the ones in this article are scary, and I've been one of those people who lose just to gain double, certainly. But this time . . . I'm not willing it to be different like I have in the past; I'm not forcing myself to make changes that feel painful. I'm easing myself into changes that feel great, which makes this different from every other weight-loss attempt I've ever had. "Whipping myself" into shape hasn't worked, but keeping a constant attention on taking good care of myself (hey, I'm an adult--no one else is going to take care of me for me) is working. What makes you feel confident that this time is going to work for you?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Success stories

Here are some details of a woman who went from around my highest weight (230 was hers) to now being 140. Her goal weight is a bit lower than I expect mine to be--I'm thinking 150. But anyway, I was happy to see she partly accomplished her goals by doing C25k!

I borrowed a friend's recent Good Housekeeping magazine, and there was a woman profiled in there who started at my January starting weight (203) and ended her weight loss at 150. It was cool to see--and show my husband--the difference between the starting weight and the end in her photos.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Day 2, Wk. 5

Day 2 of Week 5 (a repeat of Day 1 of Week 5, for me) accomplished! They're setting up for a big festival in the park where I run. It's going to be packed all weekend. I am hoping a run on Friday morning will work with all of the vendors et al out there.

I owe y'all lots of food info with some great photos. I've been so busy! Today I am freecycling a huge chunk of stuff from my apartment to clear it out and make way for the cleaning service (an eco-friendly, living-wage cleaning service) that is coming to do a deep clean of our apartment tomorrow. My husband and I agreed to spend some money on that after we have been so lackadaisical with cleaning since his accident. I am really excited about having the house be thorougly clean.

Off to give away more stuff now. . . .

Monday, April 9, 2007

Trying to explain what I've been trying to do

Here's part of a chat I had with my best friend, who has recently moved down the street from me (like when we were kids! only in a different city) and started C25K. The chat illuminates part of what I've been working on mentally and emotionally since January:

8:32 AM Margaret: i'm still sore
8:34 AM me: yeah
i will feel alright
8:35 AM and even be okay walking
and then the first running step i take
i can feel the soreness
not like shin splints
but very mild similar pains
not enough to keep me from going
but you also moved this weekend--is your upper body sore?
Margaret: yep, but my legs are the worst
8:36 AM they are very heavy
me: hmmm
i wonder if you pushed yourself too hard
Margaret: i don't know
i don't really think so
it's not miserable

6 minutes
8:42 AM Margaret: i don't want to not run tomorrow, but ....

7 minutes
8:50 AM me: it's okay not to
the point is to take care of yourself
i mean part of the point is running
but running is about taking care of your body
Margaret: yeah
me: and if taking care of your body means waiting another day
then so be it
8:51 AM you had a very taxing weekend, body-wise
Margaret: that's true, but it would be hard to start again if i stop
me: ah, that's where you have to work on letting go of the perfectionism
just as i have been doing :
8:52 AM waiting an extra day or two is only 'quitting' if you live in a perfect world
and we don't
Margaret: it's not perfectionism i'm worried about it procastination
me: you're not procrastinating if you're in pain
Margaret: i'm very good at that kind of logic
8:53 AM me: it's been very good for me to always try to keep in mind taking care of myself
sometimes the answer is NOT to exercise
and sometimes it is
i don't know
8:54 AM it's working for me, but i can't really explain it beyond that
8:55 AM Margaret: hmmm... i know myself and i can totally logic myself out of working out
me: if you mean that you can justify not working out if you think of it that way, so can i. but i remind myself that if i am bullshitting myself, the only one that suffers is me
Margaret: i mean i can make excuses all day
that's true
me: and that keeps me in check because i am being very honest with myself at all times
or trying to be, at least
Margaret: yeah
8:57 AM me: if you're just beating youself into submission to work out
. . . i guess i've come to see that's no answer in the long run, at least for me
because eventually i'll rebel if i'm 'punishing' myself into shape
but if i'm doing it to take care of myself
8:58 AM there's nothing to rebel against
Margaret: that's very good stuff
hard to get into that mindset
me: yeah, it's definitely a process
i sent you that o magazine article, didn't i? that talked about having empathy for the self?
Margaret: i'll see how i feel tomorrow
8:59 AM and i'll be prepared to go
me: yeah, that's smart, too. because you will probably feel somewhat better tomorrow.
Margaret: yep
me: the other thing is, if i just don't feel like going but don't have a good reason, i just pull on my clothes and get the forward momentum, and then i know i'll be really disappointed in myself if i don't go
so i end up going

Keepin' on keepin' on

The last few days have thrown me off a bit emotionally. The biggest thing was finding out that I am allergic to a huge variety of molds, grasses, animals, trees, etc. *Sigh* My husband and I are trying to figure out what changes to make in our house to deal with that. Because we are careful with money, we have it for things we need it for, so it's not a problem to change things in our apartment. It's just a pain in the butt and requires energy that the allergies are already sapping from me some.

Also, my husband takes the second/last part of his mid-Ph.D. quals exam tomorrow. I am confident he will do well, but I'm still feeling a bit nervous for him. It will be nice to have it over with. He's struggled, somewhat, with preparing for it because of his accident in November. (For those who missed that post, he was crossing a street in a crosswalk when he was hit by a car that was traveling about 35 mph on impact.) He spends 4-5 hours a week in PT and is often exhausted, achy, and/or cold when he's not in PT. So even though he's brilliant (really--he is), getting ready for this test, which is draining under the best of circumstances, has been hard on him.

But in happier news (and that last news WILL be happy when it's over tomorrow, too), I did Day 1 of Week 5 of C25k yesterday. It wasn't easy, but it also wasn't as hard as I was expecting it to be. It helped that it was a bit chilly; I'd rather run in GA cold than GA heat! Week 5 is different than previous weeks because each day is different, and on the third day, you're doing nothing but running! Eek! I am going to stretch Week 5 out a bit and do Day 1 once more before I move on to the next day.

In other happy news . . . I broke my plateau! This is the only time in my life that I have stuck with healthy eating and exercise to break what was basically a three-week plateau. Today, I weighed in at 184.4, which means I am down 19 pounds since January. And it means I'm 4 pounds away from my next goal weight, which means I will be ordering a new bathing suit soon! At 177 pounds, I will have reached my half-way point (I can't believe I'll soon be in the 170's! That's marvelous!), which means I get a bigger reward. I'm thinking about looking into tooth bleaching. I know some people think tooth bleaching is completely superficial, and certainly, it is superficial, but after I had braces for four years in high school, my teeth were no longer as white as they could be. They've seemed dingy to me ever since then. It's funny, because I sure don't notice other people's teeth, so I doubt they notice mine. But it bothers me a bit, and rewards are about things I wouldn't normally buy myself, so I want to look into it. I think it might be more money than I want to pay.

This weekend, I learned that I have fit back into three pairs of pants I wore in college. That's really exciting! I'm back in clothes that I haven't worn since I had my first surgery for ovarian cancer (which changed the shape of the front of my body and left a ridge of scar tisue in my abdomen). I freecycled a variety of size 16 dresses and shirts. Woo-hoo!

I'm glad I took the time this morning to write this post. I was feeling a bit crappy emotionally, but now I'm excited. I love being able to share with y'all; it keeps me accountable, and in general, it feels great to share with people who understand.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Day 5, Wk 4, C25K

I've done two more days of week 4. I'm still not feeling super-confident, but I was able to do them in completion, so I'm going to move on to Week 5!

I went to an exercise store in Atlanta where a personal trainer was very kind in helping me get resistance bands and an exercise ball. I feel self-conscious going into stores that are solely about exercise, but he was very helpful and genuine. If you're in the Atlanta area, check out Fitness Resource in Buckhead if you need something they offer--it's fitness equipment only, from low-tech to high-tech.

Now I have to develop a work-out for my arms with my new equipment! Not that it has anything to do with any of my ultimate goals, but I'm in a wedding 8 weeks from now, and it will be nice to firm up my arms some to go along with the rest of my slimmer profile in my bridesmaid dress!