Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 19

I hate the scale. I weighed myself this morning for the first time in 10 days - and I had lost 2 pounds. IF I leaned forward (if I stood back on my heels, I weighed about where I was last time). This is so depressing. I worked so hard over the holidays to resist the incredible abundance of sweets that were around. I chose to give in only on Christmas, and even then, I didn't go crazy (a few cookies, a couple of petite fours - my absolute favorite - and about half a small slice of cake). I did also eat one cannoli at a party on Sunday (shh, I forgot to mention that in my food log to Dr. R. - really I truly forgot about it!) (And how does one go to a party in North Jersey and completely resist the call of the cannoli??)

I even had a minimum of white bread - a roll a couple of times when we were out at dinner, some bowtie pasta in a chicken pasta salad. I did eat some cheese, which Dr. R. says is a complete no-no. Argh.

My steps were dismal though. I tried to go out walking at night, but even doing two laps around my in-laws' complex only added about 2500-3000 steps, and that added to the 500 or so I got during the rest of the day didn't bring me even close to what I needed to do. Add in two days of driving to and from Jersey when I got virtually no steps in (we drove back yesterday, and my grand total for the day was 1621 :(

And it doesn't help when your children are (unintentionally) sabotaging (okay, more like subverting) my attempts to walk - multiple nights I had crying kids clinging to me begging me not to walk out the door. One night we all ended up going for a walk, which was fine, but they can't handle going very far, and shouldn't have been out in the bitter cold anyway, so I couldn't go as far as I would have liked.

The kids both have been really good about helping me remember to wear my pedometer - M. even wants me to give him one of his own! (It would be interesting to see how many steps an energetic 3.5 year old gets in a day!)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 13

So the torture has begun (otherwise known as Christmas at my in-laws'). No, not in the way you might immediately think - I love my in-laws, and love coming to visit them. They are great with the kids, and the kids love being here, so it's really a nice break for me to have the extra help and diversions. To make it even better, my sister-in-law and her fiance are here and they love hanging with the ninos as well.

No, I meant torture in a food kind of way. Christmas at this house means food, and lots of it. Ten kinds of cookies, which people nibble on throughout the day and night. Giant boxes of Russell Stover candies. Even the snacks they have (those other things aren't snacks, those are special Christmas foods) aren't good for me - boxes of Tastykakes, last night a bag of strawberry Oreos... And cheese, lots of cheese. And carbs; we went out to dinner last night and they put a giant basket of big white rolls, corn bread, and banana bread in the middle of the table. Ugh. (I did give in a bit and have half a roll - with my salad, but I resisted the fries that looked really good...)

I'm also getting tired of salads. I've had some great ones, for lunch today one with feta cheese and sun dried tomatoes, but I'm craving breads. I think I've craving all the things I can't have.

On the flip side, I am feeling a whole lot less tired overall. Usually if you gave me the opportunity to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon, or frankly, the middle of the morning, I would be able to do that in a heartbeat. But now, I'm feeling much less in need of sleep during the day. I'm thinking that's the lack of sugar, and a good thing!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Days 11 and 12

Stuck inside... not much to do when there are multiple feet of snow being dumped outside. The kids had no interest in going outside, and the husband took on the mammoth job of shoveling (I think I would have lasted all of about 3 minutes considering the weight of the snow.) I did okay food-wise, although again, it was hard given that usually when we hunker down inside we surround ourselves with comfort food. Compound this that the kids are sweet and sharing and always trying to give me (even push into my mouth!) pieces of their food.

But I did okay overall - I had tried to plan ahead and get enough good foods into the house before the storm. I did tend to eat a little bit of what the kids were eating, but just in much more limited quantities (P. made challah french toast on Saturday, but I just had one slice and just a drizzle of syrup - again, previously I would have likely had 3 slices drenched in syrup.) I also made two different batches of cookies for Christmas, but didn't eat a single one, or even lick the beaters. Thought that was pretty good will power!

My steps were (not surprisingly) lower than ideal, only about 2500 on Saturday, but I got up to about 4000 on Sunday. That was only because at around 11 at night I decided that I wanted to go take a walk in the quiet and the snow. I think I surprised P. (and surprised myself!) by motivating that late at night, getting on socks and shoes, and going out for a 20 min walk down the street. It got me another 1800 steps in, and was quite pleasant - when I was growing up I remember really enjoying quiet late evening walks in the snow. It's just so peaceful - and it wasn't that difficult to get myself out of the house! And I slept better too.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 10

Last night I dreamt about having a giant ice cream sundae...

Still feeling frustrated by the choices from yesterday. Anxious about the snow coming this weekend, because being snowed in has always equaled hunkering down with comfort food. P. went to the store yesterday and bought lots of healthy things so I'd have something around. I'm feeling overwhelmed by all this, and tired though. It's really hard to just be mindful of choices, much less to do enough advance planning and strategizing and shifting in what I eat as well as how I eat, on top of the holiday craziness, work craziness, trying to think about and get enough steps...

Day 9

Another tough day. Daughter's Hanukkah party at school. I again succumbed to the call of the latkes (with applesauce!) And, worse, I had about half of a little cinnamon sugar fried donut thing (forget what they're called) that the kids had made.  And a couple of pieces of challah bread. Skipped the cookies though! But then the kids wanted to go out to lunch, and we went to McDonalds. I thought I was being good by just having a cheesburger, and I did have a handful of fried - but I was SO much better than normally when I would have had a Big Mac and a large fries, sometimes even with a (high-test!) Coke.

Then I didn't eat anything for the rest of the day until about 6:30 when I was wandering through a street festival doing some last minute holiday shopping. I knew it would be a while until I would be home  and able to eat again, so I ate what I thought was the best thing I could find without going overboard; I had a beef empanada. I resisted the bags of kettle cord, and more difficultly, the incredible-smelling little donuts they were frying. (I almost rationalized getting some when I saw the sign that they had no trans-fats, but I kept walking!) Later I had some apple slices, and that was it for the day.

Unfortunately, Dr. R. was not thrilled with my choices. He says I'm killing myself; "these food choices are suicidal" were the exact words! Eek. It is a mental shift (again!) to go from just cutting calories to eating the right (?) foods. I think I need to read the You on a Diet book to get more ideas for things I can/should eat. (The animal crackers that I thought were okay also turn out to not be good...) He also emphasized that I should never let myself get really hungry, and I should carry something with me at all times - nuts, fruit, raisins. Shift, shift, shift...

I did hit about 5500 steps though! The most yet!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 8

Today had some ups and downs.

Big up was having such a super supportive group of coworkers - they have decided they want to engage in this journey with me, not necessarily to lose weight in all cases, but just to be healthier and to be supportive of each other as a group. We met today for the first time about this and I got all sorts of tangible ideas as well as a lot of intangible moral support that I know is going to invaluable as I move forward here. They all then walked with me around the building - two laps! - later in the afternoon - nice to have the company. One of my coworkers also offered to teach us all juggling as an activity to take short stress breaks as well as stretch our hand and arm muscles (which often get stiff sitting at computers all day). I had never thought of this - could be a lot of fun!

Down - well, here's where being a mom runs smack into the middle of trying to eat healthfully. I got home from work late and so the kids had already eaten, and wanted to go upstairs and change into pajamas. We ended up staying upstairs until bedtime - I had to decide if it was worth the struggle of going downstairs with them and knowing it might take two or three times as long to get them back upstairs and they'd go to bed that much later, or stay upstairs and get them to bed a bit earlier but I wouldn't be able to eat anything until after they went to sleep. The mom part won, and I stayed upstairs, but so it was then 8:30 and I was hungry. I came down and had a Lean Cuisine, but I was still hungry and craving something sweet, so I had a bunch of animal crackers. Dr. R. has said don't eat within three hours of bedtime, so I broke that rule not once but twice. I guess I should pat myself on the back that I didn't give in and eat something worse than animal crackers. (I did have one small slip today - I had a small piece (really!) of chocolate toffee that was sent to the office from a contractor - didn't I have to so that I could tell them how good it tasted?)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 7

For so long I’ve worked hard to minimize my walking, combining “errands” into one trip (like waiting to go to the copier until I also had to go to the bathroom, since they’re next to each other). I always told myself that it was to save time (true) and to save the environment (ok, only really true if you’re combining car errands!) If I’m being honest though it was also (mostly!) to minimize the walking I needed to do, since I get tired so easily. But now that I’m trying to get more and more steps in, I’m realizing that I need to work to separate errands and push myself to do multiple trips across the same area – forces me to get up and move again, even if it’s just down the hall or up a floor. It’s just a real mindset shift from how I’ve always worked.

I went out to Starbucks this morning – I was feeling a strong need for some caffeine and a little bit of a treat – but I am very proud that I managed to resist not only all the yummy pastries that I would usually have, but also their special holiday beverages (whoever thought of a Caramel Brulee latte is a genius!) Got in and out with a tall skinny vanilla latte (skim milk, sugar free vanilla syrup, no whipped cream) – only 90 cals! Yay me!

Lesson from lunch – try to figure out what you’re going to eat before you walk into the cafeteria. I was upset about a phone call I had just gotten, and so my mind/stomach started saying it wanted comfort food – cheeseburger, French fries. But because I had already planned on having a turkey sandwich on multigrain bread, I paused for a few minutes and convinced myself that while the cheeseburger and fries would be quite tasty, the sandwich would also be yummy and I wouldn’t be angry at myself after the fact for eating it. And I was right, it was tasty!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 6

Back at work. Did the toast and butter spray to eat in the car on the way to work. I have been waking up with a bit of a headache – not sure if it’s not enough sleep, stress, or lack of caffeine – maybe a combo of all? I had a dream where I was wearing a tank top under a shirt but I was so big that I couldn’t get the tank top off by myself. The more typical body-stress dream is usually in some sort of school setting (a frequent sign that I’m stressed about something!), and I’m trying to climb up to a top floor or bunk bed or something that requires agility and upper body strength, and I’m continually frustrated because I can’t pull myself up.

Dr. R. has set me a goal of 5000 steps a day. So, I got up just now and walked around the entire floor of my building. It’s 600 steps! If I can do that 5 times a day, that will be a big dent in my step count. And it took maybe 7-8 minutes (okay, no one said I had to be fast!)

I got gas on the way home tonight and realized (after the fact) that I had just missed a chance to get in some additional steps - while I was waiting for the gas to finish I should have walked around the car a few times rather than just stand in the cold. Next time.

I went out to dinner again tonight with a friend in from out of town. We were going to go for tapas, and I was prepared to deliberately splurge on a few of my favorite small plates (but skip the sangria). But we ended up going for seafood, and I think I made pretty good choices, eating a spinach salad (yes, with dressing, though), then only one small roll with a little bit of butter, and some trout crusted with almonds. It did come with a scoop of mashed potatoes though, and yes, I succumbed.

Dr. R. said not to eat within three hours of bedtime. This is hard! I don't want to eat much, but I am a bit hungry (5 on the 1-10 scale), and I did have some tea, but that didn't really do it for me tonight.

Day 5

Day 5

We put up the Christmas tree today! I have to remember to put on my pedometer as soon as I wake up in the morning – I’m sure I did at least a few hundred steps (or more) before I remembered.

I made breakfast for the kiddos – pancakes, eggs, and sausage – and normally I would eat at least 6 pancakes drenched in syrup. But instead: two slices of whole grain bread with no-cal butter spray. And then a late lunch of soup, shared with the little guy – only about 350 calories in my portion.

The day itself was quiet and I was worried I’d hit a new low for steps, but then I went out with a friend to the theater, and we parked in a building nearby, forcing us to walk a bit. That got me an additional 2400 steps right there. And, I went out with him for Thai food before the theater – normally I would have a peanut curry with potatoes…but this time I skipped the dumplings, spring rolls, and satay (which is only good when heavily dipped in peanut sauce), and went for sautéed chicken and vegetables in a light soy-based sauce. It did have cashews, which I know isn’t the best nut, but which did add a nice sweet kick. Other big accomplishment was only eating half my rice (about a cup) – usually I would eat two bowls worth with the peanut curry sauce. I also resisted my favorite thai iced tea, usually a treat when I get to go out for thai food.

It surprisingly wasn’t too hard yesterday. Not holding my breath that it’ll stay so manageable, but I made it through another day!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 4

I miss food. I mean, I miss sweet, white flour, high carb, sugary food. I can't think like this (so says my husband, P.) And I know he's right - it's not like I will never be able to eat a donut ever again. But still, I can't eat them weekly like I have been.

We went to the mall with the kids, but didn't go to the movies. I did my due diligence and checked out the Chik-fil-A nutrition information on line before we went (this is after I realized that when we went to Wendy's the other night that my baked potato with cheese and chili was more calories than P.'s spicy chicken sandwich). I had a chicken wrap, and I did let myself have some french fries, with some ketchup even. It's funny, I usually don't want ketchup much, but tonight it was really really tasty. And a diet soda.

Heard from Dr. Roizen - tomorrow I need to clean out our kitchen of everything with refined sugars, saturated and trans fats, and enriched flour. This will be difficult with the two little kids. Not even so much in terms of the food but more in terms of what am I going to do for quick, healthy, kid-friendly dinners. Suggestions welcome!

I also need to shift my view of weekends to realize that they are a time that I can fit in more exercise rather than less. My steps today were only about 2800, even with our walking around the mall a bit. I usually see the weekend as a time to rest and relax, not to take the time to get up and move more. Dr. R. has set me an initial goal of 4500 steps a day, encouraging me to even walk around the house at night to get them all in if I need to. Not sure I can do another 1700 tonight, but I will try and do a few more. (Do I get more credit for going up stairs?)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 3

Day three.

Second day in a row of an English muffin (whole wheat) with peanut butter. Not bad, but doesn’t last me too too long. Made it through the morning through with tea and gum. Turkey sandwich on whole grain (one slice of cheese, and mustard, not mayo) for lunch. I always forget how much I do like whole grain bread – it has a nice “mouthfeel.”

Five times though I’ve now walked by – and resisted!! – these yummy looking coconut cream puff things that are just sitting out for people to take. And I have not touched the candy bowl either, even though it’s full of chocolatey goodness…

But here comes the weekend and I’m worried. Everything we like to do has some sort of eating component wrapped up in it. One meal, one step at a time. This isn’t a rip-the-whole-bandaid-off-at-once thing – it’s one day, one hour, one minute at a time.

Dinner...this would be one of those nights that I would have said let's go out or let's order pizza. But instead, I found a package of chicken fried rice in the freezer - again, Trader Joes. Only 800 calories in the entire package, and I probably ate about 500 calories worth. The kiddos loved it and ate well, and it probably could be enhanced by additional vegetables. They wanted some of the chocolate cake from the party last night, and so I will confess that I succumbed and had a small sliver, about 5 bites worth. It was really good! I did get rid of the cookies though, they're out of the house.

Tomorrow I think we're going to the movies with the kids - they've already requested popcorn...

Day 2

Day two.

People at work keep asking about the show. They want to start a group here to follow along with my “plan” and incorporate these changes into their lives too. Family members have been super supportive as well and want to join in. If this is having this kind of (potential) impact just on the people I know, maybe it can reach others once this airs.

I can’t get over my apprehension about people seeing how much I weigh on national tv. My only hope is that I can do well enough between now and when it airs so I can say to people that I don’t weigh that much anymore!

Today’s big difficulty was our son’s class Hanukkah party. I was starved, and succumbed to the call of the latkes. Too many of them (6?), but only with applesauce, not sour cream. And a little brisket (sorry, it really had nothing on my grandmother’s brisket, which was just AMAZING). And fruit. But only a tiny tiny bite of chocolate cake – literally, a fingertip sized crumb just to taste it (it was good though – and is now sitting on my counter at home!) I resisted the cookies too, even though they were from my favorite local bakery.

I’m finding myself hungry at night though like I never used to be. A couple nights ago I had some animal crackers, but this may need some suggestions for alternatives.

About 4500 steps today with all the party craziness!

Day 1

So here we go. Day one of the rest of my life.

No, no, that’s way too much pressure! Let’s start over.

So here we go. Day one. Baby steps. One minute at a time.

Unfortunately, long before I knew about the show or when I was going to be on, I had scheduled a breakfast with an old coworker – at the local bakery by the office. Argh. This place has long been my downfall – when I would take the subway, any calories I’d burn by the walking in the subway would be far offset by the two pastries I’d stop and get here on my way into the office. Usually a chocolate croissant and a cherry turnover…or a cinnamon roll…or a cheese Danish…on and on. So, what did I do this time? A bagel, sesame, with a little bit of cream cheese. May not sound like a huge improvement, but boy, that was a hard change for me from what I usually get there!

Mid-morning – HUNGRY. Is it real hunger or something else? Where am I on the scale? Okay, it’s about a 3. I haven’t had a chance to fill my desk with good snacks yet, but luckily I did have some dehydrated banana slices and blueberries from Trader Joes. Okay, something light to munch on. (This filled my afternoon snack needs too – twice!)

Lunch – chicken Caesar salad, with light dressing. The cafeteria downstairs says it’s only 620 calories. Lots of protein and lettuce though.

Late afternoon – want to eat!! Only at a 2 on the scale, but needing something sweet! I’ve stayed away from the candy bowl outside my office all day (normally I’d have had at least 3 candies by now)…so maybe I can finish off a the dark chocolate bar I had in my desk. Only about 200 calories I think.

Dinner – argh! We’re going out, to Wendy’s. How bad is a baked potato with cheese and chili? Actually, it’s worse than the spicy chicken sandwich. Good to know for next time. At least I resist the kids’ fries – okay, I had a couple, but only a couple!

I walked about 3000 steps today! That was a pleasant surprise. Okay, one day down. We’re not going to think about how many more…just one day down.