Sunday, March 25, 2007

Since maybe October of last year

Hmm, the mind-body connection has been amply demonstrated to me this past week. I had the most stressful week in my new job thus far, which caused me to eat very non-nutritious foods, and skip all but my scheduled workouts. (I haven't run since 2 weeks ago!). I also forgot to take my vitamin, and worked the full 5 days last week. And guess what. I'm sick now. Crappy cough that feels just like the one I got right before my TAP event in 2005. The one that lingered for 6 weeks. Boo.

I guess that was a not-so-subtle reminder to me that I have to take care of myself a bit better, huh? Thursday I'm leaving for vacation with Kristin in the Caribbean. Yay. But so much to do before then...

Well, at least we've caught up on our Netflix movies. We watched "Walk the Line" and "Amelie". Both pretty good. Neither are my new favorites, but they were both enjoyable. "Amelie" was incredibly quirky and odd. Oh, and I finally got a working copy of "The Devil Wears Prada" from Netflix - I bought it for $6 but they sent me a defective one the first time. I *LOVE* that movie. It's definitely one of my all time favorites. One of the few times where the movie was *much* better than the book.

So, have you seen those movies? What did you think of them?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What you get is what you see

So far I am quite enjoying the Intuitive Eating. I had an apple pastry and a piece of string cheese today around 5pm which powered me through my workout. Maybe not the most nutritious choice, but I am still playing around with the idea that I really *can* eat what I want.

I finished week 3 in Couch to 5K today - yay! It definitely seemed easier, both physically and mentally. Week 4 looks interesting and challenging - a couple of segments of 5 minutes running, and 1 of 3 min for a total of 13 min running. I'll need to make sure my iPod is loaded up with good stuff to get me through 5 whole minutes of running! But I'm definitely looking forward to it.

My workouts at Sound Health with Tracy end next week (sad!). I need to come up with a good plan for getting those strength training workouts in on my own. She's providing me with a sheet that lists the exercises and muscle groups, and some different options, so I just need to find the 30min 3x a week and do it.

Well, time for bed. Gotta get up early tomorrow to attend a presentation by one of my coworkers. G'night!

Monday, March 12, 2007

The party is disrupted by an uninvited guest

Woo hoo - I think I've finally recovered after a hard partying Saturday night. I think the birthday boy had fun too. We spent a few hours at a swanky pool place called The Parlor in the new Lincoln Square building in Bellevue, then moved on to Maggiano's Little Italy for dinner. 13 of our friends showed up, which was awesome. Unfortunately my camera battery was near dead, so I only got a few pics at the pool hall.

We weren't planning to drink much, but TJ's friends had some other plans for him, and started him off with a shot called "Irish Carbomb" which is a shot of Bailey's dropped into a pint of Guinness. Crazy. There was also "Chocolate Cake", "Oatmeal Cookie", and Unidentifiable Fruity Shot. And of course, Guinness on tap. Luckily I was the designated driver (and the one handling the money) so I got to be the responsible one just for that evening :)

It was a great time with our friends here. Oh, and special props to Dave and Lisa who managed to stay on their pre-wedding healthy eating plan despite many, many temptations that night.

We also ended up with a ton of yummy Italian leftovers. I've been eating the gnocchi in vodka sauce for a few days now and *love* it.

I started reading "Intuitive Eating" by Tribole and Resch. Amazing book, and let me tell you, I've read a lot of "diet" books. Seems the reading is a lot easier for me than the hard work.

But this one is different. (Really, I promise). It's a 10-step program to getting back to using your natural hunger cues to just eat without dieting, rules, or any of that crap. I went to an overview seminar at Sound Health that talked about some of the principles and was motivated to learn more about it.

I'm working on the first three steps right now:
1. Reject the diet mentality
2. Honor your hunger
3. Make peace with food

Basically, I need to think about how I'm going to eat long-term and abandon any desire for quick-fix diets, or restrictive eating plans. I need to toss out the rules, and really listen to my body and eat when i'm hungry, only until satisfied. (As opposed to gut-bustin' full.) And the last one is my favorite - I can eat whatever the heck I want. All foods are equal - none are "bad" or "good". If I want to, I could eat croissants all day. French fries the next day. Mac n cheese the third day.

I was very skeptical of this - it sounds too good to be true. However, they say that babies/toddlers are born with this self-monitoring capability - if you give toddlers a variety of different foods, over a week or two, they will take in exactly what they need nutritionally, even if at one meal they eat only fruit, and at another only crackers. Over a week, all of their choices and calories balance out.

And since I've pseudo-dieted my way up to an unhealthy weight, I figure this is worth a shot. Amazingly, even on Saturday night I didn't even eat to uncomfortably full. For dessert, all I had was a piece of caramelized banana and a tiny bite of pound cake. And I was totally happy with that. And I'm not just saying that to be virtuous, I genuinely only wanted that little bit. Somehow just knowing I was "allowed" to have whatever I wanted, and knowing that none of it was off-limits, made me much less interested in it. I guess I should have known I was one of those contrary people all along!

I'm a little worried about the nutrition side of things - that only comes in a later step because it's hard in the beginning to "make peace" with food, and nutrition tends to make people go back to "rules". On the other hand, I eat fruit willingly, and a few weeks of fruit with the occasional veggie will probably be fine. I had two croissants for dinner today (been craving them for a while) and now, I'm not particularly interested in eating them again. I know this sounds hokey, but I'm going to try and live with this for the next few months and see where it gets me. It sure sounds good, anyway!

I definitely recognized myself in that book. I used to think that since I wasn't an "emotional eater", there really wasn't any mental component to weight loss. However, there's a category called "chaotic unconscious eater" which is a person who is very busy/stressed, skips meals sometimes, and then is so hungry she grabs whatever is available. Um, that has me written all over it! And when I eat out, I often eat to the point of uncomfortable fullness. I've been paying much closer attention to that.

I'm still working on that part - I think I tend to stop eating too early, if anything, and then am hungry a few hours later. But I can slowly learn to fix that.

But last night, at 1am, when I couldn't sleep, and I was really hungry, I got out of bed and had a bowl of Cheerios. Old me would have just figured being hungry was good and tried to sleep through it. After I ate, I was able to fall asleep pretty easily.

One of the things I need to work on is to eat without trying to do something else at the same time (like read, surf the web, or watch TV). That's a hard one for me. But it's much easier to figure out whether you're satisfied when you're not distracted by something else.

I suppose only time will tell if this is right for me. Hopefully the novelty of eating formerly-forbidden foods will wear off fairly soon (it looks like it will!) and I'll be able to maintain a fairly balanced diet. I'm having the worst time getting enough veggies - nothing sounds good to me.

Two more small victories, and I'll stop talking about food:
1. I've had an unopened bag of Doritos in the pantry for a week. And I have not wanted to open them. (In the past, Doritos left over from poker games would be inhaled the next day.)
2. We still have birthday cake left from Friday. I had once piece after dinner on Friday, and a small piece yesterday. (Old "dieting" An would have eaten that quickly too, to get it out of the house.)

I never realized how completely wacked I am about food. I always thought I was pretty healthy and had a decent attitude about it. Don't get me wrong, I don't binge, don't have any eating disorders, or anything like that, so I'm doing fairly well. But years of dieting have taken their toll, and made me put a higher value, and more guilt on certain foods. So when I eat them, I feel bad about it, and don't even get to truly enjoy it.

Aaaanyway, to make a long story short, I'm done with all this diet crap and am going to try this new thing and see how it does. I feel good about it.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Been running so long

So maybe Netflix is not going to help me get in better shape but it sure makes me happier. I watched "13 Going on 30" today. I saw the first 30 min or so when I was getting a cavity filled at the dentist. They have this really cool system where the DVD player is hooked up to goggles and you see the movie in the goggles. A nice distraction from the drilling and poking.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for my teeth), I didn't get to watch the whole thing. So I put it in my Netflix queue. I *loved* this movie. It completely met my expectations for a movie: entertaining, fun, great music, and no annoying actors.

I guess I'm exactly the right target audience for this movie since it was filled with 80s songs and references. I was laughing so hard, I almost fell off the couch during the scene where she does the "Thriller" dance. I guess I wasn't the only kid who tried to figure out the choreography while watching that 13 minute long video over and over again! of course, in the movie, she got it all right. I was just sort of uncoordinated. (Oh wait, I still am.)

Anyway, if you're a child of the 80s, rent this movie. It's hilarious. Plus Jennifer Garner is awesome. I've liked her ever since that one episode of Law and Order she was on, where she seduced Benjamin Bratt (I mean really, who wouldn't??). Maybe I should put Alias in my Netflix queue.

Hope you all are having a fantastic weekend. I'm still recovering from Thursday's lunges with Tracy - hopefully I'll be able to get back to my C25K workout tomorrow.

Friday, March 09, 2007

I didn't mean to miss your birthday baby

Back from the big birthday dinner, which was yummy. I am so proud of myself - I ended up bringing most of my dinner home because I stopped eating when I was full. (Shocking concept, I know). I saved room for birthday cake, and when we left the restaurant I felt pretty good - maybe just a touch too much on the side of "full", rather than "satisfied" but certainly not where I would have been just a few weeks ago (stuffed to the point of needing to lie down).

We restarted our Netflix subscription. Whoever thought of this idea first is freakin' brilliant. It's so simple and yet perfect. I love it.

So today TJ and I watched "Invincible", the football movie with Marky Mark. Yes, I know his real serious actor name is Mark Wahlberg, but he's still Marky Mark to me. I liked the movie - it was so cheesy and inspirational, but light and entertaining. And though Marky Mark wasn't his usual gorgeous self thanks to his 70s-licious hair, it was still fun to watch. A lot of the Philadelphia scenes and people reminded me a lot of Pittsburgh.

Oh, and TJ opened his presents which I conveniently hid in our closet (under piles of clothes that don't fit) for the past few weeks. I think he liked them - I felt a little more inspired than usual this time:

  • Soldering gun + solder (ok, this he asked for directly)
  • Rolling Stones greatest hits CD
  • Stadium Arcadium - Red Hot Chili Peppers (yes, this was partly a self-serving choice too)
  • 24 Season 1 on DVD (neither of us has ever watched it)
  • "The American President"/"Dave" on DVD (one DVD, two presidential movies!)
  • Greek Civilization history class on DVD from the Teaching Company

My mom introduced me to the Teaching Company - they have a huge listing of courses on all different subjects available on CD/download/DVD. I often catch TJ watching bad history shows on cable, so I figured he might like it. I'll report back once he's watched it.

But now I really, really should go to sleep. I've got a 9am workout with Tracy tomorrow - only 2 more weeks left with her. I've made a lot of progress with the strength training, so that's been great. She's writing up a couple of routines for me so I can continue them at home or the gym. I feel good about that.

More after the rest of the TJ Birthday Weekend festivities!

It takes two to make it outta sight


Today and tomorrow are the major festivities of TJ's Birthday Week. Tonight we're going out to dinner to a local restaurant called Beck's, a low key (but great) steakhouse in Redmond. I've also ordered TJ a cake from Regent Bakery, the Chinese bakery where we got our wedding cake. In fact, it's the same kind of strawberry cake we had at the wedding. Yum.

Tomorrow we're playing pool and having dinner with some of our friends. I'm looking forward to it.

And this morning I completed the second workout of Week 3 in Couch to 5K. Easier than the first one, and a great running day thanks to Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock. The music makes all the difference!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I'm gonna wait till the midnight hour

Yawn. I really should just go to bed. But I need to brag about completing the first workout of Week 3 on Couch to 5K. Two segments of running for 3 min straight. Woo hoo! It doesn't sound like much but for me it was a big deal since the last 5K I did was in December 2004. Now I'm just 10% of the way there - hah!

I've been watching American Idol (for the sixth season in a row. crazy). It's been fairly underwhelming. The boys pretty much suck, and the girls are much better but all of the good ones sing R&B which is my least favorite type of music. And everyone is into the big, belting, yelling style of singing. Not a lot of subtlety there.

And speaking of subtlety, I watched the last half-hour of the show where they're looking for a new Pussycat Doll. Talk about inane. It was so bad it was hilarious. But really, no one wants to watch people puking on TV. Not even if it's supposedly hot girls puking. That doesn't make it any better.

I spent a good deal of time this evening trying to figure out how to get my SmugMug pictures to display in a slideshow on this blog. Apparently it can't be done without writing some serious code. And I'm just not up for that challenge right now. So I'll wait around and hope someone comes up with a SmugMug widget thing for Blogger.

Well, I'm one day closer to my iPod Shuffle. I'm also jealous of Kristin's new red ipod Nano. I can't wait to see it and put my grubby little hands on it when we meet in Puerto Rico at the end of the month!

Monday, March 05, 2007

I lost my way

I have too many blogs. And losing weight is an integral part of my life right now, so it deserves to show up in my regular blog, I think. So I won't post here any longer. Sorry, folks.

If you want to read more posts from me - some weight loss-related and others just random musings, see my other blog: Spike, Peanut & Me.

Move on, nothing to see here folks.

These places and these faces are getting old

I guess I'm in one of those posting phases now. It seems to depend on how crappy a mood I'm in. Less crappy = more posts. I've been feeling pretty good these past several days, and feeling a lot less anxiety and stress. I think it's because of my new pseudo-plan to get into shape. Or more accurately, my plan not to have a specific plan and just pay attention to the choices I'm making.

Today was not a great day for me at work - I woke up feeling exhausted and congested, even after 9 hours of sleep (yes, I know I'm lame). So I slept a couple more hours, did a bit of work from home, then went into work after lunch. I finished my major tasks I had planned for today. This week is going to be a slow one - tomorrow we have a 3 hour (!) division meeting at a hotel. Which effectively kills productivity all afternoon.

And Wednesday is our division ski trip. I probably should have signed up in the interest of getting to know my team, getting some exercise, etc. But I just couldn't get excited about a whole day of attempting to stay upright on skis with a group of people I barely know. (Spouses are not invited.) It made me tired just to think about it. So I'm planning to use the day to play catch-up at work. Since it'll be quiet with everyone else gone, it's going to be a great day for that.

Tomorrow morning I'm planning to start Week 3 of Couch to 5K. I think it'll be fine - the longest running segment is 3 minutes and I feel prepared for that. I'm actually kind of excited about it, and even thought about going tonight, but it's already 10pm and if I work out this late, I'll never get to sleep. But I am thrilled to have an exercise thing that I'm actually looking forward to!

I bought some new workout pants at lucy last week, and I love them. Yes, they are horrendously expensive for gym pants but they're made of that nice fabric that wicks away sweat, they fit great and they have pockets. Which are surprisingly hard to find in workout pants. Plus having a cute new workout outfit that fits well is actually motivating me to work out. Unfortunately all of my previous cute workout clothes from the pre-wedding workout frenzy don't fit anymore. sigh.

If you're reading this, and you're a friend of mine in real life, I probably owe you email or a phone call. I've been really stressed the last couple of weeks, and was in hiding for a little while. I promise I'll catch up with you soon.

To everyone else who's just dropping by (like my fellow Couch to 5k-ers), hope this week is a good one for you!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

All the world is all I am

I got to thinking about 'community' today. Usually it's in the context of the "Indian Community" when I think about my parents and their group of friends. Today I read two short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri so I guess that brought on this whole pondering. By the way, the two stories I read were fantastic, and available online so take a look if you've got some time:
Once in a Lifetime

Anyway, back to 'community'. I've started noticing something fairly recently when I go about my day (usually running errands or working out). If I'm on the Eastside, I almost always see someone I recognize while I'm out and about. Of course, it's because everyone and their dog works at Microsoft, but it's still kind of interesting that after living here only 4 years this is a pretty regular occurrence. I also noticed a couple of names I knew in the newsletter from the Humane Society listing recent donors.

Yesterday we went to a brunch celebrating our friends' Dave and Lisa's upcoming wedding. We knew one other person there (besides the happy couple, of course). Now TJ and I are not the most social people, but we ended up having a great time. A bunch of Dave's family were there, and they're just really nice people. It was comfortable, and fun.

Anyway, I guess that's what it means to put down roots somewhere. To have a place that truly feels like home (not just the house, but the whole surrounding area). We know where the good dog parks are, where to get bagels, and I could think of a half-dozen places to go walking today when I wanted some exercise. I chose the Sammamish River Trail, starting at Marymoor Park, and saw the General Manager of my old group at work, out for a bike ride with his three daughters.

While we're not party people, we've got a pretty good selection of friends to call on when we want to do something fun.

I guess my timing's not great - TJ has come to a different conclusion, that Seattle isn't the place he wants to spend many more years, thanks to the crappy weather and his affection for convertibles and motorcycles. We don't have any specific plans yet to make any changes. I'm hoping the place will grow on him a bit more - after all, I had a 3 year head start in graduate school, so he hasn't seen quite as many gorgeous summers here as I have.

And on a completely unrelated note, I made a killer healthy veggie quiche today. I guess that's becoming one of my specialties since I've made it so many times. Now if I could just find a healthier pre-made pie crust for it, I'd be all set. The whole-wheat one from Trader Joe's is the best, but only available in Nov/Dec. Pillsbury just has too many synthetic ingredients, and *lard* for crying out loud, though the calorie/fat count isn't too awful.

Now I'm going to indulge in my cheesy side and watch the Oprah documentary about the school she opened in South Africa. Ta!

Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?

Whew - this blog has gotten very heavy and emotional lately, hasn't it? Well, that's not any fun.

I used to joke that if you have more than three adjectives (not including size) to describe your drink at Starbucks, then you're officially high-maintenance. For example, mine is a "tall nonfat 1-pump chai". I just barely squeak by as not quite high maintenance. But the lady who orders "Grande decaf nonfat no-whip extra-hot mocha": she's definitely high maintenance.

Starbucks, already a favorite in my book, has got an interesting advertising concept going on with another of my favorites, Project Runway.

Mychael, one of the PR finalists from last season, has created some drawings representing peoples' drink orders. Starbucks was giving away T-shirts last month with these drawings, and even has some up for auction on a charity website.

But the most fun part of this is the interactive designer where you can build your own drink drawing. Here's mine:

If you want to play with this and get your own drawing, click on the 'Get a shirt' link at the bottom of

Winter just wasn't my season

I felt like I needed a change, so the new colors are dedicated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Apocalypse 4 came and went a few days ago with another couple of inches of snow, but the temperature rose pretty quickly so it didn't stick around for long. At least this time it had the courtesy to wait until nighttime to start snowing.

I'm giving up on my separate weight loss blog. A nice idea in theory but just too damn hard to maintain in practice. Especially since I barely remember to write in this one, and my work blog is lucky if it sees one post per month.

But that doesn't mean I'm giving up on getting into better shape. Ugh. How many times have I said this?? I've been doing a lot of reading, and thinking, about my lack of focus when it comes to really getting down to the business of weight loss. I'm lazy. I hate doing things I'm not good at, so I do them haphazardly so I have something to blame when things don't work out like I want them to. I suppose what it comes down to is that I don't want it badly enough.

So I'm trying something a little different this time. I have only one measurable goal right now, and that's to complete the Couch to 5K running program. It's a 9 week, 27 workout series that progresses from running intervals of 1 minute up to 30 minutes. When I finish, I get to buy myself the cute little iPod shuffle in pink, which has a convenient clip to attach it to your clothes, and will work much better than the crazy lanyard thing I'm using now that I have to tuck into my shirt while I'm running.

With respect to food, I'm following the basic principles of intuitive eating - making sure I'm really hungry before eating something, eating just until satisfied, eating often, and making sure I don't ever get ravenous. Oh, and no more absent-minded eating in front of the computer. (Revolutionary, I know.) I've promised myself to start writing down what I eat just to see if I'm eating more crap than I think I am. But no calorie restrictions or rules.

I've resumed delivery of fresh organic fruits and veggies from Pioneer Organics every 2 weeks, so the good stuff will always be around and handy.

I'm also trying to figure out what other exercise I can do that I really truly enjoy. That's the hard part, though I am looking forward to the running workouts. I may just end up doing a lot of walking.

I'm in this for the long haul. And approaching it like a scientist, logically and deliberately. (Though not numerically.) I've got some mental block about committing to what I need to do, so my job for the next couple of months is to figure out how to get past that.

Part of that is eliminating stress where I can. I have a bad habit of taking on a lot of "projects" and I realized it's because I'm not sure what I really, truly want to do with my life. Maybe this is my quarter-life crisis showing up a little bit late.

Anyway, that was probably too much information for you all. But I've never really considered the mental component to weight loss as being particularly important for me.

I'm thinking it's the part I need to be able to do this once, and once only, and to get out of the cycle. I'm tired of having a whole second wardrobe in my closet that doesn't fit. I want one set of clothes, preferably in a single digit size, and vigilance and commitment to make sure those clothes always fit. I don't ever again want to "suddenly" notice that I've gained 25lbs since the last time I was paying attention. Of course, if that came with a 7 inch height increase, that would be fine, but last time I checked I was still the same height.

So here's to "constant vigilance", to borrow a phrase from Harry Potter. Not about the number on the scale, but about life. Here's to everything having a purpose, and making decisions consciously. No more guilt, and no more rules. Boo-yah.

sharing is nice

Related Posts with Thumbnails