Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stat Update (finally)

Hello! As my stats weren't current, I weighed myself this morning and am posting right at the end of my lunch hour at work.

I've also decided just to list pounds rather than including kilos and stones because, well, it's easier, innit? Plus I've been weighing myself in pounds all my life, so it's what I'm used to.

Now that I've made it a tad easier on myself, I'm hoping to update it more frequently again (once every one or two weeks or so).

Monday, June 7, 2010

Race for Life 5k COMPLETE!!

That's right. I completed my first ever 5k yesterday. I am amazingly proud of myself. I'll post some photos tomorrow, after I have some time to go through them. For now, though, here's an unflattering shot I took after I finished [which I posted on Twitter]:

Thumbs up = VICTORY

I just walked the thing, but I walked hard and damn near stomped it the whole way. I only slowed down a few times to tweet about passing the km markers. And while I was sufficiently worn out at the end of it all, I felt FANTASTIC. I'd actually been having a terrible week last week, with depression hitting me hard as the result of an increase in my meds and PMDD rearing its ugly head... but now? I feel more determined than ever.

Tonight I got back on track with Wii Fit. We had monster salads for dinner (om nom nom veggies). After our trip to the States in July (which is going to suck up all of our extra money for now), I'd like to get a bike again (and relearn how to ride one without falling) and start riding it to work. I'd also really like to find a sport or a class to take part in.

I'm oddly excited about the World Cup. But I suppose it's hard not to get caught up in the excitement if you live in England. I even bought a USA football kit! (Ever since I've moved away, I tend to root for my home country more than I ever have... but I suppose that's natural for an expat.)
Not only that, I am THRILLED about the summer olympics and paralympics being here in 2012. And I really want to try to get tickets to see murderball, because that shit looks INSANE.


That's all for now. I'll put up those pics tomorrow, and will (finally) update the sidebar later this week. I want to get back on track with weekly weigh ins.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wii! And more!

It's been nearly a month since I last updated. I'm finding that now that I don't have my full day to dedicate to twitter and blogger, I often forget to post! There hasn't been too much news here, but here's what I have:

I finally bought a Wii, along with Wii Fit Plus and a couple of other games. I'm absolutely loving it! I've been trying to do between 20 and 45 minutes every day on Wii Fit, and I've lost about 2 pounds or so over the last week. I'll start up my official weigh ins again next week. (This past weekend we were at a house warming party and stayed the night, and this upcoming weekend we'll be in Glasgow for a wedding, volcanic ash permitting.)

What really works for me is both the variety of activities as well as the competition aspect. When working through individual activities, you can compare your score with scores you achieved in the past, as well as the scores of the other people using Wii Fit on your system (like my husband). I've also made a general rule for myself that unless it's a game that uses conventional controls, I must stand in order to play it and move the way one is intended (rather than sitting on the couch waggling the Wii-mote).

I've also started using the stairs at work whenever I head up to the canteen to get coffee or a diet soda. This is generally two to three times a day. I began doing that on Tuesday last week and have only taken the elevator up (but not down) a few times since: all on Wednesday, as my arthritic knee was acting up and I didn't want to stress it more than I had to.

All in all, I've been doing pretty well lately, considering I sit on my butt at a desk all day at work.

In terms of food, it's been about the same. There are occasional forays into junk (pizza now and then, that sort of thing), but for the most part we've been eating good food. I do still usually have a bit of chocolate most days, but it's a few squares as opposed to a whole bar.

Jo commented suggesting I try growing my own spaghetti squash a few posts back... I might look into it after this weekend. Because spaghetti squash is awesome.

Also: The Race for Life 5k is fast approaching! If you'd like to sponsor me, pleas click the button on the sidebar. It's for the great cause of Cancer Research UK.

That's about it for today. I'll either report back this weekend (if the ash from the volcano in Iceland prevents us from making it to the wedding... fingers crossed this doesn't happen), but more likely it will be on the weekend after. See you all then!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Where did the time go?

So... I haven't updated in a couple of weeks. That's partially because I've stayed at about the same weight, and partially because I'm still getting used to working full time again.

Because I'm working again, I also have much more limited time to fit exercise in. However, I now have some money to play with. I've been going back and forth between signing up for a membership at the gym down the road and getting a Wii. For now, the Wii is winning out (as I may be able to get a membership for the gym on site at my workplace after I've worked here long enough). In addition, with the Wii I'll be able to distract myself from the fact that I'm working out and let my competitive nature help drive me. There's also more that I can do besides Wii Fit and EA Active and all that. Many games (like Wii Sports, for example) have a very physical aspect to them, and I'll be able to take advantage of that by throwing myself into the movements more than necessary (and making a rule that I can only play Wii games standing up).

So that's where I'm headed. I should be able to grab a Wii around the beginning of May, and then I'll start setting aside at least 30 minutes a day for it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Stat Update

Stats have been updated on the sidebar; I lost 1.2 pounds. I've decided to move the weekly weigh ins to Sunday from now on, as I'm not going to have time to do a blog post before I go to work in the morning. Yes, I know today is Monday, but it's a bank holiday and we didn't get home from Oxford until the afternoon.

I'm still trying to adjust to having a job again. And a schedule. Last week knocked me for six. I haven't been paying as much attention to losing weight as I had before, so there have been some slip ups with unhealthy food (though not as many or as bad as before). The only exercise I'm getting at the moment is walking (including a 20 minute walk between the bus stop and work twice a day). But at least it's something. Once I'm able to switch my hours around to between 8 and 4:30 or 8:30 and 5, I think I'll be in a better place. (Right now it's 9:30 to 6 until I'm trained up enough to work on my own, and by the end of the day I'm completely sluggish.)

So that's it for now. I'm at least going to keep up the weekly stat updates for now, and put in some extra posts once I'm back in a routine of sorts.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Stat Update and New Job

Stat update is a couple days late this week. I was a little distracted because I got a job this week and was waiting to hear back about my start date. I completely forgot about posting.

But! Good news. I've lost 1.6 pounds. Not fantastic, but I've been really stressed these past couple of weeks.

I start my new job on Monday. I think it will be a lot easier to control my food intake since I won't be home the majority of the day (with easy access to the kitchen). Not only that, I'll be kept busy so snacking won't even enter my mind. My coffee intake will likely be the same though.

I still haven't started back up with my weight training... I think at this point, I'm going to have to start all over again. I am still keeping up with walking a lot, and I'm going to have to walk part of my journey to and from work every day. I'm hoping within the next month or so I'll be able to afford a membership at the gym down the road. I really miss going to a gym.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Stat Update and Making Excuses

I've lost a little under a pound this week. Considering the only real exercise I got was walking to and from a job interview (granted, it was the same place I had my assessment last week, so I walked just under 5 miles total again), that's actually not too bad.

I've been struggling a lot lately. I've been making excuses, partially because I started taking an SSRI again just a few weeks ago. My mood was all over the map for a while. I didn't exercise as much, though I tried to keep myself moving around a lot.*

My eating habits haven't been great either. I've forgotten to eat breakfast on many days. But (save one take out meal from KFC), I've actually eaten mostly healthy things. I also haven't been eating much in between meals. There have been a few biscuits (cookies) here and there, but only once did I eat more than two. And that was three. Which seems really excessive now! I used to be a person that ate between five and ten cookies in one sitting. There's also been instances of buttered toast, but even those have been kept to a minimum. So it hasn't been a disaster, and hey! It looks like I'm actually learning things!

You know, through all this I have found myself coveting chocolate only a few times, but I haven't had that much of it. And to be honest, I don't feel like I'm missing anything.

I also haven't been drinking enough water, and I have had a bit too much coffee some days. So I'm starting today with a glass of water, which will get refilled whenever it's empty. Only when I finish my current glass will I allow myself some coffee.

In short: I've done okay considering how I used to be, but I had the potential this week to do a lot better. So I'll work on that for next week.

*I remembered hearing about Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (or NEAT, of you like fancy acronyms) on the Two Fit Chicks podcast (Episode 07 Getting STARTed in 2010), and how you could burn up to 400 calories a day just by fidgeting. So I've been working that in. I've been working on a project that involves a lot of sitting at the desk in our office, so I've been keeping my legs moving around and generally not keeping still.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Stat Update, Walking, and a Confession

I lost a kilo this week! YEEEEEAAAAH! Stats on the sidebar have been updated. I'm getting close to a mini goal, which is to lose a stone (14 pounds, for the American folk). The next one after that is to get below 100 kg, and after that? My nemesis, the 200 pound mark.

That seems to be an enemy of many a loser. I've butted up against it several times myself, but have never gone under it after going over it when I was in my late teens. This time, though, I will succeed. I'm older and wiser and have a hell of a lot more support.

* * *

I had an assessment yesterday, which may end up landing me an interview for a media researcher/analyst job. The location was 2.4 miles away, with no direct bus route. It was, however, a nearly straight shot from where I live on one road. So I decided to walk.

I packed my nice shoes in my bag, rocked the skirt and trainers look, and set off. I listened to a couple of podcasts about making comics. Half of the way wasn't paved, so I had to walk over grass areas where the earth was really soft. It took me about an hour.

I did my assessment with six others (some from crazy far away: Wigan and Liverpool). And then I started the trek back. I'd packed half a pita with some peanut butter in it, as I knew I'd need the protein and I didn't get lunch (I'd eaten a large snack before I left at 11:30). I got home, exhausted and in pain, but proud of myself.

I walked nearly five miles yesterday! Granted, it was split up into two sections, but still. That was the most walking I'd done in one day in a long time. And now I know for sure that I'll be able to walk the 5k just fine... but hopefully I'll lose enough weight by then that my knee will be able to take the impact of jogging. I know I used to do some jogging/running in short bursts when I was about 210 pounds or so.

* * *

I have a confession to make. I haven't lifted weights in a week. I made excuses, because I'd gotten my period (after it decided to skip a month back in February) and it was the worst one I've had in a long time. Since the doctor made me stop taking it, I'm no longer on birth control that makes the experience milder. In short (and without gross detail), I felt AWFUL.

I didn't lift weights, but I did make myself get outside and walk as much as I could. So at least I did SOMETHING. Now it's all over, though, and I'm eyeing my weights. I think I'll pick up where I left off today.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Stat (non)Update and Dragon Fruit

First off, check out the spiffy new title graphic! Yay!

Stats aren't being updated this week because I weighed in at the same number this week. I was a bit worried about it, so I'm actually glad I didn't gain. More exercise (that won't flare up my arthritic knee) and less food next week.

*   *   *
I finally got around to cutting open one of the dragon fruit we bought during our last online shop. I got them on a whim, as they were on sale and I'd never had one before. I'd had dragon fruit flavored drinks before, like Vitamin Water and Snapple Elements (from years ago, that... anyone remember them?) but I'd never even seen the actual fruit before. I actually had to google how to eat it. You cut it in half and scoop it out, like an avocado.

So I did just that. I've got to say... It didn't taste how I was expecting it to. I'm not even sure what that expectation was, really. What I got was an odd fleshy fruit that was mostly water, and was oddly savory in addition to being a bit sweet. It made me think of some weird hybrid between a watermelon and a tomato. I'm not sure if I actually liked the taste of it, but I didn't automatically reject it either. It's something I could see myself acquiring a taste for, though, especially since the texture was quite pleasing. I am a complete nut for texture when it comes to food (as mentioned in a previous post regarding porridge).

It was kind of nice to have a bit of a food adventure, though, as I haven't really had one in a while. I love trying new things. How else would I have learned that I love spaghetti squash? Speaking of, if anyone knows where to get one in the UK, please please PLEASE let me know. I haven't found one since I moved here.

Next up to try: figs maybe? I've only ever experienced them in fig newton form, and had no idea what they looked like either until recently.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Beef With Bariatric Surgery

First off, a disclaimer: Let me make it clear that I do believe that there ARE cases in which bariatric surgery can be beneficial and even necessary, as a last resort. I would also like to say that I don't hold anything against people who do opt for any of the various procedures, as it was their choice, and it does work out well for many people. This is simply how I feel about the subject, after first hand experience with my mother, who underwent a gastric bypass shortly after I started at San Diego State.

My mom had been heavyset all her life, like me. At one point she weighed ofer 400 pounds. She lost a little bit of that suddenly, before she was diagnosed with adult onset diabetes, but remained in the high 300s. It seemed like she'd tried everything: Sweatin' to the Oldies with Richard Simmons, Jenny Craig, and dozens of other programs I can't remember. Nothing seemed to stick, which I now realize was because my mom had a few road blocks in her way. She didn't know how to change the way she looked at food, she didn't know how to stick to exercise, she didn't have enough support from my dad and me, and because she had some more deeply rooted psychological issues that didn't become apparent until she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about six months before she died in a car accident in 2005.

Bariatric surgery must have sounded like a miracle to her. She felt like she was at the end of her rope. Personally, I doubted the whole procedure. I went along with her to orientations and support group meetings where I heard about how you could lose crazy amounts of weight fairly quickly, as well as horror stories: inscisions that didn't heal fully and became infected, internal bleeding, bowel leak where the intestine is re-attached to the stomach, food getting lodged and causing an internal traffic jam. There was also the fact that the stomach could stretch out over time and become the size of a normal stomach again and you could gain all the weight BACK, undoing the whole traumatic procedure. Then there's the fact that the surgery was purely physical, so you still have to change the way you view food and work through everything that caused you to overeat in the first place.

This is what happened to my mom:
She had a full gastric bypass; she was too large to have the procedure done laparoscopically (that option was relatively new back then), so she had a giant scar running down her stomach. For a long time, she followed the program dilligently, going to both regional and local support meetings. She'd had a few blockage scares and gone to the emergency room a couple of times, but other than that she was fine. She lost about 100 pounds, and got into the high 200s. But then she hit a plateau. She stopped going to the meetings. She began to eat the things she wasn't supposed to (you're given a list of foods that you can and can't eat at various stages), and her stomach stretched. She probably experienced "dumping," which is what happens when you eat sugary things (you feel sick and faint because of a fall in blood sugar). She wasn't really exercising. She didn't gain much more weight, but she didn't lose any more either.

All of the issues she had before she had the surgery were still there. The support groups are supposed to cover that bit, but it doesn't work if you stop going. There is nothing in place to stop someone from playing along up until they have the surgery and then suddenly falling off the radar. The special diet you're supposed to follow can easily go out of the window. Handing someone a piece of paper with the right foods on it doesn't magically make someone stick to it, no matter how ill they feel if they don't.

The bottom line: there's not enough education and support for everyone who has bariatric surgery. There ARE many people who are successful, and learn about food and exercise. But there are also those who need a little extra guidance, and who are lacking in some familial support. And it's THOSE people I worry about.

To those who have had a gastric bypass or a gastric band and have kept their weight off: well done! I know it's hard, even with the surgery.

Gastric bypass surgery is not a quick fix. It is a life altering major surgery. It was intended for people who are too large to move around, and those who have immediate health risks. After looking up the qualifications, I myself qualify for gastric bypass surgery. I weigh less than 250 pounds (granted, that's large for my 5' 2" frame, but still), and am perfectly capable of moving around and exercising. I don't think I should qualify, but I do.

Most people I've run across online and in person, from lay people to medical professionals, seem to be in agreement that the best way to lose weight is slowly, over a period of time, through healthy eating and plenty of exercise. Calories in, calories out. This breadth of time also allows you to learn new habits, how to make healthier choices, and that it's okay to splurge a little now and again and still stay on track. I'm still working on all that, after gaining and losing and gaining for the entirety of my adult life, but this is the way I want to do it. Baby steps.

And if I can show just one person that it's not necessary for them to have surgery to lose weight, I will be an extremely happy camper.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Stat Update

Upping my cardio (and possibly drinking loads more water) has worked! 2 pounds down this week!

Plan for the coming week: continue with the added cardio and water, decrease food consumption.

I am going to invest in some sugarfree gum, for those times I just feel like grazing. I don't eat nearly as much as I used to, but it's still more than I need. I tweeted this yesterday: "Man, I wish jelly belly made sugar free gum... I'd be all over buttered toast, espresso, and toasted marshmallow," followed by: "P.S. I know they make a range of sugar free jelly beans. But you can't chew those for ages." I also wish they existed here (there's just no sugar added ones in the UK).

Seriously though, buttered toast sugar free gum (if they got the flavor right)? That would be killer.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

(Slightly Healthier) Chocolate Cake in Five Minutes

I promised a few posts ago to share my modified Cake in Five Minutes, so here we go! I found a link to the original recipe on a forum I frequented a while back. It was pretty tasty... but as an amateur baker, I can't be given a recipe and not modify it. Plus, it's VERY easy to make a few exchanges and remove a lot of calories.

* * *

(Slightly Healthier) Chocolate Cake in Five Minutes
4 tbsp flour (all-purpose or strong works fine, you could probably even use whole wheat!)
4 tbsp sugar (I usually use 50/50 white and soft dark brown, but you can easily use Splenda)
2 tbsp cocoa (Make sure it's UNSWEETENED)
1 egg
3 tbsp milk (I use 1% or 2%, or semi-skimmed... not sure if skimmed would work, but it's worth a try I suppose!)
3 tbsp applesauce/fruit puree (The original recipe calls for oil, but it's just for moisture, so this works just as well. Last time I used apple & strawberry puree, as I can't find applesauce here)

Chuck all the ingredients into a bowl (or a mug, as per the original recipe) and mix thoroughly. At this stage, you can add some nuts or dried fruit, if you like.

Stick it in the microwave for 3 minutes. (If made in a mug, let the cake settle and then tip it onto a plate or bowl).

Top with fresh fruit (like raspberries) or leave it as is. Enjoy!

* * *

The texture is a bit different than normal cake, because it's microwaved, but it's still pretty tasty. I bet it's possible to bake it in the oven though. Experimentation must be conducted!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Race for Life 5k

I've finally signed up for the Race for Life 5k in Milton Keynes! I kept putting it off for a few weeks, but now it's done. It takes place on the 6th of June, so I have plenty of time to train... I know I can WALK five kilometers, but I'd love it if I could jog or run, at least for part of it.*

I've added a button on the sidebar, if you'd like to sponsor me. It's for a great cause: Cancer Research UK.

* * *

Today has been a good day. I've eaten well, drunk more water than I have in a long time (about 6 pint glasses full!), and I managed to do both weight lifting and cardio. I'm really happy about that. Just need to keep it up!

I also listened to the latest Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone podcast, which was great. They answered my question about protein powder (I've decided to stick to real food), and I learned a few other things as well. Have a listen if you haven't yet.

*The only thing I'm concerned about is my arthritic knee. I may have to just power walk it in the end, but I'm going to try to jog/run as best I can without injuring myself or making my knee worse... With any luck, by then my legs will be small enough that I can wear once of those slide on knee support thingies.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Stat Update

It really shows that I haven't been doing enough (any) cardio (save last night), and at the beginning of the week did nothing for three days. Plus there were a couple of indulgences on my birthday... considering all that I guess, the fact that I gained 1.6 pounds back isn't that terrible. It's not great, but it could have been worse.

This week: stepping up the cardio. We'll see how that goes. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Exercise TV

Today I wanted something different for my cardio. Jen over at Prior Fat Girl has been singing the praises of Exercise TV, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. They have a ton of full length exercise videos. I ended up trying this one, called 20 Minute Dance Party:

It was great! I love dance-based workouts because learning steps is more entertaining for me, and I tend to push myself a bit harder (because I want to figure out how to do the steps). I am covered in sweat, and I feel great! I want to try some of their longer workouts too, but this was a good quick one.

Thanks again, Jen, for linking them on your blog!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feeling a bit 'meh.'

Yesterday was my birthday, and the end of the chocolate ban. I enjoyed a couple of small pieces of chocolate, as well as Cake-in-five-minutes*, because birthdays need cake. I didn't go hog wild and down several bars of chocolate on my own. So in that sense, it was a bit of a triumph. I did happen to drink a little over half of a bottle of wine on my own during the course of the evening, though. Oops!

Today, though, was my weigh in at the medical centre. It was less than inspiring. According to that scale, I'm just a half a kilo down from two weeks ago. Granted, this is in the afternoon, with clothes on, but it's still discouraging. I suppose, though, that it should be.

I'm doing really well with my weight lifting program, but I'm not getting in near enough cardio. And though I am eating generally healthy things, I'm still eating too much. I really should switch to Splenda in my coffee, or at least cut down on the sugar I use. I need to up my water intake. I used to be really good about drinking loads of water every day, but lately I'm lucky if I manage to get two or three pint glasses down.

What it all comes down to is that I need to step up my game. I'm trying not to beat myself up over this, because it's not worth it. "Trying" being the operative word. I'll still have my official stat update weigh in on Friday morning, so we'll see how I do then. If I have a gain (which I'm pretty much expecting), then so be it. I'll work harder.

* * *

On the good side of things, I have a job interview tomorrow for a part time manager position at a nearby charity shop. I have good feelings about it. If I get it, I'll be able to afford to join the gym down the road. That would completely solve my lack of cardio problem... I'm one of those weird people that LOVES zoning out on an elliptical machine (or a stationary bike) with a good audio book (David Sedaris books have been some of the best gym companions I've ever had) and really pushing myself with the interval training programs. Not to mention the fact that because ellipticals are low impact, I can go on for ages without my arthritic left knee flaring up (unlike with running).

That job will also get me out of the house more, and I'll meet a hell of a lot more people, which I could really use for my sanity. Cross your fingers for me!

* * *

In the meantime though, I need to get some more exercise video goodness happening. I have the New York City Ballet Workout (volumes one and two) and that should be okay once a week or so, but I'd like some others for some variety. Maybe I can take up Tae Bo again. I've tried Pump It Up from Ministry of Sound, but it's a bit advanced for me at the moment and the movements are a bit too quick. Does anyone else have recommendations?

*I'll post the modified recipe I use, as well as a link back to the original, at some point in the next couple of days.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stat Update, Tofu, and Memories of Good Food Back Home

I  lost nearly two pounds this week! WOO!

Stats have been updated on the sidebar.

*   *   *

I'm waiting for my groceries to be delivered. They're supposed to arrive between 11 and 12. I'm really looking forward to eating some tofu, as it's been ages since I've cooked some up. I've had the weirdest craving for it lately! Maybe we'll have a tofu stir fry for dinner. I really need to look up how to get the outside of it nice and crispy though. I also want to try cooking it in beer, like a lovely roommate of mine used to do.

I miss the rad vegetarian restaurant I used to go to in San Diego, Jyote Bihanga. It's on Adams Avenue, my favorite street, just across the way from Lestats, my favorite 24 hour coffee shop... which is a far cry from the Costa in Newport Pagnell that closes at 5:30 or 6. But then, coffee culture isn't that big here. ANYWAY. Jyote Bihanga. They have awesome fake meatloaf (neatloaf), mock bacon BLTs, messy and delicious barbecue tofu sandwiches, and delish lentil soup. They also do a lot of vegan dishes as well. So if you're in San Diego for any reason and you're vegetarian, vegan, or if you just enjoy good veggie fair (like me!), check them out. And then get a latte at Lestats and gawk at the goths and scenesters.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lifting and Porridge

I bought a book called The New Rules of Lifting for Women* right before I left the States, as a friend of mine who had been using it highly recommended it. I only got around to starting up the program a week and a half ago (yay culture shock and depression and moving to a new house, oh my).

I'm really enjoying it so far. I have had to make a few adjustments (as I have no barbell or access to weight lifting machines at the moment), but thankfully they offer many variations on an exercise so that you can work with what you DO have**. It helps to be resourceful as well. I have no step and no stairs in my house so...

I've been using a couple of Harry Potter books as a step. It works pretty well! Plus I can add more volumes if I want to make it a bit taller. (I'm currently using Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix... and yes, I shipped my American copies over here, because I am INSANE.) In the past week and a half though, I've been able to progress from 60 degree pushups using the kitchen counter to 45 degree pushups using a window ledge. And the evil prone jackknife*** (though still VERY difficult), is finally starting to get a bit easier.

*   *   *

In other news, I have porridge and cereal from Dorset Cereals! Shauna aka DietGirl had a giveaway bonanza last month in celebration of her blog turning 9. I was lucky enough to win one of the random draws and received these in the mail yesterday:

I haven't gotten a chance to try the cereal yet, but I pounced on the porridge this morning. Back in the States, I loved me some oatmeal. I'd started buying the big canisters of Quaker Oats and tossing in a bit of brown sugar and nuts, sometimes some dried fruit. I made it with water (as is the standard over there), and instead of cooking the oatmeal itself I heated the water up and poured it on the dry oats. This ensured that I would not end up with a goopy, sticky, paste-like consistency. I am a texture person. If a texture is wrong for me, I won't eat it.  

Since I'd moved to England, I had yet to eat porridge that didn't end up horrible and glue like, no matter how I made it: with water or milk, cooked in the liquid or hot liquid poured over. This made me sad. HOWEVER! Dorset Cereals Fruity Porridge with apples and raisins? Perfect. I'm loving oatmeal/porridge again! I even had it with milk (which still seems a bit weird to me). The only thing I would do differently is to add just a touch of muscovado sugar (for those in the States: think dark brown sugar's much darker and denser cousin) to give it a bit of sweetness.

*   *   *

Michael and I are going to be doing our first online shop today. So we'll be loosely planning a menu for the week. Exciting! Plus, this way, I don't have to eye all the chocolate in our local shop (less than a week to go on the ban). I'll report back on how it went after we get our groceries.

*The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess by Lou Schuler with Cassandra Forsythe, M.S. with workout programs by Alwyn Cosgrove. It can be found on Amazon both in the US and the UK.
**The only one I've been having a hard time adapting are the lat pulldowns... I have been making sure to replace it with another pulling exercise and try to make sure it works the same muscle group, but it's been a bit difficult. 
***Don't know what a prone jackknife is? Check out this handy youtube video!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Moderation != Deprivation

Moderation is not the same thing as deprivation. I JUST figured this out, and am still struggling with it occasionally.

In previous attempts at weight loss, I deprived myself of many things I liked, demonizing them as "bad foods" that were "off limits." I also ate very little at times. While I did learn that I liked many new and healthier things, eventually the cravings would drive me bonkers and I'd go on a bit of a binge. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I'd think, "Moderation is HARD!" without realizing that it wasn't moderation at all.

I've only just realized that I don't need to take an all or nothing approach to losing weight and being healthy... because, for me, that's NOT healthy! It's okay to have a cappuccino with full fat milk or even a biscuit or two, just as long as I don't have them everyday (or several times in a day). I find a lot of comfort and relief in that. Having a treat now and again is not a failure... it's enjoying my life!

I may lose weight more slowly this way, but I think I'll have a better chance of keeping it off this time.

Stat Update

Weighed in just a few minutes ago, and lo and behold! I DID lose weight! HUZZAH!

Only about a pound, but hey, I'll take it.

That's all for now, but I'll post another entry later today, after I've run some errands.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

No longer living in the dark ages

And by dark ages, I mean only being able to access the internet from my fancy touchscreen phone. Heh. At any rate, BT has finally sorted out our broadband connection! Hooray! Now I can get some serious posting done.

* * *

I did get weighed yesterday. Sadly, it looked as though I gained back the kilo I lost two weeks ago. I was a bit upset, as I've been eating well and doing plenty of exercise, but it didn't immediately make me want to run into the shop across the street and buy half of their chocolate supply. That's a plus.

I know weight fluctuations are normal. However, this has prompted me to finally go out and get a scale for home because I realized that I was being weighed in the afternoon, and that (pardon the TMI here) I hadn't had a poo that day. So I'm going to grab a scale tonight when we're in town, and report back tomorrow morning and update my stats on the sidebar. If I really did gain the kilo back, so be it. But then I'll know for sure.

My blood pressure was fantastic though. WOO!

* * *

After just over two weeks of the Chocolate Ban, its still going strong. The only instances of cocoa that have passed my lips were a few mugs of Ovaltine, some cocoa powder on a couple cappuccinos, and some itty bitty flakes in little pots of nonfat yogurt. No chocolate bars, no chocolate biscuits or muffins, no chocolate cereals, no Cadbury cream eggs or Terry's chocolate oranges. There has been some whining and longing looks in the shops, but that's where it would always end. Overall, I'm very pleased!

* * *

Since I've already mentioned poo in this post, I think it's safe to mention farting. My goodness, the farting. Since I've started including a ton more veggies in my diet, I have had the Worst Gas Ever [TM]. Noxious, vile stuff. It seems to have calmed down a bit, and I've read it eventually goes away after your digestive system gets used to it. Here's hoping that happens soon!

* * *

That's all for now. I do have a handful of other posts (with photos and everything! ooh!) lined up, so check back in the next few days!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Technical Difficulties

We're STILL waiting for our internet connection to be set up. It was supposed to be yesterday, but that didn't happen.

I do have a few things to post about*, but they would be too long to do from my phone (and one involves photos). Much as I love my little touchscreen phone, typing much more than a Twitter update can drive me nut

So I'll get back to posting once we're all sorted. Sorry for the delay!

*Like discovering and using some public use outdoor fitness equipment, moderation versus deprivation, and my beef with bariatric surgery (there was talk of the surgery in the radio last week). Plus new weigh in results on Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Lifestyle" appointment

Today I headed down to the medical centre for a lifestyle appointment. Which is an appropriate name, I suppose. I got a few pamphlets, had a good chat, got my blood pressure taken, and weighed in.

My blood pressure has been high for a while. I don't think I had a problem with it before, but to be honest I hadn't really given it that much thought. My mother had been severely overweight at one point (over 400 pounds), and doctors were always baffled that her blood pressure wasn't that high. Now I think of it, they may have meant in relation to her weight.

Bottom line is that it's something else I need to keep an eye on. My love affair with salt must become a platonic friendship.

Good news though: I lost a kilogram! That's 2.2 pounds! I didn't eat as well as I could have, so I'm quite pleased with that. I updated the sidebar (save for the bmi, as I'm having to update via my phone and can't have two windows open at once... no net connection yet at the new house).

I'm headed back in two weeks to check my blood pressure again and for another weigh in (and I can keep coming in to stand on the scale for as long as I want, even after my blood pressure gets better). This is one if those times when NHS is really awesome.

That's all for now! Hopefully we'll get the internet connection sorted next week.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lock down

I have officially enjoyed my last bit of chocolate for four weeks (until my birthday on the 16th). It was the last four squares of a lovely 30p Somerfield dark chocolate bar. I still think it's a bit nuts how cheap that stuff is for how good it tastes.

This is going to be a bit mentally challenging, as chocolate is one of those things that makes my brain go, "I WANT, I NEED," especially during PMS and crazy period times. There have been times when I didn't have any and would literally pace around the kitchen looking for something to fill that gap. Then I'd eat a load of other stuff and would still find myself unsatisfied and craving chocolate even more. If I can train myself that it's just a treat and not a necessity, I think I'll be in a good place. I know it will probably take longer than four weeks to accomplish that, but I think it's a good start.

Michael (my husband) is taking the rest of what we had in the house to work with him, and we won't bring any into the house in that four week period. (We should be mostly moved in tomorrow, fingers crossed!) We'll also be stocking a lot of fruit.

Feeling a bit of withdrawal already, but it's for the best.


Begin again at the beginning

Last week, a doctor told me she couldn't renew my prescription for birth control because I was too fat. She was also unable to take my blood pressure because the machine couldn't read me (though I'd had no problem before when I was heavier, but I was in the States then). She had me step on the scale, and looked a bit horrified and disgusted. Or maybe I just thought she did, because I was embarrassed and ashamed after what she'd already said.

The scale was metric, and she couldn't tell me what my weight was in pounds, but she did convert it to stone. I didn't actually find out until I plugged the numbers into a unit converter after I got home. She wanted me to schedule a "lifestyle" appointment (I'm assuming it's something to do with talking to a nurse about nutrition and exercise). I left the medical centre trying not to cry. I hadn't realized the problem had gotten that bad again.

I am now about 10 pounds below the only weight I can remember being recorded when I was at my heaviest six years ago. Since then I'd lost and gained and lost again, never breaking the 200 barrier. All of those times I was doing it on my own, and didn't have a system in place to keep me accountable. So I'd keep failing and reverting back to eating things I knew were bad for me, and eating when I was sad or bored or happy or just because I wanted the taste of something in my mouth (in many previous entries of her blog, Dietgirl mentions textures as well, and that's part of it too). I told my husband the other day that I seem to have an oral fixation in the way a smoker does. After the general HUR HUR ORAL was out of the way, he agreed. I graze a bit. I'm always eating something or drinking something unless I can distract myself.

We've already started eating more healthy food. More fruit and veg. I've switched to skimmed milk for my coffee (still semi-skimmed for drinking by itself and cereal). I was originally allowing myself a tiny amount of chocolate a day, but that has proven dangerous. So, as we're in the middle of moving house, I've decided that there will be no chocolate going into the new place. I'm giving it up until my birthday (February 16th). Which will be hard, but it needs to be done to help curb the addiction so that one day I'll be able to enjoy some quality chocolate and not want to eat a truck load.

My husband is being very supportive, and is in fact doing this along with me as he has a little bit of weight he'd like to shed. I think with his support (as well as writing everything down) I'll be able to make a real go at this and succeed.

As you can see, I've put my stats in the sidebar. Just starting numbers. I don't have a scale yet, so it might be a while until I update that (but I might see if the nurse will weigh me when I go in on Wednesday).

Here goes nothing!