Monday, November 24, 2008

All Thanksgiving, All The Time

Have I told you peeps that we are having 20 people come to our house for Thanksgiving?

Oh, yeah, I think I've whined about that already.

So family is awesome, and I love Mark's family. Couldn't ask for better. Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays because it's all about family & food & giving thanks. No presents, no pressure, just warm homey feelings. And lots of good food.

And I think I'm stressing myself out more than I need to. But still. 20 people! Which doesn't include us, and we make it 24.

Food we are making:
Homemade turkey gravy (Mark is making this--and he's all about being gourmet, because he's a great cook and he has a high standard to live up to).

I am making: Sweet potatoes (maple glazed, no marshmallows), au gratin potatoes, green beans (3 pounds of them!), pumpkin pie, veggie tray, and spinach-artichoke dip. Each potato dish will serve 8-10, so that's why I'm doubling up. Plus my au gratin potatoes are an absolutely fabulous recipe I made several years ago and everyone loves them.

Various family members are bringing The Turkey, salad, a vegan dish, stuffing, cranberries, salad, bread, pecan pies, & gingerbread cake.

Carpets get cleaned tomorrow morning (I'm not doing that, but I have to make sure the house is all picked up so they can reach the floor).

My brother in law from Colorado is staying Tuesday night. He's only staying this night, and we won't have anyone else any other night. I've already told Mark that Jeff is going to have to fend for himself.

I have to find a folding table & chairs to borrow. I am not buying chairs to seat all these people for one dinner. We have 3 old folding chairs & one folding table, but I need more. Obviously.

I will also clean our bedroom because the coats will go in there, and have to clean my bathroom because it's the guest bathroom.

I made my grocery list last night. I have to also go buy some cookware because we don't own a roasting pan or fat separator (for the gravy).

Thankfully, Mark is letting me take the time I need away from work to get all this done. Except I also have to mail our office Holiday open house invitations this week. So, that has to be done, too.

It's likely I won't be around the blog world much this week. I'm going to miss you all. I will do my best not to eat my weight in carbohydrates between now and next Monday. And I promise to workout at least a few times so I don't drive myself totally insane.

As my mom used to say, it's a pretty short trip. Get it? Drive myself insane...short trip? Oh never mind.


Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I hope you know how very thankful I am for each of you who read my blog and whose blog I read. You mean so much to me. Thank you for your generous support and encouragement.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

149.2 - Tequila & Cookie Dough

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

Yesterday. Sucked.

I didn't get to go to the gym or run. I barely got to eat right. The markets & the world are scaring the crap out of me (way too many people using the "D" word on CNBC). I'm overwhelmed by how much work Thanksgiving is going to be. My husband is a stressed out mess. I yelled at my kids last night and made my daughter cry.

And when I just couldn't take anymore, I turned to Cuervo and Toll House to soothe my nerves.

While I only had one margarita and 4 squares of break & bake cookie dough, I still felt icky about going back to the food for comfort. I'm just no where near mature enough, diet wise, to completely move away from The Food when I'm in The Despair.

I know I'm not alone in this need, so thank you in advance, oh fellow commiseraters, for your empathy. And those of you who don't eat when you're emotionally a mess, I am in awe of your fortitude.*

Today's not much better on the freaked out front. I've eaten better and plan to do something tonight at the gym while Sophie swims (as long as things don't blow up at work like they did Tuesday and we get to go to the gym). So at least I'll get some release and/or endorphins from that.

But I don't see the worry letting up anytime soon. I really really hate this.

At least, thankfully, for now, we are all healthy. I just pray we don't lose that.

*I looked up this word to make sure it was an apt choice here. It is. I think I'm going to start praying for this, too:

Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin fortitudin-, fortitudo, from fortis
Date: 12th century
1: strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

148.2 - Three good days under my (loosening) belt

Monday was a successful day. Ran 4 miles (in the cold! It was 39 degrees, brrrr). Ate well, didn't eat junk at night. It paid off this morning with a nice loss on the scale.

No workout today, but my food has been good. Hopefully I'll at least hang onto the loss I've got right now.

The rest of this week is going to be nuts. Busy work day tomorrow, and I'm organizing Thanksgiving plans.

On the getting the house ready for 20 guests front, I spent 3 hours Monday night after the kids went to bed (yes, I was up until after midnight) removing toys and cleaning and reorganizing furniture in our "front" room. Our house was built in the 80s, when it was the norm to have a fancy living room in the front of the house. Ours was a lovely sitting room until we had kids. Then of course we had to move the computer stuff to the fancy living room and it became more of an office with a piano and a loveseat included. Then when the toys were overflowing in the kids' rooms, we moved the excess toys into the fancy living room and renamed it the Toy Room.

After taking a bunch of stuff to Goodwill and moving the sentimental/good stuff to the garage (didn't I just clean that thing out?!), there are no more toys in there and it's mostly back to a lovely sitting room. There's still a computer/printer on a desk, and my desk with my untouched-for-almost-2-years scrap booking stuff. But the love seat and two rocking chairs are facing each other in a conversation area, so it will be a nice place for folks to talk if they want a break from the kitchen/family room chaos. Rounding out the room are my piano and a tall chifferobe, which is the 3rd piece of Sophie's bedroom furniture set, and it just won't fit in her room with all her toys (I bought her furniture from my best girlfriend when she moved to Texas, and it's Art Deco and gorgeous) .

Annyyywwayyy, I'm feeling like I'm getting there, with time to spare. I set out my few Thanksgiving decorations tonight and have the dining room table ready with a new table cloth and centerpiece (two candle sticks with flower rings, Male & Female Pilgrim figurines, and a small flower arrangement in the middle--it's all what I had on hand, except the table cloth).

Now I'm figuring out The Food. I want to shop early--before the weekend--to avoid the crowds & make sure I get my 10 sweet potatoes. Those always sell out early.

And, we saw Christmas lights tonight. At two different houses. One with just a tree, another with outside lights already turned on. I just want to scream at them--"for the love of pete, put them up if you must, people, but don't turn them on until after Turkey Day." It's all just flying by too fast.

Monday, November 17, 2008

149.0 - That's better

On my way back down the scale.

Really wanted The Junk last night, but ate eggs & turkey instead. It's paying off so far.

Food is planned all day. Maybe I'll get a run in outside, if the wind calms down (no way am I running in 20 mph wind when it's 40* out). Or else I'll hit the gym. We'll see.

It hit me hard last night that we are hosting ~20 people on Thanksgiving. And we will have to be making a ton of the food, even though several families will bring a dish. We have many out-of-towners who can't bring anything, so that leaves the hosting family with the bulk of the food prep.

And I'd really like to pretty much overhaul my entire house, organization wise, so it's not so damned cluttered & messy.

Sad thing is, I get home and feed the kids and get them in bed, and I've got nothing left by 9 p.m. I'm going to have to dig deep to find the energy and get things done over the next week and a half. Maybe I'll start drinking coffee at 6 p.m. every night. Ha.

Busy Monday. Hope you all had a noneventful and/or fun weekend.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Still in the Food, and Facebook Invitation

I'm still in The Food. I think I'm getting to the point where I'm just about sick of it. I think. I've yet to make my lo carb foods, and truly that's what's going to get me clean of the junk. I guess I'm more "all or nothing" than I give myself credit for.

Today should be a good family day. Luke's big boy bed arrives this afternoon. Don't ask me how I got away with this, but he's still in his crib at age 3. It's been really nice, since we just put him in and he has to stay put (never figured out he could climb out if he wanted to, what a good boy!). But it's time to move on to a real bed. We bought a full sized mattress & box spring last Saturday (nothing fancy, it will go on the floor to start) and I ordered Little Einsteins bedding which arrived yesterday. He's in love with the bedding, which is so cute. I need to go take down his crib and move it to the garage, and then go to the store and buy him two pillows since I didn't realize we don't have any extras. He has a little one he sleeps on in his crib.

Tonight DH and I are going to see the new James Bond movie. I so love Daniel Craig, and cannot wait for the movie. I've read it's not as good as the last one, but really he could just tap dance and sing off pitch and I'd still drool over him.

Are any of you on Facebook that I'm not friends with yet? In the MizFit's words, "please to" search for Laura _____ and invite me to be your friend. If you aren't on Facebook yet, what are you waiting for?! It's fun, easy, doesn't take a lot of time, and is a great way to connect with friends. I like it for the lightness of conversation, which is a nice complement to the seriousness of our blogs. Plus, you don't get tons of spam and you can set your profile so you aren't hassled by random people (and if you are, you can ignore them).

Also? I'm currently obsessed with Alton Brown. I've joined his Facebook fan club and am asking for his books for Christmas. I could watch his show 24/7. If he writes another book and has signings in Atlanta, I swear I'd drive 6 hours to see him. I know, I'm a bit mental today.

It's raining and raining, and all I want to do is stay in and do lots of nothing (other than the boy's bed). And that's probably exactly what I'll do today.

What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

151.6 - Self Destruct

I am in major self destruct mode. And it's all emotional/stress/worry/hormones.

Food continues to be my place for solace. And margaritas (only one a night, but I'm so tempted to start having two). And last night I even took a whole xanax to ensure I'd fall asleep and stay asleep. I've not been having to take them lately, and when I do it's usually just a half. But yesterday was a really bad day.

I won't get into the food porn (you're welcome, Debby ;). But obviously it's not been great.

I have been cooking a lot lately. Real meals, like every night. Last night I made a simple chicken cordon bleu that I found from Kraft's website (love their recipes--simple & easy, even though they are generally not low calorie, but they are very homey and comforting). And I also made Roni's Big Simple Cupcakes (chocolate fudge cake mix + can of pumpkin + 2/3 cup water; mix for 3 minutes; bake at 325... how simple is that? They are very moist.) The night before I made Roni's black bean/zucchini wontons, which are also yummy. And this morning I made a pizza baked pasta for some friends of ours who recently had a baby.

I'm starting to feel like a for really reals cook.

Now I just gotta get my mind right and my eating will follow.

The worry is eating away at me (no pun intended). It's a lot of thou shalt not blog about stuff, but just look at the stock market from yesterday and you'll probably be able to figure it out if you know me well.

I didn't feel any better after my Food Fest last night. Obviously, I felt worse when I woke up this morning, all cotton mouthed & bloated. I was determined to weigh, damn the numbers.

And it's not horrible. 6 months ago I'd have been thrilled with 151.6. The problem is that I reached my Happy Weight recently--146 really really agreed with me--and now that I've tasted what it's like to have a sub-30" waist, and thighs that don't strain against my pant legs, and boobs that fit nicely inside 34C's (they fit today, but they are quite voluptuous which is not what I'm going for), it kinda sucks to be back here, 5 pounds heavier.

Sigh. Am I ready to get past the emotional shit I'm dealing with and do The Diet again? How much do I want that happy weight anyway?

I've always said it takes energy to lose weight. Energy that you have to find from somewhere, just for you. Right now my energy is drained away, sucked dry from my body like Tom Hank's character in Joe Vs. the Volcano when he thinks he has a brain cloud and the florescent lights in his oppressive office are suck suck sucking the life out of him (LOVE that movie. One of my all time favorites).

I've not made great food choices today. But I've got my gym bag packed and am planning to run and then take a yoga class while Sophie swims (I did do the weights class Tuesday, and I'm still sore from that. Love it).

Exercise always brings energy back to me. Hopefully it will help me turn a corner, once again.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

150.8 - New Pic

I added a new picture to my progress page. It looks like my waist is tiny, with the way I'm standing and with Sophie on the other side.

Trust me, it's an illusion.

But, I still really like the picture. My hair is darker & longer, and I'm just thrilled that I'm at a lower weight this past October than I was in October of 2007. Every year I maintain is a victory.

Last night DH wanted pizza for dinner. He's under so much stress right now, and even though I argued with him a wee bit about how it's not a healthy choice, he needed his fix of cheesy goodness. I don't know how much this makes me an enabler (as Vickie writes about today and has got me thinking big time about how I relate to my kids & husband). But I do know that I cannot make choices for my husband. He's an adult. He makes up his own mind. All I can do is provide healthy alternatives & feed him the best I can.

Anyway, I had pizza for dinner. Really good pizza, not delivery or frozen. And while this wasn't the best diet choice, I at least stopped at that. I didn't eat ice cream (it's still in the freezer, don't ask me why). I didn't eat Oreos. I didn't eat cereal. I stopped eating around 7:00 and that was that. Oh, I wanted to eat. But I read my book instead and just kept the food out of my mouth. It's a small miracle, let me tell you.

And I ran a bit yesterday after work. I had to work until 4:30, so I only had 30 minutes to run. But something is always better than nothing. It was dark by 4:50! The temps are awesome, though. Mid 40s is the best running weather, hands down.

Tonight, Swim Team for Sophie and hopefully I'll take a weights class.

I'd really really like to be back down a couple of pounds by Thanksgiving, so I have some wiggle room for pie. I love pie. Yum, pie.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tight Pants are Not a Good Thing

I kinda sorta accidentally forgot to weigh myself this morning. I was in the bathtub, after eating breakfast and sipping my coffee, when I realized I hadn't weighed first thing. And I have a rule that I don't weigh unless I've peed, haven't eaten or drunk anything, and am naked.

It's one of those bury- my- head- in- the- sand- and- pretend- I- didn't- eat- my- weight- in- cake- and- ice- cream- the- past- 5- days kind of forgetfulness.

But my loose work pants are tight this morning and, even though my butt is looking strangely high & lifted in them (winter tights are pulling in the buttocks, I suppose), they are still tight. Which is not a good thing.

Sunday's weight was 150.4, and that's not terrible but I'd hoped I'd said goodbye to the 150s for good. Now that I know what my body can look like at 146, it's a bummer to have this extra fat around. I liked the lean & mean feeling. And it's so crazy that it's a mere 5 pounds difference from feeling skinny to feeling just OK.

Remember the old Weight Watchers mind trick of visualizing your fat in sticks of butter? One pound is 4 sticks of butter. So 5 pounds is 20 sticks of butter. Five pounds doesn't sound like that much, but 20 sticks of fat sure does.

And those 20 sticks of fat pretty much go straight to my thighs & stomach & boobs.


So I've got to get my freezer & fridge restocked with low carb foods & get back to Cracking. The birthday cake is gone, and I guess I've got to melt the ice cream down the kitchen sink because I'm frankly powerless over the stuff.

I haven't read any more of the Refuse to Regain book, because I'm engrossed in Pillars of the Earth and because I just didn't want to read a Diet Bible when I was in the midst of committing mortal sins.

Mondays are always good days to start over. So far, I'm on track. Sure it's only 11 a.m. and I'm not feeling very strong, food wise, but I've done it before.

I'll do it again.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday Luke!

My baby boy is 3 today.

Let's just be shocked at the passage of time here a moment.

And now let's be shocked at how much cake will be consumed.

We had cupcakes & presents last night, because Mark won't see him at all today (early workout and then late class for him tonight). Then tonight my mom and sister are coming over, and of course Mom's bringing a cake. And finally Friday we are having our church friends come over and that's when he'll get his "Little Einsteins" cake I'm having the bakery make.

Three days of cake, people. And this all falls smack dab in the middle of my mid-cycle hormones-dropped-through-the-floor blahs. So it's not like I have any power to Resist the Cake.

That's my excuse anyway. I'm just accepting that my food is the suck right now. The bandwagon to lose this extra poundage will pick me back up next week.

I have squeezed some workouts in. Saturday I ran 3.8 miles (40 minutes) before our Halloween party (which was so much fun I can't even write about it because it's R rated, haha). And then Tuesday I ran 2 miles in the morning from the rental car place to the Saturn dealership to pick up my car (more on that in a minute). I also took a weights class Tuesday night while Sophie had swim team.

So the car--Monday I left work in my running stuff and was going to get in a 60 minute run in the gorgeous Fall setting sun. When I shifted into reverse (I drive a 5 speed manual transmission, which I love & will never drive a mini van unless they start making them with stick shifts), it didn't hit the spot like it should. So I shifted into 1st but there was no 1st. There was nothing. The stick went dead and flopped around pathetically.

I was pissed off, then freaked out, thinking my transmission had died. I called AAA, they had a tow truck to me within 10 minutes, during which time I had called the rental car place and reserved a car. The tow truck driver picked me up and picked up another car that was going to Saturn, and then the Saturn guys took me to the rental car place. I had to pick up Luke by 5:30, and I was only 2 minutes late (I called his day care, they were cool about it). And miraculously the dealership had it fixed the same night, although I couldn't pick it up at 10 p.m. (they work until 11 p.m. every week night, crazy!).

Turns out my shifter cable broke and while it wasn't cheap, it wasn't thousands of dollars. What I finally had a chance to appreciate Tuesday morning after things settled down, was how fortunate I was that it broke in the parking lot. What if I'd been in 5th gear going 60 MPH? I shudder to think. God was watching out for me.

And I finally thanked him Tuesday on my run from the rental car place to the dealership, which was too cool. I didn't need a car or anyone's help to get from point A to point B. I just ran. It was only 2 miles, but it was 2 heavily car-congested miles. Yet it was still easy and felt really cool to be running with a purpose.

I voted in my sweaty clothes before I went home to get ready for work Tuesday mid morning. Again I was blessed, having to wait only 20 minutes to cast my historic vote.

Blessings. They are in abundance.

I need to be focusing on those right now instead of my whiny assed moodiness.

But I'm still going to eat cake.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

150.0 - A big change....and some hope

We interrupt our regularly scheduled diet & exercise rambles for the following political commentary:

I don't usually talk about politics here. Primarily because I'm a Republican Conservative and most of the folks who read my blog are on the other side of the fence and wouldn't want to hear it, and because, well, this is a diet & exercise blog.

But I can't help but write something today. Because I'm frankly shocked at myself at the 180 degree turn I've made in the past month.

It started with the financial crisis, when the Republicans insisted on choosing their ideologies over the rescue package. The smartest economists in our country were saying we were headed for a depression--we were on the edge of a precipice and God help us if the package didn't pass, one of them said. Yet John McCain and the majority of Republicans (and the talk radio people I regularly listened to--past tense) voted NO.

I was very unimpressed with McCain's handling of the situation, suspending his campaign and going to Washington to stir up trouble, asking Obama to delay the first debate. I thought that was a huge mistake even before the talking heads made their commentaries about it.

Then the debates themselves proved that Obama was smarter than I'd thought he was. I was not impressed with him in media interviews, which is likely because I was watching with a hugely conservative slant, with Rush Limbaugh preaching in my ear to influence my opinions (yeah, I don't listen to him anymore, either).

But after watching all the debates, there was no denying (for me) how McCain's responses to our problems (a spending freeze in January? buy the bad home mortgages, without consulting Paulson? $5000 health insurance credit? we paid $12,000 in health insurance premiums last year, so how is $5000 going to make a difference for ANYONE?) weren't what I wanted in a president.

And, even though I think she has potential, I was not happy with Sarah Palin as the VP choice.

In no small part, my decision to vote for Obama was influenced by my husband and my conservative/moderate friends from church. Saturday night we had a long discussion about the election, and a few people I thought were voting for McCain explained why there were voting for Obama.

It was enough to seal the deal.

After watching the speeches last night, I know in my heart it's the right choice for our country. I was not swept away by Obama during the campaign, but even I had tears in my eyes last night during his speech. IMHO, it's just a bonus he's black. A freaking huge historic bonus, but it's not what's going to make the difference. He is a self made man. Not part of the Bush or Clinton machines, or married to a wealthy heiress. I truly think he's the real deal.

And my word. The outpouring for him is unreal. When was the last time people cried over their President? JFK? Reagan? The excitement, enthusiasm, and involvement of our citizens are just as important as who our next leader is. And man, we've sure got that right now.

I'm praying for this man, like I've never prayed for a President before. He, and our country, have a rough ride ahead. But I'm so thankful that he's the one in the drivers seat. Because I think he's the right man for our time.

God bless America, and God bless our new President.

Monday, November 03, 2008

149.2 - Refuse to Regain sneak peak

This is the first Monday since mid September (when I had just started the Crack diet) that I haven't gained from the weekend. It's not because I was super good Saturday and Sunday. I think it's more because I stopped eating last night around 6 p.m. and drank lots of water before bed (yes, I had to get up to pee like 3 times in the night).

I started reading Refuse to Regain this weekend, and what I read last night influenced my decision to stay out of the kitchen after dinner. I'll post an in depth review once I'm finished reading the book carefully, but I wanted to share some initial thoughts today.

I've scanned the chapters & read her food plan. And my overall impression is this:

Maintenance is a diet.

This is no big news flash, I realize. We should all know by now that when you reach goal weight, you don't get to go back to the way you lived life before the weight loss began.

As in:
I don't eat powdered sugar donuts by the boxful any more. I don't hide empty Ben & Jerry's Phish Food pints in the bottom of the trash can any more. I don't eat in the bathroom to hide my food from my family any more (well, 99.9% of the time I don't anyway).

But. There's still that feeling that once you reach a certain weight and a certain level of fitness, you should have more lattitude with your eating plan. Afterall, you've worked so stinking hard to lose the weight. It took months and months of writing down everything you put in your mouth, and weekly (or daily) weight tracking, and miles and miles on the treadmill. And gosh darn it, you deserve a break.

NOT SO! Says the author of this book. The first year of maintenance--particularly the first 3 months--should be just as strict (and actually much more so, really, from what I ate on my LA Weight Loss plan) as your weight loss diet.

Her food plan for maintenance is very clean food, which is not surprising. In fact, other than her omitting beans and whole grains, it reminds me very much of Vickie's diet and lifestyle.

Her rules for maintenance are hard core. For example: to maintain your loss, you need to workout 60 minutes, 5-6 days a week. And that's one of the things I agree with. Let's face it: no one can lose 60 pounds just by taking the stairs at work and parking as far as possible from the entrance to Target. Sure, these are good habits to practice, but they aren't what take off the pounds (at least, not in a short amount of time...maybe if you only want to lose 20 pounds over 5 years they would work).

And at least one of her suggestions for handling saboteurs was so far from any "real world" experience in my life that I laughed out loud. To wit: When having coffee with a friend who wants to split a high calorie pastry with you and who gives you a hard time for saying no, you should reply "I feel really great on my Primarian diet. You should try it." I can't see myself ever saying "You should try my diet" to someone trying to split a donut with me. No thank you--I could say. Telling someone else to go on a diet--not gonna happen.

Anyway, that's a teaser for you. The Primarian Diet explanation and plan take up the bulk of the book. It's basically what you already know--eat lean protein, veggies, fruits, some nuts, and very little or no grains. One small low fat/low sugar treat a day. I was surprised that she doesn't allow legumes on the diet; I still think they are OK for most people, even though they are starchy. I've never heard of someone getting fat from eating black beans. But our ancient ancestors didn't eat them, and that's what her plan is based on.

Overall, I think it's important that there is finally a diet book for maintainers. And I'm glad I bought it and am looking forward to reading it carefully. I'm sure I'll be putting a lot of her ideas into practice.

Thankfully, I'm already one year into maintenance so I feel like I have a leg up on it. But I know that I am still a newbie and a light weight, so to speak, when it comes to the real test. Which is keeping it off for good.