Friday, October 24, 2008


Yesterday I mentioned I wanted to discuss my weigh in at Weight Watchers. I'm increasingly frustrated with what the medical community considers healthy weight. This frustration is not born out of the desire to eat Big Macs, although its tempting, but instead based on my new love for power lifting. Ladies it is true - the way to a slim feminine self is through lifting HUGE AMOUNTS OF WEIGHT. Who knew one of the things I'd learn from my boyfriend was how to look most feminine. Pick up something heavy a few times, two days a week and you will get the kind of hamstring insanity I recently discovered. I'm not one to brag about my body but these suckers could crack nut shells.

There I said it, I bragged about myself. (Go me)

But seriously, most weight loss guidelines/healthy eating guidelines (I don't believe in dieting) suggest that on the day you burn a lot of calories you can potentially eat those calories. This is depending on your goal, of course. If you're trying to lose weight you should have a calorie deficit. But if you're maintaining, as I am, you can eat them. The problem for me comes when I spend my time at the gym squatting 75% of my body weight. I don't burn a ton of calories. But the days after, when that muscle is building itself up, I feel like I have burned a ton of calories. And that's true - muscle burns more calories than fat does. So I should be hungry but NONE of the guidelines allow for this type of calorie designation. Yes, I realize I'm getting kind of technical. Yes, I realize this is a minor issue. But its one that bugs me. One that Weight Watchers lacks a solution for and also one that I beat myself up about when I do eat more than I should on those muscle building days.

I've been ending my posts with quips and solutions. And today's is: I got nothin'.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

News Flash: Cupcakes Are Tasty

Today one of my most awesome coworkers had a half dozen cupcakes brought to her. Clearly I could NOT leave the girl with the responsibility of 6 entire cupcakes all by herself. I mean, I love her too much for that. Also, cupcakes are my favorite food. I was way ahead of the cupcake fad, all those bakers were just copying me.

These cupcakes actually descended upon my day at the perfect time. I was really looking for an energy boost but also I had already attended my monthly weigh in at Weight Watchers (more on that tomorrow) so I could indulge a little without having to worry TOO much about its appearance on the scale/my butt. I had been really good all week, I was teaching pilates tonight and thus I deserved an awesome cupcake. Its easy to beat yourself up about indulgences but actually science wants you to know its ok. So, self, enjoy that cupcake, don't have one everyday and do your best - its all you can do!

PS- My birthday is coming up and I plan to enjoy the indulgences associated with that. I mean you only have one birthday a year!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In the Event of a Fake Emergency, Stop It

A close friend of mine and I always find ourselves trying to order nearly everything on a restaurant's menu when we're together. This could be because we enjoy wine or because we just like food but as we got older we started to actually say out loud, "we will eat again". I'm not even kidding. We ordered as if the menu would be taken from us in moments and that we would have to order our last supper right then and there. Reminding ourselves that there was no emergency and that no one would take our plates from us is something we found pretty hilarious. And then we'd order more wine...

This 'emergency' attitude is something I've always had. For no apparent reason I have a habit of behaving like I have to store up food. I was lucky as a kid and never went to bed hungry (not even as punishment) so its not from a childhood of suffering. I still do this even by myself. This past Saturday my boyfriend and I went out for breakfast. It was pretty tasty and I was plenty satisfied. Once we got home I had about two hours before I was meeting friends for a very fall trip to a pumpkin patch. Somehow I convinced myself I needed to eat lunch, even though I was not hungry, because I didn't know where my next meal would come from. A better solution would have been to pack a string cheese or snack in my purse. DUH! I finished up the weekend having eaten way too much because little choices like this added up, like I said yesterday, little steps add up to big results.

Reminder and something to add to my pledge to my self: Self, hunger is not an emergency. Chill out! (I'm a child of the 80s, shut up).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Weight of a Small Toddler

Maybe its because I read a lot of news in an effort to feed myself without eating but sometimes certain articles seem so timely! As you can tell, I've been thinking a lot about satiety lately. When I'm eating I think: am I enjoying this? Is this worth it? Do I like this enough to eat these calories over something I might want later in the day or even the week? I get all flustered and try to take on too much at once and things often go down hill.

When I'm able to consciously slow down the answers to all those questions are usually some variation of not eating another bite of chocolate/cheese/turkey bacon/insert food here. Not because I'm denying myself but because I'm legitimately full or uninterested in the flavor of something. I'd really like to know if these researchers thought to look further into other habits of the obese people they studied. Not just if they have some sort of emotional connection to food but if they tend to eat quickly or if they like to cook.

One of the things I've done since getting my act together (in the ways the study suggests is so challenging: stopping the pattern of obesity) is to have fresh produce delivered. In addition to my pledge about loving myself I've taken a lot of little steps to get where I am. Two years ago I lost the weight equivalent to about one toddler or 80 sticks of butter or 8 sacks of potatoes; also known as almost 40 pounds. I went from being just shy of obese to being within a healthy weight range for my height. I did this by making small changes every day. Little choices like having a green grocer in combination with taking a night job in a gym and a million other little things add up to big results. When research suggests that its hard to end the cycle of obesity they're right. It is hard but mostly because humans often try to, logically, make everything perfect right away.

My point is baby steps! And I'm adding this in my pledge to myself. Don't be so hard on yourself, self. Baby steps!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Devil Was in the Board Room

This is the worst possible time of day - only slightly worse than the few hours after dinner. Both lunch and dinner bring in the euphoria of having consumed something tasty and lunch has the added benefit of having broken up the work day with something that doesn't have to involve a computer screen. But it also brings the threat of stuffing yourself with things that you don't need and ultimately can ruin your mood for the rest of the day.

Today, the day after I publicly declared my love for myself (I'm really not as crazy as that sounds in writing), brought the worst possible type of threat: the sudden work lunch. Worse, this lunch was brought in and served family style. I spent the entire lunch trying to listen but thinking 'is that cous cous worth it' also known, in crazy talk, as 'does that cous cous help you show yourself you love yourself'? Really, not crazy, promise.

Before the actual food was revealed I decided I would not eat any of it if there weren't decent and tasty options. I was armed with my own previously packed lunch including broccoli and tasty proteins. Luckily there was steamed chicken and veggies and hummus. Plenty of protein and it was actually pretty good. I took one bite of cous cous, decided it wasn't that great and left the rest. I was proud of myself for not taking an issue with cous cous too far. Which is generally something I'm really good at. Hence the whole, stop getting in your own way thing. Confession: I used to rub dinner rolls on restaurant floors to keep myself from eating them. I still contended its Bertucci's fault for making carbohydrates so freaking tasty. So my choices were pretty great and I was all proud of me. I did get seconds but both my plates were almost entirely vegetables so I was okay with it.

Then came my most favorite time of day: free dessert time. This happens frequently around here and is the culprit for much of the extra self in today's Banana Republic size 8 Ryan Style trousers. I assessed the dessert tray carefully.

-Bakalava: eh, I know, Greek girl who doesn't like it - crazy - but actually I like certain baklava just not the contents of this type. Real baklava is soaking wet with sugar and honey and has barely any nut chunks. Reminder to self: must figure out how to make this.
-Madeleine cookies: in another situation I'd have one but they're pretty plentiful in life and I'm lacking in extra calories today after this weekend's restaurant bonanza.
-Brownies: oh crap, choclate mmmmm I want I want I wa...wait - those are totally from Costco. Score!

So now here I am about half an hour after consumption of tasty calories and my body is saying: time for something sweet! To which I say: self, you are not hungry AND there is pineapple in your tupperware - you can wait a few hours. Love ya!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dear Self

Dear Self,

Hi! There is something very, very important that you need to know. This is that I love you. This is a love that no one will ever equal and a love that no one can ever take away. This love requires you to be honest with yourself. The truth is that you are amazingly good at getting in your own way and keeping yourself from feeling that unequaled love. So its time to get out of the way and be honest. Time to make a bunch of important promises to yourself.

First, stop eating when you aren't hungry. This is the root of almost every problem you have. You go to the fridge when you're bored, tired, stressed or pretty much anything else. This makes you unhappy. So basically all your emotions go in your mouth and when they come out you are unhappy. Essentially you're making yourself unhappy for simply having feelings. Stop it. You love yourself more than that.

Second, stop eating things you don't really want or enjoy. This is how you distract yourself from being in the moment or having to think or having to talk or having to do pretty much anything except shove food in your face. This is stupid. Get out of the way with that fork you beautiful woman! Further, stop eating when you aren't hungry. This is the previous problem on ten. Rather than show how much you love yourself by eating exactly how much you actually want, enjoying every bit of it and then stopping, you continue to feed yourself for no apparent reason. Show your love by paying attention to your life.

Third and finally, live in the now. Enjoy this minute by enjoying what is actually going on rather than eating for no reason, eating to avoid something or eating just because. Stop eating so fast. Smile, love me because I love you more than you'll ever know - now spend the rest of your moments showing it. Calories are not the way.

So, in summary:
1. Only eat when you're hungry.
2. Stop eating when you're full. Full means comfortable and no longer hungry, it does not mean bursting at the seams.
3. SLOW DOWN! Have a bite. Enjoy the bite. Consider another bite. Decide what that bite could be like. Only have another bite if you really want to and are actually hungry.
4. Enjoy things that are not food like reading words or learning something new. Feed your soul more and your face less.