How I See Myself

June 30, 2009

And I’m actually not talking about self-image so much here.

Even though I struggled briefly with an eating disorder, and also hated the way I looked in my underwear when I weighed about twenty pounds more than I do now, I consider my self-image to be kind of normal. I think I’m okay-looking, and I think my weight at present looks right on me. But it’s amazing how seeing yourself in pictures, or on video, can wildly throw off your interior self-image in one direction or another.

I was happy with my weight throughout college, right up until I included myself as an extra in one of the short films I shot during my senior year. I set up the camera and taped myself and my male star walking up the steps to my dorm, me pretending to chatter away, him pretending to seethe with private murderous rage. When I (eventually) got to the editing room, I was shocked to see myself – I WAS SO FAT!

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Daily Goals

June 30, 2009


Water: I’m noticing it’s getting much easier to reach the 64 oz goal the more I spend time with Jillian and the hotter it gets outside. I guess that’s good?

Calories/Nutrition: Also noticing it’s a lot easier to keep the calorie count under control when using water as the primary beverage to drink. Coffee and water are pretty much the only liquids I’ve consumed in weeks, and the coffee is only one cup in the morning. Who can drink very much of it when the temperatures are consitently in the high 90′s with 110% humidity? Yes, I’m obsessed with the weather right now in case you haven’t noticed.

Exercise: Doing good with bumping it up a little this week, but all I’ve done is add twenty minutes of stepper time to the 30DS and I can see that getting old after a short while. But for now, that’s what I’m doing. I’m also buying a new sports bra today which will go a long way toward keeping the Girls under control during the bouncy times.

Worst Thing Today: We didn’t get home until 3am this morning trying to finish up the tile job and I was too tired to go to work today.

Best Thing Today: The fact I got to sleep in a little and the nap I see in my near future.

Notes: For every ten pounds I lose I’ve decided to reward myself with something. Normally that would be clothes, but considering I’m working toward going down a few sizes that wouldn’t make much sense at the moment. If I reach the goal this weekend, I’ll probably buy a new exercise product, whether it be a new dvd or piece of equipment. I’ve heard good things about the Hip Hop Abs dvd, and as long as Brian isn’t home to witness me trying to dance, I think I’d have fun with it.

Buying Time Before the Inevitable

June 29, 2009

So I’m down six pounds in two weeks, which I am extremely pleased about. But me being me, I also got a little nervous yesterday thinking about the inevitable “P word.” You know, that nasty, even obscene thing called the plateau. I’m not new here; I know she’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes. The killer is not ever knowing when. It seems pretty Jewey of me to be worrying so soon, but hi, have we met? Worry is what I do best and if I could burn calories doing that, well I wouldn’t need to exercise at all, now would I! (Note to self: Invent “Worry Your Calories Away” machine)
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TB’s Weight Training Workout

June 29, 2009

As I was saying earlier today, I feel a bit stupid posting a workout like this since I’m in a cardio-only phase myself right now.  It smacks to me of not practicing what I’m preaching.  But in the end, I figure, what the hell?  I’m using this more as a jumping-off point for discussion rather than a “you-must-do-it-exactly-this-way” sort of prescription.  And maybe when I lose enough weight that my weight belt fits again (yes, seriously – UGH) I can put my money where my mouth is.

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Daily Goals

June 28, 2009


Water: Still can’t seem to make that 64 oz. goal, but I know I’m doing much better with it because I’ve been spending more quality time on the potty if you know what I mean and I think you do. Sorry, but it’s true.

Calories/Nutrition: Okay, I’m noticing something weird here. According to what a calorie calculator said, I am supposed to be around 1600 a day to be losing weight. In looking over my calorie journal I’ve noticed I’ve been hovering around 1300 a day every day. That’s supposed to be my “extreme weight loss” number and they don’t recommend that for healthy weight loss. But I’m certainly not going to try to force an extra 300 calories – what the hell is that all about? I’m confused.

Exercise: Between having my Princess Time this week and a bunch of extra crap I don’t normally have to do, I only officially exercised four times, which was down from five times last week. I know I was active every day, but I’m psyched to start this week back with Jillian kicking my ass a lot more again.

Worst Thing Today: Brian leaving again first thing this morning to go do the shiteous tile job again. I’ll be so happy when this job is over (hopefully by Tuesday).

Best Thing Today: My weigh-in – I lost another 3 lbs this week for a total of six so far, wooooo!

Notes: I’m pretty happy with the slow but steady pound droppage, but even happier I’ve been able to start wearing more of my clothes again. It’s not fun to have a decent wardrobe that you can only wear a few things from. That sounds really superficial, but I’d been feeling terrible every morning getting ready for work and not fitting into stuff. I love clothes; I always have. And I’m happy me and them are becoming newly acquainted friends again.


Water: I’m trying to find new and creative ways to get my 64 oz in. It’s not usually too hard, since it’s always a hundred and FRICK outside. But it gets boring after a while. A friend at work suggested those single-serving Crystal Light packets, which can be added to a water bottle. Anybody out there ever tried ‘em?

Calories/Nutrition: I’ve been doing really well this past week, with the possible exception of Friday when I had a few beers and fish tacos at BJ’s Brewery. Haven’t tallied up the calories on that day yet, so I’m not positive. I have noticed that taking my daily vitamins on a more regular basis has brought my nutrition levels (calcium and potassium specifically, where my normal diet is deficient) to within recommended ranges. Still challenged to get enough fiber, darnit. Today’s food includes yogurt for breakfast, leftover meatloaf and a salad for lunch, and roast with roasted potatoes and veggies, and salad, for dinner. I’m making a Summer Strawberry Cloud for dessert (the kids are coming over for dinner prior to our much-anticipated Yanni concert tonight), and that’s very light on the calories but SO DARN GOOD.

Exercise: Again, doing good this week. I missed my workout yesterday, but spent a lot of time cleaning the house, so I figure that counts! Today I’m going to begin adding in more weight training, per the kind recommendations and advice of my fellow No-Buttsters. So, 30 minutes of cardio, and 30-ish minutes of weight training, daily. I need to bust out my Body Sculpting Bible for Women again and come up with a good routine that’s more than just squats and lunges, biceps and triceps. I think what I’m going to try to do is work out every day except Friday, do cardio every day, and alternate between upper body weights and lower body weights each day. My whole problem is that I want my workouts to be speedy and efficient, and I know I can’t truly get a good workout in without just dedicating some time to it. An hour to an hour and a half each day may sound normal and obvious to everyone else, but for some reason if it takes me more than 45 minutes my brain just shuts down completely. SO BORED. Damn, I really need a TV in the workout room!

Worst Thing Today: Umm… nothing, really! It’s been a good weekend so far, and we’ve been looking forward to tonight’s concert for MONTHS.

Best Thing Today: The aforementioned concert, going to see Heather in four days, I’m on vacation all next week… yeah. I’m in a pretty good mood!!!

Notes: I ought to step on the scale today, seeing as I’m sure I won’t be doing it next Sunday (hello, Chicago area food!!!). I just… really don’t want to. I feel like it would discourage me more than anything else, so I’m going to skip it and just keep plugging away at my goals. I mean, why sabotage myself just to keep up with a weigh-in schedule?

I’m on Island Time

June 27, 2009

Well, guys, I am off to Sanibel Island for vacation for a week. As we all know vacation can be a dangerous time for anyone trying to lose weight. I didn’t meet my goal weight for this trip, but I’m not bummed because I do feel toner and more fit, which is what I’m going to focus on. The great thing about island life is that there is always so much to do and we are out there riding, swimming, walking, playing tennis and this time around I’ll be running. I already have my route planned to run to the Lighthouse in the morning. The hard part is all of the delicious food, starting with the annual arrival feast. We have been going to Sanibel for the past almost 25 years, since I was about 15. On the night that everyone arrives, my dad will cook a huge seafood feast complete with lobster tails, and my personal favorite Alaskan King Crab legs! Of course with butter, corn, pina coladas and all the extra goodies that go with it. I’m not even going to make any false claims that I will hold back at this event. I won’t. But for the rest of the time I intend to be conscious of what I’m eating and make every effort to make some good food choices. It’s all about being healthy and having a good life and I’m starting to realize that is more about having a healthy fit body than rewarding myself with fattening food. But, that being said, everyone needs a night of hedonism every once in a while. See ya’ in a week!


June 26, 2009

One of my closest longtime friends, we’ll call her Annie, was someone I had in mind when we started this website. When we first got it up and running, I sent out a general email to my contact list and got some great feedback, but I haven’t heard from her yet and it’s making me a little curious.
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Why I’m Not All Wet

June 26, 2009

Those (few) of you who’ve been following me for a while might remember that this is the time of year when I normally hit the pool and swim some laps.  I’m not doing that this year, and this post is where I talk about why.

I’ve never been much of an “exercise swimmer.”  I spent a ton of time in the pool when I was younger, that’s definitely true, but it was because – news flash – playing in the pool is fun.  Especially when you’re between the ages of 4 and 24 and there’s a 105 degree heat index going on.  But most of my time was spent hanging out, playing your standard pool games of handball, shark, etc., and especially diving.  Height, hang time, grace, body control and dexterity were all fun things to work on.  (The ability to direct miniature tsunamis in the direction of the girls was particularly highly prized.)

Back and forth.  Either you were racing, or trying to get from one side to the other and back without taking a breath, or you were swimming back to the ladder for your next dive.  It wasn’t just…swimming.

While I recognize the awesome exercise power of a bunch of laps around the pool, it just never really appealed to me.  Until I was really determined to lose some weight and the only way I could comfortably spend extra time doing so while not missing time at home was to work out during lunch.  (The U’s gyms aren’t open early in the summers.) There were a couple of problems with this scenario.

1)  My usual weightlifting workout takes around an hour.  Not counting walking to and from the gym.  Just a plain lunchtime workout wasn’t going to fit unless I greatly reduced it or leaned heavily on the good graces of my coworkers.

2)  I don’t know about my fellow authors, being perfect examples of feminine pulchritude and delicacy, but I sweat.  Not excessively, to my way of thinking, but I’m also bald.  There’s nothing to stop the sweat from just rolling down my head – which it does, hard and fast and usually bringing a busload of its buddies along for the ride.  And I really didn’t want to go for a shower in the crappy gym showers.  Largely but not entirely related to any number of MTAE‘s public nudity horror tales.

The pool offered another option.  Yes, I’d still have to shower, but it was mostly to get the reek of chlorine off of me (or at least partially so, because I was never successful – whoa, they chlorinate the hell out of that pool!), not because I was too funkified for human contact.  And the pool here was (and relatively still is) brand-spanking new, so the locker room facilities are likewise.  (As opposed to the gyms, the “newer” of which is 20 years old.  The gym I work out in was built in 1925.  No joke.

So I started swimming for exercise.  And results-wise, I can’t really complain – when I stuck with it, I did just fine.  The problem was sticking with it.

First, I went to a meeting one afternoon after a long swim in which I pushed myself fairly hard.  I had one ear completely full of water and the other partially so…enough that it felt weird to walk.  I was asked at one point in the meeting to speak and I’m 60% convinced that I made a complete idiot of myself and 100% convinced that I talked entirely out of my ass because I couldn’t think straight.  So, swimming on any day when I had meetings in the afternoon got ruled out.

But more generally, I didn’t feel good about swimming.  Part of it was an ego thing, since I could regularly watch 50-year-old guys come in and go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth while I had to periodically stop and gasp for breath.  But every day I see guys in the weight room, many older than me, pushing heavier weights than me around.  While it’s an ego blow, it’s never been that bad.

Ultimately, I think there are two main thoughts stopping me from swimming right now.

First, and least important, I have to pay a little over $100 to swim.  The other gyms are free.

Second, and only slightly more important than that, the more out of shape I am, the less comfortable I am with the idea of donning a swimsuit and hitting the pool to pant like a sheepdog while slimmer, fitter young men and women zip past me.  Nobody really likes that kind of strike to the heart of self-image problems.  And don’t get me wrong:  While I think ego issues are absolutely something to examine and push out of the way as a person heads toward greater fitness, I think it’s also important to be realistic enough to spot something that would just leave me trying to rationalize not going each and every time.

Third, and most important, when I climb out of the pool I feel tired and worn out but I can’t remember a time when I really felt exhilarated.  In some rare cases, I can come out of a cardio workout feeling that way, and just having it happen once is enough to carry me through a whole hell of a lot of bad workouts trying to find the next one.

In weight lifting, though, I could have a workout like that maybe one out of every five workouts.  At least one exercise, one body part, I could walk away feeling great.  “I was worn out by the time I got to the military press, but I knocked the hell out of that standing curl set!!” Even the soreness feels different – not just an exhaustion, but a very specific exhaustion, with a specific location.  You can rationalize it, work around it, and move on.

That’s why, speaking for myself personally, I’ll be hitting the weight stack again.  Maybe next month, maybe six months from now, maybe next year, but that’s where I’m headed, because that’s what makes me feel good about myself and feel good about the actual act of exercising.  And that’s why, this summer, I won’t be all wet.

What about you folks?  Are there things that you know work for you, but you just can’t really keep up?  (Besides dieting, because, duh.)


June 25, 2009

I’m inches away from saying, “Fuck it.” And then driving to the store and buying the first box of Little Debbie snacks I come across.

I’ve been working out hard. I’ve been eating right. And absolutely nothing… NOTHING… is happening. No gain, no loss. No nuthin’.

So my take on it is, if I try hard and nothing happens, what’s the point? I should just laze around and eat whatever the frick I want and just be happy, dammit. Because if I try and nothing happens, and I DON’T try and nothing happens, then what the hell am I stressing about?

I refuse to exercise three hours a day. I refuse to live off of one lettuce leaf and water a day. I refuse to kill myself over this. All I want, and I should EXPECT to achieve it, is to try my best, eat right and exercise daily, and see the weight gradually come off. Not KILL myself and see nothing happen at all.

I’m stuck. Stuck, stuck, stuck. Over the past several months I’ve made the changes that I thought were necessary:

Before: Average daily calorie intake 1800 – lots of carbs and fat and junk food
After: Average daily calorie intake 1350 – carbs, fat, and protein within goal ranges; whole, natural foods

Before: 2 or 3 cups of water daily
After: 8 cups of water daily, at least

Before: One or two days a week of working out
After: Three days of cardio and three days of 30DS, one day of rest, per week

So you guys tell me, what on Earth am I doing wrong??? MONTHS of making healthy lifestyle changes, with no positive impact to my weight or body shape.


The Price of Eating Right

June 25, 2009

I was really happy the other day when Brian told me he’d found a little produce stand close to our house. We had a great one in Florida and in the Summer months we took a weekly trip there to load up on the cheap. That stuff just seems to taste so much better when they don’t come from a grocery store. And of course I was very excited at the prices.

Like with most people (I guess), I have a grocery budget. Or at least try to have one. I’m fairly consistent with coupons and bargain shopping when it comes to our food. Yes it’s a pain in the ass, but it drives me insane to spend so much money on something that we need to survive. (And yes I do need coffee to survive, thank you) I was really dreading going shopping the first time after I started on the healthy kick, because I knew I’d be shopping the perimeter of the store more than usual and I know that area is more expensive than the boxed and canned aisles. Read the rest of this entry »


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