Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The good news, the bad news

The good news first

My waist-to-hip ratio is in the "ok" range at .74.  A W-t-H ratio of .85 or higher may indicate increased health risks.  This measurement confirms that I'm a "pear" shape instead of an "apple" shape.  Apples are more suseptible to heart disease than pears. 

My blood pressure is 120/75.  Well in the normal range.  Yay!

The not so good news

My BMI is 34.  Body Mass Index correlates with body fat but does not MEASURE body fat.  Since you could have two people my height and weight, with me being one and someone like the Governator being the other, BMI is not an entirely accurate way to judge health.  However, a higher BMI on a flabby person, such as myself, usually is a bad thing, and my current number puts me in the "obese" range.  (which we already knew, right?)

A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy.  For my height (5'6") that would put me between 118 to 148 pounds.

Me.  118lbs.  FUNK.  THAT.  I don't care to be a twig thankyouverymuch. 

Actually, my ulitimate goal weight of 160 actually falls in the overweight range, with a possible BMI of 26.  Never in my life did I think I'd be setting a goal to be overweight.  *lol*

The bad and annoying news

I'm back up 2lbs.  Back to 209.  DAMN YOUUUUUUU BRENT!  I went to a wedding with fantastic food on Saturday (congrats Brent and Julie) and then a "Harvest Feast" at church on Sunday.  Oh- and sitting on my butt all week.

*sigh*  Ok.  Not the end of the world.  I can get back on track.  Friday.  Ain't no way I'm going to try and diet tomorrow.  Gobble gobble is for a reason!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Love hate relationship

Ahhh carbs.  How much do I love thee?

I love thee in tortilla chips with lots of gooey cheese.
I love thee in pasta dishes that always seem to please.
I love thee in thy rolls and bread
I love thee with crackers in bed (not really, but it rhymed)

*sigh*  I love carbs.  But as much as any food can be the enemy, (and that's a whole 'nother blog entry) carbs are it for me.

But even as a pre-diabetic it is important I get GOOD carbs.  Here's one of my favorite ways:


1 serving plain oatmeal, cooked
4 oz plain tofu, preferably soft
fruit, fresh or frozen, make sure there is no added sugar

Combine the three, mushing up the tofu and mixing in the fruit.  Complex carbs from the oatmeal, protein from the tofu (which you won't taste- trust me) and simple carbs from the fruit.  A good way to kick off the day.


I'm down with that.

208.  Down just over a pound, with just over 8 to go to reach my New Year's goal.

I tell you what- I'm pretty excited about the whole thing really.  I used to think of it as "OMG- I need to lose 60 pounds!"  Yes- overall I could stand to lose that much.  But that's such a huge goal.  I might as well say "I need to lose 173 pounds!" for as far away as 60 seems.

But 8.  8 I can do.  8 and a little bit will get me down under 200lbs.  Then I'll set another goal- maybe under 190 by Valentine's Day.  Little steps.  When you're climbing the stairs at the Washington Monument, the stair at the top doesn't really matter (unless you're at the top that is).  It's the stair right in front of you that makes any difference.

You remember the movie Ghostbusters?  Where our intrepid heroes are walking up the stairs to Dana's apartment in Spook Central?  Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) says "Let me know when we get to 12.  I'm gonna throw up."  See- Peter didn't make his goal to throw up once they got to the TOP of the building, he set a realistic goal about halfway.  It's in the movies?  It's gotta be true then, right?  ;)


Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'm dying. That's all there is to it.

Had a friend come down from Des Moines to visit this weekend.  We stayed over in KC and I took him to the Plaza yesterday.  He's an amateur photographer, and has given me his "old" camera so we set out for things to photograph.

TWO HOURS LATER we got back to the car.  I seriously walked for two straight hours.  I didn't take a single picture.  By the time I got back up the hill to the car I thought I was going to die.  OMG I'm out of shape.

Today was somewhat better, we climbed the tower at Well's Overlook and I only wheezed and gasped for a couple of minutes.

My shins are killing me and I'm exhausted.  It's times like this when I reconsider the whole "exercise" thing.

Friday, November 6, 2009


I've temporarily run out of things to say.

Did I make ANY goals yesterday?  Nope.  But that's not awful.  Today's another day to try.

I did get some good links from a coworker in my group at work though.  Give them a looksee: This one will help you set up your OWN food pyramid, based on your current status and your goals. I like it because it tells you what to eat and how much, but doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about calories.  Did you all watch the Foamy link I posted earlier?  "When I pick up a food, I don't want to have to worry about calories and carbs etc..."  (paraphrased, and with far fewer expletives) This one evidently has calorie counts for restaurant food. I haven't looked at it yet.

Anyway- it's Friday.  I've got Meatloaf playing on ye olde MP3e playere, the sun is shining, I have most of a cup of coffee- things are good!

PLUS- I just got a MUFFIN. Today is getting better and better. A FREE MUFFIN.


Yes. I'm kicking.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Goal Post

Did I make my daily goals?

1)  2 quarts of water:  No.  But, as Jack Palance said in City Slickers:  "Day ain't over yet."
2)  15 minutes walking.  No.  But I did ride my bike 4 miles today.

So as far as goals go, I sucked.  But as far as keeping moving forward, I did ok.  Lost .4 lbs in the last week, less than I'd hoped, but about what I expected.

But I am TIRED today.  Like go to bed now tired.  I think it's partly the exercise, partly my sleep patterns and partly my lunch.  High carb lunch, lots of brown rice and green beans, but very little protein.  (I ate part of my "crab" salad yesterday, so I had less than half a cup left today)  I'm beginning to see a pattern.  I'm going to have to come up with some low-carb lunch alternatives.  Any suggestions?


The Empress' New Clothes

One of my lame excuses for NOT trying to lose weight over the years has been the whole "Gotta buy new clothes" thing.  Right.  Like I'd hate to give up my size 18-20 clothing in exchange for size 14.  (that's my goal eventally- anything smaller and I'd lose my Marilyn-esque curves)

But actually, I will be sad when I no longer fit in my favorite pair of jeans because THEY FIT.  They fit wonderfully, designed for people who are shaped like me- an hourglass with most of the time run out.

I got these jeans at Lane Bryant. They now have a new sizing program for their jeans and some of their slacks.  Instead of what I used to be, I'm now a "blue 2 average"

Yup.  I'm a size 2.  Whoop!  Brilliant.

There's also "red" and "yellow" for body shapes- blue is for hourglass, red is for apple, yellow is for straight up and down.  I think.  I just look for the blue dot, so the other colors don't really enter my radar.

Lane Bryant costs more than Wal Mart.  Quality costs more than throwaway.  But I tell you what- I have never had a pair of jeans that fit as well as those do, and I'm willing to shell out $50-60 for them, as opposed to $25 for crappy jeans that don't fit and I end up hating.

That said- I really look forward to the time when I can shop at Target or Hot Topic or some other "normal" clothing store and not have to paw through the dregs of the 3 plus sized styles they deign to offer.  What's UP with that? 

Seriously- the average sized woman is now over a size 14, yet major affordable retailers STILL concentrate on the 12 and below market.  No WONDER fat women have self esteem problems- we have the choice of paying more for quality clothes or wearing ugly ass muumuus.  Sweat pants and shirts with Tweety Bird on them.  Shapeless formless blobs that someone thought would be good to use to camouflage the fact that we're bigger than Twiggy.  You know what camouflages that?  (well, besides not being bigger than Twiggy) Well tailored clothes.  Clothes that fit.  Sure- we'll never look like a size 3 if we're a size 22, but at least give us the chance to look NICE.

WHEW!  Rant off.  I think I need to go lie down.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I have a lot of things I want to cover in this post- I'll try to keep the points brief, yet scintillating.

1.  Why  "Twice the Man I Used to Be" for the title?  Well, "Half the Man I Used to Be" is a song by Nirvana.  Also, in the first Men In Black movie, Will Smith's character gets into it with another cop who's, shall we say, portly.  The cop starts in on Smith, saying something like "If you were half the man I was..." and Smith interrupts with something like "I AM half the man you are.  Gotta get your tubby ass on the stairmaster."  So.  Twice the Man. 

2.  People talk about how difficult it is for them around Halloween.  Too much candy around.  Surprisingly enough, that hasn't been an issue for me this year.  I haven't been craving sweets.  I think since last Wednesday I may have had 4 pieces of Halloween candy total.  Now, we had a cheese ball witch's hat with crackers at the party at work last week and I could have eaten the whole dang thing.  What's your food trigger?

3.  GOAL POST!  Did you make yours today?  I did- just over 2 quarts of water and a 15 minute walk brisk enough to break a little sweat.  Then I rode my bike home.  I'm starting to feel a little shin splint-y, but that could be from the pre-diabetes.  Surprisingly enough they're linked.  A few more days of good walking should cure them.  (good meaning easy yet aerobic, not damaging) 

4.  I forget what my other points were.  If you wonder why, read the post from yesterday about my veggies.


Can't catch a break.

I packed a beautiful lunch, as described in my last post.  I totally forgot that today is a "David Lunch" day, when we have a fundraiser lunch at work, with the proceeds going to a local charity.

The lunches are usually themed, and today's theme is "Oktoberfest" which means brats, bierock casserole, German potato salad, beer...

That's ok.  I can pass on the potato salOMG that's good.  Well, I usually prefer my bierocks to be individual instead of casserAHHH tasty!  The brats are non-negotiable, but I'm not eating the bun.  Seriously.  No bun.

So my yummy lunch will wait til tomorrow.  That's ok.  I already ate the fruit salad anyway- with yogurt.

Time for walkies!

PS- I didn't have any beer either.  Bud Light?  Puh-leese!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Goal Post

Did I make my two daily goals today?

1)  Drink at least 2 quarts of water.  No.  Close, but no.
2)  15 minutes of steady walking.  Yes.  I've also discovered that while picturesque, brick sidewalks aren't so good for steady walking.  So tomorrow will be a different route.

I also rode my bike to work, but not home as it was raining.  I'm goal oriented, not obsessed.

On a totally egotistical note, I was asked today if I'd lost a lot of weight (yes- 9lbs, but I credited the recent eyebrow wax with most of the difference in look) AND I was told that my grey streak of hair gives me a certain "je ne sais quoi" and that it's very stunning.  This from a charming man with a British accent, so I swooned.  Giddy.  Nearly speechless.  Nearly.  ;)

And that's that.

OH!  I already packed my lunch for tomorrow.  Brown rice, green beans, "crab" salad (too much mayo, but maybe I can scrape it off) and a salad made of red grapes, green grapes, raspberries and blackberries.  YUM.  I have some plain yogurt at work that I may incorporate, but maybe not.

How are your daily goals coming?

What's in your lunchbox?

I forgot my veggies.  *sigh*  I got my fruit (fresh cherries, frozen back in early summer when they were cheap and plentiful at the store) but I forgot my veggies.

One of the most frustrating things I run in to on a daily basis is my own brain.  See- I have ADD.  I've had it my whole life, but was diagnosed as an adult, about 20 years ago.  In my youth I was fortunate enough to have my non-ADD mom organizing everything.  But now... yikes.

And so I remember the cherries but forget the green beans.  Even though they sit roughly 6" apart in the freezer.

Make a list?  Sure I made a list.  It said "make lunch" not "get fruit, get veggies, get rice, get leftover bbq"  Looks like I'm going to have to go with smaller chunks on my list.  hrm.

What's in your lunch today?  Can I have some of your veggies?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And a squirrel shall lead them

Let me get this out of the way first:  the following video is absolutely not appropriate for children, and if you listen at work I will not be held responsible if HR comes down on you because your fellow employees don't like the idea of being called foul names by an animated squirrel.

You've been warned.

And so...  Foamy, on Fatkins.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Vegging out

One of the things that came up in my work getting healthy group was the fact that many of us don't get enough fruits and veggies during the day.  We also discussed sharing recipes.  So, here's my contribution to killing two birds with one stone.*

Eternal Soup
From "Passionate Vegetarian" by Crescent Dragonwagon

3 cups dehydrated black bean or pinto bean flakes
2 cups homemade vegetable stock or commercial vegetable broth
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen vegetables, either a mixture or a single vegetable, or 3-4 cups virtually any assortment of fresh, raw cut-up vegetables
1/2 to 1 cup "something tomatoey," could be tomato puree, good-quality bottled salsa (as hot or mild as desired), canned diced tomatoes with green chiles, spicy or regular tomato or mixed vegetable juice, or leftover spaghetti sauce
Boiling water, preferably spring or filtered,
to cover
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Additions (Optional)

Parmesan cheese
Hot sauce
Cilantro or parsley
Plain yogurt or sour cream
Other yummy bits & pieces

1. Plug in a slow cooker. Pour in the dehydrated bean flakes, stock, vegetables, and tomato product of choice. Turn the heat to high. Add boiling water as needed until the pot is nearly full. Stir well a few times. Cover.

2. Let simmer for 1 to 2 hours, or until you can smell its fragrance or until you start getting hungry. Turn the heat to low if you feel some ingredients might be getting overcooked.

3. When ready to eat, season with salt and pepper, ladle out the soup, and add whichever of the optional additions or whatever else appeals to you. Serve with toast, crackers, or a scoop of cooked pasta or grain in the bottom of each bowl.

4. After lunch is over, unplug the slow cooker. Let the soup cool to room temperature, then cover and place the entire pot in the fridge for tomorrow. Next day, add more liquid and/or more beans and vegetables- any of the first four ingredients listed above- stir, reheat slowly (allowing any fresh ingredients to cook through), and eat- with a canny sense of satisfaction.

I am making this soup for dinner tonight.  Some vegetable broth, some frozen veggies, some salsa and chick peas (butt beans, as Kate calls them).

It's important if you want to reuse this soup time and again that you keep any animal products out of it.  Feel free to add cheese or bits of meat if you want, but do it at the bowl, not at the pot.  Play with this soup.  Get a little crazy- throw in a sweet potato one day, some okra the next time you have it (not gonna happen in MY soup, but some people out there like okra) then spice things up with salsa or black beans.  It's a great way to get your veggies in a tasty, low fat, high-variety manner.

*no birds were killed in the making of this blog post.

Ups & Downs, or I Was Called Stupid by a Centenarian

Gorgeous happy day here in beautiful Kansas.

As many of you know, we are fortunate enough to have Bo's great aunt Wyonna (Sue) living about 30 miles from us.  She just hit 99 years old in June and, while she's slowing down, she's still healthy and sharp as a tack.

Let me back up.  Last Saturday we went to a Halloween party at some friends' house.  I made Rice Krispy treats, and managed to burn the boo-jeebus out of my arm because I forgot the pot was hot.  dur.  MELTED marshmallows, MELTED butter. 

Today we went to see Aunt Sue and Kate mentioned my burn.  Aunt Sue listened to the story, then laughed uproariously, slapped her thigh and proceeded to tell me what a stupid thing that was to do.  Evidently it was a high point of her day.  :)  Not so much for me, but it was kind of funny.  I just hope when I'm 99 I'm still able to call younguns stupid.

After we got home I hopped on my bike and rode downtown.  It's about 2 miles from my house to work, and a few hundred more yards to where I wanted to go.  (brow wax touch up- I'm beginning to really like that)  Sure, I could have driven there, the car wasn't being used, but by riding my bike I got to smell the fallen leaves, get a good look at the neighborhood Halloween decorations, enjoy the crisp air.

Unfortunately, I was reminded that some people don't see bikes on the street.  I wasn't hurt, I wasn't even close to being hit, but it was yet another in a long string of "How the heck can you NOT SEE ME?" moments.

Since I think I'm going to be adding bike riding to my getting-healthy repertoire, I stopped in to Sunflower to check out headlights, rear view mirrors and tiny hot evildoers.  (long story)  I now have a Christmas wish and a mirror on order.  Yay!

Anyway- I ended up biking/walking just over 4 miles today, I feel tired and kind of sweaty (eew) but good.  Not dead, I didn't push it too far, but right now I think that just getting MOVING is a good start.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Diet = die to a t

I won't diet.  I won't count calories, I won't cut out chocolate, I won't run from carbs.  (I will, however, run from bears or zombies.  Just FYI.)

I don't see the point of dieting really.  Somewhere down the line, I would stop a diet.  And then what?  Would that first Double Stuff Oreo (mmm... Double Stuff) make my thighs balloon after 6 months of an Oreo-less existance? Would a dish of pasta make my head spin?

Why take that risk?  Why not develop a *gasp* MODERATE habit of eating?  One that can be maintained for years, for life? 

yeah yeah- I know.  If it was that easy, why am I at 209 lbs? 

Because I have no willpower, duh.  The THEORY is solid.  A little of this, a little of that- everything in moderation.  But in actual personal practice it's more like "a little of this, a little of that, Hey that's good!  A lot more of that!"

That's why, in my dream world, I would have someone to make my food in individual portion sizes- no more and no less than exactly how much I need.  *sigh*  Until then though, I have to figure out how to do what I NEED to do, and make it appear that I WANT to do it.

Enter the Bento Box Lunch.  I'm not nearly cutesy enough to make little bunnies out of radishes, or carve my egg salad into Hello Kitty, but I'm down with a beautiful bit of food, packed neatly with an eye for design as well as nutrition.  I bought bento boxes (well, Kansas bento boxes) for Kate and myself, and we've done a little pseudo-bento-ing over the past few weeks.  I think though, that it is time to kick it up and do it for real. 

I don't guarantee cows and piggies, but I'll take pictures of whatever we manage.  :)

I love them.

Remember back in an earlier blog (you know- the one from this morning) I mentioned Mats and Helena? 

Well, this article is about Mats and Helena, and some woman I don't know. 

*sigh*  I love them.  I love their daughter Tova.  I don't know their son. 

I haven't lost my waistline, I've gained an Olsen.

In the spirit of putting it all out there, I should clarify my "I've gained 70lbs" statement.

I mean I've NETTED 70lbs over the years.  There were two occasions in the past 12 years that I lost 20ish pounds in a relatively short time.  So add 40 to that 70 and.... OMG.  I'm lugging around an Olson twin in my saddlebags.

So what made those two occasions different than the 537 other occasions in the past decade or so of my life?  How did I drop that weight?  (we'll get to the why it's back with a Terminator-like vengeance later)

I literally walked my butt off. 

First 20- March/April 2002.  I was in Miami, FL for three weeks, working with the Volvo Ocean Race.  (love the lovely VOR)  My hotel was in downtown, my "work venue" was by the arena where the Heat play basketball.  A little over a mile away.  Since I didn't have a vehicle, and was a little nervous taking public transportation, I walked.  And I don't mean to say I sauntered down Biscayne Blvd, taking in the sights.  I.  HAULED.  ASS.  every day. 

Now, this was difficult at first, because I am, by nature, a saunterer.  You know how John Wayne had his signature swagger?  I have my signature saunter.  If I could figure out a way to do it without being fully upright I would.  However, my work schedule and really- the excitement of working with the race made a saunter imprudent.  So every morning, I'd pack up my 12lb laptop, strap it to my back and start my speed walk down the blvd.  There were days when I'd make the trip twice, racking up 4 miles of walking to and from. 

Another thing that really helped me during that time was diet.  The team traveled with a chef and a nutritionist who prepared lunch and dinner every day.  Ahhh Mats and Helena, how much I miss you.  I trusted Mats implicitly.  He got me to try dishes I never would have even looked at, just because I knew he would not, probably COULD not, make anything yucky.  Pork green curry, salmon with beet puree, pasta, rice, chicken...  All meals were high carb, high protein, and I still lost weight.  Take THAT Atkins!

Second 20- again- I walked.  My company (Securitron) established a "Get FIT" program for employees.  Basically we set up teams and competed with each other to see how much we could walk and how much water we could drink.  By the time the program ended (18 weeks) I'd lost almost 20lbs.  Just walking and drinking water.

So what can I take away from this?  What knowledge (in convenient bullet point format) can I impart?

  • Walk.  Walk a lot.  Walk with intent, not sauntering.  I read somewhere that a "good" walk is roughly 4 miles an hour.  So walk hard (but don't kill yourself) for 15 minutes a shot.
  • Eat.  Find a person you trust to work with you on some recipes.  Take a risk now and then.  When Mats announced the green curry, I announced I would be hitting McD's for dinner that night.  He said to trust him, so I did, and I have never regretted it.
  • Drink.  Lots of water.  Get a 2 liter bottle and fill it with water.  Drink that much every day.  At least.  
So, there's my plan.  I'm going to walk, eat and drink.  Hopefully you'll see less of me around soon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 1, Still Tired From the Move

There's a health and wellness group at my work.  Yesterday was our first meeting.  It included a weigh in.  (voluntary)

Well, I weighed in.  9lbs lighter than I thought I was!  I'm currently 209 lbs.  Let me repeat that- two hundred nine pounds.  I'm about 5'6" tall, and my weight makes me obese. 

Huh.  Obese.  I don't feel obese.  I don't think I even look obese, although I'm sure other people do.  I like to joke that I'm older than I act, and now I'm pretty sure I'm fatter than I look.

But thinking I'm thinner than I am does not stave off the health risks I face.  I've been diagnosed as pre-diabetic.  I've been diagnosed with poly cystic ovarian syndrome.  I have phlebitis...  that's just the stuff I know about.  Kind of scary if I really think about it.

Anyway.  Here I am.  Day 1, 9lbs lighter than I thought I was, but still seriously overweight.  I've set a goal of 10lbs down in 8 weeks.  I'd like to start 2010 under 200lbs.  I know it can be done, just not sure I can do it. 

We'll see.