Focus on Food

So getting back on the calorie counting wagon worked, for the most part. There was a very long, wine-filled steak dinner on Wednesday, but even that ended up not being as bad as it could have been. After all, an 8 oz. filet is a lot less calorie-rich than a 16 oz. “well-marbled” Wagyu ribeye, right?

And I noticed that once I started paying attention to — read: writing down every bit of — my food, my body responded. Less bloated, skin better, more energy, even in just a few days.  This is both good and bad. Good because, well, I feel better! Bad because it means I can always give myself the excuse to fall back into bad habits: Oh, I know it’s not great that I’m eating this cannoli, but tomorrow I’ll just go back to counting calories and feel great again in a few days.

It is, of course, not a bad thing to know that if I mess up I can always go back to basics. But every time I mess up, I take a step or three backwards and I have to work that much harder to make up for it. It would be nice not to have to work that hard! It would be nice to just be motivated to stay on track all the time!

But alas, I like the finer things too much: good wine, pasta, sauces made with butter, bacon. And I like those things not in moderation! Frankly, it’s hard to enjoy those things in moderation at all — they are so much better in big, delicious, totally satisfying quantities.

I’m going to work on it, though. It helps that I haven’t been to the grocery store in two weeks. 🙂 I’m just trying to eat my way through the stuff we have in the freezer and pantry — which is working, by the way. I discovered some long-frozen tenderloin in the freezer yesterday (well wrapped, of course!) and decided to make pho. The only think I lacked was ginger and it still turned out just fine.

I don’t know how long I can keep that up, but the refrigerator is starting to look much more bare as I make my way through various jars, more recent leftovers, and the goodies from the farmers’ market I’ve picked up the last few weeks.

So here’s to healthy eating.

Word

None of these things merit an individual post, but all of them are worthy of note.

***

Despite five days of vacation in the land of lard (that would be Texas, where I ate Whataburger twice in 28 hours and more homemade flour tortillas than I want to count), I have managed to maintain on the weight loss front. Granted, I haven’t been on a scale since returning, but my clothes are continuing to fit in that lovely, slightly-loose way, so I’m not going to worry about the numbers on the scale.

***

My grandfather, who is ill and who is the reason we spent five days in Texas, is doing far better than expected.  He’s still dying and likely won’t make it through the summer, but he was well enough to spend several hours chatting with us and playing take-your-nose with my cousin’s kids. I had been told he was doing very poorly before we left and so didn’t expect to be able to interact with him much while we were there. But he was not only alert and mostly compos mentis, but also was mobile — getting out of bed and up and down from his chair, moving around the house. Since I’m 99% sure this visit was the last time I’ll see him, I’m glad it was a visit where I could actually talk with him.

***

Couch-to-5K is going so well I solicited a commitment from a friend of mine to run with me in the Race Judicata later this summer.  It will be my first 5K and, bonus, it’s the big fundraiser for the legal agency where I did a summer fellowship after law school. If I’m going to give money to any organization, I’m glad to give it to them — and to run my first 5K for them, too.

***

While in Texas, I saw this fun bag at my hometown surf shop, but wasn’t wild about the colors so I didn’t buy it. But I love the style and thought it would be a good shape and size for work, so I looked around online for it. Lo and behold, it comes in many other colors, including a very nice dark brown/gray. And that lovely color was available on Amazon for $22.  Bonus: eligible for Prime! So I bought it.

***

That dreamy interview I got a while ago? I went on that interview, had a great time, felt like I was a perfect fit, and then didn’t hear anything for a while. So I got stressed and applied for another federal job (one I was actually interested in, of course).  Three hours after hitting “Apply,” I got the call — I got the job. The dream job. “Relief” is too understated a word. Not only am I extremely glad to have any employment, I am ecstatic to have employment at a place where I feel like I fit in so well, both personally and professionally.

***

So it’s been a good month.

What what?

One busy day at work where I forgot to eat, and one day of travel where I got very little sleep (but ate too much and not well) has resulted in my losing an additional two pounds. I find this sort of shocking.

What I don’t find shocking so much as absolutely deliciously wonderful is that I put on my favorite jeans and did not have to wiggle to get them buttoned. They just slid right on. I still don’t think I’m going to hit that goal weight by June 10, but I’m a little closer. And feeling really good.

Not bad, not bad at all

After avoiding the scale for three and a half weeks because of a touch of overindulgence and a lack of more regular workouts during that time, I finally weighed myself last night. And the scale told me that I’ve lost a total of seven pounds since March 9. Which is not bad, folks, not bad at all. Now, the last pound and a half of that took almost four weeks to come off (hello, plateau) but I think I’m over the hump and back on track now.

More to the point, I put on a pair of pants this morning that I haven’t worn in two years. TWO YEARS. And they fit better now than they did then. Which probably says more about the yoga and the running than it does about the weight loss.

My original goal was to lose 12 pounds by June 10 (we’re going to Mexico). That’s only four weeks away, though, and I am not sure I can lose the last five pounds in four weeks, especially considering I’m traveling this week, next weekend, and over Memorial Day weekend. But that’s OK—I’m feeling good about my body, good enough to put on a swimsuit for five days and that’s what the goal was always about.

Since I know I won’t meet my original goal, I set a new goal for myself—to get back to my wedding weight by August 31. That’s an additional five pounds, for a total of 10 pounds less than I weigh right now, and 17 total. It’s a bit of a longshot—not only am I not sure I can actually lose those last five pounds but I’m also pretty sure I can’t maintain that weight. I’d rather hit my original goal and keep getting fit than starve myself down to my wedding weight and then watch myself gain those five pounds right back. But we’ll see.  If I can do it slowly and steadily over the summer—in other words, the right way—maybe I can get there and stay there.

Running

I started Couch to 5K last week.  Well, I didn’t really “start” it—I’m fit enough that starting at the beginning seemed like a waste of time.  So I started at Week 3, which was last week.  Week 3 is about 1/3 running, 2/3 walking.  I’m now into Week 4—about half running, half walking.

The weather has finally gotten nice enough that I can not only do some of my runs outside but I can also take the dog out with me. And he is loving it. My dog has never had it so good! He jogs alongside me happily, then trots alongside me happily, then jogs alongside me happily, as I cycle through the timed runs and walks.

But I’m not sure I’m loving it. I mean, I am—I am excited to keep working on my fitness (and keep losing weight)—but I also really don’t like running outside. To be fair, I’ve done some of my runs on the treadmill (at a 1% incline to simulate some resistance), and those are pretty easy. The outdoor runs, though. Gah.

To keep me on track, I’m using an Android app (info available at that link up there), and I bought a “power pouch” top from Gracie’s Gear so I can jog without carrying my keys or phone in my hands, and those things are helping. It’s easier to keep going if I’m not also juggling my gear. But I’m starting to suspect that I’m never going to love running outside. I’ve never had much success running outside, even back when I was running 12 miles a week (and egads, that was 12 years ago).

I’m not giving up, though. I’m pushing through it. This is really what Couch to 5K is for—to get people to fall in love with running by making it easier for them to actually do it for more than a few minutes at a time. So we’ll see how my progress is in a few weeks. I do feel awesome at the end of my runs, so maybe the endorphins will actually be addictive, like they’re supposed to be.

This is my new motivation

I really do hate counting calories and obsessing about what I eat.

But this morning I put on a sweater that I’ve owned for 9 years but haven’t worn in at least 2 because in those last 2 years it had become unflatteringly tight on my arms (we’re talking painted-on tight).

It looks fabulous.

That means I can once again wear clothes (at least on my top) that I wore not only 2 years ago when I was last at my current weight, but also that I wore 7 years ago when I was 10 lbs. lighter than I am now—and almost 17 lbs. lighter than I was two months ago.  I can once again wear clothes that I wore when I was in my 20s.

Yeah, that’s the motivation now.

Tuesday night list

  1. My husband tells me I’ve lost weight in my neck. I’ve lost about 6 lbs. Was I developing wattle?
  2. Sharing an office makes me unproductive. It’s that or my chronic procrastination.
  3. I still don’t have a job to go to when my current gig ends.
  4. My dog has a slow-growing, probably inoperable nerve tumor under his eye. He’ll live for a while yet, but we know his life is shortened because of it.
  5. I have gum recession on some of my upper teeth that has caused me to avoid chewing on one side of my mouth for the last five months.
  6. While I love my job, sometimes the stuff I have to deal with is really depressing.
  7. An organization I think very highly of is advertising my dream job, but because it’s a temporary fellowship and pays peanuts, I can’t even consider applying.
  8. This list is a total downer.
  9. Despite that, I am pretty content.