About Me

My photo
Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Six years ago I decided (age) 42 would be my magic number. I stepped on the scale for the first time in a LONG time. It was a BIG number, it was a SCARY number, but mostly I knew I had to own that number. I lost 40 pounds, leaving the obese category behind. In 2014 I committed myself to working out HARD and a low sugar diet, losing more weight and gaining nice definition. Then life happened, and I lost momentum, gaining some weight back. My goals now are different, and include completing my first ever marathon at age 48. GULP! You can read about the next part of my journey here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Treats

Well, Halloween is over, and I had two official treats.

1. I ate a chocolate caramel candy on Friday, after I f'ed up a project. It was for decorative purposes only -- Rob Pattinson on the wrapper, on whom I have a adolescent-like crush. I ate the decor.

2. A mini biscotti today, about 45 calories. It had oatmeal & such in it, but sugar of course, which is not on plan.

When we came in from trick or treating I had a powerful urge to snack. Not on candy, but on savory treats and wine, as that had been our post trick or treat tradition in the past.

Alas, this year, a handful of homemade roasted pumpkin seeds sufficed.

Do I miss our old tradition? Hell YEAH. In fact, when I think about what indulgences I will have after reaching my goal, there are few that seem worth it. But next Halloween, I will be having a glass of wine, and a salty cheesy (portioned) snack.

Bon Appetit

This is something I insist on, on my journey to a lower weight and better health. I must enjoy my food.
Now, you may argue "hey, enjoying food is what got us to fat!"
With this I must disagree. When I was shoveling food in my mouth to the point of feeling sick I was NOT enjoying food. I might have been enjoying the feeling of numbness achieved through overeating, but I was not really enjoying the food itself, at least not more than the first one or two bites.

Here are some ways I enjoy my food.

1. I bought colorful plates and cutlery at Target to bring to work. I felt guilt about using disposable, and I really love eating my veggie burger on my red plate, or my cottage cheese out of my nicely shaped bowl.
2. I will NOT eat food I dislike, I don't care how good it is for you. When I go to a restaurant, I will stick to my budget, but not by eating something I consider mediocre.
3. My older son gets on his bus at 6:40 am, and younger son wakes up about 7:20. In that 50 minutes I make time to prepare a healthful, delicious breakfast, and I spend time enjoying eating it.

How about you? What do you do to enjoy your food?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ready for a good week

Drank 64 oz of water by 8 PM. Stuck to 1400 calories (even with a trip to Red Lobster), plus burned a few calories at the track.

Last week sucked, but tomorrow is Halloween,and I am revving myself up for a positive week. By Friday I want to see 187 on the scale. I know that is possible.

A Wasteful Society

Deb's post got me thinking. What I say is no criticism of her, because her decision is well thought out, and sensible. She has decided to give out mini pinball games for Halloween, rather than candy, because she doesn't want a trigger food around, and does not want to give junk to kids that she does not eat herself. And that makes a lot of sense. We are giving out mini candy bars, same as always. My husband got them a few weeks ago at a good price. They have been sitting in the basement since then.

Here is my issue. Our kids (and ourselves!) are so inundated with junk of both the food and non food variety, that for "special" occasions like Halloween it is hard to think of something that is truly a treat.
When I was a kid (back in the year 1), getting those mini candy bars on Halloween was like a dream come true. Sure, I had candy other times of year -- I would go to the corner store to buy candy with my friends, but we never had candy just laying around the house. Candy was truly a treat. When I went to college and could have soda every night at dinner, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Soda was a sign of a very special event in our house.

Now, there is candy around 24-7. We still have chocolate bunnies from Easter! I don't eat candy (even when I was at my highest weight I didn't) and even my kids cannot eat the amount of candy that comes in the house through 1) holidays, 2) treat bags at school, 3) ???? We immediately throw out things like Skittles and rock hard taffy that no one would ever think of eating. Eventually we throw out other stuff too.

They get a ton of non food junk from 1) parties, 2) school, 3) ????, much like the mini pinball games, and that goes directly in the trash.

The love to go trick or treating. Who wouldn't? Dressing up is so much fun, and getting the treats and then looking at them later is a blast.

What is the point of this post? I am not sure. I think I am just sad that we, as a society, have become so jaded with stuff. Filling up your life with junk food or junk objects seems very much the same to me, although the health consequences of the former is obviously different. I am no better than anyone else, as evidenced by what we throw in the trash, clearly as a result of choices I make. 20 years ago I moved to Louisiana from Pennsylvania to get my PhD. I could fit everything I owned in the back of my car. I look back that with a sort of longing now.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Welcome to my Pity Party

Went over my calorie goals today, via a bit of a feeding frenzy on baba ghanouj and pita.
I was indulging in some self pity today. It has been a hard week, and unfortunately work was a bit of cluster today as it has been all week. Nothing really earth shattering, just not the smoothest week.
Also, when I meet a "round number" goal, such as 200 or 190 I have needed to give myself a stern talking to ----do I want this, or not? There is no in between.

I am planning to stick to 1200 calories per day for the remainder of the week. It is not that I think pita will be my doom, but I don't want to get sloppy about this either.

I am going to finish up my water and go to bed soon. We have karate tomorrow, and I am still so damn stiff from my leg workout that I am dreading it a little.

Friday : The Crappy and the Happy

Good morning all.

It has been a mixed bag kind of week.

1. Work was a struggle. It just seemed like all my projects took a major dump on themselves.
2. Yesterday I had an awful headache.
3. I have been weirdly bloated for no clear reason.
4. I did not meet my water goal yesterday.
5. I am really sore from leg workout, as in hard to bend and sit on the toilet.

1. It is Friday!
2. I met my calorie goals each day.
3. My guitar lessons are going well. I might actually play a song soon.
4. I love Halloween. We always have candy in the house and I never eat it, so that is no big deal to me.
5. Today I weighed at 189. Probably 1st time below 190 in over 7 years.

Hot 100:
1. Lose 40 lbs total by Christmas. I can still do this, but it won't be easy! I have 14 lbs to go. Ideally I will be very close to 180 by end of November, to reach 175 by Dec 31.
2. Get down to 33% body fat. Trainer will pinch my fat next week.
3. Eat clean 90% of the time. More or less this is true. I have tweaked my plan but did not post about it yet.

Enjoy the Halloween weekend!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hang in there

When I first started counting calories, I had a 1500 calorie limit. That seemed SO low. I really had trouble sticking to it, and often did not. I still lost weight, because even a little bit of calorie counting helps when you are 215 lbs.

It has gotten so much easier. Today I had 500 calories left at 7 o'clock. I ate some hummus and whole grain crackers, and egg and cottage cheese. Getting to 1440 now takes work!

I am not saying that I will never go over my calorie limit again, or that every situation will be easy. But if you are just starting out, and it seems really difficult to not go over calorie-wise, stick to it. It is all just habit, and as your habits change, you will too!

Sorry no cute picture of a kitten to go with my title :(

Smoothie Success

Taking advice from yesterday, I used soy protein powder in a smoothie this morning. I was avoiding that because I hate cleaning the stupid blender.
It was good! I used 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 scoop powder, 1/2 banana, 3/4 cup mixed frozen fruit. That plus oatmeal and wheat germ was a VERY Filling breakfast. More calories than I usually allot for breakfast, but it kept me full a long time, so I will eat less calories during the day. And, my trainer should be happy with my protein intake.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Inquiring Minds

I know. You are dying to know what kind of perfume I bought as a reward for leaving the Obese category.
Since I had a 10% discount at Target, I bought Faith Hill's Blue. Her other stuff smells like old ladies to me, and although old age is getting closer and closer, I don't want to smell like it yet.
I really want Pure DKNY but will probably ask for it for my birthday, in December. It is not sold at Target.

Challenge Update

Well, I am done eating, and am at around 1480 calories, which is fine.
I will get my water in.
It is not easy for me to drink water first thing in the morning, but it was very easy to down 20 ounces on the way to work in the car. So I just have to figure at my prime guzzling times. Also, although ice cold water tastes good, it takes me forever to drink it. So I am better off with room temp.

Once 64 oz is easy, I am going to work up to 90 oz.

Protein Powder : an abomination upon the Earth

My trainer has been nagging me to eat more protein at breakfast, and to try protein powder. So I broke down and bought chocolate soy protein. I tried it in oatmeal yesterday. Yuck. So today I mixed it in almond milk, and I thought I would puke.

Is there anyway to make this stuff palatable? I am only using 1/2 scoop for now. I like real food, but I have a hard time getting the kind of protein at breakfast he recommends. I just have no appetite for it. I have no problem telling him FUGEDDABOUTIT! But I thought it was worth a try.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Eminem; Calories; Check Mark

Here are 3 things that made me happy today.

1. I am really digging the song "Love the way you lie" by Eminem and Rihanna. I love finding new music that I like.
2. My calories were right on target today, coming in around 1420 calories, plus I burned about 270 at the gym, for a net of 1200. I drank 64 oz of water, although it was not easy, as it is not a habit for me.
3. At my son's school, they are given check marks for negative behaviors, and check marks for good behaviors (on different papers). Today he received a "good" mark for helping another boy with math. I am feeling very positive about the decision we made to switch schools.

New challenge

Sure, I will take Allan's challenge.

My goal calories will be 1540, or less.
The 64 oz of water will be tough, it is a hard habit for me, even when water is sitting right next to me.

Today I am 191, up a pound from Friday, too much salty food over the weekend, although I did not reach even 1400 cal yesterday. In two weeks I would like to be 186.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Perception vs Reality

This is a hectic weekend.
I drove to Hazleton, PA from Pittsburgh on Thursday, and back again, to bring my mom and aunt out for a visit. My dad died in 2009, and my mom (who is 81) does not drive.
I was very proud of myself on Thursday for sticking to my eating plan through a 10 hour drive. I packed a cooler of healthy snacks, so I would not have to eat junk at the rest stops.... a non fat misto at starbucks sufficed. I woke up to a good weight on Friday.
Now I am feeling that I jacked up Friday night. But did I? I had a 1/2 glass of white wine, with my aunt. I had homemade whole wheat veggie pizza, which I have every Friday. I had 1/4 of a raisin cookie, and I think that is what is really bothering me! No, raisin cookies are not on my plan, but I am usually not the self flagellating type, and far from a perfectionist. So why is the raisin cookie buggin'? The perception that I really fell off the proverbial wagon does NOT match reality. By documenting it here, I hereby let it go.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weigh in day, new milestone!

Woke up to 190 lbs today, which is 25 lbs lost! That was my goal for this week, so I am happy to meet it. By October 31st, I want to be 188. That will put me on the path for 40 lbs lost by Dec 31.

Hot 100 goals:

1. 40 lbs by Dec 31 : on my way!
2. Eat clean 90% of the time. I did well this week. I am going to be tweaking my plan a bit, and will post about that later.
3. Get to 33% body fat by Dec 31. The trainer will pinch me next week so I will have a measure, but I have been exercising quite a bit. Still sore from lunges and squats the other day.

I hope you all are having a good Friday too!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Don't Have a Damn Thing To Say

But I will post anyway.
Hi out there!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Numbers, again

I have lost 2 inches from my waist since I first measured, going from 41 inches to 39. I don't really measure anywhere else, mostly because I don't feel like I know what I am doing. The belly button is hard to miss, so the waist measurement is difficult to screw up. Also, I figure if I am losing weight in my waist, I am probably losing it other places.
In 16 weeks I have lost 24 pounds, which is exactly 1.5 lbs per week average, my goal. Of course I did not lose exactly 1.5 lbs each and every week. I gained only once, after vacation, and maintained other weeks. But still, I have to say I am pretty satisfied with my efforts so far.
I weigh every day, but moving forward I am only going to update myfitnesspal 1) on Fridays no matter what, to keep me accountable and 2) any other time I have a loss, because it is never a bad time to gloat!
My long term goal fits neatly into one year, at 1.5 lbs loss per week average I can reach approx 138 lbs by July 1, 2011. I felt like I was destined to be fat, but now I believe that victory in the war against fat is mine to be had. I know it will not get easier, and there are plateaus lurking ahead, but for each problem, there is a solution, although the solution may be hard to swallow, literally and figuratively.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Overweight, at last

Well, one day late, but today I reached my goal of 191, which officially takes me out of the obese category, and into the overweight.
When I told my husband that, he said "what?" because he really didn't know I was "obese". And in all honesty I really did not feel obese. Partially because of the unfortunate number of morbidly obese people in America, but also because I never felt like I was not able to do daily stuff. For example, I would read that someone my age/weight/height was not able to play with their kids. That was never true for me. I would play with the kids, run and walk at the track, do karate. I was also very fortunate to have good numbers with cholesterol, etc. But, at 42 years old, my luck could run out any day.
So although obesity was not ruining my life in an obvious way, I am more than glad to have it behind me. I may see 192 again this week, but never again after that
Now, I am going to recind my decision to not buy perfume. I reached 191 AND I have a 10% off card for Target. That my friends, is fate.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Right Direction, but Goal Unmet and Hot 100

My goal was to be 191 today, which would put me out of the obese category, technically. Instead I am 192, which is 1 lb down from last week. So I am foregoing my "reward" of new perfume, and instead focusing on my new goal, which is to be 188 by Oct 31. When I reach 185, I will reward myself, no matter what date I hit it.

Hot 100

1. Eat Clean 90% of the time. If I had done this, I would be 191 (I was 191.5 yesterday). Enough said.
2. Lose a total of 40 lbs by Dec 31. No reason this still cannot happen.
3. Get down to 33% body fat. Although I had an "eh" week with food, I had a really excellent exercise week. I worked my metaphorical ass off, although my literal ass remains firmly in place. Including really tough karate workout, several times on treadmill, walking at the track, roller skating, cycling, and of course working out with weights.

I cannot be really specific with dates, but it has been a LONG time since I was below 190, definitely before my younger son was born, and he is 7. So it will be a huge milestone for me to move into the 180's. I have to say I don't "feel" obese anymore. Most days I feel pretty damn good in fact, which was my number one motivation for weight loss.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I have a score of followers ... 20! I know it is not a competition, but it still exciting. Working from home this afternoon, and looking forward to working out with trainer tonight (chest & back).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mad about Mashed Potatoes

And I mean "mad" both ways.
1. I am crazy about mashed potatoes. Love 'em!
2. I am mad that I ate them at lunch today.

Normally I don't waste time fuming about a food I ate, it is hardly profitable. However, it truly has been awhile since I ate an off plan food on a whim. Yes, I might have a glass of wine on the weekend, or whatever, but it is not spur of the moment.

Today I went out to lunch with friends (I do that once per week at most). I looked up the nutrition info for Eat N Park before we went, found a meal with protein and a veggie (well iceberg lettuce which tastes like crap, but low cal) that I could eat for 453 calories .. a reasonable amount, since restaurant lunches fill me up until dinner, and I bypass my mid afternoon snack.

Then instead of saying "neither" when asked "fries or mashed", I said "mashed". I know the word "neither", I have used it quite a bit lately in restaurants. Oh, they were good! But not 300 calories worth of good (I looked up the calories after lunch).
No, I won't tear my clothes or gnash my teeth over the incident, but I will remember how rotten I felt about it.

I made a comeback with dinner though.
1 chicken breast with eggplant dip (very low cal, no sugar)
1 serving spoon of whole wheat bowties with anchovy sauce

Here's to a mashed potato-free day tomorrow!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I am passing on the blogger award to Shane and the 330 Pound Woman.

I really look forward to reading Shane's posts each day. He is upbeat, but always honest; successful, but humble.

The 330 Pound Woman (sorry I don't know her name!) was one that inspired me to start my own blog. I don't see alot of activity on her blog lately, but I am hoping for more!

These are blogs that inspire me.

The rules are to pass this award on to 2 people and to mention 2 things you would change about yourself.

What I would change:

1. I wish I didn't like sleep so much! Then I could do more.
2. I wish I was a good singer. I am quite horrible at singing.


To Debbie for the award! I will pass it on later today.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Found this on Shrinking Kenz's site, and liked it.

1. What was your highest weight, what do you weigh right now and what is your goal weight?

My highest recorded weight was 215.5, but there were many years where I did not weigh myself. I weigh 193 right now. My goal is 138-143.

2. What is your #1 motivation for losing weight?

I want to feel good, and look good. I want to do something extraordinary in a world full of mediocre.

3. Have you always been overweight?

I started getting "chubby" around 4th grade. I was very heavy (probably > 215 lb) my sophomore year of college. I lost a lot of weight in grad school, and my lowest weight then was 135. I have been thin maybe a total of 2 years of my adult life. But when I was "slightly overweight" for many years, I still felt pretty good.

4. When you want to give up what inspires you to keep going?

I am 42. I don't have forever to resolve this.

5. What is the #1 thing you look forward to when you hit your goal weight?

Getting a tattoo!

6. Do you have support on your weight loss journey?

Yes! From husband and friends.

7. What is your favorite exercise?

I need the weights, but I love walking/running at the track with my iPod. I feel free.

8. What is the most important thing you have learned on your weight loss journey?
Most of the things we think are "true" are not.

9. What is one thing you have given up that you miss the most?

I have given up sugar, for the most part and don't miss it. I gave up diet pepsi (have one per week), and I miss that at work.

10. What is your strategy for losing weight?
Eat clean. Watch Calories. Exercise like I mean it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Friday! Happy Hot 100!

I felt like I was in a Special K commercial today. I stepped on the scale, met my goal of 193 for the week, and said woohoo!

Hot 100

1. Lose total 40 lbs by Dec 31st. On target!
2. Eat clean 90% of time. Good to go
3. Fat % loss. I am not measuring this weekly but am working out with trainer.

Wish everyone else success.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Scale Talk

So glad to see 194 on the scale today.
I know there is controversy about how often to use a scale.
Even when I don't like the number on it, I am a BIG fan of the scale.
To me, it is an essential tool of accountability. How easy is it to ignore clothes growing tighter? Very easy, in my experience.

I weigh every day, but I don't think that frequency is necessary. I don't get upset if I see a small gain/maintain on a daily basis, because I know the scale fluctuates for all kind of reasons (and I don't post about it, because it really isn't news), but if I don't see what I am looking for for 4,5,6 days, well then I know it is time to re evaluate what I am doing.

If you see a higher number on the scale, and you give up, the problem isn't the scale.
Ok, I know I am getting preachy here, but I really believe this, and I really really want to succeed, and want all of you to succeed too.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Too many cooks spoil the broth

I posted today about how I am stuck in neutral, and a couple of people gave some helpful comments, which I appreciate.
However, I don't really think I hit a plateau yet.
I did a dumb thing ... changed what was working.
I had been counting calories, and transitioning to a "clean" diet as well.
When I started working with a trainer, he recommended his eating plan, which is also "clean" but he recommends a LOT of protein, and more calories than I am really comfortable with.
Anyway, I kind of wavered between his plan and mine, ended up getting really pissy one night because I was shoving so much protein into me, and then did not track well at all.
So, to sum up, I am back to my original plan. I know I will need to tweak it at some point, and I am tracking grams of protein/fat/carbs through myfitnesspal,so I can make adjustments as needed.
My trainer looks awesome and I believe he (mostly) knows what he is talking about, but for now his exact plan is not right for me.

Also got some good cardio in tonight, and starting to feel verrrrrry sleeeeepy.


The same thing is happening as the last time I met a mini goal. I am "stuck" --- this time hovering around 195-196.
As with last time, I need to ask myself, Do I want to be fat, or not? There really is no in between.
I can still meet my next mini goal if I start making progress now. If I drag on like this a few more days, I will not.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Turkey, served cold

There are many paths to losing weight that can be successful ... counting calories, eliminating sugar, etc. I know "Intuitive Eating" is a highly controversial subject around the blogworld. Although I do not follow that methodology, I have found some useful concepts in Geneen Roth's work. Here is a quote from her that I do like. "Sometimes the difference between hunger and satisfaction is 2 bites." You know what? It OFTEN is.
I always was a stubborn girl (get that from the Italian side of the family I think). I always said I "should" be able to lose weight and still eat sugar, drink wine, and all that. And I do honestly believe that you can lose weight and eat junk.
But .... I cannot overemphasize the benefits of cutting out sugar and processed foods from your diet for just one week.
Since cutting out sugar, my energy never flags, even during extremely boring afternoons at work. The best part is how I have found out that I don't even like alot of the crap I ate. Quite frankly, if I never have ice cream again, I hardly care. Ditto donuts, cookies, chocolate bars. With a few exceptions, I don't plan to eat desserts until I reach my goal weight. The exceptions include apple and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving .. I make fantastic pies, and I am not humble. And I will eat cake on three birthdays : my own, and my two kids... as those were the births I was actively involved in!
Alas, I do like booze, and will make room for one drink weekly.
So I am not cold turkey entirely, but the turkey is pretty chillin'
We are so brainwashed to believe we like all the shit that Americans eat. Give it a week, and you may find that for 95% of it ... you can take or leave it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pissed Off and Hot 100

Pissed off that I followed my crappy eating plan so well this week and I am up 1 lb. I know weight loss is not all (metaphorical) lollipops and ice cream cones, but I wanted to see at least a maintain this week.
Oh well, back to the drawing board.

For the Hot 100:

1. Achieve total loss of 40 lbs, to reach 175 by December 31st. UPDATE : I have no doubt I will lose 20 more lbs in 3 months.

2. Eat Clean 90% of the time. UPDATE : All good

3. Work out with trainer to go from 41% body fat to 33% body fat. UPDATE : I AM on my way to fat loss. In a week and a half I lost 3 lbs of fat and gained a lb of muscle, according to trainer (Sept 17 -29)