About Me

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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.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I did not lose weight this week, but I did maintain. On a positive note, I did stick to my workout schedule for the week. Still 4 pounds away from my goal, and if I can lose an average of 1/2 pound a week for the next 8 weeks I will meet that goal by end of June (my 2 year anniversary on my weight loss endeavor). For this week, my planned workouts are as follows: Saturday : Brazil Butt (done) Sunday : track Monday : Brazil Butt cardio Tuesday : rest Wednesday : rest Thursday : track Friday : Brazil Butt

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Week Ahead

I maintained decent weigh ins over the weekend, and with a bit of caution, should post a loss by Friday. My mini goal is to be within 3 lbs of my big goal of 50 lbs lost. I have a couple of work related lunches this week, but nothing that enticing, that they should mess with my goal.

The predicted snowstorm for Pittsburgh is definitely a drag, but by Wednesday getting back to the track should be feasible.

Workout schedule:
Monday : Brazil Butt
Tuesday : rest
Wed : Track
Thurs : Brazil Cardio
Fri : Track

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fifty Shades of Stupid

If you are not living in a nuclear fallout shelter you may have heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, a romatic-erotic novel, in trilogy form. I have seen comments on Twitter and in the blogosphere about it.
I will be honest ... I saw it mentioned on CNN online, downloaded a sample to my Nook and voraciously read all 3 books. This may damage my credibility when I criticize it! I also read the review of it in the New York Times. Now let's get real here ... this is not literature. It is barely prose. It is not a feminist manifesto. It is not even outrageous porn. It is escapist fantasy for women who are dragged down by the monotony of "real" life, sort of a highly sexed version of those romance novels of yesteryear.

Here are some things that did NOT bother me about 50 shades.
1. The dude is gorgeous and rich. OK, somewhat cliche, but do you really want to be a sex slave to someone who is gross and poor? The answer is no.
2. Yes the writing is bad. The author is a slighly smarter Stephanie Meyer. Some of my biggest grievances are the substitutes for good old "said". Christian (the dude) always "growls" and "murmurs". Ana (the chick) always thinks "Holy Cow!" at weird moments, of which there are many. But really bad writing is almost required for this.

Here is what did bother me.
1. Ana is a virgin. No I don't hate virgins, but is that really still required for the romance heroine in this day and age? Ok, if you are morally opposed to sex before marriage that is one thing, but this chick clearly is not. I do not buy that she was not attracted to any man before Christian. If you are female, heterosexual and breathing you will meet an attractive male before age 22.
2. Now here is the big gripe, and it is vaguely related to weight loss. It bugs the shit of me how Ana forgets to eat for days. OK, people in love tend to lose weight .. this is documented, and in the distant past I may have experienced it myself. But days? Really? That is some really good sex. Ana, get a burger. It will help.

And then some random comments.
1. It is apparently still necessary for the dude to have an unusually large penis, so much so, that it elicits gasps from the chick on initial viewing. My question is ... how big, in cm, must it be to get this reaction?
2. The romance novels in the 80's allowed for no obscene language. Now apparently erotica for women permits extensive use of the work f*ck, with its core meaning, but not for slang terms for body parts. (Except for ass, that is ok.) They still must use euphemisms that make you want to barf.

So that is my non professional review of Fifty Shades of Grey. Any thoughts out there on this novel or romance/erotica in general?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

You Might Just Make It After All

My mini goal was to drop below 170. Today I saw 169.5 on the scale, so mission accomplished.
If you are of the right age you might know the blog title from the Mary Tyler Moore theme song. Maybe I will throw my hat in the air!
50 lbs lost by June 26th. I can do this. 4 lbs to go.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

All About Moi

This is a popular post right now, just saw it on Jane's blog.

1. My parents told me… I was brilliant. My mom still thinks I am the smartest person on Earth.

2. I wanted to grow up to be a… writer. I used to write stories on that small brown paper we used in school in the 70's.

3. I refused to eat… liver. I used to sneak it to the dog.

4. My favorite thing to do outside was… play by the creek and the railroad tracks with my friends. Today that sounds like a dangerous activity for 8 year old girls, but this was the old days.

5. I broke my… nothing, ever.

6. I liked to wear…I had white boots when I was little girl. I cried when I outgrew them. They were slick.

7. My parents always… treated my friends really well. After high school graduation, my friends went to visit my parents even when I wasn't home.

8. I thought that Santa was… ? I stopped believing in Santa pretty early on.

9. My favorite cartoon was… Superfriends. Oh yeah, I coveted Wonder Woman's sexy boots too.

10. I was the… quiet, smart girl with no social skills.

11. I got in trouble when… I played with matches. LOL, is that cliche!

12. My bedroom was… pink because my mom liked that color. I was an only child and I had a double bed. I loved to escape to my room to read and just think.

13. My favorite food was… Kraft Mac n Cheese.

14. My parents always made me… ? not much, they were lenient.

15. My first crush was… the boy next door, his name was Vince. Oh he was cute. And a bad boy.

16. My favorite toy was… Girder and Panels building sets.

17. I thought school was... boring. I always did really well in school, but it never really challenged me. And I had a hard time navigating the social scene until 9th grade.

18. My biggest fear was… Nuclear War. If you fear, fear big!

19. My favorite story was… the Little House on the Prairie series. I wanted to be a pioneer girl.

20. My favorite memories… a lot of good memories with my parents ... I was an only child but they had a lot of friends that were in and out of our house. Lots of good conversations in the kitchen over beers (for the adults, not me).

Comment if you have a similar post!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Always Look on the Bright Side

3 Good Things:

1. Although I didn't lose weight this week, my low weight was 171.5, which was not nearly as bad as I had expected.
2. I had my fastest mile yesterday at the track, since I got back to running outside. My overall 5K time is still pretty terrible, compared to last summer, but I have lots of time to improve.
3. I am starting to think taking vitamins is helping to relieve my body stiffness in the morning. A few months ago, I would be nearly incapacitated for the whole morning, because my hips were so stiff, when I "slept in" on a Saturday (sleeping in means getting up after 7 am these days). I am taking a gummy multi, vitamin E, B complex, C and an iron pill.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


It has not been a great couple of weeks, for weight loss.
Last week I did not meet my goal to drop below 170. I am not sure what I will weigh tomorrow, but guess it will be more than last Friday.
I travelled with the kids over the weekend to visit my mom. I did not really overindulge, and even worked in a 5K, but it still was too much to expect a loss.

When I get in this cycle, I feel like I am hiding ... from my own life. It is easier to come home from work and forget what makes me unhappy and bored, via a glass of wine, than to stay focused on what I need to do to lose weight.

I am more or less 5 lbs away from my 1st goal, and have been for a year. This goal is not extreme. When I reach it, I will still be a few pounds overweight "by the charts". Yet I get in my own way, and it remains elusive.

Humans, we are a funny animal.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Plan for the Week

This is the week I plan to drop below 170.
I will do the following:
1. Work out M-T-W-F. I did 2 Brazil workouts on Th and Fri last week, and then went to the track on Saturday. I was thinking about going to the track yesterday, but experience has shown me that my body really appreciates a rest after 3 days and in the long run, a rest is best.
2. Avoid all "dessert" like foods. This should not really be difficult.
3. Drink more water.
4. Wednesday I have plans for Mexican food and Hunger Games. If I get my head in the diet game, I will do ok at the restaurant. It is just a matter of having a plan.
5. Keep taking my vitamins. I am feeling so much better with them, and I need the energy to workout, especially since my only time to do so is late in the evening.

Saturday and Sunday I had good weigh ins, today I am up a couple of pounds ... delayed reaction to salty weekend food, which I trust will dissipate tomorrow.

Have a good week all. What are your good behavior plans?

Friday, March 30, 2012


I did not lose weight this week. I simply did not engage in weight loss behaviors. Holding steady at 170.0.
On the plus side : 1) I held steady even with some birthday party indulgences 2) I am back to regular exercise, where I had slacked off terribly. Still holding out for 50 lbs lost by 6-25. 3) My mood is improving. I have been feeling verklempt lately, for reasons I may post about tomorrow.

So damn happy it's Friday though ....

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Historically I have had low iron. Last week I gave blood, and I was just at the cutoff where you are allowed to give. The experience was literally draining! I have a made renewed effort to take vitamins daily -- C, B complex, Iron and E.
My last set of bloodwork from the doctor showed no abnormalities, except my B12 was low. I am so damn lazy about taking vitamins. I usually do it for a few days then quit.
What is your vitamin routine?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Here are the rules I have been trying to adhere to the past few weeks.

1. Eat what I really like.
2. Don't eat what I don't want.
3. If I want something that is non food related, have that and don't substitute food.
4. If I want something that is non food related, and for some reason I cannot have it, substitute something other that food. Example : if I am bored at work, but cannot leave, I can get up to get water, I can make tea, I can just walk around, etc

Yes, #1 sounds dangerous, but it really isn't. There aren't that many things I *really* like, and many of the things I do are either healthy or else I can be happy with a little bit. I do have goals related to calories and content of food, but will not rehash them here, as I have talked about them many times, and at some point you have to learn to trust yourself. There are a few things I must avoid because they send me into a feeding frenzy (low cal crackers and hummus at work yesterday), but luckily for me, not many.

I did well with 1-4 the past couple of weeks, but not so hot the past couple of days. To have these types of guidelines work well, you really do have to focus and recommit every single day. What better day than today?

Do you have rules?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Setting a weekly goal

This week I would like to see a number below 170 on the scale. Today I was 172 (birthday weekend for son turning 9 included a fancy dinner out -- my kids have expensive tastes). Seeing 169 or 169.5 by end of week is within the realm of possibility.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday weigh in

As of 6 pm today, I met my goal for the week, which was to see 170 on the scale. I actually saw 169 yesterday, but I won't count it because I had donated blood, and that brought me down.
I got to the track 3 times this week, and really enjoyed being out in this unseasonal beautiful weather. My favorite time to go the track is evening, so I can walk home at twilight. I was not able to work in any Brazil Butt workouts this past week, but will get to it next week.
I think setting weekly goals is the way to go. In June I will reach the 2 year mark on my weight loss journey, and I would be pretty disappointed if I didn't meet my 1st level goal by then -- 50 pounds lost, which is only 4.5 lbs away.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday weigh in

Weighed in today at 172.5, which is pretty good after many days of restaurant and party food. My goal is to be at 170 on Friday, which is absolutely achievable.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week from Hell

The past 10 days have been relatively dreadful. My older son, who has a developmental disability, has been going through a phase where his compulsive behaviors have increased considerably ... to the point where it is becoming an issue in school. He has been at a school for kids with language based learning disabilities for about 2 years, with almost no complaints. The thought of going back to the cycle of complaints from school is causing me a huge amount of anxiety. With that, focus at work and sleeping well, amongst other things, suffers.

Yes, the grass is not greener, and everyone has their problems, but sometimes, wouldn't you like to trade your own monotonous problems for someone else's?

On the plus side, the scale has not treated me too badly, considering I ate lunch out 3 times last week, dinner out once, and we had a party last night, where I indulged in a few manhattans. I will post my weight tomorrow.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sleeping At Last

Research shows that sleeping well is important for weight loss, as well as a host of other health and wellness issues. For quite some time, I have been waking up stiff and sore, and attributed it to getting old. But hey! I am only 44. Do I have a potential 40 more years ahead, feeling this way? Then it dawned on me, that it could simply be my crappy old mattress. So, we have plans to buy a new one, but in the meantime we flipped the mattress, and presto! I have been sleeping better already. Well, actually this past week I slept poorly a few nights, but it was unrelated to the mattress. The past two nights I slept well, and it is an attitude-improver.

Lowest number on the scale this week was 171. I would rather lose .5 lbs and keep it off, then lose a few pounds and bounce back up (plus more), so I am more than ok with it.

Sleeping at Last is also the name of a band that sings the song Turning Page, from the latest Twilight movie. Wow, what beautiful piano. I am buying the sheet music this weekend.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Down for the Count

Here is is, weigh in Friday again. The scale says 171.5, which at least is not the ever present 172.5. I am giving myfitnesspal a rest for a while. The easiest part of weight loss for me is to count. Some people are repelled by counting calories, but I can count all day. I can think of numbers 24/7, keeping charts, graphs, and all sorts of objects that give me a false sense of security. Picture my brain like this : a left brain the size of a boulder, and a right brain the size of a puny pebble. It is a brain that loves numbers.

I am not dismissing the importance of counting for weight loss. We all hear "Calories in, calories out"; "Eat less, move more", until it may make us puke. Yea, duh. And if I want to weigh less, I have to have some idea of my calorie intake. I won't say "it's not just about a number on the scale", because, um, it sort of is, if you are obese or overweight. But at this point I can rattle off the calorie content of every known food, and almost-food, on the planet. I really don't need myfitnesspal for that. I can keep a mental running tally of what I eat over the course of the day.

It is time to bring my poor, shriveled right brain into the action: visualization, meditation,letting go of number obsession.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's All About Me

I changed up my page and profile a bit ... I am looking forward to more blogging!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Baby Steps

I changed the title of my blog, and plan to refresh my profile description, but that will have to wait, because I plan to be wordy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I have been thinking about changing my blog up a bit, to focus not only on weight loss but some other aspects of my life as well ... all centering around living a healthier, more engaged life.
Right now I am merely dwelling on a new title for the blog, and may come back tonight to tweak it.
In the meantime, I am still hanging in there at 172.5, which I suppose is my "other" magic number. I did get back to the gym last night, as I am completely over my sinus problems, and had a decent run/walk on the treadmill. I think I was pushing myself a bit too hard with exercise (considering my schedule/age/etc), not in terms of intensity -- I consider intensity a good thing, but in terms of number of days and number of workouts per day. Following up Jillian Michaels Shred immediately with Brazil Butt was pushing it.
My goal for March will be to run (treadmill or track) 2x per week, Jillian Michaels Shred 2x per week, and a bit of the Brazil Butt workout on the weekend. I need 2 rest days, and I am going to give them to myself. As the weather improves some hiking, skating or swimming with the kids will be an awesome rest day activity.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Comfortably Numb

I have been thinking alot about my next steps (if any) in weight loss. One topic I tend to avoid on my blog, and quite frankly in real life, is my emotions. I am just not terribly comfortable dwelling on my emotions (insert Oprah-esque comment here about "eating your emotions").
And actually I do not think that dwelling insufferably on every emotion you have is a good idea -- for weight loss, or anything else.
But ....
While I was able to lose 44 lbs mostly by the same ol' same ol' of eat less, move more (no rocket science here), I do believe I need to do a bit more mental / psychological work to go further.
This may seem counterintuitive, but I am taking a short hiatus from exercise. In a way exercise has become another way to numb myself. Last night instead of going to the gym, I relaxed at home and ... allowed myself to think (while painting my toenails bronze and reading a book about Zen). It actually made me anxious. I have become terribly uncomfortable with "downtime". And that is a bad thing.
I have no concerns that I will not get back to exercise. I have come to love it too much. But it can't just be another way to "not think". Certainly a healthier choice than not thinking via a bag of Doritos, but not the way to get to my ultimate goal.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Big Baby

Well I think I can say I lost 1 lb this week. Not earth shattering, but I will take it. Weighing in at 171.5 today.
This week was easy to eat well (because I didn't feel well) and difficult to work out (for the same reason).
But at some point, you have to tell yourself "Stop being such a big baby and put down the cookie."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Forced To Rest

I have been fighting a cold and sore throat for the past few days. I cannot take off work because I don't want to waste time off this early in the year .. I need days for school holidays with my kids. I have been resting quite a bit though, taking NyQuil and getting to bed very early, like 8:00. This also means no workouts, but I am hoping to get back to it tomorrow. I feel much better today, but still tired by the end of the workday, and I don't want to relapse.

I think tomorrow will be a good weigh in day, I have been eating very reasonably.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Stay the Course

Woke up today to 171.5. This is very much a pattern for me on Saturdays, to be 1 lb lighter, even after my weekly (homemade) pizza and white wine Friday. Now the key will be to drink lots of water and monitor calories and salt over the weekend, and I should be off to a good start for a better weigh in next Friday.
My goal recently was to workout 6 out of 7 days, but I really think my body needs 2 rest days .. not unusual in your 40's. So I am going to bump up intensity when I workout but keep it to 5 days per week.

Friday, February 10, 2012

You guessed it

172.5 again! Yikes. A little disappointing after a good exercise and food week. I REALLY pushed myself with both. This weekend I will plan to minimize salt and see if I can get to a better head start on Monday.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Not Bad

I had an excellent food day yesterday. It makes me realize how I have been kidding myself that my "not bad" days are good enough. They are good enough for general health, and maintenance, but not for weight loss.
If I keep my calories below 1500, exercise pretty rigorously, keep protein up and sugar down, I will get to 165, which is my level I goal.

I am definitely back in the groove of working out. I moved up to Jillian Michaels Shred, Level II, and it is a bitch! Alot of plank work, which is very demanding. I am mixing it up with the treadmill, and the Brazil Butt workouts. Today is a rest day, and wow do I need it.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hang Loose

I used to love to wear oversized t shirts, to get that feeling of "hiding" my fat. No more! Even around the house, I now feel terrible in t shirts that are too big. I feel sloppy. I went to Target and bought some new sleepwear -- definitely comfy and casual, but the right size, NOT a size that will drown me.

I had a great exercise weekend, but even though I did not go hog wild with food, I ate a lot of salt, and the scale reflects that. I am looking forward to a good week ahead.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Deja Vu All Over Again

Yes, scale still says 172.5.
I had a really great exercise week. I worked out Sunday, Monday, twice on Wednesday, and once on Thursday. On Wednesday I had a good time on the treadmill. At the track I had been able to get to a 33 minute 5K, but I find the treadmill harder, so coming in a bit under 37 minutes was good.

Food intake was pretty good, although as usual could be better. I kept a lid on excessive eating over the weekend but still showed a considerable jump on the scale Monday morning.
I am going to attempt to double up on exercise over the weekend. Not because I think you can exercise away bad eating, but because it pumps me up for better choices.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Love and Hate

I took a day off today because we had an appointment midday to set up will/guardianship with the lawyer. Other than that meeting I did not do much ... other than nap, paint my toenails, and do Jillian Michaels Shred.
It is surprising to me how much I have come to love exercise. I truly do look forward to it. I love getting outside to the track in spring & summer, and enjoying the fresh air. I love going to the gym for the treadmill, where I can get some great music "me" time with my iPhone and end up a hot, sweaty mess. I really LOVE my new Brazil Butt DVD ... so much fun. I don't know that I "love" the Shred videos but I enjoy the challenge of improving my performance.

Don't get me wrong ... there are many things about weight loss I do not love.
1. Drinking more water. I already posted about this. It is a dumb mental block, but there it is.
2. Drinking less wine. I loves me my wine! It is a truly hateful thing to me to not have a glass of wine nightly. I will not pretend it is no big deal to me, because it actually is.

Surprisingly though, most other healthy habits have not been terribly distressing. I used to think I "had" to have a snack in the evening. Now it never crosses my mind to even consider it.

Losing weight at this point is not easy. I am in my mid 40's. I am overweight, but not by much. Consistently lowering my calories to create weight loss is a challenge. I still hold out hope that I will get to "normal" weight, but overall my life is so much healthier. I am not perfect, but my weight and health are not holding me back.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Getting enough water in is still my biggest challenge. Yes it makes me feel lazy. Yes it makes me feel dumb. But I keep trying. Here is my new water infusion pitcher, which makes water drinking nice .... with no added sugar or fake sugar.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Looking Back

In November, I reached a low of 167.5, then gained a bit over the holidays, and am now struggling somewhat to get those extra 5 lbs off. So I went back and looked at myfitnesspal for November.

What I did NOT do:
1. Keep my calories super low.
2. Eat "perfect" on weekends.

What I DID do:
1. Had a few lower calorie days during the week (around 1300 calories)
2. Avoided wine on weekdays.
3. Exercised almost every day.

It is really useful to have the data!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I give the Brazil Butt workout a big thumbs up! Yes some parts you might feel a bit silly ... but as I was alone in my basement, why should I care?
The workout is very fast paced, and fun. There is a countdown timer on the screen which I love, since I am all about "How much more do I have to go?" I am an uncoordinated person, yet the moves are not crazy hard to learn.

Leandro, the dude who leads the video, has a strong Brazilian accent, and is always saying "Niiiiice", and "Boom Boom!" and "Poooooosh" and "Seeeeeexy"

Love it!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Advice from an 8 Year old

My younger son was watching an infomercial and said "Mom, mom come see this!" It was for the Brazil Butt workout and he suggested it was something I should try. Well, I found this hilarious, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought, "why not!" So tonight, I have a date with Leandro.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday 01.27.12

Hanging out at 172.5. I had a good week with exercies, and an ok week with food. If I want to lose more weight I have to be more vigilant at tracking and keeping my calories a bit lower.

Next week I am moving on to level 2 of Jiliian Michael's shred, and that is a challenge I am looking forward to.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday 01.20.12

Not a great week. I am 1.5 lbs up from last Friday. Certainly I did not overeat to any great extent this week, but I did eat too much sugar. Exercise was better than last week, but not stellar. The winter weather is a drag, but I got to push through it!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Stats

I have lost 6.5 lbs of the 9.5 lbs I gained between Thanksgiving and New Years. Not a great exercise week, but I was dead tired. This was not my normal everyday tired, but tired to the bone. I don't mind giving myself a rest. Next week will be better.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I think I lied

I got a new laptop at work and now it is easier to post, so I might post now and then. The posts will still be tweet-like. It is funny because I really love to write in general ... I wrote a dissertation, for the love of Pete! But I do not like writing long introspective posts.
In a nutshell, I am still recovering from the holidays. My all time low was 48 lbs lost, and now I am at 43. I am getting back into the swing of working out, and still pushing for 50 lbs lost. At that point I will still be a few pounds overweight, but not by much.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

How Tweet It Is

I think the blog has pretty much served its purpose for me, so I have been, and will be, rarely blogging. I continue to read my favorite blogs, and am tweeting alot @HealthyBirch. If you use Twitter I hope you will follow me.
I am still not at that elusive goal of 50 lbs lost, but may get there in January. I continue to strive for clean eating and fitness, and feel better than I have in years.
Happy 2012!