Saturday, December 29, 2007


Ian and I went to the Running Fit store in West Bloomfield yesterday to pick up running gear for me: lined shorts, a long-sleeved shirt, and socks. They're all the wicking kind, which makes perspiration magically disappear or something.

I looked for a hat or headband to keep the sweat out of my eyes and glasses, but because my head is monstrously ginormous, nothing fit -- UNTIL we made it to Dick's later that night. Dick's Sporting Goods is an amazing and awesome store, able even to wow the least athletically gifted among us. (Me.) Long story short, I picked up another wicking T-shirt AND, after trying on all the hats, I found a Nike wicking visor that just barely fits me on its largest setting.

Running is so much fun!

But... now I'm told I have to actually put these things on and run around and stuff. Yeah....... not sure about that one.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Okay, so here's the deal

I am aware that the (newly rechristened) Weight Graph o' Doom is on a seemingly unending upward trajectory.

I am aware (Diana!) that I haven't posted in a while.

I am aware that fitness has not been a priority.

That all must change.

I recently signed up for the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run on April 6, 2008. I have to start training for that soon, because currently I can run no more than 1 mile before I collapse into a steaming pile of perspiration. I am working overly long hours, but one of the guys there works the same hours (longer, actually) and still manages to fit in a 4- or 5-mile run every day. He just takes a long break in the middle of the day, and then uses the office shower on the 9th floor. If he can make time, so can I.

I'm not sure when I'll fit weight lifting in, but again, I have to make fitness a priority. I was at 213 this morning -- that's about the same as a year ago, so I haven't really gained, but 213 is not ideal. 183 is ideal.

So we have a number now. Thirty pounds. Let's break that up into easier chunks: 3x10. I will call them my Challenges. Challenge 1: Lose 10 pounds, bringing me to 203. Challenge 2: 10 more pounds, to 193. Challenge 3: 10 more pounds, to 183.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wow, a month already?

The title about sums this one up. I knew I hadn't posted in a while but I can't believe it's been an entire month! Huh. Well, here's a brief recap:

I started on Turbulence Training, which details incredibly efficient and ass-kicking workouts that one can accomplish in about a half hour a day for six days a week, or an hour a day three times a week.

I did this for a couple weeks, and found my muscles very sore and my energy buoyed, but then I became inundated with work.

I haven't run in the past month. It got cold and I got busy and that was the first thing to fall off the plate. But I still intend to do the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run in April, so I'll have to get started training soon. Ian has promised to pay for the entry fee as a birthday present. I told him that was an ingeniously twisted present.

If you look at the big honking graph at the top, you will see that my "weight loss challenge" is not proceeding very well, as I am up a few pounds from the start. But you will also notice that the green areas -- which signifies prolonged weight loss -- were immediately proceeded by a 2-mile jog. So it appears that that simple-yet-incredibly-difficult endeavor is quite successful at blasting away the pounds.

Right now I am supposed to do lots of work every day -- basically 10-12 hours a day doing contract attorney work -- so that doesn't leave a lot of time for exercise. But it turns out that there is a Washington Sports Club right across the street from where I work. It's not "my" club, but I am allowed to work out there during "off-peak" hours. I checked, and that's 2-4 pm. Perfect! I can work from 8-2, take a break by going to the gym for an hour or two in the middle of the day, and then return to work from 4-9. This will allow me to get my hours in (thus making gobs of money, woo!) while also getting my exercise in (thus destroying gobs of fat, blech!). The bad news is that I won't be able to implement this until after I return from my Thanksgiving trip. The good news is that the schedule should help me counter the recent weight gain and, hopefully, begin a downward trend that will see the newfound fitting of my oldfound pants.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

come ON!


The bed is NOT THAT COMFY!!

PS - I ate another pizza.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Seeing the scale number jump so high this morning was upsetting, but it was not a shock. Two nights ago I had a General Tso's combo for dinner, and last night I consumed an entire pizza. The massive water retention that accompanies such sodium-filled eating is not surprising. I knew it was coming.

The good news is that this is almost certainly all water weight, and it is just as easy to lose as to gain. Well, not JUST as easy, but just as simple. Don't binge on crap for a while.

I was going to jog today but I couldn't because I didn't wake up early enough and I had rehearsal directly after work, and after rehearsal it was too late to exercise because exercise keeps me up.

But I will have time tomorrow. Odds are I won't be able to squeeze it into the morning, since my sleeping schedule is not on track yet, but there is no reason why I can't hit the gym after work. The night is clear and I want to make progress toward my goal.

I saw a rather bad picture of myself yesterday. It was taken at church this Sunday, and it is what I look like when I am singing on stage with the rest of the choir. As you can see, the double chin is HUGE:

It's photos like that which I want to avoid. I know from experience that when I lose weight, it first comes off my stomach, and then my face looks a little less round, and then, finally, it starts slowly coming off from under my chin. It really is a genetic thing: some people can be 50 pounds overweight and not have a double chin, and some people can be a perfect weight and still have some flab under there. It's genetics and there is nothing I can do about that, EXCEPT to try to minimize it as much as possible.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

oooooh that's a pleasant surprise

I just weighed myself at the end of the day and the results were good! I normally put my weight into the physicsdiet log in the morning after i use the bathroom, so i'm not sure if my weight will be this low in the morning, and I want to document it now so that I can be publicly pleased:

205.6! Body fat is also down too.

If you look at the little chart, you'll see that i'm basically as low right now as my low point a couple weeks ago. So I have gotten over the weird red triangle hump, and hopefully it will continue. :-)

I didn't run today because I was quite tired, but yes yes I will jog tomorrow.

Really not a lot to eat today, as I was not hungry:
  • Breakfast: Coffee with cream
  • Lunch: Chipotle (chicken, barbacoa and guac) + barq's root beer
And...... that's it. I know, not exactly a proper diet, but I kept the calories down and I wasn't hungry! And believe me, I got enough protein in that burrito to maintain my muscle mass.

Good Day Today

I had a good day today, with the only indulgence being an order of fries with my late lunch (I wanted to fill myself up because I knew I wouldn't be eating again for a while). Here is what I had:
  • Bagel and a bit o' coffee w/ cream, sugar (300)
  • Turkey wrap with hummus - tasty! (200)
  • South Beach bar (140)
  • BIG pita sandwich filled with chicken, hummus and veggies; fries (yeah yeah); Mountain Dew (900)
  • Spicy lentil soup with ripped up turkey breast; some raisins and peanuts (300)
Approximate rounded up total = less than 2000

It seems I don't need more than 2000 calories to feel generally satisfied during the day. I absolutely don't need to scarf down a whole pizza at night! I am hoping the scale will be back below 207 tomorrow, but who knows - I might have a delayed rebound upward from last night's pizza experience.

I haven't been able to jog in a few days because I have been uberbusy. But I am absolutely making time tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday, October 11, 2007



Edit: Aaaaaand the scale went down. Green triangle. I'm confused.

Failure to plan

It is easy to overeat the day after a hard run, buoyed by the lingering satisfaction of a job well done, the emerging second-day soreness in my calves. It feels like I deserve it. It's also easy to overeat when you don't plan, when you don't eat every 3 hours, when you become famished at night and inhale the entire box of Kraft Mac & Cheese with cut up chicken sausage even though you told yourself you would only have half of it.

400 calories for bagel and coffee at breakfast. Then I was in the car for hours and succumbed to a Wendy's spicy chicken COMBO (yes, with fries) because it was right there, even though I didn't NEED it. Some peanuts and raisins tided me over after that, but 5 hours later I couldn't help but inhale the mac and cheese.

If I had kept my blood sugar steady by eating protein and carbs every 2-3 hours, I wouldn't even have had the DESIRE to overeat late at night.

Okay. Tomorrow is another day. But I will not be surprised if the scale's up tomorrow -- overeating ups the sodium which makes my body hold water like a sponge. Eek! Anyway, if I have the energy tomorrow evening, it will be time to jog.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A positive day

I would characterize today has a positive fitness day. I managed to run two miles even though it was excruciatingly hot outside. I do not intend to do that again. From now on, I will either run in the morning or in the evening, but not during the middle of the afternoon when it is approaching - or surpassing - record breaking temperatures.

So I ran two miles - well, walked and ran two miles - and did not ruin my diet today:
  • Kashi GoLean Crunch with low fat milk - 300
  • Half a pound of chicken breast with couscous and delicious hot sauce - 500
  • Four pirogues sauteed in olive oil - 400
  • A little bit of fat-free lemon sorbet - 100
  • A diet lemonade and lots of water
Total: 1300 calories... is that right? I could have sworn that I ate more than that! I know that I have to eat more than that in order to maintain my muscle mass, because my base metabolic rate is around 2000.

That is very odd - surely I am missing something. But I can't think of anything - okay, time to have a protein shake and go to bed. :-) By the way, for any of you who are attempted to chastise me for low calorie intake, rest assured that I am not hungry! Don't worry - I would not purposely deprive myself too much. I know that I have to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle for life.

ADDENDUM: I remembered what else I ate today -- I grazed sporadically on raisins and low-salt mixed nuts, some organic peanut butter, and some cauliflower with hummus. I'd say it's an extra couple hundred calories worth. I also just ate a chicken sausage for 150 calories + some hot sauce. Still under 1800 calories for the day, and I was never hungry!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Katherine's Nutrition Tips

Tips from my Sister Katherine...
with editor's commentary from me!

1. chicken stir-fry. so easy. get your veggies and some sesame oil and some cut up chicken. use garlic salt or curry or whatever. but it's delicious, low-fat, and filling.
Yep, I too am a fan of the chicken stir-fry. I don't use as many vegetables as I should -- in fact I usually don't put veggies in at all -- but it is still delicious and low-fat and filling. I also use olive oil instead of sesame oil because it's very good for you.

2. cauliflower and hummus. one of my favorite snacks. also amazing with red pepper. it almost seems too good to be good for you!

I tried this suggestion and Katherine is right! Cauliflower + hummus = muy tasty, and filling too!

3. sugar free snacks. if you eat like ONE or TWO of the candies, it's much better for you than eating real sugar things.

I'm not a big sugar guy anyway, but good tip.

4. Wyler's lemonade. 0 calories, 0 grams of sugar. I live off of these things when I need something sweet. And it makes me want to drink water more.

If only I could figure out where to buy these... right now I'm getting my lemonade fix from Minute Maid Light Lemonade, 5 calories per can. Pretty tasty.

5. Ground turkey. Last night I browned ground turkey and added onions, broccolli, and some cheese with sesame oil. I didn't make a lot, but it was amazing!

I am also a fan of the browned ground turkey (in olive oil), but unlike Katherine I don't add veggies. That's not because I don't like veggies, but only because I am too lazy to cut them up and throw them in there.

6. SALADS! a key to success. add good things like turkey bacon or chicken. and stick with lite dressings or fat free dressings. cuz those will get you.

DO NOT LIKE SALADS. I am hoping there is another key.

7. if you are going to eat carbs, only eat WHEAT. and not fake wheat. there can't be any enriched flour. only whole grain flour. wheat bread, wheat pasta, brown jasmine rice. a serving size of spaghetti is equal to the circumference of a quarter.

"If you are going to eat carbs.." hahaha... I love my carbs. Eating them is a given. I cannot go through life remaining healthy and fit and SANE if I am forced to give up carbs. But yes, I try to get the whole grain stuff -- it keeps me fuller longer.

Progress is being made.

My run two days ago accomplished several important and positive things. As soon as I returned home, I realized that I had no cravings whatsoever for any bad foods. Whereas traditionally I have a very high chance of ordering pizza in the evening, after I returned from my two mile run, during which might pulse reached the very high number of 193, I had absolutely no desire for pizza. Or Chinese food. I actually had a hankering for - get this - vegetables!

The next day, I felt refreshed. Quite invigorated. Instant rejuvenation is a common side effect of exercise for me, and so when I do jog, for instance, I can take solace in the fact that even though weight loss may take several months, I will feel energized within days.

I was going to go for a run tonight, and I even when so far as to put on all of my jogging clothes, attach my heart rate monitor, and warmed up my muscles. But I was procrastinating because the thought of going back out there and running for two miles was not pleasant.So by the time I was finally ready to go, it was after ten o'clock. And there have been several crime alerts in this area recently. I am not making excuses! Alright, I am. But I did manage to walk around the block, and I swear to God I will go jogging tomorrow.

There is more good news though, which is that my resting pulse was at 72 beats per minute today! A couple of weeks ago there was nothing I could do to bring it under 85. It is amazing how fast cardiovascular changes can occur when starting - or, in my case, restarting - a fitness program!

One more thing: I find it very amusing that the graph of my weight fluctuations that the top of this page corresponds exactly with the days in which I have chosen to eat healthy, binge, and eat healthy again! Seriously, I could draw a box around the red area on the graph and write, "pizza!" And it would be exceedingly accurate and appropriate.

I saw my reflection in the door way to my apartment building yesterday, and it was very easy in my mind's eye to visualize what I would look like as a skinny person. I liked what I saw.

Friday, October 05, 2007

About to run... well, jog/walk

Long-time chum Ian, who told me about "Body for Life" 1/4 of a lifetime ago, just told me about another book, called "No Need for Speed." It's about running, and it is aimed at people like me -- we who have never thought of ourselves as "athletes." It's very motivational, and so far it's working.

I have long had a love-hate relationship with running. I hate getting out there, and yet when I'm out there it isn't so bad, and when I return, I usually feel pretty good. Tired but good. The longest run I've ever done was 6 or 7 miles, back when I was a senior at the University of Michigan. The date was September 28, 2001. I ran from central campus all the way to north campus, rested, and ran all the way back. Wow! I was thrilled! So proud of myself!

I didn't run again for years.

I don't know why. Maybe I thought I couldn't surpass that one-time burst of activity. In any case, I know that running has great benefits, both on the psyche and on the waistline. My mother has taken off 60 pounds in the past year by putting one foot in front of the other on a treadmill, and she looks and feels great now.

If she can do it, I can do it... Here is the 2-mile route I mapped out (well, 1.96 -- close as I could get):

At my peak running efficiency (mid-2003), I could jog 4.5 miles without stopping. It took 45 minutes, so it was slow, but it was steady and constant. Today, I'll be lucky if I can do the 2 miles in 45 minutes. :-) Anyway enough procrastinating. Time to get out there.


Addendum: I DID IT. I missed one leg of the job because I took a wrong turn, so it was more like 1.86 miles, but there were a SHITLOAD of UNEXPECTED HILLS and I sprinted toward the end and got my pulse up to 193 at one point. It took 31 minutes. I HATE IAN.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Today is Turkey Day

I made a tasty meal today. For several months, ground turkey breast has been sitting in my freezer. I don't even remember purchasing it - it must have been during one of my many weight loss kicks. Anyway, the "use or freeze by" date on the label was July 31st, and I know I had frozen it by that date. So today was Turkey Day!

Rudy, my little parrot, is enthralled whenever I am in the kitchen cooking. He was positively ecstatic as I ground over a pound of turkey breast at once, drizzling it with olive oil and my many spices. As usual, the most important consideration when cooking over a pound of turkey breast and a bunch of pasta is portion size. I scooped out about one-quarter of the dish, put it on a plate, and put the rest in the refrigerator. Together, Rudy and I feasted on our turkey pasta!
  • Starbucks Eggs Florentine sandwich and grande iced chai (700 calories)
  • string cheese and raisins (200 calories)
  • turkey pasta (600 calories)
  • a couple of diet lemonade (10 calories)
I plan to have a bit more food today, but as of now I am holding steady at just over 1500 calories. Pretty damn good. And I am really not even hungry. Seriously, it is all about portion control. If I were not obsessed only trying to watch my food intake, I would have absolutely no problem ordering a pizza right now. I just have to tell myself, I will not lose weight unless I make a concerted effort to.I have not yet made it to the gym, but as you can see by the trend line above, I am losing just under half a pound per day. I am sure that will even out, but it is still nice to see - with out even setting foot in the gym!

Weight: 205.4 - 208.4


  • Breakfast: Starbucks -- Grande Iced Chai Latte + Pepper Bacon Egg Sandwich (620 calories)
  • Lunch: Potato and Cheddar Pierogies, a little lettuce (250 calories)
  • Snacks at Rehearsal (200 calories)
  • Dinner: Chicken and Rice (380 calories)
  • Low-sugar apple juice with Greens+, a few diet lemonades (75 calories)

TOTAL: 1525 calories

That really seems pretty low... I keep thinking I'm missing something between the starbucks and the pierogies, but I cannot for the life of me recall anything else. So I guess that's that. Wow! Not bad, not bad at all. I know it's actually a little low, but I really haven't been hungry or anything.

Oh, and get this: Tonight after rehearsal I went out to the bar with everyone else like I have the past couple weeks, but instead of my usual (about, oh, 3 Yuenglings), I decided not to get anything! That's right, not a single beer! You see, I usually have three pints because it takes at least that much for me to feel anything. (My tolerance, for some reason, is quite high.) But I don't have to get tipsy to enjoy spending time with my Choral Arts friends -- they are quite enjoyable in a sober state. So I didn't get anything to drink, and ya know what? I still had fun. And I didn't consume a meaningless 600 calories.

It's all about habits. My goal is to change them, one step at a time. So far, so good......

Weight: 205.8-207.6

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Introducing the Temptation Index

I think it's time to introduce a new concept to my readers. I speak now of temptation. Today I went through my entire day and only succumbed to temptation once, and even that momentary lapse was not very great. So I thought to myself, how might I go about describing my daily menu while also conveying the difficulty I had in sticking to healthy diet? And thus the temptation index was born.

I think that I want to have two numbers: one for how much temptation I felt that day and one for how clean my eating Was that day. I'm not sure if higher numbers are better or worse. This is all very new for me as well as you, so please bear with me while I work out the kinks. Without further ado:
  • Breakfast: a delicious smoothie made with protein powder, frozen berries, a bit of milk and orange juice, a banana, greens powder, and some honey (300 calories)
  • Lunch: the leftover Chinese food from last night (500 calories)
  • Snack: the remainder of the smoothie (100 calories)
  • Dinner: pad thai frozen dinner (400 calories)
  • Snack: small piece of matzah with natural organic peanut butter, one scrambled egg on a small whole wheat wrap, and some edamame with a dash of sea salt ( 300 calories maximum - and I think I'm estimating high)
grand total: 300 plus 500 plus 100 plus 400 plus 300 equals 1600 calories!

Not bad. Not bad at all. Oh, yeah, the temptation index! Damn, I forgot about that. Okay: the temptation that I faced throughout the day was somewhat high. And I gave into it, but only once - and that was because the Chinese food was sitting right there and I had already paid for it. The second time I felt temptation was about two hours after my frozen dinner - I had an urge, like I do most nights, to order a pizza. I could very easily see myself giving in to temptation, and simply ordering that pizza, and eating it and feeling like crap. But I didn't give in. I looked at the refrigerator, and thought, what do I have here that could get rid of my pizza craving? What would fill me up? Sometimes when I want pizza, instead I will have a piece of whole wheat, toasted, with torn up string cheese, a bit of tomato sauce, and a drizzle of olive oil. Today, however, I realized that my pizza craving was not very strong, and I did not need to replicate the taste of pizza in order to quell it. So I simply ate what ever: peanut butter, an egg, and edamame that had been sitting in the freezer for two months. :-) It worked!

Right, right, temptation index! Hmmm..... 8? 5? 8/5? Oh, who knows. This is all too confusing. All I know for sure is this: 1600 calories baby! Yeah!

Weight: 206.2 - 208.2 (That is the range given by my scale today, starting at the beginning and ending at the end.)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Not so hard...

Eating the right things isn't so hard. What's hard is changing INGRAINED HABITS. But all it takes is a conscious, concerted effort. Remember how I didn't order pizza delivery last night? And you know how I've been trying to eat healthier the last couple of days, and limit my portions? Well today I got on the scale and I was at 205.8 -- down two pounds from yesterday, and four pounds from the day before. It is fairly obvious, then, that when I eat like CRAP, I retain water like a mofo. That's why I feel fat and look bloated and am all sluggish. Cut out the insane number of calories, limit the sodium intake, and I can at least get down to a reasonable "starting weight" for another go of exercise.

All is not lost.

Weight: 205.8

Friday, September 21, 2007

Baby Steps to Curbing Bad Habits

It is so hard to change the way we do things. It is so hard to break out of bad habit, especially when that bad habit feels good. I think my worst nutritional bad habit, at the moment, is ordering delivery at night, and eating the whole thing -- even if I'm not particularly hungry.

Ending this bad habit is far harder than one would think. I KNOW, intellectually, that ordering pizza or Chinese all the time is stupid. It's fattening, it's expensive, and I don't need it. You don't have to tell me all the reasons it's a bad idea -- I KNOW it's a bad idea. And it is SIMPLE to change: just don't order delivery at night anymore.

Oh, how simple indeed. Alas, "simple" and "easy" are not the same. Getting a law degree is straightforward: just follow the steps. Take the LSATs, apply to law school, pick one, and attend it for three(ish) years. Do the work. Boom, you have your JD. Is it simple? Yes. Is it EASY? Hell no.

I think that in order to stop doing what I KNOW is bad for me, I have to dig deeper. I have to get to the EMOTIONAL reason why I do what I do. Is it because pizza tastes good? Well, yeah, sure, but that's a bit too superficial. I think I am really eating because I am bored. Because I don't want to do my legal work, and I am looking for anything that can allow me a short reprieve. Perhaps because my good friends have left town and I don't really have a lot of people to hang out with, so I pass the time by eating pizza. I don't know.

But whatever the reason is, I didn't succumb to my bad habits tonight. Nope. I wanted a pizza. I love my pizza. I was bored. All the reasons above. And yet I knew that I didn't need it and I would only feel a momentary burst of pleasure, followed by hours or days of guilt and sluggishness. So I made some chicken breast instead. I ate that and washed it down with my super veggie drink. And ya know what? It was tasty. And satisfying. And I DIDN'T spend ten dollars and consume 2,000 calories at 11 p.m. (I think the chicken breast and drink came out to about 350 calories.)

So, yeah. I don't know if I'm going to be posting a lot on this fitness blog, but I probably will whenever I am struggling -- which I am now. The good news is that I am about the same weight as I was a year ago. I haven't lost, but I haven't gained either. So that's good news.


I don't know how, but I must have gained ten pounds in the last month.
Seriously, it seems like I was just down to 202 in August, and my tummy was getting flatter and everything. Then I lose Sweetie to North Carolina, and my NAB job ends, and suddenly everything is up in the air and what do I do to sooth myself? Eat. And what do i do because I'm home all day telecommuting? Eat. I eat when I'm NOT EVEN HUNGRY. WTF??!!!!!

So now, as usual, I feel like a total fattie. Last week I was incredibly sluggish, but then I forced myself to finally get to the gym, and now I don't feel sluggish anymore. But I do feel chunky, and I can see the difference in the mirror, and I can feel the difference in the tightness of my pants.

It's very frustrating because when I stand shirtless and look in the mirror, I see a guy with muscles -- they just happen to be buried under layers of fat. How much fat? I'd say I could lose 20, 30 pounds. Heh... I've been saying that for the past couple of years, haven't I?

Thing is, Jake and Gweeps just came to visit, and they are 236 and 278, respectively. I don't think I'll be nearing Gweep's proportions anytime soon, but 236? That's a lot closer than I like to think. A few years down the road... a pound a month... and BOOM. 236. Gradually. Naturally. Catastrophically.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I haven't been to the gym in 2.5 months.
I actually exercised fairly regularly while studying for the bar...
And even through March.
But since I returned to DC, I haven't had access to a gym!

And yet I haven't gained much weight. Perhaps I have lost... I'm not sure. I haven't stepped on a scale since I came to DC either.

Will keep you posted.