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.