A post that’s been a long time coming…

I’ve been thinking about this post for several months now. But I just kept putting it off (and putting it off and putting it off). Here’s the gist of it: the liquid diet is great for losing the weight, but it’s not good for keeping it off. Again. Yep, for the second time, we lost lots of weight on the liquid diet and then gained almost all of it back in less than a year. We had lots of excuses this time. There was the stress of moving last August and lots of travel, but they were all just excuses. The fact is that we weren’t as religious about exercising and we ate just about whatever we wanted. Eat more and move less, you’re going to gain the weight back.

Late November and into December, an idea began to hatch in my mind. I still enjoy the water fitness, but I felt like I needed to bump up my fitness plans. So… after talking it over with Tom and getting clearance from my nurse-practitioner… I started training at Bob Roncker’s Running Spot to walk in the Flying Pig Half Marathon on May 3rd. Now, if you’ve known me a while, you know I have bad knees (chondromalacia of the patella to be specific). That’s why I had to get clearance from my nurse-practitioner before starting this and she said “okay” as long as I kept doing the water fitness. That means 3 – 5 days in the pool on weekday mornings and 4 days a week walking. So far, my knees have been fine. They really only hurt now when a weather front is coming through.

My inspiration for this journey was Jonathan “The Voice” Dichter, one of the co-hosts of my favorite Disney podcast “All About the Mouse“. Jonathan spent two years training to run in the 2009 Walt Disney World Half Marathon and he did it! Fittingly enough, I began my training on January 10th, the date of the WDW Marathon. As I walked my 3.5 miles in the 38 degree rain that day, I kept thinking about how Jonathan and the rest of AATM’s Team Voice was doing.

So far, my longest walk has been 7 miles and included a good amount of hills. We’re scheduled to do 8 miles this Saturday and… I’m actually looking forward to it! I knocked out 4.5 miles yesterday and it actually felt “normal”! I’m hoping to do 4.5 again today.

Now, my weight hasn’t really dropped since I started walking so I signed up for SparkPeople again. It’s a great resource that’s free and based here in Cincinnati so I even know people who work there (Hi Stepfanie!). They even just added a mobile version and mentioned a possible Blackberry app in the future. (They already have a iPhone app.) I need to get better about keeping up my food diary and making better food choices. Tom and I are working on pre-planning our meals for the week and using our slow cooker more.

Thanks to all of you who supported us in the past. We couldn’t have done it without you. Now, it’s on to “real life” healthier living. It won’t be as quick as it was on the liquid diet, but it truly will be life changing this time…


Weight Watchers, here I come again!

About a month ago, I was lucky enough to win a 3-month membership to Weight Watchers on AmyInOhio’s blog. Knowing that I can a cruise and the Epcot Food and Wine Festival last week, I set my re-join date for yesterday. Unfortunately, it was a tough first day back spent fighting with Blackboard as I tried to sent up three versions of an online class. Tom was as tired as I was and we gave in to the lure of pizza delivery (Domino’s new online Pizza Tracker is so much fun!). But, I wrote down every single thing that I hate and I did actually get 24 ounces of water in. Hopefully, today will be better even though I’m home alone which can make temptations more obvious. Tom had a very early meeting today so we skipped working out at the Y. I’m hoping to get out my yoga DVD and mat to give it a try again.


Week One of the October Odyssey

Gene Autry

Both Tom and I got on the scales this morning and had pretty good news. Tom was down another 1.5 pounds for a total of 5 lost this week and I was exactly the same which means I didn’t gain over the weekend for a total of 2 lost. We got 40 minutes of exercising in the pool this morning plus five minutes of stretching. We’re shooting for an hour tomorrow. I’m on shakes today to try and jump start things a bit plus it’s just grilled chicken and salad for dinner tonight. It certainly feels like we’re “back in the saddle again.”


The October Odyssey

Thanks to sinuses and the joy that is living in the Ohio Valley, Tom and I were not up to working out yesterday. We planned to go this morning, but decided to concentrate on cleaning up and generally fixing up the condo. We need to finish unpacking our books, start actually hanging things on the walls and unpacking more boxes. Today’s college football offerings are less than stellar so there’s no distraction there. The laundry is already going and our Blogger Football League picks are done. I get my hair cut at noon and the best part? Tom’s making chili! Proof that it is October! Yeah! Chili!


Day Two

What a day… Both Tom and I were slow getting going this morning, but we did make it to the Y. Since we only had 35 minutes to work out, we tread water for 15 minutes and jogged for 10 and then Tom did chair kicks while I did crunches for five. Stretches and out. We both bumped up the intensity level and we could really feel it.

I had my usual Kashi bar on the way into school, but I was starving in no time so I ate my pad thai leftovers at about 10:00. It was probably a good thing since it was non-stop chaos until 2:30 when I finally went to the bakery got a bagel sandwich. I did get a bag of chips to go with it, but I knew I would need more than the sandwich to hold me until I got home at 8:30 or so.

It’s now 7:25 and my online Interpersonal Communication students are starting to finish up their midterm exams. Tom’s grilling chicken breasts and tossing a salad for dinner. As of this morning, I was down two pounds since Monday. Tom’s down a bit more than that. As easy as it would have been to blow off working out this morning, we didn’t. I think we may be getting back on track.


October is…

I’ve set a goal for myself for the month of October. I want to lose ten pounds by October 31st. I didn’t pick the 31st because it’s Halloween. I picked it because we start our Disney Cruise – Walt Disney World (or maybe Princess Cruise) trip that afternoon. As of this Monday morning, I was up 29 pounds from my lowest point this year. That means, as of that moment, I had put back on half of the weight I had worked so hard to lose and it made me mad. So, while we were working out this morning, I made up my mind to lose at least ten pounds before I go on another cruise (which was how I started gaining back the weight in May).

The first step is to work out in the pool a minimum of five days a week. We’re already at three times for this week so just two more to go and maybe Saturday as a bonus. I also want to add another form of exercise to the water fitness. This may include walking, yoga or even belly dancing! I just took a tour of the Cincinnati State fitness facilities with the new Fitness Director so I may start going down there again.

The next step is to quit getting food out of the vending machines! I recently admitted to food laziness on Twitter when it came to choosing restaurants (franchise restaurants are lazy choices because they are everywhere). The ultimate food laziness though has to be going to the vending machine. I should be beat into a fine pulp with every Alton Brown cookbook I own for doing such a thing. I need to cook more at home and take leftovers for lunch.

The final step is the big picture. I need to take better care of me. I don’t like how my clothes fit now, I don’t like my lack of energy when I don’t exercise and I don’t like how eating crappy food makes me feel… well, crappy! I’m no good to anyone else when I’m like that and I’m definitely no good to me. Part of being good to me is blogging more. I’ve discovered I like this form of writing and I like what it does for me. So plan to see more here!

It’s a new month and time for a new me!


Making a Rachel Ray recipe even easier…

Back before Rachel Ray became annoyingly omnipresent and started stiffing servers on their tips, she actually wasn’t too bad a source for really easy recipes. I liked her ham and cheese mini fritatta recipe, but thought it could be done even more easily. The recipe is easy, but my version is even better.

Carla’s Even Easier Ham and Cheese Mini Fritattas
Two tablespoons of melted butter
Finely shredded Swiss cheese (from the dairy section)
Diced ham (from the meat section)
6 large eggs
About two tablespoons of water
Pepper (preferably freshly ground)
Parsley garlic salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush a 24 cup mini-muffin tin with the melted butter. Place about a half tablespoon each of the ham and then cheese in each of the mini-muffin tins. In a 4-cup measuring cup with spout, beat the eggs, water, pepper and garlic salt. Be sure to beat the egg mixture well. Pour egg mixture into the muffin tins starting to only fill about half way up and then distributing the rest among the tins.

Bake until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and let cool to handle (about 5 – 7 minutes).

Sometimes, I mix things up by using taco cheese and I want to try using leftover taco meat some time. Lots of other options are already coming to mind! Warning… I have yet been able to get cooking spray to work as well as the melted butter does.



Yeah, I’m still here too

The fact that I’m up 20 pounds since hitting my low probably has a lot to do with why I’ve not been posting. The blog is my browser’s default page, so it’s always there to greet me with a reproachful gaze of abandonment when I fire up the web. I think ScribeFire (a lovely Firefox blogging extension that I highly recommend) has updated about 12 times since I last posted. Yep, it’s been a long time.

(“Reproachful gaze of abandonment”? Pretty good for a Saturday morning, eh? I’ve been listening to Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton for a couple of months on my iPod — it’s something like 35 hours long — and the language of that era has gotten into my head. I’ve been dying to work the word “calumny” into casual conversation: “Your comments about how I refactored my C# code is a calumny, sir, and I shall not stand for it!”)

So much of keeping weight off (or putting it on, for that matter) seems to be about routine, and routine has been hard to maintain this past few weeks. That’s not quite right: healthy routine has been difficult to maintain. Life has been difficult to manage, what with the move and upheavals at both of our places of employment. We have all of our stuff over here now, and now we need to start living the life we want to live.

There are a few rules we’ve decided to live by that we need to start actually living by. We’ll ignore the fact that I’m breaking Rule #1 right now:

  1. Meals are eaten at a table, not in a chair in the living room. Meals are something that you stop and do, not do while doing something else. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth stopping everything else to do it.
  2. Laptop power supplies are not allowed in the living room. That means you can only work as long as you have battery. Then you have to go do something else (or move somewhere else where plugging in is allowed — like the basement). This is to prevent us from becoming like the human characters in Wall-E.
  3. The Roomba gets run at least once a week, preferably twice. That way we have to keep the living room picked up.
  4. The day isn’t done until the spills are wiped up and the dishes are out of the sink and off the counters.
  5. We’re never to be more than one hour of straightening up away from being able to invite people over. And less is better.

For myself, I have to figure out the breakfast thing. I’ve been stopping for fast food on the way into work way too much lately. If I get something substantial in the morning, I have a much easier time making good choices during the day. This is one I need to work on.

Oh, and I need to blog more often. For one thing, it makes sense to start focusing as much on the “returns” part of the title as the “diminishing.” part. And there are so many.

A better day…

So today seems to be going better. Knock wood, we should be done cleaning out the apartment tonight. Had to go to Target to get a heavy-duty roller mop and floor cleaner. Hopefully, it will do the trick.

The basement looks amazing with the new paint and touch-ups. We love the work so much, Mark is coming back to do a bit more tomorrow. (If you live in Northern Kentucky, email us for Mark’s phone number. He’s so good!)

I was down again weight wise and now, I’m down over five pounds for the week. Food-wise, I had a double shake for breakfast and got a grilled chicken sandwich from Burger King for lunch. Once again, we missed walking this morning because we were so damn tired from all the cleaning yesterday. Hope to make it back on track tomorrow.

Before and after pictures of the basement soon!