Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Plot outline: A not-so-young housefrau struggles to get fit and healthy on some West Virginia hills. [With apologies to Eminem.]

It was actually 8.2 miles, if you want to get technical. That's how far I walked this morning, having absolutely no intention of doing so when I set out. As I approached my two-mile-marker, where I usually turn around, I decided to keep on going to the 3.3-mile marker [which is a fork in the road]. Long ago, in a galaxy far, far, away [to continue the cinematic theme here – after all, it's almost Oscar night], I used to run that 6.6 miles without stopping.

[I have to stop right here and right now and say how grateful I am to my children for giving me a Shuffle for my birthday last year. I keep adding new tunes to it, and it definitely helps me stay the course. Although they probably don't want to know what some of those tunes are!]

I got to the driveway and really, really wanted to turn in and call it a done deal. But I just kept going on to the post office, which adds another 1.6 miles to the trek. So, 8.2 miles and a couple of blisters later and I think I'm done working out for the day.

Here I am, modeling the completed Optically Delusional. Sorry for the crappy photo. My daughter's the professional picture-maker in the family, but I doubt anyone could get a flattering picture of a fat lady in a wool coat. [Not saying she couldn't ... but it sure would be a challenge!] Just for the record, the right front in the original pattern is supposed to come down to a point, resulting in an asymmetrical design. I just knew I couldn't pull that off, so I knit it straight. Don't you love that little red pocket lining peeking out?

And just as sure as I said I wasn't going to start working on the FLAK again, well ... I did. I have about a third of one of the dolls done, but I just couldn't resist picking up the aran. I added an inch to both the front and back pieces and then started sleevage. I'm adding both a rope and a baby honeycomb on either side of the center braid, and it looks good so far. I didn't get too much done yesterday, but enough to know that I'm not ripping it out and starting over.

Monday, February 27, 2006

One more down, mumble-mumble to go

I'm a little disappointed, but trying not to be. I lost one pound this week. I'd really hoped for more, but I'll take anything I can get!

I'm so enthusiastic about this food plan, and the increased activity I've been able to manage. I guess I expect bigger losses because of all the extra effort, while forgetting all the effort I've put into losing weight the last few years with no results. So finding something that works even a little bit better is a Good Thing.

I took my measurements this morning, just the basic bust/waist/hips. [I did a program one time where the nutrition counselor measured in like 20 places – neck, upper arm, wrist, calf, ankle. Looking back on it, I'm sure they did that so they could make the "inches lost" figure seem more impressive. Skeptical? Why, yes, yes I am!]

I'm actually glad I didn't measure when I first started, even though I know there would be a significant reduction in my waist meas
urement, at least. These numbers are woeful! I'm certainly not going to post them anywhere but on my own private little chart, buried deep on my hard drive.

So. Eleven pounds total since the first of the year. I'd rather be 11 pounds lighter than to be the same, or even heavier, which is where I was headed. For the record, my average calorie consumption this week was 1172, or about the same as last week. The only time I had to battle hunger was yesterday.

I found and prepared a diet-friendly recipe for an Asian-flavored chicken soup made in the slow cooker. The aroma of it cooking all day was quite a hunger-trigger, something I hadn't thought about. I'm sure eDiets did, though, because all of their
recipes can be made in less than 15 minutes!

A knitting update: Will get started on the FLAK again in a couple of days, but I was inspired to knit dolls for my cousins's daughter's twin daughters, who are due next month. One is going to be done in variegated primary colors, the other in red and white. I don't know my first cousin once removed very well, and don't know if she's doing the baby-girl-pink thing or not, but these dolls will be bright and entertaining, and I love making them. The pattern is in Vogue Knitting On the Go: Baby Gifts, and is illustrated on the cover. I still want to make myself another pair of felted clogs, as well, and even have the yarn and pattern together and ready to start. Just haven't gotten around to starting. The soles will be a rusty rose color, and the tops will be kind of a light sage. The skeins look good next to each other.

So. It's a
bout time to go work out. My three hours on the computer are almost up. heheheh

Sunday, February 26, 2006


To say that I am consumed by this weight-loss/fitness project is an understatement. And it's what I've always hated about "dieting." I think about what I've eaten, what I'm going to eat and how much I weigh all the time. [To be fair, my weight is a constant cloud hovering over my shoulder. I didn't, however, used to spend this much time and effort on my food.]

I'm treating this project as an opportunity to experiment. I've never followed a glycemic index [GI] plan before, because I thought it was too complicated to always have to combine certain foods. And because you can't have watermelon. I'm waiting until summer and then I will try the Great Watermelon Experiment. At any rate, the GI plan appears to be what I needed at this time to shake things up. I've certainly proven to myself that I don't need and can't handle sugar.

I'm slowly increasing the intensity and duration of my daily intentional exercise, upping the minutes this week by an average of 18 per day [to 87 min/day]. I'm going to stay at or around 90 minutes daily for the month of March and see what happens.

I'm also only weighing myself on Monday mornings. I've always been a daily weigher, and I've always let the number rule my day. If it was the same or lower, I had a good day. If it was higher, the day was crappy, no matter what else was going on. Weighing myself once a week has worked well.

Last night I dreamed about this aspect of the experiment. I thought I'd try weighing myself only once a month. The rationale was that it would force me to continue to eat healthfully and exercise regularly with no regard for results. Just do it for the sake of good health.

Truthfully, though, the number is important. Looking good is just as important to me as being healthy. Sounds vain, I know, but there's no point in being less than truthful about it. And I'm not ill in any way, so it's pretty easy to say.

Friday, February 24, 2006

What happens when?

First, here are photos of the front and back of Optically Delusional. Hasn't been blocked yet, but the buttons are on!

Yesterday was a little cold, and kind of windy, but the sun was shining so I walked outside for a long time. Ended up doing about 5.5 miles (on hills) in 1:45 or so. Add to that the 20 minutes I did on the rowing machine and I exceeded two hours of intentional activity. Yeah, me!

As I was climbing the last, toughest hill, coming back from the post office, this song came up on the Shuffle. Perfect for making that final push to the end.

So. What happens when this pink cloud of energy and motivation turns grey? And I know it will; it always does. I need a plan for when I get discouraged. I know it sounds like I'm planning to get discouraged, and p
lease trust me, I'm not. But it seems like every time I've started this journey before, I reach a point where things aren't working and I'm not losing and my energy lags and it's just not worth all the work and planning and effort any more.

One thing I remind myself daily is that I've given myself a year. I will be living [God willing] for the next year, whether I'm working on losing weight/getting healthier or not, so I might as well keep working on it.

One day at a time ... but all suggestions welcomed!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Still on the home stretch

I didn't finish OD's I-cord edging last night. I think I'm about a quarter of the way finished, and since I'm going out for lunch on Saturday I have an incentive to finish it today. That'll give me a day to wash/dry/block it. It's superwash wool, and I'm a little concerned about how it's going to look. Yes, I should have washed a swatch. I probably should have knit a swatch, but it does fit, so I lucked out there. Photo tomorrow.

With all that snow yesterday, I chose to work out inside, and did two different videos. I sometimes feel very silly exercising to a video/DVD, but I must admit that I work up at least as much of a sweat doing them as I do on the rowing machine or treadmill. I won't do them when someone else is around, and I even find myself wondering what the dogs are thinking as I step/kick/punch my way around the living room. I also dust- and damp-mopped the enormous floor and hallway, and I already need to do it again this morning. There's something about damp grass, dog footprints and clean floors that just doesn't go together. I do wipe their feet when they come in, but it seems like there's some kind of film or something on the floor that just absorbs their footprints. Cleaning my floors is an endless chore. But at least they're clean! I could never say that about the wall-to-wall carpeting.

The snow was gone from the roads and driveway by mid-afternoon, but I didn't walk down to get the mail. Didn't drive down, either. I think it took about two hours to clean the floors, and I was too tired after that to do anything but sit on my ass and work on the jacket.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

On the OD home stretch

But first, a message from the letter "S" – as in snow! I truly had no idea we were to get quite this much snow, and had planned to go to town today. Oh, well. Looks like I won't even be going to the post office if this keeps up. And it's definitely keeping up! Or, rather, down. Big dog Molly loves it. She's very furry [part Australian shepherd] and getting on in years, but she acts like a puppy when there's snow on the ground.

Okay, the knitting is done on the Optically Delusional. I've found myself clicking on just about every pattern link that pops up on the various knitting lists and websites I read and visit. Must. Be. Getting. Bored. With. Garter. Stitch. I have to do the I-cord edging on the second sleeve, sew that seam and the second side seam and then do an I-cord edging around the entire garment. So the knitting isn't really done, but the bulk of it is. And since winter has decided to hang on, I'll actually be able to wear it this season.

Good thing, too, since it's going to be too big for me next year. heheheh

So, I worked out yesterday. I'd done an upper-body weight routine Monday, and did a legs-and-abs routine yesterday. Toward the end, I started feeling hypoglycemic – shaky, sweaty, lightheaded, nauseous. I didn't check my blood sugar because I'd eaten about an hour prior to starting the workout. I shouldn't have felt so bad. It could have been a drop in blood pressure, I suppose. I finished the workout, did a little bit of cardio work and walked to the post office and back for a total of 85 minutes. I couldn't do another minute of anything.

Television-viewing was seriously annoying last night. I was flipping back and forth between the Olympics and American Idol, a program I've never watched until this year. In the interest of full disclosure, I only watched the first show this year. Some of those people certainly don't have self-esteem issues is all I'm going to say.

So, flip to the Olympics. Commercial. Flip to Idol. Commercial. Over and over again. Good thing I had some interesting knitting to keep me occupied. [Have I mentioned how boring a mile of garter stitch is?] And of course the best women skaters were skating last, and I can only assume NBC waited until 10:45 p.m. to broadcast their routines because I didn't wait up.

Seriously annoying.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Strange, but true

I'm actually looking forward to a workout today.

It's the first time in a long, long time – years, probably – that exercising is on my list of Things I Want To Do. I'm just feeling so darned good, physically and emotionally. Stepping up the intensity and duration seems to be the key.

I forgot to figure out how many minutes I worked out, on average, last week, so I did that last night and it came out to 69 minutes per day.

It's supposed to be partly sunny and in the mid-40s today, so part of my workout might be a walk outside. I like doing that better than anything else. But I also am enjoying the challenge of doing a DVD or video, especially one of the weight-training ones.

I can't wait to start doing yoga again. Right now my boobs and gut get in my way too much to feel comfortable practicing yoga, and I hate that I can't do the poses properly. Something to look forward to …

Monday, February 20, 2006

Tom Petty, anyone?

You know the line: "the weigh-eigh-ting is the hardest part."

I was determined to stay off the scale this week so I could be pleased and surprised today for my official weekly weigh-in. Guess what?

I'm pleased and suprised! I'm down two more pounds, for a total of 10 after about 7.5 weeks. Keeping score? That averages out to 1.3 pounds per week.

More stats: My average daily calorie count this week was 1177, while my average daily calorie burn was 476. I hope that continuing to step up the activity will at least help me show a slight but steady loss every week. That would be so motivating.

I've had this idea in my head that I shouldn't – or maybe can't – work out like I did when I was previously successful at losing weight. "They" say try to get 30 to 45 minutes of moderate activity daily. If that works for weight loss, then my metabolism must be comparable to that of a black bear in winter.

I guess it comes down to whatever works for me. Clearly the additional calories (thank you to those who suggested it wouldn't kill me to eat a bit more) aren't hurting. And even more clearly, the additional exercise is crucial. Essential. Key.

For me, anyway.

Optically Delusional has a sleeve! And a side seam! And it's looking really good. One sleeve left to go, which means with any luck and a lot of Olympic-watching I should have it done this week.

A note about the Olympics: Every time I turn the television on to watch, there's a commercial. I should have been keeping track all along, but I swear I've never tuned in in the middle of an event, or even an "Up Close and Personal." NBC's ratings are down this year, which gives one hope that the next winter events will be less competition for consumer gold, and more for Olympic gold.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Progress, not perfection

It will take a while to work up to the point where I have the energy to work out two hours a day. After my initial epiphany, and the resulting 150 minutes of activity that day, I have not been able to keep up the pace. The second day was 105 minutes, yesterday was 60, today ... who knows? We have to go to a reception this afternoon. I'll do something this morning, but I don't yet know what. I know what it won't be; it's 3 degrees outside, so you can bet I won't be walking my four-mile loop!

My iTrain downloads are coming up short on time. [When I listen to them on iTunes, they cut off mid-sentence and the next song starts playing.] According to their FAQs that happens sometimes, and I can always go back in and download them again. Four hours per download here in the Land of Dial-Up.

I have about 8 more rows to do on the first sleeve of Optically Delusional. I'm going to put the stitches on a holder while I do the second sleeve. It will be easier to adjust the length than if I go ahead and bind off. Also, I'm going to do an I-cord bind-off, and start seaming from the lower edge up on the sleeves.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The next level

I logged 150 minutes of activity yesterday. Most of that was walking outside, and I really pushed myself on the first of the two walks I took.

I live on a hilly road, and my four-mile loop takes me up some pretty steep inclines. [Thank goodness what goes up must come down!] I'm short, so 4 mph is a run for me, and I'm not yet in good enough shape to run. So completing that four miles yesterday in 70 minutes was a great accomplishment. Back when I used to run it, the only time I hurt myself was running down the hills, which is much harder on your knees than running up them. So I'm wary of doing too much too soon, and am pleased with yesterday's progress. My second walk was my 1.6-mile to-the-post-office-and-back loop. And I also mopped the floors. Again.

I burned my iTrain sculpting workout to a disk, so I can use it in the living room instead of here at the computer. I was going to add photos and make it something fun to look at but boy was that a PITA! I didn't get too far into it yesterday, because it starts out with lunges and pliés, and my legs were killing me from the intensive walking I'd done in the morning. Wah, wah, wah. Probably I need to do the sculpting workout before I walk. I'm downloading the ballet sculpting workout and a treadmill workout for future fitness fun.

Want some knitting? I finished both fronts of Optically Delusional, sewed the fronts to the back and have picked up and started one sleeve. I'm a little nervous about having enough yarn. Since this is a drop-shoulder kimono-type jacket, the sleeves will be shorter and narrower as I work my way down to the wrist edge. Normally I would estimate a third of the yarn each for back, fronts and sleeves. But I think – and hope! – the sleeves will take much less yarn.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Random thoughts

How do all those anonymous e-mail senders know that my home needs refinanced, my penis needs enlarged, I'm looking for cheap drugs and my bank account needs some attention? And why don't their e-mail addresses work? I'd love to chat with them about these various problems! NOT!

Is there any living creature better at offering unconditional love than a dog? I don't think so. This is my favorite photo of our Hershey, who we rescued in September, 2003. She is currently sitting as close to me as the exercise ball upon which I sit will allow her.

When will high-speed internet service make it out here to the Middle of Nowhere? I had to download six software updates yesterday. I started them yesterday at about 8 pm, and they still weren't finished at 7 this morning! My ISP has just announced digital phone service for cheap! for their customers who have broadband service. The only broadband around here is the one around my waistline.

Oh. You came here because this is a weight-loss-slash-knitting blog, didn't you? Okay. How in the world does Renée Zellweger manage to gain/lose/gain/lose weight the way she does? [See? It's still a random thought ... it's just a random thought about fatness!] I finally got around to watching Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason a couple days ago. I couldn't help thinking about how she looked in Chicago. Watching her scamper about in EoR, I thought how ungainly and uncomfortable she looked, and then compared that to what a muscular little waif she had been just two years earlier.

And of course that got me to thinking about me, because when I'm here with only myself to talk to most of the time, I'm who I think about. When I was thin – and I was, I really was, nine long years ago – I could move easily, run effortlessly, lift-move-push heavy objects without wondering if I was going to hurt myself. Getting old and fat is a bitch, there's no two ways about it.

Last night I was thinking about many of the things I read online yesterday, one of which was that those who have maintained a significant weight loss exercise an hour a day. When I lost weight nine years ago, I worked out two hours a day. So to lose, I have to step up the exercise. To maintain, I have to do pretty much what I'm doing now.

This is one of those duh moments, for those of you keeping score. [Added later, my "Quote of the Day" from ThinkExist: All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. - Galileo

I want to be strong and fit and flexible. That's not going to happen unless I step up the activity. I have the food pretty much under control. But it appears that just eating less isn't enough. It's time for the next level.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Thinking about losing

Through a bit of convoluted blog-reading this morning, I came upon this. The book which got Nancy started is Fat Politics: The Real Story Behind America's Obesity Epidemic, which I will probably buy today, since I'll be making my way to the Big City to stock up on provisions and such.

Until I read the book, I won't comment directly. But I am morally opposed to anyone profiting from the afflicted,* and from the description of the book, it seems that's exactly what all those weight-loss programs are doing. Nancy suggests asking at a meeting how many Weight Watchers members have tried the program before, and how many are there to be supported in maintaining their loss? You can probably guess what the response will be – or try it at your own meeting.

The same is true, I'm sure, for the program I'm using. Somewhere on their website is the notation "over one million members" or something like that. [I can't find it right now, but I'm sure I've seen it. And it should say 'more than' instead of over. Thank you, Lenore Brown, for teaching me that bit of proper grammar.]

It does seem that the success of the low-fat food industry has coincided with an increase in the collective American girth, doesn't it?

Including mine, unfortunately.

*This includes for-profit prisons and methadone clinics, neither of which have any stake in getting you out of prison or off methadone.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I heart VD

Well, I ended up waiting for Mother Nature to clear the driveway yesterday, but I did dust- and damp-mop my floors, which takes about 45 minutes. My calorie/exercise tracking program lists it as an "activity," so that's all I did yesterday in the way of exercise. It was sooooo cold I couldn't walk outside, and I was soooooo bummed out about staying the same that I just couldn't talk myself into doing anything else.

/small rant/

Yahoo Groups is bouncing messages again. I've had to reactivate my account about a half dozen times this month. What a PITA! They blame my ISP, my ISP says it's because of spam filters (which have been removed), I say just FIX IT!

/rant over/

I inserted the pocket on the OD. That little red line peeking out of all those black-and-white stripes is one of the reasons I loved the design the first time I saw it. And it's just as cute in real life as it is in the photo. I probably need to add some kind of project list in the sidebar, don't I? That way people will be able to click and find the answer to "what the heck is an OD/FLAK?" immediately, rather than waiting for me to answer them.

Another thing I should add to the sidebar is the list of blogs I read. I've been searching and searching for good, inspiring fitness/weight-loss blogs. Most of the ones I've been reading are people who have lost some weight and are now stalled. I want inspiration! I want success! So I keep poking around. I'm too late to join The Bloggest Loser, but I'll be following their progress. This might be just what I'm looking for.

My favorite, and one I've been reading for a long time now, is a group blog called Skinny Daily. It began as one woman's journal, and has evolved into the writings of three people, all of whom have lost significant amounts of weight by different methods.

Didn't eat much yesterday. Sometimes being down in the dumps does that to me. Most of the time I eat more when I'm feeling low, but I just didn't feel like it yesterday. Less than 1000 calories. And I cheated and stepped on the scale this morning.

Stayed the same.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2006

I would have bet

I would have bet cash-money-bucks that I'd lost weight this week. I feel thinner. My ring slips around my finger easily. I move without discomfort most of the time. [Don't ask me first thing in the morning. Yet.] I move, period! Lots! In other words, I have more energy.

I stayed the same. I'm so bummed.

That driveway photo I posted yesterday? Cover it with snow and that's what it looks like today. I for sure don't want my body getting used to shoveling snow every day for exercise! Saturday it was fun – first big snow of the year and all. Yesterday was a necessity, as we had to go someplace. Today I could blow it off, but I won't. I mentioned to someone yesterday that I'd rather have my exercise be productive than just exercising for the sake of exercising. So I'd much rather shovel the driveway again than do a workout DVD or walk on the treadmill.

I feel like I've arrived in the blogging world: I've been tagged! Mar!a is responsible:

The Instructions: Name five of life's simple pleasures that you like, then tag five people to do the same. Try to be original and creative.

I don't know how original or creative these will be, but here goes:

  • Sitting in my chair, knitting with wool.
  • Having my puppy, Hershey, sitting beside me.
  • Looking out at the living room from my chair and seeing a beautiful, clean floor.
  • The smell of hazelnut coffee or chai tea steaming from a pottery mug on the end table.
  • Answering the phone and hearing someone special wanting to talk to me – instead of a wrong number!
Now I'm supposed to tag five other people. Okay, here goes: Joan (because she needs some simple pleasures right about now), Vickie, Laurie, Joelle and Beth.

The front of the FLAK is done. I might go an inch longer on both the front and back before I start working in the round, but I'm waiting for the next set of instructions before I decide. I'm sure if when I lose all the weight I want to lose that the current armhole depth of 9 inches will be fine. So I probably better just keep it as is, right?

I think I'm about ready to insert the pocket on the right front of the OD. I haven't read the instructions yet, but I opted to lose the point on that piece, and the pocket is 4.5 inches deep and I'm close to that. I'm guessing I should insert it when this piece is about 6 inches long. And I'm already second-guessing how to insert it. I think there might be some sewing up of side seems on the insert to be done. Not a big deal, but surely I could do a double-knit pocket insert and eliminate that bit of sewing. There will be Plenty o' Sewing on this baby before I'm done – not like I'm trying to cheat myself out of the experience or anything! I might even wait and do an Elizabeth Zimmermann afterthought pocket, thus putting it exactly where I need it to be, instead of guessing.

I leave you, trying not to be depressed, but not doing a very good job of it.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

It's a winter wonderland

Just in time for Valentine's Day! We only got about five or six inches. It has drifted quite a bit in places, though. My exercise this morning was 90 minutes of shoveling. I shoveled yesterday, as well, so my muscles have gotten a real workout this weekend.

I'm trying to keep up with salting and clearing this time, so that I'll be able to get out tomorrow night. By Tuesday it's supposed to warm back up to the 50s, but it's going to stay cold and snowy today and tomorrow.

Not much else going on around here. Weigh-in is tomorrow morning, and I don't know what to expect. I've averaged about 1200 calories per day this week, and exercised every day. So I should have a loss, but I don't want to get my hopes up.

The front of the FLAK has fewer than a dozen rows to go and I can take another progress photo. The OD is growing slowly. I knit it when I'm reading e-mail/blogs and when I'm waiting for my turn playing Scrabble. Or, rather, Super Scrabble, which we got for Christmas. I don't think we'll ever go back to regular Scrabble again.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

An even keel

When I'm not weighing myself every morning, I'm a much more serene person.

This is quite surprising to me. And somewhat of a disturbing discovery, because I truly wish that number, whether it be the "right" one or one not-so-right, didn't hold the power to make me happy or pissed off. [Yes, I know it's not the number. I'm the one who makes me feel. I've been therapized. But you know what I mean.]

Anyway. This week has been smooth sailing. No dramatic, emotional ups and downs. I've been organized, consistent and productive. There were a couple of bad-number days, a couple of weeks ago, where all I wanted to do was play solitaire or sleep.

Of course, there's not much to write about when I'm feeling okay every morning.

The FLAK fronts are not quite finished, but well on the way. I had to rip the right side out once and the left side twice, but eventually all the cables got crossed the right direction and on the same row. That's a pretty important factor in this design. I'm really looking forward to wearing this. Next year, or course. No instant gratification projects here!

I started knitting the left front of Optically Delusional last night while slogging through the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I'm not a big fan of the current broadcasting theory where one must dig up a personal-interest story for every athlete attending the games, and it felt like they were filling up time. I quit knitting and started sleeping at about 10 p.m. (EST), so I don't even know who lit the torch! Must Google that. I so don't want to be out of the loop!

Food has been good, exercise has been regular and challenging but not too much so. It snowed last night, so I'll probably do the treadmill today. Not as much fun, but at least there will be live sports to watch.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

FLAK - 1, OD - 0

Well, the FLAK won. No photos yet, but I've completed 28 rows on the right front and am close to that on the left, after which I will cast on the front neckline stitches, connect the fronts and continue until the front and back are the same length. I will then decide if each piece needs to be a bit longer.

There was a lot of flak on the FLAK list about how deep to make the back, which is the armhole depth. Rather than obsess about the perfect number, I opted to stop at what I thought was about right but might be a little short. Much easier to keep going than to rip back. I really couldn't get over how many people were worried about that measurement.

t's completely up to me to determine my mood in the morning when I don't get on the scale. Which today is pretty good, thankyouverymuch.

Here's why I don't often snack in the evening. This was last night's dinner:

This was a lot of food – chicken breast and many vegetables, stir-fried with ginger and garlic. I watched television all evening and wasn't hungry for even a second.

I flipped back and forth between The Biggest Loser's seas
on finale and the Grammys. My housebound grandmother used to say she watched television so she could keep up with fashion. Yeah, that's why I watch the Grammys. I'll so be stepping out in that little transparent navy blue number Teri Hatcher was sporting. Here's a write-up, and from a sidebar there you can see some of the photos. Hatcher is number 12.

I'll be missing TBL, and hope they have reruns later. I discovered a couple of episodes in the Special Features section of my workout DVD; I'm saving them for when I need some inspiration. The finale was definitely inspiring – another engaged couple episode, with a dream wedding as the prize. The real prize, though, is that everyone ends up fit and healthy. Just like us, right?

I didn't much like most of the music on the Grammys (could I be getting old?), although I didn't see much of the first two hours of the show. I enjoyed the tribute to Sly Stone, and was amazed to actually see him strut his stuff. Wish I could point you to a photo, but I couldn't find one right off the bat. Yes, I Googled! He's in great shape, with an impressive pure-white mohawk that was more than a little bit distracting.

Update: Found a Sly photo. Is this awesome, or what?

Yesterday I walked outside for half an hour, inside on the treadmill for half an hour and spent a couple hours moving furniture and cleaning/mopping the floors. Hard, hard work. I do love my clean floors, though.

Wonder what I'd look like with a mohawk.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


True confessions here: I spend the first three hours of my day at the computer. [But I'm sitting on an exercise ball, so my core is getting a workout. Snort!] I have a long (and getting longer) list of blogs I read, and I actually Read All My E-Mail Every Morning. I may not answer it until later, but I read it.

Good thing I don't have a real job, isn't it?

First, this is Day Two of not weighing myself first thing in the morning. So far it's just okay. I snacked last night – healthy food, but not on my plan and I think if I'd known I was going to weigh myself I might not have eaten anything. I normally don't eat after dinner. So I'm not sure how this is working for me. [Can you hear Dr. Phil's voice?]

Second, no knitting yesterday at all. I finished the left front of Optically Delusional, and I have the next set of instructions for FLAK, but haven't decided which one is going to get my attention.

Third, I still haven't cleaned my house after the weekend. And it really needs it. Today's the day. Even though I didn't sleep well last night, I feel energetic this morning.

So. While surfing today I found ActBoldly.
The "About" section is worth a read. I want to quote a lot of it here, but I won't. I will print it out and study it, though.

Then there's Someday is Now, to which I referred yesterday [and from where I found ActBoldly]. Marla uses Regency romance DVDs to motivate her to exercise, which simply wouldn't work for me at all, so I skip over those descriptions. Today I was especially interested in reading the comments from the last two days' posts. Someone named Anonymous – who would name their child that?!? – is trying to tell her all she needs to do is eat less and move more. Imagine that!

Yes, blogs are out there for public consumption. And if we didn't want comments, we could disable that feature. I want comments, and will deal with those that try to tell me what to do. What I think all of us who blog about weight-loss struggles really want is support, plain and simple. I live an extremely isolated life, with few meaningful face-to-face contacts most of the the week. Blogging has become a wonderful therapeutic outlet for me, and I'm the one I'm writing for.

I've been thinking about calorie consumption. I picked up a checkout-stand magazine yesterday called Looking Good Now. [They apparently don't have a website.] It's all about losing weight and feeling good and eating healthfully. With ads for TrimSpa and the like (which is really just a glorified and expensive vitamin pill). There were testimonials – stories about how three women each lost a huge amount of weight. In two of the accounts, these women stated they ate between 1800 and 2300 calories daily to maintain their losses. They all work out at least five days a week – that was the common denominator for all three success stories. I struggle to get 1200 meaningful calories in on a daily basis. It's easy to eat junk to boost calorie consumption, but with a limited number available, I want them all to count for something.

Okay, enough rambling. I only have an hour and a half left for e-mail.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Here's a theory

I've been doing a little blogsurfing lately, and am reading several diet/fitness blogs on a regular basis. Seems like there are a lot of people out there who are having trouble losing weight, even though they think they're doing everything right.

The following is a comment from Marla, which she posted to Fatslayer:

"I've been thinking about this a lot, because thinking about why I can't seem to lose weight is my full-time job. And while I don't have an answer (if I did I would bottle and sell it), the only thing I ever heard about plateaus and their ilk that made sense is this: we've all heard that when you eat too little, your body goes into "starvation mode" and your metabolism slows down. And I somewhat doubt that theory, because what EXACTLY do people mean by "metabolism"? It's something of a catch-all word. I don't know if I believe one's body slows down on a cellular level when one cuts out 200 or 300 calories. BUT, the thing I read that made sense: with too little food, one's body slows down in its movement and activity. Like, you might be doing your regular workouts and think you're keeping up as normal, but not realize that you're sitting more and longer, walking less, even just washing the dishes less vigorously. Your body is trying to conserve energy, and it's subtle so you don't notice, but it adds up to fewer calories burned. Thus the evil s-o-b m-f equation of "Calories In = Calories Out" does hold true -- you are tweaking the first half of the equation and your stupid body is undoing your work in the second half.

I don't know the answer -- I suppose there is a very very fine balance of creating enough of a calorie deficit to lose weight (slowly) without upsetting your body into resistance."

First, I love that she says "thinking about why I can't seem to lose weight is my full-time job." YES! You both know that's exactly how I feel!

Her take on the issue of eating too little and going into starvation mode is one I hadn't considered before. Anything's possible, and I love looking at an old idea with new "eyes," so to speak.

I didn't get on the scale this morning. Yeah, me! I also didn't stick with the no-sugar plan last night, so I was a little afraid to get on the scale this morning. Sigh, me.

In the interest of full disclosure, and to keep myself accountable to me, anyway, I cruised through a convenience store last night when I had about 20 minutes to kill. I bought a couple snacks with sugar in them and enjoyed them at the moment. After I ate them, I wished I hadn't. Why, oh why, can't I think things through to their logical conclusion? I was in some kind of a trance while I was in that store, and not thinking about the consequences at all.

Next time I leave the house, I'm taking some knitting with me. My Monday evenings are spent at Alderson Federal Prison Camp, teaching a beginning drawing class. Last night I had to stop by the Hospitality House to take some photos for a brochure I'm designing for them, and had to leave early so I didn't end up shooting in the dark. I could have easily sat in the parking lot at the prison and knit for a while. [I also could have sat in the parking lot and twiddled my thumbs for a while. But not easily.]

I hope this kind of situation doesn't come up again, especially in the near future. If it does, though, I'll be armed. With needles!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Something's working ...

At least this week, anyway.

I know all both my loyal fans are waiting breathlessly for this post, because it's Monday! Official weigh-in at eDiets!

Drumroll, please ... I lost three pounds! That's a total of eight after five full weeks. That may not seem like much to some of you, but it's amazing to me.

I took your advice (you know who you are) and ate more. My average caloric intake each day was 1295. One day was a lot more than that, and two days were a lot less. I walked and/or worked out five days of the seven.

So I'm in a good mood for a change. Too bad that number on the scale is such a dictator of my moods, though. This week I'm going to put the same weight into my food log every day, and only weigh myself next Monday. (I have to record my weight daily in order to get a new day to record my food and exercise. The program I use is here.) It will be hard not to check in with Mr. Scale every morning. But I'm up for the challenge.

Almost finished the left front of Optically Delusional last night watching the Steelers beat the Seahawks. I've decided to do the right front sans point. That piece is straight back-and-forth garter stitch – no increases or decreases to remember in order to make the stripes diagonal – and should go much more quickly than the left. The patterns says to knit the sleeves (more rectangles) separately and sew them on, but I think I'll go ahead and put the shoulders together and pick up stitches at the shoulder line for the sleeves. I know it'll be a lot of fabric to wrestle with, but it just looks neater to me to pick up, rather than sew in.

I fell asleep in the third quarter of the game and went to bed before the game ended. But the score was 21-10 when I went to bed, so I didn't miss much. This was the first year we've ever had only healthy snacks for the Super Bowl. Lots of crudités with a dip made of fat-free cottage cheese, plain yogurt and spices. That's it! My favorite SB snack is what I call a "bread thing" – you can just imagine how not on plan that might be, can't you?

Anyway ... I'm kicking this week off to a good start. Will clean and do a workout today. Might even get on the treadmill. But no promises.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Kinda cloudy

Clouds abound, both outside my windows and in bloggerland. Word Cloud is sweeping the internet. Mine is displayed for you here.

You can order t-shirts with your very own Word Cloud printed on the front. You can also change the font style, substitute words and change the color of the printing. Mine is just the basic version, and I'm not ordering the tee. Interesting idea, though. Wish I'd thought of it.

So. Last time I was here I promised I would eat more. And I did, Thursday. Almost 1400 calories. Yesterday? Not so much. Only a little more than 900. I'm still trying to not eat bread, and that probably would have made up the difference. I wasn't hungry at all yesterday, and also took a lovely four-mile walk. The first two miles of which were lovelier than the last. The Shuffle died just as I made my two-mile turn, so the last two miles were just me and Mother Nature. Which is good! Not sayin' that's bad! Just a little more boring. I really love bopping along in time to the music, and my Shuffle sports some seriously peppy music.

Started the left front of Optically Delusional a couple nights ago and am making good progress. Nothing much more to report here. Oh, yeah. My weight stayed the same. Again. Better than going up!

This just happened. Really:

Phone rings, I answer and say, "Hello."

Male Voice: "Umm. I need to report that we've ... um ... been broke into."

Me: "I'm afraid you have the wrong number."

MV: "Could you tell me the right number?"

Me: "The right number for who?"

MV: "The law."

Me: "No, I can't."

MV: "Oh. Okay." Click.

The law??? I had no idea anyone still called the police the law!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Oh, what a tangled web we weave ...

Er, knit.

I'm nearly done with the back of Optically Delusional. At this point you're basically binding off one stitch at each end of each right-side row, to keep the diagonal lines going but create a straight edge at the top. It's as big as a baby blanket! Well, not quite, but it's seriously heavy. And turning it at the end of each row, with two balls of yarn and the ends from previous balls of yarn is making a mess! I know to turn one direction and then the opposite direction, and that's working pretty well, but I still have to remember to take my needle under the yarn or it gets tangled. And these balls of yarn are not nice, neat little center-pull balls. They are deceptive, in that they look like nice neat little center-pull balls, but when you fish around in the center for the beginning of the yarn, you pull out a glob of yarn that then further tangles as you work away. Right now I have 104 stitches and I'm working my way down to two.

Got lots of outside walking type exercise done, but nothing else. I walked 3.5 miles mid-morning, and then when the well repairmen came I walked back from the job site about a mile. Stayed on the eating plan yesterday, too.

And my weight stayed the same. I really wish this food log didn't require a daily weigh-in. I know I thought it was a Good Thing to weigh myself every day, but it's more discouraging than I thought it would be. Maybe I'll just put the same weight in every day in order to get a new log page to fill out, but only put the real weight in on Mondays.

One of my friends has already sent a very supportive message about my not eating enough calories. Okay, okay! I'll give it a shot. And you'll be the first to get my undying gratitude when I show a decent loss for the month of February!

Of course, it'll be all your fault if I gain. Fair warning ... heheheh.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Where'd that five pounds go, anyway?

It seems appropriate to post a progress photo on the first day of the month, even though no progress can be discerned, in my opinion. But ... five pounds is five pounds, and that's five pounds closer to goal. At this rate, y'all can see a really cool progress photo, oh, about next January.

Which is fine, really. Slow and steady and all that. I wrote to eDiets Monday, whining about only losing five pounds for the month and detailing how much I'd worked out and how little I'd eaten. I got the reply I expected: I should eat between 1300 and 1400 calories per day and I should be happy to lose at a moderate rate.

As all both you Tontant Weaders know, I eat fewer than 1300 calories per day, often fewer than 1100. You will never convince me that this particular body can lose weight eating more food. Never.

It would be interesting, though, to be admitted to some kind of spa or hospital or mental institution where my caloric intake is controlled and prescribed, just to see what happens. You know, as an experiment.

The knitting progresses! I'm still waiting for FLAK, The Next Installment, and in the meantime am ready to begin the neck/shoulder shaping on Optically Delusional. Calling it "neck/shoulder shaping" is kind of silly, really. I will be decreasing at the edges and in the center to continue the diagonal design and create a rectangle that is about 28" wide and 26" long. That sounds really wide, I know, but it's a swingy, kimono-style jacket and it's supposed to be roomy.

I'd like to think, anyway, that 56" total circumference is too wide for my hips. It is, after all, called Optically Delusional.