Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Balancing Act

I've rewritten this post at least three times, and it's making me crazy.

Basically, I'm planning a deviation from my pattern of losing weight for my next two weigh-ins, April 1st and April 8th. Instead, my goal is to remain at last week's weigh-in weight of 156 by April 8th. And okay, I'd prefer to be there on April 1st as well.

The reasons for this move are legion:
  • We've had relatives in town (see details on the Cakestravaganza).
  • My Oh-Kill-Me-Now fortieth birthday is this coming Friday, April 2nd.
  • Easter is Sunday, and with that comes a) the brunch buffet, and b) the Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs.
So I'm just not planning on a loss, and will hop back on the caloric deficit train on Monday, April 5th. Ultimately, I'm trying to work that out in my brain. Am I caving, wimping out? Am I planning to fail? Am I afraid to blast through these few days and keep this amazing streak I've got going?

Or am I being realistic? Do I just know myself well enough to realize that I will feel horribly deprived if I don't give myself these special days (hello, only turning forty ONCE thank God)? Does the fact that I'm tracking every calorie, including the 800 I consumed yesterday due to my poor choice to sit right by the chips, dip, crackers, and cheese show my commitment to accountability and my continuing dedication to maintaining this loss?

Eh, I don't know. But I prefer to think it's the latter, and the fact that I'm watching what I eat both on these "special" days and off tells me that's the case.

The proof will be in the pudding. Or the weigh-in, rather. Using a food metaphor in that situation was unfortunate.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake!

For ONCE, I am making cake for an actual family gathering. This is as opposed to my normal reason for making cake: to fatten up my husband.

Okay, that last part's true only in his paranoid mind. He's one of those who can look at the scale and say "Oh my God, I have to lose eight pounds!" go out to his shed, sweat for a few hours, then come back in and weigh himself again. "Okay, thank goodness that's over!"

So... uhm... okay, never mind. I'm pleading the fifth here.

Anyway, one of my cousins is coming down with his family and we're all going over to my parents' house for dinner tomorrow.

I'm bringing this -- a walnut jam cake. I've tested the batter and I'm currently sniffing the cake as if it's a drug. Holy cow, I am in trouble.

That's in addition to half a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache glaze*, and half a vanilla cake** with a browned butter and lemon glaze.

I'm not so sure we're even going to need dinner. But on the plus side, at least I'm spreading the caloric joy outside the house.

*Okay, the chocolate cake was pretty much made for Choreboy, but I did it as a public service. He eats it for breakfast. See? I'm thoughtful like that.

**GACK!! I just put a full cup of milk into this cake instead of 1/2 cup!! This is the SECOND time I've done this with a vanilla cake lately. What is up with my eyes that I keep translating 1/2 to 1????? Sigh.

Friday, March 26, 2010

What Not to Do on a Friday Night

Don't wax your upper lip.

Just don't.

You know how your body tries to protect itself from being hurt? And you know how hard it is to intentionally inflict pain upon yourself? Well, you'd think your body would try to protect itself by not permitting false starts when ripping off the waxing strips.

You would be wrong.

Pardon me, I have to go bury my face in an ice pack.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Weigh-In

Thursday Push Statistics:

Starting Weight: 166

Week 1 Weight: 162

Week 2 Weight: 159.75

Week 3 Weight: 158

Week 4 Weight: 156*

Yes, that's an asterisk beside the 156. Yesterday at about 12:40, I got a call on my cell phone. It was from my sons' elementary school.

Words you don't want to hear: "Hi, I'm so-and-so, the nurse at your child's school clinic? Your son has a fever of 101.6..."

Yep, mother-of-the-year that I am, I managed to send the Elder to school sick yesterday. UGH. So needless to say, we're home still today and I didn't get to weigh in on my official scale over at my parents' house this morning.

My home scale today gave me 156, which fits in with my current rate of 2 lbs. per week, so that's what I'm going to use. However, it also gave me 155, 157, and 154, depending on where it was placed on the floor and how I held my mouth at the time I stepped on to it. So all things considered... yep, we're going to take the 156.

Why can't I just weigh in tomorrow? Because tomorrow isn't Thursday, of course. So it doesn't count. Also, tomorrow will be the day after today, and in the land of Amanda's Eating Schedule that doesn't work. I have my soup on Monday through Wednesday for lunch, but on Thursday I get Subway-Happy-Subway, and with the additional salt intake considering my chips and all, I don't think a Friday weight would necessarily be as accurate as I'd like.

I'm hoping I don't cave and weigh myself at my parents' house because if it doesn't reflect the same 156 I've settled on at home I don't know what I'm going to do in terms of my weight tracking. ACK!!!

Except there's a HUGE part of me that's thinking I might cave, because what if that 154 is right???? I was retaining water last week due to "that time" and all, so it wouldn't be completely unreasonable...

This is almost as legitimate as when I rationalize that the dryer must have shrunk my pants because I couldn't have put on this much weight just eating Girl Scout cookies, now could I? Oish.

Anyway, that's the score for today. Home with sick Elder, Gum Zombie's at school for now. We'll see how long he makes it before he too decides that he's desperately ill and manages to coerce his teacher into sending him to the clinic. That Gum Zombie is a wily child, and I have my suspicions that if I hadn't eyeballed him the entire time I was taking his temperature this morning that he might have managed to have a fever himself.

I doubt the clinic workers are as clued-in to his sweet little face. He plays innocent well.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mmmmm.... Cake

The cake yesterday? Was good.

My mother and I had gone to the mall on Saturday just to make a brief run in for my birthday. We had it all timed and mapped out to cost us both the fewest number of stops possible, which was weird because usually we're happy to wander around the place just looking for awhile. But with me being under orders to be "as sedentary as possible" and her reinjuring her ankle (she'd screwed up a tendon in it a few months back), there was no dashing madly from store to store.

We did, however, make a stop at the Williams Sonoma shop. I love that store more than words can express. And on Saturday, they had a sample of a vanilla bean cake, made from a mix they stocked.

Eating it was like eating that Breyers Natural Vanilla Bean ice cream, just in cake form. I loved it. My mother, though, thought it was a little dry. On reflection she was right, but the taste of it for me totally outweighed that little issue.

And it set off a craving for a cake. A vanilla bean cake.

I didn't buy the box mix at the store, but when we got home I had to go to the grocery store anyway, and there I picked up a vanilla bean.

To the tune of $7.00. Holy cow.

So on Sunday, since it was the one-year-quit-smoking anniversary (and also because my highest calorie allowance is on Sunday, for good reason), I baked a vanilla bean cake.

I found a standard white cake recipe that called for 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, so I subbed in the scrapings from the vanilla bean for that, and then I put the scraped pod in with the butter I melted for the glaze.

It is amazing, wonderful, and over 400 calories a slice.

I had two.

Regrets? None.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Note: don't read this post if you're not into deep navel-gazing, revelations of insecurity, and all that rot. My poor husband is the only person who's commented on it and bless him, he's obligated by virtue of the fact that he married me.

Okay, as you were...

I'd meant to do this post last week but got all caught up in truth and lies. And while I don't regret it a bit -- those posts were a blast! -- I have been thinking about the questions Jack asked in the above-linked entry. It required some serious navel-gazing, and honestly sometimes I wasn't sure I wanted to put that out here on the internet, in large part because I'm not as anonymous as I once was. Also, who I am now and the person I show the world in this blog just don't match the person I was.

But this is where I came from.

Why do you suppose you let your life be less than you imagined it to be?

I don't know how it started, but I do know that once it started, it snowballed. From sometime in my teens I started thinking I was "less-than." Less smart, less talented, less pretty, less controlled, less socially adept... just less. Even though my parents were wonderfully supportive, I never quite got over the feeling of being less.

It had disastrous consequences for me in almost every area of my life, and my weight was certainly no exception.

Why do you stumble so often despite all your good intentions?

I stumble because I'm human. The stumbling doesn't really bother me so much. I'll start being concerned about it when I stop picking myself back up. In my experience, that's the danger point.

Why do you sabotage yourself?

Part of me wants to say I sabotaged myself because I was weak, I didn't want it enough, I didn't think ahead for what Choice X would cost me. But another part thinks that perhaps the sabotage occured because on some level I still felt like I was less. And when you're less, you don't deserve more.

Why are you here anyway?

Now there's a nice vague question. If you ask why I'm on this planet, part of me thinks it's so I can serve as an example to others -- a horrible consequence. Don't get married to spouse #1 for [insert stupid reason here], or you'll end up like Amanda. Don't get married to spouse #2 for [insert second slightly less but still incredibly stupid reason here], or you'll end up like Amanda. Don't major in English then decide six years later you can't stand teaching or you'll end up like Amanda.

Now all that said, most of the time I don't beat myself up. I've made mistakes, but we all do. I just happened to succeed spectacularly in my particular levels of errancy. Yes, weirdly in spite of all this I'm actually an over-achiever, and my mistakes tend to be huge examples of that tendency. I'm still recovering from those mistakes, both emotionally and financially. But I am recovering from them. And for that I am grateful. And I'm proud of myself.

And Choreboy rocks. Sometimes third time's the charm. Get married to spouse #3 when you're smart enough to know what a good man looks like, and you'll end up like Amanda. Now that's a legacy I can live with.

If you mean why am I here, specifically, with the weight loss community in the blogging world, it's because I've been working on my weight in varying ways since my mid-twenties, more intensively the past three years. I have kept off the majority of a fifty-five pound weight loss that took from the fall of 2006 to the fall of 2007, but I've also been watching the pounds creep back on after a year of maintenance. I've been fighting that creep for the past year; while hitting several ups and downs, I have seen what a difference a supportive community makes in how I view my efforts. And now, a year after I quit smoking (one year TODAY, thankyouverymuch), I am succeeding.

Speaking of which...

If you’re making it, if you’re succeeding on this weight-loss journey, tell me why this time is different than all the others.

This time is different because I am different. I'm not who I was in my teens. I'm not who I was in my twenties. I'm not who I was through most of my thirties. And I thank God for that. I know I am not less. I have a supportive community both in my day-to-day life and also through the virtual community, both here in the blogging world and at Spark People.

Why are you going to make it this time when you’ve fallen short before.

The whole "lifestyle change" doesn't scare me anymore. It used to be I was terrified of change. And okay, I have to say I'm not a huge fan of it even now. But sometimes change is necessary and good. Sometimes doing nothing is the absolute worse thing you can do, and causes more harm than any active mistakes you could make. I spent decades feeling paralyzed. No more.

I'm done.

Why are you going to keep it off this time when you’ve gained it back before.

I understand now that my environment and my life are under my control. There are things that will happen, horrible things can happen, but the little things like what I eat? I've got a grip on that. If I want chocolate I will have it, I will log it into my calorie counter, and I will make adjustments elsewhere. If I want pizza I will have it, I will log it into my calorie counter, and I will make adjustments elsewhere.

Repeat as necessary.

Why are you a different person now than you were before?

Because I know I'm worth my own effort.

Because my children are worth the best effort I can give them and myself.

Because my husband is the most amazing man on the planet.

And because it's simple. Never easy, but always simple.

I can do simple.

Now I'm going to go bake a cake. Quitting smoking was simple too. And it's time to celebrate.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday, Third in a Series

I wasn't happy about getting on the scale today. I knew my eating had been on track, I'd looked carefully at my average daily intake... all was well.

But it's not a good week for me to be getting on the scale. I am historically a bloaty, water-retaining, miserable person for a week or so every month.

Still, I trudged up the steps at my parents' house to the official weigh-in scale and faced the music:

158. 1.75 pounds down from last week.

I can live with that.

When I started the Thursday Push, I was 166. Now I'm 8 pounds down.

Yeah... I'll take that 158.


I am so sick and tired of soup this week. There had been a sale on the Progresso Light line at Publix -- $5.00 for 4 cans, making it $1.25 a can. I can't make the soup myself for that little, so I bought 8 cans and was able to mix it up a bit the first two weeks I did this. But last weekend I was out of the Progresso soup, so I looked through my pantry and freezer.

Chicken broth? check.
Onion? check.
Garlic? check.
Carrots? check.
Green beans? check.
Tomatoes? check.
Corn? check.
Frozen spinach? check... and ick.
Tons of herbs to keep me from gagging on the spinach? OH check.

It ended up being a mixed-vegetable soup with a strong tarragon flavoring and a hint of red pepper. It's not bad at all, and I have 2 cups at a time.

But four days out of the last five I have eaten this soup. It's easy, I don't have to think about it, but yesterday I looked at my bowl and it was just... depressing.

I'm going to keep making soup, because although it couldn't beat the sale price of the Progresso stuff, it sure beats the regular price which waffles between $2.30 and $2.60 a can. That said, I think I'm going to also spring for a little Progresso just so I don't stare at the soup and think "You know what would really make this better? A bag of chips, that's what."

Thank goodness it's Thursday, because Thursday is Subway day. Thursday is when I get my sweet onion chicken teriyaki WITH cheese, thankyouverymuch... and that bag of chips.

Also, since I knew Thursday was weigh-in day and I was already retaining the water volume of half the lakes in this county (substantial, let me tell you), I wasn't able to cook my traditional St. Patrick's Day corned beef. That changes tonight. Tonight I'm popping that sucker in the pressure cooker, baking some potatoes (I have ten pounds to go through), cooking some green beans, and it's going to be good. This weekend I'll make a Reuben casserole with the leftover corned beef which should see Choreboy through a few days.

And the sauerkraut should guarantee the boys will leave it alone.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Truth? You Can't Handle the Truth!!

It's actually possible that you can't unless you're Heidi or MBA, because the truth of the matter is I work for some sick, twisted people.

My desk:

On the tongue of the (formerly pretty cute) stuffed chameleon, there is a tiny, dead, baby frog. Glued, in case you're interested. And carefully balanced on the head of the (now exponentially more icky) stuffed chameleon, you can see the mummified remains of an adult lizard which had the courtesy to die in more of a standing pose, thus rendering it of great interest to the weirdos who sign my paychecks.

To recap:
1. I'm actually a platinum blonde.
No, no I'm not. I'm closer to blonde now than I've ever been, thanks to the miracles of modern chemistry and the fact that blonde highlights help my grey roots blend better, but my natural haircolor without the grey is a very dark reddish brown. It was quite nice once.

2. My children clean the house daily before school.
Hah!!! I know, no one guessed this -- totally a gimme.

3. I haven't washed a single dish since I married Choreboy.
Untrue as well. Heidi is right that we do have a deal that involves dishes, but when he's not home I generally wash what I dirty -- he admits it here.

4. My bosses leave offerings of small, dead animals on my desk.
Sadly this is very very true. See above, in case you involuntarily suppressed the horror that is my 9-5 life.

5. I have 45 pairs of shoes.
Nope -- I have probably 10 pair, actually, and mostly wear one of 3 pairs of Birkenstocks. I'm notoriously klutzy, and need a wide, firm, flat foundation under my feet. Cute shoes would be nice, though... sigh.

6. I have worn the same pair of jeans off and on for twenty years.
Jenn, you were so kind to guess this one! And due to my usual habit of hanging on to stuff for years, ignoring the fact that it went out of style decades ago it could have been true in a few months... except I lost almost everything in a housefire back in 1998. I salvaged a few items and there were still belongings of mine left at my parents' house, but most of what I own has been accumulated in the past 12 years.

7. My children are complete saints.
Yeah, another gimme here. They're amazing, wonderful, darling children (when they're not being twerps), but they are not saints. I'm not either, so the genes are holding strong on that.

Ahhh... it feels good to get that off my chest. Sorry to those who might have been eating lunch...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I am having the most insane craving right now for Chik-fil-A chicken nuggets. Oh salty, deep-fried goodness!!

No, I am not knocked up -- just PMSsy. Besides, Choreboy's fixed (bless him).

Outside of that? I got nothin'. Except you people still need to guess which one item I'm telling the truth about in yesterday's entry. So let's get with the commenting, y'all!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lying My Ass Off

If it would work? Hmmm...

Okay, okay, kidding! But in other news, Jenn from Watch My Butt Shrink/ Bump Grow gave me this lovely creative writing award:

No, no, she isn't calling me a bald-faced liar (really!) although she is certainly guilty of encouraging my own delinquency. Get a look at these award rules, y'all.

1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
Thanks Jenn!! And actually I did that in the comments back when I first received this. I'm not that much of a slacker -- seriously!

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

3. Link to the person who nominated you.
And done again!

4. Tell six outrageous lies about yourself and at least one outrageous truth.
Forthcoming. I took the outrageous part literally for both. Oh you'll see...

5. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
Done! See below.

6. Leave a comment on each of these blogs letting them know you nominated them.
Will be done as soon as I post this sucker. So there.

Now for more fun stuff -- the six lies and one truth! And y'all can try to guess which is which in comments.

1. I'm actually a platinum blonde.
2. My children clean the house daily before school.
3. I haven't washed a single dish since I married Choreboy.
4. My bosses leave offerings of small, dead animals on my desk.
5. I have 45 pairs of shoes.
6. I have worn the same pair of jeans off and on for twenty years.
7. My children are complete saints.

Okay, a couple of those are gimmes... but the rest? Muahahahaha!!!

Now for the seven people I'm passing this lovely award on to:

1. Amanda, at 25 by 35. Why? Because she has excellent taste in first names, that's why. Plus she's having trouble figuring out something to write about today. See, I'm helpful like that.

2. Lesley at Will Write for Food. She should have fun with this.

3. MBA over at Addicted to Medblogs. She's blogged three times this month already, and I'm encouraging this frequency with every fiber of my being.

4. Patsy at Musings on a 100lbs+ Weight Loss Journey. She's got good stuff, and I'm interested in seeing what she does with this particular award.

5. Angel at Give Me Something to Sing About. Distraction, chica -- enjoy :)

6. Grumpy, M.D. at Dr. Grumpy in the House Can't be accused of being sexist!

7. Jack Sh*t, at Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit. See #6. I'm an equal-opportunity hat-tipper.

Enjoy, folks! I'll spill the beans on which item is true sometime... hmmm... Tuesday or Wednesday. Depends on how many guesses I have. So comment, already!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Breaking News!

From the same folks who brought us the revelation that you can't torture a dead chicken, we now have this gem:

Huh. Who knew?

Friday Already?

This week dragged by for me, except for the fact that I made it all the way through Thursday and totally bailed on my weigh-in post for this blog.


Anyway, yesterday I used up some of the few steps I am allotted (I swear I've only got about 20 good ones in me per day, and I use those up before I even hit the office), got on my parents' scale, and the news was good:


I am officially not overweight, by one quarter of a pound. That's about 2.25 pounds down from last week, and is a much more reasonable loss than the four pound loss I experienced then. It's potentially sustainable, even... for a few weeks. Maybe. All depends on my metabolism.

Speaking of which, I spent part of yesterday figuring out my BMR and my minimal caloric intake assuming sedentary lifestyle for various weights: my current weight (I used 160 just to avoid the stupid decimal points), my goal weight (130) and my minimum healthy weight (123). What cracked me up is that even at the absolute lowest weight, to sustain that weight with minimal activity would still require more calories than the upper end of my 1200 - 1550 calorie range for losing weight! Now granted, it's only about ten calories more, but still...

I can do this. I can lose the weight I need to lose, and I can maintain it. I knew it academically, but it really clicked when I looked at those numbers. It's all about lifestyle, and balance. Yesterday my father and I took my boys and my nephew out to dinner. We ended up at Longhorn Steakhouse, which was nice for a change although not on my list of "safe" eateries for obvious reasons. But I'd just had a good weigh-in and I didn't want to screw it up by plunging my head into the trough (plus I knew my plans for this weekend included another restaurant meal and a date with Choreboy to see Alice), so I scanned the menu carefully.

I also knew that I really wanted some fries. Red meat wouldn't go amiss either.

I ended up ordering a cheeseburger with fries, and a side of seasonal vegetables. I don't have an internet connection on my cell phone (I'm cheap), so I couldn't look up how many calories there were in the burger, but I knew that sucker was huge (and that even extra-lean ground beef runs 70 calories per ounce). So when it arrived, I immediately cut the burger in half. I ate half the burger, 1/3 of the fries, and all of the vegetables.

When I got home, I went to my Spark People Nutrition Tracker (I seriously love that thing) and lo and behold, some other kind members had gone to the trouble of finding out how many calories were in that burger!!

1040. I am so glad I only ate half.

My fries were around 100 calories -- remember, I only ate 1/3 of the serving -- and the vegetables hit 90. So the meal's total was 706 calories, as opposed to the 1200+ it could have been.

I was so psyched. I did it! I actually was faced with fatty, deep-fried goodness and I enjoyed myself, but within reason. And it didn't kill me, either!

I'm the famine queen, so being faced with food and boxing it up rather than sucking it down is huge for me. Instead I made the right choices and ended up still within my calorie range yesterday in spite of eating out twice.

Oh, I didn't mention lunch, did I? I went to Subway. It's my weigh-in day treat. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I eat soup and a piece of fruit for lunch. Now it's a TON of soup -- about 2 cups -- but by Thursday I want food I can chew. So I got a 6" sweet onion chicken teriyaki on wheat, with double tomatoes. And because at that time I wasn't planning on eating out for dinner, I splurged with the chips and got a bag of real chips rather than the baked to the tune of 200 calories.

They were jalapeno-flavored, and worth every bite.

We'll see how today goes. I'm at home actually, with two sick little boys. And as the morning wears on I'm noticing that I don't feel that hot myself, so it worked out for the best. Looking at the weather outside, I'm not brokenhearted I didn't have to drive in this. Bummer that I used up a sick day, but it could have been worse.

I ate my normal breakfast of an egg and fruit, and the boys are all excited that I'm talking about making some vegetable soup for lunch, so it looks hopeful.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

"What? Your legs aren't broken..."

Ahhh... but my orthopedist begs to differ!

Yes folks, finally, after nearly two months since I initially developed that lovely bilateral joint instability in my knees, I have a diagnosis:

I have stress fractures in both femurs.


The orthopedist said that the joint instability was caused by a nerve reaction where my knees were actually trying to protect my fractured femurs. The problem is that knees, being knees, aren't very bright so they didn't quite grasp that trying to pitch me onto the ground probably wouldn't help matters much at all. I also have "Chondromalacia Patella" which I believe means a degradation of the cartilage in the knees (and is a common sign of aging, oh God shoot me now).

So. The course of treament for the femurs is actually less arduous than it would be if it were just one of them. The doctor said if it were one leg or the other he'd stick me on crutches and tell me to put no weight on the affected leg for a month. Well, that doesn't work when it's both legs, so instead I'm simply to stay as sedentary as possible for the next month.

If you've known me for any period of time, you know I can do sedentary. I was the child voted most likely to root herself to the couch. By my parents.

Around April 9th I'll be able to go back to any daily activities I've curtailed with the whole sedentary edict, and I will also start VERY light daily walking exercise.

I'll also start some physical therapy exercises for the Chondromalacia Patella. On that, the doctor said these exercises will strengthen the surrounding structures. It's possible that I'll eventually want surgery due to this (my knees "crunch" audibly), but there's no urgency and in fact, as long as my knees don't bug me I don't have to worry about it.

Works for me.

Oh, and apparently since I have these stress fractures, am perimenopausal, and there is osteoporosis in my family, I need to get a bone density test. Good times.

On May 6th I go back to the orthopedist and at that point we'll be reviewing the intensity of my exercise program. My desire is to raise the intensity at that time, either with incline or speed... but we'll see what the doctor says. My desire also is to not have to deal with stress fractures again, so I might have to weigh my wishes and figure out which is more important.

My plan is to follow Tricia's lead during this time and work more on my upper body, since I'm effectively grounded otherwise. Also, I'm going to be tracking my food intake like a beast. Not much change there as I've been good with that for two weeks already, but I'm glad I was already on that.

Now, if I can just get my family to understand exactly what "sedentary" means.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I Shouldn't Complain

I did this to myself. I've stayed within my calorie range all weekend without a problem. In the face of enormous temptation (oven-roasted potatoes) and incredible odds (roasted porky goodness). Yay, right?

Then I went and baked a banana cake with cream cheese frosting, thinking I could hold off until Choreboy gets home tonight. I hate to admit it, but I might have been wrong.

So far I haven't given in. The cake is setting up in the fridge, beautifully frosted, and utterly droolworthy. I've eaten normally today, and normally I'd be fine.

Normally, however, doesn't include cream cheese frosting on my list of temptations. Normally doesn't usually mean I'm looking at more roasted pork (which runs at 90 calories an ounce, people) for dinner.

I have from 472 to 822 calories left today. It's totally doable, especially on the higher end, if I don't screw up and snack myself into a frenzy. I'm just worried I'm not going to make it.

That cake's looking awfully good.

*Note: I didn't take the picture, but it was taken of the same cake that I baked -- the recipe is here.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Low and Slow

Choreboy is a marvelous husband who (wisely) is highly appreciative of everything I cook for him. Well, there was that one time where my brain died and I forgot finishing butter had salt in it, which totally destroyed two tilapia fillets -- spectacularly awful fail there -- but other than that? He's not turned up his nose at anything I've put in front of him.

He mentioned that this weekend he wouldn't mind pork roast. I started thinking pressure cooker, but then he clarified that he'd kind of like it roasted in the oven.


Full disclaimer here, folks: I have been scared to pieces of roasting meats in my oven. I'll bake in there like nobody's business, but being able to cook a good roast in the oven? Nope, not there yet. I do most of my meat cooking in the pressure cooker. It's easy, it's fast, and it consistently delivers an excellent result.

My oven? Not so much.

So I did what I always do in these situation and consulted those much wiser than I:
The People of teh Intranets

Turns out that low and slow isn't just for barbecuing -- you can do it in your own oven at home, too! Yeah I know, I'm a dork... but I've dealt with so much barbecue TV and so forth that I had it in my mind "low and slow" was synonymous with "ginormous black barrel-shaped grill".

There were variations on this theme, but the most consistent advice I saw was to blast the meat at a higher temperature until it developed a good crust, then lower the temperature to a ridiculous level for eight to nine hours.

Holy cow.

So last night I got out my Boston Butt pork roast, all 7+ pounds of that sucker, rinsed it, and patted it dry. Then I rubbed an herb paste I'd made all over it (I dumped together a bunch of granulated garlic, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, dried thyme, red pepper flakes, oregano, and a bit of olive oil, then ground them together by pretending my small bowl was a mortar and one of my spice containers was a pestle), covered the roasting pan, and left it in the fridge all night.

This morning when I got up I preheated the oven to 450, and slid the pork roast in. The Gum Zombie had a choir rehearsal at 9:00, and I had a root touch-up scheduled for 11, so... yeah, it had to go in then. In fact, I'd set my alarm last night so I'd be up in time to make dinner.

Clearly, I have lost my mind.

While the roast was "crisping up" in the oven (I left it there about 45 minutes, for the record), I chopped up 4 carrots and 2 small-ish onions. Once the crisping phase was complete, I pulled the roast out of the oven, dumped the chopped vegetables in the pan with the roast, and poured two cups of chicken broth over the whole thing.

Then I cranked the temperature on it down to 225, and left. It was 8:30 a.m.

We got home just before 4:00, and I took the roast's temperature. 170 with my instant-read digital meat thermometer -- success!! And not even a full 8 hours -- whoa. So I left it in the oven on "warm" for a bit more (hoping Choreboy would get out of work early), then gave in and fed the boys around 5:00.

I now have to guard the roast because they keep picking at it. They had a serving of pork, green beans, carrots (the elder had those -- the Gum Zombie no-thank-you'd them after a taste test) and a pesto-parmesean toasted bun, and still they sneaked up on it, each with his own little fork, both trying to snarf down the entire seven pounds before Choreboy got home and he and I could eat.

They've now been threatened with Dire Consequences and are in my direct line of sight. Meanwhile, I wait for Choreboy's arrival.

I'm starving. The man isn't actually scheduled to get home until 9:00 tonight.

He might have to eat alone. Just sayin'.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Weigh-In Day

You know, this is the first time I've had an official weigh-in day since 2006, back when I was first on my push to lose weight after the Elder, then seven, announced to the entire shopping community of Publix "Mommy, you weigh 200!!"

He's never been a quiet child.

But I think this is a good thing, having a day when I'm definitely accountable for what I've eaten. Since that big weight loss push I've been weighing in when I felt like it. Sometimes that was daily, other times it was every 3-4 weeks or so. Weekly, though... yeah. That works.

So I hopped on the scale this morning, after saintly behavior last Thursday and Friday, the Attack of the Samoas and Reese's Eggs on Saturday and Sunday, then more saintliness on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week. So, five out of seven days I was good.

And I was rewarded. The scale dropped to 162. YES!!! Normally I wouldn't have a four pound loss in one week, but that 166 was also affected by my lack of hydration coupled with recovery from "that special time" when the bloat-fest is well and truly upon me. So I'll take that 162, for sure.

This week the goal is to be good 7 days out of 7. Weekdays it isn't so much of an issue, but the weekends kick my butt. Fortunately, Hungry Girl announced on her Twitter feed that Publix was having buy-one-get-one-free Vita Tops starting today, so guess where I'll be stocking up after I leave work?

All that said, I just found this recipe for St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake. And the Smitten Kitchen blog itself.

I'm just grateful I don't own a stand mixer, because if I did? My weekend would be shot.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Last Thursday I decided to re-commit to logging my foods and regularly prying myself off my couch. This was brought on by a weigh-in at my parents' house on their "doctor's office" style scale, which put me at 166. Now I've been as high as 168 recently, but I turn 40 in less than a month and my goal was to weigh LESS than my starting weight of 160 when I started this last push in January of 2009, not to weigh MORE by the time this birthday hit.

So. Thursday and Friday I did well with my calories, and I even managed to hit the treadmill both days. Yay!

Saturday and Sunday I was, sadly, attacked by the Girl Scouts and force-fed a box of Samoas. Then I tripped over a bag of Reese's Eggs and landed mouth first on them.

Erm, that was more like two bags.


On the plus side, I didn't bake any cakes or cookies this weekend. I did bake a dozen muffins, but I didn't fall in lust with them or anything, so I only ate two.

"Only." Good grief.

Fortunately, Monday hit and I did well both Monday and Tuesday with the caloric intake, and today is looking good too. I haven't been on the treadmill due to a cold I came down with on Monday, but I'm going back on it tomorrow.

Tomorrow also happens to be my weigh-in day. The heck with this Monday garbage, I'm going for Thursday. It's a good day, and it's also well enough into my work-week to scare me off of going out to eat at lunch.

We'll see how it goes. Here's hoping I don't get attacked by a ginormous Quarter Pounder on my way home...