Monday, March 28, 2011

He's At It Again

Choreboy Strikes Back!

He's blogging, AND blaming me for his spare tire. Geez.

I can't help it if I was forced at gunpoint to bake four-dozen cupcakes this weekend. Granted, it was a space ray gun wielded by the four-year-old Nephew, but still....

Okay, seriously. Go. Read. Comment. I'm sitting right beside him laughing so loudly that I'm scaring the kids and have forced the cats into hiding. Hee!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

WW Weigh-in, Week 3

Wherein Amanda Laughs Hysterically

Start: 150
Week 1: 147.25
Week 2: 150.25
Week 3: 148.12

Yep, that's down 2.2 pounds from last week, and I'm totally freaking out my Weight Watchers Online Tracker. It only understands each week individually, so it's going nuts with wailing sirens and such (not literally re: the sirens), hollering "You're losing weight too quickly!!! Click here to see how to slow down your weight loss..."

Riiiiight. Because a 1.9 pound net loss over 3 weeks is so unreasonable. I think I'll be ignoring that little quirk of the WW etools...

So, did I do anything significantly different from last week? Hmmm. Caloric intake:

3/17 - 1184, 28
3/18 - 1490, 33
3/19 - 1345, 29
3/20 - 1294, 28
3/21 - 1234, 28
3/22 - 1206, 28
3/23 - 1126, 28

That's an average of 1268 calories/day, and 28.9 PointsPlus/day. Last week was 1229 calories/day and 27.5 PointsPlus/day. I ate 273 more calories this past week and showed over a two pound loss, compared to last week where I ate less than Week 1 and gained three pounds.

Go figure.

And I can't blame the loss on less fluid retention because, well, I'm still retaining. Ask Choreboy, who's wondering how I manage to stand upright with the boulders I've got mounted on my chest at the moment. Yeeouch!

Okay, that was probably TMI. Anyway.

My prediction is that somewhere between Weeks 4 and 5 I'll see a drop below that 147.25 I hit at the end of Week 1. That weight was taken around day 10 of my cycle, and day 10 of this next one has a good chance of hitting in the next couple of weeks. So we'll see. I may end up tracking my weight not just with the same time of day/ same scale/ same clothes scenario, but also at the same phase of my cycle. Oish.

Oh well, as long as the trend line keeps going down it'll work out. I'm just really curious to see how far below 147.25 I go on day 10, whenever that happens to be.

Fortunately, I'm easily entertained.


In other news, The Evil That is Ringworm appears to be fading from our home. Mine is virtually undetectable, and the patch on the anonymous child's arm is getting there too. Thank goodness.

That said, I fully expect the unafflicted to come down with it... likely as soon as I think it's safe to shelve the anti-fungals.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

WW Weigh-in, Week 2

Subtitled: Our Bodies, They Are Not Bank Accounts

Note: there may be some "language" in today's post. This would be why:

Start: 150
Week 1: 147.25
Week 2: 150.25

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. That's a 3 pound gain. And if you think I'm going to blame it on hormones... are dead on the money.

Let me give you the data. Here are my calories and points for the week:

3/10 - 1670, 37
3/11 - 1261, 28
3/12 - 1163, 29
3/13 - 1312, 29
3/14 - 948, 22
3/15 - 1247, 27
3/16 - 1005, 21

That averages out to 1229 calories per day, 27.5 points per day.

Last week when I lost 2.75 pounds, my average intake was 1252 calories/ 29 points per day.

So basically, I managed to gain weight while consuming 161 calories less than I did last week. I know I'm scrupulous about logging every bite. Like I've seen others say, if you don't journal your food, your butt will. I know the truth of that -- if I weren't logging every bite (seriously y'all, I made sure to put in the six lousy chocolate covered almonds I ate yesterday), we'd be looking at an even higher scale number.

The simple truth is, my body is holding onto a boatload of fluid. I'm on day 17 of my current "cycle" and it's prime time for the water retention to kick in. I don't like it, but it's a physiological, medically-verifiable fact.

And hell yeah I'm pissed. It's not even as if I can comfort myself by saying "Oh, next week will be better!" because who knows? Next weigh-in will only be day 24 of the cycle. So... maybe yes, maybe no. My last cycle was 35 days. The one prior was 17 days. The one before that was 26 days. I've gone as long as 58 days between periods.

There is no telling.

Welcome to perimenopause, kids. In spite of being used to this insanity -- I've been going through it since I was 37 -- I am so freaking aggravated. These are not mathematically valid results. At least not by the average 3500 calories/ pound measurement they aren't. Theoretically, at the absolute bottom end I should be eating 1660 calories per day just to maintain my weight. By that math alone, I should have lost almost a pound. Or something. Hell, I'd have taken holding steady. So instead to gain?

Frustratingly, it's just more proof that our bodies aren't like bank accounts.

It annoys my "Give me something concrete and I'll run with it" mind to no end, but it's the jaw-clenching, tooth-grinding truth. Sure, it's comforting to think "Okay, if I put 3500 calories less into my body than it needs to function on a daily basis, I'll lose a pound, and that means if I put 7000 calories less into my body than it needs, that's two pounds, and then..." but the math just doesn't hold true in reality.

That 3500 number is an average
, which means there are those freaks of nature (of whom I am shamefully jealous) who burn calories as if they're well-aged pine, and then there are those on the other end of the scale whose bodies are exceptionally efficient (i.e., they hold on to fat as if famine were around the next corner, rather than McDonald's) and only require a minimal number of calories to sustain life.

Those are the types of people on both ends of that 3500-average bell curve. The rest of us fall somewhere in the middle, some higher than 3500, some lower, and a precious few right on it. You simply can't look at intake and assume a specific weight loss. It's a nice guide, but we're all running with different metabolisms. When you then throw in the hormones (don't even say it's an "excuse" boys/ girls who've never had a hormonal fluctuation in their lives or I won't be held responsible for my actions), tormenting yourselves because your weight loss isn't adhering to a specific, mathematical formula is unrealistic at best, and self-sabotage at worst.

Be honest. Journal your food. If it's the chocolate that nuked your weigh-in (I've been there), then own it. By the same token, if it's the hormones, quit bitching yourselves out and own that.

I do.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Majorly Skeeved

Me, squealing: It's gross!!

Him: It's not. It's nothing.

Me: It's gross!!

Him: It's just a little parasite.

Me: Oh my God, it is not a parasite it's a fungus. Eewww!

Him: It's a parasite.

Me: Fungus! Like! Mushroom!

Him: Fine. It's a fungus. We'll save the flakes from your scalp and we'll put them on a pizza.


You know, it's one thing blogging about your child's ringworm.

It's quite another matter when it's your own.

I'm more than capable of giving myself a healthy case of the psychosomatic itchies. When they're accompanied by red lesions with a distinctive, raised ring around the borders, though... well, that's how I found myself driving home from my doctor's office today, shrieking and cursing to myself in an empty car. So I'm now the proud owner of anti-fungal shampoo and ointment, because I'm special and my case of ringworm happens to be on my scalp.

Not enough ick in the world to cover this.

Oh well, at least it's not impetigo.

(knock wood)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Just a Quickie

You know you're aging when you have to wear your reading glasses to give yourself a pedicure.

Good grief.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Okay, I'm Caving

No, not on my food! Good grief, I'm on a roll there! No, no, it's just that I've been seeing this "ABC's of Me" meme running amok, and since I want to post something tonight but really have no clue what to post about, I'm in.

A - Age: 40 years, 11 months, 9 days. Not that I'm counting.

B - Bed size: queen

C - Chore you hate: scooping the litter box. Making the bed has also always seemed pretty pointless.

D - Dog's name: Teddy, a.k.a. Hound

E - Essential start your day item: something caffeinated. Coffee is best, Diet Coke will do.

F - Favorite color: green

G - Gold or Silver: gold

H - Height: 5'7"

I - Instruments you play: piano and violin, neither one that well anymore

J - Job title: office manager/ ruler of all she surveys (I'm very nearsighted in my good eye, so they let me get away with this)

K - Kids: 2 boys

L - Living arrangements: married, offspring, 3 cats, 1 dog, innumerable dust bunnies, and more books than there is shelf space

M - Mom's name: Yo, ma!

N - Nicknames: A, A.J., Ralph (yes, Ralph -- my father is a very twisted man)

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: for a tonsillectomy when I was 4 -- 2 nights! The nephew just had his removed and it was out-patient.

P - Pet Peeve: bullying and hateful behavior. Don't get me started on this rant...

Q - Quote from a movie: “Since the invention of the kiss, there have only been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind.”

R - Right or left handed: Right

S - Siblings: 2 - one sister, and one brother

T - Time you wake up: the alarm goes off at 6:00. I'm usually awake around 4:30 or 5:00, because my body hates me and wants me to die of sleep deprivation :P

U- Underwear: uh, yes? (who wrote this thing?)

V - Vegetable you dislike: freaking PEAS. Bleah.

W - Ways you run late: my beloved children attempt to thwart my efforts at promptness

X - X-rays you've had: lots of dental, legs (for the stress fractures), wrist (fracture), chest... more, but I've lost count

Y - Yummy food you make: monkey bread, buttermilk pie, chocolate cake with chocolate ganache glaze, lentil soup, mustard maple pork tenderloin, salmon with mustard dill sauce, curried sweet potato oven fries... shoot, now I'm hungry and I just ate.

Z - Zoo favorite: elephants. Always.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

First WW Weigh-In!

Back during the holiday season I was determined not to go above 150 again. And I haven't.

Well, not on The Official Scale I haven't. That's the medical-style scale at my parents' house.

On our little scale at home? Erm...


it might have been another story (*koff* 154 at the height of the bloat *koff*).


So my starting weight last Wednesday for Weight Watchers was 150. It was actually 149.99999999 (on The Official Scale, after some of the bloat water had drained off), but for all intents and purposes?


After a week and a day on plan, though?



2.75 pounds lost. I'll take it.

Weirdly, I was really excited to weigh in this week. I haven't been excited to get on the scale in months, even when I was losing consistently; but with counting PointsPlus instead of (okay, in addition to) calories, something just clicked. I'm not sure if it's the fact that fruit is zero points or what, but it's just working for me. And as I've said before, I'm all about using whatever method is working best at a particular moment in time. For me, at this moment in time, Weight Watchers happens to be it.

Another thing I'm really enjoying about the WW site is that it breaks the weight lost down into percentages. So by the time I hit 142.5, I'll have lost 5% of my starting body weight; and at 135 I'll have lost 10% of my starting body weight. Goal is 130, so I'll only be 5 pounds away by then. Awesome.

I'm ridiculously excited by all of this, as you can tell from the relentless babbling.


One thing I have to say SparkPeople has over Weight Watchers is the interactive community. Weight Watchers has a thriving online community; don't get me wrong. But from my perspective SparkPeople's community is better organized and easier for a newbie to both navigate and jump into. I could be missing something, though, and I'm open to suggestions if anyone has them.


In other news, rain, rain, and more rain is in the forecast for our area of Florida today. It started last night and hasn't really stopped since. This morning I was in and out of the rain four freaking times by the time I finally walked into the office. I'm soggy, my stupid shoes are wet, and the cuffs of my pants aren't exactly dry either. Fortunately, the rain was needed and all of the sniffledy people here at the office (and at my home) are thrilled that this might actually bring the pollen count down. Between the oaks flowering and the orange blossoms blooming, it's a nightmare for the hay fever-prone.

Speaking of which, I need to make sure we have enough tissues. Better wrap this up. Later!

Monday, March 07, 2011

An Open Letter to My Co-Workers

Dear Co-Workers,

My blue pen and post-it note pad appear to have wandered away from my desk. Granted, this is not like The Great Scissors Debacle of 2010, but still.

I. Want. Them. Back.

If they return by lunchtime, no one gets hurt.

The office supply cabinet is two bays up to the north. Use it.

She Who Generates the Paychecks

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Hard Reset

I've seen a few folks talking about needing to do a "hard reset" with their weight loss efforts, and I believe it's quite evident I've reached that point myself. I'm still far below my high weight of 200 pounds, but if I don't do something that might not always be the case.

Failure is not an option. So yesterday, I joined Weight Watchers Online.

As most of you are aware, I've been using SparkPeople for two years now for tracking my food and whatnot, and truly, I can't say enough good things about it. The tools are easy to use, and the community is great. I'm even one of the leaders for my local SparkPeople team (may God have mercy on us all).

And it's free. You can't beat free. Also, I'm twenty pounds down from last year's high of 166-168 pounds. It's hard to argue with success.

But right now, calorie counting isn't cutting it for me. I'm just treading water. It's too easy for me to eat at the middle to top end of my 1350 - 1670 calorie range. "Eh, go ahead and have that donut, Amanda. You can fit it in. Oh, that cheese looks good! Just a little slice..."

You know, that's just fine sometimes. But not daily. And there are moments, especially when I'm in the pits of hormonal hell, where a little more structure might be helpful.

Plus whining about it endlessly is proving somewhat ineffective.

So after following Sheryl, aka Bitchcakes for the past year-plus, and also watching Jenn and Patsy with Weight Watchers, I bit the financial bullet and signed up. The change in social security withholding gives me enough extra monthly to be able to justify the cost (right around $18.00/month); additionally, they're running a membership special at the moment where if you pay for 3 months online membership at once, the initial fee is waived.

To be honest, I'm really pretty psyched about this. I've always been interested in Weight Watchers, and the whole "points" system has intrigued me. I'm clearly a marketer's dream, because the new PointsPlus system that's been the talk of much of the blog world as well as mainstream media has further drawn me in.

So here I sit, a full-fledged Weight Watchers Online member. I get 29 PointsPlus per day, and 49 more weekly... I guess they're flex-points or something? And because I'm a total data geek, I'm tracking my food on SparkPeople as well as on my Weight Watchers plan manager. Hee.

Turns out 29 PointsPlus per day is in the neighborhood of 1200 calories, give or take for fruit and vegetable intake. I have to say that fruit being zero points is a benefit to me already, because yesterday I picked grapes for a snack rather than some lovely glazed pecans (that I really should move away from my desk, say, now). Also, having my "extra" points all in one neat little bundle works for me mentally. I totally have hoarding tendencies (ask Choreboy) so my preference is to hoard the points rather than expend them on food. That said, it's wonderful that they're there in case we're out at dinner, or if I really desperately need that quarter pounder with cheese (which is THIRTEEN FREAKING POINTS OH MY GOD).


So anyway, I can see this being a good thing. I'm fired up again, which is what I really needed.

And in case anyone wanted to know, Hershey's Special Dark kisses are 2 PointsPlus for 3 kisses. That's vital information right there.

Okay FTC, once again, NOT BEING COMPENSATED. Weight Watchers and SparkPeople are getting publicity and linkage for free. Not that I'd mind being compensated, but no one's offered :P

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

It's About Time

After thirty-six days, all is well. I was feeling more settled yesterday and as the day wore on I noticed that my stomach was looking a little flatter.A couple of hours later I discovered why. It's amazing how intense the bloat gets -- the scale can vary as much as five pounds from one day to the next.

You know, I'm so done with the whole "peri" part of this peri-menopause. I'd like it to just pause already, thankyouverymuch. And thank you very much for listening to Sunday's rant.


In other news, it's becoming apparent to me that small boys bring home icky things. Last fall it was impetigo, and now one of my precious snowflakes has developed a most charming patch of ringworm on his arm. If it's not the bacteria it's the fungi apparently. And they're all out to get me. See, I can take vomit. I can take blood (good thing too because the Gum Zombie's nose is a veritable fountain of carnage at times). I can take just about any body fluid you throw at me, although I may make little gagging noises in the process. In the end, though, it's no biggie. I changed diapers for close to seven years straight, for crying out loud.

But communicable skin conditions? GACK!!! Yep, throw me something a bit scaly, oozy, and most importantly, contagious and I turn into a complete pansy.

Here's hoping the ointment works as described. If not, you may next find me huddled in the back of a closet with my iPad.