Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Scale Weirdness

So today in theory I weigh 142.5.  I don't know -- it could be right, it could be wrong.  I mean, it's a pound down again so yay!  But it's also our old dial scale (the only one we have) and I always question its accuracy, even when it's going the direction I want it to.  Oh well, as long as it keeps moving in that direction I'll be happy.

I should trust it, since I've been eating correctly and exercising my butt off (what there is of it that will leave -- even at 135 it's not insubstantial), but since I can eat correctly and exercise my butt off and have it stay static for weeks on end, you'll have to pardon my skepticism.


So Monday night I introduced Choreboy to the Wonderful World of Weights and Resistance Training!  It went well, and even today he's a bit "ouchy" in his legs and so forth.  I don't have a full range of motion in my lower body for squats and lunges and the like (thanks, stupid knees!) but he does and let me tell you he used it without me even prompting.  The man is inspired.

And I love it, because now I have a partner in crime with all of this :)


Lastly, the Emily Cat update:  we have no clue what's going on with her and neither does her vet even after two rounds of bloodwork.  The latest batch shows all her gamma globulin levels are up, whatever that means.  So since we don't have just one or two spikes any diagnosis is utterly up in the air.  Could be fungal, could be immuno-deficiency... no clue.  The plan is to start medicating her with both a steroid and an antibiotic and see what effect that has on her health, so that's what we're going to do.  On the plus side, she's visibly eating and drinking.  On the minus side, she's still losing weight and that is, obviously, Not Good.

So, one cat to medicate, 4 rats to medicate (they have a respiratory infection, joy)... next?

Kidding, kidding!!!

Okay, running away to go find some wood to knock.  Have a good one, y'all.  Oish...

Monday, January 28, 2013


143.5 on the scale this morning.  I'll take it!    It was actually 142.5 on Friday but that was after a rather unpleasant bout of the... well, let's just say I spent lots of time in the restroom.  But seeing an actual loss, even of half a pound?

Yup, that's all mine :)

Oh, and I had to laugh.  Brent and I totally smoked a couple of teenagers who were walking on our usual route last night.  We came up behind them, zoomed past, and one of the girls said to the other "I play softball and I can't even move that fast!"

I told them it was okay; that our expertise was because we had more than 90 years of practice between us.  Hee.

Icing on the cake?  Passing them on the way back -- past the 1/4 mark, even. Wearing my knee braces. 

Like a boss.


Believe it or not, there's more.  The news I'm really psyched about is the Choreboy is finally wanting to do some resistance training.  Wahoo!  I can't begin to tell you how much this thrills me.  I've mentioned before that it's been difficult for me to reconcile the amount of time my workouts take, and the simple fact that this is now something we'll be able to do together to some extent is huge.  We've got dumbbells at home going up to 30 lbs (I'm optimistic for myself, what can I say?), and after that we'll see where we are and go forward. 

Sad thing is, initially I'll be training him.  Oh well, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.  Or something like that.  I at least have good form and safety information, and I know some good basic moves that will get him started.  He's also as bad as I am when something interests him, so I figure once we get going on this he'll start doing his own reading and moving in the direction that's right for him.

What I do find mildly irksome is I've been telling him that if he wants to lose weight he's going to have to do some resistance training for awhile.  He listens, nods, and files it away.  Then when his immediate supervisor confirms what I've been babbling about?  Then suddenly it's something he should do!

Oh well, it worked.  The means makes me gnash my teeth a bit, but ultimately I'll take it :)


And on a final note, one of the rats is now verifiably a male.  He'll be going in for a little snip-snip operation. 

His name is Oops.  It fits.

If we have baby rats I think I might lose what's left of my mind.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

More Pants!

More pants that fit, that is -- in addition to my lone pair of khakis, I can now also fit into my dark brown slacks and my black trouser jeans.  Don't ask me how, because that scale is still registering 144, but I'll take it however I can.

It's nice to not be confined to skirts the majority of the week.  Yucko.


Workouts and walks are continuing apace.  Food is a struggle, which bugs.  I'll get through it, though.  I have to.  I refuse to let a season of indulgence sit on my backside forever, because the moment I do that I'll have the next season of indulgence, and the next, and the next, and before you know it I'll be staring at the scale wondering how in the world it could possibly say 200 again.

Hell to the no, y'all.


I'm still entertaining myself with my hair, and am now on the "curly girl" method which has proven to be incredibly entertaining.  You've seen plenty of pictures of my usual hair, which is blown-out/ straightened (yes, that's as straight as it gets).  Well, here are a couple of pictures I took yesterday morning:

 That's just air-dryed.  Ho-ly cow, y'all. 

In addition to air drying, I'm not using shampoo or conditioner with sulfates or sillicones.  I started just conditioner washing a couple of weeks ago, and a week ago I mentioned I'd gone with a baking soda/ vinegar rinse hairwash (which still amazes me by how well it cleaned my hair), and reading more about haircare on the internet, I came across the curly hair folks.

It appears I have curly-ish hair, when I'm not drying it out with detergents and heating it into compliance.

Who knew?  But I think I'll keep at this.  It's significantly less of a timesink than my blowouts were, and with the sweating I insist on doing, it's maintainable.

Plus it looks freaking awesome.

Anyway, that's all I've got for the moment.  Have a good one, folks!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ease on Down

The scale very politely said 144 this morning and yesterday morning as well for that matter.  I am not offended in the least.  What's silly is how different I feel having 9 pounds to lose as opposed to over 10.  Even just that pound-and-a-fraction was enough to make a big difference in my head.  Weird.

Also, I did the math on my 49,000 excess calories consumed in 35 days and you know what?  That's an additional 1400 calories per day which, mid-holiday insanity, is sadly totally do-able.

I'm living proof.

Still, 5 of the 14 pounds I gained are gone, and I continue 100% on food and exercise.  The only wrench in my future works (oh of course one was coming, because that's life) is that my brother's 40th birthday is Monday, and Sunday we're going out to eat.  That wouldn't be a problem except it's to a damned buffet.  A very nice one with good choices available, but a buffet nonetheless.  Oh well, there will be protein and vegetables available, and those are what I will eat.

You have no idea how hard it was to type that sentence; in spite of the recent holiday foodfest and the fallout therefrom, I still want to hit up that dessert table like there's no tomorrow.  However, I won't.

Thank goodness my "official" weigh-in day is Monday.  I'll take what I can get to bolster my at-times-nonexistent will power.


Our little ratling is doing very nicely settling into our home.  She's named Sarah, which yes is the recycled name of one of our sand boas, but the Gum Zombie desperately wanted it for his rat as well and I told him I saw no reason at all why we couldn't have a warm-blooded Sarah in addition to our cold-blooded Sarah.  Now I just have to survive the total mind-trip I'm going to have to play on myself when I'm feeding the scalier members of our household tonight.  Because there's Sarah, our pet.  And then there's the frozen food.


Outside of that not-so-little issue, it appears I overlooked the fact that rats are social animals and do much better with at least one additional rat as a companion.  This means our Sarah needs a little fuzzy friend.  I'm hoping I can convince the Elder that he needs his own little rat, because otherwise the new rat will be mine and Choreboy's head will finally explode.  I already spend part of most evenings handling our other critters, and adding one more to my list might be a bit more than any of us can take.

I'm torn also because although our rat is young, she may not have been too young, if you know what I mean.  So I'm thinking that I might want to just sit and wait three weeks* before getting her companion to be sure we're not about to have multiple pet rats already.  Yowzers.  Because no, I could not "use" them for another purpose.  Don't ask me how it makes a difference, it just does.  There's the frozen food I buy at the store or have shipped in, and then there's the cute little fuzzy being in the Gum Zombie's room.  The only way I can manage this is to keep them both firmly established as separate items entirely.


Still no word on Emily.  I've got a call in on the latest test results.  I'll let y'all know when I hear something.

*Rat gestation is 21 - 23 days.  The More You Know!TM

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

This 'n' That

145 yet again, but at least the numbers are either holding steady or moving in the right direction.  100% on food and exercise, so I'm pleased that I haven't lost my mind and decided I'd just suck it up and come up with a new wardrobe at Sam's or something.  Nothing wrong with Sam's, but the clothes there don't fit me on the best of days and at 145, trust me, this is not my best.

I'm still somewhat floored by the amount of weight I put on (14 lbs in a month).  Since I stopped tracking when all hell broke loose -- i.e., when I started eating All The Food -- I don't have the data to see how I really did, in fact, consume 49,000 calories more than I need to survive in a one- month period of time.

The mind boggles.


I spent part of today even googling whether the steroid eye drops I've been using could possibly have weight gain as a side effect*.  From the beginning of December through just the past few days, I've been plagued by the most awful allergy attack I can remember ever experiencing.  It didn't settle in my nose or my chest.  No, it settled in my eyes.  It was so bad I would wake myself up scratching at them.

I took my Allegra and used Zadator antihistamine eye drops, which saw me through the same season last year marvelously.  They didn't even touch it.  I overused the Zadator to no ill effects, but at that point I figured I really should see my doctor.

Went in to my GP, and she confirmed that yes indeed I had allergies!  Duely noted, Dr. Awesome.  She prescribed some stronger antihistamine eye drops that I was so hopeful would work.  She also recommended a switch to Zyrtec.

The Zyrtec is lovely, but for the eye drops?  No dice.  It seems these particular eye drops have a potential side effect where they cause burning, itching, and the feeling of a foreign body in the eye; that is the grouping of side effects that hit me.  Inconveniently, these were the very symptoms I was wanting the drops to alleviate!

So next stop, on to the ophthalmologist.  He, too, told me I had allergies.  Such a shock. But he was great.  He prescribed the steroid drops, got a tiny sample bottle for me, and even found a coupon to help offset the cost of the medication.  The dude rocked.

Things are improving on that front, finally.  I'm down from 4 drops a day to 2.  I'm still taking my Zyrtec, but may see if I can drop that as well in a bit.  Whew.


I'm trying something weird with my hair.  It's obnoxiously thick and naturally wavy to curly, which would be fine except it veers toward the extremely frizzy side with the humidity down here (I live in the wrong section of the country, clearly)  which leads me to blowing it out with straighteners, using flattening irons, etc.  That's all well and good, but with the exercising I do it's simply not feasible from a time standpoint, let alone the standpoint of the health of my hair.  So I'm trying to let it just be its natural self (except for its color because there are limits).

But with curly-ish hair there also comes dryness, and I know that after I shampoo I look like I've got a haystack mounted on my head unless I straighten the snot out of it, so I've moved to washing twice a week and rinsing my scalp daily in between.  That's actually been going pretty well, so I took the next step.  Today I washed my hair, not with shampoo, but with baking soda followed by a vinegar rinse.  Apparently, many women on long hair forums swear by this.  And I have to say my hair and scalp both feel clean.

Now if only I didn't smell like an Easter egg.


Lastly, if anyone prays/ lights candles/ sends good thoughts toward animal-kind, my lone girl-cat, Emily, isn't well.  We took her in to the vet on Saturday and her doctor ran a thyroid panel because that's what it looked like at the time, but the bloodwork showed some disturbing markers so now we're having more bloodwork run (to the tune of another $100, yippie).  From what I'm hearing him say, none of what we're looking at is good but I hope I'm misunderstanding.

She's a doll.  I'd like to keep her with us.  She's only 6 1/2, and I've always thought I'd have at least another 10 years with her.

Thank you. 

*Answer:  Not very likely.  The likelihood of weight gain as a side effect with these drops is 1/10,000.  That said, eh... it could happen.  I'm not so special that it couldn't be me.  If an insane weight loss occurs once I finish weaning myself off the drops, perhaps.  But I still ate like an unbridled fiend even before I got the drops.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pushover, Revisited

In addition to the 4 unmentionable pets (relevant blog linked here), we are now the proud owners of a baby-esque rat.

I know.  I give.  Lord knows my poor husband has.

So I weighed in this morning and saw a nice, firm 145 on the scale.  I'd be excited except yesterday I was below 145 and had hopes of being able to fulfill the whole "5+ pounds in a week" prediction I'd made earlier, but my optimism didn't quite pan out.  Oh well, not like I didn't see that coming anyway :)  We'll see what it says tomorrow.

I'm still on plan and haven't deviated.  Weekdays remain static, and on weekends I tend to mix up my choices more.  The logic?  On weekdays my time is severely limited.  By choosing a very simple menu, I stick with it.  There is no temptation to pick something up on the way home because what I'm eating already is at home.  For me, it works.

On the weekends I have more time and am able to make foods that still fit within the my parameters (eggs/ egg whites, lean proteins, vegetables with an emphasis on dark greens, whole grains, fresh fruit, limited and/ or reduced fat dairy, no artificial sweeteners), but I'm able to mix it up a bit in the variety department.  This weekend I cooked a batch of baby spinach, onions, and mushrooms, and used it as a bed for the tilapia fillet I'd cooked with Frank's Red Hot.  It did not suck. 

I also made honey peanut butter oatmeal, which was freaking awesome.  I had it on Saturday using regular quick-cooking oats, and on Sunday I ate it using steel cut oats.  I cooked those in my rice cooker for the first time, rather than stovetop, and they came out marvelously!  It was a fun texture change.  1 TBSP peanut butter, 1 TBSP honey, and 1 cup cooked (1/2 cup uncooked) oatmeal both times.  Both days I ended up with right at 300 - 310 calories.  I swear, it tasted so good I almost felt guilty.

I was also bloated last night, which is unusual.  I generally don't eat carb-based meals, though (like the oatmeal) so perhaps that was the cause.  Or perhaps it wasn't, because I'd had the oatmeal on Saturday too and Sunday morning was my lowest weight to date (to the heavier side of 144.5).  I know I was on track so some days I just have to chalk it up to my hormones and shrug.  It's either that or go nuts.

Anyway, here's to making it through last week and continuing on this week!  Have a good one, y'all :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Optimism and Realism

It appears my guesstimate of losing 5+ pounds by Monday might have been a bit optimistic; I'm holding steady-ish at the low-146 scale reading.  Although the "low-146" is moving ever closer to 145, unless my body does something terribly interesting over the weekend (which I will grant you is still possible) I'll be more at 4-ish pounds lost for the week.

It's still primarily water weight, and still nothing to sneeze at.

I've done the calculations and if I keep eating at the level I'm currently choosing and exercising at my current rate*, I believe it will take me about 100 days to get back to 135.  That puts my target date at Monday, April 22nd.  Okay it's more like 105 days if we're counting from this past Monday and 102 days from today, but I'm calling it an even 15 weeks just to keep my A/R tendencies happy.

Well, I've got to keep some part of me happy.  Because 100 days?  Holy cow.  The time it took me to gain this weight was only a month.  December 3rd I had a blog entry announcing my post-Thanksgiving return to 135, and today I'm still more than ten pounds over that.

Appallingly, I'm actually questioning if it was worth it.  Questioning it!  Shouldn't this be a no-brainer?  No, no Amanda, the food fest was NOT worth 100 days of a limited wardrobe, feeling bloated, and having your chest crushed (thanks to part of my weight gain being in bra-relevant areas).  It is NOT worth having to watch yourself so carefully you're pushing the office chocolates onto your coworkers simply because this way you won't eat them**.

On the good news front, though, I continue 100% on-plan for both food and exercise, so that's freaking awesome.  The guys were going out to lunch today at a new restaurant which we'd all tried to hit over the holidays but gave up because it was packed.  I told them I'd just take their review, and I stayed in and ate my salad (which was already paid for anyway, yay!).

Things are looking up.  We'll see what that scale says on Monday :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

*1200 calories/ day averaged over the course of a week
1 hour brisk walking in the evening + 20-30 minutes resistance training in the morning.

**Yes, I was totally a food-pusher yesterday and worse yet I'm only mildly ashamed.  My coworkers are adult men.  They're big boys; they can take it in more ways than one.  If they don't want chocolate they don't have to eat it.  And their metabolisms still beat mine easily.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

This is Where the Title Goes!

Yeah, I was totally at a loss when it came to naming the post :P

This morning I weighed on the thin side of 146, so I figure by Monday the scale will show a "loss" of 5+ pounds from this past Monday's high of 149.  "Loss" is in quotation marks because let's face it, 5+ pounds in one week for a woman of my weight* and height is ridiculous -- it's primarily water retention, and I know that.  But I have to say that I don't mind seeing the scale go down.

I am 100% on-track with both my food and my fluids, and I'm staying there.  I keep a tally of fluids, and I take in a minimum of 80 ounces of water per day, 18 ounces of unsweetened herbal tea (Tazo's "Passion" and a peppermint tea), 18 ounces of unsweetened caffeinated tea (1 cup Tazo's Green Ginger, 1 cup black mint), and a jeroboam of black coffee (okay maybe not quite that much, but at least 24 ounces).  Diet Coke also happens, but in much smaller quantities than it once did because one can't drink tons of Diet Coke while also consuming the rest of that mess. 

I used to sweeten at least the Passion, but I've since determined that if I can't justify actual, honest-to-gosh sugar in my tea and coffee, I'll drink them straight.  I already get more than enough artificial sweetener with the Diet Coke; I don't need to add more. 


The Nia class I took last night was interesting on a few levels.  I'd heard about Nia for awhile and had been curious as to what it entailed, but we had no local providers -- the nearest class was an hour away.  That changed when one of my friends got herself certified in Nia.  She offered an open house for it, so I attended.  And I have to say... it's not my style?  Or perhaps it's just not for me at this time in my life.  It's got a "get in touch with your inner goddess" vibe to it, and my inner goddess is as much of a klutz as my outer goddess, so frankly she's no help.  Furthermore, neither my inner nor my outer goddess are fans of any sort of improvisational movement.  Moving in a choreographed fashion strains my abilities enough!

Also, I learned just how freaking awful my knees really are, in comparison to every other woman in that class.  The attendees ranged in age from early twenties to late sixties, and the lone standout, literally, was me.  The movements we used involved a lot of circling, knee bending, knee flexing, etc, and I... couldn't participate much of the time.  It sucked.  I felt old.

I've never really considered myself disabled or anything like that.  I mean, I have to be cautious with all lower-body exercises thanks to my knees.  My quads, hamstrings, and glutes are all affected by this.  But there are absolutely exercises I can do for them, and I do.  I'm just limited in how much I can do which means their potential development is less. 

I also have to be cautious with my aerobic exercise.  The terrain where I walk has to be stable or familiar lest I risk re-injury (unacceptable, because that means zero aerobic exercise until it's better).  Running is off the table.  It's too high-impact.  Even walking past a certain speed is a no-no.  I can go up to 4 MPH, which isn't godawful slow, but dang it cheeses me off.  So we're stuck with walking or the recumbent bicycle.

I know, I know.  Suck it up, Buttercup. I'm just annoyed.  Last night brought it home to me that I'm really in much worse shape with those joints than I'd realized. I've gotten used to it, and with the accommodations I tend to use for myself it's livable for the most part.  I'm accustomed to the near-constant twinge in my right knee.  It's normal for me to watch something to make sure if I can do it without hosing my joints yet again.  I. Am. Functional.  I look at my little brother who had two back surgeries at age 32, had another one less than two weeks ago, and who's using a walker. 

He's only 39.

I'm blessed, truly. 

Oh well.  I've been living with it awhile, I can keep on living with it.  I don't have the 6 weeks of zero driving time that surgical recovery would require, and even with this latest revelation I simply can't justify the expense or the way my entire family -- nuclear and extended -- would be inconvenienced by me being out of commission.  I can move, and I can exercise.  It's not the way I want to but it's the way I've got.

Whine over.  Humpday is here.  That's a good thing.  Carry on, folks!

*I know I weigh more than I prefer, but I also know that I'm still well within a normal weigh range for my height and age.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


Heya gang!  Yep, I'm still alive. Again. Really, are you shocked? I didn't think so :P

To get the ugly and embarrassing stuff out of the way, no I didn't take my own advice over the holidays even after my recovery from The Thanksgiving Debacle. The reasons why are numerous and private* and I've gone over them in my brain and am understanding better why I have been coping by eating ALL THE FOOD (Holy Jesus God it was bad) during the month of December, but it's done and I'm back on track. Weight yesterday was 149. Yes, you read that right. I am a rockstar when it comes to gaining weight.


Anyway, I've had 1.5 good days. Yesterday was 100% on plan, today will be, and the rest of January will proceed likewise. At the moment I'm following the eating plan I was using before all hell broke loose:

1 egg, 2 whites
1/2 ounce cheese
1 cup seasonal fruit

1-2 cups dark leafy greens
3-4 oz chicken (breast today)
2+ TBSP fresh salsa (I don't stress on this measurement)
2 TBSP 2% fat cheddar, shredded (I measure this with great precision)
2 TBSP reduced fat sour cream (see cheddar notation)
100 calorie pack spicy Wholly Guacamole

1 turkey burger
1 "Ultra Thin" slice Swiss cheese
1 TBSP-ish Boar's Head Deli Style Mustard
2 cups steamed broccoli with lemon juice and black pepper

Snacks (optional)
50 - 100 calories fruit
1 TBSP peanut butter
1 cup max FroYo

This keeps me between 1000 and 1200 calories per day, depending on my snack choices.  If I eat all of the snacks, I'm right at 1200.

The reason I say "at the moment" is because I'm toying with mixing it up with the lunch or dinner, but right now I don't have energy or inclination so I believe I'm going to stick with what works.  The evening protein might change from turkey to fish, depending on what's available, and my evening vegetable may vary to wilted spinach, roasted Brussels sprouts or asparagus.

Weekends I can go up to 1500 calories, but I may not.  It depends.

Activity-wise I've managed to straighten out my knee for the moment and am wearing the brace to make sure it doesn't go crazy on me again.  That just sucks too much for words.  So last night, Brent and I went on a very brisk walk outside (in the air!), tonight I've got a Nia class I'm taking for fun, Wednesday is belly dancing, Thursday will be walking, Friday will be walking, and I'm pretty sure there will be walking aplenty on Saturday and Sunday.  Failing that, I'll get on the recumbent bicycle and pedal for awhile.

Wake-up call is at 5:30 for my resistance exercises.  When I feel like slacking I just think about my age and the fact that women over forty lose muscle at an alarming rate only to replace it with fat.  Flatly unacceptable.

Some of you may be wondering how I'm even wearing clothes, considering I got rid of everything that doesn't fit me (usually).  The answer would be rather uncomfortably.  I spent the last part of December and the first week of this month in skirts.

I hate skirts.

So... yeah.  This ends now.

Happy 2013, everyone!!!

*To clarify a bit:  "Private" in that the issues causing stress are not mine to share, but I can share that they are not involving members of my direct household, for which I am incredibly grateful.  But it sucks, it really does.  Both the ongoing mess as well as my total coping fail.