Archive for the ‘Weight Watching’ Category

I promised I wouldn’t talk about it a lot, and yet here I am, talking about it immediately after I made that promise. Well. Feel free to skip straight to the meals below if you want. Or to skip reading altogether and come back in three months when I will be DONE with this.

It has been one week and two days and I can officially say that I hate the Keto plan. It is miserable. I am miserable. I feel constantly nauseated – a low-level nausea that has persisted since I finally made it past the absolutely dreadful “Keto Flu,” which I would say lasted until Friday and consisted of constant nausea, terrible headache, full-body aches, and brain fog. I hate eating and cooking, which makes me deeply sad because I love eating and cooking. I am irritable and snappy, particularly just in advance of meal times. I am constantly on my phone – looking for recipes, trying to figure out what I can eat and how much, logging my stupid water intake. My brain is absolute mush – I cannot remember ANYTHING, I am clumsy, I am flaky. I am peeing ALL THE TIME because a) you are supposed to drink a lot of water, so I am, and b) because I am constantly thirsty. My jeans are not fitting any better. My joints hurt. I have no extra energy. I get restless legs in the evenings, which – for me – can only be treated with sleep. But then my sleep is fitful or interrupted (I woke up at 3:00 for NO REASON the other morning and then couldn’t fall asleep for ninety minutes). Which, of course, could be related to Current Events (evergreen statement), but I am fine with blaming everything bad on Keto. It is torture. Purely voluntary, I can literally quit at any time, torture.

HOWEVER. I have already shed 6% of my body weight. In one week. I would love, in my WILDEST DREAMS, to lose 20% of my body weight. But I would be happy with 15%. And it seems like I am on my way to achieving that goal if I can just hang in there. A friend, yesterday, told me my face looks thinner. (Before you try to beat him up, please understand that he KNOWS I am doing Keto and prefaced his comment by saying, “I really don’t know if I should say this, because I have a policy of never commenting on people’s bodies, but I know you are putting in a lot of work…” And I said, “Go ahead, say it.”) Anyway, I would prefer that my thighs looked thinner (not that I want anyone to comment on my thighs, literally ever), but face is good, I guess. Well. Good, but not my favorite compliment.

(By the way, if it were just me, I would not mention that I am doing Keto to anyone in real life. It makes me super uncomfortable to give people a reason to look at me, and evaluate my size and shape.) (SUPER UNCOMFORTABLE.)

If the pace of weight-loss continues, then I will count this awful, awful, horribleness a great success. But I reserve the right to stop AT ANY MOMENT because it truly is awful. My poor husband hates it, if possible, even more than I do. And he wants to quit So Badly. I keep wheedling him to power! through!, because I am DEEPLY HOPEFUL that there is some kind of Keto inflection point that we just need to cross… and then it will be fine.

Maybe this is like when you start a new exercise regimen. And it hurts and you hate every minute and you dread dragging yourself out of bed to do the exercise. But then you start seeing results, and it becomes worth it. The pain feels like a challenge. You start to look forward to exercising. Or, at least, it becomes more automatic rather than something you have to gear yourself up for. This is what I hope Keto is like. The novelty wore off and now we’re in the thick of it and we just have to keep our heads down and move forward because RESULTS.

To drag this topic out even further: it is also really hard to talk about Keto around my daughter. I try to be open about what we are doing and, instead of talking about desired weight loss, focus on how we are using this method to recalibrate our eating habits. We’d been eating too much of the foods that you need to eat in moderation, and so we are trying to reset the way we think about portion sizes and food. I am also trying to explain to her that we are adults, and fully grown. She, on the other hand, is a child. And her brain and body are still growing and changing and so she needs a wide variety of ALL foods, even those that we are avoiding. Also, I am trying to keep a close watch on my language: instead of saying, “oh, I can’t eat that brownie,” I will say, “I am not going to eat that brownie” or “I am choosing not to eat that brownie right now.” To make it clear that it’s not TABOO or BAD, just not something I am choosing to eat right now. This is more important when it comes to things like mango and blueberries, which are HEALTHFUL, GOOD FOODS. And yet they are foods that my Keto app tells me get an F. (Bacon gets an A.)

Okay, this is way more than I wanted to type about this hellbeast of a diet. Now, it is time to post about dinners. Which I really don’t want to think about, let alone eat. Anyway, here’s my sad, defeated, TOTALLY VOLUNTARY meal plan for the week:

Dinners for the Week of March 2-March 10

  • Peri-Peri Chicken with Roasted Zucchini

Note: Peeps, this is simply a chicken breast marinated in peri-peri sauce. (Which is delicious, if you haven’t tried it.) And then some cut-up zucchini tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper. I am craving nothing but vegetables, and I could not resist the siren song of the zucchini at the grocery store this weekend. They are carb-heavy – two small zucchini eat up 20% of my daily carbs – but I DON’T CARE. I need vegetables. (By the way, if it’s not clear, two small zucchini is not my desired amount of zucchini. I want to eat two LARGE zucchini. But this – my stereotypical-American perspective on what constitutes an appropriate portion size – is part of the problem I am hoping to address with Keto. Maybe two small zucchini is, in fact, a more appropriate amount.)


  • Taco Salad

Note: I can’t even get it up for taco salad. It just sounds like a lot of chewing.


Note: This sounds like fat overload. I wonder if I can squeeze in some sort of salad on the side?


  • Leftovers


Note: There is absolutely no way this will taste like regular BBQ sauce.


Note: If there’s no good looking halibut, I might use cod or sea bass instead. 


[Edited to add: OMG I forgot about planning something for dinner Sunday. I am telling you, my brain no longer functions.]

Note: Hell, maybe we will throw this diet out the window and go gorge ourselves on chips and beans at our favorite Mexican place.


Tell me about all the delicious meals you are eating this week. Especially if there are vegetables involved.

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After a VERY frustrating month and a half of trying to lose any, any at all, of the weight I gained from eating my feelings all autumn (and, simultaneously, a month and a half of reminding myself that weight has nothing to do with my self-worth and that maybe I am just This Size and should embrace it and worrying that I am setting a bad example for Carla by “dieting” and churning with ALL of the Fraughtness that comes with wanting to be a certain size in our society today and facing a truly insurmountable resistance to buying myself new jeans), I have persuaded my husband to try the Keto plan with me. This is literally Day Three, so please understand that I may give it up any second now and never speak of it again. (I mean, no carbs I can sort-of live with… but NO SAUCES? No BEANS? And the limit on Healthful Vegetables – like, I typically have to restrict myself to two cups of LETTUCE!!!!! to stay within my carb allotment – has me in a panic.) (I understand that I am CHOOSING this, by the way.) (I don’t really plan to speak of keto/diet stuff, that often, but it may shift the tenor of my weekly dinner plan posts and/or the tenor of my general complaining, so I am warning you about it now.)

Anyway, meal planning is newly challenging because I am trying to emphasize fat and protein over carbohydrates. Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

Dinners for the Week of February 24-March 1 (WHAT. HOW IS IT MARCH ALREADY SLOW DOWN TIME OMG)

Note: There were some absolutely beautiful tuna steaks on sale at Costco this weekend, so I snapped them up. We will not be eating the sautéed red pepper portion of this meal; instead I will be sautéing some green beans. This is because I already have the green beans and I don’t want to waste them, not because of some red-pepper-related bias.

Note: I fully realize that the Internet has been swooning over this recipe for eons. I have read about it with suspicion for many years and NOW is finally the time to try it out.



Note: I haven’t figured out what I will pair with this yet. Maybe some avocado?


  • Leftovers of some sort or possibly eggs


  • OUT

Note: My birthday is this week, so we will be going out to celebrate. I am already feeling grouchy about not being able to eat all the things I want to eat — solely because of completely voluntary and self-imposed restrictions! — but I think we have found a restaurant that serves some nice fish options. And the whole point of doing Keto is to reset my eating habits, so a little limitation on the all-out scarf-fest I would otherwise be doing on my birthday is probably not a bad thing.


What’s on your menu this week?

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I did not think of it quickly enough to add to Friday’s post, but I am IN LOVE with this workout video:

Shape: Best-Ever Hollywood Workout


Shape best ever Hollywood

Photo from amazon.com. Every time I put this in my DVD player – EVERY TIME – I think about Paul Hollywood, of Great British Baking Show fame. I think I might prefer a Paul Hollywood exercise video. Especially if it involved cake.

I really hate going to the gym. Likewise, I hate exercise classes of any type. If I’m going to exercise, I’m going to do it in my own home where no one can hear me huffing and grunting or see how inflexible I am.

It took me… nearly 40 years to figure to this out, but my library has a lot of exercise videos that you can just… CHECK OUT! For FREE! So for the past six months or so, I have been adding two or three of them to my pile of books every time I go to the library. Some of them, as you may imagine, are terrible. Others are so good I plan on buying them.

The Shape: Best-Ever Hollywood Workout is my current favorite. It has lots of benefits:

  1. The “star” or “host” or “exercise guru” or whatever you want to call him is Gunnar Peterson, and he is not annoying at all. Some of the stars of these videos make me want to turn off the video. They can be too peppy or too aggressive. Jillian Michaels, for instance, is constantly reminding you that you have to WORK to see results. Don’t just sit there and eat ice cream while she’s working out. You have to DO THE EXERCISES. You want your abs to look like this backup exerciser right here? Well, you have to WORK to get them. Rock hard abs aren’t FREE. Sigh. It’s true and a good reminder and all that but it annoys the crap out of me. I’m DOING THE VIDEO, all right? Lay off me! Gunnar Peterson doesn’t really do any reminders like that. He basically says, “Do this exercise” and then he does some counting down to the last rep and then he moves on to the next exercise. Once in a while he’ll say, “Great job” or “Don’t let your arms gets sloppy” or something along those lines. That’s it.
  2. It has OPTIONS. There are two 20-minute workouts for the whole body and two 10-minute “targeted” workouts (one for your arms, one for your buns and thighs). I like to have options. It gets boring to do the same thing over and over, and so this allows me to rotate things.
  3. It’s FAST. You can do a whole workout in 20 minutes! Or 10 minutes, if you want to! And even in 20 minutes, I get my heart rate up and my muscles are noticeably sore the next day. I feel like it’s a worthwhile 20 minutes. And if you have 30 minutes, you can do one of the 20-minute workouts and then one of the 10-minute ones.
  4. It doesn’t really require special equipment. You can use hand weights, if you want. But usually one of the two backup exercisers isn’t using weights at all. You can use a yoga mat, if you want. Depends on how hard your floor is. But that’s really it. No exercise bands or balls or whatever else the kids are using these days.
  5. The exercises go by really quickly. If I’m doing a plank, I get to the point where I don’t think I can hold it much longer and it’s over. I’ve tried (vaguely, lazily) to count how many repetitions of each exercise you do, and it’s not many. Maybe 10, tops? It’s doable, is what I’m saying. So if there’s something you hate, you can get through it pretty quickly.
  6. It’s fairly low impact. I have bad knees, so I steer clear of anything high impact. One of the workouts has a small section of jumps, but it’s very fast and hasn’t bothered my knees at all. And you can skip it if you aren’t interested.
  7. There’s an option for “customizing” your workout – i.e., you go to a menu of all four workouts, and you can select which ones you want to do. And then they will play automatically. I feel like this should be #20 on the list, because it’s not really that great. I mean, it prevents you from having to press a couple of buttons on your remote, that’s all. But it’s a nice idea, I guess. I still end up fast forwarding through the cool-down of the first session and the warm-up of the second session. There’s only so much warming-up and cooling-down I can handle.


  1. This is a DVD, from 2010, which is nearly a DECADE ago. So if you don’t have a DVD player or a PlayStation that can play it, you are out of luck.
  2. Somehow, even though it’s a DVD, it’s still $14.98, which seems like a lot for a piece of near-defunct technology. I am still going to buy it, though. But maybe you could get it used, or check it out from your library. Or, for all I know, it exists in the ether in some digital form that you can access for free.

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Step 1: Renounce carbs.


Step 2: Plan week’s meals with husband; discover that pretty much every meal you like includes carbs in some form.

Step 2a: Commence weeping and rending of clothes.

Step 3: Make tacos for dinner.

Step 4: Ignore husband when he asks, “You know taco shells are carbs, right?”

Step 5: Contract raging case of Bagel Craving.

Step 6: Forego a package of Lender’s bagels (what? I LIKE them) for a single bagel from the grocery store bakery.

Step 7: Respond to husband’s question, “Isn’t a bagel pure carbohydrates?” by saying “I’ll show you a carbohydrate… right to the junk!”

Step 8: Decide to eat bagel.

Step 8a: Discover that, unlike Lender’s bagels, this stupid bagel is not pre-cut.

Step 9: Commence cutting bagel in half.

Step 9a: Stab self in middle finger with tip of knife.

Step 9b: Do not look at blood do not look at blood do not look at blood.

Step 9c: Hold bleeding finger under ice cold water; feel grateful for the first time ever that the water is so goddamn cold.

Step 9d: Wrap a bandaid around frozen finger, effectively cutting off circulation.

Step 9e: Inspect knife for errant blood spatter.

Step 9e1: Determine that errant is not the word you mean; keep it anyway.

Step 9e2: Poetic license, y’all.

Step 9f: Resume cutting bagel in half. Carefully this time.

Step 10: Place half of bagel in toaster oven.

Step 11: Place other half of bagel back in bagel bag.

Step 12: Put honey in the microwave.

Step 13: Briefly consider asking Twitter if butter that’s been left out on top of the toaster oven for three weeks is okay to eat.

Step 13a: Decide, Naaaahhhhh about asking Twitter. The butter’s fine, man.

Step 14: Hear a pop from the microwave.

Step 15: Open the microwave just as the honey bottle tips over and squirts honey all over the microwave door, the stove, and the floor.

Step 15a: Briefly consider closing the microwave door and moving.

Step 16: Turn on the hot water while mopping up whatever honey has not immediately congealed into a sticky, impossible mess.

Step 16a: Chant new mantra of “at least it’s not sugar” whilst mopping.

Step 17: Run a paper towel under the hot water.

Step 17a: The goddamn water is still ice cold.

Step 17b: BLARGH.

Step 17c: Run paper towel under lukewarm water.

Step 18: Clean up remaining honey mess.

Step 19: Place toasted bagel on plate.

Step 20: Slather with “butter,” if you can call it that.

Step 21: Sprinkle buttered bagel with salt. (YUM.)

Step 22: Squirt honey onto bagel.

Step 22a: Miss bagel entirely and instead squirt the Giant Crevasse of Doom that lies between the counter and the stove.

Step 23: Is this really worth it?

Step 24: Clean up the honey as best as possible.

Step 24a: But obviously you can’t clean anything inside the Giant Crevasse of Doom.

Step 24b: So just leave that alone.

Step 24c: Consider fashioning some sort of “Welcome, Ants!” banner to affix to the honey inside the Crevasse.

Step 24d: Decide, Naaaaaaaahhhhhhh, ants don’t read so good.

Step 25: Sit down.

Step 26: Eat bagel.

Step 27: Endure hours of mild stomach discomfort, possibly related to the “butter” substance smeared all over the bagel.

Step 28: Vow to never eat a carb again.

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So normally I like to save up all my randomness and dole it out to you in little bursts. But I have tried to write about three different posts so far today and all SUCK.

So Randomosity it is!! Again! Two posts in a row!!

I know you are just as ecstatic about this as I am. So let’s jump in.


* Sometimes I feel like a randomosity bullet is wasted in a randomosity post… Like it could be worth of a full post in itself. But then I try to write a full post around it, and it SUCKS.

I think my problem is either a) my post ideas are sucky or b) I am incapable of writing short posts.

Let’s all mull over which of those is more apt. And if the answer is (a), well I suppose you are a masochist because why would you be here to read all the suckiness?

Wow, that bullet was both kind of circular and also surprisingly self-aggrandizing.


* Something I’ve been wondering lately: Are you friends with any exes on Facebook? My husband had two serious girlfriends before he met me. He is still friends with both of them. Not close friends, but friends. I mean, I have been to dinner with both of them – once, with both of them TOGETHER. (They are both married, by the way.) He is friends with both of these gals on Facebook.

I had… more serious boyfriends than that. Three in high school, three in college before I met my husband. I would not say I am friends with any of them, but I’m on good terms with a couple of them. The others… Well, I would speak to them if I ran into them and I would be friendly… But that’s it. I have no real interest in them or their lives.

I am friends with two of them on Facebook: one because I am also friends with his brother and his mom on Facebook; one who no longer digs women, if you know what I mean. And that is quite enough.

I definitely know the temptation to Facebook a guy you used to go out with and see what his wife looks like… does he have any kids… does his life measure up to yours…

But the whole thing just makes me queasy.

These guys were part of The Time Before My Husband. So why would I want to see updates about their lives… or, worse, have my whole life on display for them to pore over? Yuck.

What is your Exbook policy? Are you “friends” with any of your exes on Facebook? Is your spouse/significant other Facebook friends with any exes?


* In housekeeping news… Anastasia and I are busily figuring out the whole fitness group thing. We plan to have something ready by November 1. So keep an eye on this space (AND in your inboxes if you expressed specific interest) for more details.


* And because I know you are deeply invested in the minutiae of my life We have STILL not made our Christmas airline ticket reservations. Nor has my husband figured out the code-thingy that will allow me to post his photos on my blog. Things happen slowly around these parts. For instance, I did about 25 loads of laundry on Sunday and folded and put away everything except my husband’s pajama pants, work-out shirts, and socks. Those things – which either go in a spot I’m not aware of or require special folding techniques that I cannot master – are sitting on the couch in neat folded piles. (Well, except for the socks, which I CANNOT MASTER.) They will likely stay there for many days until either my husband gives in to my nagging or I get sick of their faces and shove them into the closet somewhere. Or possibly back into the laundry bin from whence they came. Check back next week to see if they are still languishing on the couch.


* This morning, my husband broke one of the Cardinal Rules of Our Marriage. He usually wakes me gently before he leaves and we go through this sickening little ritual of kisses and I love yous. But today, he leaned in for a kiss as I was saying “I love you” and I’m sure he got a big up-close-and-personal blast of Mrs. Doctor Morning Breath right up the nose holes.

Not cool, husband! I know you like to kiss me and I’m very, deeply grateful for that fact. And I know that you are not only a realist but also a doctor, and so understand that I can not always breathe roses and chocolate. But there is NO EXCUSE for putting yourself in the line of fire, monster-breath-wise.


* Speaking of “monster-breath-wise,” I like to add “-wise” on to lots of terms. For instance, we bought a pumpkin and have not yet carved it because we have yet to settle on a subject for the carving. So I might say, “Have we made any decisions, pumpkin-wise?”  Or when I get sick of looking at the socks on the couch, I might mention to my husband, “It looks like we have little infestation, sock-wise.” Or if I’ve instructed my husband add oregano and basil to the spaghetti sauce, and he pours in twice as much oregano as basil, I  might say, “I think that’s enough, oregano-wise.” You get the idea.

The point is, whenever I do, my husband always says, “bidet-wise” and we dissolve into giggles. I suspect that this is not the case in YOUR household. But it SHOULD be. So please watch this SNL skit and add “bidet-wise” to your vocabulary.

P.S. We do not own a bidet.


* We got a pumpkin! Let me show you it.

It is sitting patiently on our counter, waiting for us to carve it into something amazing. Or… a couple of triangle eyes and a lopsided mouth.

I actually hate carving pumpkins. The guts gross me out, as does the smell of the guts. But I do enjoy eating roasted pumpkin seeds.


* It shocks me to type this, but I have exercised seven days out of the past eight. And by “exercised” I mean 6 of those days I actually went to the gym and ellipticaled for 30 minutes to an hour until sweat was rolling down my forehead and puddling in my sports bra, and the seventh day I lifted weights (read: eight-pound barbells) until my arms were as limp as cooked spaghetti (read: two sets of 25 in four different arm exercises). And I am sticking FAIRLY closely to my calorie goals, except on Saturday when I had a date night with my husband and ate an entire personal pizza and drank two beers.

It may not sound like a big deal… And I know one week is nothing compared to making this an actual real-life daily habit… But this is the first time I’ve exercised with any regularity since before my wedding… And it feels pretty good.


* My big fake Thanksgiving cooking plans did not come to fruition this weekend. First of all, I realized that my husband was on call on Sunday. And since I didn’t want to grocery shop on the same day I did my Thanksgiving cooking, I decided to postpone it until next weekend. Secondly, I am lazy.

This gave me time to do some turkey recon. Our local grocery store has plenty of turkey options, including turkey separates. My husband like this idea better than the idea of me making a whole turkey. (Thanks for the vote of confidence, Husband!) He thinks we can do a breast or two and be good to go. I agree that this might be easier and also less wasteful (neither of us eats dark meat, and he doesn’t think his parents do either), but there’s something untraditional to me about buying some spare parts and putting them on a plate. We’ll see.

Anyway, all the turkey options at my local grocery store are injected with a salt/water solution. Which I don’t want. Fortunately, Whole Foods has turkeys that are only injected with water. So Whole Foods it is! I can also call them and reserve a turkey. So I don’t have to elbow any other Thanksgiving chefs out of the way come November.


* I felt so good about myself this past weekend that I went to the mall. It’s pretty amazing how one is able to find clothes that do not make one want to shoot oneself when one is feeling awesome. One being me, obvs. I even – horror of all horrors – decided to try on some skinny jeans.

I may have some body dysmorphia, Internet, but I know that some chicks out there who are wearing skinny jeans – and ROCKING them, might I add – have a few pounds on me. So I figured, why the hell not?

I grabbed a pair at Express, in my current size, and then psyched myself up by trying on a pair of normal bootcut jeans which looked awesome. (Awesome except for the fading. There was a big ol’ faded patch right on the caboose, mainly between the two, um, train cars. [That metaphor fell apart waaaaaay too quickly. I apologize.] It looked as though I were perhaps a dedicated farmer who spends weeks and months on the metal seat of an old-timey tractor.)

Anyway, once fortified by the normal bootcut jeans, I tried on the skinny jeans.

Internet, it was like trying to don a couple of those novelty balloons that you can turn into wiener dogs and giraffes. In other words, it was pretty likely that something was going to pop.

I had to literally – and I do not use that word lightly – peel the jeans from my thighs and calves. I had a moment of panic that I’d have to call in the sales gal for help. (Luckily, that moment passed.)

Moral of the story: Everyone on the planet may look good in skinny jeans, but I am going to steer clear of those suckers.


Have a fabulous Tuesday, Internet!

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When I hit “publish” on Tuesday’s post, I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Normally, I love to check in for comments on a post as soon as I have a few free minutes. But Tuesday, I waited for hours and hours because I was afraid that no one would comment… Or that the comments would include lots of verbal eye-rolling and “stop your whining” types of admonishments.

I knew I deserved it. I mean, I was whining all over the place about something that only I have control over.

But I’ve been feeling stuck. Frustrated. And it’s my blog, so I wanted to post my true feelings. Even if you were going to get irritated with me and tell me so.

Why did I ever doubt you, Internet?

You guys really came through for me, and I am so incredibly touched and inspired by your empathy and commiseration and helpful suggestions.

Every day this week, I’ve gone to the gym. I’ve done 30 minutes on the elliptical machine each day. And I know it’s a very small start, but it’s a start.

I’ve already implemented some of your suggestions:

–          I put my earphones and sneakers right next to the door so I have no excuse not to leave my apartment.

–          I put on my gym clothes immediately upon waking.

–          I’ve decided that 12:00 to 12:30 is Official Gym Time – no matter what. (I have a notion that once in a while, I won’t be able to keep this appointment. It’s the nature of my job. But damned if I’m not going to aim for it every day.)

–          I’m going to put my love for TV to good use and exercise during my favorite shows.

–          I’ve enlisted my husband. We decided that if he gets home before 6:30, we will go to the gym together – no questions asked. (Exercise is extra hard for him because he has such long hours.)

Most exciting, I’ve found an Accountability Partner – or, to be accurate, she found me! The lovely Anastasia of According to Anastasia and I are going to be fitness buddies. We live in different states, but that’s not going to stop us!

Every week, we’re going to email each other some fitness goals. We’re going to be each other’s cheerleader. We’re going to give each other a shoulder to whine on. (Possibly Anastasia doesn’t know what she’s gotten into.) We’re going to share fitness tips and easy, healthy recipes and techniques for keeping on track. And other stuff. Because I’m pretty much making this up as I’m going along.

But hey – we’re jumping right in, even if we don’t quite know how to swim! And I have a great feeling about this Internet.

That’s why we want to know if you want to join us!

I don’t know if we’d all do a big group email… Or if I’d put up some sort of fitness page here on the blog… But we welcome anyone who feels stuck… Anyone who wants to lose a few pounds…Anyone who wants to exercise more often… Anyone who wants to learn how to do 2,000 one-armed push-ups… Okay, possibly we won’t be THAT hard core.

What we want is to set up a little fitness support system where we have to report our progress and hold others accountable. In a friendly, warm manner of course – I mean, I had a bag of sour cream and onion Ruffles tonight, so I’m not going to yell at you if you slip every now and again. I’m thinking something like an email/blog post each week where we can all list our goals and whether we met the goals of the previous week… And then throughout the week, we can do little “check ups”…

I definitely don’t want this to be an all-consuming thing – just a quick and easy way to keep track of our progress, offer motivation, and get some techniques or support from each other.

I’m pumped. Especially because the next few months are bound to be full of delicious temptations to splurge and plenty of excuses to skip exercise. It’s going to be great to have someone besides myself know what I’m aiming for and help me keep pounding away at my goals.

If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, let me know in the comments or via email at LifeofaDoctorsWife [at] gmail. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Once Anastasia and I know how many people are interested, we’ll get the details hammered out.

In the meantime, thank you again, Internet. You guys constantly surprise me with your kindness and willingness to help.

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Upon returning home from Asheville, I ran smack into the following:

– A refrigerator empty of everything but old, moldy lentil soup, delicious-but-bad-for-me Hormel pepperoni, and a half-eaten Dairy Queen ice cream cake…

– A DVR that was 93% full and had mysteriously decided NOT to record last night’s episode of Parenthood

– A head cold, complete with one ear that has apparently taken a sabbatical from hearing, a nostril that won’t stop running yet is simultaneously backed up like a freeway during rush-hour, and a giant balloon that’s slowly inflating behind my forehead…

– And a four-pound weight gain.


To sum up, I am leaving you with a picture of a cat in a stroller.


Your day MUST be going better… Right?

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Well, it’s Friday folks! And I just realized, like, yesterday that next week? Is OCTOBER. As in, where in the hell did September GO? Slow the eff down already.

* That said, I am ready for fall. The pumpkin spice lattes… Cute boots and sweaters… Butternut squash soup… The need for jackets… Trees so colorful they look like they’re about to burst into flame… There’s a lot to love about fall. And the weather was helping ease me into this season quite nicely, with 65-degree days and some intermittent rain.

And then… Suddenly, it was 80 degrees and sunny. And I was all, “Screw fall, summer is AWESOME!”

I feel like going to the pool… Sipping margaritas in an outdoor café… Wearing sandals and a sundress… Eating fresh strawberries…


* One thing about fall I’m not ready to ignore: pomegranates and pomegranate seeds. Both are readily available these days, and they are delicious!

* My husband’s birthday is coming up. He’s going to be the big 3-0. I want to make this birthday special for him… So my big present idea is to get him tickets to see a football match. (Between a team that rhymes with “Feelers” and a team that rhymes with “Frowns.”) My problem? I have no idea how to buy a ticket to such an event… Nor where to sit… Nor anything else related to the whole thing. Apparently, tickets sell out like in June? So. Yeah. I am guessing StubHub is the way to go? Have you ever used StubHub or any related type of ticket-procurement service?

* I know I’ve mentioned it before in this space… But it bugs me when people say “no problem” when you thank them for doing something. And I am a HUGE hypocrite here, because I used to say that ALL THE TIME. But then someone pointed out to me how annoying it is… And it was like that episode of How I Met Your Mother where as soon as you’re aware of something, you can’t NOT notice it.

I don’t think people mean to be annoying… I know I certainly didn’t. But it bugs me because it implies that I was imposing on you for something… and that you are reassuring me that the imposition wasn’t a problem. The only time it may be applicable is if you are my neighbor and I come knock on your door during the Grey’s Anatomy season premier and ask you to unclog my toilet. That’s a genuine imposition.

But if you are, say, a shoe salesperson and I ask you to get me a box of size eight boots from the back, and then say thank you when you hand the box to me… “No problem” is not a valid response. Because of course it wasn’t a problem. You are doing your job. I think maybe it bugs me so much because it’s just a small symptom of a larger epidemic: the death of good service. I think a lot of people who work in businesses actually DO feel like the customer is imposing on them, rather than helping pay for their dental work and steady supply of cheeseburgers. A simple “You’re welcome” or “It was my pleasure!” can go a long way toward making your customer feel like you care about her… and that you’re not just counting down the minutes until your shift ends.

* Have you discovered any exciting new shows this premier season? My husband and I watched The Event, which I found to be boring right up until the end. And I’m suspicious of a show that seems to so clearly be following in Lost’s footsteps. BUT. I will watch at least a couple more episodes before writing it off.

The other new show I tuned in for was The Whole Truth because I love Maura Tierney. But I’m not sure how I feel about this one, either… While I like its (I’m sure 100% accurate and not at all hyperbolic) focus on the legal aspect of crime, I’m not sure I can live with knowing so little about the actual crime. I much prefer the typical Law & Order format, where you know what happens. But again, I’ll keep watching for at least a couple of episodes.

* My weight loss efforts have stalled. I’m still seven pounds down from where I started… But I can’t seem to budge from that spot. (Except for an occasional pound or so in the wrong direction.) I have a strong suspicion that this has something to do with my refusal to exercise and my inability to completely ignore carbs. Also, the fact that – while I am still counting and recording my caloric intake – I am not doing a super job of sticking to the number of calories allotted.

However, the lovely bloggess at Fatty File has turned me onto an exercise challenge. Apparently there fewer than 100 days left in the year (!!!!), and the challenge is to exercise for at least 15 minutes every single one of those 100 days. I know I can do it. A challenge is just what I need to keep me in line. Anyone want to join in?

* Here’s a little Public Service Announcement: Just because you have access to a thesaurus doesn’t mean you should use it. Replacing every other word in a paper with a bigger, longer synonym will not make your paper better. In fact, it will likely make your paper much, much worse. Especially if you don’t fully understand the meaning of the synonym you choose. (“Help” and “enable” may technically be synonyms… But they have slightly different connotations that prevent them from being interchangeable. The same goes for LOTS OF WORDS.)

* Loneliness has been creeping back into my life lately. It’s a combination of things. First, three of the girls I became friendly with earlier this year are all pregnant. Like, really pregnant. And two of them are on bed rest. And since we have hung out together about, um, three times apiece? I don’t feel all that comfortable just showing up at their homes and chatting them up, you know?

Second, I’ve been getting a lot more freelance work lately. Which is great! Yay! Work! Yay! Money! Since I am a huge worrier, I am always afraid that tomorrow all the work will dry up. So I feel compelled to take on everything I can right now, while it’s being offered. This means that many days I spend working from 8:00 to 6:00… Taking a break until about 9:00… And then working until midnight or 2:00 or 3:00 or what have you. This kind of schedule is doable, especially when my husband is working long hours. But it doesn’t leave a lot of time for socializing or even, say, leaving my apartment.

Third, my husband has been working consistently longer hours. Second year of residency is nice because it doesn’t involve as much overnight call… But it’s not so nice because residents need to stick around until their interns are done working – sometimes longer.

So I’m just feeling really… blah lately. A little down, a little needy. Overly affected by the few minutes of sunshine we’re losing every day. Caught off guard by the overcast skies.

I’m not sure how to get out of the rut… but I know it will pass eventually.

* But I’m not going to whine too much about being lonely. Because my husband has two full weeks off coming up! By the way, we decided on Asheville for the upcoming vacation! We’re staying in a cute (and ridiculously expensive) bed and breakfast. We’ve lined up about 20 restaurants that sound appealing. And we plan on leisurely drives up the Blue Ridge Parkway. Any other Must Sees we, well, must see?

* I totally wasn’t going to have a tenth bullet… But my OCD won out in the form of this faux bullet. Have a great weekend Internet!

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(Warning: This post contains disturbing close-up photos of my thumb.)

I went to visit my parents in July. My parents are lovely, sweet people who set out to feed me everything I love during the one week I spent with them.

It quickly became clear that I love a lot of crap. Here is a small sampling of the foods they loving purchased for me:

–          Hotdogs

–          Hamburgers

–          Mountain Dew (notice I did not say DIET Mountain Dew)

–          Red Wine

–          White Wine

–          Beer

–          More Beer

–          Tacos

–          Steak

–          Salami

–          Mom’s Homemade Potato Salad

–          Potato Chips

–          Tortilla Chips

–          Salsa

–          Cheddar Cheese

–          Beef Jerky

–          Mini Snickers Bars

–          Pizza

So. Wow.

Also, Mmmmmmmmm. Hotdogs and beer…. Droooooollllll….

Now, I am not going to pretend that my parents CONDONE my poor eating habits. But they wanted the week to be a treat for me, so they bit their tongues and loaded up on all these goodies.

And I am a loving, grateful daughter. So instead of saying something like, “ACK. I am already ridiculously overweight, there is no way I can eat this stuff as much as I want to!”

… I dutifully (and with great gusto, I might add) ate everything they bought for me.

By the way, if you haven’t had a bowl of my mother’s potato salad for breakfast, you truly haven’t lived.


When I got back home from this Festival of Gluttony, I vowed to my husband that I was going to change my behavior. Not only was I going to commit to eating smaller portion sizes (which is where MyPlate came in), I was going to start eating better foods.

Are you familiar with Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food, and his six-word mantra about eating?

“Eat food. Not too much. Mainly plants.”

In an article for the New York Times, Pollan says, “You’re much better off eating whole fresh foods than processed food products. That’s what I mean by the recommendation to eat ‘food.’”

(I highly recommend you read the full article. It’s illuminating.)

An unabashed connoisseur of processed foods – shredded cheeses, low-fat yogurt, frozen pizza, all manner of Weight Watchers foods, 100 calorie packs, and diet soda – I decided to go cold turkey, cut out the processed, chemical-infused crap, and start eating food.

Except for the soda (sometimes nothing tastes better than a Diet Coke on a busy workday), I have been very good about sticking to this plan.

(Although on the occasions when I’ve strayed, I haven’t been too hard on myself. Because sometimes you have to eat a chicken “enchilada” on an airplane.)

But the plan hasn’t been so excited about sticking with me.

I’m looking at you, cheese.

For the past few years, I’ve turned to shredded cheese for all my cheesy needs. Sargento, Kraft, store brands… All yummy in my tummy.

But they contain lots of extra ingredients. I know the ingredients are mainly intended to keep the shreds of cheese from sticking together, but I am trying to stick to the “five ingredient” rule. So my husband and I have been buying regular old block cheese.

And the block cheese does not like me.

We have a big stand-up grater, which I use to grate the cheese into little shreds for pizza or tacos or what have you.

Every time I do it, I grate my thumb.

Every time.

The things we do in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, am I right?

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Let’s start with the good news.

Since I started using MyPlate on July 20, I’ve lost four pounds.

(It was, on August 11, six point five pounds. But then I went to Napa and ate my weight in deliciousness and wine.)

But there is also bad news. Or, if not bad, simply realistic.

I still have 25 pounds to go before I reach my ideal weight.

I could write a whole novel on this topic, but I’ll spare you the self-indulgent monotony and just list the basics:

* I was very naturally thin as a child and high school student.

* In college, I put on about 15 pounds and looked less like a stick figure and more like a woman.

* In grad school, I put on about 15 more pounds, made up mostly of microwave popcorn drenched in butter and many many spoonfuls of cookie dough. Not surprisingly, I went up a clothing size.

* The year after grad school, I tried Weight Watchers for the first time, lost 10 pounds, and dropped a clothing size.

* I put on maybe five pounds in the next couple of years, but then dropped down to my skinniest since college for my wedding. (Not intentionally; months of personal training didn’t make my weight budge. Instead, it was three weeks of travel, holidays, a horrible cold, and wedding stress that ripped the weight right off.)

* Since my wedding, I’ve put on – wait for it – about 25 pounds. I am officially one clothing size bigger than I’ve ever worn in my life. (And – let’s face it – that’s just in the forgiving brands. Banana Republic? If I try on their pants in my new size, I can barely get them over my thighs.)

I have super-scientifically ascertained that my weight gain has three causes:

1. I suck at portion control and I love to eat.

2. Freelance writing leads to a pretty sedentary lifestyle – a routine that I haven’t been all that great about breaking.

3. I am nearing 30, and my metabolism hates me.

But I can’t keep going this way. I feel bloated. I feel jiggly. I have noticeable cellulite in places where cellulite shouldn’t exist. I am getting stretch marks on my giant ass, for Pete’s sake. Stretch marks! I’m 29 and NOT PREGNANT.

I love clothes and shopping… But now trying on lovely outfits makes me miserable and ashamed.

Part of me – the part that loves cheese and bread and nachos – certainly sometimes wonders if this is just the size I am and maybe I should just leave it be, even if I don’t feel that great about myself. I mean, I’m not unhealthy. That should be the goal, right? Health, not vanity?

But the other part of me just wants to be thin and toned and pretty… and to feel good when I look in the mirror.

I mean, happiness does not come solely from jeans that fit well… or fitting into a size four. I know that. I also know that happiness does not come from giving into the siren song of bubbling pot of spaghetti. Nor does it come from resigning yourself to being This Size And This Weight without giving The Other Size And The Lower Weight your all.

I’m a long way from being thin, Internet. I’m an even longer way from being toned. (Pretty? That’s another matter entirely.)

But I can’t tell you how great it felt to look at the scale on August 11 and see that six-pounds-lighter weight looking back at me. A number I hadn’t seen in months.

I’m going to keep it up.

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