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November 2009

Hungry and sore

Hungry and sore.

I've decided that I have to be those two things if I want to see the scale move.

The weeks when I have a slight gnawing in my stomach are the weeks when I lose weight. I think it's my old, shot metabolism. I really don't need many calories -- probably only around 1,300.

And I need to workout at least four days a week. I'm working up to five. Lately I've been making sure my workouts have some sort of resistance training, although today's workout was pure cardio fun. The DVD is called Cardioke and it's led by Billy Blanks Jr. It's super fun and requires singing!

Most of the soreness goes away the more I exercise, so maybe I'll just be slightly hungry and slightly sore.

Here's one of the Cardioke routines. See if you can keep up -- I had to follow the old ladies in the back.

Weekend update: Down 2 pounds and fed up with my WW leader

I lost 2 pounds this week in spite of my Weight Watchers meeting. I say that because I am thoroughly annoyed with the conversations that happen there. Mad scientist

Everything's about a 1-point miracle muffin or a 2-ingredient brownie or a Diet Pepsi chicken recipe.


When my WW membership expires next month, I think I'll stick to doing the plan online. My lecturer is far too concerned with her "science project" recipes than in inspiring her flock to lose weight and get healthy. Her big discovery this week was Honey Bunches of O's -- a breakfast cereal with a whole 2 grams of fiber. Are you kiddin' me? I won't look twice at a box of cereal unless it has at least 5 grams of fiber per serving.

I'd rather eat normal amounts of real, whole foods than gobs of fat-free sugar-free overprocessed garbage.

I've also started planning meals with an eye on glycemic impact. I've been making sure to eat balanced amounts of slow and fast carbs, protein and fat at every meal and it's really made a difference. I don't have carb cravings anymore and I can actually feel myself getting hungry every few hours.

(OK, here's what I've really been doing -- I succumbed to another infomercial, this time for the Food Lover's Fat Loss System.)

But I absolutely LOVE this plan. It's ridiculously well balanced, stresses whole foods, doesn't ban certain foods and has really yummy recipes. It also stresses getting enough sleep, water and exercise.

It has me really thinking about everything that goes into my body, and since the plan is to eat something every two to three hours, I don't get irrational cravings because I know that I can plan for a 100-200 calorie snack of my choosing.

Another important key is exercise and I had been seriously slacking off. But last week I worked out four times and it felt fantastic. My right foot, which had been nagging me with arthritis and Achilles tendinitis, feels perfectly fine now. All that movement has made my foot very happy.

For the first time in a long time I feel like I'm on track.

Making quiche like a ninja

Ninja I am a total sucker for infomercials. Sometimes on the weekends I like to channel surf and seek them out. This past Saturday I saw one of my favorites, for the Ninja Master Prep food processor.

My son walked in the room and was transfixed by the cheeseburger the presenters were making (the cheese is IN THE BURGER!).

"We should get that!" the cheeseburger fiend said.

I was more interested in the ham and cheese fritatta and the frozen boozy drinks.

Not wanting to pay the shipping and handling and not wanting to wait (I'm that way), I set out in search of a Ninja at brick-n-mortar stores. First stop: The shiny new Kohl's near me. I found a display Ninja but no boxes (those Ninjas are stealthy). Turns out the store was sold out. So on to Target, where I found loads of them for a dollar cheaper than Kohl's.

The fridge was a little empty but we did have Egg Beaters, reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, low-sodium ham and frozen chopped spinach, so I did a little twist on the infomercial fritatta, and the results were delish and crazy low in calories. It's pretty similar to those South Beach Diet crustless quiches. Here's my creation:

Spinach_quiche Spinach, Ham & Cheese Crustless Quiche

  • 2 cups liquid egg substitute
  • 4 slices reduced-fat Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese (60 calories per slice)
  • 4 oz. reduced-sodium ham
  • 1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 capful Mrs. Dash seasoning blend, your favorite flavor (I used Tomato-Basil-Garlic)

Thaw spinach and squeeze out excess liquid. Chop ham and cheese. Combine spinach, ham, cheese, egg substitute and Mrs. Dash in food processor until blended. Pour into 8-inch square baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Bake for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees until puffy and golden on edges.

Makes 4 servings

Calories: 155.4; total fat: 4.6 g, cholesterol: 23.8 mg; sodium: 621.2 mg; total carbs: 4.8 g; dietary fiber: 1.7 g; protein: 24.7 g

(BTW, I use for calculating recipes. It's super easy and best of all, free.)

'Do the thing you think you cannot do'

Eleanorbiggestloser copy I gave the last of the Ben & Jerry's Half Baked FroYo to my husband and my son and walked out of the kitchen with a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt ringing in my head.

"Do the thing you think you cannot do."

Eleanor Roosevelt as weight-loss inspiration? Definitely more creative than Megan Fox. (That's Eleanor, at right, if she was a Biggest Loser contestant.)

It's time to suck it up and stop allowing myself stuff like low-fat chips and cereal bars and diet candy and Ben & Jerry's. I had some yesterday, obsessively measuring a serving on the food scale. But Ben & Jerry's isn't going to bring me closer to my goal of losing all the weight I want to lose, a battle I've been fighting since I was a chubby 10-year-old.

I'm going to win this war.

But does losing weight mean avoiding certain foods? For me it has to. I'm way too easy on myself. I think back to something I read about five years ago, on the pioneering diet blog Skinny Daily Post, written by Juju Ridl, who lost 100 pounds nearly 10 years ago. Alas, the blog doesn't seem to be active anymore. My all-time favorite post of hers is titled "Not Right Now," which you still can find in her archives from August 2004. Here's an excerpt:

The real secret to my success over giving up foods I love for a little while? Knowing there will always be more.

I knew that I could give up those foods for a year, because at the end of the year, there they would be again. The pie, the cake, the chips. I know today that when I enjoy too many of these things, I have to say goodbye again for a while.

So goodbye Ben, and you too, Jerry (who once told me, at the factory in Vermont, that his favorite flavor was their Berry Berry Extraordinary sorbet). I can't see you right now. I'll be hanging out with the nonfat Greek yogurt for awhile, probably forever.

I usually don't attach any time frames to losing weight but I am shooting for one mini goal: FitBloggin' 10, which is this coming March (the month I turn 48 -- blaaaargh!) in Baltimore, one of my fave cities. As I write this, there are 131 days until the start of the fitness bloggers' conference, and I told FitBloggin' organizer Roni Noone (of the great blogs Roni's Weigh and GreenLiteBites) that I was going to make a public spectacle of myself to lose 20-something pounds in 20-something weeks.

So here goes:

I hereby vow to lose 20-something pounds (or more, who knows?) by the start of FitBloggin' 10 in March.

My starting weight is ...

(OMG, I'm not that brave! Suffice to say I weigh the same as Miami Dolphins fullback Lousaka Polite. You figure it out. Dude's got 7 inches on me.)

Every weekend I'm going to tell y'all how I did with the eating and the moving and the scale. And I promise I'll post more over here, even as I obsess over The Biggest Loser at This is where I get to do all the "me me me" stuff.

And hey, "you you you" -- I need your support and encouragement. Tweet me, leave me comments, tell me I can do it. Losing weight sure isn't as easy as it was when I was in my 20s. But back then, when I lost 40 pounds, I did it with focus and determination and without Ben & Jerry.

I leave you today with the last verse of Coldplay's Nobody Said It Was Easy. Consider it a breakup song with Ben & Jerry:

Nobody said it was easy
Oh it's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard
I'm going back to the start.