Internal Dialogues Feed

Weigh, way ridiculous

This is what I've been doing every Friday morning:

"Wait, don't weigh yourself just yet.

Go to the bathroom.

How 'bout we weigh after we get back from a 3-mile sweaty walk? 

... and don't drink any water or eat anything. 

OK, now get on the scale and take off everything.

... even your glasses.

Wait, go to the bathroom again."

I had to stop my frankly disordered Friday weigh-ins, so I started today:

I weighed myself after breakfast and a big mug of coffee, and I kept my glasses on. I also had homemade chicken enchiladas last night, that while low in fat and calories, probably had a billion milligrams of sodium.


Weighing myself had become fraught with anxiety and I was trying everything short of voodoo to get the scale to give me a good reading.

Then I read a great Facebook quote from Amber of the blog Go Kaleo:

Most people think you need to lose weight to be healthy but I think in a lot of cases you have to get healthy to lose weight.

What I was doing wasn't healthy, it was crazy-making.

So, to get the scale moving in the right direction again, I'm adding in more produce and adding in more strength training. Instead of saying I'm cutting out things, I'm just going to add in enough good stuff to crowd out the other stuff. Tonight, for example, I roasted a big pan of zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms and fingerling potatoes. "What are we having with it?" the teenager asked, to which I replied "That's the main course." And it was great -- a big dish of roasted vegetables, which by the way, added up to 11 grams of protein. I topped off the evening with a bowl of cherries. 

It's now 10 p.m. and I have no interest in consuming anything else, which is pretty cool.

Coming Monday: My fave new strength-training DVD set!

Vacation weight loss is staying off, and then some

I know I don't do my weigh-ins until Friday, but I was getting a little concerned that the vacation weight loss might be coming undone, what with the return to home and my late-night ways, so I just weighed myself:

Ladies and gents, we're back to PRE-BABY WEIGHT again, for the first time in a couple of years.

Another pound and a half since last Friday.

Now that I know I'm still on track, I feel even better about STAYING on track.

What a few days of sticking to it will get you

Waist 050113All I've been doing differently is not eating after 9 p.m. That's it. 

(Well, except for Tuesday night when I ate a salad.)

I started on Sunday and as of today, I am down 4 pounds. 

I've been keeping myself occupied at night by watching baseball, writing and editing and drinking things like decaf tea and stevia-sweetened lemonade. 

(But geez, those fast-food ads do NOT help things.)

This is big, people. I am not one to stick to things. I can justify anything:

It's just lettuce.

A few almonds -- it's a superfood!

Fruit is zero Points.

I've got 2 Points left; I really should use them.

That's why I left no room for error. NO. EATING. It's hard to bend the rules that way.

The key is making sure my Points are over and done with for the day before 9 p.m. There's no way I should "need" any more sustenance. 

But do I "want" to eat? Sure, but those signals are coming from my head, not my gut. When I stop and listen, the "noise" seems to disappear. It's like this:

Oooh, hungry.



Focus on your stomach.

Nope -- not hungry. 

Swig of water?

All good.

Live-blogging a late-night food craving

Because, why the heck not?

It's 12:15 a.m. Friday night/Saturday morning. Husband went to bed hours ago, teenager is killing mythical creatures on the office computer and I'm watching college basketball.

I had a bowl of oatmeal at 9 p.m. as my nighttime snack and that seemed like it'd be a good craving crusher. 

But no. Around 11 p.m. I had a serving of pistachios. 

Now it's past midnight and all of a sudden, a voice inside me said "EAT." 

That's all -- no "eat a bowl of ice cream" or "eat a carrot." Just "EAT."

Before jumping up off the chair, I checked in with my head and my gut.

"Eat? Are you hungry? Nope? Sit down. Power through it."

I moved my jaw around and back and forth in a chewing motion to see if it would give me a sign. What? Crunchy? Chewy?

Oddly enough, the phantom chewing short-circuited the craving. 

Stomach isn't growling but it's definitely shooting off signals. 

Cant hear you
La-la-la-la-la! Can't hear you!

I took a big swig from the water bottle on the side table, looked up at the clock and figured that it was more than time for bed.

The more I fight with this urge, the better I'll get at beating it.

Good night!


My way or the highway

My way or the highway
As someone who writes about weight loss for a (ha!) living (OK, grocery money), I get pitches and samples of LOTS of things. And as someone who has a problem with her attention span, I am often tempted to think: "Hey! This might be the one ...


Protein powder


Eating plan

Weight loss 'system'

Web site



Meal delivery service




... that will finally click with me."

It happened again when a huge box showed up at the front door with an assortment of fancy weight-loss meals. I eagerly looked through the selections and the next day I followed the plan. That night, I lay in bed, feeling sad and nervous.

"I don't want to follow their plan. I want to follow my plan! What if all I want for lunch is a Power Crunch bar and an apple? What if I just want a smoothie? Or a bowl of oatmeal?"

So I decided that I would sample the meals but that I would fit them into MY program.

I haven't been following MY program very well, but when I do, I have success. I get easily distracted by all the external sources that find their way to my front door and inbox (all you PR people are doing a bang-up job!).

I know that following someone else's rules works for many people, but it doesn't work for me. I have decades of trying that under my belt (which is diminishing I discovered last week -- went down an inch and a half since the last time I measured my waist).

To quote the great philosopher, Pee-Wee Herman:

Peewee rebelI'm a loaner,


a rebel.



I have to – no, NEED to – do things my way.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not all flitting hummingbird, no rules, freestylin' bohemian. There are some, we'll call them things, I find that work:

  • Repeating certain meals.
  • Using bars and shakes for "no brainer," portion-controlled meals and/or snacks.
  • Knowing when to stop eating for the day by keeping track of my food with Weight Watchers PointsPlus.
  • Making sure I do some sort of workout just about every day.

My process is MY process, and as Bob Harper says:

Believe in yourself, trust the process, change forever.

I don’t know which is tougher – trusting the process or believing in myself. When I look at the overall track record, there’s not much to believe in. So instead, I’ll pluck out those times when I am successful and build on those.

I'm a sucker for 'the thrill of the new'

New diet books, new DVDs, new fitness gizmos, new headphones, new playlists -- these crowd my home and my mind.

New-blue-splash-ink-hiI'm so into new stuff that I can't listen to oldies radio or watch reruns.

So Saturday night, as I watched hockey on TV with the dog while my guys were at the game, I said to myself (or perhaps, the dog), "Everything changes now," which made me absolutely giddy. The dog? Not so much.

I decided that I would recommit to eating normal, balanced meals and snacks and log everything on Weight Watchers Online, which falls in line with my new Simple mantra.

No fads, no miracles, no gimmicks.

And I also said "Zumba every day."

Again, the dog wasn't into it but I was.

By committing to just one workout, I simplified my whole gizmo and DVD-filled existence.

Whee! A new plan.

Sunday morning, I awakened and the first thing that popped into my head was "Everything changes now."

Same thing happened Monday, Tuesday and today.

Every day is the first day of my new and exciting plan. And every day I recommit to it.

Call it delusion but I like it – it’s new!

What we're reading (and loving): 'The Willpower Instinct'


Willpower instinct bookNo, I’m not a zombie – I just love everything about the human brain. They are fascinating skull fillers. That’s why I jumped at the chance to review the book “The Willpower Instinct” (Avery, $26) for the BlogHer Book Club.

The book, subtitled “How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It,” is written by Kelly McGonigall, Ph.D, a psychologist who teaches a Stanford University titled “The Science of Willpower.”

Sign me up!

Everyone says they have no willpower and that they need to improve it, but how? This book outlines the “workout” that you need to do to exercise the part of your brain responsible for willpower – the prefrontal cortex, right behind your forehead.

Just like your abs and glutes, your brain can improve with exercise, becoming stronger and more able to flex its “pass up the cookie” muscle.

As I was reading the book, I stuck little hot pink Post-Its on passages that resonated with me.

The book looks like it was attacked by a flock of flamingos.

In addition, I probably yelled out “Oh my God!” about a thousand times.

But it’s not just me – many people have issues with self-control, procrastination, self-awareness,

Having a stronger prefrontal cortex helps you push out the “go shopping/stay up late/destroy the Doritos/screw around on Facebook” urges and allows you to do “the harder thing,” the book says.

And in the past, when I referred to my nighttime eating urges as feeling like a hungry polar bear was inhabiting my being, I wasn’t too far off. That’s just my “primitive brain” fighting the prefrontal cortex for the upper hand.

According to the book, some neuroscientists say that we have two minds or even two people living inside our mind. Remember that Steve Martin movie “All of Me”? There was a fantastic scene where Martin was attempting to walk down the street but his mind and the spirit of Lily Tomlin were pulling him in opposite directions.

That can be what it feels like when you strengthen your willpower muscle (at least that’s my fun visual).

Man, I’ve got some work to do, and it’s not just at the gym.

What are your willpower challenges? Mine are staying up too late (FULLY addressed in the book by the way), procrastinating and, of course, after-dinner foraging. Feel free to join the discussion on this topic at the link HERE at

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club, but the opinions expressed are completely my own.

A strongly worded letter to my metabolic processes and hormones

OK, I’ll keep this brief, and I’m not really sure who (what) to address this to, so consider this a mass mailing.

Finger wagging redI am disappointed in your incredibly efficient skills at keeping my weight at 238.

Listen, that may be your “happy weight” but it sure isn't mine.

At the same time, I’m also amazed at your efficiency. Seriously, all I have to do is go to a restaurant one time and you slap 2 pounds on me? Really? I ordered the fish! I didn’t eat the rice! I drank water!

Anyway, some changes are in order. We’ll call this a Performance Improvement Plan.

  • We will be moving more. We’re doing great with exercise but we’re still not super consistent. And sometimes we go a little too easy on ourselves. Research has shown that high-intensity interval training can goose the metabolism better than steady-state exercise and we’re looking for a BIG GOOSE here.
  • We will be lifting more weight. Muscles weigh more than fat, but they’re also smaller and more metabolically active, and that’s important to our 50-year-old innards.
  • We will be tracking better. Yes, the Fitbit is a fantastic way to track activity, but until there is a similar device that computes exactly how many calories we’re sticking in our piehole, we need to either write it down in our Fitbook or use a smartphone app. If that means accounting for calories after we’re officially done for the day, then so be it. You are only fooling yourself, and your ass speaks louder than words.
  • No late-night kitchen horseplay. I have seen you in the kitchen, snooping around the pantry, the fridge and the freezer, foraging for “healthy snacks” late at night. Go ahead and grab those celery stalks but keep the peanut butter jar where it is unless you plan to write it down -- you haven’t been writing that down. And I’m giving you free reign to eat all the celery you want without having to write it down. (Counting calories or Points for celery is ridiculous.)
  • We will be eating less. Yes, you will be hungry – we have gone over this repeatedly. This is the metabolism that decades of dieting has wrought and you will be hungry all the damn time – get used to it, hormones. Yes, it will suck.

 I will be checking in with you on a weekly basis to see how you’re doing, and I hope you take this criticism the right way because I love and respect you and want you to do better. I’d also like to keep you around as long as humanly possible.



The Management


It's the one thing

Greetings from 9 p.m., otherwise known as The Danger Zone.

Last week you met the Friendly Polar Bear and this is when he starts stirring.

Shhhh ... you don't want to wake him.

I was able to avoid the kitchen twice last week, but twice isn't enough to lose weight. I stayed the same but noticed that the nights that I did avoid the kitchen, the scale went down the next morning.


I'm going to write my blog posts from right here at Danger Zone's Ground Zero. I have two 24-ounce bottles filled with water sitting next to me so that I don't have to go into the kitchen to get anything to drink.

The Weight Shrink and I figured that if I do a "brain dump" at this time of night, I'll be less likely to cave into the polar bear.

So here's what's going through my head...

I have some really lovely organic nectarines in the fridge and I'd really like one right now.

I think my stomach is growling.

Why is the light on in the kitchen? I should go turn it off.


The polar bear is very chatty, and while his food choices are good, they're just something I don't need after dinner.

It's the one thing that has tripped me up this whole time. The one thing.

So all I have to work on is one thing.

One big stinkin' thing.

The exercise component has been great -- I've been averaging 4-5 times a week with two of those days as strength training. My Fitbit has been very happy with me, and it'll be fully charged for my weekend trip to Baltimore for Fitbloggin'. Nothing like a conference to rack up the steps on a Fitbit!

I'll try and squeeze in another post before I leave for Fitbloggin' but there's packing to be done and whatnot. Really looking forward to connecting with all my bloggy pals and touring the McCormick HQ on Thursday. If you're going to Fitbloggin' and you're in town Thursday morning, there's still time to sign up for the tour HERE.

I'll leave you tonight with The One Thing, from INXS in all their '80s hair glory:

Analyze this: My Madonna dream

I'm not really into dream analysis -- just too "woo woo" for me. But the dream I had Sunday night had me waking up Monday morning with a big smile on my face and a renewed sense of purpose to get to my Happy Weight.

{Cue the "dream sequence"...}

OK, not that Madonna dream.

Here was mine: I was organizing a huge aerobics class in a football stadium, and Madonna was going to lead the exercisers. I was concerned that there wouldn't be enough room to move around up in the stands so we could only use the floor area of the stadium.

After Madonna had her routine nailed down, I went into the green room where my posse (huh?) was hanging out. I told them that everything was set and that I was going to change into my workout clothes to exercise along with everyone else.

As I was putting on my workout clothes, I took a look at myself in the mirror. I was totally fit, like fitness model fit (something I have never been). I stopped by the green room to tell everyone I was heading out to the stadium and everyone looked at me with admiration.

OK, what the heck was that all about?

Anyway, I loved the feeling that I awoke with, and decided to make my workouts more fun and less stressful. I have a habit of overthinking my workouts (and everything), so since I have Mondays nailed down (running, no matter what), I'm working on other "no matter what" workouts. I checked out the Tuesday morning Zumba class at the gym and loved it, so if I can wrangle my way into the crowded room, that'll be my Tuesday workout.

I threw in a yoga DVD on Wednesday and decided that it'll be a good mid-week stretchy break. I don't do enough yoga-type workouts and always feel great after I finish.

DVD pileThursday was supposed to be a strength-training workout but I started overthinking which workout to do so it didn't happen. And today? I've gotta do something. Maybe I'll do upper body Thursdays and lower body Fridays for strength training. I certainly have enough DVDs to choose from.