Category Archives: limiting calories

Not a Lean Cuisine

I was so tempted to just heat up a Lean Cuisine for dinner last night…..

I was on my own for the night. The boys took off to do boy things. Since it was a Rest Day, I decided to use my time wisely and run errands. Library, grocery store, dyed my hair, cleaned the bathroom, did laundry, and got sucked into hours of Netflix TV.

It would have been super easy to just heat up a frozen meal and call it good. I was very tempted. And I was feeling very lazy. I decided to suck it up and make something. Oy.

First, I cooked some plain whole wheat Couscous. Opened a can of chickpeas:

Then I steamed broccoli and tossed both on top of the couscous.

Then I drizzled some Goddess Dressing on top of everything. Fairly low in calories for the whole thing and I was filled up.

I also munched on some green grapes after dinner. Something else that saved a lot of calories? Not drinking wine with dinner. It’s amazing how many calories I save by NOT drinking. Which sucks because I love wine, I love trying new wines, I love wine-tasting. But really, who can just stop with one glass of wine? Those calories add up fast!

Today (Wednesday) Michael’s father and step-mom arrive from Texas. They will be visiting until Sunday. The step-sister and boyfriend arrive on Thursday and will be visiting until Sunday as well. Jeremy is still here with us too. So I think the plan for the next few days is a lot of EATING OUT! Gasp. Michael told me our dinner plans for the next 5 days and I think we are hitting every good restaurant in Portland. Which is understandable because they are also the favorite restaurants of the family visiting! It’s all good……

I will be strong.

I will be strong.

I will be strong.

I will……..oooh is that cheesecake?


I will BE strong!!!


Hating Your Body

Do you ever hate your body?

When I was 250 I went through weird stages where I’d love my body and flaunt it, then I’d go through stages where I hated my body. The stomach rolls. The thighs rubbing. The big arms. The double chin.

I lost weight because I became stuck in that “I hate my body” phase and realized there was a different way of living out there. I lost weight because my body HURT all the time.

Well last week I was hating my body again. I was so damn MAD at my body. Thoughts like “I didn’t lose 110 pounds to still hurt!” My injury deflated me. I felt betrayed, I felt broken. I felt really pissed off at my body like it was the ENEMY.

Many times in my weight loss journey I looked at my “fat” as the demon I was trying exorcise. I wanted to get rid of that and never see it again.

Last week was the first time since I was “fat” that I felt like my body was the Enemy. I kept thinking, “How could I lose so much weight and be soooo healthy and still get injured?” And I thought, “How can so many other people run and not get injured?”

I did everything right. I didn’t increase my speed or distance too fast. I gradually increased my speed over MONTHS of training. Yes I added stairs to my routine recently, but I had been doing that damn stair-master all winter long. Doesn’t that count for something? Sheesh!

I still can’t answer any of these questions. My hope is that I am healing and healed soon. I don’t want to injure myself further. But I also don’t want to be sidelined for the entire summer season. I have Hood to Coast in 2 months and I want to be 100% for that!

I woke up this morning wondering if I would be in pain from yesterday’s run. I wasn’t! There were no twinges, no aches, no strains. I felt okay but I wanted to take it easy anyhow.

Today is my Rest Day and I’m taking it easy.¬† I want to be able to heal. So far today I’ve been pretty upbeat and happy. Not being in pain changes your outlook drastically and I am crossing my fingers that the healing has begun!

July Weigh-In

This month’s weigh in isn’t very exciting. I haven’t lost much of anything…maybe about half a pound. I was disappointed when I got on the scale and saw no change. ūüė¶

No change could be from a lot of things…getting into an exercise rut, being injured and taking it easy, over-indulging at events and vacations, and…..

…..drinking more alcohol (why is it that summertime = alcohol?).

I measured and saw a change, however. I lost about 1/2 an inch around everywhere except my waist where I lost a whole inch! Sweet! I’ll take it. My hope is that I heal quickly and can get back to training. Maybe next month I will see a change!

QUESTION: How do you change your thinking when it goes to the negative side?

Fat Tax

It’s finally summer in Portland!! It’s currently 76 degrees and sunny. It’s so warm out today that when I walked across the Hawthorne Bridge to work this morning I didn’t need my jacket at all. Yay for summer!

During my lunch break I went for a walk up to PGE Park.

I walked fairly slowly to make sure my hip didn’t start to hurt. And actually, moving felt really great. I no longer felt stiff or tight. When I got back from my 40 or so minute walk, I ate my leftovers for lunch: quinoa and half the salmon from last night’s dinner. Delicious!


Fat Tax

I just read a fantastic article on Heavy Incentives to Lose Weight. Check out this staggering fact: “Now the famous 7-Eleven Double Big Gulp equals 64 ounces of soda and 600 calories. A regular fast-food burger that used to be 2.8 ounces and 202 calories by 2004 was 4.3 ounces and had 310 calories.” 600 calories for a soda?! That’s almost half of my daily caloric intake!

The article is about Tufts having financial incentives to lose weight. “The 12-week competition, through June 17, offers $500 to the employee who loses the most weight, $1,000 to the biggest team loser; $300 to the second-place winner, $600 for the second-place team; $200 for third-place employee and $400 for the team.”

Would you participate in something like this? Would it motivate you to lose weight? And most importantly, why would money be your incentive to lose weight and get healthy?

And on the flip side– should people be TAXED or penalized for gaining weight? There are new rumors about “fat taxes” on things like candy and soda, fast food, etc. It’s also called the “Twinkie Tax” or the “Sin Tax.”

Someone I used to know, who was a Canadian, used to complain all the time about how the “fat people” of Canada were sucking up all the resources and that they should be taxed for being fat. I kept my mouth shut because I could see both sides of the argument and I also didn’t want to engage in a debate with him. I’m not Canadian and don’t participate in Socialized Medicine so I don’t feel like I could weigh-in (so to speak) on the subject. But how would you feel if your medical costs and co-pays were more expensive because ¬†you were obese? Or more expensive because you had to pay for OTHER people’s obesity?

Another article claims the cost of Obesity is growing: ¬†“A recent article in Health Affairs estimated its annual cost to be $147 billion and growing. That translates into $1,250 per household, mostly in taxes and insurance premiums.” Ouch! That’s expensive. Is it fair for healthy households to be charged more in insurance premiums to make up for obese households that are over-using the resources?

How do we solve this health epidemic WITHOUT discriminating against fat people? As a former fatty, I remember the harsh reality of discrimination. People judged me by my weight and not my abilities or personality. ¬†Finally, where do we draw the line with allowing the government to tell us what we can and can’t eat?

Question: How many of my readers have a gym membership they pay but don’t use on a frequent basis? If paying money to “become thin” (ie gym memberships) doesn’t motivate us, how would being paid to lose weight be any different?

QUESTION: Where do you weigh-in on this subject?

Obesity and the 600lb Woman

On Tuesday, a 600 pound fetish model named Donna was interviewed on the Howard Stern Show.

She claimed to be eating her way to weigh 1,000 pounds.

She was 530 pounds when she gave birth to her child and claims to have the world’s record of “the heaviest woman to deliver a child vaginally ever.”

Her fiance has to bathe her.¬† She can’t really move around much. She claims she can eat 70-80 pieces of sushi in one sitting. She’ll eat 6 English Muffins for breakfast. Her calorie intake for the day was usually around 4,000 calories. But in another article about her, she states she eats 12,000 calories a day!

During the interview I could hear her labored breathing the entire time. She really seemed to be struggling just to get air.

This interview made me really sad for her. I have these thoughts about obese people I see out and about. I was obese at one point in my life. It was not fun, or healthy. I felt sickly and my body hurt. I was so unhealthy and I made a positive change and am no longer obese. When I see someone who is obese, I feel sad because I can relate to how they must feel. I don’t want to judge them, but I wish I could help them.

The CDC claims that in 2007-2008 32.2% of men and 35.5% of women in America are obese. That is an astonishing number to me. First Lady Michelle Obama has recently started a campaign to prevent Childhood Obesity. I am 100% in support of this campaign and as a reformed fat person, I want to LEAD by example! I want to teach my future children that exercise can be fun, that hiking and biking is exciting, that eating good food is the way to live. Kids learn from their parents and copy what they do.

I wonder about Donna’s children. How much do they weigh? Are they on the road to obesity like their mother? It’s such a sad thing.

I’m not going to list a bunch of stats about how unhealthy obesity is. We all know obesity leads to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, death. I knew that as a fat person and I ignored it until it was IN MY FACE. A doctor had to say “YOU ARE GOING TO BE DIABETIC SOON.”

A coworker of mine is going through a similar struggle. She told me that she went to the doctor because her knees always hurt, she has asthma, she has no energy. Her back hurts. She falls asleep in the middle of the day and has sleep apnea at night. She said she’s tired of being fat but doesn’t want to make the changes she has to make. I didn’t give her advice. I wanted to. She knows my story. But people have to make that change–make that decision–by themselves. Me telling them what they “should” do is not going to help.

I get a lot of emails from readers in various stages of their weight loss and they all ask for advice. I honestly don’t know what to say except this:


Seriously. Why do you want to lose weight? Because you feel like you “have” to or “should” lose weight? Or do you want to lose weight because you WANT to be healthy?

I decided to lose weight for many reasons:

I did not want to be diabetic.

I did not want to give myself insulin shots.

I did not want to take blood pressure medication.

I hated how dizzy/nauseated/sick I felt from high blood pressure.

I was tired of my hips/feet/back hurting ALL THE TIME.

I wanted to be attractive to the opposite sex.

I wanted to one day walk down the isle with the man of my dreams and not be in a size 20 dress.

I wanted to look good in my brother’s wedding photos.

I wanted a life!

I was tired of being “the fat friend.”

I was tired of being the “invisible girl.”

I was tired of being depressed and sad about my weight.

Some of those reasons may seem like shallow reasons but they are legitimate. Wanting to “look good” is just as good a reason as any! It’s human nature to want to be attractive and feel confident and sexy in our own skin.

There is no “magic answer” for losing weight. My advice: EAT HEALTHY. Count calories/points. Be AWARE of what you are eating. And exercise. Start by walking then step it up.

Okay, time to get off the soap-box I guess. ūüėČ

QUESTION: What was your “in your face” moment? Why do you want to lose weight?

Why Losing Weight is Healthy

Seems pretty self-explanatory, right? We lose weight to look and feel better. But there are other reasons to lose weight too. 

I’ve mentioned in my page My Fat History¬†that when I was 250, I had high blood pressure and I was pre-diabetic. I also had high cholestrol.¬†

*Not My Pic


Blood Pressure (aka Hyper Tension) 

Don’t let the numbers confuse you. There are two numbers, the one on top and the one on the bottom. For example: 120/90.¬†

*The top number is your systolic pressure, the pressure created when your heart beats. It is considered high if it is consistently over 140. 

*The bottom number is your diastolic pressure, the pressure inside blood vessels when the heart is at rest. It is considered high if it is consistently over 90. 

*Not My Pic

At my heaviest, my blood pressure was about 140/100. That’s very high. The lower number is the dangerous number. I had my yearly physical yesterday and my blood pressure is now 110/60. I no longer have high blood pressure because I lost weight.¬†

My resting pulse yesterday was also 68. A “normal” resting rate is between 60-100. Lance Armstrong’s resting heart rate is rumored¬†to be 37. 37!!¬†

High Cholesterol 

High Cholesterol can lead to stroke, heart attack and death. A high range is 200‚Äď239 mg/dL, which is¬†Borderline-High Risk. Less than Less than 200 mg/dL¬†is desired.¬†It was well over 200 when I weighed 250. My current Cholesterol level is 160.¬†

*Not My Pic


Have I convinced you yet? Losing weight DOES improve your health, whether you can see it or not. 

I also talked to my doctor about my seemingly constant hunger. She said it was probably a combination of high metabolism and also eating refined sugars. She said that eating refined sugars spikes my insulin level and that creates hunger in the body. I know I eat too many refined sugars. That’s something I struggle with every day. But I had no idea it spiked my insulin like that.¬†

She also recommended learning about the low-glycemic diet. My goal is to get a book on it and learn more. When I first read a book about it last year, I dismissed the concept because counting calories was working for me. Why fix what isn’t broken? But now that I’ve lost the weight and I’m training for things, I feel like I need to know these things.¬†¬†

Low Glycemic Index food (less than 55) 
Foods with GI index between 55 and 70 are consider intermediate
High Glycemic Index food GI (more than 70)

An example of some foods by glycemic index: 

Waffles: 76 (high) 

Carrot Juice: 45 (low) 

Cheese Pizza: 60 (medium) 

Porridge: 49 (low) 

Cornflakes: 83 (high) 

Whole Milk: 27 (low) 

Cherries: 22 (low) 

Apples: 38 (low) 

Peanuts: 15 (low) 

Asparagus: 15 (low) 

QUESTION: Why do you want to lose weight? And do you follow the Low-Glycemic diet?

Monthly Weigh-In

This morning I did my monthly weigh-in and measurements.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I stepped on the scale. It’s a about a week before I’d normally weigh-in but the timing for this month fell that way.

I thought for sure I’d be down quite a bit since last month’s weight in. Michael and I had been biking an insane amount in preparation for Reach the Beach. Every weekend for over a month we biked. Saturdays were our long bike ride days.

April 2010

But I also didn’t factor in that because of all the intense training and the Reach the Beach ride, I was also eating a lot more to fuel my body.

The result? I did not lose inches this month. I think I lost about 1/2 an inch around my waist but everything else measured the same as last month.

I did, however, lose 2.6 pounds! A loss is a loss. I don’t mind that it wasn’t a massive loss this month. I felt great during Reach the Beach, I recovered amazingly fast, and my running has become faster! Those are all Non-Scale Victories that I can celebrate!

Monthly Weigh-In: 151.2 pounds

Check out my Current Weigh In and Measurements Page.

December 2009

Since I stopped taking those pills in March, I’ve lost a total of 8.3 pounds. And not only that, I had to buy a new pair of jeans on Sunday. I’m down from a size 6 to a size 4! I’ll take it!

Weight Loss Sabatouers

Do you have a Saboteur in your life?

Weight Watchers

My friend Rachel scanned and emailed her Weight Watchers brochure on the topic after she read my post about supportive partners. While this is a similar subject, I think it’s an even more important topic to discuss because these types of people ARE out there.

The Food Pusher: “Just have a little piece”

The Paranoid Partner: They think you’re going to leave them when you get “skinny”.

The Mother Hen: “You’re getting too skinny, you need to eat.”

The Jealous Joker: “Ordering another salad? You don’t eat real food.”

How to Deal with these Saboteurs

1. Be honest with them. Tell them what you’re trying to do and ask for their support.

2. Get it “To Go” and then don’t eat it.

3. Have a small bite and tell them how great it is. Then STOP eating it.

4. Reassure your partner or friend that the relationship is not going to change when you get healthy. Invite them to join you in the journey!

5. Tell them how important it is to you to get healthy.

6. If the relationship is truly toxic, limit your exposure to them the best you can.

Check out this article with the Washington Post. Their suggestion was to firmly say “No Thank You.”

QUESTION: Do you have any other suggestions for dealing with these situations? Do you have a Saboteur in your life?