Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Seen mine anywhere? Because I have misplaced it. Must have lost it somewhere on the road between Toronto and here.

That is to say, re-entry has not been entirely smooth. Oh, it hasn't been terrible, it's just that at the ancestral palace I was in such a nice groove. Work out every morning, without even thinking about it. Eat a good breakfast, take a homemade good lunch, eat a lovely mom-made supper, drink an ocean of water during the two-hour commute. Easy peasy.

Now that I'm home? Not as easy peasy.

First of all, there was the 19-hour roadtrip. We packed a good cooler, with lots of healthy snacks, but I got super dehydrated, and I'm still recovering from that. Then I got averse to water again for a while over the weekend. Then I ate a cheese croissant at the market. And damn, it was good, and worth it. But then after that, the weekend eating was downhill. Mostly because I didn't have any groceries in the house, and was too busy and broke to go get some. Donna and I had falafel for lunch on Saturday, which is undoubtedly not Core, but on the other hand, it's pretty healthful. I can't remember what we had for supper that day...Oh yeah, Professor Taco made an outrageously good scallop curry. So, coconut milk, not Core. But again, not a crisis. But these things add up, you know?

And then there was Sunday. A day in which Taco and I were so glad to be in each other's company again that, um, we kind of didn't get around to eating. Well, I ate a veggie burger around sundown, but it wasn't enough, and by then my stomach was hurting and I felt insane and dehydrated and...bleh. Not good.

And then yesterday the not-having-groceries continued. So breakfast was...well, you don't care about every single thing I ate. Suffice to say it wasn't bad, but neither was it exactly good.

Positives: I bought groceries last night. And I went to Curves. And I must say the Halifax version of Robot Exercise Church totally kicks the Mississauga version's ass. Two extra machines, lots of high powered fans, a scrolling LED screen with exercise tips and ads to read to pass the time, lots of space...and weirdly, it's set up in the building that used to house the newspaper I used to work at. It was weird to get changed into my workout gear in my old boardroom, and to work out in my old office, but...well...I kind of liked it. So I'll be there Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Negatives: No workout tonight so far, because I am still at work, even though it's 6pm. Got a freelancer here working on something and I can't leave till she's done. So I've missed Circuit, and I'm currently missing Aquafit.

But positive: I can go home and do my Gym in a Box dvd finally. And make an excellent, Core-y supper. With enough left over for an outrageously good lunch. And Taco will be off doing record-related things, which means that I can get some things about the house in order without the considerable distraction of his adorable presence. Which means that I can stop feeling like everything is chaotic. Which means that I can head off any suggestion of self-sabotage.

So. I'd be surprised to find I'd lost this week. But I doubt I've gained. And in any event, I've managed to stay aware and nip a potential landslide in the bud. If I may just shamelessly mix some metaphors there.


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I'm a loser

Yes, I am, and at long last. According to the scale at Curves, and the one at the ancestral palace, I lost almost six pounds last week.

I know that sounds crazy.

But since it's the first time since I started that the scales have actually shown me down at all, somehow, some part of it must be right.

Could be all the water I started drinking last week, or the week before, or whenever that was. The days blur together: up early, work out, make breakfast, spend a frillion hours in traffic, work, spend a frillion hours in traffic, miss Professor Taco, lather, rinse repeat. The days go by in a haze of not-in-Halifax-yet longing, tamped down with daily workouts and lots and lots of fresh cut fruit.

Anyhow, the inches have continued to come off, so it was only a matter of time before the scale coughed up some change.

I'm not getting too wound about it -- well, about the mystery of how the hell it's possible to lose six pounds in a week after losing nothing for a month I'm wound, for sure, but not about the actual number -- because I feel fantastic. And my clothes are getting looser.

I feel strong, and capable, and I love that.

I also am pretty keen on the rampant fantasising I'm doing about buying new clothes. The ones I have should be falling off me just in time for the post-Christmas sales. Good timing, me!

Friday, October 15, 2004

The hang of it

I seem to be getting it. Yesterday, there was pasta at lunch, and brown rice and whole wheat pita at supper. And then I went to meet AJ for a drink, and ended up sharing a half-litre of red, plus eating some unbearably delicious roasted eggplant and tomato dip with really, really good warmed Persian flatbread.

It was all super good eating, but more bread products than I'd planned on. So today? Red River for breakfast, salad the size of my head, plus fruit, plus veggie soup for lunch. And supper tonight is a seafood soup, so no starches there.

Apparently, this is how it's supposed to go. You know, when you stop and think about it, that just isn't that hard to comprehend.

Oh, this is so going to bite me on the ass when winter descends and I'm back in my own house, and the Professor is out rocking out with his bad self and it's just me and the french fries from Randy's around the corner crying to me to come get them. Heh. I should remember this entry so I can reread it and curse myself for being such a relentless pollyanna up-with-people know-it-all.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Can someone please explain...

How I could have gained eight pounds since this little experiment began? Even assuming the three scales I've been weighed on might all measure as if they are on different planets with wildly different atmospheres, I've weighed in at least three times at Curves, and have seen a steady progression of a couple of pounds per weigh in. IN THE WRONG DIRECTION, PEOPLE.

Yet still, the inches fall away. And obviously, that's what the smart money's staked on, but truly, am I doing something wrong? Could I honestly have gained EIGHT POUNDS OF MUSCLE? And lost exactly no fat, though? I mean, I'm no fancy scientist or nuthin', but that just does not compute.

Anyhow, I FEEL different. Smaller, yes. At last I know the "skinny feeling" I've read so much about. I definitely have it. And I like it. I plan on having it lots more. Like, every day for the rest of forever. So there's that. But then there's also the astonishing way in which I've been conducting myself. I'm not going to tell you Thanksgiving wasn't a giant challenge stuffed with delicious stuffing. It was. But I made it through in a mostly mindful way. Except that there were mini eggrolls. And about those, the less said the better.

But take today, just as a for instance. This afternoon found me craving something -- anything -- made of bread. I settled in my mind on a toasted bagel with thin slices of cheddar from the deli downstairs. I knew I should just get some of their great fresh fruit, but the bagel was singing in that sweet siren voice toasted bagels have (funny. I never thought I was that committed to bagels. Apparently absence DOES make the heart grow fonder. Imagine). Anyhow. Down I went. Got the fresh fruit, eyed up the salad bar, thought yeah, ok, salad. Looked over to the bagel station, and wouldn't you know, the deli part was closed anyhow. No bagels to be had for me or anyone. Thank you, universe, for that. So fruit and salad it was. And, not surprisingly, it was utterly, utterly satisfying.

Then, tonight. Went to meet up with The Neck. Haven't seen him in easily a year, maybe two. We went for Thai food. We were talking and not looking at the menu, and I impulse ordered a beer and a plate of pad Thai, no peanuts. It came, the beer was cold and delicious and I drank it happily. The noodles were only whatever, and as I ate I actually realised I was getting full, and so I just stopped. Just put my chopsticks down and stopped. So easy. Then, at the booklaunch, there were trays and trays of appealing looking snacks going around. Coconut shrimp, and chicken satay, and springrolls. And I said no to every tray. Not because I'm being good, but simply because I'm being mindful, and I'd just eaten, and I wasn't hungry. Now, that wouldn't have stopped me six weeks ago. I'd have found room, somewhere, crammed them in. I would have felt a quiet frenzy, a drive to try them all. Twice.

But tonight? Nope, just not interested. Thanks, though.

This is easily the hardest goddamn thing I've ever done. After this, the second draft of the novel will be an afternoon's entertainment.

I say bring it on. And about time, too.

Friday, October 08, 2004

My definition

I know, I know, it's getting a little tired, my Forrest Gump routine, but seriously, ok, turns out, if you work out for like half an hour a day five days in a row, you can see your muscles.

No, really, you can!

It's really cool!

God, I hope no one who thinks I'm smart finds this blog, or I am so screwed.

Ok, next thing: water. I think I should be drinking around 96 ounces of the stuff. Which is fine, I like water. But sometimes, I'll sit at my desk, feeling kind of thirsty, and even though the water's right there, I won't drink it. That's fucked. So today, I'm off to buy myself a nice shiny Nalgene bottle. Maybe two, one for work and one for the gym. Because I think I sometimes get the wig from my grubby old water bottle, the one I keep refilling. I know it's crawling with bacteria, and leeching extra estrogen into my system, and like that, and maybe that's why sometimes, thirsty though I may be, I decline to drink.

In other news, yesterday afternoon was a big challenge. I think I was too bored with the roasted tofu and veg wrap idea...I've had that for lunch every day. So I wisely chucked the one I'd brought, and went down to the salad bar in heaven to forage for my lunch. Did ok down there. My usual whack of fruit, plus a giant salad, full of all good things. And also, a toasted sesame seed bagel with butter, cucumber and tomato. It was all I could do to get it without cheese, but I managed. Before I settled on the bagel, I had passing, insanely strong desires for things like fried chicken (which I eat maybe twice a year, if that), grilled cheese sandwiches, mounds of white rice, Thai food, spring rolls, onion buns...yeah, it was tough times. So the bagel, though large and though possibly costing me somewhere in the range of five everlovin' points, was a pretty not bad choice. Also, it made me happy. But then, so did the salad and the fruit.

All in all, pretty damn good.

And this morning marked a full work-week of workouts, which was the goal. So, yay me!

Next up: Thanksgiving.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Ensmalleration sequence in progress

Ah, life is good. There is a foodcourt in the basement of the Broadcast Centre, where I'm working for a few weeks, that is a thing of beauty. Most notably, it includes a fantastic deli, with a giant salad bar, including a whole section of fresh fruit. Brothers and sisters, I am merrily spending five or six bucks a day down there getting my fill of strawberries, mangoes, grapefruit sections, pineapple, grapes...damn, that's some good eating, right there. The money I'm spending may become an issue at some point, but I'm too jacked up on fruit to care right now.

And Robot Exercise Church is still working for me. Three days down this week, two to go. It was tough this morning. Felt tired almost right away. Mom was reporting the same thing. But we pushed through, and so have already fulfilled our contractual obligation to work out three times a week. We could stop if we wanted to. But we don't want to. We can't stop. We're crazy for it! Crazy, I say!

Felt an insane urge to snack last night. I wasn't hungry, exactly, but I did feel like I could eat the world and everything in it. Instead, I made guacamole with two avocados that were on their last legs--good guacamole, too. And then I toasted some pita bread in the oven, broke it into chips, and snacked on that. It was super-satisfying, and didn't break the points bank.

I'm not going to tell you it was easy to decide to eat that. What I wanted was chips, actual, greasy potato chips. But I've got some positive peer pressure built into my living situation at the moment, and by spending a bit of extra time thinking before I started rummaging for snacks, I came up with something that was actually nutritious. And that didn't taste like a booby prize. Homemade pita chips are definitely joining my repertoire.

Ok, now, it's not like I never understood the calories in-calories out connection before. I mean, eat less exercise more is not exactly grad school material. Then again, I dropped out of a polytechnic, so maybe that's what's going on here because I feel as if I've invented the wheel over here. Because you know? If you eat less, and exercise more, inches will come off your body (even if the scale at Curves now says I've gained an additional two pounds. Is it possible I don't know how to operate the scale? I guess, since calories in calories out feels like a minor epiphany, yes, I guess it's possible)! Imagine! It's not like I didn't know that before, but maybe I didn't believe it or something because otherwise, what the hell have I been doing all my life? It turns out that once you start, it's actually kind of simple. I'm not saying it won't get challenging. It's just that it makes all kinds of sense, I can already see the results of it, and it makes me wonder just exactly how far up my ass my head was prior to three weeks ago.

Pretty far, I'd say. Things are much better now that I've pried it out of there.

Monday, October 04, 2004

The scales have fallen from my eyes

I promised a quick statistical update, and here it is. Without getting into actual numbers, suffice to say, I have dropped some inches this week, friends! Or, at least, parts of inches. I'm down an inch around the upper thigh, an inch around the bust, three quarters of an inch around the waist, and an inch around the hips. Plus my neck is shrinking, upper arms coming down a bit, calves still stubbornly same as they ever were, but everywhere else, we have movement, people, movement!

Holy crow, this stuff works!

As for scales, I don't feel I've ever had a trustworthy weigh-in. So I think we'll stick to inches for now.

In other news, I ate Red River cereal for the first time ever last night, and that's a snack I could get very used to. I cooked it in vanilla soymilk instead of water, and ate it with some cooked peaches and damn, that was a nice ride. Tonight, I'm off to see some friends and have an early thanksgiving dinner with them. So I'll be taking care all day. Lunch is already prepped: roasted tofu and veg with lettuce in a whole wheat wrap, plus a few pieces of fruit. Should be ok. May need to find some other veggies to eat, or maybe buy some soup if I can find a good veggie one somewhere.

And a great workout this morning. My goal for this week is five workouts at Curves, and actually not going over my flex points for the week. There's a novel concept. It would be nice to see another drop next Monday. Professor Taco is reporting he's made the move to his pre-quitting brand of cigarettes. Good for him, good for me, good for us. Looks like we're both on target for our November 1 deadline.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Getting the point

Oh, the learning.

A very challenging week, foodwise. Being at the ancestral palace is fine. I mostly control my food here. But then tack on a two-and-a-half-day board meeting, a little get together at my brother and sister-in-law's, dinner with friends and my niece's upcoming birthday party, and oh boy, oh mister, there's some challenge right there.

How did I do? Ummm, I get to reset my points tomorrow and I'm already overdrawn by eleven. Which is not perfect. However: There was learning. And learning is what it's all about, right? Well, learning and of course, losing. More on that later.

First, the learning. Eleven points in the hole notwithstanding, I am proud of myself. I ate like a regular person this weekend. Perhaps the choices weren't what they should have been for a person who's trying to lose, but I didn't feel that panicky gotta-try-this, gotta-have-some-of-that feeling I think I've felt my whole life around food. One small piece of lasagna at creator caucus on Thursday night, and salad, and no bread. A butter tart when the tray was being passed around, but as my colleagues sat and crammed in pieces of chocolate, I declined, and didn't feel deprived. I'd had real cheese, and pasta, and delicious salad and a lovely butter tart, and that was fine, thanks. And later, at the hotel, I looked at the Pringles in the minibar and thought, nah, don't want 'em. It was a good, and strange feeling.

Same thing the rest of the weekend. I ate what there was to eat, but not all of it, and not seconds. I made good choices where I could, and let myself have bread when I wanted it. Not normal life behaviour, but I looked around at the skinny people in the room and thought, they're eating more than me, desserts and croissants and all the rest. But I bet they'll take care later, or tomorrow. So when I got home, I had some brown rice, a left over pork chop, some Chinese eggplant and tomatoes, and an avocado salad. Satisfying, and delicious, and pretty good for me.

And today I've the birthday party to get through. A small piece of cake, I think, and then a walk this afternoon. And tomorrow morning, back to Curves with Mom. We go every weekday and do our workout, and though I still find it like Robot Exercise Church, I see the value in it. I sweat and my heartrate goes up and I can feel my arms and legs getting muscle-y and there ain't nothing wrong with that.

So. I think I will turn out to be a person who willingly exercises every day in order to be able to occasionally eat Italian bread. That seems like a pretty good deal to me. It's three days since I last worked out and I feel a bit insane for the lack of it. So I'll bust out a little yoga this afternoon and then get in a good walk before it gets dark.

Oh yeah, the losing. No idea if I have. My body feels different, more defined, more shapely. But the scale here is completely unreliable, and the one at Curves has me up six pounds since my first weigh in three weeks ago or whenever that was. And that just doesn't seem right, since I've been eating better and exercising more. So it's about time to take measurements again, which I will do, and I think those will have to be my guide.

Please stand by for an important statistical announcement, to come sometime in the very near future.