Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Okay, that stomachache I've been mentioning has become full-blown sick. Major gas last night, diarrhea today...gross. My weight was down to 138 during the day though, but knowing that it's because I can't keep food in me and I'm rapidly dehydrating took away any excitement I might have had about the number. In fact, it was fairly idiotic even to weigh myself. But I was curious, and it does remind me to drink more water and possibly an electrolyte replacement drink.

I'm attempting the BRAT diet - isn't that what you're supposed to do with stomachaches? Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast? Okay, well, I've modified it to grapes, bananas, crackers and toast. Close enough.

This is super fun though: I'm playing poker online and in the middle of a hand, I have to go to the bathroom. No waiting until the hand is over. Oh, the power of a laptop - if only those people I was playing with could see me! Gross! (And funny.)

What amazes me about being sick is how quickly I can go from feeling strong and powerful and able to run a marathon or compete in a half-Ironman to getting out of breath after simply climbing the stairs. So hopefully it works the other way and I'll feel strong again soon.

I definitely need to go to bed. Not sure I can work out tomorrow; I think I'll wake up early and assess myself, then decide. I have to let myself be sick and recover and not feel guilty about it.

1 cup grapes: 120 calories
3 crackers with a little bit of peanut butter: 160 calories
2 slices whole-wheat toast with jam: 250 calories
1/2 banana: 40 calories
Four saltines: 50 calories
Chicken soup with rice: 200 calories
TOTAL: 820 calories

Ha ha. None. Does walking up and down the stairs to get some cold water from the refrigerator count?

Weights today don't count, so I'm not going to list them.

Monday, January 30, 2006

No coffee, no dairy

I'm experimenting with taking various foods out of my diet to see what effect they have on me. This stomachache I've been getting sucks. So today I tried to cut out dairy and coffee - for breakfast I had oatmeal, which was surprisingly yummy. I could eat that often, I think.

Well, I lasted until lunch time. Then I sort of messed up the no coffee thing - well, I had a diet Cherry Coke, and the point of eliminating coffee was to eliminate caffeine, so I failed there. And I messed up the dairy thing, too - the soup I had was cream-based (and I knew it, but I wasn't thinking about no dairy at the time).

In fact, the thing that reminded me of my no dairy idea was the stomachache I got right after lunch. Of course, that could have been the caffeine, too. But I'm thinking it's the dairy! Is it possible to develop food allergies at age 31?

My swim this morning was nice - definitely zone 2 (heart rate 120-140). I had a little pain in my left shoulder - don't know why - and unfortunately I can feel the spot where the babysitter's snowboard rammed my leg. But I think that will go away by next week or so.

Dinner time could have been better. I overate. However, at least I cooked at home and didn't eat out - that's another problem we have in this family. With our busy lives, we resort to fast food (usually for me low-calorie fast food, but still) way too often. Tonight I had leftover broccoli and made more meat empanadas out of the meat I'd cooked the other night. It was good, but I should have eaten less.

If I could take a pill that would prevent me from enjoying food for the rest of my life (but still allow me to eat for sustenance and fuel), I would. I'd give up the pleasure of food to be thin and healthy.

Anyway, here's what I did, and enjoyed:

Pre-workout: 2/3 banana: 60 calories
Breakfast: Oatmeal with a little bit of brown sugar and dried cranberries, 2 oz ham, 1 cup fruit: 410 calories
Lunch: 8 oz corn and green chile bisque (yeah, calories and fat. that's why only 8 oz) and (lots of lettuce) salad: 375 calories
Snack: 1 Hershey's dark chocolate with almonds Nugget: 55 calories
Later afternoon snack: Luna bar, 180 calories
Dinner: Broccoli in teriyaki sauce; meat empanadas; 1/2 toffee almond bar (the other half of yesterday's): 700 calories

Total today: 1780 calories

Swim 1.25 miles, 50 minutes: 350 calories

Calorie deficit: (170) <-- as long as there's a deficit and I'm honest, this is the right direction. Baby steps...

Beginning of day weight: 142.0
End of day weight: 144.0

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Very Starbucks Day

Mmmm...breakfast, lunch, and snack all from Starbucks. It could have been worse, I guess.

I went snowboarding all day, teaching my son's babysitter how to board. I got some great powder runs in the afternoon after I wore her out, though - it was a fabulous day on the mountain. I was glad to share it with the babysitter though because it's just so much more fun to learn to board on a powder day than an icy or hard-packed day.

I didn't go anywhere near the cafeteria so I wasn't tempted by the french fries and burgers they sell. It works much better to bring my lunch. Plus, the extra benefit of not having to wait in the huge lines, find a table, and take off all of our wet stuff in the lodge is nice. Instead, we sat in the car and had our little picnic, then hit the slopes again.

In the afternoon, I really wanted something warm to drink - my compromise is a non-fat mocha with whip instead of either going whole-hog on the hot chocolate or full-fat mocha or depriving myself and sticking to a plain coffee. I've experimented with whole milk and no whip, 2% milk with and without whip, and I've found that the non-fat with whip gives the most flavor and creaminess for the fewest calories. Or at least, the number of calories I will afford to a drink. But I also ate half of a toffee almond bar, who knows why. I just wanted something to eat too, even though I'd already had the yogurt and grapes. I felt hungry! But I think in retrospect I would have been fine with just the mocha.

One issue happened today: the babysitter accidentally lost control of her snowboard and slammed into my left leg (the shin). I've got a bruise, but what's worse, I know it will affect my biking and running this week. I'm hoping it heals quickly, and I know that bruises and other issues like this are the cost of doing an "extreme" sport. Fortunately, there's no snowboarding close to the half-Ironman. :-)

Breakfast: Reduced-fat coffee cake and a tall Americano with cream and splenda (from Starbucks!): 370 calories
Lunch: Starbucks low-fat turkey sandwich and grapes: 350 calories
Snack: Tall non-fat with whip mocha (Starbucks again!), 1/2 toffee bar, grapes, yogurt: 500 calories
Dinner: Chicken tacos, little bit of rice and beans: 600 calories
TOTAL: 1820 calories

Exercise: Snowboarding, 715 calories (all day though, so not very effective)

Calorie deficit: (495) calories

Beginning of day weight: 142.2 (making yesterday's 140.2 a fluke: going to the bathroom, maybe dehydration...who knows. Unlikely real. I knew it at the time but who wants to believe?
End of day weight: 144.4

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Sore body, tired mind

I am definitely overdoing it. I got up this morning to run a 10-mile trail that I really enjoy with a good friend (and personal trainer!) - so I knew a good run and good conversation were in the near future. But a headache and stomachache plagued me, and my heart rate was very high. We turned back just before the 4-mile mark, so ran close to 8. With three miles to go, it started pouring - and it was 38 degrees. So I was cold and feeling pukey. Danielle, my running partner, said I should check my resting heart rate for the next three days, but I probably don't need to do that to know I'm overtraining.

So, I have a new plan: one full rest day, one ski (semi-rest) day, 5 exercise days with 90 minutes of solid - though not super-intense - cardio. 1600 to 1800 calories per day.

Here's how I did today. Definitely could have been worse.
Pre-workout: Banana with peanut butter on it: 180 cals
Breakfast: Chicken and vegetable soup: 180 cals (don't tell me this isn't breakfast. It's got protein and carbohydrates, and it warmed me up after my cold wet run!)
Lunch: Chicken and broccoli stir-fry with a small amount of rice: 400 cals; also a few of Camille's french fries from McDonald's: 60 cals
Snack: Peanuts and fruit (but not too many peanuts for once!): 110 cals
Another snack: Dark chocolate: 100 cals
Dinner: Homemade low-fat beef empanadas and salad: 595 cals
After-dinner: Another square of dark chocolate. Curse Hershey's for their new extra-dark. 70 cals
TOTAL: 1695 calories <-- okay, not bad despite the chocolate and french fries

Run almost 8 miles - 80 minutes (yeah, we were slow - had to stop a couple of times and this included a 3-4 minute walk, too): 700 calories

Hey, not too bad for the day! I was sure I was over...however, I feel really full right now, so I probably could have eaten less.

Weight beginning of day: 140.2 <-- Yay! Almost there!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Exercise addicted

I got up at 4:25 this morning to meet some folks for a swim....then I did indoor cycling for an hour, then I ran a mile, then I lifted weights. I believe this might be the edge of insanity. After showering (but not drying my hair), I left the gym three hours after I arrived.

I've made some resolutions for today:

-- Only one cup of coffee (done: 4:40 a.m., tall americano with cream and splenda)
-- No banana bread (I'm not sure I'm going to make this one)

I met with a dietician from my weight-loss program today to discuss my obsession with food, excessive workouts, and desire to lose weight while still preparing for the half-Ironman. She confirmed what I already knew - weight-loss and endurance athletics don't mix well - but her suggestion was that I focus February on weight-loss, keeping my calories between 1600 and 1800 per day and exercising intensively for 5 days a week only, no more than 90 minutes. So now I've got a plan. She also told me not to cut out grains - I was thinking of trying to get all my carbs from fruit and vegetables, but she said that even with just 90 minutes of exercise five days a week I will need carbs from grains.

Oh, she also said that it's okay for me to eat the dark chocolate. Sometimes. If it fits in. :-)

And she also explained why my weight fluctuates so greatly between morning and night and day to day: it's because when I lift weights or do serious cardio, I cause muscle soreness and/or inflammation. Water in my body then goes to the inflamed or sore spot to help repair and soothe it, so my cells hold more water and therefore I am heavier. I always wondered why my weight is so different morning to night, and my husband's isn't as much, and that's why. She said people who exercise a lot have a greater fluctuation. She also told me to stop weighing myself twice a day and go to something more like weekly. We'll see if I can do that. Typically when I don't weigh myself morning and night I let myself eat more.

It's now 2 p.m. and I've stuck with my resolutions - no banana bread, only one coffee. The craving for the banana bread is gone (and so is the bread, I think...people love it, so the cafe always runs out) and I'm kind of tired and would love the coffee. But I'm warm, so I'm not super tempted for a warm drink.

Girls night out tonight! We went to Z'Tejas and I made a mistake when I ordered: I got seafood enchiladas, and the sauce turned out to be cream-based. Oh well. I got really full and didn't allow myself dessert, which was good. But I have absolutely no idea how many calories I consumed.

Then we went shopping. I felt so full I could barely walk...and we went into J.Jill, and the first thing I see is these really cute jeans. The saleslady comes over and asks me if I need a size 2. Yeah, right! Flattery will get you everywhere! I told her no, a 6, possibly even an 8. She handed me a 6 and a 4 and brought me to the dressing room. I didn't try on the 4 - but the 6 was PERFECT. It looked great, fit fabulously, and of course I had to have those jeans. I also got a sweater and two shirts - all of which are size small. Yay! Is J.Jill a store for larger women, or am I really small? Either way, I loved the way I looked in everything I bought. It was a really nice feeling during a time where I am pretty unhappy about my weight and when I'd just eaten too much and the wrong things.

Today's Meal Tracking and Exercise

Pre-workout: Banana and coffee with cream: 110 cals
Breakfast: Breakfast sandwich with egg, sausage, and cheese: 400 cals
Snack: Low-fat cheese: 35 cals
Lunch: 5 oz turkey breast; salad with vinegar (no oil); cup fruit; dark chocolate: 385 cals
(total so far today: 920 cals)
Dinner: Seafood enchiladas
Total calories consumed: Who knows, 1920?

Swim 3/4 mile (30 minutes)
Indoor cycling (60+ minutes)
Run 1 mile (9 minutes)
Lift weights, stretch
Total calories burned: 1000

Total calorie deficit: 600?

Beginning of day weight: 142.4 <-- improving End of day weight: 144.4

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Yoga is hard

You know, for all the hard work I did in an hour and 20 minutes of yoga, I should have burned more than 20 calories (at least that's how many my heart rate monitor said I burned). And ow! Stretching hurts. But I do believe it's worthwhile. I just can't help but think that the 80 minutes I spent in yoga could have been spent burning 700 calories more.

Here's what I didn't eat today, but wanted to:
- a doughnut at 5 a.m.
- banana bread at 8:30 a.m.
- chocolate at 2 p.m.
- a mocha (instead of a non-fat sugar free latte) at 3 p.m.
- a mocha at 6 p.m.
- potato salad at 7:30 p.m.
- more dark chocolate at 8:30 p.m.

Had I eaten these things, I could have consumed approximately 1200 calories more today. I wouldn't have wanted both the doughnut and banana bread, and I only would have had one mocha. So together, that's about 400 for the morning carb, 100 for the afternoon chocolate, 250 for the mocha, 300 for the potato salad, and 140 for the dark chocolate. That would have been two and half hours more of running.

When I put it that way, it actually doesn't sound so bad. I like running. Hmm....now I'm giving myself bad ideas. Nice.

Here's what I actually did.

Pre-workout: banana and coffee with cream: 110 cals
Breakfast: 1 fat-free Cascade Fresh yogurt; 1 cup fruit; 3 oz ham; lite cheese; just a tiny bit of granola; coffee with cream (this sounds like a lot more food than it felt like): 515 calories (and for that, I should have had the banana bread that haunts my dreams)
Lunch: Chicken "enchiladas" (made with cabbage, which is actually better than it sounds): 400 cals
Snack: Latte (free cart right outside my office, who can pass that up?): 90 cals
More snack: Low-fat string cheese and a tiny clementine: 90 cals
Dinner: 5 oz turkey breast; broccoli; two squares dark chocolate: 440

Total calories consumed: 1645

Run 6 miles; yoga
Total calories burned: 500

Calorie deficit: (255)

Beginning of day weight: 143.2 <-- this needs to be 138! Maximum!
End of day weight: 144.6 (this doesn't really make sense; I'm usually a full 2 to 3 pounds higher at night than in the morning. But I'm unwilling to get on the scale again with such a good result. Well, relatively good, given this morning's result and where I am right now.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I tried to get out of bed at 4:25 a.m. so I could swim for 30 minutes prior to the rest of my planned workout, but it didn't happen. My bathing suit was in the laundry room, which was cold, and my bed was warm, and it was 4:25 a.m. and I hate swimming anyway. So I got up at 5:20 and the day started well: I didn't eat raspberry tartlets or a doughnut, though of course I was tempted. Why is the best coffee in town at the doughnut shop, and a mere half mile from my house?

So my workout was only okay. I think it's probably a bad idea to ride my bike on the trainer for an hour at 8 p.m., then try to give it my all in indoor cycling the next morning at 6 a.m. I'll likely do this three or four more times before I learn (because the ultimate goal, burn more calories, makes me behave illogically at times. Often times). My run was good, but I could only keep the treadmill at 6.5 until the end, where I pushed it up to 9.0. I love a sprint at the end of a run. Lengthen the legs and really push hard, knowing that next comes walking and cool down and stopping.

I wasn't supposed to eat the granola, but I love it so much. I wish it were still the '70s and people thought granola was health food. I still ate part of my normal breakfast - ham and cheese - to try to add some protein so I wouldn't crash mid-morning and eat something even worse than the granola and yogurt (at least the yogurt was low-fat).

The middle of the day kind of got messed up when I had to leave work to take my daughter to the doctor. The cafeteria at the hospital was closed and it got to be 1:30 and I was starving. I got a sandwich at the grocery store, but it was gross, so I only ate half, then got soup when I returned to work.

Oh drat! I forgot I was going to cut out beans from my diet. I think they give me an upset tummy. Oh well. I'm also at 1260 calories before I go home today, which is high. Today might not be a weight-loss day.

Make that 1380 for the day - 1 cup of fruit for a snack. Fruit should be paired with a protein, but I didn't do it.

I was fairly good for dinner, though terribly tempted by the delicious blondies that one of the women in my Bible study brought over. I forced myself to eat just one small one, but oh my goodness how I wanted more. I kept telling myself, "She'll leave in an hour and half, and will take the rest of the blondies with her. You only have to hold out an hour and a half." Somehow I did.

So, here's how the day breaks down:

Meal Tracking:
Pre-workout: 1 banana, coffee with cream: 110 cals
Breakfast: Yogurt, granola and strawberry parfait; 2 oz ham; lite cheese: 515 cals
Lunch: 1/2 roast beef sandwich; black bean soup; 1 square dark chocolate: 625 cals
Snack: 1 cup fruit: 120 cals
Dinner: Chicken taco, 1 square dark chocolate: 370 cals
Treat: One small Blondie (homemade!): 150 cals
TOTAL: 1890

Indoor cycling, 60 minutes - 400 calories
5K "Fun Run" on the treadmill - 300 calories
Total: 700 calories burned

Calorie deficit for the day: (210)

Beginning of day weight: 143.4
End of day weight: 145.4 (better than yesterday, but still very very bad)
Goal for tomorrow: End of day weight of 144.something. My pants felt tight today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Why I'm doing this (and what I'm doing)

I need some serious help.

Feb. 17, 2004 I started a weight-loss program. I was 189 lbs (5 foot 3 inches tall) and 29 years old. The program was extremely expensive, and extremely effective: I went from a sedentary, uncoordinated, life-long-last-picked-for-the-team person to, frankly, a 138 lb athlete.

I've competed in three triathlons, three half-marathons, and a full marathon. This year I'm training for a half-Ironman.

I wear a size 6 most of the time.

And I still eat compulsively. Actually, I think it might be worse than before I lost the weight, because then I felt guilty and could stop, and now I just go exercise more.

I see only fat every time I look in the mirror, and I need constant reassurance that I'm not fat.

One of the things people who have had success with weight loss do is meal-track. I've meal-tracked on and off for the last few years, but I want to be more consistent. I'm hoping the blog can help me with that.

And I've also wanted to keep an exercise journal for a while; this can serve as both. And maybe the public aspect of it will keep me honest.

So here's the data for today.

Exercise: Swim 1 mile (40 minutes); run 5 miles (50 minutes); my bike on the trainer (50 minutes); upper-body weights with some combinations. Total calories burned = 1060.

Pre-workout: Raspberry tartlets and coffee with cream: 180 cals
Breakfast: Banana bread; 2 oz ham; lite cheese; coffee with cream: 545 cals
Lunch: 5 oz chicken breast; salad with light dressing; potato salad: 405 cals
Snack: Dark chocolate: 140 cals
Dinner: 5 oz chicken breast; soup; slice bread: 455 cals
Treat: More dark chocolate: 70 cals

TOTAL calories consumed: 2164
TOTAL calories burned: 2460 (my regular metabolic rate is about 1400)

Calorie deficit: (296)

End of day weight without going to the bathroom and after consuming about 40 oz of water: 146.4