Today was madness.

And way too long.

I’m breaking form because I’m too tired to do more than say that my day included way too many potato chips and sweet indulgences like Milky Way bars and Starbucks mochas, and when is this thing going to kick in for real. Why am I letting this go.

Day 3: Chicken Soup

The Day

After a much better night’s sleep (seven whole hours!), I woke up a tad groggy but left the house feeling good. Today was full: I taught straight through the morning, then a bust of a lunch, then more teaching, then a meeting because why not, and then the second round of auditions for the fall show. Banged my left knee on a door, and now I’m limping. Came home late and made a homemade, from scratch chicken vegetable soup, which turned out pretty good. Decided I should make a new soup every week and start a blog called the Soup Mistress. Quickly decided against this.

What I’m Eating

Breakfast was two eggs fried in a little butter on a piece of wheat toast, plus coffee with milk and sugar. Lunch was a burrito with black beans, rice, cheese, spinach, and salsa, plus a handful of tortilla chips. Snacks were two candy bars and a second cup of coffee with milk. Dinner was a bowl of that soup, which included chicken, zucchini, leek, onion, carrot, and celery.

What I’m Thinking/How I’m Feeling

What a difference a solid night of sleep does for you. I mean, man. Today wasn’t a major triumph, though. A spinach burrito isn’t the worst choice on Earth for lunch, but it’s still a bit more food than I actually needed. Plus it was take-out, so add in the hidden fat and salt. And then candy bars. That was sheer impulse. I could have done better. Still, I’m feeling OK about today. It may not be the top of my game, but it’s better than yesterday!

Unfortunately, I’m a little banged up. My left knee still hurts (nice welt on it), but more seriously, my right hip has been in some pain since my run on Sunday. It only hurts when I first start moving after sitting down for a while or when I stretch my arms up and over to the left; the pain when I walk feels like something is in my hip and kind of graveling around. I should probably see a doctor. (I’ve been scaring myself on WebMD for the time being.) This means a temporary ban on running.

Planning for the Future

Eat the rest of the soup I made. It’s delicious, and I know exactly what’s in it!

Day 2: Yogurt Pretzels

The Day

Oh man. It started with a rotten night of sleep (four total hours, broken up by waking up for no reason), an extra early morning, and then a long day at work (twelve hours, plus at least another two hours of work to get done at home). Of course, I forgot my packed lunch. I had planned to go to a yoga class this evening, but by the time I got home, I was so profoundly tired that I decided to go tomorrow instead. It’s been a while since I’ve done regular exercise, and I’ve forgotten how worn out you get at first.

What I’m Eating

Breakfast was a piece of toast with almond butter and jam and a cup of coffee, which I ate at 6:30 am. Not nearly substantial enough to get me to lunch (which was unfortunately at 2 pm today!). By 10, I was starving, so I raided my snack drawer at work and wolfed down a few handfuls of yogurt pretzels, which, it turns out, totaled in something like 550 calories. Which is a lot. My whole lunch yesterday wasn’t that much. Lunch was a tomato, turkey and cheese sandwich on ciabatta with way too much turkey and cheese and something called “Cowgirl Bark.” Dinner was cold salmon, peas, salad, and a little dill sauce, much more reasonable but still a little extravagant. Today’s calories: 2,400.

What I’m Thinking/How I’m Feeling

Besides exhausted, I’m feeling frustrated with today. Yes, it was busy, but the eating came down to not planning well. I could have had a more substantial breakfast; I could keep my snack drawer filled with more reasonable foods (for instance, NOT YOGURT PRETZELS); I could have made a smaller sandwich and eaten more veggies and fruits. It’s not that hard to do.

Also, I need to figure out this sleeping thing. I haven’t consistently slept well since last December. First it was because of the loud neighbor downstairs, then because of the exceptional anxiety I experienced this spring and summer, and now, it’s either still the anxiety or a side effect of the anti-anxiety medication I’m on. (Oh yeah, I’m on an anti-anxiety medication.) I’m trying to drink less coffee (only one cup today!) and less wine/alcohol, and I think it’ll be super important to not be in front of a screen after 9 pm, which… unfortunately means that I won’t be able to finish today’s work. But sleep is more important.

Today all came down to sleep. Had I slept in until a normal (for me) time with a normal amount of hours, I would have waken up refreshed and ready for a good breakfast. Doing that might have mitigated the crazy yogurt pretzel fiasco.

Planning for the Future

New snack foods: almonds, citrus fruits, yogurt, baby carrots, hummus. Anything else I might be missing? If you have any suggestions, I’ll take’em.

Sleep: Be in bed by 10 pm, no screens after 9 pm, no coffee after mid-day. More exercise on the regular so that it doesn’t wear me out like yesterday’s run.

And that is that, my friends.

Day 1: The Reboot

I’m totally ripping off this awesome lady’s rip off of some other guy’s format. It’s the Internet!

The Day

A soft, gentle Sunday. L.A. had a tremendously hot summer with a terrible heat wave spiking through most of September, and it’s been unbearable in my no AC apartment. But today? Beautiful soft blue skies, puffy clouds, a breeze, and temps in the mid-70s. Perfection. I celebrated with a lie-in, a drowsy breakfast, and some “Parks and Recreation” on Netflix. Then I braved the gym and did a 30 minute running workout (mix of running and walking to get my stamina back up). My right hip hurt during the run and is pretty stiff right now, which will mean yoga and/or a doctor this week. Then a grocery blitz at Trader Joe’s, some paper-grading, and then an evening and dinner at my parents’ place in the Valley.

What I’m Eating:

Breakfast was toast with peanut butter and strawberry preserves, plus a couple cups of coffee with milk and sugar. Lunch was steamed salmon, English peas sauteed in olive oil and leeks, and a small salad of herb greens and tomatoes (see pic). I had another coffee with milk and sugar mid afternoon. Dinner was roast chicken, a salad of lettuce, tomato, and avocado with Caesar dressing, and a glass of red wine. Today’s calories: 1,670.


What I’m Thinking/How I’m Feeling

It feels great to be back on plan, and it especially feels great to be cooking again. I’m feeling optimistic, hopeful, but cautious: this has happened before, this great feeling, followed swiftly by a crappy feeling and falling off again. The main thing is checking in, though, so that’s what I’m going to try to do.

Planning for the Future

I steamed the other half of the salmon fillet and the peas for lunch tomorrow, which I never do. I usually just buy groceries at TJ’s on Monday and then eat out of that all week at work. Having a “packed lunch” makes me feel both like an adult and like a kid at the same time. In a good way.

The final explanation.

Two weeks have passed since I last posted. And before that, it wasn’t exactly poppin’ on this site. Every time I feel like this is the time, this is the now, this is happening, something undoes it. That something is usually me.

Yesterday I weighed in at 169 pounds. I was expecting it and was also sort of expecting to be shocked by it at the same time. Which is basically impossible. You can’t be shocked by something you expect. You can be grimly determined, I guess, but not shocked.

As unreal as it is to say this, I’ve been at this lovely project for going on four years. During that time, I lost over 100 pounds (15 of which I’ve since gained back). While I did lose steadily for several months, I also experienced long plateaus and even small gains of 10 to 20 pounds before turning things around again. The big lesson I’ve learned is not that I can’t fail, but that I will fail, and that the real difference between ultimate success (in this case, my physical, mental, and emotional health) and ultimate failure is not getting back up after I’ve fallen down.

I fell down a few months back. And to be honest, I’ve been resting on my comfortable knowledge that one day I’ll get back up and continue this project. It’s only just occurring to me that knowing I can get back up is very different from actually doing it. It takes the doing to make a difference.

I’ve been on here a number of times promising a turn around, but nothing. This is irresponsible in many different ways. As much as I’ve said in the past that this blog is “for me,” I wouldn’t be publicly publishing my thoughts if audience — even two people — didn’t matter to me. And for audience to truly matter, I have to acknowledge that I owe more to my two readers than they owe to me. Which is how this works.

I don’t feel right promising anything to you, and it’s sort of an empty thing to just say “Now I’m going to do it!” and then — as I’ve proven over and over — not do it.

The way I can prove to you that I’m doing it — to you and to myself — is to be here, posting, daily. That’s the proof you’ll need. Not some explanatory post.

With that said, let’s move forward.

Weigh In – Week 186

This week’s result: 162.0 lbs
Loss/Gain: -3.0 lbs
Overall Loss/Gain: -98.6 lbs

I’m weighing in early because I’m going out of town this weekend (I’m typing this from a crowded airport terminal!).

This was sort of an unearned loss.  And probably after a weekend of revelry, I’ll see a gain.  But no matter: this weekend is also the end of several weeks in a row of trips, weekend getaways, weddings, parties, dinners out, and the hubbub of the school year starting.  Monday morning brings the calm and with it, the wherewithal to get back into gear.

Hope you’re all well!

Mid-week check in

Things were going OK, and then they were going womp-womp.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were all pretty strong.  Today was a bit of landmine in the late afternoon and evening.

It’s funny how the old habits, the old impulses, rear their ugly heads.  I get the serious sugar cravings in the mid-afternoon.  Why?  Well, mostly because I’ve let sugar back into my life hardcore.  And probably because I’m not eating quite enough at lunch.

I’m also not getting to the gym.  It’s been balls hot in Los Angeles, but there are pools everywhere, and an ocean, and I haven’t been to any of those, either.  I went for one hike, last week.  Not enough.

I hate posting that I’m struggling after not posting for so long.  It’s just a crappy feeling.

I’m going to a wedding out of town this weekend, which I’ve been using as an excuse for not really getting it together this week.  I think I’m letting myself believe that the wedding will be such an extravaganza that there’s no point in being on track for a week when I’ll just hit the skids on Friday.  And to be honest, I don’t have the chutzpah.

I just found a pic of me from last fall: I’m smiling tiredly at the camera after just having completed a run.  I look goofy but good; sweaty but proud; glowing with health.  Of course my picky eyes noted that my cheeks these days are fuller, but that’s not really the problem.  Not really.  The woman in that photo last fall had it together: she was eating in ways that made her body feel good, she was running and hiking and practicing yoga.  She felt awesome.  That’s why she looks good.


Slowly, though, my determination returns.  I’ve been at this for three and a half years.  I’m not letting go now.