Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A photo opportunity

Today I am wearing my black suit which actually makes me look thinner than I am, I love clothes that have this function. We are taking an office photo so slimming clothing is important, unfortunately it cannot do anything about the blemish on my forehead which shows up even though I am wearing makeup. It is in fact the only reason I am wearing makeup since I never wear any unless I am in trial. I will be in trial in about a month so I suppose remembering how to apply my makeup is a good thing. I am not much enamored of having my photo taken in case you did not realize that fact, the only person who has ever taken really good photos of me is my dad (and he used to be a professional photographer) and it involves taking many, many shots. This is one of the secrets to any good photo and I doubt they are going to take very many pictures this morning. The other thing about photos is that they always mess with the mental image you have of yourself, and generally for me this is a bad thing. Then again, I don't have very many pictures of myself at this weight so maybe I am blowing things out of proportion in advance. Maybe it will turn out to be a good picture of me, who knows. However, I am still not very excited by the prospect, especially since I am a lawyer and a short girl which in this office means I will probably end up in the front of the photo. Anyway, I am off to do some work before we have to go and take this group picture.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Frustrated Ranting

I am feeling singularly uninspired today, which has been happening frequently recently, in case you had not noticed. I think what I notice more and more is how much harder I am working recently to lose weight, at least in terms of exercise. I am basically watching what I eat pretty closely and eating healthy foods, but I really have to raise the intensity level of my workouts. I am running a 9:40 mile now, which means I run a little over three miles a day. I have raised the intensity on the eliptical machine as well, and of course I am lifting heavier weights. If the machines are to be believed (and frankly they are not) I burn around 750-770 calories every morning just in cardio exercise. Yet, the scales move slowly if at all, which is admittedly frustrating to me. I know it takes more intensity the fitter I get to lose weight, and I have always known that losing weight once I got in sight of my eventual goals would be difficult and take a long time. I still find it frustrating, and all the logic in the world cannot alter that fact. I am also not surprised that frustration causes a lack of motivation and inspiration for me. I have been trying to lose weight for one year and eight months now, and it is such a long process for me. There have been weeks and months like this before, there will be weeks and months like this in the future, they will always suck and they will always pass. This is what keeps me on track, the promise that for awhile this will get easier again and I will feel better about the process. So, I make my salads, I workout, I drink my water, and I wait for better days.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Ninety-Five Percent

There is a percentage that I roll around in my head a lot, especially the more weight I lose on this journey. (Not that I am currently losing weight, I am still hanging out in the land of 155.5 lbs). The percentage is 95% or in the alternative 5%, the ever looming statistic that virtually every dieter knows by heart. Over the long term, 95% of people who lose weight will regain the weight and only 5% will permanently keep the weight off. This is a daunting statistic, especially if, like me, you have struggled with weight your whole life. Heck, I was a chubby baby by all accounts, and I was never a thin child. So, when do you know that you have crossed the threshold into the elite 5% group and out of the 95% group? I don't think you ever do, and some days that is an exhausting thought. I think I will always have to think about what I put into my mouth, always worry about whether I am getting enough exercise, and always fight the scale. I think this in part because I have an older brother who was an elite athlete in college, works out as much as three hours a day for his job, and still struggles with weight issues (albeit on a much smaller scale than me). He has never been overweight, but then again he has never achieved that elusive six pack set of abs either, I know, we have discussed this fact at times. Our workout ethic only gets us 95% of the way there, and our genetics balk at the remaining 5% to absolute physical perfection. Then again, absolute physical perfection has always been highly overated in my book. I know what 95% of the way there looks like, because my brother has been there for a long time (just ask my father about the fact that when they used to run together, my brother would run backwards just to get a better workout, go ahead just ask), and I know I am not there yet. That is what gets me up in the morning somedays and gets me to the gym, and I hope someday that keeping myself in the 5% group of people who keep the weight off will keep me going to the gym. In the end, only time will tell.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Saying Thank You

I was thinking the other day about how hard it is to respond to compliments (at least for me) when it comes to weightloss. After the lunch on friday, my coworkers were telling me how much weight I have lost and teasing me because I don't eat desert. Mostly, they were commenting on how much skinnier I look now than even a few months ago. I never quite know how to respond to such things, probably because to me there has not been much change. Yes, things fit better now, but I still see the extra rolls of fat and the tummy which just is not willing to go away for right now. So, I say thank you but I hem and haw about it all the same, you know, the thank you but I have lots more weight to lose response. Now, there are places that I see change, my fitness level has shot way up in the last two months, my cool down pace on the treadmill is 4.1 mph which is faster than I used to be able to run. I lift heavier weights and I get out of breath less easily. However, I still see room for change and I would really like to stop hovering around 156 lbs. Then again, hovering around 156 is better than the weight I used to hover around which was 242 lbs. Ultimately, I think I have to forgive myself for the damage that my overeating and obesity did to my body before I will really be able to say thank you to the people who tell me that I look really good. I am not there but I am trying to get there.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

No Leeway

My office is having a luncheon today, which means they asked me to make desert, so I did. The problem with baking for me is that I have to taste things like batter and frosting to make sure I am doing it right. Not to talk myself up, but I am a really good baker and so I get asked to make things a lot by my office. I can't do it without the tasting though, the best way I can explain it is that baking without testing flavors is like walking around blindfolded, it can be done but it does not work as well. My solution is to not bake as a general rule, but I did this time because it was a special request. As a result my weight instantly bounced up today, add in a large office lunch today and it is not looking like such a good diet day and it is only 7:50 am. On the plus side, some of my co-workers specifically purchased a vegetable platter for today because they wanted me to have something healthy to eat, now that is love. I am aiming for a lot of vegetables at lunch and a very light dinner, we will see how that works out. I lifted weights last night, did my standard workout this morning (still running at 6.1 mph) and have tomorrow off which is great. I am going to roast a chicken tomorrow which will be dinner and part of lunch for most of next week. I am actually pretty decent at roasting chickens and they tend to be really yummy ( I generally rub them with butter and lemon and then stick between two and four lemon halves in the body cavity). I was going to cook the chicken earlier this week, I just never had time to do it. I am just really glad that it is finally friday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Annoying sleepwalkers

You want a really good way to annoy sleepy people? Open up your gym twenty minutes late with the explanation that you overslept. Not the best excuse ever since I lost power last night and had to tell what time it was by using the clock on my cell phone. I debated cutting my workout a little bit short to make it to work right on time, but then it occurred to me that this was a silly idea since I go into work an hour early anyway so it wasn't like I could possibly be late if I ran twenty minutes over at the gym. As it was, I made it to work by 7:05 am which is partially due to the fact that my gym is 5 minutes from my work. Somehow in the last two days I have dropped from 158-157 (where I have been hovering for several weeks) back down to 156.5-155.5, even though I am actually eating slightly more food. Either I was bloated, retaining water, or I was eating too few calories. Possibly it is a combination of both problems. It was however a reminder that minor fluctuations are not worth worrying about (or alternatively throwing oneself face first into a pile of cookie dough) because they will even out in the long run. I know this logically but logic doesn't always win out over my emotions. So, I just try to stick to my schedule and eating plan as much as possible and not worry about minor slips or bumps in the road. It is a really long road and I still have so far to go that I don't want to just become focused on the ground immediately under my feet.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Short Term Memory Loss

Somedays I don't really have anything to write about, today would be one of those days. I live my life on such a consistent schedule that it is hard to come up with anything interesting. I went to the gym, because I always go to the gym during the week, I ran while at the gym because that is what I do every day, same goes for the eliptical machine. My abs hurt for no real reason because I did not do any situps last night. I know of course that the benefit of consistency is the fact that exercise always gets done no matter what else goes on in my day. Just getting to the gym is 90 percent of the battle for me, once I am there working out on some level will occur. I am remembering more and more why I took up running in the first place about a year and a half ago. Yes, I don't always like it while I am actually doing it but the rush of endorphins when I finish running is always worth the pain. Of course, I don't actually think that when I am running, then it just really sucks somedays (today was one of those days). However, I am done know so I can let my brain delude me into thinking that it was really a lot of fun, thus making sure I will go back tomorrow.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Snack attack

Last night I discovered something interesting, cereal which is slightly too sweet for general consumption with soy milk makes an excellent snack. It is actually a healthy snack but they made it too sweet for me to eat a whole bowl (and that is an odd sentence for me the sweet food lover to write). So, today I made myself a little baggie of cereal and brought it with me to work as my morning snack. This leaves my more substantial energy bar as my afternoon snack at about 2:30 or 3:00. I am desperately trying to come up with a system which keeps me from randomly snacking my way through the office food supply. I am still in a lovely plateau, but I know from experience that no plateau lasts forever and eventually I will make my way out the other side of it (but not if I eat a bunch of really unhealthy food). My running speed has now moved up to 6.1 mph which is a 9:50 mile according to the treadmill and I am getting better at lifting my 15 lb weights. All of these things are good and I am focusing on them rather than the scale. I also notice that the more I work out and get fit, the harder it is for me to sit still for a long period of time. Yesterday I probably walked around the floor my office is on at least ten times. I fidget and I do not like sitting still. This is odd for someone who was the queen of laziness in the past and could sit still for hours. I understand the other side effects of losing weight but this one surprises me. I am used to being colder than I used to be (less body fat), getting full more quickly, and being more sensitive to the taste of sugar in things (I do not eat very much now). However, the restlessness surprises me, I have to be doing stuff or moving around a lot more than in the past. In the long run, that will no doubt be a good thing, it just surprises me though right now.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

I'm back again

So, I have internet again after moving up three floors. It is still chaos up here but I have fashioned a small oasis in the middle of it for now. This morning I ran at 6.0 for twenty-five minutes with five 1 minute sprints at 6.5 mph interspersed throughout. My body is laughing in my general direction right now, so I am pretty much ignoring it and the scale. I have clearly re-entered the land of the plateau and will be spending some time visiting. I figured I was due for a plateau and my eating last week was not great so it is no surprise. I spent Sunday making brownies for work which effectively cleared the last chocolate, sugar and flour out of my apartment. Baking is generally a sign that I am slightly off-plan so this week I am working on being very on-plan. I have to run home at lunch so I will make and eat my salad there and maybe pick up a snack for later on this afternoon. At least my new desk is not near the food area and that is a real plus for me right now. Okay off I go to an early lunch.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Moving Day

My office is once again moving. Sigh. The good news is that we are only moving up three floors, the bad news is that the floor we are moving to is filled with boxes and not habitable yet. Sigh. I think watching me move was humorous since I moved all my boxes while wearing three inch heels (I have a meeting this afternoon). I expect by the end of today to have no internet and no phone connection at work, and who knows how long that will last. Hopefully we will be settled in by next week. I ran at 6.0 mph this morning, it was okay, not great and not horrible. Tomorrow is the last cardio workout this week which makes me happy and then it will be the weekend. Tonight is also my last weight workout for the week which will be nice especially since I have moved up to heavier weights. My weight is all over the place this week so I am basically ignoring it and just weighing in so I do not go horribly off track. I think this is the week in the month where I end up retaining water and being bloated which is always lovely. Right now, I am just focusing on making it through tomorrow and then the weekend stretchs out before me, albeit for only two days but it is still a weekend. I hate moving, have I mentioned that recently?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

There will always be days like this

This morning reminded me of why I do actually sometimes enjoy running. It was almost effortless once I really started moving and I could have kept going for much longer (at least that is what it felt like). This is a surpassingly rare phenomenon for me, it happens about once every month. I needed that this morning, I had a horrible day at work yesterday which is not really worth discussing and I am begining to get ready for another trial in just over a week and a half. Add in piles of work that I have not gotten to yet, and yesterday was very stressful. I snacked a little at work yesterday, my fallback response to stress, but today I feel centered and calm because of my morning workout. This is why I went back to the gym in February of this year, and this is why I keep going back to the gym every weekday for the past six months religiously. Working out keeps me sane on some very basic level that I cannot really explain. Eighty-six pounds ago I would have eaten extra food and still felt bad the next day, now I run three miles and feel focused and calm. It does not always last past the morning hours but at least it happens occasionally.

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Apple Pie Story

The early afternoon is always the worst time for me. I start getting hungry and end up snacking. Plus, I always eat the actual packed snack I brought and then I am hungry 30 minutes later. Yesterday, one of my co-workers went to McDonalds (oh yes this has the potential to be a bad story) and got four of the apple pie things. Why she got four, I will never know. Anyway, she handed me one and said "Here Kat this is for you." This is an impossible situation, you can't really refuse it and now you are carrying around the fat person equivalent of dietary TNT. At least, if you are me, which I recognize that you are not, anyway moving on. I love all deserts and so when I am on plan I try really hard to stay away from sugar, if I am not eating sugar then I do not miss it but if I eat it, I end up in loads of trouble. So, I spent the next ten minutes wandering around the office carrying a little McDonalds apple pie. I think I came up with 30 reasons to eat it ( I am a lawyer, coming up with reasons is what I do) and very few if any reasons not to eat it. After ten minutes of staring at the pie, I finally got up, walked the twenty feet to the big office trash can and put the pie into it. No, I don't feel better as a result but thanks for asking. As a reward, the scale has put me up a pound to 157 today which only proves that you can't rely on the scale for any real validation.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


More and more recently I have been feeling what I refer to as the superior mind set coming back to haunt me. This is where I begin to indulge my inner thin girl, who has somehow managed to not be eaten by my inner fat girl (which is frankly impressive all things considered). She trots out, sniffs and then demands to know two things, one who invited alll the fat people and second how could they possibly remain overweight when all they have to do is eat less and workout more. She is very snotty, did I mention that? I worry about the inner thin girl, because she makes it really easy to lose focus about what I am doing and how careful I still need to be about food. More than that, I worry because I work very hard on not being one of those self-righteous born again fitness freaks who expects everyone to follow her path. Where I am is not necessarily where a lot of other people want to be, and there is nothing wrong with that fact. So, when the inner thin girl makes a grand appearance, the inner fat girl takes her on a walk back down memory lane. In this case, I went back and looked at pictures from 2002, 2003, and early 2004. Holy crap is pretty much all that comes to mind. I look like a giant inflatable balloon and I had looked like that for years which is frightening. My inner thin girl wonders why no one said anything about it, I point out that people did, and as a general rule she slinks away, not to be seen again for a few months. Complacency, it isn't a good thing, but it can be cured.

15 lbs

This weekend I went to K-mart, which frankly isn't saying much because it is the only place on island to buy cheap stuff. I am not a big fan of big box stores, but my budget is and it wins. So, Sunday morning I went to K-mart and headed straight for the small section of fitness equipment. I was looking for 12 lb dumbells, but they only had 15 lb weights. So, I bought two because there were no other options and took them home. I will spare you the discription of the 20 minutes it took me to find something to carry them up to my apartment, suffice it to say I almost dropped the weights on my car rear bumper and my toe three times. Once they were in my apartment, I ignored them for a couple of hours until I decided to do my weight workout. Okay, I am a big weakling, and I freely admit this fact, but boy did those weights make a huge difference. All of a sudden I was actually breathing hard and lifting to the point of failure for the first time in over a month. Tonight is going to be even uglier because tonight is my arm and shoulder workout. I used to lift 20 lb weights, I want to get back there eventually, but this was a reminder that I need to increase my weights about every month or else that will not happen. Oh, and when I have to carry 20 lb weights into my apartment, well that is going to be so funny that I should probably have it videotaped for posterity. In other news, I managed to run for 15 minutes at 6.0 mph this morning, the remainder was at 5.9 mph. I estimate that I am running about 15 miles every week on the treadmill which is really good for me. When I am running comfortably at 6.0 mph, I am going to start increasing the length of time that I run and also I am thinking about doing more intervals durring my running workouts. I am only really interested in running a 10 minute mile, but that may change the longer I run. Mostly, I am concerned about increasing the intensity of my workouts as I get more fit and in shape. Someday, I am going to get around to running a 5k but I am not really working towards that right now. I also spent yesterday cooking up salmon and some steak for my salads this week, tonight I will cook the frozen chicken breast I have at home. I have been eating just chicken for the last few weeks so I am trying to fit some variety into my diet.

Friday, September 09, 2005

You win some, you lose some

I have got to stop working on Saturdays. It is beautiful and sunny outside and I am in my office, trying to catch up on motions which are due on Monday. This is the problem with trial, it takes you away from all of your other work. My trial by the way, we lost. I can live with that, the jury thought I did a good job but there just wasn't enough evidence to convict. As long as I did a good job, I refuse to worry about anything else, besides in the end that is all you can really control. I am still exhausted and I never got around to breakfast today but other than that life is actually pretty good. Today, I am not working out at all and frankly I need the break. I am sitting at 155.5 still which is pretty good after having gone out last night and had two drinks and a bunch of popcorn. I really am going to go through my clothing this weekend and toss some stuff and see what can be salvaged for future use. I think a fair amount of stuff will just end up going because I am not wearing it on a regular basis. Anyway, back to work I go for a little while, hopefully I will be out of the office by about 2 pm.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


I need sleep in the worst possible way. I did not sleep well this week, I had trouble falling asleep because of trial and I went to bed late. This is a bad, bad, combination for me. I keep telling myself that I just need to get through today and tomorrow I can sleep in until 8 am. It is really bad when sleeping until 8 am qualifies as sleeping late. Tonight, I am going to go out with my coworkers for drinks so that will probably take me a little off plan. I can live with a little detour every now and again, so I am not worried. I was down to 155.5 today, so I am changing my weight loss count on the sidebar to say that I have lost 86 lbs. I love changing that count, just haven't been able to do it since I moved here and stopped being focused on weight loss. So, I am really back on track now and that makes me happy. People have definately noticed and that feels good. Anyway, I will write more later but I have to go prep for a bail hearing now.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Still holding

I am still at exactly 156 lbs today so I guess it is real. Then again, I probably burned off a few extra calories yesterday morning by pacing around the office before I went to court. By the way, trial is so much fun, it is a huge natural high and I am loving it. I am however very stressed, and yesterday morning the secretaries were actually worried that maybe I was throwing up in the bathroom because I was nervous. This did not happen, I just paced around the office and drank lots of water and then went to court. I did not sleep very much last night, my brain would not shut down, so I think total I got about 4 hours of sleep. Normally, I need at least 8 or 9 hours to function at top speed. In situations like this, coffee is the only solution. Thus, this morning workout was no fun at all because I was tired. I had a cramp for the whole time I was running in both my leg and my side. I still ran for my normal time though, and hopefully tomorrow will be better. I also lifted weights last night in a sort of cursory manner but at least it got done. Anyway, back to work now.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

156, is it real or not?

I can't find my mascara. This probably seems like a small issue to the rest of the world, I do realize that fact. However, when you are in the middle of trial, every small issue feels as if it is magnified by a thousandfold. Thus, the inability to find mascara seems like a big issue right at this moment. I doubt we will win or lose based upon whether or not my eye lashes are blacker than normal and I don't have time to go and buy more mascara. So, I will worry about other things instead (and trust me I have other much bigger issues to worry about). This morning, I am down to 156 lbs. Now, I have no idea whether that is stress related, or due to copious amounts of working out every day. I ran at 5.9 mph today for 30 minutes and it really was horrible but it distracted me from what I have to do today and that was a beautiful wonderous thing. The only other thing which has managed to distract me is the novel "The Historian" which I picked up on a whim last weekend and spent two hours reading last night. Anyway, back to the exercise thing, most attorneys in my office claim to lose between 2-5 pounds during trial just from stress and not having time to eat. You spend all day in court and run around like a chicken with your head cut off outside of court trying to put out unexpected fires. So, there is very little time for eating extraneous food. I am forcing myself to eat my prepacked snacks if I get the chance, because otherwise I will end up way too low on calories for each and everyday. Then again, 156 could be a real weight since it is only down a pound from 157 which I kept hitting on and off last week. Who knows, who cares as long as in the grand scheme of things the scale keeps going down. I find the longer that I do this weight loss thing, the more zen I get about the actual numbers providing that they move slowly in a downward direction. Then again, you should expect a little dance when I get below 154 because that is the lowest number I have hit in the last two years and I am really looking forward to getting past it and moving onward.

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Labor Day Mystery

I feel I should tell you upfront that they did not take any pictures during the interview, and frankly I was relieved. However, I did get a chance to tryout my trial makeup which looked pretty good. This morning I was back at the gym and ran for my usual thirty minutes, half at 3.8 mph and half at 3.9 mph. Yesterday, I just lifted weights because the gym was closed and it was raining, not to mention there is no where safe to go running around where I live in town. This is my real question though, why does the gym have to close on labor day? I mean after all isn't it called "labor" day which implies that you should do some actual work. I would work out on a holiday during the week if the gym was opened but apparently that is not an option. I am back down to 157 again which is nice, who know if it will last. However, I am begining to see a real difference with my pants and shirts. This weekend I am going to have to go search for a tailor to get some things altered so that they fit properly again. I am not complaining mind you, just pondering on the fact that I seem to spend loads of money on clothing but end up with nothing that fits exactly right. I think when I reach goal weight, the really exciting thing will be having a permanent wardrobe.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

You want to do what!?!

Do you know how to make a girl really panic? No I mean really panic instantaneously. Say the following sentence to her "So, for this story I am interviewing you for, I am finding it really hard to get photographs to illustrate it given the subject matter, so you don't mind if I bring a photographer to take your picture, right." Right, great now if I hold in my stomach when you take the picture, make sure I am wearing black clothing and standing up at just the right angle that'll be great, really. I am being interviewed tomorrow for a story which is related to my job, and that sentence came out of the reporter's mouth on friday. Thus, yesterday involved a panicked trip to the mall to find something black and to buy some makeup so I don't look dead if they do in fact take my picture. One black suit later, and some lipstick I feel no less panicked but hey I needed the clothing anyway. I am only grateful that the story is not actually about me losing weight, but I still am not that thrilled by the idea of photos of me in a magazine. Then again, I could still weigh 250 lbs and that would be much much worse. I will report back on Tuesday since tomorrow is a holiday.