Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Long Goodbye

The post below aptly describes my mood today. After today I will not have e-mail or web access until next Friday. Today is my last day at this job, next Friday I board a plane to the mainland U.S. where I will arrive 18+ hours later. I am not coming back to this little island again, maybe ever but at least for a very long time. This is then end of two years at this job, in this place, and with these people. It is time to move on, time to go home, but it is very bittersweet. I think a lot of people think that I will come back here, but I do not think I will be returning here. It has been a long time in coming and I won't be looking back when I leave here, but it was my first "real" job as a lawyer and I will miss the people here.

"I'm Leaving on A Jet Plane"

"I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane" Words and Music by John Denver All my bags are packed I'm ready to go I'm standin here outside your door I hate to wake you up to say goodbye But the dawn is breakin Its early morn The taxis waitin He's blowin his horn Already I'm so lonesome I could die So kiss me and smile for me Tell me that you'll wait for me Hold me like you'll never let me go cause I'm leavin on a jet plane Don't know when Ill be back again Oh babe, I hate to go Theres so many times I've let you down So many times I've played around I tell you now, they don't mean a thing Evry place I go, I'll think of you Evry song I sing, I'll sing for you When I come back, I'll bring your wedding ring So kiss me and smile for me Tell me that you'll wait for me Hold me like you'll never let me go cause Im leavin on a jet plane Don't know when I'll be back again Oh babe, I hate to go Now the time has come to leave you One more time Let me kiss you Then close your eyes I'll be on my way Dream about the days to come When I won't have to leave alone About the times, I won't have to say Oh, kiss me and smile for me Tell me that you'll wait for me Hold me like you'll never let me go cause I'm leavin on a jet plane Dont know when I'll be back again Oh babe, I hate to go But, I'm leavin on a jet plane Dont know when I'll be back again Oh babe, I hate to go

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ankle Trouble

So, have I mentioned that I have a bad left ankle? An ankle I have repeatedly injured over the past 15 years or so (give or take). This morning I re-injured it while using a step during my circuit class, in warm-up. Oh the embarassment, oh the trauma. On the plus side, my instructor then spent the whole hour helping me with weights and what I should be lifting. However, I only got in 20 minutes of running because running on an injured ankle seemed like an extremely bad idea (and is how I have aggravated the injury in the past). I have to say, that other than extra skin, the only lasting problem I have ever had from being overweight is my ankle problems. I do think they are directly connect since when I was much heavier they used to get injured all the time and now it is only when I do something really stupid or run in the jungle. Still, I am worried that this injury is going to slow me down over the next week but hopefully it is just a minor sprain.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Oh the pain

I think my hipbox instructor is trying to kill me. Frankly that is the only explanation I can come up with to explain this morning's craziness. Oh, and then someone came in and took pictures of it. Because really, that is what we all want, pictures of ourselves with bright red faces in gym clothes. Oh, and she ran over again (although this is a different instructor from the step instructor)so I only managed to get in an 11 minute run. So, that is 3.75 miles in the last three days, which is good. Oh, but I don't really recommend running before you do an evil hipbox class because oh the pain. Just trust me on this fact.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Totally TMI

So, a raging head cold plus that time of the month, makes for a very unhappy Kat. Not a particularly productive one either in case you were wondering. I went to the gym this morning, I cannot say that I was particularly focused but I was there and it happened. Oh, and food yesterday, not great. On the plus side, I still managed to run for 11 minutes (but only 10 because class ran totally over). So, that works out to 2.75 miles in the last two days, plus 2 days of weights because we lifted weights in class this morning. I have to say, I have never been a huge fan of this particular class or instructor for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, today was the last time I will ever have to go to that class. Next week, I am dropping my cat at the airline on Tuesday at 3 am and therefore it is unlikely that I will be in an exercise class at 5:20 am, since I will probably be back in bed asleep. Plus as I say, I am not a huge fan of this class, I think that is because I do not particularly like step aerobics, and the instructor always runs over her time. Anyway, exercise is done for the day and that is a good thing.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


So, I spent lunch eating an enormous mango. Just on the edge between absolutely ripe and over ripe. Fabulous. Icy cold from the refridgerator it is better than dessert any day of the week. Bright green skin on the outside which gives way to sweet yellow-orangey insides. Heck, it is dessert and I have been eating them for the past two weeks non-stop. If I turn orange, you will know why. I can't describe mangos other than to say they are very mango and fabulous. Mmm, yum.


I woke up this morning with the beginings of a nasty cold, sore throat, headache, the works. Then I went to the gym where the air conditioning is not working and worked out for 1.5 hours. Now I really feel like crap, which is being added to by the fact that I am in a freezing cold office and I have wet hair. Anyway, I did mange to run my mile today, in total I ran for 18 minutes plus spin class and weights. So, actually it works out to running about 1.75 miles or so which is a good start to the week. I have begun cleaning out my apartment, excavating would be a better word since a lot of it involves throwing away accumulated junk that I refuse to ship home. I have three quarters of my closet done and then I am moving on to my second bedroom and the bathroom. This weekend the majority of my stuff is going into boxes to ship home and next week will be spent cleaning up the whole apartment and getting rid of my furniture. I have decided that my next apartment will be smaller, I really do not know what to do with this much space and mostly it ends up wasted and just a place to store junk. Anyway, the next two weeks are going to be hectic but I am looking forward to getting out of here and going home (oh and good fresh vegetables).

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ooh look a track, I should try to stay on it

Err, well I almost recovered from the bad food choices last night. This morning I also managed a whopping 30 minute run, split into 20 minutes before circuit training and 10 minutes after circuit training. My rear end is now sore, I know TMI right. I have been having real problems in the last few days with leg cramps after workouts, especially in my right leg (although not today). I think it is because I am running more than I have in a long time. Admittedly, I am still not running enough but I am running more which is good. Today, I have packed a salad again in the hopes that I will manage to just eat that for lunch although I do have to call a friend this week and see about having lunch with her before I leave island. Too many things to do, too little time to accomplish them. Oh, and I am going out tomorrow night. I am certain that some day things will be normal again, but just not right now.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


So, last night went a little off the rails in terms of eating. I ended up going out to a bar with some co-workers to watch the sunset and eating pizza for dinner. However, it was pretty much my only indulgence for the day. Okay, and lunch was bad today. You cannot have perfection but then again I could have been better than I have been today. Oh well, it has been a long day and it is only 2 pm.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Chicken Pot Pie

So, last night I made a lovely chicken pot pie (except not in a pot). It is supposed to make enough for about four people and I figure I have enough for around six dinners (give or take). The only really bad thing involved is puff pastry (which is only on top of the dish as opposed to the standard pot pie which has a pastry bottom and top). It would probably be good even without the pastry (or with whole wheat pastry). Also, this has the great benefit that you could use left-over vegetables and meat since you precook everything before you bake it. Also, all of the vegetables were cooked either in water or chicken stock so not a lot of add calories. Basically, a very simple recipe with approximate amounts. This is losely taken from the New Basic's Cookbook with alterations. Kat's Chicken Pot Pie 2 1/4 cups chicken stock 1 teaspoon Thyme 2 tablepoons butter 2 tablespoons flour 2 cups carrots 2 cups peas 8 oz cooked chicken 2 roasted red bell peppers 2 onions Olive oil 1 teaspon water 1 egg Salt Pepper 1 recipe puff pastry (if you buy pre-made, you will use the whole box). Preheat oven to 475 Butter a 9" by 11" glass casserole dish-you know, one of those long rectangular ones Now everything else can be done in advance (if you do it all at once, it will take about 40 minutes of prep and cooking time) In a small pan boil approx 1 cup of chicken stock (you could use vegetable stock), along with one teaspoon of Thyme. Add in around two cups of peeled and sliced carrot. If you use more carrots you need enough stock to cover them. Cook the carrots for between 4 and 6 minutes (long enough that they are fork tender). When the carrots are done, drain them and reserve the liquid. Set the carrots aside Meanwhile: Bring another pot of water to boil and put in two cut up onions. Boil for around 10 minutes or until soft. Drain and mix with the carrots. Also briefly cook in hot water around two cups of frozen peas. Drain and mix with the carrots. While you are cooking the other vegetables, you can roast the red pepper in the oven. Just cut up the red bell peppers coat them in olive oil and put them in the oven on a cookie sheet covered in tin foil for approx 10-15 minutes, turning once. Then remove the skin and toss with the other vegetables. Chop up the precooked chicken breast. In a large pan, melt two tablespoons butter and mix in two tablespoons of flour. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Pour in reserved carrot liquid and approx one more cup of chicken stock. Flavor to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until the mixture has thickened somewhat, then remove from heat and cool. Put chicken and vegetables into pan, cover with thickened broth. This is the part where I cheat. You can make your own pastry, but I did not have the time or energy. So, I bought pre-made puff pastry and let it warm up on the countertop. Cover your pan with the pastry dough and seal the edges with an egg wash consisting of one egg and a teaspoon of water. Put the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes and then pop it in the oven for 15 minutes. Makes enough conservatively to feed at least 4 if not 6 people.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Yeah, not so much

I swear, I cannot make my rear go to the gym on weekends. I do not know what it is about the weekends + gym which is such an impossible combination. Oh wait, actually I do, I'm just really lazy and there is the whole lying on the couch (I mean futon) with my cat thing that I fall into at times. I did however cook up a lot of chicken and get a few other things organized. This morning's workout was not good for the following reasons. (A)The gym opened 20 minutes late. This meant that I had no time to run, just enough time for spin class and weights. (B) The air conditioning was not working. No air con + tropical island equals nasty warm heat like you would not believe. Our spin instructor kept telling us to drink water because she was afraid we would get dehydrated because everyone was sweating so much. So, not a great workout overall. Tomorrow will hopefully be better. Tonight, I am going to make a chicken pot pie for dinner (a light version) which should last me all week. It has a really good broth instead of heavy cream. I am altering it slightly to include red bell peppers, extra vegetables, and garlic (because everything should have garlic). So, that will be fun.

Friday, September 15, 2006

I feel blah

Yeah, remember how I was going to go run this morning? Did not happen. Mostly because I do not feel particularly good. I am going to aim for tomorrow morning. I am at work right now, just finishing up our magistrates for the weekend. I have to head from here to court, and then depending on how I feel I will either go to the store or head straight home and take a nap.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

TGIF and all that

I cannot claim that my workout was particularly excellent this morning. I only ran for one mile because I could feel the soreness in my muscles and I want to run tomorrow morning. Spin class was just odd, the instructor did some really weird and complicated combinations of moves that I just could not really follow perfectly. I do actually know that part of the reason I was off tonight is that I stayed up until 10 pm last night (for no good reason) watching tv and so I only got 5.5 hours of sleep. Still I am going on 2 weeks of very decent behavior which is good. Can I go for three? We shall see how it unfolds. I am working tomorrow so that will help me get to the gym in the morning and from there I will head to the store to do my weekly shopping excursion. I still have tons of pumpkin soup in my fridge, but I cannot live on pumpkin soup alone so I must stock up on the essentials (such as cereal and soy milk). Anyway, I'm off to get ready for court and find coffee.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Rambling Reflections

Life is too short to not really enjoy good salad dressing. In case anyone is wondering, Seeds of Change makes a really great organic red pepper salad dressing (which I also cook fish and chicken in on occasion). Also, I should probably cut back on my coffee intake (I know I say this a lot). I also notice that I will have one cup of coffee at home on the weekends and tons when I am at work, so I think it is work/stress related). Also, I need to drink more water but it is really hard to drink water when the office is freezing. In other thoughts, I only really work up a good sweat when I run, but if I run and then do something else I sweat like a little maniac. Perhaps that is TMI but there you go. I wonder if it has something to do with getting my heartrate up into a specific range, I'm not sure. Also, I'm stealing my friend D.'s metabolism because he can eat anything and not gain weight. I can only take comfort in the fact I will survive longer then him if we ever have a major famine in the world.

Reasons not to make sweeping statements

I should know better than to proclaim information. As soon as I announced I was doing well on food, I promptly ended up going out to lunch with my boss and then having desert. However, I made up for it by having a light dinner and not snacking over the afternoon (tempting as it was). I have learned that my instant reaction to falling off plan is to think, "well I'm off plan, so no use being on track for the rest of the day", on the plus side yesterday I managed to escape that thought pattern. I know the next few weeks are going to be hard, there are going to be a lot of lunches and things of that nature because I am leaving my current job. So, my goal is just to remain on track as much as possible over the next few weeks and work out like a maniac. Today my workout was really good. 7.5 miles run this week and I lifted weights today so that is three days of weights this week. Actually this morning, in aggregate, I ran for 25 minutes and did an hour of circuit training and abs. Plus last night I did a few core moves. All in all, I'm doing pretty well and I have not been snacking on bad stuff in the past few days which is good.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

This has got to work at some point right?

Yep, no progress is being made whatesoever. But I am being really good and I am sure at some point that is going to count for something. As of today (wednesday) I have managed to run 5.5 miles this week which is already over my target for weekly mileage. I am running pretty much 20 minutes a day split up into two 10 minute increaments before and after whatever morning aerobics class I have at the moment. I am trying to not get frustrated about the fact that the pants aren't fitting properly given I am eating properly and working out. I am just staying the course because darn it, I may not be skinny but I am healthy and that is a good thing in the long run.

Monday, September 11, 2006

General Check-in

I suppose I should post on the issue of what I actually accomplished exercisewise today. Eh, it was alright. 20 minutes of running, step/spinning class for 1 hour, 10 minutes of abs, 1.5 minutes of core moves (i.e. planks). I am making myself stay at the gym longer and get a little extra cardio or something in every day. Eating was spectacular yesterday until I went home and it took a long time to make dinner and then I munched on bad things (i.e. bread). I have solved this problem and today dinner will not take anytime at all. I'm not aiming for perfection, just decent. I have been managing decent for almost two weeks now and that is a good thing. I am working very hard on not making myself totally nuts right now because I've got enough craziness going on, and so far I am succeeding. When I leave here I will worry about everything else like changing my diet for example.

Five Years Ago Today

On September 11, 2001, I can distinctly remember where I was that morning. The way I think my parents generation remembers where they were when JFK was shot and Camelot ended in an instant. There are days and moments which change you and the really big ones change the world. That was September 11, 2001. I can remember that my lawschool roommate came and told me the news and we sat watching the news until it was too much to bear and then I went to class. My 4th amendment rights class of all things and my professor marched out and looked at us and said bluntly, "I lived through Pearl Harbor and the one thing I can tell you is that we don't know what has happened yet and we won't really know what happened until tomorrow" and then he conduct class on all your civil rights under the American Justice system. He was right, of course, but five years later I think we are still learning more and more about what happened that morning in New York, a field in Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. That night, we sat on our dorm steps and lit candles for the missing and mourned the dead. I didn't tell anyone for several days that I could not reach my brother, who was a Navy Seal and somewhere in the Middle East at the time. It seemed almost inconsequential because I knew somewhere he was doing his job and standing between us and whatever darkness threatened and that was a choice he had made in his life. The victims of 9/11 never made that choice, they went to their jobs that morning or got on an airplan and because of where they were, they died. Even five years later there is no real way to comprehend that even for those of us who did not lose anyone that day. My brother came home safely, and that is a gift that so many families did not get that day. So, I'll light a candle tonight just the way I did then in rememberance of those who never made it home. May they be at peace.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Great Debate

I keep pondering this debate that I have been seeing more and more in blogosphere. The debate about ownership of the "fat experience" for lack of a better description. In other words, do those of us who are a siz 12/14/16 have as much right to label ourselves as "fat" and subject to certain kinds of discrimination as those who are size 26/28/32. I don't think it is just a semantics debate going on, but rather a debate about whether or not the same type of discrimination is at work and whether it is even possible to understand the societal marginalization involved if you are a size 28 as opposed to a size 12. I've seen it pointed out a lot recently that if you are my size (size 12), you can shop in mainstream retail stores, fit in normal size seats, and are unlikely to get the same kind of looks as larger people. Well, I've been a size 12 and I have been a size 24/26 and I was a size 24/26 for a lot longer than I have been a size 12. Does that establish my street cred here? I don't know, but it is where I come from in my own head. I still think of myself as fat, still see the extra weight that I spend my free time trying to lose, still struggle with food. But I don't think I get the same looks in public that I used to get, and I don't worry about where I can shop and whether the airplane seat will be comfortable. Pain is pain regardless of size though, and I wonder what it says that size 12 women think they are really fat and about the fact that as a society we continue to idolize really underweight women as opposed to healthy people. I don't think my personal perception has anything to do with my weight now, I think it has everything to do with what I used to weigh. Keeping weight off is really hard for me, really hard even with lots of exercise and the mind trips are pretty rough too. Still, I absolutely know that I am lucky to be able to avoid all the trauma of never being able to find my size and always getting stared at in public. Where that leaves us in all of this I don't know, but I keep pondering the issue and maybe that is what is important.

Hello Monday

Monday always shows up faster than I have anticipated in my head. This weekend proved to be really excellent in terms of getting my rear back on track in a couple of respects. First, I went to weight training and nutrition class on Saturday (which admittedly mucked with my running plan but oh well). Nutrition class was all about sugar and let me tell you I may never eat an M&M candy again. Fun fact, you have to walk one length of a football field to burn off the calories in an M&M. In order to burn the calories in a little bag of M&M's, you would need to walk 3.3 miles. Needless to say, I have been eating less sugar since saturday. Oh, and there was a lot of information on how fake sugar is not much better than real sugar. Most interestingly, that there are studies showing that after consuming fake sugar, a lot of people go looking for something sweet within 30 minutes to eat. I know I do this myself, so I am going to cut down on the fake sugar as well. Weight training class was also excellent, mostly because it helped prove to me that (a) I am pretty strong and (b) my form is good and has not gotten mucked up from the lack of a decent trainer in the past two years. Generally, I rely on my older brother reviewing my form every six months and correcting it but haven't been able to do that recently (and yes I need a trainer but I am poor). The real benefit of going to the gym was that I then felt motivated to do other things over the course of the day rather than just napping. So, I hauled myself off to the grocery store after making an extensive list of foods. I made a rocking peanut butter and pumpkin soup (with organic peanut butter) which fills a huge pot in my fridge, taught myself how to make decent brown rice (you cook it in the oven), made basil pesto, roasted chicken for my salads all week, and broiled salmon which I smeared with basil pesto butter. I only ate 1/2 the piece of salmon for Sunday dinner and put the rest in my salad for today but I can tell you it was really excellent. Especially if you like garlic. Tonight, I am going to cook up the tuna steaks I bought and have those with a little bit of my pumpkin soup and roasted red peppers. I am forced to admit if I would just eat like this normally, I would be much healthier and happier. Yet another reason I am moving somewhere with real produce and good food supplies. Anyway, tonight I am going to clean and get the rest of my life in order. Oh, and this morning I managed to run 2 miles (one mile before and 1 mile after my spin class) and lift weights in addition to an hour of spin. Tonight, I am going to do a core workout if it kills me.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Skinny vs. Fit Conundrum

So, I didn't quite manage my briliant goal of 5 miles by today. However over 4 days I have managed 4.5 miles which is pretty good (especially given the Monday holiday). Oh and 4 days of weights (different body parts). My excuse is that spin class was brutal and my hips and thighs were really sore. I was fascinated this morning though by the class dynamic. We had a new person in the class who looked fit and like she should be able to kick my rear and within the first ten minutes of class she had completely fallen apart. Now, mind you, I understand not making it through a full spin class especially if you are not a regular. However, this girl wasn't even trying and was barely pedaling. Frankly, she looked like she might colapse. I suppose the resistence on the bike could be really hard (although normally I use that bike and it is just fine). It was a reminder that skinny does not necessarily mean fit or healthy. In retrospect, I did notice that she had no muscle tone anywhere and while I don't have any in my arms either, I definately have tone and definition in my legs. There are lots of people I work out with in class who carry a little extra weight, but they show up every morning and work their tails off (and could probably run circles around a fair number of people). So, I may not be skinny but I am fit (well and I am working on the skinny thing).

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pecked to death by chickens

Every senior attorney in my division is out (all 3 of them). This leaves me in charge, and I swear it is the equivalent of being attacked by chickens. Every problem that people have or random question gets brought to me. Sigh. I have not done any of my own work in 2 days. Fortunately, all the attorneys are back tomorrow and I might have a chance of getting something done. Then again, maybe not. On the plus side, today has been a good food day so far and I get to go home in 45 minutes. Oh, and you may note that I have changed the blog template (I got bored of the old one).

Dedication hah

I think I just got talked into going to a weight training and nutrition class on Saturday. Not sure how that happened. On the plus side, I got twenty minutes of running in today (split into two parts) which equaled 1.5 miles. So, this week I have managed to run 3.5 miles so far (over three days so not terribly impressive). I will try and squeeze another 1.5 miles in tomorrow along with my spin class so that I hit the 5 mile over the course of this week. I think what I am actually going to do is come into the gym at 8:30 am on Saturday and run before the weight training class. Then, I am going to go to class at 9, followed by the nutrition class at 10 am. It will be a rich full weekend morning. Also, my core fitness/ ab strength is still crab over all this time so I need to step it up in that arena. Now, mind you, I have not seen any return on these efforts so far but I maintain hope that eventually my body will get with the program. Thanks for the compliment Becky but it is not dedication at this point, just force of habit when I get up and go to the gym in the morning. If I don't go, I feel guilty and that is what keeps me going sometimes.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The SMART Plan

I love this so I am totally hopping on board with Renee's newest challenge at Fat Fighters. S = Specific By the end of 2006, I will run an actual 5K race and lose 25 lbs. M = Measurable To lose 25lbs, each week I will attempt to lose 1lb. To run a 5K, each week I'll run at least 5 miles and run for at least 30 minutes on one weekend day. I will also lift weights three days a week. A = Attainable By aiming to lose 1lb, it's means I need to burn around 500 calories a day. Plus, running one mile a day and 30 minutes on the weekend is completely doable. R = Realistic My goals are realistic for me because my body holds on to weight with a death grip and I lose weight the best when I am running and lifting weights. T = Timely My first milestone will be to lose 10 lbs by November.

Things I know

It is never a good idea to watch oneself in the mirror while in aerobics class. This is because (a) no one looks good in gym clothes (b)one will be struck at how much one currently needs to lose weight, and (c) you will realize that you look like an uncoordinated fool. Anyway, I did also manage (prior to looking like an uncoordinated fool) to squeeze in a 1 mile run before class started at 5:15 am. This was accomplished through trickery in the sense that I convinced myself I was only going to run for 5 minutes and I kept going once I hit that mark. My new goal is to run 5 miles a week in addition to my regular exercise classes. So far, 2 miles down this week. I always notice the aches and pains when I run, this morning my legs were really stiff and my hips hurt but that is just because I have not been running at all. I did also remember to pack my lunch this morning and all other essentials (including my underwear, thank you very much). Yesterday was a very decent food day overall which made me happy (and some day I swear that I will learn to stop obsessing about food).

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Labor Day!

So, I took a lovely three days off from everything workout related (and four days off from work). I needed that mentally I think after the last few weeks. Anyway, today I am back on track with pretty much everything. Well, other than the fact I forgot to take underwear to the gym and had to run home before I went to work (that was probably TMI). This morning I even managed to run a mile before I started exercise class (which I have not done in a long time) and that felt good. Although it did wear me out a little more than I expected. I need to get back to running more, but I figure once I leave island I will have a lot more time to run. I found a 5K I want to run in November and that is at least one goal to work toward in the long run. I hit my lowest weight when I was running a lot and I actually enjoy running so I want to get back to that more often. It will help to be in a place where I can run outside which is not something that I can do here very easily. Tonight I need to lift weights and do some core fitness stuff (I was going to go back to the gym but my workout shoes are now at home). Mostly, I am just trying to stay the course until I get home in October and can regroup and focus on fitness. Anyway, I am off to court. More later.