Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 91

Diet 2.0 continues to go well. I've been doing more walking again, which is possible with the older babe.

I'm not quite comfortable with the physics of running on my chubbier frame -- but I'm almost to the weight I was when I started running in 2008, so I'm not that far away.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day 66

I've been back being "sparklingly perfect" on plan for 66 days now.

What that means: My Size 14 post-pregnancy clothes are too big, but I'm not ready for the 8s and 10s I have left. There's a gaping hole where the Size 12s should be. I'm almost to my thin-enough-to-run weight. Which means, of course, I have to build up my walking so I will be ready.

I'm happy to not be tempted by my not-really-on-plan-but-not-really-off-plan options. Yes, I know I could gain weight on carrots, in the right (wrong) mind space.

I've made a new friend, who has been a huge lift.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Things I'm loving lately

1) Brown basmati rice from Thailand, found at 99 Ranch Market. The big difference between SoCal and suburban Texas is that I'm oftentimes the only Polish/German/Irish person at the ethnic markets. Which I don't get. People are missing out.

2) "Antioxidant blend" frozen vegetables from Costco, which include cherries, blueberries, pomegranates and strawberries. Yum.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

What I've been doing

1) Waking up with weird hours now that the 2-year-old is transitioning out of his nap.

2) Doing a lot of Duolingo. It's an interesting site that teaches you languages and then invites you to translates articles. I only do Spanish,  since I have a strong base in that, so far, and I would only be presumptuous enough to translate from Spanish into English. But it's fun. And, a little irritating when you see the odd translations put up by people whose grasp of English is tenuous.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A month in

Well, I've been doing the whole accountability thing for more than a month now.

Good news: Back to my pre-move-to-Texas weight.

Bad news: None!

Friday, May 9, 2014


Yes, I'm back. Sort of. I can't believe I went more than a year without blogging.

I'm also back on plan in a hardcore way. Post-baby, post-I've-moved-to-Texas-depression, post-excuses.

The last year, in a nutshell: I've been walking, not running. I managed to make a good friend and then be summarily dimissed to the point of shunning. Why am I so good at that? The working theory of my psychologist friend is that I am accepting of people and so I bring a wide range into my life, including those who are less than mentally stable. As the kids say: "Whatevs."

I finally accepted that I *can* and do gain weight even without eating sugar and flour unless I am crazy vigilant about portion sizes. So that's what I've been doing. I'm on Day 18 of reporting to Tiffany again regarding exactly what I'm eating. No, I don't like it. But I'm doing it.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Things I love about Texas

1) The thrift stores aren't picked over. It's easy to find funky and cheap cool junk.

2) The libraries.

3) Radio station KXT. It's a public radio station that plays an eclectic mix of what they now call "adult contemporary alternative." Or something. You can listen to it via the web wherever you are. In one day, I heard Ryan Adams, John Hiatt, The Cure and a Lemonheads song that isn't "Mrs. Robinson."


It's about an inch long, and it's sutured with dark thread.

So, I'm wearing a lovely bandage for now.

I get curious looks from little kids -- so, oftentimes I'll wear a leopard-print Band-Aid across my forehead. There's not really much point in trying to hide the bandage. I ran into a guy I know, and he told me my forehead looked like I was wearing a crown or something, with the tape across it. I told him I had a skin cancer removed, and it was funny to see him get suddenly serious. I had to assure him that I'm fine.

I'm so lucky it's not a melanoma, and it really isn't all that serious. It looks more dramatic than it is.

St. Joseph Altar

I made yummy homemade bread today, braided and brush with egg yolks and coated with sesame seeds. It was for a special St. Joseph's Day celebration with some other families.

I'm not usually tempted by all the things I don't eat -- but the smell of this was a bit difficult.

There were tons of pasta dishes at the party, but, fortunately, someone brought baked potatoes and meat in addition to my salad.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

More big news

No, I'm not pregnant.

Yes, I know I have to say that nearly every time now.

I got a little skin cancer -- squamous cell, which is a non-melanoma kind. It's a little bit more serious than basal cell because it is more likely to spread. Regardless, it's not all that likely to spread.

So much for vanity. The thing is right in the middle of my frown line, which actually makes it easier to conceal. Regardless, I'll have a nice bright scar there for a while.

It's a function of my German/Polish/Irish ancestry as well as too many years in the Sunbelt. My silly hats apparently came too late.

Other news: The shift to Texas has been humbling in so many ways. I never thought of myself as an "L.A. person," but in many ways I had become one.

It's some consolation that I'm finding friends, friends outside the whole Catholic homeschool crowd.

Because, although I'm a traditional Catholic in that I follow church teaching on birth control and go to Mass regularly, I'm very much a contemporary Catholic. I let my daughter be an altar server and I'll wear pants or, heaven forbid, a skirt that inches above my knees.

Here in the great state, there's a kind of uniformity to the homeschooling Catholics and I am going to be a little bit suspect anyway, just because I'm a newcomer. But, once again, I'm confusing people -- without trying, of course. 

Baby: Is walking now and talking a little. I don't know how, but I forget how sweet they are.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

100 books

I've been enjoying the site.

I've always been a crazy-avid and super-fast reader, and with Goodreads I can document what I'm reading.

You can challenge yourself to read a certain number of books; last year I did 100. It was undoubtedly more than that as I forgot to put all of them in. Now, however, I am at a place where I am compulsively entering my books.

The unintended consequence of Goodreads, particularly near the end of the year when I was "behind" on my goal, is that instead of picking up some long nonfiction book or piece of literary fiction, which will take me at least a few days to read, I'm tempted to blow through a potboiler.

I've been delighted with the library system here, and it's just as easy for me to find books as it was in L.A.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ritual meals

Some people go out of their way to make yummy foods while on diets.

I don't.

I find that I need to look at food as fuel, almost exclusively, in order to be happy on diets. It seems that the fancier I try to go, the more I recognize my "deprivation."

So, I eat some bizarre things, like eggs and oatmeal and vegetables for dinner.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Weighing in

I got on the scale for the first time in a while today, and it read 188. That's about 25 pounds heavier than when I ran the marathon and about 15 pounds more than when I got pregnant. It's four pounds more than the last time I got on the scale, sometime in August.

My issue, as always of late, has been portion control -- not measuring out my food. And probably the lack of exercise that doesn't involve chasing a baby around.

I won't get on the scale again until Feb. 5.

It's easy to feel whiny -- how can I gain weight while eating as I do?!! -- but I'm not going there.

Let's just do it.

The nice thing, of course, is that in U.S. culture this is a good time to be watching one's diet. So, no matter how I try to resist the whole new-year-new-you business, it can help socially.

Babe update
The 13-month-old isn't walking yet, but he certainly could if he made the mind leap. He pushes boxes all over the house at a run. He'll take little steps, particularly if he wants something. But, he's still figuring out that he can do it.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


One thing that I've been struggling with lately is a moderate level of stress. A minor level is normal and part of everyday life, of course. I'm also realizing that there happens to be some things happening that might not seem all that stressful but that are uniquely stressful to *me.*

I realized this a couple of weeks when I saw the nails on one hand had started disappearing. I haven't bitten my nails in years, nearly as long as I haven't eaten sugar, wheat or flour. It's not a nice habit, but it -- like overeating -- a bit of an an impulse control problem.

The good thing is that as soon as I noticed, I stopped -- and that it reminded me that I am simply not handling the stress well right now and I need to come up with some other ways to cope.

Some of what I need to feel less stress is just a matter of time. Texas is already feeling much more like home. What I could use are friends where I can relax with them, and that appears to be beginning to occur.

Friday, November 30, 2012


The pomegranates are here!

In addition to being one of my favorite foods, they are one of the baby's, too.

After the first couple of pomegranates I bought were bad, I thought I'd be in trouble. The Costco ones, though, are the same as the ones as I bought last year.

Babe update

He has eight teeth, and he crawls. Right now, he has a banged-up nose from a bonk on cement at the park. He's developed a dislike for the stroller and shopping cart, unfortunately, which makes it hard for me to get a walk in.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Things I have to be careful about in Texas

Texas is interesting because there's a cultural insecurity to it that I've picked up.

If I point out a difference between Los Angeles and Texas that seems to favor L.A. -- even if it is obviously true -- people get defensive.

And, believe me, I am all about "Texas is wonderful. Texas is great. I am so happy to be here."

But, if I point out that there is a glut of excellent musicians in L.A., I am told about talented musicians here, as though I am saying there aren't many.

No, what I am saying is that there are so many people trying to "make it" in L.A. that you get the best musicians of many areas converging on a very small piece of land. One good thing about that for me was that there were many music teachers to choose from and the price of lessons was a little bit cheaper.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Shopping, Texas style

There are just a very few stores that we loved in L.A. that aren't here in Texas.

That says something about the way the country has turned into one giant chain store, doesn't it?

Regardless, my food shopping style has shifted. I use Costco more -- and Costco recently got Mary's Gone Crackers, so that's nice.

There's no more Ralph's, but Kroger is here -- it's just not as nearby. There are more Vons stores. Here, they're called Tom Thumb. Trader Joe's recently arrived.

There are a couple of Texas stores that we have been enjoying, particularly one called Market Street, which is the upscale IGA -- but the prices are surprisingly reasonable.

Then, there's the place I go when I'm homesick for L.A. preciousness -- Central Market, which has all kinds of gourmet food and the prices to match.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Many changes -- and none

A lot of the time, if you haven't heard from diet-and-exercise bloggers for a while, it's because they have given up -- gone off the wagon and gained a lot of weight.

I'm definitely heavier than my lowest place; I haven't really put on weight so much as haven't lost all I gained while pregnant with Baby No. 5. But I haven't gone crazy. Or eaten sugar, wheat or flour. I weigh less than I did when I graduated high school and just a bit more than when I got married and then pregnant for the first time. But I'm a Size 12 or a 14 instead of an 8 right now. And, for now, I have a certain peace with it.

I've gained a lot of insight into how I got as heavy as I did in the first place. Postpartum, some people have the weight fall off. That happens to me for the first couple of months; then, I do an excellent job of holding on. It's also more important for me to be truly present for my babe as well as my other kids than to get hyper-focused on weight -- and the reality is, I do need to get hyper-focused in order to actually lose weight. I haven't given up so much as put my lifetime struggle on hold.

Plus, moving always makes me a bit nervous. And, of course, when I'm nervous, portion control becomes that much harder. When I was new and perfect on the diet and weighing and measuring everything perfectly, my move then didn't matter as much. I was also "at bottom" and willing to be hungry. With fewer friends here and the work of caring for a now-mobile baby, I have less tolerance for hunger.

Texas is wonderful in so many ways, but it's also very different. I try to be careful with pointing out differences, as some people take it as criticism, which it is not. But, I remember that from L.A. Pointing out cultural L.A. differences was seen as a criticism by some native Angelenos; for Texans, that tendency to see criticism of their Great State tends to be even stronger. There are more natives here, and they are that much more passionate. So that's been the main source of a lot of my blogging inhibition. It's hard to talk about what's going on in one's life when it's really easy for others to take offense, no matter that none is meant. That said, I'm considering -- no promises! - giving it a try.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Walking again

It's been about a year since I've done a whole lot of concentrated exercise. It's easy to get out of the habit, of course; plus, I have a significant major responsibility in the babe. Since he's older now, though, he has more patience for sitting in the stroller. And I can get out again.

So, I'm taking baby steps -- and walking again. Paul and I have gotten two 35-minute walks in this week.

Although I hesitate to describe my "plans," as I don't have the best track record in following through once I make a big announcement, here's what I've done and what the intention is.

I'm starting off walking three days a week for about 30 minutes at a time. The eventual plan is to increase the duration and the number of days. For now, I'm doing Monday-Thursday-Saturday. Getting Paul to come with me is good for him as well. Since we've moved to Texas, he hasn't gotten his daily walks in, as his commute to work is a walk of 20 feet instead of 20 minutes.

I also remember that when I started my big fitness push (as opposed to the no sugar or flour business), I indeed built up pretty gradually. I didn't even think about running until I was sustaining a pretty high heartrate from walking, fast, up an incline on the treadmill.

I have some muscle memory now that I didn't have in the past. At the same time, I'm aiming to start pretty much from scratch because I want pleasure -- not pain -- from exercise.

Walking doesn't feel quite as wonderful as running did, but it still feels really good.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My favorite spice

Cumin has to be my top spice, although cinnamon is a close second.

Both Mexican and Indian foods use it heavily. There's nothing better to spice up some eggs, chicken or beef than a bit of cilantro.

It's one of the spices I buy in bulk.

Baby update

The babe is crawling, he has two teeth that have poked through and he desperately wants to eat whatever anyone else is. He's definitely keeping us all busy. It's that crazy time when we all have to protect him from himself.

He also likes to give "high fives" and play "the wheels on the bus."

It seems as though half the clothing that still fit him when we moved from California no longer fits.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Are you running?

A couple of people have asked if I have been running.

The answer, unfortunately, is no. I've been pretty lucky in that I have not had any significant running injuries. Part of the reason for that is the fact that I'm pretty conservative. I increase mileage slowly. I don't go fast at all. I baby myself when it comes to surfaces.

And, now, one way that I'm being conservative is by not running when my weight is higher than I want it to be. When I ran for the first time (in my life, really), I weighed about 10 pounds less than I do right now, and I don't want to start again until I'm there.

Yes, I miss the endorphins. No, I don't miss them enough to want to mess with my knees or feet. Ten pounds doesn't seem like a lot, but the force grows exponentially and can cause that much more trouble.