November 26, 2010-present weight loss

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Monday, October 31, 2011

My Life In Kilograms

Living my life in kilograms is an aggravation, but it is my reality while living in London.  The first time I worked out on the elliptical a few months ago, the machine asked me for my weight.  I don't remember my exact weight, but it was somewhere around 250lbs.  So I entered in my weight, and the machine told me this was an invalid number.  It took me a minute to remember that life over here is in kgs- not in lbs- and that the machine thought that I was 550lbs.  I took out my Blackberry to figure out what my weight was in kilos (ahh, dividing by 2.2 is always fun).  Now as I lose weight, I always have to figure out the kg equivalent in order to get a (somewhat) accurate calorie count on the cardio equipment.  Today is the first time I have not weighted triple digits in kilos; today I got to enter 99- exciting!
Now check this out.  We fell back over the weekend, so it is dark an hour earlier.  I took this outside of my flat on the way home from the gym at 5:20pm- sad:(

Being In The Teens

Hitting my 100lb goal was amazing, but getting out of the 220s is possibly even more exciting.  Being in my teens, albeit the high teens, means that Onederland is getting close!  I am thrilled about moving towards this next threshold. 
I had forgotten to mention two things about our tasty dinner out with the new Londoners in my earlier post, so I will do so now.  This dinner was the first time I wore all misses clothing out (apart from when I wear jeans, which barely counts).  I wore a large Ellen Tracy cashmere tank top with an extra large matching cardigan and a size 16 Ann Taylor skirt.  I accept that Ann Taylor is cut big and an AT 16 is gigantic compared to a designer 16, but I don't care.  This time last year I wore a 22W from Talbots after all:)  I remember when I started buying all of my size 14-16 clothes during law school.  With the help of Adipex and a wicked gym routine, I had lost a lot of weight.  After years of fat clothing, I was very excited to be able to fit into the clothing that everyone was wearing and I went shopping crazy.  I had a saleswoman in the Ellen Tracy department of Bloomingdale's, and I am convinced she was able to retire due to the amount of clothing I bought.  I bought more items than would have been reasonable for a first year associate, and I was in my first year of law school.  I just couldn't help myself.  I felt so liberated and so... alive!!!  I felt normal.  Yeah, I might have been limited to the larger sizes of these stores, but I was easily shopping in stores that had been off limits to me just a year before.  That is how I feel now.  I am doing most of my current shopping in my closet at mom's rather than buying garments that will only last me a few months, but I am starting to remember how good it feels to wear these smaller sizes again. 
Secondly, meeting new people is so much more comfortable for me now.  I have always been social and never suffered from the fat girl shyness that seems to be so common in heavier women.  At the same time, I was always concerned about how people would view me during these dinners.  How would they react to my eating an extra piece of bread because I was hungry?  Would they look down on me for clearing my plate?  Would they notice that I was always sweating due to my extra insulation (sounds nicer than fat, doesn't it)?  Most importantly, what would the couple say when they left the restaurant?  I am pretty sure the comment was frequently something like, she is nice, but isn't it sad that she is so big.  Now I am much less worried about how people view me.  Yeah, I am big, but I don't stand out in a crowd anymore.  Isn't it nice! 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

There's A Crazy Lady At The Gym!!!

Yes, my friends, there is a whack-a-doo at my gym, and she almost always works out when I am there.  I have even tried showing up a bit later or a tad earlier, and it is like La Loca changes her plans when I do.  It is infuriating. 
She is an older woman, not old, but definitely not a contemporary of mine.  She works out with a DiscMan, which I find to be highly entertaining.  She keeps a stack of CDs in her locker and listens to Mozart and other classical music during her workout.  Yeah, strange.  She wears the old school headphones with the headband-like thing connecting the two earpieces.  After she has been working out for a bit, she puts a little towel between the headband and her head... I assume to keep her hair from getting too sweaty and from getting a mark.  I would suggest actually showering after a workout to alleviate this issue, but who am I to judge? 
She typically works out on the treadmill behind me.  She bangs her hands on the sensors as she walks and jogs- over and over again.  And she SINGS- out loud.  She doesn't sing words, rather, she opts for something more like, "LAAA DEE DA, DEE DAAAAA, DAAAAA, DAAAAHHHHHHH"!  It is almost enough to turn me into a crazy lady as well.  I have come close to saying something to her, but crazy is crazy.  Maybe I'd be better maintaining my distance.  On Thursday she dropped her DiscMan while on the treadmill.  It was just way too difficult for her to cope with, and she wound up falling- feet in the air- when trying to retrieve the DiscMan.  I watched this entire episode in the mirror and actually giggled when I saw her feet positioned somewhere above her ears- coupled with her constant F-bombing.  Sorry, but it is the truth.  In case the image of the woman with the towel on top of her head, feet in the air, was not enough for all of you in Blogland, I will leave you with one more.  The cord connecting the earphones to the device is very long- maybe 8 feet or so.  Once she moves onto lifting and stretching, the fun really begins.  She places the DiscMan on the floor and just drags it around like a little puppy on a leash.  She walks from machine to machine with this DiscMan dragging on the floor, following obediently all the while!  It would really be funny to watch if she didn't aggravate me so.  I wish I could complain to management, but I really doubt this would do much good.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hip Hop Hooray!

I thought that I sweat broke my iPod at the gym two days ago, but it came back to life for yesterday's workout.  I celebrated by listening to The Notorious B.I.G. followed by Naughty By Nature.  The music certainly kept me more motivated to move than watching the news does (which is what I frequently do), but it came at a cost.  I felt completely dirty.  I hate the lyrics, hate how women are portrayed, hate the N word, hate the violence, hate the vile references to sex, hate all of it!  Other than the beats, I just can't do it.  My issue is that most of my music is jazz, Bruce, Sting and music that is, well, not at all naughty by nature and not at all helpful to a workout.  So I am on the hunt for new music.  A girlfriend of mine is a marathon runner and has a ton of music with a strong beat.  I am going to see if she will hook me up with good gym music!
Kenny and I had dinner with a colleague and this colleague's wife last night.  The couple recently moved to London, so we thought it would be nice to give them some American love for the evening.  It seems that they are having a bit of difficulty adjusting to life over here, but that is to be expected.  It is a huge cultural change- I remember how out of sorts Kenny and I felt when we started out in London.  Anyway, we had such a tasty meal that I would be remiss if I didn't describe it for the foodies out there.  I wanted to take pictures to post but couldn't really do that when out to dinner with business people.  I started with spiced lobster tail served over a port-poached fig and sauteed duck foie gras.  It was just heavenly.  Kenny had the crab lasagna with shellfish foam, which was equally yummy.  Our mains were delicious as well- sea bass with blue cheese gnocchi for me and slow coked belly of pork with seared scallops for him.  I didn't eat all of the main, but I did inhale my chocolate mousse with raspberry jelly and mango sorbet.  The fact that the scale is down this morning is a complete fluke (but I will take it where I can).  It frequently takes two days for the scale to notch upwards after a bad meal, so I will probably see a disappointing number tomorrow morning:(
Minus last night's slide into the land of the chocolate mousse, I have been eating very, very well.  I don't eat breakfast most days but have leftover fish and veg for lunch.  I cook another fish and veg dinner every evening and wind up having a little snack as needed between lunch and dinner- along with about a 1/2 cup of apple juice mixed with fiber powder after my workout.  I am a bit concerned how I will make out this weekend.  English friends are having us to their home for dinner tomorrow night, so I fear that we will be eating a roast of some sort.  The following evening Italian friends are hosting us for an evening of pumpkin risotto... tasty but so NOT good for my weight or my waist! 
To the gym I will go to combat the effects of this food frenzy!
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm Jonesing Here

Seriously, I am.  This Traveling Bandita has been travel-free for a month, and it is driving said Bandita nuts!  This is the longest I have gone without seeing anything new and without being on a plane in 2011.  So here I sit, planning our trips for the remainder of 2011.  I have a brief trip back to the States in November to visit doctors and will be staying with mom and Muldoon (always fun to hang out with two of my favorite girls).  Upon my return to London, Kenny and I will be spending Thanksgiving weekend in Marrakesh.  Thanksgiving is obviously not something the English celebrate, so Kenny will just take Friday off so we can be in Marrakesh in time for lunch and some touring around.  I am really not sure how much we will like the trip, but it is worth a try.  While we liked Istanbul, we had very little patience for people hastling us in the street and cab drivers charging us 4x the appropriate fare.  We have been warned that Marrakesh will likely be worse than Istanbul in this regard, which means it won't be the most leisurely of weekends.  In an attempt to make the trip as enjoyable as possible once we arrive, I have started researching restaurants and sights to see.  We shall see how this works out!  It looks like this is going to be a meat heavy trip- mostly pigeon and lamb.  I have never had an issue with meat when out in public, so I do not foresee any issues.  Again, it is only a weekend.
The following weekend we are off to Vienna to see some Christmas markets, and I am planning that trip as well.  My German girlfriend has given me some suggestions on places to visit and restaurants to try, and I am pretty sure Vienna will be much more relaxing than Marrakesh.  It will also be terribly cold in comparison.  This girlfriend told me I should have a floor length fur coat for the weekend- sorry darling, but that just isn't in the cards!  My long wool coat, fur hat and warm scarf will just have to cut it.  This will be another meaty weekend, but I suppose I will need all of this meat to keep me warm while walking around sans fur coat:)
Kenny and I then go back to the States for Christmas.  We will spend the week before Christmas in NYC and then stay with mom for about a week.  It is always fun to be back in NYC and catch up with our friends, and the City is so beautiful around Christmas!  And of course, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas were our family not all together.
Our last jaunt of the year is going to Barcelona for New Year's Eve.  We will be there for a long weekend, and I am planning this trip as well.  We have already visited Barcelona, so we will have less sightseeing to do on this trip than on the others.  The good and bad of this is that we will probably spend a long weekend eating and drinking (wine) our way through the city with no regard for reason.  At least I know I won't eat so much that I will invariably gain an obscene amount of weight in almost no time at all.
So yeah, there it is.  This has almost nothing to do with my band, but I really, truly feel the need to talk about travel... and your Traveling Bandita will soon be traveling again!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Skinny People Do It Too

Yes, it is true.  The skinnies of the world work out.  I am amazed that even after losing 100lbs and being so much smaller than I have been in years, I am frequently the largest woman in the gym.  Where, I'd like to know, are the bigger women?  I don't buy that this is Europe and people aren't as big.  That is pure rubbish (look at me, adding in an English word like rubbish to prove my point).  I see a lot of big women in London; I just never see them at the gym.  I think the answer is that the bigger women are just not working out... or at least not doing so in traditional settings.  This is an unfortunate reality, because the bigger women really, really, really need the benefits associated with exercise.
Now, Blogland, I see this in our community as well.  We have all gone through major surgery, and many of us have spent a lot of money out-of-pocket for the surgery, yet a decent number of bandsters/sleevesters are reticent when it comes to exercise.  This is obviously not applicable to everyone out there, and most of the people I follow regularly have really embraced exercise as part of an overall lifestyle change since having WLS.  But for the people who really and truly believe that they can reach their goals (assuming these goals are to no longer be obese or overweight) merely by eating less and relying on the band, good luck with that!  It might work for a few, but this doesn't seem like a way to lasting success and weight loss.  If just eating less were enough, most of the women at my gym would not be tall, slender women who look like their body shape comes naturally to them.  If just eating less were enough, there wouldn't be a whole fitness industry geared not only to weight loss but to healthy living.  If just eating less were enough, the successful bansters out there wouldn't always be posting about their spin classes, their 5k runs, their marathons, yoga, boot camp, etc.  From what I see, and from what I have experienced in my 10.5 months of banded life, just eating better is not enough.  If I want to become complacent with my weight, I could probably knock out my workouts and not gain too much weight.  But why, in the name of whatever Deity you answer to, would I EVER become complacent at 224.2lbs when the synergies of healthy eating and serious exercise can get my so much further?
So the moral of the story is- EXERCISE- IT IS FOR EVERYONE!
And I have a song to get everyone in the mood to visit the gym.  I was walking home from my gym last week- hoodie on with my black shorts, water bottle in hand and sweating profusely- and these two South African guys saw me and began to sing this song.  It was actually very cute, and I blushed.  I wasn't embarrassed, I knew they weren't making fun of me or anything, they just saw a woman who had obviously come from the gym and broke out into song.  Here it goes (and yes, I know that the lyrics didn't deal with the gym originally, but work with me people):

***This is a first for me- I am updating this post based on MandaPanda's response.  I 100% agree with her that larger women are intimidated by the gym.  If you are one of those women, don't let fear or the idea of being uncomfortable stop you from doing something you could grow to really enjoy (and that is good for your health).  I have always had a really good self image- even when I weighed in at 320+lbs, so I never worried too much about what people would think of me at the gym.  If anyone had said anything I wouldn't have run off and cried- I would have said something along the lines of, "Seriously, I am here trying to deal with an obvious problem, and you think it is amusing to comment on issues I am working on".  Yes, I had rehearsed that just in case I ever needed it... but I didn't!
People who are working out are surprisingly unobservant about what is going on around them.  They are there to complete a task, and that task is their focus.  Maybe avoid a gym full of frat boys or meat heads, but other than that, go for it.  When I started working out post-surgery, I decided to swim.  There is no impact, and I could do it by myself.  I didn't want to be on a treadmill having trouble even keeping up a 4mph pace, so I didn't even try until I had lost some weight.  Now I am upstairs with marathon runners and some beautiful women who look like they must be in the service industry (and by this I am referring to the oldest profession, not people working at restaurants).  I am completely comfortable working out next to these people at this point!   This is the great thing about the gym--- there are different options for different people.  Try water aerobics if your gym has a pool, try one of the short classes.  Speak with the manager of the gym and ask for advice on which classes will suit you best.  But at least try it.  It is not going to negatively impact your weight, and you will probably have a much better experience than you had anticipated!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Life- Set To Music

Some of you have probably noticed that I have theme songs for just about everything that happens in my life.  My Fair Lady, Hall and Oates and KC and the Sunshine Band have made their way into this blog.  I am kind of like JD from Scrubs- he just looks to the side and something completely random pops into his mind.  I look to the side and BAM (as Emeril would say) music pops into my mind!  I just can't help it.  I rarely sing out loud, as I am well aware that dogs on multiple continents would cower in agony were they to accidentally encounter one of my episodes, but I almost always have music running through my mind.  Kenny and I were recently picking out our Christmas cards, and one card had a sleigh on an island with the sun behind it (he was so not on board with this card by the way).  I immediately broke out singing, "If you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain".  Apparently I have done this more frequently than I'd like to admit, because Kenny started laughing and said he KNEW I was going to sing that song.  My other favorite is to sing "All by myself, don't wanna be all by myself- anymore".  Too bad for Kenny I pull this one out when he is swamped with work and, sadly, ignoring me a bit.  Kenny is back in the office today, so it is an All By Myself day.  I know he is in hell trying to finish a project though, so I won't sing this one to him tonight. 
While Kenny went to work this morning, I went to a local pub to see friends and catch the end of the Rugby World Cup Final.  What a mistake!  I got to the pub with only 10ish minutes remaining in the game, and the place was so crowded that I couldn't even make it to my friends' table.  In case that wasn't enough to make me realize that I had made a bad decision, the Kiwis I was standing near were kind of unpleasant.  I guess this is what happens when people start drinking heavily at 9am.  The girl behind me was F-bombing her way through the morning.  I find cursing to be an art form, and it is a skill that I have done my best to refine, but all of the eff this and eff that was so annoying.  I do hope she is able to rely on a more extensive vocabulary when she is outside of the pub! 
So I cooked a fantastically yummy paella for dinner tonight.  I don't know if the whole shrimp might turn some of your stomachs (if so, sorry about that), but man oh man was it fantastic. 
Get in my belly!
I absolutely love paella- it is one of my favorite dishes, but I so rarely eat it.  Most restaurants in the States think that cooking a pot of rice of shrimp yields a paella, and many paella restaurants throughout Spain are way too touristy to focus on a consistent and high quality product (Spaniards eat the dish at home, never in a restaurant).  The rice will probably do bad things to my weight tomorrow morning, but at least consuming those excess calories was 100% worth it.  Yum! 
Happy Sunday:)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

That's The Way, Uh-HUNDRED Uh-HUNDRED, I Like It!

Oh my goodness, ladies, it is official.  Look at the picture and see for yourself.  As of this morning I have lost one hundred pounds since beginning my pre-surgical diet!  I am  SO excited about this news and cannot wait to tell Kenny (who had a car service pick him up at 6:40 this morning to go to the office, groan).  And I will admit to one thing... after weighing myself and snapping the photo, I actually teared up while brushing my teeth.  I looked at myself in the mirror, and little drops of water were welling up in my eyes!  I've held this hundred pound loss out as my main goal of the year, and I accomplished it!  Very exciting.
I loved the chili I made last night, and apparently my body liked it as well.  It gave me the warm heavy food feeling I have wanted without actually eating heavy food.  Here is the recipe:
In a slow cooker combine:
3 cubed skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
1 cup chicken broth or stock
1 diced onion
1 diced green pepper
1 chopped roasted red pepper
4 chopped garlic cloves
3 chopped hot peppers (I did one jalapeno and two red chilies)
2 tsp cumin
A healthy shake of hot chili powder if you like things spicy
Salt to taste
some tomato puree or paste
Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.  I got a bit impatient and turned the cooker up to high for an hour or so (I didn't like that the chicken was still completely pink after almost two hours). 
This dish was SO flavorful and has almost no fat in it!  The chili itself was pretty liquidy, but I actually ate it like a soup and loved it (maybe I will add a third can of black beans next time).  Kenny took much less liquid and ate his over rice.  Given that the chicken gives off some liquid, you could probably omit the cup of chicken broth or stock if you'd prefer something less soupy.  Also, I understand that many bandsters don't tolerate chicken well.  I don't eat much chicken, but the pieces were VERY tender- much more so than if I had roasted a chicken in the oven.  I might just try a vegetarian version of this at some point and cook it on the stove!

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Had A Heart-to-Heart With My Body

I asked it why it has declared a moratorium on losing weight.  I explained that I have been holding up my end of the weight loss bargain- working out religiously, preparing and eating low-fat/high protein foods and controlling my portions- but my body would hear none of it.  It told me that I am going to have to step up and work a hell of a lot harder than I have been to earn this hundred+ pound loss I so desperately want.  My body said that it is cold out and that my body is cold as well.  It would prefer that I not lose more weight until the warmer months, but I made it clear that this was not in the cards.  So my body has drawn a line in the sand- if I want to keep losing weight, I have to figure out a way to give it the warm, wintry food it craves while not increasing my calorie/carb/fat counts AND maintain or increase my workouts.  I am not too happy with my body's demands.  I feel that I have been treating it very well and that it, in turn, is making my life unnecessarily difficult.  Still, I will prove to this crabby body of mine that my commitment to my weight loss remains unwavering and that I am going to do my damnedest to make this work for both of us. 
Does anyone else out there have trouble with cravings as the weather gets colder?  I have been doing so well with months and months of fish and veg dinners, and now all I want is stews, potatoes, noodles, etc.  I am NOT giving into these cravings, but man oh man it is difficult.  Greek salads are just not cutting it for me at this point.  I am making a black bean and chicken chili in the slow cooker this evening in an attempt to soothe my craving while avoiding excess calories.  If it is any good, I will post a recipe.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Decadent Dinner

Kenny and I had a friend over for dinner last night.  Kenny and this guy worked together years ago, and we have remained friends with him and his family.  It was a really enjoyable night, and, if I may give myself a bit of a compliment here, the food was nothing short of fantastic.  I started by serving my arugula and white bean dip along with prosciutto-wrapped asparagus while we chatted over a glass of wine.  For the dinner I served macadamia nut crusted halibut, creamed potatoes and sauteed spinach.  I always love this fish dish- it is simple, and the macadamia crust helps keep the halibut nice and moist.  The potatoes were phenomenal.  For the sake of every woman out there trying to lose weight or maintain I will refrain from posting the recipe here, but let me just say that I cooked the potato slices in heavy whipping cream.  Oh, and there was Gruyere involved as well.  YUM.  The only disappointment of the evening was dessert.  I made a chocolate pie that received great reviews online, but I wasn't too impressed.  I expected the filling to have a ganache-like consistency, but it was closer to a heavy pudding.  I might serve the filling as a pudding, in a cup or glass, in the future, but as a pie this just didn't cut it. 
I saved the leftover pieces of fish but pitched the potato dish.  It was a good thing that I did, as I would be stuffing my face with that creamy, cheesy goodness right now if it were available!  I would not have been able to stop myself.  Kenny took the remaining pie to the office, so that is out of my reach as well!  I am so happy that Kenny is supportive of my weight loss and what I have to do to achieve my goals.  He is fine with me tossing food or doing whatever else I need to do to keep these unnecessary temptations out of sight! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Little Bit Of Reality

So I have been going over what I ate last week with a fine-tooth comb, and now I have a better grip on what set me off in the wrong direction... thank you very much Sandra for asking if I could be nibbling on a bit here and a bit there.  When I first read her comment, my initial reaction was to think that she was completely off base- that I was too controlled to have a bit here and a bit there without even realizing it.  Since my surgery I have been very controlled, and I usually don't allow myself to go down the wrong path when it comes to my eating (my 'snack' is typically 300 grams of tomatoes sprinkled with fleur de sel).   
But Sandra, you were 100% correct.  Just incorporating a few extra carbs and calories sprinkled throughout the day is EXACTLY what I did.  I didn't even notice what I was doing at the time because the nibbles were so small.  One day I had a piece of low-fat cheddar with some rice crackers, another day I had a pear or two or a mango that I typically wouldn't have eaten.  And let's not forget the handful of Cheerios I just needed to eat one afternoon.  How could these bits and pieces make a difference?  Pre-surgery a pint of ice cream would have been my binge, not a pear or a mango!  Because of this, I created some sort of revisionist history where those somewhat healthier calories just ceased to exist.. that was clearly not the case.  They existed, and my trusty digital scale (and Blogland, of course) called me out on this way before I would have typically noticed a problem. 
Now the obvious question is what triggered one of my old habits to rear its ugly head after almost 11 months in hiding.  The unfortunate answer is my BIL's visit.  His visit was terribly stressful on me, and I started comfort eating.  I know it is pretty pathetic that one man's visit could cause me this much stress, but it did.  First, he arrived not having planned anything for the week.  He hadn't even bothered purchasing a travel book on London.  I asked him what he planned to do, and he said he would do whatever we told him to do seeing that we live here.  Well, thanks for making me responsible for your trip!  Then, he sat here like a prince.  No help with cooking, dishes, no offer to take us out to dinner, nothing.  He just sat here for hours and hours doing NOTHING as I had 3 pots on the stove, chicken in the oven and a sink load of dishes piling up.  This is just the way he is, and I understand it, but it is very annoying to deal with for 8 consecutive days.  I coped with this by grabbing a bit here and a bit there- not good!
Excitingly, I am back on track.  I ate very well yesterday, focusing on fish and a bit of tomato.  I had a great workout- a 10 minute warm up, 20 minutes of squats and kettlebells and then 60 minutes on the Vario.  I also drank 5 liters of water.  Crazy I know, drinking a gallon of water in one day.  The bad news with all of this water consumption was that I could not sleep at all last night!  It took three hours (after tucking myself in) to get enough water out of me that I could even contemplate sleeping, so I laid in bed until 3am getting up every 30 minutes or so.  The good news is that I weighed 225.0 this morning- A NEW LOW- and only 0.4lbs away from triple digits.   

Monday, October 17, 2011

Could It Be The Fruit?

Good morning Blogland.  Here I sit, Pissy Nora, going through everything I have been eating in order to find my weight gain culprits.  I would have gladly accepted a 1lb gain for the week, considering that the brother-in-law was here and we ate out even more than usual.  This 3lb gain shows a more serious problem with my eating that I have to address, attack and remedy before getting back into the 230s!  In itemizing my food intake, the biggest change in my diet in the last week or two has been the addition of fruit.  I always eat a lot of veggies (spinach, asparagus) but limit fruit, mostly, to tomatoes.  I am not an anti-carb person, but I try not to overdo it.  Recently I have been incorporating pears and mangoes into my diet, and I wonder whether they could be part of the issue here.  Remember, I refuse to give up my nightly vino... which is carb/sugar heavy.  Might the excess sugar in the fruit, coupled with my nightly wine, be putting me over the edge, be messing up my blood sugar and making me more likely to gain weight? 
So in addition to eating a fish heavy diet this week, I am eliminating mangoes and pears.  Bad timing considering that I have 7 pears and 5 mangoes in my kitchen, but better I make this modification and see if it does the trick than eat these 12 pieces of fruit and risk another 3lb gain this week!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

As Hall & Oates Would Say

So close, yet so far away. 
This is how I feel about the elusive 100lb weight loss.  It is so close (so close)- a mere 3lbs.  Yet, it feels about as far away as my goal weight at this point.  The 2.4lbs I gained this week have not disappeared yet, even though I worked out for six days in a row and burned no fewer than 800 calories per session.  What the eff!?!  I know that I probably ate a bit more than usual with my brother-in-law being here for a week, but there isn't a chance in hell that I consumed an extra 6,000+ calories in a matter of days.  Sorry kids, that just didn't happen!  So here I sit, crabby and pissy over the fact that I weigh more today than I did a week ago.
My game plan for the week is to eat a lot of fish (not at one time) and spend a ridiculous amount of time at the gym.  I will get rid of these damn pounds one way or another!!!  We are hosting a small dinner on Tuesday, so I will have to be controlled with my portions.  Fun times...   

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Scale Did WHAT?

I have been eating pretty well this week- minus the super small piece of fudge I ate at Whole Foods yesterday.  More importantly, I have been working out really hard.  And how does my body show its gratitude???  By gaining 2.4lbs in two days- that's how!  I know I have not taken in enough calories for this to be 'real' weight gain... and I know that I do sometimes gain weight after a few days of more serious workouts (damn muscles), but this just sucks.  I really wanted to cross the 100lb mark this weekend, and I feel it slipping away.  I know I WILL get there though, and that is what is important.
Now that I can blame my damn muscles for at least a part of that 2.4lbs, let's talk about these muscles.  Well, I have them.  They aren't huge, and yes, they are still hiding under an ample layer of fat.  But hello, I have muscles!  I was laying on my side a few nights ago and had my hand resting on my side (outer tush).  For some reason I clenched, and my butt turned hard!  I am developing glutes.  Yesterday morning I looked at my reflection in the glass on my way to Whole Foods (I was wearing my gym clothes), and I could see the definition of my right quad.  It has a long way to go, but there is real quad action going on here:)
As of today's annoyingly high weight I need to lose 3lbs to hit triple digits.  So back to the gym I will go to burn these pounds off one way or another!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Crazy Men Play Rugby

I survived my first rugby game yesterday, and it wound up being a lot of fun.  Kenny bought us front row tickets, so we were close enough to hear every snap, crackle and pop inflicted on the field.  Given how hard these men hit, the sound effects were amazing!  After watching 80 minutes of regulation (plus a few extra minutes at the end of each half), I am utterly convinced that rugby is a sport for the insane.  I knew that rugby was a hard-hitting sport, but I am truly amazed that the players can take these hits again and again!  Rugby makes American football look like a game for weenies, and rugby players make American football players (players who are constantly complaining to the refs for flags, penalties, etc) look like whining babies.
Unlike American football, the clock keeps running for a half (similar to European football).  If players are injured, they are treated on the field while the game goes on around them.  The same goes for players needing water or physio help.  The doctors, physio trainers and hydration guys wear bright vests and just charge onto the field.  The players hit each other with no pads, no helmets, no neck support- nothing.  And they just keep going and going.  At one point an injured player in the middle of the action stepped back, fell to his knees and just crawled and crawled until the doctor saw to him.  It was really amazing to see!  The players had the largest quads I have ever seen- gigantic.  Because all players perform all duties (no quarterback, no offense or defense, no special teams), they all have the same enormous bodies!  If they were a bit older, I would have bet anyone dollars to donuts that the players had participated in some sort of Soviet-era gene modification program.  They were nothing short of scary!   
View from our seats...
The doctors, trainers and water guys wear the bright vests
so they don't get creamed on the field!
The funniest part of the game was the name of the team- The Wasps.  All of these really mean and very tough men are named after an annoying bug that is a nuisance, and might be a bit of a pain temporarily, but is by no means dangerous for most people.  The man seating next to my brother-in-law kept shouting 'Let's go WASPIES', and it made me giggle.  The name seemed very silly and incongruous considering what was happening on the field.  At least they aren't named The Gnats!
I was a bit afraid to step onto the scale this morning.  I had scrambled eggs with low-fat cheddar for breakfast (probably only 1 egg), half a super fatty sausage at the game for lunch along with some french fries (maybe 8 or 10) and then ate Thai for dinner.  It wasn't too much food, but the food was much higher in fat and salt than what I typically eat.  And of course I had wine, as this is something I refuse to live without.  Luckily, I was still down this morning.  I hope I can keep this up!!!  My sushi lunch and afternoon visit to the gym should help.   

Sunday, October 9, 2011


This number should be my body's temperature, but who knows.  What I am certain about is that it is also the number of pounds I have lost since beginning my liquid diet, woohoo!  I continue to eat out frequently and am so relieved that I can still lose while living my life:)  I am so close to a triple digit loss- exciting!
Kenny and I took care of our visas on Friday.  Our appointment was at 10:10, but the company facilitating our application told us to get to the center at 9:30.  We got there at 9:15 and were not seen by the visa people until 11:15.  The company's rep mentioned that only being seen one hour late is good and that many clients wait for several hours.  I suggested that the company tell its clients this so we don't feel the need to get there almost an hour BEFORE our appointment time.  I am pretty certain that this guy did not appreciate my comment.  Towards the end of the day we received paperwork stating that our visas had been approved and will be mailed to us within a week.
Sheffield is not a city I plan to return to anytime soon, but it is always interesting to get out of London.  Kenny and I frequently say that Brits aren't the friendliest of people, but we should really limit our comments to Londoners.  I find London to be a very cold city, and the people here can be the same.  The few times we have left London (visiting Bath, the Cotswolds, Stonehenge, and now Sheffield), we have noticed how friendly and warm the people are.  So, our little visa adventure is helping us to revise our view of England.
My brother-in-law arrived yesterday morning, and we toured around London for a bit.  We brought him to Borough Market and then took the London Eye- a big ferris wheel on the Thames.  We finished the evening with a fantastic meal of Spanish tapas in South Kensington.  Today we are seeing Rugby, and I have no clue what to expect.  I remember the crazy college boys who joined the rugby club and threw even crazier parties (and were constantly in pain from a combination of rugby injuries and alcohol), but I've never seen a proper rugby game (or match- I don't even know what it is called).  So this will be our afternoon. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sicky Pooh

Ladies, I should have known this would happen.  The calendar moves forward to October, and I get sick.  My body doesn't do cold, or dark-- or rainy.  Why, you might ask, am I living in London of all places!?!  I still wonder the same thing at times, but such is married life.  So yes, I am sick.  It is just a cold but is still super annoying.  I first felt the symptoms on Monday and figured I would go to the gym and tire the cold to death.  I tried that approach on Tuesday and Wednesday as well, but the cold made it clear that it was holding on for dear life. 
Now I am popping pills like a mad woman, but I find it more difficult to treat a cold now that I am banded.  The liquid medicines make me gag, and I know that swallowing Dayquil capsules is risky.  Sudafed discontinued the little red pills that I lived on (even before being banded), and I am running out of options.  Rite Aid has a generic that is (supposed to be) comparable to Sudafed, so now I buy this in mass quantities... not the easiest thing to do considering I have to swipe my ID every time I need a pack.  And, as a rule, I HATE generics.  I am the shopper who will pay for the brand, and this whole generics thing is new territory for me.  
I decided that I would not go to the gym today.  My body is obviously a bit run down, and perhaps a bit of rest would be better for me.  Instead I went shopping.  I started at a popular UK shoe store, apparently a favorite of the former Kate M!ddlet0n, and found NOTHING!  I tried on a pair of too small heels and left.  From there I went to my FAVORITE UK shoe store, L-K-Bennett, (NYC folks can find some items from this brand at Bloomingdale's).  Again, nothing.  I actually mentioned to the sales woman that this is the first time I have ever entered this store without buying anything and promised her I would be back in a couple of weeks to see if they have received more stock.  But here is the interesting part.  I always consider this place *just* a shoe store, but it is actually a shoe and clothing store.  I have never looked at any of the clothing because of my size, and the women working there have always understood that I was limited to the shoe selection.  Not today my friends, not today.  The woman started talking about these great jumpers (sweaters) that they just got in as well as some dresses.  I was not brave enough to try anything- I am still a rather large 16 (US sizes) and didn't want to be mortified when I couldn't fit into anything.  At the same time, I was SO happy that this woman would even suggest that I try on some items of clothing.  I mean, this woman doesn't want to be working with me if there were no possibility that I would fit into the clothes.  She could just stand there and smile as I browse the shoes.  I will have to try the clothes at some point.  Perhaps when I hit Onederland I can try on a dress or two (and maybe even buy one)!
Tomorrow is our fun-filled Visa day in Sheffield.  I can't even put into words how excited I am to wake up before the birds to travel two+ hours by rail.  At least this should be a one shot deal.  Kenny's brother is flying in on Saturday for a visit and will be spending the week with us.  I am really not sure what his plans are for the week, but there is enough to do in London to keep him occupied. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hello There

I've gone a few days with writing, mostly because just about nothing is going on in my life.  Kenny is in the Middle East for work this week- he has already left Kuwait, is now in Bahrain and will finish up in Abu Dhabi before returning to London on Thursday morning.  In preparation for this trip he spent the weekend working, but we still got to hang out and spend some time together.  I am a very agreeable wife:)
I met a girlfriend and her boyfriend for dinner and drinks last night.  She is Italian, super petite, very pretty and always perfectly put together.  She came in, gave me a hug and kiss and immediately commented on how I look like I have lost a lot of weight.  I still smile on the inside- and on the outside- whenever people notice that I have lost weight and say that I look good.  It never gets old!  I have been getting a lot more compliments recently.  I guess I am finally at the point with my weight loss where you'd have to be blind to not notice such an obvious change.
In other news, we are definitely staying in London a bit longer than we initially expected.  I was 100% opposed to moving to London and made Kenny swear that we would move back exactly two years after our move... meaning that we would be stateside on the afternoon of November 1, 2011 (not like I'm counting or anything).  Well, this is no longer the game plan.  Neither of us wants to be here for too much longer, but we have agreed to stay on for one additional year.  It makes sense for Kenny professionally.  He has a good position here, and it will take him some time to find the correct next step back in the States.  This gives him more time to start moving in that direction.  Again, how agreeable am I?
Because our initial contract was for two years, we have to get new visas.  The UK is getting very strict with visas though, so we have to go through the entire application process from scratch.  We've filled out TONS of paperwork and have an appointment for our biometric data scans on Friday.  While this should be a 15 minutes process that takes place in London, we have to go all the way to Sheffield (over 2 hours away) to handle this.  Rather than sleeping until the sun rises (which I like to do daily), we will be leaving our flat at about 5:45am to catch a 6:37am train... for a 10am appointment.  We will have stay there until at least 3pm so that we can return home with our passports.  It will be a very boring day, groan. 
Our other minor issue with staying is that our landlord initially wanted to raise our rent by 42%.  We have been negotiating with the group for the last week or two, and it looks like they will accept a 10% increase- still a lot of extra money to be paying, but at least we probably won't have to pack up our flat and move.  We shipped all of our American furniture from the States, so some of our pieces don't fit through a standard English door.  Avoiding a move would be a very good thing.  We are settling on some details of the lease, but I hope we will have clarity by the end of the week.  I will update when we find out.   
Off to the gym- happy Tuesday!