Thursday, March 20, 2014

Setbacks

Well, this was bound to happen. Setbacks. It's all part of this whole fitness game. A couple of weeks ago, I probably moved up a weight too early on the arms, and I had this weird tight muscle that would crack occassionally for the longest time. My massage therapist told me to hold off on lifting weights on the arm ("I guess you can probably still go swimming) but I was bummed out because, well, I'd made progress and I was on a roll, and now i have to "rest" it.

So, I did. And I'm back with the arms, and in fact, I've moved up a weight and it's good.... and.... ugh, my knee.

I did something to my knee the other day and half of me says to tough it out, go ahead and run, and the other half says, listen to your body, that knee needs a rest, wait until it's better. And I'd come so far with the running! I'm up to 2.5 miles at a respectable pace. I was shooting to be at the 3.1 I need for the tri (at this same pace) by April-ish. Ugh. If I rest this out (which is probably going to be two weeks), I'm going to have to start all over again.

On the bright side, I've learned that, well, starting from zero, it only takes me a month or so to get back up to where I am now. So it's not like I have this tri to run in May. I'll be OK. But it's still a setback, which I also have to keep reminding myself happens. The typical fitness/weightloss graph does not make a pretty parabolic line swinging upward. It looks more like the stock performance of NASDAC; AAPL. Still, it's a bummer. Especially after this past week, when I dropped two pounds to bring me down to my ten pound milestone (total: 20 since I started doing this seriously again), which means I take measurements (something I do every ten pounds). And that was significant: those ten pounds accounted for  two inches off chest, bust, waist, hips and arms. I put on a pair of pants that hadn't fit awhile as well as a sportscoat and did the happy dance in my closet the other day. The kids must have thought I'd lost it.

And then, I wake up the other day and my knee just went sploosh. It's doing the same thing my arm did a couple of weeks ago -- it's tightening up, pulling everything around it tighter, and after a while I hear a CRACK and then relief. And within a couple of hours, it tightens up again. Something in there is pulled/strained, and I just have to be kind to it and ride it out. But that means no running for a bit. And that's a setback. And I was on such a roll!  So it's back to the elliptical and the pool until this thing calms down. I hope I don't lose too much progress this time. OK, OK, setbacks are normal. It doesn't mean I have to like them.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Secreting Awesomeness, not just sweat

So this went viral this week: some guy wrote a FB post to a large man he'd seen at the track at their local gym, "congratulating" his effort. The author of the original post was (and I'll give him the benefit of the doubt to say he was probably unintentionally) condescending. The object of his post wrote an eloquent reply, and you should probably read the whole exchange.

I love the reply from Tomy Posnanski and I agree the original poster is a douche. But what really is getting me thinking was the discussion in the comments (and a similar discussion is going on in other people's comments in various shares on FB, I'm sure.) A lot of people are taking this situation, comparing it to their own, and drawing similar conclusions.

Where I start to feel bad is that suddenly, many (not everybody) seem to be comparing him to any person who reaches out to lend a little encouragement to somebody on a health journey, whether that be weight loss, getting in shape, lowering one's cholesterol, etc. Many of the comments are people who don't want to be acknowledged whatsoever, and this person nailed it:
Because of the baggage I bring to the figurative table, anyone who tried to high five me at the gym no matter their intention would just remind me exactly how much I don't belong and how everyone knows it.
I consider myself fortunate that I really don't give a crap if there's anybody at the gym who looks down on me, because as Polansky points out, they don't know my journey. Also, I'm one of those people. I (like a few other commenters at the link) have always had this attitude that I am who I am and fuck you if you don't like it. (Albeit, I had to grow into this to really believe it). But I love riding my bike too much to worry about how fat it makes me look. A response in that thread really put into words what I genuinely believe:
Absolutely everyone who isn't a royal asshole is only seeing a fellow person working out. And the assholes ... they're thinking shitty about everyone for all kinds of random things that have no basis. That guy in the post is scary hateful and not the norm! 
There probably is someone at my gym giving me the side-eye because I'm sweating all over the elliptical. That's too fucking bad for them, actually. I'm not sweating, I'm secreting awesomeness (which I will, of course, wipe off when I'm done) and if they'd quit giving me the side-eye and instead throw up a high-five, then maybe I can spread some awesomeness to them.
The point is - if you want to go to the gym or get in the pool or go slog around the track, then DO IT. Don't worry what other people are thinking, because what you're doing has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you. So go. Do it. I will high-five you.
My two cents may not have belonged in that thread, because frankly, I don't mind if somebody acknowledges that I and my obvious fat are there to do something about it. Hell, if I wasn't fishing for high fives and "God, You're Awesome" compliments, I wouldn't be go all public about my "journey" (are we sick of  that term yet?) on this public blog, now would I?

I'm running around the track (hey, folks, I'm up to 2 miles now -- at a 12minute/mile pace!) and waving at the "regulars" who I pass and pass me. There's Kathryn, who runs longer and faster than I do, smiling at me. There's the girl the key desk who waves when I pass her. There's Janet, who has a wave and a smile for me every time I walk in there, and story to tell when we're winding down in the steam room. (All of them are considerably thinner than I -- and I don't get a single vibe of patronizing attitude.) There's Emily, who teaches a class and we kvetch about raising our 10 year olds. There's the built-like-a-marine-drill-sergeant guy I sheepishly ask "Um, do you happen to know what the weight is on this bar I'm lifting? It doesn't say and I have no clue" who encouragingly replies, "Oh, that's at least 45 pounds!" There's the people who "like" my FB posts when I mention this in my status. If somebody is being condescending, it's their problem. It really is, and I really believe this. And I really need to believe that original poster's heart was in the right place -- but just hasn't been there long enough to know how incredibly condescendingly he is coming off.

Because I've been on the side of offering the literal or figurative high five. I've seen the person struggling with climbing that nasty hill on the bike, or trying to squeeze out one more rep on the bench, or just stopping their run because they can't take it one more damn step and I give them a nod or smile of encouragement because, well, frankly, I'm looking in the mirror. I've been  that person  wondering if I even belong there in the gym, in the pool, on the bike trail with all these other "athletes" and every time when I'm showering off the sweat and walking out clean and dry and high on endorphins, I know I do belong there. And if you've bothered to lace up your gym shoes and drag your tired butt in there, you do too, no matter what your story or journey is, and and if you look like you could use an encouraging smile I'll have one for you.

That's what bothered me about a lot of the responses. Sure, original poster dude doesn't know Posnanski's story (and that OP made some ferocious assumptions) but when I offer you a word of encouragement, maybe you don't know my story. Before you get all insulted that I offer you a BTDT, maybe you might want to consider that I have indeed Been There Done That and lived to tell the tale. So, if for whatever reason you're reading this blog, you think I'm inspiring, or just think it's cool that I'm doing this, or writing this, or whatever, I'm totally happy to get your encouragement. I'm insecure enough as it is not to take a compliment or encouraging word at face value.  I won't think it patronizing, and if you are trying to be patronizing, that's your problem, not mine.

Hmm. Maybe I'm not as insecure as I thought. Because I am one fat chick tha-whumping around the track, jamming out to My Chemical Romance not giving a crap about what people are saying about me (unless it's good!) (Yes, I'm a 53-year-old fat broad who jams out to her teenage daughter's playlist.) And (I love this phrase, I wish I'd come up with it) I'm secreting awesomeness as I do it.

In the meantime, here's another great post about how to put a condescending asshole in their place. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

My low hanging fruit is in the shop

I admit it. I'm one of those people who go for the path of least resistance, the easy/fun way out, the low-hanging fruit. I guess that's why this Triathlon is probably a good thing for me, and being that I'm giving up bitching about the weather for Lent, I really can't complain about the fact that the weather is stopping me from doing my favorite athletic thing of them all: riding my bike.

See, that's my favorite part of the tri altogether: the bike. I say without hesitation, I am a cyclist. I finish in the top 10% of all the entrants in the bike portion.  I've been in love with bike riding ever since I got my training wheels off. I didn't even own a car until my 30s. Up till then it was my bike, public transportation, and mooching rides from friends. I won't even have to "start training" for the bike portion of the tri, which at 20 K isn't even a "long ride" for me.  I'm already in condition to blast out a dozen miles.That's just an errand. My summertime commute is longer than that.

No, I have to train on the running track, and for a race that's 7 months away, I'm not doing too bad. Last week I was all giddy that I could run 12 minutes without stopping; this week I'm at 18, and the goal is to be at 20 ish by the next time I write. Last time I did the tri, I did the 5K run portion in about 36 minutes. OK, you're not impressed and you shouldn't be. That pace is about as slow as you can go and still call it "running." But I ran the whole thing, dammit, which is more than I can say for some of the other athletes. Still, here's the thing: I'm really not in love with running. Running is more like this medicine that's good for me, and I feel good afterwards, but I really don't like it all that much. I have friends who do marathons and half marathons and appear to really enjoy it. Well, good for them.

This is as opposed to the absolute euphoria I live for when climbing up a hill against the wind on my bike. Yes, I love that. Partially because it's a bitch to do, but I'm rewarded not only with a downhill cruise, but that feeling of getting to look behind at the hill I just climbed and confidently say to myself, "V'ron, you are a badass." So I don't hate  running because running is hard. I just don't like it. Even with an excellent playlist burning in my ears.

But that's the thing about a challenge, isn't it? If everything about a challenge was wonderful and enjoyable, then it wouldn't be a challenge, now would it? A challenge is not about just going for the low hanging fruit. It's about going all the way up the tree, to those scary high branches, and having faced that is it's own reward. Yesterday on the track I did 12 minutes and really felt like stopping, but darn it, I did 18 the other day and I can't go back now. So I dialed in some eurpoean electronica on my ipod that I knew would last for 6 more minutes and off I went.

Besides, I kind of have no choice. I have to focus on running now because frankly, it's just too damn cold to hit the bike trails these days. I'm a badass on a bike but I'm not that badass -- I need at least 40 degrees outside before I'm riding. And on top of that, my bike is in the shop (South Shore Cyclery is having a service special right now!) So, I'm just going to have to wait until Easter for some delicious low hanging fruit. I'll have earned it.

Down 2 more pounds this week, BTW.



Thursday, February 20, 2014

Callouses: Story of my life

I need to build up some callouses: fingers and  feet
So, I did it. I registered for the Iron Girl Triathlon in Pleasant Prairie (oh, it's really Kenosha, folks) this summer. I paid the money. Now I've committed to it. I was going to do this last summer, but too much fertilizer was hitting the cooling device then. Now I have a pile of personal and physical reasons to go back to Kenosha and feel as wonderful as I did the first time I did this. This has been festering in me for some time.

I spent last summer grabbing my bike, driving out to the sticks, and just piling on it in the hot, stinking weather. I love riding my bike on a hot, stinkin' humid day (and when possible, taking a break in the middle to jump in the lake, fully clothed, only to be relatively dry by the time I rode another 15 miles to finish my ride.) I was putting on between 30-40 miles on weekend days. It felt great. Then last September, I started jumping into the pool. I've been religiously swimming in the wee hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays before work. Even today, while the snow and cold flurried outside, there I was, at 6:30 am in the Tosa Y, putting in 30 laps.

Then two weeks ago, I got off the stairclimber and instead of cooling down by walking around the indoor track at the downtown YMCA, I was too hyped up, loaded with way too much nervous/kinetic energy. I did something I hadn't done in a couple years. Not because I was thinking about doing this, but more because I just needed to do something with this spazzed out energy. I ran two laps around the track before I stopped and thought to myself not, "Wow, that was hard. No wonder I don't run." No, honeys, it wasn't that at all. You know what it was?

"Crap, how old are these shoes? These shoes SUCK! I need some new springy running shoes."

So last week while I was at a sporting goods store getting a whole lot of other crap for family, I walked past the athletic shoe display, did a double take, and picked up some new rides. Tried on some hipper looking ones, but then  realized, "No, you're going to run in these, V'ron. This is not the time to look hip in cool colors. You need your sensible, go-to brand/style." So I got the relatively plain, but road tested for me Saucony Grids. They were on sale. I brought them home and put them on and jumped up and down (I love the feel of new gym shoes!) And I went to the Y the next day and climbed the stairmaster and I walked over to the track, and started running. Baby steps here. I'm not doing the Tri-distance 5 K yet. But I did do 10 minutes. And the next day, I did 11 minutes. (25 more to go, to work my way up to my historical average to do a 5K.) And the day after that I did 11.5 minutes.

OK then. This is it. This is the year I go back to Kenosha.

Oh yeah, I forgot, I have to break these shoes in! Oh crap! I'm brewing a blister! (Now I know that people tell me you shouldn't have to break shoes in, but if I get them in a different size, once I break them in they will be wrong.) No, I've had to freshen up my callouses my whole life. My feet are an odd shape and there is no such thing as a shoe I don't have to break in. I just have to build up new callouses if I'm going to do this. Story of my life.

I mean, my band is playing out in April for the first time in a couple of years, and I put new strings on my guitar and started practicing the other day and same thing happened. Duh, long time away from the instrument + fresh strings = sore fingertips. No, I don't got blisters on my fingers, but they are pretty damn sore. I just have to build up new callouses on them, too, if I'm going to do this. Story of my life (truth be told, story of any guitarist's life.)

And I'm back on this fat blog, which means I have to prepare for the eventual fat hate from internet trolls who have no clue what trying to fight fat issues is like. Oh, they are so tiresome! "Oh, should a fat girl like you be running? Is that good for you? Why are you bothering? You're just a fattie! Just eat less!" Seriously, people do this shit. People are fucking mean.  Remember the wonderful Fat Girl On a Bike blog? Sarah ended up having to go dark because the abuse from chickenshit dickslaps hiding under the cover of internet anonymity just got to be too much.   Fortunately there are plenty of other fat chick athletes to lean on and laugh with me when the dickslap factor gets high.  So I'm just going to have to put a few callouses on my soul, too, if I'm going to do this.  Story of my life.




Friday, August 02, 2013

Rebound, recover, rejuvinate

OK, when was the last time I posted here? Well, here I go again. I'm a month into another volume of "This time for sure..." and I've dropped seven pounds. Still not telling you just how far out of control I got. But I'm really exercising a lot, and that's what I'm going to be writing about. So, without any further adieu...

I'll start with a disclaimer: I’m not into pain. Not in the least bit. I ask for novocaine just to get my teeth drilled. When I went into labor, I didn't even attempt to go all pioneer woman and do it unmedicated: “Call the anesthesiologist and let’s get the epidural going....”. I keep the house well stocked with ibuprofen, arnica gel, cold packs, and the like. I don't like pain and I don't invite it into my life. The reason I’m telling you this is that you may get the impression from the rest of this that I am into pain. Not in the least. What it is, I think, is that I respect what pain is about – and further, I respect being able to recover from it. So, while I don’t go out looking for pain – I avoid it at all costs – I acknowledge that there are some times when you cannot escape from it. So that's the disclaimer. 

So here’s the thing that I am writing about here: I’m kind of into the concept of bouncing back from it. Specifically, massive wipeouts, which happen to me a lot because a) I ride my bike a LOT, especially in the summer, and b) I’m  a klutz. I even document my wipeouts. I take pictures of my scars, (except for this recent one, simply because it didn’t look as impressive as it was.)

Because, I have to admit this, recovering from a wipout and dusting myself off and moving is, well, kind of cool. So, here, listen to this while you read the rest of this post. 

Once the pain of the wipout kind of dies down, I’m usually far away from my car or my house, and I still have to get back to the car/house/other safe place to deal with the results of the wipeout, be it some torn open skin (and resulting blood), or a nasty bruise (and that can be plural). So I have no choice. I have to just pick myself up and move on.

Part of the shock of the wipeout is the sudden downshift in your biological transmission. You’re pounding away, heart rate at 80-90% max, body temperature up (especially on those hot days I love to ride a bike), and then BAM! You’re flying through the air or just taking a tumble or whatever, and suddenly, your legs are not moving at the same rate and they’re not pushing anything (because you’re prone!) and your heart doesn’t know what the heck  to do for that first minute. Everything in your body has just gone from Sixty to Zero in three seconds. That’s not good for the tranny. So your brain says “Cue the swear words!” and out they come.

This most recent wipeout was a SONAFABITCH wipe out. Actually, it was more of a (because I kind of saw it coming and couldn’t do anything about it) damn damn damn DAMN OH SHIT! SONAFABITCH!!!! wipeout. That’s as opposed to just suddenly cutting yourself with the paring knife (that’s just a “OH FUCK” or maybe a “OW DAMMIT” wound) .

But anyway, I’m down. Quick look around to make sure nobody saw this, because the only thing worse than a wipeout is a wipeout with witnesses. Especially on the bike trail, because witnesses there tend to be people in great shape, with their tight little bike jerseys and their two still-full bottles of water in cages. I’ve had witnesses before, and they’re perfectly nice about it, and invariably they’ll ask “Are you OK? Are you hurt?” and my response is “ Well, my ego just took a major bruising….”  and they’ll offer a nervous laugh, and you can see in their eyes they understand exactly what you mean. But I’d rather not have witnesses at all. If I need help, that’s what a cell phone is for. So I’m down. Wiggle fingers and toes, and then stand up. Yup, legs still work. Arms do too. Roll shoulders and back, just like at the end of an aerobics class. A little sore and stiff, but they work too. Good. OK, sit the fuck back down and take more inventory. Blood? Yup, a little on my knee. But that’s about it this go round, I think -- fortunately, when I realized I was going down, I headed for the grass as best I could to minimize the roadburn (especially on this crushed limestone trail).

Next: equipment inventory. Holy crap, my bike seat got totally turned. And dammit, the chain didn’t just fall off. It’s stuck inbetween the last sprocket and the derailleur. Oh, this sucks.. Look inside my handlebar bag – there’s my tool that I got as SWAG when I was in the Danskin Triathon. Best piece of SWAG ever. It’s not helpful here, but it’s what I’ve got to try to pry loose my chain from that spot without breaking it. Shift a few times to move the derailleur over – OK, this is taking way too long. Sonafabitch. OK, it’s fixed. Oh goody, my hands are now covered with nasty used bicycle grease. Now, get out the cell phone and call Brian and let him know I’m running late (which means he’ll be late for where he needs to be, rehearsing with his band). Shit, I’ve still got fifteen miles until I get back to the car. "Hon, it's at least an hour before I'm back on the road..." OK, seat’s straightened out. Brakes work? Yup. Gears shifting. Yup. Oh, my ass feels sore. Oooh that feels like a bruise. Drink some water. Pour some on that bloody knee to cool it down, and finish it off with a dab of Neosporin I keep in that same handlebar bag.  Mount the bike and go.

But here’s the thing. Five minutes of riding and despite my sore butt, the bruise that’s getting even more colorful just below my wrist (but not ON my wrist, curiously), and the bloody elbow I just noticed (that’s going to form a crusty scab), I’ve recovered from this crash. And that’s kind of cool. No, it’s beyond cool, it’s downright exhilarating. I had a massive wipeout and I literally picked myself up,  brushed myself off, got back on and kept riding.  Woo Hoo! I’m back! I’m on the trail! Internal transmission still works and I’m moving back into high(er) gear. Not high gear. Need to work back up to that, probably on another day. Being very careful and cognizant of my surroundings, I’m not 100% and I’m not going to ride like it. But still, I’ve got to get back to the car. I rock! 


Ah, the car. Since it was a stinking hot day, I knew I’d want some cold drinks when I was done and thus I had a cooler in the car. With ICE. Iced the bruises for a bit, and then had to load the bike back on the car. That meant lifting it up over my head, like I had 100% of my muscles back. Oh crap, my ass really hurts. Still, I have recovered from this crash. God, that fresh peach and banana I put in the cooler are the BEST DAMN PIECES OF FRUIT I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. 

My car has working AC. Hallelujah. And the Gatorade is cold. Check the rearview mirror. What the hell is that on my face? It's a bruise! Oh, dear God, not the face! Oh, now everybody's going to think I got in a fight. Well, I kind of did. I had a fight with the road and the road won. Now I have to drive all the way up Loomis holding this giant icepack to my face. Still, I'm on my way home, not the hospital. 

And there I am, home. After an OK bike ride, an exhilirating wipeout, recover and regroup. I think I'll just order a pizza. 

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Pink Soup


Pink Soup
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
This week, I made the pink soup. It's a fall treat I make every year that's basically a root vegetable soup that becomes pink because beets are among the root vegetables. This year's concoction came completely from organic roots sourced from both the South Shore and the West Allis Farmers' markets. If you only care about organic vegetables in a passing way, well, if you don't insist on organic on anything else, you want organic root vegetables: onions, potatoes, carrots. And I wish I liked radishes. Lots of people don't like my pink soup because, as pretty as it is, they can't stand beets. Well, as pretty as they are, I can't stand radishes. (I do, however, enjoy horseradish). I was at the 'Stallis Farmer's market last week, and this one organic farmer had the most beautiful radishes in a variety of colors. He emphasized that some of them weren't as harsh as regular radishes. I asked if I could buy just one though, and he would only sell as a set. Oy.

But my pink soup is based on a root vegetable soup in SallySchneider's A New Way To Cook. Following her basic lead, here's what I did:

  • Went to the market and bought some fresh leeks, onions, garlic, celery root, a bunch of gorgeous parsnips, potatoes and of course, beets.
  • Cut up the leeks and a few onions and sauteed them in some Wisconsin butter. (This is truly a locavore recipe).
  • Peeled and cut up the celery root, two small potatoes (one red and one yellow), and the parsnips and the beets and dumped them in and sauteed a bit just to get a bit of carmelized flavor
  • Dumped in about 4 cups of chicken stock (that I had in the freezer, made of course, with chicken carcasses and vegetable scraps from local sources)
  • let this cook for 2 hours until the vegetables were all soft
  • Grabbed my handy stick blender (as Steve Albini asks, how did people make soup before stick blenders?) and pureed it down.
  • Stirred in about a cup of skim milk to lighten the color a bit.
  • Garnished and plated my completed pink soup.


This came in at about 150 calories for a bowl. And I came in a pound down this week.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I continue to eat well (locally)


The Oats lady is back!
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
The relative ease of being a relative locavore continues. Blueberries are gone, but Michigan peaches are still about, and the melons are coming in with a venegance and they are actually good for smoothies. There's a wonderful cheesemaker who makes some really good cheese. I was buying a wedge of her really nice cheddar, and raving about how good it is stirred into steel cut oats. And whaddaya know, the oat lady was finally around with bags of steel-cut and other oats! Yum. Now I can make this wonderful recipe that my online friend Mimi turned me onto with ((except for the sea salt and the really good Olive Oil) completely local ingredients. It's called Sexed Up Oatmeal.

Like the recipe says, this works wonderfully but you really have to use top ingredients. Do NOT use pre-shredded Kraft cheese. You will need too much to get the flavor, and everything that is good and wonderful and wholesome about this will go kaput in a haze of over-cheesing. No, you want really good, flavorful, sharp (and i've used parmesan or some good stinky cheese made by my favorite cheese lady) cheddar for this. You also want excellent olive oil for this. You want to taste the fruityness of the olives. This is not the big ol bottle of cheap olive oil you use for cooking or salad dressing. This is the tiny bottle that just smells amazing when you open it. And that's the thing about eating this way. Cheese and oil are not ingredients, they are flavor agents.

So I loaded up this morning with this savory oatmeal which kept me really happy most of the morning, and finished it off with a peach. Had grass-fed beef burgers over the weekend and I dropped a pound this week. Half the battle I've learned over the years is enjoying, really enjoying your foodinstead of just slamming it down. That's easier to do when you feel good about it on a number of levels.

Holding stead this week, no gains, no losses.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Jumping back on to the (local) bandwagon

OK, fine, I admit it. I've fallen severely off the wagon and I'm not admitting just how much until I've climbed comfortably back on. Let's just say at least I dropped some 10 pounds over the summer, but I have some ways to go before I get back to where I was on a roll. I've decided to start writing again, on weight and body issues, mostly to keep myself going.

Right now, it's kind of easy to eat well. It's September in Wisconsin, and the farmer's markets are bursting with excellent fresh fruit and vegetables. I've even been able to pretty much eat ~80% local. I just made a wonderful potato leek soup with ingredients I got from the farmer's market, and even the chicken stock was made with carcasses I had from local chickens I roasted by putting them over cans of locally-brewed beer. We've had a lot of meals like this lately. Pizza on the grill made with fresh, not even cooked, tomato sauce, and topped with veggies I picked up at the market. Pasta covered with a pile of sauteed vegetables. Stir fries made with those same sauteed veggies, augmented with some locally-raised, grass fed beef, topped with a touch of shredded, local cheese. (There's this one cheesmaker that makes a wedge called Saxony that I've been all over lately.) Breakfast made with free-range chicken eggs, with uncured bacon on the side.

Just yesterday I picked up some fresh broccoli, and not in heads, either. The farmer had already picked off stalks, because it's the second picking and that main shoot that comes off a broccoli head just divides up into several smaller shoots that come later in the season. And she was right: this broccoli was actually sweet and -- get this -- juicy. We had it lightly steamed as a side dish for dinner last night. And I just snacked on these wonderful grape tomatoes that were incredibly flavorful -- almost salty without the added salt. I went to Woodman's for my weekly grocery run, and I pretty much skipped the produce section because I loaded up direct from the farmers the day before. And that's saying a lot, because Woodman's produce section rocks. I'm pretty much a Woodman's fan all around -- they *do* have a lot of fairly local brands, and lots of independent producers are there on weekends handing out free samples of their stuff. The only place that beats Woodman's is of course, our locally-owned and operated natural foods co-op, the Outpost. But like most of those natural foods co-ops, they can get pricey -- they don't have the economy of scale that a larger place such as Woodman's, enjoys.

But yes, it's easy to eat well and wonderful this time of year, which makes this a good time of year to get back on the wagon. It's a good time to develop a taste for fruits and veggies, when they're at their best, so that when winter kicks in and the tomatoes are once again tasteless and mealy and not quite ripe, you still find uses for them. (I found a recipe for oven roasted tomatoes in A New Way To Cook that really does make nasty, mealy greenhouse romas worthwhile -- just slow roast them in the oven for about 4 hours and use 'em in a soup.) Being a locavore means I'm eating a lot less crap, and crap is what really puts on the pounds, those pounds I'm not admitting  to quite yet. So that's my gocal for this month: really stick with being a locavore and developing a taste (and the time) to keep an eye out for making good food.

 Oh, and dropping another four or five pounds would be good, too.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Climbing down and then back up

Well, it's been awhile. I've admittedly been dark. And I have no good reason, just the excuse of stress, which is starting to lay off a bit. However, I did gain all the weight I lost back, and now I've had to work up the guts to admit this to the world. I was unemployed for a year, and underemployed for some of it. I'm on a contract job now, and I'm at a point when I can concentrate on weight loss.

Oh, and I can do without the lecture about how, while I was stressed out, I should have been taking care of myself. Well, I kind of was. I was anesthetising myself with comfort food. And whatever they say about how stress raises your cortisol levels (and subsequently lowers your metabolism), I'm ready to believe. I wasn't stuffing myself, but I was gaining weight, even with exercising, and even trying to keep an eye on what I was eating. But still, I purposely wasn't paying hard attention until even my fat clothes were starting to feel tight. Ugh.

So, here's this picture. Last week, the kids and I went for a hike and we saw this giant cliff down to the beach, and the kids really wanted to climb down. And i knew that we'd need to climb back UP. It's something I would have done without hesitation five years ago, but right now, I was actually afraid of going down that cliff, as overweight and out of shape I am, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to climb back up.

"Puh-LEASE?" the kids begged. I couldn't say no. "We'll help you climb back up!" Yeah right. You and your 11 and 6 year old bodies are gonna haul my 200+ ass up a giant cliff. But, I went down. And climbing back up wasn't easy. At one point, I kind of got stuck. I could feel my calves burning while trying to figure out how to get past this one spot. Stella offered her hand, and I didn't want to pull her down, so I took it for the split second it took me to get to the next root in the ground. And I did it. I can't be afraid of this anymore, and I can't be afraid of going online anymore.

Anyway, I'm back, and true to the title, This Time For Sure. Like Jane at the Fatslayer Chronicles said, something to the tune of, ya fall down seven times, well, ya get up eight. And speaking of her, it's nice to see she's back. I'd just begun to follow her when she went dark for awhile, and was sad when she did. Now I understand. Whatever it was, she had stuff going on in her life (which she explained before she went dark) and needed to concentrate on that. I can totally relate.

I think it was PastaQueen (who's also still blogging -- she's met her goal and now maintaining, and dealing with dreadful constant chronic headaches to boot, but she still has her magnificent sense of humor) who'd posted a while back about seeing various bloggers come and go, partially because many didn't necessarily give up on weight loss, but gave up on blogging. It's HARD to come up with something new and interesting when you've been doing it awhile. (Pasta Queen still manages to!) But also, she pointed out (wish I could find the post) that now that we have Fadcebook and Twitter, a tweet or FB status is all many of us have time to do. Rebecca is still going Durch Dick und Duenn, Amy is still wondering if this font makes her look fat,

Anyway, I ran down my blogroll and cleaned it out of people who seem to have gone dark permanently. Some aren't blogging about weightloss, but they're still a good read and I discovered them via weightloss blogging. Case in point: Big Ass Belle, who has decided she's happy with what she's got but still has a lot of things to say. The Angry Fat Girls have moved and published a book (which I should probably read, since I was a fan of their blog).

I'm gonna miss:


OK, I'm still not where I was last time I blogged, and I'm too chickenshit to give you a Wednesday Weigh In yet. Let's just say I climbed up that cliff and beyond that, lemme get back on track first. Suffice to say, I've dropped five pounds in the past month. And I'm back. This Time For Sure.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I wanna job



OK, this video pretty much illustrates why I haven't been posting a whole lot lately. I've been busy looking for work, and you'd be amazed (or maybe not) at just how exhausting -- both emotionally and physically -- being unemployed is. So much so that I'm here to tell you that this whole Maslow's hierarchy thing has a lot to it. My big worries these days are not "What is my BMI?" or "How much has my fat percentage decreased over time. " However, I do have to watch my weight so that I can fit in a darn interview suit.

You'd be amazed how fattening stress is. I've gained all the weight back that I lost when I started this blog. I'm up to 248. This sucks. I'm stress eating, and ugh. However, lately, I've been making an effort to exercise every day. I go for bike rides that help take my mind off this. It's the end of he summer, so good healthy food is plentiful and cheap. I'm going to try to start writing again, but by top priority is summarized in this song. So there you go.