Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I miss TBL

Tuesday nights don't seem complete anymore. I'm used to getting some inspiration from The Biggest Loser, but sadly the season ended. According to the NBC casting site, they are now looking for teams of two for TBL season 6. There's no mention of when the next season starts. Sigh...

So, for the foreseeable future, I have to get my Tuesday night kicks from Workout.

Last night on the show, the male trainers competed in a 10K (6.2 mile) mud race. These are big, buff dudes. Most of them could bench press the new me (hell, even the old me) with one hand while holding a mirror to their perfectly-stubbled faces with the other.

Even so, about half of these Adonises had a lot of trouble completing the race. I guess it's hard to fit in the cardio when you pump iron 10 hours a day. What cracked me up even more is that I ran 10K on the treadmill right before watching the show. It was by no means easy, nor was I running through the mud like they were, but I think I could probably kick some of their butts in a race.

Unfortunately, there's not very much inspiration to be gleaned (gleaned...what a fun word) from Workout. It's about a bunch of perfect-looking people and the hilarity that ensues when their humanity shows through. They do have some overweight folks who are part of a special program at the gym to slim down, but there's not enough airtime dedicated to them. I'd really like to see more of that aspect of the show. All you Bravo executives out there...take note.

In Marathon news...

After doing some research, I've figured out my training schedule for the marathon. It's going to be a long, long summer.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I'm coming up on my one year anniversary of losing weight. One year ago today, I weighed 264 lbs. Today, I'm over 100 lbs. lighter.

Like I've said before, I now have a body that can actually do stuff. That's exciting and all, but besides getting way too familiar with my treadmill, I haven't really done much with my new body. I haven't tested its limits. I think it's time to start doing that. So...

I'm going to run a marathon.

That's right, folks. I'm going to do it. 26.2 miles of what will likely be puke-inducing agony. On October 18, 2008, the Kansas City Marathon will happen, and I WILL be there. I've been thinking about this all weekend, mulling it over in my mind again and again, to make sure I'm ready to make that commitment. I know I can do it, and that's the main reason I'm going to. I couldn't before, and now I can. It's that simple.

During my 4-mile race yesterday, I was really enjoying myself. I liked running. The ex-fat girl was running 9.26 minute miles and was loving it. As soon as I thought it, my next thought was this: "Great, you love it now. But would you love it if you had to run this race about 6.5 times in a row?" Crap. What have I gotten myself into?

The next few months should be very interesting here at Morgan Gets Thin. Join me as I wreck all my joints and ligaments, won't you? It will surely be a fun ride.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Trolley Run

The Trolley Run was a success! Here's how it went down.

Angie and I awoke to the squawking alarm at 5:45 a.m. At the very moment my eyes opened, I thought, "Why do people pay money to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to run? Why?!" Then I got up, ate a granola bar and put on my running clothes. We were out the door by 6:30.

We parked near the finish line and I got on the "special" bus that took the runners to the start point. See? It says "special." I was proud to be boarding the special bus.

As we headed north, I noticed some of the elite runners actually running the 4 miles to the starting line. Assholes.

Funnily enough, I de-bussed (is that a word?) right outside Waldo Pizza, the location of my infamous 30th surprise birthday party. It was cold and dreary. I realized I should have gone to the bathroom again prior to leaving the house, but didn't want to go in the port-a-potty. I'm a girl like that. So I held it.

At this point, I bumped into my co-worker friend Jaime, who was there with his family. There were thousands of runners participating in the race, so I'm shocked I happened upon him in such a large crowd.

The race was broken up into several skill levels. I was in the green heat, meaning that I anticipated finishing the race in under 45 minutes. The green people were positioned right in the middle of the pack. The dude who says "go" told the elite (red) people to go at 7:45, then the blue people about 2 or 3 minutes later. It was another couple of minutes before the greens were allowed to go, and even then it took me a minute or two to cross over the starting line.

It felt so good to be part of that huge mass of runners. There was such an amazing energy. That's such a tree-hugging-hippie thing to say, but it's true. At a few points, the road stretched ahead and I could really get a sense of how many of us there were. It was like an undulating sea.

I was passing people left and right, zig-zagging my way through the crowd. All the streets were blocked off for us, and people came out of their houses to cheer us on. The course was mostly flat, with a few downhill points, and only a couple slight inclines. It was wonderfully easy. That's not to say I wasn't huffing and puffing like an 80 year old, but compared to my previous races, which were shorter distances, this was much more pleasant.

At about mile 2.5, I saw some of the elite runners, who had already finished, running back to the starting line. Assholes.

Now, when you look at the picture below, it looks like I'm crossing the finish line at about 48 minutes. However, my official time was 37:41 because it took so long to move each heat out of the starting area. I'm so stoked. That means I ran each mile in under 10 minutes! It's definitely a personal best for me. For your convenience, I marked myself with a white arrow.

Angie and I managed to find each other and go to the "after party." For those of you who participate regularly in races, maybe you can tell me- why, oh why, do they have such unhealthy food there? I mean, sure, you can go for the orange and banana. But who's going to do that when there are donuts and pizza there? Yup, there was pizza, and I ate a piece. I seriously doubt I burned enough calories during the race to neutralize said pizza.

Anyway, I'm very pleased with my finish time and the experience. This is definitely a race I'll be doing again next year.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Weighing In / Trolley Run tomorrow

Well, I gained a pound this week. Honestly, I'm quite surprised it wasn't more, given the string of indulgent weekends I've had lately. I'm not upset at all. I meant what I said yesterday about this journey being more about my accomplishments and not the number on the scale.

Today is my day of rest before tomorrow's Kansas City Trolley Run. The plan today is to take it easy, eat light, and mentally prepare for the race. From what I hear, this is a very easy, mostly flat course. It's supposed to be quick.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Motivation Station- Running into old friends

I was walking into a bookstore after work today, and an old friend, who I hadn't seen in about a year and a half, walked right by me. A year ago, I would have let her keep walking. I avoided bumping into friends at all costs. I didn't want them to see what I'd become.

Today, I called out to her and she turned around. The look on her face when she saw me was worth every pound lost, every dessert not consumed, and every mile run on the treadmill. She gave me a huge hug and said "Look at you!" She looked so genuinely happy for me. It was wonderful.

That chance encounter totally put the pep back in my step. I'm sitting here in my workout clothes, actually looking forward to getting on the treadmill. I'm excited for the Trolley Run on Saturday, too, even though it's supposed to be cold and rainy. I'm proud to finally have a body that can DO STUFF!

The number on the scale, although a guide, isn't the reason I'm doing this. I'm doing it so I can do all the things I couldn't before. I can run. I can ride a horse without worrying whether I'm hurting the poor thing. I can compete.

Okay, I'm getting on the treadmill now. Bye!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Review- Half Assed: A Weight Loss Memoir

I'm kind of biased when it comes to reviewing this book. Before I even cracked the spine, I knew I'd love it. Jennette Fulda, aka PastaQueen, writes the witty, funny, and frequently-updating blog Half of Me. At a point when my own weight loss was stalling like my old 94 Ford Escort, I stumbled across her site. I'm so glad it happened that way.

I was one of those dorks who read through every single archived post. Sadly, most weight loss bloggers don't stick around long, so most blogs' archives are short-lived. Not Jennette's. It took me several days to read through all the old posts- and I'm a fast reader when I'm engaged in a subject.

But, this is a review of the book, and not the blog. My only concern before starting the book was that it would essentially be the blog in regurgitated form. I shouldn't have worried. True, there were several passages that were also mentioned in the blog, but it wasn't a cut-and-paste scenario. She took the time to approach the content with a fresh viewpoint, and added a ton of new stuff that I didn't remember from the blog at all.

If you're looking for a book of weight loss tips, tools, and tricks, this really isn't the book for you. Fulda doesn't go into detail about how many calories she consumes on a daily basis, nor does she try to push the program that got her started. Heck, she doesn't even tell you what that program is, although she drops a hint or two. Because she left these things out, it made room for so much more stuff that actually mattered. What is so refreshing about this book is the evolution of Jennette's confidence as she drops over 200 lbs. Additionally, her lack of negative self-talk was a welcome change from other weight loss memoirs I've started reading- and not finished.

Something I'm struggling with right now is the feeling that no matter how much weight I lose, it will never be enough. I'll always look at that flabby, loose skin, or see someone who is more fit than me, and feel fat. After a year of eating healthily and exercising, I now weigh 160 lbs and wear a size 12. I'm not fat, and objectively, I know that. I still have the fat girl mentality, though.

The quote that sticks with me from Fulda's book is this:

"You are almost never as fat as you think you are."

This is the lesson that so many of us haven't learned yet.

So, just like I knew I would, I loved the book. Not only was it insightful and intelligent, but it was freaking hilarious. There's this part with canned cat food...well, nevermind. You can read about it yourself.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We were on a break!

Like yesterday and the day before, I wanted to eat lots of bad stuff today. At my job, there's a big glass jar full of miniature Hershey's candy bars. Each one is about 40 big deal...but I made a promise to myself that I'd stick to the plan today.

I got on the treadmill and started my 4 mile run, but my body was telling me to slow down. I walked it instead. But hey, I still did 4 miles, so I'm fine with that. I broke a good sweat.

I've decided to ban myself from TCBY for at least a couple weeks. Remember when I had the cereal addiction? This is very similar. I'm not trying to imply that I need to cut out all the treats I really enjoy. However, the amount of time I spend thinking about frozen yogurt is abnormal. Unhealthy. Fixationy.

So, TCBY and I are on a break for a while. When Ross and Rachel were on a break, he slept with the first bimbo who came his way. Perhaps there will be some new, hot-looking sweet treat wanting to hook up with me. TCBY will call me the next day, wanting to get back together, and then find out about my affair. We were on a break!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tomorrow I will... 1500 calories or less. 4 miles.
...have more sugar cravings, but I'll push through them. food that is nourishing.
...drink a ton of water.
...remind myself that I've lost over 100 lbs. and you can bounce quarters off my ass.

Let you all be witnesses. WOOT!

Get thee to a glucose rehab facility

After the sugar bonanza that was my trip to St. Louis, my body now thinks I need it all the time. I keep telling it it's wrong, but I'm still getting signals to eat chocolate, cake, frozen yogurt, etc.

Yesterday, after posting about how crappy I felt, I heard a rumor there was cake somewhere in my workplace. My ears perked up like my dog's when we ask him if he wants to go for a ride in the car. Cake? There's cake? Where's the cake? Do you think they'd let me have some cake?

I located the aforementioned cake and determined that it was from Costco. With the exception of my mother's chocolate cake, Costco is pretty much the end-all-be-all of cake. I cut myself a very small square and put it on a plate. The plate was really unnecessary, because I wolfed down the stuff in such a rabid fashion.

I felt a tiny twinge of guilt after eating it, but I talked myself down with the reasoning that I needed to wean myself off sugar after the weekend I had.

After dinner, I always have a sugar free fudge pop. It's routine, and it's safe. They're only 40 calories, for crying out loud. Well, we were out of them. The crazy sugar monster emerged again from deep inside me. I turned to Angie and said "I'm going to go get some frozen yogurt. Do you mind? Do you want anything?" I was almost manic.

Frozen yogurt has become my new food fixation. It used to be an occasional treat...maybe once or twice a month. I've found myself making the 10-minute drive to TCBY more and more frequently. Normally, my intention is to get a small 96% fat free cup of yogurt with no toppings. Sometimes, when I get to the store, I stick to the plan. Other times, the shiny glass case enclosing the various toppings gets the best of me and I get some MNMs. This time, I wasn't even going to pretend I was going to be good. I got the medium size (which is actually quite a lot) with both MNMs and Reeces peanut butter cups. I was barely able to wait until I got home to dig in. I finished my yogurt too quickly, then began eyeballing Angie's.

I'd like to say I'm 100% better today, but I'd be lying. A co-worker friend of mine brought in cupcakes today, and I'm seriously considering having one. Sigh... is there a rehab facility for sugar addicts?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Crash / Cubicle Dysphoria

I ate a ton of sugary, carby, delicious food this weekend. Pancakes and waffles were invited to the party, and their friends butter and syrup showed up too. Pasta and tiramisu made an appearance. Cheeseburger and fries stopped by.

I feel like absolute crap today.

I'm not going to turn this post into some big pity party. I did it all to myself. I can't even imagine how horrible I'd feel if I hadn't worked out both days. Berating myself won't do any good either. Most people indulge while they're on vacation. But holy cow, if I'd known I'd crash this bad, I think I would have done things a lot differently. I honestly can't tell if I'm coming down with a head cold or if I'm just in a fog.

I also can't tell if my extreme depression today is related to my food choices over the weekend, or if it's "a case of the Mondays." Last night, when it really hit me that I'd have to come back and sit in my cubicle for another 5 days, I got really bummed out. This morning, my eyes got teary as I drove into work. Historically, that's a bad sign for me.

It's no secret that I'm not fulfilled in my job as a customer support rep. I need to take steps to figure out what I really want, then I need to walk the walk. Right now, I just complain about it. I hate my job. Well, duh. Lots of people hate their jobs and do nothing. If I can lose 100 lbs., surely I can make a career change, right?

So what's stopping me? Fear and laziness, mostly. Although I dislike the actual work I do, I love the company I work for. I'm scared I won't find a better "package." Another big factor is money. Pretty much any other job I want to do will require me to go back to school, or at the very least, get some kind of certification or training. Where's that money going to come from?

These are things I have to figure out. I know I'm not the only one who feels aimless when it comes to career choices. For those of you who love your jobs, how did you figure out what you wanted to be, and how did you make it happen? I need all the help I can get.

The rest of the trip

Saturday, we did a LOT of scavenging for antiques. My mom is like a bloodhound. As soon as she walks into a store, she can smell the deals. She was giddy with excitement with each purchase.

We also went to the American Kennel Club Museum, which was pretty cool, if you're obsessed with dogs. Lots of oil paintings, statues, figurines, etc.

That night, we went to the Italian area of St. Louis, known as "The Hill." One of the antique store owners recommended Favazza's, so that's where we ate. Oh my- SO good! The lasagna was so insanely delectable. Too bad the portion was the size of my torso, or else I would have eaten every bite.

Our bellies full of carbs and tiramisu, we were asleep by 10 p.m. At about 5:15 the next morning, I awoke to my mom's grumbling snore and took that as an opportunity to work off my pasta dinner from the night before. I was in the hotel gym by 5:40, and I managed to jog 5 miles on the treadmill before someone else came in.

We opted to eat at Uncle Bill's for the second day in a row because we liked it so much the first time. I had the best pecan waffle I've ever tasted, and two fried eggs. Clearly, this weekend was all about indulging, but at least I worked out both days. Of course, that doesn't even come close to negating all the stuff I ate. My breakfast alone probably contained the amount of calories I eat on a normal day. Eesh. But, it was worth it.

We arrived at the zoo right when the gates opened, and boy am I glad we did. It was cool and breezy, and not at all crowded. We probably walked 2 or 3 miles during our strolls around the grounds.

I'm so glad we did it. My mom and I don't spend a lot of time alone together, and it was definitely cool to get in some mother/daughter bonding time. I think she genuinely had a great time, too.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Greetings from St. Louis

So, right after I wrote my post yesterday, I turned on the news channel and learned there had been an earthquake in Kentucky, and the shocks were felt in St. Louis. Some of the lanes of a prominent St. Louis bridge had been shut down as a result of fears that it would collapse. What a lovely way to start off our trip!

I picked up my mom and we headed to breakfast at McDonald's before hitting the road. I knew I could safely get an Egg McMuffin for 300 calories and a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait for 160 calories. When I got my McMuffin, the actual nutrition information was printed on the wrapper, which I thought was cool.

We got on the road and we were both upbeat and talkative. Halfway through Missouri, we stopped at a few antique malls, where my mom happily found a bunch of awesome stuff. She was giddy and thrilled at her finds, which made me very happy. The rest of the way to STL was pretty difficult. As you may remember, I suffer from a slight phobia of highway driving. It's pretty much cured since I lost the weight (fear of death gone?) but there was so much pounding rain and there were semi trucks EVERYWHERE.

Finally, we arrived here at the hotel at about 5 pm. It took us 8 hours to make a 4 hour trip, which was the way I knew it would be.

We're close to Union Station, so we walked over there and looked around, and ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. Then we came back and went to sleep at 9:30, because we're winners, and we were tired.

This morning I woke up and did a 45 minute workout in the fitness room here at the hotel. There was an older gentleman on the treadmill next to me, huffing and puffing away. I was worried he'd collapse and I'd be forced to give him CPR. Not only do I have no idea how to give proper CPR, but the idea of doing it to some sweaty old dude really grossed me out.

Today on the agenda, we have more antiquing, possibly a visit to the American Kennel Club Dog Museum (again with the winners), and other fun stuff. Tomorrow, the ZOO! That's the part I'm most excited for.

Although I miss my girlfriend terribly and my dog sort of (just kidding, Buster), we're having a good time. More to come!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Weighing in / Road trip

I had to weigh in a day early, because I'm going on a 3-day road trip to St. Louis with my mom. This morning, the scale informed me I weigh 160 pounds. That was originally going to be my goal weight, so it's kind of a milestone weight for me. However, my goal weight has changed to 150. I spoke to my doctor about it and she says 150-155 would be a good maintenance range for me.

In about an hour, I'm on my way to St. Louis. I'm taking my mom on a mini road trip for 3 days for her birthday (which was in February). We're going to bum around, go to the zoo, and go to a LOT of antique stores. That's her thing. My mom and I haven't spent this much time alone in a few years. I'm looking forward to it, but I will have to be very careful to stay in a good mood the entire time and not get crabby for any reason. We tend to play off each other's bad moods, until our bitchiness has grown exponentially. That's no fun for anyone, believe me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

8 mile

The finale of The Biggest Loser was last night, and if you're a weight-loss t.v. freak like me, you know by now that Ali won. Finally, a woman takes the prize! It's about freakin' time.

Normally I get on the treadmill halfway through the show and watch until the end. Since it was the finale, I thought I might try a little longer, so I started my workout just 30 minutes into the show. I stayed on that treadmill for 90 minutes, and jogged 8 miles. I only walked for 5 minutes as a warm-up, and then 5 more minutes about halfway through.

How wonderful it was to be dripping with sweat, exhilirated from an ass-kicking run, and crying happy tears because Ali won TBL! Yup, that's right. I was running 6 mph on that treadmill and crying at the same time. I'm sure I looked like a complete fool, but at least it was in the privacy of my own home and not a gym.

Go Ali go!!! Woot Woot!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Ah, the excess skin post. You knew it was coming.

Yup, I have some of the stuff. After losing this much weight, it's pretty much unavoidable. My main problem area is right about my belly button. It's not bad at all. I've seen much worse. However, it does annoy me and I feel like it's obscuring all the definition I know is there somewhere. I also have an issue in the triceps area- the dreaded "Oprah arms." My boobs are saggy. They look like deflated balloons. Finally, all the stretch marks I accumulated while gaining the weight are now much more pronounced. In some areas, my skin looks like crushed velvet.

The question then turns to plastic surgery. My mom seems to think I'm young enough that my skin will bounce back, but I think she's wrong. The idea of breast reconstruction is very tempting, as is a tummy tuck. However, going under the knife for something that's not medically necessary seems like borrowing trouble to me. My current plan is to wait a couple years and see what happens.

While it's sometimes maddening that my naked body doesn't fully reflect all the hard work I've done, I can deal with it for now. Living with a little loose skin is better than living with 100 extra pounds.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Come back, wagon!

I'm lying on the prairie floor, watching the wagon as it lazily rolls into the sunset. It's going slow enough that I could easily run and jump back on, but my legs feel as though they'll give out if I stand up. This grassy, green prairie has become so comfortable that I don't want to move. It's easier to just stay here.

This weekend hasn't been so good, diet wise. Saturdays and Sundays have become quite the problem lately. Falling off the wagon is now commonplace on the weekend- almost habitual. Quite unhealthy. I will say that I've done some good exercise, but that shouldn't be some kind of excuse or invitation to go nuts.

Yesterday when I weighed in, I was totally expecting a gain. When I saw the same number as last week, I'm sure that triggered my urge to overindulge in some way. It started off innocently enough. We went to our favorite salad place for lunch yesterday. I got what they call the "health nut" salad, which has salmon, walnuts, soy nuts, dried cranberries, and fat free vinaigrette. While I'm sure it was not "low-cal" by any means, the fats were all heart-healthy fats. So, I decided to get the world's best cupcake for my weekend treat. That bit of sugary perfection set off some kind of chain reaction that lasted all weekend.

Of course, after eating all that sugar, my blood sugar is now crashing like a stoned hippie onto a well-worn sofa. My eyeballs hurt. I'm depressed and cranky, and freezing cold.

I push myself up from the grass and look for the wagon. It's rolling over a hill on the horizon; it's about to disappear! I start to walk, then jog, then run toward it. I'm now close enough to see the the wagon's contents. It's overflowing with fruit, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Richard Simmons beckons me from inside. "Hurry, Morgan! Get back on the wagon!" he cries gaily. I jump in, and feel immediately safe and warm as I collapse in a bed of mixed salad greens. Richard covers me with a blanket of freshly-toasted whole grain waffles and wild berries and I fall into a restful sleep.

It's good to be back.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday weigh day

The scale told me I weigh 161 today, which means I maintained this week. I'm extremely happy with that, considering all the naughty things I've eaten these past 7 days.

That means I've lost a total of 104 lbs. in under a year. Craziness!

Friday, April 11, 2008

I want my weight loss tv

I'm a whore for weight loss television. Tuesday nights are an event in my household because The Biggest Loser (aka TBL) is on. Soon, the current season of TBL will be over. The finale is next week. When I realized that my Tuesday night inspiration fix was coming to an end, I became rather despondent. Then, I flipped over to Bravo and noticed Workout is starting again...on TUESDAY nights! Not only does Workout feature buff, beautiful personal trainers and their puffed-out clients, but the show centers around Jackie Warner.

Let me explain something about Jackie Warner. She is sex. That's all there is to it. She turns straight women gay. I'm not even kidding. Seriously- watch the show and you'll see. Women, men, even dogs- they get near her, and they seem to go into this hot-lesbian-induced trance.

Here's what Kathy Griffin had to say about Jackie (probably not safe for work):

Anyhoo... what was I talking about again?

Oh yeah! Weight loss television. Do you guys watch this kind of stuff? Which show(s) are you into?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Are you guys getting sick of this yet?

Just let me know if my highs and lows are annoying you. They're certainly annoying me.
When I get the munchies, a different part of me takes over. Whatever my craving is, I want it. Now. I'm trying to figure this all out. I'm not beating myself up like I have in the past. I know it's not the end of the world.

Still, the cyclical nature of my lifestyle is rather obnoxious. Most days, I have the mindset of a personal trainer. I'm pumped up about health, fitness, and nutrition. I exercise and eat right. I feel strong and buff. Then, one day I just snap and get out of control with the eating. Although I know it's physically impossible, these are the days I feel like I've gained back all the weight. I feel doughy and pudgy. I swear- yesterday, my abs felt like steel. Right now, they feel like a freshly popped can of biscuit dough.

I've been pondering the notion of self-sabotage this evening. Why would someone who has lost 100 lbs. want to screw it all up and go back to that old way of living? Why would I do that, consciously or otherwise? I'm trying to make sense of that. Sometimes I think I have these "off days" simply because I'm sick of "being good," and I just want to eat some really yummy food. There doesn't have to be any deep reasoning behind it all. I just like to eat. Other times, I think I'm totally f-ed in the head when it comes to my relationship with food. My relationship with food...just typing that seems totally ridiculous. I have a relationship with my girlfriend, with my parents, with my friends, even my co-workers... but food?! It's not as if I'm spooning a fried chicken leg when I'm in bed at night. I don't email my bowl of cereal to see if it wants to catch a movie this weekend.

The first human beings who occupied this planet didn't think about calories. Mongo hunt meat. Mongo gather berries. I suspect that's the gist of Neanderthal man's relationship with food.

Evolution is such a bitch.

Thou shalt not go to the grocery store while hungry

I broke the cardinal rule of dieting yesterday. I went to the grocery store while I was hungry.

In the old days, this would mean that I'd wind up buying 2 different kinds of Ben and Jerry's, maybe some stuff from the Chinese food area (think deep-fried goodness), and a package of Pepperidge Farm Milanos. This time, I definitely bought some things that weren't on the list, but they were all diet friendly.

I picked up a red bell pepper and ate it like an apple as soon as I got home. I also got some bagels, but get this- they were only 110 calories each! They're not the mini ones, either. They are very decently sized. This was exciting. What's a bagel without cream cheese? I had to get some fat free cream cheese to spread on my low cal bagels.

So, the "don't shop while hungry" rule is definitely true. However, it wasn't a catastrophe.

In other news...

All the muscles in my chest and shoulders have really been bothering me the past few days. When I inhale, I get a semi-sharp pain just under my collarbones. I'm not too stoked about running on the treadmill tonight.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Getting back in the swing

After eating a lot off crazy stuff like we did over our birthday weekend, it's difficult to get back in the saddle with the diet. All of that salt and sugar builds up in your system, and then you crave it like mad. Angie and I are both struggling with this today.

The plan was to be totally on the wagon as of yesterday. However, we wound up stopping by my parents' house last night because they had forgotten one of our presents when we saw them on Sunday. They had the leftover birthday cake, and we each had a big honkin' piece with ice cream. So, the diet yesterday was almost perfect, with that one 600 calorie exception. That's a pretty big exception, but it was totally worth it. My mom makes awesome cake, and it was my 30th birthday cake. I think 30 years earns an extra piece, dammit.

Today I have adopted the "One Good Day" motto. During The Biggest Loser tonight I'll do what I can on the treadmill. I have a 4-mile race, The Trolley Run, at the end of this month. I need to be preparing for it. My body is used to doing 5K races now, so anything over 3 miles of continuous running and my legs want to stop working. On Saturday, I did a 4.2 mile run, and right after mile 3, I had to stop and walk a few times. So, I need to start working my way up.

In October, I hope to run at least half of the Kansas City Marathon. Right now, I'm shooting for the half. If, at that point, I feel I'm prepared, I might just do the whole thing.

Oh- something I forgot to mention in my last post:

My weigh-in on Saturday revealed that I'm down to 161, which is a 2 lb. loss from last week! Before I started my weight loss, my goal weight was 160. Now, I'm thinking 150-155 is a more suitable number for me, and my physician is okay with that. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing for a while and see what happens. Now that I'm weighing in weekly rather than daily, my stress level about the whole thing has gone way down. What a nice birthday present it was to see that number on the scale! I was sure I'd gained after the pizza party the weekend before!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My 30th Birthday / Meatfest 2008: A retrospective

I think, finally, the meat coma is over. It took almost 24 hours. Let me start from the beginning.

Yesterday was my 30th birthday. I woke up at 6:30 a.m., did a weight training and toning workout, then ate a leftover turkey burger patty from the previous night's dinner. I then went for a 4 mile run to my parents' house, where I ate 2 Hershey's Kisses and drank 2 cups of coffee.

Angie and the dog picked me up at the folks', then we headed home. Angie said she was really anxious to give me my birthday card. She went into another room and came back with a sealed envelope, postmarked, and addresses to me. I flipped the envelope over and the return address said: "Hem, Brooklyn."

Let me explain. Hem is my favorite band. I've been in love with their beautiful music for a little over 4 years now. We've traveled to see them play in St. Louis and Chicago, and have been fortunate enough to meet them in person both times. They are talented, nice, personable people. Take a listen and go buy/download their music!

Angie somehow managed to get their lead singer to write me a birthday greeting and send it to me in the mail! I was floored and honored that Sally Ellyson, the lead singer, took the time out of her day to be so nice to me. The hand-written note reads:

Happy Birthday!! Life begins at 30 Morgan. I'm 38, so I know. Hem got word you liked our music and so we wanted to thank you and send you a birthday greeting. All the best, Sally Ellyson (+ Hem)

Can you believe that?! I can't. Amazing. Angie worked so hard to make my birthday special. She's awesome.

Now, onto the Meatfest retrospective.


1. habitual eating to excess
2. eating to excess (personified as one of the deadly sins)

We arrived at Em Chamas at 6:00 p.m. and were seated right away. Upon walking through the door, we could immediately smell the meaty goodness that awaited us. Our server came over and rattled off her memorized lines about the "rodizo dining experience." I really didn't hear a word. "Bring Mongo meat" was all I could think.

They give you a little paper coin to flip over to signal the meat-bringers that you either want more meat or you don't. We flipped it to the "no" side so we could enjoy some of the items on the gourmet bar. I was advised by some Meatfest afficionados at work to stay really light on the gourmet bar, as the meat is the main event and you don't want to fill up too soon. I got some steamed vegetables, a small cube of cheese, some crawfish salad, spicy shrimp, ravioli (just one) and some traditional Brazilian black beans and rice. It all tasted great.

By this point, they had served us a Brazilian sugar cane cocktail that was so strong I was mildly buzzed after consuming just half of it. Woot! They also brought some cheesy bread bites, as well as some baked bananas, which are used as a palate cleanser between meats. I hadn't even tasted the meat yet, and I was already getting full!

We flipped over our little coins and the gauchos (meat-bringers) were on us immediately. It was like a clown car let out. Total insanity. Most of them were very good-looking and had very exotic accents. They would come over, lay down their big skewers of meat, and say "Excuse me madam. Would you like some filet Mignon wrapped in bacon? Is very good..." It was totally food porn. Those of you who watch Giada de Laurentiis on the Food Network know what I mean.

I do believe I tried at least one bite of every one of their offerings. My favorite by far was the picanha, which was like filet Mignon to the millionth power. It was one of the best things I've ever tasted in my life. I'm 30 now, so I've tasted a lot of things. Everything was good.

By this point, I was drunk. Drunk on meat. The cocktail had something to do with it, I'm sure, but I was seriously buzzed by all the meaty goodness. Our server came over and actually tried to serve us dessert. We looked at her with meat-stoned eyes and said "Thanks, but we're too full," a refrain I'm sure she's all too familiar with.

We were then rolled out on dollies to the car, where the gauchos lifted us with their manly Brazilian muscles and strapped on our seatbelts.

Okay, maybe that last part didn't happen. Thankfully, I didn't let myself go to the dark side with the eating. I didn't eat until I was so full I was going to burst. Don't get me wrong- I was really, really full- but I didn't need my elastic pants, if you know what I mean.

Later on, I opened my presents from Angie. Yup, she threw me a surprise party, got my favorite band to send me a letter, and still got me presents. She's pretty awesome, huh? She got me some sporty headphones and an armband for my iPod, as well as some very cute workout gear. I was convinced the medium workout pants she got me would be too small, but I tried them on and they fit perfectly.

Tomorrow things will get back to normal as far as my eating is concerned. It's been a nice break to eat pretty much whatever I want, but my body is screaming for healthy stuff again.

Whew! Sorry for the long post, but there was a lot to tell. It's been another whirlwind weekend. Angie's birthday is today, so we're about to go celebrate that now. Bye!

Friday, April 4, 2008

The last day of my 20s

After my peanut butter extravaganza last night, I got in the tub with some bath salts, a rubber ducky, and a good book, and I felt better. I have to keep reminding myself that I can't gain 100 lbs. in one night. I seriously have dreams that I wake up, get on the scale, and it says 264.

Before bed, I did some wall stretches (thanks for the tip, Sarah!), and I think they really helped. I didn't have any leg cramps last night. Yay!

Upon waking up this morning, my legs were pain free and I felt much better about life. Today is the last day of my 20s, so I'm going to make it perfect. I worked out this morning, and have been eating totally on-plan today. I *almost* reached for a second mini cinnamon roll that my friend brought to work for my birthday, but didn't. Tonight, I'm planning on a 3 mile run.

The first day of my 30s will be a different story. Exercise-wise, I would like to accomplish a 4 mile run. Diet-wise, I'm pretty much screwed for the whole weekend. That's okay, though. I'm prepared for a setback on the scale. Monday I'll be exuding cows from my pores and screaming for roughage.

My next post will likely be a recounting of Meatfest 2008. If there are any vegetarian readers out there, I do apologize for any inconvenience.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Forgive me readers for I have binged

After dinner tonight, I still felt hungry. Earlier today, I decided to lay off the workout tonight because of my legs. On days when I don't exercise, I get the munchies.

I had a normal, nutritious, and filling dinner. I didn't need to keep eating. Still, I had a bowl of cereal and yogurt, then two peanut butter sandwiches. I probably consumed 800 extra calories. Ugh.

Of course, now I'm feeling pretty low and disgusted with myself. It's so strange how I go through these cycles. I'll stick to my plan for days or weeks, and feel strong and confident. All it takes is one craving to throw me and make me feel like I'll gain back 100 lbs in one sitting.

I think I need to take a hot bath, read a book, and try to forget about what just happened.

The mailman and the charlie horse

Every work day, I go home for lunch so I can let our dog out. On most days, the mailman (or postal carrier, if you prefer) comes by while I'm there. I don't usually interact with him. He drops off the mail, the dog freaks out, the mailman leaves, and the dog calms down. It's one of the most predictable parts of my day.

Today, I happened to be outside when he delivered our mail. The dog, of course, was having a total breakdown. Then, the mailman said, "You just look like a whole new person."

My mailman noticed my weight loss. We stood there for a minute chatting. Throughout the conversation, I wasn't paying much attention. All I could think was, "even the mailman noticed. That's awesome!"

Subject change...

Last night I awoke to the excruciating pain of leg cramps. I was having a cramp in both calves- at the same time. It was awful. This has been happening more and more lately, probably two or three times per week. Normally, the pain is unbearable for about 20 seconds, then it's gone, and there's no pain afterward. This morning is a different story. My leg muscles feel like someone put them through a taffy machine. I suspect if you plucked one like a violin string, it would play a tune. Really, really tight.

Because Meatfest 2008 is rapidly approaching, I'd planned some vigorous workouts the next couple of days. It's hard for me even to walk right now. I might have to- gulp- not work out for a day or two. That, on top of the diet disaster this weekend, will surely make for a bad scale experience. I'm not sure what to do. Something tells me that if I got the muscles nice and warm through vigorous walking, it would make them feel better and not worse. Then, another part of me says that I should just rest.

I've done some research on what causes these cramps and how to prevent them. Even though I already consider myself a very well-hydrated woman, I'll try to drink even more water. I might even include some tonic water in my diet. Tonic water contains a small amount of quinine, which can help with cramps. I started taking a multivitamin again, so hopefully that will help with any mineral deficiencies. Potassium, magnesium, and calcium are the main things to be concerned with.

If you've experienced leg cramps and figured out how to stop them, please leave me a comment. Here's a good article on the subject, if you're interested.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Save the Date: Meatfest 2008

I'm not really hungry...I'm not really hungry...

Maybe if I keep repeating this over and over, I'll start to believe it. Objectively, there's no way my body should be feeling hunger right now. I ate a nice lunch, and just had some oatmeal for a snack.

Someone here at the office brought treats. Again. There is a table full of cookies, cinnamon twists, and some other pastry-type thing. Those cookies are calling my name. They're the big Kirkland chocolate chip cookies. You know, the kind you get from Costco. Back in the day, I would have cruised by that table 2 or 3 times to grab one. I'm really tempted to do that right now. I made the mistake of walking over there and just looking at them. I checked the box for nutrition information, and there was none. That's a bad sign. That means I should stay the hell away.

I really need to keep things in check, because there will be much indulging this weekend. My birthday is Saturday, and then Angie's is on Sunday. We're planning what people in my office refer to as "MEATFEST." Here in Kansas City, we have a couple of those Brazilian restaurants where they keep bringing huge sticks of meat over to your table and slicing off portions until you explode into a million bovine pieces.
I'm looking forward to it. We've wanted to try this place for a long time, but never had a special enough occasion to break the diet in such a blatant manner. Turning 30 (or 31, if you're Angie) is the best excuse we'll have for a while, so I'm going to live it up and try not to feel guilty. I plan on writing a whole blog post about this experience, so tune in Sunday if you're interested.

Also on Sunday, my parents are taking us to brunch.

But wait! There's more! After brunch, we'll be heading to the nursing home so my grandmother can enjoy some cake and ice cream with us.

Needless to say, it's going to to be a diet disaster this weekend. I know that actually planning a diet disaster isn't the smartest idea. For those of us who struggle with losing weight (or maintaining weight loss) it's kind of like planning to get your car repossessed, or planning to fail an exam.

I'm hoping that when the time comes, I'll have the good sense to stop when I'm full. To tell the truth, though, that's usually not what happens when I'm confronted with "all-you-can-eat-ness." What is it with Americans and buffets? Seriously. It's baffling. Do we stuff ourselves because we want to get our money's worth? The Brazailian place isn't exactly cheap, but is that an excuse to keep shoving beef in my face until my pores are oozing cow babies?

Looking back on past buffet experiences, I think I kept eating because it was there and it tasted good. That's all there is to it. John Travolta said it best in Pulp Fiction: "Bacon tastes good. Pork chops taste good."

Thankfully, my body and psyche have changed, and these days my brain is much better at telling me when my stomach is full. Of course, I don't always listen. We'll see what happens. May the, with me.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Run Fatboy Run

On Sunday, Angie and I went to see Run Fatboy Run. I've been a fan of Simon Pegg's ever since the wonderful Shaun of the Dead came out in 2004. When you take one of my favorite zombie killers and make him into a marathon runner, I'm there.

It's not Oscar-worthy by any means, but I had a lot of fun watching it. It had a lot of heart, and I thought it was hilarious. Here's the preview, in case you haven't seen it on TV.