Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March

Confessions of a binge eater: I was so close to losing all control tonight you have no idea.

The most dangerous thing I do to myself is to say 'well fuck it, too late now so I may as well take advantage'. I've been much, much better about this recently, but every now and again it sneaks up on me. Tonight I had to go pick up my dress from the tailor, and ended up having a burger and baked potato from Lotteria with a friend for dinner. Lotteria are an alternative to McDonald's in parts of Asia, their portions are smaller and (I think) better quality. At that point I had already had lunch out (as is my usual Tuesday routine) and was fairly soon that I had blown my calories out the water by having fast food. I could have exercised restraint and stopped there, but instead I wrote it off as too late and hopeless, and went to Beard Papa's on the way out. We both got a cream puff and a fondant au chocolate, and I ate them both when I got home.

The stupid thing was, when I was tallying my calories for the day I realised that if I had stopped after dinner I would have been under calories! No problem! Guess that shows how we can be our own worst enemy at times. No matter how well I may be doing at any point, part of me will always be a binge eater, and I can't forget that. I have to stay vigilant.

I was ready to feel quite sorry for myself, and really really wanted to go to the supermarket and buy food to scoff, when I checked over the numbers again. Counting everything I'd eaten today up to that point (without exercise) I was 730 calories over my limit. How far away do you have to get before it can be classified as hopeless? I'm not sure, it's something you have to answer for yourself, but for me I can tell you it's a hell of a lot further than that! After crunching some numbers it turned out that to fill that deficit I would have to bike about 38km. I refuse to work in anything less than 5's on my bike though, so I got on and did 40. What's more, I did 40 in one go (usually I have to split it into a 25k and a 15k), which is the most I've ever done in a stretch. Even with my knees complaining, I feel way better sitting here now than I would if I were sitting here telling you I'd eaten my body weigh in fried food.

There's always a choice to be made, even after you make mistakes. Nobody is perfect, there are going to be times when you slip with food, but only you can look into the precipice that slip puts you next to and throw yourself off. Only you can make the choice to say 'for the rest of the day I don't care, I'm going to binge'. Only you can look inside yourself honestly and admit whether it's going to make you feel better or worse.

It always makes me feel worse. And for some reason, this month I've been able to see that much more clearly, even if I've crept up and peered over that edge once or twice.

So how has March gone? I'd say really well. I had my eating under control by the end of the first week and (for the most part) kept it there. And lookie here:

I achieved my goal to exercise every day this month! I did a total of 545km (338.6 miles), which is more than I ever thought I'd be capable of at the beginning of this month. I haven't lost much weight in terms of numbers (I'll weigh in tomorrow for an official number), but my dress size has gone down, my legs are definitely more toned from the cycling, and I generally feel better.

I'll see how I feel tomorrow, but I think I may take a rest day. It will depend on how my knees feel I think, they're not too happy with me right now. There is a worry that if I stop I won't start again, but I'm going to have to test that at some point.

Goals for April: Keep up the momentum with regular exercise, have a break through on the scale (surely my body can't physically hold on to this weight forever?) to get below 105kg, fit comfortably into a pair of old trousers I have (and more comfortably into my jeans).

Water, water everywhere

I was washing up late night and couldn't figure out where all the water on my floor was coming from. At first I thought I had dripped some from the sponge or sloshed some over the edge while scrubbing, but as the puddle grew bigger I took a closer look and it turned out that the plastic piping tube that takes water from my sink through my cupboard to wherever it is water goes, had snapped. The water was no doing down my plug hole, into the cardboard box filled with cleaning supplies, soaking through to the base of the cupboard, and then pooling on the floor.

I called my supervisor, who called my rental company, who sent out one of their 24hr plumber service people. It was good because it meant that it got fixed that night instead of waiting for the next day, but by the time he left it was almost 9pm and I didn't want to eat a full meal. Instead of mabodofu I had a bowl of cereal with a banana, and then had some almonds after I'd finished biking before bed.

Ironically I didn't get enough water yesterday to drink, which is unusual for me. Despite hitting my calories very closely I was up slightly this morning (back to 107, the number haunts me), but I'd put that down to less water and natural fluctuations.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another fascinating day in the life

It's the spring holiday right now (and for the next week) so I'm sitting in the LL room with not much to do. I've actually been reasonably productive today for a change! I'm making up a textbook of common mistakes I find again and again in my students essays, and explaining the problem grammar points and how to use them properly, to give out to my teachers. I think having it all listed and laid out like that will really help all of us, and we can start incorporating some of the info into the new student's lessons next year. Hopefully this will mean that by the time they get to the essay lessons in the second year I'll feel less like stabbing myself when I grade them.

Food has been fine for today. I had bran flake cereal and a banana for breakfast so that was nice a filling. I think the switch from muesli occasionally helps me, the extra fiber, and chopping the banana up in it (I don't like to do that with muesli) keeps me full longer. Lunch was a little container of leftover dinner (chicken and aubergine in a chopped tomato sauce), a satsuma, a banana, some strawberry yogurt covered raisins, a Japanese pudding pack, and a portion of the Cadbury Variety things my mum sent me in my package from home. I think it hit the right mix of indulgence and good for me. I'm really happy with myself for controlling my chocolate intake. I was so scared that I would just binge on the massive bag of chocolate when it first arrived, but I've been really good and just had one portion a day. I think tomorrow is the last little baggie in the freezer and then I will be done.

I think tonight I will be on my bike but won't do my weights. I did them yesterday and the day before, leaving my arms quite sore when I woke up this morning. I never intended for the weights to be a daily thing (like I do the bike), so I'll probably do it three or four times a week, giving my arms a break in between. If I get stronger later and decide to go more often then so be it, but I'm happy with that decision for now.

I'm currently sitting here wearing those jeans I was having trouble buttoning! They still give me a bit of a muffin top, but with the right top they're totally wearable.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Oof.

So, it turns out to get to just over 1800 calories after exercise I have to eat a lot of food! A difficult amount in fact. I may see how this week goes, and then try lowering it a little and see if I can still lose. I think my major problem (well... 'problem') is that I don't eat 'diet' food, for the simple reason that either it doesn't really exist here, or I just can't find it. This means that I just cut out the junk rather than replace it with lower calorie versions of things. It can make it difficult to make up this amount of calories because it means I'm having to eat a lot because it seems counter-productive to just fill up with junk to make the numbers.

On the plus side it has meant I can loosen up a little with the kinds of things I'm eating. If I want a mini ice cream cone (120 calories) as the occasional afternoon snack, it's not going to be the end of the world. And when I go back to work tomorrow I'll be getting up earlier so there will be more time to have snacks and things without feeling like I'm constantly eating.

Scale was down slightly this morning, but I'm going to give my body a few days to adjust to eating more and see what happens before I start celebrating. I think the next couple of weeks will be an experiment with numbers to see what's best for me.

I tried my weights out. The bar ended up being easier than I though, but having the smallest weights on each end was too heavy, so now I have a plate on one end and am just being careful how I hold it. It's total weigh is 3.3kg (7 pounds) and I felt alright. I couldn't do very much, but I felt it in my arms this morning (in a slightly sore, but not debilitating way) so I think I'm fine for now. I will work on increasing how many reps of everything I can do.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Weigh In

I'm up. Quelle Surprise.

107.4kg (236.2 pounds), a gain of 0.4kg (0.8lbs).

It wasn't as dire as I was expecting actually. I weighed myself before I went to bed and it was 108.8kg. I tried not to panic too much because I knew it would go down a bit with a good nights sleep, but I was still expecting to be about 108. It was nice to end up being only 0.4kg up, but it's still up and I feel it's unwarranted with the amount of work put into things this week.

The fact that it wasn't as high as I was expecting leads me to believe I'm on the right track with wanted to eat closer to calorie limit. Last night I finished only 4 under, and despite all the factors working against me (eating out, eating late at night) I was lighter when I weighed in today than I was yesterday.

Okay, on to brighter things. I was over my exercise target thanks to my late night mathematics, and my clothes have definitely been looser this week, so even if the numbers aren't going the right way it would seem something is. My weight set arrived yesterday so I'm going to give it a try today. I miscalculated the weight and amount of plates I had for them, so it's going to be a while before I'm strong enough to be able to lift the smallest weight. Which means I'm having to start with just the metal shaft things with no weights. They weigh 1.8kg each (about 4 pounds) so it's not so bad, but it makes me feel a little pitiful. I'll have to do a search on youtube to find a workout, have any of you lifters out there got any good links for a beginner with hand weights?

My goals for the next week are simple. I don't care who I have to kill, come hell or high water I want in to the 106s this week. And I want to stay there.

Calories: As close to my limit as can manage. Exercise: Keep going as I have been. Weights: find a workout I can enjoy and go for it.

Oh God

So, when I got a call from one of my adult students saying we were having a dinner party after class today I assumed they meant a Japanese meal, which typically would mean a serving of sashimi to start, a serving of rice, a bowl of miso soup, a main dish of some kind, and either a scoop of ice cream or a small serving of chiffon cake for dessert. I could do that, no problem.

Err, no. When my class do things, they do them properly.

We went to a little restaurant (our big table basically filled it), and had a full multi-course meal. I wasn't expecting anything like that so I didn't have my camera, but I took notes. We started with a tiny a tiny trio of cod roe, salmon sashimi, and a vegetable cheese thing. We followed that with the soup course, a gorgeous, thick, smokey potato soup (thankfully these were all Japanese sized portions, so very small by western standards). After that came the pasta course of spaghetti with cabbage and chili (I'd estimate a couple of ounces), and the fish course of sea bream topped with onion, with a tomato and pesto sauce and (oddly) a sheet of seaweed, then the micro salad with a slice of bread. Following that came the meat course, two amazingly tender chunks of slow cooked beef in demi-glace sauce with a side of oyster mushrooms. Dessert was the ever-popular chiffon cake and mini cream puff, with a tiny sliver of chocolate cake. And then I went ahead and exploded as we drank our tea.

It sounds like a lot of food, and yeah, it was, but as I said the portions were small to allow for the number of courses. We ate really late too because I taught the class first, so we didn't finish eating until about 10pm. Don't get me wrong, I had a fantastic time, I always do with this class, but I really wish it hadn't been on a Friday night.

I had done 15km before leaving to meet my daily requirements, but after getting home and logging everything into DP I realised more was needed, so I got back in the seat and did another 15km. Thanks to that I finished the day 4 calories under my daily allowance. I had planned to try upping my calories a little, but I wasn't going to start until after weigh in. Next week I'm going to make sure I get my full calorie allowance every day after my exercise, that way I know no matter how many calories I burn I'm finishing with my 1832 at the end of it. I bought a cheap Reebok heart rate monitor off of ebay earlier this afternoon, so I'll try that out when it arrives. It would be nice to know my heart rate so I can figure out how may calories I'm burning more precisely. It may be great, it may be a disaster, but it's worth a try. If I overeat and gain at least I will have done something to deserve it this time.

On the topic of disasters, weigh in is going to be horrific. I was already stupidly up to 108 again this morning, I cringe to think what tomorrow will bring.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Survey Says? Part the second

Thanks for your input everyone! Right now I'm leaning towards the first one, but we'll see. Another question for you, seeing as you're all being so obliging (this one is actually weight related):

Do you eat your exercise calories?

My weight has really being going up and down for no discernible reason, and Cammy mentioned increasing my calories might be the way to go. My calorie goal for the each day at the moment is 1832 calories (as assigned by the daily plate) to lose two pounds a week. I get enough calories without exercise, but once you figure in calories burned I think it's too low? I don't want to eat all the extra calories I burn though because I'm never sure if the estimates they give me for any one activity is right or not, they always seem a little.... over-enthusiastic with the numbers? I currently use this exercise calculator and then add my calories to my food log manually (the DP one always seems to think I've burned so many that I stopped using it). The categories for choosing my exercise always seem a little vague too, at what point can I count my biking as 'moderate' rather than 'light'? Is it taking resistance into account or just time? WHO KNOWS? It's quite frustrating.

What does everyone think?

Survey Says?

So, in keeping with the article I mentioned in my last post I lowered the intensity of my bike back to 1 last night, and just focused on going a good distance as fast as I could. It was insane! I'm so used to constantly adapting to steeper cycling every week I'd forgotten how easy level 1 is. It felt like I was flying I could go so fast! On level 6 (the resistance I've been doing the rest of this week) it would take me about fourteen and a half minutes to do 5k on average. Last night I did 20k in 36:32, which works out as 9:08 for every 5k! Madness!

My back up dresses for the wedding arrived. I was surprised because the smallest one I ordered fit me perfectly. I know I'm not really a size 18 (I'm still uncomfortable when my size 20 'smaller' jeans that I'm slimming down into are buttoned), but because my top half is smaller and the hips on dresses are often free, I can fit into smaller sizes in them. The smaller one was the dress I thought I wouldn't like as much, but it turned out to look lovely on, where as the purple dress I was really looking forward to had a ton of really unflattering purple netting over the beautiful fabric! Why? It was so ugly. I cut it off the heavy second layer that was all gathered up, leaving a smooth thin layer which look much better.

Now I just have to choose which one to wear! I love the colours in the purple one, but I think the other might flatter me a little more, thoughts? (click for larger versions, excuse the hideously bad quality pictures!)



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Work it out

I still have the cold that never ends, am now slightly less congested but it's moved into my chest, leaving me constantly short of breath. Not fun in the twelfth kilometer of a 15k bike ride I can tell you. I'll just have to keep taking my inhaler handy, medicine stocked, and wait for it to pass.

I was reading this article on exercising smart (rather than just hard) and knowing the best exercises for your body shape (I'm a spoon), and it has me thinking about changing my exercise routine. I've noticed that even though I'm getting smaller I'm not really losing around my hips, it makes me think the information has merit, and I don't want to exaggerate my already hefty bottom half. With that in mind I'm thinking of lowering the intensity on my bike (which I've been upping every 100k) back down to the lowest level, and just focus on how far I'm going and keeping up a faster speed. Right now I'm quite slow, 15k takes me about 43 minutes on intensity level 6.

My upper half is also preposterously weak, I ordered a couple of adjustable free weights last night and am going to add them into my daily routine. It would be nice to tone up my arms and build up the strength a little, I hate the flabby way they are now. There are demo videos available online so I'm going to use them, I wish I had someone here who knows what they're doing to show me, but I don't so I'll have to just focus on trying not to hurt myself.

I was panicking last night because I seemed to have misplaced the white shrug I ordered to go with the dress for the wedding (er.. assuming it ever arrives). Luckily I got into school this morning and it was in a bag in the LL room, I must have left it there by accident on Tuesday. Oh, the relief.

One of my adult class students called me yesterday to tell me that after our lesson on Friday we will be having a 'dinner party' (i.e. going out for a meal together) so not to eat dinner before I go to class. Doh! It's not what I'll be eating, I can plan calories for that, it's how late I'll be doing it. Class doesn't end until 8:30, which means dinner that dinner won't be until about 9pm at the earliest. The day before weigh in too! I'm already having trouble breaking through this weight barrier, things like this don't help. I can't refuse either, they're all grandmother/grandfather types who love having me go to things with them, saying no is like kicking a puppy or a small child.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I thought my calories yesterday were going to be insane, I totted everything up and ended up under. Despite this, and despite exercising yesterday and the day before, my weight is 108? I was so excited about getting below 106.8 and now I'm back up. I can only assume that lack of proper sleep and dehydration is taking it's toll but it's frustrating none the less. I'm kind of sick of treading water with these numbers.

I had planned to catch up on my sleep this morning because I have an unexpected day off, but they're building something across the street from me. Work starts at 8am and my walls are thin. That, coupled with my continuing congestion made has made sleep difficult.

Okay, enough of that. The good news is that I am still on plan for exercising every day, and I think I will be able to make my target for the week after all too, so it makes me feel good that managed to keep going through feeling ill.

With me being off work today I should have more time to exercise and be able to control my food better too. The watch words today are water, water, water.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Working through it

I still feel crappy, but I did 15km on my bike yesterday and I'm really glad I did. As always the first 5km were hard, harder than most because I was feeling so woolly-headed, but once I got past the hump it started to feel good! My sinuses started to clear so I didn't want to stop (sadly, they re-blocked practically the moment I had finished). Overnight I developed a hoarse cough and the beginnings of an eye infection from over-wearing my contact lenses, I had to wear glasses and no make-up to school which left me feeling radiant as always.

Not that we've spent much time in school really, today was the closing ceremony before Spring break (they finish their school year in March here so it's a big deal) and no the school grounds are crawling with junior high kids who will be starting here in a couple of weeks. Typically on these days the rules of when you come and go are very lax, so the other ALT and I took a long lunch and met up with some friends at the castle ruins. It's a gorgeous sunny day (if still a little chilly). I also went and put my dress in for alterations just in case the others don't show up in time, and we're going to head to the bigger out of town mall after school to pick some shoes.

Calories today will be a little on the heavier side as I had my usual lunch out and may now be having Korean Bibimbap for dinner at the mall. I'll drink water and do my best to get in a bit more distance than usual on the bike though if I can.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Siiick

What is up with this country? I feel like I get sick every two seconds here.

I was hoping it was just bad allergies (though in hindsight I'm not sure why as allergies would last me all season) but I'm definitely runny nosed, headache-y, sneezing, coughing sick. I was as happy as a druggie scoring a hit when I found half a bottle of cold pills (left over from my last bout) on my shelf.

I had a really bad night's sleep last night; I couldn't breathe through my nose and kept waking up (none of which has prompted the sunniest side of disposition in the cold harsh light of this morning).

I walked into school and am currently typing this at my desk. If I still feel rotten later I may go home at lunch, but I had to at least show my face at school so that they can see this is real and not something I'm making up to stretch out my three day weekend. It's spring break so there is nothing to do (I marked all my books last week), I can't decide if having actual work would make me feel better or worse.

God I don't want to work out today. I guess it comes down to a choice though, is this worth not making my goal to both 100km this week and to exercise every day? Survey in my foggy brain says no, but that doesn't mean my body is up to following. I may just reduce how much I'll do (say, 5km instead of 10), accept that I may not meet my weekly goal, but keep my monthly one intact.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Danger Will Robinson!

Remember all that talk about dealing with the situation appropriately when things don't go to plan? Well yesterday I had a chance to test it!

My mum sent me a package for Christmas, but she didn't consider that it might not be a good idea to send mince pies over the border and it got held for inspections, meaning that it arrived yesterday. In it were some presents, a tube of Cadbury's Snaps (watch this advert!) and 600g/21oz (!) bag of Cadbury Variety (individually wrapped chunks of Cadbury chocolate in various flavours). Oh God.

Snaps are basically chocolate pringles. Made of what I can only assume to be some form of crack. They combine all the moreish qualities of pringles, but with the bonus that they're made of delicious chocolate and therefore are far superior.

My calories were really low yesterday, like, 700 low, and thank God for it because I ate the entire box of chocolate pringles (just under 600 calories). I caught myself eyeing up the big bag once I was done, even though I knew it was going to make me feel sick, so I went into the kitchen and poured them all out on the table. Each one is about 50 calories so I split them into bags of five and put them in the freezer. Now if I want some chocolate I know that each bag is 250 calories and I can plan that into my day. Also, with them being frozen, I can't just eat them mindlessly. This was the biggest worry with me because I will just dip in as I go past, and with such a big bag you don't realise how big a dent you're making in it.

Apparently it was the right choice as this morning I was at the lowest I've been since I started this. I guess this all ties in with the theme of this week, the right choice doesn't have to be the perfect one. Reactions are just as important as actions.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday WI

It's that time of week again and my scale says 107kg/235.4lbs for a loss of 1.4kg/3lbs.

I also achieved my exercise goal and think I will go up to the next resistance level after all.

Overall I'm pleased with how this week went. It wasn't that my eating was perfect, but I feel I dealt with myself appropriately when it wasn't perfect. Usually it just derails me completely. I didn't break in to the 106's but I was so close I don't really mind, and I was thinking that I was 108kgs last week, when actually I was 108.4, so I had lost more than I thought. I'm really hoping with a bit of work I can get into the 105's next week, but that would be quite a big loss to follow quite a big loss, so provided I get below 106.8 I'll be happy. My loss this week also means I finally, finally get a badge on the 4th of July Challenge. I swear, I've never lost weight so slowly before. Actually, that's a lie, it's not that I'm not losing weight, it's that the times when I go off plan makes me gain, so I'm losing the same weight over ad over, making my numbers look less impressive. Take this month for example, so far I've only lost 0.4kg for the month overall. But, my highest weight this month was 110.2kg, so technically I've lost 3.2kg, but can't officially count it. It makes me really want to get those crazy times under control, but at least three steps forward and two steps back is still one step forward in the end.

To everyone who told me to get rid of the scale, thanks for the thought but I don't work like that. I've tried it before and that way there be dragons. Yes, the scale is frustrating sometimes, but it's also a big motivational tool for me. I'm a 'need to know' kind of girl!

Friday, March 20, 2009

That scale is such a tease

I'll admit I was hoping to see a drop on the scale this morning in preparation for tomorrow's official weigh in. Sadly, the scale remains stubbornly in the same place, which (if this continues until tomorrow) puts me at a small loss, but nothing spectacular. I was really hoping to be in the 106's (even by a tiny margin) because 106.8 is my lowest so far, and making it would mean that I had a chance of possibly breaking the 105's this month. Every time I get close I have a flip out or some event gets in the way and I find my weight going back up.

Well, I suppose if I'm going to get there I'd better get moving. I'm going to eat my breakfast (err, lunch now I suppose) and get on the bike to go some of my final 25k. I'm going to focus on getting lots of water today, finishing my outstanding kilometers, and getting a good night's sleep tonight.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Huh.

I've been talking about how I've been keeping on track with the exercise and how great that makes me feel, but it wasn't until I was filling in my calendar a minute ago that I realised 'dude, those days are stacking up!'. I'm nearly at the end of week three, and even though I've had days when it's taken a little mental arse-kicking to get me started, I'm not counting down the days until I can have a break. This surprises me. Pleasantly so, but definitely surprising.

I like how I've been this week. Usually when I go off track with my eating, it leads to a binge. I haven't felt the sense of panic I usually do when I fine myself not following whatever I've planned. Instead of my head nearly exploding and running to the 24 hour supermarket, I seemed to have gained a strange sense of logic towards the whole thing (I'm sure I'll look back on this when I'm having a harder time and want to kick myself for putting this into words, like I'm trying to jinx myself). Take yesterday for example: I ate half a cake. Half of a whole cake! And I could easily have eaten the rest, I wanted to. Instead of doing that and throwing myself into a downward shame spiral about it, I entered all the ingredients into daily plate and figured out how many calories I'd had that day. Some very calm mental arithmetic told me that if I stopped now, counted that as dinner, and did my exercise I could end my day on calories. If I ate the rest of the cake I couldn't. It wasn't worth it, I packed up what was left for school and that was that.

I don't know exactly what's happening in my head, or how I got here, but I'd really like to stay a while.

Thanks to a public holiday tomorrow, it's a three day weekend! Oh what fun! I shall relish the extra chance to sleep in. I'm going to do another 10km before bed (I did 10 when I first got home), so I'm not hugely behind target for the week, but it will be nice to have the extra time to get it done. My fairly local friends are off doing things this weekend (one is doing the Tokyo marathon!) so it should be pretty quiet.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cake!

I was reading a food blog I frequent and they posted a recipe for Apple, Maple, and Yogurt cake. I decided to do a little baking and it turned out great!

Before

After


I love baking, and cooking in general, but it's difficult here. My kitchen is equipped with a two burner gas stove top, and a microwave that doubles as a convection oven (and that's it!). I usually have trouble getting the texture I want in my cakes when I'm using the convection oven, I end up with a thicker crust on top and it doesn't cook evenly.

It wasn't a problem with this cake though. It cooked evenly, and was really moist. I think it would keep well.

I say 'think' because the cake was so not bad that I ate half of it, and therefore will not need to test it's ability to withstand storage. Oops. I cut up the rest of the cake for the teachers at school (which is what I intended to after the first slice), and packed it up. I still managed to stay within calories though! Before I ate it I had had muesli at breakfast and a small lunch, so the rest of my calories were taken up by it. Not the most nutritionally balanced moment of my life, but I could have just said 'screw this' and hit the supermarket. I've done 10km on my bike and am about to do another 10.

I'm hoping to meet my goals on the bike this week, but I'm thinking of possibly staying on level 5 next week too, give myself a bit more time to adjust. I'll have to see how I feel (and what my numbers are)on Saturday.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Crap

In all the worry that the dress I ordered for my friend's wedding would be too small, I never stopped to consider it would be too big! APPARENTLY THIS WAS A MISTAKE! I've been frantically looking through eBay for something else in a different size and hoping that it gets here in time, which means I've just spent a lot more money than I wanted to, but I couldn't see any other choices? ARGH!

I'm going to try and get it taken in just in case the other things don't arrive, but I'm not sure how that will look. It's worth a try anyhow.

I haven't been feeling the exercise vibe the last couple of days. I've been doing my 10km, but not enthusiastically. The upped resistance has been difficult (less in a satisfying, challenging way, and more in 'ugh, biking?' way) so I've found it hard to really look forward to it. It seemed surprisingly easy today though. I got a good workout but didn't hate it. Maybe I've adjusted for this week? Maybe I'm speaking too soon? Guess I'll see.

I ate some, er, 'poorly thought out' snacks at school (two cream puffs and half a bag of Doritos's, about... 600 calories I'd estimate). We were at school quite late so after eating them I wasn't hugely hungry when I got home, and decided to leave off with dinner.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring is here! (again!)

It's a gorgeous day in my Japan today! It may be a trick (I've been burned by this before!) but the sky is blue, the air is fresh, and I walked to school in my spring coat instead of my winter one. I was bored earlier so I put my on my iPod and took a walk to the bank to update my passbook, it was lovely. I had to resist the siren's song of McDonald's and Denny's along the way, if I hadn't already packed lunch I totally would have hit Denny's before coming back (the bank is next door). It wouldn't have been so bad, there are lots of things I could eat on the menu, but it would have been extra sodium and I don't need to eat out, all that wasted money.

My regular lunch out is tomorrow and we're hitting a French restaurant in Meiwa. My friend is starting an English review site for places to eat in this area so she requested this place to get some pictures.

It's the kind of day that makes you want to crank up the tunes, open up the windows and dance around your living room.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another weekend ends

My apartment smells so good right now. I put some cubed pork loin, onions, and green beans into my slow cooker (it's been a while since I used it) and it's cooking now. I'll put some into my lunchbox tomorrow morning and take it to school with me. I can't figure out if I can microwave my main container yet, but I'm guessing from the look of the internal coating that I can't, so I'm hoping it will still be a little warm by lunch.

I'm within calories but it's been hard, I've had a snacking impulse riding me all day. I think maybe the smell of tomorrows casserole cooking isn't helping. I did 10km earlier today, and then 5km a little later. I had planned to do another 10 rather than 5, but as expected I'm finding the new resistance level a little difficult at the moment. The exercise has kept me within calorie limit (and I used a different calculator to judge how many I'd burned, so I think it's more accurate) but only just. I have just enough calories left for some peanut butter, which tends to help with the pangs.

I think I'll finish watching TV soon and get an early night, sleeping means I won't be eating, and a good night's sleep helps the numbers in the morning.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Weigh In

I weighed in this morning at 108.4kg, for a loss of 0.

I'm kind of relieved?

Eating wasn't good for most of this week, and even when I got it back under control and didn't binge anymore I was still eating too much. I was hungry all the time! I think it may have been because of my little friend, who left this morning (in other news: shortest period ever! Score one for exercise). I think daily plate over estimates how many calories I'm burning in exercise, which is leading to me eating too much. I'm going to go back to calculating with a more realistic website I found, then entering calories burned manually.

Speaking of exercise, it was one thing I did fantastically this week. I biked a total of 135km (83.8 miles), and will be going to resistance level 5 this week. I will probably only be able to do short times at first while I get used to the change, so I'll have to use it more often to keep on track. I've exercised every day this month so I'm doing fine there, I just have to make sure I continue with it.

I'm feeling back in control, and I'm really hoping to show a loss overall this month. I think I'll be really disappointed if I end up higher than when I started.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th: Bwahahah!

Sometimes, after I binge, I wake up with what I term 'a food hangover'. It's a fuzzy, faintly sick feeling. You feel heavy and still kind of stuffed because you've slept on an over-full stomach, your head is aching a little, and right at that moment you never want to eat again. You sip some cold water slowly and wait for your body to get back to normal. It's been about 5 years since I've had a nights hard drinking, but it's something akin to the morning after.

I woke up feeling a little like that this morning, except without the binge the night before. I was going to write 'thankfully without the binge the night before' but really, I'm not thankful. I doesn't seem fair that I'm suffering for eating reasonable food and exercising. I think it was part feeling heavy from TOM, part not enough sleep, and probably part weather/environment related (I've been sneezing a lot today and it's grey and overcast). I got up, drank some water, and forced myself to eat a bowl of muesli so I wouldn't be starving later.

I was actually going to take today off and make it a three day weekend, catch up on some sleep, clean the apartment, but today is exam marking day and they need me here for when they have questions about the English answers (if a sentence a student writes doesn't match an example answer they have can they still accept it etc) so I check the answer they've written and we decide if they should get partial points or not. Still, it's Friday and I'm glad for the weekend.

I didn't get on my bike until 10:45pm last night (I was this-close to not getting on I swear), so I did 10km and called it a night. Sometimes you have to take what you can get and be done with it. Calories were fine as I'm not as ravenous now my little friend has arrived. I was 10 minutes late for work because I put the dinner I didn't eat last night into a container for lunch. Totally worth it. I have that to look forward to.

I'm completely alone in the staffroom right now (the teachers are up in the library marking, they come find me when they have a question) so I should be in for another fascinating 5 hours. I foresee some video watching in my future.

The phone keeps ringing and I know I won't be able to carry on a conversation in Japanese if I pick it up, but I feel bad ignoring it because I'm the only person here...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Relief

TOM arrived as I predicted it would (I was going to say 'hoped' but let's not get ahead of ourselves). This is the first time I've been able to predict it with reasonable accuracy, is it possible a side effect of the exercise is that I'm going to be more regular? We shall have to see. I mark it on my weight chart on MedHelp, so I should have a record I can check after a couple more months. It's made them less intrusive at any rate, I usually have quite bad stomach/back ache in the run up, but I didn't really feel anything until this morning. Good to know my recently-terrible skin and never ending appetite were because of something.

I did manage my 30km last night, but (as expected) I had to split it into two parts. I got as far as 20km the first time, and then did another 10km after dinner. I'm now over my target for the week, but I'm going to see how much more I can get done before Saturday. I have a feeling I'll need all the help I can get on the scale, especially if my special friend is still visiting. By some miracle I also managed to finish yesterday on calories, despite eating an entire small box of cookies while at school. I've remembered to bring my lunch with me today though (chicken, onion, and aubergine in a tomato sauce) there's no point tempting fate again.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Um...

The plans to make lunch, they did not happen. I think secretly I kind of knew I wouldn't get up in time this morning, but I was tired and my will to sleep outweighed my will to make lunch. The will to sleep is strong in this one. My weight is continuing to rise. I can only hope my period is closer than I thought.

I'm still exercising as much as possible, I'm aiming to go for 30km tonight. I'll try and do in in one sitting if I can, but I may have to break it up into two. It will put me over my goal for this week already! Things have definitely frayed on the eating front and I'm feeling quite bad about it, but if there is one thing I feel proud of so far this month so far it's that I have followed through on using my bike. If I don't exercise one day it doesn't feel right, I think it's starting to become a habit. I think maybe it's because I watch TV while I'm biking, I don't have to carve time out my schedule because I can enjoy doing other things at the same time.

I bought a big 2 liter bottle of water when I went to convenience store to get lunch, so my water should be well on track today at least. I think I was right yesterday when I said I was thinking of going back to phase one for a while, I will start it again tomorrow. It will mean a little more planning on my part but I think it will be worth it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Yawn

Just a quick update and then I'm for bed, I'm really tired.

I ate too much both yesterday and today. I don't know why exactly, but I suspect my period may turn up come week's end (if the spots on my face and the dates from last month are anything to go by). I've upped my exercise to try and help a little, I did 30km last night and 20km tonight, but ultimately I know I won't see the results I want until I can get both elements working together. I'm thinking of going back on phase one for a week or so to see if I can stabilize my food intake again (it's good for flushing cravings out), though it will mean none of my beloved muesli for a while. Damn, that's just reminded me that I've forgotten to make lunch for tomorrow! I'll take the meat out the freezer now and try to drag myself out of bed when my alarm actually goes off for a change, then I should have time to make it in the morning.

I'm practically nodding off sitting here so I'm going to turn in, night everyone!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Nom Nom Nom

I bought a pack of fruit granola a little while back because I was running out of my favourite muesli and my new order (I get it online) wasn't due in for a few days. I was a little skeptical about it because it had all sort of dried fruit in it, along with the pumpkin seeds and nuts that I like. When it comes to bits in my cereal I don't mind raisins, but berries/tropical fruit re-hydrated with milk just don't do it for me. But, it was the lesser of the many evils lurking in the cereal aisle, and it did have nuts and seeds in it so I thought I'd just deal with it until my muesli arrived. Luckily for me my delivery arrived earlier than expected and I never had to use the granola I bought, it sat sad and unloved on my shelf.

Yesterday I was looking at one of the two mini containers in my bento box and wondering what to put in them. Usually I have my main meal in the larger tub, a serving of peanut butter in the other mini one, but am never sure what to do with the second compartment. I look over to the shelf and bingo! I can out my granola in there for a snack. Turns out the stuff that kind of grosses me out when you add milk is all sorts of magically delicious (excuse the mixed cereal references) when you eat it dry. Hurray!

The only problem I'm having not is that I keep finding myself dipping into the bag for a handful. I'm glad I found a use for the pack I bought, but I haven't decided if I'm going to buy it again yet. The reason I stopped buying snack bars/mini treats etc was because I just can't control myself and have one. If this turns into another one of those things I may have to rethink it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Problem solved (possibly?)

The scale was only slightly down from yesterday, but I'm not overly worried as it sometimes takes my body a little while to get back in the groove of things. I've dropped quite of lot of water in the last few days so it will probably take a couple more to see changes in the numbers. I've just had a gorgeous turkey burger, so once that is settled I'm going to get on my bike. I'm hoping to get in two sessions today because the amount I can do at the new resistance is a little shorter because I'm still adapting, but I don't want to fall behind target.

I found a dress!

It's from Monsoon (a really nice chain in the UK), but I got it off of eBay because Monsoon don't ship to Japan so it was half the price! You can find it here on their site. I'm going to pair it with a white shrug and I'll have to buy some shoes. I'm hoping it fits me OK, we'll have to see. I have some back up ideas at the moment, but the real problem is time. If this gets here quickly and then doesn't work, I have time to get something new. If the postage takes a while then I could be in trouble.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Weigh In

I weighed in at 108.4kg this morning, a welcomed drop from the high of this week. Last week I didn't want to admit my weight, it was 108.8. Over this week it rose higher and at one point surpassed 110kg, so I feel good that Ive seen a sharp drop from that. I feel like I'm on the right path again.

Exercise was very good this week, I biked every day for a total of 105km (65.2 miles).

I met up with my friend last night. I thought about it for a while and asked her if it was OK if we just went for coffee instead of dinner. She was fine with that but when I met her I knew she hadn't had dinner yet, so we compromised. I suggested Coco's (a western style family restaurant) that has a good drink viking (a drink viking is like a drink buffet, you pay a set amount and help yourself to it) and I had a little snack instead of a whole dinner so she wouldn't feel uncomfortable eating alone. All in all I'm really pleased with how I handled it. I got to eat and drink some things I wanted, a half chicken quesadilla at 272 calories and a hot chocolate as one of my drinks, and still avoided getting all bloated up from sodium. I had a bowl of muesli when I got home from school so I wouldn't feel too hungry and it all worked out well.

Now I'm trying to find a dress for her wedding. It's harder than you'd think, so many things are black! It's a day wedding so I think black would be too dark, but I don't want to go for a really bright colour and be too garish either. I may end up getting either a dark or bright dress and putting a white bolero/shrug over it to try and balance it out? It's difficult, and I don't want to pay the earth for a dress I probably won't wear much.

I upped the resistance level for this week, and just got on my bike thinking that I could get 20km done. Wow. I barely made it to 10km. Sometimes that extra level up can make such a difference.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step

I'm happy to report that yesterday I finally managed to have a clean day eating. I also made a beef and aubergine stir-fry for my lunch today (and remembered to bring it to school - even better!), I'm very much looking forward to it. I logged everything too, that's a habit I'm definitely trying to get back in to.

I took the day off work yesterday in the aftermath of my extremely acidic body (seriously, it's been bad before, but never that bad) so I had more times on my hands. I managed to get a bit more sleep and I did two sessions on my bike (one before lunch, one after dinner) which brought me to my weekly target of 100km. I'll get more in tonight because I don't want to break my every day exercise rule, so I'll be over for the week. This means I can move up to the next resistance number next week. Looking at that sentence makes me think of that Buffy episode when she does good work at university and is asked to lead a discussion group, "wait, that means more work right? Shouldn't there be a better reward system, like a cookie or something?"

Question: how is it possible that over the last week and a half I have binged numerous times and gained a significant amount of weight, and yet my jeans fit me better? It's like magic? It can't be muscle gain/weight, not after this short amount of time.

TGIF! Having to come to school last Sunday for the graduation ceremony made this the longest week ever.

EDIT: Doh! My friend wants to give me my invitation to her wedding so she wants to meet me for dinner and I feel churlish refusing so I'm going out to dinner tonight, BAH!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Okay, here we go

Yesterday was 50/50 in the 'get back on track' food category. One one hand, I didn't go to the market and buy a load of bread-y/sugary/fried food to binge on, on the other I did at a bit too much, and had quite a lot of potato at dinner (my friend came over and we had cottage pie) so that was quite heavy.

I saw an completely unacceptable number on the scale this morning, just over 110kg! Part of that is real weight because my eating was so messed up this week, but I'm hoping some of it is water. I'm toying with the idea of saying 'forget the scale' and just focusing on exercising every day and eating properly, but I think it's just because I don't like what the scale is saying. I think coming off the scale for a while might make things worse because I'll start telling myself 'well, I'm exercising, so I should eat whatever I want' whereas the scale gives me a kick in the ass when needed. It demoralizing to look at now, but possibly a necessary evil.

In better news I look like I'm on track to complete this weeks target for my distance. I have two days to go 35km, which should be fine. I may get some of it out the way after finishing this.

From now until the end of March I'm doing to try to go back to how I was eating before. This means a little higher on the protein, wholegrain carbohydrates (during the day only) and no carbs at dinner (so I'm not sleeping while trying to digest them). The service section of the supermarket is once again off limits (I've been so lazy this week!). I just have to remind myself how much better I feel when I'm eating right, both physically and mentally.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Paying the price

Holy throat eating acid Batman! I was woken up by it about 3:15am (in other news, being woken up two nights in a row because my body hates me makes for a Cranky!Idiot) and of course I don't have any medicine to help it. My dad collapsed once when he was in Paris with my mum and had to be rushed to hospital (in a fire engine, there was a bit of a language barrier) because his kidneys were blocked from all the Tums he would take. I've been a little leery of using products like that since. I got up (being upright makes it less easy for the acid to make it's way up your throat than when you're horizontal) and drank some water. After some waiting it got a little better and I went to sleep propped up with pillows, but I woke up this morning with it still bothering me.

I haven't had this problem for a while. I used to get it a lot, especially if I ate Pringles for some reason? But now it's something that tends to rear it's ugly head only when I haven't been taking are of what I put in my mouth. I suppose I should be surprised that it hasn't happened before now given what I've been eating for the last week.

One positive to come out of it though was that it spurred me back to daily plate to start logging my food again this morning, and is an incentive to eat properly as I really don't feel too good today. I have my bean chili and chocolate pudding cup for dinner, string cheese and peanut butter (err, not together) for snacks. There was supposed to be an apple too, but I left it on my kitchen table this morning. My new lunch box is so cute! I forgot my camera so you'll have to wait on the picture.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Come hell or high water

Still here and still eating. That should be a negative thing (and is, really) but all is not lost. I promised myself this month that I was going to exercise every day, and so even though I binged again today, even though I spent the evening cleaning up one and a half rooms in my apartment (and the rest is still a mess), and even though I'm kind of tired, at 11:45pm I got on my bike and did 10km.

Everything is going to be OK. Food is bring difficult right now, but I have lunch ready for tomorrow and a friend coming for dinner. She wanted to go to the Indian place near me, but I said no because I ate out so much last week and Indian food is quite heavy. Instead we're going to go to the supermarket and I'll make something (I might have sashimi?). Tomorrow I am going to eat on plan, and I'm going to keep biking. As long as I can keep just one thread unbroken in all this it will stop me from unraveling.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sleepy

I woke up at 2:45 am this morning because I was dreaming that I couldn't breath and I was on fire. Turned out my mind was trying to tell me something as the temperature had risen a bit so my electric blanket was on too hot for my tastes, and my nose had completely blocked up due to allergies (an unfortunate by-product of the temperature rise). I had to get up for a few minutes to take and allergy tablet and turn my blanket down then realised while I was up that I had filled my slow cooker to full and it had bubbled over and made a mess. Oh yes folks, it was all excitement in chez Debiggering last night.

Fortunately, once I had gotten everything sorted my nose had cleared and I was able to go back to sleep, but I didn't get as much rest as I'd like. When I checked on my chili this morning it all looked fine, despite its late night adventures, so I have that to look forward to when I get home. I decided to forgo the meat and just have beans in it, so it's not very high calorie either. One tin of tomatoes turned out to be plenty, it should be delicious.

I have another 20km planned for tonight. As I said before I managed it last night, but I will feel better having the inhaler with me just in case. I'm the kind of person who gets very excited by brand new notepads, fresh pieces of paper, and new pens/pencils. I remember when I was in school I would always try to use the most space possible in those last few pages of my exercise book, because it meant I would get a new one and keep it perfect. I get the same feeling from seeing my fresh month's calendar on the right there. In February I didn't get the bike until after the month started so this is my first full sheet to dedicate to it. It makes me want to keep it perfect and unbroken, checking off every day.

Edit: Hee, some guy's home made Trader Joe's advert, watch it if you can.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Err...

...nice to hear from you too guys? O.o It's not often that I have absolutely no comments.

I didn't get my food back on track today (at ALL), but I did bike for 20km. I was worried because I had some trouble with my breathing yesterday when I tried to exercise so I had to stop, but today was better. I focused more on going the 20km but stepped down the speed. My supervisor said that she would take me to the doctor tomorrow so I can get a new inhaler, which means I'll be able to try a bit faster.

I put some beans in to soak last night, but then forgot to get more canned tomatoes at the supermarket (too focused on the bread. And sweets. And doughnuts). I have one can left though so I'm going to put it in the slow cooker with some water, the beans, and a chili mix, so it will be ready for tomorrow night. If it's good enough to eat in the morning I may take some for lunch, but I don't think it will be cooked in time.

My lunch-box is getting scrappy. I saw a new one in the supermarket the other day which has containers much more suited for the 'wet', tomato based sauces I tend to include in my lunches.I'm quite excited at the thought of getting a new one, so I'll post pics when I have it.