Two years later

And I’ve made no progress! That’s actually not true. In the past two years I’ve learned to cook healthier food, I’ve run a half marathon, and I’ve started commuting to work on my bicycle (most of the time, anyway). Gold stars for me for all of those things! I feel healthier most of the time. I feel capable of doing anything I set my mind to, and that’s more valuable than a notch on the scale.  The trick I’m trying to teach myself now is setting my mind on a goal and staying focused.

My cousin, Drue, accused himself recently of having no impulse control. I think that’s the perfect categorization for me, too. I’m very good at doing things. Not doing things is much more difficult. So in this time of annual introspection, I’ve set four goals. The first is in the spirit of not doing, and the last three should keep me distracted enough to succeed. We shall see. Without further adieu, the goals:

  1. Lose the damn weight. 40lbs.
  2. Get up and running without burning out
  3. Continue biking to work a few days per week
  4. Incorporate yoga into my exercise routine.

2014, here we come.


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Well, this is embarrasing.

Hi. It’s been a while, I know. I promise you’ve missed nothing. I have made no progress, and instead of writing daily posts on my lack of progress I’m writing one. This one.

After many weeks of nothing, I finally began to notice the occasional gentle prodding  from my friends and family. Quiet, kindhearted inquiries like: ‘So… remember that diet? Should we be helping you with that?’ as we’re driving to indulge in beer floats (NOT a typo – it’s ice cream floating in beer, not soda) after work. These comments are always well-intentioned and always leave my paranoid little mind a-flurry with fears and assumptions. Can they actually see my legs melting into cottage cheese with every day I don’t make an appearance at the gym? I think so.

It was Mike who pointed out I need to resuscitate the blog before the whole idea, including the epic diet, died completely. When he brought it up I pointed out to him that nobody wants to read about a whole month’s failure, so I haven’t been writing. He returned that actually, he did want to read about that and doesn’t his opinion matter the most anyway?

Yes, Mike. Apparently it does.

So here it goes.


For someone really inspiring, check out this awesome lady. She started roughly when I did back in January.

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I like exercise

I LIKE EXERCISE! What a revelation. Here is a list of things I also like

  • Chocolate cake
  • Hot dogs
  • Noodles slathered in butter and cheese
  • Pot roast
  • Cookies
  • Anything cooked with butter.


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And she’s back

With a vengeance. Ready to get things done. A family emergency deterred me for the past two weeks, and while that emergency isn’t really over, at some point life has to keep happening. I don’t have a lot to say yet, but I’m happy to be back on the aforementioned wagon. It’s been a tumultuous few weeks and getting back to honing my new lifestyle patterns is a relief after so much irregularity.

Has anyone else been having an exceptionally strange month?

Back in the normal world, I officially don’t look more ridiculous than the rest of my peers in yoga. That’s an achievement if I’ve ever heard of one. Despite my one-week absence, I went today and I kicked a little yoga-butt. I fell over a minimal number of times (three), and I didn’t have to curl up in child’s pose for half the class just to survive. Tomorrow is a running day, so I’ll report in as soon as I’ve survived that, too.

More later folks. Three cheers for the little struggles in life!


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Back of the wagon

I see the back of the wagon fading off into the sunset. What en exceptional failure of a week it’s been. As it turns out, I have a talent for turning every day into a holiday:

Grandma is in town. We go out for a decadent lunch and eat pie in celebration of my birthday (which is on Thursday). Not fruit pie, mind you, but a luscious coconut cream pie from this guy. Grandma and I split, so that makes it diet pie… right?

I go to yoga and recover from Saturday. After yoga, JJ and I buy a pizza. I have two slices, but skip dinner. But still: pizza?!?!

My cousins are in town. We go out for dinner and drinks. I have two drinks and munch on a communal soft pretzel, but am otherwise well-behaved. The cousins are lovely.

Valentine’s Day. I make Beef Wellington and chocolate-dipped strawberries for Mike. Oddly enough, the thing that really screwed me up here was the juice and eventually wine I was drinking while cooking. The pastry-wrapped beef chunk only added up to a diet-friendly 400 calories or so. I went to yoga, which saved the day from being a total loss, but actual calories consumed was really close to 2000.

I craved brownies all day, but I did well. I ran after work and ate a permissible number of calories full of healthy stuff.

My birthday. Crap. It’s the ultimate day for doing whatever the hell I want. I managed to remind myself for most of the day that what I want is to get in shape and feel healthy for the first time since many birthdays ago. Towards the end of the day, I faltered. Before drinking many-a cocktail laced with sugary diet-doom, my favorite cookies-from-a-bag seduced me into eating a pile at my work’s all-office meeting.

Hangover lamb stew for lunch and too many cups of coffee to count. Ugh. I’ll be dragging myself to the gym any moment now.

Totaling it all up, that’s four ‘holidays’ and a couple of slip-ups besides. My weigh-in tomorrow morning should be a real treat. But let it be known: I’m not giving up. Everyone has bad weeks and sometimes life does have a way of getting in the way of your goals. One more bump in the road.

Genius Husband

Mike’s quote of the day: “You know what they say: scales lie, but pants always tell the truth”.

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Progress has been made! Here’s all the deets:

Weight: 183.9 (2.7lbs lost this week –technically the past two weeks, but mother nature was messing with things–, 7.8lbs lost overall)
BMI: 129.68 (-1.23 overall, new goal:25!)
Waist:  31.75″ (-0.5in)
Hips:  41.75″ (-0.75in)
Neck: 14.5″ (0.5)

According to the The US Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on BMI, I’m no longer obese! I can officially revert to ‘pleasantly plump’ status, or at least that’s what I’m going with.

More later! Coffee needs to be in my belly before I think anymore today.

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The slow road is the slow road

Who has time to write a blog with all this darn exercising? I retract my earlier statement about living at the gym. I now feel like I live there. That’s a lie, I actually feel like I live at the office, so the additional 100 feet to go the gym for an hour seems like a major commitment when my evenings have already shrunk to a mere hour or two at best. This is another spike of frustration on the diet path, another hill that has to be conquered. There’s nothing like a long day at the office to make me crave a pile of cookies. Specifically the gooey chocolate chip available at The Brave Horse Tavern to go. This is dangerous stuff, and the waitstaff long ago stopped looking confused when I ordered a cookie and milk to go, so the embarrassment factor doesn’t even dissuade me. Except I’d eventually have to confess on my blog, and THAT would be embarrassing.

Speaking of confessions, I actually did get around to weighing in on Monday once I decompressed from our travels. I didn’t like the results, so I didn’t share them. I recognize there’s something wrong with whole concept of ignoring a weigh-in, but since Jillian Michaels isn’t hounding me, I figure I’ll survive. I have a sneaking suspicion that my scale has a wicked sense of humor, and likes to occasionally jaunt two pounds higher than the scale at the gym just to fuck with me. And is it normal to be bloated every three days or so? What the hell? Frequently I feel my body is an alien being and I’m just the brain stuck inside.

I’m right about at the point where I’d normally burn out. Mike and I talked about it this morning, and he pointed out that I deliberately chose the slow road, and I can’t give up or worse, try something new. Especially not now. ‘Trying something new’ is Lauren code-speak for ‘eat the better part of a chocolate cake and hope for the best’. So I’m not giving up, but man, some significant progress (more than a pound) this week would really be nice.

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What a weekend. I can’t do a weigh-in because I’m in Long Beach, California with my lovely mother. I’m pretty sure I’ve been tested in every possible way when it comes to diet in the past couple of days.


Airplane: I did eat the disgusting little pack of Quaker Fiber Munchies or whatever they’re called on the plane, and chowed down on half of a gyro in the car on the way to the airport. Gyros, in case anyone was confused on this point, are NOT ideal car or diet food. I would’ve probably eaten the whole darn thing if I wasn’t indiscriminately splattering tzatziki all over the car. I even found the remains of a tomato down my shirt later. Mmmmmm.

Bar (after the airplane): Mike ate a steak dinner to follow up his car gyro, and I split a spinach salad with the mama. Good choices, I think, but I marred the whole idea with a gin and tonic. AND I really had already eaten dinner, noted above. To make up for it The Bob (step-dad) was rocking out with his band at this particular bar. So Mom and I, urged on by the colorful clientele at Bruce’s, got down and funky and danced the night away.


I SAW MY LIFE FLASH BEFORE MY EYES! And it was well-fed.

I'm a survivor!

This little tidbit really has no bearing on my diet. But it was terrifying to it must be shared. Before breakfast the gaggle of us ran out of gas on the second high rise of the Long Beach Bridge connecting the Los Angeles Harbor to Long Beach. It’s a monster of a bridge, and the car managed to die just over the hill on the very steep high rise. As it turns out, this is a perfect spot for a tiny blue Volkswagen Rabbit to hide from semi-trucks barreling down the road from the harbor. Hide, but not well enough, because as soon as those semis rose to the top of the bridge: surprise! Little stalled blue Rabbit sitting there, waiting to be pancaked. We sat like that for about ten minutes before our nerves were so frayed from semis coming within 50 feet at 60 miles per hour that we had to jump on some kind of action. We lived to share the experience, but not before Mike and I were out on the highway waving like madmen to divert traffic and three policemen came (prompted by a 911 call in which all three of us were screaming in terror into the phone as particularly close call occurred) to block the lane down the hill.

Then we ate breakfast, which I think is the right thing to do after any near-death experience. I ate a crepe with fresh fruit. No added sugar. Pretty good, I’d say. Especially with the duress of the morning.

The major achievement in terms of diet for the weekend was that I managed to slip off my wedding ring while we were sitting at (a very healthy) dinner. I’ve learned over the years that my fingers are an excellent weight indicator. I was not one of those people who was blessed with long, delicate, feminine fingers and slender nails. Mine, even at more flattering weights, resemble sausages that someone taped sea shells to. But those sausage casings are amazingly flexible and I swear I gain and lose weight in my fingers before anywhere else. So it’s been quite a few months since I’ve been able to easily remove my wedding ring, and yesterday was the moment when I finally could.

Today is my final day of our Long Beach adventure. I’m giving myself two gold stars for being reasonably well behaved on vacation, assuming today is a (calmer) day of success.

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I feel pretty, oh so pretty

Oh so pretty, and witty, and gay!

I’m not sure if it’s the weight loss, or the better diet, or the happy juice, but I’m feeling much more positive about things in general. I’m beginning to feel like I look nice. Not stunning, just nice. I looked in the mirror last night, and I swear I saw that smallest hint of cheekbones under those jolly jowls of mine, and underneath those jowls (I might just be fantasizing here) a brush of shade where the slide of my chin has been lately. Ah, the day when my chin might resemble right angle…

I was walking home from work last night, and my feet hurt. And the hill was steep. And it was really hard. And I was happy as a clam. Normally at the point in my walk where the incline would make stairs preferable to the road I find myself immediately awash with feelings of pure anger and frustration. It was a nice change to make it all the way up the hill without wanting to kill or maim anything that came in my path with my bare hands. In fact, I wasn’t even feeling neutral towards my walk. I was feeling downright happy.

I’ve heard people say that exercise is a great release. That they want to do it. I’ve pretty much always written that off as a crock of shit. Yesterday (and the previous week) made me think that maybe it doesn’t always have to be so awful. So another long-term goal: get to the point where I want to exercise. Ensuring this lifestyle change sticks for the long term would be so much easier if exercise wasn’t a chore.

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