Archive for the ‘weight/exercise’ Category



   Posted by: Livia N

1) As of the wee hours of the morning, I’m an aunt.

2) I did not get the house on which I made an offer – over the weekend, someone else also put in a bid for the house, only full asking price.

3) I have a new laptop. Oddly, it’s still in the box.

4) Made more truffles – for the help_haiti auction. They are getting mailed out today. Made a box to fit them all perfectly, too, and I might be even more proud of that because the little muffin wrappers were ornery and hard to keep squished together and tidy.

5) back on the wagon for Weight Watchers. Over about the 8 months off the wagon (wherein I discovered rudimentary baking), I only gained 11 pounds, so I’m not too badly off. I restarted also to enable my boss’ quest to fit into her pants.

6) have new kitchen toys: a salad spinner (birthday present and something I’ve been pining after for years and years) and a pressure canner

7) While planning for the house, evaluated apartment. With sufficient boxes, I think I could pack up to move in about 4 hours. Maybe less.

8) I’ve lost my apples tree in the back yard to termites and heavy snows. If I’m not moving, I am worried about the summer. I’ve long suspected that the shade from that tree was the main reason I could manage without air conditioning.

9) Okay, now I have to get dressed and mail packages, including one addressed to a brand new baby, probably still in the deeply unattractive stage… though after 12 hours of unproductive labor, there was a C-section, and I hear those babies are supposed to be prettier – at least their head shapes are less silly, but they might still be purple. No idea. No pictures yet.

10) This week, I have to reserve all the side trips and stuff for the Rome trip.

11) I need to call the property manager and ask them to check that my neighbor isn’t dead. (I haven’t seen him for a couple months and for a couple other reasons)

ETA: …erm… actually, he was dead. But they were already/recently aware. /eta

12) I did my taxes. Federal ones have already been e-filed. Now I have to remember to mail in my state taxes. There was a terrifying moment when I thought I owed almost as much to the state as I’d been getting back from the federal government. Then I saw I had entered the state withholdings line with a decimal point in the wrong place. ~whew~! All is well with the world. I requested direct deposit so I wouldn’t have to worry about whether I’d still be at that mailbox when the check came.


productive but sleepy

   Posted by: Livia N

I have been almost as productive as my ideal schedule of me! Wow.

I made it to karate both Monday and Wednesday (though I’m a bit hobbled by it still, and I’m glad I have a while between Wednesday and next Monday for my body to recover).

I made it to yoga Thursday night.

And I’ve cooked everything except the imam bayildi! So there was tasty beef & kohlrabi stir-fry last night, and I made a leftover quiche this morning. That’s what I’ll grab for dinner tonight! Quiche! In my fridge!

So tonight I am swapping fresh roma tomatoes for dried ones and grey yarn for tall storage jars.

Tomorrow, I shall offer up fresh regular tomatoes and fresh basil in exchange for buschetta. Also exchanging vanilla, parsley, and mint for other delicious foodstuffs and socializing.

Sunday, I shall receive ginger beer as an exchange for jam.

YAY food!

Oh, and I also did laundry this morning. Only one load, even though I had two loads’ worth of clothing because that was all I had in currency. But I got the stinky gi washed, and all of my underwear, and a few other things. And all of the mentionables are hanging out on the line to dry.

And I got to work by 9am. (so I had to catch a cab in order to be timely, but I was totally in on time)

I can haz nap nao?

So yoga at 5:30? Mmm… probably not.


Weight Watchers

   Posted by: Livia N Tags:

You know… I am not so sure about my Weight Watchers meeting. I mean, I really do like the way the program is structured and I think it’s very reasonable. No, it’s the actual people who worry me.

There’s the woman who believes all of her problems are solved by a sugar substitute called Whey Low because it has zero points and doesn’t have that crazy artificial stuff that other sweeteners do. So she’ll eat half a Boston Cream Pie or so, if it’s made with Whey Low. She brought samples for us to try, and I’ve got to say that it’s the only sugar substitute I’ve tried that gets the nice, crunchy texture of sugar right. But it’s primarily highly processed fructose, which some people think has exactly the same problems with it as high fructose corn syrup… and I just can’t burst her bubble.

There’s one woman who is incredibly bitter and keeps talking about how she thinks the reason she isn’t doing well on her diet is because she doesn’t think she deserves to look good. Because her job isn’t as happy a place as it used to be and she’s not getting any validation there and can’t control anything. At which one of the other women turned to her and – I kid you not – said, “See, that’s what’s great about dieting. That’s the one area of your life you can control, so you should focus on that.” And until I said something, not one person was going to come up with, “Honey, maybe you should see a shrink!” (though I did phrase it a bit more tactfully…) But I totally waited for someone else – especially the group leader – to come up with the idea.

I think I am the only one in the group who doesn’t have alcohol as a major source of calories.

This week, we were told that in order to get more control, we should work out a schedule so that we’d always snack at the same time and all – and have a rigid timeframe for food. And, oh my god! I am totally cool with keeping track of everything I eat – partly because I find it hilarious every time I pause to enter things into the computer so I can see how much more food the computer will let me eat, and partly because I like making lists. When [redacted] saw me entering food, her response was, “Oh, I understand now why this particular diet appeals to you.” But you know what? Writing down everything AND scheduling everything is just way too OCD for me. And I think that if it’s too OCD for me, then nobody could be healthy doing it.

And then just today I have noticed a couple point weirdnesses on the computer:
1) Bagels. For some reason (lots of highly processed flour/carbohydrates), Weight Watchers hates bagels. I love bagels. And there was a meeting a few weeks ago where everyone else had given up bagels because they were just too many points, and I am totally still in the bagel camp. But then again, today people were saying that a standard, 6-inch bagel was 2n points. But on my computer, a medium bagel is definitely n points. Is there a different bagel scale of which I am unaware? I’m pretty sure my bagels are medium-ish. ETA: apparently the right answer is 2n+1
2) Lettuce. Betrayed by lettuce! So I can put in up to 10 ounces of lettuce on the tracker at one time. (I love discovering places that sell a pound of spring mix for cheap) And according to the computer, 10 ounces of lettuce are 0 points. Just today, however, I had accidentally left it measuring in cups, and 3 cups of lettuce is .5 points… and I’m thinking that unless I am damaging my lettuce by squishing it into those cups, my 10 ounces might have taken up a bit more space… maybe… after I fluffed it in its box.



   Posted by: Livia N

I am really liking pilates.

I think I have been waiting my entire life for exercise I can do on my back with my legs in the air.

(It also helps that the teacher is wonderful)


Binging and purging

   Posted by: Livia N

Binging (yeah, I, too, thought I was joking when I came up with the post title – but I’m running with it)

So the first week I started Weight Watchers was crazy! I had a lot of fun and went out to eat (fairly indulgently) every single night. But I only gained the ~4 pounds I had lost due to starting physical therapy, so I just chalked it up to picking the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

This week, however, I have been mostly good… aside from the wee gathering I had at my friend’s place that was populated almost completely by people who love to share food… and aside from the extravaganza of finely grilled MEAT (and many excellent side dishes)… Okay, so there was a bit on binging, but it was *awesome*! [redacted] is not only excellent at providing her guests with tasty meat, but he also looks good doing it.

Purging (still running with it – sorry)

I have been exercising like crazy this week! And liking it!

So last Wednesday at physical therapy, I did my 10 minutes on the elliptical. For the past couple weeks, I have found a nice even pace that I can maintain the whole way through (which is better at the elliptical than I ever thought I’d be); the machine says this pace is 8.4mph (13.52kph). YAY! Oh, yeah, also last Wednesday, my usual person came to me and said, “So is it all right if I let a student run your workout since she’s bored?” And I was very agreeable since I was hoping for something a little more challenging – and boy did I get it. While I had once asked about standing on a squishy thing (umm… the physical therapy is for my knee and not only is balancing a good skill to have, but also it builds up the muscles around the knee that start doing some of the work of keeping the knee aligned that the stuff I damaged did) and had been humored for the one session – but this time the woman had me stand on a squishy thing while throwing and catching a ball. Also she had me stick my leg out to the side while using an elastic.

So Thursday… I did not take the day off. Well, I did take the day off work (since I was meeting my mother and other people from my old neighborhood for lunch at Buca di Beppo – Hmmm… maybe that should have gone in the binging section, too), and to make up for all that free time, I decided to check out the new yoga place near me: (Studio 34. After you get up the treacherous flight of stairs at the entryway, the site is gorgeous – two classroom studios (large and medium), many small rooms for community massage/acupuncture/reiki/pilates workers to rent out for individual sessions, a large public sitting/dais space with plush cushy couches, and a wee little library space! So I took a pilates class, and while I have woefully inadequate abdominal muscles, I still managed to complete about half the class. And the next day I discovered that I do, indeed, still have lower abdominal muscles. I thought they had been lost completely (I’d been going crunches over this past month or so and not been able to feel them working at all. Now I can – ow :-> ). And, luckily, that day there was only one other woman in the class, and this was her first pilates class since giving birth, so I wasn’t too hopelessly outclassed. I think I can build this into my schedule twice a week for the future.

And then I’d thought about going back for a 5:45 beginning yoga class that same day, but I was feeling a little sleepy after the drive back from lunch, so I didn’t manage to get out of the house in time.

I did, however, manage to make it to the 7:30pm Belly Dancing class. The woman teaching the class is rather impressive, and I hope I manage to find a way to take more classes with her. She has a foreign view of belly dancing, so she is all about small movements working very particular muscles in a certain way – and it does really make a difference. Even the posture is different. Of course it also helps (and makes things a little bit more brutal) that she has a strong background in yoga. I was definitely also feeling those muscles in a way I haven’t from belly dancing before. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to remember much from the two classes total that I’ll be able to schedule.

So that was Thursday,

Then Friday I had more physical therapy – at the new intensity level. It was only after I finished the step section that my therapist told me that the other therapists were talking while I was doing it because they’d never had anyone use *four* levels before. And my nice steady speed on the elliptical magically went up to 12.3 mph, but I must have been reading the display wrong – or it was broken. I’m still waver between wavering at the end of 10 minutes and feeling like I could push on through to 15.

And then this morning I went to my second pilates class. There were more expert people there, but I was able to do just as much as the first time, and I can definitely see where these are exercises that make sense and will benefit me. Hopefully, I’ll keep it up. You don’t have to make a commitment to a series of classes, either – you just pay $10 per class on a drop in basis – and pilates is available most mornings at a very workable time.

And then an hour later, I went to physical therapy. Mostly, it went very well, but it took a while to build up to balancing on the squishy pad.


So here’s what that means in Weight Watcher’s land: you gradually work up to *blah blah proprietary information* 28 points. I earned an insane 45 points – and I’m not sure I counted everything.


Healthiness is only vaguely like truthiness

   Posted by: Livia N

So today I took the plunge and went to a Weight Watchers meeting.

I am so confused by the core plan. My head says, “Oh, well that’s what I’ve been doing all along and maintaining, so that’s no good.” So I really think I should have planned ahead and done a food log for this past week so I would have written down the fried egg and bacon on rye bread with cream cheese sandwich I had for breakfast yesterday. I mean, sure, I had a nice moderate lunch and a pretty healthy salad for dinner, so it really might have still fit within the plan, but I’d at least have something I could compare either way.

And there are the random whole chocolate bars. Nom nom nom…

So I might have to do the point system… which is sad, since one of my secondary reasons for leaving Weight Watchers last time was that I was just obsessing over food way too much, and you all know that I love obsessing over food (but, man, there wasn’t much room for obsessing over anything else!).


So here are my thoughts on Weight Watchers –

  • the main reason why I quit last time was that I ended up feeling cold and getting sick more, but that was only after I had lost 60 or 80 pounds (I forget – this was more than 10 years ago, but it was some nice round number like that)… so I am thinking this time that I only want to lose 50 pounds and then maintain that for a year or so before even considering whether I want to lose more.
  • $15/week is a decent-sized chunk of money to just do what I’ve always been doing.
  • While I am only mildly thinking it wouldn’t hurt to weigh less, I certainly don’t want to weigh more than I do right now… and that means that failure doesn’t get to be an option… and I don’t like that type of scenario very much. It’d be safer not to mess with things and know that I can just stay at this same weight that I have managed to keep perfectly stable ever since I got my own apartment and settled into my current lifestyle.
  • On the other hand, not trying is for cowards. Grr!


And I am having trouble figuring out walking. Who knew it could be so hard? Okay, so I did – I have always suspected that I had no idea what a proper stride was supposed to be like, but I never had anyone to tell me.

Well, in physical therapy (for my knee), I have had someone tell me! It’s been awesome. Apparently, my toes are supposed to come up and hit the ground last. And, yeah, when my knee is better, I do have a little bit more of a heel strike, but when I’m limping I set down with the ball of my foot first… which has saved me from many a fall, since I can adjust a lot better to uneven ground that way. But she told me to walk around on just my heels, and I gamely went ahead to give that a try and found that I just don’t have the muscles to do that! A whole set of muscles in my leg completely unused ever. So we’ve been working on that. And my therapist keeps looking at me and sighing, “Are you sure you wouldn’t like to try walking in sneakers?” And I am all, “Sneakers are the work of the devil – they weigh a lot, don’t bend enough, and when I go to sit on the floor they get all in the way and dig into my thighs and feel, in general, like lead weights.” But it comes out more like a bit of a wince and, “Yeah, sneakers and I don’t get on so well.”

So then I went and read a timely article on New York magazine on how to walk… and they are all – sneakers are the work of the devil, and everyone walks with way too much of a heel strike.


So I’m not really worried because I figure it’ll all even out and all of this heel walking will eventually mellow out into a more proper stride, but what I really want is a walking coach who will walk next to me and give me pointers on every pitch and yaw of my feet. And how much my knee should bend. And how fully should you straighten your leg while it’s in front of you before you put your foot down? Do you balance the forward and backward extensions? Why do I get this weird wear pattern on the bottom of my sandals? Really – I have no idea how to walk.