Wednesday, March 22, 2006


On The Wagon (again)

I've noticed recently that my clothes seem to be fitting a big more snug. I jokingly attributed it to our new dryer. "Damn thing seems to be shrinking all my clothes!" Hehe...ya, right. The fact of the matter is that I can't seem to stay away from really good food. And by really good food, I mean the stuff that any sensible human knows enough to stay away from. But let's face it, when it comes to healthy eating, I don't have the good sense God gave cabbage. Cabbage...ya, I should be eating more of that.

In all honesty, I don't know that it's so much the eating because, quite frankly, The Squeeze and I eat pretty well-balanced meals for the most part. It's those other times that are killers. Take yesterday for example. I had a bowl of raisin bran cereal with 1% milk for breakfast and grabbed a coffee with milk from Timmy's on the way to work. By the way, the record of not winning anything with the Roll Up The Rim To Win contest still stands. We prepare our lunches for the week and bring them to work with us. This week we are having beef stroganoff (made with extra lean ground beef) with a ton of mushrooms and peas over brown rice. For dinner we had vegetable lasagna. I had a couple of bananas somewhere in there and a cup of decaf and a can of caffeine-free diet coke. That was it. Not a bad day actually. Most of the week looks like that.

Thursday nights are a killer. It's my late night at work, and a small group of us go out for dinner after we close. This is when I tend to go crazy. There's this little Italian bistro we often go to and I'll give you an idea of an average meal there.
I'll probably have one or two Long Island Iced Teas. One of the staff there makes the BEST! I usually get an appetizer of calamari (breaded and deep fried, 'natch) or maybe a nice artery-clogging caesar salad. Then for the main course I usually get this amazing baked ziti dish with a creamy cheese and garlic sauce, and there's always a loaf of fresh baked bread on the table. Generally, I don't get dessert there, because by the time we finish, I'm stuffed. Thank God!

Sometimes on Friday night I'll get some chicken wings and hang out in front of the TV if I don't go out to a movie or something with friends. Quite often we'll go out for dinner somewhere over the weekend.

Suffice to say, I know the difference between right and wrong, but wrong just tastes so much better!

So here's the real problem: exercise! Obviously, the only way to really make an impact on this ever-expanding waistline of mine (not to mention the man-boobs) is to get off my ass and move. My job doesn't allow much in the way of movement. I'm pretty much in the same situation as a calf in a pen awaiting his call to become the veal special.

There was a time not long ago that I was determined to lose some serious weight. I really monitored my food intake, and I exercised like there was no tomorrow. I walked 5K every morning before work, and even got a treadmill for those cold winter months. I dropped about 35 pounds and felt great, even though I had much more to go. I had more energy than ever. I was at a point when I was running on the treadmill twice a day for 45 minutes each. Then I screwed up my knee. That was the beginning of the end. The next thing I knew I had gained back the 35 pounds plus another 20. Right now I could honestly stand to lose 10 or 150 pounds give or take.

Excuses, I've given them all. I haven't used the treadmill is ages because The Squeeze's brother has been living in our basement for several months now (has it already been a year???) and our rec room is his living room and that's where the treadmill is. I don't feel comfortable invading his space down there and we don't have any other space on the main floor to put it. Not that we could easily move this thing - it's HUGE. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I won't be using that until he gets his own place. No idea when that will be.

So I've come to the conclusion that I do need to get moving again. If not on the treadmill, then at least I can get back outside and get walking. I started again on Monday, the first day of Spring. I'm slowly trying to ease myself back into the routine. I'm walking about 3 or 3 1/2K every morning. I'll do this for a week or so, then I'm going to get back up to 5K. I'm lucky enough to have a beautiful path very close to my house.

Yesterday morning I was a bit freaked out though. There have been reports of coyotes in the area. Very scary. This is a purely residential area. Some people have even had their dogs attacked. These things are quite brazen. Anyway, as I began my walk, I saw a large animal ahead of me down the path. A couple of women who were just getting on the path with a dog on a leash stopped in their tracks, looked at each other, turned around and headed back the other way. Did they know something I didn't? I'm looking at this aminal wondering "Is this what a coyote looks like?" It looked very much like a big wolf-ish looking thing, and when I was about 100 feet or so from it, it turned and stared at me. I thought, "Oh God, I'm going to be ripped apart by this thing." It crossed to the other side of the path and continued sniffing around. As I got closer, I realized it had a collar. Whew! However, it was still a very large dog out here on the loose. I made sure to change my course on the way back. I'll have to check eBay for TAZER guns.

Temptation always looms large when trying to smarten up like this. Last week, before making this decision to change my evil ways, some charity or other brought in a bag of chocolate bars to leave on the counter to sell to customers. It's right beside the box of hard candy left there by some other charity. In the past, I can quite honestly say that I bought the majority of the chocolate bars, and in fact, last week I bought a few. Chocolate is probably my biggest weakness. This week, I haven't even thought about them. I really need to do it this time.

I recently saw a story on 60 Minutes / 20/20 / Dateline / Primetime Live / 48 Hours one of those damned shows. They had five or six overweight people that they took photos of wearing bikinis (even had a guy wearing a Speedo). They didn't show the viewers any of these bodies. The incentive was that if they lost 15 pounds in a set period of time (I think it was two months...I could be wrong) they get the pictures back. If they failed to lose the weight, their pictures would be shown on the air! GASP!!! Needless to say, there was some real success going on there. Only one person fell short of that goal, but they still gave her the photos. Nobody was shamed, but the threat that it might happen was enough incentive to get people to change the way they ate and exercised. Some people lost way more than the 15 pounds. Good job.

I've been tempted to set myself up on some such plan. I should set up the camera, get some shots and promise to post them here if I don't drop 50 pounds by my birthday on September 24. That's about 2.3 pounds a week. How scary that would be if this were a widely-read blog! But why punish the few readers I have? ;o)

I noticed this morning that I'm already down 5 pounds, but I'm seriously not going to be a scale-watcher. It's far too easy to be discouraged when you don't see the numbers drop fast enough. I'll let my clothes be my guide.

Good for you, Dave!!! Are you sure Squeeze's brother wouldn't mind you using the treadmill? Coyotes are actually quite small and not to sound like a sound bite, they're more scared of you than you are of them. ;-) I saw one years ago when I went hiking north of San Francisco. Tracy and I were such city girls we didn't have a clue what it was until some nature type overheard us and said, "It's a coyote." We felt like idiots.

You can do it!!! I know you can!
Thanks! Ya, I'm really hoping to make a change this time around (mind you, I've said that before). But that's negative thinking - BAD! So far so good, I've walked every morning since I started on Monday. Just over 3K each morning, so that's a good start.
I don't think BIL would mind me down there on the treadmill, but it's more that I would feel like I'm invading his space. It's not an issue right now anyway since the weather is getting better out there. If all goes well, by the time winter rolls around I'll be so psyched I'll be sure to put my needs first and use the treadmill.
From what I've heard around here the coyotes have been somewhat agressive. Not sure if I wrote it in my post, but a woman in the neighbourhood had her dog out, and coyotes started stalking them. She screamed at them and made loud noises and it didn't scare them off. She had to grab her dog and run into a neighbour's fenced yard to protect her dog and herself. Freaky!
Egads, those are aggressive coyotes. Guess they're getting bolder.

Keep up the good work. I was completely lame and didn't go to the gym yesterday because it was rainy and cold and just generally crappy out. TODAY I MUST GO!!!
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