Sunday, November 30, 2008

New day

Okay so I'm over it. Over beating myself up. Moving on. It's a new day, new month, new everything. Done-zo. 

Yesterday I lazed on the couch all day and watched a ton of episodes of Lipstick Jungle online. We hardly get any current TV shows over here, they're all last seasons reruns, but I choose to watch this show online? I will never understand myself. Somehow I'm hooked on it though. I don't know. 

This morning I got up and had breakfast with a friend, just eggs and a piece of wheat toast. I then went straight to the gym and did a weight circuit followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical. I'm still not feeling great physically, probably because I slept like crap again last night, so I may take a nap this afternoon and see if that helps. I can't believe I'm so old that I have two day hangovers. That is just sad. 

Our Thanksgiving hosts did send us home with some turkey, stuffing, and about half of a pie, but thank goodness today none of it even sounds good. I may have some of the turkey in a salad for dinner but we'll see. No pie though. I need to go the store and get food for the week but I'm just not motivated at all. Waaaahhh waaahhhh wahhhh. Wow I'm a serious Debbie downer today. Maybe I'm not over it after all. These things take time I guess. 

I can't believe it, but we are actually leaving Singapore in 19 days. The time has gone by so fast. We are leaving on the 19th and spending Christmas in Japan, then we head back to the States on the 28th. Have I mentioned that here? I can't remember. While I'm super excited to get back to my family and friends, I just can't believe I'm leaving here already. I have to make the most of my time here. And I have to figure out how the hell I'm going to get all my crap back into the two suitcases I brought over here. Not gonna stress about it now though. Now it's naptime. 

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I'm hungover and feeling guilty. I ate too much yesterday. It feels shitty. It's amazing how one day of overeating and drinking can change your whole outlook. I was feeling so great. But now the guilt it setting in. So instead of dwelling on it, I'm just going to get it off my chest here and try to go back to being successful. 

The good news is, we had a great time yesterday celebrating our American Thanksgiving in Singapore. I started off the day well with a great hour-long treadmill workout and burned about 600 calories. Then we went to some friends apartment and had almost all of the traditional dishes. Turkey, stuffing, an asparagus casserole (which was new to me but quite delicious). I brought a salad so I would be sure to have at least one healthy dish. I did great to start, took only a little bit of each item, didn't overeat, but I allowed myself a treat piece of pie. 

So far so good right? Well that's when the drinking started. Wine with dinner. Then vodka. And more vodka. We ended up going out to karaoke. It was hilarious and really fun. But we were out until almost 1:30, and having eaten at around 5, I was starving again. Couple that with a McDisgusto around the corner from my apartment and you have a recipe for disaster. 

Let me preface this my saying I never eat McD's. I am morally against it. I think the food is gross. But sometimes my head just doesn't work properly. It's like I was on auto-pilot last night. Last night I succumbed to my french fry craving and also had a Big Mac with no meat. Talk about carbs. I probably spiked the hell out of my blood sugar and then promptly went to bed. Yuck. 

So yeah, it feels shitty. I tracked all my calories in Spark People and it is not pretty. About 2500 for the day and who knows if I remembered everything. I am really glad I got that workout in. I'm glad we had a nice celebration with friends and had a good night out. I'm trying not to feel guilty. I don't want to let this throw me off track. So even though I'm feeling yucky and craving sugar today, I stuck to a turkey sandwich with lots of veggies for lunch. I am trying to chug water even though I don't want to. I'm going to make a healthy dinner. 

I'm also trying to think about why I did this. I was on such a roll. I am on such a roll. I don't think I was sad and missing my family and trying to soothe myself with food. I think I was just drunk and falling back into old, bad habits. I gave myself permission to indulge a little yesterday, but I took advantage of that permission. I took advantage of myself. So next time I give myself permission to indulge, I'm just going to have to be that much more aware. This clearly is one battle that I'm never going to stop fighting. 

I wasn't worried about Thanksgiving, I had planned to kick Thanksgiving's ass. And honestly I think I did kick it's ass for the most part. It was just the night out drinking that got me. I'm going to learn from this though. I'm going to remember this feeling and I'm going to move on.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Day Freakout

Okay dudes. I'm getting the sense that people in the U.S. are starting to freak out about Thanksgiving. And honestly, that is one stress I'm kind of glad I don't have right now. Every year I look forward to the holidays with a mixture of anticipation and dread, but I just don't seem to have that this year. 

I am sad I'm missing out on a traditional Thanksgiving in the U.S. I'm sad I don't get to spend time with my grandparents, who I know don't have tons of holidays left. I'm sad I won't get to roll my eyes in secret at my crazy aunt. I'm sad I won't get to eat my grandma's homemade rolls. I'm sad I won't get to hear the inappropriate comments that some older relatives are bound to make. I'm sad I won't get to get crazy playing board games and drinking too much wine. 

So yeah, I'm definitely bummed that I'm missing out on all the good family time, and I'm sure it'll be even worse when Christmas rolls around. But I'm focusing on the positive things about being overseas this year, and one of the positive things is definitely a lack of stress and specifically a lack of stress about food. 

The holidays are usually just a minefield for me. Every year, Every. Single. Year. I gain weight. I come up with strategies on what to do when faced with hard decisions or food pushers or this and that but it never fails. I gain weight.

This year though, I'm not even worried about it. I just don't have those pressures. I don't have an office filled with holiday goodies. I don't have parties and leftovers and family members that lead me to binge drink. I don't have those routines, those rituals that I have gone through every year that have led me to gain. They just aren't there. 

Instead, I have different things. Different rituals to take part in. People in Singapore will barely notice it's Thanksgiving tomorrow, but the boy and I will go out to dinner and give thanks together. It won't be anything crazy though. It'll just be another nice dinner and I'll make a good choice because that's where my head is right now. 

And then on Saturday afternoon, we've been invited to an American expat's house for a makeshift Thanksgiving celebration, but I'm not really worried about that either. I'm bringing a big salad and I'm sure I'll eat some turkey, but I'm going to keep it under control. I'm going to remember all of those little tips and tricks I go armed with every year and I'm actually going to use some of them this time. This year, Thanksgiving will not kick my ass. I will kick it's ass! 

By the way, I weighed in today and I maintained. I'm pretty bummed about it because I feel like I've been on such a roll this week. I worked out six days and I ate great except for a little splurge on Saturday night, but it wasn't out of control. Last week was a big loss of 3.2 lbs, so maybe my body just wasn't ready to let go of any more weight this week. It sucks, but all I can do is keep trying. Meh.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Food Photo Experiment

Picture time! But first, I gotta say, you bloggers who take pics of your food every day and then post, I so admire you. This was hard! Hard to remember, hard to take good photos, and kind of scary because of the judgement factor. I'm not sure if this is something I could do every day, but I think here and there it can definitely be a good thing. It was actually kind of fun. 

So without further ado, on to the food. I woke up a little late this morning after a very fitful night's sleep. I don't know what it was but I was tossing and turning all night. It sucked. Maybe because I worked out later in the day than I normally do? I don't know. Anyway, I got up and wanted a little comfort so I made some steel-cut oats. I added a little canned pumpkin, cinnamon and walnuts to make it feel like fall, even though I'm boiling in the tropics. (I know poor little me right?)

After breakfast I went to the gym and did cardio. Today I did 20 minutes of intervals, alternating between sprinting and walking. Then I did a steady jog for 8 minutes. For the last half hour I did my walking routine, increasing the incline every 30 seconds. It was tough! I was sweating my ass off. I sweat so much here. I think it's the humidity. Even though I'm indoors, the sweat just pours off of me. What a delightful picture. 

Lunch was last night's leftover chicken salad. Supposed to be on a bed of lettuce, but since I wasn't able to get lettuce yesterday I had to improvise on vegetables, thus the red pepper strips. It actually ended up pairing quite nicely. I ended up filling up so I didn't eat the bonbel, even though it's on the plate. The chicken salad is just shredded chicken, mayo, celery, walnuts and green grapes. Yum! 

So this is where the whole picture-taking thing went downhill. I went for a coffee with a friend (got a nonfat cappuccino) and totally spaced the photo. Then I spent an hour making chili, but I sat and consumed it before I got a photo taken. I did take one of the leftovers going into the tupperware, but it certainly isn't very pretty. 

This meal was topped with some cheddar cheese and a little light sour cream. Oh and of course some Cholula. Thank goodness we get Cholula in Singapore. I'm obsessed. After dinner I had some sugar free chocolate pudding with cool whip on top, but of course I forgot to photograph that too. Clearly I suck at this. Maybe with practice I can get better. 

So that's it. That's my day. I entered all my food into SparkPeople and I consumed about 1400 calories. Right on target. If only I could do this every day. I probably should have gotten more vegetables in but I think I did fairly well overall. 

It's time to call it a night here, but most of you are only waking up, so have a great day!  

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday at the Grocery Store

Mondays. I've actually come to look forward to them a little bit since living in Singapore. I'm sure the ENTIRE reason for that is I don't have to get up and go to a job. Instead I look forward to the boy going back to work and having the place to myself again. Not that I don't love the weekends, don't get me wrong. I just love "me" time.

This morning I went and did a pretty big shop at the market. It doesn't look like a ton of stuff, but when you have to walk a good mile to the grocery and then carry everything back, you tend to get a little more conservative with what you buy. I took a shot so you could see what I ended up with. 

It's funny, I think I shop so differently here, but I guess I end up with pretty much the same types of foods I would be eating if I were back in the U.S. There are definitely things I'm missing, but for the most part it's the same. Since Singapore is an island and it doesn't have it's own farming system or really much food production at all, pretty much the entire food supply, even the water, is imported. I live in an area where there are a lot of expats, mostly British, Australian and American, so most of the food in the market is imported from those regions. There's another market that really caters to the Japanese expats. Then of course there are the markets where the locals shop, which have lots of local foods and foods from Malaysia and China. 

Today I got the basics for vegetarian chili, lots of peppers, beans, tomatoes and some light sour cream to go on top. I also got chicken, grapes and walnuts for chicken salad, yogurt, berries and bananas for breakfasts this week and a big bar of dark chocolate (you know I couldn't stay away). Oh yeah and of course the Kettle chips, which the boy specially requested today. I won't be eating those. They were out of mixed greens for salad, which I've noticed happens a lot on Mondays. Actually they tend to be out of a lot of things on Mondays. I think it's just a function of people doing their grocery shopping on the weekends. But in Singapore, if something is out of stock, sometimes it can take weeks to get more. There was a period of about 3 weeks that I was without Greek yogurt and I was so happy when they got more in. You'd have thought they got chocolate covered bars of gold or something by my excitement level. 

So today was a good day overall. I did about 45 minutes of weight circuits and 30 minutes on the bike for my workout and I ate really well. I didn't photograph my meals, but that's something I'm still toying with doing. I like seeing what other people are eating so maybe if I do it'll have the same effect? Or maybe it will bore people to tears. I guess we'll see. Perhaps I'll try it tomorrow. 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chocolate Hangover

I have a headache. Didn't sleep well last night at all. Most likely because I tried so hard to be good at dinner last night and I don't think I ate enough. That combined with drinking a few beers and then a few (or five) dark chocolate squares when I got home just made me feel kind of gross. These are all small things, but lately my body has been running really well on all the healthy food and exercise I've been giving it, so I think any variation from routine causes problems.

The dark chocolate thing is hard. I keep a big bar in the apartment and just have a few squares every now and then. I think it's good in a way, they say nothing can substitute for a chocolate craving and I am buying the good stuff with antioxidants and all that. And it's not like I eat much at one time. But it probably shouldn't be an every day thing and I'm sort of turning that way. So today, no dark chocolate snacks. 

The boy is still sleeping blissfully but when he gets up we'll head to a little French cafe down the street for some breakfast. I love this place because I can get yummy scrambled eggs and a nice cappuccino and he can get his beloved Eggs Benedict. It's a relatively healthy protein packed meal for me and it makes for a nice Sunday morning routine. 

This afternoon I'm going to try to find some new running shoes since I didn't get to that yesterday and mine have been pounded into the ground, then I'm hoping to get in a long cardio workout. Lately I've been doing 20 minute intervals on the treadmill, with one minute running fast and one minute walking recovery. After that 20 is up I'll switch to walking, gradually increasing the incline every 30 seconds until I hit 10, then going back down. I do that until I've done an hour total. It's a great workout that gets my interval training in, but adds that extra calorie burning time as well. 

Oh yeah in regard to that hardcore yoga I mentioned yesterday, okay maybe I was exaggerating a little. :) I have been going to yoga every Friday here though and it is a tough class. We do handstands on the wall and backbends and everything, which is something I had never done in yoga before but I like a lot. I come home feeling like I actually worked my body, which is something I had never really gotten from yoga in the past. Maybe I just wasn't going to the right classes. I hope I can find a class this good when I get back to the U.S. 

Okay time to wake the boy up and get some grub. Ciao! 

Friday, November 21, 2008

South Beach Saturday

I realize I have so much to talk about. But I'm not going to just word vomit all over the screen, I'm going to try to space some things out. 

So let's see. I mentioned yesterday that I got back into actively trying to get some weight off in October. That's when I started doing the South Beach thing. I did the first two weeks, which is hardcore no sugar and pretty low carb, and I ended up taking off about seven lbs. I have to say at least four of that was probably water weight. Once I started adding back some carbs though, my losses slowed pretty dramatically and then I went to Thailand for a week. While I was there I pretty much let myself eat/drink whatever, but I didn't go crazy and binge or anything like that. Anyway, when I got back I had gained a few lbs, but I took them right back off the next week, and now I'm on the downward trend again.

In total though, since I started doing South Beach, I've lost about 11 pounds. I'm definitely happy with that. I hate hate hate this, but I know that limiting carbs is important for me if I'm going to lose weight. I'm clearly sensitive to them, and it does help when I reduce them. I wouldn't say I'm following South Beach to the letter of the law right now, I'm more just limiting sugar and sticking to a lower carb diet. I emphasize lower because it's still not all that low, given I'm eating tons of veggies and tons of beans still. I am just not a big meat person, never have been. I still don't eat red meat or pork at all. I used to eat turkey quite a bit, but turkey is just not common in Singapore. The only place I've found it is at Subway. Now I'm eating a lot of chicken, tuna, salmon, etc. Oh and peanut butter. My god I practically support the entire peanut industry all by myself. 

The other thing I've dramatically reduced is my alcohol intake. One reason for this is that alcohol is ridiculously expensive in Singapore. A six pack of beer, local Tiger beer that is brewed here, costs around $18 Singapore dollars. That is about $12 US. Seems kind of ridiculous when I know I can buy a sixer of Bud Light for $5.99. And you don't even want to know what it costs to get alcohol in restaurants. 

The other thing that's reduced my alcohol intake is my social life. In Denver we have a huge social circle and a big part of daily life is drinking. Not binge drinking or anything, but happy hour after work, apres ski beers, wine and cheese with the girls, that sort of thing. And don't get me wrong, I love that part of my social life and I'm excited to get back to it, but it isn't always conducive to weight loss. So being in Singapore, without a big group of friends to socialize with on the weekends means we just aren't drinking as much. We have met a few good friends here and we do still have drinks with them from time to time, it just isn't as often as I'd be doing it in the U.S. It's one thing I'm nervous about going back and facing honestly. But for now, as Martha would say, it's a good thing. 

So yeah, clearly lower carbs and lower alcohol intake helps with weight loss. No shit Sherlock right? I am a genius. Maybe I should write a book on this. 

Today is hard, as are all Saturdays. I think weekends in general are just rough on me. We eat out more often, and I often get frustrated with my options here. I miss having fast casual options where I know I can just pick up an easy salad. You'd be amazed at how hard it is to find salad here. Sometimes we go to the Hard Rock Cafe just to get semi-decent salads. Sad. 

Tonight we're going to a fun Euro-American brewery place that has an outdoor grill. They have a ton of different skewer options, so I'll probably go with shrimp and get some veggies on the side. I'll also probably have some beer or a glass of wine, but nothing too crazy. I took the day off of working out because I worked out every day this week and I'm extremely sore from a hardcore yoga class yesterday (more on that soon) but I'll be back in my little apartment gym tomorrow.  Hope everyone has a great weekend. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pokes Head Up

Hello? Is anybody out there? I'm thinking some of you may have me in your feed readers still so if you do, hi! I'm back. Honestly I never really left, not totally. I've been reading tons of blogs the whole time I've been in Singapore. And I've been writing in a travel blog. And kind of wishing I was writing in this one.

So now I'm back.

In a way I regret taking a hiatus from fatblogland. There are so many new awesome blogs out there and so many relationships that I have let fall by the wayside. And I'm sorry for that. But I do know that it was the right decision for me to take a step back from writing about weight loss, specifically my weight loss (or lack thereof at times). When the boy and I moved to Singapore at the beginning of July I thought maybe it would be best to try to put some of my issues and obsessions with my weight aside for a while, and I thought stopping writing here might help that a bit.

And you know what, Singapore has been good for me in that regard in a way. When we first got here I didn't want to worry about food. I didn't want to worry about carb counts and calorie counts and fat and all of that crap. I just wanted to try new things. Living here, and going to Indonesia and Cambodia and Thailand, I've gotten to try tons of new food. Chicken rice and banana cakes and black sesame ice cream and greasy fried noodles and durian and dragonfruit and the list goes on and on. Some of it I loved, some of it I hated. Some of it was good for me, some of it was terrible for me.

I did gain a couple of pounds when we got to Singapore, and I was probably wavering back and forth in about a five pound range for the first four months. It depended on whether or not we were traveling (traveling always means lots of booze and eating out and you know how that can be).

Sometime in October though, I realized that just because I was halfway around the world didn't mean I could use that as an excuse to gain weight. Or more importantly, to not lose the weight. I've been hovering with being 25-50 lbs overweight for my entire adult life. There have been times when I've been gung-ho about getting it all off. There have been times when I'm resigned to just being "a big girl." There have been times when I'm eating or drinking without any restraint because I just don't give a fuck anymore. There have been times when I say "I'm going to lose it this time" but then I continue to maintain or just half-ass it.

The past couple of years I've fallen into a really bad pattern of losing weight at the beginning of the year - 10, 15, even 20 lbs. The for some reason the fall comes and I slowly gain. Gain all or most of it back during the holidays, and then I start over again the next year. In the fall of 2006, the year I got married, I was at the lowest weight I'd been at in a long time. But I gained back almost 25 lbs over the next year. Wow that is crazy to write it out here. But it's true.

At the beginning of 2008 I set out to lose that weight, again. And as of July, when we moved to Singapore, I was down about 15 lbs. Then I gained the five or so I just mentioned. Which brings us to October, at which point I started with a fresh resolve. Part of it was the thought of coming back to the U.S. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have daydreams about losing all the weight while I'm out here and coming home and shocking everyone with my new hot bod. And while I know that's not really realistic, I do know that I have an amazing opportunity. This year I won't be with my family for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I won't have the food pushers and the pressures and the environmental factors that have caused me to gain weight every single holiday season I can remember.

Instead, I have myself. I have the boy, and I have about a month left in Singapore and then I have ten days in Japan, where I'll celebrate Christmas and my 29th birthday (on December 27). I know I can choose how to spend this time. And I choose to spend it losing weight, not gaining weight. I will not deprive myself from the sensory experiences here that I may not get for the rest of my life. But I will not let them take over my other needs either.

So what does that mean for me? That means I want to be conscious about my weight loss, and I want to participate. I want to take my blog back. I want to build relationships with other bloggers and tell the people I've let down I'm sorry. I want to steal some of the awesome ideas I've seen on a few blogs, like photographing my food more often and posting recipes. I want to talk about all of the things I'm loving right now and how living as an overweight person in Asia has changed my perspective a bit.

So I'm back. I'm going to be working on updating the links to the right and adding all of the new bloggers I've been reading. I'm going to be stopping by to say hi more often. And I'm going to be writing about my weight loss, my workouts, what I'm eating. And probably some non-weight loss things too. I'm going to go back to doing a weekly weigh-in on Wednesdays. I feel good today, I feel positive. Things aren't always going to be sunshine and lollipops I know. But I'm going to write about the good times and the bad times. I think getting started was the hardest part.