All Things In Moderation

…….. and moderation in all things .

Archive for July, 2009

Now I Understand Why !

Posted by Susan on July 30, 2009

It all came together last night ! I went to bed at 7 pm last night. I was soooo tired, I’d just ate 5 , yes that’s right 5 , 100 calorie snack cakes, ( I opened the rest of them and put them in a plastic bag, then poured dish washing liquid on them !) and I was done for the night !

At 10 pm I was awakened by a huge thunder storm so I got up to close the bedroom windows and set off the our alarm system ! I am half asleep , trying to turn it off ! My husband came up and tried to help me and I in a snit and definitely NOT nice to the poor guy. Before going back to bed I went to the bathroom and it was all clear ! TOM had arrived with a vengeance !

So that explains a lot ! 1.) the weight gain I was freaking out about ! 2.) the terrible mood 3.) the incessant hunger the past few days 4.) the bloated belly ……………. I am at the point in my life where I never know if or when I will get it ! This was a surprise visit , so I never put two and two together !

Today I felt like dirt ! Food wasn’t an issue because I really wasn’t in the mood for food. I always have crazings before , but once I get it, I could care less ! I did workout this morning, but I my lower body is massively sore from Wednesday’s workout, so after today’s ardio session I felt like I needed to go back to bed ! My body was bone tired. But I dragged myself back to work anyway!

I am off to bed early tonight. I want to be rested and ready for the weekend ahead. The plan is , the beach on Saturday with my niece Kate, and then date night with my husband, something we haven’t done in a long time ! Sunday we are finally going on a hike in the morning ! Hopefully by then the worst of this will be over !

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Blogger’s Block

Posted by Susan on July 28, 2009

I don’t know what’s wrong with me this week, but I seem to be suffering from blogger’s block. I can not think of anything interesting to post about. So far this week has been pretty status quot. No drama, no rants, no revelations. I guess that is a good thing.

My eating has been good. I’ve stuck to my plan to eat mostly whole foods during the week with the exception of dessert. I need dessert every night (preferably something chocolate) ! In order to sustain my weight loss and my new healthy habits it is a must ! I need to end my day with something sweet. I keep it moderate and as low in calorie as I can , and I look forward to it all day. It also helps me avoid temptation during the day because I know there is a treat waiting for me as a reward for my good eating.

My workouts have been great. For the next 4 weeks I am doing circuits with free weight exercises. I usually do body weight circuits, but want to put on some muscle. I am sore (in a good way!) and loving it ! I really feel like I am doing something !

I’ve also stuck by my decision to not weigh myself every day anymore. I thought it would make me anxious, but instead I feel a lot less stressed. I still track my calories and portions , so I think that is enough. I will be weighing in on Saturday mornings, like I did when I was trying to reduce. The daily weighing was not healthy for me mentally. I found it was dictating my moods according to the number of the day. After a lot of research this weekend I came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t necessary. We will see what Saturday brings.

Speaking of weigh ins, this week , as long as I am two pounds over or under 140 lbs. ,I will have successfully completed the challenge I am participating in at That means I reward is waiting in the wings !

If you haven’t visited Jen at I suggest you do it ! She looks amazing for all her hard work and dedication ! Make sure you cheer her on too ! She in only a few pounds away from celebrating a 100 lb. loss ! She is a huge inspiration to me and I am sure she will be to you too ! Go Jen !

OK sleep has not been good the past few days and it is beginning to take it’s toll ! I am off to bed with a book !

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A New Week Ahead

Posted by Susan on July 26, 2009

This weekend was amazing ! I hate to see it end ! I am all ready for the coming week as far as meals go, and lunches are made and packed up for tomorrow. All that is left now is dinner and a shower, some TV maybe some reading , and sleep.

Friday ended my 4 weeks of total body circuits and tomorrow I begin a totally different circuit plan so I am excited about knowing that my workout tomorrow will be fresh and different. That is why I love circuit training. Always something new and different , fast paced, a whole lot of work in a very short time ! That is how I like it. I guess I get bored easily !

I tried yoga today, thinking that it is something different that I may want to add to my exercise routine. Not for me. I was bored to tears. I am not one of those people who can shut my mind off and do slow movements. The 30 min. just seemed to drag on for hours. I know women who do it regularly and their bodies are toned and beautiful. I have also been told countless times that the practice of yoga provides a peaceful calming effect on the body and mind. I wish I loved it, but I don’t. Just like everything else in this world…….not everything suits everyone. Maybe at I will try it again sometime, I haven’t written it off, but right now I am just not into it.

Well, time to eat some dinner and relax until bedtime. I hope everyone else had as great of a weekend as I did. The only good thing about the weekend coming to an end is that there is always another one 5 days away !

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Sunday Morning

Posted by Susan on July 26, 2009

My favorite thing about Sunday mornings is the show “Sunday Morning” on CBS , and a cup of green tea in my PJ’s ! Heaven !

I haven’t had a Sunday like this in forever between social obligations and our usual hikes. It is rainy and grey outside, so it is a perfect excuse to do my favorite thing !

The plan for today goes like this:

  • Empty the dishwasher (I ran it last night)
  • Prepare meals for the week
  • Make lunches for tomorrow
  • Do a yoga DVD ( I’ve got a few but I haven’t done them in years (literally). Since today is my “Rest Day’ from working out, I figured this would be fun to try. Maybe it is something I could incorporate into my routine.

I am going to have a good healthy lunch. A huge veggie salad and grilled eggplant , raw spinach, and Laughing Cow Cheese on a wrap.

My plan for the remainder of the day is to have a Rainy Day Movie Marathon with the Hubs ! A perfect day ! Healthy food, relaxation, and time spent with my husband…….. can’t get better than that !

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Lazy Saturday (for a change)

Posted by Susan on July 25, 2009

These are my cats, Little Edie Beale and Grimjack, being lazy together in the morning sunshine. They are an illustration of what type of day (weekend) I am planning. I have not real plans and I am grateful ! I will do laundry and change the sheets …… but that is it in regard to housework, and tomorrow I will do my usual cooking for the week, but is IT ! I need to recharge and relax today. Have some fun with the Hubs and my niece and maybe get some sun, do some reading, just do all the things I haven’t been able to indulge in because of social obligations the past few weeks.
I just finished my workout , and now I am chilling out with some green tea. It feels good to have nothing planned and be free !
I am happy to report that I weighed myself this morning and was 141.4 lbs. I need to do more research about weight fluctuations during maintenance. I don’t understand what is an actual weight gain, and what is just my body’s normal fluctuation patterns. I have no idea when to panic and when to feel relaxed in the fact that my body is just reacting normally. I am really afraid to become too relaxed because the fear of sliding back into old habits is always in the back of my mind. Just another hurdle to get over while I attempt to navigate around the maintenance maze ! I have decided to go back to weekly weigh ins. I read somewhere that the only real measure of weight is weighing yourself on the same day once a week.
I guess the truth about maintenance is that you are ALWAYS on program, even during splurges and treats. I am always going to be watching what, and how much I am eating.
If anyone knows of any web site or blogs concerning the subject of maintaining weight loss please let me know. I am always looking for information and it has not been easy to find, unfortunately.
I hope everyone has a relaxing , fun weekend!

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Getting Real

Posted by Susan on July 25, 2009

I try to stay positive when writing blog posts, but some days I am just not feeling it ! Like the past few days for instance. I usually don’t blog on days like this because I don’t want to be a downer. I gave it some thought and decided that having negative feeling is just part of life and definitely part of the whole weight loss/maintenance journey so I may as well get real and let it all hang out ! So here goes !

I am really ticked off ! I am up 3 pounds as of this morning and have no idea why ! I am working out as usual and have been actually pushing myself harder than ever ! I have been eating great ! I did change things up a bit , but for the better ….. or at least I thought.

As I’ve mentioned lately, I really wanted to start replacing some of the processed foods in my diet with more whole foods. I’ve exchanged my usual lunch of a sandwich and baby carrots with a salad chock full of raw veggies ( broccoli, carrots, squash, spinach, leafy greens) and protein ( chick peas, seeds, tuna or salmon) and I’ve exchanged my snacks, usually 100 calorie snacks, for fresh fruit.

I am actually eating the same amount of calories as I was when I was trying to reduce my weight ! And STILL my weight went up this week !!!!!!!!!!! I am getting in all of my water, and I active all day long, what’s the deal !

I am angry and frustrated ! I make healthy changes and gain weight …… it just doesn’t make sense to me. I do notice some things about the diet change though. For one thing, I am a lot more bloated and gassy than usual, but I just figured my body was adjusting to the changes, which is to be expected. I also ” go ” a lot more . ( Sorry for the TMI) But I would think that would be a good thing !

I’ve done some research and I’ve talked to some people about what is normal weight fluctuation. I was told and read in numerous articles the 5 pounds is normal. To me , 5 pounds is a bit much. I worked my butt off to get that last 5 pounds off ! For the past 7 weeks I have gone no higher than 142 , even after a splurge. When the scale said 143 this morning my heart sank.

Am I being stupid here and just panicking? Or should I be nervous about this? All of the the calorie calculator I’ve plugged my number into (height, weight, age) say I should be eating 2000+ calories a day. Here I am eating no more than 1600 and I am gaining. I was beginning to think maintaining was easier than I thought it would be …… now I am rethinking that, big time !

Posted in diet, exercise | 2 Comments »

Why 3:00 in the morning ?

Posted by Susan on July 22, 2009

When I mention to people that I workout in the mornings before work , the inevitable next question is always …… “what time do you get up???” When I tell people I get up at 3:00 am (actually 2:45 am, but I sometimes press snooze until 3:00) they tell me one of two things…….. it is either “you’re really dedicated ! ” or ” you are really nuts !!”

There are many reasons for this insane hour :

  • I am a firm believer that the body can get used to anything
  • My body responds best to fasted AM workouts
  • Working out in the AM cuts out all possibility of excuses I would normally have later in the day
  • When I get out of work my motivation is NIL
  • I love the satisfaction of knowing that it is accomplished
  • It sets the tone for my day

In January of this year I thought long and hard about what I wanted out of the year ahead. I had been working on this weight thing for a long time and getting nowhere. How badly did I really want it if I wasn’t willing to do ALL the work that it entailed to get it ? I knew I had to commit to something.

The pressure of losing weight wasn’t coming from my Husband, he fell in love with me heavy and watched me get heavier , and he never really cared. He always told me that he didn’t fall in love with what I looked like, he fell in love with me. He also always told me that all he wanted was for me to be happy ……. and the truth of the matter was , that I wasn’t.

So I had to decide if I was ready and willing to do this for myself. To make it my priority. To do whatever it took to get where I wanted to be and stay there. I had 2 choices. Either accept myself as I was, and stop beating myself up over it. Or I could just buckle down and do the work.

I decided to do the work. That is where 3 am came into play. I had to figure out a way to do this that would fit into my life. I had to find a strategy that worked for me.

The first few months were hard. But , as I knew would happen, it little by little became easier. And at this point, halfway through the year it has become a habit. It’s become ingrained in my head. I don’t think about it anymore ……. I am like a robot. I just get up and do it.

The more progress I made the more excited I got. That excitement turned my motivation into overdrive. I wanted my goal more than ever. It was also great to know that although I’d made this goal my priority, it wasn’t something the completely took over my life. I was doing it at a time where nothing was going on in any sane person’s life anyway!

I’ve made peace with the fact that these early workouts need to be a life long thing. It’s either that , or I will gain the weight back. It is that cut and dry, that ridiculously simple ! I DO NOT ever want to gain this weight back. I never want to be the fat me again. So that is now what keeps me going.

So these days, the reason for 3:00 in the morning is not about dedication or my questionable sanity. It is about FEAR !!!!!!!!!! To let something slip through my fingers that I wanted so badly and worked so hard for it was worth sacrificing sleep to accomplish ,is a horrific thought to me !To risk losing the new found confidence and strength I’ve gained from this experience is unthinkable ! To lose the feeling that I can do anything I set my mind to is intolerable !

I do what I do because it is more important to me than anything in the world. It is how I care for myself. It is my insurance policy for the future. It is my little one hour challenge that I prove to myself every day I can overcome.

You know that movie “He’s Just Not That Into You….” ? If you are not familiar with the premise of this movie, it is pretty much saying that if I guy is really into you, he will move heaven and earth to be with you no matter how crazy busy his life is, not matter what stresses he is under at work or at home. The same holds true with the whole healthy lifestyle thing………….if it means that much to you, if you want it that badly ……. you will find time, no matter what you have to do (even if it means working out at 3 am !) to have what you want !!!!!! And in my case now, what I want to keep !

Posted in healthy lifestyle, workouts | 4 Comments »

Random Thoughts :

Posted by Susan on July 21, 2009

Today was a day of frustration at work , so finally I am home safe and sound, and my thoughts are a complete jumble, so today’s post is going to be the same way ……….. forgive me.

Pictured above is my refrigerator. I blew my before/after pic and taped it there. I did this so that every time I have the urge to pick at food when I shouldn’t I can see where I was and how far I’ve come. Seeing this makes me question if the snack is worth it? Am I really hungry ? Or am I just bored ? Upset? Frustrated? Is it hunger I am feeding, or just emotions ?

I think anyone who has ever struggled with weight begins to see sooner or later that hunger is rarely the reason for eating. Most of the time we are “feeding” something else entirely. I find thinking twice about why, saves me from a lot of extra calories !

Yesterday I played hooky from work. I got up at 3am as usual, and started my workout. About midway through it I decided I was going to give myself a day off ! (from work ……. I finished my workout).

The weekend was stressful. I spent it cooking, and cleaning the house top to bottom because Matt’s Aunt and Uncle were coming for lunch and a tour of the house. (we hadn’t seen them since the wedding) I felt like I did nothing but run around for 2 days, trying to make everything perfect. They stayed really late, and I ate too much dessert, which made me feel like dirt ! I hardly slept because of the excess fat and sugar I ingested……… I felt the need to REST!

I made a cup of tea, had breakfast out on the deck and watched Good Morning America. Then I took a much needed nap ! It was heaven ! I never took off my pajamas all day ! When I got up it was time for lunch.

I made this beautiful salad. 50/50 spring mix and baby spinach, chick peas, sunflower seeds, broccoli, carrots, squash, and some reduced fat cheddar cheese. It was delicious! I ate it on the deck and watched the bird in our bird feeder.

I wish every day was like that ……. but then I wouldn’t appreciate it half as much as I did yesterday ! When I got up this morning , knowing I was stepping right back into my usual routine, I kept wishing it was yesterday again ……

Oh well, back to reality ! Today was difficult. All the work I didn’t do yesterday was waiting for me, on top of all the work for today. Was the day off worth it ! Yes indeed ! Every now and then it feels good to take care of yourself and spend a day doing nothing ! It is good for the soul !

Today and tonight in my neck of the woods, it is cold and rainy. More like an early September rainy evening that one close to the end of July! I plan on a cup of hot (decaf) Green Tea, and a good book, then to bed early ! I feel mentally drained and exhausted tonight .

Tomorrow is another (and hopefully better ) day !

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How Do I Do This ????????

Posted by Susan on July 20, 2009

I am half Italian and half Irish. My mother was Italian so most of my food influences came from that side of my heritage. When you came to my house for a family dinner there was more food than necessary. I was raised with the belief that if you came to my home to share a meal, you had to leave feeling stuffed to the gills with all types of rich yummy food plus several different decadent desserts or I haven’t done my job as a good hostess !

I was also a child in the 70’s. The era that introduced “convenience foods “. More and more women were working outside the home , with all of us kids in school all day, my mother also worked. I can remember our during the week dinners growing up . I remember frozen pizzas. Hot dogs with cheese wrapped in crescent rolls, with a side of tater tots, breakfast for dinner (pancakes, waffles, french toast). Not a vegetable in sight during the week !

On weekends, when my father was home, (he commuted during the week and didn’t get home until we were all in bed ) we would have the standard meat, veg., potato kind of meal on Saturday night, and some Italian dish at my grandparent’s house on Sunday afternoons.

These are the influences that shaped my eating habits as an adult. I am not dissing my upbringing in anyway ! My mom did the best she could, and at the time there wasn’t as much attention paid to the food groups, and getting kids to eat less processed stuff .

Over the years I’ve struggled to eat better. Slowly I’ve taught myself to enjoy vegetables, fruit and whole grains. I continue to try new things and to educate myself on the benefits of whole foods. At this point in my life, finally in my 40’s I am making headway, and actually (surprise ! surprise!) enjoy eating a cleaner diet. I am very aware of the way my body feels when it is fed “good food” as apposed to “bad food”. I feels sick , bloated and uncomfortable when I eat to much sugar and fat and usually suffer from acid reflux that makes sleeping almost impossible.

So the question to myself is this: Why do I serve food to guests that I would not eat ? Why do I feel that I have to bake a fattening dessert ( or 3 !), or make foods like macaroni salad with real mayo and white pasta, or white Hamburger and Hot dog rolls ???? On a usual day would I eat like that ……. not at all !

I understand that I can’t impose my eating habits on everyone around me, and that I can’t a total buzz kill when I have people over. At the same time I’ve committed myself to this lifestyle because, for me , there is a high return. I feel better, I look better, and these things , in turn, effect all other aspects of my life.

OK so here is my dilemma …….. How do I entertain guests and still stay true to myself and my lifestyle and not become the place no one ever wants to go for dinner because she serves nothing but “rabbit food” ?????

Would a nice fresh fruit salad really be more satisfying than a 3 layer chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting ? Would people miss the fatty stuff, or would they feel better for having lighter, less heavy, bloating meals ?

Or, should I balance it, serve a little of both, even though I would never eat these things on a regular basis ?

A problem that solution poses is cost ……. can I really afford to make double of everything so that I have good stuff and my guests can wrestle with their own consciences ????? Not to mention the amount of waste, although I try to give away the leftover fatty foods, most of the time I end up throwing it all out !

This is another example of the “old me” and the “new me” trying to level out and find some common ground. I hated the way I felt yesterday after dinner with my family ! I am to the point where I prefer the taste of healthier foods . And to be truthful , it is hard for me to choose the healthier option over the junk option when it is right there on the table staring at me !

Any suggestions ???? How do you juggle being a good hostess with your new found healthy lifestyle without alienating your family and friends ?

Posted in family, food, friends, healthy lifestyle | 5 Comments »

Hosting Again

Posted by Susan on July 19, 2009

I just finished my first workout of the week. Believe it or not, I love my 3am workouts during the week. I look forward to them. My Sunday workouts …….. not so much. I have no idea why, but I struggle every week to get downstairs and get them done. This morning I got up for the dog (she is so used to getting up at 3 am during the week she wakes me up at 5:30 am on weekends because she can’t hold it another minute !) and wanted to go back to bed. But I have things going on today, and needed to get it done. I did 30 min. HIIT on the spin bike, and a 30 min elliptical program.

Last night we went for a little bike ride and I stopped at a playground and did some circuits on the playground equipment. It was a blast ! My niece was with me , and we did hill sprints and step ups, lunges, squats, push ups on the benches, the possibilities are endless there. I am going to incorporate playground circuits into my weekends from now on ! It was fun, outdoors, and truly a great workout ! (forgot the camera, I wanted to post pics, oh well, next time !)

Today I am hosting another family get together ! I have no idea what is up with this summer, I have never been so busy socially ! I have everything ready, all I need to do is put together a tossed salad and set the table. I spent all day yesterday scouring the house , and cooking for today.

I am not worried about food because I made it all and that gives me a lot more control. I am sure it will be fun , but I miss my lazy Sundays so much. Next weekend don’t think we have any plans so I can relax again.

So off I go to eat some breakfast and make some tea. Enjoy your Sunday !

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