A Calorie Counting Success Story

The Amazing Shrinking Woman

Thanksgiving and Day 20 November 24, 2009

Well, it’s almost time to leave The Ranch and head home.  Thanksgiving is almost among us, and I’ve got a few days off work.

If the whole country could listen up for a minute: *ahem* Please do not drive anywhere on the interstates tomorrow.  Thank you.

I’m going to pack up the dog and pony show of absurdity that is my life and relax for a few days as my parents nag me.

In other news, I made a pizza today and ate the whole thing.  I didn’t eat anything else though, so I’m still doing alright.  It was basically dough and garlic and cheese and onions (in that order).  And it was faaaaaantastic.  I did have grits in the morning as well.

I’ve decided that I’m going to start taking pictures of everything I eat.  (How many times am I going to say that?)

I’ve also set up my twitter, so when I don’t have time for a long post, I’ll just tweet.  (I hate saying that so much.  I am NOT a bird… I don’t think.)

Calories left today:  130.

Much better than usual.


Day 19 – It’s That Time of Year November 22, 2009

So my mother came to visit for the weekend, as I said before.  We had a nice visit, and she bought me an air freshener because The Ranch smells like “dog.”  That’s what happens when you adopt a yard dog and make it an inside dog.

We ate our favorite BBQ on Thursday, pizza on Friday, Saturday we didn’t eat much of anything (more on that later).  Today I ate grits, tuna, and pizza.  I’m like an Italian who lives on the South’s coast.

So we didn’t eat much on Saturday because we went to a wedding.  I didn’t know the people getting married, but they were our relatives, so we went.

I wore a dress that actually fit, looked decent, and best of all, I didn’t feel like a beached whale in it.  I didn’t have the feeling that everyone was staring at me, and I just felt like I looked pretty good.

We went in and the bridesmaids were all standing there ready to proceed or whatever, and of course my scatterbrained mother decided to commit to walking in quickly ahead of them, and that just made me feel weird, especially because of the fact that there was no usher at our entrance and none of the groomsmen sat us.  So I felt like a wedding crasher from the start.  We didn’t even get a bulletin.

So we’re sitting there, and the service is very Catholic.  I am not very Catholic; in fact I am not at all Catholic, so I had no idea what was going on.  Catholic services are very nerve-wracking because periodically everyone responds with the same very loud phrase that you can’t decipher.

The man next to my mother gives her his bulletin, and she reads it and hands it to me.  I look at the top, and there’s my name!  I lean over to my mother, point to my name on the paper and say “Hell!  That’s me!  Let’s get outta here!”  It was equally weird when the girl said my name during the vows.

The reception was at a high-falutin place with 4 open bars.  Four.  What food did they have, you ask?  Well… crab cakes, egg rolls, meatballs, a candy buffet, croissant sandwiches, and many other things that I couldn’t see because people were going both ways on the food line.  That is a cardinal wedding sin.  You never go the wrong way on the food line, because then everyone else has to make accommodations for your ass-backwards understanding of wedding buffet egress.  My theory is that everyone was plastered and they didn’t even know there was a line.

So I was trying to keep a low profile because I really wanted to leave.  (We had to drive 2 hrs there and 2 hrs back… so I wanted to be on my way.)  Well my mother goes over to the candy buffet.  She didn’t even want to eat the candy, she just wanted to get one piece of the oddly shaped candy because she had to know what it was.  After getting a couple pieces of the ones she wanted, I lean in and scoop a huge heap of themed M&Ms into her little box.  She doesn’t really get mad or anything, but in order to get to the pieces she wants, she has to dig way down in the box with her fingers.  I’m standing there telling her that I want to leave and offering several escape tactics when all of a sudden the bottom falls out of her candy box.

Crash!  Candy bounces all over the floor.  Everyone, and I mean everyone looks at us.  The astronauts are looking at us because they hear the crash from the space shuttle.  I am more embarrassed than ever.  My mother, who doesn’t embarrass at all, just looks at me like “Oops.”  So I’m desperately trying to think of a way to walk away without drawing attention to myself and making it look like I did it.  So I cleverly say “I’ll go find a broom,” and I get the heck out of there.

We walk downstairs so that we can escape, and who walks in but the bride?  I want to point and scream “NAME THIEF!” but instead I just look at my mother and say, “I think I’ll look at this plaque on the wall.”  I turn to the plaque, and when that’s not enough to hide, I say “Let’s go have a cigarette,” to my mother.  She says, “Great idea.”  (Neither of us smoke.)  Thus we can walk out, fumbling around in our purses, saying, can I use your lighter? periodically to each other, without the bride thinking that we are the wedding crashers we feel like.

Such is my life.

Calories left today:



Day 16 – The Triumphant Return of the Calorie Counter, and a Dog Bite November 19, 2009

Hello, hello, hello!  Or in the words of Ann Curry, “Good morning, good morning, everybody, in the news this morning, good morning.”  Oh what the heck, I’ll just let her say it.

Gets me every time.

So as some of you guessed, my prolonged absence was actually due to a misguided and ill-conceived attempt to grow a mullet like Tom Brady.  Now David Beckham is getting in on the weird mullet act.  Should such a beautiful man get a roadkill haircut?  And again, like Tom Brady and his lady, isn’t David Beckham like, married to Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, aka Skinny McPencil?

It may seem like I’m digressing.  I’m not.  Posh, who likes to be called Victoria, (it’s a compliment, she says… How is your name a compliment, unless your name is Damnyouresexy Jones?) recently said in an interview that she won’t lie–she eats lots of salads.  “Salad.  I’m not going to lie.  I’m not one of those people that says “Oh, I eat hamburgers.”

And the sick thing is, I’m so glad she said that.  I never thought that she ate anything other than salad, except for maybe the occasional kilo of cocaine (jk, no one can pry the cocaine shipments from Kate Moss’s kung-fu grip), but I’m just glad that she finally publicly said something honest.  This helps take away the stigma from women in this country who DO eat hamburgers (guilty!) that we’re somehow inherently flawed because we can’t seem to look like Victoria Beckham.  I do like Victoria Beckham, because she let her son wear his astronaut suit out in public, because she seems to love her children and her husband, and because she’s not shoveling loads of bull at the average American.  For that, Victoria, (can I call you Vicky?) I am grateful.

Now enough about boring, skinny famous people.  Let’s talk about me!  I have been noticeably absent for the past five or so days.  Honestly I was working like a crazy person trying to get something ready for tomorrow.  Of course, I’ve wanted to blog so badly the whole time that I’m staying up way too late tonight as a trade off, but no matter.  Back in college I’d never go to sleep before 3am.  I was so nocturnal I thought I’d begun to grow a marsupial pouch.  (In reality I was just getting another fat roll on my stomach.  I blame Taco Bell for being open til 2am or later.)

During my absence, I did not let you down, dear readers.  I stayed within my calories and tracked them compulsively.

One thing that I really must work on is eating regularly.  I eat breakfast every day, because as reader Christine mentioned on her blog the other day, eating breakfast kickstarts the metabolism.  Now I’ll be honest.  There’s lots of dietary information out there that I think is total crap, but I’m a big believer in the metabolism.

Thyroid issues aside, I don’t think that some people are born with a fast one or a slow one.  I think we train ourselves into one end of the spectrum.  For instance, in high school I “ran track.”  (Translation: I did shot-put and discus on the condition that I never, ever had to run in practice–a condition to which the coach agreed because I held the county records and he needed the meet points.  Despite the common assumptions, shot-putters are not all Helga and Thor.  It’s all about technique, really.)  My friends were some of the distance runners.  Not surprisingly, they were very, very thin.  In the off season they ran cross-country.  In their spare time, they ran around their neighborhoods.  Meanwhile I was sunning myself in the backyard and biting individual grapes from a bunch I dangled from my hand.

It is my opinion that, (and I am by no means a doctor–I don’t even play one on the internet–so feel free to ignore this non-medical advice), a slow metabolism lives in a body that moves less, and a fast metabolism lives in a body that moves more.

The metabolism is what allows a bear to hibernate for months and wake up thinner but healthy.  His metabolism slows to a crawl and he stores all his fat.  His body works very efficiently on little energy.

That’s the same thing we do when we skip breakfast!  We send the bear into hibernation and our bodies start conserving fuel (FAT) because there’s no new supply.

Think about the first people on this planet.  I’m of the they-were-put-here persuasion, but you might be of the they-evolved-from-sea-monkies persuasion.  Either way, they didn’t have it easy.  They basically walked around (which is why walking is so important to a healthy lifestyle) looking for food, ate when they found it, went hungry when the didn’t.  That’s why our bodies can work much like a bear’s.  We were built for such occasional periods of hunger.  It’s not a flaw that we gain weight, it’s part of the intricate design of the human body.  This was all worked out long before Glen Bell ever dreamed of opening the first Taco Bell.  And even longer before someone realized that a drive thru meant never even having to stand up to get your food.

So the moral of the story is eat your breakfast.  Otherwise you’re just making weight loss harder.

In other news, I have a puncture wound on my right pinkie where the dog bit me when I was trying to take away a pecan tree branch that she wanted to bring inside and chew into sawdust.  I was very concerned about this at first, but then I realized that I’d be really ticked off if someone tried to take away my 7 Layer Burrito, and then I kinda see where she’s coming from.  However, that’s no excuse.  So I’m going to work on enforcing the rules with her more.  It’s been hard because I’ve been so busy, but she’ll be happier if she’s not biting me and getting a subsequent spanking.  The Ranch is a mess too, and the Mothership is coming to visit tomorrow, so I’ve got to get cleaning as soon as asap.  (My best friend used to say that.)

I promise I’ll try to keep updating regularly.  I’m also thinking progress photos once a week.  I know I said that earlier, so now I’m going to make good on it.

Today I ate:


Grits –130

1 T. butter –100

-Supper- (chicken soup)

chicken breast –220

1 small russet potato –59

rotini –239




Calories remaining: 790 (TOO MANY!)

Should I buy some Nutella for situations like this, when I have almost 800 calories left?  I think I just might…

Oh and by the way, I had my “I feel skinnier” moment this morning!  I’ll tell more tomorrow afternoon or night.



Day 12 – Lunch, Supper, and Tom Brady’s Mullet November 15, 2009

For lunch I had another homemade pizza. When you live alone, recipes often make more food than you need, so to save money you have to eat the large batch for several days.  I’m doing that with the pizza dough I made the other day.


pizza dough –472  (a lot, yet still less than a TBell 7 layer burrito.  Alas, the universe is unfair.)

1 c. mozarella –320

1/4 c. pizza sauce –30

1 onion –64

Total for lunch: 886


Lasagna –350

Why was I eating like an Italian today?  Don’t know.  But I’m not sorry because it was so good.

I was thinking today about how I’m going to handle “the holidays.”  By “the holidays,” I mean Thanksgiving and Christmas, of course.  I decided that I’m going to have approximately 5 days of “unrestricted, go insane and eat whatever” food.  Those days will be: Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and the day after Christmas.  I will faithfully blog all the days leading up to them, and I may even blog about them, but I don’t won’t be posting about what I eat because I won’t be paying attention.  Some of you might think that this is a bad strategy, but I’m thinking that, while it might set me back a tiny bit, it will be worth it because I know I won’t be going over other days.

On an unrelated note, has anyone noticed Tom Brady’s mullet?  I mean it really is getting ugly.

Ok so that’s not him, but it might as well be.  At first I thought his helmet was just short in the back, but now I think it’s a full blown mullet.  Sort of like Kate Gosslin’s reverse mullet, only forward.  I’m watching the Colts / Patriots game and the mullet is bothering me.  Isn’t he, like, married to Giselle?  Shouldn’t she be telling him that mullets are not so hot?

The world may never know.


Day 12 – Homemade Pizza

Filed under: Weight Loss — felineaids @ 1:34 pm
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This morning I weigh 222.6.  However, this morning I also had that breakthrough “I feel skinnier” moment.  Recently someone asked Kate Moss, the British supermodel and coke head, what motto she lived by.  She thought for a second and then said, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.”  I would agree, Kate.  But I’m not sure she’s the best role model.  Also, I guess cocaine tastes pretty good to her.

Last night I made some pizza.  It was good, though I used too much dough.  I made it with:

1 1/2 c. flour


1 1/2 t.. sugar



1 T. oil

1 c. mozzarella

1/4 c. sauce

1 onion

It was very tasty, and the total calorie count came to about 1,100.  However, I didn’t eat anything for lunch yesterday, either.  It’s hard for me to get to sleep on time.  Late at night there is just so much to do.  I’ve also discovered Farm Town on facebook, and I cannot stop playing it.  Over the weekend I’ve gone from level 1 to 26.  Yeah.

I’ve still got tons of work to do today, and surprisingly, I still don’t want to do it!

Grits for breakfast, pizza for lunch, another update later.


Day 10 – A Cannibalistic Dog and Excuses like Body Parts November 14, 2009

Filed under: Weight Loss — felineaids @ 1:34 am
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I used to have a roommate named Kaity who would say, “Excuses are like buttholes.  Everyone has one, and they all stink.”  I hated that expression for several reasons.  1) There is a parent saying that goes thusly: “Excuses are like noses: everyone has one and they all smell.”  2) When combined, the phrase that the roommate said, about buttholes, combined with the one that I was familiar with, involving noses and smelling, left an unforgettable image in my mind of a nose in a butt.

But I’m going to give my excuse for not updating enough, and it’s not like a butthole or a nose.

I haven’t updated like I should today because my dog decided to try to chew off her foot.  She was just sitting around and thought, “hey–the bottom of my foot looks pretty tasty, I think I’ll eat it.”  So when I wiped her foot (which helps keep the Ranch spotless) after bringing her in from a pee wee break, there was blood on the paper towel.  Upon inspection, I noticed that she was chewing off her paw.

So off we went to the vet.  I won’t dwell on the trip to the vet, because I don’t have the emotional stamina to endure it right now, but I’ll give the highlights: trying to hold the leash, being pulled down by the dog, the dog tripping me, the dog jumping on the counter, the dog biting the vet techs who tried to cut her nails, the dog escaping the vet staff…  ad nauseum.

That said, I’ll tell you my calories:


Grits –130

1 T. butter –100


I feasted on the embarrassment of having the worst behaved dog at the vet.


Slug o’ peanut butter –190

-Supper- (DIY Chinese food… pretty good.)

Ronzoni rotini 1 1/2 c. dry –360

sauce: 1 t. sugar, soy sauce, sriracha sauce, rice wine vinegar, chopped ginger, chopped garlic, water, cornstarch –218

onion –64

celery –17

Now supposedly I have 704 calories left today, and I suppose that’s true.  That’s why I need to start eating lunch.  I’ll have to discuss the many complications of my dog’s attempted cannibalism with her, and then maybe I’ll have an uninterrupted lunch tomorrow.

Also there’s a birthday party I have to go to tomorrow night, though I think I’m just going to make a brief appearance and return to the Ranch to do some work.  Anyone have some fun weekend plans?


Day 8 – Supper November 11, 2009

Filed under: Weight Loss — felineaids @ 9:09 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Quick update because I’ve got work to do.  (Boo.)  Plus, I’m going to get up early and walk.  Take that, hurricane!  You can’t keep me inside.

For supper I had 2 grilled cheese sandwiches and a can of soup.  (It was a lot and I wasn’t crazy about it.  I need to start cooking more exciting things.)


4 slices white wheat bread –200

4 slices peel-off cheese –280

4 slices oscar meyer bacon –70

1 can of campbells chunky –240

Total for supper: 790

Calories left today: 572

I really shouldn’t be having this many left over, but there’s just not that much here that I want to eat.