A Calorie Counting Success Story

The Amazing Shrinking Woman

I’m Always So Busy but I’m Getting Skinny! November 29, 2009

Sorry–this is going to be another short post.  I’m going to be really busy until I can finally take a few weeks vacation in December, but I have to relate a small victory.

As you all know, I decided that on Thanksgiving I would be thankful for sweets and casseroles and fattening things, and I most certainly was.  But that wasn’t the only thing that happened over the holiday.


Yep.  I did.  I was at church Thanksgiving morning, and a lady I’ve known my whole life came up to me and said, “Well you just look so good–you look like you’ve lost some weight.”  It was all I could do not to jump up and down and scream “Hot diggity damn straight, lady!”  Instead, I was so surprised that I said, “Err well I mean, no, well maybe like a pound or not even that, so no but maybe a few pounds.”  Then immediately I felt like an ass for denying someone a compliment, which I’m told is rude.

But still, she said it.  And she’s not even related to me.  And she doesn’t know that I’ve been trying.  So I was pretty stoked about that.  I thought I would share with you, and let it be encouragement to you all in your own attempts!

I’m so pumped up about it, I think I’m going to go for a butt-crack-of-dawn early walk.

Today I drove 6 hrs, so I didn’t eat anything before because I don’t like to stop.  (Yeah you read that right–I can hold it almost indefinitely.)


Asian noodles (soy sauce, egg noodles, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, sugar, rice wine vinegar)


Slug o’ peanut butter


7 Layer Burrito

Nacho Cheese Chalupa


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 9 (Zzzzzz) November 12, 2009

Filed under: Weight Loss — felineaids @ 11:36 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’m about to fall asleep.  Thursdays are my craziest day of the week.  I go from 9:15-8:3o.  Awful.  Plus I stayed up until about 3am last night working.  Stupid.

And I feel dirty, because I’ve gone over my calories today.  It was stupid, not worth it, and I feel very full.  But, and this is a big but (much like mine), it is never a total failure if you keep track of the calories, which I did.  It wasn’t like I went to Golden Corral and stuck my head under the frozen yogurt machine nozzle after taking a shower in chocolate syrup.  I’m 101 calories over, and I’ve been much under in the past few days.


grits –130

butter –100


1 c. 1% milk –110

1 and 1/2 c. kellog’s special k cinnamon pecan cereal –240


2 (there’s the mistake) chalupas

1 seven layer burrito –520 (though I still have a hard time believing this)

Calories left today: -101

I’m going to post something more interesting when I have time tomorrow.


Day 7 – A doozie November 11, 2009

Filed under: Weight Loss — felineaids @ 12:20 am
Tags: , , , , ,

So today was kindof a day from hell.

I got up at 7:30.  Strike one.  I wasted time until the first thing I had to do at 9:30, and once I arrived I realized that I was entirely unprepared.  Strike two.

After that I had to do two solid hours of critical reading work, then I had to go do something else for an hour and a half, then I had to go to a party from 4-6:30.  Steeeriiiiike three!

During this time, I had had my usual breakfast of grits, plus a tuna sandwich for lunch.  And a can of regular coke at the party.  (It was either that or Chardonnay.)  And that was it.  The funny thing was, I didn’t get all that hungry.  I know, I could have been in starvation mode, but usually I get super tired and low-blood-sugary when I don’t eat.  I think that by reducing my calories, I’m not as prone to my usual cliffs and trenches of blood sugar.  I’m not sure, of course, but I think so.

And I feel much better now that I’m counting calories.  Not skinnier, yet, but I think that’s coming.  You know that point in a diet when you look at yourself, or get out of a chair, or put on a certain pair of pants, and all of a sudden, you realize… “I feel skinnier.”  Well I haven’t exactly had that moment yet, but it’s coming.  By the way, I weighed myself two days in a row and saw 220.  So I might be losing some poundage after all.  I think I’m going to put a clipboard in the bathroom in front of the scale.  That way I’ll feel like I’m in a doctor’s office (in a good way, if there is one) when I’m jotting down the weight.

And you better believe I had Taco Bell for supper…


1/4 c. grits –130

1 T. butter –100

Total for breakfast –230


2 slices light whole grain –80

1 can tuna –100

1 T. light mayo –50

3 T. relish –60

Total for lunch –290

Coke at the party: 140


1 Nacho cheese chalupa –380

1 Seven layer burrito –420

Total for supper –800

Snack while V. was on: 6 T. popcorn (but at least a T. didn’t pop each time, so I’m going to say more like 4 T.) –160

Calories left today: 252


Day 5 – Breakfast and Lunch (and the worst lunch ever) November 8, 2009

Filed under: Weight Loss — felineaids @ 2:43 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

This morning I woke up in a panic.  I was late!  It was already 10am and my alarm hadn’t gone off!  Church starts in 30 minutes!  I frantically tried to find something to wear, but then realized that I hadn’t changed my bedroom clock for daylight savings time.  Joke’s on me!  Duuuuh.  But the church I was going to was a long way away, and I had to stop by the store before I got there, so I left the house without breakfast.  The dog didn’t get breakfast either.

Once I got back, I made myself a tuna sandwich.  Boring?  A little.  But I dressed it up with some dry Taco Bell seasoning.  It was pretty tasty.  Since I told you yesterday about the best lunch I ever had, today I’ll tell you about the worst.

I was on low carb, and used the George Foreman grill to heat up 3 sausages, two regular, one cheddarwurst.  Now, if you’ve never had cheddarwurst, you might think that it sounds good.  I’m sure some people love it.  It is sausage with cheddar incorporated.  The cheddar melts as the sausage cooks, so when you bite into it, it oozes cheddar.  At least it’s supposed to.  Mine usually just dripped out and looked more like movie theatre popcorn butter than cheese.  Well this particular day, I had made those three sausages, and I think I put some condiment on them–horseradish maybe–and I tried to eat it.  For the first few bites it was ok, but then it began to taste like the smell of roadkill.  Ever had that?  When something tastes like the smell of something else?  Anyway, I only got through half of one before I gave up.

Now that I’m thinking about it, the real worst lunch I ever had was at a restaurant called El Paso.  It seemed fine, until about 5 minutes after I finished and had to run to the bathroom in the restaurant and puked my guts out.  It was one of those restaurants where you had to go to the front to pay, and I should have said, “I’m not taking anything with me, so I won’t be paying.”  Sorry, I know that’s a gross story, but it was the worst lunch I’ve ever had.  I think you’ll agree.

-Breakfast and Lunch-

1 can tuna –114

1 T. light mayo –50

Taco Bell dry seasoning –5

2 pieces of white wheat bread –100

1 c. home made tomato soup –198

Total for lunch –467

Remaining calories –1,341

Should I have a Chinese soup feast tonight?  Eh?  Eh?

Also, comment if you’re feeling saucy!


Day 4 – Breakfast and Weight Watchers banking November 7, 2009

Today I weigh 222.0 lbs.  I LOST 2 POUNDS!  Just kidding.  It’s water-weight.  Back in my Weight Watcher days I’d run to the bathroom before weighing at the counter, so when I did finally weigh-in I’d usually lost at least a pound since I left home (I have a bladder the size of a blue whale).  You know what I call that?  Delusion.

I think what really messed me up with Weight Watchers was their “banking concept.”  You could “bank” points from one day and use them another day.  So I’d tell myself that I’d bank later.  In other words, I would eat a whole pan pizza from Pizza Hut because I’d “bank some points later.”  Of course the chances of that working out were roughly the same as the chances of me winning the Tour de France.

None of this was Weight Watchers’ fault, but it opened the door for me to be an idiot.  That’s why I’ve decided that the simpler the rules, the better.  The simple rule for me is this: no more calories than I’m allowed.

I have a confession.  Last night I was tempted to fudge my numbers!  I went to Taco Bell, as I said, but before I left the ranch (my apartment), I debated whether I should just go over my daily allowance or not.  I though well, I can go under tomorrow… and then I realized that idea reminded me of something… BANKING FAILURE!  So before I left the house, I decided what I would get.  A good idea might be to only take the amount of money that will get you the food you’ve decided on.  I think the key is to decide before you leave.  That’s the only thing that kept me from a T-Bell binge.  I must say, that was some of the best Taco Bell I’ve had in a while, and for once it didn’t bring shades of Montezuma’s revenge with it, probably because I ate less and ate slower.  It felt like a victory.  Those little victories are so important for a diet, because you’re essentially training yourself to do behave differently, so you have to reward yourself for the right things.  The victories should be over your former bad judgment and not over your diet.  That sounds nice written down, doesn’t it?  Let’s hear it again.

Your little victories should be over your former bad judgment and not over your diet.


1/4 c. grits (an amount I learned to eyeball by using the same bowl when measuring it every day) –130

1 T. butter –100

grape fake crystal light –0

Total for breakfast –230

Calories remaining today: 1,573