A Calorie Counting Success Story

The Amazing Shrinking Woman

What to Do if You Mess Up Your Diet (Even Though I Didn’t) December 18, 2009

I’m sorry that I’ve been so lazy lately.  I wanted to let you know that I haven’t fallen off the wagon or anything.  (Who is driving/steering the wagon, btw?  I like to think it’s Richard Simmons, and he’s shouting encouragements to us as we bounce along.)  Well, anyway I’ve still been counting and going strong, except yesterday.

Yesterday was a weird day.  I think sometimes my hormones are like “Today we’re just going to do whatever the hell we want, and that means that today is going to be graze-like-a-cow day.  Now head to the kitchen!”  It’s funny.  Once every so often my ability to reason is literally overridden by some PMS-type of self-entitlement that translates into me being really feisty and insatiable.  Yesterday was that day.  Luckily it really only happens once every six months or so.

So what would I do if I had fallen off the wagon, and Richard Simmons was shouting for me to run and catch up?  I think that’s the problem with falling off the wagon.  We think that the wagon doesn’t wait for us, and that’s the idea behind the saying.  But we need to think of it differently.  We need to think that there are lots of other wagons coming along, or the wagon will always wait for us.

Lots of times when we mess up a diet, we have this terrible bout of all-or-nothing thinking.  It’s like we just say “well I really screwed the pooch on that one–guess I’ll just go to Golden Corral and make it official.”  But we should realize that it’s okay to slip up.  In case we do, we should just do what the British say, which is “Keep calm and carry on.”  Maybe all dieters should put that famous slogan somewhere in their kitchen or someplace they’d see it.  Here’s what it looks like:

So that’s what to do when you find yourself in the dirt looking at the backside of a wagon.  Keep calm and carry on.  You don’t have to run to catch up, so there’s no need to panic.  Just go right back to what you were doing before.


In other news, I’ve had a revelation.  I used to use Thursday nights as my TGIT (I don’t work on Fridays) culinary celebration.  On Thursday nights I’d eat Chinese usually.  Chinese is difficult to measure though because there’s really no telling what’s in it.  Do they put 4 tablespoons of sugar in something that you don’t even think of as sweet?  How much sesame oil is topping off this dish?  No one knows.  So Chinese, while fine to eat when calorie counting, isn’t exactly the best choice for a weekly meal.  (Once a week= 4 times a month= 48 times a year.  $14 x 48 = $672 a year on Chinese food.  YIPES!)  I realized that if I’m going to spend $675 dollars on something, I’d rather it didn’t make me fat.

Sushi!  I love sushi.  Of course, I don’t eat any of the raw stuff, but I still love the rest of it.  Sushi is considerably more healthy than Chinese food that’s deep fried and soaked in sugar and oil.  So I can eat sushi for my TGIT meals and still get that TGIT feeling without as many calories.  Genius!  I should get a Nobel Peace Prize for this.


Lastly, I think I’m going to lower my calories after Christmas.  I want to speed up the weight loss, and it’s coming off so SLOWLY.  I know that weight loss is just like the story of the tortoise and the hare, so I’m not going to just drink salt water and eat a can of tuna a day, but I’m going to lower my calorie intake to 1,500 after Christmas.  I’d do it before, but I won’t lie, I want to be able to eat more Christmas cookies.

I don’t know if this is a “bad” move or not.  I think it’s fine.  It should just move me past the current plateau that I’m on.  Right now I’m eating on a diet more than what most women should have in a normal day.  Granted, I’m pretty tall, but still, I don’t think it’s going to kill me to slash a few more calories.

Welp, that’s all for now.  I hope you’re all having a good time as Christmas approaches, and I especially hope you’ve been nice so Santy won’t have you on the naughty list.  (I’m a lifetime member of the naughty list, but Santy is forgiving!)


Why Should I Eat Six Small Meals a Day? December 5, 2009

I think we’ve all heard this one.  Don’t eat one huge meal, or three normal meals, but rather six small meals a day.

In the past, on all my various diet debacles, I’ve flirted with the idea of Body for Life, and that is one of the programs that makes you eat 5 or 6 small meals a day.  I think the South Beach diet might also encourage multiple small meals.

Why is this?  Where did all this “eat six small meals a day” business come from anyway?

When I was growing up, I heard, as I’m sure you’ve heard, “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”  As I’ve said before, I don’t understand why the king and the prince aren’t eating the same thing, but no matter–you get the idea.

The point of the six small meals is two-fold: it keeps your metabolism from slowing down because there’s always a new supply of food, and it keeps your energy levels high for the same reason.

1.)  It keeps your metabolism high.

Remember the post not too long ago about reworking your metabolism?  Read it here.  Basically what I said there is that when you aren’t eating, your metabolism slows down.  The capability of our metabolism to speed and slow based on the needs of our body is actually really useful.  Well, it would be more useful if we were cave people, and maybe it’ll come in handy again after a nuclear holocaust.  But it doesn’t slow without a reason, and that reason is most often lack of new energy (food) entering the system.

Doesn’t this seem like a catch-22, though?  Think about it.  You’ve got to eat more to burn more.  It doesn’t really make that much sense, but that’s how it works.  I’m convinced that our minds are always thinking beyond our own reasoning, so when we realize that this is just the way it is, our “back burner” part of the brain doesn’t believe it, and that keeps us from really committing ourselves to acting on it.

Basically what eating six small meals a day does is convince your body that there is new food coming in all the time; there’s no need to worry–you don’t have to bank what you don’t use.  That way the body starts working with the energy you’re supplying to it much more efficiently.

2.)  Your energy level stays high.

This is the same idea as the metabolism.  When your body has a constant supply of food, your metabolism doesn’t slow and you don’t get that low blood sugar empty feeling that makes you want to tear through your kitchen like the monster in a godzilla movie.

Now I’ve often thought of scheduling my eating along these lines, but it wasn’t until last night at about 8:30 when I was standing in my kitchen griping about how I didn’t have anything to eat that I realized that the problem has a fairly easy solution.  Six small meals a day!

Why hadn’t I ever actually tried it?  Because it seemed like so much work.  I’m a busy person who doesn’t have time to measure out almonds with a pharmacy pill counter six times a day.  But last night the answer clicked.

Just divide your calories allowed by six!  Duh.  So if I’m allowed 1,758 calories a day, then each meal on the six-meal plan would amount to 293 calories or fewer.  Since it’s so close to a rounder number, I could shoot for 300 and go easy on the last one, or something like that.

So what I should do is this: get healthy food (because eating six Krispy Kreme donuts a day isn’t exactly a balanced diet), stock the Ranch with fresh fruits and other easy things, and then decide on the intervals.  Since I still like making real food and cooking, I’d probably combine two of the meals a day or so for supper.

The schedule would look something like this:

8-9:45 ish — breakfast of grits and butter

11:00 ish — a banana and an apple

1:00pm ish — sandwich

3:00pm ish — nuts or a slug o’ peanut butter  (I’d eat something here, but come in way under 300 so my supper could be a bit bigger)

5:00pm ish — fish, potatoes, and peas

9:00pm ish — popcorn (again coming in under 300 to give supper a wider buffer)

Honestly, that doesn’t seem so bad at all.  In fact, it will be good for me, and I’m almost sure it will speed up my rate of weight loss.  I’ve been ending many days with 700+ calories left to go, and while I’ve been losing weight for sure, I’m getting low blood sugary at times, and that’s a feeling I hate.

So if any of you are going to try this, let me know.  I’m sure some of you have done it before, maybe on South Beach.

Answer the poll about six meals a day if you’re feeling saucy!


“A Lesson in Pretty” Starring Meg Ryan December 4, 2009

Today as I was cruising the internet celebrity smut (I think this is what women look at in the same quantities that nasty men look at porn), I noticed Meg Ryan at the premier of her movie Serious Moonlight, and I decided it’s time for the Calorie Counter to give the internet a lesson on pretty.

Basically, this is a giant comment on restraint and self control.

We (I) want to be skinny.  I believe that being so will improve the overall quality of my life, as well as my downstairs neighbor’s life (old wooden floors).  But seeing the pictures of Meg Ryan made me think I really shouldn’t wait to get there before I start enjoying “skinny things.”  In other words, it’s time to be happy with who and what we are, even if we see that we need improvement.

Too often in our culture, we think that we can improve on a situation without resolving the underlying issue.  In lots of cases, people want lap-band surgery or gastric bypass surgery so that they will finally be happy.  But having a plastic boa constrictor on you intestines isn’t going to change the way you see things, and lying on an operating table for 8 hours to have your stomach reshaped from a watermelon to an egg isn’t going to do it either.

So let’s start being happy with who we are now.  As an example of trying too hard, let’s have a looksee at Meg Ryan.  Or as I like to call her nowadays, The Meg Ryan Who Stole Christmas.

Now I’ve never liked Sleepless in Seattle, *the calorie counter ducks as shoes and rotten fruit fly through the air on a collision course with her face and the crowd starts hysterically screaming and crying* but I didn’t hate You’ve Got Mail.  Those two movies are the extent of my pre-trout (you’ll see) knowledge of Meg Ryan, and I remember her being likable.

Here’s Meg Ryan before she was abducted by school of alien trout and replaced by her own half fish/ half human daughter:

Pretty, no?  Normal, even.

And here she is post-op/abduction:  (Not for the easily frightened or those prone to nightmares.  You’ve been warned.)

…Oh… oh goodness… what time is it?  Crap.  I passed out for 18 minutes.  What can I say–a picture of Megatrout Ryan to my eyes is like an ether soaked rag to my face.

So the lesson here is–you can always lose weight, but Meg Ryan can never get her face back.  So don’t let something like a few extra pounds keep you from enjoying your life, and don’t try to be something you’re not (like a fish).

Now, enough about trout people.  Let’s talk about me!

I know that I said I was going walking the other morning, but I didn’t.  I know, I know, but it was so cold outside!  To make up for it, a group of friends and I played in a dodgeball tournament that night, and we won 2 games (out of 9, but who’s counting?)!  It was quite the workout.  I haven’t run any distance in over a year, so to go from sedentary to sprint-dodge-duck-jump-shimmy-sashay-sidestep-run-walk-jazzhands-sprint mode was quite the shock to my leg and back and torso muscles.  As a result, all of the above have decided to take the next few days off and not do much movement.  Consequently, I am a wee bit sore.

But the good news is, there is a intramural team in the spring, and I might join it.

As for what I’ve eaten today–leftovers from last night (turkey with taco seasoning, sour cream, black beans) and cheese grits this morning.  Also I’ve started drinking tea in the mornings and it really zaps my appetite… probably because I’ve got the shakes from all the caffeine.

Goodnight, readers.  I hope you can sleep after seeing the trout who stole Christmas.


Exercise Walking December 1, 2009

Filed under: Walking,Weight Loss — felineaids @ 10:30 pm
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Today I had a very strange eating day.  I drank tea in the morning, ate grits for lunch, a peanut butter slug for a snack, and had a Chinese soup feast for supper.

None of it was very good.  First, the tea was bitter because I let it steep too long; secondly I didn’t have any butter for the grits, and finally my Chinese soup feast was disappointing.  I’m not sure why I didn’t enjoy the soup very much, but part of it has to be the fact that the wontons are filled with a mystery meat, and as I was about to bite into the first one, I wondered what meat it was.  Pork?  Beef?  Then my mind flashed back to a conversation with my mother several days ago in which she told me that some lady she works with adopted a Korean baby, and Koreans really do eat dogs, but only a certain dark-meat kind, and only in the winter.  (Shiver fest.  I know.)  So from then on, I’d look apologetically to my dog before each bite.  I felt like I was eating MSG-soaked dog-meat dumplings that were floating in a cesspool of polluted sea water.  I actually ended up spitting out most of the (dog?) meat and only ate the noodle part.

But that’s not important.  What is important is that I’m walking tomorrow!

I’m going to get up early and hit the freezing cold road.  Walking is very important, and the dog gets antsy when she has to stay inside all day, so it’s win-win.  I really want to invest in spandex sports britches, because the world doesn’t have enough fat people in spandex.  Seriously I want them because I think they’ll let me walk faster.  I’m sort of self-conscious of all fat jiggles as I walk.  I know that most people who see me probably think, “Good for her,” but I’d rather not wonder what they’re thinking at all.  Knowing that the jiggly bits aren’t jiggly will make it all more painless for me.

Walking is the best form of exercise for the following reasons.

-Anyone can do it.

-It can be sustained much easier than running.  (This is important because you only burn fat when you’ve already burned the sugar in your body.  In other words, your body keeps the fat for last, so you have to exercise over a longer period of time so that you can get rid of the sugar, then start melting some of that fat.  Running, unless you are a distance runner or an experienced jogger, usually results in a 20 minute or so burst of energy that only burns off the sugar.  In other words, endurance is where it’s at.)

-It doesn’t require special equipment.

-You can (and should) do it anywhere.

-It’s easy to find a partner because it’s such an accessible exercise.

-You can bring your pets!

If you can think of any of the other reasons that walking is so good for you, please share them with us all.

–Calories left today: 3.  (Shazam!)


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


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: