Tag Archives: calories

I Really Am Doing Everything Right (or It’s Frustrating Not Losing Weight)

First of all, Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that you are all having an amazing day doing exactly what you want to do today! My recap of Christmas will come soon.

I’ve been on a very good path lately. My exercise routine is getting to be in a very good place. I’m going to Orangetheory 3 times a week every day and I’m even adding a 4th day every so often. I’m thinking that for 2015 I will do 1 week of 3 workouts and then 1 week of 4 workouts just to push myself.

I’m getting so much stronger and I know that I’m getting much healthier. While I haven’t necessarily tested my cardiovascular abilities, I know that I don’t feel as tired as I did my first few weeks of workouts after the cardio section. And I can row much farther than before without having to take a break.

There are some things that aren’t on the right track. My hips are hurting more and more each day. They aren’t nearly as bad as I know that they can get, but I do sometimes miss my pain-free days as now they are much less frequent than they used to be. I’m also starting to lose a bit of flexibility that I had worked very hard to get back after my hip surgery. I’m not sure what exactly is causing this, but I think it’s a combination of the pain and maybe my muscles being stronger and bigger. I’m going to be interviewing new orthopedic surgeons soon and this is a concern that I’m going to bring up with them.

And finally, I’m starting to get my food in control. I’m getting very comfortable with cooking and in fact am planning on spending some time today reorganizing my kitchen to help make things more efficient when I am doing my bulk cooking.

I still have some food setbacks, but they aren’t as often or as crazy as they used to be. Having my food ready for me the moment I’m hungry really does help stop me from needing to run to the store to buy something in desperation.

So why am I frustrated?

I’m really not losing weight at the pace I feel like I should be. I know the saying that muscle weighs more than fat and I could just be gaining muscle, I should be seeing the scale go down in more significant increments that they are doing right now.

I know that sometimes it takes some time for the weight loss to show up on the scale so I’m trying to be patient. But having that instant gratification of knowing that I’m doing the right things really does help with motivation. And I have some clothes in 1 size smaller that I’d really like to start wearing.

I really don’t think I can do more than I’m doing right now. I guess I can work on adding more workout days, but I do need those recovery days for my hips to stop hurting. And I don’t want to decrease or increase my daily calories. The number of calories that I’m eating right now is something that my old therapist/nutritionist set up for me and I know that it’s a good number for me.

So for now, I just have to keep doing what I’m doing and hope that my scale pays attention one day.

Home Cooking (or Getting Used To Making What I Eat)

Since my first attempt at bulk cooking, things have been going pretty great so far.

I’m getting into a groove with my food, and for once it’s almost all food that I make myself. I know that boredom is going to happen eventually, but for now, my focus is to just get used to cooking on a regular basis.

My focus on cooking has been my dinners as that is my weak point in my day. 3 days a week, I’m getting home from my workout at dinnertime. And I don’t want to think about making something then. So it’s been really easy in the past to run to Subway on the way home for a veggie sub or to make a microwave dinner.

My dinners are pretty simple. My first week of bulk cooking, I put each food in a container and each night I would take out what I needed. But after that first week, I learned that doing things that way make my Fridays full of doing dishes. So now, I make dinner boxes (each container is a full dinner).

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I always have chicken breast for dinner. I’m going to start exploring other good protein options, but this one works for me right now. I get skinless boneless chicken at Trader Joes and season it with some Trader Joes seasoning or another salt-free seasoning. Then they go into the oven until they are done. Then I put the amount of chicken I want for each night (right now it’s 4 oz cooked chicken) in the container.

I also have always had sweet potatoes in my dinner boxes. The first week of bulk cooking, I made them whole, but they got a little slime toward the end of the week. The next week, I tried cutting them into rounds, and those were ok. But this week when I went to Trader Joes to get my food, I saw pre-cubed sweet potatoes and made those instead. I think cutting them up myself is a better plan for me, but it’s good to try something else.

The last thing that I have had each week is roasted/caramelized red onions. I love onions, especially red onions. I’ve quartered them and roasted them once but this week I cut them into rings to roast them. No matter what, they are so delicious and I know that I will keep having onions in my dinner boxes.

Then there is always a vegetable. The first week I had broccoli and green beans. Those were awesome. Last week I had asparagus, and they didn’t turn out so great. I ended up going out and buying more asparagus so I could make some each night for dinner. This week, I tried to roast carrots. But something went seriously wrong. They never felt cooked (they felt really hard), but they turned white in the oven. I have no idea what I did, but they went straight into the trash. Fortunately, I had some frozen veggies that I hadn’t used so I microwaved those and put a cup of the veggies in each dinner box.

I’m still working on more lunch ideas, but I’ve been having hard-boiled eggs and turkey meatballs a lot. And on days I don’t have a workout, I sometimes have a sandwich. But I’m looking for more easy options that I can eat while I work (I don’t get a lunch break at my day job).

This week, I know that Thursday will be a “bad” food day since I will be ordering Chinese food. But hopefully since I’m doing really well the other days, I will still be able to make some progress. After all, isn’t this how I’m supposed to live? Mostly eating the right foods but allowing myself to have a splurge every once in a while?

If you have any bulk cooking things that you love, I’d love to hear them in the comments! I know that boredom will happen soon and I’d like to have some ideas to be ready for that!

Counting Every Calorie (or Seeing Things In Black and White)

The other day I seriously went crazy with food. Not just a little. Crazy to the point I felt sick.

Usually when this happens, I make sure that when I’m done I throw out any remaining “bad” food so I can start over the next day. And since I track my calories, I put in something into the MyFitnessPal app so it doesn’t show that I skipped a day.

That’s not exactly how things went this week.

First of all, I forgot to throw out all of the “bad” food. And so when I discovered it the next day, I decided to eat it for breakfast (I have no clue why I did this).

So I was already feeling pretty horrible about my day after eating something I shouldn’t have first thing in the morning. But I decided to make myself accountable for what I did.

First, I went back to the day before and entered in all the foods I ate. I went well over my calorie goal for the day, but at least I had a number to put to it.

Then I entered what I ate in the morning. It was over half of my calories for the day. But by having that information in, I found a way to manage my calories for the rest of the day so that with my workout that afternoon, I was just under my calorie goal for the day.

Taking the emotions out of food is really helping me. While I’m in the moment of weakness and eating what I shouldn’t, it’s a completely emotional experience (even if that emotion is being numb). But when I regain my senses, putting the calories of everything down really does help put things into perspective.

I could have easily said that I screwed up with my breakfast so why not screw up for the entire day. And I’ve done that over and over again. It’s so easy to believe that you will start being good tomorrow or after the weekend or after the holidays. But starting over right after the “bad” meal is really the best.

I hate that I’m still struggling with all of this. I wish that it would just go away. But the reality is that I will most likely have these issues for the rest of my life. Hopefully it won’t be as frequent as it is now (which is way less frequent than it used to be), but I have to allow myself to have slip-ups.

And at least by tracking everything I can see that I didn’t really screw up and that I can get back on track and still have a successful day.

Weight Loss Update (or Why I’m Trying Not To Get Frustrated)

So I’ve completed 3 weeks of my Orangetheory challenge so far. I’ve been working out 3 days a week (and burning about 500 each workout) and I’m trying to eat below my calorie goals (which seems to happen about 6 out of 7 days).

You’d think that I would have lost a good amount of weight so far. Maybe even in the double digits. That’s what I thought I would have done by now.

But instead, I am currently down 6 pounds from where I started at the beginning of the challenge.

I should be happy with those 6 pounds. They say that you should lose 2 pounds a week to have a maintainable weight loss and that’s exactly what I’m doing. And I know that my body composition is changing and I’m gaining muscle so that could also cause my weight loss to stall a little.

But I still keep thinking about how when I did the RFO diet I would lose about 6-10 pounds a week (my first week I lost 14). And I’m aware that that was a medically supervised starvation diet and that the weight loss was not maintainable. But I still miss those days when I lost a pound a day.

It doesn’t help that all over the media there are people losing weight at a rapid fire pace. On Extreme Weight Loss, people lose 100 pounds in 90 days. And yes, almost all of those people have more weight to lose than I do, but it’s still a message that sticks in my head. It’s possible to lose more than I am right now.

So why am I stalled?

Besides the reasons that I’ve already listed, I know that the weather is affecting me as well. It’s very hot right now, and with my house having horrible insulation, it’s very hot even when I go to bed (averaging at 90 degrees when I go to sleep each night). I have a fan next to my bed, so that helps, but I’m still overheated. And when I’m overheated, my body swells up. So my clothes feeling tighter is an illusion. It’s a frustrating illusion, but I know that I haven’t gained weight.

Right now, there’s not much I can do to make myself lose weight faster. I’m thinking of cutting my calories back a little (maybe from 1600 to 1450), but I’m not going to do anything drastic.

I just have to keep pushing along and eventually my body will catch up to all the hard work I’m putting in. I just have to make sure that I don’t give up before that happens.

I’ve Got Some Follow Through (or I Said I’d Do It So I Did)

Yesterday, I mentioned that I needed to start scheduling things to do after my work day so I would get out of my house. I also mentioned that I needed to get back to SoulCycle.

Want to take a wild guess what my after work thing was yesterday evening?

Yup, I went to an after work spin class.

I’ve actually never taking a spin class after working. I’ve done one in the middle of a split shift once. But other than that, every spin class I’ve gone to was either before work or on a non-work day. And I’ll say, an early evening class is very different from a morning class.

I had to be pretty careful with how I ate during the day. I wanted to have enough energy for class, but I don’t like to work out if I feel full. I thought that I had planned a decent meal day for me, but I learned that I need to eat something a little closer to class time. Yesterday, I had a serving of chocolate milk about 90 minutes before class. That’s what I normally have before going to a morning class as well. But I was starving during the class.

None of the instructors that I usually go to teach at the studio during the times I was looking (I went to a 5:30pm class), so I had to try someone new. This instructor’s name was David, and it really was a great class.

It was super hard, but I’m wondering if part of that was my crazy hunger and my hip pain. I did managed to stand up on the bike for about 90 seconds during a hill section, but besides that I stayed seated for the class. I did also do all the arm work with 2 pound weights. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, they get heavy! I started with 1 pound weights and doubling the weight has made things tougher (but I think I’m getting stronger too).

The best thing about SoulCycle for me is since it’s only 45 minutes, time seems to fly by (and I’m aware that if you hate working out that sounds crazy but it’s true). And I got a pretty good calorie burn for my workout as well.


I have a bunch of stuff going on this weekend (including returning to my old job) so I’m not too sure if I’ll make it to spin class this weekend. If I do, it will be another odd time for me. I like my usual Saturday afternoon class with Heather, but this Saturday I’m working during that time.

But at least I have another instructor that I’m comfortable with and if I’m not working evenings back at my old job, I can probably fit this class in more regularly.

Finding A Balance (or Eating Healthy And Fun At The Same Time)

I’m struggling a bit with food again. As someone with an eating disorder, I guess I should be prepared to deal with this for the rest of my life. I just hope one day it gets easier.

I’m really working hard at staying under my calorie goals every day, but there keeps being something that prevents me from doing that. And part of it is because so much of my social life revolves around food.

Now, I don’t want to make my friends who have gone out to meals with me feel bad. That’s not what this is about. I just don’t understand how they can eat the same things as me (or more) and not have issues with it. I’m feeling insane guilt and sometimes feeling like I screwed up my whole day.

It’s hard to find the balance with healthy and fun foods, but I know it’s possible. I see people do it all the time.

And maybe I do have some sort of health issue causing problems again. I’ve met with an endocrinologist many times and some of my test results have come back suspicious. But whenever they re-test me, everything is fine again. Maybe I have to go through that process again (although it does involve blood work and I’d rather avoid dealing with needles if I can help it).

I know that a big part of what keeps me on track certain days is working out. If I work out in the morning, I have more calories to play with during the day (although I normally don’t eat my exercise calories). And if I work out at night, I feel like I have to be good all day so I feel ok to exercise after those meals. I can’t work out every evening right now because of my work schedule, but I’m looking into doing that when I’m (f)unemployed again.

I also have to think back to the time I was on the RFO Diet. For those months, I literally could not eat when I went out for meals with my friends. Sometimes I would bring my supplements with me and have them there, but more often than not I just sat there and enjoyed the company. I might start doing that again so I don’t eat foods that I regret later.

And trying restaurants I’ve never been to before is another way to prevent my guilt eating. At restaurants that I’ve been to when I’ve not worried about my weight, there are some very bad choices that I used to love to eat. And if I go back there, I’m tempted to have those things again because my memories of them are that they were delicious. There’s one sandwich at Jerry’s Deli that I used to always get. I still think about it from time to time, but I don’t go to Jerry’s anymore because I don’t want to have to deal with how many calories it is.

Sorry for the little rant today. I’m getting frustrated with my weight loss (it’s stalled right now) and I don’t know what else I can change. But I promise tomorrow will be a very exciting and positive blog post. I can’t tell you why yet, but make sure you read here tomorrow to see what happened!

Cheesecake With My Birthday Twin (or Continuing A New Tradition)

In 2012 around Christmas time, my birthday twin Joanna and I went out for cheesecake. We decided then that we would make Christmas time cheesecake one of our new traditions (like us getting our free birthday meal).

Somehow, we both totally forgot that we said that this would be a new tradition until after Christmas. I texted Joanna to see how we could fix this, and she suggested that we get cheesecake right after New Year’s (it could still be considered holiday cheesecake then).

I was super lucky to have the day after New Year’s Day off so that ended up being our cheesecake day.

We went back to The Grove where we had cheesecake last time. But this time it was in the daytime so there were no holiday lights. And there were people taking down all the Christmas decorations so I didn’t take any pictures (you don’t want to see a tree coming down, do you?).

We got lunch and cheesecake this time. Since I’ve been working on being good with my calories, I looked at the low-calorie options that Cheesecake Factory had. Most of their regular dishes have about 1,000 calories in them and I couldn’t do that plus my cheesecake.

I’m normally not a fan of the low-calorie menus, but I have to say that this one was actually pretty good! Joanna and I both ended up ordering off of it. Joanna had a salad and I had a sausage and cheese flatbread (which was 460 calories if you were interested).


Then it was time for the main event (at least what we both considered the main event). While I would have loved to have gotten the red velvet cheesecake again, my calorie budget did not allow for that. So I checked on MyFitnessPal to see which cheesecakes that I like fit into my calorie budget (it helped that I didn’t have time to eat breakfast that day so I had some extra calories to play with). I ended up getting one of my all-time favorite cheesecakes, the tiramisu cheesecake.


Joanna got the plain cheesecake with strawberry topping on top.


It was a great meal! And of course, any time I get to hang out with my friend Joanna is awesome (we don’t see each other as often as we used to). We had a fun chat discussing our day jobs, acting, and just having a catchup talk.

I’m so glad that I have this new tradition continuing. Hopefully this year we will remember to do it around Christmas time so we can see all the awesome decorations again.

How Speedy Is My Heart? (or Another Gadget For Me)

I’ve previously mentioned that I track all my calories on My Fitness Pal. I keep track of both the calories I eat as well as the calories I burn in a workout.

Tracking food is pretty easy. Most things are already in My Fitness Pal, and if they aren’t and they have a bar code, all you do is scan it in.

But tracking workouts are a bit more difficult. There are preset calorie burns for walking and Spinning (you just have to put in how long you’ve worked out), but I don’t entirely trust those.

So I decided to make another investment in my health. I bought a heart rate monitor that also tracks my calorie burns during workouts.

I did a bunch of research online, and I decided to get the Polar FT4F (and I got the pink one because it’s cute).

I ended up buying it at a store near my house instead of online so I’d have it to test out (and it would be easier to return if it didn’t work). I had an old heart rate monitor years ago, but this is way better.

First of all, the chest strap is really comfortable. It’s all fabric (compared to the plastic one I used to have) and it doesn’t stick out a bunch under my clothes. All you have to do before wearing it is get the sensors wet. I tested it out as soon as I got home and it was pretty easy.

Also, the watch part of the system is nice too. The only downside is you can only see one thing at a time (heart rate, calorie burn, clock). It would be nice if there was a screen where you could see everything. But at least it’s easy to read.


I’m hoping to make it to spin class today. But I have a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the day as well as some family things going on (more about that in the next day or two).

If nothing else, I can test it out when I do my 5K this Saturday. Hopefully this will give me a more accurate number of calories I burn in a workout so I can adjust my food intake accordingly.

No Stress Dinner (or Not Missing Thanksgiving Dinner Again)

I’ve mentioned how I’ve done the UCLA RFO diet before. I actually did it two times, in 2006 and 2007. In 2006, I did it mainly because I needed a fast way to lose weight before having hip surgery. I started the diet in February and stopped in October so I could eat Thanksgiving dinner.

That Thanksgiving dinner was one of the first real meals I had after being on the RFO program. I was so nervous to eat food, so I spent about 2 months prior to the date working with a therapist on exactly what I would eat. I planned out every bite. I brought my own measuring tools (because I knew I could trust them).

And what I learned is that the meal I planned out was actually more food than I usually would have allowed myself to have. My big weakness is the stuffing, so I do have to make sure I don’t go overboard on it.

In 2007, when I did the diet again, I actually was on the diet on Thanksgiving. Everyone was enjoying the meal, and I drank a 100 calorie chocolate shake. Not so fun.

Since 2007, I really did realize that one meal will not make or break it. It’s how I react to that meal that makes the difference. If I feel like I blew it, I can’t go overboard for a month after (it’s happened), because I screwed up for one night.

So for tomorrow, I’m going to enjoy my meal. I will possibly measure out the stuffing (since it’s at my parents’ house I know I can trust their measuring devices), but I’m not going to stress over it.

Tonight is a fancy meal to celebrate my grandma’s birthday, so I know that I’ll be having 2 big meals in a row. And to keep my sanity, I am not planning on weighing myself again until the middle of next week. The combination of big meals, stress from flying, and taking my panic medications will make me take on some water weight, and I know that the number will be a “fake” number.

What I’ve Been Eating (or Does It Really Matter If I’m Still Under My Calories?)

If I’m being honest with you all (and myself), my food has not been too great lately. With my work schedule, there are only certain days that I can go to the grocery store. And when I did go this past week, I didn’t really feel like getting enough to last all the days it needed to.

I’ve had some fast food this week. When I don’t bring a lunch with me to work, that’s almost the only option. We only have 30 minutes and most of the restaurants near my work would take much longer than that.

Even though I’ve been eating some foods that I probably shouldn’t, I’m still tracking my calories in My Fitness Pal. And shockingly, I’m staying under my calorie goal most days. These calories are not the best to have, but I’m wondering if that matters.

I’m maintaining the weight loss that I had from both not being able to eat food and being sick. Sometimes, it will go up a pound or two, but I think that’s more from sodium than anything.

I don’t want to be stuck in this routine. It’s not good. But it’s tough to get out. I should have gone to the grocery store yesterday, but I didn’t. And tonight, I’m working until 9pm and I really hate going to the grocery store that late. Honestly, I probably won’t make it to the store until Wednesday.

So I have to figure out what I’ll do for lunch today, tomorrow, and Wednesday. Dinner for tonight and tomorrow most likely will be Subway. Subway is my go-to place and since I get a veggie sandwich, I know I’ll get my vegetable servings in for the day. But lunch is the tricky meal. Since I eat lunch at 4:30, my body isn’t always hungry. But if I don’t eat then, I’ll feel faint by 9pm.

I wish I could write that I have a great plan figured out for this week, but I don’t. I’m probably going to have fast food again. But all I can do is track the calories and work as hard as possible to stay under my numbers for the day.