Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weight Loss Blogging

It works... I have been gone from the blog for 4days and my eating has suffered. Knowing that I wasn't going to have time to report my actions to my readers made it easier for me to eat the cheese. Of course it was the weekend, my social life got in the way of my eating habits. I'm back on track now. And that's about all. Still doing the same thing.
I also want to report that I won't be blogging as much because I am writing a book about an amazing time in my life. I work 40 hours a week. I want to have my proposal finished by the 1st week of March so I need to devote all of my time to that and Sebastian. I plan to, hopefully, be posting two to three times a week.

Hope everyone is well and plugging away toward their goals.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


So things are going good. I am exercising daily plus I am eating very well: no dairy, no animal. Not sure what the numbers say; I try to stay away from the scale and focus on the clothing. I've been working all week and wearing scrubs so I am not sure about the fit of my pants. When I get all dolled-up tonight for dancing, I'll let you know.

Going out dancing can be a problem for me. I have an affinity for Jose Cuevro, but he has an affinity for my hips. Sure I work it off dancing though I'd rather my net caloric loss be put towards releasing some adipose tissue. Then there is the smoking. I like smoking when I drink, I like drinking when I dance, and I like dancing when I drink and smoke. It is what it is: I am going to smoke tonight so I just accept it.

I have an underlying depression going on. It's mild and I thought it was going to dissipate with the daily workouts. Right now, I'm still sad and frustrated with my state. I feel stagnant and trapped. More on that later.

Have a nice day everyone.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


01/20/2009-self portrait, weight 178, I'm an apple shape-it's all in the middle.

Not much to report today. My will stays strong and I remain devoted to my health and body. I continue to eschew dairy and I haven't even dreamt about chocolate. Wait till Easter. I'll be rolling in the Cadbury. Sebastian and I went for another workout in the park tonight and I was able to maintain jogging for 4minutes. Last year I was up to thirty minutes of sustained jogging, but after three months of stagnance it may take another month to get back to that statistic.

I use a Heart Rate Monitor when I exercise because when I walk I have a tendency to slow dow. Since my workout involves intervals 3-4 mins of walk followed by 3-4mins of jog I need keep track of the lower end. It's best to stay in the target range throughout the entire exercise. I'm a bit out of shape; what used to produce a heart rate of 130 now turns out a 138. Not to fret, with a month of work my Polar Monitor will display a calm 128 while jogging.

I ate one improperly combined food today:peanut butter and graham cracker. No flogging for that.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Glorious Day: Sap and Cheese

Disclaimer: Sap and Cheese ahead. Do not read further if you have an aversion to sap and cheese, and I am not talking about Maple and Gouda.

Snow rocks my world. It is the planet's greatest gift to us, well to me. I don't have to shovel. It's snowing here in NYC, so I bundled up and took the pooch for a walk/jog. We went into the North Woods of Central Park; we ran, slid, skidded and played. If you don't live in NY, it might be difficult to imagine woods in the middle of the city, but trust me they are there. And they look like any other forest/woods you may have visited. When I'm blazing past the snow covered trees I feel lucky to be alive and most fortunate to live in this glorious place. New York City feeds my soul and even after five years I never tire of it's wonders.

I finally used my Chanukah ITunes card two nights ago. I got some great music including an electronic version of 'Flight of the Bumblebee' plus 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?' by Rockapella. Yes, I am a geek, and geeks are sexy. Does anyone remember those guys from the PBS game show that proved American children can't find Zimbawe on an outlined map. I made a new workout playlist with my new tunes. Combined with the snow and the new music my average heart rate was 130 for 50 minutes. Awesome.
I ate some Quinoa and Spinach and now drinking a coffee flanked by my animal children. My new music plays in the dock as I type. Ahhh, life is grand.

Oh yes I ate like a champ today. Good Day!!! Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the little bits of magic that make this life grand.

P.S. I'll be back to my regular non-sappy self tomorrow.

The Importance of Fruit

Fruit plays an important role in Fit for Life. Everyone needs fruit for the vitamins and high water content. Some dieters shy away from fruit because of the high sugar content. The sugar in fruit is natural and unrefined. It is a good thing. Fit for Life and Natural Hygiene that fruit should be eaten upon waking and for the first four hours of the day. According to Harvey Diamond, the author of Fit for Life, the body performs the final step of elimination in the morning hours. Therefore it does not have the energy to digest heavy foods. The typical cereal and milk breakfast will sit in the stomach like a lead weight until energy becomes available. Fruit when eaten alone passes through in twenty minutes plus the body uses the sugar right away. The plan encourages fruit to always be eaten alone so that always passes through easily. This was hard to get used to at first, but it became second nature. Now I feel funny if I don't have my morning banana or Naked Drink. I mostly drink my breakfast for convenience and I don't feel that hungry plus I have a lot of energy in the morning.

Fruit can also be eaten at the end of the day on an empty stomach(three hours since the last meal) to stave off late night cravings.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Being a Woman/Status Report

Since everyone else is talking about PMS this week, I might as well add my two grams. This time around, my PMS lasted for a week with bloating and anxiety. I weighed myself at work and had gained two pounds. Ouch! My buddy reminded me that I was emotional and therefore Auntie Flo was on the way. Hence the bloat. It's good to have a gay best friend, they often notice more than women. I cried my eyes out when I found the butter tub opened on the counter. That was a big clue. People at my work were worried and afraid to incite a torrent of tears, but I think tears are a good thing. I believe PMS to be the time when we have a good excuse to cry like babies. All month I deal well with my stresses and dissatisfaction; period time comes and I can let it go. Not that I'm a weeping willow, but I relish a good sob.

On a happy note my jeans are looser now and the only dairy I've had is half and half in coffee. My eating habits are back on track. I am Fit for Life-ing all over the place. Last night I took Sebastian out for his first rollerblade since his injury. He was running like the wind. My new blades glided over the rough patches with ease and when going up the hills my stride was Eric Flaim, Olympic Speedskater. Oh how I love them. Thanks Ray!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ancient Grains

Disclaimer: What follows is my opinion. I am in no way trying to dissuade people from the low-carb movement.

I was reading my blogs this morning and I've come to realize that the low-carb movement is quite active. Being a vegetarian, you may have guessed that I am not a practitioner of this diet. I tried it a few times when I was young. My father took me to Dr's Quick Weight Loss Center. I believe he paid 400 dollars; I have such a good daddy. I'm sure they encouraged vegetables with pounds of fatty meats, but I was so excited to hear that I could lose weight eating burgers and cheese that I didn't hear it. I did lose 17 pounds the first two weeks. Excitement and smaller sizes followed then boredom and cravings. I never was a big pasta eater but I loved bread. As you might except the 'diet' stopped and the weight came on. People need carbs.

Success didn't happen until I found Fit for Life which encourages eating every food group(even meat) so long as it is unrefined. So when I talk about whole grains and how much of them I eat I am referring to something specific: Ancient Grains.

Ancient Grains are completely unrefined grains. Many have heard of Spelt and Quinoa(Keen-wa) plus they can be found in many mainstream grocery stores. Amaranth, Millet, and Kamut are known to the cruncy granola tree-huggers since they have not yet escape from the health food label. All these grains have large amounts of protein and require more energy from the body to digest. Hence you burn calories when you eat them. You wont melt fat just by eating these foods. Like anything, if they are overeaten they can be stored as lipids. I found them helpful before and after workouts. My L.A. doctor told me that you continue to burn fat after exercise.

I buy Spelt bread. It's so dense and filling one slice is enough. Ezekiel Bread or Bible bread is well known and can be found in grocery stores. The website does not include nutritional info but I recall the protein to be about 7-9grams and the calories 70 or 80 per slice.
Quinoa can be made like rice: 1 part grain to 2 parts water bring to boil and let simmer for 20 minutes. I put mine in mushroom broth which gives it a nice moist fluffy texture.

When I started my journey The Whole Foods Bible served me well;it's like an encyclopedia of unrefined foods.

And I just found this book on Amazon for cooking the grains. I wish I had it back then, it would have saved me some trial and error.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Stomach Bug

Sorry for my two day Hiatus. I fell victim to a stomach bug. If I'm too sick to touch food, then I'm too sick to touch the computer. I watched a lot of 'Buffy' and 'Smallville'. The upside: I might have lost a few pounds. Okay maybe one.

Do you like the new banner. Go over and tell the Token Fat Girl how much.

Two days ago, at a book reading, a wave of nausea crept up on me. I realized that I hadn't eaten for seven hours, but hunger had left the building. When the reading ended I started having the chills. On the way home I stopped at the bodega for a two vitamin waters then crawled and shivered my way into bed. Before sleep came I had drank one. The next morning I still felt bad and not hungry at all. I was starving by 8pm last night, but I didn't want to give in to my pangs because If I ate, then the only benefit of a stomach flu-losing a few pounds-is lost.

Hunger is a survival mechanism, just like breathing and thirst. I know it's crucial yet I wish I could turn it off at will. There are people, like my sister, who do not feel hungry, or if they do it is easily satiated. These are the people who eat whatever they want and they just stop, as if affected by a magical force. Who are these people and can I borrow some DNA from them. I've tried to imagine this feeling but can't seem to evoke a constant feeling of fullness. I fight myself everyday to feel that. I'm not saying that I want to have a sudden case of anorexia; that's on the same level as obsessive eating. I just want to feel full on it's own, not because of a viral attack.

We all have something to deal with: my sister permed her hair, mine was naturally curly. These naturally thin people should have something...like chin fuzz.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fit for Life

For a while I've been wanting to write about Fit for Life, the lifestyle plan that helped me alter my world. Fit for Life finds it's roots in Natural Hygiene. And Natural Hygiene is based on the principles of eating as nature intended the human animal to. (This short essay and I assume that humans are animals and the product of evolution.) These are my personal beliefs and why I this method work so well for me. It made sense.

The plan encourages Veganism, however it does give alternatives to those who want to consume meat. The authors reason that human were not meant to eat the flesh. Why? We simply can't; we are the only animal that uses tools to catch, kill, and prepare meat. The plan also discourages dairy. Have you ever witnessed a human sucking on a cow teat. I think not, although this is a hard one for me because I love cheese.

Food combining is one of the basic tenets of the program. Basically, protein and carbohydrates are not eaten within three hours of each other. When eaten together these foods digest over a long period of time leaving the eater feeling sluggish. Think of how you felt after your a recent meat and potatoes meal. When I first started I noticed a surge in energy after a properly combined meal. Calorie counting is thrown away-if you eat the right foods in the right way there is no need to.

I credit Fit for Life for changing my life by teaching me how to eat better and for giving me a way of eating , pardon the redundancy, for Life. I became healthy, happy, and had loads of energy. My periods got lighter and less painful. I'm starting to sound like an infomercial now, but I do love this life. Sure I alter it, have uncombined meals, and eat cheese. But I have the framework which is always there for me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

State of the Week Address

I have nothing to report on the greater themes of the female form or motivation or body image. Just Heather here trying to get a post up while Smallville plays in the background. I love Smallville. Anywho... Here we go.

1. Flew to Atlanta on Friday night. My best friend of 20 years is getting married in May. On Saturday we went spent a lazy morning in bed, platonic of course, then headed to a shop for a successful dress shopping experience. Flew home on Sunday afternoon for the aforementioned party. My friend lent me some clothes. I looked fab.

2.Did an overtime day at work and was on call last night. So extra cash. Go me!

3.My extra job tutoring came through. I'm excited to be helping someone pass the dreaded nursing boards.

4.Went to dinner with a friend and talked out my problems. I am writing a book about my body transformation that happened on TV. I just don't have much time to write. But she helped me put it in perspective. Sacrifice now leads to success later. I am canceling my February trip to my cousins for skiing and using the vacation time to write.

5. Ambulated Canine

6. Put together sample nursing exam for new student.

7. Blogging

8. As of Saturday I lost a pound according to my friends scale. So that's a good thing.

9. Managed to eat only 3/4 of a small cookie without entering the deep dark spiral of gluttony.

Here's to a great week...clink.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fat Clothes

So I have this party to go to on Sunday. My friend is celebrating an essay published in Self magazine. She and her husband live in a spectacular apartment in midtown. Her hubby is famous in the music industry. Her wardrobe looks like a professional stylist attends her each morning. What the heck am I going to wear? All of my nice/hip clothes are now two small for me. When I hit size six, I gave all my fat clothes to goodwill except for my size 24 jeans(I made them into an art project) I thought that not having the clothes around would make it easier to maintain, that I would never let myself get to size 14. In the past four years I've been creeping up there. I had to buy a few size tens. Then a size twelve. And now I really need a 14, but I refuse to buy any clothes because that would mean I accept this weight. I am not ready to do that. Since I am a nurse, I don't need a professional wardrobe, so I run around in the same pair of jeans. Right now my weight loss goals have nothing to do with health, but economics. I have the wardrobe, I just need to fit into it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Walk Tall and Carry a Clif Bar

So I am going back to the beginning. What worked before will work again. I weighed myself two days ago and I gained two pounds to weigh 182. That's dangerously close to the old Heather. I am not going there.

Today I said I would talk about Clif Bars and the importance they played in my successful weight loss. I believed they help maintain a continuous yet moderate feeling of fullness and helped maintain my metabolism. You may think I'm insane when I say it, but I lost 70 pounds by eating carbs-whole grain carbs- all the time. My lunch bag for work seem to weigh 10 pounds. (Unrefined food sits in the tummy like a brick. Undigested it's provides a good bicep work-out.) When the loss was noticiable my coworker's asked if I had a Gastic Bypass. "Nope, I just eat like I had one." 6 small meals every 3-4 hours was, for me, the plan that led me to fat loss mecca.

When I was young, I ate two things: daddy's hamburgers and mommy's meatballs.  When I was twenty I ate two things: mozzarella sticks and cheeseburgers.  At the age of 31 in the Summer of 2002, my father grilled me my last piece of steak.   Going Vegan in mind and body took about one year and once I hit my stride the pounds melted away.  

After I lost the first third my passion for rock climbing scrambled to the surface.  I took myself to New Paltz, New York for my first session of real rock climbing.  I had a blast and came away with a Clif Bar, a whole grain organic energy bar.   Back in the early 2000's energy bars tasted like a dirty floor.  Gary, the creator, reinvented the concept into an amalgam of granola and chocolate.   The bar spoke to me more than an Odwalla.  The rock climber doing an inverse on the package was the girl I wanted to be.  

I used Clif's for pre-workout, snacks, and meal replacement.  As a nurse you sometimes can't get away for a lunch.  I always had a clif bar in my pocket.   And I didn't eat the whole thing.  I'd take little bites whenever hunger would get me.  (I do believe a steady stream of food helped increase my metabolism plus hunger makes me crave things I shouldn't have. ) Even when not at work I'd always have the Clif.  Just in case.   A traditional Cliffy has 220 calories and 1o g of protein, a Luna has 180 and 9.  My favorite flavor is Chocolate Chip Cookie.  They do have trace amounts of dairy, so they are not completely vegan.   I do recommend that one not have more than one or two clifs per day they're not that high in fiber, only 3 grams per bar.  Too many may clog the plumbing.      

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Getting Back on the Horse

I think I've discovered the key to my food problems. Are you ready for this....never let myself get too hungry. Today I treated myself well. I ate completely vegan, except for my half and half. I had a Naked Fruit drink for Breakfast, salad and vegetable soup for lunch and after work snack, and another salad with macrobiotic sesame noodles. As long as I don't get too hungry, I don't crave the sweets. Walk tall and carry a clif bar. Clif bars were one of the elements of my success four years ago. I'll explain in tomorrows post.

I need to start my workouts again, but I can't seem to run or rollerblade without my pooch. Central Park is too bleak without him. He's on an activity restriction because of his recent paw problem. On Jan 11 will be back in action again. My friend is getting married in May and I need to loose 10 pounds so I can fit into the dress.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Spiral

Pasta Queen's recent entry spoke to me more than anything I've read since becoming a weight loss blogger. I never had help for the first go round, making the changes were easy, but now I'm lucky to have found this cyber world. The second time is much harder and I'm not sure why.

The first time I did it by eating Vegan, nary an animal product touched my lips. My chocolate fix had to come from carob. It was not as satisfying, ergo I ate less. Also, it's completely unrefined and takes up 3/4's of your stomach. Almond cheese (yes, it exists and is quite delicious) stood in for Gorgonzola. I walked/jogged into the healthiest time of my life. My resting heart rate was 48, my cholesterol 130. Then I went to California, was forced to eat fish and eggs. Since I was cheating on "my diet", slipping up and savoring a milligram of cheese with Janine, my extreme buddy, held no consequence. Producers regaled us with cautionary tales of the few participants who actually gained weight after their surgery. When I came home I found it difficult to find a seat on the Vegan bus. Plus, I figured I didn't have to worry so much. My food issues had been sucked into the five pounds of skin laying on the OR table.

Here I am four years later. Yesterday a coworker brought Canadian chocolate back from a trip for Kerry. I was working in the same area as her so they sat in the desk. Joselyn ate two and walked away. Oh how I envy her ability to stop!!! She eats what she wants and then stops. What a novel concept. Kerry and Ray too. I know I can't stop. So I abstain. Until Kerry heads out for lunch leaving me alone with the chocolate. I ate five unwrapping the second while chewing the first. I couldn't hide them because I'd know where they were. I couldn't focus on work. I had to bring them up to the main area for someone else to watch until Kerry's return. The rest of the day sucked eating wise. The chocolate sent me into the spiral. Cheese, bread, and pasta salad for dinner which I topped off with two candy bars. Plus a little bag of Combo's. Had to moderate the sweet with a little salt. Balance is good for you. The binge ended when I fell asleep on the couch. A replicated moment of my depression filled twenties.

In PQ's entry she asks can you be addicted to something you need for survival? I say yes. A friend in college weighed about 400 pounds when a medical scare sent her to OA. She joined the strictest offshoot of the group and admitted, much like in AA or NA, admits they cannot consume any form of their addictive substance. What does one do when they must eat to live? Get an IV? Get a feeding tube? She recounted a blissful feeling of relief when she handed over control to her sponsor. A lifetime of bad choices and stress about making bad choices lifted from her. She lost all of her weight I went to visit her. Inside her fridge sat stacks of tupperware labeled and organized. She consulted her menu then took a tupperware from each shelf and placed it on the plate. She explained it thusly: I make no choices about food, I eat what and when my sponsor tells me, I measure my food to the milligram, I eat if I'm hungry, I eat if I am not hungry. Watching her eat it was clear she derived no pleasure from the food or the action of eating the food. However, once she started playing the piano with me singing it was clear that she sucked the pleasure out of life.

Back to me...
My spiral yesterday showed me something valuable. I cannot eat chocolate and I may, to be successful in this quest, have to return to a vegan life. I may be able to consume that which I love like I love my bestfriend if there is only one of them. Walk five miles to get a Sbux nibbler cookie. I've tried to show some will, but the bag inevitably ends up on my hips. I wish people would understand about food addiction. My friends get the vegetarian thing and don't offer me meat. They should do the same for chocolate.
"No, thank you. No cake for me."
"Aww just a little slice, it wont kill you"
"No seriously, I don't want any"
"Aww you're no fun."

Actually I'm a lot of fun when I'm not bogged down with thoughts of that which I adore.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Heather's Hair

After I lost thirty pounds during the summer of 2003, I lost a large portion of the hair on the top of my head. Doctors attributed the loss to a genetic condition accelerated by a change in the nitrogen balance brought about my weight loss. My diet was not in question. It was simply unfortunate. I had two hair transplants since. I am consumed by my hair. When I was much larger, my red mop described me as opposed to my weight. "Who is Nurse Heather?" asks a doctor. "She's the one with the long red hair," replies a coworker. My hair went away when it was no longer needed.

I am waiting to save enough money to have one more transplant. In the meantime: no coloring, no braiding, no tight ponytails. I apply coconut oil every night, and it seems to be working. I can never be sure though. I decided to take a picture each month and put in on the blog. It's obvious the transplants were as successful as they can be for a woman. I did this with a wet head. That's the true test.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mold in the Refrigerator

My roommate should give up her acting career for antibiotic research.

Since my December travels have ended I went out to the grocery. Putting away the arugula, broccoli and sprouts, I noticed 5 Tupperware containers strewn about the fridge. My precious produce requires a clean space in order to nourish me with their goodness. I attacked.

It was gross; lentils and beans flecked with blue and green fuzz. They smelled worse than a hospital on a hot day. Dinner anyone. I forgot to take photos. Consider yourself lucky.

Today was a productive day. I met my friend for lunch. We shared a cheese plate that we made sure not to finish. I went to the Apple Store and fondled the MacBook Pro(any patrons out there). I got a manicure.(check my other site for a funny photo) And braved the Fairway on a Sunday late afternoon. The Fairway, a popular Manhattan market, should hand out a Valium along with the basket. It is insane, but they have the best prices and the best food. Aside from a Natural Market upstairs, they have fine cheeses, imported olive oils, and an amazing deli featuring delicious prepared foods.

I came home washed my veggies, made lunch, then chatted with three people at the same time. I am Supergirl.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Low Self-Esteem

Is no fun...and there is absolutely no reason for it. It is the most useless of all useless emotions. Yet, I continue to be plagued by it. Some things we have no control over. Some things we do.

My best friend's brother got married last year. We've been friends for 20 years so I was kind of like family. I'm hanging at the house the day of the wedding(my friend was getting dolled up with the other bridesmaids) so Rick, the groom, and I chatted while he tended to his groomsmen gifts. He was, on the day of his wedding to the woman of his dreams, complaining about his height. "I'm too short it really bothers me." I told him that life's to short to waste time on issues he can't control. He can't have surgery to implant 5 inches of bone. Well maybe one day. He agreed with me then muttered about how some thoughts are just thoughts. Then we commiserated on our mutual irrationalities. I went for a walk. Down by the lake I did some yoga in grass and thought on the conversation.

I did not get very far with myself. I still, even after having two twelve hour plastic surgeries on national Television, fight with myself on feeling and knowing I'm pretty. I can dissect myself into good: Curvy hips, flat tummy, nice eyes, then bad: thick midsection, flabby arms, no hair, but can't seem to see the whole. On my ski trip I was salivating over some hot ski boys and thought, Maybe next year when I loose more weight I look better to them. WTF is wrong with you, Waghelstein. I want to loose weight to feel better and climb more mountains. Have fun with ski boys and rock climbers is a bonus.

Here's the deal--I'm still stagnating in pursuing the career(acting, comedy) I want because I still don't think I look good enough. There, I said it. Everyone was right.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Brookhaven Obesity Clinic

I went to Baltimore for the New Year.  I don't have cable so I am clueless when it comes to all the reality shows on TLC and Bravo, etc.  On New Year's Day my friend flipped channels with her usual apathy.  We landed upon a New Year's Day marathon of  "Inside Brookhaven Obesity Clinic." The show, peppered with previews for Half-Ton Teen, Mom, and Dad, focused on 75 of America's most Obese people.   These people weigh more than 400-450 pounds. 

Mike Hebrenko, had lost 800 pounds twenty years ago; he started to regain two days after hitting his goal weight.  He forgot that food addiction is like alcoholism-it is never cured. In 2003 when the show was filmed he was a resident at Brookhaven weighing over 500 pounds.  This man is considered the most famous fat man in America.   He lost the weight using the motivation and techniques of Richard Simmons(Is he still alive?), then became teacher's pet to the perky fitness guru.  

Yes, Mr. Simmons is still alive and according to his website he will be teaching and motivating until he arrives at the 'pearly gates.'  I think G-d will sponsor daily trips to hell for Richard and Andy Gibb.  Andy will sing Shadow Dancing while Richard makes those poor souls 'Sweat to the Oldies.'  

Back to the show which put a few things in perspective for me.

I shouldn't obsess too much about 20-30 pounds when there are people out their trying to loose 200+.  Some of the folks on my blogroll have been or are in that position.   Also, I should be positive about my accomplishment: I've lost 90 pounds and, for the past four years, have kept fifty of those pounds off.  

I liked Mr. Hebrenko for the most part.  I understand how easy it is to regain the weight.  But, for part of the show, he looked to others for the answers and tried to put blame elsewhere.  Many of the shows participants blamed work, stress, etc.
I know there are people dealing with serious issues, but in the end, unless someone puts a gun to my head with each bite, I am the one who controls what I put into my body.