Friday, March 9, 2012

Let's just say...

I've calmed down from seeing the weight gain.

On one hand, I'm actually relieved. For a while I was feeling like I was back to my original weight, and Nathan kept telling me I was crazy. Now, I have proof that I'm still nearly 60 pounds lower from where I started out. So, that's a good thing.

I think Jess' comment was spot-on yesterday. And it really made me feel so much better. Yes, I've gained weight, but there are so many other good things happening in my life. From getting engaged to Nathan to finding a job working for a magazine, I have a lot going for me this spring. And while 183 (ugh) is not a pretty weight, I know that I can still rock a cute pair of jeans and heels.

So now what? The most important thing I need to do is to take life one day at a time. I'm going to focus on eating healthier and getting back into the swing of exercise. I'm going to (try) to choose fresh fruit over ice cream and overall make lighter choices if I can. At the moment, I'm unsure if I want to charge full-on into WW or if I want to continue my pursuit of Intuitive Eating.

On one hand, I'm frightened by how quickly I put back on weight. On the other hand, my weight gain seems to indicate that the way I followed WW is not a real lifestyle change for me.

As uncomfortable as I feel in my clothes, I do not begrudge the pancakes Nathan made me smothered in love and warmth. Or the cheese and crackers with wine we enjoyed, oh so many evenings. Or the ice cream we enjoyed straight out of the container in bed. It's been a terrific winter. And I don't feel bad about the love-filled food I enjoyed.

On the other hand, spring is coming. And I'm sure there are many more healthy ways to enjoy life, such as resuming my thrice-weekly runs, getting back into seasonal fruit, and basically returning to a more balanced diet.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

So embarrassed

This girl who thought she knew everything about weight loss, who lost over 90 pounds to reach a healthy weight, who ran a 5K, who turned her life around, found a way to weigh in this morning.

And found out that she now weighs 183.2 pounds. Over 30 pounds more than last September.

I have never felt so depressed.

And, please, no I told you so's. I already know.

I may steal a scale

Last night, I woke up in a cold terror. I had a dream that I weighed 193 pounds. Don't ask where I got this random number from--it was a dream. I nearly woke Nathan up to comfort me in my distress, but then I remembered that I woke him up a few hours earlier because Leo licked my face and I was breaking out in an allergic reaction.

Fun times.

(And yes, it is ironic that I am slightly allergic to cats and have two of them.)

So now I'm in freak-out mode. Is it possible that I weigh over 190 pounds, that I have gained 40 pounds in six months? That would be a lot for me, but believe it or not, it's not my record. Then again, don't you think someone would tell me if I gained that much weight in a short amount of time?

I don't know. My size 10 jeans still fit--albeit tightly. And all of my dresses fit.

On the other hand, I can't even squeeze my size 8 jeans over my hips.

It was weird. In my dream, I kept searching for my old-non-digital scale because it's nicer (i.e. 5 pounds lighter). But all I could find was my old electronic scale with its flashing red number, saying I was 193.

I need to weigh myself. Because if I am 193 (hey, I could be a psychic), I need to do something to change that. But we don't have a scale (Nathan doesn't want one in the house), so I may be reduced to sneaking into a doctor's office and using their scale. Do you think the Syracuse University Health Center would weigh me for free?

As you can probably tell, Intuitive Eating has fallen to the wayside this week. I'm stressed with work. The kitchen is a wreck. Nathan and I wake up so early to get to work that its hard to always have enough energy to cook dinner, much less make healthy breakfasts and lunches.

Last night's dinner, for instance was a baguette, cheese and wine. Delicious, yes, but hardly nutritious.

And now I'm gulping 24 ounces of super sweet coffee, trying to buck up for a full day of writing, interviews, and photo shoots. And then we'll go home and hopefully decide to tackle the massive pile of dishes in the sink, pay bills, and cook a healthy dinner of chicken tacos (which we've been planning since Tuesday).

But let's be real. We might do what we've been doing all week. Buy a bottle of wine and order take-out.

Let's just say, I can't wait for the weekend.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Depressing thoughts on a Tuesday

Warning: this post is not about food or exercise or anything weight loss related. And, no, unfortunately it's not a fun post about dying my hair green.

This post has to do with something that has been troubling me for a while. Usually, I can get home from work, have a glass of wine, hang out with the Nathan and the cats and forget about it for the evening. But not today.

I can't stop worrying about poverty. And I'm not talking about some far-off place. I'm talking about poverty that hits close to home, at least for me.

Perhaps it's because I'm in Syracuse, where everything is gray and bare and there's no lush vegetation to cover it up. So unlike Virginia where poverty (to some extent) is covered by blooming flowers and southern hospitality.

Today, Nathan and I smoked a cigarette with a woman who is in her mid-60s. She wakes up at 4:00 a.m. to work the early shift in the newspaper's collating room. She has worked with the company for five years, and from what I can see, is a hard worker. She is also a U.S. veteran and has served in the military for over six years. And yet, she barely makes over minimum wage. She is consistently passed over for promotions because of her age and sex. She doesn't even get full-time status, though she typically works just under 40 hours a week, so is not eligible for health insurance, paid time off, or any other benefits.

She sits on the bench with me and Nathan during our cigarette breaks and makes jokes. She bums us cigarettes when we run out. She offers Nathan career advice (since he works in the same department). She harbors no grudge that Nathan got promoted and was made full-time within a month of getting the job and she's been working there for five years. (It helps to be a healthy, young man).

What will happen if she gets sick? How will she ever retire? Will this woman walk to work in the dark and cold every day for the rest of her life?

Looking at this woman and the countless other people I work with who are in the same boat, I am terrified. There are no other jobs to apply to. As much as these people may resent their employers who squeeze them out of benefits, they need the meager wages they earn.

I can't help but think that this country is going straight to hell. The poor keep getting poorer, as salaries stay the same but all other expenses rise each year. The middle class is losing ground by the second.

And suddenly, I'm afraid that, despite having grown up middle class, I won't be able to raise my (future) children that way. It's a chilling thought.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A few random notes

I woke Nathan up at 4 a.m. this morning and said, "I'm hungry. I need pancakes." After having a glass of milk for dinner last night, I woke up in the middle of the night starving. Thank goodness I have an understanding fiance ;)

So we drove to Denny's and I consumed two cups of burnt coffee and most of this:

Needless to say, it wasn't the healthiest of breakfasts but it was fun. Almost like a special treat for making it to Thursday.

I can't wait to get home. Sweat pants, a home-cooked meal, bottle of wine, and watching a movie curled up with Nathan and the cats. My idea of a perfect evening =)

Happy Thursday everyone.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Defining the word "diet"

After re-reading my last post, it strikes me that it's important--even essential--to define the term "diet."

In the chapter, the authors tell story after story of people who consumed nothing but fruit juice for a whole week or cabbage soup. People who thought that eating more than 1,000 calories a day was outrageous. People who tried (and sometimes succeeded) in losing 10 pounds in 7 days. Extreme diets, to say the least.

I, even during the height of my diet insanity, have never gone down that path. Even in my worst days in high school, I never fasted on grape juice.

For me, a "diet" means something a lot more reasonable. Roughly 1400-1500 calories a day (when I'm following the program correctly). Lots of fruits and vegetables. Whole grains. Healthy fats. And consistent exercise.

Is there anything so heinous about that?

I'm not sure. I think that restricting , whether its a radical diet or a more reasonable-health based plan might cause problems too. Perhaps it has to do with the motivation behind the diet? Maybe it has to do with a lifestyle change versus a quick fix to lose 20 pounds?

I'm going to re-read the chapter tonight and ponder this topic some more. Please weigh in with your feedback. I'm curious to know what you think.

Principle Number 1: Reject the Diet Mentality

"Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating."

And this is where I'm stuck. I can't seem to believe this step. My own experiences, plus the experiences of family members, friends, and of course the weight loss community, have lead me to believe that losing weight is a relatively simple process. As Weight Watchers says, to lose weight one must eat less and move more.

Throughout the chapter, the authors Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA, discuss both the physical and psychological problems with dieting. Physically, the two authors say that, with each diet, our bodies get more efficient at saving fat, therefore making it more difficult to lose weight. Additionally, regained weight seems to center in the stomach which causes increased health risks. The two authors assert that it's healthier to stay obese rather than to lose and regain (yo yo) the same weight multiple times.

But in my opinion, the more interesting damage is psychological. The authors reference a famous study of deprivation from the 1960s (I believe). In the study, a group of healthy men who typically consume 2500 calories a day are forced to limit their caloric intake to 1500 calories. As a result of the deprivation, the men start obsessing over food, particularly treats. Some men start "cheating" the diet and others become defiant. After the deprivation, the men are allowed to eat normally. And guess what? The vast majority of the men more than double their initial normal caloric intake, eating over 5,000 calories a day.

The author's basic argument is that dieting (i.e. deprivation) leads to food cravings and, ultimately, overeating. The basic premise is that people start out with eating behaviors that are in tune with their biological needs. For instance, a toddler naturally regulates his or her eating (over a period of a few days) to meet his or her needs. However, as people age and go on diets, this "intuitive voice" becomes drowned out by external cues.

One thing I noticed as a dieter was that I nearly always finished my portions of food. Because I counted the "points" for each meal, I wanted to get my value's worth. I didn't pause mid-meal to ask myself if I was full, I just kept eating and stopped when the plate was empty. While this habit was okay when I was measuring my portions, it can cause problems when I go to restaurants or have bigger than normal servings on my plates. This habit causes me to rely on the external cue of an empty plate rather than my satiety level.

Anyway, those are the two main points in the chapter.

First off, I'm not overly concerned with the physical factors. From the research I've seen, your metabolism is not a stagnant thing and will bounce back over time. That's why it is possible for yo-yo dieters to continue to lose weight. And that's why it was possible for me to lose weight. As for regaining in the stomach area, that sucks. But what dieter ever expects to regain the weight lost?

As for the psychological, it is SO HARD for me to consider that I'm not at fault here. I feel like I was born with some "fat defect" that brought all of this on.

On my worst days, I think that some witch stood over my cradle and said, "She will be pretty. She will be intelligent. She will have a sense of humor, but she will be fat. And that cancels everything out. Hahahahaha."

Could it really be that my first diets around age 12 caused this whole mess? Was I meant to be slim like the rest of my family? Did I unwittingly cause my weight problem by trying to diet?

That's a depressing thought. And it's hard for me to wrap my head around.

Before I get to that deep psychological issue, wouldn't it make more sense to lose this 20 pounds? Then, I can take the time to think about all this in my comfortable size 10 pants.

According to the authors of Intuitive Eating, my bargain is a common misconception of dieters. All dieters apparently believe "this will be the last time." And all dieters want to focus on the immediate effects (i.e. smaller pants) before they focus on the not quite so apparent psychological issues. And apparently this "last ditch diet" approach is a part of the yo-yo problem.

So, as you can tell, I'm trying to wrap my head around the first step. It isn't easy, and I acknowledge that it might take a while. However, blindly going through the steps, without acceptance, seems like a worthless idea.

Anyway, enough on this for now. On to breakfast: oatmeal with banana, milk, and a tablespoon of Nuttella. Yum.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Intuitive Eating Part II: Taking on the Challenge

As you probably know, in a year and a half, I succeeded in reclaiming myself. I finally shed the weight that was holding me back from many activities. I gained new confidence because, finally, people could meet the real Katie, not the Katie that was obscured by 90 extra pounds. And I naively thought that at 150 pounds (finally a healthy weight) all of my problems would be solved.

But they weren't. In order to reach my goal weight, I was eating very light. Some days, for instance, I'd eat less than 1100 calories. I started feeling oddly guilty about my love for mangoes. I "tricked" my body into thinking it was full by eating many volume-heavy stir fries and salads. I started to like the feeling of being slightly hungry because I knew that I was getting skinny.

In hindsight, my body wasn't so thrilled about being food deprived. I fainted twice at the end of August to early September. My body was constantly covered in bruises. I was too tired to exercise. My Weight Watcher leader commented, when during the last two months of August I lost over 6 pounds: 'Are you eating?' she said.

(Just as an FYI, I went to my doctor during that time and mentioned all my issues and she suggested I go on a 1000 calorie diet to get to 140, which she deemed a better weight for me. Just goes to show, there are some less than awesome medical professionals out there.)

Anyway, I met Nathan around that time. We started eating all our meals together and I no longer felt the urge to eat gigantic stir fries loaded with veggies and beans. I wanted to enjoy my food rather than just stuff myself to feel full. And that meant returning to a more natural place with food: I started to eat what I liked. Banana pancakes. Blue cheese. Oatmeal with peanut butter. Mangoes. Asparagus with olive oil. Pizza. And of course, we can't forget, chocolate chip cookies. Suddenly, no food was off limits.

I started to feel comfortable with food. In a way, I felt like I was reverting to 4-year-old Katie, eating what I liked without any thought to the food police that have ruled my brain for so long. But every so often I'd feel the urge to go on a strict diet again. Every so often I'd look down at my thighs and think, 'If I could just diet for 4 months, I could lose X amount of weight.' And then what? Like the child I was at 12, I foolishly believed all my dreams would come true.

And this is where I am now. The healthiest I've felt towards food in a long time. Not dieting and not bingeing. No scale in the house, but my clothes fit the same as they did last month. And this is why I think it's the ideal time to start a new goal. Not to lose 90 pounds. And not to run a marathon. But rather to take on the Intuitive Eating challenge.

"Intuitive eating is an approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body--where you ultimately become the expert of your own body. You learn how to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings, and gain a sense of body wisdom. It's also a process of making peace with food---so that you no longer have constant "food worry" thoughts. It's knowing that your health and your worth as a person do not change, because you ate a food that you had labeled as "bad" or "fattening”

The NEW plan:

I will read Intuitive Eating, and I will go through all the steps, while documenting my progress right here on this blog. I hope that this journey is helpful to others in the same shoes as me. Next week, I will begin with Step One: Rejecting the Diet Mentality.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Intuitive Eating: The Beginning

It's hard for me to remember the days before food guilt. As hard as I try, I only have fleeting memories of my behavior towards food before I started feeling that my eating was "wrong or bad." I remember pancakes sizzling in the skillet at my Aunt Linda's house. I remember having an odd hatred of Ketchup. I remember eating my spaghetti plain, with just butter and parmigiana cheese.

My relaxed, easy notions of food vanished by the time I was 10 or 11. It all started because my family-- especially my dad, paternal aunt, and paternal grandmother--thought I was an unusually pretty child. At around age 6 or 7, I started to receive a lot of comments about my looks. My aunt told me I was the prettiest out of all my siblings (nice, right?), and my grandmother told me I looked just like her (and she was a beauty in her day). I started to see my self-worth in terms of whether people thought I was beautiful or not.

But at 6 or 7, I didn't connect being "beautiful" to the Easter candy I liked to eat...or the chocolate chip cookies I liked to bake with my mom. No, I didn't start to worry about my food consumption until the very same people who commented about my looks started to make pointed remarks on my weight. It's hard to remember the exact remarks, but I recall my dad trying to convince me to lose 10 pounds at age 11 by saying, 'You could be a movie star if you were thinner.' Suddenly, my weight was linked to my looks and, by extension, to my self worth.

At age 12, I figured the only reasonable thing to do was diet. Restrict myself. I figured it would be easy to eat like a bird (like my two skinny sisters) and then the weight would fall off. And then I would be skinny. And then I would be a movie star. Right?

Except that I didn't anticipate how tired I'd feel. How much my stomach would grumble at night when I'd try to fall asleep after skipping dinner. And how much I would crave the foods I had previously taken for granted. Yogurts, cookies, pizza, muffins, bagels (you get the picture) all became forbidden foods for me. And that is when I started to binge.

During each binge, I'd believe it was my "last" and therefore I'd eat as much as I could. Because I'd honestly believe I'd never have another chocolate chip cookie again. Or another yogurt. Each diet transgression made me feel an immense amount of guilt. I hid my binges from my family and friends, which made me feel even more isolated. I grew up genuinely believing I was a flawed person.

And this feeling of self-loathing ultimately spiraled into a place of not caring. So what if I was a size 20? I was going to eat that large pizza, damn it. I hid from the world for a while, buried in my apartment with my two cats and lots of empty pizza boxes. Until one day, I poked my head up out of the fog, took stock of my situation, and realized that I only have one life to live. I could spend it hiding from the world, weighed down by guilt and excess pounds. Or I could have the guts to lose the weight and show the world the real Katie.

...continued to next post...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The inner control freak comes out

So, I have always described myself as an easy-going girl. Someone who goes with the flow and isn't ruffled by much. (My fiance would laugh out-loud at this. And so would my parents.) And I guess my behavior this morning proved me wrong once again. Anyway, this morning, I found myself faced with a dilemma. See, I had a food plan. And in my head, last night, it made sense. And then this morning...well it didn't.

So today, Nathan and I got to work at 5 a.m. Did you hear me? 5 a.m. Anyway, I ate a good sized bowl of oatmeal at 6 a.m. (FYI--I actually used real oats and milk as opposed to my usual standby of an instant packet and water. It was delicious). So I expected my substantial breakfast to hold me over until noon. And I was wrong.

By 10 a.m., my stomach was gurgling for more food. I debated waiting two hours until lunch, but in the end, I caved and allowed myself a small tortilla with peanut butter to tide me over.

Sometimes I feel like such a weakling for needing snacks. But I know that's irrational. Besides if I don't eat when I'm hungry, I'm starving at the next meal and overeat. Or I get cranky while I'm waiting. How do you feel about listening to your stomach signals even if they go "off plan"?

A Larger Perspective

This morning, I thought it would be helpful to me to look at my progress in a holistic way. Sometimes, I get fed up with my inability to diet and not being skinny. And I think it's important to look at the big picture.

At this stage in my journey towards health, I am not where I was three years ago.

-I am not 240 pounds. Honestly, I have no idea what I weigh right now, but judging that my 10-12 jeans still fit, I'm assuming that I'm not close to my all-time high.

-I am not bingeing. To prove this point, I currently have a half-full container of Nuttella in the cabinet, and I have not felt the urge to gorge on it. In fact, I may have, heaven forbid, lost my taste for the spread. All of a sudden, it tastes too sweet.

-I am not relying food to satisfy my emotional needs. When I have a bad day, my first thought isn't to go home and mindlessly eat junk in front of the television.

-I have incorporated some healthy habits. Oatmeal with banana and peanut butter for breakfast. Vegetables with dinner. More protein. Fruits as snacks. Eating breakfast every day, etc...

However, there is still more work to do.

-I need to make exercise a permanent fixture in my lifestyle. Whether it's walking, running, taking a Zumba class, I need to exercise regularly, a few times a week, for the rest of my life.

-I need to make some tweaks to my diet to be a little healthier.

-I need to work on eating to the point of contentment and not past it!

-I need to focus on feeling good about myself, whether I weigh 180 pounds or 140.

In a way, I feel like my weight reflects my progress right now. I am currently a little overweight, so I need to make some small changes. At 240, I needed to revamp my life. At 170 (estimating), I need to make some adjustments, but I think the overall structure is sound. If that makes any sense?

On that note, Nathan and I made chicken tacos last night--sauteed chicken, black beans, avocado, homemade salsa, tortillas, sour cream and cheddar cheese. It was absolutely delicious. I feel like it was a good balance between healthy and yummy. I also went for a little run on Saturday and I'm going to try to do another activity tonight. Nathan and I planned out our meals for the week, in an effort to save money and be health conscious.

Sunday night. Hamburgers. Homemade baked french fries. Roasted asparagus.

Monday night. Chicken tacos.

Tuesday night. Ziti with fennel and sausage. Roasted asparagus.

Wednesday night. Homemade pizza with mushrooms and red onions. Hopefully, something with protein or veggies on the side.

Thursday night. Split pea soup.

Friday night. Pasta with chicken, mushrooms, asparagus and parm.

Okay, so we only got to Friday, but still so much better than our usual! As you can see, none of these meals scream "diet," but none of them seem too unhealthy either. Not too much processed food, some vegetables, and lots of solid whole foods.

Anyway, time to start the day. Hope everyone is doing well.

Friday, February 17, 2012

New exercise goals

Everyone has been telling me this for a while. And I'm not sure why it's taken me so long for it to sink in. But I'm starting to realize that one of the biggest changes I need to make to be a healthier and happier Katie is...drum roll please...exercise.

I've contemplated going back on Weight Watchers nearly every day for the past few months, but then I'm instantly derailed. Banana pancakes are my downfall.

Food--and yes, sometimes unhealthy food--is a part of what I love most in life. I used to tote around that saying, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," but honestly, some things do. Doughnuts fresh from the bakery during the weekends. Sharing a bag of Cheetos with Nathan on Friday...just because. Coffee with real cream and sugar. Spaghetti with homemade marinara sauce.

Of course, it doesn't help to be with a guy who loves you, who kisses each roll of fat, and who would rather you happy and curvy instead of deprived and skinny.

I could, theoretically, go back to past habits. Start buying Flat Out wraps again by the dozen. Revert to my old dinners of stir-fried vegetables with grilled chicken. Start using Splenda again. Basically, gross Nathan out with my "diet" food choices.

Or I could embrace this new phase in my life. Focus on getting in my servings of fruits and vegetables while also enjoying treats. Focus on exercising REGULARLY so that I feel good in my own skin. Just focus on being happy with the body I have been blessed with. And less critical of the flaws I deem to be inexcusable.

Eating like I am now is not a recipe for regaining all the weight I lost. I think it's a way to reclaim my food sanity. On the other hand, I think exercising more regularly IS a good idea. I would like to work up to being in good shape.

With that all that in mind, here are some goals:

1. Work out 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes. Not sure what I'll do...maybe workout tapes to start out with and something else, like an exercise class, sometime soon..

2. Be conscious of my food decisions and portions. I.e. if I have pancakes for breakfast, have something healthier for lunch.

3. Think at least one loving thought about my body each day.
Today's thought: I love my hips.

Happy Friday everyone =)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day...a year later

Yesterday, when Nathan was driving us to dinner, it occurred to me that I wrote a blog post on Valentine's Day of last year. This, I believe, is the beauty of blogging consistently--you get forced to keep a diary, albeit a public one. The blog post was called Valentine's Woes.

You can read the post if you're interested, but to sum up, at that point last year I was feeling down, frustrated and annoyed by the men I was dating. I wanted something more substantial. On the other hand, I didn't really believe that I could meet a man who would tolerate my cookie-dough-eating, Gilmore Girl watching self. And then I met Nathan.

This guy.

And I fell in love.

We met a week before I was leaving Richmond. My bags were packed. My apartment was bare. And I decided to go out for a drink. One last night at my favorite bar.

I walked into the bar with no make-up, flip-flops and tentative plans to meet a friend. Instead, I met Nathan sitting in a room with a group of his friends. I thought he was cute so I decided to sit across from him and say hello. We started talking and we couldn't stop. For some reason, I felt comfortable voicing all of my weird thoughts--omen names, special numbers, food quirks--and the crazy thing was he totally got it. In fact, he even had his own set of bad omen names.

We ended up going dancing and he walked me back to my apartment. We must have sat and talked on my front stoop for hours until I finally made him go home. Honestly, I thought I would never see him again. I didn't tell him I was moving in five days.

Unknown to me, when Nathan was walking home, he ran into the friend I was supposed to meet that night. They got to talking. Nathan told this guy, T, about the amazing girl he had just met. And T told Nathan about the amazing girl he had just stood up. When they both stumbled over my Greek last name, they realized they were talking about the same girl.

And before you think this is too great a coincidence, remember this happened in Richmond--a very small city where everyone knows everyone.

Anyway, T told Nathan I was moving.

Two days later, Thursday night, I was supposed to meet Nathan at his restaurant for dinner, and I didn't show up. Why not? Honestly, I've racked my brain over this a million times. The best I can come up with was this: I was exhausted from a long week, I was moving in two days, and I didn't really want to start something new. Anyhow, I didn't show up for our date and I thought it was over with Nathan.

But Nathan didn't give up so quickly. On Saturday night, a hurricane swept through Richmond, leaving much of the city without power. I was holed up in my apartment, reading by candlelight and cursing the weather gods that had delayed my move. And then, over the sound of the wind and swaying trees, at about 10 p.m., I heard this voice calling my name. At first, I figured I was hearing things. Or else someone was calling for another Katie. But the voice kept getting louder and louder.

So I stepped out of my apartment and peered over the banister, and asked who it was. And the voice said, "It's me, Nathan. Do you want to come out and play in the hurricane?"

And for some reason, I very much did. I threw on a dress and flip-flops and hurried out of my apartment. As soon as I got down the stairs, there was Nathan, smiling at me. I told him I was moving the next day, and he already knew. He just wanted to spend some time with me.

We had the most amazing night, walking around the deserted city, hanging out with his friends, and then sleeping next to each other on my uncomfortable twin-sized air mattress. I remember the next morning, I woke up and walked to 7-eleven and bought our first breakfast, coffee with cream and sugar, plain doughnuts and bananas. We sat in the sunshine on my balcony and just enjoyed each other.

Yet, I still moved out of the apartment in Richmond that same morning. In fact, Nathan helped me pack up my remaining stuff, on his birthday, no less. But then I was back visiting him in Richmond the following weekend. Two weeks after that, I moved in with him. And two months after that, we got engaged.

And now we've been together for nearly six months. And, as sappy as it sounds, each day is more magical. He is the love of my life, the most amazing person I've ever met. I can't believe how lucky I got. And how lucky I still am.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Is anyone there?

Good morning everyone. As I write this post, I wonder if I still have any readers. I've been a lousy blogger these last (what is it--five months?) and it's understandable that many readers may have run out of patience and stopped reading my little (picture-free) blog.

Oh, and about the photos, I'm working on it, I swear.

But if you're still there, thank you. It's funny--my blogging friends, e-mail buddies, and WW Board members--have become real friends to me over the past few years of this journey. There have been many occasions where I'm talking about a WW friend and people assume I'm talking about real-life friends. But honestly, when you e-mail or gchat five days a week for over a year, those people are real-life friends.

Anyway, for those who still read and care, I truly appreciate it.

As usual, things have been a bit hectic lately. I'm working as an assistant editor for a magazine called Today's CNY Woman ( and it's keeping me busy with writing, researching and interviewing. And during my off-time, Nathan and I are enjoying having our own apartment and living together.

I'll admit, I've become a bit of a hermit these days. I feel like I should just go ahead and buy a long nightgown already and enter middle-age with glory. Haha.

Nathan and I are working so hard that when we get home we just want to chill, cook dinner, and put on a movie. Last weekend, we decided to go out for dinner and drinks. We enjoyed dinner and then stopped at a Syracuse bar to grab a glass of wine. We ended up making it until 10:45 and then we both looked at each other and acknowledged that we were beat. Plus, we wanted to get home to our own house where clothing is optional ;)

So, needless to say, life is a bit different these days. I was re-reading past posts and it's almost hard to remember that I was (what some may call) a partier just a mere five months ago. Now, my priorities have shifted somewhat, and I think that's a good thing.

Anyway, as for health and diet, I'm not sure what to say. I haven't been dieting and I haven't been eating like a maniac either. Nathan and I went grocery shopping this past weekend and bought $115 worth of healthy foods--brown rice, whole wheat bread, fruit, vegetables, low fat yogurt, cottage cheese, edamame, and sardines. Our coolest purchase was some Wasa crackers that are surprisingly good and only 30 calories for a large cracker. Can't beat that! Of course, we still splurged and bought a small wedge of blue cheese and made a delicious lasagna on Sunday night for dinner.

I *think* my weight is roughly staying the same. But since I don't have a scale, it's hard to tell.

*True Story*

On Saturday night, Nathan and I stopped by the Goodwill. As we were walking through the store, I noticed a selection of scales propped up on the floor. Immediately, I turned towards the direction of the scales to weigh myself, paying no matter to my bulky clothing and boots. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) Nathan was too quick for me. Every time I tried to get near the scales, he picked me up and kept me from getting to them. The store clerks must have thought we were deranged as we laughed and Nathan wrestled me from the bathroom scales.

He kept repeating, "No matter what the scale says, up or down, you're going to cry, and I don't want to ruin our evening. If you want to weigh yourself, join Weight Watchers"

Maybe he has a point ;) The prospect is under consideration.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Diet is an evil word

It would be inaccurate for me to tell you that I've been on a diet these past few weeks. Especially if I go on to say that I shared not one, but two delicious wedges of blue cheese with Nathan on Tuesday night and enjoyed a sinfully delicious hot chocolate last night (secret: more chocolate than milk).

Despite of all this "deliciousness" as Nathan would say, I have made some changes lately that have helped me to feel healthier. I have started bringing a huge bag of groceries to work. If anyone remembers me from my previous job, it feels just like old times.

In my bag this morning:
-full fat cottage cheese with strawberries, an apple, a banana, a tortilla with refried beans and corn, a packet of oatmeal, and a jar of peanut butter.

This line-up of food keeps me from getting hungry when I'm at work and it also makes me feel good. With the cottage cheese, refried beans and peanut butter, I get dairy, protein and fat. The strawberries, apple, and banana satisfy my sugar cravings and knock off three servings of fruit. And the tortilla and oatmeal satisfy my grain servings.

I know, I know...I need a vegetable and corn doesn't count. But all in all, I feel pretty pleased with my breakfasts/lunches.

In addition to bringing food to work, I've also tried to make a habit of walking the 1.5 miles back home. Unfortunately, this task is more difficult than I would like. Let's just say Syracuse, NY is not a fun place to be in January. Yesterday, I walked home in what felt like 10 degree weather, with the wind blowing smack in my face. But regardless, I have been walking home about 2-3 times per week, and it feels good to get some exercise.

And last but not least, today marks day three of quitting cigarettes. It hasn't been easy, but my lungs feel a lot better even after such a short time period.

Despite all of these "small" improvements, this morning I pulled on a pair of jeans and they felt TIGHT. I told Nathan that we need to buy a scale (the old scale somehow ended up in a trash can in Richmond) and he said no, that I don't need a scale in the house. While I somewhat agree (I did become borderline obsessive with the scale last time), I would like a way to monitor my progress. From what I can tell, I should be maintaining right now. Although I sometimes overdo it at dinner, my meals throughout the day are healthy and balanced. And I'm getting in some exercise. I think that my weight (should) be holding steady. But on the other hand, I really don't know.

I keep having these dreams where I go to a WW center and weigh in. The other night, I weighed 160 (huge sigh of relief) but sometimes I think I weigh 170. Last time I weighed myself, one month ago, I weighed 165, but I have no idea what I weigh now. Grrr...the suspense is killing me. And before you suggest joining WW again, we REALLY cannot afford that right now. One of the many perks of being a professional writer is trying to live on a minimum wage salary. And come on, you know me, I like my cheese, wine, contacts, dinners out to restaurants, movies, new clothes, hair cuts, etc...way too much to live within my means.

On the other hand, I also enjoy working at a job that doesn't make me want to pull my hair out.

Is it possible to achieve both? And is it possible to eat well and maintain?

Oh, the eternal questions. Well, on that note, have a nice weekend.