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Runner - Tuesday Aug 02, 2005
(Under 1600 calories)
Weight: 113.5

I'm bloated AGAIN.

115 before my run, 113.5 after.

I sure hope it's due to the bloating...because I will just flip out if I've gained weight already.

borntocry on 08/03/2005:
Hi Runner,

That sucks! It's bizarre how both of us managed to more or less maintain our weight in America only to see it go up once we returned! What is the explanation for this?

Runner - Tuesday Aug 02, 2005
(Under 1600 calories)
Weight: 112.5

Well, I'm holding to 112.5. I saw 113 before my run, but I was 112 after my run. So that averages to 112.5, which I'm perfectly content with at the moment.

Last night I almost got too carried away with some banana-chocolate cake I made, but I survived without too much damage, I hope. I hadn't done any baking in so long that I couldn't resist making a cake for some friends, but I ended up eating a couple of pieces myself.

I can already feel myself bloating up, though...it must be the salt. I just can't seem to avoid it here! It's in everything, and I'm always adding soy paste to my dishes when I cook. I wish my taste buds were satisfied with "plain" food, but I tend to overdo it on the spices and sauces. I can easily turn a healthy piece of grilled fish into a sodium nightmare!

Maybe I should just give up salt for awhile. I tried doing the "low-salt" thing one time when I lived in the States, but it was hard. And it's MUCH harder here!

borntocry on 08/02/2005:
Hi Runner,

I know what you mean about the urge to bake! I felt the same way when I got back from America. Although there was nothing in the house, it had been so long since I had done any baking that I felt I had to make something out of of whatever ingredients I could dig up. And I'm not surprised that you couldn't resist a couple of pieces of your cake - it sounds so awesome!

It is odd that you have such trouble avoiding salt, though. I don't think I have much salt in my diet at all. I guess the soy paste could be a major contributor. Spicy foods seem to make me feel more satisfied, too, but I try to add different spices instead of salt. And I tend not to use store-bought sauces when I cook, so maybe that helps. Of course, when you eat out there's probably not much you can do about it!

Oh, and thanks for the comment. I know I've always managed to bounce back from my weekends of indulgence in the past, but I have always been worried that one day I won't. And now I can't help but wonder if maybe that day has finally arrived! I'll wait until my next weigh-in on Saturday before I start to panic, though!

And it's funny you should mention writing to Pizza Hut, as I was actually thinking of writing to their corporate office in America to complain about how they're always running out of thin crust pizza here, and not even that late at night. It's just ridiculous!

sweetpea1977 on 08/02/2005:
That cake sounds fabulous, so I dont blame you for enjoying some of it.

At this stage of my life, I consume a few pre-packaged items at work, due to the convenience factor. This will probably end once I start a family (cooking healthy meals and having leftovers for the next day). Anyway, those few pre-packaged items tend to have sodium in it, which as you know, causes water rentention (temporary weight gain). I have found it very helpful to increase my water intake during the day to flush out that excess salt in my system.

A note of caution: I've heard it is dangerous to drink too much water, especially for athletes/runners so they must pay close attention to the amount of water they drink. There are a ton of articles on this exact topic that explain in detail on the benefits of water as well as the dangers of drinking too much water.

I hope you find a solution soon!

Have a great day!

geevee on 08/02/2005:
Hi Runner,

You're so right about JAP Air Lines.It's so civilized compared with AA.I don't remember what I ate but it was so beautifully presented, like a birthday gift!The other thing I thought that was nice, were all the Japanese perfumes in the rest rooms which I tried and subsequently bought one - Zen by Shisheido. What a lovely fragrance and so inexpensive on the plane. And those heated wash cloths when you first sit down. What a nice introduction.

I was in Japan as a tourist for 2-3 weeks and never met a soul who could understand the simplest, most basic phrases such as, "What time do you have?" even though the entrie country studies English. It is such a well-ordered clean country, esp. after mainland China!

I got so tired of noodles, white rice, sushi and fish that McD's was my savior. And those golden arches were everywhere. I needed to pick up a sandwich and eat with my hands. Using chop sticks all the time got to me.

Runner - Monday Aug 01, 2005
(Under 1600 calories)
Weight: 112.5

HI, all! I'm finally back in Asia! After eating ice cream every day for 3 weeks, I thought for sure I'd see a gain...but for some reason, I was down 1/2 pound! Now, before I start celebrating, I'm rationalizing that the "loss" is due to several things:

1. no bloating (I haven't been eating the typical salty foods that I eat regularly in Asia)

2. I've lost muscle mass (from not lifting weights for a month)

3. I've eaten very sporadically the last couple of days, due to long flights and a lack of sleep.

4. My scale is just off...

OR, maybe I DID maintain my weight! I sure worked out harder than ever while I was home...from running 6-8 miles a day to biking 6-12 miles every day to swimming to walking to hiking...

I was active the entire time, and I didn't do ANY baking, so even though I indulged in ice cream and some other treats, maybe I somehow maintained my weight. I'm not holding my breath, though...tomorrow, the scale may say something totally different!

Anyway, I'm glad to be back. But I sure did enjoy all those fresh salads and good foods in the U.S.! I tried to find lettuce today in the market, but it was nowhere to be found. Fresh produce is hard to come by when typhoons rip through the country and destroy the crops. And we had a super typhoon 2 weeks ago...I'm just glad I wasn't here when it came! Running in typhoon weather is tough!

I can't wait to go to the gym tonight!

borntocry on 08/01/2005:
Hi Runner,

Welcome back!

I think you did maintain your weight in America, through all the extra exercise you did. Plus I'm sure a lot of your indulgences were on healthy, low-fat stuff which you can't get in Asia. Looking back on my own holiday in America, which now seems so long ago, I don't feel that I did that badly at all. I ate more than I normally do, including ice-cream almost every day, but I think I maintained quite a healthy lifestyle with nutritious food and a lot of exercise.

In fact, I wonder sometimes if that lifestyle may actually be better suited to me than my lifestyle here. I always thought that all the great food in America would be my undoing, but instead I found that if I really liked something, I could make a little go a long way. And working out is so much more fun in America, with the open spaces and people waving and smiling instead of scowling and deliberately getting in the way!

Thanks for your comment on racing - I know what you mean about being inspired by older runners, because I feel the same way whenever I see someone much older than me overtake me. It's very impressive, isn't it? Especially when I think about the state I was in just over a year ago!

becca27 on 08/01/2005:
It's great to hear that you're back safe and sound. Congrats for maintaining. You definitely did enough physical activity to maintain. My goodness.... as far as maintaining muscle mass - of course you maintained it with all that biking and swimming? I believe that you did a great job of enjoying your food and worked hard to "earn" the right to do so.

geevee on 08/01/2005:
What good news about not gaining! You have the situation under control, Runner. I bet you REALLY enjoyed those greaseless vegetables. Not to be able to find lettuce would hurt!

Iron Chef America is a take off on the original from Japan and is broadcast on the cooking channel via cable. The show is a big improvement over the original. Bobbie Flay, Mario Batalli and Morimoto are the Iron Chefs. The pace is fast minus the inane giggling from the mandatory female actress on the Japanese version. The American judges are more in the know than the Japanese.

Boniato is the Latin version of a sweet potato, but I don't think it's that sweet. What I like about it is how it holds together and doesn't get soft and mushy when used in soups and stews.

The malanga is a root something like taro, and looks like it's covered with brown hairy type thingies. It's like yucca.

Well, I'm glad you're back so we'll be hearing from you more often.

sweetpea1977 on 08/01/2005:
Welcome back to Asia!

I think you did fabulous with the eating and exercise while in America. You made a conscious effort to involve yourself in a lot of physical activity, which allowed you to enjoy all that yummy ice cream and all the other wonderful American treats that you dont get to enjoy in Asia.

All in all, you had a successful vacation! Good work girlie!!

Runner - Wednesday Jul 27, 2005
(Under 1600 calories)
Weight: 113.0

HI, all! I haven't had e-mail access for about 5 days now, so I haven't been able to update, although I've thought about doing it often! This past week has also been challenging, food-wise. I'm on vacation with my family, and that means a lot of snacks, ice cream, and fancier dinners than normal. I weighed myself yesterday on a scale at GNC because I was desperate to know what I'm at...with my clothes on (in the middle of the day), I was 117. So maybe I'm about 115 in the mornings...I suppose I've gained at least 2 pounds. I'm still eating a lot of ice cream...

BUT, I've also been very, very active. I've been running, biking, swimming, etc. You'd think I'd burn off those extra calories, but I'm afraid they'll show up on the scale sooner or later. However, I'm leaving on Saturday, and I probably won't be back in the U.S. for another year, so I might as well just enjoy my last couple of days here! I've been able to have all my favorite foods except for a donut, and I think I'm going to get one of those tonight.

I think I'll take 2 weeks off of eating sweets when I return...uh, oh! My suitcase is going to be packed with sweets...I guess I just won't open them for 2 weeks. Yeah, I need a hiatus from all the sugar. It has been fun to indulge, but I know I'm going to pay for it. And my sweet tooth has returned with a vengeance...

Umpqua on 07/27/2005:
I don't blame you for making the most of your stay here. I think that number is pretty darn good too, considering your ice cream intake ;) What kind of donut will you have? Everyone goes crazy for Krispy Kreme around here, but I'm kind of partial to Dunkin Donuts. Don't eat them very often, but I remember back in my "fat" days I would have a bagel with cream cheese AND a donut every Friday at work. I think I'd go into a sugar coma if I did that now!

sweetpea1977 on 07/27/2005:
Hey Runner!

So nice to see an update from ya. Glad you are making the most of your USA vacation. Sounds like you are doing decently well your weight, despite all those wonderful goodies you've been enjoying. Good work!

Yes, please let us know what kind of donut you will indulge on. I enjoy the ole Krispy Creme standard, but I also like the cake donuts from Dunkin Donuts. But, my absolute favorite ones come from a tiny shack in my hometown. Fresh homemade donuts! Mmmmm...

Anyway, have a safe trip back home. Good luck with the sweets in the suitcase!! :o)


BethH on 07/28/2005:
Vacations are to be fun. You enjoy the rest of your vacation here in the USA! Have a safe trip home. Enjoy those snacks. Beth :)

becca27 on 07/28/2005:
No, you can't leave the U.S. without a Dunkin Donut or Krispy Cream. I'm so glad to hear you enjoying your food and not fretting about it. You work very hard and have earned this retreat.

Enjoy the rest of your vacation!!

borntocry on 07/28/2005:
Hi Runner,

Thanks for your advice! But the more I think about the half-marathon, the more it terrifies me. I'm worried that I will find the training very difficult and that will take all the joy out of running and I'll just stop doing it altogether.

I'm glad to see that you've been enjoying your trip to America. I was faced with the same dilemma when I returned - a couple of excess pounds on the one hand and a suitcase full of goodies on the other! But like you I also knew that I wouldn't be going to America again any time soon so I wanted to make my goodies last as long as possible. I still haven't opened my box of Chips Ahoy! So don't worry about that - I'm sure you'll be able to resist temptation for the first week or two at least. And by that time you'll probably have gotten your weight back down in any case.

geevee on 07/29/2005:
I wondered what had happened to you! Fortunately I scrolled down and found this last entry which must have been made after I had checked.

Ohhh, donuts! I used to eat TWO every morning with a Coke, a REAL one with all the sugar every single day all through middle and high school. Worse, Krispy Kreme was a few blocks from where I lived. There's nothing better than freshly made donuts. Did I indulge! So enjoy your last day. Give yourself a good memory.

BTW, did you try those luscious cherries? I just bought another $4.50 worth. The season will end soon and I just love them.

Runner - Thursday Jul 21, 2005
(Under 1600 calories)
Weight: 113.0

Hello, everyone! Well, I had a very memorable birthday---and one that would make any dieter cringe!!!

In a nutshell, my three main meals were all desserts. I had some Shoo-fly pie at breakfast (along with a little cereal), Cold Stone ice cream for lunch (along with a little protein), and four French desserts for dinner. Can you believe it? How crazy is that!!

My Cold Stone trip was so great...my hubby and I split the cookie dough combination in a waffle cone...and we ordered the largest size, so it was huge! It could have fed a family of four. I enjoyed every single bite, and since I haven't looked up the calories online yet, I haven't regretted it at all! ha ha

For dinner, I ate 4 French desserts. But I should probably explain how this came to be. The day before, I had seen a cooking class taught by a professional chef in the city we were staying in. I begged my hubby to let me go for my birthday, as I have never attended a "real" cooking class before. Of course, he thought it was a great idea, so I went to that and it was so neat! I really know nothing about French desserts, except from what I've learned from BTC! (I kept thinking about you, BTC...and wondered if the treats we made were authentic!)

Anyway, my dinner consisted of a chocolate souffle (right out of the oven), key lime creme brulee (a unique and delicious dessert), profiteroles with ice cream and chocolate sauce on top, and a 3-layer hazelnut meringue torte with buttercream frosting.

Let me tell you, friends, there was nothing low-fat about those treats. They were filled with butter, eggs, milk, chocolate, etc. And they were fabulous. Thankfully, I had gotten in about 3 hours of exercise (swimming, running, walking) earlier in the day, and the desserts were the majority of my calorie consumption. So I hope they didn't do too much damage.

But I woke up feeling a bit sick the next morning and was weaker than normal when I went running...and I know it's because I was having a "sugar hangover." I thought for sure that I would take a day off of ice cream yesterday...

But I still managed to have 2 Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches at 11pm. I'm pathetic.

Today should be fine. I'm back home and we're having healthy food for dinner. But there's still ice cream in the freezer...HELP!!!!!!!

sweetpea1977 on 07/21/2005:
Wow! What an awesome birthday! Way to go on celebrating it American style, LOL! I hope you enjoyed your decandent feast of desserts on your special day! Thank goodness that day only comes once a year. :o)

You definitely had a sugar hangover...its due mostly to the lack of nutrients combined with the highly active morning (serious calorie burning session!) you had. Bad Runner bad! ;o) You wont do that again any time soon!

Enjoy that healthy dinner and try waiting at least an hour before opening that fridge. Maybe you dont want that ice cream after all. If so, enjoy! If not, it will be there tomorrow!

Jenny :o)

geevee on 07/21/2005:

Birthdays are special occasions and you made the most of yours! Key Lime creme brulee - ooooh! I would love to have tried that! Just keep in mind that you worked real hard to lose those few extra special pounds which allow you to have an occasional spree, and you had a good one! You know, don't ruin that day of taste delights by looking up the calorie counts. Forget it! Just concentrate on how good everything tasted.

Umpqua on 07/22/2005:
Wow, what a wonderful way to spend your birthday! Those French desserts sound absolutely delightful, and the class sounds like an awesome way to spend your special day. If I were you I'd just move on from there and not try to tally the damage. I'm just glad you enjoyed it!

plumpZeta on 07/22/2005:
But it was your birthday! You should treat yourself on your birthday and wow, 3 hours of exercise, that's fabulous! I only do 1 hour and I'm beat.

Happy Birthday too by the way!

geevee on 07/22/2005:
Hi Runner,

Listen, that curried carrot soup recipe is THE BEST! I have to give you credit every time I mention it because everyone I serve it to loves it, including the Danes this evening, and it turned out especially tasty I think, because I put more curry than was called for.

Anyway, I've gotten so much enjoyment from that recipe, let me thank you again!

becca27 on 07/25/2005:
Happy Happy Birthday!!!! I'm glad you filled it with your favorite treats - my sugarholic soul sister!!!

Runner - Monday Jul 18, 2005
(Under 1600 calories)
Weight: 113.0

Hello, fellow dieters! It's the "11-days straight eating ice cream" gal. Yes, I've had ice cream for the past 11 days in some way, shape, or form! Some of it has been low-fat, but a lot of it hasn't! Thankfully, I've usually been able to make that my "treat" for the day and have figured in the calories to my daily amount. If I can make it back to Asia without gaining more than a couple of pounds, then I think I'll write a book about how to eat ice cream on a daily basis and still maintain your diet! Of course, I haven't been able to weigh myself lately, so I have no idea if I've gained weight or not! My shorts are still fitting me, though, so that's good.

Today I ate a big piece of fudge and a small ice cream cone for lunch. (along with a skimpy side salad from Wendy's). Quite unhealthy overall. But I guess I'm rationalizing that I may not get these kinds of treats for awhile, so I might as well eat them while I can! And since my birthday is tomorrow, I know I'll be going to Cold Stone Creamery...I even got a gift certificate for it!

Anyway, I still have 2 weeks left of my trip, so I hope I can handle all the goodies that are still bound to come my way...

And now I am going to try to catch up on some of your entries. I probably won't have much time to comment, so I'll be glad when I'm back to more of a normal schedule and can interact with you all again!

BTC, I thought of you yesterday as I was in the Cincinnati airport...I was saying to myself, "Now, where can I find some good cornbread?" :)

sweetpea1977 on 07/18/2005:
Wow, 11 straight days!! You are the ice cream eating champion of the world! :o) Glad to hear that you are making use of your taste buds by enjoying the treats that you rarely get back home (asia). Enjoy the birthday treat! What kind of Coldstone ice cream are ya gonna get? I want the details girl!

Happy birthday Runner!!

borntocry on 07/19/2005:
Hi Runner,

You were at Cincinnati airport?? You should have gone to Gold Star and had some chili spaghetti! (My husband and I are Skyline people, which means we hate Gold Star and dare not speak its name, but I could have forgiven you for it!)

I had to laugh at your book about ice-cream on a daily basis. I ate ice-cream <i>almost</i> every day of my trip to America. I think there was one day that I didn't have any - maybe two. But I kept my servings small and because I knew I could have it again the next day, and the next day, I didn't feel deprived. And I can actually get ice-cream here in Europe, whereas it sounds like all you get in Asia is some pathetic imitation, so I think you should go for it while you can. You will work it off later - you know you will!

And thanks for your comment - I think I've seen a website about that peanut butter restaurant in New York, and boy did I wish I could go there! I've often wished I could order peanut butter sandwiches at restaurants! Sounds like a great idea to me. I didn't know you could get their peanut butter elsewhere, though.

And before I forget... happy birthday!! I hope you have a great time at Cold Stone Creamery and I want all the details too!

Umpqua on 07/19/2005:
Happy Birthday! You must give us the details of your Cold Stone Creamery trip :) I say, eat all the ice cream while you can, I'm sure you're eating healthy during the rest of the day. And I'm sure you're being active as ever! I hope you enjoy your special day.

Runner - Friday Jul 15, 2005
(Under 1600 calories)
Weight: 113.0

HI, friends! Well, I am over the ribs incident. Reading through your comments helped me put things in perspective. It was only one meal. Yes, it was way more calories than I would have liked, but it's true that I never get real ribs in Asia...and these were good enough and memorable enough that I can go for a long time now without eating them again.

The last two days have been okay, but there's been at least one time each day when I've eaten more than I'd hoped to. Last night my mom made a wonderful rhubarb dessert, but it was far too sweet...and when I mentally calculated the number of calories in each serving, I was astonished to realize that I'd eaten probably 700 calories!!! I didn't think it was possible, but the combination of sugar, flavored Jello, marshmallows, butter, and a cake mix (along with the rhubarb) was very highly caloric, and half of the dessert disappeared within minutes.

Today has been okay, but I always feel like I'm holding my breath...because I never really know what the next meal will bring. It's so tempting just to pig out, but I know how I feel afterwards, and it's not worth it. Tonight I have a get-together with some friends, so there will definitely be snacks around. Let's just hope it's mainly potato chips...I can avoid those easily. If sweet stuff shows up, I'm going to have to be more careful!!!

Tomorrow my husband and I leave on another short trip (to another State) for a few days. The food challenges will be even greater, so I'm praying for an extra dose of discipline!

But I am determined to make at one trip to Cold Stone Creamery for my birthday...I don't mind getting the lower-fat ice cream, but I'm going to mix in some good stuff with it!! (And make it a meal in itself...I'll just skip lunch and a snack and eat ice cream. Gotta love it!)

sweetpea1977 on 07/15/2005:
I glad you are over the rib incident. :o)

I know how you feel about holding your breath. I am constantly tempted to pig out (especially with friends and family!), but most of the time I do pretty good because I dont like feeling guilty afterwards. But there are times when I shut off my mind and go crazy! :o) Gotta keep my mind wide awake during those temptations!

Anyway, I trust that you will do well with your friends tonight. Just concentrate on catching up with them and keep your hands full with water and healthy snacks.

Enjoy your meal at Coldstone. Mmmm...Coldstone!

Have a good weekend!


geevee on 07/15/2005:
Like I told BTC when she was in Ohio, you've gotten your weight way down to give you the 'wiggle' room you need to enjoy your vacation. Even if you are up to 115, that's okay. You need to take advantage of these eating opportunities which you don't have in China and not worry about them. You'll lose whatever you gain shortly after you return to China.

Having that wonderful, rich ice cream as a meal is an excellent idea. You'll be able to eat in peace and enjoy.

sweetpea1977 on 07/15/2005:
Thank you so much for your weights comment. Im glad Im not the only one who finds them a bore. :o)

I hope you are enjoying your time here in the USA!

Have a fantabulous weekend!

borntocry on 07/16/2005:
Hi Runner,

Oh, I know that feeling so well! I felt the same way - a mixture of eager anticipation and dread - for the best part of almost every day of my trip. There was just no knowing what opportunities would present themselves over the course of the day! It was so exciting, and yet kind of scary too because I never knew when I might completely lose all semblance of self-control and end up gorging myself on some unexpected feast!

I hope you do get to go to Cold Stone Creamery on your birthday - I never did!! They even had a free tasting on my last day in America, and I was actually thinking of going for a run in the morning and running to Cold Stone Creamery - haha, wouldn't that be something? But only their five new flavours were going to be available for tasting and none of them sounded very good, so I didn't end up doing that. You must tell me what you end up getting there, so I know what I missed!

becca27 on 07/18/2005:
Hi Runner,

You are just a social butterfly - I can't believe how many parties and food gatherings you have to face on a regular basis. It's amazing that you are able to control yourself so well.

We took our daughters to Cold Stone Creamery a few weeks ago. I didn't taste anything, but the girls and H liked it. I was having a strong - mental day and wasn't even tempted. They have a wasabi ginger flavor that H tried a sample of and he said it tasted like sushi. Have fun when you go and don't forget to give the workers a tip - they'll sing you a song!

Runner - Wednesday Jul 13, 2005
(Under 1600 calories)
Weight: 113.0

First of all, thanks so much for the encouraging comments!! You guys are the best!!!

I hit a wall last night, though. I went to the cookout and didn't overdo it on the brownies...didn't overdo it on the ice cream...didn't drink any pop...didn't have any butter or salad dressing. But I did far worse damage than I could have done if I'd eaten all those foods. And I didn't even know I was doing damage.

Igorance is NOT bliss...not when you find out that you ate hundreds, if not thousands, of calories. Or loads of saturated fat.

You know, I thought that I knew a lot about food. I can recite the number of calories in probably 95% of the foods that I eat on a regular basis. But last night I was caught off guard. I was served grilled and marinated pork loin ribs that were unbelievably delicious. And instead of showing restraint after I was satisfied, I continued to eat them...and had 3 helpings worth of ribs. Now, these ribs had a LOT of meat on them, so I was very full when I finished.

When I got home, I was curious as to how many calories are in ribs. Imagine my astonishment when I "googled" some information and found websites that proclaimed 600 calories and above for several ribs. And the saturated fat! I can't believe I was so ignorant!! I should have looked at that dark meat and run the other way...I should have known that something that tasted soooo good must be soooo bad for me.

Anyway, finding out that my meal was actually very highly caloric and very high in fat sent me into a tailspin. I actually started crying while sitting at the computer. Yes, I know I was overreacting. But I had worked so hard all day to stay disciplined and had resisted foods I love (BROWNIES!!!) to try to get "ahead" a bit with my diet. I know that I've been eating too much, and the number I saw on the scale at my friend's house was NOT 113.

I just felt incredibly guilty and upset. I know it was only one meal. But now I feel like I need to be extra-careful the next few days just to make up for it. And it makes me ill to think that I ate upwards of 50 grams of saturated fat---I could almost feel my arteries clogging!!!

Okay, I know I'm being overly dramatic. But I hate being taken off-guard. I hate eating something and then finding out later that it's really bad for me. If I'd only eaten one or two ribs, that would have been okay. But I ate about 8 of them. And they were big. Big, fat, and delicious. But at the moment, friends, I don't care if I ever eat another rib as long as I live. I don't think I can ever do it again. For 14 hours, I felt full and somewhat sick to my stomach.

Ah, well. Time for a low-cal lunch. I'm definitely taking it easy today!

Umpqua on 07/13/2005:
Yikes - that truly sucks about the ribs. I had no idea they were so high in fat and calories. I rarely eat them, and I suppose a lot of that has to do with the way they are prepared? I know a lot of bbq marinades are based on corn syrup (like so many tasty things in this world - heh). When I was counting calories I remember being shocked to see how much fat is in a piece of meat, and it's really made me conscious of portion sizes. I guess you can take comfort in the fact that you skipped out on carbs and ate extra protein at least!

I'm not at all surprised that your size is so much different in Taiwan. I'm generally a size 4 here, but I've been able to fit into some size 2s lately and it's just crazy. And if I wear juniors' styles, I'm a size 5. The insane thing is that when I was this exact same weight in college (oh, almost 15 years ago), I was wearing a juniors size 7 or 9! Sadly, size 00 and 000 does exist, and it's not uncommon to see it around here. I think there may be negative sizes as well. When will the madness end?

geevee on 07/13/2005:
I bet you never had such good ribs in China, did you? That was singular event you won't repeat, so enjoy the memory of eating them.

I haven't barbecued ribs in ages, but when I do I boil them in water first to melt the fat off so that I'm left with a fairly lean looking piece of meat.

borntocry on 07/13/2005:
Hi Runner,

You poor thing! That is so terrible. I know how you feel, because it's happened to me too. It seems so unfair, especially when it's something that you didn't even particularly enjoy and would never have chosen to eat had you known!

I remember one time this happened to me when my husband's parents took us out to eat at Don Pablo's. Now I would normally have been tempted to get something cheesy, with refried beans and rice on the side, but my husband's parents suggested the vegetarian fajitas and I thought this would be a healthier choice than cheese and fatty refried beans so I agreed. Well, I didn't like the fajitas at all but I finished most of the vegetables so as not to offend my husband's parents. Then as soon as we got home I got straight on the computer to check out the calories. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw I'd ingested upwards of a THOUSAND calories! I felt so bad, I wanted to die!

All you can do is chalk it up to experience. You didn't know, and now you do. You won't make that mistake again.

Oh, and in answer to your question, I bought my calcium chews at Jungle Jim, which is this big exotic food store sort of like Trader Joe. They're made by Viactiv and they do taste just like candy.

And as for the pasta salad, when I make it I usually use about a quarter cup of oil. But you can leave it out altogether if you want, especially if the sun-dried tomatoes you use are the kind that's bottled in oil. Otherwise you could just add a tablespoon of oil for flavour, but you don't really need it.

skinnyjill on 07/13/2005:
I come to DD because I am very ignorant about food and calories. When I think I am eating healthy someone on here calls me on it. I have been there. YOu think you're doing something wonderful, and come to find out you made a HUGE mistake.

What are mistakes for? To learn from. Now you're m,ore educated on ribs and can learn to combat this.

Don't be so hard on yourself.

skinnyjill on 07/13/2005:
I come to DD because I am very ignorant about food and calories. When I think I am eating healthy someone on here calls me on it. I have been there. YOu think you're doing something wonderful, and come to find out you made a HUGE mistake.

What are mistakes for? To learn from. Now you're m,ore educated on ribs and can learn to combat this.

Don't be so hard on yourself.

sweetpea1977 on 07/14/2005:
Dude! You rarely get melt-in-your-mouth finger licking good ribs in Asia, do ya? At least you got the chance to thoroughly enjoy them with bliss. And now that you know how some ribs become so tasty (corn syrup based sauces/marinade) you will be conscious of it the next time ribs pop up on the menu. If I were you, embrace the lesson you learned and experiment with "healthy" rib recipes. :o)

Plus, you are on vacation! Dont worry so much about splurging on things you never get to eat at home. You only live once, so you should make the best of it. Just balance out the next 24-48 hours with sensible & yummy meals and some exercise.

becca27 on 07/15/2005:
Hi Runner,

I'm finally catching up on posts and I read through yours from the past few days. The gluttony here is amazing, isn't it? I took my kids to the zoo and tried to buy them ice cream. First of all, a child's cone was $2.79 and then when she made it, the thing could have fed my entire family. I just stared at her and said, "This is a child's cone?" It's no wonder that we're all so heavy! The serving sizes are just over the top. It's ridiculous! I'm glad you are enjoying your vacation here. 3 weeks isn't very long, though. It's so nice that you get to see your grandma. Hang in there with the food. Ribs are awfully good - my husband marinates them and slow bakes them (for about 7 hours in the oven) and then he puts them on the grill. The meat is so tender and juicy - they just fall off the bone. Just think of it as a learning experience - now you know! Have a great day and a wonderful weekend. I hope you make healthy choices!!!!!

Runner - Tuesday Jul 12, 2005
(Under 1600 calories)
Weight: 113.0

Well, I'm surviving! I've still eaten ice cream every day, but the novelty is wearing off, and I've kept my portions very reasonable. Plus, my snacking has lessened since I've eaten bigger meals, and I haven't been baking. So I think I'm doing okay. I just have to take it one day at a time. Thankfully, my parents are too cheap to eat out much, so we eat almost every meal at home, and I can always choose healthy options if I want them.

Last night, though, my grandma treated us to Dairy Queen ice cream, and since I'd had a big (but healthy) dinner, I opted for the nonfat fudge bar, which was only 60 calories! I was so proud of myself, since I am a sucker for free ice cream and tend to order extra when someone else is paying! :) ha ha Anyway, I ate a few bites of my husband's chocolate dipped cone, and those few bites were all I needed. Then I concentrated on my own low-cal treat.

Tonight we're going to a friend's house for dinner...I think we're having a cookout. (again) I don't mind cookouts too much, though, as it's usually good meat that I never get in Asia.

I'm still amazed at how much STUFF there is in America, though. I went to two malls yesterday and just couldn't buy any clothes. I wasn't really in the shopping mood. Instead, I'm eager to buy my snacks---granola bars, pudding, jello, etc. I'm ready to fill up a suitcase AND a large box with food! I save so much money when I buy things here. For example, I can get cereal (on sale) here for about $2, whereas I pay upwards of $6 a box in Asia. So I'm taking back probably 10 boxes of cereal. I'm a sucker for those sales...and my sister even gave me a load of coupons that I'm having fun using!!! I haven't used coupons in 2 years!!!

sweetpea1977 on 07/12/2005:
Hey Runner,

My parents dont eat out very much anymore. All they do is grill meat and saute a bunch of veggies for sides. And I mean a bunch of veggies! I know veggies are good for you, but to have all of them sauteed in veggie oil isnt my thing. Might as well eat french fries with all the extra calories those veggies soak up.

Anyway, enjoy those bigger meals while you can! And you got to go to DQ. Oh man, I havent been to one of those in ages. I keep seeing commercials for their 99cent banana split. I could easily go to the one a few blocks away, but I am afraid I might upgrade to something more fattening. LOL!

$6 for cereal! Good grief! You should have your family ship you guys care packages full of cereal every six months! Asia doesnt have coupons? Good grief that is crazy! :o) Enjoy the coupon frenzy!

Have a great time Sweetie!


skinnyjill on 07/12/2005:
I truly take all the goodies here for granted. That doesn't mean I should go out and binge.

I love coupons. I don't know what I would do without them.

I'm glad you're having a good time. Don't let all of that ice cream get to your head.

Umpqua on 07/12/2005:
Way to show restraint at DQ! I don't go very often, but when I do I have to have a blizzard. I think we have too much stuff here in America, but it is the "land of good and plenty" - right? Heh. I'm curious if you go clothes shopping, what the sizing differences are b/t here and Asia. Someone recently mentioned "vanity sizing" in an entry here, and I've noticed that to be true over the past few years. Clothes keep getting bigger and bigger but the number sizes stay the same, and it's getting difficult to find things that fit properly! I remember buying a size "medium" sweatshirt in Europe a couple of years ago and being shocked. The same item would have been labeled a small or "extra small" here in the States. It's ridiculous!

borntocry on 07/12/2005:
Hi Runner,

I noticed the same thing when I was in America - the larger meals kept me so satisfied throughout the day that I hardly ever felt the urge to snack. In fact, I actually think I ate less in America than I had planned! If it wasn't for those two weddings I'm sure I wouldn't have gained any weight at all. Of course I was eating more than I was here, but I was exercising more, too. And I don't think I ate that badly, all things considered. Although there is a lot of junk food in America, I think there is a lot of really good food there too. I think I must have had beans every day while I was there!

So enjoy that cookout and don't worry about the calories. Your trip will be over before you know it - take it from me!

Oh and thanks for your suggestions on the picnic at work. I like several different types of pasta salad, but <a href="http://vegetarian.allrecipes.com/AZ/FireandIcePasta.asp" target="_blank">this</a> is the one I was thinking of taking to the picnic. The recipe describes it as a warm dish but it's actually good cold as well. And of course I use much less olive oil than the 2 cups it calls for! But everyone seems to think I shouldn't bother with the pasta salad, so I'm not going to make it. I can't realistically bring everything that I mentioned and I think this probably wouldn't be appreciated as much as the other options, so I'm not going to bother.

As for the samosas, I've never made them before, but I think you're right, they will be a lot of work. Also I have hardly any experience deep-frying. So maybe it's a bit risky promising to bring them when I don't know how they'll turn out. Hmmm... still haven't decided about that.

And I was intrigued by your advice to skip the chocolate chip cookies because I might not have the necessary discipline. I've never made them before, for that very reason... but now I almost feel like this is a personal challenge for me. It kind of makes me even more to keen to make them! I know you're right, though, and I'll just end up regretting it later...!

geevee on 07/12/2005:
Something else you might keep your eye open for is those granola-type bars, about 100 cal. each w/two in one package; 6 to a box. There have been a number of buy one, get one free offers down here which I took advantage of. They are great for emergency situations like you frequently have with all the traveling you do. Speaking of cereal, I found two more buy one, get one free offers, so now my supply of cereal is up to 13 boxes! It sounds ridiculous but I can't resist the sales. I hope you find a bunch of them.

Check your local Walgreen's ads for chocolate specials. I picked up some Lindt's, 70% cocoa dark chocolate bars (6oz.) last week for only 99� each.

I've discovered that some of those "overboard" days aren't really that bad because though I eat more, I am then filled and not hungry and prone to snacking so it sort of evens out.

If you're a coffee drinker and love coffee ice cream, try Starbuck's ice cream. It's so good!

Runner - Saturday Jul 09, 2005
(Under 1600 calories)
Weight: 113.0

Well, friends, I am finally in America! The much-anticipated vacation is finally here. I've only been here 24 hours and have already succumbed to 2 large bowls of ice cream with toppings. (the best bedtime snack) But I've taken it easy on the other foods---I've eaten quite well the rest of the time, and as long as I don't get in the habit of eating large bowls of ice cream every day, I'll be okay. (Although that's going to be very hard, as my mom has 5 half-gallons of my favorite kinds in the freezer! Two of them are low-fat, but 3 of them are the real deal!)

I'm going through a bit of reverse culture-shock as I always do when I arrive in the land of "plenty." After seeing only a very small minority of "pudgy" Chinese people in the last two years (most of them are normal weight or quite slim), Americans always look very large to me. Chinese are just smaller overall---not only in weight, but in height. (And I've seen maybe 3 Chinese people who could be considered "obese." Obesity just isn't part of their culture...yet).

Of course, after wandering through a grocery store today, I know exactly why Americans are bigger. There are just far too many good things to eat! I'm thankful that I don't have to face the thousands of tempting foods every time I go grocery shopping! Honestly, if you could only see the grocery stores I shop in in Asia, you'd know how I can maintain 113 pounds!

Of course, I haven't weighed myself on my scale for almost a week now. I doubt that I'm 113, but I don't think I've eaten too badly...maybe I've gained a pound, but I hope that I won't put on more than a couple pounds this month. It really is going to be hard, though, as I'm not able to go to a gym while I'm home and I don't have an accurate scale to weigh myself on. Getting out of my routine is good for me, but it also makes me edgy at times. I'm so used to scheduled walks during my day---going to work, during lunch break, and after work---and I don't have the same sort of freedom here to just walk whenever I get the urge. My family would think I'm rather strange if I did that. As long as I can keep up my running, I think I'll be okay. I hope so. I've worked so hard to get under 115 that I don't want to blow it the next 3 weeks.

geevee on 07/10/2005:
I agree. Ice cream at bedtime is the best snack.

Aside from the tremendous variety of foods to choose from, the other thing that got to me when I returned from Shanghai was the huge aisles. I was so used to those tiny, cramped ones. They were usually dark, too.

When my son was leaving for China a few years ago, I did the same as your mother. I filled my freezer with ice cream. I bet she loaded up with everything you've been looking forward to.

Enjoy it while you can without worry 'cause you'll be without soon enough and when you get back to your routine, you'll lose any temporary weight you might have gained.

borntocry on 07/11/2005:
Hi Runner,

You go ahead and eat all the ice-cream you want, you poor girl - you like it so much and you hardly ever get any at home. By the way, thanks for pointing out an error in my last entry - I'd actually had 1/3 of a pint of ice-cream, not 1/3 of a cup! Hence the 400 calories!

I have been thinking more about culture shock and how hard it is to switch back and forth between two very different cultures. For instance, I got so used to people waving at me and greeting me while I was out running in America that now when I go running here I've started smiling at other runners when I pass them, and this is inevitably met with an astonished look or a blank stare as that kind of thing just isn't done here!

I can imagine how hard it must be for you to give up the schedule that you're used to. I also feel that I have so much less freedom around my family. In fact, my family doesn't know that I go running and I feel a bit embarrassed about admitting it to them. I know there's no reason to feel embarrassed but my family is very unathletic and while my parents do play tennis and golf from time to time, I know they would probably find the idea of running bizarre and incomprehensible. I remember once my mother was surprised to see me in running shoes rather than in my usual heels and said, "My, those are comfortable shoes!" See, to them those are "comfortable" shoes, not athletic shoes!

I hope you are having a good time in America, though. Don't worry about the weight - you know you will get it down again soon after your trip. You always do!

sweetpea1977 on 07/11/2005:
Hey Girl,

Im glad you had all that ice cream! You deserve to splurge on something that you rarely get to eat! Be sure to have some of your other favorite goodies as well before you leave America!! :o)

Im sure the sudden change in diet physical activity level once you get back home will help jumpstart your metabolism and the extra weight will be gone in no time. But for now, make the most of this experience and worry about the weight when you get home.

I understand the schedule conflicts!! I had severe schedule problems on 4th of July weekend. I think the whole lack of exercise drove me nuts and put me in a really horrible mood!! Anyway, to ease your nerves, try your best to get your runs/walks in. If the fam thinks you are strange, so be it! :o)

Have fun!


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