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Runner - Monday Jul 26, 2004

Weight: 115.5

The scale is just crazy! I ate very well yesterday, got plenty of exercise and water, and was a full 2 pounds heavier this morning than I was a couple of days ago. THere's no reason for the weight gain that I can see. And I'm bloated, too! So I must be retaining water. I'm wondering if it's due to the 16 pills I'm taking every day for my tonsilitis.

The doctor here said that is what I have...but who knows. He looked at my throat for a whole 3 seconds and then gave me a load of pills to take. I have no idea what kinds of pills they are, and it's too much work to try to figure it out since everything is written in Chinese. But I got a little peeved this morning when I saw the weight gain, because I don't feel like I deserve it. Man, I know when I goof up, and I haven't goofed up badly in awhile.

On another note...

a few people I work with want me to help them lose weight. When they heard that I lost 40 pounds, they were so impressed...because they have only known me as a "thin" person. So, actually, my boss wants me to help some of the Chinese workers lose weight in a healthy manner. Since the Chinese are usually clueless about proper weight loss, this will be a challenge! I mean, I'm basically going to have to tell these men and women that the majority of the foods they eat are NOT going to aid them in weight loss. ("Sorry, man, no more fried rice for you!") :)

Well, I'm up to the challenge! I like helping people get healthy and lose weight! But with the cultural differences, slight language barriers, and the lack of low-fat foods here, it's going to be a challenge!! Just cooking for myself is a challenge...and now I'm supposed to give advice to men and women who don't have the first clue as to what "low fat" is? Really...I have my work cut out for me!

borntocry on 07/27/2004:
I also was really amazed when I first learnt how much weight you'd lost, because I've also only "known" you as a thin person. For some reason I just can't imagine you weighing 40 pounds more!

Thanks for the recipe, by the way. I should probably try to resist trying it out for as long as possible (haha!) but it's nice to have it just in case!

So have you never taken any measurements of yourself? I initially wanted to use measurements, instead of weight, to judge my progress but now I find my measurements aren't budging at all (at least, not the right ones!).

geevee on 07/27/2004:
Lesson #1 -Take out that bamboo steamer for cooking your vegetables. Put that cup of oil away!

If you could get that idea across, you'd be doing a public service.

Runner - Sunday Jul 25, 2004

Weight: 114.5

I was sick this weekend, so I didn't feel like eating much...until last night, when I decided to make homemade oatmeal cream pies. I found a recipe on the Internet, and I happened to have all the ingredients...they turned out great, but I ate several of them before the night was over! Ah, well. Today is a new day! I'm still feeling a bit "under the weather," but I'm on a bunch of antibiotics, so I should be better soon. I still managed to run yesterday morning when I had a fever. I felt pretty weak, but I ran for 30 minutes and biked for 20. After awhile, the endorphins kicked in, and I just ignored the fact that my legs felt weak and my skin was all prickly.

borntocry on 07/26/2004:
You have a fever for exercise, that's what you have. It's great - I love it!

Good luck with the mini-marathon, if you decide to do it. My boyfriend ran one when he was ten years old - amazing, isn't it? He actually won it the year later! I have nothing but envy and admiration for anyone who can run one of those. I can't even begin to imagine running that kind of distance. Even if I was jogging at the slowest possible speed I don't think I'd last more than a quarter of the way.

My boyfriend has also begun to notice a decline in his athletic ability over the years. For me, it's quite the reverse! I've never been as fit and athletic as I am now. And it's partly thanks to you!

Oh yes, and before I forget... those oatmeal things you made have piqued my interest. Would you care to share the recipe? Thanks!

geevee on 07/26/2004:
Several times when I felt a cold coming on, I simply ignored the symptoms and got involved in heavy physical activity like doing yard or mowing the yard for 5 hrs. When I was finished, I felt fine and all signs of the budding cold had disappeared. It was truly amazing so running as you did was probably the best thing you could have done. Good for you!

geevee on 07/26/2004:
Several times when I felt a cold coming on, I simply ignored the symptoms and got involved in heavy physical activity like doing yard or mowing the yard for 5 hrs. When I was finished, I felt fine and all signs of the budding cold had disappeared. It was truly amazing so running as you did was probably the best thing you could have done. Good for you!

Runner - Friday Jul 23, 2004

Weight: 115.0

Well, today I'll try not to rant and rave as much...even though I just had lunch out with some friends at a Chinese restaurant and everything was GREASY! I tried to go easy, though...but I'm sure I reek of garlic!

I wanted to avoid going out, but I really didn't have a choice today. Thankfully, it's almost the weekend, and for once, we have nothing big planned. So I hope to relax, eat my own food, and go swimming.

I'm trying to decide if I want to do another half-marathon in October. If I do it, I'll need to start training more in a few weeks. I'm just not sure my body is up to it. I did 3 half-marathons in the span of 6 months last year, and I think it took a toll on my body. I can still run easily, but I have to stretch more now and I'm just sore more often than I've ever been before.

Old age. Ugh! I think I hit my "peak" in running when I was about 25. Now that I'm closer to 30 than 20, I can feel my body saying, "Stop!" more often! But I have incredible willpower. I can still run for 50 minutes even if my whole body is aching and crying out. Now, if only I could use that same willpower to keep me away from eating certain foods...

Scruffy on 07/24/2004:
Scruff was here

Runner - Thursday Jul 22, 2004

Weight: 114.5

Doing okay...although I found myself doing a bit of "mindless eating" last night before bedtime.

I feel like ranting and raving a bit about the lack of low-fat products here. It's not like I live in the middle of nowhere. I live in a huge, cosmopolitan city. But we're about 10 years behind the health food craze in the States. So low-fat products are just starting to make an entrance...and they're very expensive!

One thing that bugs me is how the Chinese think that their diet is so healthy. Even their high school textbooks proclaim the Chinese diet as the "healthiest in the world." I disagree! They need a serious wake-up call! It's only a matter of time until their country is suffering from high obesity rates...they're definitely on their way! In fact, China is starting to deal with an alarming rate of child obesity...of course, they blame it all on McDonald's and a higher standard of living.

Just because they don't eat a lot of sugar doesn't mean they're healthy! In the night markets and most restaurants, 90% of the food is fried and fatty. They do eat fruits and veggies, but I think they way overdo it on starches and fatty meats. How can eating pork fat and deep fried chicken thighs be superhealthy? It's not.

So sometimes my American patriotism rears its head when I get into a discussion about diet with the Chinese people. Yes, America does have a serious problem with obesity. But many people are trying to fight it...and I know plenty of Americans who eat healthy!

Yes, we Americans could learn some things from the Chinese. We SHOULD eat more veggies and fruits. We SHOULD eat less. But THEY could learn a few things from US, too!

For example: 1. Cooking spray can be used instead of vegetable oil when frying.

2. Grilled hicken breast is a healthy alternative to deep fried chicken legs or thighs. (They don't think chicken breast tastes as good as the legs or thighs...so they don't eat it!)

3. Boiling veggies is better for you than frying them.

4. Desserts should be made with less LARD. In fact, cut out the lard completely! (That's basically all they use...pure trans fat)

5. Bread products shouldn't reek of butter...c'mon, where's the healthy whole wheat? (It's not available, period)

6. Has anyone ever heard of frozen yogurt? Man, what I would do for some really good Edy's frozen yogurt!

7. It would be nice to have more than one Diet pop to choose from...Diet Coke gets a little boring!

okay, I'll stop here. :) I really love living in Asia, but sometimes the food thing really gets to me! I know Geevee has been there...and Borntocry deals with similar issues in France.

Even though America has high obesity rates, at least they have plenty of variety in their food!

borntocry on 07/22/2004:
Hi Runner,

I just can't resist chipping in... if you get irritated by the Chinese bragging about their diet, you should hear the French! It's like an obsession with them! They actually find it hard to believe that anyone could prefer some other style of cooking to theirs. I'm vegetarian, and when I go to a French restaurant, there is often NOTHING I can eat! Sometimes not even a salad or a side dish! Even their vegetables are cooked in lard, or mixed with bacon and ham. And they eat things like horse meat, and calf's head - can you believe it? Yet, when my boyfriend told the people he works with that I don't like French food, one of them raised her eyebrows and said, "That's the first time I've ever heard that!"

They also have this absurd idea that the only food available in America is McDonald's (which they blame for all their own problems with obesity, while simultaneously pretending that no French person ever goes there). Similarly, they're constantly making fun of how terrible British food is. I've tried to explain to them that most major American and English cities boast restaurants from all over the world, but they seem completely unable to grasp the concept!

I am also so desperate for frozen yoghurt! You know, I actually prefer it to ice-cream! I hate the taste of cream! But frozen yoghurt is just unheard of here. I can't even find it in England.

I think things are gradually starting to change, though. I spent part of my childhood in Asia and I couldn't even get skimmed milk there. I had to have whole milk, which I think is part of the reason I hate the taste of milk. But gradually, as people around the world get fatter, and richer, there's more demand for healthy products. A French ice-cream company has actually started making a "light" version of their regular ice-cream - it isn't frozen yoghurt but it's a start!

geevee on 07/22/2004:
OH, Runner! You KNOW the memories you dredge up for me when you talk about your food choices! That latent tinge of anorexia I think I was developing when I was in Shanghai starts rearing its head as I read the words: LARD, OIL, UGGGGGH! You haven't detailed the rice. I learned to HATE it and didn't eat it for two years after I returned. That mass of white, sticky, gluey, paste-like gook the Chinese consider rice is so tasteless. Are other varieties available in stores? I never cooked when I was there but I spend over $4lb. for Black Forbidden Rice that comes from China. Do they export ALL of it? And what about potatoes? I used to crave them. Can you get them? Sweet potatoes? I wish I could pack up some Edy's yogurt in dry ice and send it to you before it melted. Fat chance, right? Just plain yogurt is fine, right?

You mentioned McDonald's as the culprit to the Chinese, but when I was in Taipei, my friend and I would look for those golden arches at lunchtime. It was like "health" food compared to the Chinese alternative. No, I am not impressed AT ALL with the Chinese diet. On the main street downtown, there is a huge restaurant, something like six floors, where we did have a nice meal. Our host did the ordering and I can't recall one thing I ate. There were so many dishes that were shared. But what an interesting concept for a restaurant! I also went to the downtown Dominoes. Thank God for western food! I'm still sending C.A.R.E. packages to my son in Japan. ( all kinds of beans, corn meal) You're really doing well because I know what you're up against.

Runner - Wednesday Jul 21, 2004

Weight: 114.5

Had a great dim sum meal last night, but I'm glad that is an occasional treat.

I went out for lunch today but stuck to a low-cal salad and a few bites of yogurt. (I even brought my own fat-free dressing that my mom sends me from the States). Then I ran home quickly and had a protein shake and an apple. I should have called it quits, since I was full by that time, but I had packed some Dr. Soy protein bars that I absolutely LOVE as a snack for later...and ended up eating one of them for lunch. So now I don't want to eat another snack this afternoon, but I don't know if I'll need one before dinnertime. I am in the bad habit of eating midafternoon snacks...I guess it's not a bad habit, if I keep them under 200 calories. I went though a time last year when I would consume up to 500 calories in snacks. I've done better this year, but it's still hard not to snack if the food is THERE. SO it is usually best if I just pack what I need for the day and don't let myself keep snacks in my desk. Otherwise, I just want to eat them! If food is around, I have a hard time not eating it.

I like Borntocry's goals for eating...I do think it's important to eat when you're hungry and not to just eat because it's "time to eat." I've tried to do that as well, and it's helped me get out of the rut of always eating just because everyone else is or because it's "mealtime." One book I read last year is all about eating only when you're hungry and stopping even when you're not totally full. There is definitely some truth in that! Our bodies can easily signal to us when we're hungry...but my brain often wants to tell me that I'm hungry even when I'm not!

My problem is that I often overeat, not knowing that I'm actually full. Then, about 30 minutes later, I feel FULL. I wish I got "fuller" faster. But it helps to slow down when I eat. I'm learning...I've come a long way.

borntocry on 07/21/2004:
Hi Runner,

Thanks for your comment. Yes, when I had an eating disorder, I was extremely obsessed with food. All day at school I would draw pictures of food in my notebooks. As soon as I got home I would start reading my mother's cookbooks. These included hefty tomes like Joy Of Cooking, as well as stacks of cooking-related magazines. After a few months of this I knew how to cook everything under the sun - even ridiculous things like venison and hare. Yet I myself lived on toast and cottage cheese.

Don't worry about your future kids - I'm sure they will be fine. It will be good for them to have their meals planned out. Their meals will be so much better and more healthy than the norm. I hate to see mothers constantly passing their toddler packets of chips and other junk food. They are just teaching them poor eating habits.

To be honest, I think you have a good attitude towards food. You don't limit yourself too much. Your attitude towards exercise seems more extreme, but exercise is so good for health, aside from being a weight loss tool, that it's hard to fault it. Anyway, I'm confident that we will become better at dealing with "food issues" as we get accustomed to our good habits and become more confident about our self-control. I think it becomes easier to avoid unhealthy food over time, and the more we do it, the more confident we will be about our ability to resist temptation. At least that's what I'm hoping!

feeleebubs on 07/21/2004:
I'm the same way. If there is food around, I will want to eat it. Sometimes, even when I only bring what I will need for the day, I just want to eat it all at once. It sounds like your still doing great. I love reading your entries. It helps me remember that it's not just overweight people who have trouble with food. We all do lol

legcramps on 07/21/2004:
Keeping food in my desk drawer would be the most fatal thing I could possibly do! I just have to smell the aroma of food and i'm "hungry". It takes a lot of effort to stay away from snacks when I have access to them! I've been bringing bottles and bottles of water to work with me, and that seems to help a lot with midday snacking. Good luck!

Runner - Monday Jul 19, 2004

Weight: 114.0

Well, overall, I had a great birthday! My creative husband organized a little dessert bar for me at work...and my coworkers loved it! There's a popular dessert here called "bings," and it's basiclly shaved ice with all sorts of toppings on it. The Chinese prefer things like red beans on top of their bings, but we Americans like all the sweet stuff---fruit, candies, jellies, syrups. So my husband had about 8 different toppings, and everyone got to make their own bings! It was very yummy...and although it was low-fat (no calories in ice, right?), I had plenty of empty sugar calories!

But since I didn't go out to eat or have a birthday cake made for me, I thoroughly enjoyed my bing!

I thought that would be my big treat for the day and I was planning to have a low-cal supper after I lifted weights, but my husband threw me for a loop when I got home.

Usually, he doesn't bother to buy me food, since he knows I can be picky and tense around food that I don't choose. But he thought I needed some birthday cake, and he spent about $4 on two pieces of "death by chocolate" cake that he bought at an "American bakery". He also picked up some low-fat vanilla ice cream. Normally, I would have been okay with that, but I went berzerk for some reason!

I think it was because I had just consumed at least 600-800 calories in one bing (those syrupy toppings are very highly caloric), and didn't want the temptation of a heavy chocolate cake calling my name! So I went nuts. I literally went crazy for a few minutes...I was crying and accusing him of not really understanding me...if he really understood me, he wouldn't have bought the bings AND the cake...he should have known that I can't handle that many sweets in one day. So I was mad at him, but I was also mad at myself...because I felt like an idiot getting so upset over two dumb pieces of cake. (I was also mad that he spent so much money on empty calories!)

After I calmed down, I apologized to my husband, who just felt terrible. He never forces me to eat and is always so understanding...and he felt badly that he bought the cakes, since he knows that I avoid store-bought cake as much as possible. He just wanted me to have some birthday cake on my birthday.

Well, we did end up having the cakes later that night, but he ate most of it, and I had a few small bites. They weren't even very good, unfortunately. Although they were supposed to taste "American," they tasted "Chinese," which means they weren't very sweet. It's better that way, though...otherwise, I probably would have wanted to eat both pieces myself!

The rest of the night went fine, and my hubby gave me a subscription to Cooking Light, my favorite magazine. We have to pay extra to get it shipped over here, but that's okay. I enjoy reading recipes, even if I don't have most of the "light" products to use here.

So...that's my crazy story for the day. Thankfully, my weight didn't change. But I'm going out for dim sum tonight, so I'm not holding my breath that I'll stay 114 for long!

borntocry on 07/20/2004:
Hi Runner,

Glad you had a nice birthday! I can understand how you felt about the cake - I would have reacted the same way. And I can totally imagine that happening to me as my boyfriend is definitely the bringing-home-treats type. The last time he did it was a few weeks ago when he arrived with a huge box of Oreos for me. I threw a fit! It's hard to blame the poor guys though, as it's obviously only our love of sweet things which gives them the idea that we need or want these "treats". In a way, it's our own behaviour that has taught them that we see sweet things as special treats. I agree that your husband should have realised that you would not appreciate so many sweets in one day, but it's a pity that food can lead us to over-react like that too. We should be more confident about our self-control. At the moment, I am also trying to limit my exposure to temptation, but I hope that some day I will be able to keep things like peanut butter in the house and know that I won't be drawn towards it like a magnet. After all, what are we going to do when we have kids, right?

I like the present you got, by the way. I love reading recipes too. I just bought a light and healthy recipe book in London last week, and I also got some wheat and oat bran from a health food store so I can try out some of the recipes. I have the same problem with finding light products here, though. Funny how people just don't seem to care over here!

Runner - Sunday Jul 18, 2004

Weight: 114.0

It's my birthday and the scale is down a pound! That's a fun gift, especially since I'll likely enjoy some extra calories today! I'm 27 now. I've managed to keep my weight under 125 pounds now for 6 years. Wow. Weight loss can be maintained...but it sure takes a lot of discipline! I've barely touched certain foods now for 6 years---pizza, potato chips, french fries, hamburgers. The only time I enjoy these things is when I make them...so I know exactly what is in them! I've learned how to cook low-fat...I've learned how to bake without using oil. I've learned the caloric contents of almost every food I've come into contact with. (But it's a lot harder to know here in Asia!)

In some ways, I feel guitly about all the time I've spent planning my meals, exercising, and thinking about food. But on the other hand, I've never felt better about myself or healthier. When I weighed 150 pounds, I wasn't as attractive, energetic, or healthy.

So, 6 years later, I'm glad I can still fit into the clothes I was wearing at 21! I don't know how long I can maintain this weight, espeically if I get pregnant, but I'm really happy to be where I am right now!

geevee on 07/18/2004:
You are one of the few who have learned that the price for a trim figure is ETERNAL VIGILANCE. There is no other way. No easy outs. Eat, enjoy, and get FAT!!! I sure wish I had learned this lesson years ago, but it's never too late! This will be my mind set for the rest of my life. You know, better late than never!

As far as pregancy goes, I was so careful with my first and only gained 10 lbs. My son's skin was hanging off his body. Of course that wasn't message enough for me. I continued the same way in my other pregnancies. The others didn't look as bad, but were very small, not robust.

So, my advice for when you decide to have a child would be to not look at the scale as much as eat in the healthy manner that you have been.

The last two months of each pregnancy I was famished! I'd eat a normal meal and then a half hour later I'd go out and buy 3-4 pastries and gobble them up before coming home so I could have ALL of it! Oh, do I kno;w about gluttony!

As for belly dancing, the class is for real. I get more personal satisfaction from yoga, swimming and working out in the gym which I haven't done for ages and should get back to. Hey! I even have two half hours with a personal trainer I should take advantage of.

borntocry on 07/19/2004:
Happy birthday, Runner!

That number on the scale is a wonderful gift! I am so jealous of you! But you deserve it. Your discipline has paid off for you. Hopefully as you become more and more accustomed to your good habits you will need to spend less time planning and thinking about food, and it will be something that just comes naturally to you. That is what I am hoping to achieve myself. It is just so difficult!

By the way, thanks for your comment last week. Making pudding to use up extra milk sure sounds like something I would do. I can never just drink the extra milk. I hate plain milk, for one thing!

rm on 07/19/2004:
Happy birthday and congrats! I hope that I will do as well as you. I'm just starting to watch my portions and exercise and it's kind of hard now but I think things will get better!

Runner - Saturday Jul 17, 2004

Weight: 115.0

I'm back to normal! Whew! I bypassed Pizza Hut pizza yesterday, so I felt good about that. I've really lost my taste for too much unhealthy food...sometimes I crave it, but it usually doesn't taste as good as I think it will. I really like what I cook for myself much better! This is my "birthday weekend," but I'm trying to not have food be the focus. I know I'll still have a meal or two out, but I'm trying to keep everything under control. I want celebrations to consist of things besides food...so maybe my hubby and I will go out for a movie instead of going out for dinner. I'll keep you posted...

feeleebubs on 07/17/2004:
Congrats on not getting the pizza. That would have been a tough one for me. Happy birthday too! Happy birthday also! I know I'm a couple days early but just in case I forget. :)

Runner - Thursday Jul 15, 2004

Weight: 116.0

Weight is still up, so maybe it's not the salty foods. Anyway...I've been making good choices this week, so I'll continue to fight those little battles and someday, it will be reflected on the scale! Yesterday, I made lunch for some students, and I served them typical American food---brats, macaroni salad, meatballs, cheesecake, chips, etc. And I didn't touch any of it, except for a couple of bites of cheesecake. They all pigged out, but I was still feeling quite bloated from the night before, so I stuck to the veggies, sugar-free jello, and made a protein shake when they all left.

They ate with total abandon.


Sometimes I just get jealous! If I have several big meals a week, I gain weight.

I walked by a toothpick thin girl this morning on my way to work, and she had stopped at the breakfast lady's stand that always smells so good. This tiny girl was ordering the typical Chinese breakfast---some sort of big fried egg tortilla. (Everything is fried here). I actually like some of the fried Chinese breakfast foods, but I never eat them. Instead, I bring my little bowl of (very expensive) high-fiber All-Bran cereal mixed with some Wheat flakes a little Special K. And I pour skim milk over it.

And then I go upstairs to the cafeteria and watch the skinny toothpick girls eat their fried foods...and sometimes I just want to eat fried foods, too!

Yes, I'm thin, too. But I eat like a thin person. They're thin, but they don't eat like thin people.

Life's not fair, I know. And many of you have had the same feelings. I just wish I didn't have to be so stinkin' careful all the time! I did indulge in a brownie yesterday, but I should be able to enjoy a brownie! For crying out loud, I run a 10K every morning, and either do tae-bo or swim or lift weights every afternoon! I deserve a brownie once in awhile!

Runner - Thursday Jul 15, 2004

Weight: 116.5

My weight is up, but I knew it would be. I'm still a bit bloated from the Mongolian BBQ dinner last night. I retain salt very easily, so I can "put on" weight quickly. Actually, I ate really well yesterday...I had a minimal amount of calories before heading into supper, and I enjoyed my meal out without pigging out. So even though I know that I'm mainly retaining water, it still is a bummer to see my weight a full 2 1/2 pounds more than what I weighed on Sunday. Ah, well. I hope I can just get back to what I was soon! I've been so disciplined lately...but as soon as I enjoy one meal out, my weight seems to go right up!

geevee on 07/15/2004:
Those temporary gains make me feel like I've started a downward spiral. That bloated, heavy feeling is so uncomfortable. Logically you know it won't last, but I'm never totally convinced until the scale tells me so. Am I becoming obsessive?

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