Monthly Archives: January 2014

A Little Bit of Providence

SO, a small miracle happened.

After Crossfit last night, we went to check out treadmills at Dick’s. We were not at all hopeful. We got there and began perusing and met up with a nice sales dude who talked to us for awhile, and showed us a current amazing deal —

Long story short, they’re switching to the newest model of this one type of treadmill. This treadmill’s original MSRP was over $2,000. They’ve only got their floor model left. They’re selling it for $599.

And they are selling it to US.

It’s only even been a display model since Christmas. It can do all kinds of fun things (not necessary but a nice bonus). It has a mega-wonderful motor.

And it’s like, 75% off.

It’s on hold right now, so we can see how much of it they can dissemble. The only way we’re not getting it and will select another model is if they can’t take it apart well enough.

I told Chelsea as we were driving home that it feels like Providence, you know? I’m working really hard, here, on eating well and working out and making the big changes I need to make to really turn my lifestyle around. It’s not that I was ever heinously far off track but I’m working on making lasting improvements. And just a few days ago I had believed that a decent treadmill was going to be WAY out of our price range. Most decent models are over $1,000. We could never, ever do that.

But $599?

That, we can do.

I kind of feel, for the first time in awhile, like the stars have aligned a bit for me. I know that probably sounds dramatic — but if you think that, you’ve probably never desperately worked hard to lose weight, found your grad student income preventing you from getting purchases that would really improve your quality of life, or wanted so badly for a good thing to happen.

But yes, friends, a good thing happened.

Hopefully, they can get it dismantled enough that we can carry it ourselves (we can lift about 250 by ourselves, with this treadmill weighing about 350.

If not, we’ll pick another model, I suppose.

But this one feels right.

And I am really, really happy about it.


Weekly Weigh-In #4

Guys. GUYS.

So I’ve been intending to switch my weigh-in day to Fridays, because I work from home on Fridays this semester.

And so, sticking with that idea, I weighed myself this morning.


That’s only 0.2 lbs away from the freaky weigh in of 178.6 from a little under two weeks ago. That’s WITH the bloating of PMS.

Starting weight in January: 183.3
Weight today: 178.8
Change so far: 4.5 lbs.

I’ll take it.

I did a dance. The cats were unimpressed. So I scooped Taggy up and sang to him and hugged him.

Suddenly, he realized the magnitude of my joy and began to purr.

That, or he’s really into when I sing Gin Wigmore songs to him.

That, or he was just trying to get by and fit in during a moment where he had not one iota of a clue what was going on.

Sigh. I do love him.


Forgive me the pun, dear readers.

But another thing I wanted to mention today: I’m cutting down to having only one fruit per day. Some days, it’ll be a banana in my morning smoothie. Others, an apple with lunch.

I’ll be subbing the “non-fruit” part of the day for more vegetables.

My most recent addiction?

Snap peas.


All these foods are 0PP but I’ve already told you how little I trust the idea that fruit is a free-for-all. All foods have calories, and fruits have a lot of sugar. Vegetables are less insidious, so I’m going to continue working on adding more in/adding them instead of fruit.

That’s how I originally got on my cauliflower kick.


To Tread Where We Have Not Trod Before

Chelsea and I want a treadmill.

This is surprising news, because I don’t like to run and because we like doing Crossfit. However, some truth bombs with your morning coffee: We both (but I, especially, while losing weight) need to do more cardio. It is way, way too cold here in the winter to safely/comfortably run outside. And my schedule is so wild and ridiculous that anything I might be able to squeeze in at home trumps a gym membership or trying to go somewhere else to get it done.

After talking to Ben the other day, I began to reconsider the idea of running and of a treadmill. In the summer, sure, I can run outside. But for now? Hmm.

Running is a terrific form of cardio, is portable, requires only shoes (and for me, a veeery good sports bra) and effort. This appeals to me. Plus, lots of people run. Chelsea and I can do it alone, or together, or with friends, or run a race, etc. etc.

But then we discovered that all treadmills are about a million dollars.

We’re still thinking of throwing down for one.

Because I NEED more cardio. I know this. And we can only get down to Crossfit 2 or 3 week and those workouts are not always including a lot of cardio. Which is fine for toning purposes but which is less fine when one is trying to get less fat. If I went like 5x a week to Crossfit, that’d be a different story.

So we want a treadmill.

And lots of money, to buy the treadmill.

I’ll keep you posted re: what we decide.

The Tiniest Victory.

Guys, the hormones must be setting in —

because the longer I think about how frustrated at this week’s small weight gain I am, the more I feel like crying.

Isn’t that dumb?

I know it’s dumb.

But I’m sitting here at my desk with my multiple bottles of water, thinking about how my entire diet consists of green smoothies, nutritionally planned and portioned meals… And somehow, I have gained weight. And somehow, I so feel like crying about it.

Several things cross my mind:

1. Well, after that freaky 4.7 lb loss, some minor gain is probably to be expected.

2. DAMN YOU, uterus! And your stupid hormones too.

3. I did not make any mistakes. So why did I gain?

4. I still want to cry.

Sad, withered, defeated-feeling.


I left the office for a few, and when I returned, there were delicious-looking, huge chocolate chip cookies on one of our tables. I tell you: in this hormonal, emotional, biologically-ravaged moment, I wanted one of those cookies more than I wanted my own soul.

I did not eat one.

I kept walking.

I just kept walking.


Weekly Weigh-In #3

I’m sure most women who are on a weight-loss plan of any sort will relate: the time each month spent bloated and in discomfort due to PMS and its trappings are infuriating.

I weighed myself today: 181.2 (up from 178.6).

Mind you, I have made ZERO mistakes on Weight Watchers this past week, so delighted was I with that weird 4.7 lb loss.

There can truly only be one culprit: I know my period is just around the corner.

What does this mean? It means I must be bloating, retaining water — my weight fluctuates as much as 5 lbs when this time of the month hits, and I am someone who bloats early, and deflates late. This means that nearly two weeks of my month are sabotaged, weight-wise, and that when I try to do a weekly weigh-in I am met with horror and confusion.

I wonder, sometimes, if this particular struggle and its influence on the scale is what causes so many women to just give up on the process — for weeks, it feels like no matter HOW GOOD YOU WERE and how hard you worked, nothing changed.  In fact, things occasionally look like they’ve gotten worse (as is my current situation).

All I can do, in this situation, is remind myself that I have eaten a very low sodium diet lately, have lived completely and utterly within my points, have counted everything — even fruit and most of my veggies — and am working out. There’s nothing more I need to do.

When this wretched part of my month is over, what usually happens is I hop back on the scale and am DELIGHTED because the temporary weight does, indeed, go away. And so I’m looking forward to that.

But I probably have at least 1.5 weeks to wait, since I’m in the early stages of PMS.


I promise, guys, I haven’t let you — or myself — down with my eating choices this week.

We’ll just have to see what happens when this water weight is gone.

Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.



Guys, something has gone terribly wrong.

I just got to work, and went to take a sip of my smoothie…

Only to find that somehow, its consistency hearkens back to the day I felt like I was chugging seaweed.

Disgusting. Sigh.


The only change is I omitted the banana, since I think its been slowing my weight loss.

I feel betrayed by my own blender.

I am giving it the side-eye, in my mind.

Recipe: Kale Chips

This one is for all the folks out there who have ever been monstrously mislead by some weirdo on YouTube about how to make my new favorite snack.

You’ll need:

1 bunch of kale
1 can of cooking spray
1 unlined baking sheet
1 good size mixing bowl
AND whatever seasonings you want

(Before you begin, pre-heat oven to 350)
1. Tear the kale from its stems and DRY IT THOROUGHLY (if it’s wet, those babies’ll burn)
2. Place in mixing bowl
3. Spray with baking spray
4. Season
5. Toss
6. Repeat steps 3-5 until satisfied
7. Put in SINGLE LAYER on baking pan (layer them and they’ll burn or be mush)
8. Use multiple pans if you need to — and remember, kale shrinks when baked
9. Bake for 10-13 minutes, depending on the size of the batch.
10. Gently brush off pan and into bowl when done baking.

VOILA. Delicious kale chips.

I think I want to start going by KALECHIPZ as my Part-Time-Vegetarian-Rap-Name.

A Sincere “Thank You.”

In addendum —

Lately, I’ve been hearing from more of you who are readers about your thoughts/feelings on THE POINTS OF IT ALL.

It makes me really happy.

Last night, I got to talk to my friend Ben for a little while. Ben is one of those charismatic and wonderful people who, when you meet him, you just know you want him to be your friend. Ever meet somebody like that? We’ve been in touch here and there since college, and he never fails to make me smile. Actually, he never fails to make me outright laugh. I feel very lucky to know him.

Last night, he tried making kale chips following the horrifying advice of some woman on YouTube — and to bad results. Our conversation started there, and morphed its way into being about health, weight loss, pushing yourself, and never making excuses. He became a runner, through much hard work, and it was fascinating to hear about his own journeys and transformations.

I was so inspired by our chat that I think, this spring when it’s warmer (I don’t have a treadmill now, and keep getting home after dark) I will endeavor to become a runner.

Talking to you, Ben, made me feel like everything was possible.

Thanks for the chat. I’m SO glad we had the chance to catch up!

And I promise to post my kale chip recipe to avoid future disasters…


And so begins my first “real” day of the semester.

Important things I learned about my students:
1. They also love Beyonce, almost as much as I do.
2. They are pretty much all from Long Island.
3. When I emphatically and dramatically yelled things like “LISTEN, and if need be, TATTOO THIS ON YOUR SOULS” about the course’s attendance policies, they all actually leaned in, focused on me, and wrote each word down. 

In short, I am much relieved that they seem to be a chill bunch and this semester will be a fun one.

Now, the question you’re all itching to have answered: What did you eat for breakfast? WHAT did you EVER eat for lunch? What will the plan BE? I know you MENTIONED it, Karen, but I simply NEED a refresher.



I had my usual smoothie this morning. I informed my students of what was in it, because “I want to pre-empt the months of whispers about what the nasty, chunky thing I’m drinking might be. Unicorn parts? The hearts of children? Worse, dear children: KALE.”

They were, thankfully, amused.

I had a little time to duck down to my office and eat my usual yogurt and apple now, which is good. After my pedagogy group meeting, I’ll fly home and try to get a little something else — cauliflower, etc. — before tutoring and Crossfit.

It’s a good day so far. 

A thing I’m wondering: How am I supposed to work in more low-point, high protein foods on Crossfit days? I don’t want to blow up my points, and I NEVER use my activity points so I don’t want to dip into them. Meanwhile, I need a way to feel strong, full and energetic when the timer goes off at the box. Last week, I was lightheaded. I’m struggling with what else I should do! Does anyone have suggestions?