A State Approximating Health

Well, I’m feeling better.  Not perfect, mind, but better.  The allergy medication my doctor prescribed has finally kicked in, and so the drainage and coughing that kept me up all night for three days running has finally subsided to an annoying wet tickle at the back of my throat.  And I can breathe without trying to cough!  Oh, the luxury!

What does this mean for my efforts to exercise?

I actually asked my doctor that.  He told me there was no specific medical or medication-based reason why I couldn’t, but that I needed to pay attention to myself.  If I start struggling for breath and coughing, then stop.  If it doesn’t, then exercise and walking are back on the menu.  So I’ll be taking a crack at that today, and I’ll let you know how it works out.

Sadly, I don’t know how successful I’ll be at the whole weight loss thing this week.  And not just because I didn’t exercise (or hardly even move) for four days.  I also discovered that, when I don’t feel well (but aren’t nauseous), I tend to eat.  So I spent the past four days grazing and not bothering to track anything, and I suspect this means I’ll break even for this week.  But, then again, I was sick.

Oh, strangely enough that reminds me of the reason why I don’t use Weight Watchers (other than being too cheap to pay for it).  Something like ten years ago, I joined.  A week later, I was knocked out by the flu.  I spent four days in bed eating the occasional slice of toast and drinking juice, and it was two more days before I got my appetite back completely.  The next week I weighed in, and I’d lost five pounds.  So when they asked how we did on our goals, I stood up and told them that I’d lost the five pounds because I’d been terribly sick and hadn’t eaten anything.

The group cheered and clapped at my success.

I never went back.

Hopefully, that group wasn’t typical.  But it left a bad taste in my mouth.  So, there you have it.  My Weight Watchers experience.

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The Dubious Joys of Allergy Season

So, yeah, it’s been a miserable few days. Coughing and runny nose and more coughing and more drainage, to the point that I got myself back to my doctor yesterday. And walking or other forms of exercise?


Exactly.

Oh, you know what’s really fun?  I have sleep apnea, and use a C-PAP to deal with it. Full face masks and a runny nose are a delightful combo.

Hopefully, the medication helps. Soon.

Maybe I Was A Touch Premature…

Remember how pleased I was with myself yesterday, for managing to hit a short streak in my walking and calorie budget goals?  Yeah, well, uhm.  See.  I didn’t hit either one.  Things came up at work, and then I had to run by the grocery store, and there were Cadbury Creme Eggs for sale.  And, well, I sort of ate some.  Three of them.

Well, maybe I do.  A little.  But I really do love those creme eggs.

Still, I’m not beaten!  One off day is not the end of the world, after all.  So today, I’ll just be back on task and back on track.  After all, I don’t have any reason to go to the grocery store today.

Emotionally, I Want A Cookie!

Yesterday marked four successive days of hitting my calorie budget, and three successive days of hitting my current walking goal.  And you know what?  I feel great!  I’ll admit the walking has been a little bit of a struggle, because I love reading and I’d gotten used to sitting and reading on my breaks and lunch again, but I’m remembering how much I really enjoy walking during work.  It’s a nice antidote to all the sitting I do, and it’s a good stress relief.

Not that my job is hugely stressful, mind.  But it’s still nice to get up and away from the desk for a while.

The calorie budget has been a little bit more of a struggle, though.  Not that I specifically want to overeat for the sake of overeating, mind.  Most days, at least.  But I really do love the taste of chocolate, and cookies, and things like that.  However, I recognize that these things should be an occasional treat instead of a dietary staple.  Intellectually, I recognize this.  Emotionally, I wanna cookie!

But still, things are going well.  And my pants, which were feeling a little tight recently, have started to loosen up again!  I must be going the right direction!

Eating Well: Scrambled Egg Enchiladas With Cheese Sauce

I’ve been eating a lot of eggs the past couple of weeks.  A lot.  See, in the interests of saving time, my family uses the Clicklist service from Kroger – we figure out our grocery list, enter it online, and let them get everything together.  All we have to do is go pick it up.  But, sadly, I didn’t notice that she’d added eggs to the shopping list and added eggs.  So, we had eight dozen of them.  In addition to the two dozen we already had in the fridge.  All of which are set to go bad at the end of the month.

Creativity was required.  Or, at least, scouring the internet for ideas.  Here’s one that worked out pretty well.

Scrambled Egg Enchiladas With Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:

Directions

  1. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet.  Chop the onions and green pepper (I tossed them in a food processor), and saute them in the butter until the onion is translucent (about five minutes).
  2. Beat the dozen eggs with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (I used cheddar).  Add them to the skillet, and scramble them with the onions and peppers.
  3. Spoon equal portions of the scrambled eggs into the tortilla shells, and wrap burrito-style.  Place in a baking dish (after rubbing the dish with butter or spraying a non-stick cooking spray on it).
  4. In a sauce pan, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter.  Add two tablespoons of flour and whisk until combined.  Keep whisking for another one to two minutes.  Then add the milk and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened.  Congratulations!  You’ve just made a Bechamel sauce, more or less!
  5. Add 1/2 cup of cheese, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1.2 teaspoon of cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder to the sauce, and stir until combined and the cheese is melted.  Pour the sauce over the enchiladas.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Notes

  1. The whole pan comes out to 3,227 calories, or 404 calories per enchilada.  I try to aim for around 800 calories for a meal right now (or around 400 for a Hobbit-meal), so two of them are a serving from that perspective.
  2. This recipe is pretty malleable.  Dice some ham into the eggs.  Top it with sour cream and crumbled bacon and chopped tomato.  Reduce it to eight eggs, and mix in leftover rice.  Add kidney beans.  Knock yourself out, and remember to account for additions and subtractions when calculating calories.

A Little Good, A Little Bad

For the first time  for since getting back on the exercise bandwagon, I hit my walking goal!  Heck, I nearly hit my stretch goal (5.5 miles) while I was at it.  How did I do it?  Simple, really – I got up and went walking during my breaks, and I started parking at the top of the parking garage again. It makes me walk farther, so I get in more steps and increase my odds of hitting goal (significantly increases, apparently).  My legs are just a touch sore right now, a symptom of having gotten out of practice, but it’s that kind of paradoxical soreness that feels good because you got it from working hard.

On the down side, I kind of blew through my calorie budget yesterday.  I made the mistake of eating out for lunch (breakfast, to most people), and it turns out that Chik Fil A breakfast biscuits have all the calories.  All of them.  They’re good, but… wow.  650 per sandwich.  I’m not saying I won’t do that again, mind, but next time I’ll plan for it.

Still and all, I feel good.  Really good.

Things Are Turning Around

All right, so I wasn’t perfect last week.  So what?  You know what happened when I got on the scales on Saturday?  I was down 1.8 pounds.  That, right there, is progress.  And that progress didn’t come from perfection.  It just came from actually trying, from working hard and not giving up because I didn’t quite do everything.

Part of me, of course, is saying stupid things.  “You could have done better, if you’d just hit your calorie goals.”  “You could have lost more, if you’d just walked more.”  But that voice isn’t important, and it isn’t carrying the day.  Sure, maybe I could have done better.  But “maybes” and “perhapses” and “if onlys” and a $1.50 will get me a 20 oz Coke Zero out of a vending machine.  They aren’t worth anything, is what I’m saying, and I’m not going to indulge them

Now to do it again this week.  Because, as I keep trying to remind myself, I’m doing this for health, not just for weight loss.  I’m changing my life, not hitting a target and then stopping.  And I can see that life change, even if I haven’t yet hit my final goal.  Because I’m more than a hundred pounds lighter than I was when I started this project more than two years ago, and I’ve kept it off despite distractions and stress and illness and injury, and that is success.