Thursday, March 29, 2012

Week 8 Results

Week 8 results are in. Only about 4.5 weeks left.…..

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

While I was visiting San Diego, I had the incredible opportunity to take my workouts to the waterfront. My first full day there I did a 2 mile run to the Mission Bay Aquatic Center, where I then completed a 2 hour stand up paddling (SUP) session. It was awesome. I could hardly move my right arm the next day. If you’re ever someplace where you can try this sport, do. It’s like old lady surfing, totally peaceful, good workout, just you and the water.

Since then I got in 3 more runs, each about 5 miles and one of which took me to the end of the world—literally. Here’s a shot I took from the end of Crystal Pier after my cool down. I didn’t manage to capture it, but there were dolphins playing in the surf of the great Pacific. I felt so grateful to have been able to do the run and to have that experience in a way that, for me, only San Diego can provide.

Workouts don’t just have to be in gyms and livings rooms. Especially those of you living in warmer climes, please take advantage of the outdoors (and for the love of all that’s good, please wear 100SPF sunscreen!!!!). And now that spring is here, those of us up north can head outside to get our workouts done. Whatever, wherever, please try to make exercise a part of your daily life.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nachos. No, really.

Last year’s ECG I was a machine. I was rarely drinking alcohol, I was monitoring everything I put in my mouth. My “dessert” was 6 M&Ms. I was running distances I would have laughed about had you told me I’d been doing them regularly just a few months before and the weight was dropping off. And all I could think about was nachos. I had decided that after being so strict for so many weeks, the thing I wanted the most when ECG V was over was to unabashedly eat a whole order of nachos. I don’t even have a particular love of nachos, but the thought of consuming them was consuming me.

Dreaming about food was nothing new. Once, when I was watching my intake before my wedding, I dreamt about eating a chocolate ├ęclair the size of a football. I awoke with a mix of guilt (as if I had actually eaten it) and relief (that no such thing exists—yet). It seemed so real!

When ECG V ended, oddly, I never had those nachos. I’d moved on. The biggest splurge I had right after was an entire bagel with cream cheese. It tasted awesome.

This time around, I haven’t really thought of what my first real “cheat” will be, but I don’t think it will be too hard to come up with something…

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Week 7 Results

Week 7 results are in. Still lots of non-reporting…..

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"I'll Take the Salad" (or maybe not)

Yesterday, my best friend shared this with me. I almost burst into tears. It had to be that #1 on this list is my meal of choice when we hit Cheesecake Factory. The worst part is that when I order it, usually whoever I'm with will make a comment like, "Oh, you're being so good." Well, I guess not!

Of course, immediately after reading the article I got hungry and headed downstairs for lunch at the company cafeteria. Despite the informative article, I made the mistake of ordering a specialty salad - the buffalo chicken salad. My weight last night and this morning proved to me that the salad I ordered for lunch probably belongs up there with those other salads in the article. I admit that even as I was ordering it, I knew better. The Buffalo chicken salad included - breaded chunks of buffalo chicken, crumbled bleu cheese, bacon, yummy string fried onions, and ranch dressing (which I ordered on the side, but clearly the dressing wasn't the only problem with this salad.)

And now, it's lunch time again. I know they have the same salad downstairs today and after describing its yumminess it's going to be tough not to order it. Pray for me!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sodas and the Men Who Love Them (and the men I love who love sodas)

I have very dear friends who are twins and incessant soda drinkers. They love soda like no one else I’ve met. Don’t believe me? One of them actually has a high-level position at Coca-Cola in Atlanta. He, of course, loves Coke, Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke and to avoid the risk of sounding like Bubba from Forrest Gump, any other sugary drink produced by Coca-Cola. In a corporate-Cain-and-Abel-like twist, the other twin cannot get enough Pepsi Max…he has it specially imported to Paris where he lives.

I can’t make this stuff up.

As I just read, turns out soda has a particular risk for men. According to research published by Harvard (nod to Chris Bell) scientists in the journal Circulation, drinking just one sugary beverage a day can increase the risk of heart attack risk by 20%.

If I told this to either twin, I’d probably get the silent treatment for a few weeks, so I instead share this with you ECGers. I hope you’re more responsive than they are!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Week 6 (Half Way) Results!

Week 6 results are in. Chris and Kristi are holding onto to the first and second place spots, but past ECG winner Steve Lee seems to be making his power move.

We’re half way there everyone. I’m a little bummed that we’re only getting about 80% reporting each week. Please do your best to weigh in and stay strong in these final 6 and a half weeks!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Manhattan Diet

Watch out Florida-based ECGers. Looks like those of us in NYC have got an edge!

Also, heads up that this Wednesday's weigh in marks the half way point--are you where you wanted to be?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Week 5 Results

Week 5 results are in, though we’ve had a few non-reporters this week.

Congrats to Chris and Kristi who are holding strong to the first and second place spots.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Liquid Diet

This past weekend there was a lot to celebrate—and what better way to foster festivity than with something bubbly. For me, that meant copious amounts of prosecco. (Before you judge, I was not the only ECGer partaking!)

However, for all the sparkling wine I consumed, that was the extent of my “liquid carb” intake. Despite growing up in a household where the only beverage I ever saw my father drink (the occasional apple juice and buttermilk excepted) was Pepsi. Morning. Noon. Night. All day, every day. He was not overweight and generally enjoyed good health. Nurture might have dictated that I would do the same, but thankfully, his adoration of Pepsi didn’t spill over to me. Though I don’t hate sodas, after giving up caffeine on my doctor’s recommendation a decade ago, I hardly ever touch soda, even the non-caffeinated drinks like root beer, Sprite, or even Strawberry Jarritos. I don’t much care for juice either, and don’t even get me started on milk. On the flip side, I am compulsive water drinker, so much so that my husband has unofficially diagnosed me with psychogenic polydipsia.

Anyway, other ECGers have mentioned that it’s sugary drinks that really add up to problems with their weight. But it’s too easy to extol the evils of soda, diet soda, and other sugary drinks. If you live in NYC, those disgusting subway ads showing globules of fat bubbling over the familiar soda bottles might be enough. Or maybe you’ve seen those stomach-turning stories about “Mountain Dew Mouth” [Warning: do not Google this topic if you’re squeamish.] And certainly, there’s not a lot of argument for sodas being “healthy.” Like with all things, it’s about moderation.

Though it’s long, I particularly liked this article from WebMD that takes a look at all the research and presents both sides of the soda is good vs. evil.

And as you know, I’ll never tell anyone to deny themselves anything outright, so I do say, enjoy your soda, but try to keep it within normal limits and remember to hydrate with water—or maybe get yourself a Soda Stream!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Week 4 results--and a pep talk.

The Week 4 results are in.

Congrats once again to Chris Brand, weight loss percentage leader, and kudos to Kristi for taking the number two spot! Many, if not all of you, have lamented your own performance as you submit your weights to me each week. I know it’s hard, and I’ve struggled to recapture the hardcore dedication I had last year.

Right now, most of us are being “D” students. That means, the majority of the time, we’re making bad decisions, not eating right, and not working out. Let’s at least try to be “B” students. What that means….if you have 10 health decisions to make each day (3 meals, 2 snacks, 3 drinks, 1 treat, and a workout), try to make the right decision 80% of the time. Have one “bad” meal and a scoop of ice cream for dessert, but for the rest of the day, do a workout, and make healthier decisions or eat smaller portions. If you do really splurge, let that splurge be isolated. Don’t say “Well, I started my day with a huge breakfast, so I might as well make the most of the rest of the day.” We’ve all had excuses and explanations, but none of us is happy about the result.

So, my pep talk is probably not that great either, but I truly care about everyone and want us all to look at this ONE POUND at a time. As extra incentive, I’m willing to give up my three bonus points*** to anyone who does 5 workouts (at least 1 hour) per week for two consecutive weeks. I care that much about everyone making exercise a priority.

***I am willing to do this, but whether Al agrees to honor this in the end is up to him.