Posts Tagged ‘quitting smoking’

I have been dying to write this post all day, but I’ve been stuck at work doing a million things at once, but I’ve finally got some time to sit down and write this. 

As you guys know, last Monday I started following Kaiser’s Lap Band pre-op 1200-calorie/day meal plan.  I have been using LoseIt to track my calories, and while I’ve been over 1200 each day, most days I’ve been between 1300-1400, which is still relatively low.  I’ve been focusing my meals around protein, and eating much less starch than I normally do.  Most of my carbs are coming from fruits/veggies, and while I do still eat rice, pasta, or other grains, I’m limiting them to 2-3 servings a day. 

I should also mention that this first week on the new meal plan has been my first week of quitting smoking.  Trying to quit and eating reduced calories has proved a bit challenging, but I actually surprised myself by doing so well this week (on both fronts). 

Possible TMI: One of the negative things that comes along with quitting smoking (besides an increase in appetite) is constipation.  I haven’t had too much of a problem with that this week, although this morning I did experience a bit.  To combat this, I’m going to start taking a fiber supplement, because the last thing I want to be is “backed up.”

I didn’t limit my social interactions this week, since it was my last full week before school starts back up and my time is more scarce.  Which means that I ate socially, I drank socially, and I enjoyed myself in moderation.  I was a bit worried about what these different eating/drinking events would do to the results on the scale, but as you’ll see, moderation is key.

Now, let’s get to that scale shot:

 Which means I lost 3.3 pounds this week!  An excellent start to the first week on a new program, I’d say.  Especially with everything else that’s been going on this past week.  I was so thrilled that my weight loss held steady from when I peeked at it earlier this week.  It shows me that following a lower calorie diet and eating/drinking socially in moderation really works.  I didn’t eat a lot of high-calorie foods, but I didn’t totally limit myself from them, either.  It makes me feel even more convinced that the Lap Band is going to work for me, because that’s the ultimate tool to practice moderation, since it limits the amount of food/drink you can consume. 

Overall, I’m hugely impressed with my attitude, my focus, and my determination.  I want to keep riding this wave, because I’ve been feeling so great about myself and my progress, and it’s been quite a while since I’ve been so happy about everything. 

Some goals for this coming week:

  1. Water.  I got in at least 48oz every day this past week, but I should be taking in at least 64oz, so I have to fit in a few more glasses to reach my minimum goal.  I know I can do it, I just have to put it into practice.
  2. Exercise.  As I mentioned yesterday, I did a bit of extra movement this week, but only a few days.  I would like to get back to working out 4-5 days of the week, at least. 
  3. Continue tracking in LoseIt.
  4. Stay to 1200 calories more closely than I did this week.


Housing Update: I heard back from my future landlord yesterday, and he said that barring any unforeseen things on the background check, the duplex is mine!  This is fantastic news, and I am beyond thrilled.  I’m going to meet with him on Saturday to iron out the details of the deposit, etc., but by early next week, I should know FOR SURE that the place is mine.  Stay tuned. 

Smoke Free, Day 8 and I’m going strong. 


Read Full Post »

One of the things I’ve been really slacking on with this new meal plan set out for me by Kaiser is the vitamins.  They want me to take oodles of vitamins every day – 11 or 12, to be exact.

1 Centrum multivitamin
1 B1
1 sublingual (under the tongue) B12 every other day
6 Calcium Citrate
2 D3
1 Ferrous Gluconate (Iron)

That’s a lot of pills!  As you can see from the photo, I’ve taken half of them already today, but I still have 5 more to take.

This past week I was really bad about taking them; I was only diligent about it on Sunday and Monday.  I completely forgot to take any on Tuesday – Thursday, and Friday and Saturday, I only took 5 in the morning.  Not a great start to this new healthy habit for life.  Because once I have the Lap Band surgery, it will be extremely important that I take all of these vitamins to make sure I’m getting the proper nutrients everyday.  In fact, I may need to take some additional vitamin supplements to prevent hair loss.  Because even though my hair is super-thick, I definitely don’t want to lose ANY hair, and will take whatever is necessary to prevent it.

I think that once school starts and I pack this vitamin carrier with the rest of my food in my lunchbag, I’ll be a lot better.  If they’re right there, staring me the face, I know I’ll take them.

So for this week, my challenge to myself is to take these vitamins each day.  I’m going to carry them in my purse so that they’re with me no matter where I go. When I do my Wednesday weigh-in post, I’ll update you on how I’m doing this week.

Do you take YOUR vitamins?  What do you do to remember to take them?


Housing Update: Yesterday I got a call from Peter (my old landlord who owns the duplex that I used to live in that I’m trying to move into again) asking me to swing by the duplex to see it.  It was absolutely beautiful inside.  The bamboo flooring in the dining room, living, room, and down the hall way is absolutely gorgeous.

The tile flooring in the entry and kitchen is also very nice.  This photo is a little dark because the lights weren’t on, but I love the color of the floor because it will mean I won’t be a slave to the floor, like I am now.  (My current place has really light linoleum that shows every spec that Lulu brings in and I’m constantly hand-cleaning it  besides the bi-weekly mopping).

The granite in the main/guest bath is a nice, neutral palette.  The carpet in the bedrooms is a year old, and looks new.  The only room that hasn’t really been redone is the master bath, but that doesn’t bother me, since very few people will see that anyway.  He has put in all new fixtures (towel racks and lighting) that match the guest bath.  The kitchen also has a year-old refrigerator and dishwasher.  He installed an automatic garage door opener, which will be so much nicer than having to manually lift the garage door like I used to have to do.  The bedrooms, dining room, and living room all have nice-looking wood-and-brushed-silver ceiling fans, which will really cut down on the AC usage.  But the place does have central AC, which is nice on those days that get into the 90s (although we haven’t had ANY this summer).

The backyard is nice, although the grass could use a bit of fertilizer, but I know that once I’m in there, I’ll make sure to put the sprinklers on regularly so that it gets greener.  There are a few spots in the fence that Lulu might be able to slip out of, but Peter assured me that he’d repair those for me so that there would be no chance of her escaping.  He said he plans to put in a completely new fence in 2011.

Basically, the place is perfect, and all signs seem like I’ll be able to move into it!  He said he wants to give the other guy one more chance to respond, but if he doesn’t, and things go well with my info, I’ll have it.  He also said that he and his wife hope to be able to rent it to me, because they know what a great renter I am and that I take care of the place as if it was my own.  He said, “when you lived here before, I always wanted to take pictures of the way you decorated it, because it would show off so nicely if I ever had to rent it to someone else.”  That made me feel really good, especially since I think the way I have my current place decorated is 100 times nicer than the way we had that place decorated before.

The rent is cheaper than I expected, although still $600 more than I pay now, but I can’t even begin to compare how much nicer the new place is to this one.  Especially in terms of the area and the neighbors.  There’s a ton more room in the new place, and many more modern conveniences, like having more than 1 electrical outlet in a room.  The 40s-style charm of my current place can’t be replicated, but I can live without that, especially for all the other upgrades that the new place will bring.

So, the next step is to fill out the rental agreement, submit a credit report, and send it all in to him.  He said that he’ll be able to tell me for sure by Wednesday, which is exciting!  Please keep your fingers crossed for me!


Doggie Birthday Party: One of my old friends who used to work with me at Yahoo long ago is having a birthday party for his dog today, and Lulu and I are excited to go.  I haven’t seen this friend in a few years, because he moved to Santa Monica for a while when he was working at Google (yes, he cashed in on the stock!)  I’ve never seen his house here, and it’s NICE.  It’s in a very exclusive area, and he paid over 2 million dollars for it 10 years ago.  Now, in Northern California, 2 million doesn’t go that far, but this house is really nice, from the photos, and my friend has a great sense of decorating style.  He also has a huge backyard, so it will be fun for Lulu to play with some of the other pooches who will be there.  I bought Roxy (the birthday girl) a fun doggie treat that looks like a mini cake and a t-shirt that says “Happiness is Having a Furry Friend.”  I’m also bringing a Caprese salad with me (mozzarella, tomatoes from my dad’s garden, and basil).  It should be a fun afternoon, and I’m looking forward to it.


Smoke Free, Day 5: Today is day 5 of my quest to be smoke free.  I’m doing a lot better than I thought I’d be, and although the evenings after dinner are still really difficult for me, I’m making it.  I’m proving to myself that I’m stronger than I thought in terms of my need to smoke, and that’s been such a nice revelation.  I don’t necessarily feel any better…yet.  I’m sure that will come in the weeks to follow.  I am also happy to report that I haven’t gotten bitchy or short-tempered, which is nice.  I did have my bout with some depression earlier in the week, but I think I’m over that.

Tina suggested that I look at this as stopping for a while, rather than quitting.  I had the exact same thought the day she wrote that comment.  Rather than thinking about the daunting task in front of me (quitting forever), I’m just thinking about stopping for now.  It may seem like semantics to those who have never smoked, but it’s made a world of difference to my mindset.  It’s the same concept that we use with weight loss.  Rather than thinking of the reality of losing 150 pounds, I focus on these first 20 that I need to lose.  It makes it much more manageable.  The same thing is true of quitting smoking.

I hope you’re all enjoying your Sunday.

Read Full Post »

Back when I was a sophomore in high school, it was Friday the 13th, and I will never forget my Spanish teacher telling us:

This whole Friday the 13th being unlucky is an American thing.  I mean, how can a Friday be unlucky?  It’s a FRIDAY!  In Spain, Tuesday the 13th might be unlucky, but never a Friday.”

And from that day forward, I decided that because everyone else always thought of 13 as such an unlucky number, it was going to become my favorite number.  You see, I like being “avant garde” like that.  And I completely agree with Mr. Hernandez, how can a Friday ever be a bad day?

So today’s post is going to be all about how lucky I’m feeling.  (Quite a switch from yesterday’s debbie downer post, right?):

I have amazing family and friends, and I get to see them all the time. Tomorrow LC and I are going to a Zumba class together in the morning, and then we’re going to spend the day with my nieces and my dad, swimming and having fun.  I can think of no better way to spend a Saturday.

I’ve made some great “reconnections” with high school chums via Facebook, and I even head up an Alumnae Food & Wine Club.  A core group of us have become really close, and we do things outside of the club.  Last night I went to karaoke with a few of them, and we had a great time, although none of us got up the nerve (or had enough drinks) to get up in front of the crowd and actually sing.  We made a vow that next time, we’ll be up there crooning our hearts out.

I am finally in the place in my career where I’m making good money.  Now this is relative, of course, because I am a teacher and we don’t get paid what we deserve, but I’ve finally scaled my way up the pay scale so that I am living comfortably.  In these times of economic hardship for so many, I am very, very lucky.

This summer has been amazing, and while I’m sad that it’s coming to a close, I’ve had an absolute blast for 2 months.  Sure, there are a lot of things I didn’t get the chance to do, but that’s what weekends are for, right?

Lulu is a love, and I am so glad she’s in my life.  Having her has given me more purpose in my life, because now I’m not so concentrated on just myself; I have someone else to focus on, and it was just what I needed. Yesterday I found out about a great new book called A Dog’s Purpose, and I think the concept is really cool: ” [it] proposes that a dog’s purpose might entail being reborn several times.”  I’ve put it on my “To Read” list.

I’ve shown myself this week how strong I really am.  I have always considered myself a strong woman, and have lots of evidence to prove that to be true, but this week I’ve put myself to the test by quitting smoking AND starting a 1200-calorie meal plan.  No easy feat (again, as evidenced by yesterday’s post).  As of today I am 3 days smoke free, and this is getting to be a bit easier with each passing hour.  Once I finish today, it will be the longest I’ve ever gone without smoking since I started 15 years ago, and that feels amazing.

I have taken myself out of the dating scene for the past few years, but last night I started talking to two of my girlfriends who met great, handsome, loving men on Match.com.  That’s the one dating site that I’ve never used, which is weird, because it’s the biggest.  I always perceived it to be more of a meat market, but these two girls met wonderful men on there, and they both happen to be plus-sized ladies.  So it kind of gave me some hope that maybe I too, could find someone on there.  I thinking I’m going to wait a few months, because so much is already going on in my life, but this might be a fun thing.  (Last night one of the girls had one of her guy friends join us after we had been there a few hours.  Apparently, he’s looking to meet a girlfriend, and she thought that he and I would be a good fit.  (This was all unbeknownst to me).  He was a good looking guy who seemed very sweet, but there was no love connection on my part.  Still, it did give me a little thrill to hear this morning that he wants to ask me out on a date.  I told her I didn’t think we were a match, because I always go with my gut feeling in matters of love, but it was still nice to think that someone found me attractive).

There are so many opportunities waiting right around the corner for me.  A new place to live (fingers crossed), a new body, and maybe, eventually a new love.

Tonight I’m going to see Eat Pray Love with a good friend, and I’m really looking forward to it.  I read and loved the book, and I’m hoping the film is a good adaptation.  From the previews I’ve seen, the settings look amazing, and with Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem, it will be good eye-candy, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

How are you spending this Friday the 13th?

Read Full Post »

Too much at once

After talking with my mom at length about this, and staying up most of the night thinking about it (note to self: not a great idea to get 2 hours’ sleep the night before the first day back at work), I’ve decided that I’m taking on too much too soon.

My main goal is to lose weight, and no matter how great the health benefits to quitting smoking are, I cannot do everything at once.  I need to see some progress on the scale before I  take on something else that is really difficult to do and causes many people to overeat as a way of coping.

I really don’t know why I always try to put so much pressure on myself all the time.  It’s something that I need to work on. Lofty goals are good, but being realistic is better.

So, for now, I’ve decided that rather than completely quitting smoking, I’m going to limit myself to 4 cigs on weekdays and 6 on weekends.  No morning cig. No smoking until after I get home from work.  No smoking in the car.  No smoking anywhere but in my backyard.

It’s not as good as completely quitting, but it is better than smoking as much as I was before.  Baby steps.  I already feel less anxious, after deciding that this was the way I have to do things, for me. Once I see some significant progress on the scale, perhaps in June, I’ll revisit quitting for good.

I know many of you will be a bit disappointed, and for that I’m sorry.  The thing is, just like with weight loss, quitting smoking is something that is very individual.  Maybe it was my mistake to announce it to everyone on here (if you’ll recall, my first inclination was to keep it to myself).  Those of you who have quit will know how hard it is, and those of you who never started, you are so lucky.

I’m disabling comments on this post, because I’m happy with this decision, and in the end, that’s all that matters.

Read Full Post »

Bad habits fill needs, so find good alternatives for them.”

– Martha Beck

Wow, this quote couldn’t have come at a better time!  With all of my goals for 2010, I am really trying to replace some bad habits (smoking, overeating) with healthy alternatives (exercising, eating right), and it is tough.  But I know that in the end, it will be worth it.

The “need” my bad habits fill is mostly boredom, to be honest.  The times I overeat and/or feel like smoking the most are the times when I’m bored.  If my mind is engaged in something, I feel no need to have a cigarette or to eat something I shouldn’t.  So the key for me is to keep my mind occupied and do something that’s fun and worthwhile.

Some of the things I’ve been doing to keep from smoking (the overeating thing is a lot easier to curb, but these work for that too):

  • “playing” the Wii FitPlus, EA Sports Active
  • cleaning – laundry, dishes, vacuuming,etc. You name it, I’m cleaning it!
  • organization projects: 1. getting my “to cook” recipes in order, 2. finding photos for some frames, 3. making a goal board
  • cooking – preparing meals for the week ahead
  • catching up with friends/family via phone and email
  • blogging – you’ve probably noticed the increase in writing; typing keeps my fingers busy, plus it lets me get my emotions out
  • playing Bejeweled Blitz on my iPhone – I swear that game is addictive!
  • Facebook
  • exercising – personal training, C25K training, fitness DVDs
  • chewing gum, drinking water/tea/coffee, eating carrots/celery

What are some of the bad habits (and their good alternatives) for you?

Read Full Post »

This morning I woke up early and sent off an email to my friends and told them that this quitting smoking thing was going a lot easier than I thought.  I barely had any cravings, really.  I told my parents and sister the same thing on the phone soon after I wrote the email.

I think I spoke too soon!  All day today I’ve had that urge, that need, that craving to smoke.  I’ve even thought of justifications for why it might be ok to “have just one” today.

But I haven’t smoked.  Instead, I called my sister again (she’s going to be sick of me), I played the Wii Fitplus for 30 minutes, I did laundry,  I checked in on Facebook.  I’ve been drinking water and avoiding snacking, although I did just finish lunch.

And I still want to smoke.  But I haven’t yet.  So now let me distract myself by telling you about what I did last night.

Last night I went to see the LimboManiacs at Slims in San Francisco and OMG it was so much fun.  The LimboManiacs were playing a benefit reunion concert along with Fungo Mungo (also an awesomely fun band) and Psychefunkapus (fun name, but their music was kind of slow compared to the rest of the bands, so a bit of a downer).

These guys all have crazy names, crazy lyrics, and crazy fans.  It was a lot of fun to go out and hear live music like this – it’s been at least 10 years since I saw bands like these at a smaller venue where the crowd was full of headbangers and moshers.  Granted, these headbangers were all 40+, so it was even more hilarious.  Seriously, I felt like it was 20 years ago and I was seeing the same guys in the audience that I would’ve seen then, only now they were a bit heavier, a bit greyer (or balder), and now married with kids. Plus, it was nice to feel like I was one of the younger ones in the crowd – that doesn’t happen too often anymore when I go hear local live music.

One of the best parts of the night was that I have a huge crush on MIRV aka Marc (the guy on the left playing guitar in the photo above).  You see, Marc is FavCousin’s cousin, so I’d occasionally see him at family functions when we were growing up.  I had the hugest crush on him when I was a teenager, and it continues on today.  (I ignore the fact that he’s married with kids, because this crush is harmless).  Marc/MIRV is hilarious onstage and one hell of a great guitar player!

The evening was such a good time, and I’m glad I went.  I didn’t even feel that tempted to smoke after having a beer (smoking and drinking go together for me).  Even when we passed by a bunch of people smoking outside, I was ok.

So I’ll get past this tough time.  But I am “going through it” a bit at the moment.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: