vs Food

We’ve finally had enough of the procrastination and excuses, and now it’s time to really knuckle own on the food and fitness part of our lifestyle.  We have a previously planned dinner engagement for later this week, but otherwise, we’ll be starting back on our whole-food plan. I did a huge grocery-shop today, and we have almost 2 weeks worth of meals planned.

Both of us have been feeling ill and lethargic, and I don’t know about Robin, but my weight has been going up.  I’m experiencing headaches and body aches, and I just want to get off the yo-yo.  This means we’re going to have to be a lot more strict on weekends…not so many meals out at places that load your plate up with a lot of empty calories.

If anyone else is on the dietary/fitness treadmill (har har), I definitely recommend fatsecret.com.  So far it’s the best integration of diet/fitness database and social networking that I’ve seen.  Not only that, but there’s a lot of user-created recipes for practically every food plan – whether it’s Atkins, the Zone, or anything in between.  Anyone looking for a buddy on the site can find me under the name Yzorah, just like anywhere else.

First step?  Get through the next 2 weeks as close to on-plan as possible.  Bear with me, as there will likely be quite a few posts along this vein.  Don’t worry…I’ll still be talking about my constant (knitting) obsession! 😉

Tights

It has now reached *that* time of year.  The time of year when the cute little slender girls are decked out in cute little swing coats, with their cute knitwear that’s meant to look bulky so that they look tiny.  It’s a fashion that never seems to go out of style, and why should it?  It’s a classic.

The one fashion that has always made me wince is the trend to wear tights during the fall season.  In lieu of pantyhose, a girl or woman will put on a thicker pair of hose to keep her legs warm, which often lends to wearing all manner of skirt lengths.  I recently caught a picture that Ysolda Teague posted on her own blog, of herself decked out in such a getup (go ahead and take a look, I can wait a moment).  She really does carry it off well, so I have no grudge against her personally…but I do hold a bit of a grudge against her tights.

You see, I think the last time I wore tights was around age five.  I have never been able to find a pair that fit me since.  Either I was too tall for standard (inexpensive) pairs of tights, or I had started gaining weight.  What is it with manufacturers that they think that overweight and obese women don’t need proper lingerie and hosiery?  We feel the cold just as much as anyone else…and I will admit that I have more surface area to cover.  When I *do* find quality hosiery, they usually charge me considerably more.  I mean…it’s not like they have to go out and kill more nylon and acrylic to make the hose!  Seriously, people, it’s a common man-made fibre!  Instead, I’m restricted to wearing trousers, many of which are still often ill-fitting for women above size 12.

But I digress.  Hot-button topic, anyone?

This is Teh Chels.  I snapped a few shots of her this weekend so that she could get some pictures of her knitwear for her Ravelry page.  You’ll notice that she’s rockin’ a very similar style of knitted stocking.  It’s actually a very tall sock, knit from the toe-up.  She’s using i-cord as a garter under her kneecap to keep the sock in place.  To be more precise, I think she layered these over actual tights, but we’ll ignore that fact for a moment.

She knit these herself.  In fingering weight yarn, on what was likely a 2mm or slightly larger needle.  Which means approximately 8 stitches to the inch.  That’s a lot of stitches.

Now, I could make myself a full pair of tights.  Elizabeth Zimmermann certainly gave directions for that.  I could do something slightly saner (considering the circumferences of my thighs and my waist) and just make knee socks from slightly thicker wool yarn like Kroy.

I’m still considering option #2 while I work on the unspoken (thus far) option #3, which is “Lose weight, and maybe by next year you can fit into a pair of tights that you didn’t have to knit”, but I’m not going to bank on it.  I’ve been having a hard time getting & staying motivated lately.  Probably one of the reasons why I’ve taken to posting in ye olde blog again.

Here’s hoping I can maybe get started on a pair of fairly plain knee-socks & at the same time work on cleaning up the fooding and start getting more exercise.  Particularly as we head into the part of the year where we’re going to want to curl up in those nice, warm, wooly knits & start the winter’s hibernation.

Food Rules

This was last night’s dinner: a home-made chili from scratch.  The only things that did not come in my produce box this week were an onion from my veggie drawer, spices, the beans, the ground sirloin, and a wee little bit of starch to thicken the juices slightly.

When I say ‘my produce box’, I mean that we’ve been experimenting with the whole “local foods” idea instead of buying our produce at the big-name grocery.  So far, so good.  I have produce that lasts for about two weeks before going bad, unlike most of the stuff from the local grocery store.  That stuff sometimes starts going off before I’ve left the store, something that seems to happen with alarming frequency.

We’re trying to clean up our diet around here after the disaster that has been the past 2 months.  We both wound up with a pretty yucky cold for awhile there, and I will admit that I’ve been giving in to a lot of unhealthy cravings.  I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that, but I definitely take accountability for the ice cream and pizza I’ve been consuming.  Nobody forced it on me.  Luckily, I only put on about 10 pounds.  Half of that has already gone away by eating sensibly.

Has anyone ever noticed that common wisdom is to “eat sensibly”, but they never really spell out what, exactly, that is?  Think on that sometime.  It’s an interesting meditation.  Oh, sure, different diets will demonize different things, but there’s always a hook in there somewhere.

I will admit that my body works best on an Atkins/South Beach style diet.  When I can wake up in the morning feeling like a million dollars, and my joints and back don’t ache…then I’m a happy camper indeed.  Some would say that this is just because weight is coming off, and that counting calories would work just as well, but I’ve tried this…and it doesn’t seem to work as well as I’d wish.  Sure, I could lose weight doing so, but I generally wind up feeling like crap – and then I wind up with a loaf of bread in my house and I go on a grilled cheese bender.  Don’t believe me?  I have proof!

Yep.  This is evidence.  Grilled cheese.  Photo taken sometime in September, I think.  This was my lunch for about three days straight.  No, I’m not kidding.

So, all-in-all, I’m trying very hard to avoid the things that make me feel like my digestive tract is working against me. Pasta, I’m looking at you, here.  That goes for you other starchy foods too.

This was tonight’s dinner.  “Breaded” chicken*, steamed broccoli, and a caesar salad.  A little closer to our “normal” eating, and a whole lot less worry to my system.  I’m trying to find the perfect balance of foods so that I don’t feel too deprived of “fun” stuff, but don’t wind up on a craving kick.  Right now, I’m trying to stick to a mainly whole-foods diet, with limited processed food.  When I can stick to it, it seems to work well.  It’s a naturally lower-carbohydrate plan with moderate meat and lots of veggies.  That being said, I’m not going to kick myself if I have the occasional taco shell with my taco salad.

Be warned…I may just start posting more pictures of tasty meals if this keeps up…

*If you’re wondering what the breading is, it’s parmesan cheese (the kind you get in the Big Green Canister) with some black pepper, oregano, thyme and poultry seasoning added for taste.  If you bake it in the oven on a makeshift grill rack, it cooks up just like breading…with more flavour, too.  Tasty!

Progressing Apace

So it seems that things like to cluster.  This past week, I’ve noticed that my weight has actually gone down a bit while I’ve been just trying to eat a “normal, balanced” diet.  It surprises me, because if I usually just look at starches & breads, my arse gets bigger.

I also finished off a pair of the socks I was working on.  It’s part of the Supersock Scarefest on Ravelry, and once they’re finished blocking, I’ll put up a few pictures.  The first socks in the knitalong are dry from blocking, so hopefully I’ll be able to take some pictures on the deck this afternoon.  I guess it will depend on whether the afternoon is sunny or rainy.  You can’t tell around here.

So…looks like things are looking up.  We’ll see how the rest of the week turns out.

Running hard to stay in place

Sometimes it feels like I’m just running as fast as I can in order to get nowhere fast.  It seems I can eat perfectly low-carb while I’m on the work week…but one meal out of place on a weekend, and I’m right back where I started the previous Monday.  I can be “good” all month, and after a week of being thrown off-kilter, be back where I was at the beginning.  I can eat right *and* exercise, and have very little time for myself otherwise, and still feel like I’m struggling.

No wonder people are lining up for weight loss surgery out of despair.

I’d love to wax philosophical and tow the party line of “It didn’t happen overnight so it’s not going away overnight”, but that’s just not the way I feel.  You can shove that little platitude where the sun don’t shine.  I’m actually a little angry, because I try very hard to stay on plan.  I try very hard to exercise.  I try very hard to be the antithesis of the “stereotypical fat person”.

I actually told the Husbeast that I was considering Weight Watchers.  Maybe the online version.  I dunno.  I will admit that I am a very big supporter of low-carb eating plans, but with the way things have been going in the past couple of months, I’m wondering if maybe it might be something to shake things up.  I’ve carefully avoided pasta, potatoes, sugar and rice for the past couple of years, and while I’m down about 30 or 40 lbs from my all-time-high, I find that my body wants to stop/start like crazy.  Two steps forward, two steps back.

I’ll be really happy when the Wii stops saying “That’s obese!” in that cutesy-pie voice.  I tell ya.

I’m also feeling a little like I’m doing the stop/start thing in my knitting…I guess I may be at a point where I’ve got a lot happening in a short amount of time.  I decided to participate in a couple of sock knitalongs on Ravelry, in particular the SuperSock Scarefest and Sock Knitters Anonymous KALs.  I had to frog & re-cast my project for SKA (the bigger size was TOO big), and the release times for SSS are a little too close together for me.  I have 1.5 socks done out of 3 pairs for that one.  Eesh.  And one of those pairs is in DK weight yarn.  You’d think they’d go faster, but I decided to knit those ones for big feet.  That’s the pair I’m only halfway done.

So yeah.  Feeling a little behind.  Also feeling somewhat worn out & run down.  I guess that’s about par, though…was working hard to try and lose weight, got sidetracked, then got sick…the week of vacation I took was taken up with getting better rather than working on my side projects.

Something tells me it’s time for a hot bath and maybe a re-assessment.