Sunday, April 29, 2007

I Keep Coming Back For More

I don’t know why I’m focusing on how annoying my family is lately. Maybe I’m spending way too much time with them. But lately I’ve been annoyed with my sister Jen. She’s the same one who recently commented on my snacking habit. I’ve been doing a lot of exercising with her: biking, hiking, we even try to play tennis. I enjoy her company most of the time and appreciate how motivating it is to exercise with others, but, dang, she can be annoying! She finds weakness unacceptable and when it is she likes to use pity. Yesterday, when we were hiking, she scoffed at my fear of falling. I don’t scoff at her fear of dogs and cows. Why is it so hard to imagine that I don’t like to fall on jagged rocks? And because I was more cautious at descending, she was impatient and gave me advice on how to be faster. I am nothing but patient with her out-of-shaped ass as I wait for her when ascending and every time we go biking, I lower my heart rate, so that she can keep pace. What’s worse is the pity! I cannot stand being pitied, especially from my younger sister! And when I hurted myself, she kept saying, "aww". Today we went biking and it was the same as yesterday. I have a cold, so I was having difficulty keeping pace, and she wouldn’t slow down. And when she finally realized I was far behind, she looked at me with so much pity I wanted to strangle her! Then I made the mistake of bringing up my injury I got the other day. If I have to hear her say “aww” again, I’m going to be short one sister! Why does family have to be so annoying?! Makes me not want to exercise with her anymore.

Well, at least I don’t have to see her until next weekend.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ly is ...Overweight?!

I am shocked beyond belief! Ly is overweight!

A few nights ago, Ly was telling me that I don’t look overweight anymore, which was strange, since according to my BMI and body fat percentage, I still was. He asked me if he was overweight. He’d asked me this before and I always told him he wasn’t, but this time he was asking me to check his BMI, so I did. And he was. About 10 pounds overweight! This shocked me. I asked him how long he had been this weight. He said for at least 10 years! I’ve only been overweight for 7 yet the focus on who should be losing weight has always been me. I remember reading a post from Diet Blog how women are more than likely to think they’re overweight than men, but men are more than likely to be overweight. I had thought it was because of culture. Culturally women are supposed to be smaller than men. Then I also remembered reading a study that discovered overweight African American women don’t think they’re overweight because they were comparing themselves to the people around them, whom happen to also be overweight. I think this is what had happened in our situation. Everyone is overweight. Everyone. It’s hard to tell how someone of healthy weight should look like. Although, the women in the magazines and TV are, in my opinion, underweight, somehow media has not influenced me into perceiving men a certain way. So when I see Ly, I see normal, but normal is overweight in the US! When I sat wide-eyed at the number I had written, the blood drained from head. How could I have let this go on and not do anything about it? My father-in-law has a whole host of problems that should be related to his weight, but he looks normal. So I assumed that it was from genetics. I assumed that his poor mental health contributed to it also. But now that I look at it, my father-in-law has a gut, so his weight may have also contributed to his health. And at this rate my husband may have the same fate. I suddenly felt a strong sense of failure as a wife. Others may think that the health of one’s significant other should be their responsibility, and I halfway agree. But the other half doesn’t. Now I’m thorn. Ever since that evening, Ly has been asking questions like, “Do you find me unattractive?” Well, of course not! But then he asked me to compare himself to his old self. The one I met in college. Well, heck, we all looked more attractive in college! Half of me want to tell him that it doesn’t matter (which it doesn’t), but the other half want him to be healthy and that if I answered accordingly I can motivate him to be healthy. So I stalled, and now he thinks I’m disgusted with him. Now he’s on a diet, and I feel awful! He was a fat child, and his family and other children were merciless. Did I just contribute to the damage?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Knee Problems and Family Bugs

I’m concerned about my knee. It’s been feeling stiff ever since I went lifting on Tuesday. I’m afraid I may have injured it. Maybe I had lifted too quickly. Also on Friday, I did strength training without doing cardio for the first time ever. Although, I warmed up for 5 minutes, I’m afraid I might not have been warm enough. Maybe that injured my knee further. Today, I focused on stretching it, and I also iced it. I might do strength training tomorrow. I might not. It depends on how I feel.

For lunch, we brought one of those pre-made pizzas to my parents’ house. It only took 15 minutes to bake, but I was so hungry and there were so much tempting snacks I could have eaten. I held out okay, only eating 2 chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Although, I ate two pizzas, when I should have limited myself to one, and I would have been fine with one and a half. Ideally, I should have eaten one slice and the banana I brought with me. I find my parents’ house stressful. There’s just too much stimuli. Plus my mom’s so annoying and she was sitting right by my ear as I ate. Does she always have to yell when she talks? Does she always have to be such an airhead? It makes me want to eat more.

After I ate I went back to my sister’s room where the package for macadamia nuts were so that I can record the nutritional information. My sister had assumed that I went to eat more chocolate, speaking disbelievingly that I would “go all the back to her room for more chocolate.” Why is this so unbelievable? I hate how my family associates me with my uncontrolled snacking habits. But I didn’t bother correcting their perception. Somehow I would rather have them believe that I’m a crazy snacker than someone whom recorded her food down. My mom told me to bring the chocolate downstairs so that she can eat some, so I ended up recording the nutritional information right in front of her. Mom stated, “That’s good that you do that!” This bothered me.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fooled by the Greenery

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These past two weeks, staff meeting at my internship had been extended. To compensate they bought us lunch. Last week it was Chinese food and I was excellent. This week it was Panera, and I ate too much. I ate a huge salad with vinaigrette. In my mind, I thought that salad with vinaigrette would be inherently low in calories so I eat a lot, but when I looked it up it was 200 calories! In addition to that, I also ate a large sandwich. It was later on when I was feeling extremely full and drowsy that I realized the sandwich was too big to be considered ordinary portions. It must have been two ordinary sized sandwiches posing as one. I had fooled myself into thinking that I can eat a lot because it was a vegetarian sandwich, but I should have known by it’s creamy filling that it wouldn’t be low calorie. In fact it was 470 calories! And the large cookie, even when I only ate half of it was still 200 calories! (And here I was feeling proud of myself that I only ate half). So the total calories for lunch was 870! Whew! For being a “sandwich” place, they sure pack in the calories. But at least now I know. Next time I eat from Panera, I will only eat half of their sandwiches.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Milestone and Vanity

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I have finally reached my 134 lbs milestone! If I can keep this up for a week, I will gift myself an indoor rock climbing session with my husband. We’re always talking about doing it, but my husband can’t justify the cost of it. Now he can.

It’s strange, but I’m having a hard time justifying giving myself prizes for my milestones. I seem to be okay with paying myself for counting calories because in the past I have struggled with it. But when I reach a milestone, I swell up with so much pride that I don’t think I need a prize to keep me going.

Speaking of pride, I think mine may have gotten out of hand of late. I really have to watch myself, because when I lost the weight right before school, I think I was straight up vain! When I started my internship it was with 3 other interns, all of them seemed heavier than me. Although I didn’t say anything to them to make them think I was better than them, I was thinking it! I thought, “Why don’t they just lose weight? It’s so easy.” How could I have thought that? Just because I had lost weight by all means it was not easy! As punishment, I gained those 10 lbs back.

I also got advice-y when I leave comments on other blogs as if I was an expert because I lost 10 lbs! Well I’m no expert. In fact, recently things that I have thought were weight loss truths, I have found out to be…wrong. Yes, my dear readers, I was wrong. Although it shouldn’t come as a surprise to my long time readers, because when I was still learning about this weight loss stuff, I was making a lot of mistakes and they were kind enough to set me straight. And here I am thinking that the learning has ended. Nope.

For one, it finally dawned on me what BMR truly meant. I had assumed it meant the calories needed to maintain your current weight, but when my sister asked me I had realized that this definition was wrong. I had went educational on my sister, which meant I told her what the acronym stood for. I majored in biology for undergrad and somehow I had stored that BMR stood for basal metabolic rate. But as I said this, another undergrad knowledge jumped up. When I was learning it, it had meant the calories needed for normal functioning. I looked it up and my undergrad self was right. Therefore the soon-to-be-graduate self was wrong. Is it possible for me to be getting dumber?

I had posted using the wrong definition of BMR and I wondered why no one set me straight. I looked back on the post and realized that someone did. But I mustn’t have heard her. Well at the time I was thoroughly confused by all the numbers I had to deal with. I think I was much more focused on getting the numbers right. Sorry Kimberly.

Another thing that dawned on me was that fat burning zone is not the most ideal zone to be working out at. This is what Spark People had to say about that:

The "fat burning zone" business is very misleading. It’s true that low intensity exercise uses more fat as fuel and that moderate intensity exercise (that you can maintain for 20 minutes or more) burns both fat and glucose. But, you're better off exercising in the aerobic zone as much as you can, because exercising at this higher intensity burns more total calories. You will burn a larger percentage of fat in relation to glucose when you are working at a lower intensity, but you will also burn fewer total calories and less total fat. The relative percentage of fat burned has nothing to do with weight loss—it's the total amount calories burned that counts.
Charlene from my workout DVD had repeatedly told me this, but I wasn’t hearing her. I guess I needed to read it.

These are proofs that I am no weight loss guru. So I really need to keep my pride in check, so that I can be open to what people say. So that I don't mislead anyone. So that I don't make anyone think they are any less than me.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My Award System

Each day I will pay myself money, depending on how many days I was able to stay within my calorie range in the last 10 days, including the day of.
<8 out of 10 days $0.00
8 out of 10 days $0.50
9 out of 10 days $0.75
10 out of 10 days $1.00

Each 10 days I stay within my recommended calorie, fat, carbohydrate, and protein range I give myself a dollar.

Each time I turn down food despite peer pressure, I will pay myself $1.00

At the end of the month I will use the money to buy myself a weight loss related prize. If I didn’t earn any money, but I tracked food for 80% of the month, I will still award myself a prize that I do not pay for.

I will award myself every 100 days I am actively trying to lose weight (weighing myself weekly and recording intake).

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Blame Game

When I wrote the last post, I realized that blaming Ly for my eating seems to be a common occurrence. Although, I still hate it that he badgers me, I shouldn’t have blamed him for the fact that I drank another drink that he didn’t even offer. It’s so illogical. Just as it was illogical to blame him when I ate too much at a buffet or when I ate those pancakes. He seemed to have become my scapegoat, mostly because it’s easier to feel angry with Ly then to feel guilt or shame. Then I read this post, and I wonder if guilt and shame are anger directed at me. Never the less, it’s me blaming myself. I want to get away from blaming anybody. I have forgiven myself for my stupidity, but how do I keep myself from blaming in the future?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No One’s Forcing Me

For Easter, my mother-in-law invited us for dinner. Ly’s sister, Linh, is a wine connoisseur and likes to bring high-priced alcohol to these get-togethers. She’s very excited about what she brings, puts a glass in everyone’s hand, and speaks enthusiastically about the drink she had chosen especially for the get-together. Unfortunately, I cannot share in her excitement. I don’t like flavored drinks, except orange juice at breakfast and smoothies. And I consider smoothies to be more of a dessert than a drink. Anything else, I consider a waste of calories. Well, on Easter, Linh brings a mix drink. Ly thinks that I might like it, so he offers it to me. Twice. And not in a subtle way. In a "Come on! Come on! Just try it!" way. I hate it when he does that. It brings attention to the fact that I don’t drink alcohol, which seems to be a social oddity. But I know that this is not his intention. He believes everyone should try everything and nothing should be forbidden. He’s been known to badger our vegetarian friends about their life choices and shove meat foods under their noses. And this way of thinking runs in the family. Ly’s other sister Xuan use to have a boyfriend whom was allergic to peanuts. Poor guy had to be subjected to my mother-in-law pushing dishes with peanuts in them. And even Xuan would force-feed him peanut foods. At one party, Xuan had a peanut food in her hand, positioned right in front of his lips as if to feed her boyfriend, she said, “Come on. Try just one.” I had to stop her, before she went to far. Her poor boyfriend was so meek that several times he had suffered the consequences of an allergic reaction because Xuan and my mother-in-law had insisted that he "try" a peanut-laden food. But I don’t blame Xuan’s boyfriend. Turning down offers is hard, especially when they’re so persistent as a Truong offer. Well, after Ly offered the alcoholic drink twice, Linh makes a virgin version for me. Although, I can reject Ly with a glass in my face, I can’t seem to reject an in-law whom has made a glass especially for me. I drank it with resentment towards Ly. I thought that if Ly didn’t make such a big deal that I don’t drink alcohol, Linh wouldn’t have made me a virgin drink. So yesterday, I told Ly to lay off badgering me to try alcoholic beverages, since I found his badgering annoying. He wouldn’t agree to do this. He insisted that he offers me these drinks because he believes that I might actually like one. As if he knows what's best for me! I told him I would never like one. I hate feeling thirsty after I just drank something. I hate feeling polluted with drinks that are not pure as water. He just couldn’t understand me, so he wouldn’t agree to stop. Then he said, “No one’s forcing you!” This is easy for him to say. Him and his family walk around with an air of confidence and stubbornness. No one can force them to do anything. But for Xuan’s boyfriend and myself it’s harder. I can’t seem to turn down an offer when it’s presented to me a certain way. But then I think, "It is not impossible." I'm sure Linh, whom always gives up all kinds of foods for Lent and whom has always been successful at this, has no problem turning anyone down. So I’m going to work on this. Next time Linh makes me a drink, I’m going to say, “Sorry Linh, I just don’t like flavored drinks.” Another thing I also know about the Troung family is that hardly anything hurt their feelings. But with Ly, that self-righteous bastard!, next time he offers me an alcoholic beverage; I’m going to take the drink and pour it down the sink!

Monday, April 09, 2007


I felt so hungry today and unfulfilled. I also noticed that my lips are dry. I think maybe I should eat more nutritious foods, but I totally don't feel like it. I wonder if I'm just not eating enough. I'm definitely urging something else than the boring stuff I've been eating lately. Today, I ate California rolls as a snack. I felt totally bad about that. I ate 8 pieces, when I set out to only eat 4. In the end, it turned out okay. I still stayed within my calorie range.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Buffet…on Good Friday?

You heard correctly! On the day that we Catholics are suppose to be fasting no less. Although what a Catholic means about fasting is hardly what other religions consider to be fasting. For Catholics, we are supposed to only have one full meal and two optional snacks. Never the less, I find it impossible to eat this little and not be cranky and I don't want my unhappiness to affect the happiness of those around me. But my husband always observes it. This year was no different from any other year. He comes home from work and all he’s eaten was popcorn, so he was cranky. He says, “Let’s go to Sweet Tomato.” Which is a salad bar, a buffet with very little meat options. Perfect for someone who can’t eat meat. I was totally not wanting to go, because although I don’t want to fast, I still wanted to aim for the low end of my calorie range as a weak observance of the day. I should have said no, but my initial reaction was to do whatever my husband wanted. When it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t want to go, he was already getting the kids ready to go. I voiced my protest, which pissed him off. “Do you not want to go or not?” he demanded, irritated. And a little too loudly, in my opinion. I know if I said no, he would be pissed off for the rest of the night, so I said I did. Now I’m totally resenting him. I have not mastered the buffet yet; so, needless to say, I went over in calories yesterday, breaking my streak. I’m totally disappointed in myself. Wished I done things differently.

Friday, April 06, 2007

From Wino to Wine Taster

I gave up chocolate for Lent, and amazingly I haven't eaten any since Fat Tuesday. With Easter just around the corner, I went to buy chocolate at Trader Joe’s. And not just any chocolate. The high quality, dark chocolate kind. As I re-introduce chocolate back into my life, I would like to change my relationship with it. Usually, I would be to chocolate as winos are to alcohol. Any kind would do, as long as there is a lot of it. I have been known to eat chocolate that was a year old! And let me tell you, it’s not worth the calorie intake. Starting Sunday will be a new kind of chocolate lover! The type that appreciates the taste of good chocolate. I would like to become a wine taster type of chocolate eater! That is my goal. But I’m not fooling myself. I know it’s going to be tough. When I went to Trader Joe’s with the intention of buying just one bar, I had a crazy instinct to buy all kinds of chocolate. Then when I bought that extra large bar, I thought that it wouldn’t be enough. With any other food, it would be different, and that is proof that I am a chocoholic. I know an addict can never have just one, but I also know of an addict whom was able to do it. I want to be another one who can.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Ten Pounds

I’ve decided to try to weigh myself on a daily basis. I have heard a long time ago that it was more effective towards losing weight, but I never did it because I didn’t want to get obsessed by it. Then I thought that it takes a certain personality to get obsessed by things like that, and although I do have short spurts of obsession, I think I will be okay.

Although, I will be weighing myself on a daily basis, I will only report my weight on a weekly basis, so today’s the day I report. 137 lbs was how much I weighed. I was skeptical when I read those numbers, because according to them I had broken through 140 lbs, which I wasn’t able to do before when I started this blog.

Okay, let be bring you up to speed on my weight loss journey (if you are a new reader or sporadic, like myself). When I started this blog I was 150 lbs, then I lost 10 lbs, then school started and I gained 10 lbs. And here I am again losing 10 lbs, except this time I lost a bit more than 10 lbs. 17 lbs to be exact. I should be excited, but I’m skeptical. I tried on my jeans, the ones I bought when I lost the 10 lbs the first time. When I gained weight again, I wasn’t able to button it, but now that I lost again I can. Except it still a little tight, when it should be fitting perfectly. So I don’t know how to take this news. Should I be happy?

On other news… I’m getting really good at keeping within my calorie range. Today’s the 12th day in a row that I was able to do this! Yay, me!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sports Watch

Yes! I did it! I recorded my calorie intake for a whole month! Today’s the first of the month, and as promised I will gift myself a prize for maintaining within my calorie range. For the month of March, I got myself a sports watch battery.

“Sports watch battery? What about the watch?” you may be asking me.

Let me explain…

Two years ago my husband received a sports watch from my sisters as a Christmas present. They bought it on sale from Sportsmart (a discount sports store), and no wonder. It didn’t work. Since it was bought on sale from a discount store, we couldn’t exchange it for one that did work. My husband and I concluded that the watch’s batteries were either dead or the watch had mechanical issues. There was a warranty, but we didn’t know if the reason it didn’t work was because of a dead battery, something that the warranty did not cover. If we had mailed it in, we would have lost money on shipping charges. I suggested that we buy a battery, but he didn’t like the idea of wasting money on a battery that might not work, if the problem was the watch itself. Additionally, my husband didn’t even like how the watch looked. He believed that it looked too feminine and preferred to not invest time or money on it. So the watch was given to me, but I couldn’t justify spending the $10 on a battery when my husband believed it was a bad idea. If I bought a battery and it didn’t work, I would get gruff about it for a long time (my husband’s a cheapskate). So there it stayed, useless in the top drawer of my dresser.

Then, last week, I finally decided to buy a battery for it. I decided to use the money I would earn through this reward system that I set up. I can do whatever I want with that money. If I decided to take that money and throw it out the window, it would be okay. So if my husband gives me any gruff, I can say that the money I spent on it was reward money and he wouldn’t be able to say anything after that.

Lucky for us all, it worked! and I get a new sports watch!

I totally adore it! Not only does it tell time, but it tells the date, has a stopwatch, has a daily alarm, has hourly chime, is water resistant up to 300 ft, and has night vision backlight. Nice. I tried it on for the first time today. I used it to time my jog and to remind me to take my meds before lunch and dinner. I also plan to use it to time my laps when I swim. I posted a picture of it up here. According to, it could have cost somewhere between $40-80! So it was a bargain at $10.
I fear no one’s opinion! I am knowledgeable, focused, and efficient. I make this priority and build from experience. I do this for my children and myself. Supported by love, I will persevere.