Wanderings and Weigh-In

What City Should You Live In

Buzz Feed has a quiz for what city should you live in, and my result was…Portland.

That doesn’t come as a huge shock to me.  I took it twice with slightly different answers and still got Portland, so then I got suspicious and provided more or less random answers to get Cape Town, so there are different city results!

My parents live across the Columbia River from Portland, near Vancouver, Washington.  I’ve spent some time in Portland and, yes, I think it’s a great place to visit and would probably be a fun place to live.


The Fox and the Hound

Tinni and Sniffer

Tinni and Sniffer the Fox.  This was originally forwarded to me as an email with lots of commentary about how much these animals love each other.  They’re cute.  They’re buddies.  They are probably happy to consider themselves part of a pack, but love?  That feels a little anthropomorphic to me.



Numbers are continuing to drop.  I think the long runs on the weekend are helping.

Numbers are continuing to drop. I think the long runs on the weekend are helping.

Slow Progress/Fast Progress

The weight is ever so slowly ticking downward, but the miles are adding up fast on my half-marathon training — I’ve run 38.5 miles in the last 30 days, which Nike+ tells me is more miles than the average woman my age (who uses Nike+).

Latest weigh-in is 182.6, which is down about a pound from last week.  Finally, some progress!

I had my thumb over the camera for the shot with body fat, so this is total body water.  My body fat reading is still hovering around 30%.

I had my thumb over the camera for the shot with body fat, so this is total body water. My body fat reading is still hovering around 30%.

Friend Makin’ Monday: First Time Posting

This is a cross-blog quiz where you fill out your answers and then link to www.alltheweigh.com via a comment.  It feels like high school when I’d make up questionnaires and then circulate them to all my friends.  I hope I don’t end up feeling like the time in college when my friend Jen and I uncovered some of these old quizzes and I remembered I’d gone to see Titanic five times in theaters!


1.  What time did you go to bed last night? 11:15 p.m.  A little later than my goal of 11:00, but pretty good nonetheless.

2.  What is the last thing that made you smile? A photo of corgi butt over on the Corgnelius tumblr: Momos walking in unison

3.  What is the last movie you watched? Her.  We made it to a theater for the first time in forever on Saturday night.  Loved the movie and think Joaquin Phoenix has a good Oscar shot this year.

4. What did you have for breakfast today? Scrambled egg, half a multigrain French roll, half a grapefruit and coffee.

5. Would you rather mop all of your floors or do laundry? Laundry.  Aside from the folding, which I can watch tv while doing, it’s automatic.

6. Do you drink coffee? You bet.  My favorite is from the Hair Bender Blend from Stumptown, which now roasts in Portland and NYC, so it’s actually distributed to Columbus.  Right now, I’m drinking Pete’s Major Dickason’s Blend, which was the most appealing thing they had at my local supermarket.  Pete’s ended up buying out several Caribou Coffee’s in town, so they’re starting to have more brick and mortar presence in Columbus.  Some people were upset by that, but I prefer Pete’s to Caribou or Starbucks.

7.  Will you watch the Superbowl? Probably, but would have been more enthusiastic about it if the Niners had made it.  I don’t like rooting against Manning, but I’ll likely root Seahawks.

8. How often do you shop for groceries? About once a week, should go more often.

9.  What kind of workout will you do today? It’s “Strength and Stretch” day on my training schedule so I did Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Beginners to Stretch and a combo of bench press and squats for Strength.

10.  Do  you use a fitness tracker? I use FitBit One.  It’s been going a little crazy lately, but I like when it emails me with reminders to charge it!

Zauber Brewing & All Time Miles

I may have mentioned I’m signed up for a half marathon in May, which is about 10 more miles than I’ve ever run before.  As of today, it’s only 8 more miles because Josh and I ran 5 miles today at about an 11:00 min/mile pace, on the indoor track at the gym we just signed up for, our local JCC (like a YMCA only Jewish sponsored).

Running 75 laps wasn’t the most exciting thing I’ve ever done, but we were running slow enough that we could chat a bit.  We decided that (i) I would start reading books before bed each night and (ii) I would start going to bed earlier.  In the spirit of setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goals, here goes.

1. I will read a book (not blogs, the NYTimes, or the Internet) for at least 30 minutes before bed 4 of the next 7 nights.

2. I will turn the lights out by 11:00 p.m. each night this week, so that I can get up by 7:00 a.m.

In celebration of running 5 miles, and because I had a library book to return in Grandview Heights, we had brunch at 3rd and Hollywood (which is pricey, but has good vegetarian options and a sustainable, local focus) and then checked out Zauber Brewing.

Cider from Griffin Cider Works and Red Rye from Actual Brewing

Cider from Griffin Cider Works and Red Rye from Actual Brewing

Unfortunately, they had sold out of their own beers already.  They have a small brewing set-up, and only release their own beer once a week, on Thursdays.  To make up for it, they had a bunch of other brews (including several local options).  We had a few, including a Red Rye beer, Elektron from Actual Brewing.  We also had churros from the Tortilla Street Food truck, which is the closets to actual Mexican food that I have tasted in a long time — very exciting!




The Fat Trap Revisited

This is from a journal entry from the end of 2011, but it still feels true today.  I notice that back then my goal was 160 and now it’s 170 – perhaps that means I’ve gotten a bit more accepting of myself in the past couple of years?

People act like “it’s my metabolism” is just an excuse us fat people make for being overweight, and always discredit us when we claim to exercise as much (if not more) than many people.

An article in the Times got me thinking about my own weight struggles.  It cites a study finding that people who have lost 10% of their body weight actually burn calories more slowly than people who are naturally that lower weight – and, bonus, the pleasure centers of their brain respond more when they see food.

“After you’ve lost weight, your brain has a greater emotional response to food,” Rosenbaum says. “You want it more, but the areas of the brain involved in restraint are less active.” Combine that with a body that is now burning fewer calories than expected, he says, “and you’ve created the perfect storm for weight regain.”

Over the past 10 years or so I’ve lost about 55 pounds (and regained about 25 of it).  I’ve gone from 235 all the way down to 175, only to see my weight creep back up to 185 and then 195, and now right around 200.  That means at one point I’d lost about 23% of my total body weight and am now about 15% lighter than my starting weight.

A lot of my weight gain was having an office job that kept me at the computer 12+ hours a day, but even then I was seeing a trainer two or three times a week.  The trainer is what kept me around 190.  Now that we can no longer afford a trainer (and despite a honeymoon that involved hiking and tons of walking) say hello to 10 more pounds.

How did I make it down to 175?  Caloric restriction and exercise, plus sleeping 13 hours a day.  Yes, that’s right, 13 hours.  By the end of that year I was forcing myself to go to the gym, rarely ate out, and ate about a bowl of cereal and a sandwich a day.  When I told my doctor I felt listless and depressed even though I was getting more exercise than ever, she ran a blood test and discovered I had hypothyroidism.  Being put on synthroid to increase my thyroid hormones only seemed to make me hungrier (probably a good thing since my eating habits weren’t sustainable or particularly healthy).  I was living alone that year and rarely saw friends and family.  I might have been on my way to anorexia without even knowing it, which is ironic because I’ve always joked I don’t have the self-control for anorexia and, of course, all I got for my weight loss were compliments on how good I looked.  A woman has to be very thin indeed in this society for people to start telling her she’s too skinny.

Here I am, starting 2012 with the desire to once again shave 20% off my body weight and get down to 160 pounds, but now that I think more about it, I don’t know if that’s even a realistic goal.  The health magazines and purveyors of “diet du jour” (medically approved!, it’s your bowels!, turn to God!) tell you it’s possible to lose weight and experience a range of enhanced well being by the increased self-control of healthier eating, exercise, etc., and while I believe in the importance of a diet full of whole foods and low on the processed stuff, I’ve been living that way for a decade and it hasn’t kept my weight from moving back up the scale.

What it will take to lose even 20 pounds is an immense amount of effort on my part, both in exercising, and in forcing myself to eat much, much less than my 45 pounds lighter spouse.  It won’t seem fair.  It won’t be fun. This sounds harder than making it through law school…

Bouncing All Over

Weekly Weigh-In: I’m happy with the number, and yet a bit disappointed that things seemed to stall out over the holidays and aren’t starting to do much ticking down in the New Year.

January 15 2014 Weigh In

I weighed in at 187 yesterday morning and today it’s 183.8. Water weight is real my friends, and it is created by eating three deli sandwiches and drinking three cans of diet soda in one day.

One of the exercises I make my students do is reflective journaling, in which they write about their experiences and analyze them for lessons to apply to future practice.  Herein, some reflections on the past 3 days.

The two main takeaways I have from this past weekend is that (1) eating bread leads to a bread chow down spiral and (2) I need 8-9 hours of sleep a night consistently or I do not perform well.

I did a good job this weekend not stopping for fast food on the way home from each day of training, but I have a hard time avoiding temptation when it is sitting there in the form of a bagel tray or a box of sandwiches.  For me, it’s easiest not to have the bread around because I, apparently, cannot stop myself from eating it when it is readily available.

For example, on Monday, trying to push through to my 4 p.m. class, I had 3 cans of Cherry Coke Zero.  They were around.  They were caffeinated.  They were easier than making green tea (which I had sitting in my office and only required putting a bag in a mug and going to the water cooler to add hot water).  Sure, Coke Zero has zero calories, but it has no nutritional value either.  And, more importantly, I don’t think it’s doing much to flush my system because the next day I weighed in at 187 lbs.

Eat clean.  Get off this plateau.

Dragging Today

It’s been a rough week as this semester ramps up and I get ready to do a weekend long training with my students.

My Wednesday weigh-in came in at 184.0 (I have pictures, but am too lazy to upload them).

I’ve been trying out a new gym and am liking it so far. I decided I needed someplace close to home with treadmills when the Polar Vortex hit, and this gym has an indoor track as well.

I did a great 3 miles on Tuesday running the track. Little kids kept creeping over the track and running partial laps completely unsupervised (there was a kids’ basketball game going on nearby and the parents were watching them play), so I treated it like Zombies, Run! Most of the kids didn’t have the stamina or interest to run a full lap.

Today, I tried to do 3 miles on the treadmill and it was all I could do to walk the thing. I have three theories:

1. Treadmills are dumb.
2. Doing a Kinesis class beforehand tired me out.
3. I am coming down with whatever flu Josh currently seems to have.

I really hope it’s not Option 3 because did I mention a training I’m supposed to be doing with my students — all weekend?

How to Become a Better Beer Drinker

Hat tip to John Verive at the LA Times for his article on How to Become a Better Beer Drinker.  He has excellent suggestions on how to learn more and track your knowledge about beer.  Here are his suggestions and some of my own comments, but I definitely recommend you check out his original article.

1. Take Notes: As I mentioned in an earlier post, we like to use the Beer Judge Certification scoring system as a guideline for taking notes about beers.  The basic scoring elements are below, though the official scoring sheet deals with many more flavor/aroma components.

Aroma (as appropriate for style) _________/12
Comment on malt, hops, esters, and other aromatics

Appearance (as appropriate for style) _________/ 3
Comment on color, clarity, and head (retention, color, and texture)

Flavor (as appropriate for style) _________/20
Comment on malt, hops, fermentation characteristics, balance, finish/aftertaste, and other flavor characteristics

Mouthfeel (as appropriate for style) _________/ 5
Comment on body, carbonation, warmth, creaminess, astringency, and other palate sensations

Overall Impression _________/10
Comment on overall drinking pleasure associated with entry, give suggestions for improvement

Total _________/50

2. Book Learning: I’ve met the author of one of the books the LA Times writer recommends: Josh Bernstein’s Complete Beer Course.  (LA Times needs to fix his name, though.)  Josh is a Cleveland native and we ran into him one day while he was signing copies of his previous book, Brewed Awakening , at Nano Brew in Cleveland.  I haven’t read his new book yet, but was eying a copy at Founder’s Brewery the other days, so I may have to get it.

Josh Bernstein’s first book


3. Take a Class: We joined the Scioto Olentangy Darby Zymurgists (SODZ) club, which has regular meetings with workshops and competitions.

4. Discover New Styles: The LA Times writer likes Belgians.  I might try to focus more on local or smaller breweries in the area.  There have been a ton opening up these past few months.

5. Learn to Brew: Check.  We’re going to work on trying to brew once a month and developing more consistency in our production methods.  We brewed twice in December – a smoked porter and an American pale ale.

6. Cross Train: Drink other things – Check. We need to throw more parties to spread the wealth on the booze we’ve accumulated over the years.

7. Get Certified: I’ve been thinking about the Cicerone Certification just for fun.  The first level’s mostly about how to serve beer appropriately, which may just end up in my buying a bunch of extra glasses we’ll rarely use so that each beer can be served with its matching glass.


NSV: Personal Record in 5K

Josh and I started the year with a PR in a local 5K – the Westerville First on the First.  My official time was 31:28, and I finished 519 out of a field of 1176, so not too shabby.

First on the First - medal

You can see my new GPS watch on my left wrist.  Josh gave it to me as a Christmas present and trying it out kept me working out over the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  It came with a foot pod to use on a treadmill, and I’m eager to see how well they work together.  It’s been fun having it so far since it’s a Nike watch and automatically syncs with Nike+, which I was already using to track my runs via the phone app.