This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve.

Glad to be off work today as I have a lot of things left to do, although the list is MUCH shorter. Nearly all the presents are wrapped now.   I have a gift to buy, but I don't need it until New Year when we do our Christmas with my BFF and kids.  Today I have a party for my little ones pre-K and a trip to the grocery store to get the last few things I need to start cooking tomorrow. Tonight I'll me making a pork tenderloin with cranberry-pear compote for dinner. Yummy!

I am doing super great on the diet front. I can't believe how great. I weighed yesterday and I was 202!! That's just 3 pounds from my Hot 100 goal of 199. AND. AND! I WORE THOSE SIZE 12 PANTS TO DINNER LAST NIGHT! Ha ha ha! I'm very proud of myself.

Yesterday was busy as usual. I worked in the morning and left about 1pm with my work done. I'm of the rest of the week. I then ran a few errands and then went home to do wrapping and such. I wasn't hungry all day yesterday. I didn't eat breakfast until around 10:00am because of it. It's a good thing I wasn't hungry look at the crap that's been streaming in to the office for the last 2 weeks.

I used to take all this crap home. Almost all of it is candy, cookies and other crap.  For the last 3 years, we've been drawing names and letting the employees pick one to take home.  It took 4 things. Three of which I am re-gifting. The other was a box of pistachio nuts and mixed nuts from Dean and Deluca which I brought home for my husband and I to share.

Luckily yesterday someone finally brought something I COULD enjoy.

 FRUIT TRAYS and BERRIES for ME!  Not the pastries, of course!

I didn't eat lunch yesterday again as I was busy and not hungry. I drank my fluids of course and this helped. I had planned to eat a light lunch anyway as we took the in-laws out for Mexican food last night. They don't get great Mexican in Nebraska so we also go out when they are here. I had only had 300 calories by the time we got to the restaurant, but I stuck to my plan of the veggie fajitas. They are so good. I ate a few chips, I ate corn tortillas and I had a small margarita. I ate a small amount of guacamole. I was full and I ended the day less than 1000cals.

There's been some talk about calories burned with activity and I just have to say one thing. While it is true that moving burns more calories than sitting still, you should not count activities such as sewing or cooking as exercise. Exercise should be counted as an activity where you raise your heart rate. For cardiovascular health you should exercise 3-4 times a week for at least 30 minutes in the target heart rate range for your age.  Being active is a good idea. If you are going to pick between nothing and knitting, I guess knitting is better, but just barely.  And while it is true that your body burns calories even when you are breathing, the amount is variable for each person and very hard to estimate. Please don't fool yourself into thinking that you can eat more if you do very basic things. I don't count any housework as exercise unless it is vigorous.

And exercise for weight loss or cardiovascular health should be something above your normal activity level.  I have patients tell me all the time that they can't figure out why they aren't losing weight because they are "very active at work." They tell me they walk, do stairs and such. All of this is good, but your body adjusts to a level of activity so that your heart rate won't go up with the same level it's used to. A heart rate monitor is a great tool for monitoring your activity and estimating the calories you burn. I've worn mine for a day at the office just to get an idea of how many calories I'm burning in a usual day. The one I have uses a weight based formula with my heart rate data to estimate the amount I've burned.   Some of these monitors are quite inexpensive. Think about getting one if you don't already have one.

No matter how many calories you burn with exercise, you have to monitor your diet and track your calories. You have to maintain a calorie deficit to lose weight. Remember that all calories are not equal for your body. Filling it with hamburgers and fries is not the nutritional equivalent of equal calories of lean beef and roasted potatoes. Just ask my lap band patients who continue to eat things like snickers bars and fries and wonder why they don't lose. Well, they don't exercise and they don't feed their bodies with nutritious food and they don't watch their calorie intake. It doesn't take much of a very calorie dense food to make you gain weight.

What you eat does matter. There are multiple studies showing that high fiber diets reduce colon cancer. Women who eat diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies have less breast cancer. I could go on and on. But, the point is that if your goal is to be healthy and fit, what you put in your body and how you move your body matters. 

 Finally, I am answering the questions from Suzi's blog yesterday. Sometimes I do, sometimes no.

Spunky Suzi's Question Day
1. Do you already have a new calendar? What's the theme? Do you usually buy yours or wait for a freebie?
Yes. I made new ones for the grandparents with a collage of the kids pics on it from last year. Of course mommy needed one to. Thus the reason for going to Walgreen's and NOT just to browse the gift aisle as Allan has implied. He loves to give me shit.

2. Do you have any Christmas eve traditions??
We usually watch a Christmas movie, sing some carols, eat some food and just be together. Of course read the Night Before Christmas and put out cookies for Santa and food for the reindeer.

3. How many fruits/veggies do you try to eat a day?? Or do you try??
I love veggies. I need my 4-5 servings a day and because I do love them, it comes pretty easily for me.
4.What is your favorite nut? ALMONDS!

5. What are you going to be changing to make sure 2011 will be your healthiest? This is a fabulous question. Fabulous. Of course there is the usual, more exercise and eat less, track my calories. All that. But what I really plan is to prove to myself that this is a lifetime change. Continue to work on my mental game which is really the big struggle. I am changing every day. I am learning more every day. I can't wait to see where I'll be a year from now.

And now I'm off to get my stuff done so I can spend some time hanging out with the kids tonight. Have a great day all! And eat healthy food!


  1. I agree with your answer to #5. This must be a lifestyle change if we are going to stop the yo-yo-ing. I am pleased with less of me and I am NEVER going to gain that weight back. Yes, we have lots more to learn.

  2. Don't know whether i'd be strong enough to turn all those goodies away! Then again i love fruit and veggies so i'd keep those as well :)
    Love your answer to #5 as well!! Thanks for answering.

  3. Christmas Eve Eve? We call it Christmas Adam at our house...and we have ribs for dinner.

  4. You are telling me, for certain, that my twice a day hobby of self love is not enough exercise to earn me a Ring Ding or do ? Crapstix.. What if I increase the amount of times to... Who am I kidding..

  5. Congrats on the loss! You are so close. It must feel great! :)

    The first thing my husband said this morning is, "It's Christmas Eve, Eve!" So I got a chuckle out of your post title.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

  6. Lifestyle change for sure.
    It doesn't come easy....
    until we get it!
    Hope your New Year is great in every way!

  7. You are so rocking this healthy living thing!

  8. Good for you on the fruit! looks good! When are you going to be Dr. Skinny? I think it may be time for that name change :)

  9. 202 -- that is awesome! Well done :)

    My back and I are hanging in. My plan is that I'll be enough improved to start back with the exercise in a week or two.

    You are just rocking it -- I'm so happy for you! Merry Christmas :)

  10. I am so excited for you that you are going to reach your Hot 100 goal! I know for while with the gallbladder issues you were doubting yourself but you are doing it and that is AWESOME!

    The best part of knitting or blogging is that it prevents consumption of more calories - imo!

  11. Great post as usual Doc! Thanks for posting about the activity thing. I have actually tried to explain that to a couple of people but it didn't come out as good as you worded it. I am gonna use your explanation instead next time I am asked. I actually am obsessed with making myself get in the training zone. I spotted a heart rate monitor wrist band the other day that I am thinking is an after Christmas present for Shane in the making. I am still doing good training wise, but I think I could get to a whole new level if I had the information made available to me on that device immediately. I am sure I would be obsessed with pushing myself even further along the road!!

    Doc, you have a very Merry Christmas and I am so proud of your will power at the office! I THINK I could do it, but I am just not sure!


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