Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for the ‘Weight Weight…Don’t Tell Me’

Published October 23rd, 2008

A vicious cycle

I blame it on the caramel apples.

You see, that’s where it starts.  Once I see the Honey Crisp apples in my grocery store I’m soon yearning to jab popsicle sticks into them and coat them with a gooey layer of melted Kraft caramel.  As far as sweets go, they’re not too bad.  They have relatively little fat, and you’re getting at least one serving of fruit (more like two given the size of apples these days).  But so starts the slippery slope.

By mid-October the Halloween candies start appearing, and I just HAVE to have me some candy corn.  Yes, they’re sickly sweet, but they’re my once-a-year guilty pleasure.  Normally I can avoid most of the “fun size” candy bars since I no longer work in an office, but many of my clients will have bowls of them out, taunting me.  Of course, whatever doesn’t go into trick-or-treaters hands on All Hallows Eve somehow manages to makes its way down my gullet.  But this year my darling and I will dining at the Herbfarm, so we won’t be handing out treats.

After Halloween there’s my birthday on Nov. 12, which I’ve always used as an excuse to indulge (it typically ends up being a week-long orgy).  Then it’s Thanksgiving with the pies and the wine and the mashed potatoes and the wine and the turkey & gravy and the wine and the stuffing and yet more wine.  Early in December you’ll typically find me in my kitchen whipping up batches upon batches of cookies and “Texas Trash” to give as client gifts (but of course there are leftovers for us to eat), then I’ll gorge myself silly at the Christmas Eve feast.  While New Year’s tends to be a subdued affair, you can pretty much guarantee there’ll be a champagne glass in my hand.

This is all a long-winded way of saying I tend to gain weight this time of year.


Published May 23rd, 2008

Weighing in

It’s once again that time of year when I foist upon you pictures of a more portly Eat Drink Run Woman (or more appropriately, Eat Drink Eat Some More Drink Even More Eat Eat Eat Eat Eat Drink Drink Drink Fall Asleep on the Couch Woman).

For those of you who are new readers to EDRW and haven’t taken the time to read through each and every post (SHAME ON YOU), this is what I looked like on May 17, 2005:
Large Marge


I cringe every time I see these photos; not only for my girth, but for the look on my face. I had let myself go and was extremely unhappy. I could say seeing the number 200 on my scale was a rude wake-up call, but let’s face it — I was verging on that weight for many months prior. But when the numbers went from the high 190s to 200 I finally was motivated enough to do something about it.

I was blessed with having the most supportive and understanding husband. He NEVER made my weight an issue (although I never did understand his insistence upon keeping a sack of flour on our nightstand). It was only after I had started my weight loss that he admitted a slight lack of desire for me (revealed only after I questioned him directly). To this day he’s my biggest fan and supporter, and I’m thrilled to once again be the size I was when we first started dating (in fact, I’m probably even MORE fit). He still claims it wasn’t my weight that bothered him most; it was the fact my smile had disappeared.

So, how did I do it?


Published December 27th, 2007

A bowlful of jelly

Santa Claus


Hmmm… perhaps it’s time to lay off the eggnog!

(In case you’re wondering, I offered to don the suit after my darling and his cousin’s boyfriend refused. I couldn’t let a 5-year-old girl down!)

Published November 20th, 2007

Betsy, you’re NOT the biggest loser

Sorry for the quick post, but it’s been a hectic week!  And since we’re heading to Whistler tomorrow, I won’t be online for at least three days (how I’ll survive, I’ll never know).

Although I should be thankful for this past week — I ran a 9- and 12-miler with no hip pain whatsoever — of course I have to focus on the fact I gained weight since last week 🙁  It was only a pound and a half, but still.  I think I’m most hard on myself for coming up with excuses NOT to work out.

I had hoped to do a 6-mile run today, but I didn’t get home until well after dark.  So to make up for it I’ll be heading out for a 3 1/2 miler tomorrow morning (it’s doubtful I’ll get any running in at Whistler given the snow, but I plan on hitting the slopes — the first time in 9 years — on Friday).  I’m then scheduled for a 15-miler on Sunday.

So Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I promise my next post will be longer (and a heckofalot more witty!)

Published November 12th, 2007

Nov. 12 weigh in

When I spoke last week of the food/drink orgy that is “HallowThanksChristYear” I left off one other event that brings me to the point of over-indulgence: my birthday. It falls smack dab in the middle of Halloween and Thanksgiving, which would make it…

TODAY! Yeah for me!

That’s right, little EatDrinkRunWoman is 44 today. I started out the morning in a funk (not only did I over-indulge, I haven’t worked out the past three days. More on that in a moment), but I’m now determined to have a fabulous day, even though it’s pouring down rain and we’re expected to get 60 MPH winds this afternoon (I KNEW I shouldn’t have put my long run off until today).

The beginning of the week started out well. My darling and I went on a 7-mile run on Monday (I had just the slightest bit of hip pain, most likely due to the hills at the end), then on a 3 1/2 mile run on Wednesday and Thursday. I also did my PT exercises four days and 50 minutes on the elliptical on Tuesday. But things broke down come Friday.

My parents arrived Thursday evening, and while I planned on going to the gym Friday morning, I opted to sleep in and make them breakfast. I had a special dinner planned for them that evening, plus I had to prepare for the party on Saturday. We also met my sister for lunch down on the waterfront and then went shopping at the Pike Place Market. By the time we got back home it was time to prepare dinner.

On Saturday I considered going for a quick run, but since we’d be doing our 9-mile run on Sunday, I decided to just concentrate on getting the house and food ready for the party. We had a great time, but somehow a bunch of Lemon Drops got poured down my throat (HATE IT when that happens!)

My oldest brother and his wife made a surprise visit Sunday morning for brunch (they were heading to California for a meeting), and by the time I got back from bringing them to the airport, I just wanted to take a nap on the couch. So much for the run! (Pretty lame considering yesterday was World Run Day).

So it was with much trepidation I stepped on the scales this morning. The verdict? 164.2. Not much of a change, but at least I’m still losing. I headed off to the gym for my arm weight routing and PT exercises and on a whim decided to weight myself again when I got home. 164 even; I’ll take that!

The wind is supposed to die down a bit this morning, so I think I’ll get my run in early. Then I won’t feel so bad when I hunker down on the couch this afternoon as the wind and rain picks up again.

Published November 5th, 2007

Nov. 5 weigh-in

For the past couple of months I’ve been weighing myself both in the morning and evening. While it may seem over-compulsive, I’m just curious to see how my weight fluctuates. It tends to follow a similar pattern: I’m all gung-ho to exercise in the beginning of the week, so I’ll see a drop of a couple of pounds. Then the weekend comes and everything goes to hell (must work on that!). And of course I can expect a few pounds of water weight gain once a month.

Although I feel really good about myself and am the fittest I’ve ever been, I know I can do better. I tend to gain a few pounds during the food orgy that is HallowThanksChristYear, but this year the weight gain started early. Not being able to run certainly has been a factor, but my darling and I decided to try a (failed) experiment for the month of October. By giving up meat I allowed myself to gorge on less healthy, albeit vegetarian, fare.

Fortunately I have a group of blogging buddies to keep me motivated this time.

On last-week’s kick-off, my weight was 166.4; today I’m 164.4. Yeah! Of course, last week was my bloat week, so a lot was most likely water. But I also started running again (hallelujah!) and made (mostly) wise food choices.

The good:

  • Ran 3 miles on Thursday and 6 miles on Saturday with no hip pain
  • Went to the gym four days
  • Performed my PT exercises like a good girl

The not-so-good:

  • Not only skipped the gym on Friday, I succumbed to PMS that afternoon and put off my PT exercises as well, preferring instead to eat a bowl of buttered popcorn and cry

The really naughty:

  • Decided the best way to alleviate the PMS was to drink a martini and share two bottles of wine with my darling (forcing me to run said 6 miles with a hangover)

This week I hope to do better on the exercise front (although since I was up late last night straining a 24-quart pot of beef stock, I skipped the gym this morning, preferring to get an additional hour of sleep). I’m hoping to up my mileage this week to about 20 miles, including a long run this weekend of 9 miles (assuming my hip cooperates). However, this weekend I’m throwing myself a birthday party so there’s sure to be several indulgences (but if I do gain weight for the weigh-in on Monday — my birthday — I think I’ll deduct a couple of pounds as a gift to myself). 🙂


Published October 29th, 2007

Here I go again

Despite past failed attempts at blogging about my weight in order to shame me into staying on course, I’m at it once again. Pieces of Me has issued a weight loss challenge, and given I’ve gained a little over five pounds since the summer, I decided to go for it. (Although she calls it a challenge, it’s all for fun.)

My first attempt was last December, when I said I hoped to lose 12 pounds in 15 weeks (in time for the Mercer Island half marathon). My weight on the day of that post was 162; my weight on the day of the half marathon? 166.4. sigh.

In May I posted the “before and after” photos showing a 40-pound weight loss. I weighed 163 on the day of THAT post; I hoped to get down to at least 155 by the Marathon du Medoc in September. I didn’t record what my weight was on the day of the marathon, but it was probably 164-165. sigh.

My weight this year has fluctuated from a high of 169.8 to a low of 159.8 (actually I got down to 158.2, but that was due to a liquid diet during my colonoscopy prep). It seems to follow a typical cycle: on Monday I’m all jazzed up for a rigorous workout routine and manage to lose 1-2 pounds during the week. Then the weekend comes and I allow myself to go over board on the martinis and wine (and if I have a long run, I treat myself to burgers and fries). I absolutely hate to diet, yet it’s obvious I have to keep my eating and drinking in check if I’m to be successful. (And I know if I’m to try to qualify for Boston, dropping a few pounds will be oh-so-beneficial).

In addition to Monday posts on my blog, we’ve also started a lounge group over at the Runner’s Lounge. Check it out to see our progress (or better yet, join us!)


  • Height: 5′ 11″
  • Today’s weight: 166
  • Goal weight (by Feb. 1): 155
  • Boston qualifier goal weight: 150
  • What I’ll treat myself to if I meet my goal: probably a spa day

Published June 22nd, 2007

She carries it well — NOT!

As I was doing my arm weight routine this morning I spied a 40-pound weight and decided to try to lift it (it’s what I’ve lost over the past two years). Holy Freakin’ Moley! I could barely lift the darn thing. And to think I’d been carrying that around. I couldn’t imagine walking the 15 feet across the weight room floor with it, let alone carrying it around all day.

Here’s to fitness!

(And in case you’re wondering, the training for my marathon is going very well. Stay tuned for more posts!)

Published May 21st, 2007

A picture speaks a thousand words

Two years ago I looked like this:

Large Marge

The weight gain was about a decade in the making. In the two years leading up to this picture my weight fluctuated between 195 and 199 pounds. I wasn’t happy, but I also didn’t feel terribly compelled to do much about it. Sure I exercised on occasion: a run here, a cardio class there, but nothing consistent. I kept telling myself if I ever got to 200 pounds then it’d be a real wake-up call (why it wasn’t when I was in the high 190s, I’ll never know). Well, that day came: May 17, 2005.

I not only decided I was FINALLY serious about getting back into shape, I also wanted to document the process. I wasn’t thrilled to be standing in a jog bra and too tight spandex for all the neighborhood to see, but I hoped I’d soon be proud to show off my newly toned body (besides, my darling thought we’d get the best light outside). And unlike the before & after weight loss ads you see in magazines, I wanted to wear the same outfit each time (although I now wish I hadn’t chosen such high-waisted shorts; they not only accentuate my belly pooch, they make it seem like I have the longest, flattest butt on the planet).

We’ve taken 11 triptychs in the past two years; some show a remarkable change from the previous one, others just slight. But one change does stand out: my smile (it grows as my body shrinks).

Here’s the one taken this past Saturday:

Betsy today

Currently my weight is about 163 (just as I thought — the colonoscopy diet didn’t stick). While the weight loss is fantastic, I’m more proud of the fact that in the bottom photo I’m red-faced and sweaty from a 14-mile run, whereas in the top photo I’m red-faced and sweaty from a less-than 3-mile run. The woman in the top photo probably couldn’t WALK 14 miles, even with a cheeseburger dangling in front of her, let alone run it.

There is a downside to documentation, however, and that’s when you realize you’ve gained weight/inches from a previous photo. Here’s what I looked like in September 2006:
Toned Betsy
The change is subtle (it’s probably tougher to see in these smaller images, but in full size in Photoshop, they’re quite apparent). My weight is about the same, however, I was clearly more toned back in September (and more tan!). The photo came at the end of two months of solid training for my first triathlon, which included a TON of pool and open water swimming. I’m not the best swimmer, and the fear of sinking is a great motivator. I also got back on my bike and regularly attended my Pilates class.

Once triathlon season ended I maintained my pool routine for a few months, but then got bored. My Pilates class is in the afternoon, and I find myself making excuses for not going (I’m too tired, the Mariners are playing and I’ll never find a parking spot, my cook date went so long and I’ll never make it in time, yadda yadda yadda). Well, I think the excuses need to stop. An overall body workout clearly has its rewards, and I’m looking forward to being lean and mean again.

So stay tuned for the next triptych (although I think I’ll take it before heading to France; something tells me cheese, baguettes, croissants and copious amounts of wine don’t do much to tone) 🙂

Published April 28th, 2007

Colonoscopy: The New Miracle Diet!

At least SOMETHING good came out of the indignities I’ve endured this past week.

Because colon cancer runs in the family, my doctor has been hounding me to get screened ever since I turned 40. I kept pushing for waiting until my 45th birthday (my dad was 55 when he was diagnosed, and I read somewhere they recommend getting screened 10 years before a family member’s diagnosis), but she was adamant. So this year I decided to bite the bullet (or should I say, drink the Fleet).

There’s a week-long preparation involved; seven days out I had to stop taking anti-inflammatories (I could have really used some after pushing myself in the Mt. Si Relay), vitamin E, iron, gingko biloba and ginger. Two days out I eliminated whole grains, nuts, seeds and red and purple foods. The fun really began the day before when I began my liquid diet. Let me tell you, as a chef, that was truly difficult, especially since I had to cook for a client. On top of all that my cold came back with a vengeance.

(If you’re dying to hear how the procedure went, you can read about it here. Don’t worry, it’s not graphic!)

I knew surviving on liquids alone for a day and a half would result in some weight loss, but I assumed it would come back once I could eat again. Fortunately they told me to eat light immediately after the procedure (I had thought about getting a big ol’ plate of fries), so my post-procedure meal was much more sensible. Besides, in my weakened condition, food didn’t hold much appeal.

The result? For the first time in more than a decade, I’m once again below 160 pounds (158.8, to be exact).