Health On The Brain

Since waking up this morning, I’ve had health on the brain.  I had a doctors appointment this past week and it solidified the fact that I need to find a new doctor.  On top of that, I’ve been thinking a lot about the passing of Steve Jobs (only 56) and my upcoming birthday.  All in all, my health is on the brain.


Over the past week I’ve really been considering meeting with a dietitian to talk about my nutrition, food intake, and binge eating.  Today, Neal said to me “if you learn how to control your binge eating I think you’d be amazed at the positive results you’d see in your life” and he’s right.  He also said “You eat so well 99% of the time and I don’t think you realize it.  It’s that 1% that brings you down as you binge eat”.  Again, Neal’s right.  It’s not fair how I allow my binge eating to sabotage all of my healthy eating choices and the amount of exercising I do.  Controlling my binge eating and understanding why I binge eat will be a huge step in my quest to live a happy and healthy life.

For most of my life, I have been classified as being “morbidly obese”.  This has always been hard for me to accept as I see how much muscle I have and how big my bones are.  I mean seriously, you should see how big my clavicle is.  I know that I have a high body fat percentage, but I feel that caliber tests aren’t the best ways to test body fat for me.

This week I’ve been looking into having my body fat percentage tested through the Bod Pod.   This blogger has a great review of the Bod Pod and I think it would be a great test for me to invest in.  With body pod results, I feel like I would be able to accept where my body fat percentage is and move forward with my goal to lose body fat.

Our health is extremely important and I don’t want to look back and think “man, I should have done something about my health a while ago”.  Going to the doctors can be scarey, but it helps to paint a true picture of where your health is and what steps you can take to improve your health.

Last May, I wrote about all of the doctors I have and am thinking about finding some new doctors.  A lot of my doctors are out in Fairfax, VA, as I went to college at George Mason University, and haven’t really felt the need to look for new ones since.  Now that Neal and I are looking to move closer to DC and we both work off of the metro, having doctors closer to work seems like a good idea.

To Do

  • Find new dentist  — Check
  • Find new primary care physician
  • Schedule Body Pod testing
  • Find a Registered Dietitian to meet with
  • Consider acupuncture if my health care covers it

Helpful Websites I’ve Found Today

I hope y’all are having a wonderful Saturday.  Neal and I are watching the Iowa vs. Penn State football game.  Tonight, we’re off to see Moneyball!  I love weekends!

My Scaleless Summer

This summer I tried out a Scaleless Summer, where I put away the scale and focused on what I was putting in my mouth instead of focusing on the number on the scale.  I started out the summer weighing 217 pounds.  About a month later I went to the doctors and weighed in at 213, totally forgetting that I wasn’t suppose to look, but was really excited about my weight loss.  My plan to fill half of my plate with veggies before adding protein and carbs was working well and creating weekly meal plans on Sundays left me feeling great.  My workouts were all over the place, but I knew I was making some good decisions in regards to what I was putting in my mouth.

July was a really stressful month for me as I tackled 2 graduate classes, interviewed for a new job, rocked the house on my current job (at the time), accepted a new job, and went on a vacation with Neal to Florida.  Still, by the end of July I was feeling great and knew I had lost/maintain my weight.

August was another story though.  I love the summer, but with the heat comes lots of eating out (baseball games, happy hours, dinners with friends, etc.).  Although I love the summer, it can be a challenge to know how many calories I’m consuming each day.  In addition, I’ve really been struggled with overeating since August.  It could have been stress or it could have just been my inability to say no to the foods I love.  Either way I have consumed way too many calories in one setting on a number of occasions.

As of yesterday, I weighted in at 226.6 pounds.  I was honestly shocked to see my weight that high.  I don’t feel like I’ve gained almost 10 pounds this summer nor do I think I look like I’ve gained 10 pounds.  It could be muscle mass, as I do put on muscle rather easily and have boosted my workouts up.  Either way, 226 at the end of a scaleless summer is not where I wanted to me.

I have learned a lot this summer, both about my workouts, my eating habits, and about my mentality surrounding weight loss.  To some degree I feel that I have been on a 4 year plateau.  My weight has gone up and down during that time, and as of June I was 9 pounds from my lowest weight (209 in the summer of 2007).

I want to will defeat this plateau.  I want to will break 200 pounds.  I want to will love myself through the entire process.

This past week I focused on counting calories.  It was really helpful to see how many calories I had been consuming and to focus on what it takes to consume the proper amount of calories needed to lose/maintain weight (1533 calories for me).  I didn’t count calories during this weekend’s getaway to Cleveland and I honestly regret it.  I feel like I’m back at a point in my life where my habits are not good habits.  Until I create lasting healthy habit, I need to always be focused on weight loss and what I’m trying to learn/implement.  Here’s what the weekend looked like sans counting calories/thinking about weight loss…


  • coffee at Jill’s
  • food samples at the market
  • cup of soup and a slice of bread at the Souper Market
  • 1.5 mini cannolis
  • 1 medium mate latte
  • 2 PB and J sandwiches (which I had packed for Friday but didn’t eat then)
  • 1/2 of Porky Cheese sandwich at Melt with fries
  • 1 more bite of a cannoli


  • coffee at Jill’s
  • soy chai and raspberry scone at The Root Cafe
  • Other half of Porky Cheese sandwich
  • Diet Pepsi, yogurt covered raisins, and honey wheat pretzel rods during road trip
  • cranberry orange scone and soy chai from Starbucks
  • 3 slices of banana bread at home (from neighbor)

Sunday was pretty bad, as I could have made so many different choices.  Take the banana bread for instance, my super sweet neighbor brought it over when I got home last night and because I was too tired to cook dinner, I just opted to eat the banana bread.  The banana bread would have been a perfect addition to my breakfast … over the course of a week.  Instead I ate it in one night.  (I’m being honest here guys)

The Scaleless Summer was not a loss by any means.  I rekindled my “love” for running and have started training for a 15K with Neal.  I also learned a lot about my body, my portion sizes, and what it’ll take to lose weight and create healthy habits.   Over the past three months I have learned what my two main issues are in regards to my eating… 1. Eating when I’m not hungry 2. Rare binge eating sprees.  As Neal said though, “it’s nothing I can’t conquer”.

Yesterday I jump started my quest to break 200 pounds with the start of The Biggest Loser.  I consumed 1599 calories and burned 984 calories at spin.  I really felt great yesterday and stuck to my meal plan.  The only thing I added was carrots and hummus after work and a salad with my pizza.  This morning Neal and I ran 3 miles in 33 minutes and I burned 569 calories.  Again, I feel like I do a great job of planning but for me the key is sticking to my plan and not binge eating.

Here’s to a happy and healthy fall!


Binge Eating Confession

I have been nervous all day about writing about this post, but my journey is as much about the bad times as it is about the good times.  I hope that y’all can relate to my experience and that my openness will help someone, someway.



I have to confess, Thursday was a horrible day health/fitness wise for me.  It all started when my alarm clock went off at 5AM for spin class.  Instead of turning it off and leaving my bedroom as I’ve done the past two weeks, I instantly convinced myself that sleeping until 7AM was a much better idea.  When my alarm clock went off at 7AM, I once again talked myself back into bed and reset my alarm for 7:45AM.  Had I followed my plan, I would have been finishing up spin right around the time that I actually woke up, 7:50AM.

For whatever reason I wasn’t all that hungry Thursday morning, so around 8AM I made myself a cup of hot coffee and ate the piece of biscotti I had purchased while at HLS last weekend.  But by the time I got to work I was starving!

One of the downsides to my job is that there is always free food around the office.  Thursday morning there happened to be a bagel breakfast with lots of leftovers so around 10:30AM I snagged a bagel thin (thank God they had these) and 2 big scoops of cream cheese.  By 11:30AM, I was ready to gnaw my hand off… the processed foods and carbs had not tied me over.

At 12PM, I was thrilled to be heading over to a working lunch.  The lunch was catered by Qdoba, a Mexican food restaurant similar to Chipotle.  I was a good girl and made 2 tacos with corn tortillas instead of flour, skipped the chips, and went light on the cheese.  I also added a half a scoop of rice to my plate and a full scoop of black beans.  As I reached the end of the buffet, there was a plethora of baked goods; cookies, brownies, and more cookies.  I picked up a large chocolate chip cookie and passed on the fruit tray on my way back to my seat (big mistake).

My tacos were super yummy and although I was completely satisfied, I went up for seconds.  I had another taco and grabbed a handful of chips, topped with steak and salsa.  After I finished my plate I ate my cookie and about 15 minutes later I went up for ANOTHER cookie!  I was out of control. I was so full but I just kept eating.

At 2PM I returned to my office, feeling incredibly guilty about my breakfast, lunch, and choice to skip spin this morning.  After work I went to target, which I talked about yesterday, but what I didn’t share was that I bought a jar of Nutella.

Now Nutella is one of the foods on my naughty list.  Do you have foods that are just never good to bring home because you have a tendency to overdo it when you have them?  I mean come on, who overdoes it with oatmeal or fruit? Nutella, Mint chocolate chip ice cream (specifically the keeblers grasshopper version by Turkey Hill), and Tostitos Lime Chips are just a few of my “no-no” foods.

When I got home Thursday night, around 7PM, I wasn’t hungry at all.  I was still full from lunch and even thought, “I don’t need dinner tonight” but then I though “I could use a little dessert”.  Ashley!  You totally had 2 desserts over lunch and a piece of biscotti for breakfast!  Do you really need dessert?

Why yes, yes I do I thought to myself…. I cracked open the jar of Nutella and had a few spoonfuls… and then I had a few more spoonfuls.

At 9PM my stomach started to growl, for who know what reason, so I heated up a piece of naan bread and gobbled that down.  With a dirty dish in hand I headed back into the kitchen to clean up my dinner… but couldn’t get my mind off of the Nutella hidden behind door number 3.  5 spoonfuls later, and by spoonfuls I mean heaping spoonfuls, I had reached the bottom of the jar.

I was disgusted with myself.   I had just eaten 8-9 servings of Nutella!  At least I saved the 10 serving though right?  With 200 calories per serving, I was looking at having just consumed 1600-1800 calories and 88-99 grams of fat.  Man, just writing that makes me sick!

What makes me binge eat like that?  Why didn’t I stop?  Was it stress? Hormones? My dreaded taste buds? or just bad habits?

When I add up my breakfast, lunch, and “dinner” from Thursday, I probably consumed 4500 calories… and as I failed to exercise, I had no calories to dock from that grand total.

Today I felt horrible.  I felt bloated, discourage, disgusted, unhealthy… you name it, I felt it!  So what can I do?  How can I move on from Thursday’s day o’ eating?  Well I definitely felt down but I took a few steps to swung the pendulum to the other side.  I finished creating my 15K training program, registered for 2 races, and attempted to eat healthy.  The ultimate goal will be to create a balanced lifestyle, one that never swings me to one extreme or to another.  It’s definitely something I struggle with from time to time, but I’m working on it and I truly feel that being open and honest about it is the best thing I can do.


Glad to get that off my chest!!