Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Well, we checked out GoodLife Fitness yesterday. It was pretty nice, but a little too quiet for me, as strange as that sounds. Although, I hear there was almost a fist fight a few hours before I got there! Now THAT would have been fun to see! Anyway, the machines are the same as Fitness Clubs and the only major difference is that it's all women, and not just skinny ones. Unfortunately, a gym membership is not in the budget this year with our first house closing in December. I'll be hitting the pavement - literally - once my current membership expires in the Spring.

Another thing about GoodLife - it's in the GROCERY STORE. It must be almost impossible to leave without buying something! I went for a 500mL chocolate milk yesterday, which turned out to be dinner. I know, not the most balanced meal, but it sure did hit the spot! I'll try to eat an actual meal after the gym tonight.

So I ran 3 miles last night and I'm running another 3 tonight. Off to a good start this week! Oh, and I was already back to 175 this morning so woohoo!

Monday, January 29, 2007

A new week - I'm going to make it count!

If you're wondering about Kelsey's on Friday, I was doing great until I walked in and sat down to a scrumptious-looking spread of appetizers. Keep in mind, I hadn't eaten since breakfast and it was 3pm so I was famished. I was pretty good, though, and had a half piece of bruschetta and a few pitas dipped in the drool-worthy spinach dip, skipping the wings and calamari. I went with my usual club wrap and garden salad, so that probably wasn't too bad, and then split the chocolate lava cake for dessert. And then there were the 4 (5?) glasses of wine. I give myself a 6 out of 10. Coulda been better, coulda been worse.

For the remainder of the weekend I did okay. Wasn't great, but certainly wasn't as bad as last weekend. The worst part is I didn't drag my butt to the gym once. I am determined to make up for that this week! I'm going to try to go every day. Mom and I are trying out GoodLife in Aurora (Sarah's gym!) for a free week starting tonight, so we'll see how that goes. On the agenda tonight is another 3 mile run.

I am also determined to have ZERO CHEATS all week, right up to and including Superbowl Sunday. I did fine last week until Kelsey's. As soon as I make one bad choice, it's a slippery slope. There should be no temptations til the Sunday and if I make it that far without slipping, I refuse to throw it all away for a handful of chips!

And you can hold me to that!

Anyway, Monday is finally almost over. Hopefully by this time next week, I will be reporting a minimum 2 lb loss! (I was up 1 lb at 176 this morning. Boo!)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Marlene vs. Bagel Day

Marlene won today!!! No bagel for this lady. Especially with lunch and wine at Kelsey's looming in the very near future. T-minus 5 hours and 52 minutes.

So I ran 3 miles Wednesday night and last night. It's getting a lot easier in that my breathing is more and more controlled and my heart is less likely to explode each time. :) Unfortunately, my leg muscles are not developing as fast as I'd like. At least, that's what Mark says it is. By the end of each run, my legs feel very heavy and often ache. In time, as the muscles develop, it should get better. My aim for this weekend is one 3-mile run, probably Sunday. That will bring my weekly total to 4 runs and 12 miles. Yay me!

My weight is the same today as last Friday. Not the best news in the world, but definitely not the worst. Considering all the crap I ate last weekend, I'm just glad to be back where I started. I have to be good this weekend so hopefully I will see a loss by next week.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

mmm... chocolate

Mark is home!!! He brought home a ton of very tempting chocolate, but I have resisted so far. We're giving most of it away, but I can't part with my Mini Eggs, Galaxy Bar or Curly Wurly (my faves!). I should probably put them in the freezer and save them for... some time when I really need it!

On Friday the bosses are taking us to Kelsey's. Unfortunately, Kelsey's sucks and does not post their nutritional info online so I'm not sure what I'm going to eat, but there will be wine. Free wine. I'll try to keep it all in check.

I was low on calories again yesterday - only had 1028. Oops. My carb-fat-protein ratios were great, though. 59.5% carbs, 23.5% fat and 17% protein. Didn't have time for the gym because we picked up the boys at the airport, but I'm going tonight for another 3 mile run.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Numbers Are In

Yesterday was Day 1 of trying to follow the South Beach Diet Phase 2 AND follow the guidelines on Spark People for a balanced diet.

Check it out:

Calories: 1,207 (goal: 1370-1720)
Fat: 37 (goal 30-67) = 26.8% (goal 30%)
Carbohydrates: 177 (goal 154-280) = 57% (goal 55%)
Protein: 50 (goal 34-150) = 16.1% (goal 15%)

So my calories were a little low, but overall, I am right on track! Yay!

Yesterday night I was out and about and grabbed a salad from Wendy's. I've been warned before (thanks Sarah!) but the nutritional info on some of the salads is downright outrageous. The chicken BLT salad that I normally get has a whopping 690 calories and 46 grams of fat. The mandarin chicken salad was not far behind with 550 calories and 26 g fat. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? (think Grey's Anatomy haha!) I was actually considering the BLT since I was low on calories, but then I noticed the ingredients:

Bacon Pieces: Pork Cured With Water, Salt, Smoke Flavoring, Sodium Phosphates, Sodium Nitrate, Contains One Or More Of The Following: Sugar, Sodium Erythorbate, Brown Sugar, Sodium Ascorbate, Potassium Chloride, Dextrose.


Anyway, I opted for the new cranberry pecan salad, with only 350 calories and 10 g fat. Much more reasonable, and it was awesome except for the iceberg overload. What happened to the spring mix lettuce??

I went to the gym and ran 3 miles in about 32 minutes (5.5 mph), but I just realized that I was only supposed to run 2. Oops. My next three runs are 3 mph and next week I finally get to try 4 miles. Quite frankly, I don't feel ready, but it's still a week away.

My WB friend Melissa (a fellow runner!) recommended a 10K race in September on Toronto Island with her running club, so I'm hoping that Mark and I will be able to do it. Of course, I will have to get used to running outside before that. Once I can run 10K comfortably (well, you know, reasonably comfortably) on the treadmill, I will tackle the greaty outdoors.

Monday, January 22, 2007

One More Sleep

Finally, Mark is coming home tomorrow. I kept myself busy this weekend, but it has still been a long three and a half days... and I am ashamed to admit that I ate quite a bit more junk than I should have. I did get to the gym for a 2.5 mile run on Saturday, so the weekend wasn't a total write off health-wise.

I am off to a fresh start today, with a fridge jam packed full of healthy yummy stuff. I am off to the gym tonight for Run 1 of Week 2 of my 10K program. It's 3 miles again tonight. No probs!

I am eating two servings of grains per day this week, All Bran Buds in my yogurt (looks and sounds weird, but very yummy and lots of fibre!) for brekkie and WeightWatchers multigrain bread with lunch.

Nothing much else to report on this cold and blustery Monday.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Marlene vs. Bagel Day

Bagel Day won today for the first time since November. What can I say? I'm sad and I tend to eat my feelings.

I MISS MY HUSBAND!!!! Just 4 more nights and 4 more days...

The good news is, I ran my 3 miles last night and felt fantastic. Tomorrow is 2 miles and then my 3 runs are done for the week. The program only calls for 3 runs per week, but I plan to do a 4th on Sunday anyway because 3 days of cardio is not enough for me and I find the other machines excrutiatingly boring now that I've started running.

I'm going to try really, really hard to be good for the rest of the day and all weekend, but it's tough to be accountable when I'm home alone. I'm trying to make plans to keep me out of the house as much as possible, so hopefully that will help.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

turning over (another) new leaf...

Aunt Flo is officially in town and IT SUCKS. I feel fat and disgusting and I wish my husband was not flying to England tonight because he usually takes care of me and makes me feel less fat and disgusting. But I'll live. At least I can look forward to the chocolate that he's going to bring back on Tuesday, even if I can only have a little.


I have a new plan for next week. I will continue following South Beach Phase 2 (adding even more grains & fruit! yay!) but as I mentioned yesterday, I am also following the rules established for me by Sparkpeople, which are as follows:

1370-1720 calories / day
254-280 g carbs / day
30-67 g fat / day
34 - 150 g protein / day

55% carbs - 30% fat - 15% protein

There are a couple reasons that I have decided to follow guidelines outside of those offered by the SBD: (a) When I started using Sparkpeople, I realized that I'm having too much fat - too much cheese and too many nuts (peanut butter), probably compensating for the lack of sweets. (b) In order to keep up my running program, I need more carbs, plain and simple.

I'm also getting sick of eating the same foods all the time (primarily lunch and snacks), so I'm trying to come up with some new ideas for next week. I'm definitely going to cut back on the cheese and switch back to Natural Peanut Butter so I am not tempted to eat it by the spoonful. (I don't actually enjoy Natural PB except in my dessert. We ran out last week and the grocery store didn't have any Natural, so we bought the regular stuff and it is just too yummy.)

I'm heading to the gym tonight for Week 1, Day 2 of my Run 10K program. It's 3 miles tonight. Hopefully I will kick Aunt Flo's ass with a good workout.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Phase 2, Day 2

I started Phase 2 (again) yesterday and it is going great. I am loving the cereal for breakfast and fruit in the afternoon. My carb-fat-protein ratios are balancing out much more nicely now. I'm still a little high on fat and low on carbs, but once I add another grain and fruit next week, it will be close to perfect. I'm determined not to weigh myself until next Monday because fluctuations are so normal in the beginning of Phase 2. Plus, a certain monthly visitor is due to arrive any day now and I am definitely bloated. Fun! Hopefully I can resist the chocolate cravings until Mark returns from England with some delectable English chocolate on Tuesday.

I have started a 10K training program from sparkpeople.com: Spark Your Way to a 10K. Since I can already run 5K, I skipped the Walking & Jogging Program and went staright to the Jogging Program. It is a 12 week program, but I should be running 10K by the 8th week and running 10K more than once a week by the 10th week. Last night's assignment was to run 2 miles, which is less than I usually run so it was a breeze. (I find it kind of odd that the overall goal is metric, but the assignments each day are imperial, but whatev!)

And that's about it for today. We are eating at Mom and Dad's tonight, so hopefully it will be P2-friendly!

Monday, January 15, 2007

175, baby!

YEP!! This morning I weighed in and I have reached GOAL #1 of 175 lbs. I totally did a happy dance in the bathroom!

Yesterday I ran another 5K in a little over 30 minutes. I'm still taking it a little slower, but hopefully I will be back to 10km/h by next weekend. I am going to try to run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

So today is the last day oh Phase 1... again. What a relief! Honestly, I don't think I can take this for another day. Can't wait to have cereal for breakfast tomorrow!

And keep the freakin' eggs away from me!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

11 days

So apparently it takes 11 days to undo 11 days of damage! As of this morning, I am back to my pre-Christmas weight of 176! WOOHOO! I pigged out for 11 days and then followed SB P1 for 11 days (minus Binge Wednesday) and I am back where I started around Dec. 22. Not bad.

This morning I ran 35 minutes, 5 minutes longer than I have so far. I kept my pace at an average of 5.5 mph instead of 6 because I hadn't been to the gym since Tuesday and I knew I wouldn't be able to do it. Surprisingly, I had a little juice in me at the end of 30 minutes, so I pushed for another 5. According to the treadmill, I burned 520 calories.

Following up on the sparkpeople.com issue, I decided to experiment and added three servings of whole grains and two fruits to my meal plans for the past few days. It landed me right on track with the carb-fat-protein ratios and just the right number of calories (around 1300). As I've mentioned, I have to add them gradually, so for next week (Phase 2 starts Tuesday) I am adding cereal for breakfast and a pear in the afternoon. Baby steps!

Friday, January 12, 2007


This week I started tracking my nutrition on sparkpeople.com. This website kicks ass. It's super easy to enter foods from their master list of a gazillion thousand items OR to add custom items. First, I established a goal to weigh 160 by May 12th (Leanna’s wedding! Yay!) Based on my weight, height, activity level and goal, the program assigned me a number of calories, carbs, fat and protein to consume daily in order to achieve the goal.

Here’s what I’m supposed to have:

1340-1692 calories
30-66 g fat
151-275 g carbohydrates (25-35 being dietary fibre)
34-148 g protein

It should work out to approximately 55% carbs, 30% fat and 15% protein.

Here is how my week has been:

Tue.: 1174 cal – 69 carb (23%)– 66 fat (50%)– 81 protein(27%)
Wed.: 2687 cal – 306 carb (44%) – 125 fat (40%) – 109 protein (16%)
Thu.: 988 cal – 30 carb (14%)– 52 fat(49%)– 89 protein(38%)
Fri.: 917 cal – 45 carb (21%)– 47 fat (38%)– 69 protein (41%) ~ assuming I stick to the plan today! So far, so good.

(Yeah, I know, that was a LOT of numbers.)

As you can see, I’m generally not having enough calories (except for Binge Wednesday) and my carb-fat-protein ratios are completely out of whack. 50% fat is outrageous, but it is obviously because of the lack of carbs on SB P1 and not necessarily that I am having too much fat. I’m just not balancing it all out.

I’m hoping to stabilize the numbers once I have graduated to Phase 2. The first couple weeks will still be all over the place as I gradually bring fruits and grains back into my diet, but after that, I’m really going to try to follow sparkpeople.com’s numbers. It’s a pretty neat system.

So, as you can see above, I didn’t eat much yesterday, which led to a severe lack of energy and therefore, an evening on the couch instead of at the gym. Today will probably be the same. I’m still feeling guilty about Wednesday and over-compensating by starving! Plus, we’re low on groceries and I don’t feel like shopping tonight. :)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Oops, I fell off the wagon.

Yesterday was not a good day. I felt crappy and stayed home from work. Over the course of the day, I managed to eat toast with margerine, Fibre 1 cereal, a PB sandwich, potato chips and ju jubes. WHAT HAPPENED?! I wish I knew. I guess the binge monster just comes out to play sometimes. And besides, I could tell that the lack of grains was starting to get to me. This must be why you don't try to do Phase 1 more than once.

Needless to say, I felt like crap this morning and I am determined to stick to the plan now and finish off Phase 1 with style. Just 4 more days.

Today, I have been good!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My New Ticker

*deleted - it was screwing up my format*

Just wanted to share that!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

finally half way through Phase 1 (again)

I am getting really bored of this food. Dinner is fine (great, even), but I don't know how many more of these breakfast quiches I can stomach. And the same old snacks are really not doing it for me anymore. :( I think I'm finding it harder this time around because by the time I reach Phase 2, I will have essentially spent 4 weeks out of 2 months with no fruits or grains. Last time, I was like it's only two weeks, no problem! But this time, I'm like didn't I just do this?! Blech. But I digress. Afterall, I did this to myself. I totally let loose over the holidays so now I am paying for it. I didn't necessarily have to start all over again in P1 (actually, it is not recommended) but I wanted to be rid of the extra poundage ASAP. I'm almost back where I started before Christmas. Phew!

Phase 2 doesn't start until next Tuesday so I have to hang in there for another week. I can do it!

I'm running tonight, but I have to try to go right after work. Normally, I would eat dinner and then head to the gym, but I seem to get a cramp if I run less than two and a half hours after eating or drinking, so dinner will have to wait until after. I'm usually famished by 5, so this will be interesting.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Beach Bum on the Run

I changed the title of my blog today. I have really taken a liking to running - it's challenging, fun and an amazing workout, and it's easy to set long-term goals. It's not like I can aim to do a marathon on the elliptical! So this is no longer a South Beach blog exclusively, it's a South Beach/running blog. I hope nobody minds!

Yesterday I ran another 5 km in 30 minutes. Sorry for the TMI, but the sweat is unreal. After 10 minutes, I am dripping! My plan is to run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights as well as Saturday and/or Sunday. That will be 20-25 km (12-15 miles) per week. Hopefully after a month or so, I will be able to increase my distance.

I weighed in at 179 this morning, still a stubborn 3 lbs. above my lowest in December, but not too bad. I want to be rid of at least 4 lbs. by the end of the month.

A few recipes from the weekend, taken from the Quick & Easy cookbook:

Sesame Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes

1 tbsp plus 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
¾ tsp dark sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb green beans, trimmed
12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic in a large mixing bowl.
Bring saucepan of water to a boil. Add beans and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and run under cold water for 30 seconds.
Add beans and tomatoes to soy sauce mixture and toss. Serve at room temperature.

Chicken Piri Piri

¼ C e.v.o.o.
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Heat grill to high.
Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Place chicken in a shallow baking dish and add 3 tbsp of marinade. Turn to coat.
Grill chicken, turning often, until juices run clear, about 10 minutes.
Drizzle with remaining sauce in pan (do not use leftover marinade).

South Beach Classic Burger

1-1/2 lbs lean ground beef
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 oz low-fat Swiss cheese
4 tsp Dijon mustard
4 green leaf lettuce leaves
1 medium tomato, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced

Heat grill to medium-high.
Mix together beef, salt and pepper; form into 4 patties. Grill patties to desired doneness.
Top with cheese and cover until melted.
Remove from heat, spread with mustard and top with lettuce, tomato and onion.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Personal Victory

Turns out it didn't take me long to get back in shape. Thursday I was able to run for 30 minutes. The good news is that today I ran 5 km (3 miles) in 30 minutes! I didn't expect to achieve that goal for a few more weeks at least. Woohoo! My husband's latest goal is to run 26 km on his 26th Birthday in October. I happen to think he's crazy, but maybe - just MAYBE - I will be able to run it with him.

Thursday and Friday were good. My weight is lingering at a few pounds higher than my pre-Christmas weigh-in, but hopefully not for much longer. I can already feel my clothes fitting better again. In a few more weeks I plan to reward myself with a small shopping spree using $225 in mall gift certificates. I'm aiming for another size smaller.

So today is Day 5 of Phase 1. Just 9 days to go. I am definitely looking forward to having fruits and grains again. As much as it gets easier, it's still tough.

Here are a few recipes that I tried this week from the Quick & Easy cookbook. All yummy!

Baked Barbecue Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp e.v.o.o.
1/2 C South Beach Barbecue Sauce (see below)
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 350F.
Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned, 2 minutes per side. Place chicken in an ovenproof baking dish and spoon sauce evenly over top. Bake until chicken is cooked through and sauce is bubbling, 18 to 20 minutes.

South Beach Barbecue Sauce

8 oz tomato sauce
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder.

Combine all ingredients in a resealable container and refrigerate until ready to use (keeps for one week).

Stuffed Baked Tomatoes

4 plum tomatoes halved lengthwise
3 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella
1/4 C chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp fresh parmesan
1 garlic clove minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Broken Promise

I know I promised not to, but I had two desserts again. Ooooooooooooops.

Otherwise, all good on the South Beach front. Unfortunately, I didn't have the greatest run on the treadmill. My ankle hurt, I had a cramp and I was POOPED after 5 minutes. I guess that's what I get for skipping the gym for almost a week. Being on Day 2 of the Diet probably had something to do with it too! I managed to stay on for 25 minutes. Hopefully tonight will be better.

Tonight I'm making a few recipes from the Quick & Easy cookbook: South Beach BBQ sauce and subsequently, South Beach BBQ Chicken (baked) and stuffed baked tomatoes. I'll probably add some green and yellow beans tossed in balsamic vinegar.

Not much else to report. I will probably weigh-in tomorrow and hopefully the results will be positive!

Thanks for reading & thanks for the comments Leanna and Lorilee!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

P1, day 2: I remember this!

I woke up this morning feeling tired, weak, hungry and GRUMPY! Yep, I remember this! Day 2 was just like this the last time around. I guess it takes my body exactly one day to realize that I am cruelly depriving it of all that is good and holy (glorious bad carbs)! Luckily, unlike last time, I am already feeling better. I have a few yummy meals and a snack or two under my belt and it's all good.

See, I keep reading that you should never be hungry while on South Beach. Maybe I'm not eating big enough breakfasts or lunches because I'm always hungry mid-morning and mid-afternoon, even with the snacks. Hmm...

Last night I ended up having chicken parmesan (no pasta of course!), a salad and some veggies tossed in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Tonight is chicken and pepper fajita over salad.

My husband says that I have to confess. I ate two of my delicious fudgsicle desserts last night. But really, two sugar-free fudgsicles, a few tablespoons of light Cool Whip and a couple teaspoons of natural peanut butter is a lot better than a plate of Christmas cookies or chocolate cake! Right? I promise to only have one tonight!

Back to the gym for me tonight to continue my running training. 30 minutes at 5.5-6 mph + a walking warm-up and cool-down. I'm eager to get on the treadmill again. Running feels good.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Back on the Beach: Phase 1, Day 1

Here we go again! I am back on Phase 1 as of this morning and I feel nothing but RELIEF. I couldn't stop eating junk once I started and honestly, I'm junked out. It did a number on my body after following the Diet for 5 weeks prior. Now that the holidays are over, it should be a piece of cake (not literally!) to stay on track. I am sticking to Phase 1 for the full 14 days again before I wean myself back to Phase 2. I feel bloated, so hopefully I will lose some water weight and start to feel lighter in these first few days.

Breakfasts and lunches are back to the usual quiches and salads, snacks are celery w/ Laughing Cow cheese or cheesestrings and I have honey-lemon-ginger green tea to tide me over in between. I have lots of great dinner recipes to try from my new cookbook, The South Beach Diet Quick & Easy Recipes. Nothing too exciting on the menu tonight because we will be home late, but I have several pages bookmarked!

I'm starting to feel the afternoon hunger in the form of chocolate cravings, but I'm not suffering nearly as badly as my co-worker who is trying to quit smoking!

As I mentioned in my last post, my immediate goal is to get back to 176 (175 would be even better!) by the end of the month. Wish me luck!