Monday, July 31, 2006


My husband who has introduced me to the joys of love and commitment has also introduced me to Philly cheesesteaks and babyback ribs. My husband who has the fastest metabolism on earth took over the cooking of dinner this summer, the grill season. Needless to say that the 10 pounds I thought would drop when Emily weened stayed put and I've been doing a ton of cardio and calorie counting (a new concept for me) to get it off. I am SORE, kids. Sore, sore, sore. The good news is that I've lost 4 pounds in the past week. The bad news is that it's probably just water, but it does give me incentive.

Did you know that one (1!) babyback rib has 810 calories and 64.8 grams of fat? Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed. My heart almost seized up when I read that little tidbit.

Since I hate anything math like I'm happy to have stumbled across the Spark website. It's a free site that has charts to help you keep track of calories, fat, and protein intake, as well as the amount of calories you burn through cardio and strength training. It's not a diet, it's more of a lifestyle change. For me, it's brought a lot of awareness. For example I won't be eating any of my husband's cooking ever again. Gina, who is much more knowledgeable about these things than I am, says the the daily recommendations on Spark are typical of the food pyramid--mostly carbs, less fat, and even less protein, but it's a step in the right direction. (Aren't you glad you stopped by today? This post is all about literature, people.)

My seventeen year-old nephew went back to California last night. He was here for two weeks and it was great to spend some time with him, he's very, very sweet. I'm going to miss him.

Speaking of teenagers, mine had a rite of passage yesterday. He went to his first concert. Not just any concert, but Ozzfest. This is a new phase, the heavy metal phase. A mother (not me) took three fifteen year-old boys to the festival and stayed with them through the whole thing. I'm going to buy her flowers. The boys might think she's a cool mom, but I think she's a goddess.


On Friday, we're surprising my three year-old with this. His very own rite of passage.


sam of the ten thousand things said...

Babyback ribs -- my only weakness. Maybe it's a good thing not to know the numbers.

The train ride will be a wonderful memory.

Unknown said...

I always gain weight in the summer for the reason you mentioned -- GRILL. I love grilled food! Steaks, ribs, pork chops, more, more! I've put on 5 lbs this summer!

Here's a few of my own stay-fit secrets:

Buy some 5 lb ankle weights and wear them ALL day. Wear them when you're cleaning up, going to the store, sitting at the computer, making a sandwich, etc. They'll help you burn more calories when you're at rest (and tone up the calves!)

I have a calorie-counting watch. I bought mine at wal-mart for under $20. It's not perfect but it gives you a good idea of how many cal you're burning.

Weight training. I used to hate lifting weights but now I prefer it to cardio. It burns as many calories and more because it takes more energy to maintain muscle. Maybe add some free weights to your cardio routines. You can do an entire strength training workout at home with a pair of 8-lb dumbells! I incorporate my lifting in my cardio routines because it helps break up the monotony. A sample workout of mine would look like this:

5-min warm up : jog in place
5 min lifting : 15 reps of arm curls, shoulder press, tricep extensions, squats, lunges, etc.
10 min mini trampoline
10 min elliptical
5 min of lifting
5 min jump rope
10 min mini trampoline
10 min of yoga

I burn about 800 calories in an hour doing this workout.

As far as eating goes, I am very weak when it comes to this part of fitness. I love food, always have. But food is over half of it -- watch the KINDS of carbs you eat. Go for complex/high fiber carbs instead of simple carbs -- oatmeal instead of sugary cereal, baked sweet pot instead of baked white pot, high fiber bread instead of white, brown rice instead of white, etc.

Well that is my pep talk for the day! LOL (sorry!)

Unknown said...

One more thing that helps me-- subscribe to a fitness magazine like Shape or Oxygen -- it will have different exercises in it each issue that you can try at home and it helps keep you motivated to READ about fitness.

ok that's it (i think) . . .

A. D. said...

don't forget to stretch, and keep that water bottle with you!

hope the soreness subsides.

David Dodd Lee said...

Since I don't eat sugar, for the most part don't like it, I spent
many years thinking I could eat anything else I wanted, no problem.
Mostly, it has been true. Until I hit forty. I still eat the baby back ribs only instead of breakfast I drink tons of coffee.
Just kidding, sort of . . .
Seriously, if I kept track of what I ate and did numerically I'd go out of my mind. They'd have to put me in a Hefty garbage bag, roll it down a hill, and pray
I was adopted by wolves (in which case I'd go back to eating meat
without counting, etc). Anyway, I gain in the summer because I teach and when I'm not teaching I'm writing, eating cream cheese on bagels, doing *research* online. Yes, yes, I take hikes, but then I make a big plate of pasta
to go with my red wine because I get to sleep in the next morning.

Emmy said...

"A mother (not me) took three fifteen year-old boys to the festival and stayed with them through the whole thing. I'm going to buy her flowers. The boys might think she's a cool mom, but I think she's a goddess." I loved reading this! I think it's a seed for a poem.

Nick said...

Now I really feel guilty having eaten this tiramisu. Hope you're feeling better!

Pamela Johnson Parker said...

Now I feel really, really guilty for the calories in the Danish ribs I just grilled. Maybe guilt like fidgiting burns calories.

I always lose 20 pounds in the winter and gain it in the summer. I blame it totally on 3 other people here tempting me to cook, eat junk food, et cetera. Of course they're not really force-feeding me. Liking to cook is a deadly hobby.

After Labor Day, I am really going to go on a diet. We are going to Italy for our anniversary next spring and I would like to fit in a gondola.