(161.8) Intermittent Fasting Check In #1

When I declared the intermittent fasting experiment, I weighted 159. Today, after a month of intermittent fasting two or three days a week I weigh roughly three pounds more.

I think it’s worth noting that I also stopped tracking around this time. When you run experiments on yourself you should change only one thing at a time, I realize. But I just got so fed up with tracking everything I ate. Between then and now I’ve had some pretty stressful life stuff on my plate (death in my family, almost buying a new house), so between stress eating (and drinking) and quitting tracking, who knows what would have happened without the intermittent fasting? Also, it’s been sub-freezing almost every day since then and I made a new food-world friend who I’ve wanted to go out to eat with. Without the fasting, I think I’d weigh more right now. Continue reading →

(161) Everything is Awesome

The day after the deal on the house fell through, I knew I was on the precipice of some massive negativity. I am prone to self-pity, but I was determined to reframe the situation in a positive way and get on with enjoying life. I kept asking myself, What are the lessons here? I took to my paper journal to try to figure that out. I spent an hour writing out things I hope to have learned from all this, and I now find myself actually believing my new positive spin. Continue reading →

(161) Meal Plan Monday

A photo posted by Joy Manning (@joymanning) on

Since we’re not on a strict grocery budget anymore thanks to not moving after all, I could have scrapped this week’s thrifty freezer-foods based meal plan. But I decided to stick with it anyway, avoid a big trip to the Whole Foods, and go out to eat a couple times over the weekend instead.

Here’s what we’re eating at my house this week: Continue reading →

(162) Weirdly High Weigh In

I’m just stopping by to share my weirdly high weigh in. I did have four glasses of wine last night, and other ridiculous things like raw cookie dough, tacos with a mountain on tortilla chips, several slabs of cheddar, many handfuls of granola, etc. I allowed myself one day of sobbing, feeling sorry for myself, and emotional eating over the loss of the house. Now it’s a new day and I’m going to do some yoga at my desk and proceed to take care of business. Happy Friday, everyone.

(159.7) Progress Report

Photo on 2-16-15 at 6.40 PM

A real taurusy taurus. Where are my wine, cheese, and blankets?

And finally, for the second time, the deal on the house we wanted is DOA. It’s hard to express the frustration and fear that have surrounded negotiating this. We first saw the house on January 3rd, and since then it feels like it’s practically taken over my life. It’s added a great deal of stress to the equation–unneeded stress. Yesterday, the sellers of this house sent us a completely bogus estimate to solve some of the plumbing problems turned up in inspection. It wasn’t even from a licensed plumber.

Do they think we don’t know how to Google? Recently, Dan was emailing our Realtor and I asked him “to include the phrase ‘Joy is apoplectic’. That means overcome with anger; extremely indignant.” What I really wanted him to say is, Joy is a real Taurusy Taurus  and there is only so long you can mess with her concept of  home, hearth, and security before she snaps. And she has snapped. Continue reading →

(159.7) Red Lentil Burgers

Lentil Burgers

Homemade veggie brugers

Over the weekend, it started to sink in that we’re probably going to move. We’re going to put all our belongings into boxes and take them to another house, where we will live. Not only is moving stressful, it’s expensive. I’m especially concerned because we still need to sell our house (wanna buy a place in East Passyunk? Call me!), so for an undetermined period of time, we’ll be paying two mortgages.

So I turned to the kitchen to cope with my fears and feelings. Like a maniac, I went into an aggressive cooking mode, turning all the little odds and ends that seemed perilously close to becoming waste into food. I did this both to save money on groceries in the coming weeks, but also to use up the stuff we have. Who wants to move containers full of red lentils of questionable age and provenance? Not me. These powerhouse patties are not just thrifty and healthy–they actually taste great too. Continue reading →

(159.3) Meal Plan Monday

If we end up coming to agreement with the sellers of the house we want, we’re confronting the reality of having to be on a very tight budget for the first time in a long time. We haven’t even put our house up for sale yet, and until our current home sells, things are going to need to get extremely frugal on every front for us. Dan and I are generally pretty conservative in our spending, so the obvious first place to cut back is our grocery bill. Over the weekend, I surveyed the contents of our chest freezer and pantry and strategized almost three weeks of meals I can make with barely any new food. On my meal planning calendar, I’ve sketched out dinners through March 6, in fact. My objective is to minimize waste and grocery spending from now until next month, when we may or may not buy a new house. Here’s this week’s meal plan: Continue reading →

(160.9) Progress Report

pretzelProgress report time. I can’t lie–I don’t feel like doing this today. My progress is nonexistent. Yesterday, I spent the day on a press trip to York, Pa. It was a food-related outing, of course, and we ate pretty much everything in the county, including the outstanding soft pretzel you see here from York City Pretzel Company. That’s a cup of beer cheese you see on the side there. And this followed a lunch that combined a foot-long hotdog and a flight of six craft beers! On Tuesday, I had burgers and fries for lunch. It’s actually amazing to me I don’t weight even more today.  Continue reading →

(160) Off Track with Tracking

I have a confession to make: I’m really off track with tracking. On the one hand, I know it’s an extremely effective tool for losing weight. On the other hand, it’s a drag and it’s very hard to do consistently especially if you want to be normal, go out to eat sometimes, and generally free up brain space for topics other than food journaling. The last time I tracked anything was January 29.  Continue reading →

(160) Temporary Perspective

As I’m trying to catch up and pick up from where I left off last week, something strange is happening. I am whole lot less worked up about a lot of things that seemed very important eight days ago.

The situation with the house we want to buy is still up in the air (we need to renegotiate terms with the seller to address issues that came up during the home inspection), but my attitude about it is different. Yes, it would be great if it all works out. I hope it does. But if it doesn’t, it is not big deal. It is not a matter of life or death.

These 15 pounds I want to lose? Also, not a matter of life or death. I mean, when I see how ephemeral life is, how quickly life can end early, it makes make want to be with the people who matter to me and love them as much as I can. It makes pretty much anything that isn’t that seem like an extremely trivial concern.

I know that as days go by my penchant for obsessing over nothing is sure to return. The importance of my housing status will grow, and my interest in losing weight will wash over me anew. I will get irritable about petty things again and snap at Dan for no good reason. But I’m trying to preserve some sliver of this moment of clarity and take a more expansive perspective going forward.

That seems like a good way to honor those who have gone before me.