Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Love Dinner

We are an unusual family by today's standards in the fact that we eat dinner together every night as well as lunch on the weekends. My son is Autistic, and routine and predictability are two things that help keep him functional and stable, so these little facts of daily life go a long way towards his well being. However, 3 times a year dinner together is not possible, so I came up with a new tradition years ago to keep him from freaking out - the Love Dinner. On those rare nights when daddy must be gone, we get to eat things that daddy does not like and it is served by candlelight. Over the years it has been so succesful that when he hears about an upcoming event where dad must be gone, he gets all excited and talks about "our Love Dinner". It cracks me up ! In the past we have had Blue Box mac and cheese or pasta or so on, and it is always served by candlelight. Sparkling conversations happen, such as why Spongebob is fun to watch, how to win at Super Smash Brothers or even why Yugio is cooler than the Power Rangers. In short, I date my son and it goes a long way to keeping us close. I love it !

Last night's dinner was something that was on program for the both of us , and featured a food daddy does not like- peas. We made brown rice, frozen peas and topped it with fat free
cheese, and served it with raw veggies and black olives on the side instead of our usual salad and side vegetable. Think Mac and cheese but on a healthier level. It was actually pretty good, and we may try it again for lunch.

Still continuing with the ab work and the cleaning. I am noticing one almost immediate benefit from the ab work in the form of greater bladder control . While this may be TMI for some, it seems that many women as they get older develop problems in this area. The standard advice is kegel exercises. I have tried these and for what ever reason they make no difference. Perhaps one of thed factors in this is different muscles that hold th bladder in place or even a decrease in blood flow that keeps the muscles properly oxygenated and fully responsive. I don't know, but I will certainly take this nice side benefit

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ouch !

It seems that if I had any doubt about working the proper muscles with the bicycle crunches, nature found a way to reassure me. Muscles that are not being worked do not hurt the day after, and mine have been feeling a whole lot of pain ! Not just the lower abs, but the upper ones, my butt and my thighs.So much for the idea that 20 of these is not enough at this point.

Foodwise it was a good day - Cereal and cottage cheese for breakfast, bocca burer with no bun, cottage cheese, fruit and lots of veggies for lunch, and dinner was Salsa Chicken, bulgar pilaf, corn and salad. It's funny, but with me moving to Core, son also winds up eating a lot healtier strach sort of options. I cringe when I rember how he was before this started. He would eat no veggies, meat only on rare occasions, but tons of plain, white pasta with nothing on it. Now he eats almost all veggies and whole grains at just about every choice. Not only does he eat them, but he loves the different options. Last night he was about over the moon with bulgar, and if given his choice he would eat steel cut oats every morning.

Had a great fun time de-junking the kitchen yesterday and washing it down. Ancient spices went , surplus containers that were not being used got eliminated, as well as so many other bits and bobs and junk. Add some elbow grease and homemade cleaner ( Water, vinegar, dish soap and essential oils for fragrance and disinfecting), and the room feel and looks a lot better. Today I will move onto the bathroom to declutter the linen closet , medicine chest and scrub the grout around the fixtures, and get my partner in grime ( son) to deep clean his room together. poor hubby has a day of inventory. Long hours but the good thing is most of the day he will be walking and moving instead of sitting at a desk.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday morning

Really good day yesterday here ! Started the day off with steel cut oats , barley and wheat berries cooked in the crockpot. I put pumpkin in it and skim milk for the cooking, but I do not think I will repeat that. Pumpkin is fantastic in rolled oats on the stovetop, but becomes rather bland with steel cut oats in the crock pot. Still a substantiall filling way to start the day, still tasty, but there are just better ways to do this in my opinion.

The guys went off to church services, and I was left with some wonderful quiet time that allowed me to do some girly things and research the best ab work options for me. It seems I hit on a winner with the bicycle cruches. I did 20 of those, did 20 minutes on my bike and then the guys came home. We had a lunch of lo carb flat bread wraps with turkey breasts and loads of veggies in the wraps and on the side. Clemintine oranges completed the meal- they are so pleniful and tasty right now !

We went out for a walk after lunch and then came home to relax. Hubby and I splurged at the begining of our vacation on the complete series of Friends DVD's , and we have been watching these when we relax. The strange thing is we never really watched the show when it was current, but kept catching it in reruns on evenings when there seemed to be nothing else on. It is kind of fun discovering some of the long term jokes and stuff watching the entire series.

Today hubby goes back to wrok, we still have a week off from school , so I begin to give the apartment a good drrp clean. Some may moan about this, but I really like cleaning ! Lots of full body movements and you are left with a place that feels brand new.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Spaghetti Couscous and abs

Today it was the first step in getting back to the normal routine of things after a two week vacation - hit the grocery store ! Time to once again stock up on all those healthy foods that have come to be staples in the house. More lettuce ! More ground flax ! More chicken breasts ! This week I decided that I wanted to encourage some more veggie eating, so I picked up broccoli and cauliflower with the standard celery and baby carrots. I keep these on hand for sides with lunches and afternoon snacking, or just a slight short cut to other meal prep. The cauliflower and broccoli will make it seem like a new thing again.

A couple of weeks ago we bought this great chicken sausage at Sam's club, that satisfies my husband's sausage craving for less than half the calories. It is flavored with spinach and asiago cheese, and has more flavor than regular Italian sausage. I cook a big batch of these every couple of months, place them on buns and freeze them for his lunch. He brown bags both breakfast and lunch, and this step makes life a little easier. Lately my son has been more into new flavors in meat , and so I have been playing with this sausage in different recipies. One of our favorites so far has been simply using it with jarred spagheti sauce over whole wheat pasta.Makes a satisfying, healthy meal when you serve it with a big tossed salad.

Last night I was feeling a little more hungry than usual and wanting to save all of my points for our Christmas celebration with the in- laws this coming Thursday. Son was begging for spaghetti with this sausage , but I was not wanting to waste my points on pasta. Then it dawned on me-why not try serving the sausage and sauce over whole wheat couscous instead of pasta ? Couscous is one of the core foods with that program. And for the guys doing the old flex points program , couscous is less points and more food. You know what ? It was really good ! Really filling , and you did not miss the pasta . We all agreed that this is the kind of dish we will definately have again.

I also got back on my bike after doing the walking and chopping for the day. It felt really good to strap on my MP3 player and spend 20 minutes pedaling to the music again. I have also decided to add some abdominal work to my mix. This is something I should have done years ago , but exercise was not really something I focused on in life. My lower stomach was never in the greatest shape to begin with. Add a pregnancy, major abdominal surgery and then follow that up with another pregnancy ( 11 lb 14 oz 23 1/2 inch long baby) and a C Section , things get much worse. Do no abdominal work after those things and you wind up with something that is coming into danger of bouncing off your knees and giving you black eyes when you try to run or jump. It just dawned on me that if I worked to improve this area it would make me look better, strengthen my back muscles and build some more muscle to help my metabolisim burn faster all the time. So I am starting slow with bicycle crunches, and will add to those as I go. Right now the muscles are in such bad shape I cannot even feel them to make sure I am working the proper ones !

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Weigh in

It was a week of gain, but not due to reasons of indiscretion. The proceeding week we had all been very sick, and this week our bodies were climbing back to health, so everyone gained

Me- up 3.2
Hubby up 1.6
son up 1.6

Absolutely no worries, no guilt or greif. We simply stopped running to the bathroom constantly and are on the mend

Friday, December 26, 2008

A gift to myself

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas !

Ours wound up not as planned because of a definite healthy move. It is sometimes the most difficult to realize that those closest to us can sometimes be some of our greatest potential saboteurs. They do not intend to be as such most times, and often do not even have an awareness of their impact, so it is not simply a case of asking them to stop in all cases.

My husband is a paid singer/cantor as a second job, and has been so for over 35 years. As time has gone on the monetary compensation he has received has gotten larger, which makes a Catch 22 sort of situation. The more money you make, the more you spend. Let's face it, have you ever met anyone with surplus money sitting around collecting dust ? It does not happen. In this case it means that what started as a nice little extra windfall has become a depended upon second income. It also means that Christmas and Easter have now become very busy work times filled with a lot of drama and nerve grinding intrigue. Very creative people do not tend to be seas of emotional tranquility, and combine creativity with a desire for perfection and time constraints, and it gets to be a whole other work out. Add midnight services followed by daybreak services and icy road conditions , and it starts to cross a line. Now place doing this at age 54 as sort of a cherry on the top, and you just get tired.

We had planned to go to my family gathering , as always, inspite of all of this because it is family.It's just what you do. My family is like every other family on the planet- you love em and you hate em depending on the camera angle, the lighting, the race results and so forth. Every family has it's characters, it's clowns and it's poster children for whatever cause you wish to champion or run from. It is part of adult life, and the extra spice that makes the holiday season so filled with drama. However, there comes a point when certain dramas just reach a point where enough is enough.

On Christmas Eve one of my sisters decided to air some very private marital dirty laundry in a very public forum. Absolutely her right and makes her feel some relif no doubt. However, this comes after six months of silence, and is an issue that is at least 20 years old, which means we will be hauling up one of the brothers in law like a token pinata while giving a sister permission to continue to wrap herself in her insecurities and remain stagnant for yet another year of hostility and harm to their 4 children.. For the last 15 years, it is the only communication she engages in , and as a result of the situation, my husband gets dragged into playing the buffer between the rest of the family and my sister's husband.Truth of the matter is , marriage is made up of 2 people and there are never any participants with clean innocent slates. Each and every year it has gotten more posionous , and it is one of those situations where no one wins. Yet, in the same way that we haul out the holly and put up a tree to mark the day, this couple chooses to to repeat their behaviors to mark the day as well.

Perhaps it is because we have spent the last year working on improving our health and recognizing the emotional factors that play into our physical behaviors that we just stepped back from the pattern and said enough is enough. We cannot play a part in this pointless dance. So at the last minute we backed out of attending and scrambled to create a dinner and a day of activities of our own. It is just as well- simply thinking about the situation has left my stomach very upset, and I know that if we would have gone I would have eaten a lot of garbage just to shut my stomach up. So we stayed home and I made a corned beef that I pulled from the freezer, baked sweet potatoes, broccoli and califlower mix and a salad. We played board games and watched TV, and I spent the evening with a very upset stomach, but genuinely thankful I did not have to live in the midst of the venomous vibes.

While it is a bad thing to miss the gathering with extended family, it is a positive move to step away from the seasonal disembowling ritual that seems to do a lot more harm to myself to participate in than any good for those who seem to treat this as their own personal sporting event. There is the Superbowl, the Indy 500 and the "My husband is such an evil meany musdslinging Derby".

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All is calm

Definitely having a White Christmas here ! I think we got 10 inches of snow in the last 24 hrs and it is still coming down. Going to head out a little later to pick up a couple of last minute things, then wrap presents and spend the evening snug at home while the hubby heads out for singing gigs as two different services. So far it has been a very good on program week, and I have 45 points to spend on the Christmas celebration tomorrow. What a deal !

May your day be merry and bright !

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The eve of the eve

Baby, it's cold outside !!!

Not only is it cold outside, but I am turning into a great big winter wimp, and if I do not have to go out in this cold, I will not. Spending this frosty day watching Friends DVD,s, working out to the Wii's Jillian Micheal's Ultimate fitness challenge and splurging on one holiday treat- spiced nuts. I made them according to the recipe posted at While nuts are not technically a Core food, I have found in the past that if you opt for a low carb ,high protein splurge, you will feel greater satisfaction and have less of a negative impact on your progress. Besides that, my husband is a nut junkie , and watching him smile at the smell of warm, spiced nuts is worth it. To be safe I measured out a quarter of a cup for each of us in the kitchen, put them in small dishes for each and then brought them out here to sit down and actually enjoy them. After we have finished, we are going to burn some of them off by playing Rayman's Rabbid Rabbits for the Wii. Such a silly game !

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dispelling a myth and getting to know me

The three of us are still fighting this virus/bug/plague thing, and it just will not let up.You start feeling remotely healthy, begin to go about normal life and it whacks you flat on your back again.

I think is some weird way , getting hit with this thing at this time and this point of my journey is a real blessing in disguise. From all i have been able to gather about the Core program, you eat till you are satisfied, and in my mind that also says that if you are not hungry, do not eat. If I was doing Flex and counting points, I would be freaking out every day trying to eat to the level of my points every day , lest I fall into some horrible "starvation mode" and i sabotage my weight loss. In other words, spend all tay living on tea and bananas because that is all you can stomach and then forcing myself to eat something like deep dish pizza at the end of the day just to get the points down ( hey, its got veggies, dairy, protien and is point heavy so let's do). That or worse- like a fruity sundae. Instead, with no concerns about points and the focus on real, whole, nutritious foods, I don't worry about it. I pay attention to my stomach, and when it is truely hungry, I eat healthy. While I am sick if I just want to live on water and fruit, there is no stress.

Keep in mind, I have a virus at this time, and my appetite is almost non existant. Truth be told, never in my life have I eaten just out of hunger.I do not stress eat, but instead eat breakfast because this is what the clock says, lunch because it is time and so on.I guess you would call it habitual eating. For a person like me, Flex points are probably a very bad idea ( you must consume those 26 points every day !) One of the best things about the Core plan is that I eat till I am satisfied and when I am hungry, and then eat real food. Real, "I must take the time to prepare, cook and chew" type foods. In a weird way, it is the most empowering thing I have ever done.

Just out of curiosity, I have been keeping track of the points of the foods I am eating, just for comparison. At my weight and so forth I have 26 points per day. Since doing core, when i am not dealing with this crud, I average about 20 points per day. With the crud I have come in at 15, and the scale is moving down nicely.

So much for the starvation mode myth. My body obviously missed that handout, and has been following natures blueprint all along.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another week, another weigh in

Take a mix of vacation, stomach virus, Jillian Micheal's Ultimate Fitness challenge game and mom switching to Core program and what do you get ?

I lost 6.4 pounds
Son lost 5.6 pounds
hubby lost 2.0 pounds

Still on vacation this week , and the plan for Christmas is to gather with my family . Hopefully this trend will continue!

Friday, December 19, 2008


We are sick. At least hubby and I got sick at almost the same time with a more serious version of something son seemed to have last week.A nasty little stomach virus that seems to be making the rounds. With son he was just in need of frequent potty visits , with hubby he ran a fever and has one night of really meaningful time with the bathroom. I think it saved the best for me though, giving me one night of a high fever and then 24 hours of meaningful time with the bathroom. ( note to self- I have to put some interesting posters or something in there in the event this ever happens again).

Not only has this bug made us cancel vacation plans, but it really threw off on program eating. When son recovered he has no appetite, when hubby recovered he has a little appetite but if given the choice between cooking and grabing carry out, he will grab carry out.Also in his defense is the fact that he does not normally spend 24 hours with our Autistic son, and doing so can be very hard. I cannot fault him- this is a guy who will clean house when asked, go grocery shopping, do the laundry and a million other things. So fast food when mom is sick ( which is rare) is a forgivable flaw.Besides, that is what flex points are for, right ?

So yesterday I spent the day in bed watching DVD's of Friends between porcelain novenas. I managed to drink water and some green tea, and through the course of the day I ate two bananas an a cup of yogert.Four points for the whole day, but it was at least healthy stuff. I finally remebered the beauty, wonder and magesty of Pepto Bismal
( hate the color, smell and taste but LOVE the way it works !), and I could honestly say I started feeling better.

So today it is back to normal for this house food wise, and I have no worries of fast food comming in for the guys. We are having an ice storm with snow to follow, so we will have to eat what is here. Such a hardship- we have a fridge, freezer and cabinets full of on program foods and mom is feeling well enough to cook again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

So pretty !

We went to the Chicago Botanic Garden today for a walk around their Winter Wonderland exhibit. Lots of gingerbread houses and the Chicago landscapes done completely in natural materials. So pretty to look at, and the smells were fantastic ! After about an hour of walking around, we went out to lunch at Sweet Tomatoes and filled up on salads and core friendly soups. It was a really fun day !

Snapped some pictures of us as well- here is me at this time.You can compare it with my before picture a year ago. I was 40 pounds heavier

And here are the guys

This was my son at the same place , a year ago, when we began this journey
He has lost 70 pounds so far !

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm in love !

Inspired by several other blogers who have taken the humble oat to levels I have never dreamed imaginable. I tried my hand at a new creation of my own for breakfast. It is also an attempt to counteract the "we are on vacation so we must eat cinnabons" mentality. Hubby is off for two weeks and we are in somewhat of a working vacation mode. So here is the 411 on the above bowl of yumminess- makes 3 HUGE portions

1/3 cup steel cut oats
1/3 cup barley( not quick cook)
1/3 cup wheat berries
1 cup dry milk powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
half a can of solid pack pumpkin
7 cups of water

Put it all in a crockpot at bed time . Then in the morning put in bowls and top with
2 tablespoons ground flax
1 tablespoon seed nut mix( sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, pepitas)
1 tablesoon coconut flakes
1/3 cup crasins
1 T goji berries
1 tsp healthy oil of your choice

I had a carton of yogert with this , coffee and water. It was so good I could eat it 3 meals a day ! And what is that you ask ? Dried fruit and nuts on Core ? I am not doing the Core program to the letter as i have very strong disagreements with some of the points. I belive that if you measure dried fruit and stick to one serving , it is okay. I also belive that nuts and seeds, if measured and eaten in a single serving portion are not only okay , but to be encouraged. They contain healthy fats, importaint nutrients and protien . They offer a high level of satiation .

So what am I doing ? Basically I am weighing and measuring everything and limiting my consumption to a single serving . I only consume healthy fats ( olive oil, grapeseed oil, flax seed oil and virgin coconut oil and two servings of those per day) and I am allowed one free starch carb a day, but it must be a whole grain. Any other starch I must count points for , and I am allowed 5 points per day. Once a week I may have a hamburger or hot dog type bun or a hoagie roll. I must have two meats and three dairys per day. In other foods I choose sugar free over fat free and I absolutely must consume 5 servings of non starchy veggies per day. I think i will call it 'Di's Diet". It is almost identical to what i did when I lost 110 pounds and reversed infertility.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday morning calm

Nice lazy Sunday morning here !

Yesterday was a busy day with errands and shopping. The temps were warmish, but the wind was so stiff and cold that it made you freeze instantly when you were outside. We plan on eating out every shopping day because of time constraints, and usually we grab from the salad bar at the grocery store. The cold temps made the idea of salad less than appealing, so we went to Golden Corral for their buffet, We all loaded up on salad, fruits and hot veggies, and stayed totally on program. It was a very good move as it lasted for the rest of the day. No one felt like dinner so we each just grabbed some sugar free pudding for dinner. It felt kind of like misbehaving, which was fun. Whole lot of walking going on yesterday.

Later today we are going to work out as a family with the Jillian Micheal's game. It will be interesting to figure how to do this with 3 people. You can do the multilayer function with two people, but no such option for three. I am thinking we may have two use the game while the third uses the stationary bike and then switch till we have each gotten in the time needed to do some good. Working out as a family in the past has been a lot of fun, and this will help us to stay active during the winter months.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

weigh in Week 53 I think

Good week for us all

I lost 1 lb
Hubby lost 1.8 pounds
Son lost 3.2 pounds

While I am glad to be back on a losing trend, I really wish it was more. I want to break the 230's as well as the 200's in general. I am just so tired of seeing the same two numbers pop up for what feels like forever.

I took my measurements again this morning- something I have not done since September. I hold even less credence in tape measures than scales because I tend to lose in places that tape measures do not record. At the last tape measure weigh in I was the same weight in pounds as I am today, but I have GAINED an inch in the bust while losing 4 bra sizes( Someone explain that to me- it is the same model, same style bra and same company that makes it sold under the same brand name at the same store),gained one inch in the waist but dropped a pants size and lost a half inch in the hips. I got my new ring and discovered it is too big, so I have gone from a size 9 ring to a size 7, and my shoes are too big. How does this happen ???

Friday, December 12, 2008

Clothes shopping and Christmas lights

Christmas lights are pretty ! They give a bright glimpse of happy in the darkness. You always have to slow down and give an 'Oooh "to them . Last night I had to go to the store to buy some must have clothing items, so on the way we looked at lights. These pictures are not the most fantastic , as I caught them with my cell phone from a moving car window. But yeah me for getting two pictures up on the same post !!!

I needed to go buy some long pants that fit and find another bra. My current one is getting too big, and I am down to one pair of long pants that fit. All the rest are Capri length. Normally, this is not a great problem because i can wash them between wearings, but Saturday begins a two week vacation for The Hubby and we are planning on going several different places locally. I am not going to be able to wash the same pair every night, so need something quick. Once in the store I headed for the Women's department and reached for a 3x, out of habit. I stopped myself and remebered I have lost weight and that is no longer my size. So I did some eyballing of the offerings and holding clothes up against me to guestimate the size. I grabbed some 1x pants and a shirt, beliving they would probably be too tight but I would eventually get into them. Then off to grab a bra and I was done. Why not stop in teh fitting room to try them on ? I really don't know. I think it is an old habit I got into when my son was small. I grabbed him pair of sweats while in the store. His were 3x, and i was hoping they might fit. When we began , he was wearing a mens plus size 6x, and we had to shop at speciality stores to cloth him. The 6x were getting really snug in the legs.

So we get home, try on the clothes, and guess what ? They are on the verge of being too big !!!! I cannot mentally adjust to the idea that son is wearing a 3x and can now buy clothes in normal stores. I cannot belive that a 1x is actually a little big on me !

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Noticing some changes

I have been following the Core program since Saturday and i am noticing some definate differences in my body. I am hoping they will mean a weight loss this week, but I will patiently wait to see. Some of the things are

I feel warm to the touch. At first i thought I might have a fever, but it is not. I think it might be that my metabolism is kicking itself up and i am working better , even when at rest.

I feel calmer. It feels as if some unseen, unperccived thing has released a strong grip from my shoulders and that my muscles are free to do what they want to do. Hard to explain, but it is a definite difference.

I am eating less and feeling a lot more satisfaction. Yesterday evening i decided to count the points I had eaten according to Flex points. My current level is 27, and yesterday I earned 4 activity points, so if following flex I would have eaten 31 points. But in actuality, choosing Core foods, I only consumed 24 and was definitely comfortable.

I am sleeping better. More deeply , less times waking up. It is like my joints are more comfortable or something.

I am looking forward to seeing what the scale says on Saturday !

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Now that's more like it !

Our library carries games for the Wii and the Xbox 360, so you are able to try out some of the titles before making the investment. A very good thing considering the expense, and some games are not as fun as you think they might be. Recently they added Jillian Micheals Fitness Ultimatum 2009, and I put it on reserve to try out. We have Wii Fit, which is a great game for strengthening your core muscles and balance, but not long enough to do any real calorie burn. There is also the problem with the Wii balance board not supporting weights of above 330 lbs. My son is still too heavy to use the board. So when I heard about this game, I was optimistic.

Our copy became available last night and we got to try it out. All I can say is that's more like it ! It gives you a definate, calorie burning sustained workout that will leave you breathing heavy and feeling the burn ! It works with either two remotes or remote and numchuck or balance board, and has a great multiplayer function where you can challenge an opponant for a calorie burn. Best thing is that son and i can work out together with this and have a blast. I give it a definate thumbs up, and i am going to head out this weekend to buy a copy. It gives me more of a feeling of work out than walking, my bike or stair climbing. And Jillian encourages you- not like she does on The Biggest Loser where she threatens !

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lose some, win some

With weight loss comes the obvious need for clothes in a smaller size. Then comes the not so obvious things like losing shoe sizes ( I have lost 2 sizes) and smaller ring sizes. While the scale says I have only shed 40 pounds so far, my body is doing some serious re- proportioning and things just do not fit. One of the things that no longer fits is my wedding band and engagement ring. I kept trying to be really careful with it so it would not fly off my hand, but one day it slipped off in the dishwater and I knew it would have to be put away.( Luckily I found it before it went down the drain ) . So for a couple of months now I have been without a wedding ring, and after 27 years of marriage, this feels like I have suddenly lost an arm. So, my very nice husband who understands my feelings, suggested that I pick out a new set for Christmas. Why me pick it out ? Because even after 27 years of marriage he knows how incredibly picky I am about jewelry, and will not go where angels fear tread. I finally made up my mind and I ordered the above set.

I think it looks like something that says you are officially married now- this is no longer an experiment . I have to say, I like it a lot more than my original set. There are a lot more options open for wedding rings than there were back when we got our original set, making it a lot of fun to shop for a wedding ring again.

So while I have lost pounds, I gain something that I really love besides a better body. What can I say- I am a woman, it is jewlery and the two make a good partnership.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Playing with food

Now how is this for a non scale victory ? Son and I made this gingerbread house this morning without so much as a lick of a finger. No candy nibbled, no fingers licked clean. It was a ton of fun to do, and looks and smells so Christmasy. Before this journey , such a feat was not possible without consuming about 10 pounds of candy in the process. It's not perfect in apperance, but it signifies that food has definitely become a more healthy thing for us.

Buffets can be good

Yesterday afternoon we went out to celebrate my husband's 54th birthday at a local buffet. I know, several people cringe and run when they are on a weight loss program and need to eat at a buffet. Not me. I see it as the absolute perfect opportunity to put into practice all of the skills you have learned. it is the prime time to make great choices. I think I feel this way because i honestly belive that you are the only one who puts the food into your mouth , and I have never seen a tray of grary soaked anything rise up, reach through the sneeze guard and demand that it be puyt in your mouth or it will end your life. Perhaps I do not go to the right buffets.

In either case, we went to Golden Corral and did very well. I like this particular chain because they have an ample selection of vegetables and decent meat choices. We have rules when we attend any buffet, and that is a plate of salad first. Golden Corral has one of the best salad bar offerings of any of the buffet chains we have been to as far as lettuce greens. The offer nonfat dressings as well as cruits of oil and vinegar. Plenty of fresh fruit options and some interesting other salads as well. I was excited, as I am now doing Core and fruit is a core non count food. I induloged in a lot of fruit and salad, which made me feel really satiated really fast. I then went back for the broasted chicken, green beans and as many other veggies as I could find that were in a non gravy medium and without breading. I even had a sweet potato . Come time for dessert, I went back to the fruit. By the time I finished, I was stuffed. Damage done- 1 point core.

The guys , not doing Core , did well. When we go to buffets we use our flex points for the meal , and it has never proven to be a detriment. If you make wise choices, buffets can be a pretty good option for dining out.

So far I am LOVING he Core program. I feel a lot more full than I did before. After the buffet I was not hungry in the least, but about 8 pm I forced myself to have some yogert with fruit to make sure I got in the nessisary dairy allouances.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Very Veggie Omlette

Here is a breakfast that goes a long way to filling the health goals, is very filling and tastes great !

Very Veggie omlette- Core

2 tsp olive oil
4 spears asparagus, sliced
6 green onions, sliced
3 mushrooms, chopped
1/3 bell pepper, chopped
5 inches of a zucchini, chopped
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped
1/2 cup egg beaters
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Saute the veggies till tender crisp and then add egg beaters and seasonings.
Flex Points 2
3 fruit veg/2 healthy fats

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Changing to Core

blereotIt seems that I have been stalled out at this weight, gaining and losing the same few pounds for several weeks now, and nothing I do changes the outcome. I have PCOS, and it does respond better to a lower carb approach. Try as I might with the Flex points program, it is too easy to overdo the starch carbs. So, I decided that I will give the Core program a try.

We do not attend meetings for WW. Not in real life and not online. Part of the reason is expense, part of the reason is time and another part is life style choice. I officially became a member of WW back in 1974 when he program was all about exhanges and not points. I did the meetings every week and lost 10 pounds, but then quit. The meetings, after the initial benefit of getting the program materials, did nothing for me. Years later, totally and copletely on my own I used the program to lose 110 pounds, so it pretty much proved to myself that meetings were not something critical to my weight loss. Knowledge , however, was. So enter a new challenge- learn the Core program without formally joining. I searched, I snooped, and came up with a pretty darned good idea of the program. A few details are missing, but I belive I have enough knowledge to be able to get er done.

So now I am doing Core and son and DH are doing Flex Points. Yep, stimulating. However, in time it will become as second nature to me as calculating points is. Testerday was my first day on Core, and i noticed something right off the bat- i am less hungry and eat a lot less than I do on the Flex plan. it comes from eating till you are satisfied instead of needing to eat a certain level of points. There have been many times on Flex that I am really not hungry but need to still consume 10 points, and there is not enough fruit in the house or yogert or chese to go around for the three of us for the week, so I wind up eating things like Fiber one bars,Rye Crisp crackers or Chex bars. Yummy, but they are carby choices and after I eat them I wind up feeling like they woke up hunger or something. I do not eat more, but my body feels very unsatisfied. Perhaps it is psycological, but I do not belive so. I think in people who are insulin resistant for a variety of reasons, carbs make you hungry and it begins to become counter productive. I noticed the points I consumed yesterday as well as folloowing the core principles just o satisfy my curiosity. Currently on Flex I have 26 points per day. Yesterday on core I ate 20 points on Flex but only 4 points on core ( With Core you are allowed 35 points per week that are used to count non core foods), and was more satisfied than I have been in weeks.

I am curious to see how this works with my body. I would LOVE to get to One- derland ASAP. That is 30 pounds away. And from there, full speed on to my final goal weight of 130. With fingers crossed and determination, I proceed


Weigh in

Hubby lost 1.0 pounds
I GAINED 1.0 pounds
son GAINED 4.2 pounds

Obviously, the stair climbing instead of walking is not working for either of us, and walking is not a possibility. We are both doing the bike as well as walking the stairs, using weights and doing abdominals, have stayed perfectly on program and I even gave son a serious hair cut. We do not use salt, we drink all the water, we weigh and measure everything, we log everything.It just is something that our bodies are taking the slow boat to china about and there really is nothing we can do about it. That is the truth about weight loss- your body starts off losing, but then it determines that this is a new normal and losing weight is seen as a sort of death process, so it adjusts accordingly. Until it catches up, ,there you stay. The lower levels of fat, nutrients and calories begin to affect your body systems, the begin to preform differently and weight loss happens again. It's not a plateau, but rather an indicator of your survival mechanisim.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dear lungs

Dear Lungs.

First let me say that i find you to be wonderful, fascinating organs that have served me well in the past years. Outside of gifting me with Bronchitis as a child, we have made a pretty good team. You allowed me to swim very well, have functioned above expectations when it comes to things like yoga, and I have always enjoyed taking you out for a spin in the spring air. We have worked pretty well together for short walks on trails filled with wild violets and blooming trees.

There are times that I really wish I could improve you, and I have recently encountered one such circumstance. You really do not like cold air. I find this development rather interesting, as it was not an issue in the past. A couple of weeks ago you started rebelling when I took you out in weather less than 45 degrees, so to compensate for the lack of activity that my other body parts were experiencing, I started climbing the stairs. Admittedly it is a lot harder on my thighs, but they seemed to say they were up for the job. My glutes got excited at the prospect of this kind of work and they were last seen holding a meeting to discuss what it would be like to actually form themselves into a butt. Dreams were on the verge of comming true for them, and they were happy.

So why did you decide to rebel this morning, oh friend lungs ? Why have you determined that walking up the stairs in the enclosed stairway is a reason to beging to spasm and make me feel like I am going into an attack ? This is not acceptible behavior ! We have things to do and places to go and weight to lose. Like it or not we live in a climate that has cold damp weather for a good chunk of the year. You are going to have to toughen up my friend. Would a nice thick scarf help ? I realize that my face cannot stand the feel of any fabric touching it ( something i do not understand why), but I think I could bargain with Mister Face if a scarf or something would help you to work as you should. Think about it.

The Management

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It makes me laugh !

I think we are all having a really good week around here. Hubby looks thinner, son looks thinner, and I feel thinner. I have also discovered something else that makes me laugh every time it catches my eye. Years ago I had major exploratory abdominal surgery , and then a C section with my son and the same vertical incision. I have been blessed with good healing powers, and the scar tissue itself has been very thin ( let's not talk about the flabby muscles under the skin though). I am noticing a lot of wrinkling with my skin as I lose, and it is kind of to be expected considering I am 50 and have been overweight all my life. Suddenly my stomach is starting to wrinkle, which makes me laugh, but not as much as what is happening to the scar ! It is becoming a silly little silvery raised pup tent looking sort of thing. For some women, this might be a traumatic event, but to me is just cracks me up ! At least it is matching the wrinkling skin under my chin and on my arms ! I think in time it will start to tone up, and if not , they make a lot of really cute clothes out of licra spandex in small sizes !

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

More Snow

The forcast says we are going to get another 3-5 inches of snow today. It's kind of early to be getting this much snow for this area ! However, it does indicate that those acrobatic , fat squirrels this fall did indeed know that we were in for a rough winter !

Stair climbing went well, and we are going to alternate days with this. One day stair climbing and abdominal work, the next day walking and weights, weather permitting. Days when the thermometer dips down to below zero, it will be strictly indoor work. That cold of air is harmful to the lungs ! To deal with our shifting temperatures, I ignore coats in favor of the above creation my son is modeling- the polar fleece poncho ! I made them a few years back, and they allow us to put on extra layers for colder days and less for warmer ones. The polar fleece is pretty water repellent, and they are non confining for movement. The only thing they do not work well with is sledding - snow gets packed up under the poncho.

Off to walk and start school !

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Breakfast and meeting the stairs

What better way to begin a cold morning than with a bowl of pumpkin oats ?

1 cup water
1/4 cup solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup of barley flake and oat flake mix
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

After cooking I topped it with
1 tbsp shredded coconut
2 tbsp ground flax
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 tbsp pumpkin seed, sunflower seed and sliced almond mix
1 tsp coconut oil

I think I could eat this 3 meals a day seven days a week ! It just amazes me that I never realized you should eat oatmeal any way but plain until I started reading blogs !

The plows have come through and the crews have been out shoveling the walks, but last nights temps dipped way below freezing and there are several slippery patches out on the walks and roads. Time to get creative with exercise here ! Instead of bundling up and heading outside, we are going to do a stair climbing work out. We live on the 3rd floor of a building with an elevator, so the goal is to ride the elevator down and then walk up 3 times. Why not walk down ? My knee does not handle climbing down well, and there are no activity points to be gained through falling down 3 flights of concrete stairs. Considering we do not usually climb the stairs, I think 3 passes is a good number to begin with !

Monday, December 1, 2008

The first snow of the winter

"well the first of December
was covered in snow" James Taylor

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas is comming !

This is our Advent wall quilt. I made it 15 years ago and my son considers it one of the best parts about our Christmas. He loves moving a little ornament every day through December, soit is a must have thing in this house.

Lots of grunt work today getting out the boxes, finding homes for things and so forth. We were able to get it all done by lunch, but we were too tired to make something. Hubby offered to run out to get Arby's sandwiches (7 points each) , and so we paired them with cu veggies from home, fruit and our own diet sodas. It's not my first choice for healthy fare, but sometimes you just have to bend the rules a little.

Tonight I will turn on the lights and start brainstorming what presents to make for the extended family. Everyone is older, there are many of us, and no one needs another plate of cookies. Some brilliant idea will come to me !

So it has been a year

Weigh in today , and it was good considering it is a holiday week

I lost 0.6 pounds
son lost 1.40 pounds
hubby gained 0.8 but is feeling constipated so this too may pass.

While I would like for my loss to be more, I will definitely take it. Last week I stayed the same and the two weeks before there was a gain, so this is progress on a small front. We got a lot of walking in yesterday at the stores, not the department stores, but the grocery stores. They werer possibly the best places to venture out to !

I am going to put up the Christmas decorations today, which will make for another day of a lot of full body movements. Lift this, dust that, carry these - all good things.

Today marks a year since we made the decision to lose weight. The official total loss together is 144 pounds gone, but the number does not tell the numerous other changes that have happened. Last year at the holidays we were unable to do a lot of things because we were not healthy, and a lot of small problems kept knocking us over. When you are not physically well, you do not handle the emotional things well. Simple actions like shopping trips were major hurdles. This year we are healthier, more fit, more optimistic and a lot more active. While the scale does not put us at the final destination yet, it does not identify the radically different people we have become. Daily activities now include things like walks, workouts and stair climbing. We read food labels, we measure portions and we think about the impact our intake has on our bodies instead of just asking if it is quick and cheap. It makes me excited to see where we will be at this time next year !

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

Thanksgiving is over and all through the house
not a leftover is stirring for me or the spouse !

Had a nice day yesterday, and today the plan is to get in a lot of activity points through walking the stores. no, not the department stores, but the grocery stores ! Black Friday is perhaps the best day of the whole year to go grocery shopping. No crowds, lots of good sales, and a chance to stock up on holiday pantry type needs. Perhaps we may even squeeze in a stop at the woods for a walk as the day goes on.

Tomorrow is weigh in, and I am hoping for a maintain if not a loss.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving !

Started this day off right with a breakfast of cottage cheese, Flax plus cereal and dried cranberries. Now I am going to watch the parades while pedaling on my stationary cycle. It's a fun way to watch and I figure it will get my metabolisim revved up to deal with the day. Have a good one !

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Boy makes cranberry relish

My son loves to watch Food Network , loves Thanksgiving and really likes to cook. This morning I told him he could make the cranberry relish, stood back and let him fly. Here is his creation

Cranberry Orange relish

1 bag cranberries
1 large navel orange
1 1/2 cups Splenda
1 T cinnamon
1 cup water

peel and section the orange. Place everything into a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.Let boil for about 5 minutes( marveling at the pops) and remove from heat. let cool down and refrigerate.

We calculate that it is about 1.5 points for a half cup serving, but don't quote me !

Looking at my own stuffing

Twas the day before Bird day and all through the house...

I remembered to pull my boneless turkey breast out of the freezer last night to start to defrost. Actually, I had hesitated pulling it out before then just incase someone decided at the last minute to make calls and announce that they would be having Thanksgiving dinner. My family tends to be very last minute folks, but this year it seems that there is no gathering . However, people still have to eat. So it is my opportunity to make a healthier Thanksgiving dinner and spend the calories on things we really want, instead of racking them up with mouthfuls of everyone's contribution. Having an option of 10 different desserts( all brought by guests) is a fast trip to a gain.

I am sad about not gathering with my family. One thing besides the loss of family bonds is really bringing me down. Thanksgiving marks a one year anniversary for us. We began losing weight the Saturday after last year's Thanksgiving. All through the year , when the going got tough and the scale would play games with me, I held to the vision of gathering with the family lighter than I was a year ago and soaking up the reactions. It was something that I learned in my last weight loss journey-pick an image of a future gathering and hold onto it through the process and use it as your biggest motivation. When it became a possibility that we would not gather, I suddenly found that I was somewhat losing my resolve. I asked myself what difference it made if I kept plugging away at this process if no one would see the changes I have made, or those made by my whole family. The more I heard myself asking that of myself, the harder and deeper I had to dig to find that core part of me that would serve as a motivation.

One of the things that finally hit was the full realization that no matter what, the bottom line is that I have to do this for me. I have to be in a place where the old habbits and old behaviors no longer serve me. For some people , this can mean choosing a whole new life. It can mean ignoring the people who flipped your triggers, so to speak, and sometimes parting company with them once and for all. It can mean challenging old behavior patterns that are based on ancient history- so ancient that no one remebers how or why they began. So often they are not dependant upon the fault of someone, but simply the way things fell into place. I think I am seeing glimpses of some of mine, and now my job is to just say no. Just step away from the situation.

So rather than mourn what is not going to be, I am going to embrace what is. I will spend the day with my guys (my son being the motivating reason to lose weight the first time) and we will enjoy a nice meal , some fun TV afterwords and perhaps some Wii play. Then Friday we will hit the sales- not so much for the shopping, but to soak up the holiday spirit and walk around. And then start lugging out boxes and putting up the Christmas decorations.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Adventures with rapini

Yesterday whiloe grocery shopping, i spotted a new to us vegetable, rapini. It is also called broccoli rabe, and it seems to be pretty common in italian cusine. I have never tried it , simply because I did not know how to cook it. So I asked one of the older ladies selecting bunches for themselves, and found out that you can either boil it or stir fry it. Simple enough, so I bought a goodly sized bunch and decided to play with it for dinner.

Raw, it has a taste that is something between a turnip green and broccoli, with the floretttes having a stronger flavor. I decided to cut it up and sautee it with some garlic and green onions. When cut, the smell reminded me of how rutabegas taste; pleasently spicy and slightly sweet. The rapini cooked down, but retained its very bright color. It smelled plesant, and we were all excited to taste it.

The excitement quickly faided as we tasted it. Rapini is VERY biting and bitter. If you are a fan of turnip greens, you would enjoy this vegetable, as the taste is very similar but stronger. We ate it, but did not enjoy it. I kept reminding myself that it is one of the brassica family, and has numerous health benefits. Not sure if I will make this one again, but if I do it will be in addition to another vegetable and not on it's own.

Perhaps if someone else has made this and had a good recipie to share, it would help a future adventure.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Weigh in

Weigh in today

I stayed the same- maintain is good. Better than gain
hubby gained 0.2
son gained 2.4


Friday, November 21, 2008

How does this happen ?

I think it is some weird kind of genetic imperative that we give birth to children that are similar in temperament to us, but then enough difference is tossed in to make for "dramatic tension". Such tension creates friction, which keeps the world going.

I am a very laid back kind of person who was raised with the idea that holiday gatherings involve a horde of people, so it is buffet style, no table settings and any flat surface can and will be pressed into service as a table. Then there is my son, who seems unnaturally obsessed with both Food Network and QVC. If left to his own devices, weekday dinners in our house would bring Martha Stewart to her knees with their presentation. Sorry kiddo, ain't happening.

The last couple of days he has been watching , getting ideas about how we should do our thanksgiving. Stuff like Gikded Jello and tuxedo'ed turkeys placed on a table that comes straight out of a Better Homes and Gardens photo shoot, and it is making me cringe. I think I am going to have to break down and buy some printed paper plates and some kind of centerpeice to make the kid happy. After all, he is a part of our family and his wishes are just as importaint.

The real question to me is how did I give birth to a Martha Stewart wannabe who dislikes chocolate ? Is such a thing genetically possible ???

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good news, bad news

It looks like we will not be joining my family for Thanksgiving this year. In my 50 years of life, this has only happened once I believe, and the idea feels very odd.That is the bad news. Good news is I can create a dinner for the three of us that is points friendly and a lot less temptation. We were discussing this and some possible options last night.The choice of one sort of normal dessert with a healthy meal , or even the possibility of going out for dinner came up. I don't think going out will happen, as it just feels too weird.

So this morning I am asking myself what do I really want to eat on that day ? Not how many points whatever anyone brings may be, but what is it that I choose to consume for a celebratory treat ?. I have been reading a book called Chef MD Big Book of Culinary Medicine by John La Pulma MD, and in it he recommends taking four times a year to celebrate. By celebrating he means just enjoying the day and the spread, and not "dieting" during the event. To me it makes sense. Celebrations are a part of human life, and celebrations will come in the future, long after we have succeeded on our journeys or given them up. Having the "Celery Only" Thanksgiving or "Tossed Salad "Christmas can lead to binges later on because "I deserve this because I was so good at ( fill in the blank). Better for your emotional health to just join in the celebration and move on the next day.

The question here becomes what kind of a desert do we want ? What kind of treat says holiday - and the fall holiday that steps back and allows us to express thanks in specific ? I think it is going to be pumpkin pie. Can one legitimately celebrate Thanksgiving without at least the appearance and smell of pumpkin pie ? It seems unlikely. So I will buy one small pie, the three of us will eat it, and then we will most likely spend the afternoon watching tv. If I play my cards right and the weather cooperates, I may talk the guys into heading out to the woods for a walk in the afternoon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bumps in the road

No matter how long you walk the course of true happiness with Prince Charming, you still come up to these weird stupid bumps in the road that can only be described as "He is an idiot" speed bumps. Having been married for 27 years, I can safely say I have run into that bump plenty of times ! They are made up of interesting stuff- usually a weird comment or observation that he or she will say without really thinking about , in an attempt to be a good person, but they come across in the wrong way to you, and open up a whole floodgate of "other things". Much like what would happen if you drove your car over a pile of leaves and wound up dragging along all kinds of debris that was hidden as a result.

Such a thing happened last night, and it really made me feel bad. Not at the instant it happened, but a few minutes later, and it drug a whole boatload of debris with it. Not a nice way to spend an evening. However, what is really interesting about it is that it seems to have a reverse affect on my appetite that I never realized. I had points that I still needed to eat, had my snack planned, but it felt like I had been slugged in the stomach and I really did not want to eat it. I was afraid that if I did not eat these I would go into "starvation mode" or something, so I forced myself to eat it. It seems that when I get upset, I am more likely to push food aside. When I am happy, it's like life is a big celebration , and let the eating commence ! Strangely, much of my life has been happy times, and consequentially I weigh 230 because of it. is that a good thing or a bad thing ?

The debris will be cleared, harmony will be restored and all will go back to the peaceful, easy course soon. it always does. However, I will walk away from this with a little more self knowledge, and that is a good thing.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Snow , turkeys and pre thanksgiving thoughts

I woke up this morning to find that the few flakes yesterday had accumulated to a dusting of snow on the rooftops and cars. Just a teaser of the months to come, and a reminder that the holidays are right around the corner.

Normally at this time of year I would start buying turkeys to cook and then eat the leftovers all week It made good economic sense and turkey itself is pretty low in calories and fat. Problem is , having 24 pounds of turkey meat in the fridge would lead to dishes with way too much meat in them , covered with some kind of cream sauce to keep it moist and then ultimately bags of freezer burned turkey that got pulled out in the spring. I almost fell into that old habit, but I rationalized to myself that it would be better to just buy the boneless turkey breasts. You get the turkey, you can measure it easy, and there is no temptation to keep grabbing a handful of turkey throughout the day( One of my worst eating habits).

So yesterday I made a boneless breast in my crock pot, made a wild rice pilaf creation on the side instead of stuffing, made my own cranberry sauce with splenda, spinach as a veggie and a big tossed salad with baby greens.Hubby commented that it looked like a feast- it was not any more food than we normally have at dinner, but I was so much more colorful! It never fails to amaze me at how much more live and vibrant a plate of healthy food looks over not as healthy choices. So many more colors and textures !

We will be gathering with my family for Thanksgiving, and it will be your standard big family meal with way too much food, way too much sugar and fat and a tiny bit of everything will not fit on the plate. I am not going to worry about it. It is one meal in one day on this journey. I will make my best choices and then simply move on. It will be a day to see my family, get goofy with my sisters and catch up with my neices and nephews. The meal is just a small part of the day.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Peaceful, easy feeling

It is so peaceful and quiet here this morning !

Weigh in this morning. Hubby maintained and I GAINED 1.6 pounds.

No idea why, following the plan to the letter, exercising an hour a day, making the recommended changes to deal with my endocrine issues, and I gain again. However, instead of debating which foot to chop off in order to see the Damn Scale move , my brain pulled up this random life experience to remind me of a simple reality. Back 20 years ago , when I embarked on the last serious weight loss journey to conceive, I hit a period of almost 3 months where the scale seemed stuck. Not a true plateau, but play with the same 2 pounds in an up and down fashion. It about drove me insane then, but the quest for Baby was so strong and I was so determined, I just hung in there. And coincidentally, it happened at the same time of year. So perhaps the lesson to myself is to just hang in there and let my body catch up.

Then something else weird happened. I realized that I genuinely LOVE eating this way . I am thrilled with each and every meal and snack because they look and taste so good. Old me would see commercials for KFC or some Pillsbury Dough Boy food porn and my mouth would water and I would make moves to go out and get me some. now I look at them and wonder seriously how someone could put that in their body ? Instead I get excited by things like Honey Crisp Apples, grilled portabellos and yet another oatmeal mix with things like pumpkin in them. And then it dawns on me that I really never want to leave this way of eating and moving. I LOVE going out for the morning walks, I love my bike and i love moving as a family. It makes for a huge non scale victory all of it's own.

So I will continue to walk this journey , continue to live this lifestyle and know that there are a lot more importaint things than numbers on a scale to celebrate. Living a lifestyle that I love and loves me back is one of them.

Son lost 1 pound, and that is another reason to continue this lifestyle. He wa the reason we began this journey in the first place.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The difference between men and women

An observation between men and women with weight loss, at least in this house.

I have adrenal stress and other endocrine issues, which means for me take "The Expert, Definite, Tried and True Guide to Losing Weight, Getting Fit, Getting Pregnant and Other Wonders" and use it to balance out the legs on the coffee table, because that is all the good that it will do. I have decided to bypass frustration about this and find the humor.

Son, normal, healthy overweight male, gets on the stationary bike, pedals 5 minutes and is sweating. Husband gets on the bike, pedals 7 minutes and looks like he just stepped out of the shower. Drippy men !

I get on the bike, pedal 30 minutes and never sweat. I try to think myself into a state of sweating, and it does not work. I sprinkle a little water on my palm and throw it in my face, sort of in an attempt to prime the well or something, and nothing happens. I wipe off the water in disgust and notice that I am not even warm. So I start to think, would it be possible to overcome this problem if I sat on a heating pad while pedaling ? What about a space heater, inches away from the bike. Or what about one of those old fashioned rubber suits they used to suggest for weight loss ? I wore one when I was a young teen and it never made me sweat. Even that temporary fad in the 70's of wrapping your body in saran wrap to make you sweat out the weight did not work. I think I have to approach this in a different way. I am considering the following

1. Shaving my head- could be good for about a pound weight loss

2.Developing screw on limbs that can be removed at weigh in

3. Helium implants- I always felt I had too flat of a butt , and helium implants would allow me to look curvier AND be lighter

4.Hover craft type devices on the bottoms of my feet. Sort of a Dr Sholes insole meets air hockey table. It works to keep me about a 16th of an inch above contact with the ground, therefore making the scale show dramatic results at weigh in. And think of the money I would save on shoes and socks- they would never wear out !

5 Pre weigh in checks for all belly button lint, ear wax, sinus build up- get rid of this and the scale will budge.

Okay, seriously I am being patient, staying on program , and knowing in my heart of hearts that no matter what the scale says, my whole body is infinitely better for the efforts that I am making and therefore i should just keep going. But watching my husband look like a stunt double for that scene in Flashdance with the bucket of water after so much less effort can make one crazy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A question that does not need an answer

Grey day today, and as I looked around the apartment, I saw that the wall to wall carpet REALLY needs cleaning. It is a twisted mind that installs tan carpet in any dwelling where human beings live, let alone places with children. My steam cleaning machine is on the fritz, but the more iI looked at this area of the rug the more compelled I felt to clean it. If not deep clean it, at least do something to get up as much of the surface dirt as possible.

Through the years I have tried everything know to man to work as a spot remover and carpet cleaner, and found that there really is only one thing that works the best at getting off heavy surface dirt in high traffic areas. That would be.....shaving cream. Good ole, dirt cheap shaving cream in a can with no act or anything. Spray it on, use a dry sponge to rub it in , let it dry and vacuum up. If you want to get really serious, rub it in with a scrub brush. It really, really works !

So I debated doing my usual biking and walking today or getting down and dirty with Mr Rug, and decided Mr Rug wins. I got down on my knees and spent the better part of 90 minutes spraying, scrubbing and rubbing the area. After I finished I got up and my arms and chest muscles really ached.Much like I did a long session with weights.

Now the real question comes to mind- how many activity points do you earn for 90 minutes of scrubbing a rug on your hands a knees ? Do you consider it to be low, medium or high intensity ? Is it aerobic or anerobic ? And why doesn't someone make a workout tape for household must do tasks ???

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Overweight kids

I watched The Biggest Loser last night, and the segment where the nutritionist came in with Allie I found most interesting. In particular the pime spent with Vicky and her husband, talking about their eating habits and that of their children. Like most families they started to rely on fast foods for good reasons, and now that is all their kids will eat. I think so many of us can relate to that problem ! It starts for a good reason, and sadly the additives to the food make it so palletable to kids that they no longer taste real food tastes. First step on that slipperey slope is often that infamous bloue box of mac and cheese and the golden archways happy dappy meal.

We fell into that trap, and changing the course was perhaps the hardest part of the journey. To be honest , the first week was almost world war 3 in our house. In the past I had tried gentle persuasion, suggestion, sneaking in healthy items, education, incentives, making healthy food fun, and none of it worked at all. What was nessisary to make the change was to toss out ( actually donate most of it) the bad food, replace it with only good food, measure out the portions and turn a deaf ear to the complaints. Hard enough, but the hardest thing was turning a mirror on myself. Who was buying this food in the first place ? Who was making the meals ? Children may go to an occasional fast food resturant with friends, but they are not the ones doing the grocery shopping or paying for the purchases. We are. They are not the ones who get too busy to plan a menu, do a little advanced prep of meals and find meals that work within our lifestyle, buget and health needs. We do. They are not the ones who have decided that the world is a scarry place filled with strangers and weirdos who lurk around every corner so that neignborhood play is a thing of the past and the only activities that are possible are group sancioned ones that take place someplace that requires auto travel. We are. The did not convince the world that things like Playstation, DVD's and computer games were the must have items. We did that to ourselves. ( Children do not create ad campaigns).

Hard truths. Our children are living the life and the lifestyle that we created for them. And guess what ? We are the only ones capable of making them healthier. No goverment policies, no educational mandates, no fancy campaigns. Just we as parents refusing to let the junk come into our homes, living healthy lifestyle ourselves that serve as role models and engaging the whole family in a more active lifestyle. It really is as simple as that- we ourselves have to value it , model it and facilitate it to make it so.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What are my goals ?

Woke up to a cold , wet morning. We are supposed to get freezing rain today, so the outdoor walking is canceled. I had intended to do it anyway and use taking out the trash as my motivator, but The Hubby decided that he did not want us out in freezing rain, so he took it out himself. Nice guy- so it will be work on the stationary bike, the weights and some Eyetoy and Wii to get in our workouts today.

I am still blown away by the reality of my condition and my inability to sweat ! it is not going to prevent me from exercising or trying to lose weight, because I know that no matter what I am dealing with it would only be worse if I did not make these moves. my arthritis would be worse, my PMS would be worse, the affects of various hormones would be worse. For that reason, I have to shift my thinking from things like fittting in a smaller size and so forth to being the absolute best shape that my 50 yr old body can possibly be. And that body will just keep going and doing things and transform eventually into a very fit 60 yr old, 70 yr old and so on and so on.

I have never attempted to lose weight to "look good". For numerous reasons I have never bought into that mindset . When I was younger , Doctors would tell me I was going to have a heart attack or so forth and I must lose weight, but it never worked. My mother would use the line "you would be such a pretty girl if you just lost weight" repeatedly, but I did not care. I was more interested in getting involved with the kickball game in the alley , climbing on garage roofs or hanging upside down on the monkey bars. Kids would taunt me about my weight, but i did not care. I would either ignore them or pound on them because it was fun. I was not your typical overweight child . I was active, and in retrospect my behaviors seemed to be ruled by my endocrine imbalance way back then. As a teen I was more into really reckless behaviors and the kind of lifestyle that most parents would dread to have their child participate in then concentrating on things like going to the prom or "dating". Dating was boring- reckless behaviors were my way of striking back at past events that made me feel guilty and angry.

It was not till i was married and wanting to start a family that I found the motivation to lose weight. After 8 years of infertility I was diagnosed with PCOS and the ecomended cure was to lose 10 percent of my body weight. I Went on the old Weight Watchers program, before the points system, and I lost 110. The motivation was not for looks, but for health.

I think I may be struggling at the moment because my body is trying to remind me that the real reason to do this is because of health- anything else is kind of temporary and frivolus.

Monday, November 10, 2008

If life isn't stimulating enough

I have adrenal fatuige , and I do not sweat. Well, almost never. Now moving into menopause i get night sweats sometimes. But I have never in my life broken a sweat with exercising, no matter how hard I worked. Case in point, today. I got on my stationary bike and pedaled HARD for 30 minutes. The distance meter said I pedaled 20 miles. My heart is pounding, my breathing is fast, my muscles ache, but I did not break any kind of a sweat at all. Which means that even at this level, my metabolism is not getting revved up enough to burn fat.

Stimulating, isn't it ?

Scale, dont fail me now !

I want to scream !
I am starting with the full course of suggested changes to make for my body this week in order to help me overcome some of the challenges presented with PCOS and perimenopause, so it is really important to watch the scale to see if these are indeed the right moves. So I stepped on the scale this morning to see how things are doing and it is up 20 pounds.

What ????

So I get off and step on again and it says that I weight 19.5 pounds. Hmmm- so off and on again, and it says I weigh 378 pounds- a 120 pound gain from Saturday. Otay panky, the scale is definately not working right. Bad news is we have no money to replace it at the moment, and the car needs a brake job and tires. Perhaps simply changing the batteries will fix it- I sure hope so !

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Weekly weigh in

Progress this week. I lost 0.2, which i am th9inking is the equivalent of a bunny fart. However, I am just three days into the changes suggested to me by my naturopath and have not put everything into practice because of a lack of materials. This will be remedied today with shopping, so I have to take this small loss as an encouragement.

Hubby lost 0.4, which is a good thing. His average has been losing half a pound a week.

Son experienced a gain of 1.2 pounds. Odd because he looks thinner. Perhaps increasign muscle, but I decided to measure his height as well and he has grown a quarter of an inch since april. He had a very good week with no cheating, so I am not going to stress about it. He is not phased by the gain either.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Motivations and cutting through the smoke

I belong to a weight loss email loop, and most mornings someone posts a word of the day, and thoughts that they have about it in regards to weight loss. Today's was about boundaries, and while emotional boundaries do not seem to be one of the factors behind my emotional eating, it got me to think about things that did.

I was raised in a large family as a part of a large extended family, and everything was set up as a group mind sort of thing. There is no I in team and in family I comes at the end and makes a short sound. It is not that the rights of the individuals were ignored, but rather that the good of the whole was upheld to protect the needs of the individual. Sort of a united we stand kind of thing. Food was always a part of the gatherings, and it was always simple, cheap balast kind of fare. more designed to keep belly of of backbone than high nutrition. Lots of refined starches, lots of fats, and served in a kind of buffet style. Last Christmas it suddenly occurred to me that there was little visual difference between my large family gatherings and one putting slops in a trough for the livestock. Weird, but true out of nessesity. There are no formal setting possibilities in a residential house when the gathering number approaches 100 people. Sorry Martha.

One thing seemed to stand out in my childhood weird messages though. Good eaters ( those who clean their plate and then some) were strong people and strong people kept us safe. I honestly belive it was a strange kind of family legacy that came down as a result of the Irish famines and immigrant mindset. My grandfather was first generation Irish American on one side, and began his adult married life during the Depression.It was a very different world from that which we have now. There were shortages, there were more diseases and children died more often. Hunger was something that usually led to sickness, so a full belly meant strength and health. Consequentially, most of the men on my father's side were hard working, smoking, weekend drinking folks who usually had at least one heart attack by age 50. So much for strength- but the mindset kind of carried on. A few of my cousins also have serious weight problems, and I belive they were victims of the same messages.

As I embark on this journey I constantly think about my motivations, my behaviors and my choices. i know now that a strong individual is a healthy one who is active and living in balance. They are strong because they are able to see through the masks and mirrors on the path that can lure them into bad places and dead ends. I want to be that kind of a strong person, and I want to pass that lifestyle on to my son.

Cold morning, black beans for dinner

Discovered this morning that cold air is really hard on your lungs for exercising ! We went out for our morning walk, in the clear, sunny 39 degree weather, and were only able to complete 10 minutes. With eachj breath my bronchial passages started to constrict and my lower lungs felt in pain and son started to cough. he does not have athsma or any respiratory problems, but i dealth with bronchial Athsma in my younger days, and I do not want a repeat preformance of anything connected wih that experience. So we came in and decided that if the temp is lower than 45 degrees, we would do indoor exercises. Currently we own a stationary bike, and we will take turns with that to get in our exercise. Normally after our 30 minute walk I jump on the bike to do anything from 15 to 30 minutes pedaling as well to beat the Hormone Fairy that likes to keep me gaining weight. So far, some weeks she wins and some weeks I win, but hopefully with the changes I am making due to the enlightment about my PCOS , there will be more consistant losses on my part. Son and I will take turns using the bike till we figure out something else. Aerobics tapes are out as we live in a 3rd floor apartment and our downstairs neighbors would not be very sympathetic to our weight loss efforts. perhaps Santa will bring a treadmill or an elliptical machine.

Tonight for dinner I am making a bean dish that has been well reccived here. The best I can calculate it comes in at 6 points per serving when paired with Brown rice. It is really filling, and the small amount of cheese in the dish it will prevent my body from reacting in a negative way. I have had a good week and I feel like have lost, and I want to avoid doing anything that will contradict that trend

Black Bean And Vegetables serves 4

3/4 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup red bell pepper chopped
2/3 cup frozen corn thawed
1 medium carrot coarsely grated
1 2/3 cups cooked black beans rinsed -- drained
1/2 cup canned tomatoes drained mexican style
8 tablespoon lowfat monterey jack cheese -- shredded
4 tablespoons nonfat sour cream
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

combine onion and oil in large non-stick skillet. Stir over medium-high heat until onion is golden, about 6 minutes. Add cumin and chili powder; stir 20 seconds. Add bell pepper, corn and carrot; saute until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes ; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Serve with cheese, sour cream and cilantro. Serve over brown rice with a salad on the side.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

If its Thursday, it's chicken day

Cool this morning. Started off sunny, but the clouds are rolling in. Temps are supposed to start falling this afternoon and by the weekend we are expecting snow showers. Brrr !!!! Strange thing is, I have found that I really enjoy walking in the brisk temperatures. Son likes it as long as he can wear gloves. Flip flops and gloves- explain that logic !

I am adjusting to some of the dietary changes I have to make, such as never eating a carb without some fat or protien, and the result is a slightly different line up for snacks during the day . I think just that change alone could be enough to get the scale moving in the right direction again. This morning I feel as though I have definately lost some weight. I will hold off checking until Saturday's weigh in. Son is looking thinner in the chest and face as well, so I am hoping for a good week for us all. Hubby tends to wear a lot of lose clothes, so it is hard to tell.

Tonight I am making one of our favorite chicken recipies- so easy to do and it comes out so moist ! I make this with a barley or Quinoa side, a veggie and a big tossed salad.

Garlic Dijon "DUMP" Chicken (Lite) 3 pts

Serving Size : 6

2 Cloves Garlic -- minced
4 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
2 Tablespoons lemon Juice
1 1/2 Pounds Boneless Skinless chicken breast

For immediate cooking: Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Place all ingredients into a
large baking dish, turn chicken to coat. Bake until chicken juices run
clear (45-60 minutes for chicken pieces, or 20-30 minutes for chicken

For freezing: Place all ingredients into a 1 Gallon freezer bag. Lay flat
in freezer.

To thaw and cook: Take the bag out of the freezer the night before, make
sure the baggie is completely closed. Place the Bag on a shelf furthest
from the freezer (It works best if the bag is laying flat, although this
may not be the best option with a side-by-side fridge/freezer). Preheat the
oven to 350 F. Empty the contents of the bag into a large baking dish and
bake until the juices run clear (45-60 minutes for chicken pieces, or 20-30
minutes for chicken breasts).

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 135 Calories; 2g Fat (12.9% calories from fat); 27g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 66mg Cholesterol; 199mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where the wild things walk

At times certain creatures seem to invade our house. One of these I call The Grumpasaurus ( Boyus Teenagerous). Perhaps you have encountered him in the past ? He usually lurks in places that were formerly inhabited by sunny disposition young boys. It seems that the Grumpasaurus sneaks in, eats the younger boy ( and everything else in site) , and then makes its presence known through a series of grunts, complaints and bad moods. It is very much part and parcel of it's evolutionary process , for truth be told the Grumpasaurus is a transitional creature. In a short time it changes into Adultus Maleus, whith it's own strong opinions and ambitions in life.

There are interesting things that happen when the Grumpasaurus meets with The Mominator ( Femalia Menopausus), another creature that shows up here. Both creatures have a similar objective( I am right, you are wrong), both creatures have a similar desire ( to lounge around and call it day), but the Mominator has a deep sense of purpose that can overcome the desire. Most days. If you tie a chocolate bar to the end of a pole and fasten it to her head, just out of reach. Recently though The Mominator has not been having such a good go of things, and it is requiring even more things to be tied to the end of that pole to keep her motivated ( whipped cream, Johnny Depp, a week on a Carribian beach) because of the discovery of health issues. To be honest, there is a strong temptation to just give the whole thing up because it is so darned hard and different from what the normal models are. But the mominator is not a quitter, nor does she listen to the excuses and complaints of the Grumpasaurus. We begin to walk, and the Grumpasaurus begins to balk

This is boring
my pants are falling off
this music is stupid
my cheeks are cold
i'm bored

So The Mominator puts on a happy face and speaks words of encouragment.

We can do this !
Think about how good you feel when we stop.
Your clothes are getting bigger because you are working so hard.
Why don't you change your music mix on your MP3 today ?
Look at the geese !

it works for a moment, and then The Mominator starts to feel pain in her knees, and remebers all the other things that have to get done and thinks that maybe we should cut this short but then her inner monolouge reminds her that we have to do this for at least 30 minutes and that we need the fresh air and sunshine and even if the scale is not budging we are better off for what we are doing, and suddenly the Grumpasaurus speaks once again

I'm tired
I'm bored
I hate this
it's stupid
I'm bored
my shoes are cold
my pants are falling down
I'm bored

And suddenly I begin to belive that Jillian Micheals is my best friend, and just what would she say to the Grumpasaurus. What would she say to me ? And the thought makes me laugh , and I start teasing the Grumpasaurus that my hair is bored and that my ears are tired and my fingers want to be in Aruba and my pants want ice cream. Grumpasaurus starts to laugh, and then starts to jog. We keep going , and finally the time is up. We are both better for the effort and glad we made it.Suddenly, it's just mom and son once again- the critters have subsided for now.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hello old friend

Perhaps friend is the wrong term to use here. More like Hello old foe that I beat before. I found out the reason why I keep gaining for two weeks, losing for two no matter what I do in regard to exercise, sodium, water intake, using activity points, not using activity points and so forth. The silly thing is, it is not a new revelation, but for some reason i did not factor this in.

I have PCOS- Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. One of the symptoms is infertility , but it's root cause is insulin resistance. Diets low in fat and high in carbs with this condition are much like trying to empty out the ocean with a thimble during a hurricane. Atkins diet helps to lose weight, but causes other problems. South beach is better, but can be very restrictive. However, the principles behind both are worth following. My intake must be high in protien, low in carbs and good fats are much desired. Not only must I select whole grains, but I must pair them with a protien. I must also make triple sure i get in those healthy monosaturated fats and Omega 3's, and resistance training exercises will help do my body very good.

The thing that is making me laugh is that I was diagnosed with this almot 20 years ago and told the most effective cure was to lose 16 percent of my body weight. I followed the old, very carb restrictive Weight Watchers exchanges plan, lost 110 lbs and conccived my son. In my mind I thought that this was the end of my concern with PCOS , for I finally had my baby. However, PCOS does not just go away, and it can impact your health in ways much more devistating than infertility and facial hair. It puts a woman at increased risk for heart attack, diabetes, ostioporosis, ovarian cancer and a lot more. Time to face this dragon once again- back to a slightly different approach for me !

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hello size large !

Hope everyone had a good weekend ! Yesterday was an incredibly lazy, tired kind of day due to a rather restless night before. No good reason for the sleeplessness, but rather the room felt too warm, pillows would not cooperate and my raggy toenails kep scratching my legs.(note to self- do a pedicure today). If left to my own desires, I would have opted to sleep the day away !

However, such luxuries are not meant to be, as we had errands after hubby returned from his singing gigs at church. Must hit the library for materials for the week and must hit Goodwill in a quest for temporary clothes that will not fall off. With three people losing weight and the economy being what it is, Goodwill is a beautiful place. It is also an adventure- you never know what you might find.

Son found a couple of new tops and a sweater, and I decided to take a risk on a pair of pants size large. When we began this journey i was wearing a size 24/26 in everything. While the scale seems to move slow for me and bounce back up a lot, my size keeps going down. However, I still cannot wrap my head around the idea that a size so small fits my body ! However, it does. It amuses the heck out of me. Size large is officially out of the plus size department and now into the "human" clothing options. It means that now I will actually be able to buy those pieces I think are cute in places like Walmart and Target ( I know- so classy!).And it is only going to get better. it is just making me wish I did not wait so long to do this !

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween pic

My son has this tendancy to wait untill the absolute last minute to decides if he is going to dress up, and then as what. He does not like going Trick or Treating, but instead would rather hand out treats to the kids. Weird, but if that is what trips his trigger !

I am thinking about putting this pic on a magnet, placing it on my fridge with a caption like "I'm watching !!!" Could make a great diet helper !

The morning after Halloween

Had a really nice time last night. I love to watch the kids Trick or Treating and the costumes on the little guys are so cute. There was one little girl , about 4, who was dressed as a with but her face was painted like a cat. I giggled, picturing the possible dialog between her and her mom earlier that evening. 'But sweetheart, you have to pick one !", and the defiant, stubborn 4 year old dig in your heels response to that pronouncement. I dare anyone to try to convince a 4 year old of reality !

I am taking her as a role model with my weight loss. I am tired of the loss gain pattern, and i am certain that it has noting to do with miscalculations I am making. Rather than speculating the reason , I am making an appointment with my Naturopath, who has helped me to overcome several health problems in the past. If I was not for him, I would have never conceived my son for one thing. I am suspecting that something is off with the balance in my intake, and if so I want to identify it.

It's going to be a busy sort of day here. Hubby has singing commitments and I have a hot date with my butcher knife, chicken breasts and two pork loins destined to become chops. Son and I will get out for a walk a little later and count the played out pumpkins on the route. One of the saddest things in the world to me is a pumpkin on November 1. It has served it's purpose, and the specters that it kept away now move out to make room for the incoming Ghosts of Christmas yet to come and Turkeys waiting to be basted.