Friday, October 31, 2008

Weigh in

We decided to weigh in early this week. Not because of Halloween goodies ( none here) but because of events this weekend. Hubby has to sing for a big anual Requiem Mass tomorrow on top of his usual Sunday singing schedual and life is going to be rather rushed for him. He took off today so we can get the usual Saturday things done today, so we decided to do weigh in this morning.

Me- up +1.2 pounds. Hormones, may an angry camel find you and spit in your eye !!!!
Hubby- up +1.8 and most likely due to sodium. Company lunch for a meeting with the WORST food( sausage, sauerkraut,perogis ) and got too busy to drink his water needs
Son-down -1.8- yeah son !!!!

Okay, for me I am REALLY disgusted, angry, frustrated and all that jazz about my weight. No matter what i do, no mater how much or how hard I exercise, no matter how much water, health goals, fruits and veggies, fiber, sodium or whatever, I still gain two weeks every single month and lose two weeks every single month. The overall progress is down 40 odd pounds since December, but I am getting SO TIRED of this pattern. I want to be way under 200, I want to be done with this whole weight loss thing once and for all.

Guess there is nothing for it but to grin, bear it, start this as day one and just move on. My mantra for these weeks is "no matter what the scale says, I am better for doing what I am doing than I would be if I did nothing", followed by the satisfaction in knowing that at least my son is still doing great and getting closer to his goal. He was the whole reason we began this journey in the first place.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kiss my crocpot ! Black bean pumpkin chili

Yesterday was one of those busy days with planning, housework and I wanted something really fast, satisfying and point friendly for dinner. This week I am working without a definite menu plan for some reason, so I was looking to see what I had on hand to work with, and my thoughts led to chili. Or at least what we call chili in this house. Son and I have a real sensitivity to different spices, hubby dislikes most beans , so what flies for us may not fly for all. However, for those who love spicy, a can of jalapenos or such could be easily added.

Black Bean Pumpkin Chili- serves 4 ( 4 pts)

1 lb fat free chicken breast( I grind my own to save money)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can solid pack pumpkin OR 2 c cooked butternut squash
1 large jar salsa

brown ground chicken in a skillet in olive oil and place in crockpot. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low for 4 hours

I serve this in big bowls on top of brown rice with a tossed salad on the side. It makes for a very filling, healthy and fairly cheap meal. I wait until chicken breasts go on sale, buy as much as I can carry and then grind it with my Kitchen Aid mixer attachment. Some I turn into different sausage mixes, and some I just leave to use as ground beef. Using boneless skinless breast is one easy option, but it can be done with full breasts. Removing the skin, fat and bones is an easy task with a sharp knife. The savings to the wallet is substantial, and the savings calorie wise makes it even better.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Making a good thing better

It is always a motivator to find positive results of the steps you are taking to improve a situation ! I look at my son and sometimes I do not recognize him. I catch glimpses of myself in the mirror or notice that I suddenly have a whole lot of lap or other such amusing things. All very good and very encouraging, but can simply be window dressing when you get right down to it.

Yesterday we found something that lifted the curtain and gave us a glimpse into the room- hubby got the results of a health screening. I will be honest- waiting for these was a little nervous. He is 53, and it seems almost everyone we know in real life in our age group is having health issues. Most of which are from lifestyle choices, to be honest. but still, you don't live forever and the body does start to get creaky and slower.

I am very pleased to report that hubby is in absolute perfect health. Genetics are on his side, and our lifestyle has aided what God has blessed him with. Big relief, but it inspires us both to do a little more. Take that extra step to prevent future damage and insure that our son will begin to feel Like Prince Charles does when it comes to waiting around for an inheritance.

The next move is to incorporate a few more bean dishes into our diet. We are carnivores, enjoy that style of eating and have experienced no health problems from it so far. However, beans can be beneficial to the body as well as the wallet. Problem is, hubby does not like beans, or so he believes. Part of this is due to his mom, bless her heart. Raising 6 children on a fluctuating income ( FIL was in Sales and paid by commission), her cooking style was more survival than great taste. Her yankee bean soup kept the belly off the backbone, but also made the taste buds want to run away out of boredom. End result, hubby kind of flinches at anything with beans. He really dislikes the taste and texture of pinto beans, and would rather commit Hari Kari than eat a lima or navy bean. I have discovered that he does enjoy lentils and really likes black beans. So my new project is trying to find dishes that use these beans. I am going to try out 3 different bean dishes next week for dinner, and I have engaged my son's aid to help . I think between the two of us we can help Dad to embrace yet another move to help him be the best he can be.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Progress pictures

Pictures of my son's progress so far

To the left, at the start on December 07

To the right, today 70 pounds down and still going strong

Being my own coach

I woke up this morning, and I just wanted to crawl back in bed to sleep all day. Lots of odd dreams last night made for a very restless night and a very tired morning ! Needless to say I did not want to exercise. However, as a mom I have a constant audience who follows my example, so I had to buck it up and get us both moving.Son was the whole reason we began this program this time, he is doing terrific, and we cannot let the good work slip back into old habits. So how can I motivate me ? I thought about some totally silly reasons why I should get moving. Here they are

1. Somewhere in the world there are people who want to exercise but cannot for different reasons. To celebrate my freedom, I must move my butt.Exercising is sort of like flying the flag, burning my bra or voting. It is engaging in my hard earned right to do so. And if I don't , perhaps the ghost of my great grandmother will appear in my next dream and beat me with a placard saying vote for women . Think it won't happen ? Can you guarantee it will not ? Better be safe and get my butt moving.

2. If I do not get out there and walk, the neighborhood squirrels may get the idea that they are winning, and decide the apartment building is fair game to start storing their nuts in.Might make for ample acorns for the human inhabitants to feast on, but squirrels are not very open to sharing and can be quite destructive on man made structures. So to save the building, get out and walk !!!!!

3. My shoes might miss me if I don't do it . Silly ? perhaps. But because I cannot actually hear what they are saying, I do not know for certain that they are happy to exist without me.And who knows how offended shoes might act the next time I put them on. Blister producing ? Corns ? Soles that separate from the rest of the shoe ? Just put them on, walk and make them happy to be safe.

4. My hair wants to be free. After walking I usually shower and torment it by putting in conditioner that makes it behave the way I desire. Dirty hair blowing in the breeze is kind of like Mel Gibson in Braveheart, standing before the throng with a blue face yelling 'FREEDOM !!!". It would be cruel to deny it the opportunity

5. The chairs in this house hurt my butt, which is becoming very bony. Strapping on my shoes and walking will be an opportunity to let my butt be pain free.

6. I will not allow my son to give excuses why we should not exercise, so turn about is indeed fair play.

7. I made a commitment to myself to be the best me I can be. I decided that I want to be healthy, happy and strong, and that is not going to happen by laying around in bed. I may be happier, but certainly not stronger or healthier. You have to get up and move in order to do that.

8. I have to take out the trash anyway, so I might as well go walking while I am out there

9.because I said so

10.Because I said so

So I got myself up, tossed on the sweats, grabbed the trash and my son, and headed out the door. 40 minutes of walking later, I was darned glad I did !

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Questions- or getting to know me

Phoenix Rising posted these questions and challenged her followers to answer. My guilty pleasure in life is that i really have fun doing these and reading them !

  1. What is your occupation right now? Homeschooling , stay at home mom
  2. What color are your socks right now? nekkid feet !!
  3. What are you listening to right now? The wind in the trees
  4. What was the last thing that you ate? a honey crisp apple. Yum !!
  5. Can you drive a stick shift? Nope. And I HATE to drive anything for any reason.
  6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Hubby, who was connecting with me after missing a singing commitment.
  7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Just getting to know her- she seems like a lot of fun !
  8. How old are you today? 50 yrs, 4 months and 25 days( or does that make me 50 1/4 ??)
  9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? Extreme ironing. okay, have not seen it yet, but that is the only sport I would watch i think.
  10. What is your favorite drink? Water
  11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Sure. Several times. I don't any more- I wish my hair would just hurry up and turn all silver.
  12. Favorite food? Bing cherries or steel cut oats
  13. What is the last movie you watched? The pirates who Don't do anything
  14. Favorite day of the year? This one
  15. How do you vent anger? Hammer away on my guitar
  16. What was your favorite toy as a child? Toss up between Chatty Cathy and Spirograph
  17. What is your favorite season? I love them all for different reasons
  18. Cherries or Blueberries? Do I really have to choose ???
  19. Living arrangements? Live with my hubby of 27 years and 16 yr old son. somewhere in the Chiago metro area where urban reality meets wetland beauty
  20. When was the last time you cried? I don't remeber- it has been a while
  21. What is on the floor of your closet? rubbermade totes filled with craft supplies, electronic doo dahs, photos
  22. Who is your closest and dearest friend? My hubby. Honestly and truely. He is not only my soul mate, lover and companion, but my best girlfriend.
  23. What did you do last night? Watched the SNL political show reruns, cut up squash, made chicken stock and did things that embarrassed my son
  24. What are you most afraid of? being the "ceiling"
  25. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? neither- don't like burgers
  26. Favorite dog breed? Irish Setters- living proof that insanity can be a good thing
  27. Favorite day of the week? probably Saturday because i get to shop and chop
  28. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
  29. What is your favorite flower? dog vilots or wild bergamont
  30. What would it take to make you totally and completely happy? no need to do anything- I am there
  31. What's your biggest regret? No regrets at all. Everything happens for a reason and everything is a lesson.
  32. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Breathing
  33. What is your biggest accomplishment? Too many to narrow one down, to be honest.Living through a bear attack, overcoming infertility, living on one income, being happily married for so long, ,homeschooling my son through high school, being a published writer, many more
  34. What is your biggest personality flaw? I can be very sarcastic
  35. What is one of your biggest pet peeves? narrowmindedness
  36. New Years Resolution last year? Did not make one
  37. New Years Resolution this year? I never make them
  38. Do you want your friends to email this back to you? Blog it if you desire !
  39. Who do you think is most likely to respond? No idea
  40. Who is most likely not to resond? Person who never reads blogs

How to have fun on the weekends

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to Mount Chop Me.

What is this ? Approximately 9 heads of assorted lettuce, or what this family of 3 consumes every week since December of 07. Looks like some kind of foliate monster, doesn't it ?? We eat a lot of salads, because we really enjoy them. So every weekend after shopping, I wash, dry and chop up enough lettuce to keep us happy and keep us on program when life gets crazy. Some would shudder at cutting lettuce, and cutting it that far in advance. I have never had a problem with it or noticed any negative quality to it. I cut it up ,put it in ziploc bags, burp out the air and store it in the fridge. I also cut up carrots and celery and store then in tupperwear containers for quick snacks or additions to lunches.

Early on , I came to the realization that part of the reasons why we were eating the way we were was convenience. Granted, I am a stay at home mom and one would think that I have surplus of time to do any number of things. Simply not the case. I also homeschool our son , and this takes priority over anything else. many days we get involved in a topic and time gets away from us. other times when the going gets rough the day ends and I just do not want to think any either of those times there is a compelling desire to just grab food quick. Carry out chicken, burgers, ready made meals all seem like great idea at that time. So if I take the time and make sure I fill our fridge with healthy grab and go options, that is more than half the battle won.

This morning finds my kitchen filled with good things. The fridge is stocked with ready to go salad, veggies and fruits. my freezer is filled with fat free home made chicken stoc, butternut squash puree, frozen veggies, Bocca burgers, marinating chicken bresats, ground chicken and a lot more. it's going to be another good week !

Saturday, October 25, 2008


How many activity points do you get for peeling, seeding and cubing 20 pounds of butternut squash ???

I am making a vat of chicken stock in in crockpot and cooking the said 20 pounds if squash in the other, to puree and freeze. i think my arms are going to fall off !!!

Everybody gains

Weigh in this week, and everyone gained

I am up 1.8
Son is up1.2
Hubby is up 0.6

We were all totally on point, on program, and son and I both got in 20 activity points this week. For me to gain it could be easily dismissed as hormones, but with the guys it is a different story. So what did it ?


Even though we were eating the new V8 line of soups, and I absently bought them without even checking the sodium level assuming they were better, they are still high in sodium and will bring on a gain. So, switch around the menu plan and limit the existing soups to once a week till they are gonr. Then never buy them again.

Deeper lesson still- the hurrier you go, the behinder you get. Quick eats will usually get you into trouble. be it fast food, pre-packaged convenience foods or "short cuts". Our bodies need nourishment, and that nourishment should come from real foods. Real foods take some time to create. It does not take hours to create a meal , but it does take a little more effort. A dinner of soup, sandwich and salad ( grilled cheese or peanut butter) has the same points value as a chicken breads, whole grain, veggie and salad. In some cases it can be higher points value. And, with the meal of a chicken breast you have greater satisfaction. Your body belives that you really ate a meal.

So the lesson for me on this journey is that I have to take the time to make the meals in order to keep us all on track. Menu planning and mount Chop me are simply going to be a fact of life.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dear Wii Fit

Dear Wii fit

First off, let me say that you are a great, fun tool for someone to begin moving, or to use on those days when it is too rainy to do outside work. I have to admit that the Playstation Eyetoy Kinetic will get you moving for a longer duration, but you, my dear Wii Fit have these cute little Mii's and happy music. And where else can I pretend to be a penguin on an ice burg or walk a tightrope across two buildings ?

However, I do have a few complaints about you. The last few days you have told me I have gained weight and I am older than Methusela. This is NOT encouraging talk ! Then you ask me why I have gained weight. Sadly, you do not allow me to select being a perimenopausal woman on Mr Toad's wild hormonal ride as one of those reasons. And then after I log in my fit credits for other activities, you ask me to remind you if I do other activities. It is really making me think that you are not listening to me and that you are very mean !

I hope that we can resolve these issues. It is getting very cold out there and I want to have something other than my stationary bike to work with. I want to embrace you and work with you because I belive you are a lot of fun. However, if I have many more days when you tell me that my fir age is 10 years older than my biological age, I may engage in a new form of exercise. One where I raise you over my head, dash you to the ground vi0olently, and then dance gleefully around your remains.

a VERY frustrated middle aged woman

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Squash in a crock pot ?

I have been considering what kinds of soups my family enjoys. While I enjoy ones that are broth with veggies and so forth in them, the guys really gravitate to cream ones. Or creamy sort of textured ones. In the past they have really enjoyed things like pumpkin peanut Soup or cream of mushroom. Chowders are also a winning option.

I noticed that our local market has winter squashes on sale . Great ! However our oven has been behaving oddly, and I do not like to use it as a result. A thought occurred to me- would it be possble to cook a large amount of butternut squash in the crock pot, puree it and freeze it in small quantities to use to make soups ? I don't see why not. I think I will pick up a bunch this weekend and play with it.

Anyone have any experience with this ?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Notcho Mamas Oatmeal

Adding to the growing body of oatmeal in assorted options - I blame the bloggers at Kath eats Real Food and For the Love of Oats for directing my thoughts to come up with this concoction.As a kid I thought oatmeal was okay and the only thing that ever fancied it up was a sprinkling of raisins. Then I met my husband who loved oats, and learned about adding brown sugar to it. Next was the discovery of steel cut oats and I thought I had found Nirvana. Then one find day I stumbled onto the two blogs I mentioned, and oatmeal will never be the same. Thank you !!!!!!

Notcho Mamas Oatmeal- serves 2
( named because none of our moms would have considered thesde options)

1 cup solid pack pumpkin
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats ( or combine rolled oats and rolled barley flakes)
2 t cinnamon
2 apples, chopped
2T ground flax seed meal
2 T slivered almonds
2 T peanut butter

In a pan combine water, oats and pumpkin. Place on medium heat and stir constantly till oats thicken ( about 5 minutes). remove from heat,divide into two bowls and sprinkle each with 1 t cinnamon, 1 chopped apple, 1 T flax , 1 T almonds and 1 T peanut butter on each. Mix and eat.

WW points- 6 and 2 fruit and veggies servings.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A flaw in the thinking

Just realized something in a rather uncomfortable way today. While eating soups and sandwiches and salad for dinner is convenient, cheap and veggie heavy, it is really hard to get in your healthy oils. Not getting in your healthy oils can lead to being constipated- OUCH ! Both hubby and I discovered this today , so I have to make certain that we get the oils in with a different fashion. This morning I had Cottage cheese , Omega 3 flax cereal, a diced apple and I mixed in a teaspoon of olive oil. Helped the problem straighten itself out. Tonight I will be sure to add another spoon to everyone's dinner.

Water is not a problem to get in, nor is the fruits, veggies and whole grains with this approach. Just have to remember those healthy oils !

Tagged !

Tagged by Phoenix Rising

Here's the deal, go to the 4th photo folder in your computer, and attatch the 4th photo in it!

Here is mine- and for some reason I cannot quite figure out the way Blogger places pictures, so it is above. The photo is of my son and I when he was 4 months old. I had lost 110 pounds to be able to conceive him, had a high risk pregnancy where I gained back 80 of those, and kind of drifted away from the whole weight loss thing because life got absolutely nuts. I believe in this photo I was about the same weight I am now. The backpack was a great thing until he started standing in it with his feet on the frame, grabbing handfuls of my hair, pulling it and screaming with glee. It was funny, but very painful for me !

I was uploading some old pictures the other day and mentally noting the approximate weight I was in each and trying to remember all of the reasons I allowed myself to be at that weight. No judgment about these, just the factors. I think it can become a valuable tool in maintaining weight loss after you get the job done. In this photo I was trying to lose the baby weight and continue the journey that I had started. i did not make it to my goal weight in that attempt. The day I got pregnant I weighed 200 pounds and still had 60 pounds to reach my desired goal of 140. This time I am setting my sights on 160 for a primary goal and then I will see how I feel. 67 pounds to go !

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday and back to normal

Monday, and back to the grind !

Yesterday was a very strange and emotionally charged day. Wound up visiting BOTH mothers with Dementia ( one worse physically and the other worse mentally), catching up on some new drama with the younger generation, and doing the best we could eating at the birthday party. Overall we did very well eating wise, but connecting with family always provokes a whirlwind of feelings.

So this morning son and I set out to walk off the pizza points, enjoy a breakfast of oatmeal with almonds and peanut butter ( yum), and settle into our homeschool activities. Hubby had a health wellness screen this morning, and hopefully the rest of this day will be the comforting "white noise" of normal life.

We plan on continuing the soup and sandwich dinner plan this week again. We all lost and no one was suffering hunger as a result. A simple sandwich ( PB or grilled cheese), a great salad with assorted greens and veggies and a bowl of one of the numerous new yummy soups on the market, and how could one consider it to be less in any way ? In my free moments I want to investigate some recipes for soups I can make from scratch to cut the costs and the impact from not so healthy additives. Several of the blogs I have been following have some great ideas ( kath eats real food and For the love of oats to name a few). I want to try their recipes. I know how to make soup, but my soup has been more of survival fare than taste treat. Time to sharpen another skill !

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sore !

Aren't these little mushrooms cute ???

We started our day off yesterday with a hike in the woods. A lovely thought for a very cool fall morning, but perhaps not the best one for me. I had forgotten how the forest can be very damp, and damp plus cold make for a not so nice time with arthritis. We managed to walk the whole trail and find some lovely little things on the way, but I was very sore when we finished. After the woods, of to do our shopping and errands, and between them all i was walking around for more than 2 hours. My legs got very sore from it all, and then once we got home I spent about 4 hours cutting and prepping veggies and such. It is great to have it all done ahead of time, but boy am I sore this morning !

We bought some Better Than peanut butter to try and wound up having soup and peanut butter sandwiches with a big salad for dinner. I hate to say it, but I would rather spend my points on real peanut butter. It tastes too sweet and not enough peanut for my preference. Live and learn i guess.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Weigh in

It seems that the move to change over to soup and sandwich type dinners is paying off . Everyone experienced a loss

Me- down 0.6 ( total loss 42.8 lbs)
Hubby - down 1.6 ( finally broke out of the 250's- YEAY !!!( total loss 39.2 pounds)
Son- down 4.0 !!!!! (total loss 69.2 pounds)

Total lost since December 07-151.2 pounds

We were able to walk 5 days out of 7 as well as changing our eating plan. Still the same Weight Watcher points approach, but just spaced out a little more. We all enjoy a snack in the evening, a snack in the afternoon and 3 meals during the day. Sometimes now the evening snack is more points than dinner, but it is working.

Errands today, a planned walk in the woods and then a visit to my mom's in the evening, Will be a full day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rest Day

Rest days- I am beginning to get in a better head space about these !

I have found that I tend to be an all or nothing kind of gal, and it is hard to find a balance. It was easy to get to that place with food, but for some reason not so with exercise. I have struggled with the idea that it is good, mhealthy and acceptable to take a day off and give your muscles a chance to catch up .

However, this morning I am really tired and sore. It feels like my joints have been pounded on and my head does not want to come out fom a sleep state. Perhaps it is a cold coming on or perhaps it is a reaction to the turmoil of this week. I do not know and i am not going to stress about it. I will take this day of rest and enjoy it. Weigh in is tomorrow morning and i am hoping that we have all had a good week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sticking to it in the Storm

It seems that boys and dogs are meant to be together, and yesterday my son got a chance to make a new best friend in my sister's new puppy.

Yesterday was a real challenge to stay on program. My mom, 70, has dementia, and they are trying to find medications to best help her. She had a very bad reaction to her current one , started hallucinating, and I had to drop everything to go up there to be with her till she was able to throw off the affects. So I had to grab program friendly foods for three to take with us. Yogert, Fiber One Bars, dried fruit, V8, snack pack pudding. We are low at the moment on fresh veggies and totally out of fresh fruit till Saturday, so it was not an ideal set up meeting an unexpected scenario.

Have you considered how you can stay on program when emergencies happen ? Most of us seem to let those emergency events sabotage us. Illness, emergency travel, death in the family and such happen to us all and make it really hard to stay on program. However ,if we are dealing with this for life,is it not something that we should consider ?

For myself, it seems that there will be many of these "emergency" days in my future. Dementia has no cure and the burden of care will grow. There will be days when I have to pack up and head up there- still homeschooling and still maintaining weight loss.I plan on purchasing a thermal lunch box big enough to hold a days food for son and myself, stocking up on portion sized containers and keeping healthy foods on the shelf - those beyond what is needed for the week. This way when the all comes again, I can pack up and go without having to give a lot of thought to my own goals. No think- just do.

The words from an irish folksingers song come to mind for me

" I am ready for the storm, yes I'm ready !"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sore !!!

It was bound to happen. You do not work on building a new you without some pain. Becoming a new thing is a form of giving birth, and every birth is accompanied by blood, sweat and pain.

It is humid this morning, and my thighs feel like they weigh 500 pounds. We headed out for our walk this morning, early enough to beat the rain, and both son and I were dragging our tails. After 20 minutes it was not getting any better, so we decided to go back in and declare today a day of rest. I looked at my son and told him his hair was crazy looking, and there is a law in Idaho that if you have crazy hair, you must take special precautions. He laughed, and decided that this was a great idea.

It's not that we will do nothing this day. I plan on doing some much needed housework and menu planning for the week ahead along with our homeschool activities. But as far as gym type exercises, it is officially Crazy Hair Day for today. A day of rest ( as long as it does not evolve into weeks of rest) , is a good thing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hidden benefit of exercise

I think I discovered one of the hidden benefits of exercise- better sleep !

Ever since I have stepped up my own fitness efforts, I have been able to fall into a deeper sleep, faster, and really not want to get out of bed in the morning. However, once I get out I feel that I have been totally refreshed and renewed. Son is also sleeping better as a result.

Son and i got out for our walk and then i did a session with my bike in the afternoon. Last night hubby suggested that we do a session of Wii fit, as it has been six days since out last session. I am glad that he did suggest it- I have been pretty concerned about his attitude recently. We simply did the body test, but it was enough to get us started, and enough to change the mood of things. After dinner we wound up watching some TV ( Dancing with the Stars and John and Kate plus Eight) , and I did some very minor ab work. By 8:30 we were so zoned out that we turned in and slept pretty solid till about 4 am. I kept rolling over to snooze more till 6 am- and that seems to have become my new pattern since stepping up the exercise. It's a good thing !

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday and invading geese

While out walking this morning, we were joined , sort of , by a small gaggle of geese. Five stragglers from some flock that determined our complex was an ideal place to land for a break. At first I thought they might actually run into us in their landing, but not so. They decided the road was the perfect place to land and rest, so with each lap we had to dodge the geese. It was comical ! Son started yelling Honk Honk at them, and they were totally unphased by his greeting. Tenacious Foul indeed .

It made for a smile on an otherwise grey sort of morning. Our temps went from fall like back to summer this weekend, and with it has come some grey skies. Not a good scenario to get moving to !

I am hoping to get out for a walk 5 mornings this week. Will make for a better weigh in next Sayurday !

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Switching things up

Managed to get out for a second walk in the woods yesterday, and this one had more colors than the last. It was just so nice to take in the sights and the smells of the season !

I had my egg beater veggie omlette for breakfast this morning, and I think I really prefer something with oats for breakfast these days. It seems to stick with you longer, and there are more flavor possibilities. Yesterday I made my own version of pumpkin oats, and we were all quite content until lunchtime, and then we opted for cottage cheese and pineapples for the meal. Oats just seem to stay.

We are trying something different this week. Instead of having the standard dinner meal on the weeknights, we are opting for a simple meal of soup, salad and sandwich. it costs less, takes less prep time and we are all very pressed for time on the weeknights. Taking time out for a full dinner seems to be one of the factors that keeps hubby from working out with me in the afternoons. He does not want me to be rushed and pressured to feed everyone and work out at the same time. Another reason is that we are all suddenly quite attracted to peanut buter. As silly as it sounds, a peanut butter sandwich is suddenly much more appealing than a chicken breast in any form. Perhaps it is an affect of the fall. This feels very odd to me. I was raised in a house where dinner had to be a big meal and it had to be served the minute Dad got home. The idea of having a sipmle sandwich was like having the laws of gravity cease to apply to the universe. In truth, I think it is healthier to consume more calories earlier in the day and eat light in the evening. More chance to burn off calories just through living that way. We shallsee if that holds true with next weeks weigh in.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fall morning

Just a picture of the woods we went for a walk in this morning. Not as bright colors as some years, but I will take it !

Slow, slow

Weigh in this week, and the progress is slow for most, negative for one.

Son lost 0.2- he has been losing like gangbusters for most of the time, so it is not surprising that things have slowed. It is still progress, and he is not the least bit discouraged.

I lost 0.8 , and it means that I may have actually broiken through this stupid hormone driven cycle of gain. It means that I am going to have to be very vigilant about my level of aerobic exercise from now on.

Hubby has sadly gained 1.2 lbs. I know what he is going to have to do ( step up the exercise), but it is another thing to find how to do this without making him suddenly get frustrated and give the whole thing up. And another part of that equation is going to be helping him change the attitude that he has to stay at this weight because of the expense of replacing clothes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sometimes the most well meaning people...

Yesterday while discussing the benefits of our daily walks with my son, something occurred to me. DH and I seem to have a totally different level of body awareness , and I wonder how this detail has missed my awareness for so long. We have been together as a couple since 1979 and married since 1981, so where has my head been with this ? It is not the first time I have discovered the obvious about him over the years, and each time I do it amuses me. It's kind of like finding an unexpected gift in the laundry basket or such.

I have been overweight my entire life, but had been very active as a child. I swam like a fish, camped, backpacked, hiked, played kickball or soccer and most evenings of my teen years were spent walking ith friends the whole night. Hubby had a different sort of childhood where he did a few things with Scouts, but spent his childhood beanpole thin and in less athletic pursuits. His weight did not become an issue until after we became parents. Once this happened, neither of us was prepared for the tidal wave that hit us. Any amount of physical activity we engaged in was tossed out the window with the high risk pregnancy and then parenting our Autistic son. Some issues in life just scream so loud that you no longer hear anything else that clammors for attention.

As we move on in our collective journey, son and I have become more active and hubby has become less day to day. There has been a real increase in the physical demands of his job of late, so it is not that he gets no activity. However, he has kind of given up on doing Wii fit together with me in the evenings, figuring that because I walked and biked , all is good.He has also given up doing the bike because he does not want to be away from me ( give me a break !). My exercise may be good for me, but it is not going to help him. My body is only capable of burning calories for me, not him.

So I wonder just how I can spark him with this ? How can I inspire him to get bak on this track ? He seems to be afraid to push on, mainly because of the cost of having three people need new clothes soon because of the economy. Once again he sees problems as a dead end, where as I see them as Detour signs. You just have to approach things in a different way to get the job done. I am begining to think that this reason is a mask for something much deeper. More importaint, how to I prevent this from derailing both my self and my son ? It's going to take some thinking.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Putting the scale in perspective

By Jove, I think she's got it !!!

I have a real desire to be under 200 pounds by the end of this year, and being early October with the scale saying 229, I think it is a reasonable goal. I know how to do this- stay withing points for intake, get in my health goals and get in the activity. I have been doing this and it has got me 41 pounds lighter in almost a year. It could have been more, but due to the fact that I am dealing with menopause and insane hormone patterns, it is what it is.

My father summed me up quite accurately as a child when he called me a hard head. I was the kid that you told no and then worked my damnedest to prove you wrong. it caused some rather interesting times in my younger years, but as an adult has served me well. I do not accept the status quo or pronouncements that something is and must be because ..... ( you fill in the blank). I have this strange sense that that was then, this is now, that was them, this is someone else and rules are meant to be broken. It is starting to apply to my weight loss journey as well.

Amongst those in Weiht Watcher circles, there is a popular saying that you should only weigh once a week, the scale lies and only the scale at your meeting counts. All completely untrue , by the way. Statistially those who have a healthy maintanable weight step on every day. Your Doctor and your insurance companybelive very much in that number, and not that you suddenly fir in last years jeans or that you feel lighter. The scale does not have a personality, an agenda or attitude. it is an innanamate object that measures the energy of your gravitational pull termed as weight. Nothing more, nothing less. That number is a number- nothing more and nothing less. I have decided to not listen to the myths for the last two weeks in an attempt to isolate what I might be doing that is working with my hormone shifts and causing me to gain wo weeks out of the month. In other words, trying to learn just what I can do to break out of this pattern. So every morning I weigh myself in an attempt to learn what is working and what is not. last week was a steady loss, but this week has been a steady gain, in spite of being perfectly on program and increased activity ( minimum of 60 minutes of aerobic work every day).

I was feeling very anxious about this yesterday, and then suddenly I started remebering who I was when i started this journey. I felt really bad. I was constantly tired, in pain and just walking down to the mailbox seemed like a marathon. I coud do one thing eah day, and that was it because of lack of energy and pain. I was wraping my life around food and using food as a subsitute for all the things in life I was missing out on beause of lack of energy and pain. And guilt.

Now, I am a lot more active, a lot more mobile and as a family we are doing so much more. I am not the same person who started the journey, and neither are the guys. Now I can even consider the possibility of someday doing something like one of the various walks for charity. I can even begin to considder....gasp...running !

One I began thinking about this, somehow the number on the scale seemed less importaint. It is still a goal, but it seems that the me inside is showing results a lot faster than the innanimate object is. Knowing this is helping me to breath a little easier.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Progress on two fronts

Now this is some kind of progress - we finished with school, had been out for our morning walk and all felt good. After lunch we were both feeling kind of restless so i suggested to son that we go out for a second walk. After looking at me like I might be crazy, he agreed to go. So we took a 30 minute walk around the complex to see what we could see.

Once back in the building we bumped into a neighbor who looks at my son and asks "have you been losing weight ?" Son smiles and says yes and I mention that he has lost 65 lbs so far. Then the neighbor starts saying how he would like to lose weight, and I kind of chuckled . He did not appear to be overweight to my eyes, but I think everyone wants to improve themselves in some way these days.

Son was really pumped. not only did a "stranger" notice, but he felt a lot better for our second walk of the day. Ditto that feeling for mom !

What's better ?

Know what feels better that the way chocolate tastes ?

The way baggy clothes that were once tight feel !

Know what's better than the discovery of a new flavor of Ben and Jerry's ?

The discovery of hip bones !

Know what's better than the feel of eating a whole bag of sunchips ?

The gloowing feeling that comes after a 45 minute aerobic work out!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Grey mornings are always hard for me to find motivation it seems ! This morning is cold and grey and i would just like to be a slug. I could indeed be a slug as I have exercised every day for the last 10 now. However there is this new me who seems to get a panic-y feeling ant the thought of a day without exercise.

Another reason to act slug-like is due to a conversation I recently had with a friend. What were the reasons you felt safe as a fat person ? Sounds crazy, but the truth is there was something very comforting about being overweight, and each of us had our own reasons for finding comfort in that state. Doing the work to lose the weight is only part of the effort needed to get you to goal. The other part is to uncover the motivations that made you believe that state was so desirable, address them and teach them a new way to walk. Without that, you will soon find yourself right back where you started from. It is true. I had lost 110 pounds before I conceived my son, and found myself very close to the point where I had started from.

I have been working on uncovering my own motivators, and it is enlightening to say the least. On the other hand there is a part of me that wants so badly to get the job completely done that I want to linger on the thoughts, making certain I have uprooted all of those roots. They are deep and branch out underground. I do not want to go along , thinking I am done with that work, only to discover a new crop of growth poking up at a later date.

Hmm...why not try pondering while I am pedaling ??? Son's ankle is still tender, so walking is out today.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Twists and bumps

Monday morning, and back to school and routine !

Yesterday we had planned on going to a pumpkin farm to get a gourmet Carmel apple to split between the three of us, but it was raining and cold, so we skipped the idea. Got in walking at the grocery store instead- if you do it right you can log on quite a bit of activity points at big stores. Think of mall walkers, with a shopping cart. Dinner was weird last night because time got away from us. I put lean pork strips in the crock pot with apples, onions and spices, and had planned to serve it with a veggie, a starchy grain and a salad. We go back home late, had a late snack and just were not hungry for the whole thing, so we had the pork and a tossed salad. It felt weird but at the same time free-ing to break the "if it is -- o'clock, it must be __ meal" mentality. Eat according to appetiete- what a concept !

This morning we went out for a walk which got cut short. Son stepped wrong and turned his ankle, so we ended our session after 20 minutes. I decided it would be fine for him to take a rest from exercise and I would make up the time on my stationary bike. For some reason my legs felt really heavy, and it was making my lower abdomen feel the same in a kind of sympathy. Shortly afterwords I learned why. Second visit for the red hatted aunt this month ! I am in perimenopause, trying to go through this process without HRT, so there are times of surprize. Bad news is, this normally has meant a serious gain for the week. I am not going to focus on that possibility, but instead try my level headed best to at least maintain this week- if not lose ! No matter how bad it is, it would only be worse if I did nothing.

At least there is one plus with "visits" at this time of life for me. They do not bring monstrous chocolate cravings !

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The best laid plans...

What a crazy day ! First off, I woke up at 3:30 am thinking about the oat creation we had for breakfast, decided to have the same again this morning and I could not wait. Is that stupid or what ? Anticipating breakfast in the same way a little kid anticipates Christmas Morning. It made me laugh to think at the absurdity of it. I was not hungry, but just wanted to experience the taste again. I fiddled around on the computer and then hit the exercise bike for 15 minutes and then the guys woke up. I was so happy ! We could eat breakfast !!!

The rest of the morning was busy with commitments and the hubby stopped to pick up subs for lunch at Subway. I was just getting hungry , and the foot long veggie sub left me pretty stuffed. ( note to self- the 6 inch one would be a better choice next time. I can no longer eat that much !). Then we planned to head out to a pumpkin farm, but it started to rain and as we got close to the place saw that it was a mob scene. We were not planning on getting pumpkins, but rather one gourmet caramel apple to bring home and split three ways. It is a family tradition to get one of these every year, and we saved our weekly Flex Points to spend on this , a chocolate dipped pretzel and a doughnut. ( Traditional fall junk food from our old days). We chose instead to go to our local produce market , buy some good apples, some low fat caramel dip and Irish cheese to eat at home. Cheaper, healthier, and satisfying. Thank you, Flex points !!!

Well by the time we got home it made for a late but substantial snack, dinner was already in the crock pot, so we made some weird sorts of adaptations to the meal in progress. End result was a day of less food for more points, but still pretty darned healthy.

It is funny how your body adjusts to eating a certain volume of food. At first it feels like a real challenge, but in time it becomes your new normal. I think every once in a while it is a good practice to shake things up a little. It gives your metabolism a rev up and prevents a plateau.

I am tired tonight. I will try not to think about oats in the middle of the night tonight !

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Weigh in and fall colors

The guys on our walk this morning.

Good week weight wise. I lost 2.6 lbs, hubby lost 1.4 pounds and son lost 0.2 pounds. I think he has arrived a a kind of plateau after his 60 + lbs weight loss. it happens- the body needs time to catch up and balance out.

Cool busy morning. We hit a local forest preserve for a short walk before grocery shopping. We had planned on being able to take a longer walk today , but scheduling conflicts made it impossible. So you do what you can and the job gets done, a little at a time. Reduced activity because of time constraints will always beat no activity because of time constraints !

Friday, October 3, 2008

Oats, I almost forgot you !

Cold morning + hot oatmeal= BLISS !!!

I had forgotten how much i love rolled oats in the morning. I have been eating a veggie omlette for breakfast almost every morning for close to a year,but this morning we were out of egg beaters. Egg beaters plus vegetables has made a very satisfying, low point breakfast that stays will me. Also gets a really good jump on those veggie servings for the day.

I am thinking that I need to start eating oats for breakfast more often, and perhaps move the veggie omlette to my lunch meal. I could have the best of both worlds that way. Alternate these with Bocca burgers and it makes for two low point meal options.

Weigh in tomorrow. I belive we all had a good week. Plan is to head out early in the morning to go hiking or walking somewhere before hitting the grocery store and then comming home to deal with Mount Chop Me. It will also be our Saturday Night Ritual- the biggest loser picks a family board game, we read the Sunday paper and have our weekly ice cream ( we all save our flex points for this). I love Saturdays, and not because of the ice cream. It is just such a nice way to really connect with each other after some rather crazy events during the week.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thinking about the future in light of the past

Halloween 1994- close to my heaviest weight ever( my son is the box of french fries, I am the pumpkin)

Yesterday afternoon I was digging through old pictures, trying to look for a very specific photo, and coming across snapshots from so many moments of my life. So many brought smiles to my face, but then there were some that just made me cringe. Those cringing ones were always due to my weight, and it made me wonder just how did I get so big and not notice ?

I have been overweight my entire life, but it seems that after my son was born I got in even worse shape. Part of it was the normal hormonal baby weight issues, but a bigger part was due to stress eating. We had this wonderful baby at long last, but this wonderful baby was not hitting developmental milestones in the proper time and not acting at all like other normal children. The mystery and frustration at the mystery brought me to deal with stress he best way I knew how- through food. If nothing else in life appeared to be normal, at least our table would look like a "normal", traditional family. I cannot fix the problems with my son, but I can offer the whole family a quick shot at food amnesia through a big pan of homemade cinnabons. Or fresh baked bread. Or cookies. Or just about anything made with lots of cream of mushroom soup or sour cream, and topped with mounds and mounds of cheddar cheese.

Now combine this with the total lack of full length mirrors in the house,no scale and a very busy life, and you have the perfect recipe for obesity in the extreme. Top that off with financial problems and deep discount food stores , and the picture is complete. It is a cant fail formula.

So I have asked myself what moves can I take to insure that this does not happen again ? These are a few things that have come to mind.

1. ALWAYS have a working scale in the house
2. BUY a full length mirror
3. REALIZE a good walk is going to do more for family bonds and comfort than any food
4. STOCK UP on foods that are weight friendly like whole grains
5.BEAT STRESS with a quick sprint on the stationary cycle
6. EXPLORE the possibilities in your neighborhood on foot. Walking to somewhere or walking to find something is a lot more appealing than just walking- and you never know what you will discover. It makes the world seem more open to you, which makes your own ocean seem larger. Everyone is given the same amount of trouble in life ( salt). Their ability to taste the salt is determined to the size of the vessel of water they dump it in. Small cup, you really taste it. Pour it in something the size of a lake and you will not notice it at all. I think it's a better kind of amnesia

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Biggest Loser and pop tarts

We watched The Biggest Loser last night, and I was yelling at the screen for them to start moving while they were in the Grand Canyon. NOBODY needs a gym to get fit- you only need to move in ways that your body is not used to in order to build muscles and more efficiently burn fat. I kind of smirked when Jillian and bob told them all the same thing.

But lest i sound like a know it all or something, I did spend the show sitting and munching a Pop Tart. No, not your regular pop tart , but a new one put out by Fiber One. Looks like pop tarts, smells like pop tarts, tastes like pop tarts, but are two points per pop tart. It's nice to be able to give into a junk food craving and not blow your whole program.

Hubby bought these when he stopped off at the store for some fruits and veggies and yogurt. I had shared with him the Hungry Girl newsletter talking about these pop tarts a while back and he thought they would be a nice treat for our son, who used to inhale boxes of pop tarts. He is such a nice dad ! Actually it is a good opportunity to help my son deal with one of his trigger foods in a way that is safe. We have ben incorporating some of our old trigger foods just to practice managing our intake of these. They will always be around, and there will be times when our paths cross, so best strategy is not to completely avoid them, but learn how to enjoy them sensibly.

I don't think these will become a regular item in our pantry, but every once in a while they will show up. We all seem to like the Fiber One bars a lot more.