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.