Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Love Dinner

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ouch !

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

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

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

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday morning

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Spaghetti Couscous and abs

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Weigh in

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

Me- up 3.2
Hubby up 1.6
son up 1.6

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

Friday, December 26, 2008

A gift to myself

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas !

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All is calm

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

May your day be merry and bright !

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The eve of the eve

Baby, it's cold outside !!!

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

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dispelling a myth and getting to know me

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another week, another weigh in

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

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

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

Friday, December 19, 2008


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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

So pretty !

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

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

And here are the guys

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

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm in love !

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday morning calm

Nice lazy Sunday morning here !

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

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

Saturday, December 13, 2008

weigh in Week 53 I think

Good week for us all

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

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

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

Friday, December 12, 2008

Clothes shopping and Christmas lights

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

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

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

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Noticing some changes

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Now that's more like it !

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

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

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lose some, win some

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

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

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

Monday, December 8, 2008

Playing with food

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

Buffets can be good

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Very Veggie Omlette

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

Very Veggie omlette- Core

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

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

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Changing to Core

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

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

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

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


Weigh in

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

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

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dear lungs

Dear Lungs.

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

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

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

The Management

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It makes me laugh !

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

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

More Snow

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

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

Off to walk and start school !

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Breakfast and meeting the stairs

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 1, 2008

The first snow of the winter

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