Thursday, September 30, 2010


Something must be working correctly, because yesterday for the first time in a long while, I had an attack of the absolute, completely genuine hungries ! It was not for lack of eating  and not because of some perception of want, but actual, genuine hunger. The kind that is so intense that it makes you nauseous and consider for food value in linoleum tile. For my body, this is usually a sign that I am starting to lose weight, and if I can ride it out till the next planned meal or snack, all will be well. I grabbed a cup of green tea to see if the heat and liquid would deaden the growl, and then considered doing something with my hands to prevent me from just grabbing something ( which would lead to a lot of somethings) and de-railing my day. My head raced through the catalog of possible things and decided to give making this a go

An origami crane . So beautiful. So delicate ! In the oriental world cranes are sometimes used to indicate the souls of the dead, and  since I learned of that belief I have wanted to make 1,000 cranes to decorate my home with for Halloween . Only problem is, I cannot seem to get the hang of origami ! Try and try as I might, I seem to have dyslexic paper folding skills. I have tried watching a real human, reading directions in books, watching Youtube how to sorts of videos, and no success. I gave it the ole college try again and again, kept winding up with something that looks like a misshapen box crushed by a freight train, AND got a paper cut in the process. An origami injury- what talent !!!

Eventually I gave up. It was time to make dinner, and happily my hunger was under control. One day I will master the art and have my 1,000 cranes made. And one day soon I will fit into a size 6

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Perhaps it is the cooler fall temperatures, perhaps it is the more predictable pace of life, perhaps the change in eating, but we are all sleeping better these days. Sleep is good. Sleep is important for overall health and weight loss. It seems you only learn to respect sleep when you are not getting enough !

I sat down yesterday and planned the menu for next week. A required thing to do in order to keep everyone on track, insure everyone is staying at the proper level of points AND to insure we have enough food available to accomplish this. I planned 7 days of 3 meals  with snacks for 3 people at 3 different point levels, and afterwords announced that any variation from the plan would result in immediate death of the one who strayed. A bit rough, a bit like a warden, but after 6 hours with a cookbook and calculator, I was a little stressed out. And then afterwords I had a terrifying thought. What if this is not working for us ? What happens if Saturday rolls around  and we see another gain ? We will be locked into another week of a bad for us plan.And if this plan was not working, what next ???

I watched The Biggest Loser last night, and I am completely over that show. I see no inspiration, find no motivation, and I am even starting to heckle Dr Huzinga ! I switched to Glee instead ( pure fun) and flipped to catch the last few minutes of Dancing with the stars and the latest episode of 19 Kids and Counting. All seemed to be more compelling viewing than  Bob and Jillian. Seems the show is also way down in the ratings as well. One reason is the shows they are up against this season. Perhaps another reason could be that everyone is getting a little jaded about the weight loss journey and the problem of obesity in general.Not sure, but it seems that people would rather watch dancing and high school singing drama instead of people sweating and puking .

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

But why can't I eat like a boy ???

I felt something that I have not felt in a long time-depravation !

I know it was not based in reality at all, but rather an emotional response. I made breakfast for Nick and I - an egg beater veggie omlette with laughing cow light cheese , turkey bacon and a half of a grapefruit, which was a very bountiful breakfast. 6 points or all of that , and then I added a point for the creamer in my coffee. Nick required more , so I added a carton of low fat yogurt, a bagel thin and a glass of kiefer to bring him up to his needed 13 points per mean, and suddenly my breakfast looked tiny ! It's funny what perspective will do to you . I told myself it was just a mind game and moved n to the rest of the tasks for the morning. School, cleaning, correspondence, and it rolled around to 10 am, which is the planned snack time for him. 13 points per meal plus 10 snack points is a lot of food, and snack times are a good way to keep the metabolism consistent. I was not hungry, and chose to save my snack points for afternoon or evening, but watching him eat his cheese stick and fruit made me think a snack would be a good thing. I resisted, because it was head hunger and not body hunger. Back to the tasks of the day and all was well till we hit lunch time, and once again his caloric needs required more food. What looked like a totally adequate meal before viewing his was suddenly skimpy looking.

I remembered some of the skills I learned a long time ago to cope with these feelings, and I was kind of amused to see them entering my headspace again. Kind of like getting a visit from the closet monster or the thing that hid under your bed as a child. Easily vanquished now, but invokes a small feeling of nostalgia for the old you. When I lost my 110 pounds I learned the power of distraction over the beast known as head hunger. I busied myself with a study project that I would be loathe to get any food stains on . It prevented me from eating , and in a short time the feelings were gone as I happily buried myself in the project. Later in the evening , after dinner, we all had snack points to use , but the guys had so many that they needed a mini meal. I was feeling a little frazzled about calculating points, shifting menus and just the "unfairness " of the nutritional needs of men vs women, and I decided to do something that was "girly" and would keep me from eating- painted my nails ! I have a real thing about smudged nail polish, and as it totally dried I was able to sit, think and remind myself of all the reasons why we were doing this. It worked !

I see a lot of nail  polish and study projects in the days ahead .

Monday, September 27, 2010

Junk food ???

Another good day yesterday- used 28 of 28 points, got our for a walk and made all kinds of good choices.

The guys went to go sing at choir in the morning, and I was given some quiet time to do planning, pondering and so forth. I kind of needed the time because with the shift back to the WW 123 points I am now feeding 3 different people at 3 different point levels, and it takes a little effort to get back into that mindset. Truth of the matter is, in order to lose weight you MUST eat enough calories to get your metabolic rate up consistently. One of the big contradictions of the Weight Watchers plan often is that you wind up eating more than you did before you attempted weight loss, but it is something that has worked for countless people.This caloric requirement is calculated according to your weight, height, age, sex, activity level , and is not a simple "shot in the dark". Thus brings in the amazing needs of a teenage boy ! I am at 28 points- a pretty comfortable level if you make good choices. Bob is at 35- comfortable and requires some snacks or extra servings.Nick is at an amazing 49 points level . This is almost DOUBLE my intake needs, and it takes a bit of thinking to figure out how to get that amount of healthy food into him. My survival strategy is to break everyone's number down into points per meal and allow for some snacks. Meals are going to be based on the lowest needs( mine) and the difference made up through snacks or extras on the plate. My number is 8, which allows me 4 snacking points during the day. Nick's breaks down to 13 per meal and 10 snacking points per day  ! Clearly, more food was going to be needed. So we went off to the store in search of more fruit , cheese and bread, and it dawned on me that even with this, it was going to be hard to make up the difference, so I did something I have not done in ages- I bought cookies ! Oreo cookies to be specific. He has been drooling over these( one of his previous favorite cookies) and one of these cookies is 1 point.He is going to get to have 3 Oreo's and milk with his lunch, and suddenly I became a hero in his eyes .

This has gotten me thinking about junk food in a whole new way. If you are meeting your nutritional needs ( protein, calcium, vegetables, fruits, grains, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals) and you still need to get more calories, you can either deep fry your foods or consume a little junk food.It is quick energy and caloric-ally dense. It can help to keep your metabolism up to snuff. It is only bad when it becomes your sole source of nutrition.

We also swung by Trader Joes, and for the first time ever I was able to buy some of their frozen fish and vegetables. We tried some eggplant and zucchini mix last night , and it was very good. Tonight I am going to try some of their cod. I am looking forward to it- several people have talked about how much they like their products, and for lack of a cooler and distance, I could only read about your finds. Now that I remembered to bring mine, bring it on !!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Tale of two breakfasts

Yesterday was the first day of "Back to the points", and I did well. I am allowed 28 points, but managed to come in at w27 for the day. I could have grabbed a piece of fruit to put me at the perfect points range, but I was not hungry, so I decided to bank a point. ( For those who have never done the WW points thing, you can "bank" a point or two each day to use for something big within the week. You are also allowed 35 bonus points per week,This is why people on WW sometimes are seen eating a candy bar, ice cream sundae, fast food burger. It is because you can- just not every day !) Getting back to calculating points was a momentary creaky, rusty wheel turning, but then once I began  it was like breathing. Trying to keep track of the points for 3 different people at 3 different point levels, well that is going to require a lot of post it notes for a while !

One thing I was really shocked about was how Wilford Brimley  may have been doing me wrong ! How may you ask ? Through Oatmeal . While on the surface oatmeal is a very healthy food ( high in B vitamins, fiber, protein and a whole grain) , it is not the best choice for someone losing weight . Here are the points values for two breakfasts- one clean eating, one not so clean eating

Overnight oats ( 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1 c lowfat blueberry keifer, 1serving frozen blueberries, a sprinkle of cinnamon) - 6 points ( clean eating option)
Cheese Omelett ( 1 serving of egg beaters cooked in a microwave with a squirt of pam and q wedge laughing cow light cheese) 1 point ( not so clean eating option)

And the other thing about the overnight oats is for many people they will feel hungry  about mid morning because of the high carbohydrate( turn into sugar) hit to the bloodstream. The egg breakfast, for many people, will keep the blood sugar ( and hunger) stable for a longer period of time.

Numbers do not lie.The numbers are based on scientific calculations, which is the only language your body chemistry reads.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Seems there are new laws of the universe

Another week down, and we come to the official season of fall. Bring on the colors, the crisp cool nights , the smells of fireplaces used for the first time this season and the sounds of geese flying overhead !

I admire the geese. They hang together in a formation, and instinctively know exactly which way to go  to get to their desired environment. Something deep within them tells them what they need to know and what to do. We humans require maps and the services of others to get where we want to go . I think geese may be my new weight loss hero ! Anything that  knows what to do and how to do it is my weight loss hero these days .

Our week was more settled, eating was back to predictable, and I switched myself and Nick to a meal plan of more focus on protein than on carbs . I also kept my intake to 1500 calories or less for 6 days out of 7. Sunday was a celebration of one of the 8 holidays I observe, and there was cheese, grapes and wine involved. A LOT of cheese, but there were 6 days of 1500 calorie eating and healthy habits to offset it. Sleepwise , it was a very bad week for me with a lot of tensions and anxiety. My youngest sister has been having female troubles- in the form of a heavy period for 25 days with a lot of tissue passing. She went to the ER and they found a mass on her uterus. Further tests revealed that is is a fibroid tumor, she was given hormones, but it did not stop the bleeding. She is currently going through a medical roller coaster because of her insurance, where they will not do anything surgically to remove the tumor until she undergoes genetic counciling to see what is the best treatment course . This is insane on several levels- first , she has had a tubal 15 years ago and here are no children in her future. Second, while family history may point clues, her bloodwork and biopsy's will show if she herself has cancer ( a possibility with fibroids and a strong possibility with our family history), and the rest is just basic CYA on the insurer's part. Third, she cannot be seen by the counselor till November, and she is STILL bleeding.She is looking for another doctor, fighting with her insurance, stressing , and I have been trying to help her with my own practices. At least she is now feeling well enough to do something to just enjoy life for an evening now at least- they went to a concert for the evening and got a much needed mental health break.

So, this morning we stepped on the scale

Me- UP 1.4
Nick - UP 1.2
Bob- DOWN 0.8

Can I scream ???According to the science of weight loss, Nick and I should be losing, but gained. Then again, according to the old rules of intelligence, my sister should have gone in for medical treatment and had the bleeding stopped, so obviously common sense is no longer applicable on a couple of fronts. Good news for Bob though- not only did he lose, but he had a health care screening exam and the preliminary tests show that he has dropped his blood pressure again. The results of his bloodwork will be in three weeks from now.

Weight wise, I think i am going back to what we started with at the beginning of this journey- Weight Watchers 123 points.You are assigned a certain level of points per day according to your weight, gender, height , age and activity level. You need to get in 2 healthy fats, 2 dairy, 3 fruits whole grains, lean meats  and 8 glasses of water. Points are calculated according to calories fat and fiber. I stopped doing the program in favor of focusing on other health goals like clean eating, less chemicals and more natural ingredients, and it seems ever since I have been struggling. So starting today, I will meet my health goals, drink my water( not a change at all) and consume my 28 points per day. Bob gets 35 and Nick gets a whopping 49 per day !

Fingers crossed, shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone...onward and upward !!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A week long hangover ???

Another rough week here ! Filled with too many woops, variables and just plain brain dead moments !

It began with last weekend's visit up to Mom's to get her engaged in some dancing , to try to bring her a little more present and functional. It seemed to work- she had a great time and was actually smiling , laughing and trying to hold a conversation with people.
Mom dancing with my friend Tim

And in the meantime, several other family members were up, with new babies and there were lots of snuggles

Me and my grand nephew Jordan 
My niece Amber with her hubby Adam and babies Jordan, Abbie and Nick Jr
Lots of fun, singing and just plain silliness followed ! 

The week that followed was oddly disconnected feeling. More strange wildcards that drained us of time and energy ( family matters, funerals )  and somehow fast food entered into the picture three times . Breakfast consisted of oatmeal, lunch was a sandwich with veggies and dinner was also a sandwich with some kind of veggie side. Exercise , other than Qigong workouts to help me try to sleep was non- existent. The results were interesting at this weeks weigh in

Me- UP 2.8 ( yeah...stimulating)
Nick- DOWN 2.6 ( The male body's performance in weight loss baffles me)
Bob- DOWN 0.2

This week ,in my case, I know what went wrong. Not enough sleep, 3 fast food meals and relying too heavy on carbs.  While oatmeal is a healthy food, in my body if i eat it for breakfast and have bread at lunch and dinner, I will gain. I also made roast root veggies 2 times this week, and while things like butternut squash and beets are healthy, they are also too starchy for my body chemistry. Yes, exercise will help , but to be honest I cannot guarantee it will happen. I am up at 4 am trying to get done what needs to be done and I turn in at 11 pm...if I am lucky. Right now my solution has to be diet, and eating low starch seems to be the way to go. Omlettes for breakfast, salad with tuna for lunch and fish, veggies and a whole grain for dinner. Life is crazy, so I spent yesterday shopping and creating meal kits for quick and easy access. I am also going to try a little trick to get my mind to shut off at night- write a quick list of all the things I am mentally juggling , placing it on the dining room table with a rock or something heavy on it so I will know it will stay put till morning and I can safely sleep !

It's not perfect , but it's not giving up !

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Illogical, but all mine.

It's been a busy week here . I think I am going to be doing a post per week  for a while, because there are just not enough hours in the day anymore !

Last Sunday while over at my Mom's we played Karaoke, and it seems that my mom responds to music. Through chatting with my sister, there came the idea to get her to hear as much music from when she was a teen as possible, and because she and Tim have been dealing with her physical needs, I was sort of put to task to find as many Youtube videos of these songs as possible, and post them to my facebook so they could play them for her to hear. Result was she started smiling, dancing with the two of them, and eating and drinking  voluntarily. These last two have been a real challenge with mom, and she would go for 4 or 5 days with just a sip of water or two bites. ( She is also dealing with depression it seems) . Music has the power to heal, and the right kind of music can serve as a life raft at times. I pulled from my memory, I searched billboard lists, and for a while I felt like I was living in the 50's, but mom was responding and that was all that mattered ! What drugs have not been able to accomplish, Elvis and Connie Francis could.

As a result, I think I did more sitting on my butt than anything else this week ( researching is not an aerobic activity), salads went out the door, water went out the door, sleep went out the door and there were two meals of carry out pizza because life just got busy. So with this , how did weigh in go ????

Me- DOWN 1.0
Nick - UP 1.4
Bob- UP 0.4

Yep- my body makes absolutely no sense. Eat healthy, limit portions, exercise and gain weight. Toss it out the window , be a slug , eat junk and lose weight. Seriously though, once again it points to the fact that my hormones are more in control of my weight than anything else. The guys, being normal male type people, not dealing with PCOS, have bodies that operate in the way normal bodies do, and such a week brings a gain. Mine is at the complete mercy of an endocrine system that makes no sense. Ah well....

Will be interesting to see what this week brings. I am going up to see mom today, with the intention of getting her to cha cha with us. My mom was a dancing fool when she was young, and perhaps this will spark something more.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

When Tuesday feels like Monday

Is it really back to the grind ??? I have to admit- I had way too much fun this weekend to be able to just jump back into the regular pattern of life .

Happily ,drama was resolved before the gathering occurred, and a good time was had by all. And with it comes a new wrinkle  to life that has been forseen, but hoped would be a long way off. But first , the good.  On Sunday we gathered for a cook out at my mom's house, and I was able to reconnect with my best friend tor life, Tim. When we were in high school we would spend just about every free waking moment together, and we were like twins separated at birth.  We lost track of each other for about 30 years, and through a series of  events , we were finally able to get together ( I thank my middle sister for this one !). It was a blast, and it was just the way we were in the younger days, but tempered with age, wisdom and  much more.

Lots of great conversations, laughs and new memories made that day.

Part of the reason for the gathering , and the reconnection with my friend was my mom. She has very advanced Dementia, and for reasons of choice she is being cared for at home. It is honestly a matter of time now before she goes, as her mind has completely and totally left the building.

My middle sister is her primary care giver, and hings are getting very rough with mom as she approaches the end. Tim has worked in nursing homes and has dealt with his own mother and grandmother in their end days, has had a series of bad events and tragedies come his way and was between jobs, so Lady Luck intervened and Tim is now serving as another live in care giver. It is a perfect arrangement , and Mom actually responds to Tim , when she responds at all.She has also developed this very scary habit of standing up and wandering for no reason with no destination, and has wandered out into the yard in the middle of the night. Between these two caregivers they are able to sleep in shifts and have someone always awake to protect Mom from harm and provide her what she needs. To help to support the care givers, I am needing to shift things so that I can get up there a lot more often. I do not expect my mom to live much past the first of the year, and this brings  need to make these final days as good for her and all involved as possible.

Which suddenly makes weight loss seem a whole lot lower on the priority list. The focus shifts for a time to maintaining. It's not that we have reached the goal or are satisfied with where we are at, but rather there is a current bigger fish that needs to be fried, and everything else kind of needs to adjust accordingly. Meals are going to be erratic due to the shifting to do lists during the week to facilitate time spent with mom on the weekends. Homeschool still must happen , and regular household chores must be kept up in order to prevent our own home environment from becoming a stumbling block through this. As is , there has been great struggles to "exercise". Rather than worry about it and create a lot of anxiety about what I cannot do, I must focus on what must be done  and know that it is the best use of my strength, body and mind. I will still weigh, still eat healthy and apply as many of the healthy habits that we have begun as possible.

Weigh in this past Saturday was as follows

Me- UP 0.4
Nick- DOWN 3.6
Bob- DOWN 0.8

I changed the title of this blog because it certainly seems more reflective of our journey. I think it is going to best sum up what is to come

Friday, September 3, 2010


Seems that nothing can kill a party faster than a guest who shows up with the sole purpose of finding people to feed their ego and offer nothing in return. It happens even faster when the feeding involves getting people to pick sides on issues that are none of their concern. It is maddening, and makes me want to scream Grow Up !!!!

Ego is a tricky thing. It is necessary to help humans motivate themselves to fulfill their needs for food, clothing, shelter and mates. It becomes a problem when it gets damaged or over-inflated. The over-inflated ego brings about things like war, and the under-inflated or damaged ego brings about things like addiction , and all of the carnage that results.

Such is the climate that will envelope a gathering this weekend. Going to be challenging to say the least.

Not sure what the point is of this entry, but I happened to have a few moments with a pressing thought, and thus a blog entry has been created . It helps me to steer clear of the conflict !

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Food for thought

Some lessons from Trees

1. It's important to have roots.
2. In today's complex world, it pays to branch out.
3. If you really believe in something, don't be afraid to go out on a
4. Be flexible so you don't break when a harsh wind blows.
5. Sometimes you have to shed your old bark in order to grow.
6. If you want to maintain accurate records, keep a log.
7. It's okay to be a late bloomer.
8. Avoid people who would like to cut you down.
9. As you approach the autumn of your life, you will show your true
10. You could be Brilliant! in other words "bloom where you are

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Yes, I am still alive

Contrary to popular opinion, I have not fallen off the face of the earth ! Still here, still staying on program, still exercising when I can and just keeping up with the circus that has become life .

On the weight loss front, we all experienced a gain last week for reasons I am not sure of.
Me- UP 1.6
Nick UP 2.4
Bob UP 0.4

It was a disastrous week for exercise, but a week of a whole lot of activity, battling the foe known as ringworm. It seems that he spread the word to his fellow parasitic insect friends and this past weekend we discovered that we are also dealing with lice. Lovely ! I am having such a close relationship with my vacuum and washer that I am suspecting that I am having an affair with them. Yeah...that's the spirit ! An affair sounds so much more exotic than slave to the electronic devices that may once again make my life happy and peaceful. It seems that these came back with us from Gatlinburg via a hat that my husband bought. ( I am beginning to feel like I am the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce's worst nightmare !). It's not the fault of the city, but simply a fact of modern life that when you go to an area with a lot of people coming and going, things can happen. Lice are attracted to anything that is warm blooded, and they really do not care about anything beyond that fact. Heavily visited areas are like the endless buffet to them.

So between school and endless over the top housework, I have spent my free time sneaking in what exercise I can with my little pedal device and walking, doing reiki work, checking in on facebook and sort of living off fish sandwiches. Most lunches have been a tossed salad with tuna or moc crab, dinner is a salmon burger or grilled tuna steak on a Healthy life bun with veggies on the side, overnight oats for breakfast, a half cup of homemade ice cream for afternoon snack ( I have an ice cream maker and I have been playing with some recipes) and plain yogert with frozen blueberries and granola in the evening. Kind of boring, but it works under the time constraints of the now.

Do you have any Labor Day plans ? We are going to get together with my family and I will hopefully get to see one of my long term best friends. We were very close in high school and drifted apart when I went to college. We reconnected on facebook, and it will be a lot of fun to see him face to face. Planning on getting a lot of pictures and doing my best to stay on program under some real wild card circumstances. Hope you all have a good one, what ever your plans !