Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Just poking in...

to say I stll have my head up my rear. Buying peanut butter cups hasn't helped. :-P Any advice on beating the sugar craving would be greatly appreciated.

In more pertinent to other people news, I have found an interesting place to put the things I've bought that I need to learn to ration (or not buy). In trying to hide the peanut butter cups from my kids (they'd eat the whole stash--no self control and I don't know where they get it of course), I found that if I put them in the back of the veggie drawer, not only are they safe from my kids but I have to look at the choices I should be making in lieu of the peanut butter cups when I reach for them. This does not always work but sometimes it does and I'll take sometimes right now.

And finally, since Jen wanted to hear more about my weekly menus, here are some of the things I've had recently that were quite tasty:

Spiced Chicken with Chickpea and Cucumber Salad I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this one because I am all about easy and peeling skin off the thighs didn't appeal.

Lemon Thyme Chicken with Sauteed Vegetables

Chicken and Prosciutto Salad with Arugula and Asiago I used whatever salad greens I had on hand for this one and skipped the chicken because the leftover rotisserie chicken I was going to use was yucky. But it was tasty anyway.

Tonight's dinner is going to be Lemon Basil Pasta and lunch tomorrow is a Grilled Strawberry Basil Cheese Sandwich. Beyond that I'll be at my daughter's dance Nationals so food will be catch as catch can. I'll have to get back to planning well next week.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The return of the prodigal

I haven't been around for about a month now and as you can see from the newly updated progress list in the sidebar, there really hasn't been much to report. I have been playing with the same numbers give or take a couple of pounds for 10 weeks now. I'd love to say that this plateau is one that I don't understand because I am doing everything right but it's not. Frankly, I have buried my head up my rear again as far as making good choices and getting enough exercise is concerned and that would explain the plateau. The good news is that I haven't really gone up again but I need to re-focus and get back to the right spot mentally to start sliding down the scale again.

(Image from I ordered a really cute bathing suit that (sort of) fits but would look ten times better if I was ten or twenty pounds lighter and I'm thinking of tying it to the fridge door to remind myself of that fact daily. The rest of my family will think I've gone stark raving crazy but then I figure it might also just be a confirmation of what they already knew and were afraid to admit. I would, however, love to wear the suit *well* before the summer ends. I plan to wear it on the lumpy, bumpy body I currently have regardless so it's not like I'm spending money frivolously on stuff I won't wear any time soon like the size 8 shorts I bought last month or anything. (See how well that motivator worked? ::sigh::)

On other weight loss news, I had to have a cyst removed from my scalp and I now have an enormous divot in my hair where they had to cut and shave hair before slicing me open. Turns out my hair, long as it might be, does not weigh enough to influence the scale number at all. So I'll no longer fantasize about quickly being 5 pounds lighter if I got a pixie cut. Another dream dead. ;-(

And finally, I do still have people commenting on the weight loss up to this point so that's a nice feeling. I prefer tucking shirts in now to show off what I've lost and yet fashion seems to be heading back towards the oversize, blousy tops that were in the last time I was thin(ish) in high school and college. Blousy stuff over a newly thinner midsection highlights all that hard work not at all; drat the fashion industry anyway! Some day I am going to get the timing right on this.

This weekend is going to be a food challenge for me as I'm spending the majority of it trapped at another set of dance recitals and so won't be cooking much at all. I'm considering throwing a salad together to take with me since the options available down at the auditorium are not likely to be weight-loss friendly and I have a real Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde problem with food. Don't feed me and see how fast I can turn evil and nasty. So skipping meals entirely is not an option. (And yes, I know it's also not smart but we all know we do dumb things from time to time and some of us like me live in dumbo land a lot.)

If you had to pack for two meals a day (I can likely eat breakfast on the way) for two consecutive days and have no access to either a cooler or a microwave, what would you be taking with you?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Do you think the universe is trying to tell me something by having my weight be 166.6 this morning? The array of sixes makes me wonder just a tad. (More on the past few weeks later.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dinner this week

I notice that I haven't innundated you with my menus for the past few weeks. With this one half gone, I will only give you three days worth of our dinners in case you want to try any of them:

Spicy Basil Chicken is what's for dinner tonight. Not sure yet what I intend to serve it over but I may just use flatout wraps to scoop up the sauce since that would be much less caloric than rice or noodles, especially since I went to lunch with a friend and really can afford about a half serving of this (and it's very healthy) today. Oh, and because I think fish sauce is loathesome, I am leaving that out.

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken is what's on tap for tomorrow since Thursday is my crazy driving all evening day. And really, how can buffalo chicken fail to please everyone?

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad is Friday's meal (as an actual salad) because it should be light enough not to bite me in the butt when I get up early Saturday morning for my first 10K race in a very long time.

Here's hoping it's all tasty and filling! Oh, and if anyone wants the recipe I used for matzo ball soup, just ask (it comes from Southern Living). It was delicious but labor intensive for sure.

And finally, if you want to see where I discover so many of these tasty foods, feel free to follow me on Pinterest. I have lots of boards but the most pertinent ones to the weight loss process are Recipes to Try, Tried and Tasty, and Exercise and Motivation. If you need an invite to play along on there, let me know your e-mail addy and I'll send one along.

Hope you're having a good week food and exercise-wise.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


So my husband is competing in a neighborhood Biggest Loser contest with a couple of his buddies. They have $20 riding on the outcome. So he asked me to dig out the old Weight Watcher's booklet that helps you calculate how many points you get a day. He figured out his points and I decided to double check my points. Apparently my brain is shrinking because I remembered incorrectly and I actually get two fewer points a day than I thought I did. Argh! This is going to be hard.

Since I whined above, I will share two positives to balance it out. One, both of my belts are on the tightest notch possible so I see having to buy some new belts in my future. Two, my bra cup size went down and I did actually have to buy new bras. The girls are ever so much perkier in their new smaller size.

I didn't get an official weigh-in on the Saturday before Easter because we were out of town but since I had to go to the urgent care that day, I do have a late in the afternoon fully clothed weight to report (as opposed to the first thing in the morning naked weigh-in I usually do). I was 169.0 at the doctor's office. I figure since that's a slight gain from the previous week but in different circumstances, it probably means I actually stayed about the same. Win some, lose some I guess.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

After the whine

After the other day's whine about being on a plateau, I discovered the very best way to take a leap off that plateau: play a two and a half hour long singles tennis match in 80+ degree weather. The first person to suggest that it's all lost water weight will be flogged. ;-)

Friday, March 23, 2012


Just call me the plateau girl. My weight is not budging at all. Two weeks of bumbling around within the same pound. :-P I know people hit plateaus when they are consciously working on losing weight but it stinks to join the masses. Obviously this is my body's way of telling me that I need to change things up and shake it out of its complacency. And I don't mean by inhaling several handfuls of M&M's like I did last night. As an aside, how did I get to be this old (another year older as of yesterday) without fully understanding how evil my hormones really are? I'm sure my husband could have told me long ago but the light bulb went on for me last night when there was nothing, absolutely nothing in this world, that could have parted me from those M&M's. Damned hormonal chocolate cravings! Anyway, any suggestions on how to find the edge of this plateau so I can climb down? I'm debating going to my friend's trainer so I can do so light weight lifting to build more muscle (apparently the only way to permanently lower your metabolism is to make more muscle) but I'm not sure I have the time (or money) to do that for long. What other ways can I wake my body up and get back to the business at hand?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Big news

I bought a pair of shorts in a size I haven't seen since college (or before). They do not look nice on me. But they do button and zip without acting as a waist tourniquet. This is enormous progress. And I'm keeping them.*

*Looking forward to reporting that they look nice on me sometime in the future.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

More randomness

I notice it's been a while since I posted anything here. First, I should say that I did manage to climb down off the ledge I mentioned in my post last week. I think I bloodied my knees a bit on the way down but the chocolate remains unopened. So that's a huge win. (The pretzels took a hit but we can't all be perfect all of the time, right?)

I've had a busy week since then, faced some more challenges, fell down a couple of times, but dusted myself off and am marching onward. The biggest news is that as of last Saturday I was a mere 0.4 pounds off of losing 10% of my starting weight. That's a big milestone for sure. People have started noticing and commenting on my loss, even if I constantly have to remind my husband to mention how skinny I'm getting. ;-)

Better than other people noticing, I am finally noticing myself! One pair of my running tights is starting to cause me problems by being too loose. I have to keep hiking them up until I get good and sweaty so they stick to my skin or I'm afraid they might just slide down and expose my bucket to the entire neighborhood. And you just know the day that that happens no one will be at work and they'll all be out in their yards just so a maximum amount of people can catch the spectacle. Might be time to pop them in the Goodwill pile to prevent such a happening! I'd hate to have to move just because of something completely preventable.

Caught sight of my profile in the mirror today and while it is definitely slimmer, I have the doughiest abs known to man. A muffin top is the pouch below your belly button, neh? My biggest lumpy bump is above my belly button so I'm going to have to find some exercises that will target the abs my kids ruined. (OK, I ruined them all on my own but it's more fun to pass the blame onto the ungrateful little buggers instead, especially now two of them are teens and one is a preteen--the most ungrateful ages known to man.)

My exercising has been pretty steady. I've either run 3 miles or played tennis (sometimes both) almost every day for over a week (the two days at my daughter's dance competition were lost exercise days but that couldn't be helped). I've even gone out to run in the rain. Hoo Rah! I am woman and all that jazz... I actually don't mind running wet; maybe because of the former swimmer in me I do everything better with water. Seriously thinking about signing up for a half marathon in Myrtle Beach May 20th. It's one of the Diva marathons and you get a feather boa and a tiara on the course. Yes, I am shallow enough to choose races for the fun goodies they promise. I'm not really trained for a half though, so I don't know (not that that has slowed me down before, but I'm getting smarter--maybe).

Because of my daughter's dance competition, I faced a pair of days with only fast food-ish type options for all my meals. I've come to the conclusion that it's just best for me to avoid fast food if at all possible so I'm going to start packing meals from now on. We'll see how that pans out. And speaking of meals, here are the outstanding things I've made in the past week and a half:

Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese and Honey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes for Meatless Monday. These were absolutely delicious, to the point I was trying to push the leftovers into hiding in the back of the fridge so they'd all be mine.

Homemade Gyros using falafel instead of meat. I know, I know. My family was seriously displeased to find that I had two veggie meals planned in one week but they forgave me when they tried these.

Crockpot Sesame Chicken over brown rice. Sweet and tasty, everyone loved this one.

Epic Fish Tacos. Now I don't eat fish. In fact I loathe fish. But my family loves fish so I occasionally make it for them. They said these were the bomb. As for me, I made mine bean tacos instead by mashing up kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans and stirring in water and taco seasoning. I used the guacamole and watercress from the fish tacos on mine too though and they were tasty-cakes indeed.

Ham and Cheese Sliders. Be forewarned that these are terrible for you but they are heaven on a bun so I just saved enough points to enjoy two of these little guys for my dinner and then filled up with the steamed green beans.

This home-cooking thing isn't working out too badly as long as I get all my shopping in before Monday hits. And it certainly is easier to judge (and control) my intake at my own kitchen counter than it is at a restaurant. That said, I have several restaurant meals coming up shortly. Should make for an interesting weigh-in on Saturday. But I think I want that 0.4 off badly enough to make a concerted effort.

Hope you're all having success with your weigh loss and living a healthy lifestyle too.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's a test

Well, here's a big test for me emotionally (because we all know I haven't gained all this weight handling stress and upset well). I have had a crappy day all the way around and all I want to do is find something chocolate (which unfortunately we do have in the house), cram it into my mouth, climb into bed, and pull the covers over my head. :-( Not sure I can get off this ledge by myself after such a day.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


While my current jeans might not fit any differently, the jean shorts I bought only a couple of weeks ago are suddenly too big on me. Yay and boo both! I loved the fit of the shorts and they were short without being hoochie mama short like so many these days. Now I'm going to have to go back to the store and see if I can find them in a smaller size. Should I be optimistic and buy them two sizes smaller? It's already getting close to shorts season here but if another 10 pounds or so is going to make one size down too big, well...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Musings

Great visual to remember, isn't it?! I've been using it to try and keep myself on track with exercising.

I had a really stellar week in terms of weight loss. It's hard to not lose or to gain slightly but in some ways, it's almost as hard to lose a large amount because it makes any smaller number the following week a bit of a disappointment. I have to remember that a loss, any loss, is good. Even holding steady is okay. It's not a one week project. A marathon, not a sprint.

I went out running again this morning. I've been pretty good about running more often than not. Of course, then my son's eyes were still dilated after the eye doctor this morning so I had to take his tennis lesson. A tennis lesson after a 3 mile run is rather tiring. Then tonight my husband wanted to walk the 2 1/2 miles of the neighborhood short loop. On the plus side, I definitely got my exercise today!

As of Saturday (my weigh-in day), I have officially lost 16 pounds. I'm wondering when I'll start to notice. Sadly, my jeans are just as tight out of the dryer as they were before I started. Makes me wonder where the weight is actually coming off? I do think that there's less of a crease showing off my back fat, so that'll be good come swimsuit season. But other than there, I don't see much change in my body yet. Hopefully soon.

Running is good not only for my cardiovascular health, but it helps remind me to cut my toenails (ewww). Learned today that if you leave them slightly too long, they are completely capable of cutting the soft flesh of the next door tootsy and you'll have a bloody sock when you get home. Blech!

I've been cooking Monday through Friday with weekends devoted to being social, having leftovers, or eating pizza. But the 5 days of cooking has been huge for keeping things healthy here. I'm going to list our menu for this week and if anyone out there would like me to continue doing it, please let me know or I won't bother wasting your time again.

Monday (which I have been keeping as meatless Monday the past 5 or so weeks): Rajmah (kidney bean curry) using the recipe on the back of the Aurora Creations spice packet

Tuesday: Chicken and Chard Pasta Fagioli

Wednesday: Grilled Cheeseburger Wrap

Thursday (my crazy driving day so it tends to have to be crockpot Thursday): Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Friday: Healthy Lemon Dill Chicken

That's it for my randomness today. Hope anyone out there reading is having success with their weight loss journey too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Yesterday was one of those days that needs a do-over or a serious case of amnesia. But seeing as I'm not a soap opera star and I cannot conveniently blitz the day out of memory or erase it from actually happening, I guess I'll just have to get past it. The weekend had already been rough eating-wise, what with a Mardi Gras party but yesterday seemed to be a free for all.

I put on running clothes and then the naysayer in my head won the battle and I didn't end up going for a run, rationalizing that Monday used to be one of my rest days. Nevermind that pretty much every day has been a rest day recently. I even pulled out the bag of Christmas M&M's that has been living in my drawer since, well, since Christmas. And I ate the whole thing. Yes I did. ::sigh:: I actually ate M&M's until the candy coating made the roof of my mouth raw. I swear I am a close relative of goldfish who will eat until they explode. But if I look at the plus side of it all, the M&M's lasted a good two months without being opened and they are no longer around to tempt me.

And the memory of yesterday's debacle, which I intend to wipe from my memory just as soon as the sugar rush subsides, drove me to run this morning. I'm pretty sure that those 12 oz. of M&M's added about 10 pounds of drag to my butt as I shuffled around the neighborhood today but I did it, still belching chocolate, I might add. It hurt but I pushed through it. And there is a tired satisfaction in getting myself back under control and in having exercised no matter how much I didn't want to.

As of right now my husband has not given me any Valentine's candy so that's a good thing too. I'm hoping there's something sparkly for me rather than something caloric when (if?) he pulls out a gift. (My mom already says he has one for me so...)

Thursday, February 9, 2012


My parents are visiting. This generally spurs an overeating frenzy on my part. You'd think I have loads of unresolved childhood issues or something given my gorging when I'm in their vicinity. I don't. No, really. I don't. But for some reason, I eat like I'm stocking up to hibernate for the winter when I am around them. It's very hard for me to break this habit but I am giving it my best shot. I planned out meals for the entire time they are here to minimize chances to sabotage myself. I ran both yesterday and today and followed both runs up with tennis yesterday and a 4 mile walk with mom today. So even if I do overindulge, I'm hoping I've counteracted it in advance. Regardless today and tomorrow will be very hard for me. I can do it. Right? Right!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Just plain silly

Sometimes the quest to lose weight makes me just plain silly. But silliness can be good. Silliness can be empowering. Silliness can be intentional. This morning I grabbed my muffin top (sadly there's quite a handful to grab), shook it at the mirror, and told it I was giving it notice: "You're on your way out of here." Weird, I know. But it made me feel like I was really taking charge and there could be no arguing. That wobbly muffin top is on the shrink plan and now it knows I'm not going to be gentle and I'm going to fight it every inch of the way.

I really should take some actual measurements so I can see its losing battle. :-)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Meatless Mondays and Braised Beans with Rosemary

In this quest to eat healthier, I have been cutting back on the amount of meat in my diet. However, I am not in danger of actually going vegetarian any time soon. I've actually been there, done that and realize that I make a terrible vegetarian. See, being vegetarian actually involves eating a balanced diet, not just one that doesn't include meat. When I was playing at being vegetarian, for more years than I should admit given my actual diet, I ate primarily cheese and bread. Yeah, healthy? Not so much. So I won't try going back there whole hog (::snort::) but I have mostly managed to keep the whole recent "Meatless Monday" experiment not only healthy but beneath my family's picky and uber-carnivorous radar. My one slip up was last week's sweet chili lime tofu with kale and quinoa. So much natural food all in one dish about caused them to have heart attacks. And so I am finally finishing up the leftovers myself for lunch today. Obviously I can't go too crunchy granola on them without serious rebellion and having to personally face the Methuselah of leftovers before they are finally finished. So tonight I plan on an Indian curry dish with potatoes and cauliflower. Basically all white (well... yellow) with few green bits (which raises the suspicion factor 100 fold) so it should fly. I hope it's tasty too.

I do have one meatless dish though that I am happy to make and hide away from the rest of the family so I don't have to share, cheerfully feasting on leftovers for as long as I can make them last--which is admittedly not long. It's braised beans with rosemary. It smells heavenly while cooking and tastes even better and I thought I'd share it with you. It's just a slightly doctored version of Food Network Magazine's Braised Beans.

1 lb, dried cannellini beans, picked over
6 leaves fresh sage
6 cloves garlic, 3 smashed and 3 sliced
1 Tbsp. + 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 plum tomato, diced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 heaping Tbsp. rosemary

Soak the beans overnight. Drain and transfer to a Dutch oven. Add 10 cups water, 2 sage leaves, the smashed garlic, and 1 Tbsp. salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain, reserving the liquid. Discard garlic and sage.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 475.

Return beans to Dutch oven. Add sliced garlic, olive oil, remaining sage leaves, tomato, 1 1/2 cups reserved cooking liquid, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and rosemary. Place the pot, uncovered, in the oven and cook until creamy (15-20 minutes). Add parsley and more liquid if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Eat up!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Random thoughts

I don't get a runner's high but I do make dubious choices after I run. I went to Trader Joe's immediately following today's run and came home with chocolate cheddar cheese and brussel sprouts. I hope I wasn't of questionable enough mind that I thought I'd use them together! And really, the last time I ate brussel sprouts, I didn't like them. The fact that the package suggested they be sauteed with bacon and Gruyere probably lured me in. But that major derailing ain't gonna happen (I hope).

Yay for me! I ran again today. A friend called and said she was running this morning and did I want to join her. We went almost 4 miles. I know I said above that she's my friend but I think she might have been trying to kill me. Should try to find less lethal friends.

My new strategy for dealing with the grocery store? I already know not to go when I'm hungry but I now officially look the other way when I pass the aisle that has the candy in it. I'm working on doing the same for the snacks and sodas aisle. I look ridiculous studiously looking away (and usually muttering to myself about it too) and I'm likely to ram my cart into someone as I scurry past temptation but whatever works!

I am on day one of no soda. Diet Coke, I'm quitting you. Then again, I may have to give in and try a controlled taper off of it if it gives my my usual caffeine withdrawal headache because tomorrow I have a dance rehearsal. No, not mine. I'd look like the hippos in Fantastia in a tutu and dance with far less grace. But my daughter has a show coming up and I'm one of the prop moms for the production number and then am posted in the quick change dressing room for the rest of the show. A headache, loud music, and cramming sweaty bodies in costumes for a couple of hours would not make for a stellar day.

Super Bowl is this weekend and since I am famous for my appetizers, I plan to go whole hog and make some ridiculously high calorie, tasty concoction. Then I intend to take it to the party we're attending and leave any and all leftovers behind. We're going to be with my old running buddies and since they are almost all built like real runners (as opposed to me--the right chubby and plump, jolly old elf that I am), they can afford the caloric hit with nary a cellulite bump to show for it. My own thighs are dimpling just thinking about it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I ran. The activity, not the country.

Yes, I got my plump butt out on the road and I ran. Normal people strolling could probably have gone faster than I did, but I was out there so it counts. Now I should admit that I am an occasional runner who was once much more serious about it. I ran a marathon in 2008. I ran a half marathon in November. But I haven't run since then. And quite honestly, before the half, I ran almost not at all for several months so the race itself hardly counts (and damn near crippled me to boot). In the past several years, I have had a habit of running once and then not getting out and doing it again for weeks or months. And this time I want it to be different. My neighbor, the one who convinced me to run the half in November, has suggested that we run another one in October. And I am leaning towards saying yes. But only if I really commit to training beforehand. Because the other way is truly hideous.

Anyway, today. I really didn't want to go out. But the sun was shining and it looked all appealing and all to be outside. And if I was going to be outside, I was going to feel guilty if I didn't actually exercise out there. Guilt is a huge motivator for me and I'm not even Catholic. So I dragged on the neglected running gear, grabbed the iPod, and headed out. Luckily I started running to Kid Rock's All Summer Long, which put a huge smile on my face. As I trucked on down the road, I played the drums enthusiastically and sang under my breath (see how slow I go?). I could only muster drumming with one arm though so I probably looked a little off balance. Either that, or I looked like the drummer for Def Leppard but without any talent and unable to carry a tune in a bucket. Sadly, some of my neighbors (ones I actually know) were outside to witness this atrocity. I had to pretend to be so engrossed in my song and my run that I didn't see them. Pitiful.

The song kept me going for a while and I thought I had it set to play my marathon play list. Not so. Somehow I was treated to a whole slew of slow country ballads. These are not so good for encouraging me to keep on keeping on. I did though because occasionally I can beat back the whiner in my head but I clearly need to put some new music on the iPod. Methinks some Pitbull is in my future. Would it be tacky to use the kids' iTunes gift cards from Christmas to load up my running music? I managed to run a good 3+ miles so I'm pleased with that. Hopefully I can still walk tomorrow because I fully intend to get out on the road and waddle on again. Between this and my crunches, I might actually drag some muscles to the surface. Wouldn't that be amazing?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


(Not my gut over there. Mine is not nearly so hairy and has far more stretch marks.) As the caption says, crunches are not enough. But they are better than nothing, no? I have started doing crunches in the morning. First regular crunches, then bicycle crunches, and then something that we used to call V-snaps for swimming dryland training. I never thought I was in decent shape when I started dryland every year but let me tell you, out of shape in my late teens early twenties with a pre-kid body is a whole different ballgame to out of shape in your forties after decades of packing on the pounds and eating badly. My abdominal muscles (and I only know I still have them because they are in a world of screaming hurt after several days of crunches) hate me with a white hot fiery hate. They strain more now than they did when they were having to support the awkwardly large babies I hosted repeatedly. And this crunch thing might kill them. (Don't tell them, but once I get more comfortable with the crunches, I intend to add in the dreaded plank thing too which is likely to have them screaming for mercy--or at least chocolate chips cookies.) And while I know there's a lot more to decent looking abs (note I didn't ask for flat abs--I don't expect miracles) than crunches, surely strengthening the muscles under all the flab will help minimize the pooch, right?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Small victories

So I had a good and bad week. There were a few nights when I went to bed hungry enough to eat my own arm off. I went out to lunch twice and to dinner once. The neighborhood book club had a meeting. Aside from when it felt like my belly button was touching my backbone, the rest of these are food pitfalls for me. When I eat out, I have a very hard time choosing healthy choices and I inevitably eat everything on my plate. The cheesier something is described as being on the menu, the more appealing to me. Plus I am a member of the generation of the "clean plate club" so leaving food unfinished on a plate is guilt inspiring. The appetizers set out at neighborhood gatherings like book club? They just call to me.

But I had some small victories too. I only ate three small appetizers. I left food on my plate at dinner (although I inhaled the creme brulee dessert and practically licked the ramekin clean too since it is my very favorite dessert ever). I chose not to try one of the free small cookies at the check-out at the grocery store yesterday. This morning at a different grocery store (we ran out of milk--again), I stood and looked at the mint Oreos for a very, very, very long time. And I finally walked away without putting them in my basket. Notice that I am still thinking about them. But they are several miles away and not nearly so easy to get to so I think I'm safe from them for today.

I am still slacking on the exercise front (more on that another time) but I think I just agreed to run a half marathon in Detroit in October with a friend so exercise is likely to be a major part of my life again soon. I really do need to make that happen.

Overall, I'd say it was a hard week to stay on track for me but I managed to do it more often than not and the scale reflected that, which was nice to see. I'm down 1.2 pounds from last Saturday to 179.4. A whole new decade of numbers to work through.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Will power and why I don't like it

I had a bit of a rough week last week, grazing through food as if I might never eat again. Luckily it didn't show too much on the scale (I gained 0.2 for the week so I'm at 180.6 this week). I still wasn't happy about it, gave myself a thorough kicking while I was down, but ultimately it spurred me to think about the whole will power thing, which was where I was laying all blame.

The recipe for weight loss: eat less and move more. As annoying as this tiny platitude is, it is fundamentally true. Unfortunately, for a lot of people this means exercising will power. And we all know how hard that is. (If you don't have a clue, leave this blog immediately because you clearly don't need advice, encouragement, and commiseration relating to excessive weight and the desire to shed it. Oh, and stay out!)

But I have come to hate the very words "will power." How times faced with a cookie have I said "I have no will power," as I laughingly take one? How many times have I castigated myself for taking that cookie, finishing that oversized portion, or making that really poor food choice and blamed my lack of will power? (Yeah, I know; negative messages are not as successful as positive one, blah, blah, blah, but that's sort of the point, you know?) How many times have I wished I had someone else's (someone thinner's) will power while facing my greatest food weakness? Seems to me that will power is the problem here. And I don't mean the lack of it. I mean the connotation. It's somehow gotten all tangled up with a sense of failure, with negativity, and yes, with a lack.

So I am declaring that I am no longer going to worry about will power. I'm not going to give it another thought. It is dead to me. Instead I am going to try to empower myself. I have perseverence and determination. And anyone who doesn't think so has never seen me dig my heels in like the stubborn mule that I am. With these two tools, who needs will power? Onward to another week!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stripes? Or fashion for the full-figured.

Have you tried on clothes recently? Now, I haven't lost enough weight to really be contemplating a new wardrobe but I thought I might reward myself with something fun and new because, well, I respond well to rewards. I don't love shopping, especially for clothes, but I grabbed a friend who is working on her weight too and off we went. As we wandered through stores, I noticed what I consider a disturbing trend. Fashion designers have brought back the horizontal stripe in all its glory.

The biggest question is, of course, WHY? In the name of all that is holy, why? Stripes last looked good on me when I was all of 14 years old. And maybe not even then since I had curves and boobs by then (seriously, I had the cutest figure ever at 14). Horizontal stripes are not flattering on curvy bodies. They just aren't. Broomstick thin models with the figures of 14 year old boys can pull them off but on the rest of us, not attractive. Quite honestly, horizontal stripes on the slightly chubby sporting post-childbearing bodies make us look like we're wearing a contour map because honey, ain't nothing staying two dimensionally horizontal. It's all elevation and gradient. Trust me; seriously not pretty. And it's just plain mean for designers to declare these "wideners" back in style again. I mean, as if it wasn't traumatic enough to have to try on bathing suits or jeans, we, or at least the fashionable amongst us, now have to wear striped clothing that make us look like candidates for the replacement fat lady at the circus. That'll sure build my self-esteem. Boo hiss.

And yes, for the scientifically minded, I've read the article that sets out the proof that I am misguided in my horizontal stripey upset. But I stand by one of the comments on the post that asserts that in fact the horizontal stripe cartoon has three noticeable vertical stripes that make the whole argument suspect (not to mention that in ostensibly making these little beauties--or at least the horizontal striped beauty--look 3D, the artist has still drawn perfectly straight lines, which is completely contrary to real life and therefore proves nothing). Try it with real women if you want my buy in, otherwise, ditch the horizontal stripes please. Chubby girl doesn't appreciate looking like she's sporting the topography of the Himalayas across her ta-tas, thank-you very much!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Awash in tea

I think I am drowing in tea. You know that 8 glasses of water a day thing? Well, it's too dang cold for a glass of ice water (my preferred water temp) so instead of sucking it in via diet Coke (my guilty pleasure--and not the caffeine free variety either), I have been slugging back cup after cup after cup after cup of tea.

I can't leave my house for more than a trip to the mailbox because I just can't get that far from my bathroom. This stuff is running right through me. And sheesh people! I've had three children dance on my bladder for 9 months plus each. I don't think I even possess Kegel muscles anymore. So there's no holding it. I can be watching tv and see those incontinence commercials, "Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now," and before the jingle is even finished, I am racing to the bathroom. If I could pee the weight off of myself I would be runway thin by now. Not that I don't like tea, I do. But I'm pretty sure that in the quantities I am drinking, it spends less time in my body than it does steeping.

Please tell me my body will eventually get used to all this extra fluid and I'll be able to quit contemplating buying Poise pads just so I can get out to the grocery store for food. On second thought, if we run out of food completely, maybe the weight will come off faster. Now that would make it all worthwhile.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Foods I've been eating

Trying to change my weight has meant I have to change how and what I eat and that's not easy at all. Aside from the m&m blip the other day, I have been doing pretty well and only face the stumbling block of appealing snacks because seriously, who eats only three times a day?

Anyway, my breakfast generally consists of Chobani Yogurt (they are not paying me to get all googly-eyed over their stuff although if they wanted to, I certainly wouldn't mind and I'd insert their name in every post I do on here from now on--just sayin') in lemon, honey, cherry, or my new discovery of apple cinnamon. If I have felt motivated to actually cook breakfast at breakfast time or have a bucket of leftovers, I enjoy a cup or so of apple cinnamon breakfast quinoa. I got the recipe from somewhere on the internet but I can't for the life of me figure out where (or find it again) so here it is:

Apple-Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa
makes 4 (3/4-cup) servings

2 c. unsweetened plain or vanilla almond milk
1 c. dry quinoa, well rinsed (do not skip rinsing!)
1 medium apple, diced
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt

In a 2 quart saucepan, heat almond milk over medium-high heat. When the milk is almost boiling, stir in the quinoa, apple, cinnamon, and salt. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, partially cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until most of the milk has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Stir in vnilla, cover tightly and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

I will admit that I tend to double the apple and use a heaping tsp. of cinnamon plus splash far more vanilla extract in there than the recipe calls for. I get a warm, healthy breakfast out of it plus 3-4 more reheated breakfasts that same week. Also not to be sneezed at is the chance to feel all self-righteous and healthy that making this offers. Unfortunately, my daughter appreciates this toasty meal and will sometimes snag a small bucket of it I had earmarked for another day, leaving me short. I'd teach her to make her own and keep her paws off mine if she didn't leave such a godforsaken mess in my kitchen when she cooks!

Lunch has tended to be leftovers from dinner and if I am extra hungry, I dump the leftovers (as appropriate) over salad to bulk up what I'm eating. Pretty much anything Mexican can be coaxed into a taco salad of sorts if you're desperately hungry. And dinner has run the gamut of healthy looking new recipes or old standbys.

Where I struggle is the snack concept. I know that I should snack on veggies and fruits but they don't appeal so very much. Well, I take that back. They look really good at the grocery store under their deceptive lighting. Once at my house though, they aren't as pleasing looking and since this food battle is 90% mental for me, that's not a good thing. I do have a few things that I will eat that fall in the "acceptable any time" category: hearts of palm out of a can, dill pickles, dilly beans (pickled green beans), and grape tomatoes but they get old really quickly and then I eye the kids' stash of after school snacks (mainly chosen with an eye to being generally unappealing to me at normal times, incidentally). I really wish I could find something healthy that I'd be happy to be stranded on a desert isle with because I'm pretty sure that my current "desert isle" food choice of cheese and bread or just cheese if I only get one thing, is going to leave me fat and suffering from scurvy. That's a pretty mental image, eh? Any suggestions for me out there?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Pretty sure that eating an entire bag of M&Ms last night was not a good plan. And I wonder why I have a weight problem. ::sigh::

Back in the saddle again...

Monday, January 9, 2012

The week in review

So Saturday marked the end of the first week of this quest. Overall it was a great week and the number on the scale that morning was 183.8 for a loss of 5.6 lbs. But just posting the numbers makes it sound like it was easy peasy lemon squeezy and it was not by any stretch of the imagination.

I went to bed hungry at least 3 nights last week but since I am adhering (loosely) to the old WW points program which worked for me before, I knew it was time to call it quits on the old intake those nights. So instead of heading to the pantry, I headed to bed. Let me tell you, the night that I went off to bed at 8pm, my husband was less than impressed. But my other choice was to stay up and lose all semblence of self-control and willpower.

I cooked dinner every night last week and have been eating the leftovers as lunch since then. Most of what I made was good and relatively healthy (as long as I ate a reasonable portion--another struggle for me, I might add) but I caved and made homemade creamed corn, which I adore. It's not even remotely good for you and it turns out that the rest of my family doesn't like it so I've been faced with trying to avoid overdosing on the leftovers. To that end, I dragged it over to a friend's house last night to share with others. There's a little left, but hopefully not enough to dimple my butt too badly. I tried 4 new recipes, 3 of which are keepers (including the creamed corn recipe but apparently only when I have a pot luck to go to) and one was less than pleasing. The old standby we use that is always a hit here is to take chicken breasts (and I have taken to buying the thin chicken breasts instead of the enormous, fat ones), sprinkle them with the spice concoction of your choice (I'm currently using rotisserie chicken spice) and toss them on the reliable old George Foreman grill. Easiest thing in the world and my kids all adore it. Their feelings on the vegetable accompaniments we won't go into but the chicken is highly coveted.

I didn't do so very well on the exercise front this past week. I did play a little tennis but I did not make it out for any runs and I seem to have lost the sheet the personal trainer created for me last May (and which I have used once since then). This is not good. I was supposed to run the Disney half marathon on Saturday but my sister backed out on me right before Christmas and since I hadn't been training for it anyway, I stayed home. Terrible when your family colludes to let you off the hook! Not that I've told them I'm doing this, but still...

This week has already kicked off harder than last week as I spent all day Saturday at youngest son's soccer tournament which meant eating out for both lunch and dinner. I was smart and got Subway for lunch and went to the grocery store close by for a side of strawberries instead of getting the meal deal with chips but the team ate at a wings and ribs place for dinner. My dinner of salad and soup was just not satisfying so after several hours driving home, I curled up on the couch with a bag of pretzels and proceeded to eat my way through 3/4 of the bag. On the plus side, I didn't eat the whole thing, so I guess I am making some sort of progress. :-P

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Why lose weight?

Forget being healthy. The best reason to work on shrinking me? So the dogs have more room in the bed.

Monday, January 2, 2012


There are so many diets out there that restrict or limit bread or carbs. I don't do so very well with those. My nickname when I was little was "Carbo Queen" because I never met a carbohydrate I didn't want to put in my mouth. I'm slightly more finicky now but it's still probably the food group I'd vote off the island last. Given my fondness for bread and its ilk, making it an off limits food will never work for me. So I have to learn to have it in moderation; no easy task.

Last night I accomplished my first task of the New Year (you should see the enormous list I made) and that was re-oganizing and de-cluttering the pantry. My pantry is small and easily gets disastrous looking with three kids scavenging in it on a daily basis. Well, in my cleaning frenzy, I uncovered a lot of stuff to make bread. In the bread machine bread, not completely by hand, because, well, that takes more follow through than I tend to have. So I made a loaf of Pane Toscana last night. It smelled completely heavenly and was intended to accompany the soup I'd made for dinner. But it wasn't ready in time so we ate cheese straws with the soup instead (please don't 'fro me in that briar patch!).

When the bread was finally ready, the kids came pounding into the kitchen for a before bed snack (carbohyrate addicts that they are, the apple doesn't fall far from this tree). I managed to slice them all pieces and have no more than a few crumbs myself. I even wrapped the rest up and put it away and have mostly ignored it today (no tasting, just longing, lust-filled looks so far). It's the little victories, you know? And incidentally, while homemade bread is definitely filled with fewer unpronounceable ingredients than store-bought bread, in terms of calories and fat and whatnot, it really doesn't beat out the stuff in the plastic wrapper, a rather disappointing discovery for this bread fanatic.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wondering about my sanity

What kind of nincompoop starts a weight loss plan on New Year's Eve? The numb nuts currently typing this post, that's who. I have no idea what I was thinking deciding to start being mindful of what I am popping in my mouth before the butter, cream, and fat laden holidays were quite over. No one else could possibly be stupid enough to decide to lose weight while baking another batch of Tuscan Cheese Straws, the ones so full of butter and cheesy goodness that even my very generous father won't share one crumb of the batch he finds in his stocking every year. (No, this is not the first recipe I'm going to share, because "Lead us not into temptation" and all that jazz. Suffice it to say they are phenomenal if you are a savory lover--me, I'm both sweet and savory because if you're going to have a love affair with food, it should certainly be 100%, right? None of this pansy-assed one or the other crapola.)

But knowing that I have little to no willpower to avoid eating anything that looks delectable (and what doesn't?), I also made a marginally healthy version of Texas Caviar with Avocado. Aside from the dressing (I subbed in champagne vinaigrette for the Italian dressing since it was New Year's Eve and that made it sound all festive and rich ::snort::), it was all healthy-ish ingredients. Even avocados are crammed with good fats, right?! The fact that you scoop this stuff up with Fritos, possibly the worst for you chip on the planet--and not coincidentally one of the best tasting--is completely immaterial. But since I am trying to be behave around food, I also decided to take the advice of a magazine I had been reading earlier in the day. I just have to say that the people at either Real Simple or Rachael Ray (don't remember which magazine is actually to blame) are completely on crack if they think for one minute that subbing endive, which might indeed have a crunch, for Fritos as the dip purveyor is in the slightest sense satisfying or comparable. Endive might look classier but let me tell you, endive bites. And I only took the Fritos to the party. Well, Fritos and the cheese straws, so I could spread the butter content onto other people's butts too.

Of course, going to two parties meant that other people had made tempting tasties as well. In fact, at one of the parties, it was doubling as a birthday party so there was cake. Lots of cake. Three cakes. Now it is going to seem a bit odd given my general food Hoovering tendencies but I don't actually like cake a whole lot. So I restrained myself and has a bite (literally one each) of two of the cakes. But I helped myself to rather more cheese straws than I should have (dad doesn't share with me either and I'm the baker) and several scoops of endive-less Texas Caviar.

My only defense against the delicious looking foods at both parties was to keep my back to them at all times. It worked as well as could be hoped for and certainly better than the "eat before you go so you won't be hungry" advice I always hear. Seriously, if I only ate when I was hungry, I wouldn't have a food problem. I eat because it is there and it tastes good. And this is what I am trying to work my way through and beyond. Coping strategies for people who eat because it crosses their sight line, not strategies for people who just need to be reminded that food is simply fuel for the body. And last night, aside from the stupid inadvisability of choosing to start this surrounded by fantastic and fattening food, I think I actually handled it pretty well.

So, should I be offended that my e-mail this morning contained one from Weight Watchers telling me that they were open today and urging me to find a meeting?