Tuesday, November 30, 2010

101 Days and Still Counting

So, I've not been enjoying my coffee these last couple days...mostly because when I'm pouring it now, I'm thinging about how many calories are in my creamer. And its not that I'm so much wanting to trade those calories for something a little more substantial, its just that I think about how I'm starting off every morning with a blast of sugar. Ugh!

Not good!

And yet I LOVE the smell of my coffee, and I look forward to making it every morning, and the first few sips are soooo good. But then it starts to cool off, and I take it to work with me and it cools off more, and before long, I'm not enjoying it at all. I like my caffeine boost every morning, and I don't drink so much that I'm having issues with it, I'm just starting to struggle with whether or not I should attempt to give it up entirely. I suppose I could try and find a sugar-free version of the creamers I like. But I really hate the taste of artificial sweeteners, so that idea doesn't thrill me at all.

So, while I'm contemplating a change in my morning routine, here's where I'm at so far today:

coffee, 140 calories
water, 16.7 ounces
a medium banana, 105 calories

Total so far: 245 calories

More later.....

Lunch: side salad with chicken, feta, tomato, greek dressing, 516 cal
Iced tea: 75 calories

Running total: 836 calories

Still more:

Dinner: 2 cups turkey soup, no noodle, 150 calories
Olga's snackers (5/6) 217 calories

Total: 1203 calories, looks like I'm done for the night. Only water from now until bedtime.

Monday, November 29, 2010

No More Fiji Water....

Did you see the headline today? Fiji water will no longer be bottling water from the Fiji aquifer, due to an exorbitant tax hike imposed by the Fiji government. Something about the volume they bottle, compared to others that bottle water there as well, and also something about the instability of the government, what with coup's taking place and all. I don't really follow the politics of tiny little Pacific island nations, so I'm not really up to speed on it....But the company said they cannot continue to do business under those circumstances.

Pity... I really like that water...probably the best I've ever tasted. I can't really afford to drink it on any regular basis, so every once in awhile, I'll buy a bottle and savor it. Going to miss it...

So what are your favorite brands of water (including your own tap, if that's what you like!)

100 Days This Must be a Milestone....

Right? 100 days seems like a long time. 100 of anything seems like a lot. It should be.....After 100 days of dieting, I should be making some progress.

Yet so far I am averaging a weight loss of a pound every 11 days. Seems kinda disappointing, really.

I get so excited for you guys when I see numbers like 2.5 pound in a week, 4 pounds in a week, etc.

And then I get on the scale and it reads the same, or half a pound loss. Last week I hit the water numbers like I should, and I hit the calories numbers like a should, and I behaved myself on Thanksgiving ( no massive meals). None of the 4000 calorie days like Allan pointed out. Yet I'm still dragging along, losing ounces, if anything, and sometimes putting it on.

Ehh.....I'm done whining. I'm drinking water. I'm counting calories. I'm staying on task.


Coffee with creamer, 140 calories
16.7 ounces of water
Turkey soup: big bowl with noodles, 349 calories
16.7 ounces of water

More updates later...


So, later on...

Another bottle of water 16.7 ounces

Dinner: about an ounce of turkey and a tsp of gravy, 50 calories (finished off the leftovers!)
2 cups turkey soup without noodles 149 calories
3 Tbsp sweet potatoes 300 calories
2 Tbps mashed & gravy 120 calories

Another bottle of water 16.7 ounces


Calories: 1108 calories
Water: 66.8, and not done for the night

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 98 & 99 Second Thanksgiving

So the turkey soup......Made the soup base on Thursday night, and finished the soup tonight (Sunday). Normally I would add chicken broth to the turkey carcass when making the base, but this time I just used water, along with the other ingredients, carrots, onion, a bit of stuffing, celery, sage, thyme. Can't even tell the difference in taste, and it's certainly less expensive than using broth from a can or box.

Once the base is made and strained, I add sliced carrots, chopped celery, slivered onion, chopped turkey, and No Yolk extra wide noodles, on the side. I don't know about you, but I don't like mushy noodles in my soup. I like them to have some density to them, so I always make them in a separate pot, and add them to the bowl at serving, never in the soup pot. A little salt and pepper on top, and YUM!

I've kinda fallen on my face for keeping track of my water and calorie intake for the last couple days. I haven't been blowing it terribly, just not doing the counting. So today I'm back to business.

Breakfast: coffee with sweetened creamer, 140 cal.
One piece of french toast with 1 Tbsp low cal syrup: 175 + 50 = 225 calories

Another cup of coffee, 140 cal

Lunch: about 4 ounces of turkey with a Tbsp of gravy: 176 + 14 = 190 cal
3 tablespoons of sweet potatoes: about 300 cal

Dinner: bowl of turkey soup, about 140 cal.

Total: 1135 calories
Water so far: 32 ounces


So, the part about "second" thanksgiving...

About a year ago I joined an org called the SCA. Rather than give you my description, here's the official one from their website:

"The SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our "Known World" consists of 19 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more."

Mmmkay. Kinda geeky, I know. One of my "passions" is costuming, and to me, there is no better place to practice this than in a organization that is all about the garb. When my kids were little, I would go all-out on the costumes for Halloween. But, alas they are little no longer! (See how I got that in there?) Heh! And so I'd been trying to figure out how I could revive my costuming skills, when I stumbled across the SCA. 

(We have an annual Renaissance Festival here in Michigan, but quite honestly, its more of a theatrical event than truly Renaissance period. And most of the people that attend aren't in costumes, it's usually just the performers who work there that wear costumes, and many of these are not very authentic.)

The SCA, on the other hand, is all about authenticity, and that appealed to me, from an artistic/creative standpoint. I enjoy the research that goes into creating a period outfit, and like to see others' creations as well.

So the SCA is broken down in a hierarchical manner, from the international organization, down to the local barony to the smallest canton. The events occur at all levels, and yesterday was a Barony-level event called Wassail. Without going into a lot of history about Wassail, suffice it to say that this event is a pot-luck affair, with a generous helping of wine and/or ale, home-made or otherwise. When SCA members describe this event to others, they often call it another "thanksgiving", because of all the food and drink available. And unlike other SCA events, the food does not have to be "period" for this event. The event goes on all day, from noon til about 10 or 11pm, with dinner in the 5-6 pm range

So, youngest and I attended yesterday, and brought a hot dish, 2 pies, and a gallon of Honey-Crisp Apple Cider. And I also brought 5 bottles of water for me to drink, so I was staying on task!

What I did eat, I took very small amounts of, with the exception of the pulled-pork sandwich, because it was "a sandwich".

And the run-down is:

One pulled-pork sandwich on a kaiser roll, with 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce (ate 2/3 of it)
3 tablespoons of green bean casserole
1/2 cup of dill pickle soup (not liking it, only ate 3-4 teaspoons-full)
1 Tbsp of cranberry chutney (didn't like either, ate 1/2 a teaspoon-full)
2 ounces of ham
4 cubes of fresh pineapple
6 grape tomatoes
3 mini cream-puffs
2 Tbsp home-made cinnamon applesauce
And a bottle of white wine (drank 2/3 of it)
water (2.5 bottles)

I don't know what the calorie count is on this, but I'll guess that it was the sandwich and wine that did me in. The quantities are honest, as the request at this event is to take a taste of things until everyone has had a chance to visit the tables. I did not go back for seconds.

The good choices: the pineapple, tomatoes, applesauce, water

The bad choices: Kaiser roll, casserole, cream puffs

The bottom line: I didn't get in all the water, I'm sure I ran over on calories, but not terribly, and I am back on track today. But we had fun, and got to re-connect with some very cool people!

By the way, breakfast was my typical coffee, and that was it for the day.

Ugh! I so don't want to go back to work tomorrow! I've enjoyed a few days off, and even though I haven't had to get up really early, my time schedule is all screwed up, what with the 4am wake up the other day, and staying up too late at night. I don't feel really rested...

Hope you all had a nice holiday weekend and have a great week coming up!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 97 The Day After

No Black Friday shopping for me. I'm so not into the hassle of fighting thru those crowds! I have several friends who just love the experience, but it's just not my thing.

This morning, nothing much made it onto my list of "my things" except sleeping in and taking it easy the rest of the day. I ended up having a rather odd night. After updating my blog, I headed for bed. It was sometime around 1am when I finally laid down. And then the phone rang...at 3:49am.

That is never a good thing. And as I jumped out of bed to answer it, my heart was just pounding, fearing what I'd hear when I answered it. Turned out to be a friend of mine who was basically having an emotional melt-down and desperately needed a shoulder to lean on. This is not a typical thing, mind you. She's called once or twice before in this state of needing someone to talk to, but never at 4am. We ended up talking for about 45 minutes. It's tough to be jarred awake at that hour and be fully present and helpful, so I was relieved at the end of the conversation to hear her say that I'd actually helped a lot.  She and I are not the "closest" of friends, but friends none the less. We don't see each other all that often, but the times we do spend together are pleasant. My anxiety about the friendship is that we don't see eye to eye on things. Not that I do with all my friends, and its not a requirement to agree on everything. But she often asks for my advice, and I feel like my view runs very contrary to how she sees herself and her life. It leaves me feeling rather hog-tied. She didn't ask me to help her make any decisions, thankfully. She just asked me to help her get some clarity, and get a handle on her emotions. She felt stuck, and panic-stricken, and in one of those whirlpools of black emotional abyss. We talked, and I asked her questions, and reminded her of some things she's taught me over the years. I told her how I could relate, and what I did when I felt similar things, and what got me out of it. She was thankful, had a few Ah-Ha! moments, and sounded genuinely relieved by the end of the conversation.

I'm glad she called, despite the time. I'm glad I could help. But I would like to tell her a whole lot more. I don't know if my solutions would solve her problems, but I often feel like she is being particularly blind to her own contribution to her problems, and her seeming unwillingness to acknowledge the legitimacy of the other person's complaints.....how do I say "You are being very selfish here! *** has real complaints that you are ignoring out of spite, fear or childishness. Your "position" on this is selfish and unproductive, and if you really want a relationship built on trust, mutual happiness, and respect, then what you are doing won't get you there".

But she didn't call for my opinion. She called for a shoulder to cry on. She called because she was in a near-panic attack. She called for understanding and empathy and kindness. And all I really did was tell her how I handle it when I have feelings that are overwhelming and which I'm stuck in.

Can I really call that help?

Reading this post, and re-thinking how I handled it...I feel like I sold out. I feel like I let her down, cuz I didn't give her the cold, hard truth. I didn't tell her what I really thought about the situation. Strangely enough, when she describes the situation, I often feel like she's telling it to me from the other person's perspective, and I think "If that's how you see this, then how do you even have a leg to stand on?!? You just made their point!!"

Sounds crazy, doesn't it?

What am I missing here? Anyone? Thoughts?

Day 96-ish....and when it was all done....

I put the turkey carcass in a pot with onion, celery, sage and thyme, a scoop of stuffing, covered with water, and let it simmer for 3 hours or so. That is the basis for my turkey soup. After simmering, I sieved everything and saved the broth. Tomorrow is turkey soup day (The dinner leftovers are for Saturday), and I'll add carrots and egg noodles, a bit more celery, a diced potatoe (on request only) and chopped turkey meat.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 96 Happy Thanksgiving!!

Had a great dinner tonight! I did things a bit differently this year: I prepped ahead.

Seriously: I am the one who normally starts off well in the morning, and as the day wears on, my timing starts to slip. I run out of room in the oven, and start scrambling to figure out how to juggle what needs to go in, what can come out and hold for a bit, what needs to go in at the end, etc.

And in the middle of all this, I am struggling to get things assembled and into the baking pans, pots or whatever. The kitchen slowly deteriorates into a disaster area, despite my attempts to "clean as I go".

By the time I get around to making the gravy (usually one of the very last things), my sink will be piled high, I am juggling 12 things at once and something didn't get started on time.And when I finally sit down to eat, I'm so exhausted I can barely eat.

But not this year.

This year I decided (ironically at the last minute on Wednesday evening!) to prep ahead. I got the troupes into the kitchen to start helping with the cutting and peeling and stirring.

For starters, we have an enclosed porch on the back of our house. It's generally about 5-10 degrees warmer than the outside air, so when it's freezing outside, the porch is generally in the 40's. We put up the table out there as a staging area for the assembled food.

Altogether, we got these things done ahead:

Potatoes (for mashed) peeled/cut/in the pot and covered with water, lid on, and stashed on the back porch.

Turkey thawed, rinsed, and soaking in a brine of water, salt, sage, marjoram, bay leaves, thyme, and pepper. Bag tied, and placed in the covered roaster that it would be cooking in today. Stashed it in the garage (on a table) where it was about 35-40 degrees through the night.

Steamed the green beans, assembled the green bean casserole, covered and stashed on the porch.

Cut/sauted all the stuff for the stuffing: onion, celery, apples, sausage. Mixed it all up and made stuffin' muffins, in the tins, covered with foil, on the porch.

Sweet potatoes in the pan...but undecided on what to add, so I set those aside, unfinished.

Corn in the microwave dish, covered and ready.

Cheesy potatoes: onions sauted, everything mixed and spooned into baking dished, covered in foil, on the porch.

I debated on making a salad. It ended up being only four of us, so given all the other stuff, I decided that I'd skip the salad and save it to make on the weekend. When there is all this other stuff to eat, my family tends to skip the salad, and then I just end up with this big bowl that takes up too much space in the fridge. No salad.

I bought a pie this year, so no baking to worry about.

This morning I got up, drained and rinsed the turkey, replaced it in the roaster with salt, pepper, sage and thyme, a couple onions in the cavities, and away it went. Set the timer and sat back for a couple hours. They I preheated the over and started adding things according to a time schedule I made this morning. Things went in on time, things came out on time, the turkey "rested" as it was supposed to do, and got carved and covered with foil, the gravy was finishing as the croissants came out of the oven, and when we sat down, EVERYTHING WAS HOT!! And I wasn't exhausted!!

Woohoo!!! I think I discovered a secret! Well, maybe not a secret, but definitely something that had been lost on me for a long time: plan ahead!!

By the way, THANKS!!! ALLAN!! The brine suggestion for the turkey was awesome!! Absolutely AWESOME! Everyone said this was the most moist turkey I've ever made, and that the gravy was the best as well!

And on my plate this year: turkey (no gravy), sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, one croissant, stuffing, corn. I skipped the mashed and cheesy potatoes. No pie. I was full but not stuffed, no seconds, and I felt comfortable the rest of the evening.

All in all, a successful Thanksgiving dinner!

I hope you all had a wonderful day as well!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 95 Continued...Plans are Firming Up


So the on-going saga that I posted about a couple weeks ago (I took the post down cuz it was a crappy, emotional rant, but in case you read it and were wondering...) has calmed down a bit. Finally spoke to mom this morning. I called her. I've been debating for a week on whether I would sit back and wait, or be the bigger person and call. I invited her to dinner, AGAIN. She claimed "she didn't know she was invited".

As if.

As if I had EVER IN MY LIFE not invited her to Thanksgiving dinner! She has this way....

But I must say that, all in all, she was MUCH calmer on the phone than the last time we spoke. She was civil, almost congenial. Only a trace of guilt-trip in there. But I think I heard a little bit of relief. Maybe just a tad, but something. Definitely a tone of wanting to get past her last ridiculous, unfounded ranting tirade.

And that's a good thing.

Even if she won't be coming over for dinner, at least we talked, and it wasn't "angry". Maybe we both just need a little more time. That's fine. That means a small Thanksgiving dinner at my house, just 4 of us.

And that also means I don't have to do the insane-house-cleaning to make my Aunts (Mrs Clean and Mrs Cleaner) happy. Not that my house is dirty, or even that cluttered. I just tend to hyperventilate when I know that they are coming over. See, we have three dogs, and have raised 3  kids, and no matter how hard we've tried to keep the house clean and orderly on a regular basis, my house will never compare to that of an older widowed compulsive cleaner with no pets.

Know what I mean?

In any event.....we'll be having a ton of food for just 4 people, but I know how to handle all that turkey, and my family loves my left-overs, so it won't go to waste, and I'm pretty sure I can still stay on plan. Did I mention that I make a killer turkey soup? Shepherd's pie? I can eat it, as long as I control the portion size, and drink the water!

Well, that's it for now....I'll post the food totals later tonight.

Thanks for stopping by...

Day 95 I Broke the Barrier!!

WOOHOO!! I finally broke the barrier!! Since starting this weight loss journey I have been stuck in this 7-10 pound range for what seems like forever! I'd lost weight right at the beginning, but then gained 1 lost 1, gained 2 lost 2. Back and forth. I could never get past the "lost ten pounds" mark. This morning I got on the scale and I lost another 1.5 pounds! which means I've now lost 11.5 pounds!

Seems like such a small goal, but this is what made me throw up my hands last time. I got stuck, and no matter what I did, my weight just wouldn't budge.

Now I am over the hump! And I'm staying over it!

Breakfast: coffee, 120 calories

Lunch: turkey sandwich, plain: 210 calories
lemonade: 90 cal

Total so far: 320 calories

More later....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 94 I Need Scale Consistency, and No Drama

So I have a scale at work that I've been using to weigh myself, and occasionally I will also weigh myself at home. Problem is that the two don't match. It appears that they're off by three pounds, my home scale reading heavier.

I actually trust my work scale much more, since that scale gets calibrated on a yearly basis. Who knows if my home scale was ever calibrated in the first place!

The lesson here is to use one scale and stick with it. That's really the only honest way to tell what's going on with your weight. I should know this. As an engineer, I know that it is critical to use the same instruments when making measurements over time, to eliminate the uncertainty from different pieces of equipment. In this case, my anxiety over whether or not I've lost weight this week got the best of me, and I used my home scale, which read 3 pounds heavier. I promptly went into a tail-spin over gaining weight, despite sticking to calorie and water goals throughout the weekend.  Matter of fact, I've been on target for calories and water since I started the DDDC with Allan.

So I ended up causing myself all kinds on grief this weekend for no good reason. As Allan said, I need to relax.

Yep. Definitely need to do that.

My Thanksgiving Dinner headcount is the smallest I've ever had. There will probably be only 4 of us this year, kinda sad, actually. It may grow to 7, but that is entirely dependent on whether the drama queen in my family cares to continue the current episode or cut the crap and enjoy a nice holiday together.

I've decided to not get sucked into it. I'm going to enjoy some turkey, green bean casserole, carrots and minimal potatoes, with a side of "calm", a dollop of "relaxed", and a hefty serving of "don't give a shit".

The door will be open, the plates will be available, the food will be hot, and the company friendly. If they show up, great. If not, I'm not going to get all angst-ridden....

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Tally for the day so far:

Breakfast: coffee w/ sweetened creamer: 2 cups 240 cal
16.7 ounces of water

Lunch: one apple (95 cal), one clementine (35 cal) and one banana (105 cal): 235 calories
Bottle of water, 16.7 ounces

475 calories used
33.4 ounces water consumed

Finally, for dinner: 3ounces of marinated chicken breast, pan-fried, 150 cal
About 1 cup of rice, 230 calories
3/4 cup of peas 90 cal
Lemonade, 90 calories

2 more bottles of water
Glass of white wine, 120 calories

And here comes the stupid snack...mini marshmallows 1/2 cup 80 calories.

Total: 1235 calories
67.6 ounces of water
16 ounces of lemondade
24 ounces of coffee

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 93 Just the Bottom Line

Busy day with youngest's birthday today; she's 16! Had the big celebration a couple weeks ago, so today is just out to a movie and lunch, followed by a visit to get her hair done.

So I'm just going to recap the food from yesterday and today.


Finished the pad thai from saturday: about 400 cal (there was a bit less than half)
one serving of oatmeal, 160 cal
coffee w/ sweetened creamer 140 cal
67.6 ounces of water
one slice of pepperoni mushroom pizza about 350 calories (best guess)

Total: 1050 calories

Today, so far:

coffee w/ sweetened creamer 160 cal
cranberry chicken pecan salad 491 cal
coffee w/ cream & sugar 75 cal
33 ounces of water

Total: 726 calories
remaining: 606 cal and 50 ounces of water!

Finished off the night with a clementine, 35 calories
1/3 bag of microwave popcorn with butter flavored sprinkle 148 cal
5 ounces of white wine 120 cal
33 ounces water

Total: 1029 cal
Water: 67.6

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 92 Weigh In Day and I'm Kinda Nervous

Sometime today I'll be getting on the scale and sending my numbers to Allan, over at Almost Gastric Bypass. I've been sucking down the water like crazy. This water thing has only added to my family's belief that I am "tiny tank". I contend that I have the world's most efficient kidneys, as I can process liquid in about 15 minutes, on average. Especially lemonade.

But I'm kinda nervous about this weigh in. Nothing feels different. Like, my pants aren't fitting any different, my bra isn't getting any looser. (That's a good thing, right? I mean the bra part.  ;)  )

The first month into this, I dropped some pounds right away, and immediately felt a change in the way my clothes were fitting. Now.....nothing. Nada. And that's what's making me worry about the weigh in.

My belly is rumbling, and I'll be heading the the b.r. soon, so I'll get on the scale after that. Wish me luck.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 91 Keepin' it Honest

Today was a work day at our house. Hubby and I have decided that, given the amount of tasks, projects, and endless lists of needed repairs or whatever, we would deem every other weekend a "work weekend" in an attempt to get things done and not get burnt out. It's not a foolproof plan, and there are times when we switch it up for more pressing needs, or just cancel the work weekend when we are "just not feeling it". But all in all, it works pretty well, because if its planned, there's no haggling over "I want to and you don't, you want to and I don't". It's the plan, and we're sticking to it.

So, as I mentioned earlier this week, youngest kidlet is moving upstairs into one of the vacated rooms from the older two. She picked the eldest's room, which eldest had painted "red". UUGHH!! It was horrible! Hubby had to put 4 coats of primer on just to hide the last remnants of it. Just aweful.

So, earlier this week, youngest and I went and picked out new paint, and thankfully she picked something a lot more "relaxed"....a pale blue. We're going to accent with pale green and 3 shades in the medium range, to add varying sizes of circles. Sounds kinda strange. I'll add pics when it's done. The medium accent colors are blue, green, and purple. You'll see. It'll be MUCH better than the red.

So food today was pretty much a utility thing.

For breakfast: microwave oatmeal 160 cal, plus water and coffee 140 cal
Lunch: 2 slices of bread 110 cal, and 2 slices of salami 60 cal, plus water
Snack in the afternoon: a very small, sad looking apple 30 cal and two hard boiled eggs 180, plus water

So far:  680 cal

Dinner: 1/2 order of carry-out chicken pad thai. Now this was a tough one to figure. I ended up at allrecipes to try and calculate how many calories I ate. Now I'm sure that what allrecipes calls one serving isn't what my local Thai restaurant calls one serving, so here's what I did. One serving at allrecipes is 524 cal. I would guess that the restaurant serving is about 1.5 times that, or 786 calories, of which I ate half which is 393 calories. I'll throw in an extra 100 cal just to be safe, and call it about 500 calories. Sound reasonable? Thoughts? Objections?

Plus more water.

Total for the day: 1180 cal
Water: 67.6 ounces.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 89 & 90 Staying on Task

So first up is a recap from yesterday:

Coffee w/ sweetened creamer 140 cal
2/3 of a plain hamburger          276 cal
3/4 of an order of fries             277 cal
a can of coke                          136 cal
1.5 chicken strips                    205 cal
7 corn chips                          137 cal
1 Tbsp barbeque sauce             30 cal
10 ounces of wine                    140 cal
71 ounces of water                      0 cal
Total                                      1341 cal

So the less-than-ideal choices yesterday need a little explaining. Several co-workers and I had planned on taking another co-worker out for her birthday. She picked the place, which serves exactly 5 items: hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries, onion rings and baked beans. Given my choices, I picked the lesser of the evils and did not eat the whole meal. I could have skipped the coke. Then after work, two former classmates and I had been requested to attend an innovation symposium at our alma matter, to be recognised for a project we did. We met to car-pool, and stopped in to a bar/restaurant for a quick bite before heading to campus. We split a basket of chips & salsa and an order of chicken strips. I had a couple glasses of wine last night as well. Even though WHAT I ate wasn't ideal, I was very conscious of QUANTITY so that I could stay within goal of my calories.

To come up with all these values, I use NutritionData.com. I pick the closest item I can find to what I actually ate. Sometimes I have to settle for a generic description and make a best-guess, so my calories above may not be exact, but I'm being as honest as possible.


Today, so far: coffee w/ creamer 180 cal.
2 bottles of water so far, 33.8 ounces
beef stew for lunch, quinoa added 494 calories

Used so far today: 674
Remaining: 646 calories

1/2 of an oatmeal cranberry energy bar: 65 calories
Remaining calories: 581 calories

Dinner: the last of the stew (whew!) about 1/2 of a serving: 250 cal
1 serving of baby carrots, raw: 35 cal
1.5 servings of Cheez-its: 200
Tbsp cashews: 65 cal
Tbsp peanuts: 50 cal
2 more bottles of water
Calories 600

Total cal for the day: 1338 cal
Total water for the day: 67.6 ounces
And about 16 ounces of coffee

While the variety wasn't all that great, the choices were better than yesterday and I made my goal for calories and water. Yay!

Spent the evening working on the house again. We are doing some repair work in an upstairs bedroom, and prepping for paint. Our oldest two have moved out and the youngest is moving into one of their old rooms. I cannot believe how much sticky crap they have on their walls! Tape residue, and god knows what else! How many posters can you possibly hang in one room?!?

So that has been my workout in the evenings. Scrubbing walls, fixing drywall/mudding, painting.

Fun, fun.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 89 Water, Water Everywhere

Before I decided to lose weight (over a year ago), or should I say when I first started thinking about it, I came to the realization that I was going to have to eliminate all the sweetened iced tea, pop, juice, etc, that I consumed on such a regular basis. Quite honestly, I'm amazed that I hadn't become pre-diabetic for all the sugar I was drinking.

It was pretty common (OK, daily) for me to get those giant size cups of "Sweet Tea" from McDonald's (No ice please, cuz you can get more in the cup that way). I called it my "bucket o' tea".  And I'd drink that at work. All day. After work, I'd drink more sweet tea (at home, I'd make a gallon at a time, with a cup of sugar added), and drink that all afternoon and evening. And I absolutely love fruit juice. Pretty much any kind, especially if its got cranberry in it. Which means it must have lots of high-fructose corn syrup. Its nothing for me to pour myself a 16 ounce glass of juice and drink it in 2 or 3 long gulps. No one in my house will share a drink with me, cuz I'll half empty the glass!

So the thought of letting go of all that sweet, tasty, thirst-quenching heaven really filled me with anxiety. After all, we MUST drink a lot of fluids every day, its healthy, right? I got the part about changing foods and eating less fat/sugar/carbs etc. For the most part, I was prepared for that. It was the loss of the sweet drinks that really worried me. I've never been a water drinker, except in those odd moments of great thirst when the only relief is a drinking fountain with metalic tasting tepid water, and your mouth feels like the Sahara. Bleck!! But necessary.

Who wants to drink water like that? Or the chlorine filled stuff out of my kitchen tap?

And I didn't relish the idea of spending a ton of money on bottled water, either. It seems so ridiculous. Water. More expensive that the gas in my car. How insane is that?!?

But I relented. It hasn't been easy. But it has been surprising. At first, I started drinking a bottle here, and a bottle there. I was not impressed. None of them tasted very good, and some of them tasted rather lousy. So I kept trying different brands. Absopure, Mountain Springs, Poland Springs, Dasani, Ice Mountain. I can't even remember all the brands we've been through. None of them appealed to me. At least not at first.

My husband kept buying cases of water. After all, the kids were drinking it, he was drinking it, occasionally I would drink it. And then one day I realized that I'd become acclimated to drinking water. It wasn't so bad anymore. It happened very gradually. In the beginning, I just forced myself to sip away. More often than not, the water would long since have warmed up, making it even more unappealing, and I'd dump the rest on the plants or in the dogs dish. Hubby was getting pretty worked up about all the "wasted" water that we're paying good money for.

But one day I found myself craving a nice cold bottle of water. Like I used to crave juice or tea.I wasn't forcing myself.  Wow! This feels pretty good! I used to dread the idea of having to choke down 32 or 48 or 64 ounces of water in a day. Now I don't even bat an eye. I haven't given up the sweetened morning coffee.  But I've pretty much eliminated all the other stuff. And I don't worry anymore about the occassional glass of juice, because I know that the vast majority of the fluids I drink are calorie free. (And not artifically sweetened!).

So that's a hurdle I've passed. I think it was as much a mental hurdle, as it was physical. And besides the benefit of helping with weight loss and keeping me hydrated in a good way, water doesn't give me the headrushes and bloated feeling I used to get from drinking all that sweet tea. And that feels GREAT! My tastebuds have adjusted in ways I never expected! Surprise!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 88 Did Pretty Great...

Just got an email from Allan, letting me know my target water intake and calories should be:

69 ounces of water as a minimum
82 to get the full effect of eating only 1320 calories per day

Well, looking at what I accomplished today, I am pleased to be completely on track tonight! I came in over target on water, and a shade under on calories. WooHoo!!

Here we go!!

Day 88....Still Feeling Great

I've been checking out Allan's Blog over at Almost Gastric Bypass. He's not for the faint of heart. If you're looking for sympathy, look elsewhere. If you're looking for straight-up, no bullshit input on losing weight, check him out. He pulls no punches, so if you want a good reality-kick-in-the-pants, he's your guy.

He's got these Double Dog Dare Challenges going on. I'm still sifting thru his posts, trying to figure them out, but so far I've got this:

Double Dog Calorie Challenge: Drink 64 ounces of water a day; multiply your goal weight by 11 and consume ONLY that many calories. And count EVERY calorie. Don't lie.

He's emailing me later tonight with some calculations for another challenge, something like a Son of a Double Dog Dare......damn! wish he had a search box on his site! I'm still hunting around for the details!

So, as a bit of a head start, I've got 51 ounces of water in today, plus 24 ounces of coffee. 5 Tbsp of flavored creamer (225 calories).  One can of Campbell's Select Harvest Chicken and Long Grain Rice soup (220 calories). Side note: yuck! 18 regular Cheez-it crackers (100 calories)

Total so far today: 545 calories
Remaining: 720 calories


Dinner: Beef stew, (not thickened) with carrots and mushrooms (potatoes on the side for family, not me), and quinoa, to be added at serving.

Plugged my recipe into NutritionData.com for analysis, and it turns out to have 409 calories per serving. Added a half-serving of the quinoa, at 85 calories. One small croissant with dinner, 120 calories. 614 calories. Bottle of water to drink

Snack was 13 corn chips (1 serving, 140 calories).

One more bottle of water before bed.

Total for the day 1299 calories and 84.5 ounces of water, 24 ounces of coffee.

Not bad.

And my "exercise" tonight was installing and mudding some drywall, along with 85 trips up and down two flights of stairs.


But no running....crap.

Day 88 Feeling Great!

So, Patrick, over at Responsibility 199 asks:

How about you, are you feeling GREAT today?
If YES, why?
If NOT, why?

Today, I am feeling:
Great because I spent a wonderful weekend with some fantastic people who are committed to making their lives magnificent!
Great because I gained some awesome insight while I was with those people, some real Ah-Hah!! moments!
Great because I have a WONDERFUL husband and kids (who sometimes DO wear me out! but that's OK)
Great because I am healthier than I was 3 months ago.
Great because I have found that blogging is helping me feel accountable and motivated by others, and makes me want to be supportive of others as well.

Thanks, Patrick! For the reminder to think positive and be thankful!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 87 Continued....

Food was pretty on target today. As always, coffee for breakfast.

For lunch, I had a small serving of spaghetti with a chunky garden-style sauce, with extra mushrooms added. Water and cranberry juice to drink.

Dinner was lime-butter shrimp over rice, with more water.

Not much of an appetite today, I've been more thirsty than anything. For a snack, I had a handful of Baked Lays potato chips, just cuz I wanted the salt.

More water this evening.

Walked a bit today, no actual running. I was on my feet all day at work and my back was pretty sore, but I am building back up to week 5 of the C25K.

Diet Chic is keeping me on task! I need it!

Nite all...

Day 87....Back in Town and Getting Back to Plan

Well, this has been an incredibly busy weekend. I've been out of town for a class, and was busy from 7am to 11pm Friday Saturday and Sunday, so I had very little time to do anything other than sleep.

I am home, mentally freshed and ready to get back on task!

On a side note, I met several runners over the weekend, one who is a half-marathon runner, and one who does triathlons. Woohoo! They were both very enthusiastic about the C25K being a great plan and a great segway into building up to longer runs.

I'm getting out there tonight, and am pleased that the weather here in Michigan hasn't gotten really ugly yet. I don't have a treadmill or go to a gym, so the neighborhood is pretty much it for me. Thankfully, I only have to contend with the leaves at this point.

I'll be checking in with everyone else throughout the day, and hope that you've all had a good weekend and are making good choices.

PS I read through my rant from last week and decided to take it down. Bleh! Want to move on and not be reminded of that episode, or my state of mind at the time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 83 Humbled....

Aww, you're killing me Jack! On the day I am whining up a ......a.....something, you have to go and remind me that I'm slacking off and have totally dropped the ball on Kelly's (and your) 5K challenge.

Five weeks ago I was all "Oh I'm so gonna do this!". Three weeks ago, I was all  "I'm so nailing this".

A week ago I was all "                            cricket........cricket...........              ".

Dang! I got 4 solid weeks under my belt on this, and then I promptly and completely fell on my FACE!!


( dusts off self )

Well, I'm duly humbled. 

And I am getting back out there. But its 1:30am, so I'll get out there tomorrow.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Tag! I'm it! Now you are too!

Christina, over at  http://iamsickofbeingasbigasahouse.blogspot.com/ tagged me in a little quiz. Here goes!

1.  If you had to, what relative would you lock up in the shed and why?

My ex. Nuff said.

2.  If you were a stripper, what would your stripper name be?

Lefty, since my coordination for dancing pretty much ends at my knees.....two left feet, get it?

3.  If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?

Well, not sure if this counts, but I'd definitely be in charge of wardrobe. Making costumes is a passion of mine.

4.  What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?

Wow.....um....been awhile since I can remember anything public that happened.  Let's just say that when I was in labor with my daughter and was pushing....well, um.....yeah.

Objective: Answer 4 question, Pick 4 people, Ask 4 new questions.

The new "Its"

Smaller Fun Pants

Responsibility 199

Kelly is losing weight

Diet Chic

The Questions:

1. What is/was your proudest moment?

2. If you could pick any profession whatsoever, what would you be?

3. What's the best advice you never took?

4. If you could have one do-over in life, what would it be?

Days 78 & 79 Might be something going around...

So this bellyache has been bugging me for several days. And it has been really strange: just feeling kinda full, and sore and achy all over my abdomen. No panic runs to the bathroom. No fever, no other symptoms. Just not right. Maybe I just need some prunes...lol! Hopefully its not a bug....sure doesn't act like one.

On the up side, I've lost another pound, so maybe I'm breaking my slump. I need to get back to my C25K.

I'm going to apologize now to Jack and Kelly. I don't think I'm going to make that 5K by the 14th. I'm still going to plug along, and I will get out there and do something, but I can't guarantee that I'll run the whole 5K.

But I will soon.

Does anyone have a good recipe for beef stroganof that is a healthy version? If so, would you mind sharing?

I'm supposed to be making that for dinner tonight. My mom is coming over, along with my oldest and her boyfriend. Regardless of the recipe, I'm going to be taking it *very easy* on the portions, given my recent issues, but I'd like to get ahold of a low-fat version.

I'll check back later tonight....TTFN

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Days 76 & 77 Oooooh My Belly Hurts!

Not exactly sure whats been going on the last two days, but I've just have this stomach ache that's really weird feeling.

No "bathroom" issues....just this general ache/hurt thing that's moving around. Started on the right side, moved to the left side, now it just sorta hurts all over, and it's sorta off and on.

Don't know if its a bug going around. Nobody in the house has been sick, or at work, that I know of.

And I haven't been eating too much. Soup for dinner yesterday, a sandwich for lunch.

Today, I've nibbled a bit, but just not feeling up to par, and I really don't have an appetite. I'll check in with you all later...prolly tomorrow.

Sorry for the lame posts....I'll get it together, and soon. Promise!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 75 Not as Bad as I Feared

Well, I took your advice, Paula. I got on the scale. And wonder of all wonders: I didn't gain anything. I'm still hanging in there, so no loss either. But after that week I just had, I'm glad it just remained stable.

I'll take that as a sign that my choices weren't as bad as I feared. But honestly, I know what I did, and I know what I could do better. And I just need to do it.

Tomorrow is another day, and another chance to throw that leg back up on the wagon. Now I'm just tired....good nite all.

And thanks for stopping by. Your words of encouragement mean a lot! Really!!

Days 73-74 Partially on the Wagon, but Dragging a Leg

Ok, so I'm not that motivated this week. I said I'd be back on Monday night, and yet here it is Thursday and I haven't written a thing...


I didn't make it out to run Monday night, or even Tuesday for that matter. Hubby and I did manage a walk yesterday evening for about 2 miles, but that hardly makes up for the last week.

Feeling pretty disconnected and discouraged right now. Wish I could get my mind and my motivation on the same wavelength.  I'm not really feeling like eating a lot, I just don't have the motivation to do much of anything else.

Food recap for the last couple days:

Monday night: Roast pork tenderloin marinated in garlic and herbs, couscous, and baked acorn squash

Tuesday lunch: leftovers from Monday night
Tuesday dinner: (Can't remember!! AACK!!)

Wednesday lunch: Boar's Head Salsalito turkey sandwich (no condiments, no cheese), apple cider to drink
Wednesday dinner: mediterranean chicken salad on pita with hummus

Coffee and water to drink, and I fell on my face and drank pepsi on Tuesday.

In any event, here is the recipe we made last night. We all loved it. NOTE: I could not get baba ghanoush at my regular grocery store, and didn't feel like running all over to find it, so I used roasted red pepper hummus, from Garden Fresh.

Chicken Salad Pita with Baba Ghanoush

Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Serves:  4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons dried mint, crumbled
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 chicken scallopine (4 to 5 ounces each)
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 unpeeled kirby cucumber, chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 pocketless pitas
  • 1/2 cup baba ghanoush (eggplant spread, sold near hummus in the refrigerated section)
  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce


Whisk the vinegar, mint, red pepper flakes, 1 clove garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the chicken and marinate about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the tomatoes, cucumber and the remaining 1 clove garlic in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the chicken until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into 1/2-inch-thick strips. Toss with the vegetables.
Brush the pitas with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt. Grill, turning once, until marked. Place a pita on each plate and spread with baba ghanoush. Top with lettuce and chicken salad and drizzle with any juices from the bowl.
Per serving: Calories 342; Fat 15 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 74 mg; Sodium 587 mg; Carbohydrate 24 g; Fiber 4 g; Protein 29 g


I have no idea how many calories I've actually eaten in the last week. I just know that I am emotionally struggling with keeping up any kind of motivation. I've told others in the community to "fire the committee" when they are struggling with demotivation and negative self-talk...I need to take my own advice.

I can do this, right? I can make the changes. I can make better choices. I can eat better, feel better, live better. I can exercise more.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Days 70-72 Ooops! I've Fallen........ah, whatever

So yes, I was out of town for a few days, and had limited access to my blog.

But I'm home now, and I'm definitely in need of getting back up again.

We went to Chicago for a few days...took the train into Union Station. That's a cool trip. It's about 5 hours from our house to Chi-town. It is so much easier than flying, since we literally pulled into a parking space at the train station, walked about 75 feet to the door, checked in, walked another 50 feet onto the train and sat down. No checked baggage, no lines, no hassle. Just easy. No waiting at the other end for baggage to be unloaded. No 3-mile hike from the gate to baggage claim. I think it takes less time overall, and Union Station is smack in the middle of downtown Chicago, so its easy to get anywhere from there!

As far as sticking to my plan; I didn't. Shame, shame. I didn't eat excessively, probably only ate twice a day, but the meal choices weren't very good, and I ate a donut, several bagels, and pasta. Needless to say, I'm up on the scale. I did, however, walk a gagillion miles while we were there, so I'm pretty sure I was burning some calories.

But I'm glad to be home, and ready to resume the plan.

Tonight, I'm back to my C25K running, and I had a healthy lunch: apple, plum, pineapple-orange juice, about 2 oz of cashews, and 1/2 slice of pumpkin bread.

Tonight, well....I'm hunting for a healthy recipe for pork tenderloin right now...I'll update later. Plus I want to catch up on what everyone else has been doing, so I'll be back later tonight....