Monday, February 28, 2011

(191) An NSV this morning...

I mentioned briefly yesterday that I'm down a pound. Not much of a change, but I'm still approaching goal, so that's a good thing.
Trying to keep the frustration at bay with these tiny little changes.

But this morning, I had to tighten the belt another notch, which means things are happening!  I guess my weight is redistributing itself, or else I lost that entire pound around my waist...not likely.

But I'll take it.

Hubby is also dieting, and he's down 14 pounds in 2 weeks.

We have this new "deal" through our health insurance: if your weight is too high, your blood pressure is too high, or you smoke, you have to go through some "remedial" corrective actions prescribed by your doctor. If you don't, your rates get jacked way up.  Such a deal, huh?

Fun, fun.

So the pressure is on to meet the deadline of March 31st. I know we will meet the criteria, but hubby is worried, so he's trying to lose his weight a bit more rapidly.

My goal is to change how I eat, how I think about eating, and how much I eat. And lets not forget the "why" I eat. I'm trying to be very conscious of the tendency to eat from boredom, anxiety, frustration, anger, etc. It's tough. Last week was really crappy, and I was obsessing over pasta....for days. The urge has passed, as has the intense feelings and acute frustration, but I really need to be more aware of how that heightened emotional crap plays into my desire to eat.

How about you guys? Tell me how this plays out for you.....

Sunday, February 27, 2011

(190) Sunday Weigh In

I am down another pound, yay! Things are creeping along slowly but still going in the right direction, and for that I am glad.

Not much to say today, so I guess I'll just say hi to you all, hope you all had good weigh-ins today, and wish you a good week ahead.

Friday, February 25, 2011

(188) Wow! It's Been Half a Year!

I have this one-pager calendar that I use all the time at work, and way-back-when, when I started this journey, I started pencilling in the days that I have been working on losing weight.

My goal, then as well as now, has been to make life-style changes that would be healthier for me and my family.

So now it's been half a year in the process and here is some of the the progress I've made. (And while my numbers aren't nearly as dramatic as Allan or Patrick or Karen, Anne H, Jack, Kelly, or Christine, it's still an accomplishment.) (And by the way, there are so many more of you that are doing a fantastic job!)

I don't drink pop anymore.
I don't go to McD's anymore (or Wendy's, Taco Hell, Arby's, BK Lounge....)
I don't get a bucket of McDonald's sweet tea every afternoon, or ANY afternoon for that matter.
I order water to drink on the very rare occassion that I eat out.
I rarely eat out anymore.
IF I eat out, I order salads or something off the low-cal menu.
I eat fresh fruit every single day, usually several pieces.
I eat more fresh veggies.
I drink far less sugary fruit juice.
I drink vegetable juice now.
I drink lots of water every day.
I eat significantly smaller portions at every meal, (no more than 4-6 ounces of meat (split into two meals) per day, sometimes less)
I don't eat chips, cake, cookies, candy, ice cream, donuts, pastries.....
I don't eat french fries
I eat much less pasta

There are more things I do differently, but these are the most significant

As a result.....

I weigh less...15% less than I did 6 months ago.
I feel SOOO much better.
I don't have "stomach issues" anymore
Trips to the bathroom are uneventful, as opposed to urgent, irregular (either too often or too seldom) and uncomfortable
Stairs are easier
Exercise is easier
No more "head rushes" in the afternoons from the excessive sugar in the sweet tea.

And next month I go in for my check up: bp, cholesterol, weight, etc. I am expecting good results!!

So....six months into this, I am feeling pretty good about my results. I have made more changes than I expected, and they have been easier than I thought they would be. I was really worried at the beginning. I was afraid that it would be too hard to give up the things I loved and ate and had gotten used to. I was afraid that I would fail, that I wouldn't be able to force myself into new habits, or that it would be too difficult.

There have been some moments....oh boy! just this week was one of them! I wanted to over-indulge in the worst way! But I did something else instead, and the urges passed....and I felt much better about it afterward. And that is how much of this has been. Stick it out for a little while, and it gets easier. And easier.

Six months, lower weight and lots of new habits. And its the habits that make all the difference, because that is what will help me maintain my lower weight...forever.

Yay!  :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

(186) My JOB......

I love my f**king job......

No really.

I love it.

I LOVE it.

Its challenging on a daily basis.

I get to work with wonderful people.

Who love to cooperate.

And they all get along with each other. Every day.

And I get paid.

Its great.

And I get to do this for 12 more years.

And sometimes I have moments that really make me feel like my contributions are worthwhile.

And sometimes I get an "Attagirl" for something special I did.

And sometimes my boss will (would) pull me aside and say things like "I wish I had 10 more of you!"

And sometimes I get appreciative notes from my "customers".

It has its moments.

And I need to focus on the good ones.

And I need to create more of them.

(186) Confessions of a Night of Food Fantasy

So Last night I went home in tears, after having another day-from-hell at work. Hubby patiently listened and offered advice, while I ranted about broken equipment, lack of information, and feelings of being a target.

Then, I started fantasizing about pasta.

Normally on Tuesdays hubby and I do some work together in the evenings, so we don't typically have an "official" family dinner together. Its usually a fend for yourself kind of thing. But last night, hubby had pulled out some stuff from the freezer and wanted that for dinner. Not something I was interested in.

It wasn't pasta.

And all the while, I was just pacing around the house, trying to figure out a way to get out of cooking/eating at home. What I really wanted was Johnny Carino's.

Bowtie Festival

With the spicy romano sauce instead (cayenne pepper! yum!) Normally it comes with some bland creamy sauce.

Bowtie pasta, grilled chicken, diced tomato, onion and bacon, tossed with a spicy Romano cheese sauce, topped with some fresh grated Parmesan. A little hot fresh bread on the side. With butter.

That's what I really wanted. And I paced around the house for, least 30 minutes debating with myself, trying to come up with an excuse I could justify...or at least live with.

And then hubby went into the kitchen and started talking about his plan for dinner.....

And I caved. I caved into staying home and eating healthier. And eating a healthy sized serving, instead of a giant bowl of pasta.

No I didn't cave. I prevailed.

And I felt better for it.

(186) Back to Business

Good morning all...

Reviving the food log today.

Brkfst: coffee, water, whole wheat english muffin with low-sugar raspberry preserves
Snack: an apple, water
Lunch: plain turkey sandwich, 3/4 cup of chicken soup, water
Snack: 3/4 c of raspberries, water, coffee
Dinner: 3.5 ounces lean pork roast, 1/2 cup potato, water
Snack: 2 clementines, water


I've gotta find some kind of positive motivational input. Too many things going on lately that have me in an emotional dump, and thats ALL I focus on. Somewhere on this blog I posted "....and I'm tired of hearing myself complain about it". That was originally in reference to the weight/health business. But it applies to my mindset as well. Seems like all I have to talk about lately is the crappy, depressing, irritating bunch of b.s. that is going on all around me in my life.

I've had enough....I'm tired of hearing myself complain about that as well. I don't want to grow old, being one of those people who isn't happy unless they're bitchin. I have GOT to break this cycle. I'm becoming painfully aware that nearly everthing that comes out of my mouth lately is some kind of negative comment, viewpoint, perspective...whatever. I'm not even sure how it all started, but its got to end. I don't want to be one of those bitchy, miserable people who never has anything positive to say about anything.

So without further ado, here's a start:

  • Hubby made me coffee and breakfast this morning.  :) That was very sweet.
  • And it meant that I had a few extra minutes this morning just to sit with him and chat.  Even though it was only 10 minutes, it was nice.
  • I just sent hubby a couple txts to tell him I appreciate him, and thank him for the favors this morning.
  • I am lighter today than I was last month, and the month before.
  • I feel better physically
  • Hubby has lost 10 lbs as well
Its a start....and its a habit I need to form.

Monday, February 21, 2011

(184) Well Hello Everyone....

Long time, no hear....

I'm back in my office at work, and back to having a moment to breathe.

I've been swamped and *in a swamp* as you might have noticed from the few and gripey posts over that last week or two. Up to my ears in muck, so to say.

But being back to my desk is a step in the right direction to getting things back on track. Once I have unburried myself from the things that went untouched from last week, I should have more than a moment to breathe again.

I've been good in the eating department (as far as calories go), with the possible exception of the water part. Since I've not been counting or monitoring much this last week, I'm not sure I've actually gotten my requisite amount of water in. I know the food has been on track, since hubby is also dieting now too, so the trips to the grocery store have been for healthy, low fat, low calorie stuff. (Kiddo is still eating some junk, but most of that is gone from the house by now.)

One night last week, my dinner consisted solely of brussel sprouts, with a sprinkle of parmesan on top. Thats it. Plus water.

Lunches have been a plain sandwich with 1.5 to 2 ounces of turkey. Also eating lots of grapefruit lately. At least one a day, sometimes 2. Juice, as I mentioned a few days ago, has been restricted to V8 (low sodium). Dinners have been really lean beef, or grilled chicken, or steamed shrimp, with steamed veggies. Breakfasts have been whole wheat english muffins with low sugar preserves, or a hard-boiled egg.

One night I made a quick onion soup from sliced onions, a couple sprays of "olive oil Pam", and beef broth, topped with one Tbsp of shredded mozarella.

Last night I made a low-fat chili from 96% lean ground beef (75 cal per ounce), three cans of tomatoes (diced/stewed/diced chili-ready), 3 small onions, and seasonings. I plugged it into and it came out to 19 calories per ounce, and I ate one cup.

I can honestly say that my taste for food is changing. I'm spending a lot less time thinking about food. The snacks don't hold the same power over me that they used to. I'm not even craving them much anymore. (I confess I had to practically run down the "chips and snacks aisle" the other day, but I won! No snacks in the cart!

So, I apologize for the absense. I'm back and I'm sticking to the plan!


Oh yeah, one more thing: I'm on bottle number two so far. I had coffee and a grapefruit for breakfast, and a turkey sandwich and water for lunch.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

(183) In a Holding Pattern Again

After the week from hell, I guess accept the fact that I have not budged one bit on the scale.

Its better than gaining, I guess. But I'm not happy about it.

I'm really trying to get back on the bloggy-bandwagon. I'm still working the plan, for the most part, but I've just been too busy to write anything or keep track of much.

I've been so stressed out at work, and still having some on-going issues on the family front...mostly outside of my house...meaning that it's all about the extended family.

I'll be back soon....just know that I'm thinking about you all and hoping you are doing well and staying on track.

If anything, watching some of the crap that my mom and her sister's are experiencing is making me want to stay on track all the more.

Aging sucks.
Aging badly sucks more.
Aging badly, with a crappy diet, no exercise and smoking...well, that's just a nightmare...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

(179) I think thats the right number...???

I'm in training at work this week.

And that means that all of the stuff I need to do on a regular basis still has to get done.

And that means that after sitting in the training class for 9 hours each day, I leave there, drive across the work campus to my building, and spend another couple hours trying to catch up on the ever-growing pile over there....

So I just wanted to let you all know that I haven't fallen off the planet, nor have I fallen of the bandwagon....

Matter of fact, I'm so busy and so tired that I'm eating less than normal, despite the fact that I haven't been logging it in.

One thing I have changed this last week is I have cut out the fruit juice pretty much completely and replaced it with V8. Far fewer calories and much more nutrition. Hopefully I'll keep liking it for awhile.

So, no morning OJ...just V8 instead.

And low sodium too.

I'll be back.....going to pass out now....

Friday, February 11, 2011

(174) A Romantic Night Out

I just remembered that I wanted to share this with you all.

A few nights ago, hubby and I ran drove to the grocery store to pick up a few things. (too friggin cold to run, walk, or do anything else outside, as it has been in the single digits during the day, and hovering around zero at night! That's zero in English units, not metric. In metric that would be negative 17. Holy crap!)

So as we are perusing the aisles, everything we pick up we are reading the labels on, calories, fat....comparing, counting. How many ounces in this one? How many serving per container in that one.

What happened to a nice romantic, dare I say "sexy" night out?

Well, at least we didn't block the aisle with our cart, shuffle down the aisle in slow motion, and have little glasses perched on the ends of our noses....cuz if we had, it may have been time for the Depends aisle...

(174) Well I Need to Check In....

Yeah, I know it's been sparse around here lately. It's not for my lack of participation in Phase 5, its just that I have a lot on my plate right now...and I don't mean food. That the good part. It's not the food.

The rest is just that I'm so overwhelmingly busy. I thought that once I'd finished school last May, things would settle down, I'd have more free time, things would be more relaxed.

But NO!! For all the lack of classes, homework, studying, group studying....more things have popped up in their places....and a lot of it is stuff I don't like. At least I enjoyed school. But this kind of stress is for the birds.

But, I'm learning how to juggle better, and I'm honing my organizational skills, so hopefully I will be a little more on top of this crap in the not-too-distant future.

The good news this week is my weigh-in. Getting on the "more accurate" scale at work, I'm down 2 LBS this week! WOOHOO!!

As you might have guessed from my sparse posts, and my grumbling in the last one, I didn't get around to doing the cupboard purge last weekend like I'd planned, so that is on the list for this weekend.  I promised pics and I will deliver.

But for now, I have to get busy, cuz the plate is overflowing at the moment....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

(171) The Last 3 Days Fell into a Void...

Sorry for being away for the last few days. I wasn't feeling all that well on Friday, and when I got home, well....between that and more friggin snow, and...some worries I've had going on, and my sinuses acting up, and EVERYBODY at work passing around some bug or other, I just ended up having a lay-around-and do nothing sort of weekend. If only I'd gotted to do that completely...still had some errands to run, but once I was home, I just didn't feel like doing much of anything else.

I did not over-indulge in the lead-up to Phase 5, though. Matter of fact, I did some juicing and kept the calorie intake very low, partly because I didn't feel good, and partly because I'm so happy with my loose pants. Now its time to follow the plan.

So for all of you Phase 5 challengers, good luck!

For anyone else, well lets see how this works,  since this blog is about me discovering what works and what doesn't.

Friday, February 4, 2011

(167) I Hate to Open My Cupboards

Yesterday  I was talking about purging my cookbook shelf, and that got me thinking...

I need to purge the cupboards too.

Since I've been dieting, I just dread opening up the cupboards. I hadn't really realized how much it had been bothering me...just one of those things where I'd walk in the kitchen and pace a bit before opening the doors, one by one, unhappy with what I find, each and every time.

There's stuff in there I can't have. Stuff I have no intentions of making. But it plagues me nonetheless. For example, hubby pulled out two boxes of chocolate cake mix the other day. Him and youngest were discussing making brownies, but we don't have any mix. So they found the cake mixes instead. Ugh!! They haven't made the cakes yet, so those boxes are still sitting there...

There are also some caramel-apple wraps. You know...those thin sheets of caramel that you are supposed to wrap around an apple and microwave for a few seconds. I could just eat the caramel. But I'm not.

And then there is the pasta.

Pasta is a weakness of mine. It's one of those things that I have made very seldom since I started this weight loss journey. I just have such a hard time moderating it. I LOVE it, and I want to eat LOTS of it. So I don't make it at all. Well, hardly at all... Which is why I have a cupboard-full. Spaghetti, linguine, farfalle, rotini, lasagna, vermicelli, orzo, macaroni, egg noodles, spatzl, and enough flour to make dumplings for an army.


This is the one I really struggle with. I want to get to a place where I can eat a healthy amount and really enjoy it. But I'm not there yet.

So there it sits. Do I just throw it all away? I suppose I could donate the unopened containers. But that still leaves plenty. And there are the other people in my house to consider. Youngest isn't dieting. She's a very healthy weight, and her eating habits aren't terrible. Probably too many carbs and too much fat, but she also eats plenty of veggies and some fruit, so she's doing ok.

There is a part of me that just wants to empty out everything and start over. Get rid of all the pre-packaged crap, and stock up on just the healthy, low fat stuff, nutritional stuff. I guess I need a plan.

Hmm.....where to begin?

I think that I will start with one cupboard this weekend and take everything out, spread it out on the counter and start evaluating. I'm sure there are some things in there that just need to be pitched because they've been around too long. Thats a start. Then I'll separate the "truely junk food" from the marginal and questionable. If its junk and its been opened, its getting pitched. If its marginal, and unopened, I'll discuss with the family and pin them to a "you eat it by..." date else I'm throwing it away. If its an ingredient, I guess I'll have to take that into consideration.

So, the steps are:

1. empty
2. sort
3. purge crap
4. re-sort remainder
5. hold questionables for a short time
6. organize what's left
7. make a "pantry list" of healthy replacements

Anyone else have any suggestions? How have you handled your cupboards after starting a diet?

(167) Daily Food Log

Brkfst: coffee (40 cal), water
Snack: pear (96 cal), water
Lunch: leftover salad from last night (about 200 cal), grapefruit, (120 cal), coffee (40 cal)


Thursday, February 3, 2011

(166) Not Fixating on Flavor

One of the things I've noticed, by comparrison, is that, over the last couple months, I'm spending a lot less time thinking and daydreaming about food.

Or more to the point, before I started this diet/weight loss journey, I'd gotten very comfortable spending time thinking about food, planning meals, browsing through cookbooks, or even better, browsing through magazines with pretty pictures or watching the Food Network and all their shows about delicious gourmet foods.

It all sorta crept up on me.

Not too long ago I bought a magazine-style cookbook by Paula Dean. In it, there is a recipe for mac n' cheese. Initially is sounded so good! Lots of cheese, bacon, and half & half added for extra creaminess. I decided to make it, and everyone looked forward to it.

The evening arrived when I'd planned it for dinner. I got out all the stuff and got busy. Here are the ingredients:

5 Bacon Slices

1/4 C. Butter
1/2 C. All Purpose Flour
4 C. Half & Half
3 C. Shredded Smoked Cheddar Cheese, divided
3 C. Shredded Parmesan Cheese, divided
2 (8oz) Pkgs. Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Ground Red Pepper
1 Pound small Penne Pasta or Macaroni, cooked, drained & kept warm
1 (4oz) jar Diced Pimentos, drained

Holy COW!!!! I started getting a little worried about it while I was mixing it all up. Yes, those numbers are correct, unless Paula's publisher needs to fire the copy editor...

Really???!?!! 8 cups of cheese for one pound of pasta?!?!

But I soldiered on.....

When it was done and we sat down to eat, everyone....EVERYONE...was overwhelmed by it, and not in a good way. The kids, who ordinarily love cheese, were pretty much grossed out. Hubby agreed.

Seriously, there was enough cheese in this dish to choke a horse. (no offense to horses)

After dinner, I got to thinking about that recipe and why in the world I didn't look at it from the beginning and realize how ridiculous it was. That, my friend, is a recipe for death. No one, no body, not a single person has any business or need to consume that much fat in one dish, at one time. EVER.

What possessed Paula to come up with that recipe is far beyond me. The ratios are insane. It was unnecessary to put that much cheese into the dish. It could have had muck less in it and still been tasty.

Which brings me back to the whole bit about food-daydreaming. All the picures and tv shows make these recipes look so damn good, but if you allow your brain to kick in and really absorb what's going on, the warning bells should have been going off like crazy before I made this!!

Its no wonder that we have a weight problem.

So my meals have gotten much simpler and much more boring. I'm am trying very hard not to fixate on flavor, and just stick to utility. Get in the nutrition, even if its a bit bland and boring. I'm consciously avoiding thinking about food and meal planning from the perspective of taste, and trying to think only from the perspective of calories and flavor.

At some point in the future, I would like to enjoy the food I eat, without eating things like Paula's baked death in a bowl. I want to be able to make tasty dishes that are, in the first place, healthy, and second, of the right proportion.

I believe it is time for me to purge the cookbook shelf.

(166) Daily Food Round Up

Brkfst: coffee (40 cal), water
Snack: grapefruit (120 cal), water
Lunch:  peanut butter sandwich (whole wheat/1Tbsp PB/1Tbsp low sugar preserves) (240 cal), coffee (40 cal)
Snack:  pear (96 cal) water
Dinner: salad with lettuce, tomato, celery, fresh mozzarella, & vinaigrette (350 cal), coffee (40 cal)
Snack:  grapefruit (120 cal) coffee (40 cal) and water

Totals: 1086 cal 98 ounces

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

(165) So Much for 13" of Snow.....& food log for the day

I was a bit skeptical about the numbers they were predicting last night. I kept looking at the radar and satellite images and saw this swirl of cool dry air that was pushing right up through the middle of that storm. The more I watched it, the more it looked like it would split up that storm and spread it out.

Then I kept looking outside and the ***BIG*** flakes just weren't coming. You know the kind....clusters of fat, wet snowflakes that look like a cartoon cuz their so big.

Nope. Not here. It started yesterday with a sort of misty-sleety snow, and just got a little more dense and started blowing sideways.

Never gonna get 13" of accumulation out of that...only a bunch of drifts.

Sure enough, it looked like we got half of the predicted amount this morning. Just enough to make it miserable on the roads, and for the snow plows to make messes of all the intersections.

And for them to block in my driveway....


Brkfst: coffee, water
Snack: clementine, water
Lunch: salad with lettuce, tomato, olives, celery, green pepper and lite Italian dressing, water
Snack: none
Dinner: 2 homemade tacos, lotsa veggies, minimal cheese/beef, water

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

(164) K...I'm confused

Allan is sending out notes to his Challengers about helping a few stumbling participants. I hear the disappointment and discouragement....And then I read his latest post about the Challenge being closed.

And what I'm hearing...or at least what I think I'm a man who has made a decision to change his life for the better, who wants to share what he's learned so that others can learn what he has, who has opened his heart and his blog to folks that claim they want it.......and is heartbroken when they won't get it. Even if he doesn't say so in so many words.

I get this. I get this in a different sort of way. I get bending over backwards to try and help, guide, teach, mold, and shove someone in the right direction.....and then to have it all come flying back in your face.

I get it.

Why should I kill myself, drag myself through the emotional minefield, put myself out there, and spend so much energy trying to help someone who is unwilling to help themselves???


I've asked myself that a ga-gillion times.

And all I can come up with is this:

1.) by teaching you, I teach myself
2.) by helping others, I set an example to them
3.) by being successful, I show others what success looks like
4.) not all lessons are learned on the first try
5.) sometimes we plant the seed, but someone else picks the fruit
6.) sometimes lessons take a long time to sink in.

Allan, you keep writing your blog for you. I'm sure you will anyway, regardless of what anyone else says. But know that your intentions are clear to many, even if there are a few haters out there, and a few who just don't get it.

Everyone else who joined his Challenge: guess who needs some support?