Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Terror of Halloween

I had intended to post before now, but I've done everything but that.  I've been journaling my food and trying to squeeze in my exercise and get in bed a little earlier.  Some days are more successful than others, but that's life.

Last week was a challenge.  Halloween was full of sweet treats. By the end of the evening, I only had ten pieces of candy that had not been given out to the little gremlins.  Even though most of my candy was chocolate, I did NOT eat any! The remnants were consumed by my little neighborhood girls when they came to visit my dog the next day.  (Yes, my dog gets visitors; but that's another post.)

The bigger challenge was the potluck at the office.  I had a plan.  I took my own breakfast and snacks and I would eat the meat, fruit and veggies from the potluck. The dish that I prepared was a low fat pumpkin bread recipe from Skinnytaste.

Things went well until the slow-cookers arrived bringing meatballs and little smokies to simmer all day, filling the office with the aroma of sweet, yummy barbecue sauce.  Can you tell that I was just about to lose my mind?   I had a healthy snack, but I was drooling like a dog waiting for a treat. I even put my goal weight on a sticky note. It is still on my monitor.  Finally, I gave in and made a plate with a few meatballs and some fruit.  I knew that I had to run an errand at lunch and I had wisely packed my gym bag; so off to the gym I went.

I made a list of the things at the potluck.  More than willpower enabled me to navigate this:

Meat and cheese tray
2 creamy dips
BBQ meatballs
Lil smokies
Chips,Chips, Chips (So many chips that there is still an unopened bag)
Cookies--those soft iced ones.......
Fudge (There are still a few pieces lurking around)
My pumpkin bread
Fruit tray with some dip in the middle
Veggie tray with of course, ranch in the middle

Can you imagine?  

Even with all of this, I'm down nine pounds. Yippee!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Fight Against the Michelin Man

The Michelin man look is not a good look on me.  I know it's all about what's inside, but the outside  is adversely affecting the inside. I saw a great deal for Jillian Michaels' online program.  My husband saw the same deal several weeks later and mentioned it to me.  Of course, my link had expired, but he found his link and it worked.  So now I've signed up for Jillian Michaels' website for SIX MONTHS!!!  Since I've been neglecting my blog, I have decided to blog about my experience, lessons, etc.

I have been listening to Jillian's podcasts on iTunes.  If you haven't listened to one, you're missing out.  She and Janice have a blast and with her expertise and that of here guests, one can definitely learn a lot.  You also get to see more than one side of her--some of her callers can definitely attest to that.

I also have Mastering Your Metabolism so I know her angle.  Eat whole organic foods.( No High Fructose Corn Syrup, No pesticides, No genetically modified anything, Avoid processed food whenever possible) If it doesn't have a momma or grow out of  the ground, DON'T EAT IT!!  That sounds great, but it is easier said than done.  We eat so much junk that we crave it. That combined with the emotional factor that a lot of us have and our sedentary lifestyles is a recipe for disaster.

Most of the problems that I have experienced since I started the program are self-made:

I haven't religiously kept track of my calories in and calories out.  In a past life, I was religious about that, but I am struggling to get back in the habit. The website has an online journal, but the database on is larger.  If I will just do this, I can use for my food and exercise journal.  It's available on PC or smartphone.
I have made some poor food choices since I started.  Let's talk about fried catfish.  You know I'm a Southern girl and that is a major weakness for me.  Next was pizza even though I did manage to limit it to two small pieces with fruit and later popcorn.  Finally a trip to In-N-Out.  Animal Protein style (lettuce instead of bread with grilled onions) I forgot and got the sauce instead of mustard, but only a couple of my husband's fries and NO SHAKE!!  The days that I did well, I planned my meals and made sure there were healthy choices in my fridge and pantry.
I am fighting the expense vs organic issue.  I know very well what I should buy, but I am also about the deals and using my coupons. Let's face it, it is more expensive to eat healthy--what a shame.  I know I will make it work.  I'm too stubborn and cheap to not get a deal, so here's the plan.  Check all of the circulars, websites for coupons, deals, sales, freebies.  Make sure an item really has to be organic.  Foods that will be peeled don't have to be organic.  I shop at Sprouts frequently and they have the best sales on produce, frozen organic foods, dairy, and meat.  I'll use the money saved from other deals to fund the healthy stuff.
I stay up too late. I know about hormones and sleep, and getting hungry because I'm up too late.  I have always been a night owl.  I worked second shift forever, but I have to get my rest.  No amount of nagging will change my internal clock.  Some days I won't make it to bed when I should, but if I make that effort, I will eventually get there earlier.
My fitness level is not what it used to be.  I have really lost ground in this area.  Even before I started gaining weight, I was struggling.  At that time it was heat and asthma.  Now it's conditioning and the added pounds.  If anyone knows how to get past the pain when you're overweight and trying to exercise, please let me know.  I have been going to they gym, but between my knees, and back, I've been relegated to the bike with an occasional session on the elliptical.  I am trying to do the workouts on my program and I have to remember that I won't be able to do the full number of sets, but eventually I will.  Back in the day, I could easily do 30 Day Shred, but now that's just not possible.  If I keep working, I'll be back there.

Now for the good news. I have lost five pounds in the last couple of weeks. I know that's not monumental, but it's a start and a little much needed momentum.  Until next time.....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Heart Walk

I have several posts coming up, but this one is overdue.

One of the main reasons that I keep fighting the health and fitness battle is because I have a family history of stroke and hypertension. This makes my participation in the American Heart Association Heart Walk personal.  It's not only about the patients that I have encountered over the years, it's about my health, and the health of my family and my extended family.

I received an email today that gave examples of what your contribution means...

Did you know…1 in 3 Americans suffer from heart and blood vessel diseases – our nation’s leading cause of death?
What the donations mean…
  • For a $25 contribution to the American Heart Association, you can teach up to 50 people how to assess their risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, and provide the steps for them to identify and reduce their risk.
  • A $50 donation can provide an early career scientist with the opportunity to participate with peers in the latest cardiovascular and stroke research through a one year professional membership with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
  • For only $100, you can equip one hospital or health department with American Stroke Association resources to educate patients, the public, and health professionals on stroke prevention and life after a stroke – the #3 cause of death and leading cause of disability.

The Denton Heart Walk is Saturday, October 15.  If you would like to contribute, please click here It will take you to my donation page.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oh My Aching Back

 I am so frustrated with my attempts to workout.  Last week I only squeezed in one day, so this week was going to be better.  Well, "what happened was" I jumped in with both feet Monday.  I went to the gym even though the rest of my crew couldn't make it.  I did 32 minutes on the bike and 100 crunches.  Tuesday, I didn't make it. Wednesday, my back did not like the fact that I worked out Monday after slacking off for a week.  Now, several Aleve and several rounds of ice and heat later (and Biofreeze), I'll probably be out tomorrow also.  I didn't even get to do Zumba this week before my old  body wore out on me.  I'll never get the belly off with this back pain, but the back pain won't get better with the belly weight.  Good grief!

There were some good things that happened.  I did avoid the birthday cake this week. I substituted low-fat cinnamon graham crackers.  I am trying to cut the sugar as much as possible, so the graham crackers are better than regular cookies or cake.  Sunday, we fired up the grill and I scored "moneymaker" deals on salad, so it made dinners a "no-brainer". (I won't talk about Saturday's anniversary lunch at Abuelos.)

I also definitely know that things are so much easier to deal with when I've had my quiet time aka prayer and meditation.  Things just don't bug me quite as much.  I'm also leaning on the serenity prayer. I am a control freak and I have got to learn to let go of the stuff that I really have no control over and fix the things that I do have control over.  This will also be a baby steps process, but I'll eventually make it.

Oh yeah, I finally took down that Easter wallpaper. Now if I can figure out how to move my header so that the logo from the freebie wallpaper doesn't cover it up....

Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm Baaack!

I've been gone too long.  I've let everything get in the way of my health. I kept saying that I would get back on track, but it didn't happen.  Now the move has been completed for a couple of months; so it's time to get the routine back.  I don't think I ever recovered from working a second job.  I just never managed to get my mojo back. One thing after another happened and I am more overweight and less fit than I was six months ago and definitely a year ago.

I have been going to the gym at lunch with my co-workers, but I have not been making it to my classes or walking a trail.  I've moved away from my favorite trail, so I need to check out the ones closer to my home, but with the 100+ degree temperatures, that really has not been an option. Last week  I went to Zumba at the gym that is closer to home and work.  I made it through the entire class.  I felt so out of shape that I really wondered if I would last.  I do a lot better in a class that doing weights or cardio using the machines.  I did try a spin bike, but I've gone back to the regular exercise bike.  It easier on my rear, I feel that I need to increase my endurance before I tackle a spin class.

No matter how much I exercise, my main problem is and has always been THE FOOD.  It just doesn't work if you eat your workout. In other words, I can't burn what I eat.  There are too many calories.  I've been trying an online journal, but once I get home, it's done.  I know I'm a food addict.  All of the signs are there. The more stress I feel, the more I eat. It's just insane.  I found some Overeaters Anonymous podcasts and I could really relate.  I've known for a while that alone I really am not in control.  I am also understanding why some people attain lifetime in Weight Watchers, but keep that yo-yo cycle and keep returning.  Everytime I return I hear those same stories from people who didn't quite make it to lifetime or are lifetime members and have re-gained most or all of their weight. We are doing the best that we can, but we are trying to control something that we have cannot control. I'm not ready for the OA  meetings yet, but I know I'll have to do it.  If you like the show Intervention, stay tuned....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Own Episode of Hoarders

I'm taking a break. I'm blogging instead of finding something else to eat. We're moving and I'm trying to pack. Tonight my insanity stems from my hoarding and procrastination. Actually, this time it was my mother's hoarding.  I simply continued the tradition.

My parents were forced to move when my mother could no longer care for my dad.  If your parents are aging and you think that you have a plan, or you choose to stick your head in the sand, you'd better pull your head out with both hands.  (I could teach a class on that.) My parents knew that at some point they would need to move out of the house where they had lived for over 50 years.  My mother was the most able-bodied of the two and they were supposedly going through and purging things in preparation for an eventual move. I do realize that she had her hands full taking care of my father, but I also realize that this was something that she did not want to face. 

When the move occurred, I was shocked at the amount of "stuff" that they had kept throughout the years. They collected antiques and vintage items.  Furniture, pottery, glassware--you name it.  Some trinkets were purchased and some were gifts or family mementos. There were old receipts, even for a appliances purchased many years before my birth.  At one point, my mother's cabinets were so full of stuff that the mounting began to fail and the cabinets had to be emptied and reinforced.  I did not realize that she filled them up again.  Most of those things were moved to my house.  We managed to incorporate some items into our home decor, but some things still remained boxed up   We tried to start the process, but either Mother's sleep disorder would kick in or we would spend too much time reading every piece of paper, looking at every picture, reminiscing too much, and laughing too hard.

Fast forward to the present.  My dad passed away in 2005 and my mother passed away in 2008.  Guess which only child has been too overwhelmed to deal with it all?  Guess who left her mother's room mostly as it was when she had to go to a nursing home at least a year before her death?  Guess who has also inherited the hoarding gene?

This weekend, I realized that we never opened my dad's briefcase after we moved him to the nursing home.  It was just as he had left it the last time he went to church with it.  A Bible, pens, and sermons were still neatly in place. There was even a card that he had received from one of the families of one of his churches. Last night I finally went through the chest of drawers and discarded old unusable stuff and organized probably 20 handkerchiefs.  I even found gloves that I could have loaned to Queen Elizabeth for the Royal Wedding.  Tonight it was a box of papers--sermons, class notes, and cute inspirational sayings, poems, whatever.  Being a hoarder myself, I am actually struggling. Even though I know that most of this stuff I will never need, I feel guilty every time I toss a piece of paper in the trash pile. This is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are boxes of cookbooks and recipes.  Handwritten recipes, recipes torn our of magazines and/or newspapers.  There are probably thousands of pieces of paper.  Here's one more guess who.  Guess who now does the same thing?????

I have come to realize that I won't be able to go through every single thing before we move. (I need Peter Walsh or Hoarders, but I don't live in California, and I can't wait.) I will go through at least one box/bin every day. I am trying my best to not move some of this stuff' again.  I also must start Fly Lady again.  That will keep me organized and keep this hoarding under control. Wish me luck!

The card

Windsor, Canada from the 1960's

Friday, April 8, 2011

True Confession

I am Rulon. (He is The Biggest Loser contestant that was busted this week for eating chips, candy, whatever in his room late at night.) I am the late night binge eater.  It can be any food.  Tuesday night (yes, after watching The Biggest Loser) it was tortilla chips.  It can be fruit, ice cream, crackers--anything.

I have done this since I was a child.  My parents would fall asleep before bedtime and their night-owl child would rummage through the house for anything to binge on.  My mother, the cook from heaven, always had something stashed, even if it was frozen.  Frozen homemade cookies are wonderful! Once it was even a bag of prunes--with no ill effects afterwards. I was busted when my dad found the empty bag and pits.  Now, like a true addict a get a "hangover".  I had might as well have had a drinking binge; after all, it feels the same--queasy stomach, headache and the guilt and total feeling of stupidity.

Why do I do this?  I don't even know.  I always have had portion control issues.  Everyday stress, fear, etc are probably the root cause.  Now I want to lose these pounds that I have gained and I keep sabotaging the process.  For goodness sake, I know what to eat, how to exercise, but I keep doing this to myself.

In a recent Shape magazine article  Jennipher Walters (  and outlined five symptoms of food addiction. I can check them off:

1.Food is all you think about--Not all but a lot
2.You want to stop but you can't--That's what this post is about...

3. You eat in secret or lie about how much you've eaten--Late night, alone seems to be a favorite   M.O., but it isn't always in secret.
4.You eat beyond the point of fullness--I've ignored full so much that I don't even know what full really is anymore.
5.You are compelled to eat when you're not hungry or are feeling low And I'll add or feeling great or just any excuse.

Also here's the link to a quiz from Eating Well Are You Addicted to Food Quiz.  It called me food dependent which means I still need help...."  Your results indicate that you might be "food dependent." For information and referrals to treatment providers and support groups, call the National Eating Disorder Association's helpline, 800-931-2237, or visit You can also find a clinical psychologist or clinical health psychologist (PhD or PsyD) who specializes in disordered eating or weight management through the American Psychological Association’s Psychologist Locator ( or seek support through Overeaters Anonymous ("  OK tell me something I didn't know.

I won't bore you with all of the scientific stuff about dopamine receptors vs environment and this study and that study. I'll just say from first hand experience, this is just like being a drug or alcohol addict.  Same feelings, same urges, same, same, same.

Since I can't afford therapy for this, I'll have to work with it like I have in the past. Normally my Weight Watchers routines help, but this time it's not working.  Really, I'm not working.  I have to buckle down and remember Eating Well's list which does remind me of some other tools I have. After all I do have that gold key.....

Here are Eating Well's tips:
1.  Write it down---if I would only consistently do this.....
2.  Plan an occasional treat.. Have it in a restaurant instead of home.  Don't bring that cheesecake or chips into the house.  Order it out in the open where you can manage your portion size.
3.  No grazing...3 meals and an afternoon snack. Have a little protein at each one and don't get too hungry.
4.  No eating in front of the tv... or desk, or computer, or in the car.  This stops the mindless eating.
5.  Be prepared for surprise temptations...Have your script ready. (Isn't this a Weight Watchers tool too?) I'll add don't be sabotaged by anything anyone offers you or buys for you or is on sale. (On sale--my favorite.)
6.  Have healthy options for emotions--meditation,exercise, etc
7.  Hide tempting foods...I am less likely to eat them if I put them in the back of the cabinet as soon as I get home from the store.  If it's out on the kitchen table or counter its gone!
8.  Make it a hassle to overeat.......Bag up your portions when you get home from the store; use smaller plates, and my restaurant favorite is order a to-go container when the waiter brings the meal.  Place half of the meal into the container and close it. And always share dessert.

OK.  We're starting over...again on Monday.  (Dr. Phil isn't here so I don't have to start right here, right now.)  Some of my friends/co-workers/weight-loss challenge buddies are heading to the gym at lunch time starting next week so it will be a good time to re-new.  Wish me luck, think positive thoughts, say a little prayer for me.  I'll need it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Remember

"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."  - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden to bear." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is the day that we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I remember his life and I hope that I can preserve his legacy.

Every day there is something that reminds me of the Civil Rights era.  Whether it's simply the cultural differences in my own household or whether I see President Barack Obama on television.  It might be something so simple as eating at a restaurant where I would not have been welcome during that era, or even noting my educational background which would have been difficult if not impossible prior to this era. I remember the ugly words, dogs commanded to attack, water hoses, firebombs, and assassinations. (No I didn't forget the white hoods and rebel flags either.) It makes me thankful for the progress that has been made, but also painfully aware of how far we still have to go.

There is still a lot of hate and anger in this world.  Some are aware and strive to do better, some know and try to cover it up in the presence of those who would object, and some are still very blatant with it.  There are also those who use the weaker ones to push their agenda.  They whisper in an ear and sit back and watch the fight.   Just remember if you must apologize before you make the statement, do damage control after a statement, or if it has to be said behind closed doors it is not appropriate and it is hateful.  If we stop the yelling and actually stop and calmly and rationally talk to each other and truly listen, maybe we can all co-exist, accomplish something and learn to love one another.

We should stop today and every day and take a good look in the mirror. Do we see hate or love?

Saturday, January 8, 2011


If I kept a favorite things list like Oprah does, sunrises and sunsets would be at the at the top of my list.  I can never capture the beauty, the colors.  Texas is blessed with some of the most spectacular skies from the cloudless beautiful blues to the cloud-streaked sunrises and sunsets with their brilliant blues, purples, oranges and reds. Don't forget the building thunderstorms that you can see for miles.

If I could only paint.........One of these days I'll learn to keep my Nikon with me at all times.  My Droid camera just doesn't do this sunset justice. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Caching Up

I am so far behind on everything.  Working a second job took a definite toll on me and my home.  I haven't been able to adequately plan and cook meals and I have been too exhausted to exercise.  We won't even discuss the house. My husband tried to help, but women can see all of the dust and lack of order.  (He even learned to clean toilets and run a Swiffer!) My bank account is no fatter either.  Working late nights and rushing from one job to the next encouraged the awful fast food habit and there was no time to do any of the things that I always did to save money.  I no longer clipped coupons or even loaded my Kroger card online.  I hardly ever cooked so there was always a need to stop and pick up a burger or Chick-fil-a. I won't even talk about how many times I had to "hop on the tollway".  Now that we have two full-time employed adults here, I realized that I was ripping, running, and exhausted for nothing.  So the second job is done, finished, I quit.

Now I have to get a routine going again.  I have to plan meals and get this house in shape. I have a huge job ahead of me.  Guess it's time to read my Fly-Lady e-mails and try out more of Rocco's recipes.  I'll keep y'all posted.  (Yes, I'm behind on blogging too!)