Monday, August 31, 2009


Today I rode my bike. No, the road still isn't open, but I asked someone who would probably know and he said that there isn't a security guard there anymore and to go ahead. So I did it. I rode my bike. The ride to school-great! I mean, I was out of breath, which is kind of sad since it is mainly downhill, but I had the bike at its highest? or would you say lowest? gear? I don't know--anyway, the gear that makes it really hard to pedal so even on the downhill portions I could pedal.

The ride there was no nice that I was beginning to wonder why I got a sore rear end last time I rode--ah but I'd forgotten the trip back. Agony. I was dying (and yes definitely sore in the unmentionable place I just mentioned). I didn't stop and rest for a while which I totally could have, but I did have the bike gears down?/up? to the point where you can be pedaling fast and hardly moving. Honestly? I could have walked faster on some parts!

If you are tracking my posts you are wondering why I'm posting at all since tonight was Back to School Night. Nope. It's tomorrow. So no taekwondo for me. I guess it's good that I biked today and will bike tomorrow.

Yes. I'm still going to bike tomorrow. And I gotta ask--how do you people who exercise do it? Ugh is all I have to say. Double ugh. And phooey.

My calories--as long as I just eat what I'm planning to for dinner and nothing else will be fine. It was a little higher than normal due to the fact of those persnickety Oreo Goldens that were in the library for the teachers at the book fair. I only had two! When I really wanted four or five or six or seven . . . you get the picture!

Oh self control--who wants it? Yes, that is the kind of mood I'm in right now. Luckily I don't have anything really tempting lying around right now. If I did? Yeah. The calories would be out the window for today! See? This is why I don't have stuff like chocolate, chips, cookies, etc . . . lying around. I have no self control.

And tomorrow's bike ride? Dreading the second part of it. Maybe next week will be better--most likely next month--October that is, but next week might be a little optimistic. Ugh. Exercise. Sigh.

Half a pound down

In your face, fat!

So, yeah, half a pound isn't that amazing of a weight loss unless you know how poorly I have dieted in the last three days. I was doing really well until a date with my cute wife on Friday (eating the large combination at a Mexican restaurant) (and it wasn't even worth it because the food was lousy), then having a Japanese food party on Saturday, whereat I ate about 50 (no exaggeration) gyoza--little dumplings. And then yesterday I had ice cream. So, half a pound is decent.

Today has been much better. I've decided to get off of caffeine entirely, in hopes that it can do something about this two-week-long headache I've been having. Today is the first day off, so we'll see how it goes. Here's the problem: I just really really like caffeinated beverages. Sprite just doesn't cut it. And don't get me started on water--who's bad idea was that stuff? It doesn't taste like ANYTHING.

HCG diet update

Morning all! Today I started the HCG diet. It was so interesting because not only did the doctor take my weight and height, but he put these little electrodes on me and hooked me to a computer. It prints a readout of how much of my weight is comprised of two different kids of fat.

It measured the amount of fluid in my cells and takes my body mass index. It was all very interesting. He said for my body type--the way it's made up--that I am dehydrated and need to have more sea salt in my diet. He explained that contrary to what doctors used to believe, salt (sea salt especially) is necessary to pull fluid into your cells. Otherwise, you'll just pee it out.

He also told me that I could safely weigh down to 114 lbs, but that for me, it would be best to weigh between 130-135. My BMI was 26.9 and he said for me, it should be about 22.

He measured my neck, arms, upper belly, lower belly, waist, and thighs. I didn't ask what those measurements were!

Then, I got my first injection with a teeny-tiny needle. He jabbed it in and had me push the liquid in. I hardly felt it. I have to do this every day to myself. He explained that HCG is the same hormone pregnant women make and is harmless, but it will mobilize the fat, beginning to dissolve it.

The diet is very restrictive but my body will begin to dissolve up to 3500 calories of fat each day. I will only be able to eat 500 calories a day in food, but he said the way it works, you are not hungry unless you cheat. The first three days you are supposed to eat A LOT!!! And very high fat foods. This directs the HCG where to go somehow. After the third day, I will start to lose about a pound of stored fat a day and that is from the places where it's "stored." So, supposedly, I won't lose too much from my boobs! Let's hope!

I have found it very hard to eat like I'm supposed to so far. I'm in the habit of eating low fat and only what I really need, so this gorging is going against the grain. Other than that, I feel great. No side affects yet. I'll let you know how it goes giving myself the injections! lol

Not Great but still going

I gained a pound.

Not great but not surprising.

So Here I go. I am going to track all of my food this week and exercise 4 days.

Weighing in

This morning the scale said- 177.4. Another 0.6 lbs lost.

I can live with that since last week I didn't do very well. Exercise consisted of only the walking that I did at the school. I didn't make it up and down the stairs everyday like I wanted to. One day I wore the cute shoes and they hurt my feet if I did too much walking, so I spent the time at my desk instead. But I did park in the far parking slots so I had to walk further to the store or wherever. And I had to walk across a couple of fields to get to my daughter's soccer practice. But when the treadmill was turned on,it wasn't me on it.

I also didn't eat as well as I knew I should. Friday I had school lunch instead of the soup and orange I had taken. I try to eat my lunch before I have lunch duty, but on Friday it didn't happen and the chicken quesadilla just smelled so much better than the chicken soup. But I didn't eat the roll or the cookie and I did have the broccoli, carrots and cauliflower with lunch. But then Saturday after Brandi's soccer practice she wanted an ice cream cone. Her nose had gotten broken at practice so I gave in. I bought one for me too and forgot to ask for the teeny cone. Instead I was handed the standard "small" cone which is huge. And I ate it all. I did pay for it in pain on Sunday, but as I always tell my students- You choose the behavior, you choose the consequence. But it was a good treat at the moment.

Total lost since starting-2.2 lbs about 1 lb/week. So far, good and steady. Easy for me to do while the weather is nice, but when it gets cold and yucky and I want cocoa and a good book and my comfy chair...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Starting Tomorrow. For Reals.

I've had a hard time getting into the groove. In fact, I can't even find it most days.

But now that we've settled into somewhat of a routine at school and life is evening out a bit, I think I'm ready to start back into a real life exercise and nutrition plan.

Now, my only decision is going to be whether I should hit the treadmill or the pool. Decisions, decisions. I better make the decision quick, though, or the day will slip by while doing absotively nothing.

So . . . . . . running it will be. *gulp* It's always so painful when I haven't done it in a while. If I don't post again by tomorrow night to tell you how it went, could someone send an ambulance to my house? ;o)

Shaking in Her Boots (a.k.a. Shaking in Her Running Shoes)

HCG update! Woo hoo!

Let me first say . . . I LOVE THE NEW LOOK! So cute!

So, I thought I'd let you all know that I am starting the HCG diet tomorrow. I am very excited and nervous but have a very good feeling about it. I also just found out that one of my dear friends has been doing it for the past few months. What a small world. Who'd a thunk it?

Anyway, I know it's a diet that most people have a lot of questions about. I will keep you up to date on a day to day basis, sharing how I feel, and any side affects etc...

Also, I've gotten to know quite a few people who have done this diet with complete success. Everyone seems to think it is the best thing they have done to lose weight.

My turn.

Checking In

So I have found that I am an inconsistant blogger when I don't have good news to share. Which is really not very accountable. So I had better post and be more accountable! I have had another stay-in-place week, it seems like it is just so hard with everything on my plate. But my kitchen is finally all repainted, and looking very nice if I do say so myself. And my bathroom is as done as I can get it since plumbing is not my forte. I was able to take a bath in my tub for the first time in four months-yay! Now the only thing left to do is hook up the sink and the toilet, which I will try to do myself if another week goes by without it getting done. I am really looking forward to school starting, as I will be able to get out of the house to exercise in between my kiddos going to school and my extra kiddos showing up and it won't mean my having to wake up before dawn.

I am hoping next week I will be able to stick to a stricter diet and utilize my Wii Fit more. I am still in project mode, two friends decided they are finally getting married and gave everyone 10 days advance notice of their elopement. And a cousin just got engaged. So I am working on the crocheted blankets I make for wedding gifts that take a month apeice to make and hoping to make them both in one month instead of two more months in project mode.

Fluctuation and Determination

That's what I do. Fluctuation. I am always somewhere between the it-isn't-as-bad-as-it-could-be and the uh-oh. That's where I am today--the uh-oh. Lunch was one pork chop and one glass of milk. Nothing else until dinner. I am determined.

Now that winter is coming (because I've discovered Cleveland doesn't get a fall, it just skips straight to winter) I need a good pair of jeans that I can actually get over my hips and button. I've been able to get away with a couple pairs of shorts and a few skirts during the summer, but no more. I must now buckle down or I'll be wearing shorts and skirts all winter long because I am NOT buying a pair of jeans until I am back in my old size.


I hesitate to post this because I know I will get comments on how I shouldn't be eating sugar that I should just drop it from my diet altogether. The problem is that I don't want to cut out sugar. I LOVE IT! What kind of life is it if I can't have a treat every now and again. Admittedly the "every now and again" is my problem.

This week I ate a bag of sugar (Mmm tootsie rolls) almost entirely by myself. It was wonderful. O.k. it was wonderful while I was doing it but the regret and slight stomachache were not. I have still kept to my 1 pound a week goal but I am scared now instead of motivated.

So now you know that I am worried and that I stopped being diligent for a few days. But Here I am pulling myself up scared but willing to keep going.


Actually, I weigh-in on Saturday morning, but I'll post how much on Sundays--most likely. I started my diet full force (the food part anyway) on Sunday-one week ago. Well, more likely it was Monday, but let's just say Sunday.

Last week, on Saturday morning I weighed, according to my scales, 210.6. I just rounded down when I posted my weight. Yes, I do things like that to make myself feel better! Yesterday I weighed in at 207.4 for a grand weight loss total of 3.2 pounds.

OOPS. Really, you should not lose more than 2 pounds a week--three pounds is pushing it. HOWEVER . . . sometimes when you begin a weigh loss program you lose more initially than when you get into the swing of things. If I'm still losing that much in two to three weeks then I'll increase my caloric intake by 100 calories a day and go from there. Of course, the idea of losing three pounds a week is a very tempting to hold onto. VERY TEMPTING. If I stayed at losing three pounds a week I could weigh 160 by the middle of December (no I did not calculate this, fitday did). But, I know that is not the way to do it . . . sigh. Also, if I tried to do this, then I'll hit a plateau pretty quickly.

I'm not sure if I ever said what my goal was--right now it is 160. In high-school I weighed 145 (I am 5'10''). While it is tempting to want to go back to that weight I've decided to see how I feel about myself and the way I look at 160. My picture on this site is what I weighed at 180 and I don't feel like I look fat in that picture. If I want to lose more weight WHEN (see how positive I'm being?) I hit 160 then I'll go to a doctor and increase things like muscle mass etc . . . well, maybe. I'll see what the doctor says and see how I feel about things.

I haven't started measuring myself yet. This is an important thing to do, especially if your weight tends to fluctuate wildly. Or, it can be a good indication that you are gaining muscle which you REALLY REALLY WANT. For example, say you weigh yourself for three weeks straight doing things you know are good for you, watching what you eat, reducing calories, exercising etc but you haven't lost anything or, horror of horrors, you actually GAINED. . . you may have lost in actual size.

Overall, this week I did fairly decently on my caloric intake and SLEEP. Yesterday, I didn't do so well on food. Partly because I'm fasting today (for religious reasons, not dieting reasons), and I knew I'd be at zero today. So going a little high yesterday didn't bother me so much. And yes, I really enjoyed that snickers candy bar and the handful of peanut M&M's. Yummm.

My caloric intake was pretty good overall--exercise, not at all. I did make it to taekwondo on Tuesday, but that is IT for the exercising. Well, other than doing stuff at school. I bet I could count some of that. On Thursday I tried to go to taekwondo, but there was an accident and the road was closed for a solid hour or more. We left after 20 minutes to go back home. I haven't started biking yet because that durn road hasn't opened yet. And I haven't done my rowing machine at home or any muscle building kind of stuff. I'll get there. I hope.

I'm a little worried about this coming up week. I'm going to be really busy--we have a back to school night on Monday from 5-8--I doubt if I'll even make it home on Monday until after 8. Then taekwondo on Tuesday and Thursday, which is good, but I hate being gone from home too much, it increases my stress . . . on Wednesday book club (at least it is at my house, but then I have to make sure my house looks good! and I fix the dessert which makes it harder to resist) and on Friday I think I actually have an evening free.

Hopefully I can stay strong and not eat too many calories. Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wii, Wii, Wii, Wii, All the Way Home

So. I got this Wii Fit, see. And you can play all these awesome games on it, and you don't really realize that you're exercising because it's just fun, until you notice that you're really starting to feel it, and the next morning your stomach muscles are sore, and you think, "Cool! I did something good for myself!" and then you try to eat responsibly all day and even though you do take your daughter to Taco Bell for lunch, you get something small and you feel proud of yourself, and you have a nice little salad with your dinner, and then you get on the Wii and it says you gained 1.4 pounds??? What the livin' ... okay, I shall be calm. It is true that one should never weigh oneself at night. Simple statement of fact. And it is also true that I tend to fluctuate wildly right before losing - I'll go up two pounds and then lose three, only to repeat that process later on, but I also repeat the process of getting really ticked off that I went up two pounds. And none of this is at all helping when I went clothes shopping with my daughter today and had it reconfirmed to me by looking in the mirror that my body is simply the weirdest shape I've ever seen.

And if you're looking for any of that to make sense or be grammatically correct, I might as well just say it upfront that it doesn't, and I'm sorry.

Waisting Away

by Lu Ann

I hate to shop for clothes. Actually, I loathe shopping for clothes! For one thing, for my entire life it has been difficult to find clothes that fit me. To get the right size for one part of my body means that the other part will not fit. Pants that are just right in the waist are often too loose in the bum. Shirts that would fit perfectly around my bust won’t go on my heavy arms. If you’ve ever struggled with extra pounds, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Unfortunately, I have to leave my home and face the world—and the classroom—every day, so that means making the yearly trek to the mall and scanning the racks in the clothing stores. It’s amazing how many truly ugly garments are made each year for women who wear larger sizes. Colors that are gauche, fabrics that enhance the bulges, and design cuts that fail to flatter the fuller figure fill the Women’s section of every store.

Knowing this to be what I’d find once I got there, I was off to the store anyway, prepared (hoping) to buy several new pair of slacks and a few tops that I could wear to both teach school and for book signings.

When it comes to sizing, I try not to care anymore. I learned from Clinton Kelly and Stacy London (What Not to Wear) that fit is more important than size, but it is hard to keep myself from caring when I look at those tags. Nevertheless, I found the clothes I wanted and brought them home.

I did give myself three pieces of incentive clothing—one top that I loved. Its bright colors made me smile, and it was one an incredible sale, so I decided I’d work on my arms until they fit. The others were two pairs of pants just one size too small. They fit in the leg, but the waistband was too tight to button comfortably. Those pants would provide my first goal.

I had already changed the way I was eating when I instigated the Food Mover, so I just continued along that plan, drinking water instead of soda or milk, eating a salad as a meal at least once every other day, and staying away from extra sweets, lie chocolate.

This week, those changes paid off. I am not wearing the pants that were a size too small. I’m simply "waisting" away, and it’s making me feel good about myself.

Oh, and one other good thing, my youngest son just showed me the bathroom scale—the one that says ERROR when I get weighed—doesn’t read a weight for him either. He gets gibberish when he steps on the thing. So maybe I am making more progress on the weight loss than I thought, and it’s not my fault the scale won’t tell me the great results.

Not Doing Good

I need some motivation and help. I am feeling more and more depressed as I gain more weight. I am always tired and angry at myself for gaining so much weight back. I need to stick with this again. I need to eat right and exercise. I hate falling down this black hole once again.

I was so excited to start this again and I made so many mistakes this past week. I am not in a good place right now. **sigh** One day I had been a good girl all day long...that is until I came home from work. My daughter was making chewy, gooey brownies. Of course I ended up helping my kids eat the whole pan. "Dumb, dumb, dumb!!".

So, here I am picking myself up and dusting off the dirt from this week. The horse is waiting for me to jump back on. I don't like getting bucked off and letting my good intentions run away from me. I know I can do this because I have been successful before. I know that we all need to remember... take it one day at a time and don't look back.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm Unbalanced

There's really no surprise in that statement to those of you who know me. You've always suspected it, but now I have proof.

We got a Wii Fit last night. I didn't anticipate that we would so soon be entering the world of Wii, but my husband won one at work, so that took care of part of the expense right there. I decided that I wanted to give the Wii Fit a try, give myself something fun that would be an incentive to get up and get moving. I spend so much time at my computer, I need a good reason to get up and move around.

We set up the Fit last night and I was the first one on it. It puts you through a series of tests to determine your overall condition and ability to balance. My Wii Fit age is 29, which means that I'm four years younger than I think I am, but I have also been labeled as unbalanced. Yeah, like I said, no surprise there.

I really think I'm going to enjoy this program. It's a whole lot of fun and I've always enjoyed games. My major problem with it, though, is that it's telling me I'm fully ten pounds heavier than my bathroom scale says I am. That is so humiliating. I mean, I'm overweight as it is, right?

Anyway, I'm going to be measuring my progress with the Wii Fit from now on. I'm just going to ignore that nasty number and concentrate on how much it says I've lost. The only real problem at this point is that my kids all want their turn on it too.

By the way, Grandma Ruthe has also gotten into the Wii Fit and I trounced her at the ski jump game. She's also lost another pound for a total of two. And yes, I did gain back my two and haven't lost it again. Working on it ... working on it ...

Contributors, please remember to e-mail me with pounds lost, and if your picture isn't up on the sidebar yet, please send me a reminder note. The brain is no longer what it used to be.

The Earth, Wind, and Fire Workout

Yesterday on my lunch break I was doing some quick cleaning and decided to try to make it fun. I put on my Earth, Wind, and Fire Greatest Hits CD and boogied my way through the house. It was a pretty good workout. Why haven't I thought of this before? I used to go out dancing once or twice a week PM (pre-marriage). It's one form of exercise I really enjoy.

Today, it's going to be the Journey's Greatest Hits Workout. (I'll have to fast forward through the power ballads, though.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Weight and Writing

For those who don't follow my every movement (and I'm sure I'm speaking to a very small demographic here), I mentioned on the Frog Blog that I'm under weird circumstances that require me to start and finish a book, all in two months. So, i decided that in addition to posting my diet updates here, I'd also post my writing updates--that little bit of extra incentive. So, here we are:

Writing Update: I have a rough outline of the entire book now. In fact, I have a rough outline of three entire books. When reading the outline yesterday to my brother, he pointed out that Holy Crap, that's a long book and it really ought to be three. So, that makes my job of writing it easier.

Dieting Update: Yesterday I was doing really really awesome on the diet. I'd eaten next to nothing all day--I think I had a piece of toast and glass of milk. And then I met Jeff Savage for dinner at Applebees. And then he was half an hour late, which gave me nothing to do but sit in the booth and look at large glossy pictures of steak smothered in cheese and pasta covered in bacon. It was like a dieter's pornography. (Also: since I was all alone and constantly looking out the window and toward the door, I think that everyone in the restaurant thought I was on a date, and I'd been stood up. And then Jeff showed up!? WHAT?)

Anyway, if the scale is to be believed, I've lost another 1.5 pounds. Also, if my belt is to be believed, I've lost another hole on the belt.

Also, did you notice that Erin, my wife, has showed up on this blog? For some reason her first post was buried under several of the others. But she's here, and you should go read it.

I am new here.

Tristi sent me an invitation to join this blog. I gave her a very large hint that I needed to blog here for motivation. You see, I have found myself carrying more weight than I should...again. **sigh**

Three years ago I picked myself up from 197 pounds and lost 45 pounds. I had kept it off for almost two years. Then something happened in my life, a divorce. The stress from being a single Mom and working full time, as a teacher, threw me a sharp curve and I ran off the road. My size 10's disappeared quickly and other sizes starting popping up. The self-loathing started and the depression swept in. I could not believe that I had done this to myself again! Where were the good eating and exercise habits I had been practicing for almost two years? I have been saying this happened because I was stressed. The excuses stop here and now.

I have decided now to stop the insanity before the 200 number showed up on my scale. I am going to accomplish this the same way that I had previously lost the 45 pounds. I loosely followed the Weight Watchers program. I watched and calculated my points and I exercised 5 days a week. I am bound and determined to lose the weight. I am making myself be accountable for my actions by blogging here. I hope with friendship and support that I will make myself healthy again.

Another Pound (and a half) Bites the Dust

Weigh-in time! I'm down 1.5 pounds. I admit I am surprised, because I have not been as careful with my food choices as I should be. I think a few things have made the difference though.

1. I'm drinking a lot more water. That keeps my body running better. It also keeps me more full.

2. I am eating more fruits and vegetables, probably still not as much as I should, but I'm making some progress. V8 is my new fast food. I don't really like it that much, but I can gulp it down and feel like I've had something that's good for me.

3. I don't have a bag of Hershey kisses and a bottle of Dr. Pepper sitting at my desk all day. In fact, I haven't had any soda at all since this blog started (and I have been tempted). A couple of times when I've been really dragging, I've been just about ready to run (drive) to the nearest store and grab some artificial energy. But I've tried other things, like crackers and cheese, or actually taking a nap. Although I usually can't take naps. I have trouble falling asleep, no matter how tired I am. But just lying down and relaxing for a little while helps.

4. I know I will need to report in here. Being accountable to someone is a great motivator.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Marie Osmond

Have you seen Marie Osmond lately? She looks fantastic. She's lost 50 lbs. Wow. That's an amazing accomplishment. I wonder if she'll be able to keep it off. Will she have to eat NutriSystem food the rest of her life to maintain her weight loss?

No doubt that Marie looks gorgeous, but I'm not sure it's realistic to lose weight with NutriSystem unless you plan to eat that way forever. I couldn't do it. I needed to find a way to lose weight that is realistic for me and my family.

That's why I like South Beach. It isn't a radical change from my previous diet and it's easy to implement. I can eat vegetables, cheese, meat, beans, and add in fruit, whole grain cereal, and wheat pasta during Phase 2. I can also have a sugar-free popsicle or fudgesicle every night.

I think that's the key. If we lose weight doing something totally unnatural for us, chances are we'll resort to our previous eating habits and gain all the weight back. If we make minimal adjustments over time or find an eating plan we can live with forever, we'll be much more likely to succeed at our weight loss goal.

Today I ate scrambled eggs with cheese, onions, and green peppers. Drank 2 quarts of water. For lunch: salad, lunch meat, string cheese, 2 quarts of water. Snack: small bag of almonds. I also exercised to a new DVD by Leslie Sansone using the big ball and then did a few routines to a DVD of Dancing with the Stars. (I'm learning the dances so when I'm a NYT Bestselling author and they ask me to be on the show, I'll be ready).

What works for me-The beginning of doing

Once I decided that I was serious about no sugar, I had to decide exactly what that meant. No desserts? No sugar drinks? No candy? Some combination of those or something else?

I decided that what I meant was No Sugar of any kind, including asparteme, in anything at all. And while I was at it, no more white flour or processed foods.

Do you know how hard it is to eat like that? Hard. Because everything has sugar, or white flour, or has been processed. I almost gave up.

I thought that I would clean out my pantry and throw away everything that didn't meet my new standards. Then I started reading the labels in my pantry and food storage. Did you know that canned corn has sugar added to it? Neither did I. So do green beans and almost everything else.

There was no way I could afford to replace all that food with healthier alternatives. Time for a new plan.

New plan. Once I use something it will be replaced with a brand that has no added sweetner. It started taking me more than an hour at the grocery store because I now had to read every. single. ingredient. label. And some things I could only find at the health food store, like Agave nectare and Stevia, or Xylatol, plant based sweetners that do not act like processed white sugar. You can find honey at the store, but not raw honey. And I wanted my stuff to be as raw as I could get it.

And Agave, Xylatol, raw honey (honey in general) and Stevia are expensive. And wheat bread? I could only find one brand that had no sugar or asparteme in it. Try finding a wheat flour tortilla with no brown sugar. I haven't been able to yet.

Here are some brands that I have found to be truly sweetner free:

Geisha fruits

Natural Directions

Some Western Family

Hunts spaghetti sauce, but only some of them

The first two weeks was really hard. I wanted something sweet. I stopped eating the dessert/treat stuff, but the kids continued to eat it. I wanted a glass of Kool Aid with dinner, or a cookie, or something. But I perservered and ate a bag of these when I was tempted. Or I made toffee or a dessert recipe from the Feel Good Cookbook, and I made it through.

And it gets easier as time goes on. We found out that Kool Aid made with Xylitol tastes better. I started adding these to my bottle or glass of water and found my desire for sweetened drinks going down. I bought a juicer and started drinking fresh juice at least once a day. (it is cheaper at Costco, fyi)

I have found that foods that I thought I didn't like, I like them now. For instance beets. I take 1 small beet, 3 apples, 2 stalks of celery, 1 lime and any other fruit or veggie that looks good that day and juice them and drink it. Yum. It sounded nasty to me when I first read the beet/apple combo because I hate beets. Or so I thought. Now I find myself looking forward to my juice.

And now, the prospect of eating a sugar snack is not even appetizing at all. We had cinnamon rolls at school yesterday. I am assigned lunch duty and my post is right next to the food and I look at those rolls and smell their yumminess and end up eating one. Yesterday I didn't even want one. And I didn't eat one.

So for me, the biggest step was identifying what I didn't want and then getting it out of my house. Then I replaced it with what I did want. I know it sounds simple enough, but it wasn't easy. But now when I can stand in the checkout lane and not even want something? That is huge.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another Birthday!

Today was my hubby's birthday and we had snickers cake. My piece was small but I'm not holding my breath. Tomorrow the missionaries come over for dinner and Friday is my son's b-day but in between I'm planning on being great!

I'm afraid to stand on the scale so I'm waiting until next Monday. Now I'm just trying to stay happy and maybe eat breakfast. This morning I had breakfast at 10am (up at 5am).

I'll do better.

Hello all!

So, I haven't checked in much in the last week. It's hard after doing so many diets to want to keep trying. Not that I've given up. I'm probably just hormonal!

But I go to a homeopathic doctor who does the HCG diet and I've been thinking of doing that. It's kind of pricy but he says he's had 100% success with it. He's offered it for quite a while and has even done it himself. He lost 50 lbs and has kept it off. His assistant lost over 100 lbs and kept it off. I'm pretty amazed. Maybe I'll start after the holidays! lol

Anyway, I've done well today. I had homemade oatmeal with a sliced banana for breakfast, yogurt and corn chips for lunch and now I'm starving!

So far, so good . . .

I got off to a shaky start Monday morning. I had a small bottle of chocolate milk from the gas station for a grand total of 440 calories. Man, I love that stuff! But I figured I would really need breakfast so that was better than nothing, since I didn't get up in time to make my 'normal' breakfast. Of course, I couldn't make the GOOD decision to get a piece of fruit or something, but yeah.

For lunch I had a lean cuisine frozen dinner and Activia fruit yogurt which came to a total of 410 calories.

By the time school got over I really, really wanted to eat lots when I got home. I started thinking about how hard of a day I'd had (and it was really bad yesterday--not because of my classes, but just because of how the day started which rolled over into the rest of the day). As soon as I started thinking about my hard day, my stomach started grumbling and I wanted to go home and snack, snack, snack. I stayed at the school kind of late, but thoughts such as, "I wonder if I have enough change to buy a candybar from the vending machines" or "I could go eat those cookies in my cupboard" . . . ran through my head. Somehow I resisted the call. By the time I got home I was hungry and tired enough that I had Damon pick up fast food on the way home, BUT I got a chicken nugget happy meal and that ranges in total calories of about 500 including the drink. And yes! I got fries! So my calories weren't high--of course my fat was, but hey. Let's take things one at a time, right?

Today has been better. I made sure to get up in time for my protein shake with a cup of skim milk and a bananas all blended together, which I think tastes fine. My husband and my niece both think it is one of the grossest things they've tasted, but it doesn't bother me at all. I don't love it, but it is quick, easy to bring with me, NOT gross to ME, and it hits the spot when more solid food just doesn't sound that good to me that early in the morning.

I had my typical lean cuisine lunch, which was fewer calories than yesterday along with my yogurt--330 calories and now I'm going to have a snack of a small apple with peanut butter. For dinner? Spaghetti, garlic bread, and string beans. That'll put me up to around 1500 calories and tonight is taekwondo, so it all works out.

I did not exercise on Monday. Even though I need to do more, I'm still okay with just adding in these changes as I go because school is really hard to adjust to!

My problem is this. What can I do in place of the snacking when I get home that still feels like a reward to me? I thought about reading a book, but reading to me is just about as necessary as breathing--okay--maybe not that extreme, but more necessary to me than a microwave! So me NOT reading stresses me out, versus reading for a reward. Other than that I'm clueless. I really want to avoid any kind of junk food for a while, because it helps me adjust and appreciate the little that I will start allowing myself in about a month.

Maybe when I start riding my bike--no that stupid road still hasn't opened up--maybe the exercise will make me feel good enough that I won't need it. Maybe . . .

But all in all? A good start. I've controlled the calories and I AM going to taekwondo tonight! Yay for days one and two!!

Monday, Monday

Yesterday was not too shabby. Cherrios for breakfast (which, I believe, have all the nutritional characteristics of sawdust), chicken noodle soup for lunch (which doesn't even count as a meal, because you drink most of it), and a hamburger for dinner. The last one isn't all that healthy, but we were at a back-to-school night barbeque, so it was unavoidable. I did, however, not eat the chips or the cookie. I tried to eat the baked beans, but one bite informed me that they were cooked by the school lunch lady.

So, a good day. Up until the late-night ice cream. But that totally doesn't count, because--HEY! What's that over there!?


I decided that I couldn't trust Rob to accurately describe my weight loss experience so even though I am daunted by the task of posting on a blog site with authors (I am not a writer) I am going to start my own posts.

My goals are huge but I am giving myself plenty of time to accomplish them. I want to lose 70 pounds but I am going to do it one pound a week. I should reach my goal in a little over a year.

So here we go. I am using an online nutrition/fitness tracker called Sparkpeople. I love it because it helps me not only keep track of the calories I eat but the amount of fat/protein/carbohydrates I eat and helps me balance them. It also gives me a calculated calorie intake range that is safe and tons of articles and recipes to help me on this journey. I have lost 3.5 pounds this month and my goal is 4.

I am excited to post here with you all.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sugar Free Toffee

My comments will be in orange.

Called English Toffee in the Feel Good Cookbook

4 TBSP butter (I use unsalted but use real butter, not margarine or a spread)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 c each chopped nuts and carob or dairy free chocolate chips (I don't use these because I hate nuts in my candy and I hate carob and haven't found any dairy free chocolate chips yet- I'll let you know when I do)

Cook butter and honey on medium heat for 6.5 minutes (blueish smoke tells it has toffee-ized). {but the time is pretty accurate} Pour over chopped nuts on foil in glass casserole dish. Sprinkle chips over, cover dish to melt chips into warm toffee. Spread flat with rubber spatula. Refrigerate and cut into squares.

I tend to make this on Tuesday nights because I have class on Wed. so I am pushing to finish the last of my assignments due the next day and feel a bit stressed. I can eat a couple pieces of this and feel that I have rewarded myself. But again I have to keep saying- sugar free does not equal calorie free.

Weighing in

This morning the scale said 178. That is 1.6 lbs lost.

I went out to eat twice this week end while moving one of my sons, but I was very picky about what I chose to eat:

Cheeseburger happy meal with milk at the McDonalds stop. Not because it was what I wanted, I wanted to go to subway or somewhere healthier. No, I choose the happymeal because of the amount of calories contained.
550 in the cheese burger happy meal. That is with fries and a soft drink. You can choose apple slices and milk instead. Much better than a supersized Big Mac with fries- 1,230.

Salad with grilled chicken and a mango salsa and water to drink at the ribs place for dinner.

I even broke down and bought a candy bar in the middle of the day. It was 105*, I was hot, tired and cranky so I gave in at the checkstand. It was a Heath- one of my favorites, chocolate covered toffee. It was not as good as I remember candy being. I have a sugar free toffee recipe that I use and I like it so much better. In fact, after eating the candy, I felt sick. I don't think I will be doing that again.

For exercise this weekend, I carried boxes up 4 flights of stairs instead of using the elevator. I also pulled weeds.

I have found at work that when I am out in the halls making sure that students are in class and not wandering, that if when I pass a flight of stairs I take it, I can do the whole school in 15 minutes and get a decent walk in. Repeat 4 times a day. I could take one flight and do the upstairs and then go downstairs and do the downstairs, but I find that this is one way to get in unintentional exercise and I cover just as much ground in the same amount of time.

End of Week Two

And the verdict is: no weight loss this week. But, no weight gain, either. I'm conditionally pleased. The important lesson I learned this week is that I still ate all the foods I wanted to, but smaller amounts, and maintained my weight. That means that if I can ever get my lazy butt to do some exercise, then I might just lose some more weight.

The other good news is that my wife has decided to finally start blogging here. I think it's because she was displeased with my descriptions of her dieting techniques. That's kind of how our marraige works: I kind of pretend like I'm running things, do a mediocre job, and then she says "Fine. I'll do it myself." And then she punches me in the eye.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Brownies and Bike Rides

I have been so good about exercising this week. My arms should be pretty buff now. And I'm sure the pound I gained (back to 137) is pure muscle. Here's a little taste of my exercise routine this last week. And remember, it's a two part routine: morning and night.

Morning Routine: Have children of varying weights pull on arms. Lift arms up while child is holding on tightly and whining. and then carefully bring arm (and child) down. Repeat until arms fall off.

Nightly Routine: Feel the need to remove nasty wallpaper in stairway and half-bath. Scrape at nasty wallpaper all night long. Sweat. Repeat.

I'm telling you, this is great stuff.

Ok, so I haven't really exercised this week (even though I had a great goal) as in putting in a DVD and exercising with it, but I have biked instead of driven a few times and like I mentioned above, those things really did get a good sweat going and lifted my heart rate a little. One of the bike rides I had to go up a dang steep hill and I made myself stay on the bike. Usually I get off and walk the bike up any kind of mildly steep hill. This time I pushed myself. When I got to the store and got off my bike I thought I was going to fall because my legs felt like jelly.

Anyway, the half-bath is almost rid of wall-paper and I don't have to babysit much this week, so I should have more time to do real exercising.

Confession: I made brownies. We wanted to invite a family over for dessert and games, so I made a pan of brownies. I didn't eat as many as I usually would have. In fact, I only ate one while they were here and one after they left. Usually I would have had one before they arrived, two or three while they were here and another one or two after they left. So, my will power is getting better.

Love Yourself and Win

by Lu Ann

First, let me report that I’ve done well this week. The scale still says ERROR, but it takes a second or too longer to think before it does so, and I’ve actually seen a couple of numbers flash across which makes me think I’m getting close to actually being able to get weighed on this crazy cheap thing!

The second sign I’ve done well came when my husband returned from a week of working in Los Angles to immediately remark, “You’ve lost weight. That roll around your tummy is smaller and your face has more shape.”

Sign number three, I went shopping yesterday for clothes, and I was actually able to fit into pants that were back a size from where I’ve been wearing exclusively for the past year. They were a tiny bit snug to button, but button they did and it was enough to make me happy.

Another big win for me is that I’ve not been so tired or in quite as much pain when I’ve had to walk to classrooms at school and for shopping at the grocery. So right now, I’m loving myself enough to feel I can keep this up for yet another week. This morning I got started with watching the Richard Simmon’s video pack I bought from QVC. The first DVD is “Love Yourself and Win.” Richard talks about six steps we need to adopt emotionally if we truly want to lose weight.

1. Think positive. I can do this.
2. Practice patience. Set achievable steps.
3. Be forgiving. If you have a bad day, don’t beat yourself up about it. Start fresh tomorrow.
4. Shed the past. Don’t think about how you got here and dwell on the past gains and losses. Look at where you are today and get started.
5. Have faith. Believe in yourself and your ability to shed the pounds.
6. Count your blessings. Be thankful for what you can do.

In addition to the mental change, add these three physical changes.
1. Portion control. I use the Food Mover to help me keep track of what types of food I’m eating each day. It’s too easy to stuff myself with starches and ignore the veggies. This helps me keep everything in balance.
2. Accountability. In addition to the Food Mover which my youngest son likes to help me with to keep me on track, I have this blog where I have to report to you.
3. Keep moving. Richard says we need to find ways to move our bodies, even if all we can do it a tiny bit. Since my injury last year I’ve needed do more exercising of my arms, so while I watched the video, that’s exactly what I did. I’ve been looking for little ways to add an extra stretch, walk more steps, bend a little farther to use a few more calories each day.

I’ll stop back in next week with my next report. Now if I can only love myself enough to stay out of the kitchen where it smells like either my husband or one of my sons is frying honey bacon!


I knew that I was way high again on my weight. The most I've ever weighed was 225. I knew I was getting back up to that weight when I started getting heartburn again. Something struck me as different though. Before, when I got to around 190-200 pounds I was solidly in size 18. When I started getting to 215-225 my 18's were becoming very tight and I almost needed to go into size 20.

This time it's a bit different. I'm barely moving into size 18's at 210 pounds. Yes. I weigh 210. Sigh. But, my sizes are very different. Maybe I've gained some muscle along with this weight gain? I hope so. That will make losing weight a little bit easier--just a little bit, though.

Tomorrow is the big day. I start school and I officially start my diet. I'm planning on measuring myself sometime today so I can also track my actual measurements. You CAN lose size, but not weight--sometimes.

I'm not riding my bike yet. That road still hasn't opened. As soon as it does? I'm on the bike. But even if I'm not on my bike I still need to do the other things I planned on doing. Taekwondo, pushups and situps, and the rowing machine. It is very easy to miss taekwondo during the school year--way too easy. So I need to step up my commitment to taekwondo along with everything else!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rebecca's Check-in

We just got back from vacation. I always thought vacation was defined as a relaxing time to enjoy the family and have fun. Well, not exactly. I enjoyed my family and we had fun, but relaxing? Not so much. We spent the bulk of our time shopping for bridesmaids dresses and running from one thing to the next--hardly a moment to breathe. I was soooooo relieved when my future-daughter-in-law finally chose a dress. It's a beautiful teal color and it looks great on each of my girls. The most important part? They all love the dress. Woo hoo. And, they talked me into buying a red dress because they refuse to let me wear my super-cool 80s dress. We also bought red shoes. I think my feet will hate me after I wear these shoes, but they're very beautiful. What's a little foot pain when your son is getting married?

And, to add to the non-relaxing vacation, I could not find any dresses for my younger three daughters so, yep, I have to sew them. Me and sewing, we haven't been on speaking terms for years and now we'll have to get all cozy and intimate over the next four weeks. Bleh! But, they'll all have matching (color) dresses and if only I can find red shoes for the younger girls we'll be set.

We did get the men and boys outfitted in tuxes, except my 3 year-old. I found a tux on the internet that I purchased for him so the boys are all done and they'll all be super handsome.

If I don't lose my mind sewing . . .

Oh, and I was scared to weigh-in, but happily, I lost 2 lbs, for a grand total of 26 lbs. I'm now within 10 lbs of my goal. I'd dance around the room, but I'm just too stinkin' exhausted.

Last week on "pause"

So at the beginning of the week I realized how rough this week would be and just hoped that I could stay at the same spot instead of going backwards. It was pretty stressful and my family won't be back until late Sunday, but I basically was able to meet my goal of staying in the same spot. (weigh in this morning 272) I had some fluctuation in weight throughout the week. I have a lot of that usually so I don't watch the scale, but I really didn't want to slide backwards with not being able to go out to exercise so I kept a close eye on it.

I have pinpointed one of my issues that I am going to need to deal with. I have a very hard time exercising unless I leave the house specifically to exercise. When I am at home there is so much work for me to do that I just can't make myself take the time to exercise there. And of course I justify that I'm doing so much physical work with the kitchen and bathroom remodel that I at least am expending SOME calories, but it just isn't the same as focused exercise.

And on top of it, I really dislike the exercise videos I have. I need to find a workout video that is designed for VERY overweight, unbalanced, unflexible, uncoordinated people. But it has to be fun to do. Picky, I know. Anyone have one of those to recommend?

Well, I count this last week as progress, even though I didn't overall lose any weight. The last time I stopped exercise for a week, I gained some weight back. Not fun.

This week was pretty stressful with half of my family being gone. My husband lost his wallet so I had to find a way to get him money and get all of the cards inside cancelled. I worried about my father inlaw-he is fine now. I didn't have use of a vehicle. My husband had to replace all four tires on our car because they were in bad shape. And now I am trying to figure out a way to get myself and my son to church on Sunday. I have had to miss church more than usual lately, which is not good for the kids in Primary (I am chorister) to not have continuity of who is there every Sunday.

To top it all off, I am a worrier. A worrier with a very active imagination. Maybe I'm a bit of a control freak, too. With two of the kids with their Dad at Grandma and Grandpa's I had visions of all kinds of farm-related accidents and horrible things that could happen. Yet when I'm there with them I don't worry about that, hence the control freak aspect.

But even though it was stressful and I was doing a lot of work, I got to have some fun with Bryce. I enjoyed the one on one time that we don't usually have. We played board games and video games together, went grocery shopping and I learned a lot about the kind of food he likes. He is big on fruit. We had watermelon and peaches and bananas and cabbage and grape juice that he picked out for us. The 6 month old baby I watch loved the watermelon and ate a full piece by herself. And even the little four year old I watch was happier, she usually isn't very affectionate with Bryce, treats him like she would a brother that gets on her nerves, and gave Bryce a big hug when she left on Friday. Bryce and I got to go on a playdate and he had a lot of fun playing with the kids while I got to talk to friends, and we got a lot of snuggling time in.

Now on to next week! I just hope I can get back into the swing of things and have a good week of exercise!

Rob's Update: Too Much Information

Not that I'm advocating bulimia, but I think that a good dieting technique is having a really sick stomach.

My Weird Dream

By Christine

So last night I dreamed that my husband bought a new house for us that I had never seen. He showed me around and I opened the first door and there was a jacuzzi in the bedroom. I was surprised. So I opened the next door and there was a glass door leading to the backyard where a huge pool shimmered in the afternoon sun. The last door I opened led to an indoor swimming pool. Do you think my subconscious was telling me something?

Yes, I got up and swam today. First time all week.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dieting Tactic

I've discovered a new way to lose weight. Go to the dentist. Have him tell you that you've got lots of cavities (despite faithful brushing and flossing, I'll have you know). Have him stick a nasty of the devil probe up your gums three times over every single one of your teeth, top and bottom, frontal and lingual. Bleed. Feel sore. Not want to eat.

I think this could work if it wasn't for my stomach growling at me.

Be Careful!

Well, it has been a few days since I've written. I pulled a muscled in my thigh a few days ago while stretching AFTER my work out. It was so weird. I felt a pop, then a zing down my leg. I thought, "No way did I just tear a muscle!" But I had. I kept ice on it, to some anti-inflamitories and I am taking my StemEnhance. I feel so much better already. I think I'll be able to work out again starting Monday.

So the moral of the story is . . . I'm getting old I guess.

Tristi's Check-In

This is a covered wagon, sometimes called a Conestoga and even a prairie schooner.

This is known as a Western wagon.

This is a wagon by Cadillac.

This is a little red wagon.

This is a Kona Paddy Wagon.

And this is a real paddy wagon.

What do all these pictures have in common, you ask? They all show wagons.

And I have fallen off every single one of them.

The last week has been an absolute stress nightmare - from overflowing toilets to impossible deadlines to dryer doors getting bent off their hinges to a pet rat with a flesh-eating disease and children trying to kill each other ... and I haven't been getting enough sleep to stave off the stress. I shall now show you a few more pictures to illustrate what my life has been like.

Things have calmed down considerably and it is my goal to get back on track. In the meantime, I'm going to be good for a little while before I weigh - if I did it right now, I'm sure I'd lose all the rest of whatever zebra stripes I still have.

I'm really proud of all of you - keep at it!

What's for Dinner

Pulled Pork
1 Pork tenderloin
3/4 cup raw honey
1 pint tomatoes with liquid
1 small can diced green chilies
1 red pepper, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
Sea salt and pepper
Season pork with salt and pepper. Put into a crock pot. Mix remaining ingredients together, pour over pork. Cook on low 8-10 hours or high 5-6 hours. Serve in corn tortillas, or over salad greens.
Tiffany's Brownies
1 stick plus 2 tbsp butter
8 tbsp cocoa powder (or carob powder, or 50% cocoa and 50% carob powder) {I am not a fan of carob so I use cocoa}
1 1/4 cups raw honey
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs (best at room temp)
1/4 cup plain yogurt (be sure to a yogurt that has no sugar)
1 cup fresh-ground whole wheat or spelt flour
Pre-heat oven to 350* F. In a small saucepan on low heat melt butter and cocoa-powder together. Let cool slightly. Cream honey, vanilla, eggs and yogurt in a mixing bowl Add cocoa mixture to honey mixture. Stir in flour, just until blended. Pour into a greased, square baking dish. Bake 45 minutes.

Rob's Update

Not much to report, other than my consuming a small plate of cheese fries and a frosty mug of root beer. But, that was after four hours of standing at an outdoor concert whereat I sweated profusely. Granted, that still probably doesn't offset the cheese fries, but any diet that doesn't let me eat the occassional cheese fry isn't worth it.

Also, here's something that I recently discovered: did you know that the pastrami burger is a uniquely Utahn phenomenon? There was an entire article in the New York Times last month about those crazy Utahns and their crazy burgers. And last night I saw that Gourmet Magazine called the pastrami burger "an outrageous concept". Having grown up in Salt Lake, I assumed everyone had pastrami burgers, but apparently not. The moral of the story: this is the promised land.

(This is not to say that I've eaten a pastrami burger recently. But I may at some point, just to show patriotism to my state.)

Also, my wife last night proposed that she and I turn this dieting into an actual competition wherein there are prizes for the winner. I declined, because she's OBVIOUSLY going to win. She doesn't blog about cheese fries and pastrami.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Okay, so I've been eating ALOT less (like hardly anything) but haven't stuck with my 90 minute thing because I've been so busy. The last three days I've skipped breakfast and like yesterday all I had was a snack wrap (grilled), a diet drink and for dinner a small steak, salad and 10 corn chips (I counted).

So guess what? I am the only person on the planet that gains weight when I don't eat. I swear. It is so frustrating. On Tuesday I'm dripping sweat in a boiling hot room sorting through my boys clothes and didn't have dinner. How can I gain weight???

Does anyone but me think that stinks? But I know this is true, that's why I'm supposed to eat a little every 90 minutes. When I did it, I was losing weight. So I start again. This time doing it right. I'm going to add sleep hours because that's another issue. Six hours a night is not cutting it.

Oh well, I'm going to start again. Little snacks, exercise which I've only dreamed of (two days ago I wore my swimsuit under my clothes all day and never made it to the pool) I can only improve... UGH.

What works for me-When the student is ready

I am a big believer of the adage, "When the student is ready, the teacher will come."

Throughout my adult life I have seen this at work with my health. About 15 years ago I was very sick, at death's door, with the pregnancy of my 6th child. A new family moved in up the street. She owned an Herbs For Health store. She taught me a lot of things about my body and healing it and keeping it well. And I did great for awhile. I stopped eating sugar and started to feel better.

The problem arose when I didn't replace that sugar. I didn't know how, what, and all that stuff. This was when the internet was still in its infancy and there was not a lot out there for me to learn from that didn't cost oodles of money- something I had none of. Most of the things I made to feed my family were nasty and no one would eat. Slowly, sugar made its way back into our diet until we were right back where we started.

As the pain with the arthritis started getting to the point that I started to feel old, I was assigned a new visiting teacher. Another health food store owner. She taught me a bit more about herbs and reminded of some things that I had forgotten. And I vowed again to stop the sugar insanity in my home. But this time I knew it had to be different, I had to find how to not only give up, but replace as well.

I had no idea what to do exactly. I studies, searched, read, googled, talked to others and started doing some small things- no candy bars from the vending machines, no pop, started eating wheat bread. One day my son's girlfriend saw the wheat grass I had in the refrigerator and asked why there was grass in there. My son replied, "Oh mom is on one of her 'health' kicks again." That was when I knew this time had to be for real. So I added prayer to my searching and talking.

About this time I changed schools. I was not able to have my own office because the high school was doing some construction and remodeling, so I shared an office with the attendance secretaries. One of them was big on herbs for healing, and eating healthy. We talked. A lot.

One day this secretary brought in a cook book that she had found at her chiropractor's office. She was looking for something to help her daughter with a particular health problem. As she told me about it, I became more and more interested. She let me look at it. I went home and ordered two- one for me and one for my mom.

When the books came, I sat down and read through it. A couple of times. It was an answer to my prayers. I started cooking from that book, vowing that if my kids wouldn't eat the food then I was done with trying to be healthy. My kids not only loved the food, they asked for me to make it again and again.

A couple of months later, the secretary brought in another book. One that was out of print, but had even more information and yummy recipes. I scoured the internet until I found one. But not only that, I found new books by this author. I ordered 2 of them. My daughter in law's father was diagnosed with diabetes and she came to me asking for help in teaching him how to eat sugar free. I loaned her one of these new books. 6 weeks later he had lost almost 20 lbs! I gave him the book and ordered me a new one plust 2 others. The kids love these recipes as well.

Another couple of months go by and I start reading Dr. Stan Gardner in Meridian. When he offered a free subscription to his Sweet Freedom from Sugar class I joined. I also signed up for his monthly program. Last week the cook book that comes with the program arrived. Again, love the food.

I took the teachers that were sent to me and I studied and I learned and I implimented. And reaped the benifits of eating healthier.

I am going to post the links to the books in the order that I talked about them. Next week I will tell you how I rid my body and my house of sugar. It was not an easy process and we are not totally sugar free, but I would say probably 95% sugar free.

The Feel Good Cookbook, Whole foods and Allergy Free Recipes
by Jonell West Francis

Healthy Healing by Linda Page Ph.D., Traditional Naturopath
(her main website) (sometimes her books are cheaper on Amazon, where I got mine)

Dr. Stan Gardner

Sweet Freedom from Sugar

At Tiffany's Table by Tiffany Perez

Tomorrow I will post one of the recipes from Tiffany's table.

The Danger of Sugar Alcohols

You know those sugar-free versions of mini Reese's and York and Hershey? Instead of real sugar they use sugar alcohols, which taste okay, almost close to the real thing. However, they put this little warning on the bag that sugar alcohols may cause a laxative effect in some people who have a sensitivity to them. This is true. I have decided to STAY AWAY FROM THOSE THINGS!

My weigh-in today - holding steady, no loss, no gain.


I think I need to get started on a diet so that when the exercise is harder to do I can still stay on track. Here's what I've decided will be my basics, and I'll work on it from there!
1. Eat at least 8 grams of fiber at breakfast.
2. Have a midmorning and midafternoon snack that is 150 calories.
3. Build every lunch and dinner like a pyramid: Veggies are the base, lean protein is next, and a small amount of healthy carbs tops it off.
4. Avoid sneaky, high-calorie toppings and other add-ons.
5. Have at least three quick planned breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on hand so temptation doesn't have time.
6. A treat every day.
7. Get at least seven hours of sleep every night.

Day Whatever: Blah

So, I'm still dieting, but I have very little to report. I ate pizza yesterday, but I didn't eat a lot of it. I also didn't eat the crusts. A few years ago I realized that I'm a grown-up, and if I don't want to eat the crusts of my pizza then I don't have to. You're not the boss of me.

I also ate some popcorn. For those who don't know me, I'm something of a popcorn afficianado, having previously worked for Orville Redenbacher's. However, despite this popcorn being Orville (and therefore the best) it was also SmartPop, the diety version. And it's pretty terrible.

Here's an interesting tidbit about popcorn: while corn is one of the very most genetically-engineered plants, only recently has anyone actually thought "Maybe we ought to engineer it to taste good." All previous efforts were directed to larger kernels and better colors and more resistance to bugs and higher harvest rates. However, they're only now thinking about cultivating taste, which means that the earliest versions of tasty popcorn won't be available for a few years.

So, for now, the only way to make your popcorn somewhat tasty is to put something on top of it. And I think that SmartPop sprinkles it with chalk and sadness.

Also: where are all you other bloggers? I feel lonely.

This is not good...

So on Monday I was down to 270. With no exercise if you don't count all the demolition/construction I am doing right now in my kitchen and bathroom, the lack of sleep with most of my family away, and the stress eating I keep catching myself doing, I'm back up to 273 this morning.

I need to get my butt in gear and start getting some exercise when I'm at home and can't leave to exercise. So today I am going to get out those exercise DVDs I HATE and give them a try until I feel like I got a workout in. And I am going to keep a food log so I stay on top of my stress eating. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I had birthday cake for breakfast yesterday

And then I spent the rest of the day at wedding festivities. So, all in all it was not a terribly dietific day.

However, I'm still quite pleased with my progress overall. I'm getting far better at portion control, and I've entirely cut out sugary drinks. Now I just need to start on the exercise portion of the competition.


Report on yesterday:

Back to school staff-elty meeting. PTA sponsored lunch. There was not a whole lot that I could eat given my no sugar rule. I had to break that rule in order to eat. Sandwiches on white bread (another no no in my eating), vegetable salads (all gone when I got done with my meeting with the assistant principal- too bad I could eat them), assorted jello dishes and one mystery glob salad. I think it was strawberry jello and cottage cheese. I am not sure. Then mint brownies for dessert and pop to drink.

Besides not eating sugar, I don't eat white flour or processed foods and no sodas of any kind. I ended up with a small sandwich, one of the jello salads and a brownie and a bottled water. This is the way our society eats and so I have to make room to either not ever eat at functions or learn what choices to make. I probably could have passed on the brownie, but...

Exercise- didn't do the 10 minute dance video but chose to walk around 3 stores shopping with my 18 year old still trying to get him ready to move out on Sat. Then I came home and cleaned the kitchen mess that the kids left me. (not a happy mom on that one) and then walked Brandi to and from soccer practice. And the amazing and great thing about that is we made the trip in less time than usual- 20 minutes instead of 30 (10 minutes each way). I was a little winded when we got home, the trip home is the uphill direction. But I feel good about it.

Another good thing today. The assistant principal was giving me a new school shirt. She asked me if I wanted the girlie one or a plain t-shirt. I wanted the girlie one. I usually can't get the girlie one because they run super small. Even the x-large doesn't fit. Today it did! And it looked good! Woo Hoo!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ambushed by Funeral Potatoes

I went to my aunt's funeral last Saturday. (She had been declining in a rest home for quite a while, so we were happy to see her free of that.) I knew there would be a family luncheon afterwards, meaning tons of food and most of it fattening.

I had a plan. I was going to take small portion sizes, not go back for seconds and try to avoid the deserts. However, the small portion of funeral potatoes was so good, I just had to go back and get more. And while I was there, I noticed the peanut butter and chocolate cookies. Fortunately, the second helping of potatoes (from a different casserole dish) was undercooked and not as good as the first, so I didn't go back yet again.

My aunt's son insisted that they had been inundated by friends and neighbors bringing food to their house and my mother should take home a few of the leftovers, "few" meaning at least half of a sliced ham, a large bag of homemade dinner rolls, macaroni salad, half a sheet cake, and about a gallon of funeral potatoes. This all turned into Sunday dinner at my mom's house, because my sister and her family were still there and we all wanted to visit more.

The plan was just shot to pieces, and I gained back about 2 of the pounds I had lost and my food log was out the window. I am slowly climbing back on the wagon and hope to be back to last week's weight when I post my weight this Thursday.

Where Has Christine Been?

I know, I know. I've been AWOL the last few days. After a great beginning, I sort of fell off the wagon. On Thursday I was finishing up my Christmas story for and didn't get out of my room until noon. Then my teenage son called from downtown. He had been sleeping at a friend's house and they decided to walk a few miles but didn't have the energy to get home. What he failed to tell me is that he had gather four other friends together on the way.

I picked up the six fourteen year old boys and spent the afternoon driving them over town as they prepared to decorate the Bishop's lawn that night with forks, TP, plastic gravestones and stuffed dummies representing each of them. With a boatload of junk food and a handful of videos we headed back to my house so they could hang out until it was dark enough not to get caught.

Amid all this activity I still hadn't had breakfast. At five o'clock when I was going to have a salad, the Doritos looked too good. I admit I was awful because I was STARVING- which is why I'm supposed to eat every ninety minutes.

So Friday is writer's group. After being up most of the night making sure the teenagers didn't get out of hand, I dragged myself from bed and raced over to critique group at ten without breakfast again. It went well. They liked my story with very few changes but we did go through other people's chapters and it took a long time, for some reason. I didn't got home until 2pm, still having not eaten and had two bowls of Cap'n Crunch. It went down hill from there.

Sunday I was great (again no breakfast first meal at 5pm- do we see a pattern?) then I remembered it was my friend's birthday. Well, actually I forgot and visited her and then remembered so I ran to the store (yes, on Sunday but it was an emergency) and bought her a cake and we had to share it.

Yesterday my George turned 19. His mission papers are almost in and we had fun but I went to Panda Express and had cake.

Bottomline, today I'm back on the program and after my evil weekend, I'm back up 2lbs which still means I lost 2lbs last week. I'm at 255.

I'm going to weigh in on Mondays, although next week is my husband's birthday. We'll see how it goes. Cross fingers.

And I NEED to start exercising... well, I can only improve, right?

Uphill both ways

But at least it wasn't in the snow.

Yesterday I again didn't get on the treadmill. My 18 year old, Matthew, is moving out this coming Sat. to attend college. How did I get to be old enough to have 4 of my kids graduated from high school? We have been working on his financial aid for everything that scholarships didn't cover. Let me tell you, the U of U is horrible to work with on this and their website, where they keep directing you, was designed by chimpanzees. I am sure of it. I have a daughter in college and I am at grad school and neither of those have been such a pain to work with.

Anyway, the point of all this is that we drove up there today to see if we could get a real life person to explain what it all means and if there is enough money to pay his tuition or if I need to rob a bank or something.

We also needed to go to the housing office and make sure that if his financial aid didn't come in by Sat. that it would be ok if we made payment when it does come it. The housing office is clear across campus. Straight uphill from where we were parked. We were going to drive around, but construction was going on and they were cutting a gas main and we were not allowed to start the car. So we walked.

Did I mention it was all uphill from where we parked. Because if I didn't, it was.

I didn't need to do the treadmill today. Gotta love unintentional workouts. And I drank a couple bottles of water before we made it back to the car, where I drank another bottle of water. So a good work out day.

Terryaki chicken and brown rice for supper.

School starts Th. for our district so I go back to work today. Now is when exercising gets tricky for me. Not enough time before I have to be at work at 7:30 a.m. and I get too lazy when I come home. This is why I wanted to be accountable to someone other than myself, it is too easy to justify not doing it if I don't have to tell someone whether I did or not.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting Started: My Plans

Figuring out a diet is a hard thing to do--and figuring out what works for you is even harder. I've dieted in the past--three major times and I've done it the same all three times, but each time I learn a little bit more about how I work and how I lose weight. Hopefully this will be the last time!

Previously, I have focused a lot on counting calories. I use a free online website and it works for me. Counting calories does a few things for me. I tend to go big on portion sizes and this really helps me control it--especially if I've counted the calories before I eat the actual meal. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment--I may have been hungry, but by golly! I hit my calories for the day.

Exercise has also been included in the plan, but it has been spotty exercise and here and there. Then, when something changes in my life or I get too stressed or it has taken too long and I've hit a plateau I tend to start slipping and before I know it I'm not exercising anymore and I'm eating way too much--fast food, chocolate, chips, chocolate, large portion sizes at dinner, chocolate, donuts, chocolate, cookies, chocolate, ice-cream, chocolate. Did I mention chocolate?

So here is my new and improved plan. Are you ready? I go back to counting calories. Right now I'll aim for 1400-1600 calories a day. Before I've been hitting between 1200-1400 calories and I think that may be a little low. You do not want to lose weight too quickly. If you are losing too much then you are also losing muscle mass. Muscle mass helps you lose weight--A TON OF WEIGHT--and if you lose muscle mass that can really hurt you in the long run. From everything I've researched you should not lose more than two pounds a week--if you are doing what I'm doing. There are some diets out there such as HCG, which is supposed to prevent that muscle loss. But I'm just counting calories.

I also focus on keeping my fats down and eating vegetables and fruit. I don't need to worry about the protein side of things, because I'm always a little TOO good at getting my protein! And, just a side note. I do NOT deprive myself of my favorite treat of all time--chocolate. I just do not eat very much of it. And when I limit myself like that, I tend to appreciate the little I get much more than the bagful I eat when I'm not being good. I also will take multi-vitamins to help make sure I'm getting everything I need.

Exercise, which has never been huge in my plan before is now taking a larger part. I'm now attending taekwondo twice a week. In addition, I will be biking to and from work which is around 5.5 miles total. Not too much, I know, but still it is better than nothing. Plus, I'm hoping that working hard on the way home (all uphill) will help me snack less when I get home.

My husband and I usually manage to watch something--a movie or hulu--for at least an hour or two in the evening. During that time I'll get on my rowing machine and exercise for fifteen minutes. I know that isn't much and I'll see about building that up later, but for right now I feel pretty good about the cardiovascular side of things and biking, taekwondo, and the rowing machine will also help me gain some muscle mass. I'm planning on doing pushups and situps. Later, I'll try to incorporate more muscle building exercises into the plan (and yes, I'm going to do them every other day to give my body the chance to heal). Oh and stretching, but that isn't so much a diet goal as a taekwondo goal. I NEED to be more flexible!

Now, for something that may sound a little strange. SLEEP. Unfortunately, this is part of the plan that I will not be able to incorporate as much as I want to. Sleep helps you lose weight. If you are trying to lose weight, get PLENTY of sleep. If you are the kind of person who needs 8 hours, make sure you get AT LEAST those eight hours. I lost weight so much faster when I was sleeping 9-10 hours a night. I'm one of those people who needs more than eight hours. Sigh.

My diet starts full force next week. That's when I start school back up and get onto a schedule. I'll blog more then and weigh in (eek, I so don't want to do that) and also include my measurements. One of the things I'm focusing on is measurements versus weight. You can lose inches, but not lose weight. Even though muscle mass weighs more than fat, it also takes up a lot less room than fat. So doing both--weighing and measuring--can give you a truer picture of what is going on with your body.

Change of Plan, I'm still here!

I wasn't able to get time off and go back home with the family, but it sounds like my father in law is doing better already. I have my Bryce here-he's the baby even though at five, that word is not one he appreciates. So no biking in the morning or swimming lessons in the evening. I am also vehicle-less, my van has finally decided it can go no farther until it has some major TLC. So if we need anything, we will be walking. And if I do any exercise away from the house, it needs to be something my 5 year old can do. We will be making at least one grocery store trip this week, which is half the distance we are used to walking when we go to the swimming pool, so carrying back some weight should not be an issue. I was absolutely horrid on the food yesterday, I ate late at night which I have tried to stop doing, and had some stress-related eating that stopped after I realized what I was doing. But the scale was nice to me this morning, down to 271. One more pound down! Has anyone else noticed that their weight loss/gain seems to have a week to week mindset? I wonder if it's tied to hormones. It seems I have one week of weight gain, one week of plateau, one week of gradual weight loss, and one week of higher weight loss. No matter how hard I work, my weight seems to follow that same general pattern. Let me know if you guys have noticed anything similar, and if you have any great ideas for exercise at home. My Treadmill isn't working, and now neither is my Wii, so no Wii Fit. I think it came unplugged or something along those lines, but in the mass of cables I can't really tell although I have tried. Any ideas would be appreciated!

Redo on the Weigh In

I may have been a bit hasty Sunday. I didn't account for the fact that I weighed myself in the late evening and after dinner. This morning my scale was much kinder. 136 instead of the extra pound it had given me last night (139).

So me and the scale are on speaking terms again. We've just learned that we can't see each other at night or after meals. Only in the morning. Before breakfast. When I'm still starving.

This weekend was ok. I took lots of trips up and down our stairs trying to clean the house, and since the kids were on a mission to make the house messy, I got lots of exercise in. I did have some fast food on Saturday, but we were out and about and didn't have time to go all the way home for lunch.

We also went bowling, which isn't an aerobic exercise, but my arms did get a work out with the ball:)

My exercising goal this week is to go pilates 3 times and my walking video 2 times. I guess I should go get started!

Weekly Update

It's been one week, and the scale is being kind: I've lost three pounds. And my wife (who is dieting with me but isn't posting here), has lost three and a half.

She's been more obedient than me. I, for example, ate way too much meat loaf yesterday. But I figure that Sunday dinner doesn't really count. Calories eaten on the Sabbath are more . . . reverent, I think.

In other news, I discovered a great way to eat fruit. I may not have mentioned this before, but I don't like fruit. I love vegetables, but fruit=blah. Anyway, I discovered that it's a lot easier to eat a banana if you cover it with ice cream and chocolate syrup.

Weighing in

I am going to make Monday my weigh in day.

This morning the scale said 179.6.

I have never said the number out loud before. Only my doctor and I know the real number. Until now. And it feels..... ok. It's not the number I want, but it is just a number and my health is so much more than a number and I need to not lose sight of that.

And really, it is a much smaller number than it was last year at this time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Slight Hitch in the Getalong

I'm afraid to weigh. So I haven't.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I had the habit of keeping sugary snacks by my desk and whenever I had a pressing deadline on an edit, I would keep myself going by popping those little snacks. I also realized that I had a tendency to crave high fat foods. I made the decision to do away with both habits, and was feeling pretty chipper. Throughout Thursday, I was sticking to the eating plan, moving around, and lovin' life.

Then Friday happened, when I realized that the edit I'm currently working on couldn't possibly be done by the deadline, and I had to pour it on. (457 pages, single spaced.) I concentrated all my energy on it and felt like a slug moving sluggishly through sluggy, sluggy slime.

Then I realized why I crave fattening food and sugary food when I have a deadline - fat to feed my brain and sugar to keep me moving. Ah ...

So, I'm sorry to say, there has been some slipping off the wagon for me. I did have some fast food on Friday night, and I did get some sugar. Not as much as I would have in the past, but there has been sugar.

I also realized something else about myself. In the past, I've said things like, "I ate twelve boxes of donuts, but I also went for a long walk, so that's progress." If you want to think about it like that, sure ... that's progress. But at what point does the justification end and at what point does accountability take over?

I'm responsible for what I eat, what I don't eat, when I exercise, and when I don't. No more justification. I've gone off the eating plan this weekend, and chances are, I'll struggle with it until I get this edit done. I take responsibility for that. The next challenge is, finding ways to feed my brain and keep my energy up. I'm already having awesome ideas having to do with avocados and vitamin C. There's always a way, always a substitute.

In the meantime, I'm pretty sure I've gained back those two pounds. Not going to beat myself up about it, but I'm not going to justify it, either. It is what it is, and tomorrow's choices will bring about tomorrow's results.

You all are doing awesome - I'm really proud of you and I'm having so much fun reading your stories. Thanks for hanging out with me!

Here's My Check In

I hate my scale.

Will shortly be MIA

Yesterday I did my catch-up day of biking and had a good day as far as food went. Today is my day of rest. My father-in-law fell yesterday and is in the hostpital, so I am packing everyone now for a trip back home to help out while he is laid up and won't be able to post for a bit. My goal is to at the least maintain where I am at 272 and not backtrack to where I was before since I won't be able to bike, and any exercise I do will have to be something I can do and supervise my youngest at the same time. So hopefully I can come up with something creative to keep up the exercise! Keep going, guys!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Stop Screaming ERROR

I was the first one to sign up to participate in this blog with Tristi and Grandma Ruthe, but it looks like the last one to actually log on and write a post. I’ve had good reason–I was on a much needed short vacation before I head back to work on Monday. But vacation or not, I’ve been good and already started the Richard Simmons Food Mover program, a portion-control system that I’ve used before with much success.

Like many people with lifelong weight problems, I have gone up and down over my life, rarely staying at my ideal weight for longer than a year before those pounds start to creep back on. I last reached my ideal weight when I got married, fifteen years ago! I stayed there for a short time, then I found myself eating richer foods and larger portions that I knew I should.

I played at losing weight, but it was hard when my husband liked to eat rich foods, I had a miscarriage, and I actually ate three full meals a day. I was successful a couple of times at returning briefly to my ideal weight, but I completely lost that battle six years ago when we adopted three boys (adding to the two we had already adopted), and the maximum stress levels hit the ceiling.

I found myself eating not because I was hungry, but because I was looking for comfort. Chocolate became my friend, and I would pop Bridge mix into my mouth while I read each evening. Anyone who knows me well knows I would die if I couldn’t read, so going without reading before bedtime was not possible. The chocolate was addicting as well, and soon the pairing of chocolate and reading was complete. I spent long hours alone in my bedroom, trying to avoid the chaos the oldest boy brought into our life, and the pounds started to pack on.

In the next five years, I went up two dress sizes and started to experience pain in my knees and lower back. I knew none of this was healthy, but I couldn’t seem to stop myself. Then came the additional health issue when last year I took a great fall, breaking a radial head on one arm which resulted in replacement surgery, dislocating the other elbow, and doing additional damage to my back and left knee, already under the stress of too much weight and a fall on the ice the previous winter. The pain medications following the surgery helped me lose twenty or so pounds, and I thought I’d be able to lose the rest on my own, but once I stopped the meds, I hurt to much to exercise. Heck, I could hardly even walk without feeling like I was dying, my back hurt so bad.

About three weeks ago, I decided enough was enough. I need to lose the weight if I want to be around to enjoy the retirement I’m looking forward to, and to be able to go on vacations and do things with my husband and sons, including the nine-year-old who wants Mom to be around to see him grow up. I located my Food Mover and got started balancing those meals.

Within the first week, I was already noticing a few changes in the way I felt. I can walk a little farther, stand a little longer, and I don’t feel so bloated and my feet aren’t as swollen when I go to bed at night. The chocolate is gone from the night stand, and I’ve broken the habit of needing something to chew while I read.

I happened across Richard on a recent QVC pitch and immediately ordered the updated DVD set of Sweatin’ to the Oldies. I had sold the two VHS copies I’d once owned, back when I was a newlywed, at my ideal weight, and thought I didn’t need them anymore. The DVDs came yesterday, and like Richard says, even if I only dance to a single song a day, it’s more than I’ve been doing in the last few years and a great place to start. I’ll get started today.

So far, the Food Mover program must be working because last week I actually did some walking at Cedar Breaks and didn’t feel like I was going to die just getting in and out of the car. I was able to walk to every one of the lookout points, a major accomplishment compared to where I was two weeks earlier. I also walked around SUU at the Shakespeare Festival that evening, and no sore muscles or complete exhaustion the next day. Overall, I feel better.

My first weight goal might seem silly to some, but it’s a way for me to measure that I’m making progress. I want to be able to step on the cheap-o scale in the downstairs bathroom without it screaming ERROR at me. Once I’m back on a real number, then I’ll set my next number goal, but for now, I’m up, I’m standing and walking with less pain, I’m motivated, and happy to be a part of this blog to give me additional motivation. Thanks, Tristi, for coming up with this idea right when I needed that extra kick in the pants to stay on the right path when it comes to improving my health.