Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Goal


When I started the Curves six-week diet in November, my goal was to get 10 pounds off by Christmas. I'm happy to report that I made it. My pants that were getting too tight are now feeling comfortable again. I've stayed at size 12 for the past four years now, and I'm determined to keep my weight in a range where those beautiful clothes continue to fit me. I've had years where I've had to totally overhaul my closet, either because of gaining or losing weight. I'm praying that those days are over.
The Curves diet teaches that you should weigh yourself often to monitor any weight gains. As soon as you've gone up three or four pounds, they want you to get right back on the diet to get it immediately back off again. I let my weight go up ten pounds this past time, and that was too much, but overall I've been sticking to this regime for a long time now, and it really works. May we all start the new year off with joy in the way we're now eating. Good luck to all of us in 2009.
Til later.... Linda

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Still Working On Weight Loss

I had my next to last session with my trainer today. My trainer told me I have lost 20 pounds since starting to work with him on July 1. I have to get past Thanksgiving before my last weigh-in and workout with him. After that I will be on my own. It scares me a little but I do believe I can handle it. I will probably do at least 1 more session with my trainer after the first of the year. I did treat myself this week and bought a new workout outfit in a smaller size than I have worn in a long time! Wish me luck with the month of December looming on the horizon!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Finally.... A Losing Week

I wanted to share with all of you how successful I'm feeling at the end of my first week back on the Curves food plan. They have the theory that you have to start with your metabolism working properly, and to get it there, you spend at least a month of eating the typical American diet with chips and desserts and pizzas, etc. My trip to D.C. was an eating extravaganza like that, and I guess my metabolism must be up to speed now because cutting back to 1200 calories for this whole past week has resulted in a weight loss of 7.4 lbs. This has never happened in my whole life of dieting. Each morning when I weighed this week, the weight was really coming back off. I realize that most of this is water weight from the retention my body did while eating "normally," but it's still amazing. I have to say that the food suggestions were also very satisfying all week. I went to Logan's twice. Once I had grilled salmon and broccoli, and the other time I had a grilled chicken breast and skewers of grilled veggies. Just delicious!!

This morning I started on Week Two, which has food suggestions that add up to 1600 calories per day. I'm actually going to Casa Manana tonight to have two chicken fajitas. That's what the plan suggests, without the guacamole and the sour cream... I'll be on 1600 calories until I hit a plateau at which time I am again supposed to try to get my metabolism back up to running order again. Curves claims that this is an eating plan that you can do for your whole life. I'd like to think it will always work this way. Anyway, I'm ecstatic about the scale for the first time in a long time. I hope you guys are doing well, too. 'Til later, Linda

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Every time I go on a trip, I come back pounds heavier. Eating out, especially enjoying ethnic foods that I can't get back home, is the culprit. My trip in October to the D.C. area turned out the same. My weight's up again, and I'm trying to get it back down. I wish it weren't the same old, same old, but it is. I ask all of you guys to support me as I begin again. I hope you're all having a successful autumn.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Determined!

Thanks Lindy for getting us going again. I finally gave in to my trainer at Better Bodies. He has been after me to train with him for 2 years! I bit the bullet and took some money out of savings the end of July. I am happy to report that I have lost 12 pounds and 4% body fat! I am at the end of my session so have decided to do another one. I hope by Christmas I can report success. I am still reporting in at Weight Watchers and have gotten back to the 15 pound loss mark with them. I still need another 5 off to hit my 10% of my starting weight.

I am going to the gym every day except some Sundays. I do a 60 minute weight lifting workout 3 days a week and cardio every day. On the days I do weights, I do 30 minutes cardio and on the other days I do 60 minutes cardio. My big goal is to increase my minutes on the stairmaster! I started with 5 and am now at 10! For every minute I add to the stairmaster, I subtract from the arc-trainer. I usually finish my 60 min. cardio with 20 min. on the treadmill. I am not one to like to sweat but have decided that sweating is the only way to melt the pounds off!

My trainer has also asked me to follow a 1200 to 1300 calorie eating plan. I have been journaling my eating and have discovered that when I figure Weight Watcher points it comes out to be the same as I need to be eating for their program. That actually surprised me!

I hope to check in regularly and am anxious to hear from all of you.

It's Working!


Since I last checked in I have really put extra effort into my exercise and have lost two pounds. I am sticking to my morning running outside or running on the treadmill. What's changed is that I have added in evening power walks with a neighbor who is on a quest to get healthier as well. We were able to get in 15 miles of walking accomplished since last Friday. Sometimes evenings didn't always fit into our schedules but we tucked a mile in here or a mile in there and it added up.

In addition, I am doing anything physical with our boys. We went to our park with another family one night to help the boys practice baseball. I did all the base running. I don't know what that added up to mile-wise but every little bit helps! Plus we had so much fun!

LMH

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Turning Over a New Leaf

I got back to Curves this week after being away for almost two months. I hurt my rotator cuff back in May, and it really flared out. Finally, I've been released to work in my present range of motion and gradually increase it. The pain is almost gone FINALLY!! Sleeping has been difficult. Finding a comfortable position so that my arm didn't throb was next to impossible. I'm very grateful to be in this healing place.

With the return to Curves, I'm also looking at what I can adjust in my eating. I took the Light Way course last year about this time, and they taught a regime where you eat only when your stomach growls, not necessarily at regular meal times. Living alone, I can actually try this idea out, and I'm doing it right now. When your stomach does growl, you are supposed to eat a small something about the size of your fist. They aren't particular about the content of that food. I'm hoping that I can keep my nutrition good and eat things that are good for me. So far, after a week of doing this, my weight has gone down about a pound. We'll see what's ahead.

The high of this past week has been the fact that all of my family safely came through Hurricane Ike last week. My siblings in Houston were all without power for a substantial time, and some still are, but they had the pioneer spirit about it and survived. The low is about my sister Debbie's house in Seabrook, Texas. It took in 14 inches of water, and they don't know yet whether it's fixable or whether it will have to be razed to be built completely from scratch. Angels have appeared and she and her husband have a lovely place to stay while whatever happens now happens. A contractor is also already involved, so I thank God for watching over us all. Til later, Linda

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's time to make the change

At the prompt of "Aunt Blue Bell" I am ready to get this blog support group going again. It's been a long summer, busy with work, kids activities, our oldest daughters' wedding and spending time at big lake, as much as we can. We entertained friends and family over the long week(end) surrounding the wedding - 8/8/08 - and we let our self control somewhat slip along the way. I shouldn't say "we," as I can only speak for me, and I know that I did well maintaining my own through the late spring and summer.

I have a new doctor treating my diabetes. She has put me on some new medications to help assist with my resistance to insulin and to help control my cholesterol. She is a young doctor from Pakistan, and her gentle, yet knowledgeable and no nonsense nature was just the prescription I needed from my endocrinologist. She asked me, point blank, if I wanted to stay on the insulin pump. Frankly, I hadn 't ever given it much thought, assuming that living with diabetes would mean being on insulin for the rest of my life, and I have the pump, so why wouldn't I just keep using it? But she gave me some food for thought. She's put me on metformin to affect the insulin resistance of my body and told me that since it has only been six years that I have been taking the insulin, my pancreas may still be able to produce enough insulin if I can decrease my resistance. Medication, exercise and weight loss will help . . . hmmm, guess I've always "known" the path. I've been on metformin for one month, and tricor for my cholestorol as well. I go back to see her in early December. I am now starting to see my blood sugars lower in the normal range again. Exercise and weight loss are to follow.

Now, about the exercise. We've as a family joined the YMCA. Marc is taking swimming lessons, and Rachel, Vickie and Micaela are anxious to start using the one by our house, and their cards will also allow them to use one within walking distance of their mom's house. Michael and I are also looking forward to starting a program to tone, tighten and help shed excess pounds. I've had some health issues that have kept me from venturing out in my usual mode of walking through the temperate months. I look forward to feeling better soon, and learning to play racquetball with Vickie. She's promised to teach me. If they have cameras on the courts, it will be one we can sell for cash, as I am sure it will be site to behold. I'll keep you updated as we work out our exercise routines.

Michael's last report at the doc was excellent, he's lost a few more pounds, down one pant size, and his medications are being absorbed. His A1C (test which measures average blood sugar levels over 3 months) was 6.2, the lowest its ever been. 6.0 or lower is where doctors want to see it. Mine was 6.8, so I'm hoping the change in medication helps get mine back to normal.

I am eating healthier, not healthy by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely with a healthier outlook. Our gluten free focus has helped make our meals more nutritional when we eat at home, and limits our family from eating out so often. We have found a few restaurants, whose gluten free menus are good, not just lists of what they serve that is gf. We like Biaggi's, Carraba's, Chili's and a new pizza place that offers a gluten free crust - Pudgy's Pizzeria. We tried it out last Monday, the pizza was awesome, and Michael ate perhaps a bit more than he should have in one sitting, but watching the joy in his face as he devoured his favorite - pepperoni, green olive and extra cheese - was awesome. He hadn't eaten pizza since February. (which could explain his keeping up with weight loss and my stalling!)

I experimented with gluten free bread baking from scratch last week. I made hamburger buns to go with sloppy joes for my brother-in-law's retirement party. They tasted good, but they were so dense you could have used them for hockey pucks. Michael said they were okay hot out of the oven with butter and slathered in saucy sloppy joes. Not sure he'd use it for a hamburger yet. I used a recipe from glutenfreemama.com and her almond blend flour. Our neighbor manages the local Hy-Vee, and he's stocking the shelves with the gluten free mama flours now. I found a cornbread mix that we really like from gluten free kitchens. I've also adapted my chili recipe to use kidney beans in place of chili beans and Tones Southwest Chipotle seasoning to add extra zest.

Other updates: Vickie has passed her driver's test and now has her license. She and I share my car, this week,with Michael away in Vegas, she's getting her first round of independence by driving herself to and from school without a parent in the car. She's itching to go further and we're holding the reins tight to let her get accustomed to driving on her own and paying attention to the road. If the driving age is ever on a ballot to be raised, I think I'd vote for it. It's nerve wracking to think of these young drivers, with no fear of anything, out on the road, "finding their way in the dark." I don't know how my parents got any sleep when I was behind the wheel . . . Marc started Kindergarten and loves it. He misses his old friends but is making new ones. Vickie watches two neighbor kids and Marc after school every day. She's being really responsible, making good money and loves the kids. Marc will take sign classes again along with his swimming lessons, and he signed up for coed basketball for kindergartners at the Y. His games start in Oct. He has his jersey and wants to sleep in it every night. Not sure I am ready for this new stage of his development, but I guarantee you if he has my talent for the hoops, there will be entertaining moments on the gym floor to come!

Once upon a time, some of us set a goal to lose 10% of our body weight by Christmas. I think it is still doable if those of us who sat down and made to goal set our minds to it. My goal, lose 10 lbs by November and the rest before the holidays. Fellow b-hoppers, are you in?

Thanks, Blue Bell, for getting us motivated again. Your prompt was just what I needed to get back on track. And, I need to know - "who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?" Not me, must have been you!

Has it been that long?

I didn't realize it had been since the spring since I have posted!  Our summer was wonderful and I was able to keep on top of my exercise with early morning runs and even added in a day of tennis with a friend at our pool during the week. However, the scale has yet to budge. My current goal is to lose 10 pounds ultimately 13 pounds. I want to lose the weight for no other reason except that I don't think it needs to be there. I feel strong and healthy but I think the weight is there from my food choices and also getting older so I would like to change that. I found that checking in with you guys proved helpful and I felt that I had "company". So I am back and ready to get going and try to set a realistic goal of the holidays.

LMH

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Update on my progress

With my oldest in school this fall, I had to move my walking inside to the treadmill. I miss being outside, and I still walk outside on the weekends. However, I'm finding that my treadmill workouts have me working harder and losing weight. I'm within five pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight - woohoo!

Basically, three days a week, I warm up and then do 2 minute fast walking intervals on the treadmill. The other two days, I use the manual incline on the treadmill and do two five minute segments. Depending on the week, I take off one or two days each week.

I picked these ideas up from The Abs Diet book. I also have been doing new versions of situps from the book to strengthen my back and abs.

The last part of my success so far is the vitamin supplements I've been taking. I started taking glucosamine from Walmart over the summer and it's made a big difference in how my body feels in the morning. I went from shuffling out of bed to almost bounding out of bed (note the almost!). My knees aren't healed enough for me to start running, but I'm okay with where I am now.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


It's taken a week, but I've finally done it. I'm back at the weight I was the day I left for Nebraska a few weeks ago. I got home last Thursday, and the next morning when I got on the scale, I nearly toppled over. In just seven short days, six pounds had gone on. I attribute the gain to the retention of fluid. I ate so differently in Nebraska than I do when I'm home alone. For example, I ate a delicious homemade bagel every morning for breakfast. At home, I have half of an average bagel, and that's it. I was eating spaghetti, pizza, barbeque sandwiches and the like, and add to that the desserts I partook of, and there you have it. Thank goodness I didn't actually overeat. This kind of fluid retention just takes seven days to retract.
At this point, I'd like to keep up this regime and get at least six more pounds off before I head for China in October. It's looking like I may be going alone. My friend Dianne Pelzer's husband is going through the same kind of tests that Ray had three years ago. It feels almost like deja vu, so weird.. The good news this morning was that the insurance I bought covers this kind of thing, and I won't have to pay extra to go as a single. Six other singles are also going on this particular tour, so who knows what adventures await me. I launch myself into the future...
I hope all goes well with everybody I saw on this Nebraska trip. I loved seeing you and catching up and oh, the grandchildren!! There were so many cute little guys to take pictures of. I enjoyed my trip down memory lane, and I look forward now to this China trip. I'll tell you about it. Til then, Linda

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm BAAAAAACK!


Okay, so I've been on hiatus. I'd like to say it was because I was so busy tending to myself and getting down to the business of taking better care of myself, but you all probably know me better than that. I am at "status quo" regarding the dieting, exercise and overall healthy focus. I haven't gained, and I haven't lost. I've exercised just a little. I didn't hit my goal of losing 20 lbs by the wedding on August 18th, but I WILL get on target to lose the 10% of body weight that was the family challenge. I am switching doctor's for my diabetes and have an appointment on August 18, my hope is that this newer, younger doc will suggest some newer, tighter controls and jumpstart me on maintaining even better control of my blood sugars.

Vickie, on the other hand, has taken control over her life and has been pushing herself away from the table, making herself walk every day and has dropped over 10 lbs this summer. Her initial goal was 20 by the wedding, she's halfway there and now she's talking about 20 by end of the year. She'll make it. Her whole attitude and outlook is good right now. Here is a recent picture snapped at the lake, showing off some nice curves. Speaking of Vic, she's having an incredibly good summer. She volunteered at the OPS summer school program for deaf kids and has set a new professional goal to become a teacher of the deaf. She spent a week in driver's ed and a week at camp. She also has painted and set up her new basement, teen hangout room this summer. In the five months she's been living in our house full-time, we've all begun to adjust and appreciate the changes.




Michael continues to eat a strict, celiac diet and is dropping pounds slowly from the cutback primarily of the carbs he can no longer tolerate. His bloodwork for diabetes improved dramatically with the weight loss and new diet. I have adjusted my cooking and baking and find more outlets for gluten free products all the time. Amazon.com sells gluten free products in bulk and oddly enough, the Mound City Foods in Mound City, MO carries gluten free products much cheaper than any store here in Omaha. I stocked up on gf pasta on our last trip to the lake. Gotta love the small town attitude of taking care of its own, obviously someone in Mound City has celiacs disease and so the local grocery is carrying those products. They even had a gf hamburger helper type meal. Who knew?


One of our friends recently had a lap band procedure. She's lost over 30 lbs since the middle of June and is looking tremendous. She is happy with the weight loss, but she struggles in feeling deprived of eating. She describes it as not really hungry, but wanting to eat,missing it. I had lunch with our cousin, who's had bariatric bypass surgery and has kept her weight off for the past 8 years. I think about both of these procedures and wonder if this would be a route I should consider. Both procedures require a dramatic change of lifestyle and both produce results of weightloss and overall better health. On the other hand, I know if I really put my mind to it, I have and can lose weight on my own. To quote my sister, maybe "the bug (to lose weight) just hasn't hit me yet!" I wonder what it would be like to never have to think about weight, diet, eating, diabetes, etc. I think my thinking about it so much has led to a shutdown and state of denial. I keep telling myself recently - "as soon as the wedding is over . . ." In October I will turn 45, I have spent the first half of my forties slowly gaining weight since the birth of my son and subsequent pregnancies, perhaps I should shift my focus more long-term, and concentrate on the next half slowly losing the weight once and for all. Maybe the short-term goals are too easy to miss. I am going to "perk" this thought a little bit.


On another note, I attended a funeral a week ago of a former neighbor from our little town of Eagle, NE. A woman who lived to be 84 years old and died in her sleep one morning. She was one of those rare individuals who defined an entire community. The school cook for 41 years, she fed generations of kids from that little town. At her funeral, I sat behind some childhood friends, now grown adults, who openly wept as stories were shared of her chili, cinnamon rolls and homemade sloppy joe buns. What is it about the the school cook that touched us all? Was it the nourishment we needed and took for granted that made us all give up our day to pay our last respects to the cook? Was it our need to return to the innocence of growing up in small town Nebraska, where we could race on our ten speeds, play in the park all night and everyone's Mom had authority to tell you to run on home? I took Marc with me to the funeral, not because I wanted to expose him to the sadness that was present, but mainly because I wanted him to experience a glimpse of my childhood, the town in which I grew up and meet some of the people who influenced and shaped me. My sister's, brother and I took Marc and the triplets swimming in Eagle pool, where we worked our way through college as lifeguards and managers and where our summer memories divide between "summers before the pool was built" and "summers after the pool." Hearing Bennie and the Jets by Elton John or Love Will Keep us Together by the Captain and Tenille takes me back to the first pool summer of 1975. I needed Marc to have that experience and the death of our dear old friend gave me the opportunity to share this piece of me with my son. Marc will start Kindergarten on August 13, five days after serving as the ring bearer in his sister's wedding. I wonder what factor Marc will use to divide his summer memories? For me, I will now refer to this summer as the year I took Marc swimming in the pool of my childhood.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July Update

So far I've lost about 28 of the 40 lbs. that I gained during my last pregnancy. I'm pretty much on track with the weight loss though I know that it may take me longer this time because of the extra 10 lbs. that I gained. Instead of focusing on the scale, I pulled out my pre-pregnancy shorts and I try them on each week, noting how much further I can get them on.

I'm finding that I need to walk daily. I take James and Lizzie out each morning in my double jogging stroller, and we spend 45 minutes hitting all the hills in our neighborhood. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I push myself to walk faster up the hills. We've seen a lot of wildlife on our walks, including a mama deer and her two baby fawns. When fall comes and my oldest is in school, we may have to do our walks in the afternoon. I also hope to make time to do a longer walk weekly at our local wildlife refuge.

I've been reading a wonderful book called Nourishing Traditions and incorporating some of the suggestions into my food preparations. The great thing about preparing food from scratch with little guys around is that they want to be involved in the food preparation. From picking the vegetables in our garden to washing and preparing them for freezing, my four year old is my biggest helper. When I make bread in the bread machine, my Littles want to put the ingredients in and then of course, they can't wait to taste the fresh bread.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Retreat and Rejuventate

My weekend was phenomenal. I attended a Prayer Retreat at the St. Charles Center in Moss Bluff, Louisiana, and instead of feeding my body, I spent time feeding my soul. The photo that I'm including is the only one I took, and it came out looking like my guardian angel was hovering around me head. Isn't it wierd?

The group of about 16 women were introduced to all kinds of prayer styles and techniques. As an ENFJ on the Myers-Briggs scale, I lean toward prayers that involve interaction of some sort like Lectio Devina or placing myself in a Bible passge and imagining what all of the people were thinking, then relating it back to my own world. The highlight and awakening experience I had this weekend was the drum prayer that we did. We were all told to remove our rings and watches and to follow the leader to the library where objects would be laid out on a carpet. We were not to speak, and we were to do whatever came naturally to us with these objects. I felt like Nancy Drew on a mystery tour.

Once we arrived in this room, laid out on the floor were drums of all shapes and shakers and tambourines of all kinds, homemade instruments and beautifully created ones. The leader quickly sat in the middle of the circle and began a drum beat on a drum that looked like it came from India or somewhere, and the beat captured us all. We picked up objects and started shaking or tapping or beating with drum sticks and making noise. The rhythms shifted and leaders emerged and the sound became gloriously loud and then soft and everything in between. We kept it going for at least thirty minutes when finally the last person put down her stick and her drum.

Afterwards we all processed what had happened for us in this drumming circle, and the reactions were all to the community feel of it and also individual experiences. I personally came to a place where I was beating a message to God, and I felt and heard him beating back a message. The dialogue was simple and very loving. I found myself smiling a lot during this exercise of the child within us all. The people who were uncomfortable with it talked of it seeming like a playground with toys they didn't want to play with anymore, and the rest of us just raved about the freeing spirit of the movements in the room. I truly felt God in our midst and have thought that something like this might be possible for ministering maybe in an old folks' home or somewhere like it. I'm going to tell my Theresian women's group about this kind of possibility.

I've come home rejuvenated in my being and soul. My body suffered a bit with the regular meals and too many choices, but I figure God is teaching me to be flexible about this kind of activity. I feel washed and refreshed and ready for more. I thought I'd just share it with all of you and hope you're finding your own pathways. God bless you all.... Linda

Monday, June 30, 2008

Round Two

I got on the scale this morning and was grateful to see that I'm back at square one. I'm the same weight I was on the first day of this month of June. It's been a major struggle all month to get the three pounds that I put on when my friend Mary Lou came to visit and my brother's family was here for a birthday treat. Why does it go on so easily and come off so horribly slowly and hard? I wish it weren't so, but it seems to be.

My strategies all month have been to divert my attention to other things. Today, as you can see in the photo, I joined a group of beaders. The amethyst chip necklace I got as a promotion from Coldwater Creek, and the earrings and bracelet I made today. I couldn't believe it when I went to Michael's and found the exact same kind of stones. I will wear this set with pleasure.

Another diversion has been my crocheting. The blanket has grown tremendously, and I'm nearly 2/3 through. I'm still enjoying my husband's classical CDs, but over last weekend I switched to listening to a book on CD. This, too, was very pleasurable, and I plan to spend more time doing this kind of thing.

Curves is also back on my agenda almost daily during the week. Three weeks ago, I started back after six weeks off because of an injury to my left upper arm and shoulder. It feels good to be on the circuit again, and quickly my tone and my stamina have returned.

At this point, I'm praying that I can edge down int he coming month. The last two months, I've ended up even. I consider this Round Two and am ready to put on my boxing gloves if necessary to make headway. I'm going to China in October, and I'd really like to be about eight pounds lighter by then. Please wish me luck in my intentions. I'd love to hear how the rest of you are faring.... 'Til later, Linda

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summertime Pitfalls

Summertime has begun for me with pitfalls galore. The crocheting has been wonderful, and it's occupied me and kept me from the kitchen, but a visit from my old friend Mary Lou threw my normal eating regime into a tailspin. She came over to Lake Charles for two nights and three days, and I introduced her to the cuisines of Louisiana and fell into the pit... We enjoyed not only crawfish delicacies (I actually had steak), but the desserts that go with them. I hadn't had a dessert in months, but these were to die for, as she said. Anyway, a week later, I've gotten on the scale and note that I have three pounds to get back off again. Oh well....back to the drawing board. Sometimes I think we need these kinds of reprieves from the daily grind of dieting to make a go of it all of the other many days that the offerings are rather lean.

By the way, the irregular eating went on for a few days after Mary Lou went back home. I helped host a prewedding party for a young couple who got married on Saturday. The rich foods involved with those parties also have caused this weight gain. Then Sunday I attended the Lotus and Bamboo Festival in Port Arthur, Texas. There I tried the Vietnamese cuisine. All of these unusual bites going into my system have resulted in my weight gain this week. Wish me well as I finally get back to Curves after an injury to my left arm six weeks ago and get back on the wagon. I'll be talkin' to you, Linda

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Way To Serenity

I have a Zen calendar this year, and one day recently, the message was "Do your work, then step back--the only path to serenity." Somehow this message resonates with me and the things I've discovered and keep discovering about myself and my way of life.

I run a rental business, and I've been teaching part-time AP English Literature at a Catholic high school down the block until this week. Between these two endeavors, many days I have many things on my plate to accomplish. My way of making sure I sleep well at night is to "do my work, then step back" and through those efforts, I find serenity. Serenity brings me peace, and peace helps me to make better choices in my eating.

Yesterday I made a trip to Michael's to purchase the yarn that you see in the photo above. I've decided to spend lots of time this summer crocheting and listening to my husband's classical music library. It's been sitting here since I married him in 1999, and we didn't make a dent in listening to all of it. I plan to spend my days doing that. Already yesterday and today, with the time I've put into this afghan I'm making for my living room, I find that eating is far from my mind as I sit and enjoy the peace and serenity of my home while making a piece that I know I'll treasure when it's done.

My high point for this week is refinding my old love of crocheting. I haven't picked up a needle in at least 15 years, and yesterday I picked one up again. I'm loving it. My low is about the seafood again. My school is celebrating the end of the year, and every meal so far has been seafood. I haven't partaken. I plan to go to the crawfish boil tomorrow and say good-bye to everybody, but I'm sticking to my plan to end my allergic reactions to seafood.

I got my filing cabinet home from St. Louis a little while ago. That particular act is a mixture of high and low. I feel good that I've done such a good job of teaching in every year of my career really, but especially this past year, but I'm kind of sad to be at an ending point. Crocheting is going to help me not go into eating mode over this.

Wish me well, Linda

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Michael, the kids and I spent yesterday and today at Big Lake with my sister's, their husbands, my brother and nephew, Justin. We weathered a pretty wicked storm on Sunday night, and there are threats of possible flash floods in the area of the lake. It is hard to believe that this new oasis Lanelle and Jim have built, may now be the victim of another possible flood. Harder to believe, considering we spent a really relaxing 24 hours sitting on the partially finished deck, floating on the rafts and today we all got to go for a ride on the twin waverunners that provide some of our on the water entertainment. As we left, Lanelle, Jim, Lisa, Dick and Justin were winding down and weighing the odds of another flood as they contemplated just how many beds and other things they should carry up the stairs "just in case." We got home in time for me to fix dinner for the kids and for Michael to run Micaela to the clinic to attend to the swimmers ear she was suffering from.

I skipped dinner tonight, nibbled "uncle Joe style" on what Marc didn't eat, but truth is I wasn't really hungry. We ate a good breakfast, my usual - eggs, bacon, potatoes and the homemade baked beans I made in the crock pot overnight, which smelled so good, we all decided to eat for breakfast. And they were yummy and so, so, so good! Lunch was served late, I had two ears of corn, some ham and fruit salad. So, I skipped a complete dinner, and even turned down ice cream when Michael called to offer it to the troops. Now, if only the exercise could find its way back in my routine. I can't really say I exercised much beyond climbing the stairs at the cabin - floating on a raft and riding a waverunner just doesn't count, does it?

Here is the recipe for the baked beans, they are vegetarian - though not fat free!

1 lb navy beans, washed, rinsed and soaked in water overnight.
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (b-grade preferred)
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/4 tsp dried summer or winter savory, or 2 1/2 tsps fresh
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 medium sized white onion, peeled, left whole , scored with an X at the root end and studded with 4 cloves
Boiling water to cover
1/2 cup butter or margarine, cut into pieces

After beans have soaked over night, drain and rinse. Cover the beans with fresh water by 3 inches, cover and cook on HIGH for 1 1/2 hours (crock pot) until still undercooked. Drain.
Return the beans to the crockpot and add all but onion, cloves and margarine. Stir well. press the whole onion down into the center of the beans. Add boiling water to cover by 1/2 inch, stir gently. Cover and cook on HIGH to bring to boil, then reduce heat to LOW and cook until the beans are soft, thick and bubbling - about 10-12 hours.

Remove onion and stir in the butter until melted. Taste for seasoning.

I suppose you could make this and skip the butter, but I admit, I didn't. I also did as directed and removed the onion, though next time I may just chop it into the beans, as I love onion, even though, after 12 hours all the taste was already in the beans.

This recipe is gluten free and, as I said, not fat free, but if anyone tries them without the butter and it tastes good, let me know. When I have time I'll figure the carbs per serving. Makes 6-8 total.

My high for the weekend was getting away and relaxing a bit. My low was not getting anything accomplished around the house.

Goal for the week, add back the exercise and clean out the closets in our bedroom. Both are extremely ambitous for me. I suppose at some point I should get back on the scale and face the music, perhaps the week after next . . .

Friday, May 23, 2008

Checking In

I'm checking in to say that this has been an incredibly hard week for me. The baby blues hit along with several inches of rain over several days, plus little guys getting into stuff and just dumping it. Yesterday Baby James, our newest addition, spent all day on me - either being nursed or carried. Having experienced post partum depression once, I'm very conscious of my moods and finding ways to get myself back in the groove, such as through exercise. Fortunately Greg is very quick to take over when he gets home and he makes sure that I get a little time by myself to do my stretching and other parts of my bedtime routine. That half hour of me time makes a big difference at the end of the day.

This week I did find myself getting stronger as I added hills to my walks and as I added more ab work to my evening routine. Being physically stronger makes such a difference in how I deal with my day. I had a particularly difficult time with this last pregnancy because of various physical ailments and lack of exercise, and now I'm so excited to be getting back to my usual level of fitness. I'm even considering getting back into running, a longtime love of mine, though my knees and hips may not cooperate.

My walking goal next week is to add another hill to the two hills I did this week, plus increase my time from 30 minutes to 40 minutes. I'll stay with my current evening routine and add in a short set of weights for my arms. I got a Vegetarian cookbook out from the library and I'll be playing around with recipes from that for myself and the kids.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Blue Glass High


This little cobalt blue glass frog toothpick holder gave me a high this past week. I was on my way to somewhere else when, on a whim, I pulled into a flea market that I had visited only one time before. I didn't expect to find anything, and then this little frog appeared.

My husband Ray brought my love of scanning for cobalt blue glass in flea markets and antique stores into my life nearly ten years ago. I have a collection of all kinds of cobalt blue glass fowl in my kitchen, and chickens are my favorite. Recently, since I seem to have everything they make of the covered candy dish variety, I branched out to collect cobalt blue toothpick holders. I couldn't believe there was such a thing as this frog. I walked out of that flea market on a high.

I also have a collection of blue glass in my kitchen window. I'm always looking for the unusual piece to enhance the look. I don't know why it gives me such pleasure to find a new thing to add, but it does. I seem to be in a nesting mode since retiring this month. Blue pots and blue glass have fed this feeling in me. It may be that I'm in the process of making my home my home now without Ray.
My low for this past week is food-related. I had a lovely lunch with my son Will at the Villa Capri Restaurant on Saturday before a wedding I attended, and I ordered the Capri grilled tuna steak smothered in tomatoes, garlic, onions, and capers. It was so delicious... But the downside of it was, I was, within thirty minutes, suffering from cramps and diarrhea, which lasted over several days. I felt terrible. As a result, I've put on my calendar for May 18 that this will be the last time I eat seafood. I've known for some time that salmon and shrimp and abalone lead to this kind of reaction, but I've been ignoring it because this kind of food tastes so good to me. It's something that I don't really prepare for myself, and in restaurants, I often order seafood. But I've got to give it up, just like I gave up popcorn because of periodontal disease nine years ago. Wish me well on this... It's my low point of this week. Til later, Linda

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Catching Up

Talking about stresses are we? How about "life" as a stressor? But we can all be creative as to how we deal with the stresses in ourlives.

My husband's nephew just e-mail me and asked for prayers for his 45 year old wife who is being diagnosed with cancer. With two small children, thats a stressor. My ongoing back problems seem miniscule by comparison.

I guess my best stress reliever is listening to music, and if no one is around, singing my heart out.
oh, in the day, I used to have a fine voice, but age and lack of use have led to a loss of range and most times I adapt my singing to my alto capabilities.

I find that good friends with listening ears have been a huge stress reliever, too. A few in particular, who I know won't judge me and my idiosyncracies, are a God-send. Family dynamics, and interfering clients who are demandng are my biggest stressors I guess. And, I've found as I grow older, that over-scheduling myself can also lead to stress with a capital "S". The old "I'm not as young as I used to be" takes some getting used to.

But I consider myself fortunate that for the most part, my life is good. I have caring family, and friends, and they ar my greatest gift.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stress and the Lawn mower . . .


I am still trying to combat my stress levels. Yesterday afternoon, after picking up Vickie (I've decided to use our names, so let me know if you still want to remain anonymous) and Marc after school, I went home to fix dinner. I let Vickie drive home from the gas station in our neighborhood, which is about 8 blocks from our house. Stress relief, not exactly, but she's really wanting to get behind the wheel of the car and at 16 1/2 it is time. We will be enrolling her in Driver's Ed this summer, for sure! That will alleviate some of the stress.
Michael had a meeting after work, so before I fixed dinner, I decided to mow the lawn. Mind you, I haven't mowed in probably more than 25 years - not since we moved off the acreage and had our own plot to mow or the summer Dad volunteered his kids to mow the city park. After I had the neighbors on both sides consult me on starting the mower, I finally got it going and cut the grass in the front lawn. Strangely enough, even though I ache from the vibration of the mower and my back is killing me, the process of cutting the grass and digging the dandelions was somewhat of a stress relief. I proceeded to make dinner consisting of braised pork loin, brown rice and green beans. It was yummy and nutritious! I also made some gluten free meatballs and sauce for Michael to serve for dinner tonight, as I will be working late. I did two loads of laundry and uploaded a couple of batches of pictures to Snapfish. The ones on this post are part of the group, our family's recent attendance at the sold-out Husker Spring game.
I find cooking and baking to be really relaxing, in fact a day of standing in my kitchen, making breakfast, lunch and dinner, is a day that makes me happy. Working full-time and managing a house that consists of 4-8 people, depending on the day, creates stress, that I can relieve if I just get to feed everyone. It could explain my tendency to gain and hold onto extra weight, because my love of cooking translates into my love of eating.
On Mother's Day I fixed breakfast at my sister and brother-in-law's new lake house. I know many mother's who might prefer to be waited on for Mother's Day, but it gives me great satisfaction to prepare meals for a group, so I usually appoint myself as cook. My sister's would say it is because I don't like to do dishes, and that's partly true, doing dishes adds stress, cooking and making the mess in the kitchen relieves it. Hmm . . .




It is evident that this will become a place to seek rest and relaxation as the summer approaches. When our family is visiting from the East, we hope to take them to the lake house for a visit and some swimming, boating and fishing. This is a view from our dock, across the lake, toward the hotel, where my sister-in-law has already reserved rooms for the family to stay.


This morning, I let Vickie drive to school. She was elated. I found out in a hurry that we have a little more instruction time needed to get her ready to be completely road ready. We took one turn kind of fast, she got honked at for crossing the lanes a couple of times (imagine that, with me instructing her!), but the look on her face when I suggested she drive was priceless, and worth the little bit of stress that it added to my morning.

We've started a practice a dinner time where we go around the table and mention our highs and lows. Marc is always anxious to start it, and almost always has at least one high and for about a week straight, his days haven't included a low. My high today was letting Vickie work toward her independence as a young woman, by turning over the driver's seat. My low was staying late to work on backlog of paperwork, and missing a night with the family around the dinner table.

Tell us your highs and your lows - please.






Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An Introduction

My name is Barb and I'm one of Lindy's sisters-in-law from back East. Greg, Michael's brother, and I just had Baby Number 5, James, two weeks ago. The pregnancy was a particularly long, tiring and wearing one, even though I only had some minor health issues. I didn't exercise or stretch for most of the pregnancy, unlike my previous ones. I ended up gaining 40 lbs. which is a little high for me. At this point I have 25 lbs. to go.

At two weeks post-partum, I've been setting goals in walking, stretching, strength-training, and drinking water for myself. I have a Franklin Covey planner which allows me to do a master task list for the week, but print it daily. As I do each task, I cross off a hash mark. Some days I get all the hashmarks crossed off, and other days only one. It's like stringing a necklace; the beads start to add up and make something bigger than the individual beads.

In terms of stress relief, walking, gardening, working on a creative project like knitting or embroidery, reading, and baking are all things I do when I'm feeling stressed. Taking a computer break to read some craft blogs can help give me space to deal with the stress. However, when at least two kids are screaming at once, I have to stick it out and figure out which kid will calm down first and work with them. I learned in college when I started long-distance biking, that hills/stress can be our friends if we learn how to stick it out and manage the stress. My final stress relief is being conscious of the rhythm of the day. We stay home a lot because it's tough to move four little people in and out of the mini-van and in and out of stores. By staying home, we can stick to a predictable routine and have lots of space in our day for playing, reading books, working on stuff around the house. If we do need to get out, I'm mindful of how long we'll be out, and ways that I can make coming home easier like buying McDonald's after a doctor's appointment rather than trying to make lunch when we get home.

I'm looking forward to sharing my progress and will be checking in weekly.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Memories

Waves of grief washed over me all day today for a number of reasons, I think. Yesterday for Mother's Day, my brother Lee drove my sister Debbie, me, and his family out to the Katy Cemetery to visit our mother's grave. We all still miss her often, and it was good to think of the possibility of being close to her for a little while yesterday. Then today dawned--an anniversary of a kind, too. I was scheduled to administer the AP Physics exam at my school, a voluntary job I've done for the past seven years. Three years ago, though, I was giving this exam while my husband Ray was having a CT scan. He was given the news that he had Mesothelioma (his death sentence) without me at his side, and I've always felt sad and bad about that. He was so socked with the misfortunate. Both of us were.
So in response to Lindy's call to talk about stress-release in our lives. Over so many years of my life, loss has been a stressor for me. I find it's so easy to shove comfort foods in my mouth to try to ease the voids within. Something that I'm trying right now is singing when I'm feeling this way. I came across an old songbook at an antique store recently. It has songs of faith and joy from the past in it, and instead of eating, I'm singing for 30 minutes. The hunger seems to pass that way.
I also go to Curves to stave off the stressors, but in the last three weeks, because of a hurt shoulder and arm, I've had to stay away from those machines. Maybe that's also why I've had a day like I've had today. I think being around people and talking also is part of the Curves formula for me in reducing stress. Living alone, I don't have anyone to share my day's events with. I often find friends at Curves to visit with while I work out. I've missed it here recently and am glad that I was able to be with my family this weekend for Mother's Day.
I look forward to Lindy connecting me up with some of you B-Hoppers in August. Til then, Linda

Some new features

At the request of LMH, I am adding a new category for posts to this blog. LMH and son participated this weekend in the Susan B. Komen walk for the cure and I am so proud of this mother, son team and their actions to support a cure for breast cancer. Please post pictures from your walk and let us know if this helped shed some additional pounds in the process.

I am also interested in stress reducers. Life has been full of stresses of late, both at work and at home. We are still acclimating our 16 year old to our home, I am finding the demands on me at work have increased of late and M's work is also picking up. Our basement is under remodel, from the intake of water last spring, and we desperately need to put siding on our house and do some serious landscaping. I know that many people get much stress relief from home improvement projects and from gardening, I find neither of them particularly stress relievers or really that enjoyable.

Stress causes me to be careless with what I eat and what I do. Not a good state of mind to be in for the purpose of this blog. But, I will find a focus and find a place to put my thoughts that are happy and productive and relieve some of the stress that I currently feel.

Tomorrow I attend a funeral for a former neighbor of our family growing up. Dolly was one of those women from a generation ago, that defined what it meant to be a neighbor of the 1970's. I have the fondest memories of sitting on the neighbors deck, our mothers in nightgowns and kids in our pajamas, eating popcorn, drinking "zooper doopers" and laughing a lot. Dolly was a part our my childhood, a good friend to my mother and witness to many "incidents" in the life of our family. Thinking about her in a fond way, has already worked a bit of stress from my system.

I had a long talk with Linda last week. She called to check on the wedding plans of M's oldest. Wedding plans have become a source of stress, but Linda's listening ear and understanding response was just what I needed to relieve it for the moment. She's planning to be in Nebraska for the wedding in August, and I can connect her with other B-Hop'rs while she is here.

I am ready to update our spreadsheet. At last count, about two weeks ago, we were at a net loss of 73 lbs - wherever you are, please let me know and I'll update it again. I'm back to where I started and looking for ways to focus and get back on track to lose my 20lbs by August. Ditching some stress along the way is bound to help.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Retirement!!!

I taught my last class at St. Louis Catholic High School a couple of days ago. Half my class was missing because of a State tennis tournament, but those of us who were there shared our hero's journeys through St. Louis and watched and listened to clips of various degrees and kinds of humor. The girls are ready to soar onto their next hero's cycle and see what God has planned for them. Me, too...

One of the things that I have in store is my continuation down the scale. I weighed in this morning and compared my weight with April 1. I lost three pounds in April. That's not as much as I was hoping for, but it IS progress, and that's consoling to me. I know that if I continue to "like what I'm eating," I'll gradually get there. May we all find success in May. I'm looking forward to it. Retirement stretches out before me... Til later, Linda

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's Not a Sprint, It's a Marathon...

A friend of mine used the expression "it's not a sprint, its a marathon" the other day. We were talking about something completely unrelated to exercise but it stuck with me. It made me think about what we are all trying to accomplish here. I think that's why I have been sticking to a routine of adding something into my health and wellness plan every month. I found through the years of trying different things by going full speed ahead it never worked for me. I think the saying goes "it takes 21 days to create a habit". That's pretty much what has been working for me. After I add in another part it eventually becomes such a part of my routine I don't even think about it anymore and then I add another and so on.

Hang in there everyone and just keep trying to see what works for you!

LMH

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Second Chance

It happens in a nanosecond for me. I one day wake up, get on the scale, only to see that I am right back where I started. "What happened?", I say to myself, "you've been good, you've been eating better, you've been trying to get exercise whenever you can . . " Recently I was trying to inspire our in-house teenager to want to do better than average in her classes at school. I kept asking her repeatedly if she thought she was working as hard as she could to do all that she was capable of, and I finally saw her stop think and consider the fact that maybe she could do more. Now I have to ask myself that same question - "am I really doing all I can to take charge of my health, weight and eating?" The honest answer is no. So, I am implementing a new B-Hop rule, that is the one where we all get a second, third, fourth chance, whatever we need to keep on track.

I know I am not the only member of this blog who's struggling, which is why we haven't seen a grand total in the last two weeks. I was on vacation, than M was gone, now I am out of town again, so I have a multitude of excuses as to why I haven't "been good" lately. So what now?

For me, I am going to quit "trying" to lose weight, eat better and exercise, and I am going to do it, and when I stumble, I will expect any one of you out there in blog land to nudge, push and prod me to hold myself accountable for my life - my weight, my health and my ability to assist others, especially our daughters and son who need to look to M & I for their inspiration as to how they take responsibility for the outcomes of their lives, especially food choices, opportunities to exercise and knowing when they need to stop.

So, I take my mulligan and I start again. Thanks for being there to keep me honest and focused.

Monday, April 21, 2008

To Be Thin...


Back when I was attending Overeaters Anonymous meetings regularly, somewhere between 1993 and 2003, I found and bought this Mary Englebreit frig magnet and a lightbulb went off for me about how it might apply to my eating. The magnet says, "To Be Happy, Don't do whatever you like, Like whatever you do." I revamped it in my mind to read, "To Be Thin, Don't eat whatever you like, Like whatever you need and have to eat."
It's taken many years, but overall, this is where I am today. Most days, I stick to a regimen of foods that are good for me, ones that will not cause cholesterol or weight gain. Occasionally, like yesterday, I will attend a family gathering and have a piece of cake and a scoop of ice cream, but mostly I "eat whatever I need and have to eat" to be thinner. Over time, it's gotten easier, and I pray that now that I'm working on getting back down to the weight of my 30's that I keep this motto in mind, but also keep things in balance for a happy life. May we all find our road to tackling our own personal situation. I hope you've all had a good week and that the week ahead looks promising. I maintained my weight this week, probably because of that dessert yesterday, but I go forward with hope... Til later, Linda

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Vacations: are they bad for your weight loss goals?

I've officially gone back to my "routine" now that our dear ones from Omaha have gone. No physical therapy for a week and a half, and weight loss wasn't on my mind a little bit while cooking for a crowd again.

I braved the scale on Sunday and I'd lost two more pounds which really astounded me. Of course I didn't have a cheese steak sandwich, either.

I've found that eating my major meal early in the day (1-2 PM) and then eating light in the evening is helpful both for weight loss and for my diabetes. And snacking? "Bet you can't eat one" of no matter what it is, so best not to start!

Monday, April 14, 2008

A New Dawn?




I received the photo of me 25 years ago from a friend in Nebraska this week, and it really opened my eyes. I know I can't do anything about the sags and wrinkles in my present face, but I'm thinking maybe it would be nice to go back in time with my weight. I weighed 30-35 fewer pounds in this early photo than I do today. I wonder what I would look like if I got down to that weight again. Any predictions? Above was my Christmas card photo this year, and this is where I begin... I'm two pounds down on the scale this morning since last Monday, and I'm encouraged. Thank you guys for your support...Linda

week five

I have heard from a few b-hoppers and we're at a total net loss of 68.5 so far, I suspect, some of you, like me, have either avoided the scale (guilty) or not wanted to report the findings. Never fear, let's look at this as a new dawn, and see where we land at the end of this week. B-Hop to it!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Break

M, the kids and I just returned from our trip to Philly. We took the kids back East for a spring break getaway, and met up with K & her fiancee for a wedding shower with M's family and close friends. We had some great visits and good family time together in the van, in our little apartment in Philly and with our extended family away. We did some advance planning for M's dietary needs prior to leaving, packing gluten free pretzels, nuts, gluten free blueberry muffins (I baked them myself!) and a loaf of gf bread to make sandwiches on the way out. Everyone who fed us was very conscientious of M's diet restrictions and we ate like royalty. M's mother made gf meatballs, beef stew and I assisted with chicken on the ritz, substituting gf crackers for ritz on M's portion. M's sister made a delicous cheesecake dessert with gf chocolate cookies and cheesecake mousse, it was yummy. I took along a gf brownie mix, which was Bob's Red Mill blend, it was also quite yummy, especially with the fudge topping recipe on the back. We visited our sister-in-law and her kids one day and LMH joined us, they put together a kid friendly lunch, with gf choices for M and a luscious bowl of fruit to snack on after the kids played outside. All in all, our eating was pretty good, not ideal, but we tried to keep ourselves focused on not just blowing our forward progress on one vacation.




I managed to walk about three days, once with M to get our EZpass, which was about a mile and a half walk in downtown Philly. V & I went to taking the stairs down from the Penthouse floor of the building we stayed in to our 5th floor apartment, I didn't try going all the way up, perhaps I'll be able to tackle that on the next trip.

Highlights of the trip for me were: Seeing so many family members and friends at the shower for K & E. M's sister, KHH, and good friend Vee, threw a nice party, with great food and so many family members and family friends were present, many traveling several hours to be with us; our day spent in Cape May, we had a chilly walk on the beach, brunch at Uncle Bill's Pancake House (I got my potato pancake fix), trolley tour and tour of Physick Mansion, shopping, ever so briefly at Washington Street Mall, quick trip to the Lighthouse and dinner at the Lobster House; Spending time with LMH and family; our trip to Philly suburbs to have lunch with cousins and aunts; a horse and carriage ride through historic sites in Philly; my lunch time with KHH and a relaxing dinner on the "veranda" soaking up some sun and margarita's as we faced our last night in the city. We left Philly Friday morning, not without stopping for a real Philly cheesesteak from Dominick, a street vendor we've come to know. Poor M, had to settle for a few bites of the cheesesteak I handed him off of mine, but we all got a taste of this Philadelphia favorite. Our trip home was uneventful, other than hitting some heavy rain outside of Toledo. We stopped for lunch in Iowa City to meet an old college friend of mine, before arriving home around 7 p.m. M, left this morning for a business trip to Philly, and I leave next week for Denver. April will fly by into May for all of us.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday Review

The scale only went down one pound this week, but it wasn't because I wasn't trying. My biggest problem is when I'm invited out for a meal. It seems like no matter what I order in a restaurant, it stymies my diet. I'm getting so I almost cringe if someone suggests I meet them for a meal. This week on Thursday I had a salad with chicken and cheese and blue cheese dressing in one restaurant and then last night I had practically the same thing in another. I didn't touch the crackers or the bread either time and drank lots of water. Otherwise, I've been on my regimen at home and worked out at Curves three times last week. I guess I shouldn't be disheartened. Even if I just lose one pound a week, ten weeks from now, I'll be at my goal for China. I'll continue to let you know how it goes... Til then, Linda

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Are You Up To Date?

I just had my yearly mammogram and I usually coordinate it with my yearly gyno. exam. I was shocked to find out that I haven't been to the doctor since 2006. Now I will always make sure they are scheduled for the same week.


I wanted to share with you a deodorant that doesn't contain Aluminum Chlorohydrate that actually keeps me dry! I have tried several and this one is the first one that I really like. Its called Crystal Body Deodorant Stick. It also comes in a spray. The true test will be in the humid weather. I still need to keep regular deodorant on hand for days that I really want to make sure I'm dry. But I like knowing that more days than not I am using something that is truly safe for my body.


My 8 year old son and I are "training" for the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure on Mother's Day. So breast cancer awareness is really on my mind this month. Please check you records and make sure you are up to date as well.


My week in review:

--Worked out six days this week. 9 Miles ran outside. 3 days on the treadmill-40 min.each.
--Weights and Ab work four days this week.
--No soda at all.
--Lost 3 pounds but ate really bad the next day after that weigh in so hopefully by next weigh in it will still be off.
--Ran 1 mile with my son-two days in a row.
--Drank lots of water. Forgot my vitamins all week.

LMH

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Getting back on track

I guess I was blind sided by Easter. I am trying to get back on track but it has not been easy. My plan this week was to journal my eating but that has not been happening. I promise to try to do better with that because I know it works for me. I have been watching The Biggest Loser and trying to inspire myself to push forward and try some different exercises. Wish me luck at my weigh-in Sat. AM!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Week Four

We're at a net total of 61.5 pounds lost after a month of support, journaling and encouragment, with only 5 B-Hoppers giving me their stats. 8.7 is our loss so far this week, so if you want to be in the count, let me know and I'll update this entry. Remember, this is a net loss, so not everyone reports a loss every week, but as a group we're doing awesome!

Monday, March 31, 2008

A month? Really??

Wow, it has been one month since we started the B-Hop challenge. I am down a total of 6 lbs, M is down 12. I am losing slower than I had planned, but keeping a steady pace and making myself more consciously aware of all I eat. I'll total the group on Wednesday, but I suspect we're well on our way to the first 60 lbs lost off our bodies, not to mention to good spirits we're gaining from the feel of success.
I can finally share some pictures. This first is one taken after church on Easter Sunday, it was quite an ordeal to snap it of ourselves. I ended up resting the camera on our rail between family room and kitchen, and when the picture snapped, the camera bounced to the floor - oops! We are all wearing our corsages and boutonniere that M bought us for Easter. It was a good day for us as a family, surrounded by our local family members.

We leave for Philly on Friday, so I am concentrating on eating well this week and packing the van with healthier snacks; fruit, popcorn, cheese, milk and water for drinking, and avoiding the fast food, which I have successfully steered clear of this past month. I made some gluten free muffins for M to take on the road with us, the kids tried them out tonight and proclaimed them yummy! We're making our lunches along the way, to save cash and calories, I even purchased a loaf of gluten free bread for M's sandwiches. I found some organic milk in small cartons for the kids and will brew some ice tea for M & I to drink in place of soda's on the road.


Last week, our father had a pacemaker installed to regulate his heart rate. We all gathered throughout the day to check in on him, and afterwards my sisters, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and I went out for a Mexican meal, complete with a margarita. I tried not to over indulge, although I am still a danger around chips and salsa or any other salty snack, and still need to teach myself to not just habitually grab, stuff and chew around such temptations. Here is a picture of the sisters, as we completed our Mexican meal and try to picture our more slender selves in the future. It wasn't the best week for exercise, cruddy weather, and busy schedule. This week is starting out not conducive to keeping up with a daily routine of walking, so I'll really try to capture a moment when it presents itself to get out and move, even if it is just for a few minutes a day.

So, for next week, my specific goals are:

  • concentrate on enjoying time with family we see less frequently
  • use the time in our van to talk with kids and get connected to what's going on in school and in their minds
  • open my mouth to visit and not to stuff full of food
  • take advantage of staying in the city and walk daily
  • race the kids to the top of the lighthouse on Cape May, NJ
  • come home at the very least weighing the same as when I left!

I ran into cousin CAB at church on Sunday, she's been afraid to report in because she doesn't want to skew our numbers. I assured her to keep in touch and keep at it, we are all bound to have our moments where we struggle and get off course, but there is definitely power and strength in numbers, so hang in there CAB and keep us posted on your progress.

One last note, M, V and I are hooked on John Adams on HBO. We are all anxious to visit the historic places of our founding fathers while in Philadelphia, even though we've been to many of the places before, we have a renewed interest in seeing the place where our country declared its independence. What heroes these men, who fought for the freedoms we take for granted and made such personal sacrifices to create a country where freedom reigns.

End of Week One


When I got on the scale this morning, I was 4.5 lbs. down since last Monday, but it even might have been more if I hadn't paid my brother Scott's family a visit over the weekend in Nacogdoches, Texas. We ate out more than once, and although I'm very careful about those food choices, you know what happens with restaurant food... Anyway, at least my weight held steady over the weekend. My plan now is to continue the 1200-calorie regime for one more week and then move up to 1600 calories. My goal right now is to weigh 160 by summer. I'm making headway. I can wear my size 12 clothes from 160 to 175, but when I get to the upper reaches (where I've recently been), the zippers are hard to pull up. I don't like that. I worked out at Curves last week twice and tried a Broadway Dance class on Wednesday. What a fiasco that was! The brochure said it was open to beginners, but me, the beginner, I was in big trouble with the routines from "A Chorus Line" that were taught. I was afraid I was going to hurt myself, and to make sure I don't, I'm not going back. Curves with its circuit of hydraulic machines and the aerobic workout I do in between is my speed at age 56. I used to teach Aerobic Dance back in my late 20's and early 30's, but even back then, I remember how jarring that kind of jumping around was to my joints. Curves works for me. I'm a size smaller at my current weight because I'm toned up from their workout, which I've been doing for over four years now. Some people get bored with Curves, but I see so many friends there to visit with while I'm rocking out to the music and getting the job done in 30 minutes. I love that I can just slip on tennies with just about anything I might wear that day and go. Obviously, I'm a fan. The photo this week was taken Saturday afternoon outside of Nacogdoches on a creek on my brother's property. His kids and I went exploring on four wheelers. 'Til next time.... Linda

Month One Report

Since the start of this weight loss challenge on March 1st, I am happy to report that I am down a total of ten pounds. I am trying to set smaller goals along the way to help me stay focused and to give me an opportunity to celebrate these milestones as they come. My goal for April is to try and drop another ten pounds which will put me well on my way to our overall goal of losing 10% of our body weight by Christmas. This past weekend JP and I were again at the lake painting and going up and down the 21 steps, and I do think I notice a difference in my stamina. I still have a long way to go to get this body back in shape , but each step up and down is getting me closer. Keep up the spirits everyone!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Last Week In Review

Friday was P.T. day so I dutifully ran through the excercises after the initial massage, and got on the bike, anxious to do a bit more than last Monday. Low and behold, the meter on my bike was broken so I could only count the minutes: six. And that was after three minutes on the upper body strength machine.

Due to a UTI, I lost another two pounds: Bactrim makes me nauseous so I eat very little. But all in all, I felt it was another crawl forward thanks to reporting in on the blog and knowing that there's support out there.
JH

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Staying The Course

     This was another great week as far as the exercise part. I was able to keep up the six day workout week.


--Ran 15 miles outside.
--Three days on the treadmill. 40 Minutes each day.
--Did weights 3 out of the six days.
--Did sit ups 5 out of six days.

     I ate okay this week. Too much Easter candy I'm sure. My weight is exactly the same. I had to laugh at the post where one of our fellow b-hoppers mentioned "blowing up like a toad". I know I need to give up my coke.   I LOVE fountain coke. I LOVE the slushy ice inside. I only have one a day but for my body its too much.  Its the thing that makes me "blow up like a toad".  That is my focus this week. Giving up coke.  


     One of my five mile runs this week was in the rain.  It was just rain not terribly cold but you guys definitely got me out there that day. I knew one of you was out there working out somewhere.  Thanks!!

LMH

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Third Week

With 12 b-hoppers reporting in this week, we are down a net total of 10.5 lbs this week and 52.8 lbs in three weeks. Yeah! I have more pictures to download, but we lost our camera cord, so off to find a new one, and then I can put up some progress pictures from Easter weekend.

Welcome TAB and LO to the blogsite, looking forward to hearing from both of you!

We tried a new soup recipe tonight - Chicken & Barley (or Brown Rice) Chili - 12 servings

1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
8 0z can of tomato sauce
1 quart chicken stock
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 can - beans drained and rinsed (can use pinto, cannelini, black or kidney beans)
1 can whole kernel corn (undrained)
3 cups cooked chicken breast cut up
1 cup barley (uncooked)

Mix all together in crock pot, cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Garnish with sour cream and shredded cheese to serve.

Gluten free note: use gf canned products. substitute brown rice for barley to make this gluten free.

diabetes: 25 grams of carb per serving

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'ts Working!!!!

Obviously carbs and I don't mix very well together. After one day of low carbs on my week of 1200 calories to kick start my weight loss, I was down 3.2 pounds this morning. I blow up like a toad when I eat chips and dips and desserts. It's good to know that mostly it's water that needs to come off. Keep praying for me. Today's breakfast was oatmeal and some deli turkey. I'm off to another good start. I worked out at Curves yesterday, and I plan to go again today. I hope everyone else is doing well on their regimes, too.



Linda

Monday, March 24, 2008

Physical therapy today

Just got home from today's P.T. adventure. Did 2 1/2 miles on the bike with little stress, and despite LMH's delicious Easter dinner I lost a pound. Hoping to get to the gym in our building this week. Between pain and busyness last week it just wasn't possible. Also got some new exercises to do at home to stretch muscles. All in all, I feel I'm moving forward. Maybe its a snail's pace, but it is forward.

Help....


A visit from my friend Barbara and her six-year-old daughter Anna this past week led to lots of eating out. Then this weekend I was with my family, and Eva cooked all kinds of delectible foods. I'm in trouble this morning. The scale was up to where it was last summer when I returned from France, and that means I'm on the verge of growing out of some clothes. I can't let this happen!!! I've pulled out my Curves diet guide, and this morning I started on that 1200 regimen again. It's always worked, and I trust it will again, but I need prayers of support that I stick to this and get myself over to Curves more regularly again, too. The photo was taken yesterday after church. My sister Debbie snapped it of my brother Lee and me. By the way, I had a wonderful time this past week--no real regrets--I just need to get down to business now.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Right Back at ya' Rainbow Sherbert Girls!


     Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  This is a picture of J. and I outside right before the big egg hunt.  What a beautiful day we had!  My husband likes to stick to traditional foods for the holidays.  He is wonderful about eating plenty of ground turkey and chicken with lots of veggies during the week but as he puts it " don't mess with the holidays!" So basically nothing is low fat. However,  we have chosen  to have very few snacks before the meal and this year we gave up "THE GRANDS" (you know, those really fattening delicious rolls by Pillsbury).  Those small changes can add up along the way.
  I am still working hard at putting more pieces into place.  Here is a re-cap of my week.
--  Worked out five days this week.  Ran 4 miles outside on one day.  Four days on the treadmill-40 minutes each day.
--  Began lifting weights. Just three sets after my run or treadmill just to start to get the discipline back in place.
--  Started doing 75 sit ups at night--again just to get into a routine.
--  Drank LOTS of water,did my vitamins probably only 3 days this week.
--  Ate fairly well this week except for last Monday.  Stayed the same on my weight.

Good luck this week!
LMH

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dip your veggies

I made this awesome dip for our fresh veggies, as an alternative to the high fat ranch type dip we usually go for. It's low fat, full of good soy protein and, in my opinion, rather tasty.

Limey dip - for dipping crudites
10 oz package of frozen edamame - shelled
1/2 cup low/non-fat cottage cheese
1 tsp zest from lime and the juice squeezed out
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
1 clove garlic - crushed

Cook the edamame in salted boiling water for 10 minutes, it will probably return to boil in last 5 minutes. Put all ingredients in food process, and process until smooth. Chill and serve with fresh cut up vegetables.

Gluten free note: Cottage cheese is not generally GF as most cottage cheese is made with whey, I haven't shopped the whole food stores to see if there is an alternative, so substitute GF sour cream and add a little more sugar in place of the cottage cheese and you should be GF. A delicious, nutritious way to eat more veggies. (LMH - see, I am really trying to come up with better dips!) 2TBS = approximately 4 grams of carb

FedEx just arrived with a basket of fruit for the B-Hop family from M's parents. What an awesome surprise, I have dibs on the pear! V spied the cashews, but I may have to wrestle them from her, they are a favorite of all of us.

I lost 3.2 lbs this week, and M stayed the same. I am at a net loss of 4.8 and he's at 10. The girls weighed in and V is up 1 lb, ML is happily reporting a loss of 2 lbs! I walked four days of the week, not the five that I intended, and gave up journaling my food on Saturday night, when out with friends and my sisters we stopped for drinks and nachos and I lost track of how many I gobbled, they were soooooo good. I survived the potluck lunch at work, only tempting myself to a small sweet bar of gooey delight (it came from a bakery named sweet magnolia's, how could I resist?) and, although I ate more than my usual allowance for lunch, I enjoyed not overdoing it. I have adjusted all of my basal rates (this is the insulin that I get constantly from my pump) down, the nighttime have gone down .4 g and daytime down .2 g. I am waking up well under 90 for my morning blood sugars, so I'll continue to adjust as my body stabilizes from the exercise and better eating. I was talking to another man at work who is a type II diabetic and he said that he notices a big difference in his blood sugars, even if he just loses 10 lbs. I am noticing the more wholesome eating, the exercise and the little bit of weight loss are all contributing to better blood sugar numbers. May not prevent heart disease in the long run, but it will let me keep my toes and other parts of my body that could suffer from the long-term effects of this disease.

This weeks goals, continue to fit in the walks, and get at least five checked off. One of my staff members and I do our afternoon "walk and talk" meetings, which gets us both out of the office, she usually has a list of a few things to run by me and we get our exercise while we work.

With this being Easter weekend, I know myself too well to expect I will journal over the weekend. I will start on Monday morning, journaling my weeks food intake and exercise. Our 2nd daughter, V, is moving into our home on a more permanent basis, and we have lots of sorting of things to get her temporary room cleared out and finish the work in our basement so she can take up her "private" residence downstairs. She's 16 mind you, there's limited privacy, but more room to have her friends over in the basement. V has agreed to be my nighttime walking buddy, so between she, my work buddy and the neighbors, I should be able to get all my walks in.

I purchased non-edible trinkets and just a little candy for filling our Easter eggs for the hunt. Trying to inspire our kids to think more about what they eat, not go without the sweet temptations, but to limit the intake and balance them out with good, healthier choices. I've kept the fruit basket full all week, and we gravitate there when we really have the munchies, the little cutie clementines are our family favorite, they also work wonders for bringing up a low blood sugar in a hurry.

We've invited the neighbors to help us die our eggs again this afternoon. I am baking my first gluten free dessert for M for Easter, it's a carrot cake, so I'm sure we'll all want a taste. It won't be sugar free, fat free or all that healthy, but it will be a nice treat for our three weeks of managing through a new way of living. It's not nearly as difficult with so many family members and good friends all working to support each other. I mean, those women and few men from my ww meetings meant a lot to me when I attended meetings and sometimes inspired me, but they are long gone from my life. What I know for sure is that my fellow b-hoppers are here for life and will always be a source of inspiration and challenge when I need it.

So, my parting message to all is a wish for a most wonderful Easter with family and friends. I will be hosting my family and friends here, but for those in PA, LA and other areas of the country, keep your focus on the joy of being together and not the short term satisfaction of eating jelly beans, peeps and other Easter treats. Happy Easter to you all with a lot more love and less of me!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Countdown to Easter

Okay, so, like LMH, I too get so frustrated with counting, reading labels and guessing which hidden ingredients really are wheat or glutens. As a diabetic, I count carbs per meal and figure my insulin intake based on that. As a member of weight watchers in the past, I have successfully lost weight by counting points. I am now trying to count calories and fat grams and keep within a 2500 calorie and under 12 grams of fat per day. I check everything for gluten and wheat. I look for hidden high fructose corn syrup in canned and bottled products, a killer to diabetic blood sugars. On and on . . .

And then, this morning on the way to work, I hear this story on NPR about how a statin that is taken to control cholesterol may not be preventing heart disease and furthermore, maintaining a good blood sugar level as a type II diabetic, may not actually prevent anything. Egad! Listen for yourself and see what you think. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88650768

I give up. Maybe I should put that gooey syrup glaze on the Easter ham and whip my potatoes with heavy cream and butter. Or, maybe I just keep trying to eat foods that are found in nature, walking around in my natural habitat and once in awhile have that handful of M&M's that sit tempting me on a co-workers desk.