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.

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!!


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.


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.


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!

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.

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.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

2 week Stats

I am keeping track of weight loss for the group. It is optional for each of us as to whether or not we are attempting to lose weight, but for those of us who are actively pursuing weight loss as part of this networking, here are our stats for the past two weeks.

Week 1 - with 12 members "weighing in" we had a net total of 26.9 pounds shed!

Week 2 - with 10 members "weighing in" we had a net total of 15.4 pounds shed!

Grand total - B-Hoppers are down 42.3 lbs in two weeks.

Way to go and let's keep inspiring each other to increase our activity, eat better, trim up so we can all post our swim suit pictures next summer! Okay, that may be a little ambitious. It does make me proud of the progress and inspires my competitive spirit to "keep up" with you all!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Putting It All Together

  When I got LH's email about submitting our weight loss numbers I laughed and then I groaned! I guess the time has come!   What has been the hardest for me is putting it all together: exercise, diet, vitamins, lifting weights ,ab work and stretching.  Exercising comes the easiest to me. I really do love it!  The rest is well basically inconsistent.

  After having my two children and turning 40 the weight was harder to get off and frankly I find the whole "dieting thing" quite confusing.  There's the South Beach Diet, Weight Watchers, Cabbage Diet, low carb, high carb blah blah blah!  Not to mention our family has a few of their own.  What has worked well for MGH (the patriarch of H family) has been the push away plan--he eats half of what's on his plate and "pushes away the rest". Then there's the infamous Joe H. diet--do not put anything on your plate and wait and see what your kids don't finish and eat that. Hey and these fellows look awesome so something is working for them.

  I guess that's my point--I need to find what works for my body and lifestyle.  So here it is--I have no idea if I have lost or gained anything this week but I will say I am 17 pounds heavier than having my first child 8 years ago. I can't exercise any more than I do now so I need to work harder in the other areas. Now that LH is keeping count I need to start trying to put more pieces into place.  Thanks for the push LH!!!


Gluten Free Restaurants

Here is a short list, more to come of restaurants that offer Gluten Free menus.

PF Changs, Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Carraba's. When in doubt, just ask, but these restaurants are knowledgeable of what it means to prepare your meal gluten free.

M & I had dinner at Carraba's this weekend, we didn't ask about the gluten free menu, he just tried to order what he thought would be gf. He ordered a salad without croutons, and when it came the croutons were mixed in. When he sent it back he explained that he was following a gf diet and the waiter advised us to ask for the gluten free menu next time. If you order from that menu, the chefs know to mix things in separate bowls, leave out the croutons, etc. So, the lesson is - always ask if food can be prepared gf when dining out.

Here's an interesting theory on breaking habits, such as overeating and smoking. I heard an interview on NPR about the people who started this. Check it out. If you want to hear or read the NPR story, here is the link

Moving Onward

Yesterday, at physical therapy, I did three miles on the exercise bike, which puts me up a mile from the previous week. I have to say I'm feeling it today; my back has taken on a whole new set of aches. But the good news is that I checked out the gym in our apartment building and they have excercise bikes with high backs so I can go there to work out on their bikes and perhaps not feel the pain after leaving 5 days in between workouts. And the weight loss is two pounds this week so something is certainly coming together for me!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

B-Hop - week 2

Well, for every excitement I had last week with my good jump start, I gained back 1/2 of what I loss this week. I really can't explain it, though I am going to make a conscious effort to journal my food consumption this week, and make an effort to walk 5 of the 7 days - with today being the first day.

In spite of the fact that I gained, I did feel good about my week. I think I have developed an allergy to the Slim-fast - for real! - so I am going to lay off it in the morning, and just eat better breakfasts. I did go for mini - 15 minute - walks 2 days this week, to get out of the office, and two long walks through the neighborhood ( 30 minutes each)with MF. My popcorn of last week was replaced with some tortilla chips and salsa a couple of nights, which must be part of what threw me off track. As I try to analyze where I can make improvements, I am reminded of a friend, who like me, has tried numerous weight loss programs, This friend was at his weekly weigh in sitting next to a woman who had not lost, but had gained weight that week. As the facilitator attempted to help her determine what she did to contribute to the weight loss, she said "I really didn't 'cheat' (I hate that terminology by the way)" As the helpful facilitator pressed her to think harder, she finally exclaimed "I did eat a dill pickle!" Okay, so that must have been the problem. NOT! At a weight watcher meeting I attended in the past, a woman was stressing out on how to count an apple, and was wondering if she was eating a larger apple than she should, to which the leader replied "Honey, we didn't get her from eating too large of apples!" Okay, no more excuses for me, just back to work.

I did go to the after hour health care place near us last night to get some attention to the rash that started on the top of my hands and is spreading up my arm. It's incredibly itchy and very unsightly. I am taking Benadryl and a steroid, which will likely throw off my blood sugars. I did adjust my overnight insulin units down .2 of a unit, and will likely be adjusting my overall units once I am through the steroid treatment. I heard a very scary story from a Dad at an Optimist club I spoke to this week, telling about his daughter who is diabetic and on a pump, her pump quick working in the night and she awoke to such a high glucose reading that she required hospitalization. I am quite grateful, that my blood sugars maintain at a steady rate, though at any time things could change as I age and depending on how I take care of myself. So, fellow "b-hopper's" hold me accountable!

I appreciate the advice of LMH to have a good physical, and being diabetic, I have my numbers checked on a quarterly basis, but I haven't been to the dermatologist to check for "top hats" on my moles. I am considering the internal cleanse, but no commitment as of yet to take the plunge - so to speak.

I stopped at whole foods to get our salad mix for the week, I did consume more salads the week before, which could also affected my weight gain, so I am looking forward to getting back to my hearty salad meals. I picked up some very nice fruit and vegetables and a few GF items for M. I plan to start trying the bread baking, I ordered the Gluten Free Mama baking recipe book and some special flour. Check out her website, I'll report back on the bread and other items I try in the coming weeks. I think M is missing bread the most on this diet plan. M, however, lost another 6 lbs for a total of 10 - I am happy and proud, really, not the least bit jealous, not at all . . . REALLY! I also ran to the grocery to pick up milk, bread for kids (I am trying my best to eliminate as much wheat as possible), cereal and frozen foods. We've tried many of the Amy's gluten freee vegetarian products, and although Whole foods has the largest supply, I have found the best deals to be at Target for these frozen and canned items. M loved the canned chili. Check them out, I particularly like the veggie lasagna and the Indian meals.

I adapted my turkey soup recipe on the side this week. I purchased italian style ground turkey by mistake, and added some minced garlic as I cooked the meat. It had a nice kick and much more flavor, so I'd recommend you try this as well.

Tonight we are having dinner with friends and meeting my sisters for a concert with Neal and Leandra, a regional singer/songwriter couple whose music is awesome and back in my radio days, I used to give their cd's plenty of air time. They have become good acquaintances, and always try to fit "Rock in the River" a song dedicated to strong women, whenever I show up in the crowd (it's my favorite, it reminds me of mom, who was a rock and taught me to be pretty sturdy myself). Check out their website at

My challenge, to lose 45 lbs by my birthday in October including a financial challenge as well. I am putting $5 for every pound lost, and $10 every time I gain. My "savings is up to $30, though I'd rather have earned the last $10 by a weight loss this week.

Next week's goals, outside of the exercise 5 days and journaling my intake, eat more green salads for lunch and snack on fruit/vegetables in place of the other salty options I generally steer toward. I also plan to start taking a multivitamin daily again.

Happy to hear of everyone's good week. Hang in there and look for more contributors to sign in soon!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring Has Sprung!!

Hope all of you had a successful week! I am always inspired when I read an entry from one of the team members.

I am in the process of encouraging a few of my over 40 friends to get yearly physicals. I am finding plenty of people already in their 40's who haven't done so. It is so important to get those baseline numbers. Equally important to follow that yearly physical with a trip to the dermatologist for an all over body check (I learned that freckles can have "top hats"--who knew??). I learned that my cholesterol is 199-nothing to worry about but it will be nice next year to see the number either stay the same or go down. Again, good information to have!
Its been great to see how all of you have been doing! Here is how my week went:
-I completed my second week of six day workouts--12 miles run outside.
2 hours total on treadmill.
-Finished the "cleanse". How does one really know if their kidneys and liver are "cleansed"?
-I ate healthy about 4 days out of this week. I polished off the rest of the Whoppers--not good!
The other days I felt like I snacked a lot.
-Began drinking protein shakes in the morning. I use Vanilla protein powder from Arbonne. I
add fruit for flavor and extra fiber.
-I took all my vitamins for 4 days out of this week.

New recipe of the week: VEGGIE PIE
Mushrooms,small zucchini,small green pepper chopped.
1 1/2 c. diced ham
1 lb. cottage cheese
1 c. grated mozzerella
4 eggs beaten
1/2 c. chopped frozen spinach-thawed and squeezed
2 tbs. olive oil
s&p to taste
Saute mushrooms,zucchini,pepper and ham in little butter. Put in bowl and mix with everything else.
350--45 minutes.
I used 97% fat free ham. I am sure you could use low fat cheeses. I used the whole box of frozen spinach.
Gluten Free note: as long as you are using fresh veggies, the frozen spinach is without fillers, and cottage cheese is gluten free - this should be a safe food to eat. I can't wait to try it! (b-hop)


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

You know how, when you do something so often or for so long, it becomes a part of you and you don't think about giving it a "name"? Well, those of you who know me know that i've been wrestling with back problems for about a year and a half. Excercise hasn't been a word in my vocabulary for a while now. I've undertaken physical therapy sessions to try to stretch the muscles that have been affected by my bent-over walk, and for the past 6 or so sessions, I've beeen using the excercise bike. So: yesterday, I actually excercised! I rode the bike for two miles which increases almost every time I'm on it.

The Rainbow Sherbert Girls

This picture is perfect motivation for the challenge in front me. The pictures from our next trip to Washington DC I want to reflect a lot less of all of us!

Monday, March 10, 2008

B-hop Here

I am just thrilled at the response to the contributors on this blog site. I've shared it with additional family members, some who have signed on to be part of this network. For me personally, this takes on a whole new level of accountability in my quest to eat healthier and exercise more. Last night I came home from the grocery store to get dinner ready. With daylight savings time setting in, there was still plenty of light outside, so I got the kids outside, three on bikes, one on foot, and M&I circled the neighborhood with kids in tow, before we set down to eat. Tonight after dinner, our neighbor boy came to get MF and the two of them scootered around the block with me, a short walk with just enough daylight to get us moving. As our weather is changing this week to the 50-60's, there will be plenty of time to fit in the walks around the neighborhood, which can be as short as a 10 minute walk and up to 30 minutes if we take the "long" route.
I found another before picture that's worth a look. This was taken in November, and if our family goal to lose 10% of our body weight by the end of year is matched by both of us, we'll proudly display a new one this November.

Everyday is a chance to start something new. I put a piece of gum in my mouth after lunch today, to kill the curry taste from my curry tuna salad, and to keep me from grabbing the left over crackers and chips that were laying around the office all day. I'm celebrating little steps toward accomplishment, one at a time.

Forty Something

Lately I have been reading more articles/books on health and wellness for the over forty crowd. I'm 42 now and have noticed some changes:

-I have to work out harder and more often to keep the weight off.
-I can't eat the same amount of food anymore.
-I don't feel that great after eating certain foods.
-I do better with more protein and fewer bad carbs.

Having shared that, it will be great to have a place to support people and be supported, share what's working and what's not and try some fun yummy new recipes!

My March goals:

-Continue exercising six days a week. Running,treadmill or walking. 
-Be present to what I am putting in my mouth (does the 1/2 bag of Whoppers I just finished off count?) Don't eat just because it's there.
-Finish my colon,liver,kidney cleanse. I highly recommend doing this once or twice a year to cleanse and detox your system. I used First Cleanse by Renew Life (found at Whole Foods or any health food store).
-Eat as healthy as I can!

Good Luck to the "Team" this week!


The Curves Angle

I'll be telling you about what it's like to try to lose weight from the Curves way of doing it. Every morning as soon as I get up, I take a trip to the bathroom, and after using the toilet, I take off my gown and step on the scale. I find that knowing what I weigh after the day's before eating regime (whatever that might have been) lets me know which foods do what to my body.

This morning, for example, I was two pounds down from yesterday's weight, which meant that eating at Logan's last night didn't disturb my weight loss attempt. I chose foods carefully at Logan's, but I did have a glass of red wine. I didn't have lunch, though, so somehow that must have counterbalanced the wine. I keep close track of what I eat, and I try to stay in the 1600/day range.

I go to Curves 3-5 times a week to work out. They now have Smart Machines which monitor your progress and change the hydraulics in the machines to make the workout gradually harder and more efficient. It's going well for me. I swear I'm a size smaller at this weight than I was before I used to work out. It really works to be toned up.

The Curves Diet is a low carb diet. I eat half a bagel in the morning for breakfast and I have some kind of small portion of "white stuff" sometime in a later meal, but that's all of that kind of food I eat. My snacks are all basically protein snacks like a deli roll made of six slices of turkey breast and a mozarella stick. And I love my salad with chicken breast strips and cheese every day. I drink plenty of fluid, but I really don't enjoy bottles of water. They taste like plastic to me. I still imbibe on diet cokes with lime, and I'm just praying that they aren't really bad for me as long as I stay away from Doritos while I'm drinking them!

That's all for today. I'm happy to be part of this family challenge to get ourselves into shape and good health. God bless us all...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Our before Pic

I forgot to add our before pic. This was taken on our recent trip.
Well, I lived through my first weighin at Weight Watchers since we started this challenge. I lost 2.4!! I may have blown that at my granddaughter's first birthday party! Losing weight has been a life long venture for me. I hope this time I will really learn how to make the life changes I need to accomplish my ultimate goal. I am being very deligent and writing down my food intake. I purchased WW's 3 month journal to get me started. I like LH's idea of putting $ in a envelope each week. I will be going to state bowling this next weekend so I plan to weighin on Friday morning before I leave. Wish me luck.

C of CJB


Well, the "back east Mama" scewed up her courage and got on the scale this morning. Imagine my surprise (I almost fell off the scale) when I'd lost three pounds! And I haven't even gotten serious about all of this....yet.

Since MH has been diagnosed with celiac disease, and will be visiting in a few weeks, I felt I needed to mentally prepare myself to cook for him, so I bought the easiest book I could find:
Living with Celiac Disease for Dummies. Yep: they actually have one. I figured it would be the easiest to understand and retain...that gets to be a problem at my age. The only thing I can count on retaining is water.

My husband's tuna salad sandwich today was a salad with tuna on it for me. The green tea was also healthy in another way. If I could just skip the cookies for dessert....

Some Before Pictures

I thought I would download a few "before" pictures of our family members so we can track our progress visually. There are other contributors to this blog, so everyone should feel free to add their own. M & I, with our son MF, along with Daughter's #2 & 3.
Last night, our family invited the neighbors to join us at the bowling alley for a night of bowling, which was an attempt to break our couch potato habit of "family movie night." It was fun, all the kids enjoyed themselves and they are now begging to go back. Ironically, I was the high scorer in both games, so everyone has some work to do, as I am not a skilled bowler in any stretch of the imagination. The two five year old boys (our son and neighbor boy) had a challenge to knock the pins down, as they were bowling without bumpers and doing the two handed, between the knees toss. They scored 31 and 36, and were delighted when they saw the pins fall. MF even scored one spare throughout the evening. #3, ML, is showing signs of promise with her bowling, which consistently improved throughout the evening.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


What a great start to our family challenge. I weighed in this morning and am down 6 pounds. J and I were down at the Lake last weekend painting so I made a batch of vegetable soup with ground turkey that was very tasty and filling. We are just starting to stock food items in the fridge, so I took milk and cereal for breakfast with fresh bananas and oranges and for lunch Jim had a couple of sandwiches and I had a WW frozen entrĂ©e and some carrot chips. A new Hu Hot Mongolian grill opened near work, so Monday I went there for lunch with a co-worker and filled myself up with small amounts of chicken and pork and LOTS of veggies. I also attended a luncheon on Wednesday where there was a big piece of chocolate bundt cake drizzled with raspberries and blueberries and topped with whipped cream by each plate. I ate the fruit and took one small bite of the cake and left the rest. Temptation is always going to challenge us but in that case, I resisted. On the other hand, Thursday night I was watching TV and decided to have a couple Girl Scout Cookies (Shortbread) for a snack and before I knew it, the entire sleeve was empty. Last week at Hy-Vee they had Disney oranges on sale for .99 and they were really sweet and juicy. Who knew that Disney grew oranges! I also tried C’s Healthy Chili recipe and loved it. I am a big fan of zucchini and squash anytime, so it really hit the spot for me. When I was putting it in the containers for the fridge I counted the ladles as I spooned it and only had about 12, so the 20 portions must be off a bit. I am taking some down to the lake today to have for lunch tomorrow as we continue painting. I hope to start walking this week at least a couple of days to try and squeeze in the exercise. Going up and down 21 steps at the lake has helped to get me some exercise as we continue to move things in the kitchen. I am going to hang the shower curtain and lay down the rug and get our “FISH” bathroom motif started this weekend.

B-HOP! Good luck to everyone as we get healthy!

A new Beginning

Today marks the first week of my family weight loss and get healthy challenge. My husband (M) I have been concentrating this week on changing our eating habits to make dramatic changes in our health - both of us have type II diabetes, and he was recently diagnosed with celiacs disease, which requires following a strict gluten free diet. We both come from family histories of diabetes and colon cancer, and feel at our age (mid-upper 40's) it's time to think seriously about our longevity and quality of life. With children ranging from 5-20 years, we still have many obligations to fulfill and recognize we need healthier bodies to get us there.

My family (which included my three siblings and spouses, father and his wife and a cousin and spouse, along with our children) met 2 weeks ago to discuss how we will proceed through this plan, to not only lose weight, but to also make a pact to support each other in taking a healthier approach to our lives. My brother, recognizing that we are all competitive in nature, suggested a contest between us all. We came up with a simple challenge amongst us all to lose 10% of our total body weight by the end of this year - which collectively could amount to a group total weight loss of 200-250 lbs, practically a whole person we can lose between us all!

I recommended we all set personal goals outside of this group goal. Mine is to lose 45 lbs by my 45th birthday in October. It's ambitious, but quite frankly I am one in the group that has more to lose, and I really want to rid my body of this excess weight. I've lost 3.8 lbs in my first week, weighing in this morning. I've noticed a big difference in my blood sugar levels already, and this morning woke up with an extremely low sugar - 59, which means I may need to adjust my insulin rates, I use an insulin pump to regulate my blood sugars, and I've had to be really aggressive recently since gaining the weight to keep my blood sugars at acceptable levels.

Our eating at home this week consisted of grilled steaks, chicken and pork chops, with fresh sauteed vegetables, baked potatoes, risotto and acorn squash. Desserts are minimal and we're right now using fresh fruit as our sweet treat. We had hearty salads for lunches, with fresh greens and the chopped up grilled meat from the dinners. I made a pot of new england clam chowder for dinner last night, filling it with vegetables and using low fat milk and dried milk in place of 1/2 AND 1/2. Next time I will try something else in place of the high fat cream, but the dried milk made the broth a little too sweet for my taste. The kids, who can be picky, ate it up. M and I prefer manhattan version of clam chowder, made with tomatoes, but the kids requested the creamy version.

I tried Slim-fast for breakfast this week, and one day had it for breakfast and lunch. I think I can do this routine occasionally as my breakfast, but found out quickly that this is not a good plan for me for two meals a day, as I left work that day feeling very dizzy and famished. Once I am through with the supply of Slim-fast I bought, I think I'll just return to eating better.

We made our first trip to Whole Foods on Sunday after church. We found the gluten free aisle and bought some products to try and get us started. One week into cooking a gluten free diet, I am finding it not too difficult, especially if I am cooking from scratch and using fresh ingredients.
A pot of Turkey vegetable rice soup is simmering on the stove as I type this for lunch. Tonights dinner will be a chicken stir fry.

I am anxious to touch base with my family members and see how their weeks have gone. M just came down from his weigh in stating he's lost 4 lbs this week. Two of our daughters are joining in the challenge and #2 (V) lost 1.5 lbs. #3 (ML) is down a lb. With the girls, we are encouraging them to make healthy choices, get more exercise and take it slow on the weight loss side. They don't live with us during the week, so they are on their own for managing their meals outside of what we eat as a family. Daughter #1 (K) is out on her own, getting married in August. She's not committed as of yet to joining the challenge. Daughter #4 (R) and son (MF) are young enough that we are just trying to encourage them to be healthy and active and make good food choices. Eliminating wheat and snack foods from the house will help in the overall plan.

My mother-in-law and husband's sister back East have asked to be included in the challenge. We've all got one common goal to be healthier by this wedding in August and whatever we can do to support each other across the miles will be good in the long run.

Our first holiday coming up will be Easter. M & I will offer to host. I've been thinking about the menu and what we can serve to keep us all on track. I'm thinking the traditional ham, with roasted potatoes or mashed, fresh green beans, salad and fresh fruit for snacking. Our family likes to snack as we gather, so I'll suggest cut up vegetables, fruit and popcorn for our snacking. I've been popping popcorn on the stove (yes you can make it this way) and eating that as my feel good snack this week. It's great for the crunch and salt I crave, plus really good fiber.