Friday, November 26, 2010

Hot 100 Update, Thanksgiving Edition

My update for the Hot 100 Challenge:

1.  Lose 15-plus pounds by the end of the year / end of the challenge.  I'm getting there!  I am just 3.8 pounds from reaching this goal!
2.  Get more sleep.  Hit or miss.
3.  Start taking vitamins.  I'm still doing well with this one, even though I might forget now and then.
4.  Make a plan for eating and exercising over the holidays and stick to it.  I totally showed Thanksgiving who's boss!  I managed to eat a little of my favorites, had a wonderful time with family (still at my parents' house right now), and didn't overdo it.  It was cold here the whole time, and I didn't get in much exercise, but I'm still pleased with how I did.

That's it for now, because I'm now going to visit the family and watch more football.

Hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weekly Weigh-In

As I've mentioned, I weighed in yesterday (Tuesday) rather than on my usual Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Good news!  I had a loss.  Got a couple of little tokens at my meeting.
A new 5-pound star AND my 25-pound magnet
My total loss as of yesterday?  That would be a big ol' 26.2 pounds, thank you very much!

I wasn't going to weigh until next week, but after the bad week I had before, I thought I'd better go ahead and do it.  So glad I did!  Obviously, it was fun to hit a milestone, but I think even more than that, it was good for me to have that anchor before the holiday.  It reminds me of how far I've come, and in some ways of how far I still have to go.  But most importantly, it reminds me of what I already know: I can do this!  

Oh, and I pulled the bossy card yesterday on my Weight Watchers buddy, Mandy.  She felt she'd had an overeating weekend and wasn't going to weigh in until next week.  Mandy is one of those rare Weight Watchers who does not own a scale!  So each week she weighs in, she gets a total surprise.  I weigh every day, and think I'd freak out under the pressure, but it works for her.

So since she didn't want to go and see a gain, I badgered her and pushed her until she finally just agreed to go weigh.  And guess what?  She LOST almost 2 pounds since Thursday!  Mandy got a 5-pound star too.

Even if we had gained weight, I think it would have been good to go.  Whatever you're doing regularly in your weight loss journey, I hope you'll engage in that before the holiday, just to keep you centered.  If you decide that Thanksgiving comes around once a year, so you're going to eat with abandon for the big meal, then go right ahead.  But let me just remind you that it's Thanksgiving DAY, and there's really no reason to blow the whole week just because you go a little crazy with one meal.  Don't let that lead to an entire week of overindulgence.  Because you really don't want to have to go into the Christmas season with an extra 3, 5, 8 pounds to lose.  You know that's no exaggeration.  I could easily gain that in a week.

So enjoy your Thanksgiving feast, or stay on your usual program.  I'm not telling you what your own plan should be.  But I am encouraging you to stay in control of your own efforts in the days that follow.  Believe me, you'll have another chance to eat that stuff again in a few weeks, so just relax already!

I'm really going to focus this year on the reason for this holiday -- giving thanks.  I have so many things to be thankful for.  We all have difficulties, but when we focus on the blessings in our own lives, it's easy to see that life is good and that there are wonderful aspects of just being alive.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Absence Explained

I've been a little lax about posting the last couple of weeks.  Sorry about that!

I mentioned one day that I was having a hard time sleeping due to some stressful things going on.  Well, I thought I'd share that with you today.

My main concern had to do with one of my best friends, Marla.  She has three kids, and the middle child is in 8th grade.  That's Katie.  Katie was diagnosed with a kind of cancer called AML when she was 11 years old, went through treatment, and had been done with all that for about a year and a half.  Two weeks ago the family learned that it's back.

A few days after that, she was back in the hospital getting chemo.  She'll need a bone marrow transplant this time around, and she will be living in the hospital pretty much full-time for several months to come.  It's just hard on Katie and on the whole family, as well as those of us who love them.

So to make myself feel like I was doing something -- anything -- I set up a blog for support of the family.  It was a little time-consuming doing that and working on fundraising ideas in my community.  You're free to check it out if you'd like to know more at

In addition to that, my father-in-law had heart surgery during this time (he came through it fine), and I found out that someone I've tried to help in the past is probably back on drugs again (not so fine).

In the meantime, however, I have overcome that little binge setback I had and am still back on track.  I'm trying not to confuse food with a security blanket.  That will just make it worse.

My usual weigh-in day is on Thursdays.  Since Thanksgiving is Thursday we will have no meeting, so I'm going to weigh today.  Fingers crossed!  I'll update that in the morning.

Everybody ready for Thanksgiving?  Whatever you plan to do, whether it's strict dieting, moderation, or allowing for an indulgence, I hope you're able to stick with your plan!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hot 100 Update

My update for the Hot 100 Challenge:

1.  Lose 15-plus pounds by the end of the year / end of the challenge.  Had a setback this week, but I'm back on track.  Five days of craziness, and today is four days back on track.

2.  Get more sleep.  Doing better.

3.  Start taking vitamins.  Solid!

4.  Make a plan for eating and exercising over the holidays and stick to it.  I'm a little concerned about Thanksgiving but am ready for the challenge.  I won't be on my home turf, which has its benefits and its disadvantages.  I can do it though!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Flush Away the Pounds?

Not sure how this happened, but when I weighed today, after just two days back on track, I've lost almost all of the 5.2 I had gained during the five days off the program.  This morning I was up just 0.8 from last Thursday (my official weigh-in day).  I wonder if the gallons of water I drank had anything to do with it?

Normally I save my weigh-in results for after my 12:15 Weight Watchers meeting, but my son has a Thanksgiving Feast today at lunch, and I might miss my official weigh-in.

Don't worry, I'm not tempted by this "feast" today.  It's total chaos but fun for the kids, and it's not easy to get a plate of food.  Then it's more of a potluck kind of situation, and I am not even planning to eat there.  I'll eat at home afterward.  I'm just not in the mood to try to calculate calories and points on all that.

Speaking of food, my friend and neighbor Denise made quinoa last night for her family's dinner and brought some of it to me.
Earthly Delights Organic Premium 100 Percent Quinoa Whole Grain 4 Pound Resealable Bag
It tasted SO GOOD!  I'll have to get her recipe and post it.  I wish I had taken a photo of it, but the three-year-old and I gobbled it up so fast there was no time.  It tasted a little like Mexican rice.  Just so yummy, and now I've got a new food to add to my limited rotation.

Anyone else a fan of quinoa?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

So yesterday was yet another day off program, despite my promise that it wouldn't be.  But today I'm back on track!

This is scary though.  Thursday - Monday off the wagon = a gain of 5.2 pounds!  Are you kidding me?!?  I deserve a gain, for sure, but I can't imagine what I ate to equal more than an extra 3500 calories a day!  That's the math, right?

All day today I've done great -- healthy food choices, smaller portions, low sodium, took my vitamins, flushing out with rivers of water.  There will be exercise today as well.  For a change.  I also wrote down everything I put in my mouth, and I've tried to think about better ways to deal with stress.

I've had a setback, no doubt.  I am disappointed that I am going to have to re-lose those pounds, but I'm confident I can do it.  My hope is to learn from this and remember this the next time I'm feeling on the edge of losing control.  I'm not going to beat myself up about it.  It's not productive.

On another note, something kind of cool happened at a kiddie party I took my three-year-old son to a week and a half ago.  While we were there, he had this big slice of cake, and I didn't get any.  He ate a little of it, and then he brought the plate to me when he was done.  At the time, I was speaking to a friend and just mindlessly took the plate.  I wasn't nibbling on it (only because I was chatting), but I could smell it (yum), and it looked amazing - chocolate cake with dark, fudgy frosting.

My friend Nicki was at the party with her little guy too.  She has hit Lifetime status before at Weight Watchers, so she knows what I'm dealing with.  Anyway, she saw what happened, and went up to my little dude.  I heard her whisper to him, "Are you finished eating your cake?"  He nodded yes.  Then she swooped in, grabbed the cake from me, and said, "Intervention!" and tossed the plate into the trash!  Isn't that cool?

Clearly, this happened several days BEFORE the big backslide, but I thought it was great.  Where was she the last five days?  Guess I should have invited her over for a slumber party to save me from myself.

I'm back on track now, and it was surprisingly easy to do once I made up my mind for real.  All I had to do was do it.  And also that was the hard part.  So here I am, back on track, and feeling much better today than I have in several days, physically and emotionally.

Oh, yeah, and I'm still gonna knock that 25 pounds on its butt.  Not on Thursday, I guess, but it's just around the corner, so watch out!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Four Days of Debauchery

Bad, bad, so very bad.

I was trying to be mindful, but I slipped up.  I've had four days of extremely unhealthy eating and overeating.  Not good.

I'm finished eating for the day today, and tomorrow will be back on track.

It was so extreme that I feel quite certain I will NOT get my 25-pound goal on Thursday, but will instead have a gain.  I plan to undo as much damage as I can in the coming days by drinking lots of water, choosing healthy foods in small portions, and exercising.

I will turn it around!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Weekly Weigh-In and Hot 100 Update

Weekly Weigh-In:

This week I lost 1.8 pounds, for a total of 24.2 pounds lost so far.  Look out, 25 pounds!  Comin' to getcha!

Hot 100 Update:

1.  Lose 15-plus pounds by the end of the year / end of the challenge.  I'm getting close on this one.  I just need to lose 5.8 more pounds to reach this goal.

2.  Get more sleep.  It's been a rough week, emotionally.  I'll probably wind up mentioning at some point what's going on, but I'm just not ready to get into it right now.  So while I might be going to bed, I'm not going to sleep at a decent hour.  These things happen.  

3.  Start taking vitamins.  I surprise myself with how well I'm sticking to this one.  My old-lady style pill dispenser reminds me daily to fill myself with vitamins.

4.  Make a plan for eating and exercising over the holidays and stick to it.   I didn't do great at Halloween, but I'm just considering that to be a test run.  My mom is hosting Thanksgiving at her house this year, so my plan is to try to have a part in deciding on the menu.  Then I can plan where to indulge and where to back off.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekly Weigh-In (Belated Version)

Been so busy lately and somehow didn't post my weekly weigh-in from last Thursday.  It was disappointing but not surprising.  Big goose egg!  No loss, no gain.  I won't be ridiculous and try to trick myself by saying I have no idea what happened, because I do.  Very little exercise, and more sugar and carbs than I needed.  Stayed within my Points, but clearly I needed to regroup for this week.  Exercising is not going well.  I am finding it difficult to make time for it.  Notice I did not say that I don't have the time.  We all have the same number of hours in a day, but I'm not making it a priority for some reason.  Some weeks are like that, and I'm not going to get down about it.  I just need to move my butt.

So here's some more odds and ends from last week:

Went for my yearly "well woman" checkup last week.  Now that I'm 40, I get to go for a mammogram.  Wheee!  Actually, I'm not scared!  I've had a few already, and it's not a big deal.  The doctor also put me on medication for my PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), and I'm having lots of tummy aches from it.  Supposed to get better though, which will be great.

Got my flu shot Wednesday!  I was way braver than my kids (they got the nasal mist), but nobody offered me a lollipop.  Guess they sensed my Weight Watcherness and respected my boundaries.

Had to get a new box of my vitamins.  They've changed the formula a little, and now it contains 7 tablets per day instead of 6.  So this means I am now taking 13 pills per day.  In a week, I'll up one of my medications, and it will be 14 pills per day.  I accidentally missed a time or two on various meds, so I made a decision.  I had to do it, even though I didn't want to.  I went full-on old-lady mode and bought this:
Daily Pill Case - Specifically Designed for Senior Citizens

Events and Food:
Tuesday was a luncheon to hear an author discuss the time he spent with legendary CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite.  Together they wrote a book called Conversations with Cronkite.

Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite

It was a very interesting presentation.  The food, however, was one of those slip-ups that led to my ZERO WEEK at WW, though.  They served salad, which was already dressed with a little Ranch.  Not swimming in it, no big deal.  But the main dish was white rice (I had about half of it), nice veggies (naked), and -- lest you think it was a healthy lunch -- chicken cordon bleu.  Yes, that's right - Chicken stuffed with cheese and ham, then breaded and drenched in cream sauce.  What's that?  Yeah, you guessed it.  I ate about half of it.  Oh, well...

I was telling my friend and neighbor Denise about a recipe I read for quinoa.  It's hard to find in our little town, but she saw some while she was at the grocery store and picked it up for me!  She's so sweet!  I haven't yet tried it, because it seems like we've had something going on almost every night and I haven't cooked.   I'll let you know how it goes.

Oh, yeah, and did I mention how famous I am?  My picture was in the local magazine from when I was at the Breast Cancer Gala.  Hit the big-time, let me tell ya'!

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hot 100 Update

My update for the Hot 100 Challenge:

1.  Lose 15-plus pounds by the end of the year / end of the challenge.  Big, fat ZERO for my weigh-in this week - no loss, no gain.  So I'm still 7.5 pounds away from this goal.

2.  Get more sleep.  I'm doing better, but admittedly could improve.  Some days, it's great; some days, not so much.  

3.  Start taking vitamins.  Rockin' it!

4.  Make a plan for eating and exercising over the holidays and stick to it.  Didn't fail completely with Halloween, but certainly was no saint.  I'm sure it contributed to my ZERO week at Weight Watchers.  I need to get a grip on occasions which are out of my regular routine, especially since I tend to have a LOT of those occasions.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Who's Afraid of Hunger?

I am about as far removed from a health expert as one can get.  So one of the things I love about this weight-loss blogging community is that I encounter so many different approaches to a common goal.  Some I dismiss as kooky or just not for me; some I try to implement; some are fascinating and require more research; and some amaze me and motivate me to push beyond what I normally imagine for myself.

I'm doing Weight Watchers, but I'm up to try tips and techniques others have had success with in addition to my plan.  One of the things that interested me lately has been the idea of Intermittent Fasting.  Steve at uses this method regularly.  He writes about it in detail here, and after looking into it, I thought I'd give it a try.  Incidentally, Steve is also the guy who came up with the Hot 100 Challenge, which I really enjoy.  He and I had some back-and-forth on this, and he was really helpful in answering my multitude of questions about Intermittent Fasting ("IF").

Here's the timeline (starting last night) for my first attempt at IF, and the results below that.

5:00 PM - Just by chance, I had a very early dinner tonight.  This wound up playing a big part in my decision to go for it right away with IF.

9:38 PM - Email from Steve at  Decided it was a good time to start, since I hadn't eaten anything since dinner.  Then I'd kind of have a little freebie of a couple of hours when I wasn't even thinking about fasting but was doing it anyway.  Continuing to have no more eating tonight, as I'm now officially fasting.

11:00 PM - In bed, drifting around the fringes of sleep, when I get a little knocking in my belly telling me it's hungry.  I haven't eaten anything since dinner, and I normally eat up until 9:00 or even later, so I'm not surprised.  I finished dinner around 5:30, so it's been about 5 1/2 hours since I've eaten.  I thought about healthy stuff instead and went to sleep.

6:30 AM - Read follow-up email from Steve.  Felt really encouraged.  In part, he wrote, "Just remember, it may not be easy today, but your body is just going to be acting like a young child throwing a temper tantrum.  Once it realizes you are in control, which almost always happens quickly, then it will behave and let you go ahead and move forward." 

7:00 AM - Had water, no coffee.  Making lunches for the kids, I had to remind myself not to nibble.  I don't want to set off some trigger in my stomach or brain or blood chemistry that tells me I need to eat now.  A little hungry, but it's not too bad.

10:07 AM - Still good, and it's been almost 17 hours since I've eaten.  Using the computer to distract me from hunger and chores.  Time to tackle some to-do items on the list.  Two hours until weigh-in.

12:45 PM - After our Weight Watchers meeting, my friend Mandy invited me to Subway for lunch.  I said I would go but not eat.  When we got there, I caved in and ate.  I really was hungry, but I think if I'd controlled my environment a little more I could have gone the full 24 hours of fasting.

Stop the clock!  I've made it over 19 hours without eating.  My experiment has ended for today.  I really had planned to go for 24 hours, but I fell short on my first attempt.  I might try this again next week.  If nothing else, this is a good reminder of a few things for me:

1.)  Like most people, I eat when I'm not physically hungry.  I often say, "I'm hungry," when in fact I am not.  I might be in the mood to eat or might be craving a particular food, but I am not actually hungry.  There's a big difference.  Emotional hunger is not the same as physical hunger, and this let me feel a little physical hunger to remind me of the difference.

2.) One day's hunger will not kill me.  The human body can go for a very long time without food, as long as it has water.  According to an article at Discovery Health, "Medically speaking, most doctors agree that healthy humans can go up to eight weeks without food, as long as they have water."  Gandhi once fasted for 21 days, and the man was 70 years old at the time!  One day's not so brutal now, is it?

3.) Mild hunger is not scary.  It's an unusual sensation to allow yourself to feel hungry, especially when you're a chronic overeater.  But there's no panic, no "drowning feeling."  I didn't have a headache or get dizzy or anything like that.

4.) Being aware of the body's signals is a good thing.  My emotional eating got me into this bind where I now need to lose a significant amount of weight.  Now I need to pay more attention to those signals and be mindful of how I use food.  Use food as a fuel and not as a drug.  And if I'm not physically hungry, I don't have to eat.  I can choose not to.

5.) Not eating for several hours helps me put my snacking into perspective.  I tend to eat smaller / lower calorie meals so that I can snack throughout the day.  While I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing overall, I leave myself open to more opportunities to give in to temptation and make poor food choices.  I might have a serving of something less nutritious than if I had fewer food decisions throughout the day.

6.)  There's no reason not to try this again, for me.  I could argue against it all day long, but it truly didn't hurt anything.  Initially, I was unsure, but I think that hesitation comes from a fear of hunger.  I rationalized it by suggesting that I would have to deal with other physical problems as a result (see #3 - panic, headache, dizziness, etc.)  I didn't, by the way.  But I never used the excuse of physical discomfort as a reason not to overeat before.  Yet how many times did I have to double up on Pepcid because I had eaten so much and had over-the-top acid reflux?  How many times did I eat to the point of almost passing out, where I had to just sit or lie down?  How many years did I eat to the point of having the waistband of my pants dig into my skin?  I certainly didn't worry about my eating affecting how I felt then.

Exercise Souvenirs

A couple of weeks ago, while doing my 3.5 mile walk with Mandy, I realized it might get dark before we finished, so I took my flashlight along.  We were walking along and heard a noise in a drainage ditch next to our path.  I whipped out the flashlight and saw a little kitten in there.  Aw, cute.

Every time we passed by there after that, the kitten was still there, and now he has a twin with him!  They were so cute, and the first one was very friendly and followed us every time we passed by.  In fact, one time we had to run to get away from him!  It was sad (the sight of me running, as well as the poor, pitiful kitten).

These two guys were black cats, and it was nearly Halloween, and we often saw rowdy-looking teens passing through this area.  Mandy and I discussed how we really hope nobody messes with these kitties, and how they're so trusting they'd probably go to anyone, and stuff like that.

Cut to two hours later at my house.  I'm telling my husband this story and my concern for these little guys.  Just chatting.  Then he said, "Put your shoes on."  Yes, he sent me back out in the dark to go get those cats!
Casper and Boo
Three-pronged approach to the future of the kittens:

1.) Check to see if anyone has lost them.  Newspapers, neighborhood signs, vet offices, animal shelters, even animal control - All negative.

2.) Take them to the vet and see if they have any major illnesses.  Nope, they're good.

3.)  Introduce them to Stuart (our Jack Russell terrier) and see if he tries to kill them.  So far, so good, but the meet-and-greet sessions have been brief and highly controlled.  If this last bit works out, the kitties can move from the garage to the house.
So while some people collect bruises, big muscles, or worn-out shoes when they exercise, I apparently collect stray animals.  I guess the only reason for me to post this is to prove that I have, in fact, been exercising.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Do You Wear Your Carbs?

Have you ever said, "If I eat that, I may as well just apply it directly to my hips"?  How about, "If I eat that, I'll be wearing it for a year!" Well, photographer Ted Sabarese took the concept a step further and photographed models wearing the food they crave most.  I ran across these photos and had to know what the purpose was.  According to Sabarese's blog, the photographer was interested in the relationship between people and their food.

I wonder what effect wearing a bread dress or waffle pants would have on me.  Would I find the food disgusting? (It is, after all, being worn on the body and exposed to the elements.)  Or would I just go nuts and binge on my clothes, then wind up with a citation for public nudity?



Photo by: Ted Sabarese


Photo by: Ted Sabarese


Photo by: Ted Sabarese

Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke Hearts

Photo by: Ted Sabarese



Photo by: Ted Sabarese

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Happenings

Friday was the "Pumpkin Parade" at my daughter's elementary school.  The kids bring decorated pumpkins to school, display them on stage, then form a parade to view the pumpkins and show off their costumes.
Some of my favorite pumpkins:

Because we'd been in such a hurry to get to the Pumpkin Parade, my 3-year-old son missed his breakfast at home.  We had some errands to do, so we stopped to get him a kolache.  What did I get?  Black coffee and nothing else!  (Had a protein bar in my purse, so I was all set.)

Later we took the kids to Fiesta Texas (Six Flags) for Fright Fest.  It was lots of fun, and the weather was perfect!
Giant Ferris Wheel
Despite my efforts to avoid buying candy for trick-or-treaters, I freaked out at the last minute and remembered the last couple of years when they came in droves and cleared out all the candy.  My next-door neighbor even had to come over to get some more because she ran out so early.  I knew I wouldn't have enough non-candy items to give out if we had the usual army of tots.
No, this is not the extent of the non-candy items I purchased for trick-or-treaters.
I went and bought several bags of candy just before dark.  Yes, some of it was chocolate, but I was confident I could resist the lure of binge eating it by the fistful.  Mostly, however, I was excited to solve a Halloween mystery:  It DOES exist!  A candy that doesn't call my name, that is.  Kids love 'em, but these are completely safe in my presence - Sour Patch Kids.
Sour Patch Kids Candy
I'm not saying I didn't sample a little candy.  I did.  I wish I hadn't, but I did.  What I didn't do was go nuts.  I wrote down EVERYTHING I ate too.

At one point the bell rang, and I could see through the window on my door that there was a tall figure standing alone on my porch.  Here's what greeted me when I opened the door.
My (normally) perky blonde neighbor
Took me a minute to recognize her!

I haven't gotten in nearly enough exercise this week, unless you count walking the kids down the street and up the hill.  Um, probably not.  So tonight I had not one, but TWO friends asking if I wanted to go walk.  So the three of us (me, Denise and Mandy) went for a walk.  Denise has a great little trail all mapped out.  It's 3.5 miles, and it's got some nice little hills along the way.  It was still really warm, even with the sun going down.  It certainly wasn't the November evening I see in the movies.

I'm wondering how everyone did with temptations this weekend.  For those of us who were less than perfect, just turn it around now.  Go work out, plan out your day's meals, whatever works for you.  We are about to be bombarded with two full months of opportunities to mess up our healthy plans.  How will you deal with it?