Monday, December 31, 2007

Good Bye 2007!

Today is my last day of eating like there's no tomorrow. Because as we all know tomorrow always has a way of showing up....bringing along excess poundage. I've been eating like a maniac the past few weeks - gearing up for the New Year.

A New Year always offers a fresh start. A time to put the old behind and press on to things unknown. I haven't always resolved to lose weight come January 1st. (There was a time - believe it or not - that I didn't have to.)

Some years I vowed to be more organized. While I didn't totally succeed in my efforts, I did manage to establish a few new habits that have made my life easier. Other years I've vowed to read my Bible daily. That didn't always work either. But it made me keep it on my nightstand and pick it up more oft than not. One year I vowed to quit smoking. I was a two-pack a day girl. I know - very bad! But I geared myself up for it. Mentally and Spiritually. On Jan 1st at about 9:00 am - I smoked my last cigarette. I crumbled up the pack with the remaining cigarettes still in it and tossed it in the trash. I've never smoked another cigarette in my life. Not even a single drag. That was January 1st, 1985. Not bad eh?

So I'm figuring - I can do this too. In 1984 I couldn't imagine my life without smoking. It was all I knew! I smoked all the time - everywhere (that was back when you could still smoke in public places and no one shooed you out on the back porch ) You could smoke on airplanes - in restaurants - anywhere. There was no social impetus to quit. Was it hard? HArd as hell! Hardest thing I've ever done in my life! I struggled a LOT . But I had a game plan. Strategic alternatives to get me through. I avoided social situations the first month. I chewed a lot of gum. I doodled on paper when ever I was on the phone instead of lighting up. (I still can't talk on the phone without doodling to this day!)

And I did it! The first thing I noticed (but didn't expect) was the freedom. I could go someplace and not worry if I had enough smokes to get me through. I didn't have to fumble around to make sure I had a lighter or matches in my purse. I didn't stink anymore. And I could breathe easier and run faster! (unfortunately that's when my weight problems began....but it was a fair trade off at the time.)

So I'm figuring - nothing is impossible! I can do this too. Lose the weight and adapt a healthier lifestyle. And I'm sure there will be some freedom moments that show up as perks this time too!

Like I said - I've been gearing up for this. I'm going to succeed this time. A lot of us are! And this time around - I WILL have progress pictures I can be proud of.

I'm spending the evening at my brother's house to ring in the New Year. I'll eat for sure. But come tomorrow things will change. One day at a pound at a time.
Happy New Year to you all!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Two More Days....

Okay...yesterday's post was a joke. I'm really not giving up and accepting my rolls! Funny as it can be, when we try to sugar-coat the numbers on the scale - there comes a point where you find yourself not really laughing anymore. I got a good gander of some photos taken of me this Christmas and frankly- there was nothing funny about it. First of I realized how "old" looking I've gotten. That I guess I have to accept. But the numerous chins, the jowls, the sagging eyelids - they are a direct result of too much padding!

And the hips - I won't even go there! Suffice to say - reality hit me like a 2x4 and the veil of denial was torn away. I'm one of those people who carries it all in the rear end. Seriously - even in high school when I only weighed 118, I got teased about my butt. Crisco I believe my friends lovingly called me. You know...fat in the can.

But now that lard has crept up to my belly, my arms, my neck, my face!

So this is it. I'm eating with abandon today and tomorrow. Because come hell or high water (my mom always used to say that...I have no idea what it means but she always said it to preface something really important) starting January 1st I am on a new roll (to lose my rolls so to speak!) I'm sticking with the resolutions I posted the other day. My monthly goals. And I'm sticking by them with a vengeance.

I need you guys to push me when I get lax. Encourage me when I want to give up. I'll do the same! We're gonna' look great in 2008!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Final Countdown....

My youngest daughter left this morning at 6 am with her hubby to go back home to Massachusetts. I miss them terribly already! Which makes the post-Christmas let down even worse. I try to enjoy the week between Christmas and New Years. The decorations are still up... my favorite radio station is still playing Christmas music... and we have one more get together to look forward to. Christmas is something we anticipate for months - and yet it seems some people want it over in a day! Not me. I still light all my candles every night...bask in the glow of the tree...listen to that afore mentioned favorite radio station....

Yet, while I enjoy this last "official" week of the season - it still can be depressing. The stores are already clearing things out to make way for the Valentine's day fare. All along the curbside one can see heaps of discarded boxes and wrappings waiting for the trash man. The stores have lines a mile long with people returning those "perfect" gifts that someone stood in a long line waiting to buy. And probably the worst is when I see a discarded Christmas tree - a few strands of stray tinsel still clinging to the branches - at the roadside on December 26th! What the heck is that all about? Christmas isn't a day - it's a season - a frame of mind - we ease into it and we need to ease out of it. At least I do.

We just celebrated the Savior's birth. Well...He's still here with us. He didn't go away the day after the festivities. But people forget that. It's not just about the presents and parties and food. Sometimes I forget that too....

So as I ease out of this last week of the "official" Christmas season - I'm promising to take some of it with me as I ease into 2008. It will be a year of change and challenge for me. We'll be moving to the new house (though it's not finished yet, we're already starting to pack.) I don't know where I'll be with my job search. I gave myself the rest of this year to nail a teaching job (no one wants to hire a 50 year old) so I'll be doing something totally out of my element soon as I'm forced to move beyond the thing I know and love best. The bills will not wait anymore. And I'm vowing to myself that this WILL be the year that I get my body back to a healthier state. Which means less crap in the pie-hole, more activity on my feet and a concerted effort to handle my stress.

There are challenges all over the place in blog land. We have 3 days to solidify our game plans. Here is mine. I may tweak it and it may change. But for right now - this is how Lora sees 2008.

Each month a new change for me. They say it takes 21 days for a habit to stick. So I'm making new habits to replace the old - one a month. I've learned the hard day that Rome wasn't built in a day and I don't intend to bite off more than I can chew because then I just end up spitting it out!

January - healthy eating. More fruits and veggies less sugar and fat.

February - consistent exercise that is scheduled into my day. Not "fit" in - SCHEDULED in.

That's how far I'm looking into 2008 for now. Come March I'll implement a new change. Slow and steady wins the race. I'm beyond the quick fix mentality. I want changes that stick. Changes I can live with.

Three more days....and I'm ready! Are you?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I'm really tired. Dog tired.
Running on empty! Up till 3:30 Christmas Eve at my brother's house - 4:30 last night at the in-laws and we are heading out to the farm (late hubby's family) in a few hours to celebrate Christmas/Boxing day with all of them. Too many appetizers...too little sleep. Not a good combo.
But 'tis the season and it'll ll be over too soon so I'm enjoying each minute of it!
It's so great to have all the kids together! The youngest and her hubby head back to Massachusetts Friday :-( Until then we'll squeeze out all we can of Christmas 2007.
And then I'll be back. On a mission to regain the lost ground that this season has taken from me as I struggle to not turn into a total blimp from all the holiday treats and the lack of exercise and sleep!

In the meantime - a few photo highlights of Christmas morning!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

It's Christmas Eve and the excitement has begun! Youngest daughter came in about 2 hours ago and was met with bear hugs and even a few tears from her step-dad. Her hubby will meet up with us at church (he's at his folks right now getting his long awaited hugs also.) We haven't seem them since August!

All of us will meet at church in the pew we've sat in for years (that has seemed so empty since they all moved out...) and then trek over to my brother's house for the real gala.

Christmas Eve has always been the big day in our family! I've got all my gifts loaded to go, the food is prepared and daughter even gave me a crash course in how to use our new camera!

I have a niece coming in from Texas with her fiancee also. It will be so good to have all my siblings, their spouses (even an ex-spouse) and all the kids together for an evening! There will be 24 of us all under one roof - gathered around one tree - laughing - eating - singing - reminiscing. Mom and Dad would be proud that we've managed to stick together and carry the torch they have passed on to us. I miss them today. A lot.

So for now - I have to go see that youngest daughter isn't demolishing my kitchen as she makes cookies. (some things never change *sigh*) But then again - who would want them to!

Merry Christmas to all of my blog readers! May the warmth of the season and the love of our Lord surround you with peace, happiness and health!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A New Camera!

Hubby and I decided to fore go giving gifts to each other this year. Instead we decided to buy ourselves a nice camera that takes pics as well as video. The camera we have takes crappy shots - the battery case falls open and is held together with tape (I kid you not!) So after some research I went out yesterday and picked up the camera. It was the last one in stock! I was so excited to open the box that I started tearing at it while I was driving home.

Too bad I didn't get it all the way open before I got there. What I discovered was a beat up old broken camera inside! It was all scratched up, the lens was sticking out, it was a mess! So I called another branch of the same store and they had two left. I ran over there and snagged one. When I showed them the one I originally bought - they were flabbergasted! The box it came in wasn't even the same design as the one they had. It was an older model. Apparently someone had returned this old beat up camera and the store just re shelved it! I mean c'mon! The camera had to have been used for a good , long time to be in the condition it was in. I'm just thankful I didn't wrap it up and tuck it under the tree. I'm glad I was so excited I just had to look it over right away!

Anyhoo - now it sits on our kitchen counter. We admired it all night. Even put the batteries and memory card in it. But dang if we can figure out how to use the thing! It has so many setting and icons and doohickeys that we were overwhelmed just trying to figure it out. It came with a pretty lengthy guide on how to use it. I suppose we should read that. But we both figured we'd wait until tomorrow when my daughter comes in from Massachusetts with her hubby. She has the same camera. (She was always the technologically savvy one in the family) so she'll show us what to do.

Aren't we pathetic?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fa La La La Last Minute Shopping...

Whew! What a whirlwind rush these past few days have been. Shopping, shopping, shopping! I have been a good girl and wrapped every single gift as soon as I got it in the house. The tree is surrounded with gifts and they are starting to spill into other corners of the living room. I know it's not all about the gifts. But for some reason I have been so nostalgic for my mom and dad and the Christmases we used to have... And seeing the tree harboring all the tokens of my love for all the people I care about is bringing back some very fond memories.

The thing about being super busy is - it wreaks havoc on your eating. Either I forget to eat all day and then devour half the fridge that night - or I stop and grab something quick - which equates to fast - and we all know about fast food! I have NOT been eating good. And I don't think I will from here on in until the New Year rings in. I definitely have put all on hold until then. And in the meantime have put on about 5 pounds. Yikes!

Thing is - I know that there will be incentives everywhere come January first for weight loss. It has to be THE number one resolution that most people make. I've seen a lot of challenges going up on blogs and I know we'll all be ready to give it our best shot. This next year WILL be the year for some of us. Others will fall away...abandon their blogs...others will hang in there and post...not lose weight (but hang in there just the same) which in my opinion is a good thing - because it means they haven't given up!

So let's make a pact that 2008 is the year we do it! In the meantime - we can still try to make time for exercise in spite of the food temptations the holidays bring. Park a little farther than usual. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Shovel the walk instead of making hubby do it. Every little bit helps!

I hope y'all have your shopping done! If not - there's a small window of opportunity left. But be forewarned - now is when all the men are hitting the malls (procrastinating creatures that they are...) I try to stay way from the stores when it gets this close (although I always inevitably have to run out for something at the last minute) which can be a real mood wrecker. People that wait until the last minute to shop - aren't so jolly.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow? What Snow?

Well so much for the storm! When we left the party last night it was snowing - but no worse than usual. There was a build up on the roads (about 4 inches) but big deal. I expected to wake up this morning and find everything buried. I even had my oldest daughter (who lives alone) come over and spend the night so she wouldn't be snowed in all by herself. Gheesh! Last night the weather advisory was saying not to go out of your house and if you did - make sure you took a blanket and warm gear with you in your car.

So this morning I look out and nothing! I mean, there's some snow out there - but didn't even have to shovel to get to the wood pile to start a fire this morning. I may be eating my words as the warning is in effect till 7 am Monday...but still - all that hype over nothing. Which is good. I'm not complaining. (Remember I said I hate snow?) But a lot of people skipped that party last night in fear of the storm. Oh well...the weathermen aren't God so I guess we can cut them some slack.

The party was nice. The B&B used to be an old Tavern/Inn on the Erie Canal. It has been restored beautifully. The main tavern area had the original ornate bar. Because it's not operated as a bar, my brother (who was throwing the party) hired a bartender and brought in his own beverages. There were three rooms downstairs - each boasting various hors'dourvres that my sister-in-law carefully handpicked from a wonderful caterer. Of course I meandered through each room and sampled everything.

Hubby & I spent a good deal of the evening chatting with the owners of the B&B. They were gracious enough to give us a tour of the guest rooms upstairs and also their private living quarters on the third floor. They shared the history of the place and it was fascinating to step back in time or an evening and imagine all the people who had stopped at the Inn back in the days of horse drawn carriages. The picture above is of the tavern area.

The highlight of the evening though....was this one woman who walked in and immediately collapsed to the floor. Her hubby caught her - right on cue - as she proclaimed that she "felt a presence" and that a "ghost was in our midst." (She claims she's a ghost hunter and can sense these things.) I had to chuckle. Why is it that people think ghosts (which I don't believe in anyway) would only live in old places. I mean - if there were such a thing....wouldn't they be living everywhere? Of course ghosts are actually dead - so I guess they wouldn't be living anywhere so to speak. Anyway - it was amusing.

Time to stoke the fire and make some breakfast before church. And ride out the storm that never was....

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Getting Ready for the Storm!

Tonight - Third Christmas party of the season. And we're supposed to get hit with a Nor'easter that promises to leave 20 inches of snow before it's done. Thankfully the party is very close to home. It's to be held at a Bed & Breakfast Inn on the Erie Canal so at least if we get snowed in there'll be a place to sleep! Even my daughter in Massachusetts called this morning to say they were hunkering down to wait it out.

Lately the winters in upstate NY have been relatively mild. We've become spoiled I guess. Used to be...storms like this were the norm at least a few times each winter. Heck - last year I don't think we even ever shoveled the driveway. Like I said...complacency had settled in and now reality has come back to remind us what winter is all about. (I think I've mentioned before - a LOT - that I hate snow.) It's cold. It's wet. It messes your hair and shoes and it's ugly in the spring when it's all dirty and piled up along the edges of the road trying to melt. Sorry to all you skiers and snowmobilers and lovers all that is white and fluffy. I just don't like it!

So I'm already counting down the days till spring. It's blogger pal Sharon who lives in Australia, has the opposite weather we have here! I remember when we were dragging out the pool toys - they were dragging out their mittens and boots. And now that we are out shoveling our walks - they are fighting flies and wearing shorts! Which goes to show you - you don't need snow for Christmas. Yep. I could live without it.

As for the *ahem* diet - or lack thereof....I'm into the let's start this thing in January mentality which is a really dangerous thing because a lot can happen between now and then - even if it is only 2 weeks away! I've been eating up a storm (as I've noticed many of us are right now) and I guess it's a seasonal thing. Although it always has been an easy time for me in the past. Lately every season has been an uphill battle. With no job to go to - there has been no routine in my life. And kiddos - I need routine. I've got about as much backbone as a jellyfish and I need to be told what to do and when to do it. Given to my own devices - I tend to do whatever I want. Which lately has been - EAT!

So I'm feeling particularly pudgy today and not looking forward to donning a pair of pantyhose (shapers of course!) and some high heels tonight. But I I will. And tonight when I walk into the party - I'll automatically scope out someone bigger than me (to make sure I'm not the biggest) and then scope out all the skinny ones to see what I could be wearing if I was skinny too. It's such a merciless game. I'm sick of playing it. Thankfully after that's done I'll kick back and enjoy myself and catch up with old friends and maybe make some new. And probably forget to keep my gut sucked in and hope no one takes any candid pictures!

To those in this region - stay warm! To those where it IS fair!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Pausing to Reflect On Christmas....

Sorry guys.....I've been super busy this past week trying to get my Christmas shopping done. I started out on such a good foot - but then things slowed down (in the idea department) and I was left doing my usual daily trek to the stores in search of the perfect gift for each one on my list.
Why do I stress like this? Hubby says "give 'em all gift cards..." I say "No way!" Part of the joy for me at Christmas is watching the people I love open a gift that I have chosen especially for them. Buying the right gift takes time. It means you have to stop and think about that person and know what they like - what really thrills them! (That's why when a husband dashes off to the store on December 23rd and grabs what ever is closest to the door of the store - has it gift wrapped and hands it to you Christmas morning....there is a wee bit of...shall I say....miffedness?) (my own little made up word) Not that hubby routinely does that - but he did it once and it pissed me off

Anyway - yes, I tend to obsess when it comes to the gifts. Because in my heart I know that Christmas is much more than all of that. It's a time to celebrate the birth of Christ (even though He wasn't born then) It's still a time to reflect and remember what His birth means for all of the world. It truly was the greatest gift - so I guess in a way I try to make my gifts great too. Not in the spectacular, look how much I spent on you way - but in a way that says, "I love you. I care about you. I hope this gift makes you smile."

I used to think when I was a kid that Christmas must be pretty boring for my parents. They just sit there with nothing to open (save the token $3 gifts we'd get them) while we tore open tons of really cool things! But now that I'm the parent - I've realized that they were probably enjoying the day even more than we kids were! Because (and I know it sounds trite - but it's so very true) giving really is better than receiving!

I am so darn excited for daughters and their husbands and my grandson to be here Christmas morning and open the gifts I've chosen for them! I can't wait! And I can't wait to be able to all sit together and fill up a whole church pew (like we used to) during the Christmas Eve service. As we hold our lit candles and sing Silent Night. I can't wait! And I can't wait to go to my brother's house on Christmas Eve and be with all my siblings and nieces and nephews and eat too much food and laugh and reminisce and open gifts and wish my parents and first hubby were still here to celebrate with us.

Which brings me full circle to why Christmas is so special to me. Because of the first gift given that night some 2000 years ago - someday I will see mom and dad and first hubby again.

Thank you, Jesus.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Gotta' Love Those Family Get Togethers!

The party last night was fun. As fun as one can get when all of our extended family gets together. We have a motto.... "Our family puts the FUN in dysfunctional!" Some of your are nodding. (You know exactly what I mean!)

Here are a few of the highlights of the evening.....

Highlight #1 ~ My cousin got beat up by a woman at a bar a few weeks ago. (long story...told you we were "different") I decided to write a song in his honor, commemorating the event and put it to the tune of "Grandma got run over by a Reindeer". My daughter and niece sang it. It was an instant hit - and sadly the only singing at all last night. Late hubby was a professional musician so we always had tons of music and singing while he was alive. Sadly there are only one or 2 now that can carry a tune so we've given up.

Highlight #2 ~ The bitch fest all the woman had at the start of the evening because we ALL hate our hair now. My sister (the hairdresser) left her shop about 4 months ago to embark on a new career. We've all been floundering to find new hairdressers and agreed that no one does it like she did. My poor aunt sat there with orange hair because no one can mach the shade my sister did. My cousin's cute trademark bob now looks like she got the back of her head stuck in a blender. My niece...well we wont even go there. Suffice to say that she needed that firm touch only my sister had when it came to strongly recommending she didn't go platinum. Because she did. And me...well we all know how I feel about MY haircut from my rantings in an earlier blog.

Highlight #3 ~ The grab bag event... This is a good one! Much better than the very first year I brought present hubby to the party to meet the family for the first time when we were dating and my sister screamed to my cousin's boyfriend (who was balking at he socks he had received as a gift) "Take the damn socks you greedy mother f ---er") yep - made me proud! Anyhoo - daughter's boyfriend gets his grab bag gift and it's a lottery ticket. he scratches it off and starts to smile.

"Hey - I won $25!" He continues scratching.

"Wait - I won $50!" Suddenly it's not such a lame gift. He scratches off another box.

"Holy crap! I won $100!" And yes, we had checkers making sure he wasn't pulling our leg.

Gets better! When all the boxes are scratched off - he's won $500!"

He cashed it in the morning and is now $500 richer. Way cool! Better story than the socks one!

On a final note - my family really is wonderful. Yes...we have our oddballs but my dear sister isn't as bad as I made her out to be. The sock guy deserved it. (He's history now anyway...) Like I said - we put the FUN in dysfunctional. And last night was ..... fun!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Will Someone Whack Me Upside the Head Please?

Tonight I hit my second Christmas party of the season. I tried my black dress slacks on - the really nice ones made of the fine material that I only wear to parties. I could zip them still...but they were snug. Yep. Thanksgiving did me in. I feel a tad bloated now and well...rather fat.

It's my own fault. I do stupid things that I know will sabotage my efforts. Like this morning. Daughter was getting her phone hooked up and couldn't be there when the phone company came. So I volunteered to sit there for 4 an apartment that has no living room furniture yet. As I'm driving there I remember that she doesn't have a coffee maker. Egads! I need to have a cup of coffee while I'm waiting there! It was only 7:45 as I was driving over. So I zip through the McDonald's right by her place and decide (now here's the stupid part and I knew as I was speaking the words that I was going to be sorry) to get a breakfast to go with the coffee. The sausage biscuit with egg. Which comes with home fries. Of course.

It tasted heavenly. But as soon as I washed that last bite down with a swig of coffee - I felt like crap. I'm a sucker for anything crispy, crunchy, fried and loaded with carbs. Eating that stuff is a like a fix for me. I wish I hated carbs. I wish I loved fruit. I force myself to eat it. I do love veggies...thank goodness for that or I'd really be in trouble.

So tonight will be a challenge. There will be a ton of fancy hors' douvres and since this is our big family bash - all the cousins get together (there will be about 30 of us) the women will all hang out where they ALWAYS do every year. Hovering over the food table. I know I'll be right there with them. No matter what kind of resolve I may have right now - that's where I'll end up.

The only good thing is that because of all my blogging buddies ~ I'm still hanging in there. Long before this I would've thrown in the towel and decided that I was meant to be fat and I may as well get used to it. (I used to do that every few months.) But since I've been blogging - 10 months now - I haven't. Not once. Sure I've slipped a lot. But I've always gotten back up and put one foot in front of the other. It's a slow and painful trek. But one I'm determined to make no matter what.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Little Bit of Mojo for Wednesday.....

Before I those waiting to hear from Wrigley's regarding your gift bags - I did hear from the spokesperson, Mary Metcalf, and she will be contacting you via e-mail. I'm sorry it's taking so long! Rest assured - you will get those gift bags!


While perusing the Oprah website today I came across the highlights of a show I SO wish I had watched! I don't watch TV during the day - but late afternoon I tune in to watch Dr. Phil and Oprah. (Where else can I see my hero - Dr. Oz?) Anyway...I don't tune in every day (I do have somewhat of a life) so I missed last week. Rats! There was a show on about this amazing woman who lost over 500 pounds - all on her own! No all just resulted from her filling the emotional needs she had with something other than food. It's just amazing to hear her story. She has just started a web page that has some interesting links in the press room.

Skip ahead and I'm reading some of my regular blogs and come across Scale Junkie. She mentions this woman also! And she has a link to an interview with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America. You gotta' see this!

What a motivating story! I am eager to see her website develop and hear what she has to say.

So guys...if any of you are thinking (present company included) that we'll never get there - remember Nancy! I know I will :-)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Back to Monday.....

The weekend is over and it was a tiring one. Friday I accompanied hubby to a small town about 40 minutes away to look at a stackable washer/dryer unit for the new house. We bought it. Yippee! I'll finally have my first floor laundry! But the trip took a major chunk out of my already busy day that I had so carefully planned. After that I helped daughter move some belongings into her new place. I drove her to pick up her car in the shop (I swear - her car LIVES there!) and then ran home - slammed a few items into my overnight bag and scooted off to my much anticipated "Girl's Nite". Two friends that I've known like forever - one since 7th grade - the other since 9th (which is a long time ago when you're 50!) and I got together to spend the night kind of like we used to back in the day. You know....the day when we had no kids - no hubbies - no responsibilities!

We had a nice time. The evening started out with a healthy meal but went downhill from there. I brought a bottle of wine that 2 of us split. Yep. We drank the whole thing. Naughty us. And then she brought out this incredible stuff called "Chocolate Bark" which we sank our faces into. Except out third counterpart - the one who has made goal at WW. She was a good girl. But that didn't stop us!

After dinner we retired to the living room and popped in a tape of "The Big Chill". The music was from our era and we thought it'd be fun. It's about a bunch of old school friends who get together a decade later for a mutual friend's funeral. We had fun "assigning" roles to each of the actors in the movie - matching their persona's to friends we used to chum around with so many years ago.

Then we fell asleep. Before the movie was even over. We never even finished it! But the evening was fun and it was good to kick back.

Saturday was our first Christmas party of the season - the hostess had prime rib and fried chicken out when we got there! Gheesh. What happened to normal hors'douvres? She had those too of course..but felt she should offer some dinner fare in case anyone hadn't eaten yet! I succumbed to a very small portion of the prime rib and a roll. I stayed away from the appetizers and spent the evening yakking it up with my sister in law. Had 2 glasses of wine and a few diet cokes. So the evening wasn't a total wash, After Friday night I needed to do some damage control.

Sunday I couldn't drag myself to church. I was just so tired. (I think it's the nasty cold I've been fighting and the late nights. ) Okay...Friday we went to bed fairly early - but I had to share the bed with my friend's dog who meandered in and I was awake most of the night.

So now that this Christmas season is upon us - I have to admit I feel my resolve slipping. Part of me wants to say the heck with it all I'll start anew in January. With the rest of the world. But the other part says "NO!"

Who will win? Stay tuned for as the saga continues....

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This Is a First!

Okay here's a first! Let me preface by telling you that I am THE Queen of Procrastination. If something can be done later...then that's when I do it. (as in why the diet always started tomorrow for so many years...)

So finally - as in the first time EVER - I have accomplished a greater part of my Christmas shopping before the tree is even fully decorated! And get this! The gifts I've bought - are wrapped! (no...I didn't have them gift-wrapped at the stores...I did it myself as soon as I brought each one home!)

Now mind you - I still have a ton of shopping left to do. I buy for 34 people (big family) and for my kids, son in laws, grandson - I buy lots of stuff. (about 10 gifts each.) So that's LOT of shopping! But dang if my tree isn't up (albeit with only the lights on it yet) and is surrounded by wrapped presents!

I feel so very UN-STRESSED! I think perhaps it was due to the fact that last Christmas the stress pretty much did me in. I was teaching elementary school at the time (ART and I saw 632 kids per week) which meant I had 632 opportunities each week to be exposed to whatever viruses happened to be going around at the time. I had pink eye 3 times. I had a cough that started around Thanksgiving and migrated into a myriad of things between then and Christmas. I had several different types of colds. (Yes - there are many types and I was blessed to have them all!) Not to mention my daughter decided to move 2 weeks before Christmas so here was I - the sick momma - helping her move in blizzard like conditions with my puny mini van which took about 6 trips over 3 days.

So being sick - I kept putting of the shopping till I felt better which never happened and I spent several VERY hectic days fighting malls, crowds, snow and a fever - doing what I should have been doing weeks before.

Christmas Eve I pulled myself out of bed and went to my sister's where I lay on the couch all evening. (They made me come - said they didn't are if I spread germs - that I needed to be with my family.) They were all very sorry they said that the following week when everyone got sick.

Anyway - my point is - stress is bad! With a capital B! It runs down the immune system - wreaks havoc on our diet - and takes the joy out of what should be joyful!

So this year I determined to shop early. Put the tree up early. Wrap early. (Usually I wrap everything all at once and it sucks!) I can't vouch for hubby. He can be as bad as I am. Last year he was outside putting the herd of deer we've ammased over the years and the giant candy cane up (we have a 25 foot lit candy cane) on December 23rd.

I want to enjoy the holidays. I want to have time to put some Christmas music on, sit in the big blue comfy chair by the wood stove and sip a glass of wine while I admire the tree. When I do venture out to the malls - I don't want to feel like I'm on a mission to shop till I drop. I want to enjoy the decorations....listen to the piped in music....stop for a leisurely salad if I'm hungry instead of slamming down a fast food combo.

Anyway - Lora's doing the happy dance over here. because it's still November and my tree is up and has presents! Okay....the decorations aren't on it yet but Rome wasn't built in a day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Interview with Marty Wolff From The Biggest Loser...

Wow! Marty gave some really great answers to the questions below. I hope they inspire you as much as they have me ~ especially the remark about there being "no finish line". Amen! He also mentioned in passing how he missed Thanksgiving last year because he was on the show at the time....and now after this one - he really needs to hit the gym. I think sentiments like that have been all over blogdom this week!

I still have some gift bags to send out - so the first seven people to comment on this post will receive one.

And now for the interview! (My questions are in red ~ Marty's answers are in italics.)

* How do you stay focused at home now. After living in that bubble at the Biggest Loser facility. Life is filled with social things and they mostly revolve around food - how do you do it? (for example - Thanksgiving!)

I constantly determine new goals for myself. On the show Bob said something that has really stuck out, he said " there is no finish line." I do not let myself believe I am "done." There is always something new to accomplish, so I try to challenge myself and set goals for myself. Being a personal trainer now, and constantly being around others in the same battle I am in is also motivating and refreshing. Food is an issue for me, but my plan is work out at least 6 hours a week. I know with that dedication to myself that I can free up my eating and be OK. As a personal trainer I know the power of small changes to daily routines, and there are many opportunities to be involved in programs that are continually challenging. One program I am involved in is the Wrigley's Walk and Chew Gum Challenge. They have developed a web site, and it aims to reward people for making two small changes to their daily routine; taking more steps and cutting calories. Wrigley and I are collectively challenging Americans to cut 10 million calories and walk 100,000 miles. It is really easy to be apart of the challenge! All you do is log on to and sign up for the challenge. You then use the site to log the miles you walk and the calories you save from chewing Extra gum instead of a high calorie snack like a brownie. This challenge is a terrific maintenance tool to use on the Internet and is a reminder that small changes can go a long way!

* What was the most shocking thing that happened at the house that wasn't on the show?

I really am not supposed to comment on things that were not seen on TV, but... let me just say there were several fights that took place that were never shown.

* How has your life changed since the show, besides the obvious physical changes?

Well I can't go out to eat without strangers counting my calories!!! Really the biggest changes have been adapting from psycho weight loss mode to maintenance and finding that happy balance in my life. Amy (who is my fiance now) and I are now personal trainers and want to help others on their weight loss journey. We have a web site if you want to check us out. There is really so much that is different it would take hours to tell, but as I walk through life now I am constantly reminded in everything I do of the person I was before the show (emotionally, physically, bad habits I had, and how I look at life in general). The Biggest Loser does create weight loss machines, but more so, it changes lives for the better! I feel I am reminded of that every day.

* Do you keep in touch with the other players from season 3? How about the trainers, Bob and Kim?

I keep in touch with Amy obviously! Wylie, Eric, Brian, Pam, and Poppi mostly. I hear from Bob from time to time. There are online communities established to keep all of us together, so I generally know what everyone is up to now a days.

* How in the world do they really lose that much weight weekly. Some of the results are just seem unbelievable!

There is a sort of hidden pattern on the show. The first week is usually a crap shoot because people are contaminated with toxins and sodium and they lose excess water weight naturally. That week really depends on who was the most contaminated and who's body was shocked the most from starting the program. Then about a month into the show weights begin to even out (if people are not playing the game and drinking water like in this season). At this point you will begin to see more consistent weight loss, and if you ask me, is where the big men have an advantage. Once you wake up that great machine (their body) the weight will fall off. At this point in the show, even though the people still look heavy, their bodies are so clean and healthy from the previous 3 months of training and hard work.

* Your bio states: "Marty believes anyone can lose weight, but it takes a great deal of inner searching to change your life forever. He says the biggest difference between old Marty and new Marty is that he has answered a simple question. He would love the chance to share this question with you!"
So...what is that question?!

"WHAT KIND OF LIFE DO YOU WANT TO LIVE?" Until the answer (s) to this complex question are found, diets, fads, and tips are no use at all! This helps find the reasons BEHIND the bad habits and downfalls, and gives a blueprint for positive change in your life! What kind of life do you want to live?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Miss Piggy Checking In....

Well my resolve finally cracked. Yesterday at the in-laws I ate. And ate. And ate. A few glasses of wine...several tastes of the brie...a couple (or 5) cheese squares...second helpings on the stuffing and mashed potatoes (with gravy of course) not to mention all the stuff I'm sure I mindlessly shoved into my mouth as I hovered over the appetizers (like I promised myself I wouldn't - but that's where hubby's family hangs out so I had to be sociable, right?) I was too stuffed for dessert thank goodness, but hubby's mom sent left overs home with us so naturally that's what I had for lunch today. And backing up - for breakfast I had a hunk of Thanksgiving cake (a traditional family recipe) that my daughter made for us.

Can we say *oink*!

My pants felt tight this morning as I got ready for church. The scale is registering a 3 pound gain. And I feel just plain bloated. I'm heading over to the other house to help hubby knock out a walkway between the new basement and the old. (Doesn't that just sound like an incredibly fun way to spend an afternoon - in a cold gutted house that has no heat!) The heating system will be installed Tuesday. Yeah! Now if we could put a firecracker under the siding guy. Our house has been wrapped in Tyvek for months now and I'm getting antsy to see it all come together.

Anyway - I should burn off a few calories between tearing the wall out and trying to keep warm. Of course not enough to undo the damage I did yesterday.

My middle daughter and I are trying to mesh our schedules so we can start meeting at the church gym (our church has an awesome fitness room). She is in great shape - but her treadmill broke down and she needs an outlet. She runs on it every single day. Not sure where she got that resolve. Certainly not from her momma! I'm figuring we should start now because come January when everybody in the universe goes an a diet - we'll have our places saved.

Keep me accountable and ask if I've gone to the gym. Thanks (!)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Baby It's Cold Outside!

There's this strange thing about people who live in Upstate New York. We hang onto summer until there's absolutely nothing left we can squeeze out of it. We are really just poor creatures in denial....

Case in point ~ last night hubby said let's grill those portabello mushrooms we have. Without any hesitation I agreed. The grill is on the deck and yes...there's a little snow out there. But heck! Last week it was in the 50's and didn't feel like November at all so why not?
Well - I offered to do the grilling. I kind of like standing out on the deck under the stars by myself. Even when the air is crisp. But let me tell you! Last night was more than crisp! My first hint should've been when the knobs on the grill were frozen. But that didn't deter me. When the snow under my feet squeaked I started thinking "Gee...maybe winter is really here...." When the inside of my nose started freezing up I knew there was no denying it.

Hubby came out and said "Wow it must be about 25 degrees out here." My frozen boogers told me it was much lower than that! I took a peek at the outdoor thermometer. 13 degrees! Where the heck did THAT come from??

I don't like winter. I don't like snow. I like sunshine. And sand beaches and flowers. But this is where my family is. This is where we've always been and I guess this is where I'll probably always stay. *sigh* So my guess is we'll be grilling until the snow hides the grill. Pretending it's still summer.....
In a few hours we'll be off to my in-laws for Thanksgiving number 2. This place send us home armed with left-overs. Gonna' have to step up the willpower for the next few days!

Happy weekend to all and hey~ send me some questions for Marty from the Biggest Loser! I've got 8 more prize packages to send out to whoever helps me with some questions for the interview. There must be something you want to ask him! I know I sure do!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Assessing Damage Control...

SO I didn't get to walk yesterday. The rain turned to snow and we were behind schedule so it was a wash. I did sip my water all day at the farm (treated myself to a wee glass of wine after dinner....) As for the meal - I took small portions (of everything) and was pretty stuffed by the time my plate was clean. Now usually I take bigger portions and go back for seconds - so this was a step forward. The bad thing is ~ I was full before I finished everything and the "Clean Plate Club" mentality kicked in.

After the farm we trekked off to another location for dessert which was 90 minutes away. Enough time for me to work up an appetite! I had a slice of my healthy cheesecake and one peanut butter cookie. (Did I mention I had a small slice of blueberry pie at the farm?)

Even though I wasn't super bad - I know that I DID consume a ton of calories. And now I have to go to a baby shower Saturday and right after that another Thanksgiving meal at the in-laws. Gheesh! This is gonna be tough!

Anyhoo - it was a wonderful day at the farm - there were 28 of us and it was so nice to see late hubby's family. They'll always be my family too. No matter what...and for that...I'm truly thankful!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Getting Ready for the Feast!

Today is the big cooking day for me. I've armed myself with some healthy alternatives to my usual fare (the cranberry relish recipe Kathy sent me , the Pumpkin Pie recipe on Healthy Girl, and a Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe that I can't remember where I found - but it's been modified to be oh-so-healthy!) Also a green bean casserole that has been cut of some fat and a few adjustments to my squash courtesy of some Splenda...

Of course some things that can't be Praline topped sweet potato casserole that has been a staple for years....the brie en crute I always bring....but hey - it's Thanksgiving!

Here are my weapons of choice to combat this holiday that begins tonight (hubby's cousins always have a party the night before Thanksgiving - which I think is totally ridiculous but that's another issue for another time....) Anyhoo - I will drink bottled water. I will hang out other places than the kitchen - where the food is. I will make sure I eat something healthy before I go. Tonight won't be too hard. After cooking all day I'm never that hungry.

Tomorrow at the farm - same deal regarding appetizers. When it comes to dinner - I will take smaller portions of the more fattening fare...larger of the stuff I know is good for me. No second helpings. And yep...I'll eat whatever I want (like I's Thanksgiving!) But with the afore mentioned tactics - the day won't be as damaging as it could be.

That evening - at my cousin's house for dessert - I have my trusty pie & cheesecake to choose from.

Saturday - when we do it all again at hubby's family's house - same as Thursday.

I don't expect to lose any weight this week - but I also don't expect to gain! I'm stepping up the walking (it's been pleasant again here - in the 50's). Our upstate NY weather is notorious for keeping us guessing....only here can you wear shorts one day and a scarf the next!)

And about those questions for Marty! I have a few good ones but I'd like some more! I have those gift bags to give away!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Marty Wolff is Stopping Here for a Visit!

This is for all you faithful fans of The Biggest Loser! How'd you like to ask Marty Wolff (from season three) some questions? I've been asked by Wrigley's (yep - the gum people) to do an interview with Marty and I'll be posting the interview right here on this blog, next Tuesday.

Sooo....I need your help coming up with some questions! I know there are some of you out there that are just itching to pick his brain! So here's what I'm gonna' do - so we can ALL be a part of this! Wrigley and NBC’s The Biggest Loser are giving away 10 Walk and Chew Gum sets. These include a pedometer, a water bottle, gum, and a bonus Biggest Loser DVD. If I use your question in the interview I'll make sure you get one!

So post those questions! And be sure to check out the Walk and Chew Challenge that Wrigley's and NBC have teamed up to do. It's great motivation at this volatile time of year for weight gain and there are some pretty great prizes too!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Getting Mentally Prepared for this Weekend...

Wow - I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week! We have several dinners to go to.
Thursday we trek out to my late husband's family gathering. It's always nice when we go there. It's a vintage farm tucked on a quiet country road. I always feel like I've stepped into an old movie when I go there. There's lots of home cooked food....a big fire in the wood stove...singing and music....hayrides and treks into the woods to find Christmas trees. If any of you from Upstate NY ever followed "The Alps Road Journal" (which use to be syndicated in the Buffalo news and various other small papers) that's where we're going! My late brother-in-law was the author of that column and we're spending Thanksgiving on Alps Road :-)

When we leave the farm we'll travel about an hour and a half to my cousin's house for "Pies." When the extended family got too big to all eat together we decided that we'd at least gather for dessert at someone's house and now we call it "Pies."

Friday we get a breather, then on Saturday we're going to present hubby's parents' house for yet another meal.

Eating right - and light - will be a challenge. I've gathered some healthy, lo-cal recipes together and will try (I said try) to stay on track. But it's Thanksgiving and even if I don't stay completely on the wagon....I'm going to try to hold on to it for dear life as I bounce through this weekend.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Need a Recipe!

Help! Last week I came across a recipe for cranberry relish. I thought it was on Hungry Girl and I thought I saved it! but I can't find it anywhere. Maybe I saw it somewhere else.

Since we're all on the lookout for healthy recipes, perhaps one of you saw it too?

If anyone has it can you send me the link?

Thanks oodles!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Goodbye Summer.....

Thursday I took a solo trek to the lake to batten down the hatches for winter. It actually started snowing while I was there....It's always sad to close down the cottage. It's like finishing another chapter in our lives and I tend to dawdle and sift through the memories as I put things away.

My middle daughter always had a tradition at the end of summer. She'd stand at the end of the dock and throw a rock into the lake. It was her rite of passing, I guess. Her "goodbye" to another summer. This year I threw one in for her. Now that she's married and doesn't get here much I figured the tradition was something of a distant memory. When I told her I'd thrown a rock for her she laughed and said, "Oh mom...I did that when Nate I were there that week in September! I'd never miss throwing my rock!" It's nice to know that some things from childhood live on....

I emptied out the fridge and scrubbed it down so it will be shiny & fresh when we come back in the spring. All the canned goods and soda were packed for home so they wouldn't explode when the freezing temps hit. I put the lawn furniture away and took the umbrella off the table outside. I emptied the water lines and put antifreeze in the traps. (I was a widow for a while, remember? I've learned to become quite self-sufficient without a man thank you very much...though I do like having one around!) Then I set out the "mouse food" ~ just in case.

I decided to take one last walk around the lake before I left. To collect my memories and say goodbye to another season. It was getting colder and the sun was going down so I grabbed a flashlight. I didn't get too far when I realized it would be very dark when I got back so I turned around. I don't mind the dark in the summer when the lake is bustling with people but when I had driven in earlier I noticed that every cottage was empty on our side of the lake. There are a few year-rounds on the other side of the lake but our side was much too quiet for me to go prancing around in the dark. There are bears after all - and we did have a murder several years ago. The caretaker at the abandoned kids camp at the end of the lake was found dead in the woods - next to a crow bar. (Sounds like a movie, eh?) They never did solve the mystery...

So I locked up and hopped in the car and said "goodbye" to the lake for the winter. I stopped in town and grabbed a cup of coffee for the ride home. I like days like that. Where something is accomplished that won't get messed up, used up or need to be re-done for a long while.

So winter is here - not officially by the calender - but when the first snow flies - it's here for me! Walking will be hard - I don't do snow - I HATE snow! Give it to me on a Christmas card once a year and I'll do just fine. Our church has a gym with all kinds of exercise equipment in it that we can use for free. I'm thinking of finding a partner and dragging my arse there this winter on a regular basis.

I need to do that! (I found three packages of frozen chocolate cookie dough in the freezer at the cottage....made a batch last night and have already eaten half of them.) I'm so very bad!

Friday, November 16, 2007

I've been tagged....

I've been tagged by Cactus Freak, So here goes...

Five "FOUR" questions for me to answer ~

Four dishes I like to cook:

Chicken Stew with dumplings
Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding (my grandma's dish from England)
Pasta Primavera
Thanksgiving Cake

Four qualities I love in people:

sincerity (I know...that's 5 but they're all important to me!)

Four things in my bedroom:

a telelvision
a bible
an air conditioner that needs to be put away for winter
my hubby's dirty socks laying in the middle of the floor

Four dirty words I like/tend to use:

(for some reason I've always believed that if I change them a little they don't count!)

Four objects I will never part with, and will leave to someone to inherit when I die:
My great-grandmother's bible (signed & dated by her in 1895)
All of my books (there's LOTS)
My wedding rings
My cottage

So there you go.I will tag.....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I Have Met the Enemy...and His Name is Hershey.

Okay. We've all done these things. These incredibly stupid, stupid things that we rarely share with anyone except perhaps that first day at weight watchers when everyone confesses to their most embarrassing binge.

Well...I'm about to confess a whopper here and I'm only telling because I need to tell someone! ARGHH! I can't believe I reverted to my "old" ways and did what I did!

So here's the story. Hubby bought himself a King Size Hershey Bar with Almonds. You know - the really big size one that isn't eaten all in one sitting. So it sits there all day (he forgot to take it to work) and it's whispering my name every time I walk by it. So I put it out of sight. Good so far. I make it throughout the whole day and don't touch it. Even though every time I walk through the kitchen it's whispering, "Psst. I'm under the mail."

The next morning I wake up and it looks like hubby heard it too because it's half eaten and the remainder of it is carefully wrapped back up in the package. Not a good thing. Now that it's open I can sneak a small piece and he'll never know. Which is what I do. Several times. Until it's GONE! Oh no! I ate hubby's candy bar and he'll tease me now for sure! So I go to the store and buy another one. Of course I must cut it in half and wrap the remainder up carefully just as he did the night before. And of course (now you knew this was coming) I had to hide the evidence so I ate the half I'd just cut off.

It gets worse. The carefully wrapped half sits right where hubby left it (I dare not move it or he'll know I was into it and may ask questions and I couldn't lie to him - and to admit what I did would be even worse!) all day again. This time it doesn't whisper my name. I shouts it. "Hey. Lora! C'mon....I'm right where you left me!" Crap! I eat this half too! And of course - I run right out to the store, buy another, cut it in half, re-wrap it and once the evidence.

Thank goodness when I got up this morning the empty wrapper was in the trash and the saga was ended.

They say confession is good for the soul. That may be well true, but unfortunately it doesn't negate all those calories I ingested in that chocolate-crazed binge I partook in.

Anyway. Had to fess up. I'm not perfect (of course you knew that!) So it's another U-turn for me. Gosh I'm getting dizzy here! But I'm pressing forward. And the next time hubby brings the enemy into the house like that I'm taking action right away and demanding he gets it out. PRONTO!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Here Come the Holidays!

Wow! Already the holiday parties are filling my calendar. After Thanksgiving (we have 2 meals to attend - one on that Thursday and the other on the Saturday following) the schedule heats up. Every weekend starting on December 1st, is booked with a party! Our only reprieve is the weekend before Christmas ~ but that could change too.

Actually - I'm not too worried about the parties. I plan to sip on ice water with lemon so that's a TON of calories saved. And the hors douv'res...well ~ I'll just have to make wise choices and be extra diligent during the week. You see....the way I figure it - it's all about lifestyle changes. Holidays will always be with us. I'm not looking at this weight loss thing as a diet anymore - like I once was a "way back when". Diets are something temporary. Lifestyle changes are permanent. It's all about balance...moderation...wise choices.

When I look at others (who don't seem to battle the bulge like I do) I don't see them skimping at holiday parties and denying themselves. On the same token I don't see them hovering over the food table inhaling all its contents either. They seem to pick and choose what they will eat. And maybe they'll consume more calories that evening than most. But that's the key. Than most... You see - it's all about getting back on the bandwagon and sticking with the healthy habits we've acclimated into our lives. I'm not going to beat myself up over a few indulgences at those holiday parties. Like I said - one lifestyle change is already in effect. The ice water. No booze. And I know that I must limit my conversations to places OTHER than the buffet table. After all - isn't that what these parties are all about? Mingling with people...sharing smiles and laughter amid the festive holiday coziness? It's not all about the food. So why must I be in close proximity to it all evening? Out of sight...out of mind...right?

What are some holiday survival strategies that you'll incorporate into your lifestyle this season? Any healthy appetizer recipes you want to share?

We CAN do this. Survive the holidays. Like I said. They're not going away (nor would I wish them to!) But we can peacefully co-exist and still lose some pounds in the process!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Who Left The Book in my Door?

Yesterday I opened the front door to go outside and someone has slipped a book in between the 2 doors. It was brand new, still in the shrink wrap seal. There was no mailing label on it - so it didn't come from the postman. And nowhere was my name on it so it's very puzzling.

The name of the book is "The Church Supper Cookbook." I don't recall it ever being mentioned at our church (and our church wouldn't hand deliver something like that as a gift...they'd set it out in the lobby for the taking.)

So where did it come from??

Anyway ~ I opened it up and started perusing the recipes. Egad! Every recipe is a dieter's worst nightmare! Oil, sour cream, sugar, butter..... No wonder pot luck dishes at church taste so darn good!

The thing is here...I don't think I'll ever make anything from it. How could I in good conscience? How's that for irony - a church cookbook loaded with guilt!

I'm still puzzled though...about where it came from. I'm sure the mystery will solve itself eventually.

In the meantime...speaking of recipes....I read one on Hungry Girl a few weeks back about french fries made from butternut squash. It sounded very intriguing. Has anyone tried this? I'm almost thinking it might be a good way to get my grandson to eat some veggies. And frankly...I need a little variety in that department too. I love squash & sweet potatoes....but unfortunately I like to cook them with butter & brown sugar. Not such a good idea. Does anyone else have any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Oh What a Day! I weigh myself this morning and I'm still hanging in there at 189 (I was 188 the other day but I don't get too consumed with minor fluctuations). As long as I'm below 190 ~ I'm satisfied for now. And I'm feeling good - waist measurement down, tummy feeling flatter, cheekbones peeking out at me from the mirror. So what's the problem you say? Well......whenever things are going really cheeky - as they are now - something comes over me in the form of a raging beast and I want to eat everything that isn't nailed down!

The day started out good. I had a healthy breakfast - high fiber cereal and skim milk. Lunch was a diet broccoli & turkey roll up and an apple. Then 3:30 came and I went berserk! I tamed the tummy growling with another diet roll up. (Not good - that was 210 calories.) When that didn't satisfy I nuked some fish sticks. 10 of them! Well - 5 the first time and another 5 the second round. They were little....but that was another 400 calories. (I won't even mention the tartar sauce!) Then....Oh it gets worse! I ate 2 ho-hos! Another 270 calories! then I stopped. But I feel like crap now! Why is it that as soon as I start to get confident - I revert to my old pathetic ways? But ~ not one to linger at pity parties too long - especially my own....I'm taking some of my own advice and making a U-turn and getting back on the road to less of me. I will not chalk this day up as blowing it. Because it's not over. I guess the old me would've said "Oh well - may as well pig out the rest of the day and start again tomorrow." But not this time! It's going to be a healthy dinner (if I even feel like eating) and back to where I was headed.

I guess that's progress. In any case - the day started out good - and it's going to end good. Period.
Oh...and it snowed here this morning! Yucky poo!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Out of Sight...Out of Mind!

Want to know how pathetic I can be at times? I bought Nerds for Halloween so I wouldn't be tempted to eat them. And of course since we only had about 2 trick or treaters there was a whole crap load left over. So yesterday I see the big bowl sitting there and I grab a box of them. Why? I HATE them! But they were there and I figured I see if maybe somehow I'd developed a taste for them. How insane is THAT?

SO.... I open the little box and pop a few in my mouth. Thank you Lord, that they still taste like plastic soaked in sugar. I spit them out and tossed the box away.

My point here is..I can still tend to eat mindlessly. And for no reason other than - it's there. I'm really good about keeping junk out of the house. Hubby on the other hand sneaks it in. He likes Ho-Hos and Peanut Butter Bars and Oreos...need I go on? I tell him to hide the stuff. Sometimes he does. Once I found his stash (quite by accident) in the Venison box in the freezer in the basement. If I have to go searching for stuff I'd rather not bother. But if it's sitting there right in front of me...well, that's a different story. I've never been one to ignore the call.

So I guess it's time to have a talk with hubby about his stash. He needs to keep it out of sight. (Once I got a box of chocolates for Valentine's Day & made hubby lock it in a strong box so I could only have a piece by asking him.) How crazy is THAT! But it worked. I'm a sucker for chocolate. Sometimes dire measures are in order to tame the beast....

In other areas - I'm really doing okay. I'm still feeling in control most of the time and the hollows of my cheeks have once again made an appearance. I'm 189 (I knew the 188 was a fluke...that's why I didn't get all that excited) but I'm still happy to have broken into the 180's.

I'm shooting for the 170's by Christmas. It's strange but I'm one of these people that actually does better losing weight this time of year. Not sure why. Summer just always kills me with the lack of schedule and the picnic fare.

I'm also watching my waist measurement which has gone down 2 whole inches! I was 39" and now it's 37". Dr.Oz (my hero) says that women need to have a waist measurement of 32" or less to be in the healthy zone. And Lord knows with the heart disease in my family - I want to be in that healthy zone!

It's been a lazy morning since we turned the clocks back last night. We gained an extra hour (of course I couldn't sleep - my internal clock is still on daylight's saving time). So I think I'm going to take a walk before church. Happy rest of the weekend to all!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Dr. Oz Rocks!

Last night I stayed up till midnight watching a marathon of Dr. Oz shows. Remember...he's my hero when it comes to health, nutrition and weight loss. I saw him on Oprah yesterday discussing his newest book :You Staying Young and they mentioned he'd be on the Discovery/Health Channel later in the evening.

I'm telling you - the guy rocks! He really knows his stuff when it comes to our bodies and how we need to treat them. He had these two hearts (real specimens) that he used to demonstrate the effects of a non-healthy diet. Unbelievable! The fatty one was double or more the size of the normal one. It was gr-oss! He also had two aortas. One was normal and healthy. Very soft, a flattened tube. The other had plaque build up from cholesterol. You could see the hard chunks! You could see the tears in the surface. Egads! If that isn't enough to make one think twice before they put something in their mouth - I don't know what is!

Anyway ~ the three shows: You-The Owner's Manual, You-On A Diet and You-Staying Young were all very similar but also all worth watching. They followed about 9 or 10 people whose eating was out of control as far as their health was concerned. Dr. Oz put them on a 90 day regime to change their eating and exercise habits. At the end of the 3 months it was amazing to see the transformations! Not only did they look good - they all felt good too! They were able to throw away their cholesterol meds and their blood pressure meds. Their diabetes was now under control. One women (on Oprah) was even raving about her new found sex life and the great orgasms (while her hubby sat by smiling!)

Since reading You-On a Diet, I've become much more health conscious. Now that I've watched those three shows I'm even more determined to eat better and move more. (And...learn how to handle stress better too.) It's not even about the weight anymore. I mean...I DO want to lose weight and look better - but even more so, I want to be healthy too! I want to live to see all my grandchildren have children! I want to still be hiking and swimming and camping well into the next several decades! I want to FEEL young.

Lately the aches and pains have been creeping up on me. I'd chalked it up to aging. Now I'm saying BULL! I have a choice about the way I age. And like that commercial says - I plan to fight it every step of the way!

I urge you - no, I'm TELLING you (!) to read at least ONE of Dr. Oz's books. It will change the way you look at your body in the most profound way.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween!
Right now I'm getting ready to pick grandbaby up from daycare. His mommy will meet us here and then we'll dress him up in his little cowboy costume! He's just shy of three doesn't remember much about the whole deal from last year. I'm fairly sure though ~ that after that first house dumps some loot in his bag he'll catch on real fast.
We've been telling him all week that he's going to get candy tonight but he's just gives us this blank stare. We've finally realized he really doesn't know what candy is! Not that his mom is super health conscious...he DOES know what cookies are - but we've just never really given him any candy. (Guess we were too busy eating it all ourselves....)

I hope everyone stays safe tonight and that whatever you're doing - you're having fun doing it! Just keep your faces out of the snickers bars and cider toddys!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Managing Halloween....

Tomorrow is Halloween and I feel pretty good. I haven't bought any candy to hand out yet. Aside from the fact that I'm a total procrastinator ~ I wait until the last minute because in the past I would inevitably eat all the stash by the time Halloween actually rolled around and then have to go out and buy more anyway!

My other tactic is to buy something I really don't care for.

Gone are the days I had three little ones that would come home with pillowcases stuffed full of all kids of tantalizing treats. I'm ashamed to admit how many times I would sneak up and raid their stash. They started catching on and began hiding it. But I always managed to sniff it out. At least THAT temptation is gone!

Can anyone relate here?

We live in a somewhat rural area so we have always just left a bowl of candy out on the front porch and taken the kids to my sister's neighborhood where there are sidewalks and plenty of houses. Now that the kids are grown we go to my brother's and have a campfire in the front yard where my only will power is needed to deflect the pizza and wings. But I'm feeling in control so I don't think it will be a problem. I'll limit myself to 2 pieces of pizza and 2 wings. That'll be my dinner so it'll be okay. I've been bringing my water with me everywhere too and that has been a real help. I have a case stashed in my car and drink it all the time.

Grandbaby is going to join us (he's almost 3) so that should be a treat! This is the first year he'll really be aware of what's going on. I really enjoy Halloween! It brings out the kid in all of us!

Oh...and by the way ~ I still HATE my haircut! What WAS I thinking????

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The True Measure of Success...

Okay - great day today! My efforts have finally caught up with me and I weighed in at 188.4! WOO HOO! But I'm not going to concentrate on that too much because the numbers on the scale are only part of the story. They change like the wind - depending on so many things. As long as they're consistently going down...I'm going to be happy. It's the way my clothes fit that really means anything.

And speaking of the scale ~ has anyone seen that show "I Want to Look Like a High School Cheerleader Again" ? It caught my eye because...well...I used to be a cheerleader in high school, and yes, I want to look like that again. But the show is really ticking me off!

Each week they work the girls mercilessly and then tempt them with all kinds of fattening foods. It's inspiring to see the women work so hard but that's about as far as it goes. Every week there is a weigh in and the one who has lost the least weight percentage based on their previous weigh in gets kicked off the "squad" and has to go home. What's so frustrating is that these gals are truly trying and for the sake of a lousy number on the scale they get penalized! Why can't they keep them all on the show the entire time and see who does the best, instead of dashing them right smack in the middle of their efforts!

This past week almost everyone lost 4 pounds. Except one gal. She gained a pound. She was crushed! She worked so hard and was penalized for a lousy weight gain that was probably water retention or even muscle gain! It's just not fair to use the scale as a measure of success or failure because it doesn't tell the whole story! She was NOT a failure - but was made to feel like one.

And don't we do that to ourselves? I'm telling you right now - get a pair of slacks that are way too small (from your "skinny" clothes section that we all have hiding in our closets) and try them on each week. That is the true measure of your success. Screw the scale. Sure it's a motivating factor - but it doesn't have the final word!

When my cousin (who has always been in great shape and is an avid exerciser) stopped going to the gym for 6 months....she actually LOST 12 pounds! But it was all muscle! Her pants got tighter as she replaced the muscle with fat. And yet...she was losing weight. we keep striving to reach that goal - let's keep that scale in perspective. If you've worked hard all week and stayed on track but the scale doesn't show it - who cares! Keep the tape measure handy. That doesn't lie!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A little "less of me" this morning....

Yesterday I did something I regret today. I got a short haircut. My hair was shoulder length up until then. My sister (a hairdresser) always did my hair but 6 months ago she "retired" and hung up her scissors. Anyway - I tried this new salon and brought in a picture of what I wanted. I had decided to go pretty short this time. Not sure was just a whim I guess. Apparently the stylist wasn't too good at copying a picture.

Tonight is my in-law's 50th wedding anniversary gala and I'm feeling self-conscious about showing up in my new "do". I feel like a peacock - you know - small head and large bottom! I'm not sure what I was thinking. I think maybe I wasn't. I know I just wanted a change and I felt like my longer hair (shoulder length) was bringing my face down and emphasizing my age. Hubby loves the new cut. He says I look younger. I just feel so...naked.

I guess I'll get used to it. And it's only hair after all. It'll grow back. And who knows. Maybe I'll get used to it and decide I like it after all!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dessert Anyone?

In spite of a real indulgence last night ~ I'm doing okay. I ate very light yesterday knowing I'd be going to The Cheesecake Factory with my sisters , aunts & cousins last night. We try to get together every month or so over dinner.

So I'm looking at the menu and thinking about what to order. I could've done a salad but I was so good all day that I didn't want to. Now I'm not a dessert person when I go out to eat. I mean, I NEVER order it. (I've usually stuffed my face so full already that I couldn't eat more if I wanted to.) But last night I figured...hey, I'm here and this is basically a dessert place so what the heck. Besides...I was skipping dinner so it seemed a wash.

I ordered the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. I remember now another reason I never order desserts. They're just too darn rich for me. I ate half of it and stopped. I never even got to the big dollop of chocolate on top. I boxed it up and brought it home for hubby. (Who was much appreciative!)

So this morning I go online to assess the damages. 910 calories and 64 grams of fat! Yikes! But then again...I only ate half. And I DID skip dinner.

And know what else? I'm down another pound! Which brings me to 190.3 pounds. I'm almost to the 180's! Yoohoo!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Facing Reality...

It's Monday morning and I feel in control today! In fact...I've felt in control for the past few days. And darn if it doesn't feel good!

I'm concentrating on the little changes and it really does help! Like the smaller plate idea ~ and the eating slower deal ~ and the more water thing. Those things really do make a difference!

I came across this site this morning also - mentioned on another blog, that definitely merits sharing. I certainly know that I have been guilty of blaming every circumstance in my life at times for my being fat. But it really isn't any one's fault but my own. I got myself into this shape. It's up to me to get myself out of it - and into the shape I was meant to be. Yep. None of us were born to be fat. We may have been born to be blond or brunette or short or tall. But NOT fat! Some things we can't control. But what we put into our mouths and how much we move...well, that we can!

So read this article. It's in your face - but it's all true! And I I know, that the turning point for most of us is when we finally decide to be accountable and face the fact that no one is gonna' do this for us.

So let's win this fight and kick some butt!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Taking Back the Kitchen!

Hubby has been letting me cook lately. It's not that I'm a bad cook or anything. It's just that he loves to cook - it's kind of like a hobby for him ~ and being a bachelor for the past 20 years he's gotten into a groove about what he likes and how he likes it done.

It's been a challenge...meshing two lives together that have had many years to cement themselves in their ways. Late hubby was a meat & potatoes man. He didn't give a hoot about presentation and wouldn't have been caught dead watching Emril. As long as we had salt and pepper in the spice cabinet he figured we were well stocked. Present hubby has a whole cache of spices - some I've never even heard of. He even makes his own blend of seasoning that people ask for.

Sooo...he's been doing the cooking and I've been doing the eating. Until recently. With all the busyness of building the addition to the house - he's been coming home dog-tired and more than willing to eat whatever I serve him. And he's been pleasantly surprised. I can cook.

Where the two of us diverge in our culinary thinking is that I prefer to follow a recipe and he prefers to follow his instincts (which are pretty darn good) but he's slowing learning not to be so anti-recipe. When he first met me he was appalled at the number of cookbooks I own. He bragged that he'd never used one.

Now when he sees me with one propped open he doesn't cringe. Because I've made some pretty tasty things! The neatest part is that when he's not looking I've been able to substitute some ingredients to make things healthier and less toxic to the waistline. Not that I can always fool him. He does have pretty keen sense of taste. But sometimes I can!

He also knows how hard I've been struggling to take off this weight and he's behind me 100%.

Which brings me to last night's meal. I grilled some salmon on a cedar plank and it was so tasty! I topped it with some whole grain Dijon mustard and a sprinkling of brown sugar. Yeah I know. Some people are very anti-sugar. But my feeling is - all is fine in moderation. When God led the Israelites out of Egypt He told them He'd give them a land flowing with milk and honey. So....I'm thinking some brown sugar once in a while isn't such a bad thing!

We also had Brussels sprouts sauteed with some onion and slivered almonds (and a splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice) and some couscous flavored with olive oil and garlic. It was a good meal. And he ate it up and had seconds. It might not have been the lowest-cal fare I could dish up - but it was made with healthy ingredients and I ate a normal portion and was satisfied.

If I can slowly take back my kitchen I may have a shot here! So far it's working. And I'm down a pound today!