Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Have You Taken Your Vitaimins Today?

Did I say the weather was pleasant yesterday?? Today it's miserable! Low 20's and windy as all get out. We lost power during the night and got it back just after lunch time. I had to make coffee on the stove top (mmm grounds taste good...does that count as fiber?) and stay close to the wood stove. Such is life in Upstate New York. Ya' never know if you're going to need your boots or your shorts!

I don't think taking a walk today will happen. In fact I know it won't. I'd blow away! The winds are averaging about 40 mph right now and there's a wind warning in effect through this evening. Not to mention the bitter cold as far as the wind chill factor is involved. I wish I lived where it's sunny all the time. I really do hate the cold. (Although as I mentioned yesterday....those hot flashes have made winter here a lot more tolerable than it used to be!)

There has been a lot of talk about eating healthier and caring for our bodies these days in blogdom. It's that time of year~but I was wondering how many of you take vitamins in addition to eating balanced meals? I don't know about you - but reading all those labels and trying to figure out what's good and what's not has got my head spinning. I automatically look at the calorie count first. (That's a no brainer) Then I check the fat content. The trans and the sats (as I call 'em.) I look to see if whole grains are used - how much sugar or salt - stuff like that. But I have to be honest. If all or most of that checks out - I don't read much further. Like the vitamin content. And I should. But like I said, sometimes that's just too much reading! I'd rather be eating! (Ha! Now doesn't that give one pause to think...)

Anyway ~ Last summer I began taking vitamins. I took the Real Age test sponsored by the "You-On a Diet" website and learned what vitamins I may be lacking considering my lifestyle. I learned I should be taking folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, fish oil and a multi-vitamin too. I picked them up at my local grocer (not too expensive at all - but you DO have to read the labels to make sure you're getting the proper amounts - there are many varieties of the same thing out there.) Then I bought myself a little pill box. The kind with seven compartments for each day of the week. I load my box up on Sunday and haven't had any problems remembering to take them.

I think it's important to make sure we take vitamins. I now there's controversy over whether taking them that way is benenficial ( we just pee them out anyway) but I know for me, it gives a little added security that I'm at least getting some of the things I may be lacking. I do find that my complexion has gotten better (Sharon - you asked about that once) and I think it's a result of those vitamins! I'm also not as tired. Maybe it's all in my head but I just wanted to toss it out there and see if any of you are supplementing with vitamins.

Here' another thought (I'm rambling today as I sit here and listen to the wind howl).... If someone opened up a chain of grocery stores - that catered ONLY to healthy eating (and I'm not talking Health Food Stores - they are just over priced and gimmicky in my mind) but a regular store where you could do your weekly shopping and KNOW that every single item in the store was good for you - I think they'd be millionaires in a week. I'd shop there! It would take all the guess work out of trying to figure out what's in what I'm buying. I'm talking normal food items that could be found in any store - that are healthy and low cal and just plain good choices - and all the other stuff that's loaded with fats and sugars and salt and who knows what else - would be banned from the shelves! I think it would take off! (But it would have to be priced right too - my biggest gripe with health food stores....)

But until that happens - I guess I'll just have to be diligent in reading those labels and learning for myself what I should and should not be eating.

And about those vitamins...any thoughts?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lunges and Cookies....

The weather has been really peasant today. So pleasant in fact that I grabbed my MP3 player and took a 2 mile walk this morning. And I did so (get this!) knowing that I would also be doing my Biggest Loser DVD workout today too! AND - I did my arm weights to boot! Pat me on the back I feel so proud!

But here's the bad part. I was having a major chocolate attack and spied a package of chocolate chips that was almost gone. There was a scant 1/4 cup left in the bag. Now if you're thinking I scarfed the rest of the bag down...I didn't. I made a mini batch of chocolate chips cookies. I couldn't help myself. My house has been cleaned of all traces of chocolate and other yummy treats and I just needed something sweet! The batch made 12 small cookies. I ate 9. I know. Smack me upside the head. Of course I didn't eat them all in one sitting. I did it in stages. but I still ate nine freaking cookies! (I gave the remaining three to my grandson and his mommy.) Wasn't that nice of me to share the remnants.

But ~~ I DID workout today (above and beyond what I'd planned) so I'm not too angry with myself. Of course the rational side of my brain is telling me that those cookies negated my workout. But the other more forgiving side is telling me that I could've eaten those cookies and NOT worked out and be worse off than I am.

So I've gotten my sugar/chocolate fix. And it wasn't as satisfying as I thought it would be. For that I'm thankful.

And the workout by the way was just a tad bit easier than it was on Sunday. Those lunges are still murder but I was able to do them a little better and keep up with the skinny broad on TV barking at me to keep going!

Tonight I get to watch Biggest Loser and get my weekly dose of inspiration ala the TV. The rest I get from you guys. Thanks!!

Monday, January 28, 2008


I'm glad that I've spurred some of you to get out that DVD and get moving! I won't mention that I'm sore as all get out though! But it's a good kind of sore. The kind that reminds you every time you move that in fact - you actually did move! Muscles hurt that I didn't even know I had. Good thing, right? Means they needed it!

I'll pop that DVD in tomorrow and do it all over again. I have to now. I said I would! It felt good to sweat too. I haven't done anything to work myself up to that in a long time. (Except hot flashes) and they don't count. Dang I wish they burned off calories though! I'd be so skinny! One good thing about menopause though....the PMS stops. At least mine did. And let me tell you - I had it bad! There's a drawing I keep tucked in my drawer that my daughter drew when she was really little. It's a stick figure woman with her hair flaying out all over like Medusa. Her mouth is wide open (she looks like she's screaming) and the caption says "MOM PMS". I was a mad woman for over a week each month. Now I'm fairly tame, although every now and then my mood will swing for no apparent reason and hubby will run for cover. But it's no were near as bad as it was back in the day. Ah the joys of growing older.

Of course with mid-life comes that inevitable weight gain as the old metabolism shifts into a lower gear. All the more reason for me to get off my duff and fight back. And you know what? When those old muscles ache it actually makes me more aware of my body. And it makes me want to take better care of it. I'll never have six pack abs - but I'm sure going to get rid of this quarter keg on my arse!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I Did It!

Yesterday was a busy day. Lots of errands and a spot in between to meet middle daughter for lunch at a cute little place that she frequents often with her laptop. She's writing a book while she's not doing her PR work at a local Children's Hospital. I was good. Ordered half a turkey sandwich and a cup of tomato soup. Enjoyed a nice long chat with my sweet daughter too!

The night before we went out to dinner with the in-laws and I was not so good. I ordered a fish fry. I know!! But I cut everything in half and took the other half home with me. Normally I would've eaten the entire thing even if it meant rolling myself out the restaurant door and being stuffed into the car. So I guess it was a step in the right direction. Sort of. I ate the other half for dinner last night. I got two meals out of one. Albeit not the greatest food choices. But I'm working on that. At least the portion control is improving.

Also - I did my Biggest Loser Workout! It wasn't as bad as I thought. And guess what? I broke a sweat! And that was without even doing the cardio portion. I did the 5 minute warm-up, the 10 minute flexibility work out, the 10 minute body sculpting for women and the 5 minute cool down. The hardest part was the lunges - and there were lots of them! The workout went by quickly though! My goal now is to do this 3 times weekly and work up to 5. I'll do my arm weights in between as the BL workout seems to focus on the lower part of the body so far. I'll incorporate the cardio in there soon. Not yet though. Baby steps.....

Has anyone else dusted off theirs yet? Done the cardio part? The trainers are promising that my lower half will get buff! I'm gonna' hold them to it!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Time to Start Sweating!

Well I knew it was too good to be true. That's why I'm not too upset. The 5 pound loss I had last week was a lot of water so this week I showed a gain of 1.6 pounds. I hope I regain some lost ground in the coming week.

I have a confession to make too. Remember the Biggest Loser prizes I gave out on my blog a while back? Well...I haven't used my own Biggest Loser Workout DVD yet. I watched the intro but never got around to viewing the workouts to even see what they were about. Part of it is because with the slow season - hubby has been home almost everyday & I don't want to do this in front of him. Lame excuse. I know.

So today I'm going to watch the DVD and DO one of the workouts. I watch the Biggest Loser on TV faithfully every week and those people don't lose all that weight just by eating less. They exercise like crazy! And I know that I need to move this body a lot more than I do.

Back when I was younger - my sister and I were always involved in some sort of physical exercise. We went to Jazzercize while our kids were in pre-school. We belonged to an aerobics class for years. We joined health clubs together and went faithfully. We met a local bike path and biked. It was as much about socializing as it was about our health. But over the years our lives got busier - we both started working or going to school and things just fell by the wayside.

My late husband was an active guy. We used to walk together all the time. We rode our bikes. We camped a lot - hiked a lot - and even backpacked! He was so full of life and loved life so much. And at 49 he died of cancer. It was really hard to see him have to slow down and succumb to the disease. It really sucked. (sorry - but that's the word of choice that describes it best.)

Now don't get me wrong. New hubby is a great guy and has many good qualities. But he's not active. At least in the "sporting" kind of way. He's a really hard worker and puts many physical hours into each day. I'm sure that's why when work is done - he prefers to take it easy. I have to twist his arm to take a walk at the lake and we've never walked around here. He doesn't like to ride a bike and hiking is..well something I doubt he'd ever do.

So I could sit here and play the blame game about why I don't exercise much anymore but it won't help me lose weight. I want to be an active person. I hate that I've become the lump who sits on the sidelines. Sure...I still walk now and then. And I lift my trust weights 3 times a week. But I never sweat. And to me - you haven't really exercised until you at least break a sweat.

I've got to do some serious thinking here and come up with a plan. Thankfully Spring will be here in a few months and we'll be living at the new house which is less than a mile from the Barge Canal. There are great bike paths along the water and I plan to utilize them as much as I can. With or without hubby. But that is then and this is now.

So.... I know for sure that I have to check out that DVD. Some of you have it. How is it? Do you do it regularly? I'll give you my review tomorrow!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Need some ZZZZ help!

Okay - here's a weight related issue that I'm sure many of us must struggle with. SNORING! I never really had a snoring problem until I gained weight. Late hubby was a sound sleeper and never complained. Present hubby is a light sleeper and often has to move to the couch because my nasal serenading keeps him awake.

I also suffer sleep apnea but it isn't bad enough that I require a C-Pap mask while sleeping. The Dr. at the sleep clinic advised a tennis ball sewn into the back of a night shirt so I don't sleep on my back. (Which I never did because it seemed too odd...) He also said that losing weight would alleviate the apnea and I'm assuming the snoring also. When my brother lost a lot of weight my sister-in-law said the snoring subsided greatly.

So I'm working on the weight. But in the meantime - does anyone have any tried & true remedies?? I want hubby back in bed with me! I feel awful that I keep him awake all night. I've heard of couples who sleep in separate bedrooms because of this and I don't want it to come to that! Hubby has the hearing acuity of a watch dog and can hear a pin drop in the next room. Which doesn't help much here. I suggested he get some ear plugs but he balked at the idea. I sleep like a log and he says someone has to be able to hear the bumps in the night. He's the protector of the castle type...)

So - if anyone has temporary remedy that works for them - please let me know! I spent enough nights in that bed alone when I was a widow....

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

This Stuff Could Be Dangerous...

Yesterday I stripped wallpaper. If you've never done it before - it's the bomb! (not.) We're trying to spruce the house up before we put it on the market and decided that the 14 year old wallpaper had to go. Hubby has also gotten really ambitious and decided we need new kitchen cupboards and countertops . (He watches too much HGTV). I keep telling him we're not flipping this house...just selling it. But he says a new kitchen will bring in the cash - so I'm trusting him.

Actually, with my hands busy all day in water and old paste...they stayed occupied and away from the food. I took a break for lunch - cabbage soup & some saltines and had a rice cake somewhere in there because I just needed to crunch on something. So I didn't really eat too much. Which I'm realizing now, was not such a good thing. When I take in too few calories during the day I get ravenous around dinner time and would lick the inside of the refrigerator door if nothing else was available. I know. EEEWW!

One of my neighbors from the lake - who happens to live right around the corner (literally) called and asked if I'd like to walk with her. We do that sometimes. It was really cold outside but I knew I needed to walk so we did about 3 miles. I was going to post on my blog when I got back home but my legs were itching something fierce and I got sidetracked. (I don't know if it was becasue they were so cold and were finally thawing out or what - it was intense!)

While perusing through the fridge to see what fixings we have left for a nice salad for dinner, I spotted a jar of this cinnamon apple stuff. I ever saw it in there before. After some guesswork I realized hubby had gotten a trio of these tasty spreads for Christmas from someone. So I cracked open the lid to see what it looked like. And of course that lead to seeing what it tasted like. And I couldn't just stick my finger in there. It was a spread remember? So I found some saltines and spread a tad on one. Oh - my - gosh! It was incredible! There was 100 calories in 2 TBS. so I ate tablespoons worth on about 6 saltines. Not a terrible binge. Kind of a micro one. But I'm telling you - this is the greatest stuff I've tasted out of a jar in a very long time! I need to keep myself in check over this one.

But it is a great lo-cal snack when you've got a hankering for something really sweet!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Ups and Downs of a Road trip!

Okay...about that trip! I wish I could say I was a perfect angel as far as my eating went. I wasn't. But I also didn't totally blow it either. I was very good on the road trip down. I packed some healthy sandwiches and we ate while driving. We only stopped midway to get some coffee and make a pit stop. We arrived around 11:15 (later than we'd planned - even thought we left on time) because we got messed up in a Rotary once we got there. If anyone has been to Massachusetts - you know about those darn things! Who ever invented them was insane!! They are traffic circles where everyone is coming and going from different directions and you kind of jump on or off when you get the chance. It's every man for himself - makes for a lot of cussing - adrenaline rushes - and of course - screw ups. We ended up on several different highways (which we didn't need to be on) since my daughter's place was about 5 minutes off the Rotary. It was a hair raising experience needless to say.

We got there and shared hugs and kisses - oohs and ahs over their new place - and settled down to chat and play catch up (which wasn't too difficult since we talk almost daily on the phone anyway) but it's different when you're in the same room! She brought out some pretzels and I munched on some of them (not a whole lot) and had 2 glasses of wine. (I had to after the Rotary experience!)

Breakfast the next morning - I was good! I had 2 tablespoons of scrambled eggs, brought my own healthy bacon to cook separately and had one slice of toast. I passed on the chocolate covered donuts (which was hard!) But I'd had a cookie on the ride down that my daughter whipped out just before the Rotary fiasco so I knew I had to be extra careful.

Lunch was another story. We drove to North Hampton to check out the shops (and the tourists which are almost as interesting as the shops) and then stopped for lunch at a quaint micro-brewery that is renowned for it's good eats. (And no - I did not order any beer!) When I sat down all bets were off. I was cold and tired and the menu sported absolutely nothing dietetic. Maybe if I looked harder I could've found a wiser choice than the one I made. But I didn't. (look harder that is.) I got a fish sandwich and french fries. What a noodle I am! I felt totally gross after I ate it. Mad at myself and too full.

We shopped some more and than went back to her place. None of us were hungry so we got our PJ's on and played Apples to Apples along with her hubby. He left after a while to go hang out with some hockey buddies so we could have some more girly-bonding time and she broke out the chocolate chip cookies. I had about 4. We had decided to skip dinner after our filling lunches - but around 10:00 we got hungry and ordered a pizza. I had three squares.

Needless to say I went to bed feeling bloated and angry at myself.

In the morning I had some coffee cake that was baking when I got out of the shower. One slice. Then I succumbed to one of those chocolate donuts I'd resisted the day before. We went to church and of course her church is this small, quaint little thing where everyone goes to the fellowship hall after the service for coffee and snacks. I ate a donut hole (just one) and a very small slice of sweetbread. We went back to her place - packed up our belongings and shared more hugs and kisses - lamenting that the time went by too quickly as it always does. Thankfully she'll be back in town in two weeks (her hubby has a hockey game here in our home town) so it wasn't as difficult as it usually is. They both would rather be living here - but he's in college there (on a hockey scholarship) and they'll be there for a few more years....

The ride home found my halo back in place. We stopped for dinner and I ordered a salad (brought my own dressing from home) and got a coffee for the road. One of my daughters bought some fudge and the halo slipped back off. Arriving home I smelled that hubby had been busy in the kitchen making home made clam chowder. It smelled so good and I had a small bowl to appease him.

So here I am at my computer -many of my good intentions lost in the dust between here and Massachusetts. I have two choices. Focus on my screw ups and tell myself what a moron I am. Or.... focus on the victories I had and forge ahead. I'm choosing the latter. Standing at the Mickey D's with a Big Mac beckoning me and still choosing a salad was no minor feat. Nor was passing up that chocolate donut the first day. Eating one the second day wasn't good - but I still passed up one of them!

I haven't assessed the damages on the scale yet. I'm giving my body time to recoup from the trip. And I'm back on track today. It's a new week and I'm ready to face it! How about you?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The I Love Me List!

It's late (we missed our exit coming home and the trip ended up taking 6 1/2 hours!) and I'm tired so I'm going to post my list (as suggested by Scale Junkie ) and then hit the sack. I'll post about the trip was wonderful!

The "I LOVE ME" List

1. What do you absolutely love about your body?
My hair...when it's behaving!

2. When did you surprise yourself with your physical strength?
Giving birth. Very tough work!

3. When were you braver than you ever thought you could be?
Walking out of the hospice unit with my three daughters in tow....realizing I was a widow....

4. When did your self-control blow you away?
At my sister-in-law's last week...sitting in front of a big tray of cholate covered cream filled donuts for TWO WHOLE hours and not eating a single one!

5. What was your proudest moment ever?
Listening to my daughter's Valedictory speech when she graduated...(and giving birth!)

6. When was the last time you felt absolutely beautiful?
At me niece's wedding. It was a good hair day and I had a great dress.

7. Why do you deserve to meet your goals?
Because they're noble goals!
Go ahead and post this list on your own blog - we all need a little dose of love now and then - especially from ourselves!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Off To Massachusetts!

I'm off in about 10 minutes for Massachusetts. It'll take us bout 5 hours - which means a definite pit stop along the way (3 female bladders and a 3 year old -c'mon!) but I've got my salad dressing packed!

I weighed in this morning at 190! That's 5 pounds gone in one week! I know that most of it is probably water weight but it's good to see the numbers heading south for a change. It gives me incentive.

I'm shooting for 5 pound increments. Five seems more do-able than say 50.... (!) So I'm breaking it into little chunks. I've met my first goal. Woohoo! Next one is 185. I can do that. It'll take longer than a week this time...but I can do it. I've read that it's a lot less daunting to break your losses up that way. You see mini-milestones that keep the momentum going, rather than looking way down the road at that number on the scale that seems damn near impossible some days. Each 5 pound loss will bring me closer.

I hope all of you are hanging in there! I'll be off line for a few days (daughter doesn't have a computer at home) Can you believe that? I can't even fathom not having this little life=line to the information highway at my fingertips each day. Those few days without it nearly did me in!

Well...I really have to run! We want to get as much driving as we can in before the snow flies.

Ciao and happy weekend! See you all Sunday night :-)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Planning Ahead....

I have been doing so well this past week that it scares me. It often seems when I get overconfident that I allow myself to indulge. I'm determined not to do that this time!

This weekend will be a real test. My two daughters and I are travelling to Massachusetts to visit the youngest daughter. Which means there will be a pit stop en route to grab dinner. And the only pit stops on the NYS Thruway are fast food places! I've already decided what I'm going to do. Ordering a salad is a no-brainer. But I'm bringing along my own dressing. What Micky D's considers lite is not so lite! I'm not too worried about eating with the girls once we get there. Somehow the younger two have adopted very healthy eating styles and they are an inspiration to me. The oldest is a bit like her mommy. (She's the only one I didn't breastfeed.... hmmm...could there be a connection here?) But she's on this roll with me too - trying to eat better and move more. She's young. That's a real point in her favor.

So I'm kind of excited about this trip that isn't really focusing on food at all! We plan to shop and sight see and rent videos and giggle into the night. Used to be a trip for me always revolved around the food. Where we'd eat... what snacks to bring for the car ride.... baking cookies to eat mindlessly all weekend.... I'm not saying this will be totally easy. Old habits die hard. The difference is I'm thinking about it now instead of winging it - like I'm prone to do - which always leaves me making the wrong choices.

I won't deny myself this weekend. But I won' overindulge either and I'll try to make the wisest choices I can. Because face it - weekend get-aways are gonna' happen. I have to learn now how to handle them. And that means focusing on the great time I'm going to spend with those girls. And leaving the food in the shadows - where it belongs.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What Works For Me....

I hope everyone is feeling as great as I am right now because I am on a roll! I have been concentrating on drinking that water every day and it's been really helping to curb my appetite. It's also relieved my bloat. Go figure - you have to drink more water in order to get rid of water. I've also got a set of 5# hand weights next to the TV and every other day I've been hoisting those babies up in the air while I watch Oprah. (Not throughout the entire show...I'm not Hercules!) but enough to feel a burn and work out all the different muscles in my arms.

I also bit the bullet and bought some specialty foods to help me along this path. But I made sure it was food I'd buy always...not just while I'm losing weight. First on my list was Special K bars...which I adore and always ate for breakfast when I was teaching. I know that the gurus say we need to eat a big breakfast - and they're probably right. But I also know that One diet does not fit all! I am the type of person who likes something sweet with my coffee. Not always - but a lot of days. I still do my cheerios with blueberries and my oatmeal now and then - but most days I need something crunchy and sweet to start the day. It works for me.

Which is something I've thought a lot about the past 2 weeks. What works for me. Remember I said I was a fickle dieter? Well I am. And part of that is because I'm always trying to to take someone else's plan and make it fit my life. And frankly - there are a LOT of plans out there! And many contradict each other.

So I have been pondering lately....what fits my life - my routine - my likes & dislikes. In other words - what can I LIVE with the rest of my life? I know I can not live (happily) with never having something sweet with my coffee in the morning....on most days. So I bought the Special K bars along with some Kashi Go Lean cereal that looked good. (I'll let you know how it is tomorrow). I also got some rice cakes - because I need to crunch something in the late afternoon too. And I like rice cakes! I got a lot of fresh veggies to make my salads more interesting and I sauteed some chicken breast strips in a teaspoon of olive oil and some Uncle Doug's seasoning to toss into the salads. Right now I'm measuring and counting calories because I want to get a good feel for portion sizes and what's in what. Soon I'll be able to do it second nature. But I learned the hard way that eye balling something can be pretty deceiving. We tend to err on the side of more!
I also got some fit and lean yogurt and some Smart Balance "butter". Some apples and bananas found their way into my cart too. And you know what? I didn't break the bank! The rest of the stuff I bought was pretty normal. I just made wiser choices and checked labels. It felt like a normal shopping trip. Not like in the days I belonged to Weight Watchers and everything I bought was specially made for a dieter. That ended up costing me a fortune and when I lost the weight - I went right back to buying the regular stuff and well....we all know what happened next.

So I'm easing into this whole thing a day at a time. Little by little. It's always hard to do that because we want to see results NOW! But I thought about it. I read this great blog daily called The Elff Diet and last year (when I started reading) the author was advising this exact same thing. To tackle one struggle at a time. Incorporate one new habit a week. Well - I wanted to see something happen sooner than that! It seemed to easy her way... But now it's almost a year later and had I listened...had I done what she advised - well I'd be a LOT farther along than I am now! She, by the way has lost a LOT of weight - so I should've know better!

Anyhoo - lifestyle changes that we can live with. I can't say it enough!

Oh - and by the way - the pic is my lunch yesterday. It was yummy! (and the croutons are whole wheat...that crunch thing I was talking about...)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Have You Read That Label Lately?

Today I took a tour through my calorie counter book. The dining out section to be exact. Holy Crap! I can't believe that I have been mindlessly inhaling all those calories every time I ordered something not prepared in my little kitchen.

Some entrees contained over 1,000 calories - a few even went over 2,000! And how deceiving the menus can be! Unless the calorie count is advertised - fuggeddabowdit! Like at Arby's.... if you think you're being a good girl by ordering the market Fresh Sandwich instead of the traditional Roast Beef - you're not! The regular Roast beef is 320 calories. The Roast Turkey & Swiss sandwich? 720 calories! ARGHH!

It gets worse. My absolute favorite entree at Applebee's is the Crispy Orange Chicken Skillet. I know...anything with the word crispy as a descriptor should be avoided like the plague...but I kept telling myself it couldn't be all that bad. Wrong! How about 1,710 calories!

And if you think salads are safe - not always so! If you order a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad at McDonald's - you might as well have ordered a Double Cheese Burger and a small Fry. It's a wash. They're both the same calorie wise.

My point here is - we need to be informed about what we shove into our pie holes! Just because it contains lettuce - doesn't mean it's okay. And fancy marketing means diddly squat. If we eat it - they make money and that's the bottom line. They'll sell it anyway they can.

From now on I'm going to really investigate my choices. That doesn't mean I'll never order a Crispy Orange Chicken Skillet again in my lifetime. But if I do - I'm going to plan for it. It's going to be a treat. And it means I'll have to give up something else somewhere that day.

It's all about moderation. And knowledge. And willpower... and the first two count most!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Food for Thought (pardon the pun)

I was watching Oprah today with my 3 year old grandson (who was a tad put out that I wouldn't let him watch yet one more run of Thomas The Train.) I told him it was Grandma's turn to watch the TV so he sat next to me and fidgeted the whole time. No matter. At least I got to watch the show.

Today's show was filmed live in Mississippi which has been deemed the fattest state in U.S. Oprah and Bob Greene are kicking off their new campaign the Best Life Challenge. It seems everywhere one turns in this new year that there are challenges galore. I'm not knocking them!. I'm participating in several actually! But what it got me thinking fickle I am. How fickle we all can be when it comes to losing weight. It seems like just as I'm ready to start some new plan, another one turns up that catches my eye and I think...maybe I'll try that one instead. It's as if I can't make up my mind. should I lose this weight....

But listening to Bob Green talk today a little light bulb flickered. I say flickered because it actually went off a long time ago but I chose to ignore it. It's not about a diet. It's not even really about losing the weight. It's about why I overeat. Period. And until I figure that out and make some changes in my lifestyle to help me combat the overeating....nothing will ever work - or stick.

One of the biggest things I've noticed in this struggle to lose is that I NEED to replace bad habits with good ones. If you kick a habit - and don't replace it with something it leaves a hole that begs to be filled with something - and that something usually end up being food again.

Another Aha moment on the show today ~ One of the guests who lost half her weight said, "I didn't want the weight to be the controlling factor in my life anymore ." Amen to that. I worry about my weight from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep. I even dream about it sometimes! Really! Every mirror I pass, I check to see if my butt looks huge in what I'm wearing - if my gut is hanging out over my waist band - if my upper arms are waving in the breeze...and the answer is always yes - yes and yes! I avoid certain situations where I may run into people I haven't seen in a long while. I think about my next meal pretty much as soon as the one I'm eating is over. In short - my weight controls my life right now!

Does any of this sound familiar to you guys? (I know it does.) I call it the Fact of Fat. Well...I want to be in control of my life! I want to not worry about all the things I worry about now. So I guess I need to do some searching here and see what triggers the binges. And then find things I can substitute for them. Food is the drug of choice for many of us. It numbs heartaches... soothes bruised egos... combats boredom... manages anger. But there are other ways to handle those emotions. Food doesn't. It only makes things worse.

No epiphany has happened here at Lora's blog. Same old stuff I've always known.....but never wanted to think about. It's always been me vs. the food. Now other things are coming into play and I think that it's going to be a good thing. I really do!

I'm even more determined now to make this year be the year. Things are falling into place. Where they should be. And that my friends is what will help the pounds fall off.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Yippee! My Computer is Home!

Lora is doing the happy dance all over the place! I came home from church this morning to find my dear brother-in-law hooking up all the necessary cables to my trusty PC and putting her ( PC's a she) back where she belongs!

Unfortunately all of my previous e-mail was lost so if you sent me a note on my home e-mail in the past week - please re-send it!

Another interesting thing happened this morning. My youngest sister called me to tell me she ran into an old friend of mine last night. We're going back about 30 years here.... It was guy friend and someone I dated a few times. He asked all the pertinent questions one asks when they are talking about a blast from the past. Thankfully he didn't ask her my weight! Of course - who asks that question...but it sure made me think!

Would I want to run into this guy now? No siree! Especially since he mentioned to my sister how pretty he'd always thought I was. Yeah right! What would he say if he saw me NOW? Hey Lora - great rolls you have there....

Which made me recoil a bit at the idea. And then surprisingly I felt this new surge of motivation. I began to think of all the people I might run into that remembered me in my BC days (before chubbiness) and I decided to run with this new found spark of resolve. Every time I want to put something in my mouth that I know I probably shouldn't - which is about 90-% of the time!) I'm going to remember this guy. I'm calling this the JR plan. (Those are his initials...I'd never post his name here because God forbid he ever did a Google search on himself and came across this post!)

And it's not that I necessarily care what this guy thinks. Chances are our paths will never cross. And even though I dated him a few wasn't like there were any rockets going off or anything. Nope - he is going to be my generic stand in for all the people who l knew me when. When I had control over my eating. When I exercised regularly and didn't huff and puff going up 3 stairs. When I could bend over and tie my shoes without having to unzip my pants first and stop breathing until the job was done.

So is this weird? Maybe. But I'm reaching for any bit of mojo I can find right now so that I can accomplish my goal.

I've also decided that I will weigh in every Friday. I'm not pleased to say my weight has crept up over the holidays. Not pleased at all! But here it is - my weight last Friday morning was 195.6.

My goal is to post a loss each week. If I can do that...I can win this weight thing. We all can!

So JR - thanks dude!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

More Comments from a Foreign Computer...

Friday night my brother-in-law came by to see what was up with my beloved computer. It appears the new printer we installed had a glitch in the software and it nuked my outlook express, Internet explorer and corrupted my address book. He left with the machine under his arm. It was a sad moment....

He thinks he can make things right. He probably can. He always does! but when.....when????

I am on my daughter's PC right now....I plan to visit the blogs of all those comments I have been receiving. It is so great to make new connections as we press forward into the new year and continue our battle together.

I have also been watching the Biggest Loser (can't get enough of it) I find the program so motivating! The one thing that impresses me is the amount of sweat these people put into their efforts - literally! They work hard and it appears that what they have learned becomes a way of life. I know that next month the exercise part of my game plan shifts into gear and I need to be thinking now about what I'm going to do. Walking will be a mainstay - but I know that I need to actually sweat some too! The thought of that is not very appealing. But then again...looking into the mirror isn't all that appealing either these days. We have this full length mirror on the back of our powder room door and every time I sit on the toilet I am forced to look at my wide arse hanging over the sides and my fat tummy rolls all piled neatly - one on top of the other. UGH!! It's a not so gentle reminder that there is work to be done on this body! (and now that hubby has stumbled across this blog and is probably reading this - Michael - keep your mouth shut!)

Thank you guys for all the great tips regarding "diet" food and alternatives. I picked up a package of egg beaters the other day and lo and behold they WERE just egg whites with yellow dye! I may do a little kitchen experiment and try mixing some egg whites with some yellow food coloring and make a batch of scrambled eggs, because I agree with Teale - white scrambled eggs just don't cut it!
Kathy was right too about Aldis' (we do have one near us!) and I have found some good alternatives there. They have a line of stuff that's pretty good and the cost is not so bad. (I think it's called Lean & Fit...) I really like the bacon (hubby doesn't) so I make 2 kinds. It's worth it.
And I do eat whole grain bread all the time. I always have. I prefer the taste and it's good for me. I haven't found a 100% whole wheat lo-cal bread yet. I guess they figure if you're eating whole wheat - you're pretty much on track anyway. You do have to read the label to make sure it's 100% though...there's a lot of fancy footwork on labels these days. Sometimes wheat just means there's wheat in it. Not necessarily the whole grain. And lite (this is true!) can just mean the product is lite colored and have nothing to do with calorie or fat content! Go figure!

The diet industry is a multi-billion dollar machine just waiting to cash in on the hopes and dreams of women across the world. We need to be careful where we place our trust. (Kimkins comes to mind...) Common sense and good judgement are our best allies here. If it's too good to be true - as my momma always said - it ain't!
So.... Eat Less ~ Move More ~ Keep on Blogging!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Down but not Out!

Well...I'm at my friendly neighborhood library. I hate posting here because of the lack of privacy. But I'm needing to be in touch with you guys!

I can't answer any e-mail so for those of you that have written me there...but I WILL be in touch soon! My brother-in-law (the computer guru) is coming tonight to assess the damage. Hopefully it will be as easy as re-loading some missing programs that got swallowed up into oblivion.

I have also not been able to e-mail the Brita company regarding your prizes (double GRRR) but I will do that as soon as my e-mail is up and running. (The address I need is stored in one of the files I can't access.) But I can at least read my mail!

And I do so want to visit the blogs of those of you who have visited recently! I'll do that soon too!

The Challenge is proving to be..well...a challenge! I haven't gone shopping yet so I'm still working on planning around what's in the house. (Hubby is a stockpiler) so we have a large pantry downstairs that is chock full of whatever we need. Unfortunately he shops most of the time and nothing is really diet-friendly. I am going to bite the bullet and spend a little more to eat a little less - so to speak.

In the meantime I spoke with my WW pal and asked her the scoop on egg-beaters. I noticed the recipes on Amy's site called for them exclusively instead of eggs. She said that she uses mostly egg whites for cooking. And if she needs a yolk she'll do a 3 to 1 ratio. For instance...making egg salad - 3 cooked whites and one cooked yolk. She never buys egg beaters. So that's one savings.

Does anyone else have any tried and true substitutions for the more expensive diet-friendly foods? One of my main gripes with tradition diet plans is the calling for specialty stuff. I want something I can stick to for life and honestly...I don't see myself buying lo-cal bread from here on in...or fat-free cheese.

On the home front - we had a surprise visit from our youngest from Massachusetts. I barely had time to miss her (though I did!) and she was back! She had some business in town regarding her car so we were able to have an nice birthday dinner for her and her sister (their birthdays are 5 days apart.)
Okay guys - keep your fingers crossed that my PC gets fixed tonight! In the meantime - keep up the good work!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I'm Still Here...

Really quick update fellow bloggers! I have not jumped ship on you all. My wonderful computer malfunctioned when we installed our new printer and I cannot access my blog or mail or anything!! GRRRR!

I am still hanging in there and hope to be back with a post in a day or two.

I hate computers.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Check Out These Links!

I try to post every day but these past few days got ahead of me. I got on a roll taking down the Christmas stuff and trying to pack it in a way that would make sense next year when I take it all out in the new house. And then I figured since I was packing stuff...why not start packing the house! (I tend to get a little sidetracked when I do things.) So I took down all the pictures on my walls (we need to paint anyway before we sell) and then I packed up all my cook books...and thing led to another!

But I'm back. And I must confess...not doing as gung ho as I promised myself I would. I AM doing better....writing down what I eat....making healthier choices....but as the day wears on - so does my resolve. My biggest problem has been that I'm in a rut. I'm sick of eating the same stuff all the time. And being unemployed (as I have been these past 6 months) money has been tight. And dang if it doesn't cost more sometimes - to eat less!

Buying all the low-fat, no-fat stuff isn't cheap. I never have figured out why they have to charge you more for something if they've left part of it out....

Anyway - I realized that I must change my game plan. I tend to be a fly by the seat of my pants type gal....and that doesn't always work. I need the rigidity of having a meal plan in front of me for the whole day so I don't have to decide what to eat for my next meal as I'm standing in front of the fridge - door wide open - mouth wide open.

An lo and behold ~ a fellow blogger comes to the rescue by pointing me in the direction of yet another blogger that I'd never read before! Susan, of thinningthoughts mentioned her game plan which is based on Amy's food plan. I'm pumped now! Amy has taken the Nutri System plan (which she was on for 2 months) and created her own food plan which she followed with GREAT success! You must check out her pictures! Read Susan's post too - because she also refers to Amy's cookbook which is in a PDF file. Right now I'm in the process of minimizing the pics in Amy's plan so I can print it all out without giving my printer a royal cramp!

Alas...Amy does use a lot of low-fat, sugar free versions of ingredients - so I will have to buck up and spend some money. But at least she's given me TONS of great ideas for great food (I love how she included a picture of each item she prepared and even of the serving sizes!) and I will not be bored eating my same old - same old every day.

So happy Sunday all - I'm sure I've given you some good food for thought this morning! Keep at it...and if you've fallen off that wagon - hop right back on! It's only January 6th!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

And The Winners Are....

Allrighty then! I put the names of the readers who posted a comment in a hat and picked three. These three lucky winners will receive a Brita Water Mount Faucet Attachment as well as a water bottle. They will be mailed to your homes so you need to e-mail me with your mailing address (my e-mail address is in my profile) so that I can forward your address to the Brita Company.

And the winners are....drum roll please..... Susan from Thinning Thoughts, Linda from Pointing the Way and Joan from Back 2 Basics 4 Kids. My Faucet Mount and Bottle arrived today and they are both so cool! The water tastes really great - no chlorine taste! And the bottle holds a whole quart so if I fill it up twice each day I've drank my required water!

I hope you guys enjoy your prizes. (Remember to e-mail me with your addresses.) And the rest of you....don't be so darn shy! My site meter tells me I've had 76 hits since that post was displayed and only a handful of people responded!

In the meantime I hope you're all holding firm to your resolve. I'm struggling ~ but at least those M&M's are long gone or I might've caved!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Contest for the New Year!

Okay friends - here is the scoop on FilterForGood!

The Brita Company and FilterForGood are partnering with “The Biggest Loser” to eliminate bottled water from the ranch. Bottled water waste has become a very real environmental concern, with more than 38 billion disposable bottles sent to U.S. landfills last year. The trainers and contestants on the show are pledging to use FilterForGood reusable bottles in an effort to take positive steps toward a healthier body and a healthier planet. You can check out the FFG bottles and take a pledge yourself to reduce bottled water waste at FilterForGood.

I've taken the pledge (we go through bottled water here like crazy!) We all know that when we're tying to eat better and lose weight - that water plays a very important role. I used to try to re-use the bottles...but they always inevitably got thrown out and it did seem like such a waste. And the water never really did taste all that good coming straight from the tap...

So one of my contributions to being environmentally savvy this year is to stop buying that dang pre-bottled water! The Brita company is sending me a Brita faucet-mount and a water bottle to get me started. They are also letting me award 3 faucet-mounts along with 3 water bottles to my readers!

So here's what I'm gonna' do. First check out the FilterForGood website and take the pledge. Then post a comment here telling me you did and what you think of the idea! I will randomly draw three of your names from a hat. If I pick yours - you win a faucet-mount and a water bottle that will be mailed to you! Pretty cool 'eh?

“The Biggest Loser” takes contestants and viewers on an unforgettable journey – challenging them to transform their bodies, their health and ultimately their lives. The show has always been dedicated to improving contestant’s health and now they are taking steps to help improve Mother Earth’s health, too! Let's join them!

For some reason the banner on my side bar isn't connecting to the FilterForGood site so click on this link to get there!

Remember - comment on THIS post. If I pick your name I'll contact you to let you know and get your address so I can have your prize sent to you.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


So we rang in the New Year and what was I doing when the ball dropped in Times Square? Playing basketball with my sister! My brother has this indoor game where there are 2 baskets and 4 balls. You compete with a partner to see who can score the most baskets in the allotted time. It was down to seconds when we heard the others in the next room counting down along with Dick Clark. (Gheesh - the guys never ages!) And being the competitive sports we are - we couldn't stop till the time ran out. Which made us about 4 seconds late for New Years. No biggie- they were all still blowing noisemakers and trading hugs when we got in the room. Point to all of this is...I was doing something ACTIVE when 2008 arrived! Woohoo! Yippee for me!

This morning (we all slept at my brother's) we had breakfast and I portioned my helpings and I was okay. I didn't pile my plate high or go back for seconds. (Except for the coffee - had about 4 cups of that! Had to - we were up till almost 4am!)

I'm feeling in control. Part of it being I did a really, REALLY hard thing last night. I knew if I was going to suceed at this I needed to purge my cupboards of anything that might trip me up. Like the 25 bags of peanut M&M's my daughter gave me for Christmas. What a gift! I absolutely adore peanut M&M' so she bought me a bulk supply. When I opened them Christmas morning I felt sick inside as I feigned a smile and knew I would never get to indulge in them. I'm not saying I didn't consume a few bags between then and yesterday. but last night, I packed up the box (along with the box of chocolates our neighbors gave us) and brought them to my bro's. I handed the stash over to my niece and nephew and said "Enjoy! Just don't tell Rachel!" (my daughter.) They were delighted beyond words. I felt a little sad....

But now it's a new year and they are there and I am here! And that works for me. That was a mighty step for me. But I'm serious this time around. Very serious.

So Happy New year all my friends! May 2008 bring success for us all!

Stay tuned tomorrow! I'll be explaining the Filter For Good Banner on my site and how it relates to The Biggest Loser AND....the 3 really cool prizes I'll be awarding in the next contest I'm sponsoring in my blog!