Saturday, December 31, 2011

No Weigh In today

I'm actually doing something for the first time in 10 years for New Years Eve!  No scale is available.

But I did want to wish you all a very Happy New Year!  If you drink, do it responsibly.

Let's kick 2012's ass!

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Is this where I'm supposed to recap and set goals?

Stuff That Sticks Out from 2011

I started the year trying cross country skiing.  The Mr loved it, me?  Not so much.  BUT I did like snowshoeing and burned comparable calories so it's all good.  Now if it would just freakin' snow so we could actually do it, we'd be good!

We played our version of tennis which should be renamed "one ball chase" for an hour.

We went on a hot air balloon ride over Napa Valley.

Added some pretty hard workouts that we actually were able to do and they're ones fit people groan about so we're pretty proud of that.

Honestly, those were the highlights.  2011 was a year of frustration on the weight loss front.  We're looking to not repeat that.

Stuff we're implementing for 2012

When we take vacations, big or small, no high cal day the Saturday after we get back.  We eat what we want on vacation every day and if we want to get back to pre-vacation weight a donut or pizza isn't going to speed that up so, new rule.  Period.

We'd like to incorporate yoga.  I got a yoga DVD for Christmas that I asked for, we watched it and he fell asleep and I fast forwarded out of boredom.  That's a good sign.  *rolling eyes*  So while I was tempted to say yoga every Friday (which is usually our rest day) but I know with certainty we won't so instead I'll say, we'll do it if we feel like it which will be at least once a month.

I want to make more homemade items.  Whether its soups, pasta sauce, tortillas or cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning, I want to know what's going into my foods.  I'm not saying I'm going to buy a cow to keep on the lanai and churn my own butter and shuck my own wheat from the field or stop going to Trader Joe's or big box grocery stores but there is pride in being able to make your own food and I want that for us.

As for the rest?  We'll just tweak as we go.  I'll always be on the lookout for new workouts to challenge us, I'll always track my food and I'll always cook awesome meals that make this lifestyle seem like people who gorge on crap are the ones missing out.

Anything in particular you are going to add/do differently for 2012?

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

What I've Been Reading This Week

Get Your Body Ready for Snow Shoveling

Strength Training No-No's: Squats

Get Victoria Beckham's legs (video start up)

Does the Shake Weight Really Work?  

Fad Diets That Don't Work

How to Peel a Whole Head of Garlic in 10 Seconds  (from the Mr!)

10 Healthy Foods You Should Always Have in Your Fridge

Couples Workout:  Team Up to Slim Down

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Brussels Sprouts - Triumph or tragedy?

Remember when I told you all I was looking to try brussels sprouts?  I know, seems like a lifetime ago.  I think the Mr. was hoping I would forget or keeping buying them with good intentions and end up throwing them out.  The night finally came that I was ready to give it a go and honestly it was the worst night to do it.  I'd been baking all day, still had a house to clean and was stressed to the max.  But I said "tonight's the night" and I had him cut them in half and get them back to me.  He was nervous.  He remembers the smell of sulfur filling the air and his mouth when he was a kid and to him, nothing could improve that in his mind.  Well that only happens if you overcook or over-steam them which I had no intention of doing.  I took the sprout halves and my spray mister and misted them with olive oil.  I tossed them in garlic, added some black pepper and cut up one slice of low sodium bacon and put them in a glass pan.  I roasted them for about 30 minutes and got this:

The Mr was willing to choke them down since they smelled good and I was anxious to try them finally to see what I thought.  I took my first bite and they were good.  The more I ate, the more I loved them.  They tasted like the insides of a really good egg roll with a smoky bacon flavor.  The Mr had a bit of a mental block with them but in the end he said he would absolutely eat them again if I prepared them that way and would try them any other way.  I made them again the same way and they were the only side dish (I had rice to temper them for him last time) and the Mr ate them.  They're not his favorite but I'll confess, they're my new favorite.  I will so be stocking up on these as much as possible when they're in peak season, which I think is starting to dwindle if I'm not mistaken.  Boo!  I'm anxious to try a slaw recipe I've got whirling in my noggin and of course you know I'll give you my feedback on those!

When someone else is a guinea pig for a food and likes it, does it influence you to give it a chance you might not have on your own?

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

And then I went insane...

Some years you think you've got it all mastered and you realize you don't.  Lord only knows how long it'll take me to undo what I did the 3 days I went insane but right now I really feel like ripping that gravatar off the page because I don't deserve it.

I know one thing, there will be a rule for next year, no f*cking candy in the stockings if it's stuff we can get any time of year.  We have to pick ONE candy and we split it, period.  Not three different kinds plus what my mom gets us.  I ate crap I didn't even want because it was there.  That is NOT how I'm going into this year, sabotaging myself.  I'm not going to spend time relosing weight I've already lost, that's not productive and it's not acceptable.  I thought yesterday was supposed to be an "on track" day but the Mr dumped his stocking and started rifling through his candy somehow I felt like "well if he's going to do it, so am I!"  But I never do anything small so I did equal to and greater the math problem I am.  My holiday depression had kicked in FIERCE as soon as we got back from Christmas with my family and you couple that a healthy dose of PMS and hormones and it was like an out of body experience.  I swear it was like the healthy me was hog tied and an evil drone took over while I was forced to watch, yelling "noooooo!" from behind my gag.  Welcome to the big failure of 2011.

You can prepare all you want but in the end, sometimes temptation just wins, not once or twice but three times.  I suppose the only victory I can claim is I did exercise and not break our streak.  Well that and dumping the rest of the cookies in the trash so I couldn't screw myself up another day until planned treats on vacation from some of our favorite places.  My instinct is to beat myself up over it and tell myself what a failure I am, oh wait, I guess I already did that above but it's done.  There's nothing I can do to take it all back and I just have to move forward with new rules in place for next year since I'm not looking to spend a third Christmas in a row feeling the way I have the past 2 Christmases.  I will hop on the scale and see the damage and do what I need to in order to rectify it.  Period.

Now I'm off to drink my water and tell this attempted cold to take an effin' hike.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Keeping up with the gift cards

My grandparents, probably like yours, have everything.  When you get to be in your 70's and 80's, you've accumulated all of the stuff you want and need and say things like "gift cards will be fine."  The problem with that is when you tell someone that you go to Olive Garden all the time, then people will think they're all clever and get you a gift card there...all three daughters and a granddaughter.  Italian food for life!  I've been making sure I get them gift cards that can be used at multiple restaurants so they at least have an option.  So between each daughter, us and their friends, my grandparents really rack up the gift card count year round.  Her birthday is in the spring, his birthday is in the fall and then Christmas.  They're a lot to keep track of.

As I was watching my grandpa open his 7th gift card at his 80th birthday party, I pulled The Mr aside and joked that I was going to get them a recipe box to put their gift cards in to keep track of.  I decided to go through with it and bought a nice bamboo recipe box to organize the gift cards and I even filed their Christmas gift cards in there for them.

What I love about this recipe box is not only is it pretty and something they can keep on the counter but this particular model has a card holder on the top!  Let's say the grandparents want to go to Red Lobster for dinner, they can grab the gift card out of the box and slip it in the slot on the top so they don't forget it!

Love it!  When the lady at the store asked if I was organizing my Christmas recipes, I told her no, what I was going to use it for and she about lost it telling me how awesome that was and I thought, "hmm, I should probably share that one."  I know I'm not the first person to think of it but you'd have thought I was given how the cashier was going on not just to me but the lady behind me as I was leaving.  Of course the grandparents loved it or if they didn't they did a great job faking it.  So if you find yourself with an abundance of gift cards that you don't want to keep in your bulging wallet or dig out of the abyss of your purse, this recipe box is a great way to keep track of them!

What was your favorite gift you received this year?
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to me - Weigh In

Down one pound.  Which means...200 lbs lost!!!!!!!!!!!!

So when you say you've "only lost a pound" (which I'm very guilty of) remember that at some point, that will be a  VIP.  (Very Important Pound!)

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Friday, December 23, 2011

The magic of the season

Where did December go?  Today is my hubby and I's dating anniversary and I love that we still celebrate that.  We're getting each other gifts this year, I'll update ya on what I get later.  Then I can spill the beans on what I got him.

Tomorrow is my favorite day of the year.  There is something so magical about Christmas Eve.  It reminds you of that anticipation you had as a kid tossing and turning waiting for Santa Claus to come.  I remember one year when a kid at school tried to tell me that Santa didn't exist.  I was going to sleep under the tree and catch him.  I laid down and stared up at the lights interwoven in the Christmas tree with the Pickwick Living Voices The Little Drummer Boy playing in the background.  I was gonna do it.  I was going to catch him.  I was gonna...wake up in my bed after being moved in the middle of the night.  Damn.  The following year, I left a contract out for him to sign proving he was real and of course he signed it.  He had really pretty handwriting.  Very ornate...and similar to my mom's.  But I was good with it.  Little did I know that Santa was the spirit of Christmas carried on for generations from the days of Saint Nicholas.  Everyone who celebrates Christmas takes on that privilege to carry on the tradition and spirit of giving.  A right jolly old elf might not come through my fireplace anymore but I was reminded by a friend what that spirit of giving really means.

A few years back they were in a financial tight spot and things were really tough.  Her youngest had his heart set on a specific Spiderman toy and it broke her heart that things seemed so bleak at holiday time.  I offered to get it for him as well as a family gift and she said they loved playing board games as a family.  So we went all over town until we found her son's toy, a good board game she suggested and added a $50 gift card to the local grocery store so they could get a full Christmas dinner prepared.  She was overwhelmed and her gratitude was enough thanks, I told her just to pay it forward one day.  She did just that this Christmas to a woman who was about to be evicted and gave her the $100 they were short for rent when no one else could help them.  In addition to that, she told me that a kid was telling her youngest this year that Santa wasn't real and he said yes he was and he knew that because a few years ago he got the toy he wanted and his parents couldn't afford it that year so Santa DID exist.  It brought tears to my eyes and was worth every penny to allow a little boy hang on to his childhood a little longer.

Wishing you all a magical Christmas!

Edit:  Here's our dating anniversary take:

Yep, that would be the original Strawberry Shortcake I had as a kid...whose hair still smells like Strawberry and my beloved Fashion Plates!  If you follow me on Pinterest, you know that these were pinned AFTER he bought these on my Childhood Favorites board!  So he done good.  I got him some snowshoes which he was hoping for money this year to buy them but it didn't look good so I got them for him.  He was thrilled!  It's gonna be a great Christmas!  Happy Anniversary honey!
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Guest Post from The Mr

I just thought I would stop by and let everyone know what a great job The Mrs. did the past week and a half baking her butt off and making some of the best treats that my co-workers and I have ever enjoyed. The most amazing thing is that she did all of this baking and somehow managed to avoid eating all of it. She showed tremendous willpower and I have to say kudos to her for a job well done, for keeping her cool, properly tracking her food, getting all the workouts in and still managing to research, bake and photograph all of the wonderful treats that you’ve enjoyed seeing here. She took on quite a challenge and I am extremely proud of her and hope that everyone is able to benefit from all of her hard work.

My favorite treat out of the bunch is the cookie-dough fudge but I have to say there is also nothing quite like one of those choco-rolo’s while they’re still warm. My co-workers really loved the 7 layer bars, which is funny because we honestly thought people would steer clear of the coconut since it is not one of our favorites. Yet when I tried a small bite of one I could understand why my co-workers were so crazy for them.

My co-workers weren’t the only ones who were able to benefit from all of the baked goods. We also made some staff and patients at a local retirement home very happy and it was heartwarming to see the smiles on their faces as we delivered two large containers full of brownies, raspberry tarts and snickerdoodles. Not a bad way to break the ice with complete strangers too, as it turns out.

Thanks to everyone for commenting and enjoying the wonderful pictures and I hope that you are able to share some of these amazing goodies with your family and friends at Christmastime. I know I will be hoping that she will make some more of that cookie-dough fudge! “Eatin’ dough is the way to go” – within reason of course! Which just goes to show that you can still indulge in some wonderful things as long as you balance it with a good workout and some sensible choices along the way, er, uh weigh. Merry Christmas everyone!

-The Mr
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Greetings from the Bakery- Weigh In

Um yeah, I don't know what to say.  Down 4 lbs this week which means I'm one pound from 200 lbs lost.  Let me tell you why this is hilariously funny.

1)  The house has been full of temptation and I lost not gained.  Score.

2)  IF I lose a pound next week do you know what it will be in time for?  A mini culinary vacation we have planned for NYE in which I will need to spend 2 weeks getting back to my previous weight.  So I *might* hit it long enough to have it taken away.  Fate is a funny bitch, ain't she?

So honestly, if I do hit it, I don't know that I'll say anything because I don't want a bunch of congrats for something that's going to be gone 4 days later and I'll be danged if I'm giving up Sprinkles cupcakes which I got screwed out of in San Fran for our anniversary so it'll be a mini celebration then back to business so it can be a permanent one.

I hope everyone's been enjoying the 12 Days of Treats posts!  I've gotten some great feedback from it and there are 2 more recipes left and I think they're pretty dang good.  The last one is my favorite...okay one of my favorites.

Have a great weekend y'all!

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Yawn - Weigh In

I'm down 2.5 lbs which is still 1/2 lb up from my lowest but I'll take it because Aunt Flo is bloatin' my big arse like nobody's business today!  Between that and sleeping hard from being up until 2:15am baking cookies (see how much I love you all?), I look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow woman!  Hope I didn't want to get my ring off today.

We have been making rather merry lately and attended a Christmas symphony last night and it was amazing!  One problem though is you shouldn't attend a moving musical piece when it's that time of the month because I was tearing up at every little thing.  Luckily I caught a stray tear but jeez man!  Why does menopause have to suck!?  I mean your hoo-ha is designed to squeeze out another human being, go through monthly hysteria and they take it away when you're older and you think you can celebrate but you still have to pay with hot flashes, night sweats and crap?  Sheesh.

Welp, off to make more merry on our annual road trip to a Victorian village for some Christmas cheer.  Thank God I don't have to be up early tomorrow but I will be a baking fiend so no rest for the wicked!

(Feedburner is having some kind of conniption fit this morning so I hope everyone gets this okay that is subscribed)

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Friday, December 2, 2011

You spoke, I'm listening

There will be a 12(ish) Days of Treats countdown.  We'll start it up Monday (which means I'll be baking my buns off this weekend to get ahead so brace yourself old folks home down the street, holiday treats are coming your way!)

I made the first recipe last night and The Mr's work folks loved 'em.  One dude ate four.  And he's thin.  Jerk.

Here's a wee little teaser:

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

12 Days Recipes? Yay or Nay?

I know lots of sites like to do the whole 12 days of Christmas treat recipes.  Is that something you'd like to see here?  What if I got lazy and only posted 6?  Okay we'll pretend I didn't give myself the out.  (But I did)

I really am on the fence about doing one but I'm interested in trying other recipes in addition to the ones that are tried and true in my house and I just need to know if when I'm trying these out (and trying to lighten a few up if I can) would you be interested in seeing it or is it overkill for you?

Obviously we all know I'm going to do what I want (HA!) but I just wanted to see if I should be making sure the camera is charged up and keep the folding table on hand when I do them.

Should I do a 12 Days of Cmas treats recipe dohicker here?
 Sure! I love new recipes to try this time of year!
 No. The pics would be too tempting.
 Do what you want, you know you will anyway. free polls 

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our long weekend in Memphis

I've gotten a few requests to do a Memphis recap.  Oops!  Forgot about that given the chaos of the last few days.  So here's a few pics for you!  (Okay, more than a few)

The last time we went to Memphis, I took one look at the booths and chickened out because I wasn't confident I'd fit in them.  I wish I'd known they had a whole side room full of tables with armless chairs!  Oh well, note for others and am proud to say we slide in and out of booths with ease!

These are Arcade's Sweet Potato Pancakes, a Food Network Favorite according to their menu.  A big favorite according to my hips.  I ate them 3x over 5 days.  Don't judge me.

We went to the National Civil Rights Museum where Martin Luther King Jr was shot.  The Lorraine Motel was kept the same on the outside and a wreath placed on the balcony where he was shot.  They also purchased the building across the street and recreate the room of the shooter.

The black window behind it is part of the museum where you can actually look out over the spot where MLK was shot.  This is made 100x more heart wrenching after viewing the magnificent documentary The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306.   Every human being should be required to go here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Every little taste counts

How many times have we spread a condiment on a sandwich, cream cheese on a bagel or stirred spaghetti sauce and without thinking licked the utensil?  Or you're making brownies or cupcakes for a potluck and you lick the big spoon or the bowl?  Most people don't track those calories but believe me, they add up!  You can have 100 calories just in licking the delectable brownie batter off of that big ol spoon.  Most don't pack that kind of punch but 10 calories here, 20 calories there can end up making a bigger difference than you might think over the course of weeks, months and year in the form of an extra pound or two.  (More if you're a taste as you go cook or chef)

Licking the spoon was one of the first habits I broke.  When I am preparing something I turn the hot water on and get the bowls and utensils immediately washed off or soaking so I'm not tempted to sneak a taste.  In the olden days, there was no way I could have extra anything lying around.  Frosting?  Forget it.  A spoonful here, a spoonful there which is at least 100-150 cals depending on how heaping.  As I was trying to get things together, I would put chili powder in it when I threw it away because I honestly didn't trust myself not to take it off the top of the heap if I was having a desperate moment.  Now?  I rarely have it in the house but when I do, it often ends up in the back of the fridge and forgotten about for months.  I never would've believed you if you'd told me that a few years ago.

So as the holiday season approaches, try to break this habit if you find you're a taste-as-you-cook/bake person.  Your waistline might thank you for it!

Are you a member of the clean utensil club or is it not a temptation/reflex?

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Overcoming my fear of the Brussels sprout

I always thought it was brussel sprout not Brussels sprout but was quickly schooled when doing a search for recipes. I kept perusing blogs for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday the theme of Brussels sprouts kept coming up. I began to feel like I was the only one who'd never tried them and believe me when I tell you the hubby was not happy that I picked up the bane of his childhood to give a try.  (I believe his mom boiled them)  When we first got them, he stuck them straight into the freezer.  Ruining them.  Sorry sir, I can buy more and it came with the warning that if they went anywhere other than the fridge, he'd be running out for more.

So I've seen you can roast them in olive oil with a little seasoning or add a little bacon for flavor.  I am anxious to try Colin Cowie's recipe for this slaw kind of thing but am hoping y'all can give me some tips for your favorite ways to prepare them before I delve in.

What's your favorite way to prepare brussel sprouts?

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why I'm cool with the gain - Weigh In

Up 3 lbs.

Given the morning after we got back the scale had me up 9 lbs (which I know from past experience is water weight from ungodly amounts of sodium) so getting 8 lbs of the official vacation gain off in in 4 days is awesome.  I will take that!  That's with only having 4 "formal" workout sessions over our usual 5, my system being completely screwed up with no release until today after weigh in if you get my drift AND a Thanksgiving holiday thrown in there that was much more carbalicious (but not over the top) than our usual Thursday fare.  We came back got right back to exercising, eating right and getting in the water.  We even stopped at the grocery store on the way home from Memphis after a horrific, long drive to get fruit for the rest of the week for lunches.  So I'm officially declaring it a success even if no one else does!

The workouts have been really taking their toll on us this week.  It's not like we were inactive on the trip.  I don't call walking 4-7 miles per day inactive but there you have it.  I have no doubt I'll be back to my low weight and beyond soon.  Life is about loosening the reins every now and then and knowing that you have to tighten them right back up and that's what we did.  So I'm good with it.

Welp, hope everyone has a great weekend!

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Friday, November 25, 2011

How I know this is a TRUE lifestyle change

Sorry I'm late today but what can I say Black Friday translates to lazy Friday for me.  Anyhoo...

Wednesday night was a close one.  I was running around like a chicken with it's head lopped off and things were taking longer than they should have.  By the time it finally slowed down and we got the Christmas lights up and the things for Thanksgiving as pre-made as possible, it was about 7pm.  We were both SOOO tempted to skip exercise.  We still had a few small things to do but we went downstairs and did our Tae Bo.  We both felt much better for it and I didn't think I was going to burn much but I got 900 calories in.  But the true way I knew this was a lifestyle change was we got up Thanksgiving morning with muscles SCREAMING in pain from the previous 2 formal workouts after getting home from vacation and dreading it we chose Power 90 Original since it's short and sweet and got a 1000 calorie burn on.  I was in such a good mood for a few minutes afterward you know before reality set back in but it was so worth it!  I was able to have everything I wanted and even dinner later on when I got a little hungry.  For the first time we even went on a walk after dinner with some cousins.  It was really hot in the house so the cold felt nice and it helped get the food moving instead of sitting like a lead balloon.

I know for most of our lives we never exercised on days surrounding holidays much less the holiday itself.  But if it's a normal exercise day for us, it's getting done.  I am so thankful for that.  It puts me in a much less stressed state of mind even taking that 30-40 minutes for myself to focus on ME and not everything else that needs done.  Speaking of which, I have a Turbo Fire 55 calling my name and a Christmas tree asking to be put up before a holiday concert tonight.  Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Do you exercise on holidays or allow yourself a 'skip day?'

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!  May your turkey be moist, your potatoes fluffy and your pumpkin pie flavorful!

Enjoy your time with family!  (Unless you have one of those families then may your sentence time go quickly!)

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Back to it

We are back from a short but fun filled trip to Memphis.  I'll go more into that next week since I know many people are probably not reading blogs right now...well unless you don't celebrate Thanksgiving then you might be going "where is everyone?  I'm bored!"  I'm not going to say how much I'm up just yet because my system is not used to that kind of sodium or being plugged up with Arcade's heavenly sweet potato pancakes or BB King's delectable pork chops on a typical non-high cal day so I always do a quick weigh in under the worst of conditions and then if we have almost a full week, I count whatever is hanging around as my "true" gain.  Of course this week is a little different since we have an eatin' holiday tomorrow so who knows what the scale will hold.  I won't get up in arms about it until the FOLLOWING Saturday if my body is still hanging on to anything.  I don't believe in going to a place with great regional food and saying "no thanks, I'll have the boiled fish and steamed broccoli with water."  Food is part of the experience.  It's part of life and I'd be a damn fool if I didn't partake in that.  Some people don't subscribe to that philosophy.  Good for them.  They can sit on their moral high horse while I eat a Santa Baby cupcake from Muddy's Bake Shop.

But as soon as we were home, it was right back on the wagon.  I drowned myself in water, ate my "usual" for the weekdays and that was that.  It wasn't always that way, especially on the long vacations for 2 weeks.  We'd come home still in vacation mode and say "we don't go back to work for 3 days, we'll restart then."  Then we'd be so overwhelmed at work that we didn't want to exercise that night because it was a crappy day.  (If only we knew then that exercise was a great stress buster)  Then the next day we'd hem haul around about going down or not eating something up to par for people trying to get back "on the wagon."  Before you know it, a month or more had passed us by and what could've been a temporary gain was firmly plastered on the thighs and gut.  Then depression would set in over gaining and blah blah blah.  Yeesh.  Sounds so foolish now but it's so easy to do if you're not in the right head space.

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  (Or Happy Thursday, depending)

Do you get right back on track when you've indulged on vacation?

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Counting your blessings

This time of year, amidst the chaos, it's always good to count your blessings.  I think of the things that mean most to me and it fills me with such gratitude for this life.  Here are some of the things I am thankful for:

1)  My Mr.  I am so lucky to be on this adventure with him.  There is no greater joy than being able to share the highs and lows of this whole thing.  He has been my shoulder to cry on and high fived me more than one should be required.  I am so proud of him.  He's my hero.

2)  My Family.  I have some wonderful people in my family.  I realize how lucky I am as a woman my age to still have my grandparents around.  There have been health problems popping up here and there with some people and you realize that the people who have been around since you were little won't always be there.  Cherish every moment, take too many pictures even if it annoys people and never forget to tell people what they mean to you.

3)  My readers.  You have no idea what it means that you give a squat about what I write!  *laughing*  I am grateful if I have touched just one person or made someone feel like "if she can do it, so can I!"  I know I'm nowhere near as entertaining as other bloggers but if you keep coming back, are a recent subscriber or stumbled upon me by some obscure link from a friend of a friend's blog...I say thank you for reading.  I hope you'll stick around and watch me rock dis shizz!

4)  Travel.  This world is so big and when I was at my biggest, so much of it was unattainable to dream I would ever see it.  Long plane rides overseas just weren't even in my thought process but rather put on the "someday" list knowing it wasn't really a list, just a broken promise I made to myself.  Now, we have a trip to Tahiti, Paris, Italy, Costa Rica and American Samoa simmering in our minds that are actually possible.  Goal trip is Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora.  I can think of no better way to reward ourselves for our hard work that to not have to sit on either side of the puddle-jumper to even out the plane ride.

What are you thankful for?

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving traditions

We all know the eatin' holiday is Thursday.  Oh sure you want to pretend it's about being thankful but we all know that comes a close second to that comforting scent of holidays past wafting through the air.  I used to do 2 plates back in the day.  When we started this weight loss adventure, we said we would eat one plate of anything we wanted in moderation and only if we were truly hungry would we have more.  I haven't been able to put more than a plate away since which just tells me we were eating it because it was there.  We still watch it on that day but ain't no way I'm missing my grandma's noodles!  Life is meant to be enjoyed.  I intend to savor every bite of the things I love.

These are the things that will be on my plate, *my* turkey because I make it good! (herbs and shallots under the skin), a normal sized scoop of mashed potatoes, grandma's homemade noodles on top, my stuffing (which is actually healthy and awesome!), green beans, a brown and serve roll and 2 crackers with a tablespoon of cheeseball.  For dessert, I'm making my Light Pumpkin Pie Cups like I do every year.  (I can't stand store bought pie which is what we end up with if I don't bring our own.)  We'll have a healthy breakfast and water to drink throughout the day.  After the meal, the ladies will sit at the table looking through ads making their Black Friday lists (not this lady, I'm done with my Christmas shopping and leave Black Friday to the nutbags.  We'll see how many nutbags read my blog) and the men will watch football while trying not to go into a tryptophan induced nap. Eventually someone will say they're leaving and if it's too early there will be more merriment and more desserts then someone else will say they're leaving and that is the cue when everyone will suddenly get up at the same time and clear out.  We come home and plug in the pre-strung Christmas lights and if I'm feeling ambitious, we bring up the Christmas decorations so we can get going early the next day with decorating for Christmas.

What will be on your Thanksgiving plate and do you have any traditions you do every year?  I'm always interested to see what the staples and rituals are for others!

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sorry Folks...

No weigh in today...the moose out front should've told ya!

(You know you want to watch Vacation now!)

Have a great weekend!

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Transition is expensive!

I'm not one to hold on to my fat clothes.  Before someone throws the PJ pants from the coat post in my face I'm getting those altered, dammit!  ;-P  As soon as an outfit is baggy on me, it goes in the donation pile.  I've got a nice lot of shirts to go to my mom that I actually bought with her mind when I got them because I knew I could hand them down to her so I got some that were more her style that I could dress up.  Kind of a two pronged approach when I was going from that size into a new one.

Over the summer I bought this great black shirt from Avenue that was a little more than I wanted to spend but the Mr loved it and I got it along with a few other pieces.  I felt settled since weight loss was going slow as hell.  I grabbed that shirt out of the closet last weekend and put my red waterfall cardigan over it and I was shocked to see it was getting baggy!  Seriously!?  I just bought that thing like 3-4 months ago!  I know I'm no longer in 22/24's at the big gal stores but some of them run smaller and I thought that was one of them.  Those big old PJ pants I'm altering?  It feels like yesterday that I couldn't wear them, matter of fact it was the beginning of the year.  Now they're so huge on me that they look like clown pants despite my leg measurements not changing much.

It is so expensive to have transition clothes until you get to your goal weight.  You have to have clothes that are flattering and I thank God I am getting close to the size where I am teetering on being able to go try on things at Old Navy or similar stores instead of relying on their plus sized depts online and hope they fit.  I picked up 2 long sleeved shirts for $10 at ON that would've cost me at least 3x that at Avenue.  Granted Old Navy has thin material they use but these made perfect around the house or layering pieces. I can't wait until I can get some good deals and have that mean $10 not $20.  Transition is expensive and I can't wait until I'm set in my weight and I can just get new clothes because something is cute not because they're falling off my butt and I need 3-4 new pairs of jeans or all new shirts for hot and cool seasons.

What do you do with your "transition clothes?"  Do you donate them?  Give them to a family member?  Keep them "just in case?"

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

People amaze me...

...and often not in a good way.

There are few things more personal to someone than their own weight loss adventure.  What works for me/us, may not work for you and you know what?  That's okay!  There is no one right way to eat.  (Obviously the Twinkie diet or 'diets' of dangerous meds that have been proven to have unsettling side effects are not the route to take for long term results)  I saw where someone jumped on another blogger for "sneaking" healthy things into their Thanksgiving side dish.  Are you serious!?  I am so sick of people jumping on the latest food diet fad or just getting started with their plan, lose a few pounds and preaching to others that they aren't eating correctly.  This blogger has lost over 90 lbs, I think she knows how to do this without your help Ms. Nosey!  Or the whole veggie people vs. meat eaters.  I totally respect both sides.  I could never be vegan because it's just not for me but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy eating vegan dishes.  Does this make me some kind of traitor to my meat lovin' brethren?  No!  It just means I like the diversity that being open to any kind of eating brings.  It's FOOD people.  Have we really gotten so self righteous about food that like politics and religion we can no longer discuss food in polite company?  I am sorry for this midweek rant but it had to be said.

I get that we all have opinions and are excited about the way we eat but when you force your opinions on others and make it an issue of right or wrong, you will always be wrong.  If we all were clones and had the exact same metabolism, genes, environmental circumstances and were basically drones then yes, we would all follow the same regimen to lose weight.  But thank God we're all different and while it may be frustrating that everyone else seems to be losing faster than you are and it may take longer than someone else to reach your fitness goal, as long as you can honestly say you're doing everything you can to go in the right direction, that's all you can do.  You need to be open to new ideas when things stall but you don't need to listen to someone try to chisel at your self esteem because they feel the need to have a pissing contest.  I'm urging all of us to remember that while you can be excited about your plan because it's working for you to remember that your plan is not for everyone and there is no "right and wrong" when it comes down to it.  In the end, we all have the same goal which is good physical and emotional health and the eating plan that gets us there is our own.

Has anyone ever tried to tell you what to eat?  How do you handle it?

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Life Lessons from unlikely places

You never know where lessons will pop up.  From our own experiences to a well written phrase on a tv show, something can be said that will make you think differently.  Those are great moments.  I was catching up on Hung last night and the episode had Ray having trouble accepting that the woman he was being paid to be with used to be a man.  She wanted to go to her high school reunion.  Ray was recognized by his old high school sports prowess and quite proud to relive his glory days.  When the woman's classmates finally realized who it was, Ray watched as they shunned her one by one and ridiculed her and then turned their backs on him.  He was no longer worthy of their praise simply because of who he was with.

He said something as he chose to take his crying date to the dance floor and show all of the classmates he wasn't ashamed to be with her that will probably stick with me the rest of my life.  (I'm paraphrasing but am sure I'm close)

"When you're young all you care about is what everybody thinks of you and then you get older and say f*ck that, what matters is what you think of yourself."  Never have truer words been spoken!  I haven't heard anything profound like that since Six Feet Under.

Have you ever had a quote from a TV show stick with you and help you better your attitude or change the way you look at things?

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Lesson learned

We had a day out with a friend out of town over the weekend.  My smell/taste is still on hiatus with this cold and I hate that I didn't change my high cal day habits to accommodate that.  All I could think of is that it was a normal high cal day and I wanted what I wanted.  Apparently I forgot that I couldn't taste it.  Now it was a lower high cal day than normal but still I found myself not enjoying a single thing I ate and later wondering "why the hell did I eat that if I couldn't taste it!?"

I guess note to self for any future colds that I shouldn't bother with a high cal day.  Well I didn't really have a choice for the most part because we were out of town but still.  No matter how long you've been at it or how many lessons you learn, there are always more to be tucked away for future use.

Do you change the way you eat when you're sick?

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cold week- Weigh In


I'm a little disappointed in that one because I was immediately back to weigh in weight at the beginning of the week which usually means big loss that week.  But I guess between the cold and eating less calories, the bod wasn't on board.

Still have my cold which well, sucks, because we have a road trip today so tasting anything is pretty much out of the question.  But we have much bigger plans the following week so as long as I'm well for that is all I care about right now.  I won't have a weigh in next week so literally the next time I'll weigh in officially is Thanksgiving weekend.  THAT should be interesting.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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Friday, November 11, 2011

When did THAT happen?

I bought this jacket last year. I've only lost 40 lbs this year (yes, when you have as far as I have to go and workout as hard as I do, "only" applies) and my measurements haven't changed drastically at the measure points so how does this phenomena occur?

This jacket looks like I have would have to smuggle a bedroom pillow or two for it to fit and I don't remember losing 2 bedroom pillows this year so I just don't get how a jacket gets that roomy in a year's time. Okay maybe the pajama pants too.  I wore these to Hawaii in 2002 and then I grew out of 'em and couldn't wait to wear them again.  That happened in the spring and now they looks like clown pants on me.  My leg measurements have only changed by like 2" if I'm lucky.  Does fat redistribute or something!?  So now I have to go buy a new outdoor winter activity coat that doesn't have the word "puffer" in it because note to the obese, it's not cute no matter how bad you want it to be.  The coat will get washed and go to a friend and the pajama pants, well, I'm seriously considering keeping them and having them altered when I get to goal because I love them THAT much.  (It's hard to find tropical pj's without looking like you belong in Trader Vics)  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Do you ever have denial that an outfit or certain clothes are too big to wear anymore?

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

No patience for this

The first 2 days of this cold really have taken it out of me.  Sore throats are just like the worst to me, followed a close second by extreme sinus/ear pressure and a close third of losing your sense of smell/taste.  Basically the whole thing sucks but those are my biggest irritations when I have a cold.  Thankfully the sore throat is gone.  There is just nothing that will make me feel more sorry for myself than having a cheese grater stuck in my throat every time I swallow.  If I had a dollar for every tissue I've used, I could buy a car.  I do not enjoy playing the nose trumpet in the Honker Sonata.  I did the Mr. a favor and slept on the couch Sunday night so he could get a good night's sleep.  He said he was but I could hear him stop snoring when I'd cough or blow my nose so I knew even if he didn't remember waking up, his body would.  I got these weird feelings when I stumbled down to the pitch black living room like there was something in there with me.  I think I might have watched Celebrity Ghost Stories that night or the night before.  :-)  At that point, I didn't care.  The poltergeist could've picked me up and thrown me against a wall and I wouldn't have cared.  This is assuming it didn't get a polter-hernia trying to lift me but it would serve it right.

I've worked out every day and that's basically been the most activity I can muster for the day.  I have been trying to not take anything for as long as it's comfortable.  I'm popping my ibuprofen 90 minutes prior to workouts, I'm doing the neti pot 3x a day, popping my 500mg of vitamin C to reduce duration (it does nothing to prevent it) and the past 2 days I ate the homemade chicken noodle soup I just froze.  I originally froze it for The Mr. but apparently I must've known I'd need it.  When I could taste it, it was good, it just stinks I couldn't taste it when I had it.  I'm getting antsy though, I just want to be better like, oh, now.  But this is the girl whose colds lasted 10-14 days.  Since doing those things during my last cold, I was able to cut my cold length in half so I'm praying for the same thing.  I have a road trip with a friend to kick off the Christmas season this weekend and I really want to be completely better for it.  I have higher hopes for today since I'm kind of over the traditional hump in my cold which is the first 3 days of misery.  I am going to incorporate the treadmill back in today even if I can't run it, I'll walk to add some extra calories in because I'm not going to hit my calorie burn goal otherwise.  The one thing I notice is my calorie burn is cut by 100-200 calories per workout with this irritating cold and I don't like that.  I find myself getting distracted mid-workout and losing my place.  I'm all business when I'm down there and I hate feeling like I'm screwing it up because my mind wanders or I have to blow the schnoz.  I just want to be done with it already with my weight still on a downward trend.

What are your rituals when you get a cold to make yourself feel better/reduce the duration?

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What's Been Popping Up in My Browser

Here are some links to what I've been reading so far this week.  Might be boring to y'all but they all got my attention for one reason or another and I thought I'd share!

The 5 Best Spots for Plus Sized Workout Clothing

9 "Diet" Foods that Make You Hungrier

The Truth about Aloe Vera Juice

What Food Labels Really Mean

Kettlebell Workout: Take Hold of a Hot Bod

10 Spices/Herbs That Aid Weight Loss

7 Ways to Prepare Kale


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Monday, November 7, 2011

Takin' care of bidness

Well, I'm sick with a delightful head cold, which in this house means busting out the proper attire:

This will make the FIFTH one this year!  Yeah, how that happens when I eat more fruits and veggies than I can manage some days as well as a multi-vitamin is beyond me.  Actually I know how it happened, the damned cable guys.  I remember the exact moment they both shook my hand and I thought "I need to go wash my hands NOW" and we got to griping and I didn't until maybe an hour later.  It's only contact I had in the incubation period so just another reason for me to loathe them since they were also the reason I didn't get my regular workout in that night.

Speaking of workouts, I do not use being sick as an excuse to skip a workout.  I have worked out through colds for 3 years and quite honestly, it's the only time I feel better.  Laying around whining, holding my head, listening to my heartbeat in my temples, feeling as though someone has jammed a bike pump in my sinuses and  is trying to see if they can shoot my eyes out of the sockets from the inside out is not my idea of fun.  Standing up and sweating is the only time I can breathe and focus on something other than how miserable I feel.  I just pop an ibuprofen an hour prior to workout time so any sinus swelling goes down and I'm more comfortable.  I  also don't believe in taking cold medicine because after a good talk with the doc, she said it extends your colds by 2-4 days.  The whole reason you have symptoms is because its your body's way of trying to fight things off.  By suppressing the symptoms, you just end up suffering longer, at least that's been my experience and my colds last long enough as it is.  (Also, why do people tell you to go to the doctor when you have a cold?  Hello, nothing they can do about it!  I'm not down paying a co-pay for her to tell me to pop pain reliever, wait it out and come back to give her more money if the mucus turns some technicolor green)  Sorry...side rant.

While doing workouts while sick makes me wince a little in the motivation department, I do like the feeling of envisioning my creepin' crud escaping in my sweat during a hard workout.  I know that isn't possible, don't feel the need to chastise me in the comments section and I'm also smart enough to know that working out with chest congestion or a chest cold is a big no no so no need to mention that either.  Obviously it's a personal choice for everyone but I do see far too many people who while they deem themselves "too sick" to workout and need to rest then talk about all of the other stuff they did that day instead of resting up.  Mmm hmm.  So I've got a pretty decent schedule on tap for this week so hopefully yesterday and today are the worst of the congestion pain and I'll adjust workout intensity as needed.

Do you workout when you have a cold?

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bloated - Weigh In

I'm down another pound.  I will SOOOO take it given I'm so bloated from Aunt Flo (sorry) and sleeping in one spot all night long so I am literally a huge puff ball.  That beautiful tiny ring I got back last night after being resized doesn't even slide over my knuckle this morning!!  Oh yeah and the effin' cable guys left me with a souvenir cold!!  I should hunt them down and breathe on them.  Oh well I guess better now than over the holiday.  But still, GRRRRR!!!

Anyhoo, hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

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Friday, November 4, 2011

A wrench in the plan

Yesterday was the day from Hell.  About 9:15am, boom, no internet, TV or phone.  I go up and reboot everything under the sun and nothing.  I figure it's an ISP issue so I go to call the hubby to tell him to call the ISP and no cell phone.  Oh gee, let me guess where it his car at work.  We were getting our bed replaced so I had to stick around.  Once they left, I hopped in the car and drove around town looking for a pay phone.  Good effin' luck people.  I drove for 5 miles and nothing!  Back home I went.  It was the first day of Aunt Flo's visit, no contact with the outside world and my blood was boiling.  Finally I decided to just accept I was going to miss the background noise (my soaps) and popped open the first season of Six Feet Under (affiliate link) and fell in love all over again.  (As well as bawled my eyes out like a hormonal beast)  I left a note on the garage door for The Mr. proclaiming all of the events of the day and to bring the cell phone in from his car and to approach me with caution.  After hour four of SFU, I was much more mellow but needed him to call the ISP so we could get things resolved.  They gave us a 3 hour window.  Not acceptable.  I told him to call back (it would not end well if I called) and ask them to call before they came.

See, we had a nice hike on the schedule and now we couldn't do it because we needed to be within 20-30 minutes of being back home due to the impending 5 HOUR ordeal we were going to have to endure.  So I strapped on the heart rate monitor and said "let's walk the neighborhood!"  I didn't need to burn much more for the week but I wanted at least 400 calories and that's what I got.  I'm glad we got to fit that in because they were at the house from 6pm to 11pm.  The guys were all nice enough...all four of them when all was said and done, but there was no way in Hell I was going to let this situation dictate whether or not I got scheduled exercise.  If I had to start at 11pm with the tension migraine I developed, so be it.  It was on the schedule, it was getting done.

When an unexpected situation pops up before you are able to get your workout in, how do you handle it?  Do you skip it altogether, make it up later in the week or find a way to fit it in no matter what?

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

I love comfort food, especially this time of year.  The air gets a chill, you put on a pair of fuzzy socks, a sweatshirt and jeans and just want some comfort food to put in your tummy.  It can be hard to find a decent meal to fall under the term "comfort food" and still be considered healthy.  Even if the calories are low, the sodium can be ridiculous.  Not this time.  I dove head first into chicken pot pie and was pleased with the results.

Now I will tell you that this does taste like a low sodium pot pie but I'm a firm believer in starting with the lowest salt content possible and each person can add table salt as necessary to taste.  I was good with the recipe as is, the Mr preferred a dash of salt.  Regardless, we both really loved it and the innards of the "pie" aren't just great as a pot pie but also ladled over rice or quinoa for a hearty dinner.  It's a highly customizable recipe where you can swap out the veggies of your choice, just remember the nutritional info will change.  This does freeze well so just ladle out what you need and freeze the "guts" for another time.  (I probably shouldn't use the word "guts" to refer to a recipe I'm trying to convince you to try, eh?)

For the printable version of this recipe, click here.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Jumping Jack Flash

Last night we did Tae Bo Volume 3 Live.  This workout is like 12 years old but still one of our relied on favorites.  We have had to modify certain moves for as long as we've been doing Tae Bo which is 13 years.  One of the things I've always had to modify are jumping jacks.  My gut seriously could not take it.  I swear I'd pull a fat roll attempting to do those things and if I was lucky I'd get 2 in before I'd realize it ain't happenin' and I finally settled on the low impact version.

We were doing our warm up last night and it was time for jumping jacks so we did them.  10 minutes later I said "uh...I did jumping jacks, when the hell did that happen!?"  We did that 2 or 3 weeks ago and I didn't feel the need to do them but it was like there was no thought process in it, I just did it.  I smiled and kept on going.  I don't know where that automatic switch came from but I can't wait for other things to come naturally.  I've still got a lot of gut to lose so burpees are about 20 lbs away if not more but I can't wait for the day that I can do one without feeling like I'm going to blow out a knee or face plant into the concrete.  For now, I'll enjoy my new accomplishment.  Just call me Jumping Jack Flash!

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What's ahead for the month

Happy November!  The beginning of a new month always brings a sense of a clean slate, even if you don't need one.  This month must be planned out meticulously for us as we have some traveling as well as a holiday so I want to make sure getting into the 2's isn't a fluke and I don't spend the whole month teetering back and forth.

I made out the workout schedule for November.  I made sure that I put the hotel gym on the exercise schedule for our jam packed trip out of town.  For those who know me, you know if it's on the schedule, it gets done.  We haven't missed a scheduled workout for 2 1/2 years and now that these are on the schedule, we have to do it or we blow the streak.  That ain't happenin'.  A few months ago, The Mr said he challenged us to get to the gym twice in addition to the walking we'll do while away.  I hope he was serious because the gauntlet has been thrown down, yo.

In paying attention to Thanksgiving, I think we'll do what we did last year and just eat a hearty, healthy breakfast and we have all the fixin's at Thanksgiving.  We still lost a pound last year so I'm hoping we can have a repeat for that.  I'm making the stuffing this year and it's a great low sodium, high fiber homemade stuffing.  I already did a test run and it turned out well.  We always have leftovers that Saturday so we're still on track Friday and try to flush out any sodium that day to please the scale Gods Saturday morning.  We have lots to pay attention to this month and I've got everything written out in black and white so there is no grey area for us.  We have found the past 2 winters that our weight loss seems to slow like hibernating bears despite us not slowing down so I'm hoping to break this winter curse as cold weather is getting ever so close. So that's the plan, man!

I did want to thank everyone for the sweet comments on my previous post!  You guys rock!

Do you plan ahead for getaways/holidays?  If so, how do you maintain accountability to yourself?

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Monday, October 31, 2011

A Milestone Hit!

Welcome to the 200's to me!  This may make skinny girls recoil in horror (to which I flick your feather like body off into the stratosphere) but to a girl who was tipping dangerously close to the 500 lb. mark, this is a big deal.  I haven't seen the 2's since 1999.  At that time I lost 85 lbs. and was feeling pretty friggin' awesome.  But due to the fast weight loss (it was just melting off then, no fads), my gall bladder gave me issues and it took 6 months of pain, dizziness and horror to finally get diagnosed that it was shutting down.  That was the beginning of the end and then add coping with family illnesses, deaths and work stress with food got me to where I was at my worst.

When I hit the 300's, I said when I hit the 200's I wanted to hike this hill that is in a town that was a fun part of my childhood.  It's about 250 feet with a 45 degree slope in many spots and for about a decade there was just no way I could fathom doing it.  I could barely do the stairs or inclines at our local park.  But I longed to lookout over the town and declare my victory over this seemingly impossible hike.  As if by fate, I had booked an out of town trip to this area for this past weekend.

Friday before we left...I hit the 2's.

Saturday, I hit the top...

It was an amazing feeling!  Not only did I make it without really stopping (except to take a pic of a deer) but I felt like a normal person, a fit person.  There was a bit of a lung burn toward the end but I think it was because we actually did a WAY worse hike by accident earlier in the day that made this look like chump change.  I wore my heart rate monitor and over the course of those hikes, I burned 2200 calories that day. There is just no way I could've done that even a year ago.  I think about when we went to Memphis last April and my feet had really bad blisters all over them and I could barely walk without a hobble because of them the next day.  We walked a similar amount Saturday (though much more strenuous due to the amount of inclines and stairs) and I just had a small amount of soreness and no huge blisters on the bottom of my feet.  That's a 70 lb. difference between now and then and I'm so thankful for it.  I remember how frustrating it was then to feel like I'd lost so much but my weight was still holding me back.  This time, I felt like I wasn't held back at all.  There were quite a few groups of people with overweight and obese people that had to stop for a bit to catch their breath but I was glad to see they were still out there living despite it.  So many of us don't.  I so remember that feeling but was glad that we could go at a pace we were now comfortable with and that pace was comparable to what most consider a "fit"pace.  I told myself I would stop if I needed to but I could count maybe two full minutes added up even after going up flights and flights of stairs in a row.  Heck, even young boy scouts were sucking more wind than we were.  There's something to be said about awesome cardio!  So it was a great weekend of celebrating this new chapter on my path.

I need to think of how I want to celebrate getting into the 1's.  (I will NOT call it "one-derland" because I don't enjoy barfing from cheesy sayings)  I hope it doesn't take as long as that 100 lbs. did but I'm going to do it up right y'all!

Do you celebrate milestones?  Any suggestions for the next 100 lb. milestone?

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Friday, October 28, 2011

It takes working not wanting

A person on a weight loss site was noting the negativity there and how people are so down on themselves saying how they can't do it or calling themselves failures before barely trying or assuming they're doomed to fail because how is this time any different than any previous attempts?  I remember having these thoughts many times on my various "attempts" over my years of trying to get this thing right.  I remember the name calling, the negativity before ever really committing to the change or just assuming I couldn't do something because it looked hard or God forbid, I sweat!

When people ask The Mr. or myself how we're doing this, they listen intently, eyes aglow, smile on their faces waiting for us to give them the secret behind our success.  They can't wait to hear what book they need to buy, what pill they need to shop for or how many ounces of wolfbane and eye of newt they need to place an order for at the local witchery.  When we say eating healthy and exercise, you see the smile leave their faces, posture drop and eyes glaze over.  If they bother to engage you at all after that, it's typically to say "oh, I thought you were going to tell me something I don't know."  Sorry to disappoint you but the magic pill isn't here and you shouldn't sit on your ass getting fatter waiting for it.  I was always too scared to get pills and surgery wasn't going to be my path regardless of how fat I got.  In the days of attempting change over the years, we would lose a little weight and then hit that dreaded plateau and then say "I don't know why this is happening...we're doing everything we can and nothing is helping."  The truth was, we were "eyeballing" or putting forth enough effort to get by but certainly  not doing everything we could.  Lying to ourselves seemed more conducive to our psyches than to say "time to kick it up."  We were eating better than when we weren't on a plan but still not watching sodium or looking to get in the most fruits and veggies possible, we would exercise but not 5 days a week and we didn't do it with the kind of effort we put into it now.  We were drinking more water but not enough water.  All of these things we improved upon slightly but never really fully committed to were somehow "doing everything we could" to us.  Pardon my French but bullsh*t!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's The Great Pumpkin Cupcakes

Tonight one of my favorite childhood cartoons is on TV.  "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is a timeless favorite for young and old and I can't wait to curl up with The Mr and hear Linus faithfully try to talk everyone into staying in his sincere pumpkin patch or Charlie Brown watch his rock collection grow.  (Seriously, how rude!  Poor kid.)  In honor of this childhood classic (and needing to make something for The Mr's Halloween potluck today), I came up with these "It's the Great Pumpkin" Cupcakes.

This is more about decorating than a big homemade recipe so I'm keeping it simple.  Here's what you'll need:

24 baked spice cupcakes from a box of Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix (I followed the lower fat recipe)
1 can of whipped vanilla frosting  (used whipped over buttercream to save on some calories)
Wilton Gel Kelly Green food coloring
Autumn Leaves sprinkles
Brachs Mallowcreme Pumpkins
Wilton #233 "Hair" decorating tip and coupler
Wilton disposable piping bag (or ziptop bag and a lot of patience)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Supreme 90 Day System

We've been doing the Supreme 90 Day exercise DVD's for about 2 months now.  I schedule one cardio and one strength training session for the most part every week.  I'll be honest I was skeptical when I saw a DVD combo kit that promised to deliver the kind of results that I would see on fancier infomercials for a mere $20-25 especially when I was seeing comparable systems for 4-5x that amount.  I wanted to get through all 10 DVD's before doing an official review for it.  To fully utilize the workouts, they suggest you have dumbbells, mats and a stability ball however, we don't have stability balls and they give you modifications for doing it on the floor.  We've never felt like we're missing out because of it.  If you don't have dumbbells, you can use large soup cans or half gallon milk jugs (with easy built in handles!)  But using the weights will net you the maximum results so invest in even a set of 5's, 10's and/or 15's to have on hand as you progress.

To say it was the best $25 we ever spent is an understatement.  I loathe these workouts in the way that you loathe something you know is good for you but will kick your ever lovin' butt.    The two cardios I like are the Cardio Challenge (my favorite) and the Tabata Inferno.  They keep your heart rate up, you use light weights and by the time you're done you just want to eat to restore your energy.  I mean we did the Cardio Challenge last night and I had chili in the crockpot and we felt like we could feel the life coming back into us as we ate because we had just expended so much energy.  The focus is interval training which we all know is hot right now but that's because it works.  It's full blast for 30 seconds then 30 second rest or the other is like on for 4 minutes off for one, I think?  (If I were being paid for this review I'd get off my butt to double check it but my legs are jello so said butt is stayin' put)  I'll admit my scale isn't doing The Dip ala Freak Nasty  (tell me I'm not the only one who knows that song) but I've gone down a dress size on top and I feel muscles that once you peel away the squishy layer will look quite sex-ay.

The strength workouts focus on muscle confusion and working different muscle groups per DVD.  I have really like all of them except for the one dedicated only to legs.  I don't know what it was about it but I hated it so much I actually stopped mid-workout to do a different one.  That's just me though, you might like it.  My favorite is the Back and Bi's.  It a good way.  The next day I always feel like I'm going to keel just lifting a soup can!  There are these moves called "good mornings" where you hinge, lean forward then do what would be an overhead press and hinge back up.  It's toward the end and sweet baby Jesus you feel super human for completing them some days.  

When we first got this workout, it was for the days we were going to "step it up" and now that we have, we're so glad we did.  It almost makes me emotional because before I started or even the first 100 pounds into this journey I would've looked at that video and said 'there's no way in Hell I could ever do that!'  I would often dismiss hard moves in any workout as something my big ol' body just couldn't do without ever giving myself a chance to prove myself wrong.  At the point we bought this workout, I had gained some confidence in workouts and while I still have to modify things here and there, I looked at it and said 'I could do this eventually.'  Then when it came time to put the gonads on the line, we popped in the DVD and I did it straight through modifying minimally and coming out the other end proud as a peacock.  

So would I recommend Supreme 90 Day?  Absolutely.  Because whether you're currently ready for it, looking to switch up your routine or need to aspire to work up to it, $25 is a small price to pay for 10 DVD's much less 10 DVD's that are this good!

(This is *not* a paid review for this workout DVD.  If it was I would likely not use a Freak Nasty reference or say gonad.  Before starting any new exercise plan, check with your doctor or personal trainer)

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The thin line of visible and invisible

When you're super duper morbidly obese, you get used to being invisible.  The rare times you decide to throw yourself to the mercy of the public, you accept as fact that people like furniture store sales people, fellow shoppers in a grocery store, cashiers and even the usually predatory car salesmen will not acknowledge you.  You will literally have someone cut you off with their cart to the point that you are astonished that they didn't physically run over your foot and I'm not a "fetal fattie", I will go off on a beeotch, yo...or at least let them know I know what they did with an "are you effing serious!?" turn to the Mr and say loudly "did you see that rude ass!?"  There is nothing more irritating to me that people who are blatantly rude to others in thinking their mission is any more important than yours or someone else and I am the champion of the underdog so I just say something.  Oddly, no one outside of a car has said something back.  They seriously are in their own world and you are just not important to them especially if you're fat.

When we lost over 150 lbs, we started seriously noticing a difference in how we were treated at those same places that we were shunned before.  It was both a relief and maddening because everyone regardless of size deserves to be treated with some respect.  Suddenly furniture places looked at us as though we could afford what was in their stores and car salesmen deemed us prey-worthy (that one I could do without) and we were even acknowledged a few times in the grocery with an "excuse me."  It was all enough to make us think that was no longer a hurdle but we had one of those days last weekend that made us just totally feel like we'd crossed back into invisibility.  From almost getting hit by some d-bag that wasn't paying attention (and watching he and the Mr have a bit of a screaming match side by side) to getting ignored by multiple employees at a home store except for the one obese employee who did approach us (which is fine by me because in commission based businesses, I will ALWAYS give my money to the underdog salesperson who is too shy, too shunned or too overweight to be considered competition by sleazeball co-workers) to this scrawny wench who seriously stepped INTO me at Old Navy and I said "SERIOUSLY?" (no response) and I was breathing down her neck she was so close to me.  I'm surprised she didn't think she was getting accosted by a ghost with my irritated heavy breathing on her neck until the Mr lead me away from her.  I totally got the attitude that SHE belonged there and I didn't so she was just going to step into a space I was already occupying.

It was just one of those days but a good reminder that even at almost 200 lbs down, I'm still fat by society's standards and still not worthy of "fitting in" to places they'd rather not see me.  TOO DAMN BAD!  I'm here, I'm workin' on it and I'm not going away!  I am glad for this reminder because there will come a time that getting acknowledged will happen more often than not and I never want to forget that feeling of feeling less than in other people's eyes just based on my cover.  It'll remind me to always treat others out in public the way I would want to be treated.

Have you ever been ignored and felt it was because of your weight or image issue?

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Ring a Ding

Well we did it.  After talking about needing to do the deed last week, we went to our jeweler to get our rings resized.

The Mr went down a size from an 11 to a 10.  Mine went from a 10 to a...are you read for it?  7 1/2!!  That's two whole and a half whole sizes!!  I am still floored!  I mean it felt like I went from baby hand to POW size 10 fingers in high school on.  I have never in my life been a 7 1/2 in any rings I've worn except maybe I don't know 6th grade?  Who knows!  That's a size a 'normal' person wears.  Like, they actually have those sizes for people to try on at the jewelers instead of me having to slide it on my pinky and visualize.  I am in utter disbelief and so happy.  This is a major non-scale victory for me so I'm going to relish it.  I don't expect many to understand just what kind of milestone this feels like but I really needed this one.  (It didn't hurt that when I was in my skivvies the other day The Mr said 'damn girl, you are looking svelte!' and I laughed and said 'I don't know about svelte but thank you!'  He said 'well I like the way things are looking!  Now learn to accept a compliment!'  So that was nice along with the 2 lb. loss Saturday)

That was my excitement for the weekend...what was one good thing that happened to you this weekend?

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sooo close - Weigh In

I lost 2 lbs this week!  (insert rump poppin' dance here)

If I can lose 2 lbs next week I can hit my goal and be in new BIG numbers next weekend.  The problem with this  is we're not going to be able to weigh in on our normal day so weigh in would have to be Friday and I can seriously lose a pound overnight.  (I usually knew what I weighed Friday could be down a pound like clockwork on Saturday)  So it's very possible if I hit it, I wouldn't know it.  Don't think it hasn't crossed my mind to bring the scale with us but it's a big ol' doctors office plug in scale and I wouldn't want to screw up the calibration in it so I'll just have to hope for the best Friday.  I just really wanted to be able to celebrate new numbers by the end of the month.  We'll see.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Childhood faves

I'm thinking it's time to dork off today.  It is Friday after all!  The topic?  Childhood.  Here are some of the faves from my childhood which will sadly date me and make some of you not want to associate with me anymore to which I say...screw you, you'll be approaching middle age one day, be desperate to od on nostalgia and you'll remember this post...and cry.

These are the things that give me warm fuzzies.  Click the pic to enlarge.

Row 1:
Barbie Townhouse (in which my kitten took more than one ride up and down the elevator.  Settle down animal lovers, she liked it)
Fashion Plates (I was sure the prairie skirts and halter top was a bitchin' option for cutting edge fashion.  Too bad by the time I got it, they were already outdated fashions.  Ask me if I care)
Monkey Swing (Loved that thing!  What I wouldn't give to be able to swing on one of these without fear of the branch breaking!)
Holly Hobbie Oven  (Baking with light bulbs was the coolest!  Can you imagine how many weeks it would take to cook now with an LED light?)

Row 2:
Lite Brite (Luckily I wasn't corrupted enough when I had to make suggestive pics or curse words.)
Strawberry Shortcake dolls  (My whole room looked like Strawberry Shortcake exploded in there from wallpaper to sheets to the record album..."smile a sunny mornin'")
Wacky Wall Walker (usually found as a prize in cereal boxes and only good for about 4-6 throws before it started collecting dust and hair on the sticky adhesive that made it walk.  It was never the same when you washed it off)
View Master  (I really wish I could recall what discs I had back in the day but we just bought one at an antique store.  Sigh)

Row 3:
Monchichi  (Still have mine in the basement!)
Scratch and Sniff Stickers  (For our 14th anniversary The Mr got me the Hot Stuff Pizza sticker and the Happy Birthday Cupcakes I always loved.  Why didn't I think to keep these things!?)
Fresh N' Fancy Make Your Own Make Up  (I swear I think I'm the only one that had this thing!  I loved making perfumes and nail polishes and make up)
Swatch Watch  (That was my Swatch.  That effer sells for hundreds on Ebay now.  GRRRR!)

Row 4:
Whoopsie Doll  (You would squeeze her belly and her pigtails would move.  She was my favorite baby doll)
Jarts aka- Lawn Darts  (These are THE most awesome things ever.  Metal tipped and you knew you'd better get your ass outta the way or risk getting impaled by grandpa if you're not paying attention.  The plastic ones are for wusses)
Dream Date PJ/Barbies  (She's representing the whole Barbie clan for me but she was always the one I considered the most glamorous.  Interesting she's not an actual Barbie.  Also had Western Barbie (who reminded me of Dottie West from my grandma's era), Crystal something or other Barbie and 10 others as well as the obligatory eunuch Ken doll whose head popped off way too easy) and finally
Simon (it was so revolutionary for its time and you didn't want to be the one who screwed up and got the ominous buzzzzzzzzzz)

What are some of your favorite childhood toys that give you the warm fuzzies?

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside

I have such a hard time finding coats that I like.  I'm so tired of settling for coats with no shape because my shape is so screwed up.  I did something I swore I wouldn't do but I ordered a coat online after hearing I could return it to the store if there was a problem.  It's the style I've always liked, oh and I got a killer deal scoring it for $96 instead of $159 with a coupon code:

It's pretty simple.  I can pick any accent color scarf or gloves with it but honestly I'll probably stick with my black ones.  I know, I really go out on the fashion limb, do I not?  I am nervous for it to get here because I just want to know it fits.  I hate not being able to try something on because it takes me back to the days I had no choice but to order from catalogs.  But the stuff I was finding in store were just hideous and I said last year I wasn't settling when I had to get a new coat so this is my current idea of not settling.  So keep your fingers crossed that the "middle muffin" (between the boobs and the gut) allow me to sit in this without popping a button off and getting charged with manslaughter.

Are you getting a new winter coat this year?  Where are your favorite places to shop for coats?

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No longer a perfect 10

I've always had big, long fingers.  My class ring size when I ordered it my sophomore year in high school was a 10.  When we were looking at rings for our engagement and the woman sized me, she told my then boyfriend (now hubby) "it'll be easy for you to remember her size, she's a perfect 10" despite the fact I was probably 50 lbs heavier than when I got my class ring.  Even when I got to my highest weight, my ring size was still basically a 10, albeit a little tighter depending on the day.

Now that almost 200 pounds have come off, I didn't really expect my ring size to change much since it didn't seem to change when I put those pounds on and I still have about 60 pounds to go before I reach the weight I was when I ordered my class ring.  But as I sit here typing, I'm wearing my wedding and anniversary rings on my index finger.  My middle finger is now the one well worn by the rings for the past year and wearing it on my index finger proves to be a little tricky as it likes to get caught on everything from my sweaters to my forehead when I forget its there.  So I'm thinking it's time to resize and the Mr may need to get his done as well.  His has already been resized once and it's getting loose again.  So I suppose I'm okay with not being a perfect 10 anymore in Ringland.  I'm putting my body on alert though...I would like to have weight come off in other places before dealing with this issue again so if you have some kind of "preferences" section in there, I request checking the stomach and legs options over the hand, shoulders and boobs being at the top of the list for shrinkage.

Have you had to have your ring resized on your weight loss journey?  If so, how many ring sizes?

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