Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful and safe time! I cannot believe it's already Christmas Eve. All of last week is kind of a blur. I am visiting my family for Christmas and having a great time! But it seems like time speeds up when you are having fun, so the days are flying by. 

Saturday morning two of my sisters and I did a "Biggest Looser" workout video. That was fun. I had never tried one of those workouts before and although I still prefer the Slim in 6 it was fun to change it up a little. Not to mention working out with my sisters instead of alone! We are all at different levels which just goes to remind me (and them) that all you can do is your best and just keep working! After we did the weight training workout we still wanted a bit of we turned on the XBox and did Just Dance. I do not have an XBox and I have never played this lovely game before. I can promise that we did get quite a cardio workout in! My sisters who are 11 and 16 years younger than me had fun trying to find songs that I knew. They were amazed at how many songs they thought were "old" were still after my high school years! I guess that kind of dates me doesn't it? Hmmmmm. Oh well. The point is that we were working out and having fun together.

I always take Sundays off from working out. So last night I told the family that I would be working out at 7am today. No one was thrilled or even willing to get up that early to work out while on vacation. So when I woke up at 5:15 and still wasn't back to sleep by 6 I just decided to give up on sleep and get a jump start on my workout. Since I was working out alone this morning I went back to my Slim in 6 Start it Up routine. It's been a while since I've done that one and I could tell. My heart was pumping hard not long into the routine! I feel good though. I'm more motivated and determined to get my workouts in. I just feel so much better when I start my day off with a good workout. That's not always easy to remember, but it's true.

So I'm off to shower and get dressed for the day. We are getting family pictures taken by my fantastic brother this morning and then we are taking the kids sledding. That will be another workout in and of itself! :) But it will be fun!

Friday, December 14, 2012

This week is over?

Oh my! This week has been a whirlwind! It always gets this way just before Christmas though and I don't like it! I try every year to get things done early so that I'm not crazy right before hand, but it never works out that way. The sweets have already begun to sneak into my house, despite my determination to hold them off! I stepped on the scale this morning and found a nice 2 pound gain just waiting to great me. Yeah! Whatever! Then when my husband took the last child Christmas shopping tonight they returned with a yummy dessert. I told him he was not being very supportive because he has been the source for the sweets entering my home and now I have gained 2 pounds. He just kind of laughed and said expected me to gain a little weight and I should expect it too since it's the holidays!

Ok, so he kind of has a point. But I am trying to keep that weight gain under 5 pounds and being up 2 pounds a week and half before Christmas is not a good start! I did get 3 workouts in this week...which I'm honestly surprised about. So I informed my hubby that I WILL be working out every day while we are on Christmas vacation! hahaha I have got to get my self discipline back in shape!! :)

How are you doing?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Getting Back on the Wagon

So I was reading Monday Morning Restarts by Diane the other day and it got me thinking. The post is about waiting to restart your diet on Monday as apposed to starting any day of the week. Once upon a time this was something that I did too...but now it's not a matter of restarting my diet, it's a matter of restarting my exercise! I often find that during the week I fall off the exercise wagon due to my schedule. It's not a great reason, it's definitely an excuse! I just haven't gotten a good schedule for exercising right now.

I have found from experience that I do better when I exercise in the morning, before breakfast. That way I exercise, shower and fix breakfast. Ok sometimes I eat breakfast and then shower, but either way the exercise is still first! Right now I get to bed so late and have to be up so early that I find it easy to choose to stay in bed a little longer. That extra hour of sleep is so needed...even that extra 30 minutes of sleep!

Solution number 1: I could start working out at night instead of in the morning. That would be an easy fix. But by the time I get the kids to bed at night I have no motivation at all to exercise! I am so tired and usually have such a headache that exercise is the farthest thing from my mind. Yes that is an excuse and I know it.

Solution number 2: Go to bed earlier! Yes that is by far the best solution and you would think it would be an easy fix too. I am a night owl and at this point in time my husband works 3 swing shifts which means he gets home between 10:45-11:15pm on those nights. I should be in bed by 10 really, but no matter how many times I tell myself I'm going to be in bed by 10 it never happens.

So in reality I go to bed around midnight and usually have to get up once or twice a night with one or more of my kids. Breakfast and getting kids ready for school must start by 7, which means I need to be up by 6 to get my exercise and shower done. I remember the days when that wouldn't have been a problem but for some reason I cannot seem to drag myself out of bed at 6 anymore! I blame getting older, and obviously a bad attitude about the time! On Mondays school starts one hour later so I am pretty good at getting my regular exercise in on Mondays, but every other day is a struggle. I know I will feel better if I force myself to get up and get moving, and the days that I do force myself out of bed and into my workout I'm not nearly as tired as the days that I choose the extra sleep. But at that hour of the morning I often find myself saying "Tomorrow. I'll get up tomorrow". Or, "It's already Thursday, I'll just start over on Monday!"

With the colder weather I find it even harder to get up and get going. I need to take Diane's advice to restart any time, including any time of the day, instead of waiting til Monday morning!

Do you do this too?  Or is your mind stronger than your body?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Be Aware

Have you noticed that a lot of foods at the grocery store now say "Healthy", "Low Fat", "Light", "Sugar Free" or "Fat Free" on the packaging? These labels are used to make you feel like you are making a healthy, wise nutritious choice while shopping. I have been so frustrated over the past few years because it appears to me that often the foods that have this advertising on it turns out to be high in calories! Yes maybe it's fat or sugar free, but that is just one thing to consider. Sometimes to cut the sugar or the fat out of a product a substitute ingredient is used, and often those ingredients increase the calorie count! You have to check the nutrition labels and don't just trust that because a product says that it is low fat, or fat free that it is healthy, or your best choice. If you are trying to lose weight you need to look a little closer at the nutrition label. If you only look at calories and don't factor in fat, protein, fiber, etc, then you only get part of the picture. Same thing if you only check the fat or sugar content. You may think you are making a wise choice because the label says it's fat free, meanwhile you are shooting yourself in the foot because the calorie count is the same or higher than the original product! This can set you up for frustration when weight loss doesn't occur as easily or quickly as you expect.

So be sure to check your nutrition labels and compare! Know what you are buying and how it will affect your eating plan!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-in

So I weighed in this morning for the first time in a few weeks. I have been afraid because I didn't monitor my points much over Thanksgiving and I know I ate way more than I should have! So I was pleasantly surprised when the scale said I had lost 2.2 pounds since my last weigh in! Who knows how much I had lost before Thanksgiving though and then gained some back with all that pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes...mmmmm! My stomach is growling just thinking about it all again! So, this means I only have 1.8 pounds to go until I reach my goal, AGAIN! lol I think this is almost exactly where I was at this time last year too. Maybe I'll just make this be a holiday my weight goal during December and then again sometime during the summer, and during the time in between I'll just fight those 5 pounds! hahaha

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Post Thanksgiving

So how did all of you do over Thanksgiving? Our Thanksgiving dinner was great! Boy oh boy was it delicious! And the left overs the next couple of days were great too! I think I did pretty well watching the amount that I ate on Thanksgiving day, and even the day after...but today...well today is a different story. I decided to sleep in this morning and so I told the kids they could get a string cheese out of the fridge to eat while they waited for me to get up and make breakfast. When I got up an hour or so later I found that the kids had discovered the last pumpkin pie in the fridge. Did they eat string cheese? NO! hahaha They ate the pumpkin pie. My very helpful husband decided to just finish dividing up the pie at that point and so I took a piece too. I knew it wasn't a healthy start to my day, but it sure tasted good! And there was this little voice in the back of my head saying it wasn't so bad because this "pie" didn't have a was just the pumpkin filling. I know I know, that didn't make it "good for me" but it really did taste good!

Well that was the fist slip and it just continued all day...tonight my stomach feels very full and I am regretting some of the food choices I made. Nothing I can do about it now though except work harder tomorrow to get back on track. I will admit that I'm kind of afraid to weigh in and see what the damage is!

Did you stay strong? Or did that wonderful food get the better of you too?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, a day early! :)

So the other day I was having a conversation with my mom. She sent me a message asking me how many WW Points* a certain recipe was. Rather than sending a text back I called because the number of points per serving in this family recipe greatly varies depending on how exactly you make the recipe. I know that may sound a little obvious, but my mom and I have found that we often alter a recipe to our own taste. After so many years of using my altered recipe I forget exactly how my mom makes it. Usually she has made her own adjustments to the recipe but hasn't written them down so the recipe card I originally copied from her didn't have her alterations on it. Anyhow, the point is that if a recipe calls for 1 pound of hamburger we often put less in. Usually I put in about the same amount as my mom, but sometimes we vary. I also substitute a lot of lower fat ingredients for what the recipe actually calls for. For example, the recipe today called for 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar. I don't use cheddar very often. Instead I use a pizza blend of shredded cheese that consists of lower fat cheeses like mozzarella. So on my recipe card I have 3 different variations and point values. Following the exact recipe results in 1 cup (1 serving) = 10 WW Points*. If I cut the amount of hamburger and split the cheese half in half then 1 serving = 7 Points*. But by using the smaller amount of hamburger (which I do because I like the taste better, not because of the point value) and replace the full amount of cheese with the lower fat cheese then my 1 serving = 5 Points*!

These are easy changes, and they don't change the taste at all, but see how much difference it makes in my eating plan? My plan gives me 20 points per day. Making this recipe without any of the changes takes half my daily points!

Play with the ingredient lists on your recipes and see what a difference you can make! You might be able to easily make a big difference in your Thanksgiving meal too!

*WW Points is the old Weight Watchers Points program, not to be confused with the current Weight Watchers Points Plus program.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Water and Winter

As we head into the winter season and the weather is getting colder and colder I am having a more difficult time drinking enough water. Are you having the same problem? I know from prior experience that water is a huge part of losing weight! For me it is practically impossible to lose weight, or even maintain it, without drinking enough water. That was a hard fact for me to learn, but I did eventually learn it. I don't do as well as I should all the time, but who is perfect?!

So how does water help me lose weight? If I'm feeling constantly hungry I try to make sure I drink water about 30 minutes before a meal. Often your stomach is full long before your brain gets the message. So by drinking water 30 minutes before I eat my stomach is not totally empty and by the time I finish eating, my brain is getting the message that I'm full. So I stop eating without feeling like I'm still hungry or that I'm depriving myself.

I have also found that most of the time when I start feeling hungry I'm really just thirsty, but my brain has misinterpreted those feelings. If I go get some water I stop feeling hungry. That helps keep from over eating too.

Several years ago, while attempting to lose weight, I was told I should drink more water and I would be successful. That was something I did change in my life. Although I didn't know how much water I should be drinking I started drinking more. I didn't like the taste of water though and I knew that adding koolaid to it would defeat my purpose. I started keeping water bottles in the fridge and for me it was easier to drink more water if it was really really cold. Later, when I was pregnant I started to dislike ice water, it was just too cold, so I started just carrying a water bottle with me and drinking it at room temperature.

I think my taste changed partly because I was so used to drinking water by then. Ok I moved too and I think the water tasted different in the new town I was living in. Have you noticed how it tastes different in different places? Anyhow, I still prefer it at room temperature. Maybe that's part of the reason that I have a harder time drinking in the winter, the house is colder! I love to drink hot chocolate...and I could drink that all day long. :) Some times I warm the water up just a little but that's just not the same as hot chocolate!

So what do you do? Or am I the only one that has a difficult time with this?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Weigh In

This morning I woke up after a restless night. The kids had actually slept all night which hasn't happened lately so I was frustrated that I woke up all night! I had very weird, disconcerting dreams all night. Nothing really scary or anything, just abstract and uncomfortable. On top of that I just couldn't seem to get comfortable. I blame my incredibly congested head! Seriously! Even though I didn't feel good and all I really wanted to do was curl up in bed and go back to sleep I decided that since I wasn't sleeping well anyhow, I would just get up and exercise and get the day going. I chose to do my Wii Fit Plus workout and weigh-in. Yesterday I caved and had a few pieces of my kids Halloween candy and so with the congestion and the candy I fully expected to see the scale go up. I felt like my head alone weighed more than 10 extra pounds! (Actually I still feel the same way while I write this! I hate the shift in seasons!) I was therefore pleasantly surprised to see only an increase of 1.5 pounds! hahaha Exercise does help me feel better, but it didn't clear up my head. Oh well. I had a good work out and took a small nap this afternoon. I plan to sleep in tomorrow! Yeah for Saturday mornings! :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What are we teaching the next generation?

I love the fact that so many companies are using ad campaigns to try and change the way society looks at, and thinks about, beauty. So many young girls develop self esteem issues partly due to the images of women that we see in magazines and tv and in the movies. I know there has been a lot of talk about ways that society can encourage girls to have higher self esteem, to accept themselves for who they are and to love themselves. When my second grade and kindergarten boys had their school pictures taken I was appalled to see that they offer airbrushing and touch-ups! For elementary school pictures? Really?? We hear about designers focusing more on "real" sizes instead of the ultra thin girls. Some runway shows wont even use the incredibly slim models because they are trying to emphasize that most girls/women are not a size 0 or smaller. There are many celebrities that have done photo shoots without makeup to show girls that they shouldn't expect to naturally look like what they see in the media. That's great! But are there other things and attitudes in society that also teach us to think less of ourselves?

When a girl has a low self esteem issue she doesn't just wake up one morning as an adult and all of those issues are gone. On the contrary those feelings last far longer into womanhood than any of us would care to admit, and they often get worse with age. I think that most women would even agree that we are harder on ourselves and on other women than we would ever be on a man. And there is absolutely no doubt that women are allowed to be more critical and harsher on another woman than a man would ever be allowed to be!

Most of the media attention that we see regarding self esteem is focused on changing our perception of outer beauty. But I don't think that is the only place where we hurt ourselves, and the next generation. I think there are a couple of attitudes that are prevalent in society which are harder to recognize but are just as destructive. Over the past several weeks I have heard some conversations that have really bothered me and I've been thinking about them a lot. In fact, I've written and re-written this post so many times that I've lost count. I want to express my opinion in a way that doesn't just sound like a rant, but I'm having a difficult time doing that, so hear me out with an open mind please.

A couple of weeks ago I overheard a conversation between some teenagers. There was a girl who was very upset because her boyfriend had cheated on her. He slept with someone else and she found out about it.  She was complaining to another guy about this situation and his response was: "you have to understand. For us guys one vagina gets really old". Blah blah blah. I have heard this excuse many times so I wasn't so surprised to hear him claim that it's impossible for guys/men to be faithful. What really surprised me, and actually disgusted me, was her response to that. She actually said: "Well then don't tell someone you are going to be faithful to them. Just be honest that it's just sex. Don't have a relationship with a girl". WHAT?? Why do we just accept that males are incapable of controlling their hormones? Do we truly believe that it's harder for guys to keep their pants on than it is for girls? I don't believe that for a moment! Not only do adult women accept, and even expect, this of adult men but as a society we have taught our daughters that they shouldn't expect guys to be able to control themselves. Society expects everyone to have control over their actions...but we believe that males don't have the ability to control their sexual urges? If they physically or mentally are incapable of controlling their sexual urges then why are rape and molestation a crime? Isn't that just more proof that males are not capable of controlling their urges?

The next conversation I heard was on tv and they were discussing a case where a woman has been "outed" as a Madam. The discussion was centered on whether or not the client list should be released also. There were opinions on both sides. One person said that they thought it was a great idea that the list be released because for years the women have been embarrassed and the "Johns" have gotten off scott free. The opposing view is what grabbed my attention, and quite frankly it made me sick. This is what was said: "The reason I disagree is that we don't really know what is going on in these men's homes. We don't know if they're not getting any sex, we don't know if they're unmarried, we don't know if they have trouble at home... And there are some states where prostitution is legal, so I'm not sure that to release these names and cause that kind of pain and hurt and divorce and shame is a good thing". (I actually paused the show and typed it word for word just to make sure I got it correct)

WHAT??? Are you kidding? This is not a teenager talking either. This is a prominent woman, older than I am, who is now not only giving "Johns" a pass for breaking the law (where prostitution is illegal) but she is implying that their wives/girlfriends, whoever, could be partly to blame for their criminal act! That is why their names are going to be released. Not because someone has said this is morally wrong and you should be embarrassed or shamed. But because it is ILLEGAL. Someone who is arrested often gets their name in the newspaper. There is a section of most newspapers where you can read a list of arrests and those arrests can occur for breaking traffic laws clear up to murder. So do men who break the law and hire a prostitute deserve, need to be protected from public scrutiny? What about the woman who everyone now knows is a Madam? What if she was having trouble at home and needed money to support her family and this is how she chose to handle that? What if her husband isn't satisfying her sexually? What if she is trying to provide for a terminally ill family member? What about the pain and hurt and shame that this brings on her and her family? Maybe no criminal behavior should ever be reported for fear of the pain and hurt it might bring on the family of the criminal.

Will there really be more pain and hurt caused by releasing the names of these clients than there is when the name of a serial rapist or serial killer is released? Or how about the names of the shooters at Columbine or the theater in Colorado. What about the man or woman who embezzles money from the company they work for or own? What about the pain and hurt and embarrassment and shame that their parents, siblings, spouses, children, other family members and friends felt?

Both these conversations made me feel like we still put a man's wants, desires and pride ahead of a woman's. We allow society to blame and punish women for men's actions. It's just like blaming a rape victim for the rape. Why don't we stop accepting and promoting this attitude? Why don't we teach our daughters to expect more of males? Why don't we hold guys to the same standard we hold girls in regards to self control? If girls are sleeping around they are called tramps or whores or sluts, to name just a few. Derogatory terms are not used in connection with a guy who is sleeping around. This is not new. This has been the attitude for generations. Women are strong enough to stand up and say we want equal job opportunities, we want equal pay, but we can't demand the same standards in personal behavior from men?

These are not the attitudes that I want my daughter raised with. This is not what is acceptable in my home. The women I hear promoting these attitudes on tv and in the media are self proclaimed feminists. Am I totally off or does this fly in the face of feminism? Why are we still teaching girls that "boys will be boys" and to just live with it and accept it and expect it?

I wanted so badly to run over to the teenage girl and say "Don't devalue yourself so much. Do not accept that he is incapable of being faithful but he expects you to remain faithful to him. He needs to treat you with respect and you need to demand that respect." I wanted to call in to the woman on tv excusing the "Johns" and say "Hey, he broke the law just like she did. He deserves to be treated just like she is treated. If you don't want his name released then don't be releasing her name either!" So many women have eating disorders and weight problems because of low self esteem and we are adding to that problem by placing ourselves as second class citizens, at the mercy of a man's urges and desires. I feel so strongly that we need to stand up and say no! I will not accept that a male is incapable of using the brain in his head to make his decisions. I will not accept that he cannot control his hormones. I do not accept that male hormones create stronger urges than female hormones. If I can control myself then so can you!

Obviously I am passionate about this and I'm sorry for a rant but this hits very close to home for me. This attitude of "boys will be boys" had so much to do with my personal weight gain (if you missed that entry you can read it Here) and I personally know other woman who have been affected the same way so it really irritates me to hear women making the excuses for men. They don't even have to attempt to have self control unless it could be considered rape or sexual harassment or molestation. We don't expect it out of them and we don't even make them come up with their own excuses, we provide the excuses for them.

What do you think? Am I over sensitive? Or do these attitudes and excuses hurt us and the future generation?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Busy week with Halloween

I didn't think last week was going to be any different than the week before, even with Halloween. Boy was I wrong! I'm glad I got the week off to a good start with my exercise and eating because by Thursday I was holding on for dear life! The changes that are taking place are messing with my daily schedule and it's going to take a few weeks to nail down a new routine. Everything is good, these are good changes, but my routine is all out of whack! I'm so sorry I never got a post written last week...the before mentioned changes are to blame.

So I'm trying out one new possible routine today. So far it's going pretty good. I was able to get up a little early today and get a short workout in before getting breakfast ready. I did the Slim & 6 pack routine this morning and although I like it, my abs hate it! :) It's all good though.

I've done better than I expected with all the Halloween candy laying around my house. It is contained in my kids' trick or treat bags in one location and they receive about 3 pieces a night after dinner, IF they have eaten all their dinner. At this rate they will still be eating Halloween candy this summer. I have heard some people say that it is better to let them eat all of it quickly so that you can get it out of your house, but I don't like them on that big of a sugar rush. Actually the main reason I don't allow that is because that is not a habit I want them to get into at this age. I would rather they learn right now to be selective and limit their intake of candy. Honestly, there have been one or two nights when I've completely forgotten to give them any at all and they didn't even ask. They know that it is a big treat to get candy, and that even once they have the candy they have to do something to "earn" the right to eat that candy. I really wouldn't even feel bad throwing it all in the garbage can, as long as I don't think about the money associated with all that candy. They received so much of it this year too! I can't believe how much they have! I think they each have about 5-8 pounds of candy! It's insane!

How are you handling your post Halloween candy?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My current favorite dessert/snack!

So the other day my mom and sister called and wanted some ideas on a quick, low weight watchers points, treat. They have not found a store in their area that sells the yummy weight watchers ice cream treats or snack cakes so they wanted to know if I had any recipes for something. My suggestions weren't satisfying my sister's craving so she asked me how many points a Blizzard from Dairy Queen would be. After telling her the lowest point one was a small banana split blizzard and it was still 10 points (the old WW points, not points plus) she knew that was out of the question. I gave them some other ideas but the best suggestion I could offer was to check out Snack Girl's blog. It is great! I absolutely love all the recipes that I'm finding there! One of the best things about the recipes she shares is that she lists the nutritional info at the bottom of the recipe and the WW Points Plus values. Since I use the old Points program and not the Points Plus, the nutritional information is perfect because it contains all the information I need to calculate the Points for my program!

This is where my current favorite dessert was found...the Mini Apple Crisp. I have made it two nights in a row and I love it! I had forgotten how much I loved baked apples as an after school snack when I was growing up. I remember that one year I think my mom made me baked apples just about every afternoon after school for the entire year! At school that year (I don't remember which grade I was in, but it was in elementary school) we had to bring a recipe to school and demonstrate how to make it. I think the recipe I took was actually a brownie recipe, but someone else did the baked apples and I was excited that someone else loved them too! Anyhow, This is a little more work than the baked apples I grew up with, but it is so delicious! The house has been chilly at night for the last couple of nights (I'm holding off the heaters as long as I can) so this apple treat has hit the spot with it's sweet warm yumminess!

The baked apples my mom made would be a great option too. Here's how to make those:

1 apple
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cut an apple in half, core it, and place in a baking dish. I cut mine in half and then sliced in half again so the pieces were thinner. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in small dish then sprinkle over the apple. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. My mom used to put a little butter in hole where the core was, just to help melt the brown sugar. I didn't do that and it melted just fine.

I just made these this morning so I could include the pictures...and my silly children would not eat them! I don't know what is wrong with my kids, I had to put them in the fridge before I ate them all myself. I am going to save them for tonight and then warm them back up. I put some fat free whipped cream over my apple crisp and oh boy! :) Hope you enjoy!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Congested? Exercising?

So this past week has been busy and...well "blah"! I just haven't been inspired by much this week. I have really struggled with getting my workouts done. I would like to say it's because I haven't been feeling well, but the truth is that when my allergies kick in, like they have been over the last couple of weeks, one of the best things I can do is workout! I don't know exactly what it is about all that exercise but it really helps clear my sinus passages and my chest out. It's not that enjoyable to be working out while stuffy and congested, but when I finish and after I take a nice hot shower I do feel least until that night! Of course it all starts all over again every night, but at least I can manage during the day better.

I thought that it might just be the hot steam from my shower, but that's not the case. I have skipped the workout and just taken a good long hot shower and it's just not the same! I know conventional wisdom says to just rest and take it easy when you aren't feeling well. Heck, that's what I tell my kids to do! I discourage them from running while they are congested like this. Talk about a double standard! I realized this yesterday while talking to my son's kindergarten teacher. She has the same nasty stuff that we have had. I guess maybe it's not just allergies, it seems to be going around. Anyhow I kept Joe home from school on Monday and Tuesday because he was running a fever. But yesterday was his very first field trip ever...and they were going to the fire station. I knew he really wanted to go and I just couldn't make him miss that. Besides, his fever was gone. So anyhow, I called and talked to his teacher about it (because they were walking to the fire station and I was concerned about him walking the 2 1/2 blocks in the cold air). I wanted to assure her ahead of time that his fever was gone and although his voice was also gone I was pretty sure he was no longer contagious. She told me that she was having the same issues without the fever and that all the kids in the class were coughing and losing their voices. continue this long story....while we were talking I mentioned that I had instructed him not to be running around on recess...just take it easy. He of course informed me that he must run on recess because it is the only way to get somewhere fast! She laughed at that and told me that she still runs when she feels like this and she and her husband disagree about the wisdom in that decision. He tells her to take it easy just like I tell my kids! She said she still runs though because she feels better afterward.

So that conversation got me thinking...she I be encouraging my kids to exercise when they are congested like I try to do? Or is my first instinct of having them take it easy the correct response for kids? I told Joe not to run because I didn't want him to start coughing really hard at school and have to come home...but would he get better faster if he was doing more running. It seems to break up the congestion in my chest when I exercise. Tracey (Joe's teacher) said that is what it does for her too. So should we be encouraging more exercise? Are we actually prolonging the illness by trying to keep our kids down until they "get over being sick"? I'm not talking about the stomach flu or anything like that. If they are running a fever or throwing up I still believe they should be in bed, and so should I when I feel like that. But when we are talking about a cold or congestion? Hmmmmm makes me wonder.

What do you think?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

In a Rut

So is anyone else in a rut? Or is it just me? I am having a really hard time with dinner specifically. Nothing sounds good to me and it all seems like just so much work! I should admit that I am not a fan of cooking. Unlike my sister who loves to cook (check her out Here.) She is amazing! But that's beside the point. I am all about the fast to prepare but nutritious meal that is most importantly something that my kids will eat without complaining. I love the old "meat and potatoes" meals. Rice, potatoes or pasta with some chicken or beef are my staples. I love them, but my metabolism doesn't like me to eat them constantly.

My other problem is that my kids and I are home alone for dinner most nights of the week. I know that is no excuse because there are lots of women out there in the same boat. I honestly don't know why it makes such a difference to my motivation to make a "real" meal, but for some reason it does. I think I am still in the mindset that my kids wont appreciate a full meal. Now, they are 8, 6, and 4 so the oldest does appreciate the full meal more than the 4 year old does, obviously but their favorite meals are still pizza, macaroni and cheese, corn dogs and chicken nuggets or fish sticks. Oh those meals are so easy to fall back on when the day has been hectic and I have no desire to spend a lot of time cooking, which is most of the time.

Once upon a time I made a menu and followed that, which meant that I knew what I was making every day ahead of time. There was no question about it, I just made that meal. When I made the menu I would make sure I wasn't having the same thing all the time, meaning that if I made a chicken and rice dish on Monday, I tried to have something with beef and potatoes or pasta on Tuesday. That really did help, but I have gotten out of that habit. I think maybe it's time I resurrect my dinner menu....

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Burying Your Temptations

Recently I was reading an article about temptations and changing your behavior. This article was not written about weight loss or about addiction or anything like that, but as I read I immediately had the realization that it can be applied to any area of your life. The author is speaking of a people who were blood-thirsty and continually at war. They had a change of heart and wanted to change their lives and become a peaceful, loving people. We (the readers) are told that they buried their weapons of war deep in the earth and vowed they would never go to war again, not even to defend their own lives. What a huge change that would be! That in itself sounds overwhelming to me, but the author goes on to say: 

"In other words, they took away their temptation and placed it where it could not get to them."

That line right there is what grabbed my attention. In fact, I haven't even finished the article yet! I felt like I had to come share this right this moment! What are my temptations? Are they still within my reach so that at a weak moment I can grab them and return to my old ways? Or have I buried them deep in the earth where I cannot reach them so that even when I do feel weak I cannot return to those bad habits?

One of my big temptations has been ice cream. My husband and I used to have a bowl of ice cream (and these were not small bowls) just about every night after the kids were asleep. I found the only way I could avoid that temptation was to not buy ice cream, for a long time! I buried that temptation in the store, so to say! Same with brownies, donuts, candy bars, etc.

I collect M&M dispensers and almost always there is a bag of M&M's that come with the dispenser...those are a huge temptation. If I am feeling strong when that bag shows up in my home I can "bury" it in a drawer or the back of a cupboard. Often I forget about it and then I am not tempted to get it in a weak moment. But if that bag sits on the cupboard within reach I find those weak moments come more often.

This idea can be transferred to absolutely anything in your life that tempts you to make unhealthy decisions. If you are trying to save money you can bury your credit cards or your debit card. Bury whatever temptation it is that causes you to over-spend.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fears, Safety and Changes

My senior year of High School I started to gain weight. In my opinion I had never been "skinny" to begin with, but looking back I have to admit that I was skinnier than I ever thought I was. Most of my girlfriends were a smaller size than I was so I often felt heavier than I really was. I never considered myself pretty either. My husband tells me that I was, and still am, very pretty. He didn't know me in high school so he is simply going on pictures and his own bias. As I explore the emotional reasons I gained weight I'm starting to wonder just how distorted my view of myself really was, and still is.

Here is one of my senior pictures...yes it was the 80's!

My senior year of high school my boyfriend started making comments that certain outfits weren't "flattering" on me anymore. That was the beginning. I did try some weight loss programs over the next year or so, but I wasn't really successful with them. It wasn't like I had gained a ton of weight, just a few pounds, literally, but my dad has battled weight ever since I can remember and so have a few members of his family. I have always been told that I look like my dad and I think subconsciously I started to expect to have a weight issue myself. I didn't feel like I was eating any differently than I ever had, and certainly not differently than any of my skinny friends. In all fairness I probably was eating a lot more junk food than I had previously, but I was in denial about that. So between the comments about clothes looking tighter and not being flattering, and my own insecurities because I knew things were fitting differently, I was feeling pretty hurt and defensive.

I think subconsciously I was starting to build a barrier between myself and anyone who could hurt me, in any way. I had high standards for myself and the boys I dated had been pushing those standards. That is what leads me to wonder now if maybe I was prettier than I thought I was. I got tired of always pushing hands away, not that there were tons of guys, but there were one or two who were exceptionally persistent, and flattering.

Now before you start thinking that I was molested or raped, and that I'm blaming my weight gain on that, let me assure you that is not the case. I know there are many women out there who legitimately do have weight problems due to such experiences, but since I was never raped or molested, there is nothing there to blame. In my opinion I was just like any other girl who was saving sex for marriage. I mean, boys will be boys right? But looking back now I am convinced that I was unconsciously trying to discourage the boys from wanting to push my boundaries.

So over the next several years I slowly packed on the pounds. Pretty much every time I got involved with another guy who proceeded to push my boundaries I would gain a few more pounds. I wouldn't say I actually was "overweight" until a few years after high school. It was a bit of a slow process for me and I was in some denial about it, or rather I was rebelling against it. I was trying to prove that I was in control and could eat anything I wanted like some of my friends could and I could do anything I wanted.

By the time my 10 year High School reunion came around I was 90 pounds heavier and I had given up on trying to lose weight. I was at war with myself. Consciously I wanted to find a man who would love and care for me. Someone who would respect me and my morals, and that I could start a family with. But subconsciously I was scared of letting any male really get close to me. I was scared that if I lost the weight again I would end up raped, one way or another. I knew girls who had been date raped or molested and I had seen how difficult it was for them to have a "normal" life. That all seemed to be tied to their looks. Then there was the seemingly random rape by a stranger to fear. That also seemed to be tied to looks. It was a fear that I had, one that I think a lot of girls have. We don't really talk about it except to teach/learn what to do when walking alone after dark, or if your car breaks down. I felt like my buffer zone was working, and was protecting me on all fronts. Like most other women I was drawn to the same type of guys over and over again, so maybe my buffer zone was a good thing. But the time was coming for things to change.

Me holding my daughter about a year before my journey began

A year after my high school reunion I was introduced to my future husband. He is a wonderful man who loves and supports me no matter what. He accepted me just the way I was and never asked or expected me to change my weight. So the natural question is, why did I start my journey? Well, I became a mom and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up with my kids. After 7 years of marriage and 3 kids I decided I needed a change. I didn't want to be overweight any more. I wanted to be able to run with my kids and run after them if they ran into the street or something. If they were in some kind of danger I wanted to be able to  run after them and honestly have a chance of saving them from whatever danger they were facing. All of a sudden I was more afraid of not being able to catch them if they were in danger, than of any danger I might be in if I was skinny again.

Talking about it now sounds dumb and egotistical, and honestly I didn't feel pretty at all, just average. So after being in a loving and safe marriage for so many years and having 3 wonderful little children I was determined to protect, I decided to make a change. But by that time there was a new problem to tackle. I lived in a town and I had no money or time to spend on getting to a gym. Besides, working out at a gym hadn't worked for me in the past so why would it work now? I started thinking about getting surgery. I just didn't know what else to do. A friend recommended buying a Wii and trying that first. I felt that I needed to give exercise a legitimate try before turning to surgery.

I did my research and talked to my husband and decided that was a good idea. So I started with Wii Fit Plus, and a few weeks into it I added some Weight Watchers. I still didn't have the money to join a program or the time to go to meetings, but I had a friend who knew the Weight Watchers program. She was on her own weight loss journey and was having so much success that she inspired me. I knew that if she could do it so could I! She offered to give me some of her old books and to teach me the program. So I met with her and she taught me the old points program. Little did we know at the time that Weight Watchers was coming out with a new points plus program just a few months later.

By using what she taught me about Weight Watchers and exercising I lost 80 pounds over the next year and a half. I have maintained that goal weight for almost a year now.

 my "after" picture, taken this year on my birthday.

I still follow the old points program and exercise regularly. And I still battle the emotional temptations and feelings of inadequacies. I still don't feel "pretty" and I still take precautions when when I'm alone after dark, but things are changing emotionally too. I am finding more confidence and more self-assurance. I'm beginning to accept compliments better and to believe that people really mean them. This is a daily, life-long journey but I'm glad I'm taking it. :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012


What are the common excuses you use to skip exercise?

My top excuses when I exercise at night are:
  1. I'm too tired! 
  2. I've worked hard all day (cleaning house, chasing kids, whatever) and I just don't have the energy tonight.
  3. It's too late! I should have exercised an hour or two ago. If I start my workout now I wont be able to get to sleep!
  4. I just want to sit down and relax!
  5. My husband is home and I want to spend some time with him.
  6. So-and-so (usually one of the kids) has some event tonight that we need to go to.
  7. I just finished dinner because we've been running behind schedule all day and I can't exercise on such a full stomach.
  8. I'm emotionally worn out. The kids were terrors today and I just can't even think about working out.
My top excuses when I exercise first thing in the morning:
  1. I'm too tired! I was up with one or more of the kids too much last night and I just need a little more sleep.
  2. I have to be somewhere really early this morning and I don't have time to get it done. (This is only valid if I haven't set my alarm to get up earlier to compensate for the appointment, or if I already used excuse number 1 to stay in bed past the earlier alarm time)

Yep! That's it!  I can come up with so many more excuses in the evening, and the problem is that all these excuses are usually valid reasons. But they are still excuses. Overcoming the temptation to use those excuses is a constant battle in my head.

What are your excuses?

Friday, September 28, 2012

New attitude -- It's not just hype that you hear!

A few years ago the thought of exercising every day was not an appealing thought to me. Truthfully it still isn't at the top of my list of things I like to do. I would still prefer to sleep in every day. My children make that an impossibility though. :)

I have noticed a change in my attitude though over the last couple of years. I would say that it took a few months for me to notice it, and since then it has just gotten stronger and stronger. What is this change you may ask? Well I have found that my day goes better and I am more productive when I start my day off with exercise. I remember hearing people say that all the time and I would think "sure...of course you get more done during the day, you get up earlier! If I got up as early as you do then I would get more done too."

When I started my weight loss journey I exercised at night, after the kids were in bed and before my husband got home from work/school. I really enjoyed that time of the day at first. But I quickly found that I would be extra careful all day long about what I ate so that when I weighed in that evening I would see a change, and a positive change not a weight gain! This is when I discovered that certain foods weigh more in my stomach than others! LOL Seriously though, I did find that my body holds on to rice and pasta far longer than I thought. I started limited my rice and pasta intake (something that I still catch myself doing at times) because I didn't want that extra little weight to show on my weigh in. I knew that wasn't really "fair" to myself since those foods aren't bad for me, they just stick around longer! It made dinner choices very limited and my kids started to forget that they really do like rice and pasta. That created another problem for me because on the nights that I did make rice or pasta I had to convince my kids to eat their dinner and that usually became a difficult thing to do.

So when Jan mentioned to me that she weighs in first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything at all I decided to change my routine. I started getting up in the morning and doing my weigh in and then working out. Not only did I find that I could comfortably eat those yummy rice and pasta dishes again, but I really do get more accomplished during the day! I have more energy during the day too!

My kids have always been early risers, much to my dismay. When I switched to morning workouts I didn't need to get up any earlier, I just worked out instead of laying on the couch supervising my kids until a more "reasonable hour".

By the time I am done exercising my mind is wide awake and I'm feeling motivated to get things done! My kids are now old enough that I am comfortable letting them get up about an hour or so before I do, so occasionally I stay in bed a little later than normal. There is a benefit to doing that occasionally because I am naturally a night owl instead of a morning person. Having that extra hour in bed occasionally is just heaven in my opinion! So yesterday was one of those days.

I mentioned to my husband after I got up that I was going to have a difficult time fitting my exercise in because of the canning that needed to be done today and the fact that I was already running late. His response is always that I could just do it later in the day, after the other work is done or after the kids are asleep, like I used to do it. I am just not able to do that any more. If I don't exercise in the morning then it isn't going to happen that day. Not only do I feel better about myself, and I'm more motivated to get things done, but if I wait until the end of the day it is so very easy to come up with more excuses to skip my exercise! Today I didn't get up any later than normal but I just didn't feel like I had gotten quality sleep. I was very tired and tempted to skip my workout. I wrote part of the post last night before going to bed and so when I was tempted to skip my exercise this morning my own words came back to haunt me! I decided that since I was so tired and I had been slow in getting the kids dressed and ready for school this morning I would do an abbreviated workout instead of my normal one. I chose to do the Slim & 6 Pack today because it's a short, but intense, 15 minute ab workout. I do feel better about the day already since I made that decision and although it was a shorter workout my abs still feel like I worked hard! :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Am I setting my kids up to have weight problems?

Woohoo! I'm so excited that I can actually access and post a real entry! I started this entry the other day but then I hit an error message so I was hoping this entry saved as a draft, and it here it is:

So this afternoon I've been browsing other blogs and one blog post in particular got me thinking...what about the future? I was reading This post and Diane mentioned that as a child she was encouraged to eat everything on her plate. I was told to do the same. I know that part of that was my parents way of teaching me to be careful how much I put on my plate because if I took more than I would really eat chances are my mom would be throwing it in the garbage at the end of the meal. When you are looking at the amount of food that 5 young kids may "waste" by loading their plates too full that could me a great deal of money "wasted" by the family in the long run! I hate wasting money and throwing food away really bothers me. I would much rather put left overs in the fridge for the next day's lunch or if it's a really small amount that is left I will sometimes use that as a snack.

So how do you teach your kids these important lessons without them growing up with the idea in their heads that they have to eat everything on their plate even if they are full? I mean it is better to throw the food away or put it in the fridge rather than stuff yourself fuller than is healthy! I can't blame all my weight issues on being told to eat all my food, but I do admit that there were times even as an adult where I ate more than I should have because I didn't want to waste my money or my food.

That took on a new dimension when I became a mom because I found that I didn't want to waste the food on my kids plate either! If there was something left on their plate that was still edible I would often finish it off...especially potatoes in all their varieties! That was a hard habit for me to break when I first started my weight loss journey...and I still struggle with it. Whenever I make french fries here at home I cannot let any go to waste! To me "left over" french fries are not that great, they need to be eaten when they are hot! :) So I am trying to find that balance. After reading her post and thinking and writing about it I have to admit that I probably "force" too much on my kids. I don't mean I make them over eat...I mean I don't allow them to get down from the table and go play when they first want to. I have very slow eaters in my home. Which is great! Except that I get very frustrated when they are still sitting at the table 45 minutes later and they are only half way through a sandwich! I know (from experience) that if I allow they to get down part way through their meal and go play then it is highly likely that 30 minutes after I finish cleaning up the meal they will be back complaining that they are hungry again! That irritates me, especially when it's at night! I hate being woken up in the middle of the night because they are hungry and can't sleep.

So how do you know when it's ok to let them go play, and when it's right to force the eating to continue. The last thing I want is to have any of my kids struggle with weight even in part because of some idea that they have to over-eat in order to avoid wasting food.

So what do you do? How do you walk that line? :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I don't know if this will post...but I'm going to try it. I am having problems with Blogger and accessing my blog. I am not sure what the cause is but I can tell you that many other people are having the same problem according to the forums and such. So hang in here with me please! I am trying to get the problem resolved, as quickly as I can. I will be back to update more as soon as I know if this works or the error messages go away!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Follow up on Last Week's Tip

So last week after my Tips post my sister informed me that you can use "unsweetened apple or white grape juice instead of syrup." That had me intrigued. I bought a box of apples to make applesauce out of, but  I only needed 1/2 box for applesauce so I took the other 1/2 box and juiced it. I got about 29 cups of juice. Yesterday I canned my peaches and my pears. I had exactly enough juice and didn't have to make any light syrup to preserve my peaches and pears! They are pretty too. 

Ok, so I used Gala Apples and because they are a red apple the juice was a reddish/brown. Then I had Oh Henry Peaches, which have some red meat in them so my jars are not a golden color like I've always had in the past, they are more of an orange/red color, but I think they are still pretty! :) 

The 3 on the top right are peaches, the others are the pears. In total I got 10 quarts of peaches and 11 quarts of pears! The apple juice is so mild that the main "flavor" is just a light sweet real apple taste to speak of and not a syrup-y taste either. I would not use this juice as a regular apple juice to drink because it is so mild, but I think it's going to be perfect for this canning project! And there is no sugar added! :) The other great thing about using the apple juice is all the money I saved by not using all that sugar! If I had white grape juice on hand I would have tried some in grape juice too....but I only had apple. I'll have to update you when I open the first bottle!

Have any of you ever tried anything like this before?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Getting started again

I said last week that I had learned my lesson again about not exercising....So this morning I started in on my workout routine again. I was happy to see that I had dropped a few pounds since my last weigh in. I had forgotten how much better I feel during the day when I have worked out. I had a very busy day and somehow I managed to get through it without any down time! I know that without that exercise I would have been dragging at least 3 hours earlier than I am now!

I think the 2nd and 3rd days are always harder than the first though which means tomorrow is going to be harder than today. I started with the Wii Fit Plus workout again. I was surprised at how out of breath I was by the end of the "ride". I shouldn't have been surprised though since it's been over a week since i did any cardio workout. With that in mind I better cut this short and get to bed early tonight so I can actually get up and exercise in the morning! ;)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lesson Learned...AGAIN

So what does a week of Pizza +  more Pizza + Rice Krispy Treats + another Pizza + Cheesy Bread + Cookie Dough + NO EXERCISE = ??


Yep, that's what I learned again when I weighed in yesterday Not just a little weight either...nope. It's my largest weight gain since I originally hit my goal. Although eating it was yummy (ok the second night of pizza in a row did not affect my body well at all! I paid for that night for 2 days!) it was not the smartest way to celebrate reaching my goal weight again.

In all fairness though I should point out that's not why I was eating that in the first place. The rice krispy treats were a celebration for my husband's birthday. The extra pizza was a result of being out of town and arriving at our destination after our normal dinner time. The cheesy bread and cookie dough were a direct result of being depressed. Yes I am an emotional eater and they got the better of me. The lack of exercise can only be explained, note I said explained not excused, by lack of planning. I was busy and I just didn't feel like exercising. I should have because that probably would have helped with the depression I was feeling. But the simple fact is that I didn't want to get out of bed and exercise. And when I was out of bed I still didn't want to exercise. Bad me.

Lesson learned. I will not procrastinate exercising and I will not give in to the sly inner voice trying to get me  to eat my cares away. I know that eating this way will only bring me long term unhappiness...even if I ignore that knowledge some times. So back to the exercise and eating healthy plan.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tip of the day

For those of you who don't know, I have been doing a lot of home canning lately, and there is more to come! While growing up my mom always canned food from our garden and then we got to eat it all winter long. She would can green beans, carrots, pickles, peaches, pears, syrup and jams just to mention a few. I never had any interest in helping, that was too much work! I often wondered why she spent so much time and energy doing it too. I thought it was mainly to save money because it can be far less expensive than buying those products in the store. When I became a mom I started doing some of my own canning. I have actually come to kind of enjoy it.

The obvious benefit of home canning is saving money, but there is an added benefit that I hadn't thought about until this summer. Have you ever noticed the difference between home canned peaches and store bought canned peaches? Or syrup? To me there is an obvious taste difference, and a big part of that difference is the amount and type of sugar that is used in the canning process! Canning uses a lot of sugar!

A couple of weeks ago I started looking at possibly using sugar substitutes in my canning endeavors. It started while I was making maple syrup. The syrup just tasted really sugary to me. I wondered if I could make syrup with less sugar, or with a substitute. Well I decided that it would be more expensive to use a substitute and would probably negate the cost benefit of canning it myself. So instead I cut the sugar down by a quarter. That tasted better but I thought I could cut it down more. So I cut it in half! YUM! You get so much more of the actual maple flavor that way.

My mom told me that she had cut the sugar for the berry syrup by 1/3 this year and still liked it so I followed suit. I love it! I also made my own applesauce, and I didn't use any sugar at all! I haven't canned my peaches and pears yet, but when I do I will be cutting the sugar down in those also.

So what is the hidden benefit of home canning? You get to make it healthier! That is my tip of the day! If you are canning food this year look at how much sugar you use. See if there is a way to cut it down, or substitute something healthier that will still preserve and help sweeten the food you are canning! If you don't do your own canning you may want to look into it! I don't feel so guilty having pancakes and syrup often when I have canned the syrup and I know how much is natural berry juice!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Last weeks review

Last week was a little crazy and I didn't get my review posted...or written! Which is a big bummer because I had great news last week. I finally got back to my goal weight! I hit my goal weight last December, but it lasted for only a couple of weeks! I've been working to get back to it ever since then and I finally made it last Wednesday!

Of course then my husband's birthday came along and his mom made these huge delicious Rice Krispy Treats for him (they are his favorite) and they even had M&M's on top! How was I to possibly resist those? I didn't. I haven't weighed in since then so I don't know how much work I have to do now....but for at least 2 days I was back to that goal weight! :)

This month is going to be a long running start to the holiday temptations! It started with Larry's birthday, but there are 2 more birthdays to come this month! Then we have Halloween next month, followed by Thanksgiving and then Christmas and New Years! Yes, it is just the beginning...

So it is time for me to listen to my own advice and make sure that I'm prepared! :)

Are you prepared?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Setting yourself up for success!

Lately the topic of self sabotage has been common in my conversations. A little over a week ago I wrote about it here and read a blog about it here. I have also had some conversations in real life with people about this. So what do you do to set yourself up for success instead of sabotaging yourself?

Prepare Ahead Of Time!

So now the question is "How do I do that?" Well here are a few of my ideas:

Pretend that you are going to a gathering where refreshments are going to be served. You know there are going to be some really tempting sugary sweet things just waiting for your attention. Your mouth starts watering just thinking about it. Well my first thought has always been to skip eating most of the day so that I can really enjoy the yumminess later on! That has even been a temptation after starting Weight Watchers points. I thought, I'll just save up my points for that treat and then I'll still be ok on points and I'll also be able to enjoy dessert. Sometimes that may work. Actually I still do it sometimes, although I have learned that I usually end up over-indulging and eating more than I normally would have! So if I want to save up points for something fun in the evening I still eat during the day, but I eat healthier choices. I will eat things like apples because they are filling but low in fat and calories. If I get to that social event with all the desserts and I feel like I've been depriving myself all day long then I am going to feel entitled to make the most of those yummy desserts and sample some of everything! That is self sabotaging! If I eat healthy filling foods all day so that when I get there I have room for some dessert but I don't feel starving and like I've deprived myself all day then I am more likely to be satisfied with that one small piece of cake or brownie.

Ok, now pretend that it's a Bar-B-Que that you are headed for. Yummy cheeseburgers, maybe some ribs, etc. The best way for me to be successful is to prepare by eating before I leave. Now you may think that will mean I eat more...but that's not the case. Remember that it takes like 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you are full. So if I have a salad 20-30 minutes before the dinner then by the time I get there my brain is in line with my stomach and it's much easier to make wise choices there. I find it easier to have a small pile of chips with my ribs or cheeseburger rather than loading my plate with them, and it's easier to keep from going back for seconds or thirds! Does that make sense to you? If it does then you are at a level of understanding that it took me a long time to get to! Congratulations!

Next, pretend that you have a great friend who is having a hard time and she is coming over to "vent". When she arrives at your house she has a shopping bag full of stuff...stuff like ice cream, chips, and cookies! All the makings of an emotional eating frenzy! So what do you do? This is something that was unexpected. You haven't been able to adjust your eating for the day to allow for this kind of indulgence, and boy do those cookies look delicious! How can you be prepared for this? I say it's easy. I keep my house stocked with lower fat options. When she pulls out those cookies or ice cream or chips, I have my own to pull out. Is this ideal? Probably not, I still have points to count and I still may go over my daily allowance a little, but it's going to be far less than if I wasn't prepared with my own lower fat options! Because honestly, if you have a friend sitting there eating ice cream or cookies or something that you love, and you have nothing to substitute with are you going to just not eat? Probably not! You'll probably be like and think "I'll just have one little cookie" and you know as well as I do that unless you are super-human you are not going to stop with just one cookie! Especially not in that situation!

These are some of my favorite goodies to keep on hand!! It all comes down to preparation! Just because I have all these goodies in my house at pretty much any given time doesn't mean I get to eat them all every day though.

I would say that the most important way I prepare is to allow myself some yummy treat just about every day. One little Fiber One brownie, or one WW smoothie bar, (I really like the WW Fudge bars too!). If I am allowing myself a treat every day or two then I don't feel deprived. That helps me be prepared to fight the temptations that will ultimately sabotage my weight loss goals.

What do you do?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Here we are

So I went back to my diary to find where I left off and it turns out that I really haven't written anything in my diary about my weight loss since March 2011. That is kind of funny to me because I hit my goal back in December but I didn't say anything about it. Unfortunately for me I haven't stayed at my goal, I have gained a total of 4 pounds back. I told myself that if I stay within 5 pounds of my goal weight I'm not going to get upset. So I'm within that range but I am frustrated that I haven't been able to hit that goal mark again.

I keep telling myself that it's ok though since my clothes still fit and I still feel good about myself. The actual number on the scale doesn't really matter. My doctor is very happy with the weight that I've lost and he doesn't even want to hear about the fact that I'm having problems with this last 4-5 pounds. He just tells me to be proud of myself and be satisfied. I think maybe this last little bit has to do with some other health issues, but so far I haven't been able to convince the doctor of what I think is happening. It's ok though.

The hardest thing for me right now is to stick to my routine and not get lazy about it. Today is a bad day though. Last week everyone in the house was sick, except me. Now that everyone else is apparently better I'm feeling lousy. I started the Slim & 6-pack workout this morning and had to stop about 1/3 of the way into it because I was just feeling sick. As I sit here typing my stomach is doing flip flops and so I think maybe it was wise and not lazy to stop my workout this morning.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesdays Tip

Change your routine often! In my previous post I mentioned how valuable changing my workout routine is. It kick starts my body into that weight loss mode again. Not only that but it also helps me to not get bored with what I'm doing. When I get bored with my routine I find that I stop putting 100% into the workout. I start slacking off or skipping parts that I don't really like. So find a few different things that you like and switch it up.

I don't have a set schedule for switching my routine, I do it based on a few different factors.
  1. Am I stuck on a weight loss plateau? If the answer is yes then I know it's time to do something different for a while.
  2. How much time do I have on a particular day for my workout? When I'm doing the "Slim in 6" workouts the first workout (Start it up) is only 30 minutes long but in week 3 when I move to the Ramp it Up workout it's an hour long! Some mornings are crazy busy and I might only have 30 minutes, maybe less! On those days I will switch to my Wii Fit Plus cardio workout which only takes about 30 minutes, or maybe I'll do the Slim & 6-pack workout which is only around 15 minutes.
  3. Have I overdone it lately? I have an old ankle problem that sometimes acts up and makes it difficult to do anything more than light impact. On those days I often do the Slim & 6-pack because it focuses on my troublesome abs, it's a hard workout and yet it doesn't bother my ankle at all!
  4. Am I in a rut. Have I started putting less than 100 % effort into my workout? If the answer is yes then I have to shake it up! Maybe I need to do a combination of things like the Wii Fit Plus cardio workout followed by the Slim & 6-pack ab workout! Maybe a fast walk outside while the kids ride their bikes is a good change for the day!
Don't limit yourself to one or even two workout routines! It can be easy to think "This is actually working and nothing else ever has. I don't dare change anything!" If that one workout continues to work and you aren't bored with it then keep it up! But if your progress slows down don't be afraid to try something new. Sometimes that is just what you need to take that big step forward!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Moving forward in my story

My journal entry from March 3, 2011 starts out with this: "my weight loss is stuck in a vicious cycle. i lose a couple of pounds, then i find them again. lose 3 pounds find 2, lose 2 pounds find 3...i've been battling this same five pounds since before christmas and i'm ticked! i got down a pound below that line i was stuck at and thought maybe i had broken the cycle...but no! i'm still stuck! i'm really needing to do something to get past this hump. my dr told me i need to shoot for just 15 more pounds then work on toning...i would prefer 25 more pounds but i'll listen to the dr...besides, at this rate i'm not even going to get those 15 off before summer!!!!! grrrr"

I couldn't even call this a plateau because I would lose .5 pounds and then gain .8 pounds. Or lose 1.5 pounds and gain .6 pounds back. I decided that I was on a road with lots of rolling hills! So sometime around March or April of 2011 I got so frustrated with these rolling hills that I talked to a friend of mine. She is a Beachbody coach. I asked her what to do to get off that ride and finally get back to a steady weight loss. She suggested that I start the "Slim in 6" workout. So I did. This is when I discovered how very valuable changing your routine is. Now I change it up often. Every time I feel like I'm stuck again I switch routines.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Week in Review

Well the past 2 weeks have been a bit of a trial for me, temptations left and right! Last week it was ice cream....boy did I succumb to that! But it was good! :) I'm not against ice cream or anything, I love it! But I try really hard to limit how much I eat. Before I started my weight loss journey it was common for my husband and I to have a bowl of ice cream (a large bowl) every night after the kids went to bed. That habit or craving was pretty hard to break. Last week I admittedly ate more than I should have and I was worried that I was going to re-ignite that craving. I was kind of right. Yesterday, while at the store getting school supplies for the kids my husband wanted something for dessert and that ice cream was just calling my name!

Luckily, or maybe unluckily for me, he wanted donuts instead of ice cream. It has been a very long time since I had a donut, mmmm-mmmm good! I did stop after only one donut, but the rest of them are still calling my name! The kids were very excited to have chocolate donuts!

However, I weighed in this morning and sure enough, the ice cream and donut have added 1.3 pounds. Oh well. Nothing I can do about it now...just move forward and keep working out. That means I have 4 pounds to get back to my goal weight. I know that doesn't sound like much but since I haven't been at my goal weight since December it is very frustrating. My personal limit is 5 pounds so I just have to keep things in perspective! Next week we have to get back to our regular schedule because school starts the next week. I should be able to get back to a regular workout and sleep schedule and hopefully I'll get rid of those 4 pounds and keep them off!

**Edit** I just read this blog entry by Fit to the Finish and I thought it goes right along with my review so I'm sharing it. Check it out! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Zucchini Muffins

Yesterday I was given several large Zucchini so this morning I added some to our pancakes. That is something that I love doing because it is a great way to eat zucchini.

I grated it all up this morning and I now have 7 quart bags in the freezer to use later on. I did keep a couple cups out so I could experiment a little with my zucchini bread recipe. For years now I have used unsweetened applesauce in place of oil or shortening in my baking, but I have heard that you can also use bananas in place of the sugar. So I did a little research this morning and thanks to healthy-recipes-for-your-family and livestrong I found out how to change my regular zucchini bread recipe into a lower fat muffin recipe using bananas instead of granulated sugar!

They are really moist and yummy! Even my kids really like them. I can't wait to enjoy another one this evening!

Rachelle's Zucchini Muffins         yield 30 muffins

3 Eggs
1 C Unsweetened Applesauce
2 C Mashed Bananas
3 C Flour (these muffins are really really moist so some of you may want to add a bit more flour)
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
3 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
3 tsp Cinnamon
2 - 2 1/2 C Grated Zucchini
1 C Chocolate Chips

Spray muffin cups with cooking spray (if you have increased the flour you may not need to do this). Beat eggs until foamy. Add applesauce and mix together. Add bananas and vanilla then mix again. Mix in zucchini. Add all dry ingredients except chocolate chips. Mix together. Fold in chocolate chips.

Bake @ 325 for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

My original recipe was 146 old "Weight Watchers Points". This new recipe is only 51 points on that same point program! That is almost a decrease of almost 2/3 points! I should mention that those point values may vary a little depending on the brand of chocolate chips and flour that you use. These are the values based on the brands I use. And of course the values will be different if you are using the new Weight Watchers Points Plus Program.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do! It's another great way to use some of that plentiful zucchini!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back in time...Febrary 2011

So now that I have a computer again and I can access my diary I took a look back. The last time I mentioned anything from my diary it was from September 2010 and I had lost 42 pounds. That was about 6 months into my journey so I was feeling pretty good. A week or so after that entry I had carpal tunnel surgery on my hand and I didn't write much. I know I kept working out but writing about my progress took a back seat to everything else going on in my life. Shortly after that I found myself caught up in the holiday season, and again I didn't write much. So tonight I had to move clear ahead to February 21, 2011 to find this one little nugget of information...."i've lost 63 pounds in the last year! unfortunately these last 27 are kicking my rear end...but they will come off eventually!"

Just 2 days later I actually commented on my weight loss again. I had been talking to my doctor and this is what she said regarding weight loss. "i told her i was shooting for 120 but she said that due to my age i shouldn't go below 130. she explained that as you get older your body stores your estrogen for menopause in your trunkal fat. (LOVELY!) and that if you don't have enough then your body starts holding onto everything and almost stops your metabolism in order to make sure that it is hanging onto that estrogen. so she said that when i get down about my 130 goal i should be more focused on toning the flabby jiggly parts into muscle. so i guess i'm only 15 pounds from my goal instead of 25! woohoo!"

I think I may have already shared that, but since I am at that point in my diary I thought I would share it again. I think this is one of the reasons you always hear that you should consult with your doctor before starting any weight loss program. Of course there are other medical concerns to think about but I had no idea that I could be sabotaging myself by going to my original goal weight. Can you imagine how frustrating it would have been to lose all that weight and then hit menopause and start gaining the weight back? According to what I've been told by the doctors it would have been almost impossible to stay at my goal weight.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Ok so I am happy to announce that we have a computer at home now! It's been a long time, a couple of months..but now that I have regular access to the internet, without a time limit per se, I will updating more often! I can finally get back to telling you about my journey too now that I can access my diary from 2 years ago! :)

So starting Monday you can expect more regular updates and more helpful information from me. :) Thanks so much for sticking with me and I hope you are finding inspiration for your own journey!

Monday, August 6, 2012


I can't believe it's been a whole week already! Good news though, a new computer has been ordered and it is currently on it's way to me! It should be arriving in the next couple of days and that will make updating here much, much easier! :)

This week I worked on stocking my freezer with things to make it easier to stick with my eating plan. Last year we had a garden that was abundant with Zucchini. Everyone that I know who grows zucchini always has more than they know what to do with and is always challenged with giving it away or finding new recipes to use it in! So I started putting mine in pancakes. I grate it up fine and put it in the batter with a few chocolate chips and no one even notices it's in there! :) Actually I tell them it's in there, but you can't taste it so no one cares. What does this have to do with stocking my freezer? Well I had more than I could use at one time so I filled baggies with zucchini and stuck them in the freezer. Then I had bags to pull out during the winter to use. That's what I did again this week...although I could use more. I don't have a garden this year since we have moved to a new city and are currently living in a rental house waiting to buy our own place next spring. So I went to the farmers market and bought a few zucchini. I know, I actually paid for it when there are probably people wishing they could get rid of all their extra. But I don't know of anyone in that situation at this moment, so I bought some. I got 4 quart bags of grated zucchini! :) I'm so excited!

The other thing I did was to make some Banana bread muffins. What you say? Well, normally we have dinner around 5pm and put the kids to bed a couple of hours later. My husband and I don't normally get to bed until around midnight. So around 8:30 or 9 pm my stomach is growling again! So I get a snack, but to stick with my weight loss goals I need to have good snacks ready to grab and eat!

Since I know this I try to save about 1/5 of my daily points (the old Weight Watchers Points plan) for that night time snack. One of my favorite snacks for when my stomach is really growling is banana bread! But a normal slice of banana bread can take that whole allotment of snack points. That is unacceptable for me. So I made banana bread and cut the points in half! I'm sure most of you have learned that you can use applesauce in place of oil in order to cut down the fat, which is what I did. But I went a step further. The recipe called for 1/2 Cup of oil, but instead of using just 1/2 C of applesauce I put a full cup in. Then I added an extra banana and doubled the baking soda. I started adding the extra baking soda because I was told that it helps the muffins rise more. I didn't know that because I'm not a baker, but it works! I have also found that muffins are easier for snacks than a loaf of bread, so I bake mine in muffin cups.

With these changes my recipe makes 24 decent sized muffins. They are not huge, like Costco muffins, but they are still a good size I think. And most importantly it cut the points per muffin in half! That is a great snack at night! So after cooling the muffins a little I set each one in the freezer seperately and once they were frozen I put them all in a big bag and left them in the freezer. Now when I want one I just zap it in the microwave to heat it up a little, sit down and enjoy!

Monday, July 30, 2012


So this morning was the first time I weighed in officially in over a week. To my surprise I found that either the scale at my Mother-in-law's house was wrong....or I have lost the extra 2.5 pounds it said I had gained! Woohoo! So I'm back to fighting that 4 pounds that have slowly found their way back to me! That was really good news this morning! I was all prepared to see that I was up another 2-3 pounds after using her scale last today started better than I expected! It was also the first day I've worked out in a week. Last week was just a mess in my life and like I said before, stress got the better of me! I'm getting back on track this week though, just in time for my husband to have another week off work. That usually means chaos for my eating and working out routine! But I'm going to be strong and stick to my plan! :) Wish me luck!!

I could totally tell this morning though that it had been a week or more since my last work out. I used the Wii Fit Plus routine this morning which consisted of a "bike ride" and a "snow ball fight". Those are two of my favorite ones because while running in place on the balance board in order to move the bike I really get a decent cardio workout. Ok it's not as good as doing aerobics, but it still gets my heart rate up and gets the blood pumping. I just didn't feel like doing a really serious (hard) workout today, not when I'm just getting back in the swing of things. My legs were burning before I was even half way through the course. That is a huge indicator that I haven't worked out in too long! Normally they don't bother me at all.

The snowball fight is always fun because my kids love to watch me get hit by the opposing team! For some reason they think it's hilarious when I get knocked out! I use it as a cool down kind of exercise. It helps me get my mind focused for the day and lets face it, pretending you are in the middle of a snowball fight when it is really 90 degrees outside is a nice break! :)

Saturday we went to a B-B-Q and we brought home some of the left over corn on the cob. Oh was it delicious!! So last night I ate some of it....well ok I'll be honest...I ate a bunch of it! hahaha The cobs were cut in half but I ate the equivalent of 3 full cobs! Oh boy was it good! I don't know what has been wrong with us this summer but that was the fist time we've had corn on the cob this year! After eating all that corn I felt pretty full...and it turns out that full feeling came in handy because while I was sitting and watching the Olympics later in the evening I started craving sweets, particularly ice cream, really bad. But I was still feeling so full from the corn that it wasn't that hard to withstand the temptation out in our freezer! MMMM What a yummy treat it was, and it was healthy! (No I did not lather it in butter which helped me keep it on the healthy side of things.)

Now to figure out what to fix for dinner tonight....

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Another week has gone by

Well it's been about a week...and computer problems still plague my life. Unfortunately that is not the most urgent or serious problem in my life right now. So what does this have to do with losing weight? Well it means that my most difficult enemy to conquer is attacking at full force right now, STRESS! I know I've shared before that stress has a lovely way of helping me GAIN weight instead of losing it. So yes, I'm pretty sure that when I get home and weigh in I will find I've gained another couple of pounds.

Ok so I can't completely blame the stress. I mean, it is true that the stress is what causes me to make bad food choices, but that's just it. I still have the choice! I have not gone way over board and binged on chocolate, although I would really like to! But I know I have eaten more than I should, and I haven't been drinking enough water. When I get really stressed, or worried I have a tendency to feel hungry all the time. I know my body isn't really hungry all the time, but that's what my brain thinks. Sometimes I can fight it off...but sometimes those thoughts of "who cares today. I just can't handle counting points or watching calories today" win out.

That is what has happened the last couple of days. I feel bad about it, and often I feel like I want to go throw up after eating that extra chicken strip or that brownie. I win that battle though because I know in the long run throwing up will only make matters worse. But on days like these even knowing that I'm going to feel stuffed or bloated doesn't stop me. I need to find a better way to handle those thoughts. Sometimes, maybe 70% of the time, I fight those thoughts away by consciously remembering how hard it has been to lose the weight in the first place. So for the other 30% of the time when that doesn't work I need to find a different strategy. I wish I had the answers to share with all of you. Sometimes just thinking about "letting my blog readers down" will help squash those hunger pains.

It's really hard when I've feeling stressed and there are no good options around me. Like last night. Yesterday turned out to be a really rough day and we weren't able to have dinner at our normal time. 2 hours after our normal dinner time I was still not back at the house and my kids were starving. I totally gave in to the fast food drive thru window. I was strong enough to order a salad instead of a large cheeseburger, mainly because I've found that those fast food cheeseburgers don't kill the hunger pains for long. I always need more! A homemade cheeseburger is much more filling. Anyhow, I ordered a salad but then I looked across the parking lot and saw that there was a Subway and I've been craving Subway for a few weeks now but haven't had the opportunity to get one. So after buying the salad I went and got a sandwich to. I told myself that one would be for lunch today. But neither option was something I could eat easily while driving. So after getting home and getting the sick child squared away and getting the other two kids to bed I found that it was several hours later and I still hadn't eaten! By then I was really hungry and those stress voices were pounding away in my head. I chose to save the sandwich for today so I started eating the salad. I had never had this salad before and it turns out that I don't like it. So I only ate maybe 1/2...then I was still hungry so out came the sandwich! Bad decision! I ate more than I should have...

I try to have good options, but last night's adventure to the doctor was totally unplanned and therefore I was completely unprepared. But it was just the most recent stressful event that has knocked me off track this week. I am determined to get back in control though!