Saturday, December 29, 2007

Weigh in report for December 29

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!
I made my goal! 50.2 pounds kicked to the curb! It wasn't easy this order to get my 50, I did have to take off my bra and underwear. I was 49.8 pounds lost with them on, and I really, really, wanted to get to my goal this week, so I did the unthinkable, and ran to the bathroom, peed once more and took off my underwear and reweighed. I got my 50 pound medal today at my meeting. What a great, amazing feeling.

This week I was thinking of things that weigh close to 50 pounds and the first thing that came to mind was my standard poodles! Most of my dogs weight between 45 and 50 pounds, so esentially, I've lost an entire dog! I cannot imagine walking around carrying one of my dogs all the time and really, that is what I was doing before joining weight watchers and losing all this weight.

After weigh in, mom and I ran to the Birch Run outlet shopping center. We went into Lane Bryant outlet and I actually bought a size smaller jeans. They are snug, but I loved them. If you shop at Lane Bryant, you know that they recently changed the way their jeans are sized, call me a creature of habit, it seems complicated and I don't want to buy my jeans that way. Well, the outlet mall has all the old style jeans. I was happy to buy something I knew. I also picked up a cute red button down shirt and a sweater vest. We also went into the Bali bra outlet store and were both measured for bras. Of course, like most women, we were wearing the wrong size. I ended up getting this cute little black push up number and John liked it very much when I modeled it for him.

So had a fantastic day today, made my goal and got to spend the day with my mom. Doesn't get much better than that.

Friday, December 28, 2007


I am really hoping for my 50 lb milestone Saturday at weigh in, but even if I have to wait another week for that milestone, I still had a couple of other milestones to celebrate this week.

The picture of me was taken today. Today is special because the shirt I am wearing is a women’s XL. My mom got it for me for Christmas. It’s one of those “Life is Good” T-shirts. This one has a little guy running. I am astonished that it fit. Granted, I did have to stretch it out, but it fit well enough for me to wear to work! It is such a great feeling to wear something of a “normal” size. It is officially my favorite shirt!

Another milestone actually happened almost a week ago. My wedding rings fell off! I didn’t lose them, but decided I had better put them up so nothing happens to them. I don’t plan to get them resized anytime soon, so I picked up a darling cubic zirconia at JCPenny’s for only $6 to wear until I am ready to resize my actual wedding set.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Can't eat like I used to.....A.K.A. body revolt!

John and I went to his family Christmas on Sunday. We go to John’s sister’s house every year as she has the largest house to accommodate us all. Plus, by them not coming to our house, I don't have to clean! Win Win, people, Win, Win!!! We keep it simple by usually ordering in food, although this year, Lauren slaved in the kitchen and made all the yummies herself. She made ribs, meatloaf, a yummy broccoli desert, along with cheesy potatoes, croisants, shrimp cocktail and all kind of cookies/fudge along with her now famous banana pudding.

I had planned ahead and figured on using 30 points for the day. I had a yogurt before we went so I had all of my points left to use for the dinner. I had 2 ribs, some of the vegetable dish, cheesy potatoes, one croisant and the shrimp cocktail. I limited myself to one piece of homemade fudge.

I was pleased with my restraint, but the biggest surprise was that I made numerous trips to the bathroom as I was very sick from eating food my body was not used to. Last year, I would have eaten three times that amount of food along with my own batch of homemade fudge and not felt a quiver in my gut. Not this year! It amazes me that my body has adjusted to eating only good food, and protested the high fat stuff I tried to give it.

I am no longer the Biggest Size!

I stopped in to JCPenny the Friday before Christmas because I had a coupon for $10 off any $10 purchase. I know, I know..... these coupons are just a ploy to get you in there to spend more money, but it works on me every time.

Anyway, I looked at the men’s fitness clothes, and they had some really nice "wick away the sweat type" T-shirts on sale for $4.99! They even had them in the color pink. I am in need of some smaller workout clothes so I went through the pile and grabbed a XXL and went on my way.

Well, I got home and tried the shirt on, and it was more like a night shirt! It was waaaaaaaay too big. So my realization is that I no longer have to look through the pile and take the biggest size they are offering of an item because I am don’t need the biggest size anymore! This fact is incredible and gratifying to me. I'm sure it will be a difficult habit to break, but with enough shopping opportunities, I should be able to do it.

All my life, I have always taken the biggest size and in many cases, hope that I can fit into it! CJ Banks, one of my favorite store, I always took the 3X and then only if the material could be stretched. I could never buy their 3X button down tops as they wouldn’t button around me.

I am not buying many clothes right now as I know I won’t be in them long. No point in spending all kinds of money on stuff I’ll only wear for a couple of months. Plus, I’ll soon be able to wear all of the clothes my friend Stacey gave me.

So that is eureka moment this week. I am no longer the biggest size offered in clothes. What an amazing feeling.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Cross Country Skiing

I was fortunate enough to get a used set of skis, poles and boots on my local Freecycle group. My mom and her husband have skied for years, but I had never tried it. I was interested in learning because I had heard it was a great workout and living in Michigan requires that you learn to enjoy outdoor winter sports if you want to stay in shape.
So Christmas eve morning we had just enough snow for Mark (my stepdad) to take me out for a lesson. It was not as hard as I thought it was. I will admit I did fall twice but was able to push my self back upright by using my newly aquired upper body strength and my poles. Not too shabby. The only thing that hurt were my thumbs from keeping a death grip on my poles to keep my balance.

I am thrilled to have a new fitness option this winter. It really is a great workout and I'm sure strengthens your core along with your thighs.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Weigh in Report for December 21st

OMG!!!!!! I lost 5.4 lbs this week for a total loss of 47.2 lbs. There is hope for me to reach my 50 pound goal yet! I know I bitched about Kickstart (sorry, I thought it was called is actually called Kickstart) this week but man oh man, it was worth it. I have to say that I am going to suck it up and continue Kickstart for another week in the hopes of reaching my 50 pound goal.
I was unable to post earlier because as soon as I was finished weighing in I headed down to Hillsdale to help my breeder evaluate a litter of 8 standard poodle puppies. Wow, there is nothing in the world like the breath and kiss of a puppy. One of the brown babies is in the picture with me.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

This is such a sick thought

This is sick…..
I think I have become slightly unstable due to the restriction of points this week. As I was using the restroom for the millionth time today (on my 4th jug of water today).I’m thinking......

Say I have a great loss this week…say 3 lbs. That leaves about 4 pounds left until my goal. One of my coworkers just had a run in with a gastrointestinal bug that put him down for over two days. He thinks he lost about 8 pounds from being so sick and unable to keep anything down.

Yep I am willing to have vomiting and diarrhea for two days in order to make my goal of 50 pounds lost by the end of the year. I wonder how much more I could lose if I got sick….. Yikes!!!

This is absolutely stupid and an unhealthy way to lose weight. I do not advocate anyone getting sick intentionally. I hate that the stupid scale rules my thoughts so much.

Quickstart Day 4

Day four went well. I stayed within my points, budgeted them well throughout the day, and had a fantastic workout. I have been working extra hours this week and I know I’ve been a wee bit short and irritable with my husband this week so he is ready for me to go back to my normal point’s schedule.
Substituting the PB2 for peanut butter has saved me. I am able to have my PBJ on English muffin for breakfast still. I am a real fan of the PB2. I just ordered another 4 jars. If you’ve never heard of PB2, visit for more information. This is a great product for anyone watching their calorie and fat intake but love peanut butter.
Still working on my projects that were due yesterday so I am keeping this entry short. Things should lighten up tomorrow

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Well, I am finally out of my crabby mood. Whew, it’s not like be to be crabby and irritable anymore, so I needed to address the things that were wearing on me and be able to move on. I have a huge project due at the end of the day so I’ve been working a lot of extra hours. Driving to and from work in the dark does not put me in a jolly mood. I hate not seeing the light of day! ( My office is inside of a factory and I have no window to the outside world.) My project is shaping up nicely and I will meet my deadline.

I was also troubled about my coworker’s dog, and since I cannot change the way she views dogs as just an animal not a loving companion, I am going to have to take a different route home so I don’t have to look at his sad little face. As I said before, he is fed and watered and has adequate shelter, he just isn’t loved like my dogs are and that makes me sad.

I had an amazing workout today. I did 20 minutes high intensity cardio on the Stairmaster and then I lifted weights and did crunches and squats. My arms are so sore; I almost can’t lift the fork…..not!
My lunch was much more satisfying today. I had a 4 pt lean cuisine over top of a steamed bag of cauliflower. I feel full and satisfied. All is well with the world and I know that I am kicking butt this week!

Quickstart Day Three

Day three of Quickstart went okay….I have to say though I am starting to feel a bit deprived. I was in a very crabby mood most of the day and I did end up eating 21 points instead of 20, but overall, I stuck to it and got in a workout on the treadmill. I’m just going to take it day by day. Right now, I plan to do another 4 days of Quickstart to make it a full week.

Here is part of the reason I am crabby. I am an animal lover and I hate to see animals, particularly dogs, unloved, neglected and or abused. One of my coworkers has a dog that lives outside. She checks on him everyday to be sure he has food and water and he does have a dog house filled with straw and is in a fenced in area, but she rarely spends time with him because she stays at her boyfriends most of the time.

I have to drive by her place on my way home from work and it just breaks my heart the dog is sitting at the gate just looking for her. She spends almost no time with him because she says he is too hyper to take over to the boyfriend’s house. Hello… about spending some time with him and training him????? I try to keep my mouth shut for the most part because in the past when I have offered to stop and play with him, she gets defensive and says he is fine and well taken care of. Yeah, he is taken care of physically, but not emotionally.

People, why have a dog if you are not going to make it part of your life? I don’t understand the people that never let their dog into the house to be part of the family. Dogs are not livestock! They are man’s best friend, they live for loving us whether we deserve it or not. I know that some may say I anthropomorphize (means to assign human emotions to something that is not human) but I know my dogs can be happy, sad and lonely, and stressed. I just believe that everything deserves to be loved and cared for, not just maintained. I cannot imagine not having my dogs on the bed to cuddle with, or always having a dog in my lap while watching TV.
Okay, end of this vent, although I don’t feel any better about the situation.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day Two of Quickstart

I firmly believe that this Quickstart plan was because the skinny people want the fat people on weight watchers to suffer. My two skinny weight watcher friends are delighting in the fact that I am only getting as many points as they are this week.
Actually, yesterday went pretty well.

I used PB2 on my WW English muffin instead of regular peanut butter. I had a 2 point smart one for lunch over steamed veggies. For snacks I had a WW yogurt, Sugar Free pudding cup and popcorn I actually did too well through the day (which is also known as point hoarding) and had 13 points to use when I got home at 6pm from work. Considering I go to bed at 9pm, 13 points is a LOT of food to consume in 3 hours. I ended up eating 3 points of shrimp cocktail, two egg white sandwiches, one of my egg nog milkshakes and a fiber one bar (that sounds like I could sing it to the music of 12 days of Christmas) in order to use up all 13 of those points. I felt like a stuffed pig when I went to bed.

Today I am going to work harder at using more of my points. I plan to use 10 points before I leave work tonight. I did not get to workout yesterday which is very unusual for me, so I will also be hitting the gym at lunch today.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Quickstart Day One

Well of the four choices I had given myself on Saturday to increase my weight loss, I decided to try the new Quickstart plan for a week. Yikes! That means I get 20 points per day for a week. I am taking it one day at a time. I can do anything for a day. I am approaching this like I do tough exercise. I tell myself I can do anything for 1 minute, and then I push myself to do another minute, and another. I’ll do the same this week with Quickstart.

Sunday was my first day of Quickstart. It was pretty easy because I sleep half the day on Sundays. I didn’t get up until 11:30am. I made egg white Mcmuffins for a late breakfast. Later, I picked up a Subway sandwich and ate it on my way to meet friends at the movies.

At the movies I was able to resist the toxic movie theater popcorn because I had popped my own and stuck it in my purse. Yep, I am now one of those people……..the people that sneak their own food into movie theaters. Haters be damned! I was very satisfied with my 1 point bag of popcorn. I still bought popcorn for the little girls I was with, so it’s not like I hurt the movie theater’s bottom line. We saw Enchanted the new Disney movie with Patrick Dempsey. It was so fun. It is nice to have little girls in my life so I can go see little kid movies again.

After the movie, I had a chicken breast and lots of steamed veggies along with a zero point Progresso soup. I still had enough points left over for one of my low fat egg nog milk shakes. I know that there will be days this week that I don’t have 4 points to spend on a milkshake.
So day one was very successful and I didn’t feel hungry. My only worry with the Quickstart is that for some reason I lose water or muscle weight. I do not want to lose any of the muscle mass I have built over the last few months. I figure as long as I eat foods that are good for my body, I should be okay. Check in tomorrow for Quickstart Day Two

The Company Christmas Party

We had a fabulous time at the Christmas Party friday night. First and foremost, I felt incredible. I found a beautiful dark purple sweater on the clearance rack ($8.00) and wore a long black skirt with it along with my tall black boots. For jewelry I borrowed this shooting star pin from my mom all done in crystals.

John and I arrived a bit late, so everyone was already in line for dinner. My work friends were astonished that I had cleaned up so well and complimented my hair makeup and outfit. I think the biggest reaction was from the wives of people I work with. My coworkers see me everyday, but their spouses don’t so they were thrilled for my weigh loss.

The highlight of the night was the owner’s wife Lacey calling me over to sit next to her and her telling me how great I looked and wanted to know what I had been doing. While chatting with Lacey, her husband (the owner and founder of our company) sat down on the other side of me and said how amazed he was at the changes in my life I had made. I told him that if it weren’t for our company gym, I didn’t think I would still be at it. He said he was glad that someone was putting the gym to use and if I needed anything upgraded to let him know. Well, I took the opportunity to tell him how great elliptical trainers are and how they are so much easier on your knees. He said he had thought about getting one for his home so he would order one for the gym at the same time! Yeah!

The food was great. There was baked chicken as well as ham, so I chose the baked chicken that was so delicious I could have eaten it for days! Plus there was salad. Point wise I did very well. I also skipped the open bar in favor of diet coke.

They always give out lots of prizes at the party and no one goes home empty handed. I won a set of Farberwear knives. John and I needed knives desperately! So it was a great night and I was surprised that my swelled head fit in the car to drive home

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Weigh in report for December 15th

I am so pissed! I am only down .2 lbs this week! Sure as hell doesn't look like I am going to reach my 50 pound loss by the end of the month. Okay, I'm better now. I know I had a great week and I am not going to let that stupid box change how I feel about my week. I just need to analyze what happened and decide what I should do differently next week. I figure I have 4 options right now. Do nothing different, do quickstart, change to core, or try a wendi plan week.

Here are the things I am thinking about: I exercised like a feind this week. I did no less than 8 hours of moderate-high intensity activity this week. I do not eat the activity points that this creates. I also do not eat any of my flex points. In fact, I was a couple of points under my daily points at least three times this the week. So I do think there is the possibility that I didn't eat enough this week and my body has gone into starvation mode.

If any of you are WW members, you know that WW has unveiled all of their new literature. Well, as luck would have it the first week handout is called "Quick start". This is a lower your points to the bare minimum. 20 points to be exact. Now for me that sounds quite a bit like something many people call starvation. I currently am allowed 31 points.

I am not sure I can go that low. But then again, I can do any thing for one day and then maybe I can do it for a 2nd day and so on until I have the week under my belt. Okay, assuming I decide to do a week of quickstart, do I still keep up with my double workouts or drop back to one hour of exercise per day? Also, if my body already thinks it is in starvation mode, what will it do to drop my points even lower. (Can you tell this is not something I want to do?)

It's 8 pm, and I still haven't made up my mind. Today I did status quo of 31 points while I weighed my options. Man it just makes me so mad that the effort I put in doesn't show in a weight loss on the scale.

Friday, December 14, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

I have to admit I am feeling pretty smug about New Years Resolutions this year. I am not going to be one of those people that stuff their face until midnight of New Years Eve and then go on a diet and join a gym the first day of the New Year. Those people only last about a month. Me, I’ve made these permanent changes in my life months ago. The resolutions I am making have nothing to do with health.

At this point I have two resolutions. The first one is to take more pictures. We need to capture moments and the people we love. I am so thankful that my Grandma always had her camera out and wanted pictures taken. We always joked that she kept Kodak in business because of the amount of film she used and had developed. She took a lot of pictures and we are even more fortunate that she was in a lot of the pictures since she passed in November. Not just of other people and things, but I think I am now willing to be in the pictures. To aid in this resolution I purchased a new camera last night. Yes….I got a great deal, paid cash, and it was in my budget! I had a nice camera, but it was so big and bulky I never had it with me. This is a super small Fuji digital camera that easily fits in my purse so I will always have it with me.

My second resolution is to have $25 per month direct deposited into a savings account that will be used to purchase items for Christmas outreach (our local helping organization) and/or Toys for Tots. John and I will not miss $25 a month and that will add up to $300 bucks to spend and give at the holiday times. I did my shopping last night for both those organizations and really want to be able to do more next year.

I may come up with more resolutions in the coming weeks and I’ll post them here for all to see, but I think both of these are worthwhile changes to make in my life.

The Company Christmas Party

Tonight is my company’s Christmas party. I have dreaded going in years past, just because I hated being in social situations because I was depressed and fat. The receptionist would guilt me into going. I would show up and then leave as soon as possible.

It’s not that our party isn’t nice…..there is an open bar, good food, live band, lots of expensive prizes are given away and our receptionist transforms the hall with a Christmas theme. This year’s theme is Candy Cane. Things are very different for me this year. I am happy, I feel great, and I am ready to socialize. I even bought a new sweater to wear and am borrowing a beautiful shooting star pin from my mom.

So after work, I will commute home, feed the dogs, gather up my wonderful husband and we will head back over to the Christmas party.

Of course I am worried about the buffet. You know I hate having to guess how many points something is, plus since tomorrow is weigh in day so I need to lay off the sodium. I think I will actually eat something when I go home to get John and then hopefully there will be a veggie tray or salad that I will eat while at the party. I won’t drink anything other than diet coke because I’ve never been a big drinker. In year’s past, I would drink….mainly because it was free. No biggie to give that up.

So for the very first time I am looking forward to tonight’s party and spending time with my coworkers and hopefully winning a great prize too!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Trying new foods at Restaurants

I did it! I did it! I did it! I actually tried something new at a restaurant! Last night I had dinner with my mentor and we went to a non-chain restaurant for dinner. I of course suggested Applebee’s or Subway…(joking….but not really). You know me, I like to stay safe. I hate the thought of coming home and needing to guess how many points I consumed. I set those feelings aside because I knew that it was much more important to spend time with a woman that has had a great influence in my life.

Anyway…..we went to a locally owned restaurant and they were having pasta night. You were able to choose what kind of pasta (no whole wheat) and what you wanted on it. It was also an all you can enjoy entrée. Not so safe. So I opened the menu and scanned for the word grilled on anything. Success! I found an entrée that was called the Cuban Chicken Mojo. Chicken with a Cuban flair with grilled veggies. I was feeling safe.

When the server placed the dish in front of me I thought I must have been a guest judge on Top Chef. (Love that show BTW) It had a black bean and rice cake bottom, then thick layers of grilled eggplant and zucchini along with a smattering of carrots and peppers. The next layer was a very juicy sliced chicken breast with Cuban spices. On top of the chicken were two enormous slices of grilled tomato. I was amazed at how wonderful the tomato was considering it is December in Michigan. It was garnished beautifully. The meal was great. Everything tasted amazing. The only thing I forgot to ask was to be sure they grilled the veggies without oil. They didn’t seem to have oil on them, but I should have asked just the same.
So there, I tried something new and enjoyed it and didn’t stress out when I got home about how many points I ate. I even had a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich when I got home for dessert.

It's my birthday!!!!!

Warning: This post is sugary happy and you may have to count WW points for reading it because it is so sweet……

It’s my birthday!!!!! Isn’t that what Frosty said when he was brought to life?…, actually I think he just said Happy Birthday!
Actually it’s not even really my birthday, but honestly everyday feels like my birthday now. I wake up in the morning with a smile on my face because my life is so amazing. I am blessed the love of my husband and my dogs. I have a wonderful family and a very special group of friends that add so much to my life. Physically and emotionally I feel amazing.

I think that this is the first time in my life where I am truly happy. Unexpected events (like closing the garage door on my car and breaking the garage door opener which I did last week) don’t get me frazzled or upset anymore. Stuff can be fixed and or replaced. Its people and our relationships with them that are important.

Everyday I make the choice to do great things for myself like eat right, work out and stick to my budget. Just those three things make such a difference in my mood. I don’t worry about money anymore, because we have a budget that we stick to. We have an “emergency fund” for when the garage door needs fixed. That’s what that money is there for. So last week, instead of freaking out about an upcoming bill to fix the door and letting those emotions spill over into making poor food choices, I went on about the evening as usual. John called the repair people and I wrote a out a check and mailed it to them today. Easy Peasy

I don’t worry about the scale, because every week I know that I have given it my all by working out everyday, and making good food choices to stay within my points and what happens…… happens.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"I can't eat another bite."

I’ve heard so many people say this before. I think I have mostly heard this from thin people. I really wonder what this feels like. The idea that a magnificent piece of pizza with all of your favorite toppings could be staring you in the face and yet you realize that since you are full and satiated from the three pieces you’ve just ate that you have the good judgment to say “No thank you, I couldn’t eat another bite”. Oh….. or what about the people who say that maybe they’ll have room for dessert later. Uh…..Hello, I’ve always managed to cram a piece of cake in on top of what ever I’ve had for dinner plus be able to give another piece my full attention later once things have settled down (with a glass of milk…fof course).

I do turn food down now, but I do it because I don’t want to spend the points, or it is just something I don’t enjoy. But the idea of saying no because I am full and wouldn’t be able to enjoy another bite of food sounds so alien to me. I would hope that as time goes on, I will learn to recognize that every meal I enjoy is not my last and I don’t need to devour everything that doesn’t bite back.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dog Stories Part VI - Cruise

Cruise is a blue standard poodle. His coat is more of a steely gray than black. Both blue and silver puppies are born black and fade into their color as they age. We didn't get Cruise as a puppy. He actually came to us by accident.

In conformation there are two clips that dogs are shown in. The puppy clip which they show in until the day they turn a year old, and the continental. (There are a couple of other clips, but they are rarely seen) When the show poodle turns a year old, they need to “sit out” some dog shows to grow some neck hair and look nice in their new continental clip.

Well, Morgan turned a year and was going to need to “sit out” for a while so the breeder I got Haven and Morgan from had a nice blue boy that she wanted socialized shown and she asked if I wanted to show him until he turned a year old and needed to “sit out”. I said sure. This boy had the same father as Haven and I loved him.

Cruise is a great package. He has lots of body, a nice strong head and very nice movement. Cruise enjoyed showing much more than Morgan, and we had fun. The problem I had with Cruise was that I could never get any coat on him. When showing a poodle, if you don’t have nice coat, don’t bother entering.

So when Cruise turned a year old, I asked the breeder if she was ready to take him back and she said I could keep him. So that is how we ended up with #6! Man and we thought we were full at 5 dogs. Cruise is a lover. He just wants to be by your side and love on you. His favorite toy is the “jolly ball” (the blue ball in picture) He takes it in and out of the house when he goes and many nights he even sleeps with it.
Since I was never able to grow any decent coat on him, he only had 3 points when I cut off his show coat. I have started his health testing. His hips got an OFFA rating of fair and I have had his eyes tested twice. I would never breed him to Morgan because he does not compliment her plus I believe they are too closely related. In another post I will discuss line breeding and in breeding and why there is no such thing as hybrid Vigor! Cruise turned 3 years old in September of this year.

Weigh in report for December 8th

So sorry I'm late with my weigh in report. My mom and I left for an intense shopping trip right after I weighed in. We were gone a total of 12.5 hours! We could have kept going except the stores decided to close.....oh well, just leaves more for another day.

Yippeee, Yippeee! Down another 1.8 pounds for a total loss of 41.6 pounds kicked to the curb. Only need to lose anothe r 8.4 to meet my December goal. While I am happy with a 1.8 pound loss, I did feel like it should have been more because I worked out like crazy. I did double workouts every day!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Silver or Gold?

Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
-- Maurince Setter

This is a mistake I have made in the past.....I have lived my life in the terms of "when I lose the weight, then I will do this..... or when I lose the weight my life will be better" I honestly think that is why I gained my weight back twice so far....I really thought that the only reason my life wasn't perfect was because of my weight. Uh...Hello, no ones life is perfect and what size pants I wear is not going to change that. As I said in an earlier post that is why I know that when once I get to goal I am going to stay there.

While it is great to always be working toward our goals, we have to realize that the journey is just as important and we need to live our lives each day and make the most of each day of our journey. Don't miss out your life or put it on hold waiting for the gold, live everyday in the silver.

Dog Stories Part V - Morgan

Morgan was a replacement puppy for Haven. The breeder I got Haven from felt badly that Haven could not be shown and so she offered Morgan to me as sort of a replacement. We didn’t have to give Haven back (We never would have under any circumstances) and I would still get to dip my toe into showing dogs. Five dogs was our limit. Man the house was staring to get full and boy were we going through the dog food.

Morgan and Haven’s pedigrees are nearly identical, but they are very different dogs in conformation and personality. Now that both dogs are in pet trim, we have a difficult time telling them apart so Morgan has to wear a bandana around her neck.

Morgan is catlike in her personality. She is stuck up, and will only give you the time of day if she feels like it. She is a terrible eater. While showing her, I had to force feed her to keep weight on her. She hated that and hated me for doing it to her. She detested spending hours on the grooming table getting ready for show. She just plain hated being a show dog. She was sullen, and never showed spark in the ring.

I really wanted her to have her championship and thought she would do better with someone else at the end of the lead so I sent her down to a professional handler in Kentucky. Handlers are very costly. To have Morgan with her for a month cost me nearly $1500! Besides the costs, I hated having her gone. I missed her terribly and hated the idea of her being in a kennel. The handler put 3 points on her in that month. I had already put 3 points on her before she went to Kentucky and I put another point on her when I got her back. So she ended up with 7 of the 15 points required for an AKC championship.

After June, I cut all of her show coat off and am just letting her be a dog. Now she does greet me when I come home from work and eats like there is no tomorrow. I wouldn’t go so far as to say she likes me, but she is warming up to me. Morgan turned 3 years old in May of this year.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Workout of my Life!

This week I have been doing double workouts because I want to ensure my 10 pound loss for the month. I have been doing my normal lunch hour workout along with doing an after work workout.

Yesterday evening’s workout was the best of my life! I met Stacey at our workout spot and did stairs and hallways in an office building. We really upped the ante last night. We started at the top of the building and would run the straight aways on the way down and when going up we would walk the straight away. It just added small bursts of high intensity activity. We did this for 40 minutes. Another friend joined us that is a hard core runner and she was great at pushing me when I wanted to give up. I would say I just wanted to walk this one, and she would get after me to keep going. It was so awesome.

I used to be embarrassed to work out with anyone because I am still so out of shape I hated for anyone to listen to my huffing and puffing while working out. Now that I spend time with people that have similar goals, I know they don’t judge me, and so I don’t care what I sound like. There will come a day when I can hold a conversation while working out. Until then, at least I am doing it. I’m not home sitting on the couch having a double date with Ben and Jerry’s anymore.

Obesssion with Processed Foods

I will admit that I used to be the type of person to grab a bag of Fritos before I would grab an orange. I think many people are like that. You spend 2.99 on a bag of Fritos you are guaranteed that those Fritos are going to taste the same as the Fritos you had last week and the week before that and the Fritos you are going to have next week.

Produce, on the other hand, it much more dicey. Saturday, when I got groceries for the week, Meijer’s had bags of oranges buy one get one free. I thought about grabbing them, but my memory of the last time I bought oranges in a bag came screeching back to mind. They were tasteless and had a funny texture.

Each time we buy fruit and vegetables (with the exception of bananas and potatoes) it is a crap shoot for what you are going to get. Ughhhh Tomatoes. Pretty and red on the outside, mealy and tastless on your turkey bacon sandwich. Watermelon; beautiful pink and juicy on the inside, and tasteless mush on the inside. Its no wonder so many people eat a grape in the produce section before they buy them. There is little more disappointing than getting home with a 3 lb bag of grapes that are so sour you let them rot in the back of the fridge for the next two weeks. You know they are awful, but you don’t want to put them right in the trash, because you paid good money for them.

Bag of Fritos? Tastes the same….everytime…..Pepridge farm cookies...... tastes the same…..everytime. The only way they go bad is if they go stale. Do you see where I am coming from? Processed foods with all of their preservatives, artificial flavors, and other chemicals just taste better. I realize that this is not the growers fault and that sunlight, rainfall, soil composition all factor into the taste of our produce. I just wish it weren’t like that.
I buy a little more produce each time I get groceries. I know full well that I may throw it away when I get home because of poor taste, but I also know that like a slot machine, once and a while it will pay off and be so worth it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

You mean there is no Easy Button?

I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy – I’m telling you its going to be worth it. – Art Williams

Wow, this quote says it all. Every day, every minute, every second we make choices. Some choices are easy and automatic for us….we put on a pair of underwear (sorry Britney) or stop at a red light. Any choices involving food and exercise are life changing for me. I still worry that one wrong choice and I could fall off the wagon or go on a binge. It isn’t easy making the right choice, but it is essential to my mental and physical well being. I don’t want to go back to what I was. I like it here in happy land. I like that my chins no longer tough the tops of my shoulder (yep, there is the hint of a neck there now….)

Choosing to bundle up and go for a walk is one of those tough choices right now in Michigan. Choosing to skip the Christmas candy isle at Target is a tough choice. When I am ready to stop running and rest this pushes me on a few more steps. When I want to let the pedals on the Stairmaster fall to the floor, it is this quote that spurs me onward to the end.

No, none of this is easy. Making thousands of right choices each day is HARD. Easy is drinking full fat egg nog until you puke, easy is becoming one with the couch because you watch so many Christmas movies. This isn’t Staples. There is no Easy button for being healthy. Easy is giving up. Sticking with it is hard. I think ultimately you need to keep your eye on the prize. Why are we doing this? Do you really want it bad enough to make the tough choices that are going to pay off in the end? I do want it bad enough, and any time I feel soft, I go back to my “I Want” list to remind me of why I am making the hard choices.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


by Ralph Waldo Emmerson
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; This is to have succeeded

I just found this poem a couple of days ago and it really rings true for me. No where in here does it say you have to have XYZ degree, or have the corner office with the high profile job and enormous salary. We are all gulity of getting caught up in the pursuit of being what society deems successful, but most often we are working toward the wrong kind of success. Success isn't how much you make or how many designer purses you have, its being able to love each part of your life, good and bad. It is knowing that when you are betrayed, you can pick yourself back up and go on.

Sucess is making a difference in someone elses life. I must say I am surrounded by some very successful friends. You all know who you are. You have made my life easier and better by being my friend, and we have shared many laughs and tears. I am grateful to have you in my life.

I rememeber having to memorize and be able to recite poems in grade school. Even though I am not 10 anymore, I am going to memorize this one because this says it all.

New Reality Show Alert

I caught a plug for a new show while I was doing my Stairmaster workout today. It’s called “How to look good naked”. It stars Carson Kressley from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame. This will air on the Lifetime Network Jan 4th.

I could only find a 30 second bit online for a preview, but it looks like he takes women, and works through their body issues, glams them up and then does a photo shoot with them. They did show one girl that looked to be a size 12 in the preview but the other women were skinny. Come on, how hard is that? Pick a challenge already. They didn’t come and ask me to be a part of the show.

Oh well, I think I will tune in at least once to see what tips they offer. I can’t see Carson being able to make me comfortable being naked in this body in front of strangers. As far as my body image, I am very comfortable with my husband naked. He loves me for what and who I am good or bad, no matter what, so I have never hidden from him.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Fat Jokes: Why in the world would anyone send me one?

Maybe you’ve seen this email floating around, it was titled “The Michelin baby’s mother”. The email consisted of a picture of an obese woman floating in a pool in a bathing suit. The caption said something about the woman being the Michelin baby’s mother because of her rolls of fat floating in the pool. Of course I can’t find the email, I deleted it quickly, otherwise I would include it here.

So I am wondering, why in the world do people think that this is funny to anyone no matter what their size, or more importantly that I, an obese person would think it was funny? I didn’t think it was anything but gross. I’m not offended or hurt, and I would never dream of confronting her about it, but just curious. The person that sent it to me is not mean or malicious, in fact very rarely forwards things to me and we have a fine working relationship. If I worked with a Jewish person, I wouldn’t make it a practice to send them jokes that made fun of the Holocaust. If I worked with a person that was learning disabled, I wouldn’t send them jokes about being dumb. I just really find it interesting that she would send it to me.
Maybe she doesn’t consider me that obese or since she knows how hard I have been working on myself thought that I would think it had no connection to the way I envision myself.

What do you think? Have you ever been the recipient of such a tasteless joke?

My First 5K

Saturday was my very first 5K. I should have known only the hard core runners would be out for this event as it was only 9 degrees outside! As race time approached, more and more thin people wearing actual running gear arrived. There were even a couple of guys there wearing shorts!

I was really hoping a few more walkers would come to participate, but there were only 5 of us who were not runners. Oh well, I will admit I was desperately hoping I would not come in last, but someone told me about a T-shirt they read once at a race that said “DFL better than DFF” Dead fucking last better than Didn’t fucking finish. This is very true. I went and finished. Sure I wish I could have run more of it. I actually only ran a total of about 7 blocks.

It felt great. I did not come in last, but the closer I got to the finish, the less it mattered if I came in last. I came in! I finished. That is so much more than I could have expected of me just a few months ago.
Part of our registration included a free Santa hat to wear during the race. I’m sure it was quite a sight to see nearly one hundred people running down the middle of the street wearing Santa hats. After the race, we had our choice of a medal or gloves with the name of the running club imprinted on them. I chose the medal. Since it was my first race, I needed a medal. I hung it from the rear view mirror of my car for the time being.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Weigh in Report for December 1st

Hey, Hey.....down 1.6 pounds today for a total of 39.8 pounds lost. So close to 40 pounds gone I can taste it. Set goals for December. I would like to lose another 10.2 pounds so I can say I am 50 pounds less by the end of the month. Fitness goals (this is a bit crazy) is to run a mile by the end of the month.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why is Karma so slow?

Disclaimer: This post is not weight related but mental health related. I have been working on this post for 2 months, I think I am finally ready to publish it. Read at your own risk.

I was hurt this summer. I was stabbed so hard in the back by the person that I thought was my best girlfriend of five years that the knife came right out the front of my chest. I’m talking knock your ass on the ground and knock the breath out of your chest hurt. It is because of events this summer that I have stopped showing dogs in AKC Conformation. I’m not saying I will never show dogs again, but I’m not saying I will either.

I still have to see this person on a somewhat regular basis and it is really hard. Each time I see her I relive everything that happened this summer and have to come to the realization that even though I thought she was my best friend, she didn’t feel the same. See, I held her in such a high regard, I wanted to be like her. Now that I find out what truly matters to her she has fallen off the pedestal in my eyes. These events make me question my own judgments of people. Why didn’t I see what she was really like? Actually, I did see the way she treated others, but chose to over look it.
So why do I care that she has never acknowledged what she did was wrong? Not only did these events make me question my ability to make character judgments, but also my worth as a person. I mean…..there must be something wrong with me if she doesn’t like me enough to apologize…..right? Why do I wish that the music would swell and Karma would have its way with her or that she would see the error of her ways and beg me to forgive her? Why do I still even care?
My life is much better than it was a few short months ago. I am happy that I have more free time to spend with my husband, instead of leaving him every weekend to go to a show. I have reconnected with old friends and made some fantastic new friends. I am thrilled to not be spending the money on showing dogs; it has definitely helped my budget. I am ecstatic that I am putting myself first and taking the time to workout and care for myself. Instead of trying to be liked, I am learning to like myself regardless of what other people thing. A lot harder than it sounds.

In the past, I would have wanted to be liked so badly, that I probably would have forgiven her and continued on. I think the fact that I wasn’t willing to do that makes it much more open ended for me. I can honestly say I have never lost a friend like this. Sure, I’ve lost touch with friends over the years, but never an out and out I am not your friend, I can’t speak to you again type of ending. I have always been the one to give in just to be accepted and liked and this time I stood up for myself. I look forward to the day when I can say I am past the hurt of this loss. I think I get a little closer every day. So it’s a work in progress, each day I try to forget more about this summer and enjoy where I am right now, in this moment. That is all I can do

Egg Nog Milkshake

I LOVE.......I mean I LOVE ....McDonald’s egg nog milkshakes. I would look forward to this time of year just because of those shakes. I couldn’t find the exact nutritional information on them on the website, a medium chocolate shake was listed as 12 points and I decided I just wasn’t willing to spend that many points on a shake. I had to devise a way to make my own.

This weekend when I did grocery shopping I found a brand of Fat Free egg nog that is 2 points for ½ cup. The egg nog is not pretty to look at…. the color seems a bit off. Then I hit the ice cream isle. I found Bryers double churned sugar free vanilla ice cream that is only 1 point for ½ cup. I used 1 serving of the egg nog and 2 servings of the ice cream and added about 1/3 cup of fat free milk and blended.

It was amazing!!!!! I had my milk shake for only 4 points. It filled a tall glass and would be considered McDonald’s medium. I was very satisfied with my modifications and I saved myself 8 points. That is huge! I am thrilled that I found a way to work something back into my life that I thought I would have to give up.

Playing it Safe

I will admit I am a total creature of habit. I tend to eat the same foods day after day. I think I do it because it is safe. I know how many points to count for everything I eat. I prefer to eat something that I can read the nutritional info on so there is no guessing about how many points a serving is. At home, I like to keep the same foods prepared to eat for dinner though the week.

When I have to eat out, I try to always choose Subway. I’d be lost without Subway. I am so lucky to have a fast food restaurant to grab dinner from. When I am on the run, I can swing in there and have my choice of a few different subs that will only be 5 or 6 points (without cheese, of course). I do wish they were slightly easier to eat while driving, but beggars can’t be choosers. I am just glad that because of subway I don’t have a reason to stop at McDonalds, Burger King or Wendy’s. I realize that we can fit those items in if we really want them, but I don’t want to spend my precious points on those kinds of foods anymore.

Yesterday was my Grandmother’s funeral and at the funeral dinner I wouldn’t eat anything except a pickle. I fixed John a plate, but I just didn’t want to eat those items even though they were lovingly prepared by the church ladies. I ate a serving of my pre-measured trail mix and a banana that I had packed in my car while we drove back to my moms.

It’s interesting how many people pay attention to what you eat at functions. It’s almost like you have to eat something just to get people to stop asking if you are going to eat something. Back off already! If I want to eat I will. I don’t want to eat anything that may jeopardize my momentum. I think I am most scared of eating something and having it trigger a binge or a lapse into old eating habits. I’m sure the farther along I go in this journey the more comfortable I will be about not controlling the content of every morsel that touches my lips, but until then, I am going to be vigilant.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Why will this time be different? Part II

This time will be different because of the way I look at food. I look at food with new eyes now. Today in my management meeting everyone was eating huge portions of some chocolate and nut covered cake. Sure, it looked good, but I know that’s not what my body needs. My body doesn’t need sugar and empty calories; it needs the components to give me enough energy for my next killer workout.

I like to be able to justify food that I consume. I don’t want what I eat to be tied to emotions anymore. I want to logically know that there is a physical/scientific reason for eating something. Here are a few examples: Trail mix has healthy oils and is high in protein. Sugar free pudding has a serving of calcium which all women need more of. A fiber one bar has a ton of fiber (thus the name). I choose boneless skinless chicken breasts because they are a good source of protein. I eat egg whites for the same reason. I know that my body needs nutrients so that it can build muscle and won’t think its starving.

It’s like the light bulb has finally gone off inside of me that screams at me to give my body what it needs instead of what my head wants. We can’t forget the old saying. “Eat to Live….don’t Live to Eat.”

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Weigh in Report for Nov 23rd

Whooo Hoooo!!!!!! I am down 5 more pounds today. The week of Thanksgiving no less. I am so thrilled. Total pounds gone 38.

I attribute this loss to a couple of factors. First, I went back to basics this week and just did straight weight watchers points. The other factor is my new friend. She worked my ass this week! Friday night I met her after work and since it was already dark and cold we worked out in her three story office building. So for 45 minutes, we walked the floor and then up a flight, walked a floor then up a flight. Then we would work our way to the bottom and start over. Stairmaster never prepared me for the huffin and puffin I did that night. She even motivated me for a Thanksgiving day workout. I tried to tell her that Thanksgiving day should be a day of rest, but she was relentless. So to my dear wonderful friend Stacey, THANK YOU!!!! Funny, she says I motivate her, but I think its the other way around.

Thanksgiving day went well. It was just John and I and I did all the cooking so I could control what was in the house. I made a whole turkey but kept it covered while it roasted so the skin was not that yummy golden brown and I was able to just throw the skin away without temptation. I also made my normal stuffing and replaced the 1/2 cup butter that the celery and onions were supposed to cook in, with straight chicken broth. A cup of my stuffing only ended up being 2 points. I made John a crustless pumpkin pie ( I don't like pumpkin pie) and I had a skinny cow for dessert. I stayed completely within my points.

Today Deb came over and we walked around town for darn near an hour. Man it was so cold! Only 26 degrees today and the wind was whipping. It still counts as a workout and Haven and Morgan were happy that they got to go along.

BTW.....No, I did not win 2 million dollars. A coworker did this year and we each posed with the check and pretended for a moment it was us.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Attack of the killer Christmas Food Catalogs

Pfaelzler brothers, Harry and David, Hickory Farms, Honey Baked Ham. My mailbox has been stuffed catalogs from thse companies them this month. These catalogs have all been welcome in my home for many years. Most items are way too expensive to order, although there was a chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick that I ordered a couple of times from Pfaelzler. They would come on dry ice even. DIVINE!!!! Don’t even want to know what the nutritional info was on that.
You can’t get away from Hickory Farms. They have booths in the mall; even Target has an end cap with all of their stuff. These items take up a chunk of that buffet table and often end up on your plate for the mindless eating you do at holiday gatherings. High fat meats and cheeses. Danger, Danger.
At work we are given a Honey Baked ham at Christmas. Ohhhh these are so yummy and not something I would ever purchase on my own. Once opened, that ham is a food group all its own. Ham sandwiches, scalloped potatoes and ham, ham and cheese omelets. (my stomach is growling and I have an abundance of saliva in my mouth right now thinking about it) Needless to say we have always really appreciated this gift and enjoyed it. This year, however, I think I will give it to my local soup kitchen and let someone else enjoy it. I just don’t dare have that ham in the house. I would love to have one of their turkeys instead, but it would be rude to complain about a gift from my company.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


DYKB? My new friend and I saw this written on the sidewalk repeatedly on campus during our walk after weight watchers on Saturday morning. DYKB.....I finally figured out the first three letters.... Do You Know.... but had no idea what the B stood for. So we kept walking, and walking, and walking.....then we saw one that had the words written out. I was right on the first three words, but the third one....well, you could have knocked me over with a feather. The third letter was for Brenda!
Do You Know Brenda?
It was as if the weight watcher fairies were speaking directly to me!
This got me to thinking.... Do I know Brenda? I certainly know the old Brenda, the one that binge eats until she is sick. But how well do I know the new Brenda? What do I need to know about her and what she needs in order to ensure her success?

I fancy myself pretty focused on my weight loss but I know that I am not invincible and there are many things I know I cannot handle myself around. My friend Deb calls these “trigger foods”. These are foods that once in their presence you are in a trance and have no recollection of the events that transpire before you “come to” and the item has disappeared and you are staring at an empty package. In my case the sneak eater/binger personality takes over and I am sunk.
I used to pick up those rotisserie chickens at the grocery store. While chicken is very good for you, I would eat every bit of skin on that damn thing quicker than a New York minute. Plus I prefer the dark meat. So instead of having a healthy breast, I know I would want to eat all the legs, thighs and wings and leave the skinless breasts for John. I don’t want to put myself in a situation where I may make a bad choice. So far, I am planning to buy a Turkey breast for Thanksgiving that way I don’t have the temptation of dark meat. No Bake Cookies: I will never allow myself to make no bakes cookies again. Actually that applies to most cookies. I know that I can’t control myself with warm cookies and milk and it is way more important for me to be successful than to make some stupid cookies. Ice cream by the half gallon: I am religious about measuring my food, but I know I would try to eyeball when it came to dishing out the ice cream. Instead I will continue to buy my skinny cow bars.
I thought trail mix would be a trigger food for me. I really like trail mix. The kind I buy from Sam’s club is 3 points for ¼ cup. I think what saves me on the trail mix is that the moment I get it, I divide the bag into serving size zip locks. So, no grabbing a handful, guessing at the serving size, when I grab a zip lock I know that is a 3 point serving. I even keep it in the car console for a healthy snack after a long walk.

I know that this may sound very rigid and overall weight watchers teaches us that anything can be fit into our new way of life. But I think we also have to really know ourselves and realize that we have to make a choice that there are some things we can not do again. I think of it like a recovering alcoholic. They know that they shouldn’t put themselves in situations that may lead them to take a drink. Maybe with time and experience, I will be able to work some of these things back in my life. Until then, I am going to protect myself from situations that put my health and wellbeing in danger.
So what are your trigger foods? Do you avoid them all together like I have so far, or manage to control yourself?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Giddy day!

I am having one of those giddy days again. I just want to hug everyone I see and tell them I love them. I am so high on life Human Resources will probably want a urine sample.

John and I had a great Sunday night together. We had out annual viewing of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation last night. We turned the lights out, snuggled under blankets and laughed so hard we cried. It was so nice to just spend quiet time together.

I am excited to get a killer workout in today. I am excited that I haven’t let my .8 gain derail me in the least. I cannot control “the box”. I can only control the effort I put into this journey. So, I am going back to basics and pushing my workouts to a higher level.

A coworker gave me a Vitamuffin top today to try. Wow, I can’t believe how great that was for only one point. I would definitely like to add some of these to my daily diet.

I ended up buying two whole turkeys this weekend when I did my weekly grocery shopping. Kroger’s had them for 49 cent per pound and you got 2 free cases of Pepsi products! Can’t beat that deal! I got one for to make this week and one for later.

At Weight Watchers we did a Thanksgiving Dress Rehearsal. Our leader had a pretty table set with all the serving dishes and then she had little slip of paper in the dish which listed the item, serving size, and points. We then each took our own paper plate and choose the slips of paper for the items that we wanted to eat on Thanksgiving Day. This way, we could plan out how many points we were going to consume. Being Prepared…..just like the boy scouts…..I think I read that somewhere.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Weigh in report

ARRRGGGGG! I am up .8 pounds this week. While I am disappointed, I already know what I am going to do differently this week.

For the last 5 weeks, I have been doing the Wendie Plan. The first 3 weeks I had great losses. 4.8, 2.6 and 2.4 pounds. Last week I maintained and this week I had my first gain of .8. Must be time to change things up again. Starting today I am going to go back to straight weight watchers.

I also have to admit my workouts were not as killer as I normally expect of myself. I worked out, but did a lot more walking than Stair master. While walking is really good and does increase my heart rate, I want sweat to be rolling off me to call it a killer work out. So this week I will return to my normal gym workouts and add walking as more of a recreational activity.

I had a great walk today with my new friend. We spent an hour laughing and talking as we walked around town. Now that is how exercise becomes part of your life. Having fun while doing it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dog Stories Part IV -- Haven

Haven was our first show quality dog. I purchased her from a woman that breeds and shows her poodles that also lives in Michigan. Picking out a show prospect is serious business. Four of us were there to evaluate the quality of the litter at 8 weeks of age and determine which would be the most suitable to show. Haven had the conformation I was looking for as well as that "look at me attitude" that is essential for a show dog to have. If you would like to learn more about evaluating a litter of puppies, look at "Puppy Puzzle" by Pat Miller.

Unfortunately, Haven broke her leg at a round 10 weeks. The break was very close to the growth plate and the vets at MSU Veterinary School thought that the bone may not grow anymore and she may end up having to have the leg amputated. We are very fortunate that did not end up being the case. The leg did end up being about an inch shorter than the others so she actually walks like she is missing a shoe. It is because of the injury that she was unable to be shown.

She is from beautiful health tested parents and has been very healthy thus far. I am currently working on competitive Rally and Obedience titles with her. We do think she may have some arthritis issues from the break, because she does move slowly when she gets up in the morning.

Haven is wonderful with people of all ages and very loving. She loves to nuzzle you and sit on the couch resting her head in your lap. She has her Canine Good Citizen certificate and can also do the local children's reading program.

She is not, however a lover of other dogs. She absolutely hates Ruby and will try to kill her each and every time she sees her. You can imagine this has posed quite a logistics problem for us because all of our dogs are loose in the house. We are very careful that Ruby and Haven are never in the same room together.

Despite her nice pedigree, since temperment problems can be hereditary (not always) I did go ahead and spay her because of her iffy temperament. I just didn't want to risk it being passed on to puppies.

The Great Wall of China T-Shirt

I have a t-shirt that I bought while I was in China the day we went to “The Great Wall”. It says “I climbed the Great Wall of China. BTW…..what a workout! At times there were actual steps of different heights and depths and at times it was a smooth slope! But let me tell you it was tough and I was exhausted when I finished.

Backstory: China doesn’t have fat people. None! Everyone is a normal weight. (Give them time, there is a KFC or McDonalds on every corner now in Beijing….don’t worry, their obesity rates will catch up to ours in the U.S.) I was warned by one of my Chinese instructors that I should be prepared to be stared at while I was there because of my size. I was offended that she even said that to me, but she was right, I was stared at as much as the African American girl that was with our group. We were stared at and whispered about. Of course they would ask her if she was an African Princess, luckily none asked if I had eaten a child.

Anyway, of course the T-shirt didn’t come in a size any where near what I would need to wear, but I bought one anyway and stuffed it in a drawer. The tag says XL, but this is a size small if I ever saw one. So I got it out and hung it up where I can see it because come hell or high water, I will wear that T-shirt. Maybe I’ll wear it when I run my first marathon!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Non Scale Victories

Since I didn’t have a weight loss this week, I had to rely on my Non Scale Victories (NSVs) this week to remind myself that I am doing a great job and that there are times that even though I do everything right; the scale is not going to agree. Looking back, I really have racked up a lot of non scale victories. Here are a few that I can think of off the top of my head.

1. I moved my car seat forward. As many fat people know, in order to make room for our stomachs; we have to have the seat waaaayyyyy back which makes it difficult to reach the pedals. Now I don’t have to press the gas pedal with the tips of my toes!

2. More fat clothes gone. I gave them to the daughter of a woman I work with. When I cleaned out my closet again this weekend I found heaps of clothes in my closet that fit wonderfully now. I also laid out a few things I can’t wait to get into soon.

3. I take a lot longer to get ready for work. Some would question, how is this considered a positive? Well, yeah, I either I am going to continue being late for work or I have to start getting up earlier but I find that I care so much more about my appearance, that I take more time spraying my hair and putting on my makeup, and I will switch outfits a couple of times in order to find the one that makes me feel the best. A few months ago, I was getting pretty ugly. I slapped on the makeup in the morning, dried my hair and threw on whatever wasn’t wrinkled and covered all of me. Now, every Sunday night I even do my nails. BTW my fave nail polish is “It’s a Doozie, Suzie” by OPI. It really stays on all week!

4. I can jog a whole city block now. Thirty four pounds ago, I couldn’t jog 3 steps, but slowly I am doing it.

5. I don’t stretch out my shirts anymore before I put them on. I dry everything in the dryer all the way too! My shirts are loose and baggy now. No need to stretch them out anymore.

6. I have renewed friendships with old friends and even met some new special people through weight watchers. It is so nice to have people that you can share your goals and accomplishments with.

7. WARNING: Too much information in this next one. Sex is so much better already! Enough said.

8. I am not tired like I had been. I believe I had sleep apnea at my heaviest. I slept all the time and could never get enough rest. I would sleep at lunch at my desk. I often took a nap when I got home from work in the evening and on the weekends I would take at least three naps per day. Driving to work was really tough. Often I would slap myself to stay awake to get there. Now, I wake up before the alarm goes off and never feel tired while at work or while driving. It is so nice to have energy.

Imagine, all of these NSVs at only 34 pounds gone. I will be doing cartwheels by the time I lose the rest!
So don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for the non scale victories. These are the things that tell us we are headed in the right direction even when “the box” doesn’t confirm it. Write down your NSVs so you can go back and use them as motivation for tough days.

Family inadequacies at holiday time

Why do we lose our resolve to eat right at holiday time? Yeah, there are lots of festive occasions and gift giving that often involve food and spirits, but lets look deeper at the root of much of the over eating done at the holidays. Emotions. More specifically family baggage.

I am a big TV fan. I love TV. No I mean it, I LOVE TV! If I had to make a choice between my TIVO and say…… a new wardrobe of clothes ….….TIVO would win. The trauma during holidays comes from me watching all those damned Christmas episodes on TV of my favorite shows. Think about it…. All of the families we watch on a TV shows are happy during holidays. This, despite what ever problems they may have any other day of the year, at the holidays, all is forgiven, all the wrongs are righted and they all come together and love each other.

Funny, my life isn’t like that at all. My grandma still makes comments about my weight, my brothers wife is sullen and not speaking to anyone, my mom is stressed that she didn’t make everyone’s Christmas perfect, and my husband usually has to work (lucky bastard) and I’m pissed that no one bought gifts for my dogs.

I want that perfect family, with the perfect tree, and the perfect presents with the perfect photo op at the end in with the family gathered around the dinner table as a male elder carves the turkey. I guess you could call me Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. All he wants is a fun old fashioned Griswold family Christmas. Instead he gets Cousin Eddie and Snots the rottweiler and has to drink a great deal of egg nog in order to forget that Cousin Eddie is emptying his “shitter” in the storm sewer. I try to ignore my family’s defectiveness with seasonal food. They say you are what you eat; if that’s true then at Christmas I am chocolate dipped peanut brittle.

My husband often tells me as I am crying while watching the perfect TV family all hugging each other as the credits roll, “TV isn’t real.” Yes, logically Clark Griswold and I know that, but not emotionally. We want what that Norman Rockwell moment that they have and in my case, maybe if I eat enough I’ll get it or at least be too full and drunk on the nog to notice I don’t. Not this year. I think a better idea for me is to avoid the holiday TV shows altogether. Instead I’ll watch Christmas Vacation over and over again and be glad I don’t have a cousin Eddie

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What is on my ipod?

I bought a 4gig ipod nano when the new version was released a couple of months ago. This is my first MP3 player and I absolutely love it. Music really does make a difference in the intensity of my workouts. My biggest complaint was that the headphones that came with the unit fell out of my ears when I would do floor work. I bought another pair of headphones that hook around the ear that work much better, although the sound isn’t as great as I think it should be.

I love that with the nano you can sort things into play lists. I have my music organized into four play lists so far. General, workout music, holiday and one I’ve named Frank/Dean/Ella.

I only have about 30 songs in the workout play list and I do find I will search for a fave to start out on the Stairmaster. Usually I like to start out with “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne or Bette Midler’s “I’m Beautiful” Something about those songs make me shout the lyrics, wave my arms and make me thrilled I am on the machine changing my life a little every day. Really pumps me up.

I’m sure I will need to pick new anthems to work out to occasionally but until then, you can find me in the gym singing (in between huffs and puffs) at the top of my lungs “You might be my lucky star……….”

I primarily use the ipod on the Stairmaster and while doing floor cardio and lifting weights, I find that if I listen while on the treadmill, I try to walk to the beat of the songs and end up getting shin splints. Does anyone else have this problem? What do you listen to?

Dog Stories Part III -- Ruby

Ruby is our first official standard poodle and she is registered as a red. Now that she is 6 years old her coloring actually resembles the color of a brown paper bag, but she is still considered a red. You would think by this point, John and I would have gotten a bit savvier about where our dogs come from, but no, those damned classified ads strike again.

I saw an ad for a litter of Standard Poodles so I called on them and the lady had a red girl for only $400. People, you are not going to get a puppy out of health tested parents for $400! Generally in Michigan the average price for a companion quality dog out of health tested parents will cost between $800 and $1000 dollars. I was marginally smarter this time. I had learned that health testing was important. I did take the time ask the lady about health testing. She said it was done and it was good. I didn’t bother to ask what health testing was done, or see copies of the test results. Just saw this beautiful bundle of Red fur and said “I’ll take her”.

Now that I understand that in breeding dogs, you not only have to consider the sire and dam, you must also be familiar with the lines of dogs they come from. Since this breeder was less than reputable, we decided to spay Ruby rather than run the risk of some hereditary disease raring its ugly head. Of course Ruby is priceless in our eyes and we did fare better in the temperament department than we did with Tucker. She has been a very healthy dog as well. I have done more training with Ruby than any of our other dogs and it shows. In later posts I will brag about her accomplishments.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Why will this time be different? Part I

Yep, I’ve done all of this before. Back in ’98 I lost 75 pounds doing weight watchers. I even had a cosmetic surgery to fix some of the sagging afterward. But I gained it all back and then some. I’ve been asking myself what makes me think this time will be any different.

I think the main difference is how I am living my life and my perception of what my life will be like at my goal weight. I believe I am speaking for many overweight people that there is this illusion that our lives will be perfect once we loose weight. Like the number of the scale is miraculously in charge of all of our unhealthy relationships, promotions, demotions, income, and overall happiness. Ten years ago, I really believed that was the only thing stopping my life from being perfect. So, I lost the weight, looked and felt great, and then something bad happened. I was bumped from my job that I absolutely loved and was forced into another department; my husband still had moments of being an absolute jerk; and I still had too many bills and not enough money.
Wait……hold the phone….. what…..huh.......bad things aren’t supposed to happen to me now. I’m thin……I look good…..isn’t that enough to ward off all bad things for the rest of my life? Guess not. I had not prepared for this possibility so I turned back to what was safe. Food and TV: and lots of both of them.

When I am sad, disappointed, mad, or confused, I understand that I need to find out why, and figure out either how to fix it or live with it. Food is not the answer. Now, I work through the problem in my head and with a friend or two and move on. No wallowing, no numbing with food. Okay maybe a little wallowing and whining, but no numbing with food.

Today I am enjoying today. I am no longer waiting for my thin tomorrow. I recognize that if I am not happy now, the number on the scale is not going to give me lasting happiness and contentment. I am not going to let my size dictate the amount of pleasure I derive from each day. Sure there are a couple of things that I am going to wait to do until spring when I have lost a little more weight like horseback riding ( I really have a fear of hurting the horse) and canoeing (too cold now anyway). But I am not putting my life on hold anymore. For goodness sakes, I am 35 already. I don’t have time to put things off anymore.

Its time for the "Friends" Thanksgiving Marathon

Many TV sitcoms are known for their heartwarming Christmas episodes. Think back to the episode that Carol Brady loses her voice on Brady Bunch. Or remember the episode of Happy Days where Joni doesn’t want an artificial tree and every one ends up bringing her a real tree at the last minute? All great episodes where the over riding theme is good will toward men.

I am a huge fan of Friends. I have all 10 seasons on DVD and catch reruns whenever possible. Friends had good Christmas episodes for sure, but I think the Thanksgiving episodes are where they really shined.

So each November I drag out all 10 seasons out of the spare room. They of course are already conveniently marked as to which disc and which episode is the thanksgiving episode. I play each season’s episode (in order…of course) in the span of a weekend. Pity my poor husband who tolerates Friends, but does not enjoy these marathons. I love to watch the touch football game where the “Gellar Cup” is up for grabs and Joey and Chandler are fighting over the Danish flight attendant, or the one where Joey gets the turkey stuck on his head when he tries to scare Chandler or what about the one that guest stars Brad Pitt when he and Jennifer Aniston were still the perfect couple. All of these episodes are filled with fun and laughter.

Part of my love of Friends Thanksgiving episodes is tied to my very favorite Thanksgiving of all time. I went to New York for Thanksgiving and stayed with a friend and her family that lived in New York. I was at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in 1999. The parade I watched every year as a kid (‘til my dad turned on the football game) I got to witness first hand. Along with the parade was everything else that was wonderful about New York. Little Italy, where we ate a Puglia’s, standing at the top of the Empire State Building at night and looking down at the lights of the city. New York is amazing, and I guess watching the friends Thanksgiving episodes makes me feel like I still get to visit each year during the holiday.
So for me, Thanksgiving isn't about food, its about remembering one of the best experiences of my life.

To make this weight watchers related, be prepared to count your points this Thanksgiving. Don’t give up what you really want for what you want right now…..

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Weigh in for November 10th

Slightly disappointed to say that I maintained my weight this week. I just have to remind myself I did everything right that was within my control and that my body just needed to adjust. So adjust away body but next week you better be ready to lose.

Bright note: Stacey the WW member that approached me last week about her clothes that were too big was at the meeting and gave me the nicest, most enormous bag of clothes. A few items will fit right now, but most of it will fit in another 20 pounds. I can't wait.

This week at WW we talked about preparing for thanksgiving and using herbs and trying new recipes. Good topic, I do find I get in a rut and eat the same stuff. Maybe it is time to branch out and try a few new things.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The low down on Poodles in AKC Conformation

I got into showing dogs because I loved dogs and I wanted to make new friends that liked the same kind of dogs I did. Sure I wouldn't turn down winning once in a while, but I wanted friends to hang out with on weekends. Silly me, the other people were showing dogs because they want to win that ribbon and finish their dog’s championship. I’m not saying that when the judges pointed at me for winners, my heart didn’t jump and I didn’t float around the rest of the ring, I did. Boy I did. I would have loved to finished my dogs championships. As it was I quit when Morgan was half way there and Cruise had three points. Winning is really cool. I am just not cut throat and I was not expecting to have my throat cut.

Hold on to your seats folks, I am going to let you in on a little secret. Things get dirty in showing dogs. In poodles, we have more ways to stack the deck in our favor than other breeds because of their trim. Many add extra chunks of hair (called “wiggies” or “pieces”) to their poodle’s top knot to make it look fuller. Often the black and brown dogs you see in the ring are that nice rich color because of Miss Clairol. Yep it takes quite a few bottles, but owners dye the dogs hair to cover up mismarks, or fading color. Dog a little on the thin side and won’t eat? Force feed them. Bad nose pigment? Just grab a marker or some shoe polish to cover up that fault. Tail not set and carried at exactly 12 o’clock? Surgically repair it. Don’t think the judge knows who you are? Hire a professional handler to take your dog in. If the judge is a middle aged man, the best choice would be a hot young thing with her bra straps loosened so she gets a nice bounce as she moves the dog around the ring. It also helps if the judge is good friends with professional handler too. Often judges forget to look at the bottom end of the leash where the dog is, instead as they examine the class of dogs in front of them, they look at who is handling the dogs to figure out who they owe a favor to or who may be able to help them get their next judging assignment.

These are all things I witnessed while showing dogs. I was not a saint when it comes to following the rules by any means, I will confess to force feeding Morgan to keep her in a good weight to be shown (she is a really fussy eater). I really regret it because she hates me for doing that to her. I would also use hairspray to put my dog’s topknot together. Each one of the things I mentioned are illegal according to the rules of the Poodle Club of America and AKC rules yet are done every day at every AKC dog show. Unfortunately, the desire to win, trumps all. Doesn’t matter who you hurt or what you have to do winning is what matters at the end of the day for most dog show people.

I finally woke up and realized that showing dogs despite having some fun, had many more drawbacks and wasn’t how I wanted to spend my free time. So, after a show this summer, I bowed out. I cut Cruise and Morgan down into pet trim and they are enjoying playing and roughhousing in the yard which are things they couldn’t do because of keeping their long hair in good condition to be shown. I’m sure neither of them misses having to spend 5 plus hours on the grooming table for their weekly bath and blow-dry either.

Have you had to make tough decisions to distance yourself from and unhealthy situation? When is it okay to be a quitter? I enjoyed the actual showing of the dogs, and if I go back to showing, it will be in obedience where you are judged on just you and your dog’s performance, not being compared as a group as in conformation.