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.

Dog Stories Part II -- Buddy

Buddy is our only mixed breed dog. After having Tucker about a year, John and I decided it was time to look for a friend to keep him company.
I was at the county fair (as foods judge no less) and met some people that said they had a little poodle mix they didn’t want any more (they picked him up in Florida while on spring break earlier in the year) and I could come and look at him at their campsite.
So I went home and grabbed John and we went back to the fair to meet Buddy. What we were greeted with was the happiest, filthiest dog ever. He was COVERED in fleas, and his tail was 3 times its normal size because it was matted solid with burrs. We were told that he had never had any vaccinations and was not neutered.
I was apprehensive to put him in that car because of the fleas so I asked if they could keep him yet that night until I could take him straight to the groomers to be flea dipped. They said “sure, we’ll just tie him to the picnic table tonight”. Needless to say, we loaded Buddy up, fleas and all, into the car along with Tucker.
Later that week I ran into the people we got Buddy from and they asked how he was doing. I informed them that he was adjusting fine and had an appointment to be neutered. Fine people that they were acted astonished that I would pay to have that procedure done as all I needed to do was wrap a rubber band around his testicles and they would just shrivel up and fall off. At this point I am quite certain that Buddy traded up in family. Buddy will also be turning 10 the month of November.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fight the Voices

I wasn’t able to work out at lunch today. Being a creature of habit, since my schedule was thrown off I am now busy fighting with myself over staying after work to get my work out in. I just haven’t been able to get warm today regardless of running my little office heater, I am a bit tired from the time change and leaning to the side of melancholy and cranky because I had a kennel club meeting last night (more on why kennel club meetings upset me in another post).

So I am in the middle of rationalizing and thinking of excuses to not work out. I know that often missing one day leads to two which leads to“Oh I’ll start again next week and before you know it, it’ll be June and I will be back to square one. I thought I would let you all in on the conversation. Really it’s about as fascinating as a presidential debate, but I’ll share anyway.

“I deserve a day off from working out”. No, I deserve to have a healthy life and in order to get that, I need to exercise daily like it or not.
“I’ll take one of the dogs for a walk when I get home” No, I am already cold, I am not going to feel like bundling up and walking 3 or 4 miles in the near dark after I get into my nice warm house.
“My joints are a little achy from the new video I did yesterday so I should let my muscles rest.” No, actually getting up and moving will likely make my muscles feel better. I don’t have do a killer workout I just need move a little.

Don’t act like you don’t have these conversations on a daily basis with yourself. We all do. Unfortunately we let the pathetic side of us win, the side that wants to say no to social situations, the side of us that would rather sit home and eat Ben and Jerry’s than find the love of your life, the side that would rather watch reality TV, than let us get pleasure from our own reality adventure waiting for us in real life.

What it comes down to, is deciding what I really want for myself. Do I want to be filled with that self loathing that comes from binging and not exercising, never accomplishing my “I want” list? Or am I worth sucking it up, and getting on the treadmill and feeling better. I am worth it. You can check your watch at 3:30pm EST and know that my ass will be on the treadmill.

Eating too fast

Eating too fast is by far my biggest struggle when it comes to listening to my body. I eat too fast. I am not just talking about finishing before the person across the table does, I am talking, about the eat so much so fast your gut is screaming and you feel like you could throw up fast.

Conventional wisdom says that we should put our fork down between bites, or make sure we have a glass of water before we eat, chew every bite 24 times. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know all of these things. The problem is that as soon as I sit down with my plate, I immediately go into this trance like state and all external stimuli just fades away until the plate is empty and I feel like I am going to be sick. They also say make sure you sit down to eat, don’t watch TV while you eat. Hello! Eating / TV, not sure that one should happen without the other. I will admit that I eat all my meals sitting on the couch (surrounded by at least 5 begging dogs) watching TV.

Mind you I don’t go over my points. All of my food is carefully measured and portioned out on my plate before leaving the kitchen so this is food I am allowing myself to eat. I just inhale it too fast to comprehend.

I know some of it has to do with being a recovering binger and sneak eater. I remember thinking that as long as I ate something quickly and no one else saw me eat it, I can eat again and they won’t judge me because they don’t know that I already had a candy bar (or three). They think this is my first one. That makes it okay…..doesn’t it? Boy, nothing like having a multi pronged eating disorder.
P.S. Have no idea who the guy in the picture is, just a pic I found on a competitive eating sight where speedy eating is worshiped!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

New habits become ingrained

One of the best places for a sneak eater to sneak eat and binge is in their car (other than a dark closet). I would take care to plan special binges for my commute home from work. Often the plan would include hostess cupcakes or ding dongs out of the vending machine in the break room that I pass on the way to my car … oh who am I kidding, anything chocolate sufficed. I would start planning what I was going to eat on the way home from work while I was still driving TO work in the morning.

Well, I still like to have something to eat while driving home from work so that I don’t arrive home malnourished (yeah right…malnourished…….in my lifetime?). I don’t want to use too many points because I still get that panicked feeling from the thought of running out of points at the end of the night, but need something. So I have turned to apples. I am pretty fussy about my apples. I only like a couple of varieties. Top honors go to the Honey Crisp apple. Tied for a close second are the Fuji and Brae burn apples.

Yesterday I did not have an apple to eat and I thought it was going to drive me bonkers! So much so that I took and extra long lunch today and ran to Meijer’s to buy apples for the commute home before I did my lunch time workout. I feel great that some of my new habits are becoming second nature. Running out of apples didn’t give me an excuse to return to the vending machine. Returning to the old eating patterns actually never entered my mind. Yeah me!
What new habits are you thrilled about?

New Favorite Lean Cuisine

I admit, I am a creature of habit. I eat a 4 or 5 point Lean Cuisine every day for lunch.
They are a much quicker option than going to the local subway, relatively cheap and overall pretty good tasting. I love the Salmon with basil and orzo (4 points) and the Chicken with Almonds (5 points). John loves the Panini’s and so I have always bought them for him, but never actually looked at how many points they contain. I just assumed they were 8 points like the pizza's are. I was shocked when it was only 5 points.

Well, the freezer needs restocked so pickings were slim this morning when I left for work so I grabbed one of his Panini’s. I just devoured the Chicken, spinach and mushroom Panini (5 points). I ate it as an open faced sandwich. I am in love!I even used my fingernail to scrape any wayward cheese off the “revolutionary” grill plate. I will be buying many more of these this week on grocery day. Poor John, now he will have to share them with me.

Dog Stories Part I - How did we end up with 7 dogs?

Dog #1 Tucker.
Tucker was the last puppy left of a litter of supposedly toy poodles at the home of this back yard breeder in a neighboring town. We knew nothing about how to locate a good dog. We just found an ad in the paper, and went and looked.

She wanted $100 for him and another $25 if we wanted his AKC papers. This a prime example that just because a dog has “papers” doesn’t mean it is a well bred dog. “Papers” only mean that both parents of the puppy were pure bred. It does nothing to ensure the that the health testing recommended for that breed was completed on the parents prior to breeding or that the parents had good temperaments or that the parents embody what it means to be that breed of dog. I don’t know about you, but I would have rather that my “toy poodle” actually have come from in size toy poodles and had a good temperament and that my poodle look like a poodle and act like a poodle is supposed to act.

Tucker will be turning 10 years old this month and I truly believe that any other family would have had him euthanized because of his awful temperament. I mean, this dog has a wire loose. He will sit on the couch with you and growl and snarl while he nudges you with his nose to pet him. He continues to growl and snarl while you pet him. It’s like he is confused. He snaps at me when I groom him and nearly bites me when I trim his nails.

Literally this was our first dog and we did everything wrong with him. He became very resource aggressive with the bed and would try to bite John when he would try to get into bed. Now Tucker isn’t even allowed in the bedroom. He sleeps in a crate that he is very happy with in the crate room with a few of the other dogs.

He isn’t all bad. He is very affectionate and loves to go for walks and retrieve a ball for me. He is the first one to sit when I give a group command to sit, and loves to “roll over” on command. If I am sad and crying he is the first one to be over licking away my tears.

We learned a lot about how to find a quality dog from the mistakes we made with Tucker. I learned a lot more about dog training after realizing where I went wrong in training tucker and that we let him get away with too much in the beginning that fostered his opinion that he is the alpha in charge and we are his pack that he rules over.

As a toy poodle, Tucker should have weighed under 10 pounds and measured less than 10” at the withers. Tucker actually weighs 35 pounds and measures 18 inches at the withers. According to the poodle breed standard (which can be found at ) he is a standard poodle.
Live and learn.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Quit whining!

“Hard work spotlights the character of people: Some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all. ---Sam Ewing

I hear so many people whine that eating right is hard, or they are too tired to get up early to work out or just too busy to write down what they eat.


I read a neat passage once that puts that into perspective. We have the same 24 hours in the day as Robert Jarvis, Marie Curie, Einstein and Louis Pasteur had. I think if they can develop the artificial heart, the theory of relativity, discover new radio active elements, oh and in their spare time develop a vaccine for rabies, I really think we can eek out the time to journal what we eat or go for a short walk.

Yep, living healthy is hard. We have to wrestle with those inner demons that hijack our carts at the grocery store and then mysteriously stop right in front of the Sara Lee Chocolate Pies, or the voice that tries to convince you to put on your pajamas and have a threesome with Ben and Jerry when you get home from work instead of jumping on the treadmill.

You know what else is hard? Hard is shooting up with insulin everyday before a meal, or having neuropathy in your hands so bad you can’t tell when you’re holding a fork. Hard is having diabetes take control of your eyes and not being able to read a book. Hard, is being so overweight our knees and hips have given up and we are in so much pain we are forced to use one of those amigo carts to get around. Hard is being so overweight and debilitated we qualify for a handicapped sticker because we can’t walk more than five steps without nearly passing out. Hard is having your first heart attack at 39 because you think steak is its own food group and your cholesterol looks like a decent major league batting average.
We each have to decide for ourselves are we going to turn up our sleeves and do this or are we going to make excuses and not turn up to change our lives at all

Weighloss trophy update

As I continue to lose weight each week, my coworker Scott is trying to find easily accessible items to add weight to by weight loss trophy so that is accurately reflects my weight loss to date.
I think he's grasping at straws and better come up with a new plan. What do you think?

Guess what I got in the mail yesterday.......

Back story: Day after Thanksgiving shopping was to my mom and I like opening day of deer season to most avid hunters. Mom and I would be on the road by 4am and have a color coded itinerary of what store we were to go to and what was to be purchased. We even carried a set of walkie talkies so that we could split up and cover ground faster and take turns standing in the hour long checkout lines.

One year we bought so much, we had to go home, unload the car and go back for more. We were pros. A very important part of our ritual included having a picture taken with the shopping mall Santa with all of our purchases included in the picture.

Once we found Dave Ramsey and decided to pay off our credit cards and get out of debt, it put a crimp in our spending spree Holiday. Last year we still had our picture taken with Santa, but we held signs that reflected our new found principles. “Debt is Normal. Be weird.” I sent the picture in to Dave Ramsey to show him what a difference he was making in our lives.

Fast Forward 10 months. There was an envelope in the mail yesterday with Dave Ramsey letterhead. I figured it was a letter announcing that Dave was going to be doing a live event in the area. Inside was a note from Dave Ramsey himself! I scanned it to include with this post. Just click on the pic to enlarge to read it.

Wow! Dave actually reads his mail and took the time to send us an atta boy! Again, if you don’t know who Dave is and are spending out of control and want to tell you money where to go so that you stop wondering where it went, please visit his website You will not regret it.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Do people treat you differently depending on what you weigh?

Well, this question may seem like a no brainer. Of course they do. We have all read study after study about obese people being passed over for jobs or promotions because of their weight. Others say that we don’t get the same level of service other customers do in a store or assistance when our car is broken down along side the road.

In my case I don’t think the way I am treated is the choice of the other person, rather, it is influenced by my behavior and my demeanor. Let me see if I can unpack this….

Now that I have more energy and feel better about myself, I smile more, care more about my appearance, have a bounce in my step and am more talkative. All of these things make people pay more attention to me and treat me differently. I don’t care what you look like, if you walk around like Eyore saying woe is me, my life is awful, nothing will ever get better… can bet I will avoid you like the plague (which incidentally is not as deadly as it was in the middle ages).

I know 4 short months ago, I walked down the hall of my office hunched over looking at the ground. I tried to fade into the background so that I wouldn’t be noticed for the slob I felt I was. I avoided group activities like the annual golf outing or the Christmas party. (Of the salary employees, I am the only one with a weight issue.) I didn’t want to be the person that made the golf cart flip on its side. I was always very self conscious about showing my dogs in conformation. I disliked showing my dogs because most of the women who show dogs are cute and thin and wear these adorable suits. I was afraid the judge would be too busy watching my rolls bounce up and down to notice my dog’s nice movement. Conformation Dog shows will be topic of another post some day.

Now, I bound down the hall (often doing my Molly Shannon as Mary Katherine Gallagher “Superstar” impression). People meet my eyes because I am not looking down anymore. They smile at me because I am already smiling at them. They are talking to me because I am starting a conversation with them.

So yeah, people already treat me differently because of my weight loss. But not for the reasons the studies say they do.
They are treating me differently because I am treating myself differently.

Confessions of a Binger

This post took me days to write. This is really a lay it all out for everyone to see what a freak I am/was when it comes to food post. Bear with me, this one’s long and ugly.

I used to be a binger, sneak eater, closet cheater. Yep, I am a charter member of the bingers club. I still fight tendencies to binge eat. Just yesterday, I had a fiber one bar (oats and chocolate….heaven!!!!!) Once I finished it, I wanted another, heck; I wanted to eat the entire box right then. I had the points to cover it, so everything would have been “legal”, but now I understand that binging isn’t what is best for me anymore.

I used to binge on everything. My biggest down falls were meat and sweets. I love meat. I would be happy with just pork chops and cottage cheese for dinner (no veggies….why take up valuable plate real estate with something other than meat?). Quick, cut a little piece off that one before anyone sees. I cook everything on the grill, no one knows how many steaks I grilled, and once I cut them up, no one will ever know that I had one and a half. What the hell does that matter? (That no one knows) It’s my body consuming the fat and calories. It’s my arteries that are filling with so much goo that my blood can’t flow thru them. Sneak eating hurts no one but myself. So who do I think I am fooling? And let’s not forget the guilt and remorse after the binge. Anorexics purge after their binge (not making fun or disrespecting the disease of anorexia, no offense is intended). Fat people just feel guilty and binge some more.

Binge examples: I would buy a Sara Lee Chocolate Cream Pie on Friday on my way home from work and have it gone midday Saturday. The thing is, John would usually never even know there was a chocolate pie! I would have two reasons for the secrecy. One I would have to share (I can’t share my relationship with Sara Lee!) and two, I would have the embarrassment of admitting to him that the entire pie was gone when he wanted another piece the next night.

Another biggie would be when I made No Bake Cookies, my absolute favorite cookie. I would have to make a double batch just so that there were a few left to make it look like I didn’t eat them all. I literally ate them until I was sick and in the bathroom resolving to never make no bakes again.

Oh and how about how I could rationalize binging on brownies and cookies for breakfast? This reationalization especially applied to no bakes cookies. They have oats in them. Can’t they be considered similar to cold oatmeal? Yeah, I would tell myself that brownies and cookies aren’t that different than muffins or donuts. Plenty of people eat muffins and donuts in the morning. Here is the caveat, one, they don’t eat half a dozen in their dark car on their way to work, and two it really isn’t the best way for anyone to start their day.
There is a gas station near my house that carries freshly made donuts from our very best bakery in town. I would always get two, usually the big ones about the size of your head. Of course I didn’t want the guy at the cash register to judge me, a fat girl buying donuts. So when I got to the register I would say “Two donuts in the bag, one for me and one to make my boss happy.” Like the guy at the counter cared who the hell I was buying donuts for!!!

So there. It’s not pretty, but this was a little window into my former binging behaviors. I know some of you reading this are nodding and smiling because you have been there. I can’t say I have the answers, but getting it out into the open certainly feels good. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Just like the boyscouts say, Always Be Prepared

The boy scouts had it right. Always be Prepared.
I really think being prepared is the key to being successful in pursuing a healthy lifestyle. I know that preparing things on the weekend will make my entire week run more smoothly. It is one small variable I can take out of the equation.

I am referring to my weekly cooking. At some point during the weekend, I cook off more than enough food for dinners all week. If I skip this, I know that I am setting my self up for opportunistic hunger pangs to sabotage my eating. The following is a list of what I do.

Each week, I cook off a family pack of chicken breasts. Sam’s club’s everyday price is 1.97 for boneless skinless chicken breast and that is usually the best price you find it on sale at any of the local grocery stores. I just spray a frying pan with pan spray, and fry them all. When they are cooked, I transfer them to a Rubbermaid container and stick them in the fridge.

Next, I boil a box of whole wheat pasta; I am not particular on a brand, just what ever is on sale (gotta be careful to stick to the grocery budget….). After that is cooked and rinsed, I pop it in the fridge as well. Those two things start me on my way to success. Like most, I am hungry when I get home from work even though I eat an apple on my commute. This way, I have the makings of a great dinner waiting for me.

Now, each night when I first get home, I need chocolate. So I also make up a double batch of Jell-O brand cook and serve, fat free, sugar free pudding mixes. (It is chilling as I type) I often grab a ½ cup of that and top it with a couple of Tbs of fat free whipped topping, and sit and enjoy it as I plan my next step for the evening. I am fussy with the brand of my pudding. Jell-O is the only way to go. Even with both of us eating it, it will usually last us thru Friday.

John and I both like pizza. Who doesn’t? I keep the fridge stocked with Flat Out bread to use instead of a regular pizza crust, spaghetti sauce, turkey pepperoni and low fat mozzarella cheese. This makes a great, satisfying pizza for only 9 points.
So these are just a few of the things I do to prepare myself for the coming week. I know that they are instrumental to my weekly success.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Weekly weigh in and activity report

I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive as I stepped on the scales this morning. I had such a huge loss last week, I thought for sure my body would be retaliating against me this week. Not so. I lost another 2.6 pounds this week for a grand total of 34 pounds in 14 weigh ins. Not too shabby, I must say. I had great workouts this week and always stayed within my points.

After the meeting, another member approached me and said she had lost a lot of weight too, and wondered if I would like her old clothes. How kind and generous is that? I do not have a budget for new clothes and fortunately have had some clothes in smaller sizes, but eventually I will run out of those too. I can’t wait to go weigh in next week and see what she brings. New clothes and a new friend, gotta love it.

Workouts, as I said earlier were great this week. Instead of my obligatory 5 workouts this week, I got in a 6th workout today with my weekly walk with Deb. Deb and I logged 6 miles today and wait for it…….wait for it……...we even jogged about 6 times for short distances. Dare I say I even sprinted the last couple of yards to the car. Me…..jogging…… and sprinting. I imagine that it won’t be long and Deb and I will be entering our first 5K! We both have the Crim race in Flint in the back of our mind, but I don’t know if I will be ready in a year (the Crim is held in August). It is certainly something to shoot for.

If you would have told me 4 months ago that I would get out of bed early to go to weight watchers (on my day off no less) and then go for a long walk each Saturday, I would have called you “a ball lost in tall weeds”. This accomplishment from the girl who could eat a Sara Lee Chocolate Cream Pie over the course of a day! (binging will be a topic for a later post)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Totinos Party Pizza

Let me tell you, I am/was a Totino’s pizza freak! I mean these little pieces of heaven were the perfect comfort food for me. Oh, and don’t even tell me that is really 2 servings! In what world?
Totino’s was the total package for me. Usually only a buck at the grocery store, fit nicely in the freezer for storage, and are ready in about 15 minutes.
There was nothing I liked better than coming home from work, popping one of these bad boys in the oven and then waiting for the crispy, greasy goodness to be done. Oh and of course I would pair it with a nice cold diet coke.
Well, that little piece of heaven has now been recalled due to a possible e-coli contamination. Something about the pepperoni made in some Ohio plant. E-coli….that will get you to your goal weight fast!
Now that I have a different outlook on food, I can’t believe that I would eat these a few times a week! One of these pizzas has 760 calories, a whopping 42 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber. That equals 18 WW points! 18 points for that little pizza! You could eat 6 chicken breasts for 18 points. Those pizzas are so not worth it.
So….. Goodbye forever, Totinos combination party pizza. I always knew you were bad for me, but now you are literally deadly.

No excuses: There is something for everyone

I workout a minimum of 5 days a week. I try for be active the other two days but always give myself a day off of a structured workout. So far I have been alternating workouts between the treadmill and Stairmaster. On Saturdays I walk with my friend Deb. I worry that eventually I may get bored from doing the same thing day in and day out, so I am mixing it up with some videos.

This week I spent some time on half dot com looking at their exercise videos. At home I need DVDs to work out to, but here at work, we only have a VCR, so I need the older versions of videos to bring here. Let me tell you, there are plenty of the older videos out there. I even saw one titled “Winning with Fen/Phen!” (Fen/Phen was a weight loss drug in the 80's that caused countless health problems and deaths)

For home, I just ordered both of the Biggest Loser fitness DVDs and the Carmen Electra aerobic striptease. Yes, a striptease DVD. I can get fit and learn a new skill that will thrill my husband! When I mentioned that DVD, he even said he’d be glad to pay for it out of his own allowance!
Selection is a bit more limited for VHS because they just don’t make them anymore. On the plus side, they are cheap to pick up on eBay or half dot com. I am serious that there is something for everyone out there. I saw gospel videos, plenty of Richard Simmons, Hula videos, Belly dancing videos, kick boxing, pilates, yoga, ballet. There are videos for people in wheelchairs or seniors. I did notice that Angela Lansbury and Dixie Carter both have their own series along with Florence Henderson and Shirley Jones. There were videos by Cindy Crawford, Anna Kornicova, the Playgirl series (I will be happy to buy this if it is a man leading the workout), I even found a Baywatch fitness video and one with OJ Simpson.

What I am getting at is that there is no excuse to be bored with your exercise routine. These videos don’t even require much of an investment. The majority of them are under $3 (many that I ordered today were only 75 cents!) and about $2 for S&H. So what if you get it and you hate it….you are only out $5 and you can pass it along to a friend that may love it.

So get out there and get shopping! Try something new and see what new skills you can pick up.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Commit to a Goal

"The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach."
--Benjamin E Mays

I have been guilty of this in the past and actually guilty of it up until this post. People who know I am getting healthy will ask me how much I want to lose and I have avoided giving an answer. I usually just answer “a lot more”. No one wants to fail and no one wants to fail when people know the goal we are working towards.

Well, instead of worrying about saving face if we flop, we need to be able to stand up and state, loudly and proudly what our goal is. Making a commitment to a long term goal can be overwhelming. My long term goal.......drum roll to lose another 100 pounds. Whew, that seems pretty daunting even though I have already lost nearly 32 pounds. Think about it, 130 pounds is equivalent to an average woman! I want to lose an entire woman! There is something profound about needing to lose an entire woman in order to find the fabulous woman inside me.

I used to tell myself that as long as I got into “onederland” (anything under 200) I would be satisfied. The more I work at getting healthy I know that will not satisfy me. One, I want to be a weight watchers leader. In order to become a leader, you have to reach the weight watchers goal set for you. I was amazed when I found out that you can’t even be an assistant if you are not at goal. Two, I also know that it will be difficult to be a runner at a heavier weight and I really want to be a runner.

So even if you’re not ready to tell someone what your goal is, at the very least say your goal out loud to yourself. No more wishy washy, “Oh I really want to lose some weight.” That is a great (vague) goal, but you also need to have a road map of how you are going to get there and an address of your final destination. Up until today that has been my goal, but I never anounced my end point. “I want to lose weight.” I have had a road map. My map told me that I was going to attend weight watchers, follow the plan, drink my water, stay within my points, and exercise at least 5 days per week. Now I know where I am going to end up as well. Along with that find someone you can tell and be sure that person will check in with you to ask about your progress.

So my challenge to all of you is to set your goal. Say it out loud, write it on a piece of paper, and put it in your shoe so every time you take a step, you think about your goal. Tell someone you trust, and create the map that is going to get you to your goal.

Measuring is Necessary!

John (my husband) has been following the weight watchers plan with me even though he hasn’t been going to meetings or doing the official weigh ins.
I did notice that he was not journaling and I saw him using the peanut butter the other day and noticed that he did not use a measuring spoon, rather, he just used a regular eating teaspoon to scoop out the peanut butter he was putting on his toast. I cautioned him that if he isn’t measuring, he is lying to himself.

He poo pooed me that he knew what he was doing and to stay out of his business. Typical man. Well, as usual, I was able to prove my point when I went to use the peanut butter myself. A jar of peanut butter contains 32 Tablespoons which equals 96 teaspoons. The jar was mostly gone when I got into it 7 days after it was opened. For once I can say confidently that the dogs were not counter surfing and ate some of it. No chew marks on the lid. I would say that he was eating more than he thought. He was amazed when I told him how many servings were in the jar and how many were gone. So he swears he is going to actually use measuring cups and spoons and be better about journaling.

Measuring is necessary. Don't risk lying to yourself by eyeballing that serving.

The thing is, he can’t do this because I nag him, he has to do it because he wants it. He has to want to be healthy, want to be more mobile. You can’t win this battle doing it for someone else, you have to be hungry for it.