Thursday, April 28, 2011

Diary of A Planner

I'm a planner.  I like lists and organization and checking off lists.

So usually when I'm taking a trip or going out of town I have a list of things to do, things to get and things to pack.  I enjoy checking off each thing, one by one as I complete it or pack it.  I enjoy making sure that I have everything I need and relaxing the night before I leave.  I leave for Chicago tomorrow and would love to relax tonight.

Not gonna happen.  *sigh*

I spent last weekend baking for Easter and recovering from Easter and my weekly errands.  I spent Monday night baking for a work thing that we had Wednesday.  Tuesday night I worked late and then came home to finish the baking.  Yesterday I was up early to put it all together, worked, went home and had dinner with Pete.  Then I started randomly throwing things in a suitcase.  Add in the tidbit that I have been so busy at work the last week that I don't seem to have 5 minutes to myself.

What usually happens when I don't plan is that I have a lot of random crap and I way over pack.  So instead of watching American Idol with Pete, I listened to it last night and went from bedroom to bedroom trying to plan on the fly and packing.  I think I have 5 tops and one pair of pants for my 2 night trip.  See, what I mean?  Not a good thing.

So I'm getting off work a couple of hours early tonight.  My goal is to shop for the few things that I still need, eat dinner with Pete, finish packing and give myself a mani/pedi.

We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mid Week With Pete


Part of what brought Pete to think about the banding surgery is that he can't always stick to his own limits.  He will readily admit that he has no stop button when it comes to food.  Whether it's a learned behavior or something that is lacking in his brain, his ability to stop when it comes to food is gone.

Shortly after surgery he wasn't as focused on his stop button, or lack there of.  He was eating soups and puddings and loose mashed potatoes.  Then he started eating "normal" food again.  His stop button was still gone and the band wasn't taking it's place.  He began to eat as he had in the past, which is really overeating.  And while he sees himself doing it, it's almost as though he is powerless to stop.  It's only afterwards when he feels his full stomach, does he realize what he did.  Then he regrets.

In the short time since the fills have occurred he's continued somewhat of the same pattern.  The doctor warned him that this is a time of learning limits.  What he can eat and how much he can eat are things that are different to every person.  They can only tell him what others have experienced.  Pete's noted that there were a couple of times that he's stopped eating and about 20 minutes later he feels really full.  I mean REALLY full.  He's noted this and when it happens.

Sunday we had been walking for about 45 minutes and got home to change and head to a movie.  Both of us were hungry.  I chose 2 slices of low sodium deli ham and about 2 ounces of cheese.  Pete chose 2 slices of the same ham, but on 2 hotdog buns with BBQ sauce.  I ate mine and went upstairs to change.  Pete carried his 'sandwich' up to the bedroom, while eating, to change.  Mid sandwich he stopped eating and went into the bathroom.  I didn't really notice anything different.  When we got in the car to leave he told me that he didn't finish his sandwich because he was overfull.  So overfull that the last bite had to be spit out.  He said that no matter how much he chewed, it wouldn't go down. 

We talked about him learning his limits.  He smiled and said that he was trying.  He thought that it was the overly soft bread that did it, along with the fact that his body was heated up from exercising.  Ultimately we talked about him learning his cues to the limits PRIOR to experiencing pain or uncomfortableness from them.  It's something that he is going to have to learn, but it appears that it's not a quick learn.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Some days I feel like I have so much rattling around in my head and others where I feel like there is nothing of substance up there.  Does this happen to anyone else?

Yesterday the gym was closed.  How dare they?  Right?  I mean there are people wanting to work out and they close for Easter?  I mean what are we to do?  Outside you say?  What's that?

In reality I did have a similar conversation with myself Sunday morning.  I had spent all evening Friday baking.  Gotten up early Saturday to complete the baking and head to the gym with Pete for a quick workout.  I was pretty darn good not eating while I was baking and I didn't overeat at our East celebration Saturday evening.  But Sunday I just felt like I needed to work out. 

My solution?  While Pete was napping, I used the BOSU ball and kettlebells and did my own little workout in the living room.  After he got up we walked outside.  In the fresh air.  In the sun.  Over real miles instead of treadmill miles.  I did 2.6 miles in 45 minutes and burned 500 calories; 17% fat.  And let me tell you, I struggled for 2 of the 2.6 miles. I told Pete that I sounded like a crank caller with all my huffing and puffing.

But you know what?  If felt good to struggle.  To be challenged by the wind and the hills and the pavement.  It felt good to be striding somewhere instead of striding in air.  It felt good to feel my hips and abs fully rotate, rather than partially rotate on the treadmill.

Of course after this we went to see The Conspirator where I did eat some buttered popcorn.  And after that we I grilled hamburgers, brats, corn on the cob and added fresh veggies.  Not great, but not entirely bad either.

Friday, April 22, 2011

231!! and a Revelation

I stepped on the scale this morning with dread thinking that I'd be heavier than last week.  My basis for this was that I haven't been working out.  So when I saw that 231 I stared in shock.  Then I ran out to tell Pete. 

Last week I was 233 and upset thinking how much lower it would have been had I been working out. 

This week I'm choosing the positive.

What I've realized is that I can control my weight with my eating.  More importantly I can control my eating.  Let me say that again, I Can Control My Eating.  I can east meals that are sensible, filling and still lose weight.  Now has my eating been perfect?  No.  I strive to have a portion of meat/protein, a portion of starch and lots of veggies/fruits at each meal.  I strive to eat a piece of fruit when I crave sweet instead of chocolate.  I no longer keep candy or pieces of chocolate in the house.  I no longer bake something sweet each Sunday as a treat for Pete and I.  However, when the sweet bug hits me I have about 10 of these Dibs or 15 really dark chocolate chips.  And I feel ok about it.

I think I'm figuring out how to eat to sustain my body and still be happy about what I eat.  I think I'm on the right track.  I hope I'm on the right track.

And the best part?  231!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


1.  Have you entered Mama Laughlin's contest?

2.  I havent' been working out for 2 weeks and I miss it.  I HATE being sick.

3.  I leave in a week for a girls weekend in Chicago.  YAY!!!!

4.  I went to a funeral yesterday for a friend and it was so calming and peaceful.

5.  I have to make rootbeer float cupcakes, vanilla bean cupcakes with chocolate filling and mini chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches for our Easter celebration on Saturday.  SUGAR!!! But I promise to be good and not have any until I get to the celebration.

Mid Week With Pete

I could have sworn that this published yesterday....the blog fairies ate it...

Pete's appointment last week was hard.  Not being able to finf the port was concerning to him and to the doctors.  After they found it, they settled on adding 6 cc's of saline.  The whole band can hold 11 cc's.  Pete went off and had his liquid diet for a day and then tried food.  He felt no restriction.  None.

Now Pete's thing has never been losing eight.  Even since he got the band he's been losing, despite having no restriction.  He's down to 246, almost to his initial goal weight.  He's been focusing on strengthening his core along with running to lose the fat.  He's purchased a BOSU Ball and kettlebells in the last couple of weeks and in the afternoons he's been doing one or the other at home, in addition to his morning gym workouts.  His core is stronger and he's noticed that his pants are fitting better in the waist because of it.  So he must be losing inches there.  However, he has no restriction on eating.

So back to the doctor he went on Monday.  He asked to be seen so that the doctor could take the saline out of the band and see if it was really there.  He wondered if the port was missed given all the problems they had finding it in the first place.  And guess what - it was all there.  The doctor explained that there are people who don't feel restricted until they reach the upper limits of the port.  So this item she filled it with 8 cc's.

Since then, Pete's felt a bit of restriction with a couple of foods.  I think now that he's felt the restriction he understands the feeling and can be aware if he's really feeling it or not.  Yesterday we were at a funeral lunch and had a few bits of a few salads and started to feel it.  He said it was a reminder to slow down and recognize his eating.

So it's working!

Monday, April 18, 2011


So here I am, another Monday, another sinus infection, another cough, another wonky eye... Sound slike fun, huh?  I'm getting irritated with my body for what it's doing to me and my working out.  Really irritated.

The good news?  Friday when I weighed myself I expected that I'd be up in the upper 230's again.  I hadn't worked out for a week because I couldn't breath with my cold and my eating was all over the place.  Instead I was surprised to see a 233.  It's the lowest I've been since college.  I broke the 235 platteau I've been at.  Strangely I didn it wihout working out.  While I'm, proud of the number, I'm frustrated because I imagine how low the number could be if I had been working out.  But any victory is a good one.

I had a girt card for Kohls and a 20% off coupon so I went shopping this weekend.  The 1X tops are too big on me.  They hang funny and have no shape.  I'm definately in the XL size for shirts.  Pants are still in the 18/20 range because I've got "back" as Sir Mix-A-Lot sings.  I need to focus on getting rid of some of my booty so the lower sized pants fit me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eating Cleaner...

I've mentioned before that I'm trying to eat clean and have Pete eat clean too.  I'm sure you've heard of clean eating before, right?  Basically it's trying to cut out as many processed foods as you can.  There's even a magazine called Clean Eating.  There are several books:  Eat Clean Diet, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Clean, and Clean Start.

I started out trying not to shop in the inner aisles of the grocery store.  The place where things are boxed, bagged and canned.  I tried to focus more on the outside of the store where things are in their natural forms - meat, produce and dairy.  Now that's not to say that I never buy anything canned or boxed.  I still buy pasta, canned tomatoes (because the fresh ones aren't really good this time of year), some canned beans, pickles and things like that.  But I don't buy already shredded cheese, hamburger helpers, creamed soups, macaroni and cheese, boxed cookies, jarred salsas, boxed cake mixes and things like that.  Instead I try to create my own or find a recipe online that helps me create my own versions of this.

Macaroni and cheese is just a milk based white sauce with cheese and pasta.  Hamburger helper is just hamburger (or in our case ground turkey) with pasta or rice and a sauce.  I can do that myself and know where everything is coming from.  Salsa is just tomatoes, spices, garlic, peppers, onions and some lime juice.  Spaghetti sauce is tomatoes, a squirt of tomato paste, onions, garlic and spices cooked down. 

Initially I was confused about trying to eat clean.  It seemed overwhelming to cut everything out cold turkey.  Overwhelming and time consuming. I took a step back and decided to make small changes that we could live with and keep trying.  I stopped buying boxed meals.  It takes a little more planning, but it can be done.  I tried to stick to meats, a starch and a veggie for a few weeks.  When that became easy I started something new.  And so on. 

When I look at my grocery cart 12 months ago it was full of boxed versions of granola bars, meals, quick/easy things.  Now I see about 30% fresh produce, 30% meats/fish, 20% dairy and about 20% quick/easy items like canned tomatoes, frozen veggies and such.

My latest challenge is that I want to make my own yogurt.  I eat Fage Greek Yogurt like it's going out of style.  At 1.29-1.79 an 8 ounce container it's expensive.  But I love the flavor, the texture and the tang.  I found a recipe online for yogurt and this weekend I'm going to try it.

1/2 gallon whole milk
1/2 cup greek yogurt with LIVE ACTIVE CULTURES

To start out with you'll need a container of yogurt to get the live active cultures.  After the first batch you can use your own yogurt and you won't need to buy it.

In a crockpot on low, heat your milk for 2 hours.  Turn off the crockpot and let the milk cool with the lid on for 3 hours.  Mix in 1/2 cup yogurt with live active cultures .  Wrap the crockpot in a large towel and let it sit overnight or 8 hours. 

I'll let you know next week how it turns out!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mid Week With Pete

Pete is 5 weeks post Realize Band placement.

He currently weighs 260.  He's gone from a 52-54 pant to a 40-42 pant.  He started out in 3X t-shirts and is down to 2X or XL depending on the shirt.  His wedding suit (that he looks oh so handsome in) is getting big on him and the shirt does not fit him any longer.  His wedding belt is worn out from stretching in the past and now would need new holes to make it smaller.

But he's still struggling.  If ever there was a time when I realized that the band is just a *tool* it is the last week or so.  The swelling from the surgery is gone and he can eat normally.  He struggles with this.  His temptation is not that he's eating unhealthy foods, it's that his portion sizes are getting larger and larger again.  He was so disillusioned the last week that he went back to soup for lunch, jello & protein shakes for breakfast and whatever I'm eating for dinner.  I think that is his comfort menu for lack of a better term.  It limits him and he finds comfort in that so that he will not over eat.

His weight has gone up in the last 10 days or so.  This also troubled him.  He's met with a couple of trainers at the gym about TRX and kettlebells and training.  Each one has told him something different.  Lots of cardio to lose weight, little cardio and lots of weights, both cardio and weights on the same day...  Again, his 'comfort' is running 6-10 miles a day.  It's how he's gotten to the size that he is and it's what he turns to when he needs to lose.  The issue is that he has lost muscle.  He appears thin in his shoulders, chest and arms; wider in the belly area; thinner in the butt and legs. 

Today is his first appointment with the bariatric center about his progress.  Is he ready for a 'fill' of the band?  Has he lost enough on his own that they don't want to tighten it?  Are there other suggestions for working out for him?  Where should he be at this point?  These are the questions he hopes will be answered.  I'll update the post after I talk to him tonight.

Post Appointment:

Pete's been saying that his tummy was still swollen and distended.  However, the nurse from his last appointment never said anything.  Over the last couple of weeks we'd thought that it was just where his fat was sticking while he was losing everywhere else.  We were wrong.  (gross alert) He had a hematoma by the port.  The doctors took out about 33 cc's of blood and fluid from the area.  Because of the hematoma, the port had travelled over 2 inches up.  The doctors took over an hour to find the insertion part of the port.  Needless to say he's pretty sore. 

He ended up with a 6 cc saline fill in the band to restrict his eating and an "Atta Boy!" for his progress.  Hi starting BMI was 56 and his current BMI? 28!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Confessions of a multiple size horder

Multiple times in the last 2+ years I've promised my husband that I'd clean out the closet in the extra bedroom.  You see, I purchased our home before he and I dated and fell in love and moved in together.  In the bgeinning, the extra closet was for my craft storage, the opposite season's clothing, gift boxes and the vacuum.  My husband and I have vastly different ideas of cleaning.  V A S T L Y.  I'm all about touching it once and figuring out a place for it.  He's all about getting it out of sight.  So between my idea of storage and his idea of cleaning, the closet is a endless space of, well...crap.

Since he moved in I've been promising to clean it out.  And for a while it got partially cleaned.  Every spring I'd take out the spring/summer clothes and put them in my closet.  I'd go through the fall/winter stuff and donate anything I hadn't worn (my policy in keeping clothing amounts managable) and pack those away.  I think it happened once after he moved in.  By the next season, the closet was so full that I couldn't get to some of the clothes and forgot that the others were in there.

Until last week.  Last week I came home and Pete was telling me that he had helped me.  I cautiously asked what he meant and he told me to go look at the extra bedroom.  Words fail me.  Half of the clothes that were packed away now created Mount Clothes on the bed and reached almost to the ceiling in the corner.  Every plastic tote that contained clothes was out in the small room and everywhere you looked was, well...crap.

So this weekend I offically cleaned out the closet.  I spent a few hours going through all the clothing.  In fact by the end of the day I had touched all the clothes that I own, including underthings, socks and shoes.  In the end I dontaed 9 large lawn bags full of clothing, 1 of shoes and 1 of purses and belts and random things.  Pete donated about 2 bags of his clothes. 

I had every size from 'misses' large to 3X.  I looked at those bags in the garage and realized that I had been hording old clothes.  Clothes that didn't fit me, clothes that didn't look good on me and clothes that I had never worn because they were too big, too small or just plain bad.  I was horrified. 

This is how my closet looks now:

I didn't take pictures of my shoes, but I am down to one shoe rack and 3 pairs of boots.  My sock drawer no longer overflows into the bedroom floor.  My workout clothes fit into one drawer.  My tanks and other clothes fit into one drawer.  It's all organized.

You know what?  I feel lighter.  I feel like a huge weight has been lifted.  I feel more free.  It's not that I was wearing all those clohtes and I certainly never saw them everyday.  But knowing they were there was like carrying around a bag of clothes on my back every day.  It was like I was giving myself freedom to get bigger because I had clothes to fit that larger size.  I can see everything that I have now and I know where it all is.  The things that I have fit me nicely and look good on me.  I need to bottle this feeling when I go clothes shopping and remember that I don't have to buy things just because they fit.  I buy them because I feel good in them and they look good on me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm so vain...

...I bet you thought this post was about me....I'm so vaaaaaineeeee.

Sorry, lame attempt at music humor.

Me, sans contacts...

So here's the thing.  I realized this morning that I am vain.  I've worn glasses since I was in the second grade - 9 years old.  I've worn contacts since I was 12.  Almost 30 years.  Crap I'm old.  The first thing I do in the morning is put my contacts in.  The last thing I do at night is take them out.  I wear them on average 16 hours a day.  I've done this since I was in high school.  The only time I wear my glasses is right before bed or if I'm really sick and don't want to wear my contacts. 

The glasses up there are a year old.  The last frames that I had were almost 15 years old. *blush*  I got new lenses in them every 5 years or so, but it didn't and still doesn't make sense for me to spend a lot on glasses when I wear them for about 1 hour a day.  My contacts are monthly wear' the left a regular and the right a toric.

So yesterday I got up, put my contacts in and got ready.  Pete and I left to go to a benefit and while there my eye started hurting.  It felt like there was something near the inner tear duct on the lower lid.  I did all the things that I normally do to flush the contact and my eye while out and about.  As soon as we got home I took it out and flushed my eye with saline.  Multiple times.  It still hurt.  I went to bed and woke up about midnight and it was sealed shut with goop (technical term).  I woke up this morning and as you can see, it's swollen and a bit red and sore.

I was in a quandary.  Do I wear my contacts, because I see better with them?  Do I swear my glasses to rest my eye?  How do I get ready with glasses on?  I chose the glasses (obviously) and did my best with my hair and make up.  But I didn't want to leave the house and considered calling in sick.  My eye hurts and it's weeping.  Then I reconsidered and decided that I had to work.

But I'm vain.  I don't feel as pretty with my glasses and I never have. 

Thursday, April 07, 2011

13 Servings

A few months ago I heard a speaker talk about fruits and veggies.  The point that resonated the most with me is that the suggested number of servings of fruits and veggies per day is 9-13. 

Nine to Thirteen.

Now you're likely sitting there a little perplexed, just as I was.  "No, wait!" your brain is saying.  Because it's likely that you, along with I and every other American has heard that we should be getting 5-7 servings of those items daily.  Want to know the truth?  The government knows that we are never going to get that many servings so they pare it down to 5-7 for us.  That's right.  They believe that we would never ever achieve that and therefore decided to set a smaller amount that we should be shooting for.

The sad thing?  Most Americans don't even get that 5-7.  And when they do, it's from sources like fruit/vegetable juices and are mostly fruit versus vegetable.

Check out this article from the Virginia Co-Op Extension about servings of fruit and suggestions on how to get more.

Check out this page from the same site about vegetables.

Cooking Light  has a great series on how to get more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.

Lately I've been eating a lot of roasted vegetables.  I take whatever I have and chunk it up into 2 inch by 1 inch chunks.  Toss with a tiny bit of olive oil (just barely enough to coat).  Place on a sheet tray that's big enough to spread all the vegetables out so they're not touching.  The bake at 425 for 40-50 minutes.  They get lovely brown and caramelized.  The flavors intensify and t a certain extent this brings out the natural sugars and makes them "sweet".  My favorites lately are brussel sprouts, parsnips, carrots, red & yellow beets, cauliflower and red onion.  Although there really isn't a vegetable I don't like.

My challenge to you is this:  Take a week and plan out some meals that include fruits an vegetables.  Figure out a way to get at least 7 servings a day (and only 3 of those fruit, the rest vegetables).  Eat a new fruit/vegetable during the week and prepare an old fruit/vegetable a new way.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Blogging For a Change

And now, we're taking a break from our usual programming.  Mid Week With Pete will be back next Wednesday.

Click here for the site:    Blogging For a Change

There are times that I read blogs and really wonder what the person is trying to get across.  Trying to understand the message in the blog and then determining if it's something that I want to keep reading.  Let's face it, any monkey with 2 hands/paws can type on a keyboard.  And the net is loaded with crafting blogs, mommy blogs, family blogs, recipe blogs, diary blogs, weight-loss blogs...  It's a bit overwhelming, no?  So when I come across one that seems worthy of bookmarking, it's a good day. 

I often times read Prior Fat Girl.  Ok, I read it daily.  Usually at the gym or the first break I take at work.  And honestly, sometimes I go there a couple of times a day to read all the Prior Fat Girls/Guy.  Jen has a message.  Her message is not just about weightloss, but about the fact that everyone's weightloss is a different journey.  And for that reason I bookmarked her site last year when I found it.

In the last year I've seen how Jen totally throws herself into a project.  She blogs about it, she stresses about it, she works into the week hours on it.  She's persistent and accomplished.  So when she started hinting about something big, I started listening.  And when this was launched early this week I smiled.  What a perfect way to get people to not only donate, but to win something in return.

So if you have a moment or two, take a peek.  Want to know the best thing?  You get one free entry in each item.  So you can donate for the things that you really want and enter the free entry on all of them.  Or you can donate on all of them and eneter the free ones too.  Or you can donate it all on the one thing that you want and then use the free ones on the other entries.  Or however it best fits for you.

Won't you donate?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Why I Love My Husband

1.  He's insistant that I go to Chicago later this month to meet up with internet friends.  I tried to say that I shouldn't spend the money given that we're paying a buttload of taxes this year.  Then I tried to say that if I went, I wouldn't spend a bunch of money while there.  He not only instisted that I go, he told me that I should get a $50 glass of wine while there.  Now I don't think that I could spend $50 on 4 onuce of wine at any point in my life, but I love him for saying that.  And I love him for recognizing that I need this trip and being ok with me going.

2.  He pushed me to learn how to ride a motorcycle.  All my life I've been the hesitant one.  I grew up being told that I can't do things.  I wasn't pushed to try things with the knowledge that a failure doesn't just mean failure, it means I learned a lesson in failing.  Pete pushed me to lear to ride by buying me the class for a Valentine's gift one year.  And I couldn't be happier.  The feeling of riding my own motorcyle is one that I can't acurately explain.  It's freedom and confidence, power and connection, boisterous and beauty, exploration and observing, peaceful and zenlike, plus a whole bunch of other things.

3.  He goes to the gym with me.  He's my support and cheerleader.  He understands what it's like to work out when you don't want to.  He understands the small goals of completing a 5K on the treadmill or 15 minutes on the stairstepper.  He sees my body changing and reminds me that pounds does not always equal more healthy.  He watches my eating and doesn't comment on the bad stuff, but encourages the good stuff. 

4.  He loves me for who I am.  He loves me for who I am right now, at this very moment and will will love me 3 weeks from now as I am as well as 30 years from now, as I am.  He is the first  person who loved me, not for who I might be, who I was or any other thing.  He loves me for me.  And I love him in return.

5.  He makes me smile.  He says little things, texts me jokes and comments.  He smiles and I smile.  He smiles and my heart melts all over again, just like it did the first time I met him.  I knew that first date that he would be mine.  It took longer that I thought and we didn't take the easy way to marriage, but I loved his smile then and I'll love it when I'm 80.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Everyday Choices

Let's face it, not everyday is a great day.  But everyday has the opportunity to make choices.

See that phone there?  It's mine.  My weekday alarm goes off at 4:50am.  Most days I get out of bed reluctantly and head to the gym.  I've found that I'm a morning exerciser.  I tried going after work, but found that I was having issues getting on the machines and I kept staring outside wishing I was anywhere else.  It screwed up dinner with Pete because I'd get home really late to start cooking something and not everything can go in the crockpot.

About a year ago now I started going to the gym in the morning.  There are way less people there and I like the vibe that the gym gives off in the morning.  It's more business and less showing off.

But this morning?  Hell.  It was hell.  I had a busy weekend.  See the 6:45am alarm up there?  It's when my alarm goes off on the weekends for the gym.  Pete and I headed to the gym yesterday and worked out on weights together.  Then we spent time in the whirlpool and sauna.  By the time we got home and made breakfast and ate, I was exhausted.  So I took a nap.  BIG mistake.  I crashed and slept for 2.5 hours.  Needless to say last night I couldn't fall asleep.  The last time I looked at the clock it was just after 1 am.

Yep.  1 am.  So when my alarm went off I groaned and turned it off.  I rolled over to Pete and asked him if he was going to the gym.  He said no and I cuddled in with him as he fell back asleep.  In that moment I had a choice.  I could go back to sleep and cuddle with my husband for an hour or I could get up and get to the gym. 

I made the good choice.  I got up and went.  It was a struggle the whole way, but I did it.  I made the choice.  And if I had made the other choice, I realize that I have the opportunity to make the good choice the next time the situation presents it's self.  I won't always be good, but I'll always have choices.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

My New Favorite Comfort Food

There are times that I struggle with how to make myself comfort food that tastes good, comforts and is somewhat good for me.  I think that this is one of those recipes.  And it's a bonus that Pete likes it because he's not a "hot-dish", one pot, comfort food kind of guy.

Taco Cheeseburger Mac

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 package low sodium taco seasoning
1.5 cups low sodium beef or turkey broth
1 can Rotel
1 cup Dreamfield's Low Carb Macaroni

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup low fat milk
1 cup shredded cheese I used 1/2 pepper jack and 1/2 cheddar
Salt, pepper and Chipotle Pepper Sauce

In a large fry pan, brown the turkey with 1/2 of the taco seasoning.  Drain any juice from the turkey.  Add the remaining taco seasoning, Rotel and broth.  Stir well.  Add in the macaroni, cover and cook for 12-14 minutes or until the macaroni is cooked through.

While the macaroni is cooking, add the butter to a small sauce pan.  Once melted, sprinkle int he flour and whisk for 5 minute or until a very light caramel color.  Whisk in the milk slowly and cook on medium high heat until thickened.  Add in the shredded cheese of the heat and stir well.

Once the macaroni is done, uncover the pan and look for about 5 minute or until most of the liquid is absorbed.  It's ok if there is about 1/2-3/4 cup remaining.  Add in the cheese sauce and stir well.  Cook about 5 minutes or until the juice/sauce is thickened.  I add the chipotle sauce at the end to make it as spicy as I want.

I modified the recipe that I found at Kevin and Amanda.  YUM!  I tried to calculate the calories, but can't really find information for some of the things.  The nearest I can find is that 1/4 of the recipe is 400 calories, 25 grams fat, 28 grams carbs and 35 grams protein.  While it's more calories than I would like, the carbs are so low and the protein is so high.  It's a balancing act for sure, but I'm ok with this once and a while.

Taco Seasoning:  The little packets you get from the store are so high in sodium.  I've taken to making my own recipe.  Use about 3 tablespoons per pound of meat with 1/2 tablespoon flour and 2/3 cup water for regular tacos.

1 Tablespoon dark chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon pepper

Mix well and store in airtight container.

Rotel is also full of things that I don't necessarily want.  When a recipe calls for it, I use 1 can of low salt, small diced tomatoes and 1 can diced chilies.


I've also taken to shredding all my cheese again from blocks that I buy.  Did you know that it has things like potato starch, powdered cellulose, calcium carbonate and other things.  I have blocks of cheese that I regularly use in the fridge and just grate what I need when I need it.  Interestingly it melts much better than the preshredded stuff.


And lastly I've been making my own broths also.  When I make a whole chicken I use the leftovers and simmer them all day in a crockpot with water, some celery, carrots and onion.  After it's cooked all day I put it in the fridge overnight and then skim the fat off the top.  Then I freeze it in 2 cup portions.  I do the same thing with a turkey breast and with any leftover roasts or bone in red meat for beef broth.

Saturday, April 02, 2011


So, wanna know something about me?  I've been holding this in for a couple of weeks.  I've been trying to come up with a tactful way of saying it.  I've been...giggling.  I can't believe I'm going to share this...

I...uh...can make my chest twitch.  (giggle)

Have you ever been at the gym and seen one of those huge muscle bound guys?  The heavy weighlifter/bodybuilder types?  Have you ever seem them flex their pectoral muscles for the girls around them, just to show off?

Well I can do that.  Kind of.

I was on the phone with my Mom a couple of weeks ago and I turned to look at Pete.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw my left chest twitch.  So I turned again and the same thing happened.  Then of course I kept turning and realized that I was making my chest twitch.  Or rather, I was flexing my pectoral muscle and you could actually see the result on the outside. 


So what did I do?  I kept doing it of course.  I'd say to Pete, "Hey, look at this!" and flex.  The first few times he congratulated me and told me that it was cool.  Gradually that turned into a smile and a nod of the head.  Then it was just a nod.  Now he doesn't actually look at me, but he says, "Cool!" and continues whatever he is doing at the moment.  I believe that it's lost it's appeal for him.

But for me?  I keep doing it.  Several times a day.  Ok, lots of times.  But I'm not showing other people.  I'm just amazed that I have muscles to begin with.  I'm astounded that I can actually control them.  And I'm encouraged to keep striving for that second day soreness that tells me I'm building more muscles.

So, was that oversharing? 

Friday, April 01, 2011

235 - I'm No Superwoman

My month of tracking workouts and weight went ok.  238 on the first of March and 235 today.  But I can feel stronger, better muscles. 

What I realized is that I'm no Superwoman.

I can go and go and go but at some point I need to stop and listen to my body and my mind.  By yesterday both of them were screaming at me to listen.  I think they've been talking to me all week, but I wasn't listening.

I'm reminded of this non-Superwoman complex a couple of times a year.  You'd think that by now I'd be able to hear myself, but somewhere along the way I lose touch with the inner me.  It starts of small, I add one or two things to my schedule.  Then work or home life gets complicated.  Then I challenge myself to workout 6 days a week.  And I balance it all.  But there comes a day where the cherry on top of my life-sundae slides off the ice cream and the whole sundae topples over.

This week I struggled with a migraine all week.  It wasn't always full blown, but it was always there, threatening to strangle the right side of my head in pain.  I wasn't sleeping well because of the migraine and stress I suppose.  And at this point it becomes a cyclical thing.  The migraine was likely a stress thing.  I can't sleep well because of it.  I can't work out because the migraine becomes worse.  The stress is still there because I can't exercise it away.  Therefore the migraine stays.

By yesterday afternoon I had pretty much had it.  I told Pete I had to go to the gym.  He told me that I needed to listen to my body.  And as lame as I felt, I realized that he was right.  I was ignoring what my mind and body were telling me.  And the more I ignored, the more it screamed. 

So I listened.  I relaxed without feeling guilty about it.  I slept in (if 6:30 can be called sleeping in) and skipped the gym.  It's not the end of the world.  It's not a bad thing.  It's something that I need to accept in my journey.  And the bottom line is that this doesn't stop my journey.  I have the opportunity all day, every day, to make choices that lead me to where I want to be.  A pit stop along the way is not a derailment of the path, it's mearly a stop to regroup.