Friday, December 17, 2010

Dec. 17, 2010

There is a package of salami sitting out on the counter because I didn't put it away after making
Katie her sandwich for school this morning. I am oh so tempted to take a little piece of salami and eat it right up.
But I said to myself. 'That is definitely not healthy.'

And then I walked away.

I will venture into the kitchen in one minute and put it away in it's little drawer.

I am just happy to say. That for this moment.

Disaster has been averted.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dec. 13, 2010

Rule One.

Mostly I share rules from Michael Pollen's book, Food Rules, but today
I will share my own rule I made up while I way lying in bed this morning. Not sleeping.

Rule One.

Never, never, never take seconds.

I guarantee that you did not take too little the first time.
Last weekend I made myself a plate of food for lunch. Leftovers.
I finished my plate and without thinking went right back to take another piece of chicken pie.

And then I stopped.

I was not hungry.
I wasn't stuffed.

I talked myself out of seconds.

A remarkable achievement for a Sunday afternoon.

A rule was born.

Never, never take seconds.


Never eat more than you can lift.
~Miss Piggy

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dec. 12, 2010

It's been a rough week. It's incredible how much my mood and self worth is tied to my weight.
I know this is so wrong.

I am not defined by how much I weigh. Or at least that's what I tell myself.

But even setting small goals and failing to achieve those small goals sends me down into, I dare say a depression.

Now what do I usually do when I am depressed? I eat. I stuff those feeling down with food and I forget what I am sad about.

I caught myself doing this many many years ago.

My husband was home for lunch, he was cranky and I felt awful when he left.
I will never forget that moment as I saw him drive away and I was standing in the kitchen opening the cupboard as I watched his car zoom off.

I caught myself in the act. Mid chew. Mid stuff. I realized.
I really am trying to numb the pain with food.

So when life gets painful, even pain brought about by dieting, (which is really ironic)
I want to eat but do not eat so the sadness stays.

It is a daily battle to fight to get out of the dark thinking. Negative greet me first thing I wake up.

I am trying to replace those dark thought with truthful, positive thoughts first thing.
I am thanking God for the day. For being alive.

I am mostly trying to live this day with a grateful heart. This one day.

I can do Doesn't matter about yesterday or tomorrow.
I can do this with my attitude, my spirit and my eating.

My friend Di sent me a quote that spoke right to my heart.

"Surely we can do for one day that which seems impossible for a lifetime. "

At this point in my life, I can't make goals and I really shouldn't weigh myself.
If that is weird, that's okay with me.

My mental health is at stake.

Working on today is the best I can do.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dec. 6, 2010

I don't know why it happened, but over the last three days, I have lost focus.
Saturday I ate when I wasn't hungry. More than once.
I am not eating large amounts of food, but just eating when I am not truly hungry. And it's like I had forgotten completely that I was trying to eat fresh, healthy foods.

For dinner on Saturday night , I ate a Schwans prepared frozen dinner with the family.
Roast beef and mashed potatoes with gravy.
I did not follow any Food Rules and ate it without thinking.

Then on Sunday I made Chex Mix. It's as if I was on auto pilot.
Why would I make a snack?

I don't snack any more.

So I ate it for meals.

A cup with my chai at lunch and a cup with three slices of ham at dinner.

Yes. I said ham.
I bought a little ham to try it out to see if it would be tasty to serve for Christmas Eve.
I tried it and it was delicious. Salty and yummy ham.

What on earth? Chex Mix and ham is not the way to health.
And it is not the way to weight loss.

I apparently know how to eat so I can maintain. It's a gift I have. I can stay the same better than anyone I know.

This is a depressing fact, especially this week when I wanted to have a nice weight loss to greet the Three Month mark of my
new way of eating and living. So instead of losing those three pounds (small goal that it was) I am sure when I get on that scale tomorrow morning, the number will be the same as it was two weeks ago.

You know that 21 day rule. It's bunk.
I am well over 21 days and eating healthy is NOT a habit. In fact, it seems extremely easy to forget I am even doing it.

Perhaps I was just tired of thinking about it.

Who knows.

I can wait for hunger today. I can make good choices today.
What more can a girl do?

I'll save the depression for tomorrow. Once I weigh myself I know I will be battling that all day.

Goody gumdrops.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dec. 1, 2010

I could be very happy eating a bagel with butter and cream cheese every day. Twice a day.
I have done it. I don't get sick of it.

Even when my brother in law was religiously following Atkins and told me that bagels were the worst food in the whole wide world.....I kept eating them.

So, I really do try to eat something other than bagels, and the twice a day thing is very rare.

What helps me is to have meals prepared ahead of time.

This morning I made a hearty chili with lots of wonderful ingredients. I will eat this for lunch for days and days.
I suppose I could freeze it so I don't get tired of it. (That's a pretty good idea.)

I'm going to freeze half of it and next week I will have it again!
Many times I end of throwing some out because I have gotten tired of it.

This is genius!

Donna's rule #1

Freeze and save soups, chili's and stews.

Mexican Chicken & Barley Chili
This recipe is on the box of Quaker Barley

1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups water
3/4 cup Quick Quaker Barley
One 16-ounce can tomatoes, undrained, chopped
One 16-ounce can tomato sauce
One 14 1/2 ounce can chicken broth (organic)
One 4-ounce can chopped greed chilies, drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups, cooked chicken (organic)

Cook onion and garlic.
Add remaining ingredients except chicken.
Bring to a boil, lower heat, simmer 10 minutes.
Add chicken, simmer 10 more minutes or until chicken is warm and barley is tender.

Grated cheese and/or sour cream on top is lovely.
Green onions might be nice too.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nov. 29, 2010

Rule#25 in Michael Pollan's Food Rules is Eat Your Colors.

I'm afraid the Thanksgiving meal falls very short of this rule unless Michael is big into the neutral palette.

Mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing, gravy: off white, linen, ecru and beige.
Even the celery in the stuffing had lost it's green color due to cooking.
I tried a small spoonful of my sister's sweet potatoes and they were delicious, and they were orange.

Besides failing Michael Pollan, I failed home ec.
Yes, I learned this rule in 8th grade. Thank you very much....

But for me the Thanksgiving meal is about tradition and our tradition is to eat all foods that are white...ish....

It's only once a year. The rest of the year I can work on eating the rainbow.

Yesterday I made a lovely, colorful bean salad. It had red peppers and yellow peppers, green onions and red tomatoes, black olives and little tan chick peas.

A tasty, colorful salad.

Michael would be very proud.
I even used organic beans.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nov. 24 2010

Tuesdays weigh in brought a small loss of one pound.

Total since Sept. 7th minus 11.

I would sure like to lose a three pounds by Dec. 7th.
Small goal but herculean when you consider Thanksgiving is here.

My family will be walking in a 5K on Thanksgiving morning.
Wouldn't this be a cool tradition to continue in the years to come.

Well. I guess I should say that AFTER the walk :o)

My goal as I approach the weekend is to make great choices and eat only when I am hungry.

I need to make sure I eat light before the big meal so I am hungry at meal time.

This is key for me.

Oh! And this means taste testing will have to be minimal. Now that I think of it. That will be the challenge!!

I will not love the food more than the company and God.

I will be sensible and eat with thankfulness and joy and control.

Lord, help me!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nov. 19, 2010

In which I quote Lou Holtz and Kelly Ripa

Yesterday I was watching Regis and Kelly like I do every morning. Regis' good buddy and hero was
sitting in the audience. Lou, when asked, recited his 'four things' one needs in life.

* First, you have to have something to do.
* The second thing you have to have is someone to love.
* Third, you have to have something to believe in.
* Finally, you have to have something to look forward to.

and as Kelly Ripa so cleverly quipped,

"Someone to blame."

How funny is that? Someone to blame!
Yes. It goes back to the Garden of Eden.
When Eve is caught red-handed she starts blaming all of those around her for taking that apple and biting into it.
Hey! It was food. Now that IS extra interesting in light of where I am going with this.

While I think it is funny and common to blame our flaws on others, I truly do not believe my weight issues are anyone's fault but my own. I sincerely take responsibility for my poundage.

I like to tell my ten year old daughter Katie that it is her fault that I am so chubby because I gained weight with her at the age of 42 and have never been able to lose it. Yes. I said ten year old daughter.
We laugh because we know this is absurd.

There is a pattern. I can see things in my life that led me to overindulge and enjoy lots of food.

When I was born, I as one of my mom's smallest babies. I weighed under seven pounds. I think this worried her, because within months I was round and chubby and beautiful. They called me Booba. I guess the resemblance to a Buddha did not go un-noticed.
This was in the 1950's. Being a chubby baby was consider healthy.

No. We were not living on Samoa.
This was Chicago.

As I grew, I grew skinny. Very skinny. I remember stories about not being able to wear skirts because my hips were too slim.
I wore jumpers. Little plaid jumpers. Homemade.

On week I decided I wanted to wear my homemade jumper to school every single day for the whole week.
It was gold and brown wool plaid.
My mother didn't notice and I succeeded.

I had lofty goals as a 4th grader.

(I still would like to wear the same outfit every day for a whole week)

Another goal I had was to eat as much as my father. Now whether this was wise is not up for discussion.
I just remember sitting next to my dad and taking as much as he did.

I can still see the plate.

Roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy.

I proudly took as much as my father did and I ate it all. Gladly. It was my favorite meal.
And it still is.

My parents thought I was skinny and they thought it was funny that I wanted to eat like my dad.

There was no malice. In hindsight, I may have learned some poor eating habits at the dinner table, but I was skinny, how were they to know I would enjoy eating like a lumberjack for the rest of my life.

The love of eating for taste and socialization continued throughout high school but my physical activity let me get away with murder. I blame cheerleading.
Yes. At 125 pounds I started feeling like a hefty girl. I was a base. Sturdy, muscular, solid enough for the 105 pound girls to climb on. In 1975 if you weighed 130 pounds, you wore a size 11 or even a 13. This was the top of the line. The sizes were
5, 7, 9, 11, 13. So I started feeling like the big, girl. The fat one.

(I happen to know lots of girls who weigh 125-130 and boy have things changed. They wear sizes 2,4,6.)

And so the body-hate and dieting began.

I blame the clothing industry and petite girls.

Off to college I went. I was a dance major at first so I was extremely active.
The food, however, was amazing.
Sophomore year I changed majors and was very lonely and bored and didn't fit in.
I started gaining weight.

Buy the time I left Stephens College for Hillsdale in 1977, I had gained twenty pounds.
At 150 pounds I was curvy. I am 5'6" after all, but I was admittedly 20 overweight.

I helped the cheerleaders at Hillsdale with their routines and taught them cheers,
but I was too self conscious about my weight to try out.

I blame....
I blame...
I blame...

Who can I blame for this?

The skinny chicks. That's who!
Everybody else! That's who!

I will blame everyone for thinking I was too fat.

Huh? What?

For the next thirty years....I gained and lost and gained and lost more times than I can count. I am not exaggerating.

Some of the gains were pregnancy induced.

I blame my babies.
But I was always able to lose the weight.

Until I started to homeschool.


I blame the sedentary life of a homeschool mom.

But why aren't all homeschool mom's overweight? Ah yes. It's my parents fault.
I always knew that. They force fed me and called me Booba.

Can you hear my sarcasm? I hope so, because I am being totally facetious.

I believe that food is delicious. I like it.
I have pleased myself by feeding myself what I loved and way too much of it.
I have been lazy.

At some point I needed to acquire self control in the area of eating.
At some point I needed to be in charge of my appetite.

The self-control has come and gone. It is hard to make changes. It is hard to say no.

But as I have mentioned before....

It is hard to be fat and it is hard to diet.

Choose your hard, Donna dear.

Choose wisely.

It's about time.

There is no one to blame.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nov. 18, 2010

"A final trick of variety: Since the pleasure of most foods is in the first few bites,
eat one thing on your plate at a time, at least at the start of the meal when you can concentrate
and enjoy the full flavors. The mouthful as melange (blend of foods) defeats the purpose of variety."

~Mireille Guiliano
(French Women Don't Get Fat)

This is really true...and good advice.

I have eaten unconsciously.
I have ignored my hunger.
And I have neglected my taste buds.

I think I am ready to slow down and think about each taste.
That should not be so hard.

I have noticed food losing it's flavor. Especially ice cream.

Starting today, I am going to experiment and try to stop eating as soon as the taste vanishes.

I can't wait to see what happens.


My weight stayed the same this week.

I am not depressed, just determined to see the number go down next Tuesday.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nov. 14, 2010

I have had my first run in with the holiday eating situations.

My lovely in-laws came to town and we got together twice to eat.

Friday night, I was not hungry when I arrived....but the popcorn had been popped and I did not say NO to my
nose. The thing that happens tho when I eat before I am hungry, is that then the hunger doesn't come around by the time the meal is served. So I ate dinner because it was time to eat and not because I was hungry.

I made good choices and took small portions of the food that I did eat.
I drank water and did not have seconds.

So I am not beating myself up about it too much. A slip.

Until Saturday night when we met again for dinner.

This time I was hungry.

And I over ate.
A few too many crackers with cheese and salami. (Definitely didn't even consider the contents of the salami)
A little bit too much chili. (White chili with beans. Very good. Got the recipe.)

But the kicker was I drank some Sierra mist with cranberry. It was made from sugar. I was thirsty.
I was weak. I drank about 16 oz.

This sugary drink is what made my tummy feel full and icky.


Thanksgiving is coming up.
We will be traveling.

I have run the first leg of the holiday relay.
My results were not impressive. Today and tomorrow I will be extremely careful when I eat...and what I eat.
Hopefully I will still have good news on the scale on Tuesday morning.

So far today I am listening to my tummy.
(That's the thing I love about listening to your hunger. There is always the next meal that you can wait for...and succeed in waiting for hunger.)

I CAN do this.

I do not want my ankles to swell back up and I really love that my shirts close over my tummy.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nov. 11, 2010

This just in:

My feet are getting smaller.

I just tried on a pair of shoes that two months ago felt snug. And they slipped on quite easily.
This made me very happy.

In Sept. my son told me I had cankles.
That was the first time I had been told that, even if I had noticed swelling in my ankles in the last year....
no one was sweet enough to point it out. Until Matthew did.

So today, my ankles seem to be shrinking.

My shoes feel nice and roomy.

It's a good day to be my feet.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nov. 9, 2010

I am really hungry. It is 9:45 in the morning.
I had a Iced Grande Nonfat Chai at 8:00.

My body is already calling for fuel.

Three weeks ago, I wouldn't have thought this was possible. The wait for hunger seemed very long.
I wouldn't be hungry at 'dinner time". I would finally get hungry at 9:00 pm.
That, to me, is pretty weird. I don't want to eat at nine o'clock at night.
But I realized that I was eating way past full at lunch time so my body had plenty of food to last well into the night.

The last two weeks I have been pushing food away. I have been eating slower and noticing when I am full.
This for me is harder than waiting for hunger. The full feeling feels like it comes very quickly.
(My mouth is not ready to stop chewing yet.)

Yes. I like to chew for a long time. I like my food to last.
This longing to chew is fading and for that I am grateful.

I still eat my bagel every morning because it is substantial to me.
Two eggs, sunny side up with one piece of toast is gone in a flash with very little chewing necessary.
I can be done with eggs and a piece of toast in three minutes.

A bagel, now that is more like it. I get to chomp on it for at least five minutes.
I feel like I have eaten. It registers in my mind as something solid and satisfying.

But, thankfully, as I eat less, I get to eat more often. And that is nice. I am closer to the family schedule.
(Except when I am ravenous by 4:00 in the afternoon and eat BEFORE everyone else :o) )

It has taken me two months, but I feel good.
I feel free.

I am less in love with food and eating than I was a month ago.
There has been a change. It feels normal. It feels natural. It feels wonderful.
It's my favorite way to lose weight.

Two month weigh in this morning;

Total lost -10

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nov. 7, 2010

Sometimes you just have to go out to eat where you don't really want to go out to eat.

Last night I told my husband to choose where he wanted to go out to eat.
He chose a place called Five Guys. He has been wanting to go to this hamburger joint for a year and we always forget to
about it. Well, yesterday, he remembered.

I didn't complain. I would be fine.
If I waited for hunger and ate only until I felt full, I would be okay.

So I ordered a hamburger and Cajun fries and a glass of water.

A glass of water was the best part of the meal.

The hamburger came and it was a double. It was so large I really could barely bite into it.

The flavor was average. I took off one of the patties and ate the burger. With one sniff of the fries, I was suspect.
They smelled very strong and not very good.

I ate one fry and did not like it. I tried a second and closed up the bag.

While I hate to waste food, there is no way I am putting icky tasting fried food in my mouth.
It was a very easy decision.

My husband, being the thin eater that he is, didn't care for the double burger either, and he did not like his regular fries.
He did not eat his fries. He doesn't have food issues. This was not a big deal to him. He turns down food
with ease. It is no wonder that he has never struggled with his weight at all. He does not eat healthy, but he certainly listens to hunger and fullness.

We won't go back to Five Guys to eat, ever again.

I went to a pub (Jac's) last Wednesday that had grass fed beef in their hamburgers.
It was delicious!
I hope I can convince Patrick to go with me and try one.

Tuesdays are two for the price of one.

Doesn't that sound like a good plan?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nov. 4, 2010

When you weigh as much as I do, losing eight pounds doesn't show to those around you.
But that is really okay with me because I can see it.
My blouses close over my tummy.
My face does not look as round and bloated to me.

And last night, I soaked my feet in some sweet smelling oil and water and even applied some extra oil to my
needy little feet.

Eight pounds in two months is a small victory but the feeling I have in my spirit is wonderful.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nov. 2, 2010

"Food choices are not all that complicated-you do just need to eat less,
move more, eat lots of fruits and vegetables,
and go easy on the junk food."

-Marion Nestle

Better Nutritional Value:

Vegetables and fruits
Nuts, seeds beans
Whole grains with fiber
Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs (in moderation)
Low-fat dairy
Unprocessed or minimally processed foods

Poorer Nutritional Value

Foods with added sugars
Foods with added saturated and trans fats
Refined grains
High-fat meats and cold cuts
Whole milk and whole milk foods
Highly processed foods.

This from the book "What to Eat" by Marion Nestle


I admire the simplicity.

I am not a fan of complicated. I have a book called the Schwarzbein Principle. Her advice is very sound...but she had me counting grams and it was just too hard. I really couldn't figure it out.

I like straight forward.


Lost two pounds this week.
Total of -8

I'm delighted to lose weight after a long weekend of traveling.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nov. 1, 2010

Virtue —even attempted virtue— brings light; indulgence brings fog —C.S. Lewis

This quote came thru on my Twitter account on Sunday. I immediately thought of how this applied to my unhealthy overeating.

In my life, indulgence really did bring fog.

I was lost and wandering around. I wasn't seeing clearly.
It was dreary.

Taking food off it's pedestal has been a real lightening.

I can not say that I am or feel virtuous.
That word is too high for me to apply to this situation.

But the coming out of the fog due to attempting to put eating in it's proper place.
That is and feels good.



I have no interest in the candy this year. In the past years I bought bags of Butterfingers and ate them one by one before Halloween. Then I went out to buy more to give away.

This year I did not do this.

Katie got loads of candy. I put it in a bowl on the piano. It looks so festive.

Yet. I am unmoved.

My head is clear and I am content.
Listening to my body for signals of hunger is freeing.

I am going to have a good weigh in tomorrow. I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 50

Homemade Peanut Butter balls.

I made this recipe this afternoon.
On the healthy scale, they are a seven, I would guess.

1 cup of that healthy kid of peanut butter...the kind without sugar.
1 cup powdered milk

1/2 to 3/4 cup honey. (I used 1/2c.)



flax (ground up)
chocolate chips

I only add about 1/8 to 1/4 c. of these.

Mix more
Form balls

Eat only when hungry.


you can add raisins or nuts or wheat germ or anything else you can think of.


I weighed myself this morning.
I am down a total of six pounds.

I am letting go of my obsession with food and sincerely only eating when I have hunger.
Stopping when full is a little trickier but I pushed away a good portion of my lunch today.

The hard part of not obsessing about what I am going to eat is that when I get hungry,
I don't know what to eat.

Does that make sense?

Eating healthy takes planning, but that leads me to thinking too much about food.

I will figure this out one of these days.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 48

Food Rule #20

"It is not food if it arrived through the window of your car."

This is one rule that I do not struggle with.
I am not drawn to fast food places.

The last time I had Sonic I was traveling and I had a Cherry Lime aid and some of those tater tots
with the chili on them.
The tater tots left a bad taste in my mouth, as did the drink. I felt sick for eating that meal.
That was it. I never wanted to go there again. And I haven't.

Traveling is tricky.

Food Rule #57

"Don't get your fuel from the same place
your car does."

All I will need to do is avoid the Gardetto's.

Gardetto's are so salty and yummy and they my traveling food.

Next week when we go to Omaha, I will stay out of the gas station.
I will follow rule #57.

No problem o

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 46

My head feels light.
The dark clouds have lifted.

Two days without obsessing about food.

I have only eaten when I was hungry.

This makes three meals a day or six small meals a day not a way of life because when I am waiting for hunger...I can wait a long time.

Yesterday I had my Chai for breakfast. After I drank it I was not hungry until I was coming home from a get together at noon.
I stopped at Chipotle. I got a Burrito bowl with chicken. I ate this until I was full. To be honest. very full.

I was busy all afternoon and when I got home at dinner time I wasn't a bit hungry. So I didn't eat.
I did not fret about this. I could eat when my stomach told me it was time.

At about 9:10 my stomach rumbled. I went and made two pieces of toast for myself. Probably should have had fruit or cooked veggie...but I was going for something quick and the easy.

I could have just ignored the hunger and gone to bed, but you know you have nightmares if you go to bed on an empty stomach.


I don't know when I heard that bit of folk lore....but it does cross my mind and may or may not have influenced my decision to eat toast at 9:00.

(It was probably more of me wanting to reward myself for waiting for the hunger.)

So again this morning, I had my Chai with skinny milk and wasn't hungry until 10:30 so I ate a bagel.

At noon I was at the hair salon and didn't even think about lunch. This is actually miraculous. I'm a eater by the clock.

"It's NOON! I can EAT!"

That did not happen and in fact I didn't notice hunger until I was driving home from school with Katie.

When I got home I heated up some soup and had some delicious crackers (3) and cheese.

And here I am...still feeling satisfied and not really expecting to be hungry before bedtime.

I think I will skip the toast tonight. I know I can do it.
I will pick up the Bible instead and feast on the Word of God.

I started reading Acts last night. I have never read that whole book of the Bible before.

It's a page turner!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 44

I have a confession.

I have made food and myself an idol.

We are on the pedestal where God should be.

I realized this fact this morning at 5:30 when I was praying.

You see, yesterday after writing my sad tale of self-pity and woe, I received words many words of encouragement and support.
Most of the letters contained promises of prayer and had scriptures attached.

The scriptures brought tears to my eyes. The word of God was getting my attention.

As I laid in bed and prayed this morning, the truth came to me quietly.

'You love food more than you love me. 'whispered God'.
You love yourself, more than you love me.'

How self-loathing and self love can live side by side, I don't have the answer.
But I know that I am shattered that I can't have my way and that's a sign that I am used to taking
pretty sweet care of myself.

I will be working on my attitude. Checking my motives and leaning on God to help me change.
Both in the area of making idols and in the area of living a healthy life.

Losing weight is not sinful. Putting all my heart and soul into it is.

With Christ all things are possible.

On my own....I'm pretty lost.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:13

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? ~Matthew 6:25

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 43


1. Eating Healthfully is bad for my mental health.
2. Do not read this page if you are easily discouraged.
3. I am not an expert. I am just a person who is trying.

In fact, I feel badly that I have allowed people to come and read this website.
I can not inspire or encourage and that makes me feel bad.
I thought for a moment I would succeed at this and have a good story to tell.
Unfortunately my story my be one of frustration and depression.
Who wants to read that?

So please stop reading now...and I'm sorry.

I have promised myself that I would give this a go for a year.
And I will not stop now.

In order to change, I have to focus on myself.
When I focus on myself and myself fails over and over again, I become depressed.

The best way not to be depressed is not to focus on yourself. To focus on God or others.

Not focusing on myself and my weight has led me to weigh too much.

Focusing on myself and my weight is leading me to stay the same weight or gain weight, to be in physical pain and to be depressed.

It's fail, fail, fail.
Brick wall, week after week.

I make positive changes and I fail. I do not feel better.

I walk for miles, three days in a row and I gain weight.

I walk because everyone tells me I need to exercise. And when I do, I am miserable and gain weight.

Why did I think this time my efforts would succeed?
As I see it my year of living healthfully has been a huge bust so far. Huge.

Three hundred and twenty three days to go.

I should probably stop weighing myself every Tuesday.
It's only making me feel more and more terrible every week.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 42

The Chicago edition.

Emma's calendar was empty and she invited us.
What else does a mom need to pack up and go for a visit?
An invitation is a very precious thing.

Chicago and I have a history. A food history.
I grew up here and have many favorite things.

None of which are considered healthy. There is the most wonderful popcorn here in town. It is called Garrets. It is hard not to go get some.

I had a hankering for a cupcake from one of those fancy neighborhood bakeries,
but Emma helped steer me away from that.

So instead I tried to make good choices. I had a salad for lunch and a salad for dinner. Also at dinner I had a tiny 3 ounce tenderloin, some mashed red potatoes and a piece of key lime pie that was about one inch by one and a half inch big.

So I made good choices...but I don't think the food I ate was organic per se.
We did not search out organic restaurants. Perhaps we should look into that today.

Cause let me tell you something.
When I woke up this morning, my eyes were extremely swollen.

Even drinking many glasses of water did not help with the overload of salt and chemicals I was unknowingly eating.


One more positive thing was the amount of walking we did. We walked to the Wildfire and we walked to the nail salon.

Now. The nail salon. I'm going to write about the negative thoughts that go on in my head. I feel extra fat and unattractive when I go to a salon. I like the result of having pretty toenails but to me it is more about humiliation than pampering when I am there.

Here is the truth.

I do not take care of my feet very well because it is uncomfortable to bend over my big tummy. So when I go to the salon I arrive with very calloused feet and it is a big process. The women look around and try to decided which tool to use to work on my feet. They are the unlucky one to have gotten the old woman with the bad feet.

The women working on Katie and Emma have it easy and when they look over at me, they know it.

And then they ask if I am the grandma.

Oh yeah.

That was the icing.

I do not let on that I am feeling hot and uncomfortable and embarrassed sitting in that stupid chair. I bear it bravely. But the truth is it hurts. I feel badly about myself and my weight. So something that is suppose to be a pleasure is an expensive, humiliating situation where I just beat myself up for being so fat.

I am not really sure how I get over it and where I stuff those feelings but some how I do. Actually, now that I think about it, I think I do know why I can carry on.

Deep down I know that my worth as a person, as a child of God is not about what I look like or how much I weigh. This is a truth that is deeply ingrained in my heart and soul.

It's not a conscious reaction, to replace the negative thinking with the more positive thinking. But perhaps I should make it so. More deliberate.

Catch those thoughts when they come.
But it is not easy when one is feeling like a old, calloused, float in the Macy's parade.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 41

We went to the Badgers game last night!

This was suppose to be great fun.

But because of my sore knee, it was a big pain in the knee.

We drove and parked downtown by 3:30. We walked around until we got in the stadium at 5:30. When we got to our seats....
the people were standing up. They would not sit down. We scooted down and watched the pre-game activities from someone elses seats so we could sit down. The stadium filled up and we were stuck behind the stander uppers.

Oh. BTW. My knee was killing me. All I wanted to do was sit down. So I sat and looked over at the jumbo tron to watch the game.

There was activity all around:
Jumping Around.
Crazy high five-ing fans.
A huge high stepping marching band.

And a stadium full of standing fans.(When did this stupid ritutal start?)

All I wanted to do was sit down and it's all I could think about.

The Badgers beat the number one team and all I cared about was "Why in the world won't these people sit down.!"

It's depressing when a whole stadium is in better shape than you are?


P.s. I had water.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 39

Dear Donna,

It will not kill you to eat a small lunch. Just a yogurt. Nothing more.
You will not waste away.
When you are hungry again, you can have something else to eat.

It will be okay.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 37

Exercise. Walk. Move. Ugh.

I use to teach aerobics. I use to go to dance class twice a week.
I use to walk with my friend Karen. I loved all of those physical activities dearly.

When I started homeschooling the aerobics and dancing ended. They were daytime activities and I was with our children all day.
I started walking with my friend Karen and how we loved walking together. We would wake up early and walk before school five days a week. We never missed. We talked as much as we walked and we could have walked for hours.
Then we moved away from Karen.

I find walking unbearable without her. It is just mind-numbingly boring.

I am like the horse, Homesick, who slowly leaves the barn on the trail but as soon as he turns for home, he starts to move faster and faster. Homesick can not wait to get home.

That's me.

As soon as I walk out the door and hit the corner, I want to turn around and come home. It is excruciating to walk a whole mile.
Mentally. Not physically.

So. The picture at the top of this page. That is my walk.

I park at the back of Target parking lot and walk to get my Chai every morning.
It is a puny walk, but it is a step in the right direction.

If I have a destination I find it much more do-able.

Tomorrow I will find a parking spot even further away.

This just might work after all.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 36

I feel really happy this morning.

My weekly weigh-in was satisfactory.

I lost a pound.

I will treasure that little pound and I will be proud of it!

Exercising over the weekend and counting my points seems to have bumped me into the land of losing and I am delighted that my little plan worked.

It's heck to try as hard as you can and then fail.
It makes me want to give up. I have done that so many times. I have given up.

But my crazy plan to eat healthfully for a whole year is forcing me to NOT give up.

Am I feeling better. Not really. My knees still hurt.
Do I look any better. No. Five pounds is but a scratch.

But you know what? I actually feel really good inside my head today and that's wonderful.

One little pound gone changes my whole outlook.

I may drop a few pounds eating healthfully after all....

Please. God. Thank you.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 34

Company Challenges and Strategies.

I have had company since Friday. My sister came to town and I wanted to show her a good time :o)

She loves Wisconsin beer so I bought her some of that. I bought her cheese curds and Kringles and Affy Tapples too.
All delicious treats to say "Welcome".

Since I don't drink alcohol and never have, I have it kind of easy....
I can imagine this is tricky for those who love their beer and wine.

And I just might be trying some red wine this year since I hear it is so GREAT for you.
But to tell the truth, I have a hard time eating or drinking things that I think taste icky.

But anyway. I had a few cheese curds and a tiny piece of an almond Kringle. The caramel apples went home with Cindy when she left this morning.

Great success when faced with delicious treats in the house.

We went out to eat three times, also.

The first night I had water with my meal of a Mediterranean Pasta salad.
On Saturday I had a wonderful salad for lunch. It had lettuce,grapes, apples, blue cheese and pecans.
Again I enjoyed two glasses of water.

And guess what...I have begun to like water. I am starting to recognize thirst for what it is and I am craving water.
This is a wonderful thing for me. Water was torture for me to drink.

And now I love it.


For dinner I ate a 6 oz filet, mashed potatoes and a small piece of bread with butter.

I was moderate and ate with self control.


Cindy and I walked quite a big on Saturday too.

Around the capitol, up and down State St.
We wandered around Paoli, but that hardly counts as it is a teeny town.

But I was active and for me that is a good day.
Instead of sitting on my tuckus I was up and around.

No marathon, but a step in the right direction!

So besides loving every moment of being with my sister, I succeeded in eating healthfully and I even got a little
exercise along the way.

It feels good to stick with it.

Oh! And guess what I found at the Farmer's Market?
Local Eggs!!!

What a great find! I'm so happy about it!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 31

Measuring cups and Weight Watchers points.

Reality Check in progress.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 30

I came home today from being out all morning.
I was super hungry so I warmed up a bowl of homemade Mexican Taco Stew.
I toasted a salt bagel and poured a glass of Diet Dr. Pepper.

I sat down and took a big sip of the pop.

It tasted bad.

I took a second sip.

Still tasted bad.

I think I am over it.

Right now I am dying of thirst, I am going to get a big glass of water.

It's a miracle.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 29

Tuesday. Four weeks eating healthfully. Minus four.

This could really depress me and throw me for a loop.

I am not eating any treats or pop or chips and dip or custard,
yet I have not lost weight in two weeks. This kind of weight loss makes me want to eat
crap again. I could stay the same and eat crap. Doesn't that sound good?
I can maintain and drink Dr. Pepper and eat chips.

But I have made a vow to eat healthfully for a whole year...and I will be super sad if eating healthfully does not lead to a thinner me. But I guess I will have to wait for eleven more months to see if that is the final answer.

With changes this slow it is hard to see any actual improvement in my health.

But. I wasn't sick. Just worried my way of eating would lead to sickness.

My knees. They are still sore. Losing four pounds just didn't do the trick to alleviate soreness.

What will the next four weeks bring. I hope not more of the same.

My stomach is growling and depression makes one weak-willed.

Better go get Katie and plan for a nice dinner.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 27

Listening to my body. More specifically listening to my stomach and hunger.

I forgot how to do this. And then I remembered for a while and then I forgot again.

In 1997 I helped lead a group of women in a Bible study based weight loss program called Weigh Down Workshop. (Told ya, I've done em all) As with most of the diets I tried in my earlier years (up to age 42) I was successful with sticking with the program and losing weight.

I started the WDW diet at an all time weight high at the time. I weighed 207 pounds.
I was mortified. But my friend and I jumped right in and started the group.
We met once a week and watched videos hosted by the skinny and charismatic Gwen Shamblin.
We discussed and prayed and did a private weigh in.

In a year I lost 50 pounds.

The key to the Weigh Down Workshop was; Eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are full.
Pray to fill the void.

That's it. I listened and listened and listened to the tapes and I journaled.

I ate Pringles and drank diet pop and ate bagels with cream cheese, olives and cashews.

Eat whatever you want. Just never eat if you are not hungry. This was God's way of eating.

Well. Except I don't think they had Pringles and Dr. Pepper in ancient times.
(Come to think of it Pringles are a little line manna aren't they?)

But to this day, I do agree with the idea that we were created to eat when we are hungry and to stop when we are full.

Even with making poor food choices, my mission was accomplished. And then gradually, I took my eyes off the ball.
Once I let up a little's all over for me. I start gaining again. By 1999 I had gained 20 pounds. Twenty pounds came back in that one year. I wasn't too despondent about it. I liked being in my 150's...but 170's didn't freak me out too much....
BUT THEN I got pregnant. I tried to follow the plan a little and I tried not to be a glutton...but some how....I gained 50 pounds with my little tiny 5 lb 6 oz. baby.

And lo and behold.... I have had a heck of a time losing weight ever since then.

So I blame Katie.

The End.

Not really. But I have tried many methods of weight loss since I had Katie, ten YEARS ago, and I have failed miserably.

From everything I have heard it is more difficult to lose weight as you age. I don't know all the reasons why this is....but gosh, it really seems to be true in my case.

This year I am combining a few methods. I am trying not to eat just to eat. I am waiting for hunger. Even if it is a piece of fruit.
But I am also making healthy choices to go along with my renewed commitment to listen to my body.

It sure sounds like a winning plan. I can only hope and persevere!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 25

I weighed myself this morning. I did not loose weight by Tuesday, my official weigh in date and now on Friday
I still have not lost and could have gone up two pounds.

Writing things down and keeping track of calories might be a good plan so I can see where I am taking in too many calories.
I certainly don't feel like I am, but I must be.

This morning I had half a bagel.

Half. Half. Half.

How hard can this be?

For lunch I had a small portion of salad in my smallest bowl. I know I will be hungry before dinner time,
but I do know one thing.

I will have half a portion of whatever I choose!

For me, being healthy means dropping some weight. A lot of weight.
I am determined. It will happen.

Even if it takes a year and a half!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 24

For years I had two pieces of eating wisdom on my refrigerator.

One said, "Never eat more than you can lift." the the other said, "Eat less food."

One was a quote from Miss Piggy. I'll bet you can guess!

The other, "Eat less food" was something a girlfriend told me about five years ago. My friend, Camy has seven children.
She eats extremely well and lifts weights. She is disciplined and looks amazing. One afternoon I gave her a call.

"Camy, I need to do something about my weight. What is the best method? Low fat, no carbs, blood type diet, G.I. diet?
And to this she said, "Eat less food." And I smiled and knew she was right. Not what I thought she would say, but so Camy.
(I think she also told me to lift weights. But I have conveniently forgotten that part of the conversation.)

So when I saw Michael Pollan's instructions to "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." I had a little deja vu.
Yup. Camy would approve.

Can I tell you something? I don't feel like I eat a lot.

I do however know two people who eat a half a sandwich for lunch. I know this because it seems so odd to me.
A half a sandwich! I suppose I should try it.

And when we go out for steak, you are not going to believe this, but sometimes my husband gets the petite fillet and I get the regular fillet.

A petite fillet. humph. Why bother?

Well. That's what I use to think.

One time we went out to eat for my birthday and I got an appetizer and a salad and a entree.
The service was very slow and I think it was an hour before we got our entrees.
My husband, the light eater, sat and watched me eat for that whole hour and he did not eat a thing.

Is it any wonder he stays the same weight year after year and I go up and down like a trampolinist?

I'm happy to say, those days are gone.

Smaller portions, here I come. I shall savor each bite. I shall change my thinking.

I shall. I will.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 23

Today I was shocked by a label I read.

Here in Wisconsin, we have a bakery called Natural Oven's Bakery.
Whenever I would try to eat healthier, I sought out their bread products.

I would think to myself. 'If I am going to have one piece of bread a day, it's going to be THIS really
healthy, wonderful, good for me, bread."

This afternoon at the grocery store, I checked the label on a package of whole wheat hamburger buns.
(I was trying to make a good choice.)
The second ingredient in the healthy, expensive, Wis made buns was high fructose corn syrup.
I gasped. I grabbed a loaf of their bread and checked that too....and it had HFCS in it.
How dare they try to trick us!

I see I can not trust the words' healthy' anymore. Learning to bake my own bread is on the horizon.

I hope I can do it!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 22

Rule # 8 in Michael Pollen's book says 'Avoid food products that make health claims.'

He says it needs a package to have a health claim written on it and wants us to realize that the fresh produce is the healthiest thing in the store and it holds no label.

This reminds me of Oprah's friend Bob Greene and his 'best life' label.

I think Bob is probably a super healthy guy, but he puts his 'best life' label on Yoplait yogurt; the one with NutraSweet.

I hate that NutraSweet is put in diet foods and considered healthy.

There is nothing healthy about putting a fake sweetener in your food.

I knew it all long when I was drinking Diet Dr. Pepper.
I was not fooled. I knew it was a slightly risky choice. I remember when NutraSweet came out on the market in the 1980's and my girlfriend showed me all sorts of information on how bad it was for me. I believed her....but I didn't care.

Sometimes we just don't care.

What I do care about is claiming a food is good for you,
when it really isn't.

Even in my state of denial about most of the foods I was eating, when I looked at the label on the Yoplait yogurt, I knew Bob was wrong about this.

Both Bob Greene and Michael Pollen have been on Oprah's show.
Just not at the same time.
Some of their ideas are very contradictory.

I kinda think that Michael and Bob need to sit down and talk.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 21

Today is my birthday. It is the perfect day to talk about what I plan on doing on holidays and birthdays.

The only birthday I get to celebrate with cake or treats is my own.
If I celebrated on every one's' birthdays...then I would be eating cake non-stop.
This would not be healthy!
This is in fact how I have gotten into this 'predicament'.

I love cake. I love to bake cakes. I'm pretty good at making a carrot cake and a red cake and a chocolate sheet cake and a cake with Twinkie frosting.

(No. I will not share those recipes here. Don't even ask.)

The problem occurs when the party is over and half the cake is left in the pan and I am home alone and it calls my name and I eat tiny fork fulls, all day...until the kids come home from school and say, "Where did all the frosting go? You ate all the frosting off the cake!" Oops. Sorry.'

You know there are no calories if you don't put it on a plate and eat it standing up, don't you?


This year I thought about how I would approach by birthday and other holidays and I decided that I would have a piece of cake if I wanted.

Just a few days ago, my sister Cindy sent me a box of my very favorite toffee.

I freaked out a little. I freaked cause I love it and I freaked because I wasn't sure how to handle it.

I decided it was my birthday treat. It is made of all wholesome ingredients so I am happy on that account. But it is too much. So here is what I did, over the last three days I nibbled on that delicious toffee. I ate less than half of the box.

Then yesterday, late afternoon, I put it in the freezer.

I felt very naughty eating it but I savored each buttery, almond filled bit.

But that's it. That was my birthday treat. I will savor the words of love and friendship and fun that come my way today and revel in those!

For Thanksgiving and Christmas I will cook and eat the traditional meals I have made for 30 years. I will shop consciously and buy the most wholesome ingredients I can find. And I will be eating gravy....On Thanksgiving, I will be eating gravy.

And with Christmas dinner there will be bearnaise sauce. This I know.

All the other holidays are not filled with traditional food at our house.
New Years and the Fourth and Easter and Valentines are not days I think about food.
I can easily manage those days.

Halloween on the other hand may prove to be a problem.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 20

I sit here with a growling stomach.
This is a new feeling for me. My stomach is rarely empty enough to make any noise.

The first food choice of the day is here.

Because I am prepared I have good choices on hand; good eggs and whole wheat bagels.

And because I am prepared it makes life so easy.

The problem is when I don't have something quick and easy to prepare or an idea or a recipe ready to go. It does take more effort to eat this way.
Sometimes I don't want to cook! I'm tired of cooking and thinking and planning.
I want a chef.

I could live like that.

But it looks like I am the chef.

(Patrick and I watched Julie and Julia again Friday night. This movie inspires me to cook and find the joy in it. I may be watching it over and over this year!)

Last night I made Betty Crocker's Mandarin Orange Salad. This is one of the few homemade salads I love. (Emma and I agree that making your own salad is just not the same. That reminds me...I want the chopped salad from Wildfire in Chicago...right now.)

I completely enjoyed my dinner last night and it was because I made this fantastic salad.

I made a few changes to cut down on the sugar. Instead of browning the almonds in sugar. I just didn't do it. Renegade. I know!

The rest I left the same. Yes, there is some sugar in the dressing. But that's okay.

I think like this. Mandarine Salad vs. Chicken Pot Pie.

Salad wins. By a long shot!

I am not going drastic here.
I'm in it for the long run.

Mandarin Salad by Miz Crocker

1/4 C sliced almonds
1T + 1 tsp sugar
1/4 head lettuce
1/4 bunch romaine
1 C celery chopped
2 green onions thinly sliced
11 oz can mandarin oranges, packed in juice

Sweet and Sour dressing;

1/2 C oil
4 T sugar
4 T vinegar
2 T snipped parsley
1 tsp salt
Dash pepper

skip this.
Cook almonds and sugar over low heat, stir until sugar is melted. Careful not to burn. Cool and break the almonds apart. Set aside.

start here.

Place lettuce/romaine celery and onions in a plastic bag. Pour in dressing and orange segments and shake, shake, shake,....shake, shake, shake,...shake your salad,
shake your salad, yeah.
Add almonds. Serve.

I have a lot left over for today. It gets pretty wilty...but hey! I just thought of something, I can add more lettuce to it. Yum! Can't wait till lunch!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 19

Once upon a time I did the liquid diet.

After I gave birth to Emma the weight was not coming off very well.

I weighed 175 pounds. (I would like to weight that much now. In fact. That could be my goal weight.
No goal weight has been set. But I know the weights of all starts and finishes of diets. And that was my start weight.)

The doctor who monitored this liquid diet wanted you to be 50 pounds overweight in order to be on this diet; it was called Medifast. Just like Oprah.
I pretended that I wanted to weight 125 pounds. I really never planned on weighing 125 pounds. I hadn't weighed that much since maybe sophomore year in high school. It was unrealistic but it was the weight I needed to say to get the Medifast.

I drank three large glasses of powder and diet red soda a day (mixed together).
That's all.
In ten weeks I lost 40 pounds.
It was great.

At 135 I felt ready to start adding food to my diet.

Patrick and I went out for dinner and I had a big huge plate of veggies( it was a stir fry of sorts)

The veggies got stuck.

In those ten weeks, scar tissue from my previous surgery (the awful horrible nearly killed me ruptured appendix) decided to wrap itself around my skinny, empty intestines.

I had a bowel obstruction.

Who knows if the liquid diet had anything to do with the scar tissue wrapping around my intestines. I think it was just bad luck.

But I had surgery and recovered. It was a horrible experience.

I eventually edged my way back up to 180 and stayed there for many years.

Until I started homeschooling.

When I think back on that liquid diet all I can think about is the terrible outcome of having a surgery the day after I started eating food. And today I marvel at what I was consuming. All chemicals and crap filled diet soda.

Oh goodness. That had to be the craziest diet I ever tried.
How I would love to lose 40 pounds in ten weeks again. But I must remember that that diet did not work for very long. I was regaining in six months.

I am afraid it will have to be slow and steady wins the race for me this time, and I have got to learn to LOVE it.

One day at a time. One meal at a time. One year at a time.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 18

Top ten

I don't eat between meals
I don't eat candy bars
I don't drink diet Dr. Pepper
I don't drink raspberry lemonade
I don't eat at fast food restaurants
I don't eat chips in the afternoon
I don't eat white flour bagels
I don't eat cookies
I don't eat bacon
I don't have cravings

I don't feel deprived most of the time and this is wondrous.

It's all about mindset.

The sweets are not a huge problem once I have gotten the sugar out of my system.

It's weird, the more you eat sugar, the more you want to eat sugar.

I bought some natural cinnamon bread from Whole Foods. It has sugar in it.
(All good, whole ingredients) But the sugars must be high because I have noticed that once I had a piece or two of that bread,
I start craving more sugar throughout the day.

I'm wondering if it is worth it. I don't like that feeling of being drawn to sugary and salty foods.

The salty foods for sure went with drinking Diet Dr. Pepper.
How I loved eating chips and pop corn with that fizzy drink.

But once I take away one, the other is gone by association.

That's good.

My caffeine drink now, Iced Grande Chai Nonfat, does not go with any food.
I want to keep it that way.

As far as the bagels go, I have allowed myself to eat whole wheat bagels from Bagels Forever.
I use organic butter and organic cream cheese.
In this case, I have made changes that allow me to keep my favorite breakfast pretty much the way I like it.

Now that bacon. I have not cooked it. So I have not eaten it.

There are a few recipes that call for it and I will cross that bridge next week.
I like bacon in my broccoli/cauliflower salad and in my potato soup.

While there is nothing healthy or redeeming about bacon, I may make the decision to have just a tiny taste.
Pretty sure of it right now.

Who knew I would feel so attached to bacon and willing to include it in the few things I would make allowances for....

Salty chemical laden fat.

Why do I cling to thee?

Flavor possibly?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 16

Just got home from a nice little bike ride around the neighborhood. I came up the big hill and my heart is pounding and I can feel it in my throat.

My knee does not hurt. I could feel the burn and fatigue in my thighs but not my I think I will stick with the bike riding.

I'm doing great with my eating.
I think I will go to Whole Foods after school with Katie and find something for dinner.

I fixed another flop last night.

The dish was called Thai Peanut sobu noodles.

I used rice noodles and prepared the rest of the dish according to the recipe...and it was blah.

I love peanut sauce but this did not have enough flavor. I threw the rest of it out.
I really hate to waste food but I could not eat it. blah.

(Is it really a crime to use I in eight sentences in a row? Really?)

These cooking failures are frustrating but I consider myself a baby in the cooking dept.
The only way to fix to make something I know how to make.

That Mandarin orange salad. That's it. I'm making that next!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 15

Two weeks today.

Official weigh in this morning.

-5 pounds.

I forgot to exercise last week.


I am having a most delicious Greek Salad for lunch. I made it myself.
tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, kalamata olives and feta cheese.

Olive oil from Whole Goods and that organic cider vinegar and kosher salt.

the chai is helping tremendously with the sleepiness.

Now I just have to get exercising.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 13

Over the summer, Emma would bring me Iced Chai's from Starbucks.
I don't drink coffee and she thought this might be something I like.

I did like it, but not enough to go to Starbucks and pay for it! Until I started eating more healthy.
Without Diet Dr. Pepper to keep me awake I was unbearably tired. And depressed.

Then one night I read in What to Eat that caffeine is not a terrible thing.
Marion discusses Chai and even the Chai from Starbucks. Her only concern with Starbucks is the high amounts of sugar in many of the drinks.
This made me feel free to go and get something as long as I was careful. A Tall Nonfat Iced Chai has 150 calories.
I really needed the caffeine.

The amount of sugar does not disturb me because I am not adding or eating any other sugar in my daily diet.

After drinking my first Tall Chai, I decided it was just too small.

The next size is a Grande and it has 200 calories.

This is what I have been doing this week. I have been totally and completely enjoying my Chai.
It is really the highlight of my day.

But. It's expensive and inconvenient to go to Starbucks even once a day for me.

(Emma told me that a woman comes thru the drive up at her Starbucks four times a day. EVERYDAY! Can you imagine?)

So I was wondering if I could make this savory drink on my own. I saw a product on the Starbucks website and thought that might be the ticket. But then just yesterday Emma spotted this container at Target. It was only $4.00!
It is exactly the same brand they use at Starbucks and it is even organic!

So I bought some and today I made some for myself and it was wonderful.

(I had a little indigestion this afternoon and I hope it is not from my drink.
I will know tomorrow if the same thing happens after I make my daily Chai.)

Chai is black tea with spices.
The drink I have has skim milk in it and ice cubes.

I love it.
It has been a really life saver for me!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 12


We went to a wedding tonight.
This is as close as I got to the cupcakes.

Aren't they lovely?

I really do get so much satisfaction from taking pretty pictures.

And they are zero calories.

I ate a plate full of delicious food. I skipped the bread and had mostly proteins and veggies.
All delicious.

I have been doing so well not eating in between meals.
Today we were so busy that I didn't give it a thought.

Isn't that nice? Being home all day by myself, while I really do enjoy the quiet, it is more difficult to keep my mind off of food tho.

I'm hungry now. Time to make a conscious decision about what to have.

It's not so bad. Really it's not.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 11

We went to Pizza Brutta tonight.

When we use to go to Pizza Brutta I had my own 'pie' and a root beer. Now I have two small pieces of pizza and a small Greek salad. (This salad is not small but it is on the plan so I enjoy it thoroughly. The pizza is very much like the pizza we ate in Rome, it is very fresh and flavorful.

Along with my pizza I had a Greek salad and a glass of water. A glass of water I tell you!
This is huge for me for me and I didn't even feel sorry for myself.

This is the only restaurant we have gone to since I have been eating healthfully.
It's the perfect place. They make their own cheese and take great care to buy ingredients locally.
I take great care to limit myself and I leave very satisfied.

Dear Pizza Brutta.
I love you.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 10

Have you ever heard someone say that lots of times we eat to stuff the feelings down.
Kind of like a drinker drinks to escape those bad feelings.

Well. It is so true for me when I am on a diet.

I am so depressed today. I am on the verge of tears, and all because one of Katie's teacher's wrote to tell me she got a 40/100.
Apparently Katie did not understand the multiple choice questions.

I know she studied for nights.

And this makes me want to cry and it makes me angry about other things at the school and I want to homeschool her so I can choose the best math program and geography program for her.

And I know I am feeling this way because I am not able to eat something to shove down my sad and upset feelings.

So out they come, bubbling up to the surface. And what am I suppose to do with them?

I suppose I could cry some more.

Who knew the healthy life was one of tiredness and tears?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 9

I woke up yesterday with such good intentions.
Journal the news about my first week of weight loss. The big total.
But the big total wasn't so big. And I tried to cheer myself up and remind myself this was
just the beginning of a year long change.


That's all.
The day before it was -5 but yesterday morning it was -3.

So my day started with a disappointment and then I got a headache that wouldn't go away.
My had a lot of business to take care of and it was taking away my ability to go and get a Chai and
I was not able to plan for meals very well.

I realized that I comfort myself with food when I am feeling bad.
Emotionally or Physically.
The urge to eat is very strong.
But yesterday I held back. I did not over eat nor did I eat something unhealthy, but I felt crummy and depressed all day.

I had

Organic Eggs for breakfast and local bread.
Granola from the farmers market as a snack.
Cucumber Salad for lunch.
Homemade applesauce for snack....

but what was I going to do for dinner.

I wanted to not think about it. I wanted to go purchase something.
And I did. But not for myself. I bought Patrick and Katie ButterBurgers and Chicken tenders from Culvers.

This solved the cooking something for my family dilemma. They were delighted to have something to eat.

I on the other hand finally figured something out. I have a jar of Rao's spaghetti sauce in the fridge.
Rao's sauce is my very favorite spaghetti sauce. According to the jar it is made with all whole ingredients. No long words I don't recognize. Every ingredient I can see growing. This passes Michael Pollen's test.

But the noodles. They had words that I could not identify.

I ate them anyway. I had a little cottage cheese on my plate and my meal was very good.

I'll be thinking about this connection I have with food and disappointment and deprivation and depression this year.
All of those things that brought me pleasure are now off limits.

That glass of bubbling Diet Dr. Pepper is not my friend anymore. I miss it. It helped me get thru a rough day.

What I will replace it with, I don't know yet.

There is not much I find more pleasurable than eating sugary and salty foods with a lovely little glass of Diet Dr. Pepper.

Not even losing three pounds makes it better.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 7

What about exercise, you ask?

In the last week I have ridden my bike twice and gone for a one hour walk.
The walk killed my left knee. It hurt after ten minutes, but I kept going.

Riding the bike does not hurt very much at all. I am encouraged to stick with that.

I have searched for and found the five pound weights we had in the house.
Last night I lifted and hoisted those for a few minutes.

But they have been dusted off. That is my start.

Part of the reason I have started this project is because I feel so out of shape.
In May I participated in a 5K. (Brain Cancer Walk)
It was a very slow stroll, but I was in pain before we even started the walk from standing around for a few hours.

This is just pathetic.


In 2007 I walked every day for 115 days. It was my version of a streak.
I did this so that I could keep up with my husband, daughter and her friends as we toured Paris, Florence and Rome.

And I did it! I was never tired nor was I sore. It was me who coaxed our group to climb the 400+ steps to the top of St. Peter's dome.

I was not much thinner than I am now. But I had endurance.
That was because of the streak.

I want to get back to that place. It was only three years ago. I know it is possible.

Losing weight will help with the pain in my knees. I am sure of it.
Exercising will be the key to losing the weight. I am sure of that too.

This week was a rather weak start as far as exercising but I am not going to be too hard on myself,
I have made many amazing choices and changes so far.

Exercising will come.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 6


Trying something new and making it yourself can actually be very enjoyable!

I was watching a new show on the Food Channel called 5 ingredient Fix last week and saw a recipe I thought would fit my new way of eating.

It was called Fresh Cucumber Salad.

• 1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
• 1 cup (1/4 whole) honeydew, finely diced
• Kosher salt
• 2 cups Greek yogurt
• 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
• 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced

I used ½ of a large English cucumber, two cups of honeydew,
yogurt to cover and a teeny bit of jalapeno. I am a whimp when it comes to spicy.

But I am so excited to share how much I loved this odd salad.
I haven’t purchased a honeydew melon in so long I can’t even remember if I have ever purchased one! And a jalapeno…first time ever!

I liked this so well that when I finished my lunch today I made a second batch with the left over ingredients. Very exciting.
It tasted cool and sweet with just the right amount of spice. (practically none)
Next I think I will try Claire Robinson’s Toasted Israeli Couscous ; it has apricots.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 5

Day 5

I'm never going to be perfect. ( yes. Those who know me can stop laughing... I'm very far from perfect.). But by not pretending that I am going to be the perfect health nut, I give myself freedom. Freedom to make a mistake and not call it a mistake . Today I made hamburgers for the family for dinner. I did s lot of things very right.

I made the hamburgers with grass fed ground beef from whole foods.
very good
I used whole wheat bread instead of a white bun.
Very good
I used lettuce and a heirloom tomato I bought from the farmers market.
Super good.
Where I failed was in the condiments.
I just forgot to buy organic and I didn't even think to make my own.
So I ate a little Hellmans mayonnaise and a lettle squirt of Heinz ketchup.
But I just can't cancel out the other good choices I made.
It was a delicious hamburger and the only red meat I have had this week.

Not perfect but perfectly acceptable.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 4

Not only is this the year of living healthfully. It is going to be the year of cooking more than I have ever cooked in my life.

I am going to have to cook things myself.

I love and collect cookbooks and I adore watching the Food Network but I haven’t put into practice much of anything I have read or watched. Oh! I have searched out Guy
Fieries Diners Drive ins and Dives. Oh yes I have. But that’s not going to cut it this year.

So today I cooked.
I am used to cooking one meal a day: dinner. Breakfast and lunch are assembled or toasted.

I am realizing the effort it takes to prepare delicious, whole foods for myself. But since I had great success with an apple dish I made yesterday, I feel happily optimistic.

This quick apple dish tasted like the inside of an apple pie. It was so much better than applesauce from a jar.
It's the best thing I have eaten this week!

Here is the recipe:

4 apples peeled and cut in big chunks off the apple.
1 Tbs. brown sugar.
1 tsp. organic butter
sprinkle cinnamon

Toss in crock pot.
Cook on low for about four hours or until soft and mushy.


Enjoy the taste of fall!


I peeled apples and cored apples and then I peeled and boiled potaotes.
It took time but I had wonderful baked apples for a snack and tasty mashed potatoes with a portion of home baked whole chicken from Whole foods for dinner.

more effort + time waiting = delicious success!

I wonder how many calories are burned preparing meals?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 2

I have given up Diet Dr. Pepper a few times before in my life. Every time I am shocked and saddened by how my body reacts to the missing caffeine.

I am so sleepy.

It’s just after lunch and I want to take a nap. I hate to nap. I never nap.

With caffeine (four cans of Diet Dr. Pepper a day) I can go all day.
Sleep for six hours at night and not feel tired or cranky.

Without it, I am super tired. I want to nap in the afternoon and I go to bed at 9:00 at night.

So does healthy mean sleepy for me. I don’t like it.

I think I will go and ride my bike around the block. Perhaps the exercise will perk me up.

I’m back. That got the blood flowing. It was just a fifteen minute ride around our neighborhood, but it was a start and I think it will be a good plan to ride or walk (ugh) in the afternoons. It’s very quiet out there. I didn’t pass one person on my ride. No one saw my big butt from behind and no one saw my knees bumping into my large belly. But I felt it. Bump. Bump. Bump went my knees into my belly.

It has got to go.

Part of living healthfully is not only being very picky about what I am eating, it’s watching portion sizes. So far, I don’t have anything in the house that is both healthy and enticing enough to pig out on. But if I had some nice nuts in the house,
I bet I could over eat those if given the chance. And cheese, a good wholesome delicious cheese; I could over eat there too. Marion Nestle says to be careful of those tasty cheeses (saturated fat you know). She doesn’t know that I live in America’s Dairy land. I wonder if she has tasted a cheese curd. I wonder how many are a sensible portion, probably one ounce.

Must stop thinking about cheese curds.

I will instead tell you quickly that I weighed myself this morning. I am not comfortable yet telling you how much I weigh. It’s about the most I have ever weighed. But if it were me reading this diary, I would really want to know. So I will place the before/after chart at the end of the book and I’ll wait while you go look.

What I can say is that I would not be out of place on The Biggest Loser.
I could never be on The Biggest Loser because I could never leave my family for that long of a time and I could never ever in a million years wear a sports bra on National Television. And that Jillian is mean. She is way mean.

But weight-wise I need an intervention. And so I invite Michael and Marion into my life for a year. It’s a long commitment, but I like them, they won’t yell at me, they are sensible and funny and they will never require that I wear a sports bra in public.

It’s like the Bradley method of getting healthy; relaxed, natural, focused, supported. Exactly like the Bradley method just missing the naked birthing and the baby in the end.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day One

And so begins my quest. I can’t write journey because my son, Patrick, will close this book and stop reading immediately. This is no journey. It’s a diary that begins with a fragment that I have been encouraged to rewrite.
What a way to start! But start I have.

After dropping Katie off at school, I winded my way over to Whole Foods to choose some things to eat.
With Michael Pollen’s and Marion Nestle’s words humming in my brain I chose carefully. I looked at labels. I looked at prices. I chose local. I chose simple.

I bought strawberries and pineapple. Neither are local. But what’s a girl to do? I don’t think there is a Wisconsin grower who has pineapples in his field. And I like pineapples and strawberries. If I am going to start eating fruit, I will have to start with the flown in kinds.
We have apples in the house and those are local. It’s fall. I think I will be eating lots of apples.

Organic eggs were on my list. They say Certified Organic. They are brown.
I read last night that it does not matter a bit what color the shell is; that’s nice to know. No use spending extra on color. In this year I hope to find a really local source for eggs. I have 364 days to do that.

What else did I buy? One container of Greek yogurt: plain.
I intend to mix homemade strawberry jam into the plain yogurt.
Seriously, if I am going to do this, I have to be honest with myself.
I will never eat plain yogurt. But I shall try this.

Oh yes! I bought grass fed ground beef, (two small packages) and a whole chicken.
Both on sale.

Michael Pollen says, “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
(Thus the small packages.)

This simple philosophy will help me keep focused on eating whole nutritious foods and not eating too much.

It is thought that eating healthy is much more expensive than eating cheap.
I am hoping that by eating less, that cost will even out. It just seems logical.

I know myself well enough to know that if I deprive myself of the food I long for,
I will be unhappy. I am determined to do this for a year. But I don’t want to be depressed for a year. How I will have a healthy spirit….remains to be seen.
I will be preparing my “treats” so I have more control over the ingredients and I will not be obsessive.

I will do my best. And then I will be merciful with myself.
But I will persevere.

Day one is always a good day.

Except for the headache that comes with caffeine withdrawal.

I better go look up the most healthful way to deal with a caffeine headache.