"I've decided that perhaps I'm bulimic and just keep forgetting to purge."

-- Paula Poundstone

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Inedible rewards

Let’s talk about rewards.

I decided back when I started this journey that I would reward myself for every 10 pounds I lose.

That’s a new concept for me for a couple of reasons.

First off, I don’t really buy myself that much new stuff. Anyone who knows me well knows that most of my clothes, my son’s clothes, etc., come from Goodwill. It’s my favorite store.

Second, I seriously am used to rewarding myself with food.

That’s a tradition that goes way back.

I’ve battled my weight my whole life. When I was a kid, I remember my mom dragging me to a few aerobics classes.

There, the older women told me, “Kid, get the weight off now. It’s so much harder when you’re older.”

I wish I had listened.

During that time, Mom and I also went to a weight-loss program that was then called Formu-3. I’m sure it’s not called that today, but it’s probably along the lines of L.A. Weightloss, etc.

They advised us on our diet, gave us the option of their god-awful freeze-dried soups , etc., and weighed us every week or two.

Every single time Mom and I lost weight at the weigh-in, we’d go hit the Sizzler buffet afterward to celebrate.

Yay! We lost weight! Let’s gain it back in one meal!

So, this time, I’m trying to reward myself in a different way. I am going to give myself things I normally wouldn’t.

This week, I bought some tanning sessions.

Say what you will about tanning, but, to quote a dear friend, I am as white as a fish’s underbelly.

Tanning makes me feel better.

And isn’t that the point of rewards?

Some other rewards I’m considering: pedicure, facial, massage, nice makeup, new walking shoes and new workout clothes.

What else can you think of?

Inedible rewards

Let’s talk about rewards.

I decided back when I started this journey that I would reward myself for every 10 pounds I lose.

That’s a new concept for me for a couple of reasons.

First off, I don’t really buy myself that much new stuff. Anyone who knows me well knows that most of my clothes, my son’s clothes, etc., come from Goodwill. It’s my favorite store.

Second, I seriously am used to rewarding myself with food.

That’s a tradition that goes way back.

I’ve battled my weight my whole life. When I was a kid, I remember my mom dragging me to a few aerobics classes.

There, the older women told me, “Kid, get the weight off now. It’s so much harder when you’re older.”

I wish I had listened.

During that time, Mom and I also went to a weight-loss program that was then called Formu-3. I’m sure it’s not called that today, but it’s probably along the lines of L.A. Weightloss, etc.

They advised us on our diet, gave us the option of their god-awful freeze-dried soups , etc., and weighed us every week or two.

Every single time Mom and I lost weight at the weigh-in, we’d go hit the Sizzler buffet afterward to celebrate.

Yay! We lost weight! Let’s gain it back in one meal!

So, this time, I’m trying to reward myself in a different way. I am going to give myself things I normally wouldn’t.

This week, I bought some tanning sessions.

Say what you will about tanning, but, to quote a dear friend, I am as white as a fish’s underbelly.

Tanning makes me feel better.

And isn’t that the point of rewards?

Some other rewards I’m considering: pedicure, facial, massage, nice makeup, new walking shoes and new workout clothes.

What else can you think of?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kickboxing kicked my butt

Ouch.

I must’ve said that at least 10 times between my bed and the treadmill this morning.

I hurt.

As you know (because everyone keeps up with my daily routine, I’m certain), I am walking the treadmill five days a week and going to exercise class three days a week.

I’ve been doing Zumba, but because I’ll have to miss this Saturday for a little something called the Final Four, I decided to go ahead and get in an exercise class last night.

Zumba isn’t offered on Mondays, so I chose kickboxing.

Holy Mother of Joints and Muscles.

I had been feeling pretty good about my workouts. I’m increasing my morning walks bit by bit. I’m shakin’, rattlin’ and rollin’ along in Zumba.

But kickboxing is a whole other bear.

I did kickboxing for quite some time when I lost the 90 pounds several years ago, so I knew what I was getting into. I just had repressed the memories of pain, I guess.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: It’s the best workout I’ve ever experienced.

And I need that.

In the month I’ve been doing this, I’ve actually started to notice my legs feeling tighter. But my upper body is still nothing but jiggle.

I was starting to fear I’d end up looking a bit like a candy apple – giant, round top with stick legs.

Kickboxing will take care of that eventually. There’s not a part of your body that doesn’t get a workout in kickboxing.

I swear even my scalp hurts.

So I think that despite the wishes of my sore muscles, I’m gonna change one of my Zumba days to a kickboxing day.

And I’m glad that day is over for this week.

Great. Now I’m craving a candy apple …

Kickboxing kicked my butt

Ouch.

I must’ve said that at least 10 times between my bed and the treadmill this morning.

I hurt.

As you know (because everyone keeps up with my daily routine, I’m certain), I am walking the treadmill five days a week and going to exercise class three days a week.

I’ve been doing Zumba, but because I’ll have to miss this Saturday for a little something called the Final Four, I decided to go ahead and get in an exercise class last night.

Zumba isn’t offered on Mondays, so I chose kickboxing.

Holy Mother of Joints and Muscles.

I had been feeling pretty good about my workouts. I’m increasing my morning walks bit by bit. I’m shakin’, rattlin’ and rollin’ along in Zumba.

But kickboxing is a whole other bear.

I did kickboxing for quite some time when I lost the 90 pounds several years ago, so I knew what I was getting into. I just had repressed the memories of pain, I guess.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: It’s the best workout I’ve ever experienced.

And I need that.

In the month I’ve been doing this, I’ve actually started to notice my legs feeling tighter. But my upper body is still nothing but jiggle.

I was starting to fear I’d end up looking a bit like a candy apple – giant, round top with stick legs.

Kickboxing will take care of that eventually. There’s not a part of your body that doesn’t get a workout in kickboxing.

I swear even my scalp hurts.

So I think that despite the wishes of my sore muscles, I’m gonna change one of my Zumba days to a kickboxing day.

And I’m glad that day is over for this week.

Great. Now I’m craving a candy apple …

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sappy birthday to me

Today I turned 34.

In many ways, my mind still feels about 19 (though I’d like to think my bullshit sensor is a bit keener than it was then).

My body, on the other hand, feels much, much older.

I have aches and pains where I shouldn’t. My knees pop, grind and swell.

I have lumps and bumps, and my best cleavage is nowhere near my chest.

But slowly, I’m improving all that.

I’m writing this morning after another 1.9 miles on the treadmill and another 3 pounds lost. That’s 11 pounds so far.

I hope – I pray – that this is the last birthday that I look and feel this way.

I pray that my new lifestyle becomes just that, a lifestyle, and that my weight never holds me captive again.

But I’m also very thankful on this birthday for you, my friends. You are one of the best gifts I have.

You all are in my life because you help me be a better me.

The support you have shown me here and on Facebook has been overwhelming. You keep me going when this task seems unbearable.

And for that, I am eternally grateful.

For lunch, the good folks at work are taking me to my favorite Mexican restaurant, where I’ll have fajitas – no wraps! – and a piece of birthday cake.

If you can’t have a piece of cake on your birthday, when can you?

I’ll enjoy it immensely, and then I’ll get back to my healthy ways.

At 34, I’m quite ashamed of the shape I’ve gotten myself into.

But I’d be more ashamed if I wasn’t doing anything about it.

Have a great week.

Sappy birthday to me

Today I turned 34.

In many ways, my mind still feels about 19 (though I’d like to think my bullshit sensor is a bit keener than it was then).

My body, on the other hand, feels much, much older.

I have aches and pains where I shouldn’t. My knees pop, grind and swell.

I have lumps and bumps, and my best cleavage is nowhere near my chest.

But slowly, I’m improving all that.

I’m writing this morning after another 1.9 miles on the treadmill and another 3 pounds lost. That’s 11 pounds so far.

I hope – I pray – that this is the last birthday that I look and feel this way.

I pray that my new lifestyle becomes just that, a lifestyle, and that my weight never holds me captive again.

But I’m also very thankful on this birthday for you, my friends. You are one of the best gifts I have.

You all are in my life because you help me be a better me.

The support you have shown me here and on Facebook has been overwhelming. You keep me going when this task seems unbearable.

And for that, I am eternally grateful.

For lunch, the good folks at work are taking me to my favorite Mexican restaurant, where I’ll have fajitas – no wraps! – and a piece of birthday cake.

If you can’t have a piece of cake on your birthday, when can you?

I’ll enjoy it immensely, and then I’ll get back to my healthy ways.

At 34, I’m quite ashamed of the shape I’ve gotten myself into.

But I’d be more ashamed if I wasn’t doing anything about it.

Have a great week.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Through laughter and tears …

I thank you for allowing me to wander off topic today to tell you about my friend Tara and her wonderful parents.

Tara and I have been friends since we were kids. We did some amazingly stupid and amazingly fun things together throughout the years.

Tara’s mom, Vicki, was the apartment manager for what we called “The Projects” in my hometown, and her dad, Big Jerry, was the town cop.

Yes, you read that right. The town cop. We had one.

Growing up with Tara was always a little like having a “big” sister because though she is six months younger than I am, she always seemed more mature, more knowledgeable.

With Tara, I saw my first drunk person, got drunk myself for the first time, attended my first slumber party, went on my first double date and learned A LOT about boys.

Tara and I were even in a police chase together, and we were both underage drivers.

But that’s another story for another time.

Tara’s brothers, especially Little Jerry, treated me like another little sister. If Little Jerry was beating the crap out of Tara, he’d beat the crap out of me, too, for good measure.

I don’t know how we didn’t drive their parents completely insane.

One time, I had spent the night with Tara and was getting ready the next morning for church.

I climbed up on their bathroom sink to fix my hair, and all of a sudden, the sink separated from the wall and went crashing to the floor.

I was horrified.

I ran and got Tara, tears streaming down my face. She walked in, eyes as round as saucers, and said she had to get her dad.

I begged her not to.

Well, she couldn’t just leave the sink in the floor, she explained, so I waited, crying in the bathroom, until she brought back her dad to view the destruction.

Big Jerry walked in, took one look and started laughing hysterically. Within seconds, he had tears on his cheeks, too.

It took a long time to understand why he would laugh at something like that.

No yelling, no judgment. Just gotta fix it and move on, he said.

I remembered that story and his character vividly when Tara texted me March 7 to say he had died.

He took a nap and never woke up. He was 61.

Vicki had the same good character and patience as her husband.

When Tara, Little Jerry and I were young, we had a food fight that completely covered Vicki’s always-spotless kitchen with the dinner she had worked so hard to prepare for us.

I can still see her walking in the kitchen and standing in the doorway as a just-thrown slab of roast beef slid down the wall near her head, leaving a trail of gravy.

We’d better get it cleaned up fast, she said, before turning and walking away.

Also when we were kids, we would make Vicki watch “Dirty Dancing” every chance we had.

It was mine and Tara’s favorite movie.

Vicki was the only person I knew who would cry every single time it got to the end, and Johnny and Baby were doing the final night’s dance.

“I’ve Had the Time of My Life” … cue Vicki’s crying.

It took a long time to understand why she would cry at something like that.

I remembered those stories when Tara told me Wednesday that her mother had died, too.

Just 17 days after Big Jerry died, Vicki went to meet him in heaven. She was 63.

In August, they’ll celebrate 40 years of marriage.

I picture there will be dancing.

There will be laughter.

And there will be tears.

I fully understand why they’ll laugh and cry at something like that.

Peace, love and laughter, Vicki and Jerry. You’re together again.

Through laughter and tears …

I thank you for allowing me to wander off topic today to tell you about my friend Tara and her wonderful parents.

Tara and I have been friends since we were kids. We did some amazingly stupid and amazingly fun things together throughout the years.

Tara’s mom, Vicki, was the apartment manager for what we called “The Projects” in my hometown, and her dad, Big Jerry, was the town cop.

Yes, you read that right. The town cop. We had one.

Growing up with Tara was always a little like having a “big” sister because though she is six months younger than I am, she always seemed more mature, more knowledgeable.

With Tara, I saw my first drunk person, got drunk myself for the first time, attended my first slumber party, went on my first double date and learned A LOT about boys.

Tara and I were even in a police chase together, and we were both underage drivers.

But that’s another story for another time.

Tara’s brothers, especially Little Jerry, treated me like another little sister. If Little Jerry was beating the crap out of Tara, he’d beat the crap out of me, too, for good measure.

I don’t know how we didn’t drive their parents completely insane.

One time, I had spent the night with Tara and was getting ready the next morning for church.

I climbed up on their bathroom sink to fix my hair, and all of a sudden, the sink separated from the wall and went crashing to the floor.

I was horrified.

I ran and got Tara, tears streaming down my face. She walked in, eyes as round as saucers, and said she had to get her dad.

I begged her not to.

Well, she couldn’t just leave the sink in the floor, she explained, so I waited, crying in the bathroom, until she brought back her dad to view the destruction.

Big Jerry walked in, took one look and started laughing hysterically. Within seconds, he had tears on his cheeks, too.

It took a long time to understand why he would laugh at something like that.

No yelling, no judgment. Just gotta fix it and move on, he said.

I remembered that story and his character vividly when Tara texted me March 7 to say he had died.

He took a nap and never woke up. He was 61.

Vicki had the same good character and patience as her husband.

When Tara, Little Jerry and I were young, we had a food fight that completely covered Vicki’s always-spotless kitchen with the dinner she had worked so hard to prepare for us.

I can still see her walking in the kitchen and standing in the doorway as a just-thrown slab of roast beef slid down the wall near her head, leaving a trail of gravy.

We’d better get it cleaned up fast, she said, before turning and walking away.

Also when we were kids, we would make Vicki watch “Dirty Dancing” every chance we had.

It was mine and Tara’s favorite movie.

Vicki was the only person I knew who would cry every single time it got to the end, and Johnny and Baby were doing the final night’s dance.

“I’ve Had the Time of My Life” … cue Vicki’s crying.

It took a long time to understand why she would cry at something like that.

I remembered those stories when Tara told me Wednesday that her mother had died, too.

Just 17 days after Big Jerry died, Vicki went to meet him in heaven. She was 63.

In August, they’ll celebrate 40 years of marriage.

I picture there will be dancing.

There will be laughter.

And there will be tears.

I fully understand why they’ll laugh and cry at something like that.

Peace, love and laughter, Vicki and Jerry. You’re together again.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sweet dreams are made of cheese

Whew, those crazy Wildcats.

When I went to bed last night, UK’s game against Cornell was still a little too close for comfort. But I knew if I stayed up (I’m in the Eastern time zone), there’s no way I’d make it up and on the treadmill this morning.

I checked the score on my phone before I even got out of bed today, and they won by 17.

I don’t know why I was even worried.

So, what did I dream about?

No, not the Cats. Pizza.

I dreamed that I had a thin-crust cheese pizza in front of me, and I debated about eating just a couple of small slices.

Even in my dream, I was rationalizing that it was a thin crust, no meat, etc., so a couple of slices wouldn’t hurt.

Then I ate the whole thing.

Can you say anxiety?

I remember that for a good six months or so after I quit smoking, I would dream all the time that I had smoked a cigarette.

Some were quite hilarious, like the one where I dreamed I had a pack of cigarettes hidden in the drop ceiling in the newsroom, and I’d sneak up and get one after deadline.

Bizarre.

But I was always so relieved when I’d wake up and realize it was only a dream, and that everything was still on track.

Kind of like this morning.

No pizza. The Wildcats win.

TGIF.

Sweet dreams are made of cheese

Whew, those crazy Wildcats.

When I went to bed last night, UK’s game against Cornell was still a little too close for comfort. But I knew if I stayed up (I’m in the Eastern time zone), there’s no way I’d make it up and on the treadmill this morning.

I checked the score on my phone before I even got out of bed today, and they won by 17.

I don’t know why I was even worried.

So, what did I dream about?

No, not the Cats. Pizza.

I dreamed that I had a thin-crust cheese pizza in front of me, and I debated about eating just a couple of small slices.

Even in my dream, I was rationalizing that it was a thin crust, no meat, etc., so a couple of slices wouldn’t hurt.

Then I ate the whole thing.

Can you say anxiety?

I remember that for a good six months or so after I quit smoking, I would dream all the time that I had smoked a cigarette.

Some were quite hilarious, like the one where I dreamed I had a pack of cigarettes hidden in the drop ceiling in the newsroom, and I’d sneak up and get one after deadline.

Bizarre.

But I was always so relieved when I’d wake up and realize it was only a dream, and that everything was still on track.

Kind of like this morning.

No pizza. The Wildcats win.

TGIF.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What a crock!

Thursday mornings are my toughest.

Wednesday night Zumba isn’t over until 9 p.m., so by the time I get home and actually ready for bed, it’s pretty late.

Waking up the next morning to drag myself to the treadmill is a challenge, but I somehow managed to do it (after 3 hits to the snooze button).

I guess if this were easy, we’d all be professional athletes who look like supermodels, right?

Ah, well. Let’s eat!

This photo and recipe came overnight courtesy of Hungry Girl.

If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor and check out the site I linked above and join the mailing list.

You’ll get lots of good recipes, tips and more.

I recently purchased a Hungry Girl cookbook and will share recipes from it here, too, as I try them.

I haven’t tried this one, but it sounds delicious. And it already gets bonus points from me just because it’s cooked in a crock pot. I love anything that I can fix that will be ready when I get home from work.

If you try it, let me know how you like it. Also, please send me your favorite healthy recipes so I can share them here.

Enjoy!

Outside-In Turkey Tamale Pie

PER SERVING (1 cup): 230 calories, 7.5g fat, 481mg sodium, 21g carbs, 3g fiber, 3g sugars, 19g protein -- POINTS® value 5*


Get ready for an amazingly comforting, scoopable, Mexican-inspired dish, because HERE... IT... IS!!! Just a warning: This stuff is hauntingly delicious!


Ingredients:
1 1/4 lbs. raw lean ground turkey
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
One 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes with chiles
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup canned sweet corn, drained
1/2 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup sliced black olives, drained
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
Optional toppings: fat-free shredded cheddar cheese, fat-free sour cream

Directions:
Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Add turkey and spread it around to break it up a bit. Cook and crumble until meat is brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Drain any excess liquid and add turkey to the crock pot.

In a bowl, combine cornmeal with broth and whisk thoroughly. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Add cornmeal mixture to the crock pot along with all other ingredients. Mix thoroughly.


Cover and cook on high for 3 - 4 hours or on low for 7 - 8 hours.


Serve and, if you like, top each serving with cheese and/or sour cream. Mmmmmm!!!


MAKES 7 SERVINGS

What a crock!

Thursday mornings are my toughest.

Wednesday night Zumba isn’t over until 9 p.m., so by the time I get home and actually ready for bed, it’s pretty late.

Waking up the next morning to drag myself to the treadmill is a challenge, but I somehow managed to do it (after 3 hits to the snooze button).

I guess if this were easy, we’d all be professional athletes who look like supermodels, right?

Ah, well. Let’s eat!

This photo and recipe came overnight courtesy of Hungry Girl.

If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor and check out the site I linked above and join the mailing list.

You’ll get lots of good recipes, tips and more.

I recently purchased a Hungry Girl cookbook and will share recipes from it here, too, as I try them.

I haven’t tried this one, but it sounds delicious. And it already gets bonus points from me just because it’s cooked in a crock pot. I love anything that I can fix that will be ready when I get home from work.

If you try it, let me know how you like it. Also, please send me your favorite healthy recipes so I can share them here.

Enjoy!

Outside-In Turkey Tamale Pie

PER SERVING (1 cup): 230 calories, 7.5g fat, 481mg sodium, 21g carbs, 3g fiber, 3g sugars, 19g protein -- POINTS® value 5*


Get ready for an amazingly comforting, scoopable, Mexican-inspired dish, because HERE... IT... IS!!! Just a warning: This stuff is hauntingly delicious!


Ingredients:
1 1/4 lbs. raw lean ground turkey
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
One 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes with chiles
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup canned sweet corn, drained
1/2 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup sliced black olives, drained
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
Optional toppings: fat-free shredded cheddar cheese, fat-free sour cream

Directions:
Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Add turkey and spread it around to break it up a bit. Cook and crumble until meat is brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Drain any excess liquid and add turkey to the crock pot.

In a bowl, combine cornmeal with broth and whisk thoroughly. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Add cornmeal mixture to the crock pot along with all other ingredients. Mix thoroughly.


Cover and cook on high for 3 - 4 hours or on low for 7 - 8 hours.


Serve and, if you like, top each serving with cheese and/or sour cream. Mmmmmm!!!


MAKES 7 SERVINGS

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Time to get unwrapped

Many thanks to sweet co-worker MaryBeth for the delightful picture you see here.

She sent it to me last week saying I could use it on my blog, so it immediately got me thinking about Mexican food.

Mmm. Mexican.

While there’s not much I won’t eat (obviously), Mexican ranks among my true loves.

So, I refuse to completely give it up. By making smarter choices, I don’t have to.

I was telling my husband I really want to go with co-workers when they go to a nearby authentic Mexican restaurant, but I’ve been hesitant in these early weeks of weight loss.

Just get the fajitas, he said. I know to skip the obvious things like cheese and sour cream.

“Don’t eat the wraps,” he said.

Really? How bad can a tortilla wrap be for you?

O.M.G.

Take the wraps at Qdoba alone. (If you don’t have a Qdoba, just assume that any Mexican restaurant’s wraps are about the same.)

Just the wrap: 330 calories! I was stunned.

So now when I go there, I get the “naked” burrito (no wrap). Still yummy.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit what I was eating at Taco Bell, but here goes.

You know that $5 Volcano Box that Taco Bell uses fatty Charles Barkley to advertise? Yeah, that one.

Hey, I told you I’ve eaten like a grown man my whole life.

Anyway, it breaks down to this:

Volcano Taco: 240 calories
Volcano Burrito: 800 calories
Crunchy Taco: 170 calories
Cinnamon Twists: 170 calories

Total: 1,380 calories!

I was eating almost a day’s worth of calories at lunch alone! Luckily, I drink diet colas, but add a regular soft drink to that meal, and it’s 1,500 calories or so! Yikes.

Now, when I have a craving for Taco Bell, I get this:

2 Fresco Tacos: 300 calories
Rice: 130 calories

Total: 430 calories

I actually prefer the Fresco Tacos with the fresh-style salsa anyway.

So, that’s that. I’ve walked 1.8 miles, done a lesson on tacos, and I’m off to start my Wednesday.

Take that, Charles Barkley.

Time to get unwrapped

Many thanks to sweet co-worker MaryBeth for the delightful picture you see here.

She sent it to me last week saying I could use it on my blog, so it immediately got me thinking about Mexican food.

Mmm. Mexican.

While there’s not much I won’t eat (obviously), Mexican ranks among my true loves.

So, I refuse to completely give it up. By making smarter choices, I don’t have to.

I was telling my husband I really want to go with co-workers when they go to a nearby authentic Mexican restaurant, but I’ve been hesitant in these early weeks of weight loss.

Just get the fajitas, he said. I know to skip the obvious things like cheese and sour cream.

“Don’t eat the wraps,” he said.

Really? How bad can a tortilla wrap be for you?

O.M.G.

Take the wraps at Qdoba alone. (If you don’t have a Qdoba, just assume that any Mexican restaurant’s wraps are about the same.)

Just the wrap: 330 calories! I was stunned.

So now when I go there, I get the “naked” burrito (no wrap). Still yummy.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit what I was eating at Taco Bell, but here goes.

You know that $5 Volcano Box that Taco Bell uses fatty Charles Barkley to advertise? Yeah, that one.

Hey, I told you I’ve eaten like a grown man my whole life.

Anyway, it breaks down to this:

Volcano Taco: 240 calories
Volcano Burrito: 800 calories
Crunchy Taco: 170 calories
Cinnamon Twists: 170 calories

Total: 1,380 calories!

I was eating almost a day’s worth of calories at lunch alone! Luckily, I drink diet colas, but add a regular soft drink to that meal, and it’s 1,500 calories or so! Yikes.

Now, when I have a craving for Taco Bell, I get this:

2 Fresco Tacos: 300 calories
Rice: 130 calories

Total: 430 calories

I actually prefer the Fresco Tacos with the fresh-style salsa anyway.

So, that’s that. I’ve walked 1.8 miles, done a lesson on tacos, and I’m off to start my Wednesday.

Take that, Charles Barkley.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It takes two

They say that behind every great man is a great woman.

For me, the opposite is true.

And while I don’t know how great I am, I’m certain that I couldn’t be doing any of this without the support of my husband.

A few of you have told me that you can’t find the time to exercise, plan all the meals, etc.

You’ll find no judgment here.

I know that if my husband wasn’t picking up much of the slack, I’d never make it all work.

He gets our son ready in the mornings so that all I have to do is get up, get on the treadmill and then get myself ready for work. He has him in his coat and ready for me to take to daycare.

He was all for it when I told him I was going to start Zumba classes a few nights a week, meaning even more of the responsibility would fall to him.

I’ve learned that sometimes, taking care of yourself has to be a very selfish thing.

You have to carve out chunks of your day that are strictly for you. For many of us, that is a foreign concept.

My hope is that this time I’m taking for myself will be given back to me and my family twofold in the quality of years I’m securing by getting healthy.

And I couldn’t do a bit of that alone.

Thank you, sweetheart. I love you.

It takes two

They say that behind every great man is a great woman.

For me, the opposite is true.

And while I don’t know how great I am, I’m certain that I couldn’t be doing any of this without the support of my husband.

A few of you have told me that you can’t find the time to exercise, plan all the meals, etc.

You’ll find no judgment here.

I know that if my husband wasn’t picking up much of the slack, I’d never make it all work.

He gets our son ready in the mornings so that all I have to do is get up, get on the treadmill and then get myself ready for work. He has him in his coat and ready for me to take to daycare.

He was all for it when I told him I was going to start Zumba classes a few nights a week, meaning even more of the responsibility would fall to him.

I’ve learned that sometimes, taking care of yourself has to be a very selfish thing.

You have to carve out chunks of your day that are strictly for you. For many of us, that is a foreign concept.

My hope is that this time I’m taking for myself will be given back to me and my family twofold in the quality of years I’m securing by getting healthy.

And I couldn’t do a bit of that alone.

Thank you, sweetheart. I love you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

That’s one long bridge

I just knocked out another 1.8 miles on the treadmill.

Good thing, too: I’m officially in training!

Over the weekend, Christi, a childhood friend from Kentucky, wrote to ask me about the walk on my “Bucket List” that I wrote about several blogs ago.

Turns out, she wants to travel here that day to help me check the Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk off my list!

Now, this walk certainly is no race. You aren’t even allowed to run if you sign up to do the walk part, which is what we’ll do.

But it is the entire span of the Mackinac Bridge, which is 5 miles. And right now, 5 miles seems like a marathon to me.

I have until Sept. 6 to work up to it. I’ll do it.

Heck, even a few weeks ago, getting on the treadmill and knocking out 1.8 miles before work seemed impossible.

But I’m doing it.

And yes, I weighed this morning: 2 more pounds gone.

So far, I’ll be carrying 8 fewer pounds when I get to that bridge.

How about you?

That’s one long bridge

I just knocked out another 1.8 miles on the treadmill.

Good thing, too: I’m officially in training!

Over the weekend, Christi, a childhood friend from Kentucky, wrote to ask me about the walk on my “Bucket List” that I wrote about several blogs ago.

Turns out, she wants to travel here that day to help me check the Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk off my list!

Now, this walk certainly is no race. You aren’t even allowed to run if you sign up to do the walk part, which is what we’ll do.

But it is the entire span of the Mackinac Bridge, which is 5 miles. And right now, 5 miles seems like a marathon to me.

I have until Sept. 6 to work up to it. I’ll do it.

Heck, even a few weeks ago, getting on the treadmill and knocking out 1.8 miles before work seemed impossible.

But I’m doing it.

And yes, I weighed this morning: 2 more pounds gone.

So far, I’ll be carrying 8 fewer pounds when I get to that bridge.

How about you?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

You’re killing me, Zumba Man

Oh, for the love of all that is good and holy: I’m pooped.

I just returned from Saturday Zumba.

Saturday Zumba is quite different from Wednesday Zumba and Friday Zumba.

Here’s a look at my random thoughts as it all went down:

11:30 a.m.: Oh look, a different teacher today. A Zumba Man.

11:40 a.m.: Hey, wait. This is not how Zumba Lady does it.

11:48 a.m.: Jumping? There’s jumping? My god, how many years has it been since I’ve even jumped?

11:59 a.m.: I may actually die today. I wonder if anyone has ever died in here.

12:07 p.m.: How many people will it take to pick my body up if I do actually die in here. Maybe they’d just leave me here and implode me like that whale I saw that one time.

12:20 p.m. Man, that whale implosion is a funny video. I bet the people who read my blog would like to see it.

12:25 p.m.: Oh, look. We’re done.

So, that’s that. Week 3 is in the books, and it looked like this: treadmill 5 days, exercise class 3 days.

I think it’s a pretty good workout schedule that I hope to maintain.

Sunday is my day off from exercising and blogging. My bones are tired, so I’m gonna enjoy it.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and check back Monday after Weigh-In #3 to see if my near-death Zumba experience has been worth it.

You’re killing me, Zumba Man

Oh, for the love of all that is good and holy: I’m pooped.

I just returned from Saturday Zumba.

Saturday Zumba is quite different from Wednesday Zumba and Friday Zumba.

Here’s a look at my random thoughts as it all went down:

11:30 a.m.: Oh look, a different teacher today. A Zumba Man.

11:40 a.m.: Hey, wait. This is not how Zumba Lady does it.

11:48 a.m.: Jumping? There’s jumping? My god, how many years has it been since I’ve even jumped?

11:59 a.m.: I may actually die today. I wonder if anyone has ever died in here.

12:07 p.m.: How many people will it take to pick my body up if I do actually die in here. Maybe they’d just leave me here and implode me like that whale I saw that one time.

12:20 p.m. Man, that whale implosion is a funny video. I bet the people who read my blog would like to see it.

12:25 p.m.: Oh, look. We’re done.

So, that’s that. Week 3 is in the books, and it looked like this: treadmill 5 days, exercise class 3 days.

I think it’s a pretty good workout schedule that I hope to maintain.

Sunday is my day off from exercising and blogging. My bones are tired, so I’m gonna enjoy it.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and check back Monday after Weigh-In #3 to see if my near-death Zumba experience has been worth it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I’m out of the Witness Protection Program

Happy, happy Friday!

I’m still sweating from my 1.7 miles on the treadmill, but I like it.

If you had told me I’d feel this good after only three weeks of exercising, I’d have called you insane.

But somehow, with each painful step, I’m building not only endurance, but self-confidence.

Tonight, I’ll go back to the gym for Zumba. That, in itself, is a huge step.

Back when I lost 90 pounds several years ago, I went to this same gym, though then it was in a different location.

A few years and several pounds after that, I started back, and then promptly quit.

A few years and even more pounds after that, my husband and I started the gym’s eight-week Body Challenge, in which a group of people diet and exercise for a chance at prizes.

I think we lasted about two weeks.

We were Body Challenge Dropouts.

Oh, the shame.

From that point forward, we’ve been in the Witness Protection Program.

To make it worse, I now run into Gary, the owner of the gym, many mornings when I’m dropping off my son at daycare.

We’ve made eye contact a few times, and he always has that hey-don’t-I-know-you look on his face.

I mean, I look sort of the same, yet shockingly different if he ever figures out who I am.

Kinda like I’m me, but in a fat suit.

Biting the bullet and walking back in that gym after my sign-up-and-quit record actually took a lot of courage that even weeks ago, I wouldn’t have had.

So, here’s to my courage and to your courage. I’m hearing lots of great reports every day as many of you make great strides yourselves.

Now someone get me out of this fat suit …

I’m out of the Witness Protection Program

Happy, happy Friday!

I’m still sweating from my 1.7 miles on the treadmill, but I like it.

If you had told me I’d feel this good after only three weeks of exercising, I’d have called you insane.

But somehow, with each painful step, I’m building not only endurance, but self-confidence.

Tonight, I’ll go back to the gym for Zumba. That, in itself, is a huge step.

Back when I lost 90 pounds several years ago, I went to this same gym, though then it was in a different location.

A few years and several pounds after that, I started back, and then promptly quit.

A few years and even more pounds after that, my husband and I started the gym’s eight-week Body Challenge, in which a group of people diet and exercise for a chance at prizes.

I think we lasted about two weeks.

We were Body Challenge Dropouts.

Oh, the shame.

From that point forward, we’ve been in the Witness Protection Program.

To make it worse, I now run into Gary, the owner of the gym, many mornings when I’m dropping off my son at daycare.

We’ve made eye contact a few times, and he always has that hey-don’t-I-know-you look on his face.

I mean, I look sort of the same, yet shockingly different if he ever figures out who I am.

Kinda like I’m me, but in a fat suit.

Biting the bullet and walking back in that gym after my sign-up-and-quit record actually took a lot of courage that even weeks ago, I wouldn’t have had.

So, here’s to my courage and to your courage. I’m hearing lots of great reports every day as many of you make great strides yourselves.

Now someone get me out of this fat suit …

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oh, I’m shakin’ it

Hey, look who’s eating the black bean brownies!

That’s right. He LOVES them.

I won’t tell him what’s in ‘em if you don’t.

So guess what I started last night: Zumba!

Aren’t you glad I posted a picture of my cutie eating a brownie instead of my fat rump sweating to Salsa music?

Trust me. It’s better this way. There was nothing pretty about it.

But, man, was it fun!

What is Zumba, you ask? Here’s the description on the Web site of the gym I joined (again):

“The Zumba® program fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program that will blow you away. Our goal is simple: We want you to want to work out, to love working out, to get hooked. Zumba® Fanatics achieve long-term benefits while experiencing an absolute blast in one exciting hour of calorie-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements meant to engage and captivate for life!”

I’m sure my movements were awe-inspiring, but probably not for the right reasons.

But hey, I took a big step last night. I exercised in public. And all in all, it didn’t suck too much.

There were all shapes and sizes in the class last night, which put me at ease immediately. Many people knew how to laugh at themselves. We’re kindred spirits.

One thing I realized is I don’t have a lot of decent workout clothes suitable for public. But my McLean County Cougars T-shirt (shout out, Cougars!) and sweat pants got me by.

Everyone was welcoming and happy to spin me in the right direction when they saw me about to bump into them.

So, I’m kicking it up a notch and adding some fitness classes to my routine. I’m still gonna get up daily and walk the treadmill (1.7 miles this morning!), but I think this will help me blast even more calories.

And heck, it might just make me a better dancer.

I can’t wait to try out my “awe-inspiring movements” on a dance floor near you.

Oh, I’m shakin’ it

Hey, look who’s eating the black bean brownies!

That’s right. He LOVES them.

I won’t tell him what’s in ‘em if you don’t.

So guess what I started last night: Zumba!

Aren’t you glad I posted a picture of my cutie eating a brownie instead of my fat rump sweating to Salsa music?

Trust me. It’s better this way. There was nothing pretty about it.

But, man, was it fun!

What is Zumba, you ask? Here’s the description on the Web site of the gym I joined (again):

“The Zumba® program fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program that will blow you away. Our goal is simple: We want you to want to work out, to love working out, to get hooked. Zumba® Fanatics achieve long-term benefits while experiencing an absolute blast in one exciting hour of calorie-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements meant to engage and captivate for life!”

I’m sure my movements were awe-inspiring, but probably not for the right reasons.

But hey, I took a big step last night. I exercised in public. And all in all, it didn’t suck too much.

There were all shapes and sizes in the class last night, which put me at ease immediately. Many people knew how to laugh at themselves. We’re kindred spirits.

One thing I realized is I don’t have a lot of decent workout clothes suitable for public. But my McLean County Cougars T-shirt (shout out, Cougars!) and sweat pants got me by.

Everyone was welcoming and happy to spin me in the right direction when they saw me about to bump into them.

So, I’m kicking it up a notch and adding some fitness classes to my routine. I’m still gonna get up daily and walk the treadmill (1.7 miles this morning!), but I think this will help me blast even more calories.

And heck, it might just make me a better dancer.

I can’t wait to try out my “awe-inspiring movements” on a dance floor near you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bean there, done that


Due to technical difficulties (stupid Internet), I had to post this blog from work. I know you were worried. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Just when you thought people couldn’t get any stupider, you read stories like this.

A New Jersey mom is on a quest to become the world’s fattest woman.

She is consuming like 12,000 calories a day and moving as little as possible to achieve this feat.

She weighs about 600 pounds but hopes to double that in two years.

I’m all for having goals, but come on.

The part that sickened me (even more than the fact that she makes money from men who pay to watch her eat fast food -- no lie) is that she is a mom. She says “chasing” her young daughter around burns more calories than she would like.

Hey, whatever she wants to do to herself, that’s fine.

But I suspect that poor little girl is gonna be heartbroken in a matter of a few years when her mom is dead all because she was an idiot.

Ah, well. Let’s talk about beans.

Beans, beans, good for your heart … but not so great in brownies.

On Sunday, my husband baked brownies made out of black beans (pictured).

They were, umm, interesting.

For taste, I’d give them a B-, but for texture I’d give them a D.

No matter how many ways I tried to trick myself, I couldn’t ignore the fact that it felt like I was eating really chocolaty beans.

On the plus side, it’s the first time brownies have ever lasted three days in our house.

If you so desire, here’s the recipe:

(From the Kitchen of Rocco DiSpirito)


Ingredients


Nonstick cooking spray
1½ cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon espresso powder
¾ cup egg substitute
2 tablespoons low-calorie sugar-free chocolate syrup, such as Walden Farms
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream, such as Breakstone's
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
24 packets (84 g) Truvia or 8 tablespoons granulated Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×8-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.


Combine the beans, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and egg substitute in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl halfway through.


Add the chocolate syrup, sour cream, butter, Truvia, and vanilla. Process until all of the ingredients are combined, about 1 minute.


Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, turning the dish halfway through the baking time. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out with soft batter clinging to it.


Let the brownies cool completely in the baking dish on a wire rack. Then cut into 12 squares and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.


NOW YOU CAN EAT THIS!


Before, After


Fat 70g, 1.6g


Calories 1500, 53


Protein: 4g
Carbohydrates: 8g
Cholesterol: 4mg


Fiber: 3g
Sodium: 94mg

Bean there, done that


Due to technical difficulties (stupid Internet), I had to post this blog from work. I know you were worried. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Just when you thought people couldn’t get any stupider, you read stories like this.

A New Jersey mom is on a quest to become the world’s fattest woman.

She is consuming like 12,000 calories a day and moving as little as possible to achieve this feat.

She weighs about 600 pounds but hopes to double that in two years.

I’m all for having goals, but come on.

The part that sickened me (even more than the fact that she makes money from men who pay to watch her eat fast food -- no lie) is that she is a mom. She says “chasing” her young daughter around burns more calories than she would like.

Hey, whatever she wants to do to herself, that’s fine.

But I suspect that poor little girl is gonna be heartbroken in a matter of a few years when her mom is dead all because she was an idiot.

Ah, well. Let’s talk about beans.

Beans, beans, good for your heart … but not so great in brownies.

On Sunday, my husband baked brownies made out of black beans (pictured).

They were, umm, interesting.

For taste, I’d give them a B-, but for texture I’d give them a D.

No matter how many ways I tried to trick myself, I couldn’t ignore the fact that it felt like I was eating really chocolaty beans.

On the plus side, it’s the first time brownies have ever lasted three days in our house.

If you so desire, here’s the recipe:

(From the Kitchen of Rocco DiSpirito)


Ingredients


Nonstick cooking spray
1½ cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon espresso powder
¾ cup egg substitute
2 tablespoons low-calorie sugar-free chocolate syrup, such as Walden Farms
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream, such as Breakstone's
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
24 packets (84 g) Truvia or 8 tablespoons granulated Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×8-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.


Combine the beans, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and egg substitute in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl halfway through.


Add the chocolate syrup, sour cream, butter, Truvia, and vanilla. Process until all of the ingredients are combined, about 1 minute.


Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, turning the dish halfway through the baking time. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out with soft batter clinging to it.


Let the brownies cool completely in the baking dish on a wire rack. Then cut into 12 squares and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.


NOW YOU CAN EAT THIS!


Before, After


Fat 70g, 1.6g


Calories 1500, 53


Protein: 4g
Carbohydrates: 8g
Cholesterol: 4mg


Fiber: 3g
Sodium: 94mg

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I nipped the buds


If I’ve heard one universal message since I started this journey, it’s this:

Exercising sucks.

I’ve never been a big fan, myself. Oh, I was always active as a kid/teen. I played basketball and softball from sixth through 12th grades, and I could always be coaxed outside for a neighborhood game of Hide ‘N’ Seek.

But I was having fun. I was running somewhere, not just hitting a monotonous stride on a treadmill.

Maybe that’s Lesson No. 1: Have fun.

I’d love to find a Zumba class here in the Saginaw area, because that sounds like a lot of fun. I’ve done aerobic kickboxing in the past, and that is great, too.

But for now, it’s trudging to the treadmill at 5-ish a.m., and that’s not much fun.

Still, it’s a necessity.

So I look to music to make it suck less. I previously shared with you what’s currently on my iPod to get my butt moving. Today I’ll share the rest of the suggestions that came when I requested them via Facebook. Lots of great ideas.

One change I have made is I’m no longer using the ear buds. I swear my fat ears kept squeezing them out while I was walking.

Oh, you laugh, but I’m the same girl who has had socks fit too tight and whose fat head has caused headbands to pop off and shoot across the room.

I’m fat where you don’t even know there’s fat. But I digress.

I’ve changed to an iPod docking station with speakers (pictured), and that’s working much better. Luckily, the treadmill room is on the opposite end of the house from my baby’s room, so my early morning jam sessions are still unbeknownst to him.

There are other clever ways to make exercising tolerable.

My boss told me that her sister would tape “General Hospital” during the day, and then watch it while she walked the treadmill at night.

My grandma told me about a lady she read about in a magazine who would buy books on CD (now you can get them right on your iPod … how convenient!) and would allow herself to listen to them only when she was walking.

She would get so eager to find out what happened next in the book that she found herself walking all the time just to listen to it.

What tips do you have to help get us moving?

As promised, here is the lengthy list of others’ iPod suggestions. Rock on …

Roll Me Away, Bob Seger
Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen
Up Around the Bend, Creedence Clearwater Revival
When Love Comes to Town, U2 and B.B. King
Wind it Up, Gwen Stefani
O Saya or Jai Ho, Slumdog soundtrack
Crazy in Love, Beyonce
Dancing with Myself, Billy Idol
Right Round, Flo Rida
Barracuda, Heart
Jump Around, House of Pain
Let it Rock, Kevin Rudolf/Lil Wayne
Human & When You Were Young, The Killers
Funkytown, Lipps Inc.
Grace Kelly, MIKA
Promiscuous, Nelly Furtado/Timbaland
It’s My Life, No Doubt
Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Queen
Higher Ground, RHCP
Las de la Intution and Whenever, Wherever, Shakira
Major Tom, Shiny Toy Guns
Wolf Like Me, TV on the Radio
Summer of ’69, Bryan Adams
Walkin’ on Sunshine, Katrina and the Waves
Sir Duke, Stevie Wonder
Danger Zone, Kenny Loggins
Another One Bites the Dust, Queen
Kickstart My Heart, Motley Crue
Getting’ Better, Tesla
She Works Hard for the Money
You’re the Best Around, Karate Kid soundtrack
Push It to the Limit, Scarface soundtrack
Umbrella and Shut Up and Drive, Rhianna
Give It Up, Etta James and Steve Winwood
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), The Proclaimers
That’ll Be the Day, Buddy Holly
Up in Here, DMX
Cupid Shuffle, Cupid
I Want You to Want Me, Cheap Trick
Black or White, Michael Jackson
Country Grammer, Nelly
Hollaback Girl, Gwen Stefani
Shook Me All Night, AC/DC
Lump and Peaches, Presidents of the United States of America
Ballroom Blitz, Sweet
Rock Lobster, B-52s
Rebel Yell, Billy Idol
Dude Looks Like a Lady, Aerosmith
Home, Marc Broussard
Superstitious, Stevie Wonder
Mercy, Duffy
The “Rocky” theme song
I’m a Loser, I’m Down and I’m Only Sleeping, The Beatles
Jump, Van Halen
Mony, Mony, Tommy James & The Shondells
At the Hop, Danny & The Juniors
The Twist, Chubby Checker
The Bunny Hop, Ray Anthony
The Chicken Dance, Bob Kames
The Hokey Pokey, Ray Anthony
Shout, Isley Brothers
Rock This Town, Stray Cats
Land of 1000 Dances, Wilson Pickett
Joy To The World, Three Dog Night
Born to Be Wild, Steppenwolf
Kicks, Paul Revere and the Raiders
YMCA, Village People
Fame
Two Princes, Spin Doctors
Rock N Roll All Night, KISS
Back in the USSR, Happy Birthday and Lady Madonna, The Beatles
Too Legit to Quit, MC Hammer
Hey Mama, Black Eyed Peas
Bad Girlfriend, Theory of a Deadman
Sirius, Alan Parsons Project
Remember the Name, Fort Minor
Can’t Be Touched, Roy Jones Jr.
Eye of the Tiger, Survivor
Battle Without Honor or Humanity, Kill Bill Vol. 1 soundtrack
Soldier, Eminem
Welcome to the Jungle, Guns and Roses

I nipped the buds


If I’ve heard one universal message since I started this journey, it’s this:

Exercising sucks.

I’ve never been a big fan, myself. Oh, I was always active as a kid/teen. I played basketball and softball from sixth through 12th grades, and I could always be coaxed outside for a neighborhood game of Hide ‘N’ Seek.

But I was having fun. I was running somewhere, not just hitting a monotonous stride on a treadmill.

Maybe that’s Lesson No. 1: Have fun.

I’d love to find a Zumba class here in the Saginaw area, because that sounds like a lot of fun. I’ve done aerobic kickboxing in the past, and that is great, too.

But for now, it’s trudging to the treadmill at 5-ish a.m., and that’s not much fun.

Still, it’s a necessity.

So I look to music to make it suck less. I previously shared with you what’s currently on my iPod to get my butt moving. Today I’ll share the rest of the suggestions that came when I requested them via Facebook. Lots of great ideas.

One change I have made is I’m no longer using the ear buds. I swear my fat ears kept squeezing them out while I was walking.

Oh, you laugh, but I’m the same girl who has had socks fit too tight and whose fat head has caused headbands to pop off and shoot across the room.

I’m fat where you don’t even know there’s fat. But I digress.

I’ve changed to an iPod docking station with speakers (pictured), and that’s working much better. Luckily, the treadmill room is on the opposite end of the house from my baby’s room, so my early morning jam sessions are still unbeknownst to him.

There are other clever ways to make exercising tolerable.

My boss told me that her sister would tape “General Hospital” during the day, and then watch it while she walked the treadmill at night.

My grandma told me about a lady she read about in a magazine who would buy books on CD (now you can get them right on your iPod … how convenient!) and would allow herself to listen to them only when she was walking.

She would get so eager to find out what happened next in the book that she found herself walking all the time just to listen to it.

What tips do you have to help get us moving?

As promised, here is the lengthy list of others’ iPod suggestions. Rock on …

Roll Me Away, Bob Seger
Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen
Up Around the Bend, Creedence Clearwater Revival
When Love Comes to Town, U2 and B.B. King
Wind it Up, Gwen Stefani
O Saya or Jai Ho, Slumdog soundtrack
Crazy in Love, Beyonce
Dancing with Myself, Billy Idol
Right Round, Flo Rida
Barracuda, Heart
Jump Around, House of Pain
Let it Rock, Kevin Rudolf/Lil Wayne
Human & When You Were Young, The Killers
Funkytown, Lipps Inc.
Grace Kelly, MIKA
Promiscuous, Nelly Furtado/Timbaland
It’s My Life, No Doubt
Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Queen
Higher Ground, RHCP
Las de la Intution and Whenever, Wherever, Shakira
Major Tom, Shiny Toy Guns
Wolf Like Me, TV on the Radio
Summer of ’69, Bryan Adams
Walkin’ on Sunshine, Katrina and the Waves
Sir Duke, Stevie Wonder
Danger Zone, Kenny Loggins
Another One Bites the Dust, Queen
Kickstart My Heart, Motley Crue
Getting’ Better, Tesla
She Works Hard for the Money
You’re the Best Around, Karate Kid soundtrack
Push It to the Limit, Scarface soundtrack
Umbrella and Shut Up and Drive, Rhianna
Give It Up, Etta James and Steve Winwood
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), The Proclaimers
That’ll Be the Day, Buddy Holly
Up in Here, DMX
Cupid Shuffle, Cupid
I Want You to Want Me, Cheap Trick
Black or White, Michael Jackson
Country Grammer, Nelly
Hollaback Girl, Gwen Stefani
Shook Me All Night, AC/DC
Lump and Peaches, Presidents of the United States of America
Ballroom Blitz, Sweet
Rock Lobster, B-52s
Rebel Yell, Billy Idol
Dude Looks Like a Lady, Aerosmith
Home, Marc Broussard
Superstitious, Stevie Wonder
Mercy, Duffy
The “Rocky” theme song
I’m a Loser, I’m Down and I’m Only Sleeping, The Beatles
Jump, Van Halen
Mony, Mony, Tommy James & The Shondells
At the Hop, Danny & The Juniors
The Twist, Chubby Checker
The Bunny Hop, Ray Anthony
The Chicken Dance, Bob Kames
The Hokey Pokey, Ray Anthony
Shout, Isley Brothers
Rock This Town, Stray Cats
Land of 1000 Dances, Wilson Pickett
Joy To The World, Three Dog Night
Born to Be Wild, Steppenwolf
Kicks, Paul Revere and the Raiders
YMCA, Village People
Fame
Two Princes, Spin Doctors
Rock N Roll All Night, KISS
Back in the USSR, Happy Birthday and Lady Madonna, The Beatles
Too Legit to Quit, MC Hammer
Hey Mama, Black Eyed Peas
Bad Girlfriend, Theory of a Deadman
Sirius, Alan Parsons Project
Remember the Name, Fort Minor
Can’t Be Touched, Roy Jones Jr.
Eye of the Tiger, Survivor
Battle Without Honor or Humanity, Kill Bill Vol. 1 soundtrack
Soldier, Eminem
Welcome to the Jungle, Guns and Roses

Monday, March 15, 2010

Results and a recipe

I’m doing the happy dance.

I stepped on the scales for my second official weigh-in this morning, and I’m down 3 more pounds.

That’s 6 pounds in two weeks!

I am fighting hard for every single pound, but I knew this wouldn’t be easy.

I just got off the treadmill for another 1.65 miles in 30 minutes, so it’s time to get ready and seize another day.

I leave you with a recipe for Greek Chicken Pita Pizza (pictured). It’s my original.

It makes two mini pizzas. And yes, I eat both.

Greek Chicken Pita Pizza
1 whole wheat pita
1 small can of chicken
A dab of Greek dressing
Low-fat mozzarella cheese
Thinly sliced tomatoes
Thinly sliced red onion
Black olives
Reduced-fat feta cheese


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut pita into two rounds. Mix chicken and a little bit of Greek dressing. Split mixture into half, and put one-half on each pita round. Throw on some mozzarella, and then layer the tomatoes, red onion and black olives on top. Sprinkle with feta and bake 6 minutes.

I have no idea what the nutritional information is. I just know it’s not all that bad for you, and – more importantly – it’s delicious.

You can save even more calories if you skip the chicken.

Enjoy!

Results and a recipe

I’m doing the happy dance.

I stepped on the scales for my second official weigh-in this morning, and I’m down 3 more pounds.

That’s 6 pounds in two weeks!

I am fighting hard for every single pound, but I knew this wouldn’t be easy.

I just got off the treadmill for another 1.65 miles in 30 minutes, so it’s time to get ready and seize another day.

I leave you with a recipe for Greek Chicken Pita Pizza (pictured). It’s my original.

It makes two mini pizzas. And yes, I eat both.

Greek Chicken Pita Pizza
1 whole wheat pita
1 small can of chicken
A dab of Greek dressing
Low-fat mozzarella cheese
Thinly sliced tomatoes
Thinly sliced red onion
Black olives
Reduced-fat feta cheese


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut pita into two rounds. Mix chicken and a little bit of Greek dressing. Split mixture into half, and put one-half on each pita round. Throw on some mozzarella, and then layer the tomatoes, red onion and black olives on top. Sprinkle with feta and bake 6 minutes.

I have no idea what the nutritional information is. I just know it’s not all that bad for you, and – more importantly – it’s delicious.

You can save even more calories if you skip the chicken.

Enjoy!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Be choosy

Today I’m thinking a lot about choices.

Isn’t that what weight loss – or even life – really boils down to?

Something that has stuck in my mind was a conversation my husband had a few months ago with a co-worker.

They were talking about the workout program P90X, and my husband said, “I’m going to try to start again tomorrow.”

“Try? There’s no try,” the co-worker replied. “You either do it or you don’t.”

I know what he meant all too well.

I think that’s why quitting smoking was easier for me than losing weight: You either smoke or you don’t. That’s really the only choice there is with that.

Oh, I’m not saying it was easy. I had smoked a pack-and-a-half a day for about 13 years.

So when I quit, I cried almost nonstop for the first two weeks, and it was at least a year before I got to where I didn’t think about a cigarette every day.

But you either smoke or you don’t. It’s that simple.

Living healthy is more complicated.

The working out, while not pleasurable or pain-free for me yet, is a do-or-don’t choice. Luckily I’ve been choosing to “do” consistently. (I got in 30 minutes for 1.6 miles this morning on the treadmill.)

Eating the right things is harder. You can’t choose to eat or not eat. (Well, unless you wanna die.)

Each and every time you eat, you must decide what you are putting in your mouth. And sometimes – many times – the healthiest choice isn’t the most delicious.

But I’m trying. I’m succeeding. One day at a time.

Yesterday at work, there was birthday cake. I chose not to eat it.

(To my co-workers: I promise I’ll have a piece on my birthday in a few weeks. I’m not a weirdo; I’m just not sure I can stop at a sensible portion quite yet.)

Last night, I picked up my son, and we went for a date at McDonald’s. I chose to order him apples as his Happy Meal side, and milk instead of a sugary soft drink.

And for me, I chose two Grilled Chicken Snack Wraps with no dressing.

I’m not saying I’ll always make the right choices, but I sure am trying.

I want a long life full of more dates with my cute boy at McDonald’s.

(Sunday is my day off from exercising and blogging. Check back Monday to see if I’m doing a happy dance or if I’ve thrown my scales out the window after my second weigh-in.)

Be choosy

Today I’m thinking a lot about choices.

Isn’t that what weight loss – or even life – really boils down to?

Something that has stuck in my mind was a conversation my husband had a few months ago with a co-worker.

They were talking about the workout program P90X, and my husband said, “I’m going to try to start again tomorrow.”

“Try? There’s no try,” the co-worker replied. “You either do it or you don’t.”

I know what he meant all too well.

I think that’s why quitting smoking was easier for me than losing weight: You either smoke or you don’t. That’s really the only choice there is with that.

Oh, I’m not saying it was easy. I had smoked a pack-and-a-half a day for about 13 years.

So when I quit, I cried almost nonstop for the first two weeks, and it was at least a year before I got to where I didn’t think about a cigarette every day.

But you either smoke or you don’t. It’s that simple.

Living healthy is more complicated.

The working out, while not pleasurable or pain-free for me yet, is a do-or-don’t choice. Luckily I’ve been choosing to “do” consistently. (I got in 30 minutes for 1.6 miles this morning on the treadmill.)

Eating the right things is harder. You can’t choose to eat or not eat. (Well, unless you wanna die.)

Each and every time you eat, you must decide what you are putting in your mouth. And sometimes – many times – the healthiest choice isn’t the most delicious.

But I’m trying. I’m succeeding. One day at a time.

Yesterday at work, there was birthday cake. I chose not to eat it.

(To my co-workers: I promise I’ll have a piece on my birthday in a few weeks. I’m not a weirdo; I’m just not sure I can stop at a sensible portion quite yet.)

Last night, I picked up my son, and we went for a date at McDonald’s. I chose to order him apples as his Happy Meal side, and milk instead of a sugary soft drink.

And for me, I chose two Grilled Chicken Snack Wraps with no dressing.

I’m not saying I’ll always make the right choices, but I sure am trying.

I want a long life full of more dates with my cute boy at McDonald’s.

(Sunday is my day off from exercising and blogging. Check back Monday to see if I’m doing a happy dance or if I’ve thrown my scales out the window after my second weigh-in.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Need more inspiration?

This is Aunt Barb.

Actually, she’s my great aunt, but my mom has always called her Aunt Barb, so she’s Aunt Barb.

She’s a loyal reader of this blog, frequent commenter on my Facebook, and she’s one heck of an inspiration.

Aunt Barb has always been a hot tamale, both in her looks and her spicy, sassy attitude.

I can remember my granddad telling my mom she was just like Aunt Barb a lot growing up. Mom would always say, “Thank you!”

Heck, I would, too.

Yesterday on Facebook, Aunt Barb posted that she had just gotten in from walking 2 miles.

She is 73.

It’s inspirations like her that I took with me on my 30-minute walk around the neighborhood after work last night, and on my 25-minute walk on the treadmill this morning.

When Aunt Barb found out I was embarking on this quest to get healthy, she said, “You show the world what Wilsons can do when we put our minds to it!”

Aunt Barb, whether she knows it or not, has set an amazing example for her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids.

What kind of example will you be?

Need more inspiration?

This is Aunt Barb.

Actually, she’s my great aunt, but my mom has always called her Aunt Barb, so she’s Aunt Barb.

She’s a loyal reader of this blog, frequent commenter on my Facebook, and she’s one heck of an inspiration.

Aunt Barb has always been a hot tamale, both in her looks and her spicy, sassy attitude.

I can remember my granddad telling my mom she was just like Aunt Barb a lot growing up. Mom would always say, “Thank you!”

Heck, I would, too.

Yesterday on Facebook, Aunt Barb posted that she had just gotten in from walking 2 miles.

She is 73.

It’s inspirations like her that I took with me on my 30-minute walk around the neighborhood after work last night, and on my 25-minute walk on the treadmill this morning.

When Aunt Barb found out I was embarking on this quest to get healthy, she said, “You show the world what Wilsons can do when we put our minds to it!”

Aunt Barb, whether she knows it or not, has set an amazing example for her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids.

What kind of example will you be?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I’m no hero


My friend is burying her father today.

That’s the thought that finally got me out of bed and on the treadmill this morning.

I had hit the snooze button from 4:55-5:20 a.m., thinking of every excuse in the world not to get up today.

And then I remembered: One of my closest friends since childhood is burying her dad today. He was 61.

Another friend from high school is waking up every morning to the fact that her 6-month-old daughter is battling cancer. That’s sweet baby Emmalee in the picture.

Though Emmalee’s mom and I were never extremely close in school, I’ve watched in amazement as she has faced this situation with a faith and strength that I’ve never personally known.

It’s thoughts like that that get me out of bed and on the treadmill in the morning.

Thoughts of true inspirations. Those who would give anything to have their biggest challenge be that they stayed up too late watching “American Idol” and really don’t want to get up and work out.

I’ve been called an inspiration because I’m sharing my weight loss battle publicly, but I try to keep it all in perspective.

I’ve felt your prayers, and I’ve heard your encouragement.

Today, please lift up in prayer those with far greater battles than mine.

I’m no hero


My friend is burying her father today.

That’s the thought that finally got me out of bed and on the treadmill this morning.

I had hit the snooze button from 4:55-5:20 a.m., thinking of every excuse in the world not to get up today.

And then I remembered: One of my closest friends since childhood is burying her dad today. He was 61.

Another friend from high school is waking up every morning to the fact that her 6-month-old daughter is battling cancer. That’s sweet baby Emmalee in the picture.

Though Emmalee’s mom and I were never extremely close in school, I’ve watched in amazement as she has faced this situation with a faith and strength that I’ve never personally known.

It’s thoughts like that that get me out of bed and on the treadmill in the morning.

Thoughts of true inspirations. Those who would give anything to have their biggest challenge be that they stayed up too late watching “American Idol” and really don’t want to get up and work out.

I’ve been called an inspiration because I’m sharing my weight loss battle publicly, but I try to keep it all in perspective.

I’ve felt your prayers, and I’ve heard your encouragement.

Today, please lift up in prayer those with far greater battles than mine.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I’ve got a lot to do

So, let’s talk about last night.

I rushed to pick up my son after work because the weather was so beautiful that – get this! – I actually wanted to take him for a walk outside.

I got him home, fed him and then strapped him into his stroller, and away we went.

I was amazed at how content he was, just looking around the neighborhood as we strolled past. Everything is so new to him.

It got me thinking about all the new things I still want to experience.

A few years ago, I started my “Bucket List.” I know it was a few years ago because it was in an old version of Word on my computer, and it is titled, “Things to Do Before I Die.”

“Bucket List” wasn’t a common term yet.

Basically, I wrote the list and put it away. Most of the things I can’t do at the size I am anyway. I knew that when I was writing it.

But how stupid is that? Do other people have some right to a wonderful life that I must bypass because I’m too lazy to change my circumstances?

I want that sense of wonder that I see in my son’s eyes. And I’m finally taking the steps necessary to strip away all the excuses I’ve given myself for not living this life to its full potential (got in 25 minutes on the treadmill this morning).

Life can be pretty dang good if we don’t spend all our time dreading it.

Here’s my bucket list. What’s on yours?

1. Skydive

2. Climb the sand dunes in northern Michigan

3. Walk in a cranberry bog

4. Visit California

5. Visit the White House

6. Visit Hawaii

7. Drive across the USA

8. Hang glide

9. Hike the Grand Canyon

10. Visit Europe

11. Hot-air balloon ride

12. Scuba dive

13. Go whitewater rafting again

14. Bungee jump

15. Run the Crim 10-mile race in Flint

16. Take helicopter ride

17. Do the Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk

18. Go to Bonnaroo

19. Go to Kentucky Derby

20. Learn to speak Spanish

21. Golf lessons

22. Wear a bikini in public

23. Drive a race car

24. Take a cake decorating class

25. See a Broadway play

26. Try caviar

27. Do a tornado chasers outing

28. Visit the Statue of Liberty

29. Ride a mechanical bull

30. Kiss in the rain

I’ve got a lot to do

So, let’s talk about last night.

I rushed to pick up my son after work because the weather was so beautiful that – get this! – I actually wanted to take him for a walk outside.

I got him home, fed him and then strapped him into his stroller, and away we went.

I was amazed at how content he was, just looking around the neighborhood as we strolled past. Everything is so new to him.

It got me thinking about all the new things I still want to experience.

A few years ago, I started my “Bucket List.” I know it was a few years ago because it was in an old version of Word on my computer, and it is titled, “Things to Do Before I Die.”

“Bucket List” wasn’t a common term yet.

Basically, I wrote the list and put it away. Most of the things I can’t do at the size I am anyway. I knew that when I was writing it.

But how stupid is that? Do other people have some right to a wonderful life that I must bypass because I’m too lazy to change my circumstances?

I want that sense of wonder that I see in my son’s eyes. And I’m finally taking the steps necessary to strip away all the excuses I’ve given myself for not living this life to its full potential (got in 25 minutes on the treadmill this morning).

Life can be pretty dang good if we don’t spend all our time dreading it.

Here’s my bucket list. What’s on yours?

1. Skydive

2. Climb the sand dunes in northern Michigan

3. Walk in a cranberry bog

4. Visit California

5. Visit the White House

6. Visit Hawaii

7. Drive across the USA

8. Hang glide

9. Hike the Grand Canyon

10. Visit Europe

11. Hot-air balloon ride

12. Scuba dive

13. Go whitewater rafting again

14. Bungee jump

15. Run the Crim 10-mile race in Flint

16. Take helicopter ride

17. Do the Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk

18. Go to Bonnaroo

19. Go to Kentucky Derby

20. Learn to speak Spanish

21. Golf lessons

22. Wear a bikini in public

23. Drive a race car

24. Take a cake decorating class

25. See a Broadway play

26. Try caviar

27. Do a tornado chasers outing

28. Visit the Statue of Liberty

29. Ride a mechanical bull

30. Kiss in the rain