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

-- Paula Poundstone

Friday, April 30, 2010

Bitten ears and ice cream cones

Editor’s note: Violence is not condoned. Usually.

Whew. We made it through another week.

I had to laugh when I read this article about a Nebraska woman who allegedly beat the poop out of a man after he shouted an insult at her.

The first version of this story I read yesterday said it was an insult about her weight, though that reference has since been removed.

The story says she “allegedly ran half a block, tackled the man and bit off a chunk of his right ear.”

Now, I don’t know how fat you can be and still accomplish running half a block to tackle someone, but I do understand being this angry.

My senior year of college, I got into a fist fight with a dude who just randomly shouted “Fat Ass!” at me at like 3 a.m. outside a Denny’s.

Yes, really. You can’t make this stuff up.

Ah, well. That’s a story for another time. Plus, my mom reads this blog now.

I’ll just leave it at the fact that I haven’t always been the genteel Southern Belle I am now.

So let’s end this week on a positive: ice cream.

Did you know McDonald’s soft-serve vanilla is low-fat? One cone is only 150 calories!

Another good option there is the Fruit and Yogurt Parfait. Without the granola, it’s 130 calories, and with it, it’s 160.

So, I say have the ice cream.

Do it this weekend, and tell ‘em that bruiser Misty sent you.

See you Monday.

Bitten ears and ice cream cones

Editor’s note: Violence is not condoned. Usually.

Whew. We made it through another week.

I had to laugh when I read this article about a Nebraska woman who allegedly beat the poop out of a man after he shouted an insult at her.

The first version of this story I read yesterday said it was an insult about her weight, though that reference has since been removed.

The story says she “allegedly ran half a block, tackled the man and bit off a chunk of his right ear.”

Now, I don’t know how fat you can be and still accomplish running half a block to tackle someone, but I do understand being this angry.

My senior year of college, I got into a fist fight with a dude who just randomly shouted “Fat Ass!” at me at like 3 a.m. outside a Denny’s.

Yes, really. You can’t make this stuff up.

Ah, well. That’s a story for another time. Plus, my mom reads this blog now.

I’ll just leave it at the fact that I haven’t always been the genteel Southern Belle I am now.

So let’s end this week on a positive: ice cream.

Did you know McDonald’s soft-serve vanilla is low-fat? One cone is only 150 calories!

Another good option there is the Fruit and Yogurt Parfait. Without the granola, it’s 130 calories, and with it, it’s 160.

So, I say have the ice cream.

Do it this weekend, and tell ‘em that bruiser Misty sent you.

See you Monday.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sweat to sweet

Just one more day ‘til Friday.

That’s no huge revelation, nor is it particularly productive to wish away your life. But it’s the thought that got my rump out of bed and onto the treadmill this morning.

I. Am. Pooped.

As your home “Misty Is Losing It” score cards should indicate, I switched to Body Sculpt on Wednesday nights.

But after class, I was there and I was already sweaty, so I thought, “What the heck.”

I stayed for Zumba class, too.

Needless to say, by the end of the two hours, I was soaking wet and dragging.

I don’t know. I may do it again.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe from loyal reader Shauna that we tried a couple of nights ago: sweet and sour chicken on the grill!

It’s basically just throwing a bunch of stuff together and slapping it on the grill. Easy is good.

She didn’t really indicate measurements, so I’ll just tell you what we did. It was plenty for two with leftovers.

Sweet and Sour Chicken


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 each red, yellow and orange bell pepper
2 onions
1/2 fresh pineapple
1/8 c. sweet and sour sauce (per each pouch)


We chopped all that up and divided everything in two. Put each half of mixture into a tin foil pouch, add the sauce and throw onto grill.


We cooked it about 6 minutes, turned and cooked for 6, and turned and cooked for 6 more.

Enjoy!

Sweat to sweet

Just one more day ‘til Friday.

That’s no huge revelation, nor is it particularly productive to wish away your life. But it’s the thought that got my rump out of bed and onto the treadmill this morning.

I. Am. Pooped.

As your home “Misty Is Losing It” score cards should indicate, I switched to Body Sculpt on Wednesday nights.

But after class, I was there and I was already sweaty, so I thought, “What the heck.”

I stayed for Zumba class, too.

Needless to say, by the end of the two hours, I was soaking wet and dragging.

I don’t know. I may do it again.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe from loyal reader Shauna that we tried a couple of nights ago: sweet and sour chicken on the grill!

It’s basically just throwing a bunch of stuff together and slapping it on the grill. Easy is good.

She didn’t really indicate measurements, so I’ll just tell you what we did. It was plenty for two with leftovers.

Sweet and Sour Chicken


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 each red, yellow and orange bell pepper
2 onions
1/2 fresh pineapple
1/8 c. sweet and sour sauce (per each pouch)


We chopped all that up and divided everything in two. Put each half of mixture into a tin foil pouch, add the sauce and throw onto grill.


We cooked it about 6 minutes, turned and cooked for 6, and turned and cooked for 6 more.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

True desperation

Have you ever been truly desperate?

I have a few times in my life, and most were related to my weight.

So it broke my heart this past week when I heard that a childhood friend’s mom had died.

I’m unclear on the exact details, but I’m told that she had had a lap band procedure done a while back to lose weight, and her stomach recently ruptured.

Some people will never understand that level of desperation, to have a procedure done to your body to help you lose weight. But I do.

A few years ago, an acquaintance told the story of her mother, who was too big to feel she could lose her weight on her own, but still too small to qualify for bariatric surgery.

So she ate and ate until she gained enough weight for the surgery.

She later died.

Some people will never understand that level of desperation. But I do.

I’ve considered asking a doctor for bariatric surgery several times in the past few years, but I never got up the courage to do it.

Back in high school, I remember standing in my kitchen after getting up to use the bathroom at like 2 in the morning.

I just stood there, in the dark, debating with myself about whether I was going to eat a cookie.

I bet I stood there a good 10 minutes, tears streaming down my face.

I was embarrassed at the power something as stupid as a cookie could have over me. Humiliated that I couldn’t just say no and get back in the bed.

And I remember in grade school, hitting my knees in prayer for God to somehow allow my jaw to be broken so my mouth would be wired shut.

My god. I was just a child. Praying for a broken jaw.

Sometimes, we get so desperate that we hope we no longer have a choice, because we feel we always make the wrong ones.

Whether it’s food or drugs or alcohol or any other demon, there are many of us walking around constantly fighting a battle.

Fighting desperation.

You may not think anyone could ever understand what you’re going through.

But I do.

True desperation

Have you ever been truly desperate?

I have a few times in my life, and most were related to my weight.

So it broke my heart this past week when I heard that a childhood friend’s mom had died.

I’m unclear on the exact details, but I’m told that she had had a lap band procedure done a while back to lose weight, and her stomach recently ruptured.

Some people will never understand that level of desperation, to have a procedure done to your body to help you lose weight. But I do.

A few years ago, an acquaintance told the story of her mother, who was too big to feel she could lose her weight on her own, but still too small to qualify for bariatric surgery.

So she ate and ate until she gained enough weight for the surgery.

She later died.

Some people will never understand that level of desperation. But I do.

I’ve considered asking a doctor for bariatric surgery several times in the past few years, but I never got up the courage to do it.

Back in high school, I remember standing in my kitchen after getting up to use the bathroom at like 2 in the morning.

I just stood there, in the dark, debating with myself about whether I was going to eat a cookie.

I bet I stood there a good 10 minutes, tears streaming down my face.

I was embarrassed at the power something as stupid as a cookie could have over me. Humiliated that I couldn’t just say no and get back in the bed.

And I remember in grade school, hitting my knees in prayer for God to somehow allow my jaw to be broken so my mouth would be wired shut.

My god. I was just a child. Praying for a broken jaw.

Sometimes, we get so desperate that we hope we no longer have a choice, because we feel we always make the wrong ones.

Whether it’s food or drugs or alcohol or any other demon, there are many of us walking around constantly fighting a battle.

Fighting desperation.

You may not think anyone could ever understand what you’re going through.

But I do.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bubba Gump would be proud

How did Hungry Girl know I wanted to talk to you about shrimp?

I’ve been under the crustacean persuasion lately.

Crustacean persuasion. Good lord. It’s too early for such corniness.

Anyway, I love shrimp. Most especially shrimp cocktail.

I’ve gotten where I’ll load up on bags of frozen cooked cocktail shrimp when it’s on sale and have it as a side with my grilled chicken or whatever I’m having for dinner.

Just run it under water to thaw and serve with cocktail sauce (extra horseradish!), and voila! Pure goodness.

Shrimp this way have a ridiculously low calorie count of like 11 each.

But beware. Prepare shrimp in a naughty way or pair it with naughty stuff, and it’s as bad for you as a deep-fried Twinkie.

Take Applebee’s Grilled Shrimp ‘N Spinach Salad. Sounds healthy enough, yes?

Check the stats: 1,060 calories. Yikes.

In today’s Bite It/Fight It feature from Hungry Girl, she talks about shrimp scampi.

The typical portion has more than 800 calories, she says, and the Cheesecake Factory’s has 1,195 calories.

So she offers up this recipe (and this photo) instead. Sounds pretty tasty, and half the recipe (I guess we’ve gotta share?) is only 238 calories.

Give it a try and tell me what you think. Enjoy!

Super Delicious Shrimp Scampi with Fettuccine


1 small lemon
2 packages House Foods Tofu Shirataki Fettuccine Shaped Noodle Substitute
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. chopped garlic
8 oz. raw shrimp, peeled, tails removed, deveined
1 plum tomato, chopped
2 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown)
2 tsp. reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
Optional: salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, chopped parsley



Directions:
Cut lemon in half, and squeeze the juice from one half into a small dish; remove any seeds, and set aside. Cut the other half into wedges, and set those aside as well.


Use a strainer to rinse and drain shirataki noodles well. Pat dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave for 1 minute. Drain excess liquid. Dry as thoroughly as possible, using paper towels. Cut noodles up a bit, using kitchen shears if you've got 'em. Set aside.


Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray (butter flavored, if you've got it) to medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until softened, 2 - 3 minutes.


Add shrimp and tomato. Stirring occasionally, cook until shrimp are opaque, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and continue to cook and stir for 1 minute.


Raise heat to medium high, add shirataki noodles, and mix well. Continue to cook for 1 - 2 minutes, until entire dish is hot and shrimp are cooked through. Add butter and stir.


Plate (or bowl!) your scampi, and top each serving with 1 tsp. Parm-style topping. Garnish with lemon wedges and, if you like, season to taste with optional ingredients. Enjoy!


MAKES 2 SERVINGS


Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe (about 1 3/4 cups)
Calories: 238
Fat: 8.5g
Sodium: 329mg
Carbs: 14g

Fiber: 5g
Sugars: 2g
Protein: 26g
POINTS® value 5*

Bubba Gump would be proud

How did Hungry Girl know I wanted to talk to you about shrimp?

I’ve been under the crustacean persuasion lately.

Crustacean persuasion. Good lord. It’s too early for such corniness.

Anyway, I love shrimp. Most especially shrimp cocktail.

I’ve gotten where I’ll load up on bags of frozen cooked cocktail shrimp when it’s on sale and have it as a side with my grilled chicken or whatever I’m having for dinner.

Just run it under water to thaw and serve with cocktail sauce (extra horseradish!), and voila! Pure goodness.

Shrimp this way have a ridiculously low calorie count of like 11 each.

But beware. Prepare shrimp in a naughty way or pair it with naughty stuff, and it’s as bad for you as a deep-fried Twinkie.

Take Applebee’s Grilled Shrimp ‘N Spinach Salad. Sounds healthy enough, yes?

Check the stats: 1,060 calories. Yikes.

In today’s Bite It/Fight It feature from Hungry Girl, she talks about shrimp scampi.

The typical portion has more than 800 calories, she says, and the Cheesecake Factory’s has 1,195 calories.

So she offers up this recipe (and this photo) instead. Sounds pretty tasty, and half the recipe (I guess we’ve gotta share?) is only 238 calories.

Give it a try and tell me what you think. Enjoy!

Super Delicious Shrimp Scampi with Fettuccine


1 small lemon
2 packages House Foods Tofu Shirataki Fettuccine Shaped Noodle Substitute
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. chopped garlic
8 oz. raw shrimp, peeled, tails removed, deveined
1 plum tomato, chopped
2 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown)
2 tsp. reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
Optional: salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, chopped parsley



Directions:
Cut lemon in half, and squeeze the juice from one half into a small dish; remove any seeds, and set aside. Cut the other half into wedges, and set those aside as well.


Use a strainer to rinse and drain shirataki noodles well. Pat dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave for 1 minute. Drain excess liquid. Dry as thoroughly as possible, using paper towels. Cut noodles up a bit, using kitchen shears if you've got 'em. Set aside.


Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray (butter flavored, if you've got it) to medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until softened, 2 - 3 minutes.


Add shrimp and tomato. Stirring occasionally, cook until shrimp are opaque, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and continue to cook and stir for 1 minute.


Raise heat to medium high, add shirataki noodles, and mix well. Continue to cook for 1 - 2 minutes, until entire dish is hot and shrimp are cooked through. Add butter and stir.


Plate (or bowl!) your scampi, and top each serving with 1 tsp. Parm-style topping. Garnish with lemon wedges and, if you like, season to taste with optional ingredients. Enjoy!


MAKES 2 SERVINGS


Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe (about 1 3/4 cups)
Calories: 238
Fat: 8.5g
Sodium: 329mg
Carbs: 14g

Fiber: 5g
Sugars: 2g
Protein: 26g
POINTS® value 5*

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bit by bit

Welcome to another weigh-in day.

Eight weeks ago, on March 1, I started this adventure with the main goal of losing 100 pounds by Dec. 31.

Trust me, I need to lose way more than 100 pounds, but this is my particular goal for this particular time frame.

To achieve this, I would need to lose 2.3 pounds a week between March 1 and Dec. 31.

I’m happy to report that so far, I am ahead of schedule.

A loss of 2.3 pounds a week for eight weeks would be 18.4 pounds.

As of today, I’ve lost 25.

This past week was the hardest yet. In addition to the new routine, I also push-mowed our yard on Thursday after work. That alone was 2.5 hours of walking.

All together, it’s kicking my rump, but it’s worth it. And hey, I’m still even getting a break on the weekends.

Just keep moving and making smarter food choices. That’s what we’ve gotta do.

And take a look at that picture. Even my son has found a good use for the treadmill: chalkboard.

At least it’s not ink pen on the wall again.

Have a great week.

Bit by bit

Welcome to another weigh-in day.

Eight weeks ago, on March 1, I started this adventure with the main goal of losing 100 pounds by Dec. 31.

Trust me, I need to lose way more than 100 pounds, but this is my particular goal for this particular time frame.

To achieve this, I would need to lose 2.3 pounds a week between March 1 and Dec. 31.

I’m happy to report that so far, I am ahead of schedule.

A loss of 2.3 pounds a week for eight weeks would be 18.4 pounds.

As of today, I’ve lost 25.

This past week was the hardest yet. In addition to the new routine, I also push-mowed our yard on Thursday after work. That alone was 2.5 hours of walking.

All together, it’s kicking my rump, but it’s worth it. And hey, I’m still even getting a break on the weekends.

Just keep moving and making smarter food choices. That’s what we’ve gotta do.

And take a look at that picture. Even my son has found a good use for the treadmill: chalkboard.

At least it’s not ink pen on the wall again.

Have a great week.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sweet 16

Tomorrow, I’m scrapbooking as part of National Scrapbook Day.

It’s the 16th year for this holy national holiday, so we’re told to bring a picture from when we were 16.

I can’t find that many (odd, considering it was just a couple of years ago), but I did find this basketball picture, which was published in the McLean County News, my hometown newspaper.

(Try to get past the hideous shorts and poofed hair.)

I’d hoped to find a picture of me in my Lady Cobras softball uniform. The Lady Cobras was a travel team I played on that year.

We made it all the way to nationals, which were held in luxurious and fascinating Enid, Okla.

Ah, the summer I was 16.

It was the best summer of my life, another odd statement, considering I had just been diagnosed with a pituitary adenoma (small brain tumor).

But that didn’t slow me down.

I had my driver’s license. I had my best friend. I had cute boys calling.

Most of all, that summer I was the strongest I’ve ever been.

(Seriously. Stop staring at the hair.)

I was constantly working out between the travel team and my hometown team. (Go Island softball! I know some of you read this. Woot woot!).

I felt good. I felt strong. I felt invincible.

Now, I know I’ll never feel 16 again, but I’ve gotta tell you: I’m starting to feel good again.

Who says our best days have to be behind us?

Have a great weekend, and go out and create your own happiness.

Check back Monday. I’ll be here.

Sweet 16

Tomorrow, I’m scrapbooking as part of National Scrapbook Day.

It’s the 16th year for this holy national holiday, so we’re told to bring a picture from when we were 16.

I can’t find that many (odd, considering it was just a couple of years ago), but I did find this basketball picture, which was published in the McLean County News, my hometown newspaper.

(Try to get past the hideous shorts and poofed hair.)

I’d hoped to find a picture of me in my Lady Cobras softball uniform. The Lady Cobras was a travel team I played on that year.

We made it all the way to nationals, which were held in luxurious and fascinating Enid, Okla.

Ah, the summer I was 16.

It was the best summer of my life, another odd statement, considering I had just been diagnosed with a pituitary adenoma (small brain tumor).

But that didn’t slow me down.

I had my driver’s license. I had my best friend. I had cute boys calling.

Most of all, that summer I was the strongest I’ve ever been.

(Seriously. Stop staring at the hair.)

I was constantly working out between the travel team and my hometown team. (Go Island softball! I know some of you read this. Woot woot!).

I felt good. I felt strong. I felt invincible.

Now, I know I’ll never feel 16 again, but I’ve gotta tell you: I’m starting to feel good again.

Who says our best days have to be behind us?

Have a great weekend, and go out and create your own happiness.

Check back Monday. I’ll be here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

And now, I’m sculpting

I need muscles.

I know these things, but sometimes it takes a little reminder.

I was at a birthday party over the weekend, and while talking to an acquaintance, I discovered she is teaching Body Sculpt classes at Seung-Ni in Midland, a sister gym to mine in Saginaw.

I had taken a few Body Sculpt classes during our shameful Body Challenge run before the Big Dropout, but I guess I didn’t think I was ready to actually add weights to my mix of workouts this time yet.

“You’ve gotta build some muscles so they burn the fat even when you’re sitting still,” she reminded me.

I know, I know.

Muscles boost your metabolism, too. Lord knows I need a better metabolism.

So last night I added Body Sculpt classes to my mix.

According to the Seung-Ni Web site, Body Sculpt “is a non-impact, resistance training program that uses dumbbells to burn fat and sculpt the body into lean, ripped muscles. All the major muscle groups are worked in sequence in weight-bearing exercises including squats, presses, lift and curls.”

It’s kind of amazing – and embarrassing – how some teeny tiny weights can make your arms shake like mine did last night, but even the slightest weight feels heavy when you’re nearing the 100th rep.

Anyway, for those of you following along at home, the new routine is this: 2 miles on the treadmill five mornings a week, kickboxing on Mondays, Body Sculpt on Wednesdays, and Zumba on Fridays.

Hey, it’s gotta be done if I’m ever gonna find my mythical “lean, ripped muscles.”

And now, I’m sculpting

I need muscles.

I know these things, but sometimes it takes a little reminder.

I was at a birthday party over the weekend, and while talking to an acquaintance, I discovered she is teaching Body Sculpt classes at Seung-Ni in Midland, a sister gym to mine in Saginaw.

I had taken a few Body Sculpt classes during our shameful Body Challenge run before the Big Dropout, but I guess I didn’t think I was ready to actually add weights to my mix of workouts this time yet.

“You’ve gotta build some muscles so they burn the fat even when you’re sitting still,” she reminded me.

I know, I know.

Muscles boost your metabolism, too. Lord knows I need a better metabolism.

So last night I added Body Sculpt classes to my mix.

According to the Seung-Ni Web site, Body Sculpt “is a non-impact, resistance training program that uses dumbbells to burn fat and sculpt the body into lean, ripped muscles. All the major muscle groups are worked in sequence in weight-bearing exercises including squats, presses, lift and curls.”

It’s kind of amazing – and embarrassing – how some teeny tiny weights can make your arms shake like mine did last night, but even the slightest weight feels heavy when you’re nearing the 100th rep.

Anyway, for those of you following along at home, the new routine is this: 2 miles on the treadmill five mornings a week, kickboxing on Mondays, Body Sculpt on Wednesdays, and Zumba on Fridays.

Hey, it’s gotta be done if I’m ever gonna find my mythical “lean, ripped muscles.”

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

At the root of it all

I’m an oak tree.

That’s what I keep thinking after reading a childhood friend’s Facebook status last week.

He had been working all day to remove an old oak tree from the ground with his truck.

“Just had an epiphany,” he wrote. “Sin is like an oak tree. It is easily removed when it first sprouts, however, if allowed to grow and take root, it takes a TON of work and sometimes a Big Red Truck to get it out.”

While I can certainly relate to and apply the analogy of sin in my own life, I just think of how true that statement is, and how far-reaching it can be.

It certainly applies to my weight.

Had I just buckled down and gotten things under control when I first started gaining weight 6.5 years ago – when it first “sprouted” – it would’ve been a heck of a lot easier to conquer.

Instead, I gained 140 pounds.

On Sunday, I had been cleaning our house for hours when I looked around and realized that it didn’t look like I had done a thing.

“My house is an oak tree,” I thought.

There are so many areas of our lives where oak trees can take root.

Maybe it’s even at work, or conflict in our personal relationships.

The point is, we have to tackle these things as they come. Don’t let them take root.

And for our most deep-rooted woes, there is still hope. Nothing is impossible.

Is it time to grab the ax?

At the root of it all

I’m an oak tree.

That’s what I keep thinking after reading a childhood friend’s Facebook status last week.

He had been working all day to remove an old oak tree from the ground with his truck.

“Just had an epiphany,” he wrote. “Sin is like an oak tree. It is easily removed when it first sprouts, however, if allowed to grow and take root, it takes a TON of work and sometimes a Big Red Truck to get it out.”

While I can certainly relate to and apply the analogy of sin in my own life, I just think of how true that statement is, and how far-reaching it can be.

It certainly applies to my weight.

Had I just buckled down and gotten things under control when I first started gaining weight 6.5 years ago – when it first “sprouted” – it would’ve been a heck of a lot easier to conquer.

Instead, I gained 140 pounds.

On Sunday, I had been cleaning our house for hours when I looked around and realized that it didn’t look like I had done a thing.

“My house is an oak tree,” I thought.

There are so many areas of our lives where oak trees can take root.

Maybe it’s even at work, or conflict in our personal relationships.

The point is, we have to tackle these things as they come. Don’t let them take root.

And for our most deep-rooted woes, there is still hope. Nothing is impossible.

Is it time to grab the ax?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A salute to the General

Ever try to eat healthy but crave Chinese food?

It bites.

I love a good Chinese buffet, but trying to find something healthy among the deep-fried goodness is difficult.

Probably my favorite is General Tso’s Chicken, but it’s a no-no if you’re trying to lose weight.

So last week we tried this “(Almost) General Tso’s Chicken” recipe out of Rocco Dispirito’s “Now Eat This” cookbook.

It didn’t taste a thing like General Tso’s Chicken, but it did help tame my cravings for Chinese for a while.

My husband blames the weird twang we tasted on the fact that we had “seasoned” rice vinegar. So don’t do that.

I’ll give you the recipe. You’re on your own for a fortune cookie. Enjoy!

“(Almost) General Tso’s Chicken”
Rocco Dispirito
Serves 4

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups whole-wheat panko crumbs
4 large egg whites
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-inch cubes)
4 cups broccoli florets
3/4 cup Rockin' Asian Stir-Fry sauce (recipe to follow)
3 packets Truvia or Splenda
3 tablespoons rice vinegar (not flavored!)
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce

2 tablespoons sesame seeds


1. Preheat oven to 450. Place a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet and set aside.
2. Put the flour in a shallow dish. Put the panko in another shallow dish. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites with a whisk until they are extremely foamy but not quite holding peaks. Working in batches, dredge the chicken in flour, shaking off any excess. Add the chicken to the egg whites and toss to coat completely. Then add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, to the panko and toss to coat completely.
3. Spread the chicken out on the wire rack. Bake until the breading is golden and crispy and the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, place the broccoli florets in a microwave-safe dish, and cover it with plastic wrap. Cook on high until tender, about 4 minutes. Keep the broccoli covered until ready to serve.
5. In a large bowl, combine the Rockin' Asian Stir-Fry sauce, Truvia, rice vinegar and chili garlic sauce. Add the cooked chicken to the bowl, and toss gently until the chicken is evenly coated with the sauce.
6. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the chicken, and serve with the steamed broccoli.

Before: 40.6 g fat, 843 calories
After: 5.6 g fat, 310 calories

Rockin' Asian Stir Fry Sauce
Makes 1 3/4 cups (28 servings)

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bunch scallions (white and green parts), chopped fine
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup reduced sugar ketchup (Heinz)
Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the sesame oil. Add the ginger, garlic and scallions, and sauté, stirring often, until very fragrant, about 2 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, place the cornstarch in a medium bowl. Add the soy sauce, chicken broth, rice vinegar and ketchup, and whisk to blend.
3. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauté pan and bring the sauce to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
4. Store the sauce in a covered container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

A salute to the General

Ever try to eat healthy but crave Chinese food?

It bites.

I love a good Chinese buffet, but trying to find something healthy among the deep-fried goodness is difficult.

Probably my favorite is General Tso’s Chicken, but it’s a no-no if you’re trying to lose weight.

So last week we tried this “(Almost) General Tso’s Chicken” recipe out of Rocco Dispirito’s “Now Eat This” cookbook.

It didn’t taste a thing like General Tso’s Chicken, but it did help tame my cravings for Chinese for a while.

My husband blames the weird twang we tasted on the fact that we had “seasoned” rice vinegar. So don’t do that.

I’ll give you the recipe. You’re on your own for a fortune cookie. Enjoy!

“(Almost) General Tso’s Chicken”
Rocco Dispirito
Serves 4

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups whole-wheat panko crumbs
4 large egg whites
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-inch cubes)
4 cups broccoli florets
3/4 cup Rockin' Asian Stir-Fry sauce (recipe to follow)
3 packets Truvia or Splenda
3 tablespoons rice vinegar (not flavored!)
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce

2 tablespoons sesame seeds


1. Preheat oven to 450. Place a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet and set aside.
2. Put the flour in a shallow dish. Put the panko in another shallow dish. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites with a whisk until they are extremely foamy but not quite holding peaks. Working in batches, dredge the chicken in flour, shaking off any excess. Add the chicken to the egg whites and toss to coat completely. Then add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, to the panko and toss to coat completely.
3. Spread the chicken out on the wire rack. Bake until the breading is golden and crispy and the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, place the broccoli florets in a microwave-safe dish, and cover it with plastic wrap. Cook on high until tender, about 4 minutes. Keep the broccoli covered until ready to serve.
5. In a large bowl, combine the Rockin' Asian Stir-Fry sauce, Truvia, rice vinegar and chili garlic sauce. Add the cooked chicken to the bowl, and toss gently until the chicken is evenly coated with the sauce.
6. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the chicken, and serve with the steamed broccoli.

Before: 40.6 g fat, 843 calories
After: 5.6 g fat, 310 calories

Rockin' Asian Stir Fry Sauce
Makes 1 3/4 cups (28 servings)

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bunch scallions (white and green parts), chopped fine
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup reduced sugar ketchup (Heinz)
Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the sesame oil. Add the ginger, garlic and scallions, and sauté, stirring often, until very fragrant, about 2 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, place the cornstarch in a medium bowl. Add the soy sauce, chicken broth, rice vinegar and ketchup, and whisk to blend.
3. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauté pan and bring the sauce to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
4. Store the sauce in a covered container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Monday, April 19, 2010

7 weeks down

Well, it’s time for another reward.

As I told you before, I want to reward myself for every 10 pounds I lose.

Today, I lost 2 more to hit 20 pounds.

When I asked for reward ideas in addition to mine, friends suggested: a manicure, going to have my hair washed professionally, highlights, having my house cleaned professionally, and new bras and panties.

All great ideas, though I’m not sure about the highlights. I’ve colored my hair since I was 13 or 14 years old, and only in the past couple of years have I actually been back to my natural color.

At least I think it’s my natural color.

One friend suggested I save up rewards and cash them in when I hit 100 pounds for a diamond.

That’s not a bad idea, either.

Once I find time in what has become an increasingly hectic schedule, I’ll take a moment to pamper myself.

For now, I’ve gotta keep moving. Tonight is kickboxing night.

The only thing I care about finding on kickboxing night – once I crawl out of the gym and into my car – is my way home and my bed.

Thanks for continuing to read this silly little blog, my friends. You are the ones who keep me going.

Have a great week.

7 weeks down

Well, it’s time for another reward.

As I told you before, I want to reward myself for every 10 pounds I lose.

Today, I lost 2 more to hit 20 pounds.

When I asked for reward ideas in addition to mine, friends suggested: a manicure, going to have my hair washed professionally, highlights, having my house cleaned professionally, and new bras and panties.

All great ideas, though I’m not sure about the highlights. I’ve colored my hair since I was 13 or 14 years old, and only in the past couple of years have I actually been back to my natural color.

At least I think it’s my natural color.

One friend suggested I save up rewards and cash them in when I hit 100 pounds for a diamond.

That’s not a bad idea, either.

Once I find time in what has become an increasingly hectic schedule, I’ll take a moment to pamper myself.

For now, I’ve gotta keep moving. Tonight is kickboxing night.

The only thing I care about finding on kickboxing night – once I crawl out of the gym and into my car – is my way home and my bed.

Thanks for continuing to read this silly little blog, my friends. You are the ones who keep me going.

Have a great week.

Friday, April 16, 2010

And now, a lesson from Elmo

Elmo is a pretty big deal in our house.

Our 18-month-old walks around saying his name 40-50 times a day.

Heck, our laptop computer is broken right now because he thinks it’s The Elmo Machine.

We showed him a few Elmo videos on the laptop, so he got to where he’d pick it up and “carry” it across the room to us, shouting “Elmo! Elmo!” and dropping it a few times along the way.

Now if we want to see the screen, we have to hook the laptop to our T.V.

Anyway, Elmo DVDs and VHS tapes are filling the void while The Elmo Machine is broken.

One I watched recently (and again and again and …) was “Elmo Saves Christmas.”

After Elmo helps save Christmas for all little boys and girls, Santa grants him three wishes. One of his wishes is that every day is Christmas.

Sounds great, right? Wrong.

Christmas every day causes all kinds of problems. The carolers go hoarse from singing all the time, a nice Sesame Street couple goes broke and has to start selling crack because their family business isn’t open on Christmas, etc.

I might have embellished part of that.

Probably the biggest problem of Christmas every day is that it just isn’t special anymore.

It really got me thinking (damn you, Elmo).

What is special?

We live in a world of instant gratification these days. We don’t have to wait for anything.

We’re constantly connected to anyone and everyone via our mobile phones. The Internet has all the answers all the time.

So, what does this have to do with weight loss?

For some reason, “Elmo Saves Christmas” made me think about brownies.

Before we buckled down on our diet, we got to where we’d eat whatever we wanted whenever we wanted.

We were baking pans of brownies and eating them in two days. We’d do that a couple times a week.

I guess in some ways, I’ve had the mentality that if I can’t have what I want, when I want it, I’m deprived in some way.

But I’m realizing that what I was really doing is depriving myself of the life I really deserve: one that is active and healthy and, Lord willing, longer.

Isn’t that better than brownies?

So, I’m learning to make things special again.

Will I ever eat a brownie again? Yes. But not a whole pan, and not every week.

When it’s just one – and something you don’t get all the time – it really is more special. Just like Christmas.

Thanks, Elmo.

Check back Monday and see if I’m still feeling all special after my next weigh-in. See you then.

And now, a lesson from Elmo

Elmo is a pretty big deal in our house.

Our 18-month-old walks around saying his name 40-50 times a day.

Heck, our laptop computer is broken right now because he thinks it’s The Elmo Machine.

We showed him a few Elmo videos on the laptop, so he got to where he’d pick it up and “carry” it across the room to us, shouting “Elmo! Elmo!” and dropping it a few times along the way.

Now if we want to see the screen, we have to hook the laptop to our T.V.

Anyway, Elmo DVDs and VHS tapes are filling the void while The Elmo Machine is broken.

One I watched recently (and again and again and …) was “Elmo Saves Christmas.”

After Elmo helps save Christmas for all little boys and girls, Santa grants him three wishes. One of his wishes is that every day is Christmas.

Sounds great, right? Wrong.

Christmas every day causes all kinds of problems. The carolers go hoarse from singing all the time, a nice Sesame Street couple goes broke and has to start selling crack because their family business isn’t open on Christmas, etc.

I might have embellished part of that.

Probably the biggest problem of Christmas every day is that it just isn’t special anymore.

It really got me thinking (damn you, Elmo).

What is special?

We live in a world of instant gratification these days. We don’t have to wait for anything.

We’re constantly connected to anyone and everyone via our mobile phones. The Internet has all the answers all the time.

So, what does this have to do with weight loss?

For some reason, “Elmo Saves Christmas” made me think about brownies.

Before we buckled down on our diet, we got to where we’d eat whatever we wanted whenever we wanted.

We were baking pans of brownies and eating them in two days. We’d do that a couple times a week.

I guess in some ways, I’ve had the mentality that if I can’t have what I want, when I want it, I’m deprived in some way.

But I’m realizing that what I was really doing is depriving myself of the life I really deserve: one that is active and healthy and, Lord willing, longer.

Isn’t that better than brownies?

So, I’m learning to make things special again.

Will I ever eat a brownie again? Yes. But not a whole pan, and not every week.

When it’s just one – and something you don’t get all the time – it really is more special. Just like Christmas.

Thanks, Elmo.

Check back Monday and see if I’m still feeling all special after my next weigh-in. See you then.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Nice buns

I love bread.

Sandwich bread, cornbread, French loaf, dinner rolls, croissants …

Sorry. I just drooled on the keyboard.

Anyway, as I was saying: Bread is the devil.

In reducing my calories, one place I’ve really cut down is breads. Not that I want to, but I have to.

Think about this: A white bread slice generally runs you anywhere from 70-100 calories. That’s right, ONE SLICE.

So before you even put any meaty goodness on your sandwich, you’re already talking 140-200 calories just in bread.

And don’t get me started on wraps.

Wheat and whole-grain breads will offer better health benefits, but they’re usually still pretty high in calories (and carbs, for those of you watching those).

One thing we’ve found recently is Arnold Sandwich Thins. We get the 100% whole wheat, but I’ve heard the multigrain is tasty, too.

For the whole bun, top and bottom, it’s only 100 calories.

These things are delicious, and they’re a great size. They’re sturdy enough for your best sandwich creations, and they work well in the toaster.

I give ‘em an A+. Enjoy!

Nice buns

I love bread.

Sandwich bread, cornbread, French loaf, dinner rolls, croissants …

Sorry. I just drooled on the keyboard.

Anyway, as I was saying: Bread is the devil.

In reducing my calories, one place I’ve really cut down is breads. Not that I want to, but I have to.

Think about this: A white bread slice generally runs you anywhere from 70-100 calories. That’s right, ONE SLICE.

So before you even put any meaty goodness on your sandwich, you’re already talking 140-200 calories just in bread.

And don’t get me started on wraps.

Wheat and whole-grain breads will offer better health benefits, but they’re usually still pretty high in calories (and carbs, for those of you watching those).

One thing we’ve found recently is Arnold Sandwich Thins. We get the 100% whole wheat, but I’ve heard the multigrain is tasty, too.

For the whole bun, top and bottom, it’s only 100 calories.

These things are delicious, and they’re a great size. They’re sturdy enough for your best sandwich creations, and they work well in the toaster.

I give ‘em an A+. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Something has to click

A few recent conversations have me thinking about what motivates us to make real change in our lives.

Yesterday, a co-worker sat down in my office to tell me he’s proud of my weight loss and that he and his family have struggled with weight for years.

His college-age daughter is beautiful, witty, popular and obese, he says.

“Dad, I know all there is to know about nutrition,” she told him.

Still, for now, she hasn’t made a step toward a healthier life.

A recent note from a dear friend reads, “You would think that since I can barely walk because my knees hurt so badly that I would have more determination, but alas, it would seem I enjoy walking with a limp.”

And on Monday, I got a note from a Facebook friend.

“My daughter ballooned after her dad died (I think she was trying to BE him) and went from her wedding dress size of 8 up to 3X,” she wrote. “No one could talk to her about it, she called herself Jabba, and continued to wear her dad's clothes (shirts).”

Her daughter found the will inside to make the change, and there’s a happy ending:

“We just came back from visiting her, and while we were shopping I found that she's back in that size 8 again!”

So, what is the secret to success? What keeps some of us walking with hurt knees while others drop from size 20-something to size 8?

I think it’s different for all of us.

Forgive me for constantly referring to when I quit smoking four years ago, but it’s the one huge life change I’ve made successfully, so I fall to it when I look for something – anything – I’ve done right.

I had quit smoking once before that but picked it back up after two months.

When I made the change that stuck, I had the extra motivation of watching my grandfather die from lung cancer, and I was devastated. That’s him in the picture.

And, get this: He had been a smoker but had quit over 20 years before he got lung cancer.

Sobering.

Anyway, I just couldn’t imagine going to visit him in his last days and smelling like smoke as I gave him his final hugs.

As for weight loss, I’m certainly not counting anything as a “success” quite yet, but I do know that something clicked inside me, much the way it did when I quit smoking.

There became no “trying” but simply “doing.” I gave myself no choices.

I “woke up” after the worst year of my life to realize my life was, well, in the shitter.

After I lost my job at The Journal, I became severely depressed. My whole identity was stripped from me.

I honestly didn’t know who I was if it wasn’t what I “do.”

Plus, my Journal “family” – my only family in a 500-mile radius – was blown apart.

It was devastating.

It was also the first year of my son’s life, and while I’ll always be grateful for having that at home, it will also always be overshadowed by the depression.

Ah, I digress.

I’m back working, my son is happy and healthy, and I just finally emerged from the fog, I guess.

But I emerged even more gigantic than I had been.

So far, I’m on the right track, but it’s because it “clicked” again. It’s not poetic or earth-shattering, but that’s the only way I know to explain it.

What has clicked to help you make big changes?

Remember Aunt Barb? She found out yesterday that she has cancer. Please remember her in your prayers.

Something has to click

A few recent conversations have me thinking about what motivates us to make real change in our lives.

Yesterday, a co-worker sat down in my office to tell me he’s proud of my weight loss and that he and his family have struggled with weight for years.

His college-age daughter is beautiful, witty, popular and obese, he says.

“Dad, I know all there is to know about nutrition,” she told him.

Still, for now, she hasn’t made a step toward a healthier life.

A recent note from a dear friend reads, “You would think that since I can barely walk because my knees hurt so badly that I would have more determination, but alas, it would seem I enjoy walking with a limp.”

And on Monday, I got a note from a Facebook friend.

“My daughter ballooned after her dad died (I think she was trying to BE him) and went from her wedding dress size of 8 up to 3X,” she wrote. “No one could talk to her about it, she called herself Jabba, and continued to wear her dad's clothes (shirts).”

Her daughter found the will inside to make the change, and there’s a happy ending:

“We just came back from visiting her, and while we were shopping I found that she's back in that size 8 again!”

So, what is the secret to success? What keeps some of us walking with hurt knees while others drop from size 20-something to size 8?

I think it’s different for all of us.

Forgive me for constantly referring to when I quit smoking four years ago, but it’s the one huge life change I’ve made successfully, so I fall to it when I look for something – anything – I’ve done right.

I had quit smoking once before that but picked it back up after two months.

When I made the change that stuck, I had the extra motivation of watching my grandfather die from lung cancer, and I was devastated. That’s him in the picture.

And, get this: He had been a smoker but had quit over 20 years before he got lung cancer.

Sobering.

Anyway, I just couldn’t imagine going to visit him in his last days and smelling like smoke as I gave him his final hugs.

As for weight loss, I’m certainly not counting anything as a “success” quite yet, but I do know that something clicked inside me, much the way it did when I quit smoking.

There became no “trying” but simply “doing.” I gave myself no choices.

I “woke up” after the worst year of my life to realize my life was, well, in the shitter.

After I lost my job at The Journal, I became severely depressed. My whole identity was stripped from me.

I honestly didn’t know who I was if it wasn’t what I “do.”

Plus, my Journal “family” – my only family in a 500-mile radius – was blown apart.

It was devastating.

It was also the first year of my son’s life, and while I’ll always be grateful for having that at home, it will also always be overshadowed by the depression.

Ah, I digress.

I’m back working, my son is happy and healthy, and I just finally emerged from the fog, I guess.

But I emerged even more gigantic than I had been.

So far, I’m on the right track, but it’s because it “clicked” again. It’s not poetic or earth-shattering, but that’s the only way I know to explain it.

What has clicked to help you make big changes?

Remember Aunt Barb? She found out yesterday that she has cancer. Please remember her in your prayers.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Here’s a saucy little number

In the past few weeks, we’ve tried some recipes out of Rocco Dispirito’s cookbook “Now Eat This!” that have redeemed him from the black bean brownie debacle.

Rocco does a great job of coming up with recipes for foods that people crave, and the other night, I was craving hot wings.

I can throw down some wings, but it’s pretty depressing when you think that a serving can run you 1,200 calories or more.

So, we gave this recipe for Buffalo and Blue Chicken Tenders a shot. The recipe is Rocco’s, and the picture is mine.

One word of caution: My husband and I love spicy food, but these were borderline scorching, even for us. I’ll write the recipe as it appears in the book, but we’ll cut down on the Buffalo sauce next time. Enjoy!

Buffalo and Blue Chicken Tenders

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 ½ cups whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
4 large egg whites
12 ounces chicken tenders
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
½ cup Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce
Reduced-fat blue cheese dressing


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet, and set it aside.
2. Put the flour in a shallow dish. Put the panko in another shallow dish. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites with a whisk until they are extremely foamy but not quite holding peaks.
3. Working in batches, dredge the chicken tenders in the flour, shaking off any excess. Add the chicken to the egg whites and toss to coat them completely. Add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, to the bowl of panko and coat completely.
4. Spread out the chicken on the wire rack. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and spray it lightly with cooking spray. Bake the tenders until the breading is golden and crispy and the chicken is cooked through, about 14 minutes.
5. Using a pastry brush, brush the chicken fingers with the Buffalo sauce. Arrange the chicken fingers on a platter, and serve with the blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Serves 4

Before: Fat 132g, Calories 1,188

After: Fat 7.5 g, Calories 308

Here’s a saucy little number

In the past few weeks, we’ve tried some recipes out of Rocco Dispirito’s cookbook “Now Eat This!” that have redeemed him from the black bean brownie debacle.

Rocco does a great job of coming up with recipes for foods that people crave, and the other night, I was craving hot wings.

I can throw down some wings, but it’s pretty depressing when you think that a serving can run you 1,200 calories or more.

So, we gave this recipe for Buffalo and Blue Chicken Tenders a shot. The recipe is Rocco’s, and the picture is mine.

One word of caution: My husband and I love spicy food, but these were borderline scorching, even for us. I’ll write the recipe as it appears in the book, but we’ll cut down on the Buffalo sauce next time. Enjoy!

Buffalo and Blue Chicken Tenders

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 ½ cups whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
4 large egg whites
12 ounces chicken tenders
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
½ cup Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce
Reduced-fat blue cheese dressing


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet, and set it aside.
2. Put the flour in a shallow dish. Put the panko in another shallow dish. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites with a whisk until they are extremely foamy but not quite holding peaks.
3. Working in batches, dredge the chicken tenders in the flour, shaking off any excess. Add the chicken to the egg whites and toss to coat them completely. Add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, to the bowl of panko and coat completely.
4. Spread out the chicken on the wire rack. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and spray it lightly with cooking spray. Bake the tenders until the breading is golden and crispy and the chicken is cooked through, about 14 minutes.
5. Using a pastry brush, brush the chicken fingers with the Buffalo sauce. Arrange the chicken fingers on a platter, and serve with the blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Serves 4

Before: Fat 132g, Calories 1,188

After: Fat 7.5 g, Calories 308

Monday, April 12, 2010

Another week, another good number

Mondays scare the crap out of me. They always have the potential to make or break me.

I lie in bed thinking, “Time to get on the scale. What if I didn’t lose? Oh lord, what if I gained?”

Then I think of every single thing I’ve eaten in the past week, looking for a culprit in a sin not yet committed.

Finally, I trudge my way to the scale, vowing to let the number be a motivator whether I’ve lost, gained or stayed the same.

Luckily, once again, I lost … 4 pounds this time (18 total)!

If you’ll recall, my routine right now is 2 miles on the treadmill every morning before work, kickboxing on Monday nights, and Zumba on Wednesday and Friday nights.

I try to do something active at least one day on the weekend. On Saturday, that was taking my son for a walk at the park and his favorite part: the swings.

Seeing his face, his pure joy … it reminds me why I’m doing this. There’s just way too much life to be enjoyed.

And I don’t wanna miss one second of it.

Another week, another good number

Mondays scare the crap out of me. They always have the potential to make or break me.

I lie in bed thinking, “Time to get on the scale. What if I didn’t lose? Oh lord, what if I gained?”

Then I think of every single thing I’ve eaten in the past week, looking for a culprit in a sin not yet committed.

Finally, I trudge my way to the scale, vowing to let the number be a motivator whether I’ve lost, gained or stayed the same.

Luckily, once again, I lost … 4 pounds this time (18 total)!

If you’ll recall, my routine right now is 2 miles on the treadmill every morning before work, kickboxing on Monday nights, and Zumba on Wednesday and Friday nights.

I try to do something active at least one day on the weekend. On Saturday, that was taking my son for a walk at the park and his favorite part: the swings.

Seeing his face, his pure joy … it reminds me why I’m doing this. There’s just way too much life to be enjoyed.

And I don’t wanna miss one second of it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Join me in the Pound for Pound Challenge

Help feed the hungry by just continuing to do what I’m already doing? Count me in.

I was a pretty easy sell for former Flint Journal co-worker Tim Curry, who is now the development coordinator at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.

He contacted me last week to tell me about the Pound for Pound Challenge, a collaborative effort among NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and its major sponsors to help Feeding America deliver millions of pounds of groceries to local food banks across the country.

Participation is simple. You go to the Web site (linked above) and answer like five questions, one of which is how many pounds you pledge to lose.

The maximum pledge is 50 pounds, so that’s what I pledged. The program uses an honor system, Tim says.

For each pound you pledge, 14 cents will be donated to Feeding America, who then will send the money to your local food bank. Each pound pledged equates to a pound of food for the hungry, the Web site says.

Because of the ZIP Code I entered, my pledges will go to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, which distributes 20 million pounds of food to the hungry in 22 eastern Michigan counties, Tim said.

The help is most welcome.

“Unfortunately, the Food Bank is forced to expand because of necessity, so all monies that come in now are more important now than ever before,” he said.

Remember, though, it’s a nationwide program. You can help out in your community by simply entering your ZIP Code.

So, that’s that. Go to the Web site and pledge to lose some weight by answering a few questions.

It couldn’t be easier.

Get healthier and help the hungry. It’s a win-win.

I am cutting down my blogging to Monday through Friday, so this is my last one for the week. Check back Monday to see how weigh-in went. And, as always, I thank you for reading.

Join me in the Pound for Pound Challenge

Help feed the hungry by just continuing to do what I’m already doing? Count me in.

I was a pretty easy sell for former Flint Journal co-worker Tim Curry, who is now the development coordinator at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.

He contacted me last week to tell me about the Pound for Pound Challenge, a collaborative effort among NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and its major sponsors to help Feeding America deliver millions of pounds of groceries to local food banks across the country.

Participation is simple. You go to the Web site (linked above) and answer like five questions, one of which is how many pounds you pledge to lose.

The maximum pledge is 50 pounds, so that’s what I pledged. The program uses an honor system, Tim says.

For each pound you pledge, 14 cents will be donated to Feeding America, who then will send the money to your local food bank. Each pound pledged equates to a pound of food for the hungry, the Web site says.

Because of the ZIP Code I entered, my pledges will go to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, which distributes 20 million pounds of food to the hungry in 22 eastern Michigan counties, Tim said.

The help is most welcome.

“Unfortunately, the Food Bank is forced to expand because of necessity, so all monies that come in now are more important now than ever before,” he said.

Remember, though, it’s a nationwide program. You can help out in your community by simply entering your ZIP Code.

So, that’s that. Go to the Web site and pledge to lose some weight by answering a few questions.

It couldn’t be easier.

Get healthier and help the hungry. It’s a win-win.

I am cutting down my blogging to Monday through Friday, so this is my last one for the week. Check back Monday to see how weigh-in went. And, as always, I thank you for reading.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spare some change?

“To get something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.”

We’ve heard that so many times now that it almost sounds cliché, but have you ever really thought about it?

You have to change your norm. And change is damn hard. Change is scary. Change is unpredictable.

Change is inconvenient.

For me, change means the potential for failure, something I admittedly don’t deal with very well.

Back in college, my advisor asked if I thought I was a perfectionist. I chuckled and told her she should see my apartment.

Being a perfectionist had nothing to do with tidiness, she told me. Then she handed me a few pages to read about perfectionism.

I was floored. Everything on those pages described me perfectly (no pun intended).

Since then, I at least recognize why I behave the way I do, being a perfectionist, but I’m certainly not “cured.”

Perfectionism can be paralyzing.

In one of my first blogs, I mentioned that I had reserved this blog name a full year before I got up the courage to start trying to lose weight and write about it.

I didn’t want to do it until I thought I could do it right.

Sometimes perfectionism can be a good thing (it certainly always has helped me in my jobs), but often it is horrible.

I’ll be completely honest with you: I am terrified I’m not going to lose all the weight I need to lose.

Failure terrifies me.

Sure, Logical Misty chimes into my head and says that any weight loss is an improvement, that I’m getting healthier no matter how long it takes me, blah, blah, blah.

I try to breathe deeply and tell myself neat little quotes like “All experts started out as beginners,” “one step at a time,” etc.

But I’m all about honesty on this blog, and I hope that my honesty with my battles not only against my weight but against perfectionism can help those of you reading.

Now, not everyone who gives up trying to lose weight, quit smoking, whatever after a few days is a perfectionist. Sometimes, it’s just because change is hard.

I literally Googled “why is change so hard?” and this article popped up.

It talks about mindset, group support, procrastination, unrealistic goals and (eek!) baby steps.

Baby steps. The perfectionist’s nightmare. We tend to be all-or-nothing folks.

Sigh. Being trapped in my head is exhausting most days.

I have issues.

Ah well, I’m not perfect. Just a perfectionist.

Think perfectionism is holding you back? Check out this article for info.

Spare some change?

“To get something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.”

We’ve heard that so many times now that it almost sounds cliché, but have you ever really thought about it?

You have to change your norm. And change is damn hard. Change is scary. Change is unpredictable.

Change is inconvenient.

For me, change means the potential for failure, something I admittedly don’t deal with very well.

Back in college, my advisor asked if I thought I was a perfectionist. I chuckled and told her she should see my apartment.

Being a perfectionist had nothing to do with tidiness, she told me. Then she handed me a few pages to read about perfectionism.

I was floored. Everything on those pages described me perfectly (no pun intended).

Since then, I at least recognize why I behave the way I do, being a perfectionist, but I’m certainly not “cured.”

Perfectionism can be paralyzing.

In one of my first blogs, I mentioned that I had reserved this blog name a full year before I got up the courage to start trying to lose weight and write about it.

I didn’t want to do it until I thought I could do it right.

Sometimes perfectionism can be a good thing (it certainly always has helped me in my jobs), but often it is horrible.

I’ll be completely honest with you: I am terrified I’m not going to lose all the weight I need to lose.

Failure terrifies me.

Sure, Logical Misty chimes into my head and says that any weight loss is an improvement, that I’m getting healthier no matter how long it takes me, blah, blah, blah.

I try to breathe deeply and tell myself neat little quotes like “All experts started out as beginners,” “one step at a time,” etc.

But I’m all about honesty on this blog, and I hope that my honesty with my battles not only against my weight but against perfectionism can help those of you reading.

Now, not everyone who gives up trying to lose weight, quit smoking, whatever after a few days is a perfectionist. Sometimes, it’s just because change is hard.

I literally Googled “why is change so hard?” and this article popped up.

It talks about mindset, group support, procrastination, unrealistic goals and (eek!) baby steps.

Baby steps. The perfectionist’s nightmare. We tend to be all-or-nothing folks.

Sigh. Being trapped in my head is exhausting most days.

I have issues.

Ah well, I’m not perfect. Just a perfectionist.

Think perfectionism is holding you back? Check out this article for info.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A picture’s worth a thousand pounds

Well, that photo pretty much says it all, eh?

You wonder what gets me out of bed and onto the treadmill each morning? What helps me drag myself to exercise class at night?

It’s her.

It’s knowing that deep inside me lives this beautiful, happy, healthy woman.

She’s the me my family deserves.

She’s the me I deserve.

And with each step, I’m closer to finding her again.

A picture’s worth a thousand pounds

Well, that photo pretty much says it all, eh?

You wonder what gets me out of bed and onto the treadmill each morning? What helps me drag myself to exercise class at night?

It’s her.

It’s knowing that deep inside me lives this beautiful, happy, healthy woman.

She’s the me my family deserves.

She’s the me I deserve.

And with each step, I’m closer to finding her again.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

No need to give up fast food

In my Hungry Girl newsletter yesterday, I saw where a recent study showed that women need at least an hour of exercise a day just to MAINTAIN their current weight.

Whaaa?

I didn’t have time to read much more than the summary of the study, but it did say it didn’t take into account any diet modifications.

Just goes to show that we can drag ourselves to as many exercise classes or onto the treadmill as much as we want, but if we don’t also cut our calories, we’re pretty much doing it for nada.

One way I’ve cut calories is by making smarter choices at the drive-through. (Remember Taco Bell?)

I still eat fast food for lunch sometimes because that’s reality.

And truth is, there are healthful choices … you just have to make them.

My latest favorite fast-food meal is from Wendy’s.

Used to, I’d get the Double with Cheese meal with large fries. That’s 1,290 calories.

These days, I like the Grilled Chicken Go Wrap (ask for no sauce) with a small chili.

Total calories for that meal: 400.

It’s very filling, which is important, and it’s downright tasty.

Mmm. I know what I’m having for lunch today …

No need to give up fast food

In my Hungry Girl newsletter yesterday, I saw where a recent study showed that women need at least an hour of exercise a day just to MAINTAIN their current weight.

Whaaa?

I didn’t have time to read much more than the summary of the study, but it did say it didn’t take into account any diet modifications.

Just goes to show that we can drag ourselves to as many exercise classes or onto the treadmill as much as we want, but if we don’t also cut our calories, we’re pretty much doing it for nada.

One way I’ve cut calories is by making smarter choices at the drive-through. (Remember Taco Bell?)

I still eat fast food for lunch sometimes because that’s reality.

And truth is, there are healthful choices … you just have to make them.

My latest favorite fast-food meal is from Wendy’s.

Used to, I’d get the Double with Cheese meal with large fries. That’s 1,290 calories.

These days, I like the Grilled Chicken Go Wrap (ask for no sauce) with a small chili.

Total calories for that meal: 400.

It’s very filling, which is important, and it’s downright tasty.

Mmm. I know what I’m having for lunch today …

Monday, April 5, 2010

It’s like I was training with the Colts (well, sorta)

Wow.

I’ve gotta tell you: I’m truly amazed today.

I was all set to talk about how plateaus are inevitable, especially after four weeks of weight loss in a row.

How I knew I probably wouldn’t lose considering two celebrated birthdays in one week (and especially the Bakery Bogart Catastrophe of 2010).

And how my trip to the Final Four threw off my routine, most notably my inability to maintain my normal water intake while traveling, etc.

Looks like I’ll get to save the excuses for another week.

Let me tell you a couple of things I did right, though.

I walked. And walked. And walked some more.

From our parking structure to Lucas Oil Stadium. And then once in the stadium, we walked even more.

We walked a ramp that I swear was at least a mile long, spiraling up to our nosebleed seats. (This picture is from our seats for the first game. We snuck down into some closer seats for the second game.)

I wasn’t really expecting all that walking, but I was so thankful that I have been working out for a month before having to do that.

By the time we made it to the top, I had thrown my hair in a pony tail and all my makeup had dripped from my face into my shirt. But I made it.

For lunch that day, we stopped off at Olive Garden for the unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks. I limited myself to 1.5 breadsticks and filled up on salad (we asked for the light dressing) and minestrone.

Our dinner was in the stadium. Trust me, the nachos, the pizza, the polish sausages with peppers and onions … they were all calling my name.

But I had a veggie burger and wheat thins. (My friend Karen will love that, considering I made fun of her for a similar menu choice a few years ago.)

Tonight, my best friend and her husband are using the second half of our Final Four tickets for the championship game. I hope they have a great time.

Oh yeah, since you asked: My Lucas Oil Stadium workout and veggie burger helped me lose 3 more pounds this week!

That’s 14 pounds so far.

I knocked out 2 miles on the treadmill this morning, and tonight I’ll head to kickboxing (heaven help me).

I’m starting to think it might just all be worth it.

It’s like I was training with the Colts (well, sorta)

Wow.

I’ve gotta tell you: I’m truly amazed today.

I was all set to talk about how plateaus are inevitable, especially after four weeks of weight loss in a row.

How I knew I probably wouldn’t lose considering two celebrated birthdays in one week (and especially the Bakery Bogart Catastrophe of 2010).

And how my trip to the Final Four threw off my routine, most notably my inability to maintain my normal water intake while traveling, etc.

Looks like I’ll get to save the excuses for another week.

Let me tell you a couple of things I did right, though.

I walked. And walked. And walked some more.

From our parking structure to Lucas Oil Stadium. And then once in the stadium, we walked even more.

We walked a ramp that I swear was at least a mile long, spiraling up to our nosebleed seats. (This picture is from our seats for the first game. We snuck down into some closer seats for the second game.)

I wasn’t really expecting all that walking, but I was so thankful that I have been working out for a month before having to do that.

By the time we made it to the top, I had thrown my hair in a pony tail and all my makeup had dripped from my face into my shirt. But I made it.

For lunch that day, we stopped off at Olive Garden for the unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks. I limited myself to 1.5 breadsticks and filled up on salad (we asked for the light dressing) and minestrone.

Our dinner was in the stadium. Trust me, the nachos, the pizza, the polish sausages with peppers and onions … they were all calling my name.

But I had a veggie burger and wheat thins. (My friend Karen will love that, considering I made fun of her for a similar menu choice a few years ago.)

Tonight, my best friend and her husband are using the second half of our Final Four tickets for the championship game. I hope they have a great time.

Oh yeah, since you asked: My Lucas Oil Stadium workout and veggie burger helped me lose 3 more pounds this week!

That’s 14 pounds so far.

I knocked out 2 miles on the treadmill this morning, and tonight I’ll head to kickboxing (heaven help me).

I’m starting to think it might just all be worth it.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned

What started out last night as a sweet gesture turned out as an all-out massacre on my tummy.

OK, maybe it wasn’t that bad. I sometimes exaggerate.

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday, so, in keeping with my philosophy that special occasions are OK for special treats, I went to a local bakery after work to pick up something for the occasion.

We had already planned to eat dinner out because we had a buy-one-get-one-free dinner coupon that we didn’t want to waste. We would have a small dessert at home, I reasoned.

I stepped into the bakery, and it was like an alcoholic stepping into a bar.

Beads of sweat popped out on my forehead as I perused the pies.

I got the shakes as I neared the iced cookies.

I swear one cake WINKED AT ME.

Instead of screaming and running out of there, I took a deep breath and considered what sane people would do in this situation.

I knew I didn’t want anything that would still be in the house the next day, so I wanted something small, not a whole cake.

I ended up getting three individual servings: one for each of us.

One little tiramisu tower, one little cupcake and one little key lime cheesecake serving.

I brought it home, and away we went to dinner, where we were very responsible, both ordering salads and water with lemon.

But because we used the BOGOF birthday coupon, the servers came out singing at the end, carrying with them a warm, giant brownie slice with ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry, all smothered in gooey chocolate.

Oh no! THAT wasn’t in my plan.

We felt bad just getting up and leaving it there, and after one taste, our son wasn’t about to let us leave anyway.

So I had a few bites … a few OH MY GOD HOW I’VE MISSED YOU bites … and left.

When we got home, the mini desserts were still in the fridge, too, calling my name.

I had two choices – eat ‘em or throw ‘em away – because either way, I wanted them out of the house.

Together, we ate them. They were every bit as delicious as I had imagined.

So, today, instead of wallowing in self pity about what a loser I am, I got back on the treadmill for another 1.9 miles. Tonight I’ll Zumba.

That’s all we can do, right? Make the mistakes we’re inherently going to make, and then get back up, brush ourselves off and keep going.

Just never stop.

Tomorrow morning, we’re heading to the Final Four, so this is my last blog for the week.

On Monday, I’ll weigh in and report back here. I hope you will, too.