Saturday, November 24, 2007

It's Been Awhile

Hello everyone! It's been awhile since my last post, but I can honestly say I've been busy. I wanted to stop in and get you up to date on my life these days.

I feel like all I do is work these days. My new job isn't enjoyable, but the health insurance keeps me going everyday (thankfully I had it when I landed in the ER the week after my birthday because the bill was over $1700 - I only had to pay $75). I've wanted to quit this job a few times already. It's not that the job is really hard (it's physical, but just about anyone could do it); the problem seems to be the lack of training and communication in the place, so naturally that just adds more stress. We're moving to a new hospital on December 9th, and I can understand that everyone is stressed with things to do to make that move, but I just really expected more. Most of what I know about my job has come from a small amount of training and from me asking LOTS of questions and not being afraid to speak up when I don't know how to do something. Luckily, the people who I work with in my department are nice and answer any questions I have (heck, most of them haven't been there much longer than I have).

I feel like I need a more mentally stimulating job. Some nights I just feel like a robot going from room to room cleaning. I have to do this for 6 months before I can try to move to a different position in the hospital. I'm just trying to get through it and put my time in so I can do just that. I've been looking into taking a medical terminology class lately. If I can find a class online and get through it, it should open some doors for me. I feel like I have skills that aren't being put to good use anymore. I'm not really saying I feel like I'm too good to scrub a toilet or anything, I just feel like I can achieve much higher things.

I got to talking to a woman last night while I was cleaning some windows and she was waiting on her ride. I asked her what she does in the hospital. She said she works as a processor in the lab, so I asked her if she had to go to school for that and she said no. Then I asked her if they were hiring (LOL). She said they are, but since she was hired 3 years ago, now you have to also be a Phlebotomist to do what she does (this way if they need extra help, you're trained to go do it). Maybe I'll take a look into that. All I know is... I can't keep doing what I'm doing. Not only is it killing my back and my ankles, but I feel like the job is giving me an attitude most days. I'm just hoping once we move to the new hospital, things will improve some. I'm tired all of the time (between working the new full time job and trying to keep up my business), and now I'm thinking about adding school on top of it all. I'm not sure how I'm going to do it, but I'm going to try. Hopefully the stress won't kill me. Although... they say what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger... I ought to be a really strong person when this is all over. LOL!

Well, that's pretty much what I've been up to. I can't guarantee when I'll have time to get back here and post another blog, but I'll try to get back here soon. I miss all of you and think of you often!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me!

Well, it's finally here... yet another birthday. LOL! My gift to myself was stepping on the scale this morning and seeing a loss. All the walking at the hospital is paying off (it's official, I walk at least 5.5 miles every night - my feet and back are proof of it). If it weren't for Advil and Tiger Balm, I wouldn't be able to walk into that place everyday, or even get out of bed for that matter.

They brought in a birthday cake last night for me and another guy I work with (his birthday is today too). I stayed at the meeting long enough for everyone to sing Happy Birthday, then I politely excused myself and got to work while the rest of them ate cake. It didn't bother me. I've never been a big fan of cake anyway. I'd rather have ice cream. LOL!

I'm not sure what the plans are for today yet. I do know that I'll be at the new hospital sometime between 5-9 tonight taking a tour with my family (it's employee family night - a once in a lifetime chance for our families to see parts of the new hospital that they'll never get to see once it opens in December). It ought to be fun. :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Let Me Fall - Josh Groban

Let me fall
Let me climb
There's a moment when fear
And dreams must collide

Someone I am
Is waiting for courage
The one I want
The one I will become
Will catch me

So let me fall
If I must fall
I won't heed your warnings
I won't hear them

Let me fall
If I fall
Though the phoenix may
Or may not rise

I will dance so freely
Holding on to no one
You can hold me only
If you too will fall
Away from all these
Useless fears and chains

Someone I am
Is waiting for my courage
The one I want
The one I will become
Will catch me

So let me fall
If I must fall
I won't heed your warnings
I won't hear

Let me fall
If I fall
There's no reason
To miss this one chance
This perfect moment
Just let me fall

This is the song I've had stuck in my head since I woke up this morning. It's actually my favorite Josh Groban song. If you've never heard it, here you go...

Oh, update on the miles walked at work... last night was a really slow night (which means less walking) and my pedometer said I walked 5.5 miles. I'm going to wear it again tonight and see if it's about the same or not.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I'm Still Around

Can you believe October is almost over already? The time just seems to fly by these days. I'm sure many of you feel the same.

I know I've been quiet, but I'm trying to getting everything I need to get done on my two days off from my new job. Yesterday I ran errands and got things done outside the house, and so far today I've been to Sam's Club (to stock up on shipping supplies), Walmart (to get groceries for the week), then I came home, updated the progress chart for the members on my support board, washed the bedding, did 3 loads of regular laundry, cooked 3 dishes (which will hopefully last the entire week), washed the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen, and now I'm getting ready to type up the invoices and fill this weeks cookbook orders. There are soooo many other things I need to get done, but I don't see it happening today. Maybe next weekend. I just seem to get further and further behind on everything. My to-do list just keeps on growing. I'm trying not to stress too much though. It will probably get worse before it gets better, so I'm just taking things one day at a time. :)

Eating wise, I have my good days and my not so good days, but I'm still hanging in there. I have to eat dinner at work just 2 hours after I get there. I'm not use to eating at 5 PM and don't eat a lot since I'm not hungry; so by the time I get back home at midnight, I'm usually hungry. I really need to stop eating so late though. I do nothing but walk for 8 hours at work (I'm going to try and take my pedometer one day this week so I can see just how far it is that I really walk). One person was trying to tell me that someone else wore a pedometer once and they figured up that they walked 14 miles per day, but I find that hard to believe. If I had to guess, I'd say it's probably more like 4-5 miles total. If I can get a handle on my late night eating, no doubt I'd lose more weight. Maybe I'll make up some sugar free Jello and see if that gets me through. If not, I'll have to think of something else.

I was going to write about a really good juice I've been drinking lately, but I think I'll save that for next time (more than likely next weekend unless I find the time to write it up sometime this week). I've still got a lot to get done tonight and I want to be sure that I compile all of the facts before I start telling you about it. It's good stuff, so be sure to stop back here and read about it soon. :) TTYL!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'll Be Back

Sorry guys, I haven't forgotten about you. I'm just trying to adjust to this new job and get through all of the orientation and masses of information they're throwing at me. I start my regular schedule next week (this week I went in at all sorts of different hours), so I should find some sort of whatever I can call "normal" sometime soon. I'm really behind on so many things right now. Working 2 full time jobs is a little harder than I even imagined it to be, but I'll get through. I have to.... the health insurance makes it worth it. LOL! I'm sure things will get easier as time goes on. The sad thing is, the new hospital opens on December 9th, and everything might get scrambled up again (plus I have to go through 2 orientations AGAIN... one for the new hospital and one for my department). I go out to the new hospital tomorrow during my shift for a tour of the O.R. (where I think I'd like to work), but chances are I won't get to work there since I'm on the bottom of the totem pole. I'll end up with one of the crappy jobs nobody else wants. I'll deal with it. I only have to be there 6 months before I can transfer into another department, so if it's bad and I can stick it out, that's what I'll do. :) TTYL!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Couple of Links

Want to see how a registered Dietitian eats? Visit Cristin Dillon's blog called Eat Like Me. She posts what she eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner (along with photos of her meals) everyday. I thought the blog was not only informative, but entertaining.

Also, do you like to jump rope? I use to, but don't have a jump rope anymore. I don't have room to do it either (unless I went outside to do it, but that's not happening) LOL! I was reading another blog tonight and came across something called the JumpSnap. It sounds interesting. Not sure if I'll get it or not (it's probably one of things I'd use for a couple of weeks and then it would end up in a drawer), but I might see if it's available cheaper on Ebay if I decide to look into it. Jumping rope is a good full body workout though. Just thought I'd mention it in case anyone reading this loves to jump rope. :) Here's a video review I found...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Apple Talk

It's apple season again. Are you confused by all of the different varieties to choose from? Are you wanting to try something new but you aren't sure which kind to try? Here are some helpful links that I've come across to help you make a decision...

Not only do apples taste good, but they're also good for you. Did you know apples can help lower blood cholesterol, improve bowel function, reduce risk of stroke, prostate cancer, type II diabetes and asthma? To get the full nutritional benefits associated with eating apples you should eat at least one fresh apple every day.

Apples are a delicious source of dietary fiber, and dietary fiber helps aid digestion and promotes weight loss. A medium apple contains about five grams of fiber, more than most cereals. Also, apples contain almost zero fat and cholesterol, so they are a delicious snack and dessert food that’s good for you.

Have you ever tried a honeycrisp apple? If you haven't, you really need to. It is sooo good! They seem to be a bit hard to find though (at least around here they are). From what I've heard, they aren't available for too long. They cost a bit more than other apples, but the taste and the crispness to them is worth it.

Here are some recipes I've made using apples (pictures are included with each recipe):

Friday, September 21, 2007

Let's Laugh Off Some Calories!

Jeff Dunham has a new DVD out this week called Spark of Insanity. I love this guy! He's hillarious! We went to see him live last year in Newport, KY. He does several characters, but the old guy named Walter is my favorite. His new DVD is being aired on Comedy Central this Sunday night, if you want to watch the whole thing for free. I guarantee you'll laugh. :) Here's a clip...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I've Got Good News

As some of you may (or may not) know, I decided to start looking for a job a couple of weeks ago. At first I was just going to look for a part time job to help supplement my current income, but the more I got to thinking about it, the more I decided I really should get something full time that offers benefits. Being self employed, I haven't had health insurance for quite some time due to the cost. I'm not getting any younger and you just never know when something might happen. I had bronchitis for the first time in my life this past February. I kept putting it off hoping it would go away on it's own until one morning I woke up and was coughing so bad I couldn't catch a breath. That trip for some generic meds wasn't too bad, but it was still over $100. Then I made a trip to the doctor to have a yearly test done back in May and that bill arrived not too long ago.... $600. I probably wasn't even there 30 minutes! The lab tests are a killer! It kind of put things into perspective for me. Not only that, but with being self employed, the money I make varies and there are some months where it just gets down right scary between bills and the cost of keeping the site up and running. I've dwindled my savings down to nearly nothing over the summer to stay afloat, and I don't like the feeling of not knowing if I'll be able to pay my bills, so I decided it was time for a change. I started to look for something that was not only stable with a weekly paycheck, but something I could also get some benefits with.

I submitted my resume online at Monster on September 3rd. I've gotten probably 6-7 call backs from that so far, but they were all for sales jobs. I'm not someone who can call people and shove stuff down their throat all day, especially if I don't believe in it, so I turned them down. I also applied at the hospital the day after I posted my resume on I never really imagined myself working in a hospital, but I figure it's a job I could feel like I was helping people. That's important to me. I got called for an interview the following day, went to that interview last Tuesday, then got called back for a 2nd interview a week later. The good news is.... I went for my 2nd interview today at the hospital and 2 hours later, they called and said I got the job I applied for. I was really nervous at my first interview since I haven't been to an interview in over 10 years (not only that, but working at home by yourself for several years kind of messes up your social skills a little bit), but I just decided to be myself and tell the truth to whatever they asked me. Anyway, I'll be working Monday thru Friday, 3-11:30 PM. The coolest thing is, this hospital just built a brand new hospital that will be opening in December, so I'll get to work there.

Next Wednesday I go to fill out all of my paperwork, prove I'm not from Mars, and get a physical (along with shots I'll need for working in a hospital). I've never worked in a hospital before, but I think it will be fun. I've been watching the Discovery Health Channel lately to desensitize myself to certain things. I'm sure it's nothing like the real thing, but I'm sure in no time I'll be desensitized to just about everything once I have to deal with it once or twice. LOL! I have no doubt I can do this though. It's a step in the door to higher things.

I've been considering going back to college too. I've realized through all of this that the piece of paper really does matter when you're trying to get a better job. I'm not sure what I'm going to pursue just yet, but I figure I'll keep my eyes and ears open at the hospital and see what kinds of things look interesting, then I'll make my decision. Maybe I'll look into it for the Winter or Spring quarter. I spoke to the Human Resources woman today and she gave me a few things to think about. :)

Well, thanks for letting me share my good news with you guys!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Diet Fork

I came across this page last night (don't ask me how I found it, but somehow I was looking at it before I knew it). Apparently someone is trying to sell a "Diet Fork". It's supposed to slow you down when you eat, keeping you from being able to "scoop" your food. Who are they kidding? LOL!

This thing kind of looks to me like a spork, you know, like you'd get at taco bell or in a school lunch. They don't show you what the actual product looks like on the website (probably because everyone knows what a plastic spork looks like already). I don't know about you guys, but a spork has never slowed me down. LOL! If you really want to slow me down, give me some chopsticks, or better yet, a toothpick. :) Take a look at the Diet Fork website if you're looking for some entertainment. The website says "Making Dieting Fun". Ummmmm..... hold on.... I can't type when I'm laughing so hard. LOL!

You know, the sad thing is, there are probably people out there who think this will really help them to lose weight. If you're eating junk, a special fork isn't going to hold you back. You've got to not only change the way you eat, but what you eat. Oh, and lets not forget about exercise.

Here, I've got a product for you... no seriously, hear me out on this one. I just thought of it... The New Diet Spoon! You can burn more calories than what you eat when you use it because you've got to scoop really fast. Works amazing with soup and soft ice cream! Man, I've got to get a patent on this right away. (5 minutes later)... Ah darn, apparently I'm not the first to think of this crazy idea. I just found one on Ebay. Oh well, I don't think I was going to be a millionaire from this idea anyway (much like the diet fork inventor).

On a more serious note... one invention for dieters that I've seen before and think is a pretty good idea is the diet plate. There are a few different designs on the market from what I've seen, ranging from a bulky one called the EZ Weight Plate that looks like plastic measuring cups molded into a plate, to a fancier, more artistic looking one called The Diet Plate. This plate is available in portion sizes for men, women and children. I think these products would be useful especially for people who don't like to get the measuring cups out and measure their food. They're a bit costly, but if you've got the dough and you don't like to measure your food, then I say go for it. For me, I'll just continue weighing and measuring my food the old fashioned way for now. Who knows, maybe if I had been able to pull off that diet spoon idea, I could afford to buy myself a fancy diet plate. :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

8 Random Things About Me

I'm taking a break from work and thought I'd stop in and update my blog. It's so nice to know some of you miss me when I'm too busy to post. :)

I've done so much lately. We had a yard sale last weekend (that was a lot of work, but the money was worth it). I also went on a job interview on Tuesday (keep your fingers crossed because I really want this job). It's the first interview I've been on in over 10 years and I was really nervous. I just tried to be myself, but I think I might have been too serious. LOL! I've pretty much spent the rest of my time this week working on transferring my cookbooks over to a different company. I'm making the transfer because the new company will take the orders for me and ship the books out. With getting a full time job, I just won't be able to keep up with everything, so it's the decision I've made. The books will be nicer, but they'll also cost more. I'm going to try and offer a little something for everyone though. Hopefully people will still think they're worth it. Once I'm finished with the transfer, then I'll continue working on the 3rd cookbook and the community cookbook I've been working on all year. I'm thinking about adding some cookbooklets too for those who don't want to purchase an entire cookbook (I'm still thinking that idea over).

Krissie listed "8 Random Things About Me" on her blog a few days ago, so I thought I'd play along. I'm not sure how interesting this will be to you, but here we go...

1. My middle name is Denise (if I had been a boy, my name would have been Bradly Jason)
2. I have 2 older brothers named Eric and David.
3. I use to play the piano, flute and trumpet and I majored in music education for awhile in college. (I wanted to be a band director and teach kids how to play instruments).
4. I'm going to be turning 34 years old on November 3rd. (yep, I said it. Age is just a number to me. You're only as old as you act in my opinion).
5. I hate veggies, but I disguise them in casseroles and soups to eat them (I do love corn).
6. I drive a 2005 Scion XB which I've already replaced the windshield once and now it's cracked again (thanks to the rocks that get bounced up off of the highway).
7. I enjoy playing golf (most of the time) and didn't start playing until 2 years ago.
8. I love helping others. It's always so nice to get an email from someone that visited my website who says I've made a difference in their life. There's just no greater feeling.

Ok, it's your turn. Play along and list 8 Random things about yourself.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Facts About Trans Fats

Some people are confused as to what trans fats are. I thought I'd post some info and links about them to clear up a few of the questions most of us have on the subject...

Wondering how trans fat ended up with its own special place on food labels? Most of us grew up eating foods containing trans fat without knowing it was there. Before trans fat was added to labels in 2006, you could only recognize it under its alias, “partially hydrogenated oil,” on the list of ingredients.

Trans fat became popular with consumers and food manufacturers because it acted as a preservative, giving foods a longer shelf life. It also gave foods a more tempting taste and texture.

But there’s a downside to trans fat. We now know that trans fat is harmful to our health. But this knowledge is relatively new. Before 1990, some researchers suspected that partially hydrogenated oils were “bad fats,” but it wasn’t until the 1990s that research began to prove it.

What are trans fats?

Trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Another name for trans fats is “partially hydrogenated oils." Look for them on the ingredient list on food packages.

What foods contain trans fats?

Trans fats can be found in many foods – but especially in fried foods like French fries and doughnuts, and baked goods including pastries, pie crusts, biscuits, pizza dough, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines and shortenings. You can determine the amount of trans fats in a particular packaged food by looking at the Nutrition Facts label. You can also spot trans fats by reading ingredient lists and looking for the ingredients referred to as “partially hydrogenated oils.”

How much trans fat can I eat a day?

The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of trans fats you eat to less than 1 percent of your total daily calories. That means if you need 2,000 calories a day, no more than 20 of those calories should come from trans fats. That’s less than 2 grams of trans fats a day. Given the amount of naturally occurring trans fats you probably eat every day, this leaves virtually no room at all for industrially manufactured trans fats. Find out your personal daily fat limits on My Fats Translator.

How can I stay within my daily limit for trans fats?

Read the Nutrition Facts label on foods you buy at the store and, when eating out, ask what kind of oil foods are cooked in. Replace the trans fats in your diet with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. For practical tips, learn how to Live Fat-Sensibly.

This info and more can be found at The American Heart Association website.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A Link To Tell You About

I don't have much to talk about tonight. I trikked 3 miles this morning. That's about the only thing exciting I did today. LOL! I wasn't going to blog tonight, but I figured I'd tell you about this activity calorie calculator I came across on the web tonight. I thought it looked interesting. :)

Other than that, I'll leave you with some motivation....

Instead of giving myself reasons why I can't, I give myself reasons why I can.
Identify what you want and go for it.
When you expect success, your mind focuses on success.
Nothing tastes as good as being healthy and full of energy feels.
The secret of success is having the courage to begin in the first place.
Never, never, never, never give up

Saturday, September 1, 2007

A Cool Recipe Video Site

First, I just want to let everyone know that Ben (Fat Single Dad) is back blogging again. Yay!!! :) The new name of his blog is Diary of a Fat Man. He's decided to talk about other things than just about weight loss. I think talking about whatever is on our minds is the best thing. We want to lose weight, but talking about the non weight loss issues in our lives can also help us move along in our weight loss. I know if I talked about weight loss 24/7, I'd go bonkers. LOL! Anyway, be sure to stop by his blog and give him a cyber hug and welcome him back to the world of blogging. :)

If you like to watch videos of people cooking, check out It's like YouTube, but for foodies. :) I like to watch Average Betty's videos (she funny and entertaining). Here's one of her videos...

When you get to the website; if you click on "Recipes" and then "healthy", a list of things will come up to choose from. Such as: low calorie, low fat, low carb, low sodium, and high protein recipes. Have fun! :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Rage Over Fage

Ok, so for awhile now I've been hearing bits and pieces about this Greek yogurt called "Fage". I like yogurt, but I can't say I LOVE yogurt by any means. My curiosity got the best of me though, so I decided I had to try it. I called around to a few different stores in my area (none of the regular grocery stores carried it, nor did my Trader Joe's). I did end up finding it at a higher end grocery store, so I set out to pick some up. Let me say, I've never in my life paid $1.59 for a 5 oz. container of yogurt, but I went ahead and did it just so I could try it and write this review. I picked up a container of the 0% and a container of the 2% to compare.

I've read mixed reviews on various blogs about Fage yogurt lately. Jennette a.k.a. PastaQueen over at Half Of Me wrote a review and basically said it tasted like diaper rash cream. Of course as soon as I took the lid off of my container of Fage Total 0%, stirred it around and took a bite, that was the thought that popped into my head. LOL! It doesn't actually taste like diaper rash cream to me (not that I've ever eaten diaper rash cream and if I had, I wouldn't admit it), but the consistency is kinda like it since it's thicker than other fat free yogurts. It's also creamier than other yogurts.

I do have to agree with Jennette on one thing though, Fage isn't sweet. In fact, it kinda reminded me of sour cream or a really mild tart tasting cheese. The normal thing that I do with plain or vanilla yogurt usually is to add Splenda and some PB2 powder, so I did that. It helped a lot. I opened up the 2% container of yogurt and it pretty much looked like it had the same consistency as the 0% yogurt. It might have been a little creamier, but honestly I really couldn't tell much of a difference. Fage sells a yogurt with honey, so I decided to add some cinnamon and honey to this container of yogurt. I'm not a honey fan, but I figured Rick would eat it (he's my guinea pig) LOL! I mixed it up and tasted it.... pretty good. I didn't eat both though, he at the 2% with honey and I ate the 0% with PB2.

Bottom line... yes, this yogurt is thicker and creamier than other yogurts, but the cost is a killer in my opinion. It's all natural, so that's good too. I'm also sure it's much tastier used as a sour cream substitute or as a base for a dip, but unless they brought the cost down below $1, I probably wouldn't buy it again. Now if you love plain yogurt with a tart taste, you want something that's natural and you have money to burn, I say go for it. :) I've seen a Greek yogurt at Trader Joe's, so maybe the next time I'm there, I'll see what that's all about and compare. I'm sure it's cheaper anyway. Hey, maybe if I ever start loving yogurt, I'll just make my own. :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sorry Guys

I'm sorry that I haven't posted lately. I've just been really busy (trying to find a full time job to go along with my current full time job). I'll be back to post soon. Don't forget about me.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Catching Up

Sorry I've been absent for most of this week. I've been super busy. Let me get you caught up real quick....

I'm doing pretty good on my fat march challenge. I've covered 29 miles in 10 days. I still haven't gotten out on my Trikke yet, but Saturday is supposed to be much cooler, so maybe I can go out then and see if I can still do it. :)

I weighed in yesterday morning and I was up another .4 pounds for the week. I was hoping for a loss, but I guess I can't complain since I started adding more carbs into my eating plan (I'm still not eating bread, potatoes or dessert). But I have added brown rice and beans, along with more veggies and fruit. I think by cutting stuff out for 2 months (especially empty calorie, energy sucking desserts), it's helped me to be more aware of portions and when to know if I'm hungry or not. I no longer over eat any one certain food group. When I eat something, it's just 1 serving and no more (which is plenty for me). I'm still loving Core! I've never felt better or more energized! I was abusing desserts something terrible a few months ago (because I had the points). Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the Flex plan, but when you're like me and abuse the crap out of how the points get spent each day, it's not really a healthy way of eating. With Core, I don't have to worry about points. I do use some of my flex points each week, but it's not on desserts. It's on things like bacon bits and lite laughing cow cheese for my omelet in the morning.

I tried a couple of new recipes today. Here they are:

Mexicale Casserole

1 Pound Extra Lean Ground Beef
1 Cup Onion, chopped
1/2 Cup Green Pepper, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
2 teaspoons Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 (15 oz.) Can Dark Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice
1 Cup Fat Free Cheddar Cheese, shredded (divided)
1/2 Cup Skim Milk
1/2 Cup Egg Substitute

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, add the beef, onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium high heat until the meat is brown and the vegetables are tender. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Continue cooking for about a minute. Remove from heat and stir in the beans, rice, 3/4 cup of cheese, milk and egg substitute. Spray a 9x9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the beef mixture into the dish. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until liquid is no longer runny. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese on top as soon as you pull it out of the oven. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve with salsa and fat free sour cream if desired.

Serves: 6
Per Serving: 381 Calories; 16g Fat (38.4% calories from fat); 29g Protein; 30g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 55mg Cholesterol; 540mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 1/2 Fat. WWP: 8 (

Fried Banana (thanks to Linda for this one)

1 Medium Banana
2 teaspoons Healthy Oil (I used Canola)
Cinnamon (optional)
1 Packet Splenda (optional)

In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium heat (just slightly under medium). Cut the banana in half each way so that you end up with 4 pieces (or you can slice into rounds). Pick up the skillet and swirl the oil to evenly coat the pan. Add the banana. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon if desired. Cook on each side until browned (how brown you like it is up to you). Sprinkle with Splenda if desired. You can top with a little fat free cool whip if you like, but be sure to count the points.

Serves: 1
Per Serving: 193 Calories; 10g Fat (42.2% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Fruit; 2 Fat.
WWP: 4 (

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Things I Love

I was going to blog today about the dinner theatre we went to with my parents last night, but I figured you probably don't really want to hear about that anyway. :) Basically we ate (I did really good) and then we watched them perform The Wizard of Oz. It was good, the kids (who were the munchkins) were cute, and the dog (who kept trying to bite any of the characters who moved too fast and then he was stealing treats) was hillarious! Nuff said! :)

Oh and I've now covered 23 miles of my 200 mile fat march challenge. 12 of those miles were today at the gym (2 miles on the treadmill and 10 miles on the stationary bike). I didn't really plan on riding the bike that long, but they had a good movie playing and I wanted to see how it ended. LOL!

I was reading Krissie's blog a few minutes ago and saw that I've been tagged to list what I love about 10 certain things. The original tag going around was to list 10 things people hate, but I agree with Krissie and I'd rather list the things I love. So here it goes....

Food: I love most anything Mexican! I also love ice cream, but Ben and Jerry's Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream is awesome!

Fruit: I'm not a huge fan of fruit, but when I do eat it, I like apples, grapes, strawberries and watermelon. I actually didn't like strawberries until just a couple of years ago, but now, give me some cut up with some Splenda and a little bit of fat free cool whip and I'm doing the happy dance. LOL!

Veggies: Honestly, I'm even less of a fan of veggies than I am of fruit. But... I do eat them (I chop them small and disguise them in soups and sauces). Corn is my absolute favorite (although some people can argue that corn is a fruit because it comes from the reproductive part of the plant, or a grain when it's dried, but I still say it's a vegetable)! I LOVE the stuff! On the cob, creamed, from a can, made into cornmeal, or popped. LOL! I'm also learning to like broccoli, though I still need it chopped up small and it has to be in something (cheese sauce helps). I can't eat it by itself just yet. :)

Celebrity/People: I like Ellen Degeneres. She seems like she'd be a really fun person to hang out with. Her humor seems to just come natural and I think that's cool. :) Drew Barrymore seems to have a good personality too. I also think Adam Sandler would be fun to hang out with.

Event/Situation/Incident: Amusement parks are always fun. I like traveling (although I don't get to go often) because you get to see new things and meet new people.

TV Shows/Movies: Hmmm, I could be on this question for quite some time listing all of my favorite shows and movies, but I'll narrow it down to just one each... For TV shows I guess I'd have to say Desperate Housewives. You just never know what they're going to do each week. :) And for movies, it's What Dreams May Come. Here's a little clip of the movie in case you've never heard of it:

Music: This is another tough one. I'll just go with a general choice and say I like 80's music the most. :) I'm listening to right now.

Household Chores: I can honestly say I don't like doing any chore, but I don't mind vacuuming. :)

Around the World: I love to listen to the different languages and accents. :)

About Myself: I love that I can look at things with more than 1 perspective and then make a decision without jumping right in. I love that I work hard, I'm good at what I do and I love what I do (even thought it doesn't pay very well). I love that I don't take myself seriously too often and that I can make others laugh when they need it the most.

I am now tagging: Anyone who would like to share a bit about what they love.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

11 Miles Down, 189 To Go

I've gone to the gym two days in a row now (thanks to Linda convincing me to go). I have to admit, I don't want to go, and I procrastinate for a few hours before I decide I really should go. LOL! But once I'm there, it's not so bad and after I'm done, I'm glad I went. Yesterday I went and just walked 2 miles on the treadmill. Today I went with the intention of walking 3 miles on the treadmill (because I wanted to catch up with Linda who has already covered 8 miles and I was still at 5 miles). LOL!

Anyway, I got there, hopped on the treadmill and began. I covered 1 mile with no problem, but when that 2nd mile rolled around, I thought I was going to die from boredom! If they hadn't been showing a movie at the same time, I might have been tempted to hop off. You have to understand, I'm not the type of person who really does traditional type exercises. I like to get outside and either hike, bike or Trikke. It's just too hot out to do that right now. If I have to exercise inside, it usually either involves Leslie Sansone's Walk Away The Pounds videos, or my Playstation 2 with DDR or Kinetics.

So here I am, walking on the treadmill, glancing down at the distance button every 5 sections wishing it would hurry up. At one point I even increased the speed, but soon realized my feet couldn't keep up unless I wanted to jog (which I didn't and can't anyway). I kept going and trying to stay interested in the movie (it was an ok movie, nothing spectacular, but I didn't see it from the beginning either, so maybe I missed some really good parts. It was called Scoop). When I had almost completed 2 miles on the treadmill, the other two people working out in the room left, so it was just me. I thought, hmmm, maybe for the last mile I could try out the elliptical machine since nobody was in the room. As soon as the treadmill hit the 2 mile mark, I hopped off of it and found my way to the back of the room where the elliptical machines were (remember, the room is dark). I found the one I wanted (bumped my knee trying to get on it), and I lasted for about a minute. LOL! I felt like my legs were going to give out from under me and I didn't need anyone coming in and finding me on the floor. LOL! I thought, darn, well I don't want to get back on the treadmill! Then I figured, what the heck, I'll get on the bike, ride my last mile and then go home.

After I figured out how to adjust the seat so my feet would reach the pedals (must have been a guy on it before me), I started off on my mile. I was surprised at how fast a mile went by on a bike (hey, it's been awhile since I've done this, so stop laughing). :) When the first mile was up, I thought, maybe I can do another mile. Then I did another. Before I knew it, I had done 4 miles. I was like, hey, I'm liking this. LOL! I was tired though and my legs felt like rubber, so I decided 4 miles was enough for the day (6 miles total with the walking). New people had come into the room when I was still on my first mile, so when I was ready to leave, I stood there for a minute and had some water to drink because I was afraid if I walked across the room, I'd either fall over, or I'd walk like I was drunk. LOL! I just walked slowly and made my way out. :) I'm hoping to have time to go back tomorrow, but I have plans later in the afternoon, so if I can't get there early, I'll have to skip tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Cheating Checklist

What’s the biggest cause of diet failure? Cheating on your diet, of course. Everyone does it at one point or another along the way. You most likely can’t avoid it completely. It’s hard to be perfect. What you can do is lessen the number of times you cheat. Keep it to a minimum. The more you can stay on your diet, the more weight you’ll lose.

An effective way to stall a cheat in its tracks is to stop and think. This is possibly the most powerful technique you’ll ever find. It just takes some questioning, some considering, before you go ahead and plunge into those cookies and chips. Challenge yourself. See how flexible you can be. You don’t need to do what you’ve always done. You can use your powers of thinking before you go ahead and cheat, thus avoiding any self-recriminations and a possible reversal of your weight-loss progress.

Here is a checklist of questions that will steer you to the right kind of thinking. Use this list the next time you feel like cheating on your diet, before you actually do it. You can still cheat if you want to―that’s always up to you. But once you answer these questions, even if you go ahead and cheat, it will be more of a real choice rather than just an automatic reflex.

  1. Am I still committed to losing weight?
  2. What will the benefits to my life be when I reach my weight loss goal?
  3. Do I believe in my ability to stick to my diet?
  4. If not, why not?
  5. What are the strengths I possess that can help me stick to my diet right now?
  6. Am I feeling very stressed out?
  7. If so, can I handle the stress in some other way?
  8. Am I tired?
  9. If so, can I take some time out to rest?
  10. Am I feeling overwhelmed?
  11. If so, can I put off taking care of a few things until I feel more capable?
  12. If I break my diet at this moment, will I feel better or worse?
  13. If I cheat on my diet now, will I be able to get back on it?
  14. Am I afraid to lose weight?
  15. If so, what am I afraid of?
  16. What do I truly need right now?
  17. Will eating off my diet plan give me what I need right now?
  18. If not, how can I get what I need?
  19. What would the people close to me think of me if I cheat now?
  20. What will I think of myself if I cheat now?

If you have a problem with food and weight, you’ve probably trained yourself to turn to food at certain times. By now, it is probably a totally automatic response. Use this checklist to retrain yourself. It will help you let go of your bad food habits. Make sure this list is always handy. Make your dream of losing the weight once and for all come true.

©2007 Maria's Last Diet. Maria’s Last Diet is an online weight loss support website for women. At Maria’s Last Diet, you’ll find the tools to fix the thoughts, feelings, and automatic habits that fight against you when you diet. Because it’s never just about the food. Visit for more diet tips and weight loss motivation.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

3 Miles Into My Walking

Well, so far so good on the walking (for me). Last night around 10:00, I took my dog Riley for a walk around our apartment complex. We walked just over a mile total, which is 4 times around. It was hot, but not bad. The last time around, Riley must have had enough, because when he saw our door, he started pulling in that direction. I think he was afraid I was going to make him go around again. LOL!

This morning we got up and I decided that I'd take us for another walk, but this time we'd go into the neighborhood behind our apartment complex. The plan was to just walk a mile and get back before it got REALLY hot out (it was already hot, but not sizzling). Well, dumb me forgot the name of the street I was supposed to turn down, so we ended up walking almost 2 miles. I know, 2 miles isn't really that far, but when the heat index is around 90 degrees, it's humid, and the last mile is mostly up hill, it's freakin' hot! I don't know how I missed the street, but I'm guessing it's because I remembered when I walked it once last year, that it was a 1 way street that had trees down the middle. I kept going looking for that street, thinking maybe it was the next street. Turns out, if I had made the turn I was supposed to make, I would have eventually come across that street, but since I didn't make that first turn, I ended up walking parallel to where I should have been and it didn't really know it. Since I kept going, I ended up on a busy street (thankfully there were sidewalks in all but one place). Poor Riley was hot and tired. At one point he just laid down in the grass and wouldn't budge. I had to pick him up and carry him until we got back to our complex (at that point I put him down and told him he didn't have a choice, that he was just going to have to walk the rest of the way because I was burning up). We were both soooo glad to walk back in the front door where the cool air greeted us. I took him directly to his water bowl and made sure he got a drink, then I headed out to the kitchen and had a couple of glasses of water myself. :) Here's an image of the path that we walked...

Monday, August 6, 2007

Fat March

The TV Show called Fat March starts tonight on ABC. Will you be watching? I've got my DVR all set up to record it. :) These people are going to walk over 500 miles in just 10 weeks in an attempt to lose weight and earn money and other prizes. That's a lot of walking!

I'm starting a new challenge kinda of based on the Fat March. I'm not looking to walk 500 miles in 10 weeks, but I want to set up my own challenge and change it up a bit. I want to strive for 100 miles in 10 weeks, but these miles can be not only walking, but anything like: jogging, bike riding, roller blading, golfing (walking the course, not riding in a cart), etc. Whatever you can do and still log your miles (other than driving or using motorized means of transportation), then it's allowed. I'll probably be doing a combination of walking and Trikking, and as Krissie mentioned in the comments, "Walk Away The Pounds" videos (since they're marked by the mile, they'll be easy to count).

Would any of you like to join me? You can decide what you want to do, and how many miles you'd like to set for your goal. Like I said, my goal is 200 miles in 10 weeks. That's basically 4 miles per day, 5 days per week (I think we all need a few days rest each week, but you're more than welcome to do more). I'm just trying to stay realistic. I know that if I'm barely exercising now, then I'm not going to be able to go out and walk 10 miles per day. 4 miles will be a challenge enough for me, especially in the beginning. I might end up doing 2 miles, twice in a day. Hey, it all adds up right? :)

If you'd like to join in, come over to my message board and sign up (it's free). Then click on the "Challenges" link and post your info.

If it's too hot outside to exercise, try exercising at night. If you can't exercise at night, exercise early in the morning. If those don't work, go to your local mall and walk around there in the air conditioning. Hit the treadmill, etc. There are always ways to do something if you really want to do it.

Here are a few neat links that might be of some help:

This first one is called Walk Score. It tells you how walkable your area is. You can pick a destination and it will tell you how the path rates. Like lets say you want to walk from your house to the bank, or to the grocery store, etc. It lets you know how do-able it is. I checked some of the stuff around where I live, and it pretty much suggested that I should drive instead of walk. LOL!

This next one is my favorite. It's called Map My Run. No, you don't have to run, you can just walk. LOL! You can actually mark out your walk and find out the distance. I tested it out by starting at my house, then making dots up and down some of the streets and then back to my house. Now you don't have to get into the car and drive the path to find out how far it is. :)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Vietnam Memorial Wall

Rick and I stopped off to see the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall this morning (it's being displayed at a park here in Franklin for the weekend). The wall is an 80% size replica standing over 8’ tall, and over 370 feet long. I've never been to see the full sized wall in Washington D.C., so I thought it would be nice to stop and see the traveling wall. If you'd like to see how the wall is constructed, here is a video I found.

A couple of facts about the full sized wall in Washington D.C.:

  • Each of the walls is 246.75 feet long, composed of 70 separate inscribed granite panels, plus 4 at the end without names; the panels themselves are 40 inches in width; the largest panels have 137 lines of names, while the shortest have one; there are five names on each line, although with new additions of names, some lines now have six; the walls are supported by 140 concrete pilings driven approximately 35 feet (some are at 20 feet) to bedrock; at the vertex the walls are 10.1 feet in height.
  • With the addition of three names added in 2007 the total is now 58,256 names listed on the Memorial. Approximately 1200 of these are listed as missing (MIA's, POW's, and others).
Here are some pictures I took:

Click on the image to read what the sign says.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Past And The Future

I got to chat with my best friend Wendy tonight (we've known each other since we were 4 years old). We both live rather busy lives and don't get to talk very often, so I was really happy to get to talk to her and catch up with what's going on in her life. She's probably the only person who knows just about everything there is to know about me. It was nice to have a good laugh. :) I get to see her like once every two years or so (usually when she comes up here to from Texas to visit her family), so we act like fools and have a good old time remembering some of the stuff we did as kids. LOL! There's a chance that maybe she'll be able to come up next Spring, so I'm excited about that. I'm also hoping to be much skinnier if not at goal the next time she comes to visit. :) The last time she was up here, I had to go out of town so I missed her. :(

It's funny how when we're younger we see our adult lives being so much different than they are when it really happens (at least this is how it has been for me). Like for instance, when we were younger, Wendy and I had it all planned out that we would live next door to each other and we'd both have kids who were friends with each other. I'd be a music teacher and she'd be a chef (although I did take music in college for awhile and she has gone to culinary school). She was a much better cook than me and actually taught me how to make a cake from scratch when we were in high school. I can't really say that's what got me cooking though. LOL! Now here we are some 15-16 years later, we don't live next door to each other, don't have kids, she's a budget analyst (always working her way up the ladder... you go girl!) and well... you already know what I do. LOL! If anyone would have ever told me back then that this is how it would be now, I would have been like "shut up, nuh uh" LOL!

Anyway, that's just something that I got to thinking about tonight. And although what I had planned out in my head many years ago didn't actually happen, I can honestly say I'm happy with what I do now. I'm not teaching kids how to play instruments, but I'm motivating people to lose weight and better their lives (hopefully that's what you get from my website anyway). LOL!

I may not be able to predict the future, but I have hopes and dreams for the years to come. Even if those hopes and dreams don't turn out exactly the way I've envisioned them, I'm excited to follow the journey and see what happens.

I'm curious... what did you see yourself doing as an adult when you were younger, and how does that compare to what your life is like now? Did it turn out the way you thought it would?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Down 34.6 Pounds

I can't believe it's August already. Where does the time go? I think I'm still back in like March or April. Thank goodness for the calendar in front of me, or I'd be all messed up. LOL!

I weighed in this morning and was down 1.2 pounds. I was just shy of making the 35 pound mark, but I'll make it next week for sure if all goes as planned. :)

Krissie was brave enough to take a picture of her weight on the scale yesterday, so this morning I thought I'd do the same. I tried taking several pictures, but not only couldn't I get a good picture to turn out (my scale is glass with shiny metal around the read out, so the flash kept making a big blob of light on the number), but the camera added over a pound to my weight. So... I decided to make my own animated scale to show my weight each week (hey, I wasn't going to show you my ugly feet anyway) LOL! By doing it this way, I also got to start from the beginning of my weight loss. :) The weights are my official WW weekly weigh in weights. If I used my home weights, it would say I weighed 245.9 instead of 247.8 (that's the difference between my scale and the WW scale). Maybe I should just start weighing at home instead and save my $40 per month? Just kidding, been there and done that. It didn't work out very well for me. I need to go to the meetings and be accountable. Ok, here's the animated scale I made. Talk to you tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

See You Tomorrow

Sorry guys, I have to go to bed early tonight (have weigh in tomorrow morning) and I still have some stuff I need to get done before I head for bed. I'm going to leave you with a video of this girl I found yesterday who hit her WW goal. I thought she was rather entertaining (we all know we'll act like this when we hit our goals) LOL! See you tomorrow (hopefully with some good news after my weigh in).

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Few Things To Talk About

Ok, I have a few things for you tonight...

First, if you're one of my many visitors from the UK, be sure to check out Groovybabe's Weight Loss Forum that she started. It's a good place to connect with some people from your area and perhaps find a weight loss or exercise buddy. :)

Next, Peggy sent me an email telling me about a neat website. It's called Healthy Dining Finder. You can search for restaurants according to city, price range, or if they have take out and delivery. If you'd like to see a list of restaurants in alphabetical order, click here. I haven't had time to play around with all of the website, but from what I can tell so far, it looks pretty useful. :)

Ok, the last thing is sort of a public service announcement on a great way to identify someone having a stroke (also sent to me by Peggy). Please take the time to read this, you could save someone's life...

During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) and just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food - while she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00pm , Ingrid passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.


Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S * Ask the individual to SMILE.

T * Ask the person to TALK to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE(Coherently) (i.e. It is sunny out today)

R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out their tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

Remember the “3″ steps, STR … Smile, Talk, Raise… Smile, Talk, Raise… Smile, Talk, Raise.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Down Another Pound

I missed my Wednesday meeting this past week because I wasn't feeling well. I decided to go and weigh in on Friday instead. I was down 1 pound. My weight loss seems to be slowing down (which I expected it would after the past 6 weeks or so of bigger losses). I know with weight loss, there will be weeks where I'll have a great week, then I could have a week where I stay the same or even gain. It's all part of the journey (for me anyway).

I was reading Krissie's Blog today and she mentioned the Facebook website. I honestly forgot I even had a Facebook account until I went there to check it out. LOL! I must have signed up for it awhile back and forgot about it. Duh! Either that or I discovered it the same time I discovered MySpace and I ditched it for MySpace because I knew more people there. :) Anyway, I figured while I was there, I should go ahead and update it. :) I found Krissie and added her as a friend. Turns out, we have the exact same birthday (November 3rd) except I'm 4 years older. It must explain why she's so cool. LOL!

I decided to take the day off today and just pretty much do nothing (I don't get many of those days). Well, I did post some stuff on Ebay, but that didn't take long and I don't really consider that work. :) Rick and I went to Traders World (flea market) early this morning and walked around, then we stopped off and picked up some videos at Blockbuster. We got: The Last Mimzy (it was good), Premonition (it was ok but a bit odd), The Number 23 (we stopped watching it after about 30 minutes because it was boring, either that or I just wasn't in the mood to watch it), and Zodiac (we haven't watched this one yet). The first two movies were my pick and the 2nd two were Rick's picks. LOL!

I was looking for a certain time zone today and came across I thought it was kind of neat, so I'm passing it on in case anyone is interested. :)

Ok, I'm off to bed. Oh, I finally finished the last Harry Potter book last night. I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't finished it yet, but I liked it. It wasn't my favorite HP book in the series, but it's good.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hello From Dayton

I've been staying in Dayton since Sunday afternoon to house/cat sit (5 cats and a kitten) for my parents while they're in TN visiting my brother and his family. I came downstairs to let my dog Riley out this morning and the first thing I did was set the alarm off (he really had to go and I wasn't awake enough yet to remember my parents had an alarm installed since the last time I stayed here). I was awake when that alarm went off though (so was the rest of the neighborhood probably) LOL! Within a minute, Brinks was on the phone wanting the secret word (in case someone had broken in). Luckily I was smart enough to ask my parents what that word was before they left or I would have probably had police knocking on the door next. Great way to get the day started. :)

So after I cleaned all of the litter boxes, fed the one cat and guarded him so the others couldn't eat his food (he has to eat every few hours or he gets sick), filled the food and water bowls, took care of the new kitten, checked on the 3 legged cat that roams the neighborhood (my parents feed him), and watered the plants outside, my mom called. She and my dad had taken my 7 year old nephew back to their hotel for breakfast (he thinks that's fun). I talked to my nephew for awhile (he wanted to hear Riley bark and the cats meow, which Riley just licked the phone and one of the cats hissed). He said my parents were taking him to Target to get a toy and then to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch (fun).

After breakfast, I took Riley to PetSmart to walk around and get some food (he loves going there). On the way home, we stopped off at the park and took a walk. It's only 1:30 and I'm tired already. LOL! The cats and Riley seem to be napping right now, so maybe I'll go and grab my Harry Potter book and try to get some more reading done. :) Normally I'd be working on the website and answering emails, but all of that is on my desktop computer at home. I just brought my laptop with me so I could get online and check my message board and blog. TTYL!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Up Early On A Saturday

I got up at 8:00 this morning, drove down to Super Walmart and got a copy of the new Harry Potter book. Woohoo!!! So, you guys won't be hearing from me for a couple of days. Just kidding. LOL! Well, maybe. I'll be gone tomorrow through Friday evening to house/cat sit in Dayton, but I'll try to get on the internet when I can.

Rick and I went and saw a movie last night. We saw "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry". It's with Adam Sandler and Kevin James (the guy from the King of Queens show). I wasn't sure what to expect since it's about 2 guys pretending to be gay and married, but it was really funny! Here's a clip if you haven't seen it yet...

Well, I'm going to get a move on it. I want to get laundry done this morning, and then Rick and I are golfing this afternoon at 3:00, so I won't get back home until around 8:30 or so (it takes an hour of driving each way to get there and back).

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What I'm Doing

I was asked earlier today about what I was doing to lose weight since my weight loss has accelerated over the past couple of weeks. I figured instead of just answering in the comments, I'd make it an actual post since I'm sure more than 1 person is curious. :)

Well, for starters, I don't take any enhancers (I don't believe in popping pills and such just to lose weight, not to mention, I hate taking any pills, even aspirin. A multi vitamin is hard enough for me to get down). The only thing I've done differently is I've stopped eating all the junk and unhealthy stuff I was eating before. I switched from Flex to Core, then I modified the Core program just a little bit. I cut out all of the stuff I can't handle when it comes to portions... bread, potatoes, sweets (I still eat Jello because I'm not a huge fan, therefore I won't eat more than 1 serving), no more chips, etc. I've also stopped going out to eat. Every meal is prepared by me now, and I make sure I eat 3 meals a day (before I would skip breakfast most of the time). I don't use any of the 35 extra flex points I get unless it's just 1 or 2 here or there (like for my laughing cow cheese on my egg beaters omelet for breakfast). I refuse to use my flex points on junk, even though I know we can use them any way we'd like. It just defeats the purpose of eating healthier to me.

When I was on Flex, counting points gave me an excuse to eat unhealthy food "Just because I had the points". I was spending a minimum of half my points each day on junk food. I was also cheating and going over my daily points target at least once a week. I just wasn't very serious about losing weight.

One day, I found and inserted a few of my daily food journals into it just to see how my food broke down. Imagine my surprise when the pie chart showed me that the majority of my day was carbs (and I had very little protein). I knew exactly where all of those carbs were coming from too. Bread, pizza, sweets, especially ice cream, etc. It was a real eye opener for me. No wonder I was tired ALL the time! I just never made the connection until that moment. Something just kind of switched in me and I decided I was tired of screwing around. I was ready to get serious and get this weight off.

I sat down that night and read up on Core. I honestly never wanted to do Core because it just looked "too healthy" for me. LOL! I know, kinda dumb thinking there huh? I went out to my kitchen, threw away any and all junk food. Made myself a list and hit the grocery store (yep, I was grocery shopping at midnight because I was determined to start that very next day. I was afraid if I didn't start then, I might talk myself out of it). I did start that next day, and I've been going strong ever since. I haven't cheated once. :)

Since I cut out all of the junk, I'm now eating more protein. I make sure I have some kind of protein at each meal. And, since I'm not snacking on junk such as bars, ice cream cones from McDonald's, etc., I now have room for things like apples, yogurt, and healthier things (many of you know I'm not a fan of fruits and veggies, but I'm really trying to add more when I can). Here's an example of one of my menus from my journal last week:

(I pretty much eat the same thing for breakfast each day)
Egg beaters with onions and peppers made into an omelet with laughing cow cheese in the middle. I'll either add a tablespoon of bacon bits to my omelet, or I'll have a serving of canadian bacon on the side.

1 piece of Light String Cheese (I only do this like once or twice a week) It just depends on what time I ate breakfast. It holds me over until lunch.

1 grilled chicken breast cut up over a huge salad with a sprinkle of cheese, sometimes bacon bits, black pepper, chives, and light ranch dressing.

Apple sliced and dipped in fat free vanilla yogurt

Chicken Broccoli Roll (see recipe below)
Green beans (I'm loving green beans right now)
Salad on the side

Sugar Free Jello

Since I've added more protein and better foods into my diet, I'm not nearly as hungry as I was before when I was junking myself up. I'm satisfied at each meal, I'm not constantly looking for something else to snack on, I have A LOT more energy, and as you've noticed I'm losing weight better than before. I don't expect the pounds to drip off of me like this forever. I know there will eventually be a slow down. I also won't go without bread and potatoes for the rest of my life, but for now, I'm learning to get my portion sizes in control and those things I'm not ready for yet. Eventually I will slowly start adding 1 slice of whole wheat bread into my daily food. Then eventually I'll slowly add a serving of potatoes once a week and go from there. I just know that I can't go hog wild when I do, or I'll start gaining again. Right now, I am in control and it's going to stay that way if I can help it. It's up to me.

Chicken Broccoli Roll

4 (4 oz.) Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup Cooked Finely Chopped Broccoli

4 Wedges Light Laughing Cow Cheese
Black Pepper
Other Seasoning of Your Choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 baking dish with nonstick spray. For each chicken broccoli roll do the following: Place one chicken breast between plastic wrap and pound it out until it's thin, but don't rip holes in it. Mix 1 laughing cow cheese wedge with 1/8 cup broccoli and place it onto the chicken on the side closest to you. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bring in the sides of the chicken, then roll the chicken up starting with the side closest to you. Place into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top of each roll with any seasonings you like. I used thyme, rosemary, paprika, black pepper and a tiny bit of garlic powder. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is done.

Note: The picture is from the first time I made it. I didn't mix the broccoli and the cheese. Since then I've mixed them and it's better. I just need to take another picture. :)

Serves: 4
Per Serving: 172 Calories; 5g Fat (27.4% calories from fat); 28g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 79mg Cholesterol; 323mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable. WWP: 4 (

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Now Down 32.4 Pounds

Woohoo! I lost another 3.8 pounds this week. Pretty exciting stuff. :) Rick is down almost 40 pounds now. We're on a roll and I'm not talking about the kind you eat either. :)

I started a challenge for myself a couple of weeks ago. This evening, I decided to invite others to join me over at my message board. It's a Christmas challenge. Anyone can join in and you can challenge yourself to anything you'd like. The challenge will end on Christmas day. My own personal challenge is to hit "One"derland. I'd have to lose 51 pounds between now and then, but if I really work at it, I can make it. Even if I don't make it exactly, I'll have at least tried. What a great gift to give myself this Christmas... the gift of good health and weight loss. Who will join me? This is the weight ticker I made to track my progress. Every time I lose weight, the ball moves closer to the hole.

weight loss weblog

By the way, if you haven't checked out, you really should. It's free and there are all kinds of cool things to help you track and lose weight.

I went golfing with Rick and two of his friends from work yesterday (they needed a 4th person, so I went). It was pretty fun, but we got rained on half of the time. I didn't do too bad on some holes, then there were a few holes when I wished I'd just stayed in the golf cart. LOL! There was this one par 3 hole where we had to hit over water (the picture below is the hole I'm talking about). I usually choke when there's any kind of water. Doesn't matter how big or how small either. I've hit my ball into a tiny creek before. Heck, my ball has landed in puddles as a matter of fact. LOL! Anyway, this hole not only had water, but a freakin' water fountain to hit over too. The pin position was directly behind the water fountain. I could have tried to hit to the left or right, but I decided what the heck, I should go for it. LOL! I put my good pink ball away (the picture to the left are the balls I use. Aren't they pretty?) and I got what I call a "water ball" out. This would be a ball that if it lands in the water, no big deal. LOL! I don't hit my irons very far usually, so I had the bright idea to use my 3 wood (it's a bigger club that hits further for those of you who don't golf). I hit that sucker and watched my ball fly through the air. Here are the thoughts that were going through my head as soon as I hit it.... "oh I hope that makes it over the water..... cool, I think I'm going to clear the water.... crap slow down.... oh no". LOL! That ball not only got over the fountain and the rest of the water, but it also hit the green and kept going. Dang it! So I go over to see where it ended up (I could tell exactly when I was on the tee box). It was on a hill. Hills and I have a love/hate relationship. If I hit the ball well from the hill, I love it. If I don't hit the ball well, I hate it. LOL! Lucky for both me and the hill, I hit it good and put it right up near the flag. I made my putt and that was the only par 3 I actually made par on yesterday. LOL! I just had to share that story. Aren't you glad you stuck around long enough to get through it? :) Ok, I'm off to bed. TTYL!

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's Friday The 13th

I just looked at my calendar and noticed today is Friday the 13th. I'm not a superstitious person, so it's not really a big deal to me, I just thought it was kinda cool. Hopefully for those of you who are superstitious, my black cat doesn't bother you too much. LOL!!!!

I'm writing my blog early today because I won't be getting home until late tonight, and I know I'll be too tired to write anything. Rick and I are going to play golf (I haven't played in awhile, so hopefully I won't suck too bad. LOL). After golf, we're going to my parents house for dinner and to play cards. I actually have to leave here in about 40 minutes and I still need to hop into the shower, so I'll leave you with a new recipe I tried this week. :) Have a great weekend!

Southwest Grilled Chicken

1.5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Pound Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast

Combine oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt in a small bowl; brush over both sides of the chicken to coat. Grill chicken over medium-hot heat for 8-10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turing once. Place chicken onto a plate, cover with foil and let sit for 5 minutes. Note: This chicken is great on salad.

Serves: 4
Per Serving: 176 Calories; 7g Fat (35.5% calories from fat); 26g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 66mg Cholesterol; 348mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 1 Fat. WWP: 4 (

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

28.6 Pounds Down

Well I weighed in this morning. I lost another 4 pounds. :) Yippee!!!! I got my 25 pound award and my 10% award. Next week, if all goes well, I should get my 30 pound star.

After my WW meeting, Rick and I had lunch with my parents and then we went and saw the new Harry Potter movie. It was good, but I feel like it was a bit rushed. I know, they can't go over every detail that the book does or it would be a really long movie, but the books are just so much better. I'm not saying I didn't like the movie, because I did. I just wish it had more detail in it. If you haven't seen the trailer (I'm sure everyone has, but just in case), here's a preview:

We saw a preview for a new movie that is coming out called "The Golden Compass" (It comes out in December). It's based on a Trilogy written by Philip Pullman called "His Dark Materials". Technically it's a children's book (older children), but adults should love it too because it's sort of like Harry Potter, but different (hard to explain). I read all of it 3 years ago. It's good. I hope they make all 3 books into movies and not just the first one (the other two are called "The Subtle Knife" and "The Amber Spyglass")
If you'd like to check out their website, click here. Also, here's a preview of the movie:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New Recipe To Share

Sorry, I don't have anything for you tonight except for a new recipe I tried for dinner. I have weigh in tomorrow morning, so I'll come and tell you how that went tomorrow night. :) Here's the recipe...

Pecan Mustard Topped Tilapia

3 Tablespoons Light Mayonnaise (I used Kraft)
1.5 Tablespoons Brown Mustard (French's Bold 'N Spicy)
4 (3 oz.) Tilapia Fish Fillets
4 teaspoons Finely Chopped Pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet that has sides with butter flavored non-stick cooking spray. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and place onto the baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the mayo and mustard. Spread the mixture evenly on top of each fish fillet (approx. 1 tablespoon each if you have 4 fillets). Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of pecans on top of each fillet. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Don't worry about the topping getting a little brown. Serve immediately.

Per Piece: 134 Calories; 7g Fat (43.2% calories from fat); 18g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 41mg Cholesterol; 282mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fat. WWP: 3 (