Monday, April 30, 2007

Survey Says....

I went down to Procter & Gamble this afternoon to participate in the body wash survey. It was kinda fun, not to mention super easy. And the best part... I didn't meet any crazy people like the lady I met last week at the Reed Hartman Research Center. LOL!

I got down there at 2:30 (my appointment was at 3:00). We were finished by 3:35. I was the only one there for about 10 minutes when I first got there, then another woman came and we got into a discussion about playing golf (no idea how that one started). LOL! At 3:00 they led all of us (about 10-12) back to this room with a long table with chairs around it (kinda like a board meeting room). We read a short paragraph stating what we were going to be testing and then we signed it and got our panel number. It was nothing like the consent form I had to read and sign last week. No mention of rash, bleeding or perhaps needing medical attention. After everyone had read and signed on the dotted line, a woman explained that we were actually participating in 2 studies today. First we went into room #1 and sat in front of a small computer. We were shown deodorant containers in different colors with 3-4 different scents. All we had to do was answer the questions (basically which we'd be more apt to buy). Next we were taken into room #2 where we washed each arm with a different body wash. I can't remember exactly what they both were, but I'm pretty sure the one I tested on my right arm said it was Olay Creme Ribbons or something like that. The other one was some kind of Dove product. We had to answer about 60 questions on the computer next to us after each of the two products were tested. Basically the questions wanted to know if the body wash made us feel sexy, outgoing, if we felt like the body wash made other women jealous of us, and other ridiculous questions. LOL! Let me just say, if I tested a body wash that made me feel sexy, I'd be smuggling it out of the place. :) And if I met a woman who was jealous of me because of my body wash, I'd have to tell her to get a life. LOL! I do have to admit though, the Olay body wash did make me feel a little sexier than the Dove body wash.

I did like the smell of it. In fact, I can still smell it. It's very nice. :) I can't really smell the Dove anymore. I stopped off at Super Walmart on my way home to get a few things and thought I'd check to see if they carry the Olay Ribbons body wash. They do. I almost bought some, but I decided not to. I don't want to spend $6 on body wash just yet. I still have some Suave body wash to use up first that I only paid $1 for when it was on sale. When I'm out of the Suave, I might buy some though. It's cheaper than Bath and Body Works and I think the smell lasts a lot longer.

Tomorrow I go back down to Procter & Gamble to test 2 more body washes and then I'll be done. This ought to be fun. I wonder if they'll ask the same questions tomorrow (probably. Well, maybe I'll feel more sexy tomorrow). I have to say, this is the first time I've ever participated in anything like this, but I might see what other studies they have to participate in. I know they have them all of the time. Procter & Gamble does limit you to only participating in a study every 45 days, so that's good. That keeps all of the study junkies under control a little bit. LOL! I can't complain, they're paying me $40 to wash my arms in shower gel (something I do everyday in the shower anyway). And even though I had to drive 30 minutes each way in some really heavy traffic, it was worth it.

I've done well on my points today. I had a sandwich before I left because I wasn't sure how long I'd be gone and I didn't want to get hungry enough where'd I'd pull through a fast food place while I was out. I picked up some frozen chicken patties at Walmart that were 4 points each, then I picked up a package of those square whole wheat bagels made by Thomas that are 2 points each. So, we had a 6 point chicken sandwich and some fat free Pringles for dinner. They finally got the Weight Watchers ice cream cups at my Walmart, so I picked up the mint chocolate chip, turtle, and the chocolate one (can't remember the name). I've tried the mint one so far and thought it was really good. I don't like the price, but I like the fact that they're portioned out for me, so I don't have to worry about if I'm packing the measuring cup too tight or if I'm eating more than I should be. I also noticed that my Walmart finally got in more of the Smart Ones desserts. I picked up a box of the key lime cheesecake. I haven't tired it yet, but I have enough points left to try one later tonight. :) TTYL!

Late addition to today's blog:
Adventures in Babywearing is holding a contest to get bloggers to show a picture of themselves without any makeup on (and without photoshopping themselves). Not that I usually wear a lot of makeup (I do always put some on if I know I'm going to be taking a picture), but even then I always cover up any blemishes on the computer before I release it to the world. You didn't know you were going to get an extra treat did you? LOL! I originally took a picture of myself when I got out of the shower earlier today, but dingbat me erased them off of the camera. So here I am now at the end of the day bearing it all before I head for bed. Look, I didn't even try to hide my multiple chins like I normally do. Man, what was I thinking? I must be tired. LOL! Anyway, this is the real me. Feel free to print it out and use it as a way to scare yourself away from the refrigerator. LOL! Just kidding!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Much Needed Cleaning Day

I've been getting a lot of stuff done today. Stuff that I would normally get done throughout the week, but didn't get to this week. I've put things away, gotten all of the laundry finished, dusted, ran the vacuum, cleaned both bathrooms, cleaned out a few drawers that I've been wanting to clean, gone through some papers I've been putting off, etc. The only think I have left to do is finish up the kitchen and then go through a stack of papers I have sitting here at my desk. I love when everything is put away and the place feels clean. :) If I get time next weekend, I'd like to clean out the closet here in my office and my bedroom closet. I just cleaned both of them out a few months ago, but now everything is out of whack again. I prefer to be able to just open the door, go in, get what I need and come back out. Not go in, stand there for 5 minutes looking around and moving things because I can't find what I need, and then come out mad. LOL! I've done pretty good on points today. I haven't really had much time to think about food (don't worry, I did eat).

Tomorrow I drive back down to Cincinnati to be a guinea pig for Procter & Gamble. They're going to test shower gel on my forearms and then I go back down on Tuesday for them to look at it and make sure I still have skin left. LOL! I'll let you know how that goes. :) Well, I'd better go finish up the kitchen before I don't feel like doing it. TTYL!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Let's Chat

Well I didn't get much done today. I was supposed to finish up the t-shirts for my website, but I ended up looking around for a chat room for my message board instead. LOL! I finally found one and figured out how to get it posted so that everyone could see it. Around 5 of us ended up chatting for about an hour. It was fun. I'd like to schedule a chat once a week for everyone on my message board to get together. I'm also hoping people will go there everyday and just chat with each other. I'd like to see people become friends and even talk to each other when they aren't at my board. Maybe even meet up with each other if they live close to each other. That would be so cool! It's too bad we all don't live near each other. We could get together once a month and have lunch and just chat about stuff. :) Ah well. Maybe one day we could all have a get together.

OK, I'm off to bed. I probably won't be online much tomorrow until the evening. I want to finish the laundry and get some cleaning done around here. I think I'm going to have to have a serious talk with the maid. She isn't doing a very good job lately (I'm the maid). LOL!!!! TTYL!

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Interview

Krissie sent me some interview questions. Some of these are going to be a little rough for me to answer, but I asked for it. :) Thanks Krissie for taking the time out of your busy schedule to ask me these. :)

1. Of all the many eating lifestyles out there, why have you chosen Weight Watchers?
Well, honestly, because it seems like the most sensible plan and I know it works. I spent a lot of time researching diets online and also trying many diets before I found Weight Watchers. I've been to Diet Workshop, I've done the low carb thing, Slimfast, Optifast, and probably something else with the word "fast" in it. LOL! We're all looking for a fast way to lose the weight, so of course anything with the word "fast" in it is going to appeal to us. :) So many programs out there have you doing crazy things like drinking shakes, not eating carbs, eating prepackaged meals, etc. That might be fine and dandy for getting the weight off, but once the weight is off, then what? You can't do that for the rest of your life. I feel like Weight Watchers offers a safe, balanced way of losing weight, and it's something I feel like I could follow for the rest of my life.

2. At one point in your life, you had lost an astounding amount of weight. How do you keep from being discouraged that you had to start over? (This is a selfish question. I had to start over, and really struggle with not beating myself up about it.)
Ah, this is definitely one of the harder questions. Honestly, I still beat myself up for gaining all of my weight back. I'm not sure there is a day that goes by that I don't at least think about it. I wallowed in self pity and disgust for 2 years. I tried to move on many times, I failed, I picked myself up and tried again. All we can do is really try. I've told myself to stop thinking about what was, and think more about what is and what can be. Telling myself this doesn't mean I don't still think about the past, but it does help me to bring focus into "today". It reminds me that I can't change the past, but I can work on today and change my future. I'm sure we all have regrets that we'd like to go back and change, but until we discover some kind of time machine, we're just going to have to learn from the past and grow from it. I think once I stopped wallowing in the self pity so much, I just decided it was time to move on. Even though I really wanted to lose weight over the past 2 years, I just think I wasn't really ready to do it. My mind and heart just weren't in the game. I still struggle almost everyday, but I think I'm more into it now. I've found a lot of great supportive people to talk to at my message board, I've got my friend Ben to talk to, and I've got this blog where I've met people like you. Keeping this daily blog is kind of like therapy for me. It helps me get some stuff out of my head. :) I also meet a lot of nice people through my website. Helping others has helped me as well. I just think surrounding myself with like minded people has really helped me to stay focused. I also enjoy cooking again and now that I've been able to stick to it for over a month (I use to quit within a couple of weeks) and I've started seeing the results, I'm more motivated. I know I can do this, I've done it before and I know I can do it again. I have to forgive myself for gaining the weight back and move on. I have a couple of quotes that I keep taped here by my computer (since it's where I spend most of my day). They are:

"Remember... it's not what you are giving up, it's what you are gaining"

"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got and you'll always be what you've always been"

3.You mentioned in one blog that you brushed your teeth to keep from eating. What other top secret tactics do you have up your sleeve for dealing with cravings or munchies?
Hmmm, well, I chew gum sometimes when I want something sweet, and the chewing motion helps (I'm not a real big gum chewer though). I don't eat hard candy very often (I choked on a piece when I was 11, so I have some mental problems in that area. LOL), but I'm sure if others feel safe eating hard candy, it could help get rid of a few cravings. :) I've found having a cup of low calorie hot chocolate or some chicken broth really helps. The warmth from it makes you sip so it lasts longer and I just think it helps keep a person satisfied. Sometimes if I think I need something sweet, I'll have some crystal light. It's sweet and helps get some more water in. If I'm having a craving for something sweet and I know I'm hungry, I'll have a 1 point pudding or if I need something salty, I'll have some popcorn. I don't crave salty too much, my craving is usually for sweets. :) I really do find brushing my teeth a lot of times is the best way to go. How many of us are willing to eat when we've just brushed our teeth? The minty toothpaste sometimes gets rid of a craving too. LOL!

4. You posted once about emtotional eating. I read somewhere else that we fill our appetites with food and we fill our cravings with self-love. How do you reward yourself? Do you have any pampering habits?
Honestly, I've never really been one for pampering myself. I'm probably too hard on myself and I should reward myself more often, but I just don't. I'm very happy when I do well and the feeling I get from that accomplishment is usually enough of a reward for me. :) I am saving $5 for every pound I lose this time around. I suppose in a way, that's kind of like a reward that is being built up for the ultimate prize for when I hit my goal. :) When I hit my goal, I've figured up that I'll have saved around $712. It's not a million dollars or anything, but that's a pretty good prize if you ask me. :) I'll be able to buy new clothes or go get a make over, whatever I want.

5. I am so impressed that you work from home and make your living inspiring others. How did you take that leap?
Honestly, it all started out with me building my website as a way to help myself stay accountable, and I thought maybe I could share my adventures (that's why I called it Aimee's Adventures) with others to help them with their adventures. I just started posting any recipes I tried and taking pictures of the recipe when I made it (at the time, I was the only person with a personal site for Weight Watchers doing this, so it was pretty unique). I also posted anything else that I came across that I thought would help others, like tips, articles, other websites, etc. About a year and a half into it, someone at my Weight Watchers meeting told me that I should put a cookbook together because I was always sharing my recipes with them. I really didn't want to do it because it seemed like a lot of work (which is it) but my husband (ex now) was disabled and not working (he had dilated cardiomyopathy), so I decided to do it. At first it was more like a hobby, but then it picked up and I was making enough to pay the bills, so I figured I'd better make it an official business (I didn't want to go to jail for not paying taxes). LOL! I'm not rich from it, but I make enough to pay my bills each month (though there are some months where I'm afraid I won't make enough and think about finding a part time job to go with it). Some people have told me I shouldn't put the recipes up for free on my website, but I know I like free stuff, and I figure if people like the recipes enough, they'll purchase the cookbooks. :) Right now I'm working on the 3rd cookbook (making new recipes) and I'm putting together another cookbook of "Community Favorites". Even though I put a lot of work into maintaining the site and working on recipes, I enjoy doing it. And when I get an email from someone who tells me how much I've helped them, then that makes it all worth it.

6. Sometimes I am guilty of focusing too much on the scale and not enough on how my life and my abilities are changing. Other than the number on the scale, what are the benefits of weight loss that you look most forward to?
I mosty look forward to being able to do physical activities like I use to. When I lost weight the first time, I remember having so much energy. I loved hiking, I participated in 10k's almost every weekend, I would ride my Trikke for miles, and much more. I can't do any of that now. Where I use to be able to walk 6 miles, I can barely walk 1 mile now. I get out of breath from simple things like tying my shoes to simply walking across the room. I can't wait to not be like that anymore. I look forward to my knees, ankles and back not hurting anymore from all of the extra weight baring down on them. I also look forward to being able to see my feet without bending way over. :) I have quite a few clothes that are smaller in size that are put away. I'm looking forward to getting back into those and then having them be too big for me too. :) Another thing I'm looking forward to is being able to go somewhere and not having to wonder if I'll fit through something or if I'll get stuck in the seat when I sit down. I guess just over all "fitting in" in all aspects of the word and feeling healthier are what I look forward to the most.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Skipping Out Again

Sorry guys, I have to skip the blog again tonight. I just have too much to do yet before I go to bed and I'm already really tired. I'll post something tomorrow for sure.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Got My 10 Pound Ribbon

Well, the first 10 pounds are off (10.4 to be exact). I'm on my way. Now I just need to do this like 14 more times. No big deal. LOL! I can't say I did anything real exciting today. I went to my Weight Watchers meeting this morning (lost 2.8), came home, got some work done, took a nap because I only had 2 hours of sleep last night (I did go to bed early, just couldn't sleep) so my brain was mush and I couldn't function. I was much better after the nap. I ate lunch, worked some more, ate dinner, worked some more. I'm seeing a pattern here. LOL! I went to McDonald's for dinner. I'd been hearing a lot of good things about their new Southwest salad with grilled chicken, so I decided to check it out. Man, that is a good salad! Much better than the salad I was getting at Burger King. I skipped the salad dressing and brought it home to put my own light ranch dressing on it. I also got one of the fruit and walnut salads that come with apple slices, grapes, vanilla yogurt and candied walnuts. That was really good too! Between the 2 things and the ranch dressing, I spent 11 points on dinner, but it was filling. Well, back to work. :) TTYL!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Goodnight, Sleep Tight :)

Sorry guys, I'm skipping the blog tonight. Every night I say I'm going to bed early, and tonight I really am. I have weigh in tomorrow morning and I really want to get my 10 pound ribbon. According to my scale this morning, it said I was down 4.5 pounds for the week, but I don't expect the scale tomorrow to say that. I'm ok with it. I just need to lose 2.4 pounds to get my ribbon tomorrow, so anything past that is just icing on the cake. :) Goodnight! TTYL!

Monday, April 23, 2007


I almost wasn't going to blog tonight. I'm extremely tired, but I needed to write about my day before I forgot (and I don't like to disappoint because I know all of you want details on my little adventure today). LOL! If none of this makes sense, I apologize. My brain passed "shut down" mode like 2 hours ago (it's actually 2:30 AM, I just changed the time so this would still post under Monday's date). By the way, this is a long blog tonight, but I just can't leave out certain details if you want the full entertainment of it all. LOL!

Ok, so I drove down to Cincinnati this afternoon for my appt. with the Read Hartman Research Center. I got there about 20 minutes early, but decided to go on in anyway. Good thing I did. Man, the consent form they gave me to look through and sign was ridiculous! It was like a novel. The more I read, the more I was like "crap, what am I getting myself into?" LOL! Here's a few excerpts from the form (yes, they actually let everyone bring a copy home). Their xerox machine must go through a lot of ink.

The purpose of this research study is to evaluate the changes in the appearance of hair on your forearms after applying test products for 14 weeks.

Study Procedures:
A clinical assistant will make several small marks on your forearms with a skin marker and red pen to define the areas on your arms in which you will apply your products. You will be asked to maintain these marks for the duration of the study. (woohoo, so I'll get to spend the entire summer with red marker all over both of my arms. It's a good thing we all wear short sleeves in the summer) LOL! Later in the form it talks about a template they use to make the lines on your arms, how they dye the hair on your arms, shave them and take pictures. Fun!

The next several pages just go through what will happen at each visit. 4 of those visits include a pregnancy test. Maybe they're putting stuff in the cream to make us pregnant and they want to make sure it takes? :) After all, they only let women into the study. LOL! One part I thought was funny (I think I may have even laughed out loud when I was reading it)... "you will agree to use an acceptable type of birth control which will include"... (they name the usual ones) then it says "condom with spermicide even if you practice abstinence". Ok, correct me if I'm wrong... but doesn't abstinence mean you're refraining from having sex? Why would you need a condom for that? I can see it now... "Ok honey, we aren't having sex, but you're going to need to put this condom with spermicide on anyway". LOL!

Ok, this gets even better. Wait for it.... wait for it....

It is possible that you might have a "skin reaction". A skin reaction could show up as a rash, acne, red hair bumps, blistering, stinging, tingling, burning, (oh it's getting better as we go isn't it?), redness, dryness, or itching of the skin. (here's the kicker)... Other potential side effects are bleeding skin and numbness (super!). Then it goes on to say that they will provide medical care at no cost if any of this stuff happens. But.... providing such medical care is not an admission of legal responsibility on their part. Ummm... well then why even bother paying for it? It wasn't your fault anyway. Right?

One lady got up and left after reading her consent form. Can't blame her. She said it was because she didn't want her arms marked with a red marker, but we all know the real reason (bleeding and numbness). Or maybe she doesn't want to use a condom while being abstinent. LOL! A little voice in my brain kept saying "Aimee, this sounds a bit crazy... did you read the part about bleeding and numbness?" But did I get up and walk out? Heck no! I was signing on the dotted line wanting to know what we do next. LOL!

Now, have you ever been sitting in a waiting room with a couple of other people, you're trying to read a magazine and yet the person next to you just won't shut up? That's what happened to me today. I actually wasn't reading. I was pretending so I didn't have to talk to... lets refer to her as "crazy lady". Out of all the people in the room, I was the lucky victim. First she told me about how she's done a lot of "these types of tests". I couldn't help but think about how one of those tests she took must have had a side effect of "could cause craziness" because she was suffering from it. LOL! Don't get me wrong, I'm all for chatting about the weather and such if I don't know you, but this lady was all in my personal business (and I don't mean stuff like "are you married, have any kids, how old are you, etc"). Go deeper.... much deeper. I just kept starring at my magazine (reading the same 2 lines over and over again because I couldn't concentrate long enough to get a whole paragraph in), and she just kept asking the questions. I ignored her and "crazy lady" just kept talking like she heard me answer. LOL!

Ok, long story short(er).... they took me back to a room where they asked me a bunch of questions (basically it was a verbal pop quiz to make sure I had actually read through the consent form - glad I did). LOL! From there I got a folder with my name on it, a copy of the consent form and a timer that was set to go off in 15 minutes (what happens in 15 minutes I'll never know). I got sent across the hall to another room and a lady there asked me even more questions. We didn't get very far. Basically when we got to the part about menstrual cycles, I was disqualified because I don't have regular periods (you really wanted to know that didn't you?). I'm sure you would have rather heard "I got disqualified because my arms weren't hairy enough for the study", but that just wasn't the case.

"Crazy Lady" was there in the waiting room when I came back out (is this woman stalking me?). I told the receptionist that I had been disqualified and signed out. Crazy Lady asked me why I was disqualified, very loudly from across the room (still ignoring her). I asked the receptionist if there were any other studies I could participate in (hey just because they wouldn't let me have numb arms that bleed in this study, doesn't mean there isn't another study out there that won't let me experience it). LOL! So... I have an appt. next Monday and Tuesday to let another company wash my forearms with body wash for $40. This is only a 2 day study instead of 14 weeks (sounds better to me). If someone wants to wash my arms with body wash and pay me $40, lets do it! The side effects can't be any worse than what I already read about. LOL!

So, other than my usual stuff, that was my day. Aren't you glad you stuck around and read all of this? LOL! Well, I thank you for sticking around. I'll probably re-read this a year or so from now and say "what was I thinking?" :) TTYL!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Earth Day

I didn't sleep very well last night and then I got up at 7:30 this morning. I left the house around 8:00 and headed down to Cincinnati to see where my appt. is for tomorrow. I'm trying to get into a study group at the Reed Harman Research Center to test a cream for hair on my forearm. I saw the advertisement in a local magazine a few weeks ago and decided to check it out. If I get accepted into the program tomorrow, it's a 14 week study and I'll get paid $500 for participating. I think they said I'd have to go 11 times total, so I figure heck, I can smear some cream on my arm twice a day, keep it out of the sun, journal about it, let them mark my arm, dye the hair and take pictures for $500. :) If I don't get accepted in this study, maybe I'll ask them what other studies they have going on that maybe I could participate in. I'm not going to participate in anything that will harm my health. No amount of money is worth that. They said this forearm study is in the last stage of testing before it's supposed to hit the market, so it should be pretty safe. I'll let you know tomorrow how it goes. It might be kinda fun. :)

I stopped off at a flea market on the way home. I got there right when they opened, so not too many vendors were there yet anyway. I walked around for about 45 minutes and then had to get back to the car because my right knee was killing me. I think that's one of the reasons I didn't sleep very well last night too. I remember waking up a couple of times and my knee hurting. I must have done something to it yesterday when I was scrubbing the chairs and table. I did get down on my knees once when I was scrubbing the table. Maybe that's when I did it. Who knows? I'm sure I'll live. If it gives me anymore trouble, I just wrap it. I haven't really been on it much since I got home from the flea market. I've mostly been sitting here at the computer all day working on stuff.

I did really well on my points again today. I made a roast in the crockpot with onions, potatoes and carrots for dinner. It was really good. I haven't done too well with my water today, but the night isn't over yet. :) Well I'm going to go put the dishes away. I have some auctions on Ebay ending tonight, so I'll check those when I'm done, then I'm heading for bed. Hope you had a nice weekend. :) TTYL!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Nice Sunny Day

I'm posting my blog early today. I have a few things I need to get done tonight and I don't want to write when I'm tired (we've all seen those blogs where I've been tired and out of my mind. LOL).

We had a nice warm, sunny day today. :) It would have been perfect weather for golfing, but I didn't go golfing. Instead, Rick and I went to the flea market and got a lot of walking in. I picked up a new dog toy called a Wee Wubba while I was there (it was a little cheaper than ordering it through the website). My dog is going to town on it right now having the best time. He's shaking it from side to side and throwing it up in the air as I type. LOL! He's crazy. :)

After the flea market, we stopped off at Wendy's and I got my usual grilled chicken on a regular bun, chili and lemonade. I only ate a little over 1/2 of the sandwich. I was sitting there mindlessly eating it and realized "hey I'm not really hungry anymore" so I just stopped eating. I drank the rest of my lemonade and called it quits. :) I'm feeling pretty good. I swung by Trader Joe's and picked up a couple of things on the way home.

When I got home, I decided to clean the back porch and scrub the lawn chairs and table I have back there. They got pretty dirty from sitting there all winter. I carried my bucket and everything to the end of the building where the water hose is (I live in an apartment). Well when I got down there, I couldn't get the water to turn on (yes, I know how to turn a knob. LOL). They must shut it off for the winter and haven't turned it back on yet. I was like "ok" and carried everything back to my yard. I figured I was going to get this done one way or another because I want to start sitting on the back porch with Riley in the evenings when it's nice out. I went to the bath tub and filled my bucket up, and lugged it out to the yard. Those chairs were filthy! I scrubbed the crap out of them, you should have seen the dirt. Yuuuuck! I had to make 4 trips back and forth to get more water. That bucket was kinda heavy. I hope I'm not hurting tomorrow from it. LOL! Think I can count that as exercise? LOL! Anyway, while the chairs and table were drying, I knocked down any cobwebs, then ran my broom over all the siding to try and get any dust/dirt off. Then I swept the porch, cleaned the outside of the grill, organized the storage closet and put the furniture back. I came back inside and got Riley. We played in the yard for awhile, then he sat on the chair with me and watched the birds. :) It's just so nice out.

It's almost 8:00 now, so I guess I'll go pop some chicken nuggets in the oven and cut up a salad. I'm still not that hungry, but I don't want to wait until I am hungry because then I'll just be shoveling anything and everything into my face. LOL! I hope you guys are having as nice a day as we are here in SW Ohio. :) By the way, I was down another 1/2 pound this morning. That makes 2.5 since Wednesday. Lets just hope by the time next Wednesday rolls around these numbers will still be showing up, or maybe even something better. :) TTYL!

Friday, April 20, 2007

It's Friday, Already!

Man, where did the week go? Time sure does fly by quickly these days. I worked most of the day, then we went to my parents house for dinner and to play cards. My mom and I won the first game, and then the second game we didn't have partners. I pretty much came in last on that game. LOL! It's ok though, it's just a game. I did excellent on my points today (have all week). I'm hoping for a nice day outside tomorrow. Maybe I'll go play some golf or hit the flea market. I haven't done either of those things since last year. I'm off to bed to watch an episode of Southpark, then I'm going to get some sleep. :) TTYL!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Going To Bed Early Tonight

Sorry, I'm skipping the blog tonight. I've pretty much been working since I woke up this morning (with the exception of stopping to eat, checking my message board a few times and chatting with Ben real quick), so I'm going to finish up and head for bed. Besides, the several spelling mistakes I've been making over the past hour pretty much confirm my brain is turning to mush. LOL! Oh, my scale said I was down more this morning, so I'm hoping for good things this week. :) I think the green tea may be helping. I'm also trying not to use any Flex points this week just to see how I do. Everyone have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Nothing Much

I don't really have much to post tonight. I went to bed at a decent time last night, but couldn't sleep. I finally fell asleep a little after 4:00. My alarm went off at 7:00, so I was pretty tired. I was getting ready to leave for my Weight Watchers meeting, and Ben called me. He said he had good news (which was he had a good weight loss this morning) and bad news (which was his dad's in the hospital). He wrote all about it in his blog tonight, so I'll let you go over there and read everything. He and his family have been through a lot today.

I went to my Weight Watchers meeting and was down 1.2 pounds. I know I would have been down more if I had just gotten some sleep, but it's ok. It's still a loss, so I'll take it. I finally got back home around noon and wasn't feeling well, so I went back to bed for a couple of hours. I felt better when I woke up, so I'm sure it was just from being tired. I weighed myself when I got back up, and my scale said I was down another 1.5 pounds, so that was good.

After I got something to eat, I decided to try and get some more t-shirt designs done for my website. I've been working on them off and on for over a month. Most of the time was spent coming up with ideas. I was hoping to get the last of them done tonight, but 1 shirt took forever to complete, so I still have another day of work before I can finish building the stores and get them all up on my site. I chatted with Ben one more time before he headed for bed, I hope he gets some sleep. I'm going to run to Walmart real quick (a new one opened up like 5 minutes from my house today). I avoided it like the plague today though because of all the traffic. It should be pretty empty now. I'm not much of a shopper, so I like to get in and get out of a place as fast as possible. I also hate crowds, especially crowds of people who want to just stand around and chit chat in the middle of the aisles, it urks me something serious! I'll be heading to bed when I get back home, not that I expect to actually sleep right away, but at least I won't be sitting here at the computer all night like usual. My butt is getting flatter by the day from sitting here. LOL! TTYL! I hope everyone is having a good week.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Past vs. The Present

Ben and I were chatting online last night when he told me to go and take a look at his MySpace page. I went over to his page and saw that someone we went to high school with had posted an old picture of him. All of my memories of Ben pretty much involve the skinny Ben that I knew in high school. Yes, I've seen the heavier Ben, but even now, I don't see the weight, I just see the same Ben I always knew. Anyway, this started a discussion of how we see ourselves and comparing how we look and feel now vs. how we looked and felt when we were thinner.

Many of us have been heavy for more than a few years, and even if a little extra weight is new to you... Do you ever just close your eyes and remember what it felt like to be back in that skinny body? I'll admit, there are times when I forget that I'm heavy (I know, it's hard to believe when you weigh as much as I do), but then there are times when I just feel like I weigh a whole lot more than I do. Trying to remember what being thinner and having more energy felt like isn't all that hard for me since I got a taste of it again just a couple of years ago (I wasn't at my goal weight, but lets face it, after losing 110 pounds I felt pretty damn good). I close my eyes now and think back now to what it felt like. The energy I had was amazing! I not only felt better physically, but mentally I just felt like I had really accomplished something and I was proud of myself. I could do simple things without getting out of breath (like walking across a room or bending over to tie my shoes). I didn't moan and groan when someone asked me if I wanted to go for a walk (sometimes I'd go for a long walk and then turn around and go for a hike later that day). I participated in 10k's almost every weekend and always tried to beat my time from the 10k before. My knees, ankles and back didn't hurt, I wasn't tired all the time, I was happier and more outgoing. The list could go on and on. I know since I'm older and my body has changed, that I probably won't ever look like I did when I was 15 years old ever again. But that doesn't mean I can't at least get to my goal which is probably pretty close to what I weighed when I was 15 years old.

Now whenever I feel like I can't continue on, all I have to do is close my eyes and remember what it was like to be thin and know that eventually, I'll make it there again someday. You should give it a try sometime. Maybe it will help give you that little boost of motivation when you need it most. :)

This is Ben and I 18 years ago at a family reunion
(I couldn't really smile because I had pecan pie in my mouth)

Ben and I before a homecoming dance when we were 15 yrs old.

Monday, April 16, 2007

An "It" weekend

As you've probably already noticed, I took the last couple of days off from blogging. I just had too much to get done this past weekend. Not that I didn't really miss you guys or anything (I'm always thinking of my readers), I just didn't have anything of real quality to blog about unless you wanted to hear me rant on and on about how I need some extra cash right now, so I scrounged around the house for stuff to sell on Ebay over the weekend, and then I discovered that even if it sold, the little bit I did find for Ebay wasn't going to really bring in anything more than enough money to get a quarter tank of gas if I'm lucky. So I decided to put a special up on my website for books and bracelets hoping to bring in a few extra sales. Ya, I didn't think you really wanted to hear about all of that, so I'll spare you all of the details. :)

It's Monday night and I still don't really have a good topic to talk about. I guess that's the fun thing about blogging though. I can pretty much talk about anything here, right? :) Let's see... I could tell you how I haven't been out of the house since Friday night, or would you like to know about the horrible baked fish sticks I made for dinner tonight? Lets go with the fish sticks... They were soooo horrible that I had to toss them into the trash (not a recipe, so don't worry, even if it was I wouldn't share it with you. LOL). These were Mrs. Paul's Healthy Baked fish sticks. You get like 6 of them for 4 points. I'll save you some money right now... don't buy them! Make your own or go for the better frozen stuff and just count the points. After I tossed the fish sticks I just kinda rummaged through the freezer trying to figure out what I wanted to make instead. I decided on 1 point frozen waffles with a little bit of lite syrup, light Bob Evans sausage links, egg beaters and a glass of milk. 10 points total, but it was filling and tasted good. I was actually kinda glad the fish sticks didn't turn out because lets face it, who wants 6 dinky little dried up fish sticks for 4 points when you can have a big old plate of breakfast foods with syrup and some milk for 10 points? If I'd eaten those fish sticks, I'd probably be starving right now. I am a little thirsty though... hold on.... gonna go get a glass of lemon lime crystal light. :) Ok, I'm back. Mental note to self.... make more crystal light when I'm done rambling on my blog. LOL!

Well other than telling you about how I'm doing laundry today (ya, I'm sure you really want to hear about that), I don't really have anything else exciting to talk about. Oh, I guess I have one thing that has possibilities of being exciting... Over the weekend someone sent me a message about selling something called Homemade Gourmet. Since I need some extra cash, I'm considering it. I haven't decided yet though. I'm trying to get all of the facts together before I jump right in. I don't want my name associated with anything that isn't good. I figure it could be a good thing, or it could be something I'm going to get into and get stuck with a lot of products I couldn't sell. From what I've read online and the couple of people I've talked to, everyone loves the products (they're basically seasonings and mixes to help you make dinner a lot faster). I did ask if the products had nutritional information and I was assured they did, so that's good. I'm not really someone to have a home party or call people on the phone to push a product though, so I'm not sure how well this will work out if I do decide to do it. It would be nice if it was a product that just sells itself, but I'm not sure if very many people have heard of Homemade Gourmet. I guess I'll just have to think about this a little more. I have a little over a week until I have to make my decision if I want to get the discounted sign up fee. If I do decide to sell this stuff though, I don't want people who come to my website to think I'm some kind of sell out either. My website is the most important thing to me, other than my health. Yes, I cook and I sell cookbooks, but unless I want to go get a 2nd job and take away the time I do spend on the website and making new recipes, I need to find a way to make some extra money from home. Mary Kay is out since I don't wear make-up. LOL!

Well, I guess that's all for now. The dryer stopped, so I guess I'll go get the clothes out and hang them. Fun Fun Fun!!! :) Think I'll go to bed early tonight too. I'm feeling a bit sleep deprived these days. TTYL!

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Power Of Words

As far as points go for the day, I ate them all, but I didn't go over. We went to my parents house for dinner and to play cards tonight. Dinner was good. Ham and Bean soup with cornbread and strawberries for dessert. I didn't do well in cards at all. It just wasn't my night. Maybe next week. :) I didn't really have time to come up with a topic for tonight, so I'll leave you with a story instead about the power of words. Just something to think about. :)

A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all of their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

This story teaches two lessons:

1. There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day.

2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes to kill them. Be careful of what you say.

Speak life to those who cross your path. The power of is sometimes hard to understand that an encouraging word can go such a long way. Anyone can speak words that tend to rob another of the spirit to continue in difficult times. Special is the individual who will take the time to encourage another.

Be special to others.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Empowering Beliefs and Positive Self Talk

Weight Watchers has 10 tools for living. They're written in the week 1 Getting Started booklet we're given when we join. What are tools for living? The book says "These are a set of techniques that deal with the "inside" of weight management - the thoughts and feelings that influence your weight-loss behaviors".

I don't really want to cover all 10 tools today. I just want to talk about a couple; mainly empowering beliefs and positive self talking.

Lets talk about empowering beliefs first. What are empowering beliefs? Well, have you ever heard the saying "if you think you can, you will and if you think you can't, you won't"? Well empowering beliefs would be the part where "if you think you can, you will". How many times have you thought "I can't do that, it's too hard"? Well how will you know if you sit there and talk yourself out of it? You have to believe you can do it.

The nice thing about belief, is you are in charge. Nobody can change what you believe unless you want to change what you believe, they are your own thoughts. Only you can change what you believe. Sure, others can try to persuade you to believe differently than what you do, but in the end, you have the ultimate power to make that change or stick with what you know. If you have dis-empowering beliefs (those would be the "if you think you can't, you won't"), you will probably never achieve what you want to (in weight loss or otherwise). You can change your own beliefs though.

In order to change your beliefs, first you have to have the desire to change. Talk to yourself (I don't advise doing this out in public, people may think you're weird), but give yourself a private little chat and ask yourself, "is this a belief that I really want to hold onto?" Visualize yourself holding this belief. How would you become a better, happier, more successful person. Concentrate on your desire to be this new person and how rewarding that would be. Seek the information you need to make the change. This could be anything from reading, going to meetings, asking a friend, joining an online group, etc. Find the knowledge you need to make the change happen. Next you'll need to boost your commitment. This would be seeking help from others to help you stay committed to your new belief. This could be help from a spouse, friend, sibling, parent, meeting, etc. Stay away from anyone who wants to take your empowering belief away from you (misery loves company). You'll need to immediately start acting like a person who holds this belief. If you wait for this to happen all of a sudden, it won't work. Think how this person would walk, talk, etc. and then start acting like that. If your belief is that you can be a skinny person, then you need to start acting like a skinny person. Think about how skinny people behave. Do they load their plates up and go back for seconds? No! Do they lounge around on the couch all day and eat bon bons? No! (if by chance you do know some who do, pick another skinny person to follow. LOL! Maybe one that has to work at being skinny. Let's face it, some people are lucky to have great metabolisms. We aren't following those people around for an example. LOL). The last thing you need to do to is you need to find new ways to grow. After your belief has empowered you to change, and you have succeeded, you can't sit back and relax. Reward yourself for making the change, but you need to stick with it. Find new ways to help you do that. If you get bored with what you're doing, change it up. Walking the same path everyday on your daily walk? Take a new path or even get off of the path and take a hike. Eating the same thing for lunch everyday? Try something new. Keep it fresh and exciting.

Another thing I want to talk about is positive self talk. Have you ever said to yourself "I shouldn't have eaten that pie! I'm so stressed! I just can't do this! I have no self control! I give up!"? This is called negative self talk. It's pretty depressing isn't it? What if you had that same conversation again, but this time with positive self talk? What would it sound like? Would it sound like this? "I wish I hadn't eaten that pie! It was a bad choice and I know how to make better choices. Looking back, I realize I wasn't really hungry. I was stressed and I thought pie would make me feel better. What can I do the next time I'm feeling stressed so that this won't happen again?"

Self talk is internal dialog; the words we use when we talk to ourselves. According to Dr. Shad Helmstetter, our self talk reflects and creates our emotional states. You can feel calm or worried, depending on what you tell yourself. Your self talk can influence your self esteem, outlook, energy level, performance, and relationships with others. It can even affect your health, determining, for example, how you handle stressful events, or how easily you replace unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones.

Negative self talk can be changed with awareness and practice. Replace negative messages with positive ones. Say "I can" instead of "I can't". Personalize your affirmations with "I", "me" and "my". You can't always control circumstances or other people, so make your affirmations about what you can control, which is yourself. Make your affirmations state your own goals, wants and values, not someone else's. Make your affirmations believable and realistic so that you can say them with sincerity. Always state affirmations in the positive. To say "I don't eat fried food" only focuses your attention on the behavior you want to avoid. Instead say "I eat nutritious foods". Make affirmations short and easy to remember. Catchy slogans stay with us longer than essays. Repeat your positive affirmations often and positive thinking will become routine.

You Can Because You Think You Can

Everything is possible when you believe it's possible.
It's your mind that sets your limits.
What you envision you can do, you can do.
What your mind can conceive and believe,
your mind can achieve.
Success is actually a state of mind.
Start thinking of yourself as a success.
Believe in yourself.
Know in your heart,
that you can do the job you've set out to do.

If you think you can, you can.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Benefits of Green Tea

I’ve been hearing a lot about green tea lately and thought I’d check it out. I personally don’t care for the taste of tea (hot or cold), but I’ve decided to give green tea a try just because of the benefits. So far, from what I’ve read online, drinking green tea can lower your cholesterol, increase metabolism, enhance fat oxidation (fats are oxidized and provide us with the energy we fuel our bodies with), enhance your immune system, help prevent cancer, help your heart, it helps fight bacteria in the mouth and can also help fight cavities (as long as you aren’t adding a bunch of sugar to it). With all of these benefits, I figure it’s at least worth a try to like it. Besides, after reading my friend Ben’s blog today about soda, I think green tea would be a great alternative and has much better health benefits than soda does.

I’ve only tried 2 kinds of green tea so far. I went to Trader Joe’s earlier this week and purchased a couple of their pre-made teas. The first one was an unsweetened green and white tea with a hint of mint. I added some Splenda to it because I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it unsweetened. LOL! It didn’t matter; I still didn’t like it and took it back. The other tea I tried was a green tea already sweetened with Splenda. It was made by Arizona and called Diet Green Tea with Ginseng. I like this one much better, but I still have a bit of a hard time drinking a lot of it at a time because well, it still tastes like tea. LOL!

A few other kinds of green tea have been mentioned to me on my message board recently. I haven’t tried them yet, but plan to. Here are the comments I’ve gotten on my message board as far as favorite flavors go: Amanda said, “I'm a tea hater too, but the raspberry gardens green tea made by Celestial Seasonings is really good. With a little Splenda it just tastes sweet and fruity”. Slim Katie said, “I started drinking green tea a couple months ago, and I've noticed a pretty big impact as far as weight loss goes. I drink the Lipton green tea (hot tea bags). I was never a tea fan, but I really like this kind”. Tina said, “Try Lipton Diet mixed berry green tea (comes in a 12 pack of bottles) I was not a tea drinker before I tried this. It’s really good”. And Vanessa said, “I have NEVER liked Green Tea, but my mom suggested I start drinking it because she has noticed a HUGE boost in her metabolism, so I figured I'd give it a shot. She mentioned to me that they have flavored green teas now, so when I went to Super Walmart I bought Lipton Green Tea with Orange, Passionfruit & Jasmine, and I also bought Lipton Green Tea Mixed Berry. You get 20 bags per box. I brewed some with my iced tea maker and added a little liquid Stevia (natural sweetener) and it was YUMMY!!!! I also bought Celestial Seasonings Decaf Mint Green Tea. I would have to say by far this is my FAVORITE, although, they are all DELISH!”

I wasn’t sure how much green tea I need to drink per day to get the full benefits, so I also looked that up. It seems that depending on what disease you’re trying to avoid, the amount varies anywhere from 2 cups a day to 10 cups a day. It was rather confusing. Most of the websites I looked at recommended 4 cups a day. I did read an article on WebMd that said a Japanese study showed people who drink at least a pint of green tea each day have a lower risk of death from heart disease. I guess it’s up to you as to how much you drink. Right now I’ll probably just try to drink 3-4 glasses and see how it goes.

Should you rely solely on drinking green tea to lose weight? No. While it does have its benefits, I wouldn’t run right out and start living on the stuff. You’re still going to need to diet and exercise. Green tea will only boost your metabolism by 4-5%. Here’s a clip from an article I read at that I found interesting… “How much weight can you theoretically lose? Let's say your body needs 2,000 calories to maintain your weight. If drinking 4 cups of green tea can cause a 4% increase in calories burned, then you could burn 80 extra calories per day. This amounts to around 2,400 calories per month. Since you must burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound of fat, it would take almost a year to lose 8 pounds!”

Caffeine is found in most green teas. If you’re worried about caffeine, according to Lipton, Green tea has 20mg of caffeine, Black tea has 55 mg of caffeine, and a cup of black coffee has 100mg of caffeine.

This is getting kind of long for a blog. LOL! There really is a lot more info about green tea, but for now, I think I’ll just leave you with this…

How to Brew a Cup of Green Tea

Producing the perfect cup of green tea is a tricky process. If not handled properly, those same polyphenols (anti-oxidants) that provide health benefits can ruin the flavor, making the tea taste "gassy." It's particularly important not to over brew. While it's best to follow the manufacturer's instructions for each variety of green tea, here are some general instructions:

  • Use one tea bag, or 2 - 4 grams of tea,* per cup.
  • Fill a kettle with cold water and bring to a boil.
  • After unplugging the kettle, allow it to stand for up to 3 minutes.
  • Pour the heated water over the tea bag or tea, and allow it to steep for up to 3 minutes. If using a tea bag, remove the bag.
  • Allow the tea to cool for three more minutes.

*One to two teaspoons, depending on the variety of green tea you are brewing.

If you want to read more about green tea and its benefits for weight loss, I came across a book while I was doing my search that sounds like it’s worth a read. It’s called, “Lose Weight with Green Tea” by Patricia Rouner. Even though the price is good for this, If you decide to buy it, I'd check Ebay or the library for it too.

By the way, somehow I managed to maintain this morning when I went to weigh in. My scale said I was up 2 pounds. I'm not complaining, but I hope the scale doesn't play catch up next week. Enjoy your tea!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

How We See Ourselves

Why is it that when we’re skinny (or at a healthy weight) we tend to think we’re fat? Then as we gain weight, we know we’re fat, but in denial about just how fat we are. Until one day, there we are, going about our business and someone snaps our picture. They think you automatically would want a copy, so they send it to you. You take a look at the picture and say “wow, who’s that poor fat woman (or man) who wasn’t able to hide from the camera fast enough?” Then you realize it’s you! You look at the picture a little more closely. Still in a little bit of denial, “that just can’t possibly be me” you say. Next comes the magnifying glass. You say, “OMG, it is me! When did I get that big? How long have I looked like this? Why didn’t I notice this before? Has anyone else noticed?”

My most recent “fat” picture came on Christmas day (2006). I think it was my brother’s gift to me, all wrapped up in the viewing area of his camera. He was supposed to be taking pictures of everyone opening their gifts, but instead, he seemed to be having more fun taking pictures of me (normally I take all of the pictures). I’ll admit part of it was funny. I kept making faces at the camera and everything, but that was before I saw what I looked like. I couldn’t believe how big I was. What happened to me? Where’s the Aimee I had gotten to know 2 years earlier? I knew I had gained all of my weight back, but I didn’t feel as big as what the pictures showed. I was really embarrassed by what I saw that day. Embarrassed enough to start making a change the next day? No, not really. I did what most people do and said “I’m going to start again on January 1st”. Did I start on January 1st? Yes I did! Can I say I’ve stuck to it from January 1st until now? Sadly, no I can’t. It took me until March to get my mind in the right place again.

The point is why can’t we see ourselves for what we really look like? Why do we see ourselves as heavier when we’re thinner, and thinner when we’re heavier? I know after I had lost 110 pounds and was 30 pounds from my goal; I had a lot of days where I still felt like I was really fat. Now that I am really fat, I’d give anything to get back to those days again. It’s like it’s a psychological game we play or something.

Anyway, I feel the need to share my Christmas 2006 photo with all of you. The only reason I’m sharing it (as embarrassing as it is), is because I know my Christmas 2007 photo is going to be much better. So here I am as crappy as I look…

Me, Christmas 2006, taken by my brother Eric.

I have my weekly weigh in tomorrow morning. I don't think I'm going to be down at all, but hopefully it won't be too bad. I did really good today. :) TTYL!

Monday, April 9, 2007

A Desperate Moment

Man did I ever have an off moment today. I was tired and not feeling very well around 6:30, so I thought maybe I'd lay down for a few minutes and see if that helped (I was not feeling hungry at this time). I must have fallen asleep because I woke back up around 6:55 (Riley trying to dig to china next to me on the bed is what woke me up. LOL). I didn't intend to fall asleep at all (when I take naps I tend to feel worse when I get up for some reason). Well of course I didn't feel any better, but suddenly I was soooo hungry! I could have eaten anything I could get my hands on. Have you ever felt so hungry that you feel almost in a panic to get something to eat? That's how I felt. I actually went to the refrigerator with the intent to just start shoving things into my mouth. I've never had a moment like this. Sure, I've been really hungry before; I've had the munchies, cravings, etc., but nothing so desperate as this. I was actually checking the counters for anything I could shove into my mouth on the way to the refrigerator. Thank goodness those dark chocolate Hershey kisses I bought last week weren't in site! I ran to the refrigerator, threw open the door and started scanning for any kind of junk food. LOL! I know, my eyes look for the junk food first. Reality set in... "Duh Aimee, you got rid of all the junk food when you went back to Weight Watchers." LOL! I did spot a 1 point pudding cup. I ripped that little sucker open, grabbed a spoon and had at it. I don't think I really even tasted it. As I stood there with the refrigerator door open, scanning for my next little food victim, I though "man was that ever the dumbest thing to choose when you're starving to death!" I took a moment, stopped scanning the refrigerator and just took a step back along with a deep breath. I looked down and spotted the milk. "That's what I'll have" I thought. I poured myself a glass, sat down and took my time drinking it. After I had finished the milk and calmed down, I felt much better. I was soooo glad I took a step back when I did. That moment could have turned out to be a really, really, really bad moment. I knew the milk wasn't going to hold long, so I decided to get dinner in the oven before another little crazy moment like that crept back in. I have no idea why any of it happened. I ate lunch at Subway around 2:00, so it's not like I hadn't eaten all day. I just hope it never happens again! That was a very freaky moment for me.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone who celebrates had a happy Easter today! We went to my parents house around 4 PM. I had subway for lunch, and then took a salad with some healthy stuff on it with me to my parents house. My mom made turkey and ham, so I had some turkey to go with my salad and a couple of the mock deviled eggs that I made. My mom made pineapple angel food cake and pumpkin spice cake for dessert, so I had a piece of pumpkin spice cake. After we ate we played cards. Texas Holdem was the first game we played. I was almost the first person out, but I was able to make a comeback when I went all in and I was able to stay in until there were just 2 of us left. We weren't playing for money, so we had already decided when it got down to the last 2 people, we'd both just go all in and whoever won that hand was the winner. I was dealt a pair of 3's and it just wasn't good enough. :( The next game we played was a game Rick's daughter taught us how to play called 3-13. It's kinda like Rummy in a way and a lot of fun. I got lucky and had pretty good cards during that game. Towards the end though my brother's step son was catching up with me, but luckily I was able to play all but one of my cards and he had points added to his score (lowest score wins in this game). It was a fun evening. We got home around 9:30, and I'm pretty tired. I'll probably go to bed and watch some tv after I finish posting this. Other than what I posted above, I ate 1 portion of light Doritos while we played cards and then had a couple of ounces of turkey and some green tea and 1 glass of diet Mt. Dew. I pretty much used up all of my points for the day (I think all but 1) but I still think I did ok. I certainly could have done a lot worse. I didn't once have a cheese nip or this other pretzel type snack that was sitting out, not even 1 piece when I put them away at the end of the night. Normally I would have been pigging out. LOL! So how did you do? Did you survive the holiday? Even if you went over your points (a little or even a lot), tomorrow is a new day. Get back on track. :)

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Lose Weight AND Save Money

I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say they can't afford to lose weight. If you're overweight, how can you afford not to lose weight? I can understand if you're already penny pinching and barely able to pay your bills, but I've learned a lot of the time "can't afford it" means not willing to give something up that you'd rather spend the money on. It's true, healthy food does cost more at the grocery store, but if you stay home and cook that food instead of eating out 5 nights a week, you're going to actually save money in the long run. When you're trying to lose weight, you tend to eat smaller portions, so even if you indulge in a bag of Doritos, that bag of Doritos should last you a lot longer than it use to, which means fewer trips to the grocery store to stock up on more Doritos.

How much are you spending on a fattening latte at your favorite coffee joint? Have you ever sat down and figured up how much money you'd save in a year if you just removed a few unhealthy habits from your diet? What if you just had black coffee instead? Or better yet, you make your coffee at home and take it with you? How about these smoothies we think are so good for us? They're packed with calories too and I'm sure there are some great alternatives we can make at home for a much cheaper price. You'd save not only calories, but money. These high calorie treats that we indulge in while we're out running our daily errands are not only adding pounds to our hips, but they're depleting our wallets.

Obese people have higher weight-related medical expenses. Some of these health problems include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Not only will losing weight help you to have more energy and possibly avoid some of these diseases, but chances are, your health insurance premiums are going to be lower too. Not to mention, if you're taking medication for high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes, chances are your doctor may advise you to reduce the dosages as you lose weight and that will help to save you money too.

Give weight loss and good health a chance. What do you have to lose other than weight? You'll gain energy, self esteem, and a few extra bucks in your bank account, and last but not least... a few extra years to your life.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Emotional Eating

I read an article about emotional eating today and it got me thinking. Why do we stress eat and feed our emotions with food? I know when I'm stressed, feeling sad or lonely I want baked goods like cakes and cookies (chocolate of course!). But why? They aren't my friend. When I'm shoving that cake into my mouth, it's not exactly giving me a hug and telling me how everything is going to be ok. The cookies aren't saying "hey, leave me be... the grapes are on the 2nd shelf in the refrigerator, eat them!". The ice cream isn't saying "hey lets go out and paint the town red tonight". Do I feel better after I've eaten the cake and cookies? No, not really. Now I have to add guilt to my stress or loneliness. Long after I've chewed the last bite, that sweet silent partner in crime is still hanging around at the back of my throat, just reminding me of what I did. So what do I do? Well, I shut it up with a big glass of milk of course. If that doesn't work, I'll chase it down with a pint of ice cream (lets face it, we weren't going to be going out on the town tonight anyway). That ought to do it!

How many of us try to smother our feelings with cakes, cookies, chips, ice cream, (insert your food drug of desire here)? What in the world do we think we're going to achieve by eating all this junk? Did it make you feel better? Maybe for just one moment while you were eating it, but then what? What are you left with, again, the guilt. You didn't solve anything. You're still going to be stressed.

What are some things we could do so that we don't smother our feelings with junk? Well, we could take a walk. What's that? It's too cold, raining, dark outside? Well, how about walking in your living room? Ya, I said it... IN YOUR LIVING ROOM. :) It doesn't matter how small your living room is. Leslie Sansone makes some DVDs called "Walk Away The Pounds". You could get one of those for around $10 (maybe even less). Have some stairs in your house? Walk up and down them. Do anything to just exert some energy. Exercise has been proven to make you feel happier. Who couldn't use a little extra happiness these days?

You don't feel like exercising and still want to eat? Well, lets see what kind of alternatives we have... Maybe you're feeling a little depressed and you're wanting something warm and creamy. Put down that mac and cheese! I can see you! LOL! Here, how about some warm and creamy oatmeal instead? Oatmeals not your thing? Hmmm, how about some soup? Are you feeling a little bit stressed and wanting something sweet? Don't go for the donuts, once you come down off of that sugar high, you aren't going to feel any better. How about a Jello Sugar Free 60 calorie pudding? No, it's ok, you pick the flavor. :) Crunching on something helps you release stress? Ok, how about some veggies? Oh now, don't give me that eeewww look. Fine, how about some popcorn? The point is, you can always find an alternative.

Think about why you're eating. Are you hungry or are you covering up something deeper like your feelings? Those feelings are still going to be there, so I say deal with them before they get the best of you. You need to have a back up plan in place for when these moments happen. I'll leave you with this saying... if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

By the way, I did good today. I didn't walk like I had hoped to, but I'll make up for it tomorrow. Also, I won in cards tonight. :) It came down to me and my mom. She was winning by 1 point and on the last hand I ended up going out first and beat her by 2 points. Victory is mine! LOL!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Too Tired

Sorry, I'm going to keep the blog really short tonight. I'm just too tired. I got up early this morning and just can't keep my eyes open any longer. I spent most of the day working on t-shirts and products for the site (click here if you'd like to see a preview of one of the new designs). I did good on points today and I walked a mile. :) I did make a new recipe for dinner. I'll see you tomorrow night after I've gotten some sleep (it's actually 3 AM). If you were hoping for something to read today, check out Ben's blog. I'm sure he's got something entertaining to talk about today like he always does. :) Here's the newest recipe:

Broccoli Chicken Cups

6 oz. Cooked Skinless Chicken
8 oz. Frozen Chopped Broccoli
1 (10 3/4 oz.) Can 98% Fat Free Broccoli Cheese Soup
1/2 Cup Fat Free Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 (7.5 oz.) Can Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Chop the cooked chicken into small pieces and place into a medium bowl. Cook the broccoli according to the directions on the package, then add to the chicken. Add the cheese soup, cheddar cheese, garlic powder and pepper. Stir well to combine. Spray a regular sized muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Open the biscuits and separate. Place one biscuit on a clean flat surface, and using the palm of your hand and fingers, flatten and stretch the biscuit as much as you can without tearing holes in it. Place the biscuit into 1 of the wells of the muffin tin so that some of the dough comes up the sides to make a small cup. Place 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture into the biscuit (this will help it keep it's shape so it doesn't shrink back down while you stretch the rest of the biscuits). Continue stretching and filling all of the biscuits. If you have any chicken mixture left, just divide it evenly between each cup. Place a little bit of water into any wells of the muffin pan you didn't use. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

Serves: 10
Per Serving: 113 Calories; 2g Fat (12.4% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 15g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 16mg Cholesterol; 457mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable. WWP: 2 (

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Scale Confusion

I still don't get it. If you've been reading my blog everyday, you might remember last week when I said my scale said I was down 2.2 pounds, but when I went to my Weight Watchers meeting, they said I was down .8 pounds. Ok, maybe their scale was off last week. So this morning, I weigh myself and the scale says I'm down 1.6 pounds. I go to my meeting and once again, I'm down .8 pounds. What is going on? I know my scale is accurate. I have 2 different WW scales and they both weigh exactly the same. Also, other people in my WW class think the scale isn't correct either. Don't get me wrong, I'm still glad I lost this week, but it's kinda upsetting to know you're down more than what they tell you at the meeting. I've decided I'm going to weigh on a different scale next week. It's one of the newer scales (the scale I'm currently using isn't used as much and is one of the older scales. I don't think it's calibrated correctly). If the new scale doesn't agree with what my scale says next week, then I'll just accept it and move on (not the weight, but pounds lost, because I know different scales weigh differently, but it should still be somewhat close as far as how much I'm down). Also, if the newer scale is closer to what my scale says, then I'll just start weighing on that scale. Ok, thanks for listening to my rants and raves about the scale. LOL!

I did really good today. I even walked a mile on the treadmil this evening. I'm setting a small goal for myself to exercise at least 5 times this week. I think I can do it. My knee and ankle may not agree, but they'll come around. :) I tried a new recipe tonight. I'll list it below. Also, if you haven't done so already, check my friend Ben's Blog out. He's writes about some interesting stuff on his journey to lose weight. :)

Ok, here's the newest recipe...

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

2 Pounds Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast
8 oz. Lean Diced Ham
1 (10 3/4 oz.) Can 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 Cup Light Sour Cream
6 Pieces Light String Cheese
Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, season with black pepper and cook in a nonstick skillet until no longer pink. While the chicken is cooking, place the ham, cream of chicken soup, and sour cream into a 9X13 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cut each piece of cheese into 8-10 pieces and add to the soup mixture. Once the chicken is done, allow to cool so that it's warm, but not hot (about 5 minutes). Add the chicken to the soup mixture and stir to combine. Add more pepper if desired. Sprinkle the top with the Panko (you can find these usually in the asian section of the grocery store). Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until bubbly. I know 1 cup doesn't seem like a lot for the points, but this is good and much easier than making the real thing. I was full with 1 cup and a salad on the side. You could add a zero point veggie on the side too if you feel you need more. Do not add salt to this if you have a habit of salting your food before tasting. The ham adds enough salt.

Serves: 6 (approx. 1 cup)
Per Serving: 330 Calories; 10g Fat (29.5% calories from fat); 43g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 118mg Cholesterol; 1128mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 4 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates. WWP: 7 (

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Tax Time

Oh man, it's tax time again. Today was all about paperwork. I've been working on getting this stuff together for what seems like forever. I paid my taxes for 2006 back in February, so I don't have to worry about that, but now I'm getting the last of my estimated taxes together for Jan-March of this year (I pay Federal, State and City tax every 3 months and sales tax every 6 months). The good thing is, since I got all of the forms printed off from all of the websites today and I've pre-filled everything out, the rest of the payments for the year will be a breeze. All I'll have to do is write the check, clip the voucher and mail it off. :) Sales tax is another story and takes a little longer, but that's another story and I have until July to figure that one out. LOL! Anyway, once I was finished with taxes, I got my checkbook balanced, filed stuff, filled orders, and printed shipping labels. After I finish my blog, I'm going to finish getting the orders ready to go for tomorrow morning and head for bed.

Tomorrow is weigh day again. I've been on track for 3 weeks now. This is the longest I've lasted since the last time I was on Weight Watchers faithfully back in 2004. I don't seem to be losing as fast this time around, but as long as I'm losing, I'm ok. Even if I have a week from time to time where I don't lose, that's ok too. As long as I know I'm trying and I don't give up, that's what matters to me. I know if I hadn't gone back to Weight Watchers, I'd be gaining every week. I feel much better since I've gone back. Oh, by the way, I did really good on my points today. I didn't have any crazy moments like yesterday. LOL!

While I have your attention.... Please, if you have any recipes that you really enjoy making, submit them to me for the "Community Favorites" cookbook that I'm putting together. You'll get credit for them in the book, and not only be helping others out, but helping to keep the site up as well. I don't want to have to beg for participation, but if that's what I have to do.... I'm on my knees begging you to please participate. Click here for more information. If the submission form is too confusing, or you think it's too time consuming, you can email me the recipes too through my website. Just be sure to include your name as you'd like it to appear in the book. Thanks!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Brushing My Teeth So I Won't Eat

I didn't start the day off too well. I woke up and had some toast. It tasted so good, I decided to have some more toast. Then I had 2 cups of skim milk. Of course within an hour I was hungry again because we all know toast isn't filling. So, I had a 2 point oatmeal cookie, and then another. Yes, duh! More empty calories that didn't fill me up. Next I was into the ice cream for 3 points. This is pretty much how things went (snacking myself to death) until I made it to Subway for lunch. I had a 6 inch ham and turkey on wheat. I sat down and figured up what all of my snacks cost me. After the Subway sandwich, I only had like 7 points left. I totally know better than to do that, but for some reason I grabbed for the snacks today. I even had fruit in the fridge that I could have grabbed instead, but I didn't. For dinner I had to decide if I was going to be creative and stick to my remaining points, or if I was going to freak out and blow it. I used all of my flex points Saturday at the baseball game, so that wasn't an option. I was pretty hungry. I decided not to blow it though. I made a huge bowl of salad with just a tiny bit of bacon bits, cheese, sunflower seeds, black pepper and fat free dressing for 4 points. I also made an ear of corn, but when I took a bite, it wasn't good so I didn't want to waste a point on it. I ate my salad, had a huge glass of crystal lite, and then after dinner Rick and I split an apple for 1 point. I made it through dinner ok. A few hours later, I wanted something sweet (like I hadn't snacked enough already). But I knew if I didn't have what I wanted, I'd have something I didn't want, then turn around and have what I wanted anyway. So I had 1/2 a cup of sugar free/fat free ice cream for 1 point. I'm done for the evening. I feel terrible physically and emotionally. I of all people should know better than to eat a bunch of carbs and empty calories. I've done it before (it's been a few years of course). I just hope I never do it again. I've already brushed my teeth so now I can't have anything else but water for the rest of the night. I normally would stay up and work for several more hours, but I also usually have a snack around 2 AM. Since that isn't an option tonight, I'm going to take a huge glass of water and head for bed. Maybe I'll read or watch tv (I can fast forward through the commercials, so I won't have to see the food). Tomorrow is a new day.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

April Fools

Man, I totally blew it today. I had donuts for breakfast, pizza for lunch, ice cream for a snack and Fried chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits for dinner.... April Fools! Ok, I know it was a lame April Fools joke but I couldn't come up with anything better. :) I did good today with everything. I don't really have a lot to post tonight. I basically worked today, figured out what new recipes I wanted to try this week, made a grocery list and went grocery shopping tonight. I came home, put the groceries away and decided to watch a movie. We watched "Fast Food Nation". It was rather lame in my opinion. The ending was so gross I had to look away until it was over, and I can't say I'll want ground beef anytime soon. I'm going to check a couple of things for my site, then I'm heading for bed. See you tomorrow. :)