Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Approaching the Holiday Feast

Okay... not me, but the majority of you are going to have multiple opportunities to enjoy your favorite foods over the next few days. Ham, turkey, prime rib or maybe even a tradurken. Not sure if that's spelled correctly, but it's a duck stuffed in a chicken then a chicken stuffed in a turkey... meat-lover's dream! Then you add potatoes, gravy, stuffing green bean casserole (not as healthy as it sounds), breads, pies, cookies... well, you know what's ahead.

Since beginning the road to a healthier way of eating, I'm not even in the mood to do my holiday baking this year. In past years I've spent one entire day baking upwards of 70-100 dozen cookies to share with friends and businesses. So far this year I've made one batch of chocolate chip that although edible, are not as good as they should be. I also made snowballs (my granddaughter's favorite), gingerbread men (made with splenda and my daughter's favorite) and no-bake cookies (my future SIL's favorite). Those all got shipped to TN. I have my shortbread sandwich cookie and the uber-rich sugar cookie doughs chilling in the fridge. And I've even bought the box of rice krispies for 1-cup cookies. And I just can't get in the mood to bake any of them. I'm thinking of making one sheet of each of the sugar cookies then freezing the rest of the dough for this spring when the granddaughter comes to visit. They'll make just as adorable Easter Egg shaped cookies as they will stars and bells.

Now, I can't say I've been a good little girl all the time. More aware? Yes. But I'm also human and know I've eaten things here and there not on my plan. I've also not been on the Wii in almost two weeks. Not because I didn't want to. I LOVE it! But we brought all the Christmas decorations tubs back from storage and they've been taking up the work-out space in the living room. Hopefully I can finish getting them emptied tomorrow and they can get out of the way.

Oh yeah.. and I've not done well on our local BL group. I lost a total of 1.4 pounds over 7 weeks. I yoyo'd. To add to that, hubby offered up a challenge. Whichever one of us loses the most weight in the 3 weeks he's gone, gets a $100 shopping trip. Hmmm I still have a week to go. Wonder how well I'll do. I know he's been doing the Slim Fast 1-2-3 plan. So I'm thinking that $100 is his. I hope so... because after all his hard work this trip out, if he doesn't lose any weight, I fear he'll just give up and he needs to lose the weight or further damage the hip he already has issues with. I'd sacrifice the $100 for that.

I'm taking the next week off. But I'll be back to wish you a Happy New year and maybe stay on track.

Merry Christmas! and Enjoy the Journey

Monday, December 5, 2011

Catching up and a New toy!

Yep... Santa came early to our house.

While we were in TN at our daughter's, my husband got the Xbox bug. He didn't actually try it out, but he liked the option of playing games while NOT being parked on the couch. Unlike the PS or Direct TV game channel, you actually have to get off your duff and get ::: gasp ::: exercise while playing a game.

So Thursday night we hit the pre-Black Friday sale at our local Walmart for an XBox bundle - only to find out the 'tickets' for them were handed out long before the sale was to start. The next day we went to a SuperCenter in a nearby town. We didn't anticipate any systems left but thought we'd look anyway.

What we came home with was the Wii and Wii Fit Plus, along with Wii Sports pack, Jillean Michaels (Me), Tiger Woods golf and Dangerous Hunts 2011 (Bob). I'm really enjoying the Fit and Sports. I do the Wii Fit plus for an hour in the morning and then play some of the sports games in the evening. My fav on the Fit Plus is the Step workout. But I use some of the balance games as my warm-up, then do the Step workout for aerobics, the some of the other aerobics as a cool down. I'm also enjoying the boxing.. something I didn't think I'd like at all. However, this morning I managed to pop my left knew - the one I'd injured summer of 2010. So my legs are cramping a lot right now. It will be a 'take it easy' kind of day and no tennis/ bowling tonight, I'm sure.

I am down to 179 according to my scales. I managed to gain 2 pounds while we were in Nashville. Ate what I should most of the time, just not regular. I really need to focus on that end more when I travel, which I hope to do more of in 2012.

What's your favorite way to exercise?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

BL Week 2

Wow! I just don't know where the time goes. Remember being a kid and thinking an event would never come? Things like Birthday's and Christmas? Well, that's kind of where I am right now.
We have company coming in on Friday. I've been trying desperately to get the house presentable and beyond so I can get Christmas decorations up after Thanksgiving. Company leaves on Sunday and we leave for three days in Nashville. Our oldest grandtoddler turns 4 on Tuesday. She's called me every 3rd day for the past month wanting to know 2 things - Can she come to my house and is grandpa going to bring her baby doll (what she asked for her birthday). I can't believe it's almost that time and I still have so much I want to do in the house.

Add that I'm trying to write 50,000 words of a new novel in 30 days that just doesn't want to come together. Yeah... just a little stress.

Thankfully I'm not a 'stress' eater. Just the opposite. I get busy and forget to eat. Not eating regularly can be just as damaging to a weight loss plan. But I'm trying.

As of last Friday's weigh-in I'd lost 1 pound. I'd be happy with being down 1 pound a week. I managed to gain back that pound last weekend while I was in Springfield. I think it was the soda thing in the hotel because I didn't have my iced tea. But I've since lost it. So only 1 pound to go in the next 2 days. Hmmm

Are you a stress eater? What triggers your over eating/ or lack of eating? Let's chat!
Enjoy the journey!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Everyone gets their inspiration for things from different sources. The same applies to our push to finally shed the pounds.

Aside from the fact I know that it is the healthy thing to do. I want to be around a long time to enjoy my two young granddaughters. Adrian will turn four in a few days and Abigail was born on October 13th. By the grace of the God and Goddess, they have a long life ahead of them and I want to be around to enjoy every step of the way.

As I've talked about in an earlier post, there's a bit of vanity involved. Whether she'll admit it or not, there is a part of every woman that wants to know she can still catch a guy's attention. Happily married to my best friend of 28 years, I still wouldn't mind a honk, wolf whistle or 'decent' comment when I walk buy.

While enjoying an Artists Day in Paducah KY last month, I started my day with an early morning walk through the art district, just enjoying the quiet of the morning and getting a plan of what I wanted to see once stores and galleries opened up. As I walked down Artists Alley, I walked by a guy sitting on a bench reading the morning paper and enjoying a cup of coffee. Nearly half a block past him, I heard a comment float on the crisp air behind me... 'nice butt'. I turned to see who had spoken. We were the only two on the street. He raised his cup of coffee in a salute and smiled. I returned the smile then continued on my way. I spent the rest of the day with a lighter step and a new confidence. I knew my battle with weight loss was starting to pay off. Let me tell you, nothing can motivate you more than a POSITIVE comment.

With the Main Street Grocery Biggest Loser, the cash prize doesn't hurt the motivation either. I mean, seriously, who can't use a little extra cash right now?

Then there's Jay Wornick. Jay began losing weight on a New Years Resolution bet from his wife January 2011. As you'll see in the story, he's lost almost 200 pounds in 10 months. The prize was the loser would have the winner's name tatooted on their stomach. Okay, not exactly my inspiration but as I said, everyone has something different that motivates them.

So my question for today... What will motivate you to finally make the move to be a healthier you?

Whatever it is, remember to...
Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Week 1 begins!

I weighed in last Friday to begin the next seven weeks of our local BL group. So far there are only eight of us participating... half of what we had last time. I don't know if the prospect of trying to lose weight right here at the holidays is scaring them off or not. I figure if I can lose some weight, I have a bit of wiggle room to enjoy samplings of favorites I only get this time of year without doing too much damage.

This time I'm going to give both weights... the official and (home). So here we go.

Starting: 184.6 (180)

I'm also starting Slim in 6 tomorrow. I'd intended to start today but I've had to be away from the house most of the day and no time to finish clearing the living room to give me space. I'm hoping to at least use the bedroom floor for pilate stretches tonight.

Enjoying the Journey!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Musings

And blessed Halloween.

Hard to believe we are at the end of another month. October was such a busy time for me, I can understand how it seemed to fly by.

After only two days home from Eureka Springs, I headed to Nashville (Okay, Antioch but close enough) for the birth of my second granddaughter. Abigail Jasmine made her appearance on Oct. 13th. She is such a beautiful baby and so alert. And man can that girl eat!

I walked nearly every day while I was there. Adrian would get on her big wheel and we'd travel around the complex area. She kept grandma on the go for seven fun-filled days. Can't wait till I see her again for her 4th birthday in a couple weeks.

My weight is bobbling in around 177. Main Street Grocery is starting another 7-week round of The Biggest Loser on Friday the 4th. I'm really going to push hard. Since I'll be sitting a lot for National Novel Writing Month, it's even more important that I MAKE time to work out. I'm going to start the Slim in 6 work out video next week. This week it's just stretching and dancing. My goal is to drop at least 6 pounds this time. That's less than 1 pound per week and one I could be happy with right here going into the holidays.

How is your weight loss going? Or is it? Stop and tell us how you're doing and let's cheer one another on!

Enjoy the journey!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Musings

I got in late last night from the Ozark Creative Writers conference. I couldn't resist spending time in Eureka Springs. After checking out of the hotel at 11, I walked up to the Crescent Hotel (yes the same hotel seen on Ghost Hunters with the TAPS team) and back. I took time to chat with a realtor, shower Repo the little bull dog with some love and interview a B & B owner. Yep, always working the writing angle.

Then I drove through the historic district, parking on the far end of Main street in free parking (most lots run $5 for the day - and are jam packed on the weekend). I walked back up through town, again stopping to visit with locals enjoying the day on their porch, shop owners I know and lunch at my favorite spot, The Rowdy Beaver. I wish I'd thought to take a picture of my lunch so you could see what a bad girl I was. But in my defense I only get to the Rowdy Beaver once or twice a year and I didn't eat the french fries. When you go to the homepage, you'll see a counter on the left side of the picture of the den's interior. This is a great place to sit and people watch while you enjoy your meal. Though I did spend part of my time checking out the flat screen for the Bronco game :-)

I got on the scales this morning at 179... neither up nor down a pound. I'm seeing the loss more in my face and in my thighs (all that walking).

How are you doing on your journey?
Living the journey

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Morning Walk

I love my wooded acreage in southcentral MO. But I truly get a feeling of 'coming home' every time I step foot in Eureka Springs Arkansas. This quaint Victorian tourist town is a true haven for artists and people who just want to live life at a slower pace. You won't find a Walmart or other chain stores here. There is a Dollar General for the little things and a McDonalds. In the sixteen years I've been coming down here, I've never been to McD's and have only been in the $General once (hey, when you're dressing up- hose are important)

I spend every 2nd weekend of October here as part of the Ozark Creative Writers conference. I always make time to get downtown and browse the shops and chat with the locals. Since starting this new journey, I decided I'd do something a little different this year. So at 6:30 a.m. I was dressed and started out to enjoy a good walk along the Historic Loop - 3.3 miles. Mind you... Eureka Springs is called a 'stair step town' for a reason. There is almost no flat walking anywhere. Regardless of which end of the trail you choose to start at, you're going down hill one way and coming back up the other... and up is STEEP and at the end of the hike.

But the exercise felt great! I enjoyed stopping to pet dogs, admire cats and chat with other early morning risers. I spotted a couple pieces of property I'd love to have... someday. I was gone 1.5 hours. I'm looking forward to it again tomorrow, but I'm only planning to walk half the treck so I don't have the steep hill at the end.

Are you walking?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Musings

Happy Monday!

This week's beginning weight - 179

Before I go any further I can tell you the BL loser officially lost 9 pounds and walked away with $150. Boy, that would have been nice traveling money next weekend. Oh well. They're already talking about doing another one in November. This time we will know who the participants are and how everyone is doing. That should add to the motivation.

Saturday I went to a pow wow in Hardy AR. I hadn't been to an event in years and knew I'd have a good time. I needed a relax/ all-about-me kind of day. I walked a lot, danced some and found a hand drum. A bit smaller than the one I've been wanting but this truly was a case of 'size doesn't matter'. It has a beautiful, deep sound and I love it.

When I got dressed Saturday, I got into a size 14 jeans! Comfortably!! Yeah, it was a great way to start the day.

Yesterday, I tried a new dish. I love watching Tyler's Ultimate on the Cooking Channel. A couple of weeks ago he featured the POTATO. He made an Irish staple called Colcannon, which is mashed potatoes, cabbage and a meat. The other dish was a potato pancake. After experiencing both of these dishes, Tyler came back to the states and made a Potato Gratin. I knew I wanted to try my own version.

So last night I did a small version in a 6x6 casserole dish with only 1 bottom layer and 1 top layer of potatoes. In the middle I had fried smoked bacon, cabbage sauteed in the bacon drippings and slices of baby portabella mushrooms (they have become my favorite additive to just about anything). I'd make a horrible Italian as I don't care for Parmesan cheese. Instead, I used a grated colby/jack blend. I really think I could have done without the cheese - and the extra oil it provided.

I ate 1/4th of the casserole with a 3 oz Venison butterflied tenderloin. Very earthy meal. I'm thinking in the future I don't even need a meat with the gratin.

Not sure where my appetite is taking me today but I know I will remain on course.

Enjoy the journey!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

BL Final update

This is my final post on the BL challenge - well, except to tell you whether or not I'm $130 richer. hehe But I'm kind of doubting it. I do know of 2 people who've gained over the past 8 weeks. With my ups and downs, I'm offically 3.2 pounds less. But the clothes fit different. I have one pair of 16 jeans I can not keep up. They fit like my 18 petites.

Win or lose, I'm not changing how I eat. I still don't want processed foods. I'm still trying to find tasty ways to incorporate more fresh foods and I'm still not adding sugar to foods like tea and coffee.

As soon as my daughter presents me with a new granddaughter and I can get back to a regular routine, I hope to be showcasing more of the recipes I'm trying and comfort foods I'm modifying. Face it, with winter coming on, who can pass up comfort foods.

As always...
Enjoy the journey!

Friday, September 23, 2011

BL update

Whoo Hooo!

I'm down 2 more pounds this week. That brings me to just over 5 pounds down. Okay, not a big loss but I am at my lowest weight in 10 years so I can't complain. It might not put me in the running for the $130 cash pot but I feel better, I'm losing weight and I'm more aware of what I'm NOT eating.

All in all, it's a good week.

Live the journey!

Friday, September 16, 2011

BL Check In

Another busy week. The grandtoddler was here all last week and although I was still sitting at NO weight gain (or loss) through Thursday night, on Friday I showed a gain of 3 pounds! What? Overnight? Come on!

So I worked diligently to get rid of it this week. I was good when hubby and I treated ourselves to Red Lobster in Paducah last Sunday. Our daughter lives in Nashville 2 hours from Paducah and we live 3 hours West, in MO so Paducah is a good meeting spot for us to trade the grandtoddler back and forth. That and she gets to play at Chuck E Cheese before getting back in a vehicle... the grandtoddler, not the daughter LOL. She's not doing much right now except hoping our angel-to-be doesn't try to make an early entrance into the world. Little miss Abigail is getting very impatient.

Okay, back to this week. With the toddler back in Nashville and hubby on the boat, I got into a regular walking routine every morning.
Then I'd treat myself to lunch at Memories Sweet Shoppe. This was my lunch yesterday:

I had the mushroom and swiss burger on whole wheat flat bun. Cindy, the owner keeps the flat buns in special for me and I know her burgers are made fresh, by hand whenever they are on the menu. No preshaped, frozen, paper thin burgers. These are thick, juicy and done to perfection. I also had a cup of cheese/ broccoli soup made from scratch like everything else she puts on her menu. Every day is different and every day is made fresh that morning. You can't beat the quality, the atmosphere or the price. Soup, sandwich and unsweet tea costs me under $8 plus tip.

Today it was chicken noodle soup and a Italian Beef on flat bun. That wasn't so easy to pick up but it cut up and ate with a fork just fine. :: smile :::

Today was our 2nd to last weigh in. I was back down the pounds I'd gained last week. Geez! Officially I've lost just under 4 pounds since starting this seven weeks ago. Our final weigh-in is next Thursday. I'd really like to be down 3 more pounds. Can you say, 'Lots of walking'?

Here's to a great week, living the journey!

Monday, August 29, 2011

BL Check In

I know I skipped last week. It's just been crazy with deadlines around here and I've not spent a lot of time on the computer.

Weigh-in last week went really well. I was down 3.2 pounds! If I can just do a min of 1-2 pounds a week, I'll be ecstatic and have a shot at that $130 for my working vacation in October.

I was surprised by the drop in pounds on Friday morning because Bob and I went out to dinner for our 27th wedding anniversary the night before. I tried to be very good. We ate at Ruby Tuesday's. I chose the full rack of ribs with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed vegies. I didn't eat the potatoes, only 1/2 the ribs and the steamed veggies. I preempted the meal with a large salad. The remaining 1/2 rack of ribs was my lunch on Friday.

Friday night we ate out at a place called A La Carte in West Plains. A good friend of mine, Michael 'Blindcat' McIntire and his wife, Sandy aka Mamacat were the scheduled entertainment. You can check out his blog at Blindcat . They are talented blues artists, doing a mix of cover tunes and ones they've written.

A La Carte is a trendy restaurant with amazing food - most of it grown locally and made fresh daily. Reservations are strongly recommended. When you make your dinner reservation you also place your entree order from a pre-set list (usually 3 options). Friday night we had the option of Country Pork Ribs, Sesame encrusted Shashimi-grade Tuna filet or a Vegan dish. Bob and I both chose the pork ribs. They were so moist and flavorful. They didn't require any sauce or a knife to eat. The saute'd yellow and zucchini squash were the perfect accompaniment. I also ate both of Bob and I's dinner salads of locally grown greens with Balsamic Vinegar and EVOO.

Aside from great blues music to entertain us, I discovered I LOVE the lighter dressing. I've never eaten anything but creamy ranch on a salad. I was amazed to find salad doesn't need to be covered up. It's better to let the true flavors of great vegies come through.

So my tip for this week...
If you've never tried a lighter version of your favorite food, I encourage you to do so. You may find out you've been missing out on something AWESOME!

To a great week...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Joining a Team

Though I haven't been here, the weight has been doing okay. By 'okay' I mean not down but at least not up! I just want to get over this hurdle. I know once I finally dip below 180, it will be easier.

So this past week I joined a local Biggest Loser group at of all place, our local mini-mart. For a $10 entry fee, we check in every Friday for 6 weeks. There will be weekly prizes and at the end of September, someone is a few pounds lighter except for the extra cash in their pocket. With all the traveling I'm doing in October, I could sure use the money. I won't have to go clothes shopping, as I have favorites in my closet I'd love to be able to wear again. But I might need at least one new outfit. :-)

So although my home scales show 181, the store shows 186.8. So that is the weight I'll be showcasing for the duration of the challenge. At the end of the competition, I'll revert back to my home-scale weight. I know I'm going to like that number so much better. But loss is a loss, regardless of what scales I use.

In an earlier post I talked about sugar. Over the last two weeks I've been trying really hard to eliminate as much sugar and processed foods from my diet as possible. I've read Suzanne Somers' Sexy Forever and what an eye-opener. If you've not read it, I encourage everyone to do so... especially women from pre- to post-menopause. Wow! The stuff that is in our foods to supposedly 'enhance flavor' or add shelf life is killing us. So my focus has been whole grains, lean meats and more vegies. Gee, where have we heard this before?

One thing I've experienced in my education as a writer is that I can hear the same thing over and over, but it's all in how it's presented as to whether or not the information really 'sticks'. The same is true of this. I don't think it was so much about WHAT I NEEDED to be eating, as to hearing WHAT I HAVE BEEN eating. It is quite a scary list. So I guess you can consider me - Scared Straight.

Will I give up all my favorite foods? No. Will I try to learn new ways of making them healthier and less poisonous? YES I hope to share what I learn and create over the next 6 weeks and beyond.

Our weigh-ins are on Friday. This week I should go down as I'm having a tooth pulled tomorrow. Yeah, there's one day I won't be eating. LOL Followed by two days of soft foods while the gum heals, yep.. Friday is looking pretty good.

How's your week shaping up?

Back on Track

Okay, so I've never really been 'off-track' just off the grid.

Right after that last post we got hit with thunderstorms and rain. Lots of rain! Rain every day for 17 days straight, with very few breaks. I couldn't get out in the garden to put anything in the ground, while some people who planted early had all their hard work washed away.

When the rain finally stopped, it turned incredibly HOT and HUMID. Man, I've haven't known such humidity in June and July since I moved out of Baton Rouge years ago. It was horrid! You didn't want to be away from an air conditioner for more than five minutes.

Okay, you're thinking - 'What does humidity and heat have to do with being on-line? I wondered the same thing. But I could not stay on-line for more than ten minutes. Mind you, my HughesNet modem and my NetGear Wireless router are in the office downstairs. My dehumidifier runs 24/7 and we have central air. Heat SHOULDN'T have been an issue. And at the on-set, I didn't know it was. Multiple calls to HughesNet tech support were driving me crazy. I couldn't make them understand that I didn't want a temporary fix. I wanted to get to the root of the problem so it would STOP!

One night I finally bypassed the technician and requested a supervisor who spoke English. I don't have a problem with other nationalities, but I do believe they should be able to understand you and vice versa.

What we determined - mind you, I'd been battling this for most of two months - was that my Hughes Net modem needed to rest. Heck, no one told me to unplug everything at night! I was leaving everything running 24/7. So I started shutting down at night. For the first couple days I was good to go and tried getting everything caught up. Then it did it again! I finally determined the modem was good for about 10 minutes. Then it would overheat and shut down, kicking me off-line. So I made the trip into WM for a $10 desk fan. Voila! I've not had a problem since. Mind you, it took me to the middle of July to remedy this. From then, it's been a massive catch-up.

In the midst of it, I found a full-time writing gig as a columnist for our local paper. I love it being a reporter and a columnist. And a weekly by-line doesn't hurt the resume either.

So this brings me to finally being caught up enough to get back to regular blogging :: crossing fingers here :::

And because I want it to stand alone, I'm going to offer up today's post separately.
So here we go....

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Revelation!


If I'm puzzled about something, I find the answer often comes to me like an epiphany when I first open my eyes in the morning. Today was no exception... though I really didn't need it at 6 a.m.

I've done so well with my weight-loss in the respect that even if it wasn't going down, it wasn't going up. Well... last week I gained 5 pounds! I was mortified that I'm a pound shy of where I began 3 years ago. Yikes! I kept going back over my week and couldn't imagine 3 small ice cream cones over the course of the week could do that much damage. I only had one 8 oz pepsi the whole week, though I did cave in to a taste for a piece of Chocolate cake... the first real chocolate cake I've had in over a year.

Well, those things didn't help because of all the sugar BUT that isn't where my excess sugar was coming from. But sugar IS the culprit.

I've been outlining a book in prep for a new area of discussion on one of my other blogs. I get a lot more done with my hand work when I get away from the house. So every morning I'd pack up my notebook and the book I'm reading and drove the 4 miles into the cafe for breakfast. I was keeping breakfast to a minimal.. usually a sausage/ egg/ cheese biscuit and the coffee... Multiple cups of coffee.

Okay, coffee alone isn't a bad thing but I can't drink it black. Just isn't going to happen. So 3-4 cups of coffee every morning .. and maybe again later for lunch... laden with sugar was adding up.

So for this week, I'm not leaving the house except for 1 day. And it WON'T be for breakfast/ coffee. I CAN NOT be like this the rest of my life. I REFUSE. And only I can make the CHANGES needed to fix it.

And the journey continues...

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Uphill Climb

Why does everything worth having/ doing have to be an uphill battle? I tell you, if I could get credit for that alone I'd be in the best shape of my life.

I had a great time with my friends last week... and gained 4 pounds. So I'm back to the drawing board. Good thing is, hubby is also gone for the next 2.5 weeks so I can stay on track and see if I can get it off. I've already lost 2 of the gained pounds in a week so I'm doing something right.

It's been cold and dreary for the past week. Downright miserable for May. Today is a bit more spring-like and I'me feeling like doing something again. Before it gets too hot - and we all know weather seems to go from one extreme to another - I'll be getting a lot done out in the garden. Hubby taught me how to run the tiller so I can get more of the spots tilled up that I want. It just wouldn't dry out soon enough for him to do it AND complete the living room remodel before our guests arrived for the long weekend.

The bonus to the living room remodel is I have room to work out again. I LOVE to dance. I keep looking at ZUMBA. It looks like a blast. But then I look at all the dance/ exercise videos I have on my shelf and think maybe I should give them a chance before I invest in any more. Don't laugh but I love Richard Simmons dance workouts and have 4 or 5 of them. I also have Latin, Country, Hip Hop... and the list goes on. I have a wide variety, to say the least. I'm just going to start trying them all until one hits me that I want to do routinely.

My goal is still 1 pound a week but if I could squeeze in 2 per week here and there, I'd be ecstatic.

In all the chaos I never got in here to post the results of that new Pumpkin Spice cake recipe. One word... YUM! okay.. maybe 2 ... HEALTHY! And I have Hungry Girl to thank for the inspiration! I promise to post the recipe on Wednesday.

Until next time...
Enjoy the Journey!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Off to a slow start

Did you get your pedometer? Did you check out the 10,000 Steps website? I hope you did both. I was so excited about getting out and walking. But as usual, when I set a course a wave will crash into my plans. The Monday after my last post we began getting rain... and rain... and more rain. It rained pretty much for seven days straight, leaving us 17" of rain. For three days we couldn't even get out our road. Needless to say, I wasn't walking anywhere.

Treadmill might have been an option. However, everything from the living room was stripped out and piled in front of the treadmill in preparation for a complete room remodel. LOL I told you it crashes!

I did walk a lot today. It was finally a beautifully sunny, dry day in the Ozarks. I have two writer friends visiting from central IL. I treated them to a surprise field trip to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and homestead in Mansfield MO. We walked through the gift shop, the museum and both of the houses Almonso and Laura lived in after they made the move from DeSmet S. Dakota to Mansfield MO.

After leaving there, we went in search of lunch. Not a lot of great options but we ate light in anticipation of our dinner later. Then we went back uptown to a used book store where we wondered and shopped.

Then we made the 2-hr drive back East to West Plains MO where we walked the entire Town Square going into shops that were still open (it was after 5) and just window peeking in others.
Dinner was at Kings Garden Buffet where I enjoyed Mongolian stir fry while my friends ate their fill of fresh-made Sushi. I don't care for sushi rice but doing the Mongolian stir fry was a healthy alternative to the normal buffet stuff drenched in sauces.

We then walked our dinner off in the WalMart SuperCenter while Cheri (one of my friends) shopped for the ingredients she needed for the Cuban dinner she is making for us tomorrow. I LOVE her black bean soup. YUM! And she drove down here special to make it for me. What a friend!

The only thing detrimental to my journey this weekend is the alcohol. I don't drink a bunch but I have had 1 Cowgirl Quencher each night they've been here. After they leave, I'll be lucky if I have more than one over the course of the next 3-4 months.

I guess the moral is here that everything in moderation and it's okay to treat yourself once in awhile as long as you keep that 'moderation' thing in mind.

Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stepping it Up!

So are you curious about today's topic? I suggested you go shopping for a pedometer. I know it was short notice, so I'm going to give you the rest of the week to purchase one. But come Monday morning I'd love to see all of you joining me on this challenge. It really is a lot of FUN!

One of the things about exercise is for the most part it's BORING! I mean, who wants to do the same routine over and over again? When we get the living room remodeled (within the next two weeks- Yeah!), I'll have a bit more floor space for putting my many work out tapes/ dvds to use. But one thing I really enjoy is WALKING! And it's the best exercise you can get.

Running and jogging are hard on your heels, knees and hips. Why anyone would promote them as healthy is beyond me. I think it's all in that 'he who runs the fastest wins' thing. I like competition but not at the expense of damaging my body.

Walking is a smooth, easy pace that gets your heart rate up as your walking speed increases without doing damage to the body you're trying so hard to make BETTER!

Almost three years ago, right after we moved down here to the Ozarks, I set the course to get in better shape. I loved the Jorge Cruise thought process of eating the right foods in specific portions. I'll talk more about Cruise later in the blog. As part of the program I joined a Yahoo group of ladies also using the Cruise program. Our big exercise push was to WALK. Not just walk but to strap on the pedometer and strive to walk 10,000 Steps in a day. 10,000 Steps is equivalent to 5 miles and is one of the best things you can do towards having a healthy heart when it comes to exercise.

Last week, the choke cable went out on my riding lawn mower. I discovered this when I went out to mow a BADLY needed lawn. I let it go another week and finally couldn't stand it anymore and decided to get out the push mower. How bad can it be to push mow, right? And it's good exercise. So out of curiosity I clipped on the pedometer and hit the turf.

2.5 hours and 5 miles later, the lawn looked good. Surprisingly I was not as sore the next day as I thought I'd be. Might have had something to do with the 2 analgesics I took before I went to bed. hehe But it got me to thinking. Why haven't I been wearing my pedometer and keeping track of my steps/ miles? It was motivating me when I did it before? Well, it all went back to my daughter/ granddaughter moving in and my routine falling apart.

At first I couldn't remember how many miles the 10,000 steps equaled so I went searching the net and found a terrific sight called. 10,000 It's a great site put together by a group from Australia who started the 10,000 steps phenomenon.

On this site you create an account (which requires your email and a password - super easy). This gives you access to log your daily step count PLUS you can enter the number of minutes you spent doing every day activities (either moderate or easy) and it will calculate it into steps for you! Next to each day there's a notepad. Clicking on it will give you a pop-up to enter any notes about your day. Maybe keep track of what location you walked that day (if you used a specific walking track) or what you did to gain that many steps (like my mowing the yard). It all helps to give you a visual! I'm a visual person so this really helps me a ton!

I recommend looking at their LIBRARY tab. Some Great information there! Don't try to absorb it all at once though. You don't want to get overwhelmed. You want to be MOTIVATED. So just click on the links that apply to you now and know the other information is always there when you need it.

You can even request a buddy or join a challenge to help motivate you. Right now I have my own personal challenge. As you'll see to the right, I want to walk the miles equivalent to walking the Ozark Hiking Trail. I figure if I do it a couple of times in bits and pieces, I'll be in the condition I need to make the journey for real.

Maybe you'd like to climb Mt. Everest. Or walk across America from coast to coast. What about walk across your state? Find out how many miles your destination requires and divide by 5. That will tell you how many 10,000 step increments you need to walk to meet your goal. Or you can cheat like I did and just go to and set up your own goal chart. hehe.

So as I look out the window at a cloudy sky and storms threaten, I'm clipping on the pedometer and heading into town to walk for a bit. I love walking out here in the country but don't do it so much when Bob's gone. Safety first and being out on back roads alone really isn't safe - even in broad daylight. And right now with people's yards starting to show signs of spring, It seems like a good way to spend the morning before the storms arrive.

So come on! Leave a COMMENT and let me know you'll join me on this quest. I CHALLENGE you!

Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Musings

Good morning!

It's another beautiful day in the Ozarks. Storms are in the forecast for this evening. For now I'll enjoy the sunshine.

I've discovered when I hit Maintenance, I'll have it down to a science. For the third week in a row I've hung in right at 183. Geez - will these scales never move? The answer - NO! At least not until I do the things that will encourage them. And that's going to be my topic for tomorrow. But to give you a hint...

WALK! Go out today and by a Pedometer. I'd love to have you all join me. On what? You'll find out tomorrow :-)

Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recipe Wednesday

Yep... I might actually get us all on track before this summer is over with.

We're looking into satellite internet. I am just too engulfed in business right now to get it all accomplished on Dial-Up. I wouldn't change my living location for anything, but a faster internet connection would certainly be my one luxury request :-)

Last fall I found a website called Hungry Girl . If you've never heard of Hungry Girl, sign up for her newsletter! She shares great, healthy alternatives or 'swaps' to our favorite foods.

I was introduced through a recipe for Chocolate brownies. Now who doesn't crave those on occasion? Well, unless you don't like chocolate and I understand there are a few of you out there. I'll be trying an alternative to the following recipe this week and if it's a success, I'll share it next week.

For this week, the recipe is incredibly simple, healthy and great for those of you who are Vegan. Take 1 standard sized boxed Chocolate Cake mix. I prefer Milk Chocolate as the dark seems to 'promote a slight aftertaste'. Add 1 standard can pureed pumpkin (like for making pumpkin pie)

Mix these together - Just THESE TWO ingredients. Do Not follow the cake mix directions. You won't need eggs or oil. The moisture comes from the pumpkin.

Bake in paper-lined muffin cups and bake at 350 for about 15 min or until done.

I bake mine in a 9" 'PAM' sprayed cake pan. Then I cut it into wedges.

I love mine warm with a dollop of Sugar Free CoolWhip.

Next week, I want to try this with a Spice cake and raisins. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Good Week

It's been a quiet and productive week here. I managed to lose the 2 pounds I gained while Adrian was here. With Bob being gone, I cook better for myself. I think also because when I'm home alone, I don't eat out as often as we seem to do when he's home. It seems like no matter how much we pledge to eat at home more, we still seem to be on the go go go.

I've done some labor around the property. It took me 2 days to get all the laundry caught up and I still have 1 load of sheets to do. But we got rain today so no hanging anything out. I try not to use my dryer for both energy efficiency and I wear and tear on the fabrics. Besides, nothing says a good night's sleep like snuggling down into sun-dried sheets.

I bought 9 fruit trees this week. If I treat them right, eventually I'll have fresh peaches, apples and cherries from my trees. You can't beat fresh fruit right - not drenched in preservatives or pesticides but fresh off the tree and rinsed in clear spring water from the well.

I had hoped to start getting them planted but I can't mow the orchard because the mower refused to start. I'll fiddle with it on Thursday when it's nice and see if it will cooperate with me. Otherwise I'll be getting LOTS of exercise mowing this 1+ acre of property with the push mower.

One thing I've been trying to remember to do is include fresh fruit with at least 2 meals and a vegetable with 2. It's helping to give me that 'full' but not 'bloated' feeling and prevents me from going back for seconds on things I don't need extra helpings of. I also bought 10" paper plates to use while Bob is gone. Remember, we talked about what the eye sees in a earlier post. Besides, paper plates means I'm spending less time washing dishes and more time writing and creating.

Enjoy the journey!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Progess and Delays

We had an AWESOME time with our granddaughter. The second day she was here, she woke with gunky eyes. The next day I had them. Her eyes cleared up and she was fine the rest of the visit. Me? Not so much. I wound up battling a head cold the remaining 2/3rds of her visit. We had a good time anyway. But I sure didn't feel up to doing anything.

So now that she's gone I feel better and am trying to play catch-up on everything. I also gained 2 pounds while she was here until I remembered that soda does NOT help the cold but only makes the sinuses worse. I've lost those 2 pounds since Tuesday. So by Monday I should be back on the downward side of things. I'm still determined for the 2 pounds a week.

I forgot to remind Bob to grease the treadmill so I'm going to focus on the garden work that needs done when weather is nice. I'm planting fruit trees (about 12), berry vines, putting in a huge herb bed and prepping the rest of the garden area for vegies. While my granddaughter was here (She's 3.5) we planted jack o lantern, tomato, green pepper, pumpkin, flower seeds in jiffy peat pots. Most everything is coming up and I need to get them transplanted into holding pots until Bob is home in 3 weeks to till the garden areas.

I also have plenty of wood to cut and haul from the timber and furniture to move around so I won't lack for exercise over the next 3 weeks.

I'm also sticking to healthy eating. I've been drinking sweet tea but I'm down to only about 1/4th the amount of sugar I used to use. And while Bob's gone I can layer in lots of vegies and salads without fixing 2 separate meals. Bob is NOT going to eat vegies though I keep telling him he needs to if he wants to lose the weight and be healthy. He just makes a mooing sound LOL

How's your journey going? Share please!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Still hangin' in

I think it's been 2 weeks since I checked in last. It's been a busy time for me. I needed to get some creative things out of the way. Next I wanted to spiffy up the house before my daughter brought her fiance home to meet us. I'll have my granddaughter for the next two weeks and I needed to get 'ahead' on some things. If you ever really do get 'ahead' LOL

Last week I dropped a pound and held steady through this past week. A full Thanksgiving dinner prepared in honor of meeting my new future son-in-law probably didn't help. I didn't over eat but there were a few carbs I don't have on a regular basis like fresh made dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls.

The house looks decent, our first meeting with Jeremy went well. He's a good fit for our daughter and he's already an awesome dad to my granddaughter and the child he and my daughter are expecting in October.

I reminded my husband today we need to regrease the treadmill belt. I've not been on it since the knee accident last July. Then I'm back on it at least 3 times this week.

In the mean time, I'm asking the Goddess for much warmer weather so I can be outside more.

Enjoy your journey!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Starting off right!

Yeah! I'm down a pound. Silly to be so excited over a pound, right? Not for me. My GOAL is one pound a week. So I'm on track with where I want to be.

I'm still having issues with the tooth but not as bad as it had been. I'm slowly being able to eat some things again that had bothered me before. I'm also trying to eat more regularly, even it it's just a serving of yogurt or cottage cheese. At least I'm feeding the metobolic furnace.

Today, once I'm caught up on the business end of things, I'm getting on the treadmill. I'm going to start out slow and let myself build up gradually. ANY amount of walking is better than no walking.

I'm also going to be searching for the Tuesday Recipe to share. I'm starting with each of my 'healthy' cookbooks and working my way through. Can't wait to see what's on the table tomorrow.

Enjoy the Journey!

Friday, February 18, 2011

More on Portion control

A few days late this week. Monday was Valentine's Day. And my ever uber-supportive husband DID NOT buy me chocolate. Bless his heart. He gave me a romantic pamper basket complete with a sleeping mask, terry cloth slippers for after my bath and a teddy bear for my bear collection. The whole week leading up to the day of Love, we'd been seeing commercials for the heart shaped box of variety chocolates. I KNEW he'd already purchased my gift so I didn't say anything about NOT wanting them. I just kept my mouth shut and hoped he'd been paying attention to me - not the commercials.

Ladies, don't hate me for what I'm about to say but he ALWAYS listens to me. He might not always REMEMBER LOL - but he listens.

Keep in mind, I'm not saying you CAN'T EVER have chocolate. Heaven for bid! Women more than men (in my opinion) REQUIRE chocolate. It truly is a food group to us. What I am saying is you can have ANYTHING YOU WANT in moderation. So unless you can stick to just 1 chocolate from that box, hand it off to that skinny little thing down the street who seems to be able to eat the whole cow without looking like one :-)

Which brings us to more on Portion Sizes. After hunting high and low for the tables I knew I had somewhere... I found one really good source - right in my 3-Hour Diet book by Jorge Cruise.
If you've not been to his website, I encourage you to do so. He really does give down-to-earth, easy-to-understand information. It's really the same thing we've been hearing from a lot of different 'meal-planning' sources over the years. He just puts it in plain English. You can find his books in most libraries.

Let's take a look at some basic measurement/ portion equivalents:
1 Cup = a baseball
1/3 Cup = 1 cupped hand (palm)
1/2 Cup cooked vegies or chopped fruit = 1 rounded handful
1 piece of fruit = a light bulb
1 tsp = water bottle cap or tip of thumb to 1st knuckle
2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter = a ping pong or golf ball
1 oz bread or grain = 1 cassette tape (remember those?)
1 medium potato = a computer mouse

The key is to learn to equate the correct portions with things you KNOW in your every day life.
If ever you are not sure about a portion size, read the label. Then measure it with a standard measuring utensil. When you've done that, study it. What does the portion size remind you of. Learn to set your own gauge for what you eat. It will be easier for you when you're away from home. Whether it be in a restaurant or at someone's backyard BBQ. Watch your portions and watch the inches slip away!

Enjoy the journey!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Musings

So, how'd you do last week? Did you get your notebook and track how you normally eat? If you did, that's AWESOME! It means you are serious about doing whatever it takes to put yourself on the road to Good Health! I'm so proud of you!

If you didn't, why not? Did you think it was silly? Were you afraid of what it might reveal? Either answer are legitimate reasons for * avoiding the issue *. But I can tell you avoiding the issue IS NOT going to make you healthier. So how serious are you about being healthier? How serious are you about losing weight?

This week we're going to talk about what TRUE PORTION SIZES are. Some of them may surprise you. I know the first time I told my husband that a 'portion' of mashed potatoes consisted of the ice cream scoop, he thought I was nuts! LOL

Carbs are most often a 1/2 Cup portion. A traditional ice cream scoop is 1/2 Cup... the same portion size for any of your starches such as mashed potatoes, white rice, pasta, etc. And an additional FYI - it's also the portion of Ice Cream. 1 scoop... sans toppings unless you want to count some pureed fresh fruit like strawberries or rasberries.

But what about Proteins? How big of a piece of steak or a pork chop or chicken breast is the RIGHT portion?

Think in terms of a standard deck of cards, or the palm of your hand - not the whole section from heel to finger tip - but from heel to where the fingers join the hand.

Although Cheese is a protein, it's also a dairy. A 1 oz piece of cheese is equivalent to a DOMINO.

Fats are easy. 1 serving of fat will fill a WATER BOTTLE CAP.

Sure doesn't sound like a lot of food does it? So what are you suppose to fill up on?

You can determine the amount of these by the dimension of a DVD case - stacked 3 high

Jorge Cruise came up with a great *Portion Control* visual in his book The 3-Hour Diet.

First of, start with a 9" dinner plate. Most of us use a large plate - 12". Don't believe me? Go to your cupboard and get out the same plate you'll put on the table for supper tonight. Find a yard stick, a ruler, tape measure or your husband's shoe. What measurement do you get?

Studies show if you use a smaller plate, you'll eat less. Why? Because if your eyes transmit a picture of a FULL PLATE to your brain, it reads it as FULL ! It doesn't care about the SIZE! Your brain only comprehends what YOU TELL IT!

If you don't own a 9" plate, take thee to the Dollar Store, Thrift Store or local Discount shopping center (You know the one I mean. The one you do a majority of your weekly shopping at). Buy one for each person who sits down to dinner with you. If you use this plate as your guide, you won't need to worry about measuring QUITE so much.

Cruise plan calls for you to divide your plate into thirds. NOT equal thirds! Here's how the equation works:

Fill 1/2 the plate with your VEGETABLE and or FRUIT. You can combine it with a salad or fresh vegies. And remember that dressing you want to drench it in? Read the back of the dressing bottle for the CORRECT serving size. That label on the back we never pay much attention to is FULL of valuable information.

Okay so now you have 1/2 a plate full of good stuff. Now to the stuff you'd rather be eating. Divide the remaining 1/2 into 1/2 again. 1 side for your carb and 1 side for your protein.

Don't worry if it doesn't seem like a lot. You're going to be snacking on a piece of fruit in three hours and drinking lots of water. You'll be fine.

Will this be easy? NO
Can you adjust? YES - if you want to
Is it the best for you? ABSOLUTELY! What isn't good about being HEALTHY!

So give this a try for a week. Using the guidelines given, practice the portion control. Next week I'll try to have located some of the other portion guidelines I've come across. The more you know - the easier this will be.

Enjoy the journey!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Musings

Well... you know what they say about the best laid plans... ? Well, in my case it's true. I won't go into detail about the issue. Just suffice it to say I had about 5 days where I didn't do much walking. I spent lots of time in a chair.

So I don't want to jinx myself by saying I'm all better LOL But maybe....

Despite being able to work out, I have still been watching what I eat and the portion control. I keep thinking back to an info card I got in a Prevention Magazine mailing once. What we consider portions sizes have changed drastically over the past 30 years... and NOT for the better.

Between becoming more and more dependent on Fast Food or quick meals and thinking everything is dispensable, we have stopped focusing on healthy. It doesn't have to be a trade off. We can still eat healthy. We just need to stop thinking we need MORE.

For the next week, I'd like you to do an experiment with me. Get a small notebook, about 4x6 (the dimension of a standard photograph)

For the next 2 or 3 days I encourage you to EAT NORMALLY. Don't think about what you should be doing... just treat every meal as you have in the past. BUT as you sit down to eat, make a note of the portion size. Come on... you don't need to get out the measuring cup for this. You can HONESTLY estimate. You know the size of a tennis ball, a deck of cards, a domino, etc. Write your portion size down in relation to an item you understand.

For the remaining of the week, give yourself the same portion BUT measure it. Again, don't worry about what you think you should be eating. This exercise is all about AWARENESS. We'll worry about fixing it next week. For now, take your 'normal' portion and be honest about it's ACTUAL measurement.

Why am I asking you to do this? Because if you don't know where you are coming from, you won't appreciate the journey near as much... or truly understand the progress you'll make along the way.

Come on the journey with me...

Monday, January 17, 2011

A New Year - A New Start!

I can’t believe I haven’t been in here since May of last year.

The blog title says Living Through Weightloss… Maybe it should have been Losing Weight Through Life.

The day of my last post I had a leg/ hip issue materialize, making walking on the tread mill impossible. Without the treadmill activity to report, I just stopped coming here until it had passed.

About the time it healed, I found out I only had a month left with my granddaughter before she would be moving out to live with her mom in Nashville. Rather than worry about me, I spent my days soaking up all the toddler love I could cram into a few short weeks.

The day she left, we tore into my office remodel. Four days later I blew my left knee cap and spent the next six weeks in the recliner. By the time it was on the mend, it was fall, time to harvest the garden, try to catch up on the things that had been let go while I had my grandtoddler all to myself and writers conferences to attend. Follow that all up with National Novel Writing Month then Christmas.
Before I knew it, the time had just vanished… and I had nothing weight-related to show for it. Not unless you count the fact I didn’t lose, nor gain, a single pound. I held fast at 181 pounds.

With the start of a new year, I feel as if my life has started fresh. I’ve had the house to myself and finding the routine I was comfortable with before my daughter and granddaughter moved in all those months ago. I’m injury free and ready to get back on track.

My internet use is on my time again so my postings will be regular. I’ll be trying new routines and as the weather improves, walking outside as well as using the treadmill again.

Please come back on this journey with me. I’ve lived through the distractions, now it’s time to Live Through the Weightloss!