Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rough week :-(

Well, I have to say this has been a rough week.

  • After 2 days of walking on the treadmill, my foot was bothering me so badly I was walking like a 87 year old woman
  • I was unbelievably bloated and gained about 4 pounds back
  • I was hungrier than normal and had serious case of the munchies.  Not enough to account for the 4 pounds.  I was still good.
  • I was also unbelievably gouchy....leading me to believe a case of PMS was in the works
  • The mom taxi was running overtime running to and from school activities
The weight was what hit me the hardest.  I have been doing so well at eating a good menu.  I had just stated working out on the treadmill and was sooooo upset that the pounds added instead of dropping off.  I can do okay if I continue to see the pounds drop off, even if slowly.  But to see such a big jump for no reason was heartbreaking.  If that was going to be how it was going to go, why was I doing all of this?  This is what has caused me to fail in the past and go back to my bad habits.

But I kept telling myself, this was likely just hormonally induced and that I needed to just stick with the plan and ride it out.  So I did.  I stuck with the food plan.  I did allow a few more snacks to try to keep the hunger in check, but they were still of the good choice variety.  I didn't make it on the treadmill much due to the busy schedule, but I did get a good outdoor walk in on Saturday and will be back on the treadmill up this week.

So the positive note is that while it was a rough week and my scale wasn't very nice to me, I survived.  I didn't fall off the wagon.  I kept going and persevering.  I realized that this was just one small blip in my journey and there are going to be times along the way that don't go as planned.  But I don't want to let food and weakness get the best of me.  I am stronger than that.  So here's to a new week.  The good news is that the number on the scale is back down and I am ready to take this week head on.  Here's to a good one.  :-)

Tonight's dinner - Chicken Enchilidas

This one is one of my favorite recipes!  It has been a family favorite for years.  I like that with a few minor adjustments it is easy to "skinnify" it.

Chicken cooked and cut/shredded - I boil a 3 lb bag of boneless chicken breasts with garlic salt and pepper and chop with my "salad chopper"
8oz cream cheese, softened - I use fat free cream cheese
1/2 White onion chopped

Place filling in flour tortillas and roll like burritos.  Place in 9x13 baking dish.

8oz sour cream - I used reduced fat
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 package McCormick Taco seasoning
Mix together and pour over rolled enchiladas

Bake 20 minutes at 350.  Top with shredded cheddar/mexican cheese (I used mostly fat free cheddar but added a little of a 4 cheese mexican blend for a little flavor) and bake another 10 minutes or so until cheese is melted.

I was so excited to eat (and we had company over) so I forgot to snap pictures....sorry!  I will try to make this again soon so I can catch up.  :-)

Saturday's dinner - Chicken Pot Pie

So Saturday's dinner was Chicken Pot Pie.  When I saw this recipe, I immediately thought of my husband.  That is a kind of meal he would pick if looking through recipes.  He is a pretty traditional kinda guy, especially when it comes to food.  So I was really hoping for a home run when it came to this recipe.

But this recipe was one of those that was just "so-so".  I think with some work it has potential but it didn't wow us off the bat.  I don't think that I have put it on the black list and won't try it again, but it will certainly need some adjustments.

I think the major downfall was that it seemed pretty bland.  I think it certainly needs spice.  The other thing I think I would change is to thaw the veggies before cooking.  Some of them seemed a bit crunchy still.  But it certainly does get extra points for being easy and low in Weight Watchers points.  :-)

Here's the recipe in case anyone has any great ideas on how to make improvements - please share!


  1. 1
    Preheat oven to 400.
  2. 2
    Spray 8x8 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  3. 3
    Mix together veggies, chicken and soup. Pour into casserole dish.
  4. 4
    In another bowl, mix bisquick, milk, and egg. Pour over top of chicken mixture.
  5. 5
    Bake for 30 minutes, or until crust is golden.
  6. 6
    6 servings=4.5 points.
  7. 7
    4 servings=6.5 points.

Read more:

My favorite kitchen tool these days

I think that I am in love....yes with my husband, my kids, my family, but also with my new favorite kitchen gadget.  I have always been a big fan of The Pampered Chef, but this tool is hands down my favorite in a loooooong time. I bought it at a bridal shower about a year ago but I had pretty much put it in the drawer and forgotten about it.

It is called the "Salad Chopper" but the name does not do it justice.  It is so much more than that.  The magical device looks like a pair of kitchen shears....on steroids.  At the bridal shower, the consultant demo'd making salsa in one bowl using this device to chop the onion, tomatoes, and cilantro.  Awesome.  So I bought it.  I like salsa.  So there in my drawer it sat.

As I have started cooking more and needing to cut more things, I noticed it in the drawer and have begun using it for all kinds of things.  I started using it for chopping cilantro.  Then I graduated to onion and then I got the brilliant idea to try chicken.  I am getting old and doing lots of chopping or stirring can really hurt my hands.  The last time I chopped chicken breasts not only did it seem to take forever, but my hands hurt like crazy by the time I got to the end.

So when I had cooked my chicken for last night's dinner, I wasn't excited about having to chop it.  Not sure what made me think to try it on the chicken but I did and it worked like a charm!  It was sooooo easy and I was done in a jiffy!

So I highly recommend this product....find a Pampered Chef consultant and order yours today!  At only $26 it will pay for itself in no time!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tonight's dinner....Crockpot cilantro lime chicken (a hit at my house!)

I need to share another Pinterest find that has been a huge hit at my house.  It makes for a simple, fast and easy dinner while being pretty low cal.

In a slow cooker, mix together:

One 24-ounce jar medium or mild salsa
Juice from one lime
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
One 1.25-oz. package taco seasoning
2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (optional)

Add 4-6 boneless chicken breast halves (completely defrosted) to the slow cooker and coat with the salsa mixture. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours (I only cook mine 3-4 hours.  I did it longer the first time and the kids said it was too dry)

Serve the chicken with the salsa mixture spooned over the top. If you're feeling crazy, throw a dollup of sour cream, some shredded cheese on top with some crushed tortilla chips.  This is also delicious as a taco filling or in a taco salad. 

Served with this rice for a great combo (thanks to Skinny Taste for this of my favorite sites!!!)

Chipotle's "Skinny" Cilantro Lime Rice
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes  
Servings: 4  Size: 3/4 cup  Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 201.0 • Fat: 3.4 • Carbs: 37.4 • Fiber: 0 • Protein: 4.0 g 
  • 1 cup extra long grain rice or basmati rice
  • 1/2 lime, juice of
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil

In a small heavy pot, add rice, water, 1 tsp oil and salt. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When the water just skims the top of the rice, reduce to low andcover about 15 minutes. Shut off flame and keep covered an additional 5 minute.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed.

I apologize for the terrible photo quality here.  Apparently, when it is time for dinner I am so ready for feed (obsessed, yes I know) that the only camera close is my cell phone.  I promise to try to get better photos soon!  :-)

Single Serving fruit crisp

So with this recipe I am going to combine two of my favorite and Pinterest!

I love dessert.  I have such a sweet tooth.  I try to always save enough points so that I can indulge in a sweet treat at the end of the day. I am really trying to watch my portions these days.  I tend to buy prepackaged items so I can grab and go after a long day.  But more importantly, buying prepackaged keeps me from eating the entire pan in one sitting.  :-)  But sometimes I feel like something a little more homemade.

So here is where my grandma's amazing apple crisp enters in.  What is more comforting that that?  And what I love most about this recipe is that I can make a "skinny" version very easily without compromising much of the flavor at all.

My minor problem is that with this recipe the family loves it so much the pan is gone in no time.  Either that or I love it so much that I feel compelled to eat nearly the entire pan on my own in a matter of a couple of days (yes I have no self-control or willpower).  So enter Pinterest to the rescue.  I saw a pin about making individual servings of lots of desserts (pies, cheesecakes, cakes, you name it) in a jar.  You can freeze them and make them when you want.  Hmmmm....that would prob solve my portion control issues...if it's frozen like a brick it's hard for me to eat on a whim.  So I wondered what it would be like with grandma's crisp recipe.  So a few weeks ago I decided to give it a try.  What a great idea!  It is the perfect portion and having them frozen means I can indulge in a treat once a week or so without all the hassle.

So here's my recipe....I hope you enjoy.  :-)

Crisp topping
1 cup four
1 cup brown sugar (I use Splenda mix)
1 handful oatmeal
1 stick of butter, soft (I use Brummel and Brown yogurt butter)
Mix together.

Fruit mix
You can do a wide variety of fruit - when making a large pan my family loves green apple!  My favorite is triple berry.  For apple, I peel and slice thinly and mix with ground cinnamon and Splenda white sugar to taste.  For the berry I just buy the frozen blueberry, raspberry and blackberry mix, thaw it and add Splenda white sugar to taste. You could also easily do the same with frozen peaches.  Or use fresh fruit (I just don't seem to have the time or energy for it these days!)

Place fruit mixture in half pint jars to nearly full.  (if doing the apple slices, make sure to cut them up small or they won't fit well in the jar).  I have used both the regular and wide mouth jars - both seem to work well.  Allow enough room on top to add crisp topping.  Pack tightly with a spoon.  Put on jar lid and freeze.

When ready to cook, remove from freezer and take off lid.  No need to defrost, you can place them straight into the oven to bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.  I do put a cookie sheet under the jars in case they bubble over a little.

We like to top with one scoop of low fat/calorie ice cream or frozen yogurt.  Yummy!

Yahoo article today - interesting read

I saw this article on the yahoo main page while perusing this evening.  

"10 New Weight Loss Myths and Facts"

An interesting read.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Raspberry vinaigrette chicken salad

Lunch today reminded me that it's time to start adding some recipes on here.

I think this has to be my favorite salad right now.  Not really a recipe, but thought I would share.

Salad greens
Grilled chicken breast, cut
Kraft light Raspberry Vinaigrette salad dressing
Salad Pizazz Raspberry Cranberry Walnut Frisco salad topping (I found in the produce section at Wal-Mart)


Tip:  I put my salad in an oversized container with a lid.  Then shake to make sure the dressing coats all of the lettuce.  It's not pretty but it's practical.  :-)

Sorry for terrible quality photos.  These were quick and dirty with my cell phone.

Comments, please!

I was surprised that there were several page views but no comments so far.  I checked the settings and it looks like it was restricted to blogger members only.....oops!  Sorry about that!  I have opened it up so anyone can comment (please).

Let me know if there is something you want to hear about or an experience you have had.  Please share the link to others you know (friends, family, co-workers) that may also be on a weight loss/getting healthy journey.  It would be great if this could be a place where we could all support one another on whatever journey we may be on.  I know I could use all the support I can get....this is probably the most difficult thing I have ever done.  I do not want to be a failure.  Best of luck to all!

PS - don't forget that you can sign up to receive notifications of new posts via email....just put your email address in the white bar at the top of the home page and click on the submit's that simple!

Back on the horse....still didn't like it

Well, I didn't let my first attempt back at the treadmill turn me away.  I knew I needed to just get right back on it to show who's boss.  I know I own this journey, but who am I to kid....I sure feel like I am the one that is owned.  This is sooooo hard.  But I did it anyway.  Fake it until you make it, right?

But I choose to celebrate my successes (watch for a future post with more on that topic).  So here are today's workout induced successes.

  • I got back on the treadmill (even though it's a "holiday" for me....who would have ever thought they would hear me say I worked out on my day off.....not me!)
  • I got 2.2 miles in so far today.  Hoping for another 2.2 later tonight
  • I already have 2 large cups of water downed for today
  • I got another show crossed off my lengthy DVR list 
  • I burned more calories that sitting on the computer browsing Pinterest/Facebook
TIP:  If you are going to watch tv while on the treadmill (and need a good distraction because you hate exercising as much as I do) choose a show that will hold your attention and make you concentrate (preferably a show you really like too).  I found that a show with a detailed plot forced me to concentrate on the show and not how much I just wanted it to be over so I could get off the treadmill.  I found myself getting caught up in the show and wasn't paying (as much) attention to the timer on the treadmill.  Today's workout and tip was brought to you by Criminal Minds.  :-)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I used to love my DVR

Well the new treadmill is finally out of the box and setup.  We were up until about 1am getting it put together.  We probably should have put it together in the bedroom I plan to use it in, but we started in the livingroom.  So that made dragging it down the hall and around the corner quite a fun chore.  Then I had a scare that it was going to be too wide to fit through the door.....CRAP (well, that's not exactly what I said).  But we were able to shimmy it into place.

So then I had this big piece of machinery next to my bed.  I kept telling myself I was super excited to use it.  My daughter ran a 6-7 mph mile in what seemed like 2 minutes to break it in....showoff.  I thought I liked that kid. So I couldn't let her show me up right off the bat.  I knew I needed to just bite the bullet and get on the thing.  So I did.

I decided to watch tv while walking tonight.  Hoping that would make time go by quickly and I would get so wrapped up in the show I would forget I was working out.  Bonus would be that I would actually be able to delete some of the 90+ shows on my DVR.

So the good news is I got three 30 minute shows deleted during my about 3.5 mile walk tonight (yeah, slow I know.  Just starting out so cut me some slack folks!)  Is it possible that I could actually get caught up on my DVR??  The bad news.....I think I now hate watching tv and my DVR.  Never did I think I would be saying those words.  Have I mentioned that I HATE exercising???  I dream of a day I will actually not mind it, dare I say someday even enjoy it.  Yeah, wish me luck with that one!

Ok, so here's to hoping that I can actually make a habit out of getting on the treadmill on a regular basis.  I really hope it will help get the weight coming off a little faster to help with the motivation factor.  Please let it be worth the investment.  I really don't need a $500 clothes rack!


I have found that the less I eat out at fast food, the less soda I drink.  I have always enjoyed drinking water but the more soda I drink, the more I drink (if that even makes sense).  After I had my daughters caffeine was my crutch to get me through the day after those long infant sleepless nights (Dr. Pepper to be specific).  After my third daughter,I switched over to more coffee.  I couldn't continue to intake that many calories.  So I am now doing one or on rare occasions 2 large cups of coffee a day for my caffeine fix.

The rest of the day I am drinking water.  I usually get in the recommended 64 oz.  But sometimes I find that I am not drinking as much as I should be.  My secret trick is flavored water.  I like to use Crystal light but I have found that Wal-Mart carries some additional flavors in their store brand (They have a wide variety of non-standard flavors - grape, strawberry, orange, lime margarita, orange/strawberry/banana in both the individual water bottle size or 2 quart pitcher size).  My absolute favorite flavor is Cherry Limeade....yummy!!!  It absolutely does not taste diet.  Super easy to drink.  I find that it really helps me get extra hydration in during the day.  I carry a few of the individual size in my purse for on-the-go.  They have also worked great for me while traveling, when I really need to make sure I get enough water.

Let me know what your favorite flavor is!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

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The green monster....I said I would try it once

Ok so one of the recipes I found on Pinterest was for a "green monster smoothie".  Uh why would anyone drink something named that?  Then I saw the picture....why would anyone drink something that LOOKED like that??  It is a very green shade of green.  But the author called it her "top secret diet weapon".  Well hmmmmm, I could use one of those!  So I thought, "what the heck?  I'll give it a try."  I mean really, what did I have to lose?  Worst case I would be out the cost of the ingredients and would pour it down the drain.

So one day I got up my courage to give it a try.  I must admit, much better than I anticipated.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Here are some things I noted:

1.  It looks much worse than it tastes.
2.  If you closed your eyes to drink it, you might get past the mental aspect that it was green.
3.  I really only tasted the banana and peanut butter in it.

Not bad for a first run.  I decided it probably wasn't something I would fix every day, but I figured I could manage to work it into my menu once a week or so.  But I thought I might have some room for improvement.  So this week I tried again with a few minor modifications.  Here are my tips:

  • Make it sweeter - the original wasn't quite sweet enough for my taste, so I added about a teaspoon of Splenda.  Much better!  
  • You can add other fruit - I also added some frozen strawberries that I had in the freezer.  
  • Freeze the fruit!  It was in adding the strawberries that I realized that I had missed something important....I hadn't frozen the bananas like the recipe said to do.  I realized that the frozen fruit made for a cooler temperature and therefore a more enjoyable drinking experience.
So I hope this is one you will enjoy.  You will have to let me know what you think.

Green Monster Spinach Smoothie

First add 1 sliced frozen banana, and 1 Tablespoon peanut butter in a blender. Tip: PEEL and SLICE your bananas before you freeze them, or you’ll be sorry!

Next add bulking agents for staying power, like protein-packed vanilla Greek yogurt, and creamy unsweetened vanilla almond milk. You could use any kind of milk you want – cow’s, rice, soy, etc.

Fill the blender the rest of the way up with baby spinach. I reckon I fit about 4 cups in there today!
Start the blender on “high blend” until everything’s mixed up, then switch it over to “liquify” to get the Green Monster velvety smooth.

Serves 1
1 frozen sliced banana
1 Tablespoon peanut butter (I like to use PB2 - it reduces the calories from 105 to 22...savings of 83 calories!)
1/2 cup 0% Vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt
1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze (or other kind of milk)
4 cups baby spinach (or more, or less)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Nutritional stats:
350 calories (267 if you use PB2), 10g fiber, 21g protein

My other addiction....Pinterest!!

Ok so I am totally addicted to Pinterest!! (is there anyone left that isn't???)  As usual, I was slow to jump on the bandwagon.  I had head about it for a while, but took me a while to check it out to see what all the hype was about.  Well look out world!  I am now an avid pinner!  It is my daily treat and something I look forward to doing after a long day.  It stimulates my creative nature and soothes the inner me.

I have been using it primarily to get some new ideas for recipes.  Things that are healthier than the stuff I grew up cooking (and seem to be the only things in my food portfolio).  I tend not to want venture out of my food "safety circle".  I cook the same foods, I order the same foods at restaurants.  It is a real challenge for me to try  new things.  But when beginning this journey, I knew one of the things I need to change was the food I eat.  I needed to look for healthier options.  But knowing how much I love to eat, I also knew it was critical for me to find things I would like to eat or I would never be successful.  I didn't want it to be "diet food" because I knew that would leave me feeling deprived and I would (for the zillionth time) fall off the wagon and go back to my old, comfortable, unhealthy, yet delicious comfort foods.

I had recently discovered Pinterest via a friend, more for crafting and home ideas, but I quickly realized the world of food that was there too.  Being a visual person, I loved the photos.  I love other people sharing what they like.  The downside is you have to sift through the TONS of unhealthy yet yummy looking dishes to find the gems of "skinny", but I really haven't struggled with this as much as I thought I would.  I was on a mission!

My first step was to begin pinning some ideas.  Then I began printing the ones I thought I would like to start trying.  Then I made my grocery list for what I needed and off I went.  I tried one new recipe, then another.  I think the number of new recipes we eat a week is greater than the "classics" that I cook these days.  And the family doesn't seem to mind.  There have been a couple not so successful attempts, but they haven't kicked me out of the kitchen yet.  In fact there are a couple of recipes they keep asking me "when are we having that?".

So check out the Food category here on the blog where I will be posting my favorites (and probably telling you the adventures of some of my "not so favorites" too).  Try them too and tell me what you think!

Isn't it cool when....

Isn't it cool when......

Your pants start fitting like this????  :-D

Exercise - where to begin??

For those of you that have been following my progress, you may remember that I bought a wii fit board/game and had started using it.  You also may have noticed that I haven't been posting much about my progress there.  No, you haven't been missing the posts. They weren't there.  I will admit that I fell off the exercise wagon.  Probably better for me than falling off the food wagon.  As I mentioned in another post, I have realized that I think my most successful plan is to start strong with one new habit before trying to add another.  I don't think I could handle too much of this major change (and this is major for me) all at once.  I firmly believe that could very likely have sent me back to my old ways.

So I had to ask myself what was going to help me be successful in getting to my goal of consistent exercise?  I ended up with the same answer I had when it came to food...find something that I like, that I can live with, and  that won't make it seem so much like work.  Hmmmmm.....I don't like any of it.  Ok, so what activity do I hate the least?  My go-to activity at the gym has always been the treadmill.  I can listen to music or watch tv, talk to a friend, read a magazine....lots of flexibility.

So the challenges I have with the treadmills at the Y?

  • When to go - (see Exercise - the bane of my existence for my detailed reasons) 
  • Getting to watch my OWN shows - how great would it be to kill 2 birds with 1 stone by clearing my DVR backlog while working out???  AWESOME!
  • Feeling self conscious in front of others (my body image, speed, etc)
  • I am sure I had other issues in my head getting in my way too
So thanks to our tax return and as a reward to myself for 6 weeks of good progress with the food part of this journey, I decided to get a treadmill for myself.  I am hoping to make it more convenient and accessible and harder to ignore.  Now to just get it setup and to GET MOVING.

Check back for an update!


My first status update was that I lost 4.4 lbs the first was that a tough act to follow.  I got a bit discouraged after that.  While I knew it wasn't a realistic expectation that it would continue to come off at that rate, it was still a big bummer and frankly depressing when the next few weeks numbers weren't as high.  So for week 2 I just didn't feel like posting an update.  After that, I just got busy and behind.  I knew I wanted to move the blog, so I wasn't updating as regularly as I planned.  My bad.  But I think I am back on track now.  I want this to be the good and bad of this journey.  I don't want it to be the sugarcoated "look how fantastic I am doing and how easy this is for me" perspective.  That is not true.  This journey is a challenge every day.  There are good days and there are tough days and there are bad days.  But I am trying my hardest to keep my goals in perspective, remember what's important (getting healthier for myself and my family) and continue to be proud of myself for the accomplishments I have had.  And I have to keep telling myself that the goal was that the blog and my followers were going to help keep me accountable.

It has been 5 and a half weeks since I officially began focusing on making healthier choices for myself.  I am happy to say that I have finally hit the 10 pound mark....10.2 pounds today to be exact.  That is a good number.  I am glad to see the progress continues.  But again, I struggle to not get discouraged that it has taken me this long to get only that far.  So to help myself cope with this I decided to break it down.  10.2 pounds in 6 weeks is an average loss of 1.7 pounds per week.  An average weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is said to be the healthiest and most likely to sustain/maintain long term.  (Below are a couple of the interesting articles that I ran across when validating my research)

So that tells me that I am right on track.  Actually on the high end of average.  Ok so not too bad for just making dietary changes so far. 

I still haven't been able to get the exercise part started consistently.  While I had been hoping to be doing both by now, I have realized that for me it may have been a wise choice to get the food consistency down first.  I am not sure I could have handled the difficulty of trying to modify my food so drastically AND introduce exercise (which I do not like at all) all at once.  I think that could very likely have been a recipe for failure.  So now that I realize that I am having success with the food changes, not feeling deprived or unstable, I can begin to focus on adding in the exercise.  I am hoping that by adding in the exercise, it will help the weekly loss number be higher which would help motivate me to stick with the exercise.

So that tells you how I have been doing for the last few weeks.  Keep checking back for updates - I promise to do a better job of being more consistent.  Thanks for checking in!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Log your food intake

I have heard may people talk about how much of a difference it makes to log your food intake.  Whatever system you are using (counting calories, low-fat, weight watchers points) to log what food you are eating can make a HUGE difference in your progress.  It allows you to plan your progress, see trends and problem areas.  I know for me I thought I was good estimator of my food totals.  Prepackaged foods were pretty easy.  But for eating out or cooking at home it was much more of a challenge.
I personally like Weight Watchers because it’s easy to know how many points I am allowed for the day, adding points for any physical activity I do, how many points food items are, how many food items are in databases, and how easy it is to calculate points for meals, foods that aren’t in database, or recipes.  My favorite part though is probably the flexibility.  If I know I am going to have a higher point meal, it is easy to adjust my day or week to accommodate.  
I also like how many tools there are for tracking your points using the Weight Watchers points program.  Again, I personally have my phone near me pretty much at all times.  So I LOVE having an app on my phone that I can log my foods, look items up, or calculate the points.
I have an android phone and am using the “Ultimate Weight Watcher Diary” app.  It also looks like it is now available for iphones and ipads.  :-)   It was only $3.99 and is a GREAT app.  A large database, easy points calculator, AND my favorite feature is that it now has a bar code scanner!  Simply scan the snack you have had your eye on to see just how many points it is without having to input the nutritional information into the calculator.
I had been logging some of my food, but not all.  I am now trying to be committed to building my database of foods I eat and logging everything I eat.  I am taking the time to research and look up foods.  WOW it’s amazing how they all add up so quickly!  It sure makes me think twice whether I really want that Starbucks latte or not and know how good I need to be (or how bad I can be).  So here’s to positive results!

Exercise....the bane of my existence!!

I hate exercise.  I always have.  Gym class was always something I dreaded & detested, not enjoyed.   I did it because I had to, not because I wanted to.   I hated having to run.  I would even conveniently “not feel well” during PE to get out of it!  I was never athletically inclined or coordinated.  I felt like any physical activity was awkward (running, dancing, sports, etc), so I just avoided it as much as possible.  I didn’t like or understand the concept of team sports.  My parents aren’t “sporty” people, so I didn’t feel naturally drawn (or pushed) to participate in any sports.  I did play t-ball a few summers when I was in elementary school….I sucked at it and hated it (except for the social part, lol).  Maybe it’s just that I never tried enough things to find my niche?  I think that tennis might not be too terrible.  Volleyball isn’t horrible. 
Unfortunately, I have continued that pattern of only working out when required.  I could probably count on one hand the number of times I have voluntarily gone to the gym or worked out.  I have allowed myself to avoid it.  I am so fortunate that my company provides a FULLY PAID membership to the Y and it is just crazy that I don’t take advantage of it.  So many people have to make budgetary sacrifices to have a gym membership and I am taking this opportunity for granted.  I struggle with when to go to the gym.  I am not a morning person.  To get up early and work out is sooooooo difficult for me!  I have some male co-workers that go at lunch.  Ewwwwww.  I work in a professional office and getting sweaty and gross and coming back to work is not my idea of fun.  I do not consider myself to be a natural beauty so it takes a lot of work for me to look like this (hair, makeup).  Then there is after work…..being a mom, the family to-do list in the evenings (dinner, homework, bath, etc) seems never-ending!  I should probably go to the gym before coming home and getting distracted, but I never seem to be that prepared.  Then after working all day and herding my children in the evening, I seem to run out of energy and never make it after family time in the evenings either.  I know, i know……just lots of excuses.  So basically I just never go.  In the past I never really even considered going, so didn’t pay attention to the fact that I wasn’t.  As I try to lose weight and get more healthy,  I haven’t yet started going to the gym.  But I am pleased to announce that I have at least been THINKING about going, and quite a bit actually!  :-)  For me, that is MAJOR progress.  
So my goal here is to increase my physical activity and make it into a habit that I never had before.  At least 30 minutes of physical activity a day (and hopefully increasing that over time)….walking, bike, elliptical, rowing, swimming….something.  I would even like to try zumba that I have heard so many great things about. 
My daughters are required to run a 5k at the end of their fitness semester for school, and my oldest daughter just did hers last week.  She is much like me in nearly every way (food habits, physical appearance, hatred of working out) so when she said something about wanting to sign up for a local 5k run this spring, I nearly fell out of my chair!  So I thought I really need to “run” with this (pardon the pun) and encourage her to be more active and healthy too.  I have several friends that have done “Couch to 5k” program, so I think that would be interesting.  I have downloaded a podcast playlist to try.  Watch for future posts to see how that goes.
I have lost almost 30 pounds and have done really well with food for the last month+.  Since we got part of our tax return back I decided to treat myself to a treadmill to try to get started doing something.  I am hoping this will be the tool I need to begin having success in this area as well.  We ran out of time tonight, so didn't get it setup yet, but hopefully in the next night or two.  I am actually excited to get started.....hoping that feeling lasts!

Helpful Links

Here is where I will be posting some links I have come across that may be helpful. (thanks Melissa for sharing!!!)  Has WW PP already figured. - another recipe site.  I haven’t tried anything from here …yet.  I like this one because the WW points are already figured! - another recipe site I found.  There are lots of ads so watch what you click on or you will end up somewhere else.  Click on the links on the right for the WW recipes. - my obsession!  I love finding new recipe ideas here and being able to share them with my friends.


I have a baaaaaaad habit of feeling like I need a sweet treat after I eat.  Trying to watch my food intake, that can pose a problem.  So I have been experimenting with a trick I heard somewhere along the way….chewing a stick of gum after a meal to cleanse my palete and tide over my sweet-tooth.
My gum of choice is Extra Dessert Delights, Mint Chocolate Chip.  I know, it sounds like a really gross combination for gum, but I just LOVE it!  It is just enough of a chocolate and mint combo without being too overpowering on either flavor.  It gives me just enough sweet to kill my desire to eat something sweet after I eat.  So far it’s worked for me!!!  Let me know if it works for you and what your flavor of choice is.  :o)


In case anyone stumbles across this blog and wonders what it is, here is a brief introduction.  The name refers to losing weight, not my mind (at least I hope that’s the case!) 
I am overweight.  I have always struggled with my weight and food.   I joke that “I was born bigger than a size x” (I wasn’t, but it sure feels that way!)  I am 35 years old, a wife, and a mom.  Over the years (and kids), the weight has continued to pile on.  Last summer I was at my highest weight ever, 280 pounds (I have since lost 30 lbs, but VERY slowly!).  My sister-in-law challenged me this fall to a contest....lose 50 pounds by April 15 (sounds easy enough, right?!?!)  If we both meet goal, then we get a “girl day” together – shopping, pedis, etc.  If we don’t both meet goal, the person to lose the most weight pays the other $50.  Anyone that knows me knows me well knows that I have a very competitive streak in me and am very prize motivated (and I am cheap.  I don't like to pay people money. Lol).  Another personality trait that my close friends know about me is that I am “deadline oriented” (some people say that is code for procrastinator, but that is such a harsh word!)  Yeah, the bet was made this summer.  Because of that personality quirk, my approach has been “it’s not April yet, so of course I am not to the goal”.   I have lost a few pounds, but nowhere near the 50.   But it’s not like I can put this off until the night before and expect to win the competition!   In fact, when I crunched the numbers this week I realized that April 15 is only a little over 100 days away….about 15 weeks.  That is an average of 3.3 lbs a week…eeek!  So reality hit and I decided I had better get started (I really hate to lose a contest or bet!)  So with the new year here and everyone talking about resolutions, weight loss, eating better, etc. (and all of the holiday food/celebrations almost done & gone) it seemed like a great time to get some focus and get going!  (Note: I originally wrote this at the beginning of January)
My intent was for this to be a private, secret way to hold myself accountable and motivate myself.  I hate making public announcements of “I am going to do “this!” and failing miserably.  It is embarrassing and depressing, and this time of year is abundant.  I know it should be motivation, but to me it seems to do the opposite.  I am a creative person….I really love writing and photography.  So I thought I should combine my 2 loves into something that will hopefully be a positive influence in my life.  I decided that a written (and photographic) journal of my weight loss journey (the struggles, successes, feelings, etc) would be therapeutic and hopefully fun to go back and reflect after a successful journey.  So I plan to write about my progress, document what I am doing and the results.  A chronological timeline of sorts.  Now, I since I didn’t want to do this is a public way and have everyone I know watching to see if I fail or not, another option was that I could do the journaling in a strictly private way, for only me to see.  But somehow that didn’t seem the right answer either.  So I decided to make a blog.  While I won’t be publicizing it to people I know (ok maybe just a few people that I know won’t judge me or are in a similar situation), I figured if anyone else stumbles across it and wants to support me in this journey, or I help them in some small way, then bonus. 
So in the coming weeks, I will be sharing a little more about me.  If anyone out there does find this blog and becomes interested, I hope you will share your experiences, tips and tricks, and thoughts as well.  Here’s to a successful journey!