I HAVE MOVED! My main blog as of Sept of 2010 is TWO YEARS TO HAPPY WEIGHT AFTER. Visit me there. My post links in the updates below will link up to the new blog. THANKS for reading!

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Take Advantage of Weight Loss & Exercise Assistance Your Health Plan Offers

We're switching health plans (AGAIN) come January. This time it's Cigna.

We got a brochure that interested me: Member discounts from Healthy Rewards.

Here are a few of the areas where discounts (up to 62%) may apply:

Weight Management and Nutrition

* Healthyroads Weight Management Program
* Registered Dietitian Network
* Jenny Craig
* Weight Watchers®
* Weight management scales


* Fitness Club and Equipment Discounts
* Just Walk 10,000 Steps-a-DayTM

Alternative Medicine

* Acupuncture
* Chiropractor
* Massage


* Healthyroads Mind/Body Program
* Yoga Journal (subscriptions, DVDs, yoga conference discounts)
* SpaFinderTM

Vitamins, Health and Wellness Products

* Drugstore.comTM
* ChooseHealthyTM (discounts on natural supplements)

Healthy Lifestyle Products

* Mayo Clinic Books
* Magazine Subscriptions

Make sure to check your policy. Find out if you qualify for any discounts or services that will help you in your fatfighting and fitness quest.

Wish I'd checked into this with my old plan before buying all that stuff I got last year--scale, blood pressure monitor, body mass analyzer, exercise dvds and equipment, etc.

Hope you find out good stuff and save loads.

Happy Halloween--Boo!--and Happy Weekend, y'all.


WooHoo! I Won Oatmeal Stuff!!!
& Now You Can Win Workout Wear

The great and lovely Lyn had a giveway of oatmeal stuff. I'm getting the giveaway stuff cause I entered with reasons I like (love!) oatmeal. I posted about it, too.

If ya wanna see who won (besides me), visit Escape from Obesity.

If you want a shot at winning a gift certificate for $100 from Junonia (that you can use toward plus size workout clothing), visit Cranky Fitness.

I already entered. :)

You can also check out Junonia's Halloween sale--31% off black clothes. I LOVE BLACK. I wore black a lot even when I was 100 lbs lighter. :)


Oprah's "Biggest Loser" Show: Kinda Dull, But a Definite Reality Check

I watched most of it, cause I wanted to see what they'd have to offer (and maybe get me kicked in the butt a bit).

It was nice to see some former contestants, and Oprah was very up and encouraging and all, but Jillian looked like she was gonna fall asleep and Bob looked disoriented. What up with that?

Anyway, I liked that they had a segment with contestants having a hard time keeping weight off (or just plain not succeeding). For instance, in a VERY VERY brief update, they showed Ryan Benson (not in person), the first ever winner of TBL, who has a 100 pound regain. I'm sure he feels really bad about it. I wish they had been able to interview him.

The segment with Matt and Suzy Hoover (who still make an adorable couple, don't they?) was a needed reality check. When you stop doing what you did to lose (ie, keep food intake in check, exercise a lot), you regain. Matt was up about 50 pounds from his winning weight. And though they tactfully didn't get a fixed number from Susy, she was wearing a black turtleneck and was only shown shoulders up. We know "fat camouflage," don't we, ladies? We understand it.

Granted, Suzy's had two babies in less than two years--which she kept repeating, I'll add--and that's a definite factor. But she admitted to not being with it in terms of exercising and with also using the pregnancies as an excuse to eat for two--and eat a lot.

We understand that, too. (Hey, I have a reason to eat? Let's at it!)

This weight loss thing is hard. Maintenance is hard. It's all hard.

You know, THE BIGGEST LOSER should keep tab on previous guests, and all the ones who regained a lot should have a shot again--a sort of TBL Regainers show--maybe a shorter show to see if second time's the charm? Whaddya think?

Reality check two: What the successful maintainers do.

They exercise--frequently. They control what foods they buy and eat--consistently. Exercise. Calorie control. No big news there.

There's Ali, the woman winner of TBL, small and sleek and toned. They showed her in the kitchen, showing us what kinds of stuff she eats. From my calculations, her breakfast and lunches run about 200 calories each. And she excercises 2 hours a day (at least five days a week). TWO HOURS. If breakfast and lunch run (with whatever beverages and fruit she may add) about 500, then she's eating very little. What? Fewer than 1200 calories a day? TO MAINTAIN.

But SEEING it. Ouch. Reality slap, that one.

I forgot which contestant was the guy who showed his daily meal intake--the food arrayed on a counter. About 2000-2100 calories (for a tall fella). Very lean 3 meals and two snacks. Oatmeal with yogurt for breakfast. A few ounces of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli for lunch. Ezekiel bread with peanut butter for a snack. You get the drift.


Real life can't sustain 6 hours of killer daily exercise like the ranch. The 1200 to 1400 calories the women ate daily was paired with about 4000 calories BURNED OFF. Yes, that's a caloric deficit that ensures big losses. A pound a day plus is not surprising with that equation.

Overall, the show was worth watching for those of us on this particular journey or in this particular fight (choose thy metaphor!) for a look at how it really works. The difficulty to reach goals and keep to them, and the glow that comes from succeeding. Notice how much "shinier" the maintainers looked, that sense of satisfaction from making such a change.

No magic pill. Just grueling attention and effort.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

What's That On My Arm?

Yesterday, I was reclining on the couch in the evening, just reading a magazine, and I reached up absent-mindedly to scratch my arm.

I felt something odd.

I hitched up my sleeve, looked down, felt around, wondering, "What the heck was that I just felt?"

I mean, I'm middle-aged. Visions of cancer are always in the periphery.

False alarm.

It was... a muscle.

Stop laughing.

Okay, go ahead. Chuckle. I did.

I'm not used to having muscles. Nearly four months of Pilates, and I have fricken BICEPS MUSCLES. I have muscles--all hard under the too generous flesh--in my thighs. My abdomen has hard bits under the flab.



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What The Princess Likes About Oatmeal

I used to make old-fashioned oatmeal on the stove with milk, which I found a bit annoying in terms of sticking to the pot, but which I loved in terms of the aroma. However, since I got my slow cooker, it's just so easy making a water-based one in there that it's my preferred method. Just put it on and, voila, in an hour (for firm) or two (for mushy), a warm, comforty, filling snack or breakfast.

(I skip the quick cooking, and either take the time for old-fashioned slow-cooking or do instant. The in-between one, eh.)

Lyn, over at Escape from Obesity, is gonna go on a visit to the Quaker Oats HQ, and she's got a giveaway of yumsy QO products. (Go enter at her site.)

I decided to enter the giveaway and answer one of the questions--in this case, what do I like about oatmeal?

My response:

What do I like about Oatmeal? Let me count the ways:

1. Easy to make.
2. Can be made with milk or water, and is fine both ways.
3. Reminds me of chilly mornings when mom made me oatmeal--it's comfort food!
4. It's great with fruit and spices.
5. Leftover oatmeal makes a quick and easy cobbler.
6. You can make "oatmeal cookies" with oatmeal, and I love oatmeal cookies.
7. You can make fake oatmeal "cookies" with protein powder in a pinch.
8. It's very filling. And I have a monster appetite that is not easily quelled.
9. It tastes good, really, so maybe that should be number one.
10. It comes in INSTANT, for when I get lazy, which is kinda often.
11. You can make a huge batch and eat it for days and days....which is good, yet again, for the lazy thing.
12. It lowers cholesterol, and I need all the help I can get in that department.
13. It's got fiber, and fiber is good for my colon's health.
14. It smells good. I love the smell of oats and oatmeal. I stick my head in those tubes of Quaker Oats and breathe it in. I linger over the pot while it cooks. I love opening the slow cooker lid and smelling it. LOVE THAT SMELL!
15. Okay, this isn't about oatmeal per se, but it's worth mentioning: It makes for great cleansing and moisturizing products for sensitive skin. (ie Aveeno)
16. Oats (before cooking) make a good exfoliant for sensitive skin.

What do you like about Oatmeal? What would you tell the Quaker Oats people to do to improve their products or what new products would you like to see? What question would you like Lyn to ask their dietitian? Answer one of these at Lyn's site and you might win some stuff.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What NOT To Do When You Blow It and
Reassessing That "Cheat Days" Thing

Both JC and Lyn have some advice for those days when we simply blow it--scarf down the three or four slices of pizza, attack the brownies, go for the supersized burger meal, go mad with the chips and nacho cheese, etc.

Do not say, "Oh, well, I blew it. Might as well have X, Y, and Z, too."

JC wants you to get rid of the negative language. Don't even think, "I blew it!"

Lyn wants you to remember that every bite counts, even the ones AFTER the occasion of "blowing it." A slip is not a license to keep slipping. And a cheat day may sabotage you by giving you that very sense of "Well, I might as well as..."

I think both make good points. We always have to analyze our verbiage/mental script. If saying "I blew it" becomes a magic chant that lets us go binge worse or keeps us from stopping a bad choice, then it must be removed.

And if a cheat day becomes an excuse to blow all the week's progress, then a cheat day is NOT an aid to weight loss. I have seen a blogger here and there use a cheat day as an excuse to just go hog wild and eat everything in sight. That's not the purpose of cheat days, as I understand them. It's a day to enjoy a particular meal or treat that we'd normally eschew. Let's say, instead of a plain roasted sweet potato, we go for the sweet potato casserole. Or instead of the grilled chicken, we go for the chicken cordon bleu. And yet, always with an eye to keeping the rest in check.

But cheat days do tend to become the ultra feast--the fried foods, the shake, the chocolate cake, the gravy, the extra cheese, the garlic rolls with extra oil. In other words, instead of being a way to hold off on a daily donut by allowing oneself a donut once a week or once a month, it becomes a day to give into every indulgence.

That can't possibly help. It just feeds the binge monster.

If you have a cheat day, and it's not working for you (ie, it's sabotaging you), try a cheat meal or a cheat ITEM in a meal. So, you have the healthful meals on a Saturday, but you allow yourself one indulgence (fries with your grilled chicken, or full fat dressing on your salad, or cookies instead of sugar free jello.) That can work. :)

Hey, we all gotta find what will ultimately work for us. But keep an eye on if these two things--language and cheat days--are actually an obstacle you need to knock down.

I can't do cheat days. I am someone who will go hog wild. Whenever I managed to lose a big chunk of weight in the past, it was by incorporating some kind of treat I looked forward to DAILY, but always a smaller portion or a less-fat/no-sugar option. I can't go a week without a treat; I can't say "CHEAT DAY!" either. It's a middle ground for me.

On the other hand, saying "I blew it" is not a trigger for me the way it's for some. Saying, "I blew it" is usually followed by, "What can I eat for my next meal that takes me back on a better path?"

Neither changing our verbiage nor stopping a slip is easy. But they are alway part of a lifelong weight correction plan.

Why It's Worth Taking the Risk to Exercise

I know I'm not alone in the "I'll feel so embarrassed to put on workout wear and look foolish in the gym" phobia.

I had to get over mine (and trust me, it still lurks) to step inside a Pilates studio full of the fit and the young and the beautiful sleek ones.

But good things can come of taking the chance and saying to the fear, "Yes, someone might make fun of me, but that's their problem, not mine. My problem is obesity and lack of fitness. That's what I need to address. Not someone else's immaturity."

I came across this in a post today at Thinking Thin Too blog:

My motivation is increasing. This is not a normal thing for me. I am not used to it, but I like it. I think I know what is causing this oddity. Want to know what it is? No, it's not A (well maybe a small part of it). It's the classes that I am going to. I never would have imagined that mustering up the courage to go to these classes would lead me to crave them. Yes, I said crave them. Yesterday, I was dog tired and I went home and didn't want to go. Just like the other week, at 5:30 I got up, changed my clothes, went to the gym and did the class. I have not missed a class since I started going. For those of you that haven't tried the classes, have you not tried them out of fear?

Let me tell you. I haven't done many things throughout my life because of fear. I don't want people watching the fat chic. You hear people whispering, and you assume it's about you...

Anyway, so that fear of being the center of attention has always kept me from trying those classes until that one day about 6 weeks ago. I haven't missed a class since. If you can muster up the courage, go to one. Trust me, you will find that exercise goes quickly. You will no longer dread going.

I would not have believed it possible if you had told me last year that I would feel disappointment at the idea of missing a Pilates session. But that's where I'm at. I've missed ONE session (that I had to cancel due to stomach woes after eating a hard, unripe pear). And I felt awful calling to cancel.

It's really hard. I'm not gonna say that exercising is a breeze or a snap. I have to find that place inside me that keeps going and doesn't quit during a tough session. (They're all tough, but some are tougher and make me wonder how I'll survive.) But I feel so good when I'm done. Like I did a virtous thing, like I'm not a weenie, like I'm on track on something...:)

If I could afford it, I'd go more often. But I am grateful to be able to take what I can.

And that's amazing. That just doing it and seeing how, "Wow, I am stronger this week than last, and I'll be stronger next week than this"--that is motivational.

If I could find that sort of groove with my portions, I'd be a big losing fool.

I want to be that kind of fool. :)

So, if you think that exercise sucks and you're too big to go to a gym or a studio or the park fitness trail or whatever, think about this blogger and Thinking Thin, and remember that it's possibly you can amaze yourself. Just find the exercise that works for you--be it hiking, weight lifting, Pilates, a spinning class, yoga, walking, belly dancing, boxing, Tae Kwon Do, swimming...whatever. Somewhere out there is an activity that will grab you and astound you by making you WANT TO DO IT and HATE TO MISS IT. No matter your budget, there's something for you.

Just tell your fears to take a hike. Tell your worries about fatphobics to chill. Hike up your big girl panties (preferably breathable ones) and go work out.

I hope you find YOUR activity this week. :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Near-Year's-End Goal Assessment

There are 65 days left to 2008, and that's 9.28 weeks left in the year. That's all. Then...a whole new year.

I have not been happy with how I've handled goals this year. I've not met as many as I wished. A look at the good and the not so good:

I have made progress in a couple areas this year. One: I'm exercising regularly, strenuously, and am getting stronger and more flexible. Two: I am consciously eating more whole, unprocessed foods and organic foods. Three: I'm eating out less. Four: I'm maintaining a sound mood, with fewer dips into the dark cloud. Five: My thyroid has not gotten worse (ie, requiring an increase in dosage).

On the bad side are some key things. One: I am still not mastering portion control. Two: I still am not being consistent about water intake. Three: I've slipped back into giving into more than the occasional/rare sweets temptation. Four: I am still keeping a wacky and unhealthy sleeping schedule.

I feel better. I walk with more spring. Good.

I sleep erratically. I let myself get dehydrated. I buy cookies. Bad.

As it stands, I need to assiduously attack the weaknesses in order to end the year with a loss, and not a maintain (or, Heaven forbid, a gain).

65 days. 9 1/4 weeks. If I were to be a very good Princess starting TODAY, I could end the year with an 18 to 20 pound loss.

That's my goal. As of today. End 2008 at or under 255.

Cause time is always, always, always running out on this body. And your body.

What are your goals for the rest of this year. The end cometh...of 2008.

Onward and DOWNWARD!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Anyone have the Gillian McKeith's Legume Loaf with Onion Gravy recipe?

I'm here sorting through laundry and watching Gillian McKeith's YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT on the telly, and they show this loafy thing from chick peas and butter beans made with an onion gravy.

Anyone have that recipe? I'm really interested in the onion gravy, wondering how she makes, since she's not a meat or butter or white flour gal(but the gravy is still brown, like beef-based one. Soy sauce?). It looked yummy, anyway.


VeggieMunn Meal #4--yummy kale and tasty lentils

This time I'm reporting on these:

o Lentil salad - mixed baby greens, sprouted lentils, onion, parsnip, bell pepper, orange, tahini, lemon, Nama shoyu, parsley, thyme
o Mediterranean Kale Salad - kale, red bell pepper, black olives, lemon, cold pressed olive oil, sea salt, black pepper

Both very good. I enjoyed them. The raw lentils had a nice chewy texture and the spicing reminded me of tabboule, which I love. The kale was very fresh and delicious, the olives were super, and the red pepper still crisp four days. I have to admit that though it was fine as dressed, I wanted a stronger flavor, so I used some of Annie's Organic Goddess dressing (a vegan, though not raw, dressing). My fave bottled dressing.

I didn't feel like soup or dessert.

Now, I'm craving more kale salad. :)


DragonFire Factoid: Accomplia And Psych Problems

An anti-obesity drug that has been prescribed to 97,000 people in the UK doubled the risk of psychiatric disorders in those who took it, the European Medicines Agency has found.

The EMA has decided that the benefits of the drug Acomplia - which has been licensed in Europe since June 2006 - no longer outweigh the risks, and have advised doctors to no longer prescribe the drug.

In a trial of 36,000 this summer, five of those taking the drug committed suicide, compared to only one of those taking the placebo.
--from "Users of slimming drug at risk of psychiatric disorders" in the TIMES ONLINE.

(And the above is just one reason why this Princess stays away from diet drugs, period. Remember Fen-Phen?)


Thursday, October 23, 2008

One of my fave artists does nifty things with vegetables and fruits

Since I've been emphasizing vegan/vegetarian foods in recent posts, I thought I'd share a couple of paintings from one of my very most favoritest artists, the surrealist Remedios Varo. Her stuff is amazing. AMAZING! And loaded with dream, mythic, Jungian, Freudian, metaphysical, etc meanings.

Here's a couple with fruits and veggies as the focus (though, of course, there is humor and greater significance):

Vegetarian Vampires (Vampiros Vegetarianos)--

Still Life, Reviving (Naturaleza Muerta, Resucitando)--

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

VEGGIEMUNN Meal #3 Review

Not much to report on the food today. I had my second serving of Pasta Primavera, as this was the entree on which I doubled up. It's the one I enjoyed so much the first day and, yes, enjoyed similarly today). I'd happily have this every week. It remained nice and fresh though it's been in the fridge since Monday.

I had another citrus salad with it (like day one). Again, nothing special.

The new thing I tried was the fruit soup. This one was composed of juice and pulp from honeydew melon, apples, bananas, nectarines, and valencia oranges.

Verdict: Refreshing and nice, a good thing to have after a tough workout, as it's hydrating, sweet, and relaxing. Basically, a runny smoothie in a bowl. :) Makes eating it slower and slurping through a straw, which I guess is not a bad thing, right? A slowing down at day's ending.

Did you have your fruits and veggies today? At least five servings, but better to have 7 and more. Did ya?


Pilates--Ramping Up

Whoa. Hard session today. My trainer specifically said she wanted to have fewer rests, more controlled breaths, and make it all harder.

This was the first time I actually had to stop and drink water in the middle of a session--and I drank more water each time we switched equipment. I was breathing a lot, mouth drying, even got a tad woozy. Worked tough!

Interesting how I always have trouble with side bends on the barrel when I'm leaning right, exerting left. That hip just wants to cramp. But on the other side, I can complete the set. We talked about that imbalance a bit, and I'm to be more conscious of how I lean, what I'm doing, that might be affecting the left side.

My inner thighs were so pooped, driving home required some concentration.

But I felt good getting through it without dying. :)

Had a nonfat vanilla plus protein latte as a treat. I wanted to feed those muscles pronto.

Did you move today? Did you work up a sweat, breathe hard, wake-up all your muscles, get the red river of blood rushing? Is your heart a little stronger from your pushing it to work harder?

If not, move now! Don't wait until you're too pooped. Go for a walk. Put on a video. Get on the floor and crunch or leg lift in a steady rhythm.

Here, try About.com's Pilates move of the week: The Swan.

Yes, that's it. Love your bod!

And...have a healthy, happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Review Of Second VEGGIEMUNN Meal

This combo that I had for lunch today included:

o Orange/Fennel Soup - orange, fennel, walnuts, garlic, sea salt, pepper
o Thai Green papaya salad - green papaya, carrots, fresh basil, fresh mint, fresh parsley, lemon, chili pepper, cashews, sesame oil, sesame seeds, sea salt
o Choco piña colada on a stick - pineapple, agave nectar, coconut butter, cacao powder

This was like a sandwich with great bread and disappointing main filler. By that I mean great ends and a bummer middle.

The soup was deliciously refreshing--the brightness of citrus with the savoriness of the garlic and the fennel notes blended to make a chilled soup reminiscent of the freshness of gazpacho, but with a lighter touch. Gazpacho's girlier little sister, let's say. I liked it. (And I adore gazpacho, so it makes sense that anything that reminds me of gazpacho gets a pass.)

The salad, not so successful. I really expected a burst of flavor. In the past, I'd only had green papaya salad twice. It's a strong-flavored dish that really fills your mouth with citrus and some heat and some sweet and some salty and that amazing element of green papaya. This lacked the green papaya power, because it was mostly carrot. And the dressing was too tame to fill the bill. So, what it felt like to my taste buds was a pleasant, if bland, carrot salad. I tried to brush aside the carrot shreds and pick up just dressing, papaya strips and basil--and those couple of forkfuls were more promising. But the salad is just not successful. Green Papaya salad should have green papaya. I felt like I paid $5 for carrot shreds with some underseasoned dressing. Disappointing.

I didn't finish it. And when I went to put the rest away in the fridge, I dropped the container and the contents spilled on the kitchen floor. I didn't mind too much having to toss it, frankly.

Dessert was a nice improvement on the salad. The chocolate coating is very chocolatey and pleasing to this choco-lover. Not too sweet. The pineapple was good (could have been a bit sweeter/riper. I enjoyed this. I would mention that I am not a huge pineapple-with-choco fan. I prefer berries and banana for chocolate dipping. A frozen banana with this chocolate coating and some shredded coconut---mmm. I wish I'd had that. But after the sad salad, this definitely picked up my mood. And the serving was generous--two long cuts of pineapple. It could be divided into dessert for two meals.

Hope you guys had lovely, healthful eatings today!

Now, I can't wait for my avocado sushi, pad thai, and salad with ginger dressing for supper. Hubby's picking it up. After that very light lunch, I need something substantial, and the noodles called to me. If you've never had avocado sushi--I recommend it heartily. So good, that avocado creaminess with pickled ginger, wasabi, and a dip of soy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Review of First VEGGIEMUNN Raw Vegan Meal

Okay, got my delivery of 15 meal items plus two breads--all organic, vegan, and raw. John Munn, the partner of Mariela (the cook for VeggieMunn) came by. We chatted. Very personable guy.

I had this tonight:

o Savory Parsnip Soup - parsnip, cauliflower, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion, red bell pepper, pine nuts

o Pasta Primavera - zuchinni and or yellow squash, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, dehydrated vegetable blend, Italian seasoning, garlic, parsley

o Citrusy Fruit Salad - Valencia Oranges, grapefruit, grapes, apples, shredded coconut

o Onion Loaf - onions, buckwheat, nama shoyu, EVOO, flax seeds

The soup: Lovely color, spicy from the cayenne (maybe a scosh too spicy, I'd dial it back just a tiny, wee bit), but lacking something in "roundness." I think it may need a bit more acid--grapefruit or lime or more lemon juice. It has a nice sweet tone and the red pepper in it is pleasant (as well as adding to that pink color). So, a bit more acidity, a bit less cayenne, and some more herbs/savoriness would make this excellent. As is, decent, but forgettable.

The entree: Terrific! I love the fresh taste of the raw squash strings and the vegetable-herb sauce is really tasty. My suggestions: Add more of the flavorful sauce. The "noodles" are generous, so they need more sauce for a nicer balance. Also, the sundried tomatoes were hard. I'd maybe puree them or chop them more finely so they blend with the sauce. This one I'd have again, no question. Nice.

The onion bread: MMMmmmMMMmmmmMMMmmmm. I wish I'd ordered three or four of these. MMmmmmMMMmmm. So oniony!

Fruit salad: Pleasant, but not outstanding. Might benefit from some sort of nice accent sauce. The valencia oranges, the grapes, and the shredded coconut worked. The grapefruit was a bit too tart and the apple didn't seem to blend. I think a different fruit to apple would work better--just not sure which. Strawberries, perhaps? Papaya? Mango? Banana would work, but they turn brown fast.

So, two of tonight's offerings were quite, quite tasty and I'd have again. The other two were okay, but need ramping up to make them really zing.

Can't wait til tomorrow's lunch.

If you've tried VeggieMunn in South Florida, leave a comment with a link to your review. I'd like to see which entrees and desserts and such you would rate highly (as a reference for my future orders.)

Oh, and if you wanna see some pics of her food, visit her MySpace page where the main page has a slideshow instead of a member pic (upper left) or the pics page.

Hope you all had a lovely day. Let's sleep well and have a great Tuesday!

One Weight Loss Mental Block

Sometimes, you just have to face up to what's in the way.

One of the things that's a big obstacle for me and actually is trying to keep me this big is my horrid fear of the loose, drooping skin that comes with major weight loss.

I already have some just from losing about 25 lbs. The thought of the horror I will become if I lose 100+ terrifies me. TERRIFIES ME! I mean this in the most honest way. It gives me the rigor.

I am trying to talk myself into realizing, as Kate tells herself confronting this same issue, that it will be something temporary, something that can be handled later, helped later, surgically.

My neuroses kick in big time. What if I can't have surgery later--can't afford it, or have medical issues that weigh against the surgery, etc.

This is something I need to deal with emotionally and mentally. I have accepted that this is one of my self-sabotaging issues. I am afraid to lose and look like those pictures. It's bad enough being this fat, a state which has its own aesthetic awfulness; but the loose skin--now that scares the bejeezus outta me.

I accept that I have this fear and this block and this saboteur in my brain.

Now, I have to get over it.


New Week, New Day--same old crappy sleep schedule

I'm trying (unsuccessfully so far) to switch back into daytime mode. I need to see the sun! I'm up early today, but that means I slept about 4 hours. Yoiks.

For a while, I've been getting up around 6 to 7pm (unless forced to cut back on sleep to get up earlier for some reason.) Which sucks. I see little of the daytime and am missing the cooler change in weather we've had (marginally cooler, but a noticeable change in season). Lack of sunlight is very bad for dieters and those prone to depression. We lose out on vitamin D, sure, but we also lose out on the energizing effect of that direct light, and the (so I hear) slight appetite suppressing effect, too.

I really need to stop being a vampiress!

So, new day. New hope.

Breakfast was my egg white greek omelette with tomato and fresh oregano, papaya chunks with lime juice, coconut water (unsweetened), coffee, water, and some crackers.

Pilates at 4pm. Starbucks for my post-exercise "skinny" latte at 5. And around 6pm, I should get my raw vegan cuisine items. I'll let you know if/what I like on the menu.

I hope you have a great day that brings you weight loss and improved health and a lot of smiles.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pilates Progress, Super Sleep, Super Sore!

Owsie. I just slept 14 hours. Always happen when I have a day I skip sleep. My body goes into major downtime to make up for it. The night before, I slept 3 1/2 hours, cause Pilates was early (as opposed to 4pm), and while I was fine the day, when I finally crashed, I crashed hard.

So, how sore am I! Lots of abdominal work Friday, and I feel every bit of it. I think every abdominal fiber in my body is screeching at me. Those rollback with side twists and hinges kill me. Owsie. And we did pushups on the wonder barrel, so my shoulders and upper arms are yelping a bit, too.

But these are good ouchies. Means I really put effort in and I'm getting stronger in the core.

I could see during my session that I made progress. Remember when I couldn't do the Elephant. Then I managed ONE rep. Well, I did five reps roundback and five reps straight back Friday. PROGRESS!

Hubby mentioned today that my waist looks even MORE nipped in. Yay. The scale may say 273.4 (.2 less than Thursday), but my waist is already in the 260's. Heh.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Very Veggie Food Deliveries A-Coming!

Since I'm still not 100% in the swing, I decided to have food delivered to me for a couple weeks.

Next week, for a few days, I'm going Raw Vegan with a delivery from VeggieMunn in South Florida (they deliver to Miami and Broward areas). Here's what I'll be getting (soup, entree, dessert, crackers for five meals--I doubled up on some items to make five servings)--

Organic Raw Vegan Soups:
o Corn Chowder - corn, avocado, cilantro, celery, almonds, sea salt, fresh black pepper
o Fruit Soup - (every week is a different version)
o Orange/Fennel Soup - orange, fennel, walnuts, garlic, sea salt, pepper
o Savory Parsnip Soup - parsnip, cauliflower, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion, red bell pepper, pine nuts

Organic Raw Vegan Entrées
o Lentil salad - mixed baby greens, sprouted lentils, onion, parsnip, bell pepper, orange, tahini, lemon, Nama shoyu, parsley, thyme
o Mediterranean Kale Salad - kale, red bell pepper, black olives, lemon, cold pressed olive oil, sea salt, black pepper
o Pasta Primavera - zuchinni and or yellow squash, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, dehydrated vegetable blend, Italian seasoning, garlic, parsley
o Thai Green papaya salad - green papaya, carrots, fresh basil, fresh mint, fresh parsley, lemon, chili pepper, cashews, sesame oil, sesame seeds, sea salt

Organic Raw Vegan Desserts:
o Banana Cream Pie - bananas, coconut oil, agave nectar, almonds, walnuts, dates, raisins
o Choco piña colada on a stick - pineapple, agave nectar, coconut butter, cacao powder
o Citrusy Fruit Salad - Valencia Oranges, grapefruit, grapes, apples, shredded coconut
o Peach cobbler - peaches, agave nectar, cinnamon, coconut butter, walnuts, almonds, dates, Brazil nuts

Organic Raw Vegan Dehydrated Extras :
o Onion Loaf - onions, buckwheat, nama shoyu, EVOO, flax seeds
o Spicy Flax Crackers - flax seeds, flax meal, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cayenne, sea salt

I'll receive those on Monday.

On Thursday, I will receive my five day's worth of Diet-To-Go meals, vegetarian menu. They have amazing good apple pancakes and soy sausage breakfasts, and I look forward to those like mad. I do a lot of substituting in breakfast and dinners (a bit of an extra charge for each change), cause I don't like their soy-based dinners and lunches (though I love a good bit of cold tofu with asian dip or grilled tofu teriyaki, but DTG's soy is gross). I'll be getting stuffed shells, bean burrito, tomato spinach melt, curried cous cous with creamed spinach, tomato veggie pie, black bean soup with soft pretzel and mandarin pudding, and...well, go see the Week 4 menu (vegetarian).

So, it's an expensive food delivery time the next couple weeks, but it'll let me know there's something healthful, produce-laden, and diet-friendly waiting for me in the fridge or freezer.

My mouth is a-watering!


What I've Been Craving, Eating, Cooking...

I've been making my egg white Greek omelets for breakfast. Lotsa protein, can have up to three veggies (depending on mood and size), and is amazing with fresh oregano and fresh cracked pepper.

Easy as can be, too: I use liquid egg whites (organic) and I use a pan depending on how much veggie I'm in the mood for. If I want to make it normal, with just feta, tomato, and oregano on top, I use a 7 inch skillet. I spray it with Olive Oil organic PAM, pour the egg white, let it cook on one side, flip the circle to cook on the other (I don't fold it), and then immediately put the feta I want on top (to get melty from the hot cooked side of eggs).

Next, I heat the tomato I chop up in the nuker for about 50 seconds. I like the tomato hot, not mushy. While it nukes, I pull the leaves off the fresh oregano. (If there is none fresh, I use dried, and just sprinkle it on the feta after I put it over the eggs.)

Once the egg whites are cooked the way I like (some like it crispier and cook longer), I put it on a plate, put the tomato pieces on top, and grind some pepper on top. If I'm in a splurgy mood, I drizzle EVOO on top (mmmmm).

One of my fave breakfasts.

Other veggies I like to add--spinach, red and green pepper, onions, olives.

I've been craving papaya. Fresh, cut into chunks, some lime squeezed on top. It's just so fresh and satisfying and it's great for aiding digestion.

I've also been craving and cooking a bunch of sauteed spinach with garlic and EVOO. I dunno why I'm having this particular craving, but it's easy enough to saute this up in minutes and have a lovely snack or side dish.

Clementines! Oh, I'm mad for them right now.

Fage 2% yogurt with cherry topping on the side. This just hits my yogurt spot like mad.

Homemade apple compote with frozen lowfat yogurt~~~This is a nice dessert that's easy and my husband enjoys, too. You get calcium, not a lot of fat, and the compote can be made sugar-free or with brown sugar, your choice. I slice up a good cooking apple, like Granny Smith, put it in a sauce pot (small one) with a touch of water (depends on how much "juice" you like)and lots of ground cinnamon. I also add some sort of sweetener (Splenda, usually, or brown sugar or honey), and, after it's come to a boil, I just let it cook on low heat until it's a texture I like. (Not very long, for me, about 10 mins).

Spoon over frozen yogurt (vanilla is our choice). Voila, simple dessert that's not bad for you and is bursting with fresh apple flavor. We had this last night. MMMmmmm.

I also like to get those low-calorie crepes they sell already cooked at the supermarket (less than 50 calories each), and fill them with a mixture of low or non-fat cottage cheese (or low-fat ricotta) and a berry compote (or the apple one). That makes for a high calcium, low-fat dessert that gives a serving of fruit, some fiber, and not a lot of damage in the calories dept. (about 200 calories, more or less, depending on how much the crepe is and how much cottage cheese or ricotta you use and which fat % is the dairy product selected).


Depression and Weight and Blogging and Prayer and Clementines and Joy...

Shoot. I've been gone over two weeks. Sorry...again.

I started falling into another spell under the dark cloud, which doubly bummed me out, because I had come out of a very extended clinical depression this past January. It had been nice feeling normal all these months, pretty happy, often joyful, just normal.

So, for a couple weeks, I've been sleeping and feeling flat and ignoring chores like grocery and house cleaning. I had a few clusters of no-showering days, too, which is gross to go 3 or 4 days sans shower. But that is always one of the signs I'm in the blues--lack of energy to do squat, even wash my hair. And the sleeping too much. And the not blogging. And even not reading my Bible or praying, which is the worst thing to do for a religious person--stray from essential spiritual disciplines.

I started feeling that self-loathing, too.

Getting on the scale and seeing 277.6 didn't help. I wanted to cry, just cry, at gaining those pounds when I was close to getting into the 260s.

Two days ago, I felt so distressed about falling into another deep pit and regaining what cost me so much to lose, that the first thing I did when I woke up, lethargic and blue, was drop naked on my knees by my bed and pretty much beg for help out of the shadowland. I just didn't want to go there again, not this soon. I'd lost 4 years to depression this millenium, and I refused to just let it take another 4.

So, I prayed, I showered, and I read a Psalm, some I Corinthians, and recited the Apostle's Creed. And I said no to the daily dessert splurge I'd been using as medication. I called hubby at work and asked him to stop by the market and get me some papaya, clementines, plums, mushrooms, melon, and salad fixings.

The next day, I prayed again, and then I hauled my butt to Pilates. I hadn't been doing well with my exercises (to my estimation), cause I felt so low in the energy. It was excruciating to do anything. But though I wanted to cancel, I got dressed with my stinky unwashed-for-four-days hair and got through it. I did much better than the sessions the week before. After my session, I went to the farmer's market and filled a basket with fruits and fresh veggies to help me resume my healthful eating plan.

That was yesterday.

Today, I started to feel like the cloud was lifting. I did't feel dark blue, more like turquoise (lighter, prettier). I felt more energy. I COOKED! The first time I made dinner in over two weeks.

Today, the scale said 273.6. Four pounds off in a couple days.

I know that eating fruits and veggies and eating home-cooked meant less sodium, so I'm debloating. It helps. I feel less uncomfy in my skin.

I know there is a connection between depression and obesity--as my endocrinologist mentioned more than once trying to get me to take antidepressants. Here's an article about it:

People who are depressed may be more likely to become obese because of physiological changes in their hormone and immune systems that occur in depression. Also, they have more difficulty taking good care of themselves because of symptoms and consequences of depression, such as difficulty adhering to fitness regiments, overeating, and having negative thoughts.

Tell me about the difficulties. If I haven't got the initiative to take a 10 minute shower, it's damn for sure I'm not inclined to spend 30-to-45 minutes cooking a healthy meal or spend twenty minutes walking round the block!

I'm sure we've all heard how exercise is shown to help depression. The fact that I kept up the Pilates (only cancelled one class when my stomach rebelled and I got the runs) I think helped, too, to keep me from falling all the way over the cliff:

Treatments such as exercise and stress reduction can help to manage both obesity and depression at the same time. Potentially, dieting, which can worsen mood, and antidepressants, which can cause weight gain, should be minimized.

I certainly minimized dieting. But that was effect, rather than proactive.

My Pilates instructor really stressed how she wanted me to get into some regular aerobic activity. She is very gung-ho that this will help regulate my mood. I'm sure it will help. I went for a very short walk, ran into neighbors, got into two conversations. Not much aerobic stuff, but I felt lighter in spirit just from chatting. I got to share another pack of my South Beach Living whole grain, high fiber tortillas with one neighbor, who loved them when I gave her a pack a few months ago. (I ordered by the case.)

I've spent time in the last couple days researching local therapists. We're gonna switch insurance (again, dang)in January due to employer decision. I'd like to see if they cover treatment for depression and eating disorders of the therapy sort, rather than the drug sort. I'd like to take advantage. If they don't, we'll have to find a way to pay out of pocket for at least one sesson a week. If it means one less Pilates session a week, then so be it. But like dear Lyn, I know I need to get that kind of help. I do think my mood issues are at root a huge part of my eating issues, and as the article states, we who have these problems need treatment that's coordinated, addressing both:

"The treatment of depression and obesity should be integrated," the authors conclude. "This way, healthcare providers are working together to treat both conditions, rather than each in isolation."

If you also suffer from depression issues that impact your obesity situation, see if your insurer (if you have one) can pay for you to visit a therapist that has experience with BOTH depression and obesity, or who will integrate with a nutritionist or other specialist to get a holistic approach. It's all related.

So, I'm struggling, but the moment when I got on my knees and asked my Creator for help made some change. Some would say it's not God, but rather simply my own internal voice or will determining change. Each will analyze it as they choose. Me...I believe it was God. For whatever reason, my cry got heard this time.

I know, intellectually, that I'd do well to get on my knees about this issue first thing every day. Consistency ain't my strong suit, sadly, but I saw a big change in my mood from THAT moment, so I'll honor God by believing He brought freshness and light into the stifling and dark threshold of a depressive episode.

I've dealt with depression for 40 years. You'd think I'd have a better system of coping mechanisms, know what to do right off to minimize the damage. But depression is a sneaky mother, and you wake up and all vim is gone, all vision is bleak, and strategy seems beyond you. Just goes to show how debilitating some things can be.

On, the happy side: Clementines have been lovely. I wouldn't be surprised if those sweet babies have been therapeutic. Not just the vitamin C and all, but that bright, bursting sweetness. Man, go and have some clenmentines today. Don't miss this gift nature offers. Yum.

And for all those who left comments asking about me, thanks. I apologize for disappearing this month, but I am so grateful to be remembered.

Be happy today! Eat well. Move. Pray. Laugh. Sing. Dance. Give a gift to someone. Call a pal. BE HAPPY!

A few verses on joy to close out:

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24 NIV

…let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
I Chronicles 16:10-11 NIV

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
John 15:11 KJV