Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Still Here...and Angry

I started this blog to keep me honest. For far too long in my life, if something makes me uncomfortable, or I don't want to do it, or I just plain don't like it...I avoid it. That's me...the Greatest Avoider that Ever Lived. I have matured somewhat to realize that not everything can or should be ignored, but I am still pretty dang good at it....whatever that means.

So, now I sit here...angry with myself that I started this whole "thing" and have turned to my favorite way to cope when things got hard. I avoided the big project. I avoided the honesty it was going to force upon me. I then avoided the shame of failing by taking my blog private. I took away the public driving force to keep me rolling, the only thing keeping me honest. Ugh.

And I kept telling myself, give yourself space. Give yourself whatever time you need to get back to it and then...get back to it. And every time I looked at the blog or thought of a project...I walked away from the computer, apparently not ready. Well, it's been months, and I still don't feel ready - and that means now I am angry with myself for slacking. Because that's what it really is/was. Slacking.

I have gained back the 10 pounds I lost, and a few more...and today I am truly sickened with myself now - disgusted, angry, wallowing in self pity, hatred, anger, whatever. It's sad and angering.

I want to get back on the wagon, but every time I do, I fall off so easily, so I think - why should I start again? Well.....the only reason is......Because what is the alternative? Blow up to 300 pounds and die of a heart attack and never see my kids grow up, or the living alternative: become insulin dependent after getting the final crushing blow of a diabetes diagnosis with no turning back? Who wants a life like that?

Anger has always been a driving force in my life - when I get angry, I get moving to change things...the problem is, when I stop being angry, I stop moving. And then I get angry again and so on...a constant, unhealthy cycle. It seems I need a motivator to step in and take over when the anger subsides...I'll have to figure that something out. My life is wasting away, slipping from me, and the older I get, the more I recognize that these problems need to be fixed NOW, not "someday" because the "somedays" are running out for me. I need to be healthier as I get older to counteract aging effects on the body, not compound them. I want to enjoy my life, feel healthy, feel energized and HAPPY. Today, and not just someday.

Lots to say here...and I guess this is where it needs to be said, because if I am not being honest here, I am not being honest with myself. So, here it goes... PCOS, Bi-Polar, Anger issues, Weight Gain, triplet mom anxiety and stress.... this blog will be my therapist/diary for the moment...I'm hoping I can get it all out, purge it, and start anew....again. *sigh* So, stick with me, or skip these passages if you want - it will get darker before it gets lighter.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Daily Numbers

Mashed Potatoes are evil.

Today was a tough day - very weird.  I guess I count on my schedule to keep the eating in check. I slept in today, since I stayed up WAY too late last night on here, obsessing over the new additions to the site!  So, I got a nice 8 hours of sleep, but that means I got up when the babies did, with no time to exercise.  

I wolfed down half a pb and j sandwich and got to business feeding the kids! Then, we scurried out the door to do some necessary shopping for the birthday weekend and we were gone for a few hours.  I kept getting hungrier and hungrier...and every time I got out of the car, I smelled crispy seasoned chicken from KFC, or steaks at Applebee' stomach was in overdrive.  I felt bad eating out, since Mike was home and I didn't want to spend the money.  I could have tried to find some healthy options, but I just tried to ignore the hunger, even knowing that I was doing my metabolism no good.  I walked through Wegman's with the kids in the cart (good way to keep your shopping to a minimum when the space in the cart is holding 2 babies...not much room left!), but it was shopping while starving.  Thankfully, I only go to Wegman's for healthy stuff (quinoa, pesto, agave nectar, etc...), so it was a little easier not to give in when I never made it over to those aisles.  

When we got home, I only had 170 calories in and it was already almost 2:30!  I was starving. Thankfully I had some good leftovers to rummage up quickly...otherwise, I would have grabbed the first thing I saw, which would probably have been cheese and crackers...and eaten my normal portion!  Which I figured out was somewhere around 440 cals for the cheese and 480 for the crackers...for a snack.  Yikes.  What was I doing???

After the kids went down for their nap, I must have felt guilty for skipping my workout, because I did work out then and my calorie burn was way over the norm. Weekends are so disrupting to the schedule!  I'm not sure I like working out later in the day.  Tomorrow, with two parties, church and a nap to fit in (not for me, silly!), there will be no time for exercise. And lots of calories to ingest.  Let's just see how good I can be while not being resentful that I missed out! It's all about balance, grasshopper....

I decided since I was low on cals today to splurge a little for dinner and make this awesome recipe for Roasted Garlic and White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes. This guy likes to eat, and unfortunately, it's usually not all that healthy. And he doesn't include nutritional info, which is understandable, but when I counted them up afterward....holy crap.  They were awesome, which should have been a tip-off from the start - that and the fact that I couldn't stop eating them... I had a 1 cup serving, which is a lot, and I was stuffed after dinner - 400 CALORIES in that 1 cup serving.  Whoa.  But they were soooooo good. 

Ok, since we have to spring our clocks or whatever tonight, I am calling it a night!

Today's Numbers:

2.6 miles, 435 cals walking on the treadmill for 45 minutes

1/2 PBJ sandwich: 170 cals
coffee: 60 cals

7 - Seven Grain Kashi Crackers: 65 cals
chicken, beans and rice taco: 335 cals
coffee: 60 cals

1 oz sharp white cheddar and 4 wheat thins:130 cals

1/4 Grilled chicken breast, those awesome highly caloric evil potatoes, salad, 1 piece of also awesome Wegman's Garlic Tuscan Bread and 1 tsp butter - so worth the 170 cals just for that!: 600 cals, since I didn't really eat anything else but the bread and potatoes.  ;) 

Totals:   435 burned and 1420/1778 eaten.  I think I'm going to have another piece of bread.  ;)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Daily Numbers

I just have to clarify, because I got a few responses to my scale post...and I started laughing.  Somehow I sent the wrong message... I don't weigh myself several times a day! Unless I am bored.  :)  Just kidding... I only did it the first day I had the scale to see just how much my weight did fluctuate throughout a normal day - I thought it would be interesting knowledge to have...but that's the only reason.  Don't worry! I'm not THAT obsessive about this whole thing.  ;)

As a matter of fact, I am actually trying to be very low-key and simple about it all.  Not gung-ho or excited or pumped up!  I am trying to treat this as part my life, simple as that.  Just another day, because I want this all to stick! This is not a diet.  It's a new lifestyle that I want to continue for the rest of my life.  And the less excited I get, the less likely I will burn brightly and then fizzle out quickly. Slow changes = Easy acceptance for this brain!  I treat my exercise and eating just like everything else I do in my life so it becomes a routine, part of the day I enjoy instead of waiting for the day when I can "give it all up."  Does that sound crazy?  It is working, being matter-of-fact about it - I haven't dreaded exercising or any of the choices I am making because this is simply the way it is going to be.  Not much thought, just action. And I can handle that!  

Knowledge is power, and I am gaining tons of that.  I am learning what the best foods are, how many calories they have, how many nutrients, how it affects my body, my performance, my health.  I am learning what my body can handle (calorie and fat wise) and what it cannot. I am learning to find the most nutrient-packed "calorically efficient" foods there are, so I can eat well, eat smart and still be full and satisfied and healthy at the end of the day.  Because, if for one second, I feel like I am missing out, then I will probably falter and regress. That is why I need to make sure I am not depriving myself by finding the full-(good)fat versions of foods and pairing them with lower calorie partners to fill me up!  More on that later... 

Yes, I am more obsessive and controlling and restrictive now than I will have to be in the future (that day will be fun!), but for now, I start climbing to the top of the hill and look forward to the day when I reach the summit and can walk on flat ground forever more.... then it will be easy, because it will be second-nature.

Meal planning will help - if you know what you will be eating ahead of time and plan it out, it is much easier to eat healthy.  The absolute worst thing you can do is "wing-it" about a half hour before chow time, when you are already super hungry and expect to eat healthy and low in calories and control portions every night.  Not gonna happen.  It's the equivalent of shopping when you are hungry.  The chips, the dip and the chocolate milk all make it into a house that would never have if shopping full.  

I have just the person to help me on a post for that one.  (*clearing throat* Christine)  Look for it very soon! I have also found a bunch of other bloggers out there thinking the same thing. And there are many great ideas out there!

Today's Numbers:

409 cals burned, 2.6 mi walked on the treadmill for 45 minutes

Before walk: Banana and pb: 75 cals
After walk: 1 oz mozz and 2 crackers: 120 cals
then about an hour and a half later...
Spinach and Mushroom Egg Scramble on Whole Wheat Flatbread: 420 cals (very filling, but I have ideas to cut this back on cals a bit - look for it in the Recipe Madness Section!)

coffee: 60 cals

Salsa Chicken Taco w/spinach and sour cream (surprisingly low in calories!)

1oz sharp cheddar with 5 w.w. ritz: 160 cals

Realizing it is FRIDAY, and I can't have any MEAT (see lunch), we opted for some amazing gooey, melty, grilled sharp cheddar cheese and tomato sandwiches (with goat cheese in mine, feta in Mike's - I was in heaven!) and some tomato soup.  (I only used a tsp. (teaspoon!) of butter, and then sprayed the outside of the bread with a little cooking spray, so it was only 30 cals instead of the 200 it could have been for 2 Tbsp. (tablespoons!)): 500 cals

After dinner 
coffee: 60 cals

Totals:  409 burned,  1595 /1778 eaten.  I have a party to go to on Sunday and then a Birthday dinner for my dad, in a house full of Foodies, so there is always good stuff going on...I have to stockpile some calories for that day, because it's going to be  

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Daily Numbers

Ok!  I have been learning quite a bit this week while I have been counting calories and controlling portions... the first is that I can't believe how many calories are in things! Things such as cheese and crackers, that I would have thought nothing of sitting down with for a "snack" and eating half a box of wheat thins and half a brick of cheese - by myself!!!!  Though, I wouldn't be hungry for dinner... good thing, because the calories in that would have equaled a meal - and a really caloric meal at that.  Wow. 

Plus, the fact that a few simple changes/alterations in your meal can mean big savings in calories - or big gains!  Mike and I sat down for dinner last night - with almost the same meal, and a 800 calorie difference.  Unbelievable!  I had the chicken and sauce on a salad, and was so full, I had to forgo my rice and beans.  Plus, I drank water.  He had a salad, the chicken and sauce, and a cup of instant mashed potatoes...and 2/3 of a bottle of Pepsi.  The pepsi and the potatoes were a whopping 500 calories more.  He had a 1300 calorie meal!  With just a little change.  

I'll tell you more of what I am learning tomorrow. ;)

2.6 miles on the treadmill, 401 cals burned in 45 minutes

Before walk - 1/2 banana and p.b.: 75 cals
After walk - 4 whole wheat ritz and 1 oz mozz: 150 cals
then later: Banana mock danish and coffee: 390 cals

1 cup Indian Rice and Beans Blend, raw spinach leaves and some chicken from last night!: 370 cals

10 whole wheat ritz crackers, 1 tbsp natural p.b. and 1 oz mozz. cheese: 335 cals

Shredded Chicken Salsa taco with avocado and sour cream... and side salad: 380 cals

Total:  401 cals burned, 1700/1778 eaten.  Phew!  Just made it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

So, I Bought A Scale.

I sent Mike to get a scale at BJs for me this week.  We had a coupon, so it was only $9.99! I have never owned a scale in my life, never used one to help me lose weight - in fact, I always looked at fat grams and carbs during diets to help me control my eating - never calories and never really my weight.  This is all so different for me. I always looked at weighing one's self every day as over obsessive, since it can change a lot even during the day!  But, there is something to be said about knowing all the facts - measurements, healthy eating, calorie counts actual weight.  It all factors in together so you can get the whole picture!  

And not looking at calories specifically and not weighing myself is probably the reason I am where I am today. 

Since I signed up on the Adios, Fatty blog, as someone who will be accountable and has to "weigh-in" every week, and since I am truly counting calories now - I figured a scale would be a good idea.  Plus, it's pretty.  Glass and metal, with a digital readout.  Like Mike said, it's too pretty to belong in our ancient old house. ;)

But, like I said, it's kind of annoying when you weigh yourself in the morning...knowing you were 203.6 yesterday...and this morning you are 200.6.  Huh.  And then by noon, you are 202.3...and then by 5pm, you are 203.6 again.  Grrrrrr.....  But!  That 203.6 is better than the 205 I started with!  And I know it's accurate because Mike said his weight was exactly the same at the doctor's office a few days ago, where I read out 205 last week.

So, I am hoping it will help in my fight!  Otherwise, it will end up in the garage sale pile.

Daily Numbers

2.7 miles on treadmill
380 cals burned in 45 minutes

Before walk - 1/2 small banana and p.b: 70 cals
Right after walk - 4 wheat thins and 1 oz mozzarella: 125 cals

Late Breakfast/Early Lunch:
Pear Banana Mock Danish: 345 cals
french vanilla coffee: 75 cals

Late Lunch/Snack:
P.B. and J on wheat: 295 cals
french vanilla coffee: 60 cals (less mix added)

Chicken with Grape Shallot sauce on salad with some avocado and shredded parm cheese: 488 cals
french vanilla coffee: 50 cals

Yep, that's 3 cups of coffee - and for me, that's three times the norm.  Probably why I am still awake.

380 cals burned and 1508/1778 calories eaten.  Way low for me!  I'm hoping the scale will show me some love on Sunday night.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Daily Numbers

Ok, so today I binged A LOT, and I was worried I was going to be way over...but I'm not.  Weird.

Still, the binging and no eating for hours is what was bad too!  To keep my metabolism running smoothly and not just dump a bunch to process and then get hungry... it really, truly is hard to eat in a healthy way.  

So, today's numbers!

Exercise: 45 minutes on the treadmill - burned 375 cals.

1/2 banana and 1 tsp. natural p.b. before my walk: 70 cals
Then all this over a period of an hour while I was feeding the kids and cleaning up:
Simple Harvest Oatmeal packet with 1/2 cup blueberries: 200 cals (yikes!)
1/2 banana: 40 cals
tiny piece of (the end of the) toast with tiny bit of butter: 85 cals
1 oz mozzarella cheese: 90 cals

Total just for breakfast: 490 cals... oops! it all adds up..... ;)

Natural Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich: 215 cals

Ham, cheese and whole grain Wheat Thins (ahhh, I love those little things...): 375 cals (I told you I binged today!!)

Pork chop and fusilli pasta with a parmesan bacon cream sauce... I know!  So bad - but it was SO good! and a handful of red grapes: 525 cals - hard to believe, but I only had a small amount of sauce and only a little bit of meat.  Most of the calories were in the pasta!  Wow!

Total:  375 burned exercising and 1605/1778 calories eaten.  

Calorie Need Calculations

I have read a few blogs about exactly how to find out the number of calories I should be eating in a day.  There are just so many factors that go into a definitive number, so I will never really know by these calculators what will be the right number for me. The best way is to start with these numbers and see if you are losing or gaining and then tweak it according to your body.

The first guide calculator I found was on another weight loss blog.  She is a fan of the Biggest Loser and this is the calculator/formula they go by.  Then, they kick it up a notch by working out 5-6 hours a day!  Yikes!  My additions are in pink.

According to Kristi at Adios, Fatty (private blog):
1. Find your BMR (google BMR Calculator) ...I used this one. My BMR is 1,715.

2. Take your weight x 7, and subtract that from your BMR. My weight is 205 pounds.  So, 205 x 7 =  1435. BMR of 1715 - 1435 = 280.  This is the caloric daily deficit you should aim for.  So with my BMR as 1715, I should eat 280 fewer calories a day than my BMR, so I should be eating  1435.  That sounded way too I did a little more checking and it turns out, I think you have to use this equation first, factoring in what exercise you do in a day and subtract your deficit from this number.  I think. Here's the equation:
I used the Harris Benedict Formula to determine the number of calories I should eat in a day to maintain my weight.  This equation varies according to how much exercise you are getting.  For me, since I want to incorporate my exercise in separately, I chose to use the "sedentary" formula.  This formula is your BMRx1.2. My weight-maintaining caloric intake is 2,058.  

Sooooo.... that means I should take 2,058 - 280 = 1778.  That sounds a little more doable, since I normally eat like a horse.

I still have to check with her to find out if my math is wrong...

The research that I have done suggests to vary your calorie intake a little bit every day to keep your metabolism moving!  Also, vary your exercises too, since the same exercise every day can cause a plateau in your metabolism. Even a constant speed/incline in the same workout will not do much to kick start your metabolism either and will do more to hurt you in the weight loss department!

Use the number of calories you would eat to maintain your weight (mine was 2,058) and multiply by 7.  This is the weekly amount of calories to maintain your weight.

Then, do the same for your actual weekly calories and subtract this from your maintenance calorie number. This is how many calories you saved this week!  Since you won't lose day-to-day, a weekly total will let you have a little bit more one day and a little less the next.  It's much less restricting and really how your body will calculate it anyway!  Take your total calories and subtract that from your weekly calorie goal.  That is your weekly defecit.  And 3500 calories is 1 pound of fat, so if you've shaved off 3500, you should lose 1 pound a week!  Exercise calories burned is combined with calorie defecits to see even bigger gains.  So, add up your weekly totals there too and see what number you come up with!

My weekly goal totals are:  
14,406/week if I want to maintain my weight

12,446/week (with my 280 cals a day defecit) to lose weight
1970 calories saved per week

3500 cals/week (burned and saved) = 1 pound 
7000 cals/week (burned and saved) = 2 pounds

I would have to save 219 more calories each day if I wanted to boost the calories saved to 3500/week.

Or, burn 219 calories a day exercising for the whole week.  

This is all to lose 1 pound each week!

Experts say it is wise to not lose more than 2 pounds per week - and that is a tough goal to meet anyway!  Also, be wary that you not go under 1200 calories a day, since that will work against you.  Your metabolism will virtually shut down and store all the fat as the body goes into "emergency mode".  Like I said, keep your calorie level around the same, with a few variations to make your metabolism work in top shape for weight loss. 

The second calculator I found here is actually closer to the number I got after all that above, so it's making me think I might have done the numbers right...but who knows??!

Ok, enough with the math lesson!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Daily Numbers

350 cals burned on the treadmill walking at various inclines/speeds for 45 minutes

Tiny banana and natural peanut butter before workout: 115 cals 
Spinach Egg Scramble and 1 piece whole wheat toast with butter: 320 cals

1 oz mozzarella cheese: 80 cals

Spinach salad with hard boiled egg, olives and tomatoes, with dijon dressing: 265 cals

5 olives: 25 cals

Starving!  Had a ham sandwich...ouch: 340 cals.

Dinner:  Pot Roast Sandwich with gravy and swiss cheese (yum!) with only the bottom part of bun!  Mashed potatoes and gravy: 550 cals

Total: 350 burned, 1695/1778 eaten!  Yay! 

Back on Track

I'm not sure you can say "Back" on Track if you never really got on it in the first place!

But, that's where I am.  After two weeks of being sick and caring for the sick, I have finally "started" again.  I am learning to deal with this calorie restricted new day, looking forward to the day when I can just eat to maintain!  

Hopefully I will get my numbers up daily - I want this blog to be my motivator, the vehicle of accountability to myself.  For both diet and exercise! I also want to post them in case there is anyone out there looking for advice in exactly how to get where they want to be and hopefully, if you are reading this blog, it might help you in some way. 

I want to post all the info that helps me, from BMR Calorie Calculators to getting better organic foods and lots of healthy recipes up here. Also any tips and tools that help me along the way. Motivational quotes, books, other websites, etc. will also find their way on to this blog, rounding out the road map to a new me!

I'm also back on track with some of my other organizing projects - I'm hoping to post about the progress on those in this coming week.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Project Status: Bathroom Medicine Cabinet

Project Status:  In Progress

Well, with the kids sick most of this week and last, progress is slowing to a crawl here on this little ol' blog of mine!  I am really slacking on all of the blogs, and this weekend has been brutal. So, to get a little "me" time in, when the kids were napping today, I took apart the medicine cabinet.  So relaxing!  ;)

I am not finished, but I got a really good start today.  Here's a picture of the current state of things:


I threw so much stuff out it was ridiculous - things that expired in 2004, one that expired in 1998.  Wow.  I took out all of my hair care stuff and lotions because it really is a medicine cabinet!  I will find a place for those elsewhere.  And I tried to group things according to use and how often they are used.  


The pain relievers are all together in one container, as are the cough remedies, etc... I placed the containers and then a row of bottles to keep the space in between standardized so that things just don't start to get jumbled again.  Creating a space for everything does that!  Or at least helps minimize the putting back where it doesn't belong.  Hopefully it will work!  Plus, I know we need a few things that I am saving spaces for.  

I am looking for a way to use the height of the bottom shelf...I know there are shelves they sell that hang from the shelf above it, but I need to make something since I don't want to spend the money.  Cheap Cheap! I'd like to label things as well.  Once I got into it, I realized that would help in keeping things where they belong and in finding stuff quickly.  

So, that's the status!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

All the Motivation I Need.

I ask myself why I am trying to lose weight.

And this is what myself tells me:

Obvious reasons:
  • Being healthy, feeling good, not getting Diabetes.
  • Keeping up with the kids, having the energy to attain all the goals I want for all of us in this next year.
  • Not feel embarrased in a bathing suit
  • Not have to wear maternity clothes for the rest of my life (duh!)
  • I want my strength back.
And with eyes as big as saucers, these are today, just realized reasons:
  • My 15 year High School reunion is this summer. Whoa.  I do not want to be the one that when I walk away, everyone shakes their head and discusses how I "let myself go."
  • Family Vacation this August, in the water constantly, I don't want to be mistaken for a water buffalo at the water's edge and be eaten by a freshwater crocodile.
  • 10th anniversary trip this summer to somewhere hot, I don't want to feel frumpy and self-conscious, I want to feel hot!
Those last three are ridiculously powerful motivators, if only for extremely vain reasons.  But, I can handle that.  

I am signing up on the private weight loss blog I follow, called "Adios, Fatty", as a motivated-guest blogger/poster this week.  I am looking forward to the accountability from all her readers. If you are interested in her journey, she has lost almost 30 pounds so far and super fast, predictably 2 pounds a week like clockwork because she has done the math!  She's an animal!  I am sure she will let you in on the blog if you are interested.  Shoot me an email at if you want to sign up for hers and I will let her know she has more readers!  She already has two other weight loss posters and I think about 15-20 readers, so I will be the third to sign up and post every week. The more motivation the better!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Project Status: Bathroom Medicine Cabinet

Status:  Take the Before Picture!

I haven't officially started this yet, but here's a before picture, and all the reasons it needs to change.

Here's the full cabinet, it's pretty shallow.  

This is one of the major annoyances of a shallow cabinet and an addiction to super-strength Motrin.  Yes, I blurred it out so that none of you junkies out there could fill our prescriptions and run away to Mexico.  It's for your own protection. 
After the c-section of the triplets, I got a bucket load of the stuff - it's great to have around for super-migraines!  The week after, Mike landed in the ER with a slipped disc - and he received his very own stash.  Not that I am bitter, but I got Ibuprofin 600s for my surgery - pulling 3 kids out of a slit in my belly... he gets 800s for his.  Hmm.  Is this a man's world?  I digress...

And this is our other collection.  Apparently we need 2500 band-aids.  In every size imaginable.  
And do you see the pills stashed everywhere?  We have problems.... ;)

Tomorrow I attack this shallow denizen of pain relievers and ouch-pads.  The bonus, if I get hurt in the process, I can finally use something in there.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Project Start: Bathroom Medicine Cabinet

I'm not sure when this got out of hand, but it is

It's my job now to sort through and toss all the expired meds, vitamins, lotions, band-aids (do they expire? lol) and then reorganize in some fashion all the contents of this tiny cabinet.  We must honestly have about 600 Motrin pills in various strengths.  I guess we like the Motrin!  I will post a before photo tomorrow, when it's not the middle of the night and taking a picture would probably awaken Mikey.  Talk about a Last-Minute-Lucy!  

Hopefully, this will be a quickie and I can devote more time to the other projects that need attention this week!  It will be nice to have done, though, since every time one of us opens it, a pill bottle jumps out at us, like it can't stand to be squeezed in there one second longer.  We then stuff it back in and close the door real quick like.  :)

So, the goals on this one:
  • Sort cabinet contents
  • Toss the expired or the bad
  • Give away the extra to the most accident prone person we know
  • Consolidate as much as possible (i.e., the 10 bottles of same strength prescription Ibuprofin into 1)
  • Organize shelves by category
  • Label?  Do we go that far? 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Favorite Things Friday

Yep, I missed it.  I got back to my computer this evening and realized I missed Favorite Things Friday! *gasp* So, I decided to post-date it, just to keep the continuity.  I'm anal like that.  

This week is a product I have used a lot, this week.  Unfortunately.  The cats have been throwing up like mad for some reason, and in the past, this chore took a while to get the stains out.  

Not anymore!

This baby - the Woolite "Oxy Deep" P.O.D. Cleaner - cleans the spots in literally seconds.  And that is why I heart it.  

If you have pets, this is a must.  Just sayin'.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Monday was good!  It was my first day of exercising and eating well.  I was on track.

And Monday night, I started feeling a little under the weather.  Super bad headache and just plain bushwhacked.  So, I took a few Motrin and called it an early night.  Tuesday morning I woke up sick.  Really sick... And SORE......!  What timing! Curse you, Jillian Michaels!!

30 Day Shred Users have all commented that the next day after the first workout is unbearable pain.  Soreness, achy, can't sit down or do a flight of stairs without the ever-present agony kind of sore.  

So, I woke up sick AND that kind of sore.  It was a brutal day and an awful blow to my momentum and motivation.  Today is the first day the soreness has mostly abated and I can just deal with being sick.  And today is the first day I realized just what kind of sick I am.  Chest cold, at it's finest.  Can you beleive that I was that sore that I couldn't tell what was hurting from the sickness?  It's kinda funny, really.  

I haven't fallen off the healthy eating bandwagon though, just the exercising.  We actually had a good meal last night that I will be posting this week - the basic chicken, veggies and whole grain cappelini kind of meal... It was very tasty.  So, hopefully tomorrow, I will feel well enough to get up early again and exercise my patootie off...again.  

Check out some of the new healthy living blogs I have added to the sidebar.  There are some really great recipes, tips and motivation butt kickers on there.  I will be adding more as I start different kinds of projects, and then sorting them as they are all different kinds of helpful.  

Monday, February 9, 2009

Recipe Madness

Ok, so these will not be recipes that would be fit to file under "Recipe Madness", but the title made me chuckle, so there it is.  I'd like to share a few recipes I find or make up along the way on this blog.  You can choose whether or not they are fit for man or beast... if they make it here, at least I liked them...and since it's my blog, I can cry if I want to!  ;)

This is my only caveat:  I like a lot of "weird" stuff.  And sometimes I make combinations just to try them.  Sometimes I like them and others, well, those times I know why I never became a professional chef.  By the way, "weird" in our house is defined as something Mike doesn't like. 

Since I want to try and reduce the amount of calories I ingest daily, and also a few carbs along the way, I decided to go a little South Beach on myself and try a lettuce wrap sandwich.  I have had a few in the past (like a rosemary chicken goat cheese wrap!  Yum!) and they never fail to amaze me in the fact that I really don't miss the bread at all.  In fact, I like the refreshing crunch of the lettuce leaf instead.  Not all the time, of course, but if I skip the bread now and then, that's almost 200 calories I can either use somewhere else or skip altogether - a worthy sacrifice!

Today was the start of this new endeavor, so I came up with this lunch quickly after getting the kids settled in their own highchairs, munching on their own good stuff.  Can you believe my kids like prunes?  That amazes me every day...but, that's another story.   ;)  

What should I call this one?   Hmm.....

Avocado and Egg Lettuce Wrap
(that's pretty straightforward, huh?)

2 red leaf lettuce leaves
2 eggs
4-5 thin slices of avocado (hass)
1 tbsp hummus (any kind, I used the classic)
Dijon mustard (to taste)
dash of Cumin (optional)

Using the smallest amount of butter possible, fry up the two eggs, breaking the yolk so the whites and yolks all cook together.  While they are cooking, mix the dijon mustard and the hummus together in a small bowl.  When at desired flavor, place the lettuce leaves on your plate and spread half of the hummus/mustard mixture around on each leaf. When eggs are cooked, place 1 egg on each leaf, on top of the mixture.  Spread the other half of the hummus on the eggs. Cut the avocado into chunks and add on top.  Sprinkle with cumin and wrap.  

Warning, they take a lot of practice and skill to eat without getting messy.  I haven't mastered that quite yet.  Also, I made this without mixing the hummus and mustard first, and this is why I modified the recipe.  The picture shows a big dollop of the mustard on top...and since I am a softie and Dijon can be quite like horseradish in the strength, I figured it would be better spread around a bit.  


I ate this with 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries and a big glass of water.  The dijon mustard and the cumin added a nice kick.  I liked this one quite a bit and will make it often for a quick lunch.  

Approx calories for the whole meal:  325

I walked this morning for 35 minutes, only burning 235 calories.  Boo!  Then, in the afternoon, I did 30 Day Shred, and doing some research, first timers to the levels might burn around 225-250 cals.  All that work for the same as a 40-minute run.  This is going to take some time to get used to!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Project Start: Lose 50 Pounds

God, that sounds hard.  It sounds like an impossible goal sitting on this side of it.  I have always struggled with my weight, typically "yo-yo"ing since I was a teenager, and always conscious and self-conscious about it, no matter how healthy I was at the time.  

I have come to realize that I have a medical condition, known as PCOS, that causes my body to go into a mode called "Insulin Resistance".  That is basically the step right before diabetes sets in, and why it is known as a pre-diabetic condition in medical circles.  What that means is that my body is shutting down the pathways to the cells that glucose would normally enter to level out blood sugar. So, my pancreas is overproducing insulin to force open these pathways.  Since the pathways are still opening, my body just works as normal, but one day, when my pancreas is overworked, it will shut down, and diabetes will be the instant result. It will look like to the outside observer that I didn't have diabetes one day, and the next, I did.  Scary thought, since you can't ever go back from that point. 

Right now, my blood sugar would register as normal, or in a healthy range, almost as if nothing was wrong.  But, my pancreas is working overtime, and every day I do not exercise or eat right is a day I walk toward the irreversible condition of diabetes.  That should be enough to get me going, right?  Well, it is not enough to just exercise.  It will be a huge step to just lose 10 pounds with this condition, but eating "right" is a must now.  And I say it that way because everyone has a different "right" way to eat for their particular situation.  

Doing a ton of research over the last two years about the kids' nutrition, I have gleaned much good information for myself as well.  And I can tell you that it is exactly the opposite of how I have been dieting/eating for health.  Low fat is not the answer, at least not for me.  

I have to stay away from processed carbs, sugar, bad fats.  Any of these foods will turn directly into fat because my system is telling itself to store the fat, since my cells are resisting the insulin. That is why it has been so hard for me to keep weight off.  A few years ago, I dropped 20 pounds over 9 months.  I was at the gym 5-6 days a week for 2 hours a day.  High intensity workouts and strength training.  Spinning, running, high impact aerobics - super high energy workouts.  I was burning almost 800-1000 calories every day, sometimes more.  I never cut back or changed what I was eating, only worked out more if I had a highly caloric day.  I built up an insane amount of muscle, but my weight dropped very slowly.  I should have realized it back then, but it was my PCOS that was preventing me from losing more weight faster. With how much I was exercising, I should have lost much more in that time.  After I fell off the exercise bandwagon, around December of that year, by February, I had already gained 10 of it back, and by summer, I wouldn't be caught dead in a bikini again.  It came back so fast and I never connected the dots. I worked my butt off and as soon as I stopped, I was worse off then I ever was before.  And then I got pregnant with the triplets!  Bad timing.  ;)

So, back story behind us (phew!), I need to change my eating habits and start exercising again.  I miss running so much that it hurts.  My peace, my quiet, and my aggression had an outlet - so many good feelings and thinking time - it is an incredible teacher.  Of endurance, patience, aggression, control and the ability to master different muscle use, I could go on and on!  

In Late July, I started to run again, on our treadmill in the house.  Not exactly the same as being outdoors, but it felt good.  I ran every day for a month, and then we lost Ruger.  So, my drive faltered, since he was so much a part of my morning routine, sniffing the track before and after, like he was wondering where I went on it... so cute.  Not to mention, that week, my knees ached so bad, I could barely walk the week that he died.  It was agonizing pain, physical and emotional. I always wondered what caused it and how, once I started again, I could avoid that pain.  

Having a nice chat with my doc this week, he and I agreed that I need to lose at least 30 pounds to start. Ok, fine. I knew that I needed to lose weight, but our conversation has me feeling like a bit of a loser. I went in with a torn muscle in my stomach.  A few weeks ago, I went outside of the garage to check if we had a package delivered.  It was a bitterly cold day, so I jogged quickly to get back inside.  Literally about 25 feet.  Before I got to the door, I felt a searing pain in my left side stomach area.  It burned like crazy and I knew I tore a muscle.  My doctor thinks it's a hernia.  From jogging 25 feet.  Wow.  That brought me to a new low.  

How fat do you have to be to tear a muscle jogging 25 feet?  How out-of-shape do you have to be?  Well, all of that is me right now.  And don't worry, this is not a "pity me" speech, so you don't have to leave me a comment to soothe my aching self esteem. :) I need this motivation, this anger at myself to move forward.  This is my "tacklin' fuel".  (Name that movie!) 

The other blow to my plan was his response to my question about the sore knees after running. He said not to even think about running until I lose 30 pounds.  WHAT?  But, I run.  That's what I do!  Now I have to walk??!  I need to run!  I felt like crying, like someone had taken away my most powerful weapon in the fight for all I want to physically be. It's just not fair.  (I know, wah, wah, wah.) 

So, my plan.
  • Eat whole grains. Veggies. GOOD fats (olive oil, avocado, almonds, etc...). Fruits. Lean protein. No low fat foods, since they tend to bump up carbs to compensate.  No low carb diet, since all I need is a Low G.I. diet. Yummy, whole grain forms of carbs. Another post! 
  • Watch my calorie intake.  The next post will show the calculator I robbed from another weight loss blog I stalk.  
  • Plan my meals for the week, including snacks, until it gets to be second nature.  
  • Exercise. Walk. Up a serious incline. Blech.
And if all goes well, I can theoretically lose 2 pounds a week.  It's been done!  I am inspired by the blog I am reading, unfortunately private, but she is a triplet mama and she is doing it.  She keeps losing 2 pounds every week, so I am encouraged.  

I would love to join the Y again, since I adored their facility.  I need variety with my workouts, and that allowed me to choose what I wanted to do when I got there.  Plus!  They have an hour and a half of free child care every day.  Woo hoo!  We live too far away and don't have a second vehicle right it just isn't a financial option at the moment.  Remember?  No money!!  lol

So, tomorrow morning, I start to exercise, which means I have to get up earlier than the troops.

No more sleeping in!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Project Start: Determine if Muscle Repair is Necessary

I plan on starting two projects this weekend, to catch up a bit.  

This first one is something I really need to fix. Literally.  

My belly muscles were stretched so much during pregnancy with the triplets that during the last 2 months of the gestation (which were months 6 and 7), my muscles started to tear.  I remember asking the doc about it at one of the weekly visits, that my belly, in a stripe down the center, started to seriously burn.  And it got all prickly, so not comfortable. And he said, in a very calm and matter-of-fact voice, that it was my stomach muscle wall splitting in two from the over-expansion of babies.  


And I still had two months to go!  So, as you can imagine, I probably did a bunch more damage as the kids grew.  After birth, I waited for the muscles to repair themselves, a notoriously slow process, but almost 2 years later, I still feel like all my insides are sore.  

Asking about it this week at a doctor's appt, my awesome doc told me that only a minor gap can heal itself, and if it was stretched too much, it might require surgery.  Oh, and he also told me that I possibly have a hernia too.  WTF?

I want to be able to do a sit-up again!  I want not to wince if the kids wrestle with me and they land on my tummy!   I want this fixed!

So, I am scheduled this month to get a CT Scan of my abdomen to determine the extent of the damage.  Project started!  Hopefully we can determine if surgery is necessary or if I can do some mondo physical therapy to cure my soreness and gaps in stomach wall muscles.  That just sounds so wrong.  

Maybe soon, I can attempt 30 Day Shred. Wait, why do I want this??  ;)

And maybe I will look like this after those 30 days.  Riiiiiiight.  So not fair.  

Friday, February 6, 2009

Favorite Things Friday

Ok, new idea!  Everyone has their favorite things that make life so great...especially the little things that might get you through the day.  Why else would they write a song about it?  ;) Maybe it's a food, maybe a decoration, maybe it's a way about something or someone.  Something you walk by and it makes you feel happy, something you do and it relaxes you, and for whatever reason, it has become a favorite.  

So, what are your favorite things?  I challenge you to post on your blog about your favorites every week, join me on the Favorite Things Friday! Look around your house, your life and pick them out so you can appreciate those little things even more.  Or, feel free to leave a comment if you don't have a blog.  Let us know what you love in your life!

I start very simple this week.  Coffee and Tea.  I don't drink straight coffee, but have ventured into the flavored coffees a bit.  I am a Tea Girl, through and through.  But recently I have discovered this heavenly lift-in-a-cup.  General Foods International Dark Mayan Chocolate Coffee.  Yum.  Because my next goal is to start losing weight, I need to evaluate my snacks, and this one is a winner!  With only 50 calories in a cup, I can have an indulgence after dinner or before bed and not feel guilty in the least.  So good!!!  


The other is my favorite tea.  It's Madagascar Vanilla Red, rooibos tea, from Africa - full of antioxidants.  The rich vanilla flavor and smell is soo good, it doesn't need anything in it.  And that, my friends, is ZERO calories.  I have a cup with a bowl of fruit for breakfast and it is very satisfying.  I love all things vanilla, so this is a big reason why it is a favorite thing.  That and the lion on the front drinking tea all-civilized-like just cracks me up.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Continued Project Status: Bedroom Headboard

Ok, so I hit a few snags in the making of my headboard. 

First:  Lack of support from Mikey.  I can just see him rolling his eyes at my new project.  So, I have been trying to keep this monstrously huge "decoration" out of his way.  Not easy.  It's heavy!  

Second:  I have finished putting on the foam batting and the first piece of fabric, a nice camel colored suede.  It looks really pretty.  But, when I placed it behind the bed, against the wall, I realized that is is WAY too tall for our room.  It would look great in a room with cathedral ceilings, but that is so not the closet that is our bedroom. ;)  Since I made it to stand on two legs, all I have to do is lug it out from behind the bed, out to the effin cold garage, measure 4 inches off each leg, and use an old fashioned hand saw to shave off those dang inches.  

Sounds, easy, right?  Yet, it's still not done.  I think it's the cold.  No, definitely the weight of it. Ok, who am I kidding?  I am terrified of cutting my own hand off with the stupid saw.  There.  I said it.

Third: The embellishments.  I had planned on putting the first piece of fabric on and then putting another piece of burnt orange fabric as a wide stripe down the center.  I was going to use upholstery tacks to secure the fabric in this spot...since I suck, and I can't sew.  I thought it would be a brilliant and creative solution to the problem, and look great too!  

Well, the foam batting was thicker than I expected - I put 3 layers on, so it gave the headboard a nice, puffy look.  Which is not what I was expecting, but looks nice nonetheless.  Now that it is kinda puffy, nailing in the upholstery tacks will make a little well where each one is going in, and that will be unacceptable if the orange fabric is not sewn to the brown.  And the brown is already there, so no sewing now!  

The other problem that I didn't anticipate is that the orange fabric has this really cool fringe on the edges.  I loooove it.  And to incorporate the fringe, 2 pieces have to be sewn together.  And, as I mentioned before, I suck and don't sew.  I wish I paid attention in Home Ec!  *shaking my fist at myself in the mirror*


So, I have a plan.  

The plan is to wait for my beautiful and wonderful and gracious Aunt Roey to come up to visit next week and beg, beg, beg her to sew this for me.  She created a beautiful valance and crib decorations for the nursery last year (another post!), so I am hoping she will help us out again. She's awesome!  Then, I will have to modify my upholstery tack idea again, since I really would love to incorporate them.  

Here's the progress to this point...

Measure and cut three layers of foam batting.

Secure each layer with staples.  Lots of them.

Place the fabric, measure and cut to length.

Iron fabric.  This part sucks.  I hate ironing as it is.  The dryer is my iron.  Ever try ironing suede?  It sticks.  But it got done and I breathed a sigh of relief.  

Secure first layer of fabric with staples.  A lot of them.  I started on top, in the middle and worked my way to the sides.  Then I folded and secured the side corners.  Smoothing out the fabric as I went down, I secured the rest of the sides.  Then I pulled as hard as I could on the bottom and stapled that.  Yep, that's Little B helping his mommy.  

Then, I placed the headboard behind the bed.  Yikes! And then, I tried to place the orange fabric. For now, it is staying with pure static cling!  

That means this project is officially shelved for two weeks.  But what is two weeks when it wasn't ever getting done before?!  I can't wait.    

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Project Status: Bedroom Headboard

Status:  Frame Complete!

I went over to my wonderful father's workshop to start building this new headboard of ours.  He helped me to make it and also made me partially work on it too.  Something about ownership...hmph.  I am no good with wood, and I never will be.  But I am good at making smart ass remarks to annoy the crap out of him, pushing him to the the edge several times.  You can only imagine what I was like as a teenager!  At least my mom was laughing!

Here are some pics of the progress:

Me giving Dad the thumbs up to officially start the process.  And to make myself look like a complete dork.

You can see what my smart ass remarking was doing to him!

Yes, we need glue...lots of it.  

Me + Power Drill = Never a Good Thing

Assembling the frame

Mom couldn't stop taking pictures of him!  She must love him or something....Or maybe I got my smart assing from her.  I don't know.

Complete outside frame

Building the inside around the cushions

Putting on the plywood backer

The finished frame - woohoo!

Now it's my turn to take it home and upholster it.  Thanks, Dad for all your help.  Have fun in Vegas!  You'll need the vacation after the afternoon with me. I know this.  

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Project Start: Bedroom Headboard

Always learning, I discovered that the best time to start a project is on the weekends, not just on Saturday - it's just way too limiting!  So, I start Project #2 today.  

I am excited!  There are many projects I would like to complete this year in our bedroom - the place where the magic know, SLEEP.

So, I want it to be comfy, cozy, peaceful, zen.  Right now it's almost an empty shell with a bed and two dressers.  It's not very big, I think 10'x10', so it's a challenge to change anything.  We repainted and bought new bedding 2 years ago, and then the kids happened.  Goodbye, forward progress, on this little project!

I started on this particular idea as soon as we said goodbye to the old waterbed (my adolescent waterbed, btw).  I loved that thing.  Always warm, and nice to sleep on.  But, when Mike came into my life and started hogging the covers, he also moves a lot at night, which caused me to feel as though I were lost at sea in a tiny rowboat, trying to get a few zzzzs before I woke up the next morning exhausted and seasick!  It was nice for one, but not for two. So, the year the three kiddos decided to announce their upcoming arrival, actually a few weeks before we knew about them, we decided to go out and get a real, bonafide grown-up bed.  Woohoo! Though, I was dismayed to find out that grown-up mattresses don't come with grown-up bed frames.  So, we have this squeaky little cheapo metal frame that really only holds the bed up.  

That said, I have been longing for a headboard, some kind of atmosphere around the bed for...well, years now!  And this blog will kick start it into gear.  It's gettin' done this week, baby!

This project will be hard to show what I am looking for in the before, only a picture of our bed and the empty wall behind it.  I don't have a program to overlay my drawings on top, so you'll have to wait for the reveal...


All the stuff I have been collecting for the room is sitting idly next to the bed. Making it look like a mess.  I had been looking and collecting for a while, and now I will get to shop from our very own house store.  Free!  Well, now it is - it wasn't two years ago...  

So, I would like to:
  • Put up an upholstered headboard
  • Hang the very cool Asian-style picture I already bought above the headboard
  • Create a flowy canopy from the ceiling down around the bed
  • Make and hang practical shelving (out of ancient barnboard from guessed it - barn) for our needs
  • Decorate the rest of the room
First, I will start with the headboard and work my way down!  This project requires the help of someone who knows how to work with wood (not me.), so I have asked my loving father to pitch in on this one.  He agreed only if I plaster his face all over this blog because he's an attention seeking diva.  But really it was only if I make him an apple pie.  Thanks for offering your help, Dad!

Oh, did I mention he is "donating" the 2x4s and plywood necessary to create this monster headboard?  For the cause?!  He's the best.  

I am soooo looking forward to this one.  I'm giddy.   

As always, no money, very little time - get creative!

Have you made a headboard you would like to share?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nothing New

I guess I kind of expected I would be updating this blog every day - and I felt like I had nothing new to say today.  And that's because I don't.

I finished my first project kind of earlier than I expected, and since I don't have a new project going until Saturday, it's been quiet here on this little blog o' mine.  I suspect that will change soon enough when I am knee deep in 4 new projects this next coming month, all not as easy as tackling a closet.  Then, I will have updates every day!

Since, I am not giving myself a deadline to finish each project, just a reasonable amount of time and this blog holding me to it, I think life will get crazy enough, soon enough.  

So, I will enjoy this calm before the crazy starts.  Mike has pneumonia, we found out today - and that is enough of a project!    

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Project Update: Bedroom Closet

Status: Finished
Cleaned, but not Organized 

I was surrounded by a sea of clothes, and just as the rolling waves in the real ocean would make me nauseous, so did the HUGE pile of clothes that do not fit me.  Sickening, but good motivation to reclaim my wardrobe.  Especially since I cannot afford new clothes right now and for a while to come!

But, due to the sheer volume of clothes I have acquired over the years, I would have lost my bet. I have more clothes than I thought left to fill my closet and dresser.

Here are the after pics:
  • I hung my very seldomly used skirts on the back wall so as not to use up precious hanger space:
  • I limited myself to three seldom used sweatshirts on each pile on top, since I could not reach any higher.  
  • I wonder what I can do with that extra space?
  • I also made sure things I use every day, like my running shoes, are extremely accessible.
  • Finished product (dresser is finished too, but no pics):

Dresser is now organized into short sleeved shirts (all long sleeved are hanging), often used sweatshirts, PJs, exercise shirts, shorts and capris, underwear and socks. I still have a lot of stuff (who knew?  The answer is...Mike), but it all fits now, no overflow.  The key here was to get rid of my excess, and I had it lucky - my excess didn't fit, so out it went! 

I feel good!

My shoes are now in a shoe organizer, one that was already there, but I was not using efficiently.

The one problem:  This is not "Hurricane Cheryle"-proof.  It can go back to the way it was at any time if I lose my diligence.  Which happens all the time.  So, I would consider this cleaned, but not yet fully organized.  I still need a way to make it "mistake proof."