Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Moving on Down the Mountain (A Weight Loss Post)

So (finally)  the scale moved. Down 4 pounds!

And I learned a few lessons through my almost 3 weeks of a weightloss plateau.

1. Don't give up..even when you don't see immediate results. The body is unpredictable.

2. Don't be afraid to add something to the mix. I added a few strength training exercises I found online that I can do from a chair. Yes there was pain involved. And no...I didn't think I would live to tell the tale. But here's the rub. Sometimes it's just gotta hurt.

3. I do have people in my corner. Beyond my immediate family (who think I am truly remarkable) there are folks that want to see me succeed. That's pretty great.

What do I want to do this week? Besides break out a bag of Ghirardelli chocolate? I thinking about joining a Fitness Challenge through a local hospital. It lasts a few months. My only worry is that I physically won't be able to do any of the prescribed fitness. And I hate being the center of that kind of attention. "Just ignore the cripple girl in the corner."  On the other hand, it might just be what I need to carry me through the busy fall months. Motivation. Motivation.

And because I have an especially large medical bill to this particular hospital I am hoping they might take a few dollars off. Wouldn't that be a great deal? So for every pound I loose they knock off 100? Sigh. A girl can dream.

I do have some advice for those of you who are wanting to drop a few (pounds) and need some inside scoopage.

You have to make yourself accountable for what you put in your mouth. You can't do fad things or quick fix things. They have to be things that you can incorporate into your whole life. I am following a basic low-glycemic plan. Not because it is proven more effective for the masses, but because I am diabetic, I have a metabolic disorder and thyroid issues. It is what works for me and it is something I can do forever. I don't do a typical low-Carb diet. I have oatmeal every day and beans. I occasionally have bread and eat brown rice a couple times a week.  I have cut out dairy for the time being. Why? Because I have a sensitivity to dairy. It bothers my stomach. I can eat it on occasion. And I do miss the cheese, but my tummy has been happy.

So do what works for you. Don't climb on every band wagon unless the wagon is somewhere you can hang out for a really long time.

Blessings, Rebekah

Friday, August 24, 2012

6 Things (A Weight Loss Edition)

Because I am pressed for time...and I do so wish to post something today....I am going to write 6 things. Probably. And I am going to talk about my weight loss. Mostly.

1. I have been kinda puny this week. I blame it on the mold that is growing outside. It makes me snotty. Which in turn makes me kinda queasy. And it all makes me really sleepy. Then I get really whiney. Stinkin' mold.

2. So I'm doing this whole weight loss thing. And I posted earlier in the week that I have hit somewhat of a plateau. I think the biggest challenge is mental. My inner skinny girl wants to panic. AHHH! "This fluffy chick is never going to let me out of here!" It's easy to get discouraged when you don't see immediate results. And I am all about instant gratification. So this has been a great lesson in perseverance and discipline for me. Wednesday all I wanted to do was feed my discouragement (and my snotty head) with a plate of cheesy fries from Steak and Shake (which I didn't). Yesterday was a much better day. I have found I can't pay so much attention to every whim or mood. 'Cause like every self-respecting perimenopausal woman I have many (whims and moods).

3. One of my favorite things about my weight loss journey right now is being able to experiment with food. I love to cook. I am not afraid of healthy cooking. Last night I made a light Chicken Milanese (baked, of course), spaghetti squash with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes (I made a light version of pesto with walnuts and Kale) and then some braised kale. Yummy! I was pretty proud of myself. When The Studly Muffin came home for supper, I kept asking him, "Isn't this good? Isn't this really good?" Bless his heart. He is an appreciative audience. He made all the appropriate noises and comments. Privately, he's probably thinking.."Man! Will I ever have fried chicken again?"

4. Speaking of sun-dried tomatoes. And we were, of course. I have a confession. I am a sun-dried tomato thief. My poor dad has spent the past several weeks drying tomatoes from their garden. It is a long and tedious process. He even dried all of those little cherry ones. It involves slicing. Babysitting the dehydrator....And I took half a bag when I was there last weekend. I hope he didn't count his bags. Or his tomatoes. But they are so good! You can eat them right out of the bag...like chips. I probably should confess my theft. I hope he doesn't want them back. :<)

5. I've found the perfect solution to my "can't get out/won't get out/don't want to get out of the house today to exercise" problems. This is for when I need to have something structured, but I literally don't want to leave my chair. Sparkpeople.com has streaming exercise videos...and a few of them are for Chair Exercising! How smart is that!! I have been enjoying one that works the Core. And here's my thought. Wouldn't it be great if somehow we found a way to do a whole series of videos on other tasks that aren't so pleasant...right from the chair! "Chair Dishwashing." Wait, I've done that. Not that big of deal. "Chair Laundry." Hmm. Would be kind of hard to get down to the downstairs laundry room from my chair. I have to think on that one. Oh well. Anyway. I'm pretty excited about these videos. Because when it's all said and done, No matter how much weight I lose I will still always have 23 metal screws, rods and pins in my lower half.

6. So I've decided when I reach a big bench mark of weight loss (50 pounds) I am going to do something special. I obviously don't want to make it a food thing (like treat myself to a big plate of cheesy fries from Steak and Shake). I've thought about getting my hair done, but I'm thinking that this poor hair is going to need attention long before I reach the 50 pounds lost mark. I'm starting to look like a blond skunk. And I really don't need to buy clothes...after all...I will have more to loose. I'm thinking a mani and pedi. And shoes. Or a purse. Or maybe a mani and a pedi and shoes and a purse.

Blessings, Rebekah



Monday, August 20, 2012

The Hatchet Hunt

So I mentioned briefly in my post this morning about trying to find a copy of the book, Hatchet (by Gary Paulson), for our Homeschool.

I also mentioned I have probably have at least 2 copies floating around in my immediate universe (still haven't found them). I got one last week at a bookstore, but I must have another one. You can't expect multiple children (2) to share one book. And I certainly am not passing my Kindle around. Unless they are sitting beside me. And I can turn the "page."

After our morning grocery store run (which I called "math & home economics"), Josiah and I headed to a few Thrift Stores to hunt down an additional (and cheap) copy of Hatchet. After all, I know of at least 2 Thrift Stores in the within hollering distance of each other that only charge .27 for paperbacks. Why .27? I don't know. It would seem easier to just charge .25. Unless they are just trying to relieve you of your pennies.

Anyhoo. No luck. The 2 Thrift Stores didn't have it. But I did purchase copies of Treasure Island, The Indian in the Cupboard (which has always been a bit disturbing to me) and an old book by one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Goudge (she is an absolute treasure). Now I have Treasure Island...and I have The Indian in the Cupboard. But one of these days I might need 2 copies.

I visited a couple of used book stores (where Josiah and I argued about the literary value of a Junior Spiderman Novel) then BINGO! Found me a copy. For $2. Not .27, but I didn't have to pay full price. That is the point. Sure. I wasted gas and time I could have spent doing laundry and memorizing the states and their capitals (not me, Josiah). But it's the hunt, my friends!

Shew. The great hunt alone should have burned a few 1,000 calories today.

25 (Random) Things

1. I'm baack! Well. I didn't really go anywhere...but my Internet connection did! And how is a girl (in this modern day and time) supposed to do anything without a properly working wifi signal? Kindle, netflix, laptop, Hulu...even my printer. All communications any of you might have received from me during the past few weeks have been entirely a fluke. It turned out our modem was on the blink (and defective). It also turned out that our modem's warranty was expired. Of course. So a hundred bucks later.

2. I've hit a bit of a plateau with my weight loss. I've weighed the same for about 2 weeks now. I know. Patience! But frankly, I don't have the luxury for patience concerning this matter! Dr. Oz and Dr. Katz (with their combined wisdom) have informed me (via their book) that I need to switch things up a bit.

3. I'm still doing well overall. For one...I had to go buy new jeans. I almost lost my jeans at Aldi's last week. Literally. They were falling off. It was only because of my super human reflexes that all of Aldi's wasn't exposed to my pink spunkies.

4. So I did what any self respecting thrifty girl would do. I hit the Thrift Stores.

5. Hello. My name is Rebekah and I have a problem. The Thrift Store.

6. I love the Thrift Store. I have no qualms whatsoever about bringing home your (supposed) junk.

7. Do you realize I've lost a whole shoe size already? Troy bought me a pair of super cute sandals. That Zip! At The Thrift Store. I haven't been able to wear sandals that Zip in ages.

8. I also buy my Tupperware at The Thrift Store.

9. There is a particularly great store here in town that is run by a group of volunteers of an older generation. One sweet volunteer gentleman told me very frankly one day that a lovely purple and red hat (of the Purple Hatters) was probably owned by someone who died off. Translation: A lot of this stuff comes from those who have "died off" and whose belongings are then donated to the store.

10. Which is why I have such a fantastic collection of Tupperware. I have some of the old stuff. Classic. Gold and orange. It never dies.

11. And even though I am a proud owner and user of a Kindle, I still have a bit of a problem with The Book. I like them. I bring home way too many. This week alone I brought home a book about King Henry VIII, a classic by Beverly Cleary (who Josiah is enjoying) and a 45 pound Bible commentary for The Studly Muffin.

12. The Studly Muffin probably has said Bible commentary in a variety of shapes and sizes (all much smaller than this boulder of a book), but I guarantee that none of them cost a buck. A whole dollar! That's all I paid for all of that good insight.

13. You would think that my fondness for The Thrift Store would cause some issues in the clutter department on the home front. Hmm.

14. I will admit. I think my new Tupperware collection has inspired my plastic ware to "be fruitful and multiply," but I do have a "new stuff in....old stuff out policy." There is freedom to be able to through away your old cottage cheese containers so as not to have to use them for food storage. Mom. I'm talking to you.

15. I am going to have start my mom one of her own "Thrift Store Tupperware Collection." Old Cool Whip containers will only go so far. That's all I have to say.

16. Speaking of loosing your pants (and I was). Josiah and I were heading towards the Y last week and drove past a man walking down the road. His pants were not walking as fast as he was.

17. If I would have been braver I would have offered to find him a pair of suspenders. At The Thrift Store, of course.

18. This week I am starting a class with my Nephew. He's in High School. I am going to teach him English. And all the things that go with it. Writing. Lit. Grammar.

17. Because. Believe it or not. I know what's what. Like, for example. Sentence Fragments.

18. This is a case of "Do as I say, not as I do." But, come on folks. This little blog is not a college research paper.

19. First, I would like to at least help him express himself intelligently and effectively. In addition, I hope to impart to him a love of literature and the world it opens up to all of us. In conclusion, it is my desire to make the written and spoken word more meaningful. Perhaps my humble attempts will provide him a starting place for new and exciting challenges ahead.

20. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah..blah...blah.

21. I am getting ready to go wake Josiah up. We are going to do our weekly grocery shopping.

22. I am armed and ready. With new jeans. From The Thrift Store.

23. Speaking of Josiah. He is now a Fish. He is almost ready for the swim team. I posted this little nugget on Facebook, but during the Olympics he watched the swimmers faithfully. During the first race we watched he turned to me and said, "Mom! Why are they in such a hurry?"

24. We are getting ready to read Hatchet for homeschool. It's about a boy who survives a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness.I already have projects lines out...writing and otherwise. Vocab. lists and the like.  I have at least 2 copies somewhere. One is in storage. And I thought one was in Josiah's books. I can't find it..anywhere.

25. So you know what this means. The Thrift Store!

Blessings,  Rebekah

Friday, August 3, 2012

Veggin' Out

I don't mean to get personal, but have you eaten your veggies today?

I don't really have any authority to tell you this (I tried to stay away from health and sciences as much as possible in college), but it is known fact that veggies do a body good. God didn't create them for decoration.

Something that has made my weight loss journey just a bit easier is the fact that I love veggies. Did you know that you can practically eat an unlimited supply of veggies and it doesn't hurt your calorie count? I'm challenging you to add more veggies to your diet.

And...Hallelujah!...It's garden time. The Studly Muffin and I have had a few gardens in the past. However, I'm quite sure that our landlords would frown upon us setting up a raised bed in the corner of our paved apartment building parking lot.

Fortunately, my Dad is a serious gardener. And we've been enjoying the fruits of his labor.

This was a bucket of produce I brought home at the beginning of summer.  A bunch of lettuce, garlic blooms, green onions, radishes. There is even a sprig or two of mint thrown in there. 


And so I made one of these. The strawberries came from Aldi's. Dad does have a few strawberries coming off, but I think everyone has been eating them straight from the garden.



There is nothing like a meal of veggies straight from the garden. One of my favorite meals comes from when I was a little girl. Warning: What you are about to read might insult your delicate sensibilities. But we used to butcher chickens. One of the kids jobs was to pluck the feathers and (sorry) to remove any organs, intestines, etc.

Because eating a meal of Fried Chicken after a day like that wasn't at all appealing, Mom would make a meal just of our garden veggies. Boiled new potatoes, corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, sliced onion...Yum!

Of all the good things that came from my Dad's garden or any garden I've had over the years, I can guarantee there was never anything like this. Purple Cauliflower!


One of the grocery stories had these (along with orange and green cauliflower) marked down. I sauteed it with a little olive oil, garlic and salt pepper and then I put a lid on the pan for just a bit to let the cauliflower steam up.


Supper that night was a little roasted chicken, a nice salad and a plateful of purple cauliflower.


Sometimes you just need to change it up a bit. If your family has issues with veggies, maybe present them in a bit of a different way.

This pic shows some veggie kabobs I made. I just cut up my veggies (all came straight from the garden, except for the mushrooms), made the kabobs with Josiah's help, then drizzled them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. I have a stove top grill (which I use all the time), but you can certainly use your oven or outdoor grill.


Speaking of grilling...This is one of my favorite ways to fix corn. No butter required. Grilling the corn directly on the grill intensives all that sweet and juicy flavor. Yum!


Sometimes simple is just better. And nothing beats just a platter of sliced tomatoes straight from the garden. A little salt and pepper...I could eat tomatoes for every meal.



I know you've heard it before. Get the whole family involved in making the meal. Josiah had salad duty on this night. He's 10 and I've allowed him to start working with a serrated knife...as long as I am present in the kitchen to help. You can see that his knife skills have a ways to go, but he was sure proud of this salad. Younger children can tear lettuce, wash veggies, grate cheese. This was how I learned to cook, folks.



Just last night, Troy brought home a box of veggies from a friend at work who gardens. I'm drooling. I already have a couple of eggplants from Dad's garden I need to fix up. I'm making plans to use all those great veggies the best way I can.  Don't be afraid to add fresh veggies to any meal of the day. I like to scramble eggs with summer squash, fresh bell peppers and serve them along side fresh tomatoes.

I'm leaving you with a link to a light Ratatouille recipe. Josiah loves to help me make this dish. One of his favorite movies is Ratatouille (Disney). He was pretty happy that the actual dish didn't have any rats in it. As if!  I don't do rodents.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Plan

Sometimes I am my own worst enemy. You see, the qualities that have helped me survive infertility, a traumatic car accident, heart failure and other disappointments have also helped contribute to my weight loss failures.

I have a "Happy Place"...it's a place I go when the pain is unbearable or when a situation has become more than I can handle. I've always had a vivid imagination. And that imagination has helped me imagine more than what I can see with my physical eyes. I can see all the possibilities. Unfortunately, it also helps me not face up to some real issues I need to deal with.

Another issue has been my spontaneity. I don't know if I have always been spontaneous or if it is a reaction to my brushes with my own mortality. But I am really good with living in the moment. I can be impulsive and often give in to my cravings, whims and gut instincts.

Here is the rub. I have found with weight loss you need to PLAN. You need to be prepared. You have to know what you are going to eat for Breakfast. For Lunch. For Supper. And Snacks. You need to have your workout shoes ready and available. And it needs to be a priority. You can't be swayed by every craving or whim. It's all about the PLAN, people!

I am going to talk more about my own personal strategies about all of these things some more, but for now I wanted to list a few helps that have made it easier for me....especially initially. Maybe one of these will help somebody.

1.I am accountable, yet still have freedom to choose. I record all of my eating and exercise at Sparkpeople.com. It's FREE. It's easy to use and it has tons of resources. I have read articles, used exercise videos, tried recipes...and I don't have to worry about it coming from our budget. It also makes me more aware of what I'm putting in my mouth.

2. I can be creative. I use recipes from skinnytaste.com. This is an awesome site. I love to cook, but I really think this site is for even those who aren't fond of cooking. She gives not only calories and other nutritional info, but she gives points for those on Weight Watchers.

3. I have support and resources. My terrific Studly Muffin of a husband set me up with a yoga mat, some resistance bands and a couple of light weights. I go to the Y all the time, but I now have things on hand I can easily use in a work out. I also use Netflix exercise videos weekly and have even played Just Dance with Josiah to get my "groove" on. Because I have so many physical limitations I have had to be a bit more creative with my exercise. There are even exercise videos on the Spark People website that are done in a chair.

4. I am well-prepared, so I don't have a chance for excuses. Every Monday, my hubby helps me chop veggies and fruit. I make my breakfasts for the week, lunches and make sure I have what I need. This way I am not tempted by my impulsiveness ("I can't find that sounds good today...I will head on down to Sonic and get an order of cheese tots"). Years ago, when I was recovering from a massive car accident (I was bed bound for months and had to learn to walk again) I would frequently send my husband down to a local hamburger joint for a Fried Chicken Salad. They were so good. And because I felt just a bit sorry for myself it made the extra calories okay. Only trouble is I guarantee that the daily Fried Chicken Salad contributed to quite a few extra pounds I did not need. Now I keep tasty meals in my fridge that not only satisfy, but keep me on track.

That's it for today. I'm getting ready to snack on my 100 calorie bag of popcorn :<)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What's Up. Or Down.

So once again I am apologizing for neglecting my little blog. It seems to be an ongoing theme for me this summer...along with having to pay for lost library books and a ridiculous urge to practice my forward, backward, tucked and whacked flip thingy. I don't know about you, but I will watch all sorts of things during the Olympics that I would never even think to check out at any other time. Today I watched some water polo and volleyball. What? I don't like volleyball...at all. Every time anybody hit the ball I ducked. And I realize I haven't posted the rest of the Cousin Camp pics yet. What is with me? It's like I have a life or something?!

I do have good excuses this time, my friends. I have been busy losing weight! Yep. I've been hesitant to even talk about it. For one, this (long) battle has been such a struggle...a disappointing and heartbreaking struggle. And I've had so many efforts that have been unsuccessful. It's hard to be too transparent when you feel that you will just fail again anyway...for whatever reason. I am not going to get into the saga of why I gained weight in the first place (at least not right now), but I am going to try and be honest about my journey as I face each day. I have a few really tricky issues. I'll talk about some of them soon.

Since Memorial Weekend of this year (2012) I have lost 29 pounds..I am down 3 sizes...And while I have still a long way to go I am excited to see daily progress. This is pretty much a miracle. One day soon I'll have to tell you exactly why.

Any kind of lifestyle change is an effort. And every day has it's own challenges. Today my challenge was fatigue. I think I've been trying to catch a bug and my "bug" likes starches. But I resisted. I even drove through McD's on our way home from church to treat Josiah to an ice cream cone and I ordered a Diet Coke. The French Fries were tempting and teasing...wiggling provocatively from the menu. I don't care if I now know I can get a small fry for under 400 calories. Today wasn't a day to  give in to my cravings. Instead I rewarded myself with a bowl of fresh cut strawberries topped with a few melted chocolate chips. Tomorrow morning when I wake up I can face my day without any regrets from the day before...I don't have to have any "do overs." There will be other days when it will be worth the cheat...a special celebration...a treat with friends. Just to eat them because I feel like comforting my achy body with salt and grease isn't good enough today. Don't get me wrong..I love the salt. And the grease. It's just that I like the way I'm claiming back my life and my body better.


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