November 19, 2011

'Tis the Season

It is becoming a new Christmas tradition for my family that Santa cannot deliver. I foolishly thought that this holiday season would be different as I was lucky enough to preorder one of this year’s so-called “hot items” more than two months before Christmas. Apparently, this was a false sense of hope because the “inability to fulfill your order” email came this week. So I called Toys-R-Us and talked to one of their non-helpful, unconcerned representatives. He offered me 10% off and free shipping on my next purchase, but no solution as to how one can go about obtaining an item that was ordered two months in advance now that Toys-R-Us has written off said order. What he did tell me was that Toys-R-Us is obligated to fulfill individual store orders so that those stores have their promised stock, but failed to see my point about people that are poaching these items from stores to resell them for profit… the same toy that my child should be opening Christmas morning.

A few weeks ago, I came by a hard to find toy while shopping and snagged it to put under my Christmas tree. There were four more of this toy at the store and I thought about purchasing all of them, but not for the purpose of resale. I wanted to save these toys from the miserable greedy misers that take them away from children to turn a buck. Not only has Toys-R-Us not held up their end of our sale, but their policy of delivering to their stores first enables resellers to make such items both unattainable and unaffordable to the average family. Personally, I think the idea of waiting in-lines for stores to open in hopes of hunting down that elusive gift is a bit insane but, if you’re willing to go to those lengths for your child, kudos to you. The point that I am trying to make is that, if people with no intention of keeping that special gift weren’t snatching them up to make a profit, it could save a lot of Santa’s helpers hours in the cold.

July 15, 2011

Foresight

Just when I was patting myself on the back for not having any recent yelling episodes or freak outs, less than 24 hours later, I have a full blown meltdown. Serves me right for feeling good about myself. A huge part of my tantrum was the fact that I am dieting *again* and, even though I don't look like it, I am starving. to. death. See that cruise countdown ticker over there? =========>>> I have exactly that much time to lose a bazillion pounds and, despite losing 5 pounds over the past few days, I'm still a far cry from duck-facing-it for the world. I'm also crabby as all get out from the lack of sugar and fat and carbs that my body is used to functioning on.

Anyway, a series of events took place yesterday that lead to me totally losing my schmidt in the front yard of our home minutes before the family had planned to head in for the night. There was yelling and spanking. Neighboring children were scolded and sent home... possibly forever. There were also witnesses and I am probably now branded as the-crazy-lady-on-the-corner. The kicker to the whole stupid, spiraling day is that my meltdown could have been prevented and I even tried to prevent it, but I was overruled and so, chaos ensued. In other words... I told him so.

Now, let's talk about a little something called foresight. My life is ruled by it. I think everything out five steps ahead, two weeks (months) in advance, no present decision is made without thinking of the possible future consequences. I don't like unpleasant surprises and so I feel better knowing what could happen if I make decision x, y, or z. And yes, I do realize to some people, this is the real reason as to why I should be labeled the-crazy-lady-on-the-corner.

In fact, Husband happens to be a subscriber to this particular theory on my insanity. He does not drink my particular brand of kool-aid opting to sip his own fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-and-deal-with-the-consequences-later variety instead. Every once in awhile, perhaps in an attempt to "cure the crazy", he pours me a big, full cup of his approach. Every once in a greater while, I reluctantly give in and drink. And last night was an example of me spitting that shit out all over our front yard.

June 11, 2011

Question:


You buy your significant other a gift. Years later, he wants to get rid of said gift claiming it never gets used. In truth, it gets used about once a year so you ask that it be kept for those rare times that the item has purpose. Here's the question...

Should you (read *I*) feel guilty when significant other has to go out and buy a replacement for the item that he threw away even though you (*I*) asked that it be kept for sporadic usage because, as it turns out, today is that rare occasion that the item is needed?

I think the answer here is clear, but the stomach ache I've given myself because I feel bad that he went out and spent money on something we only use once a year is betraying my conviction.

May 31, 2011

A Start to Summer

My poor kiddos. I think it is just awful that I had to put them on that big, yellow bus this morning after spending the last three days giving them a glimpse into how fun this summer is going to be. I'm pretty sure the school year was done before Memorial Day weekend last year. I remember thinking how fantastic it was that school was done and summer could officially start on all levels. None of this taunting and teasing nonsense of having SIX MORE DAYS!!!

Anyway, this past weekend was awesome. Beyond awesome really... it might have just been the best Memorial Day weekend I have ever had. At the very least, it is in my top two. Husband and I once went camping with a handful of other couples when we were dating and it was one of the most fun times we have ever had. So that long ago memory is definitely a contender for the title of My Best Memorial Day Weekend Ever. What was so great about the past three days was that we kind of flew by the seat of out pants, which I rarely do. I am a planner at heart and I did have my plan laid for this holiday weekend but, of course, the weather didn't cooperate and we had to improvise.

We were supposed to spend Saturday camping with friends overnight in our tent until late Sunday morning. I was also going to take the kids to the zoo on Monday since Husband had to work. It was a simple plan that left us lots of wiggle room to get other things done around the house like laundry and yard work on Sunday afternoon. But when we woke up Saturday morning and looked at the weather forecast, all of that went out the window. Memorial Day weekend in northern Indiana is synonymous with miserable, cold rain if you didn't already know. Saturday was that day this past weekend. We rescheduled the campground for Sunday when the forecast looked a little more tolerable and headed out to the movie theater to see Rio. We will forever remember to keep "movie theater outing" in our back pocket of "things to occupy the kids" when Memorial Day weekend weather inevitably sucks.

After the movie, we came home and played Monopoly because when the hell else are we going to have time to play a three hour game except on a day that we were supposed to do something else and couldn't. We had also opened a new video game the night before that had a bunch of family games on it like Life, Clue, and Mouse Trap, so we played a few of those games as well. The kids and I are completely addicted to playing Life and 8yr-old-boy is begging us to get him the *real* board version. I'm also planning on picking up the board version of Clue because the kids like the concept and collecting the clues on the video game, but it just isn't as good as the board version. Family movie/game day concluded with me pitching a tent in the toy room after we got home from church because the kids had really been looking forward to sleeping in a tent and I didn't want them to miss out on it completely because of the rain.

Sunday, we loaded up kids and car and headed for the campground to spend the day with our friends. It was overcast, but warm and we hit the pool as soon as lunch was over. The water was a little chilly, but the kids didn't care and they played and swam for awhile. We went for a golf cart ride through the campground next and decided that the beach looked like something fun for the kids to do so we grabbed buckets and shovels and went back to the beach to let them do their thing. They were having a grand old time digging and rolling and burying when all of a sudden everyone started fleeing the beach like a shark had been spotted in the tiny lake.

We didn't know what was happening. I asked a man not far from us what was going on and he simply said, "Tornado". Umm, what? The sky was clear and not really even overcast anymore. It didn't make sense, but we loaded the kids up and headed back to the campsite to figure out what was going on. The ride back was noticeably cooler, the temperature was dropping and the wind was picking up a bit, but the sky was still clear. Once we were back at the camper, we found out that there had been a touch down 40 miles west of us and we were in the storms path. Thank you once again Memorial Day weekend for being the ambassador of terrible weather.

So we waited. We waited for about 30 minutes at the campsite until the sky turned black and the wind began to whip dead leaves and grass. We spent the next half hour sheltered in a bathhouse with forty other people while the storm dumped a crazy amount of rain and snapped a few tree branches outside. And then the rain and wind were gone and we resumed our previously scheduled camping shenanigans. I drank too much, the kids got filthy (I do not expect to ever be forgiven for the state of that bathroom after I hosed them down), we stayed too late, 4yr-old-boy snored the whole way home, I collapsed into bed once we were home, Husband unloaded kids and car and went to work on not enough sleep the next day. It was a perfect day.

The crazy weather continued and Monday's temperatures soared to 95+ degrees. No way was I going to spend the day sweltering at the zoo. There is only one place to go and bake on a day that hot.... I packed a lunch, grabbed the sand toys, and the kids and I headed to the beach. And so did every other family in the county. It took me 90 minutes, one scary car stall and a resulting service light, to creep the two miles into the state park beach. I have never seen my kids behave so well. Ever. They were hot and antsy and held their stuff together so Mommy could maintain hers. Thank you, babies, for not pushing me over the edge while the stupid dashboard light terrorized me that last mile.

We ate, we played, we basked, we froze our patooties off in the frigid Lake Michigan waters. I took a bazillion photos to document the frolicking and sand writhing that Husband missed. We stayed until dinner time when I knew Husband would be on his way home from work and could come rescue us when my car decided not to start in the parking lot. But it did start and the service light had disappeared, so we drove home happy and content in wet swimsuits with sand between our toes and everywhere else, glowing from all of the sun that we had soaked up (or an entire bottle of greasy sunscreen) with baggies full of sand and rocks that the kids simply had to bring home. It was wonderful.

I just realized that neither of my top two Memorial Day weekends were planned. All of those years ago, when Husband (then Boyfriend) and I went camping, he called me the morning of to see if I wanted to go. It just goes to show that sometimes letting things unfold in there own way can result in some pretty fantastic times and memories. I will never forget that weekend more than a decade ago and I know my kids will remember fun at the beach, the 5 gallon container of cheese balls, and the almost tornado. Raising my kids is what has taught me that sometimes I need to let go and just roll with whatever is going to happen. When you're the mom of three, there's not much else you can do.

May 20, 2011

Random Ranting


Really? 6:20am seemed like the perfect time to slam the laundry room door and proceed to "work on" the hot water heater? When I finally yelled for you to stop, you actually did, but then promptly disappeared. An apology would have been nice. Letting me sleep that precious extra 30 minutes until my alarm was scheduled to go off would have been even better!

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You see that vacation ticker over there in the top, right-hand corner? That, my friends, is the countdown to impending doom. What? How can a forthcoming Disney cruise be seen as anything but the long awaited answer to our family vacation dreams? Because each 24 hours that creeps by is one less day that I have to lose enough weight so I won't spend the entire vacation sporting a moo-moo. *sigh*

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Thank you for doing a half-ass job of helping 4yr-old-boy wipe after his morning poop (pun intended). It resulted in him digging at his butt through most of his preschool certificate ceremony. Glad I was there to field that embarrassment on my own and that some twenty odd parents have it caught on video.

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I really enjoy your status updates about how all of you got together over the weekend and didn't bother telling me. I was the only one not there. Are you that stupid and didn't realize I would read it? Are you trying to bait me into unfriending the whole lot of you? Or am I simply being to sensitive for my own damn good and shouldn't let this hurt my feelings?

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May 17, 2011

Updates

It always makes me sad when I come back to this blog and see that my last post date was weeks (or even months) ago. I don't mean to neglect this little corner that I have claimed for myself, but I find it hard to post on a regular basis... mostly because I have become accustomed to censoring a lot of what I allow myself to write so I don't come across as whiny, negative, or ungrateful. The thing is, I am whiny, negative, and ungrateful. I like to think I posses a few redeeming qualities as well, but I do harbor more than my fair share of pessimistic thoughts and feelings...a lot of the time. I started blogging as a means of getting all of the garbage out of my heart and head so I had only the best of me left to give to the people I interact with on a daily basis. Somewhere along the way, I started fearing that I was going to sound like a raving bitch if I used my blog for its intended purpose. You see, I want to be liked and I care deeply when I'm not despite my own inability to tolerate, let alone like most people.

Anyway, I suck at blogging because I haven't allowed myself to actually do it the way I set out to. I wanted this to be more of a journal of my emotions... a diary... since I knew that I would never keep up with a written one. I didn't start writing this to gush about how fantastic my life, kids, husband, blah, blah, blah are. I began posting here to vent because I need to vent, to purge, to get the bad, negative junk out of me. I have social anxiety issues. Compound that with how appalling I find the lack of social etiquette of most people. I am a ticking time bomb waiting to go off on the stupidity, carelessness, and selfishness of others... and then I lack the ability to cope with the fall out once I do flip my lid. I also happen to believe that it is thoughtless, careless and rude to go around berating stupid people for being stupid so I obviously need some other release to get it all off my chest. This was supposed to be that release.

It was also never my intention to write nothing but angsty, whiny, drama laden posts as I actually do have a fantastic life, kids, husband, blah, blah, blah to gush about and be grateful for. I love sharing the beautiful insanity that is our life together but, somewhere along the way, I started to feel like I had to post nothing but sunshine and fluff or else be perceived as dark and troubled. I mean sure, part of me is dark and troubled; I can own that. I just don't want to be defined by that one facet of myself. All that being said, I want to get back to what this blog was supposed to be... my outlet. Mine. It is not a place for the judgement of others. It is not a place to be challenged by anyone but me. If you can't manage those two things in your reading, then you don't need to be here and what I share here is not for you.

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Now that we've discussed the direction and purpose of future posts here, I have an update on my bird nest post from three weeks ago... some fluff and sunshine, if you will.

I still think this bird is either a first time mama/nest builder or the personification of the phrase 'bird brain'. She insisted on her nest remaining in our front porch light, managed to build quite a sturdy one at that, and now there are little baby birds in there. How do I know there are little baby birds in there? Because yesterday, as Husband entered through the front door, Mama Bird took off in a frenzy like she always does and knocked one of her babies out of the nest causing it to fall a good three or four feet to the ledge below. We waited about half an hour to see if she would try to retrieve her fallen baby, but she did not. Husband went out, armed with a piece of paper, and scooped the little baby up and back into the nest. It opened its mouth looking for food at Husband's touch and I was relieved that it didn't die in the 30 minutes spent out of the nest. I've checked back a couple of times and there are no abandoned babies beneath Mama Bird's perch so I am hopeful that the baby was returned successfully.

The front door of our house is now off limits so we are entering and exiting through the garage. Packages and visitors, once met with enthusiasm, are now feared with the threat of Crazy Mama Bird and her flights of frenzy. I wonder how long it takes a baby robin to fly. I think I need to do a little research into exactly how long the main entry of our house is going to be out of commission in what could be seen as a ridiculous attempt to protect our as-of-yet featherless little friends from getting an early boot. Why am I getting a tad 'one flew over the cuckoo's nest' over this family of robins? Because my kids want nothing more than for these babies to survive. Mama Bird picked our light and now we all feel some bizarre duty to do our best to keep her babies safe. Yesterday, after I told the kids of their dad's heroic rescue, 8yr-old-boy made this journal entry, "Today, I am grateful for the baby bird."

April 23, 2011

Persistence

I'm starting to feel guilty for wanting this poor bird to rebuild. Three days in a row the wind and rain have taken out her creation, yet she keeps coming back to fix the damage and add more. It was completely gone yesterday and we even swept the remnants off the front porch assuming she would give up, but she has been back at it all morning. This is the farthest she has gotten and the wind is picking up again as I type. Poor, dumb bird. I think she might be a first timer.

Part of me wants her to succeed. She has obviously got her heart set on sharing our view and coveted spot right on the bus stop, but I just don't see how a nest is going to stay balanced in that light even if the wind does let up and allow her to continue to make progress. I yelled at 8yr-old-boy when he came back for the third time in the 10 minutes since he had gone out to play that he can't keep using the front door if we want the bird to have any chance of getting a good structure laid. Yea, I might be a little to wrapped up in Momma Bird's project.

And what if she does manage to build something that will withstand that precarious building spot and the elements? Are we going to be under constant attack once she lays her eggs just trying to use the front door? Even worse, it seems the chances of a bird flying into the house when we do open the door are drastically increased. Guess if she doesn't give up and actually pulls it off, the least I can do is enforce a "through the garage" directive and restrict use of the front door until all babies have flown the coop... so to speak.

April 18, 2011

Because I am Worth It!

I have been having a rough couple of weeks. The whole family has really. We spent five fantastic days over Spring Break in Wisconsin Dells where we had tons of water park fun, stayed in a beautiful condo, kept late hours, and slept in past 10:00am almost every day. It was bliss. Unfortunately, we couldn't make Wilderness Resort our permanent residence and we've all been struggling to get back into the swing of everyday, real life since we got back.

Spring sports have started up for the older two kids, they returned to testing at school, AWANA has ended for the year which is a very sad thing for all of them, and the weather has been taunting us... one day it is 70* then, a few days later, I'm digging in the crawlspace for the winter clothes that I found the motivation to switch out the week before. Everything seems to be one step forward, two steps back and I am just worn out.

I've turned to some old friends to help me through resulting in a 7 pound weight gain since we got home from vacation (I had actually lost weight while we were gone). The booze and binging haven't quite rounded out my self prescribed solution so I've been indulging in some retail therapy as well. I've spent the last hour online shopping for a Coach handbag. I haven't found one that I'm willing to fork over hundreds of dollars for yet but, if I do, I will... because I am worth it!

I have spent a significant amount of time over the years scoffing at women who spend money on pricey, designer items. "Why would anyone spend $400 on a purse? My $15 Walmart bag is just fine." "She spent how much on her wedding gown/prom dress/daughter's Easter outfit? That's just ridiculous. I bet their credit cards are totally maxed out." I think I have figured out why this sort of spending bothers me even though it has no baring on my life what so ever. It is because, throughout my life, I have not been made to feel or believe that I, too, am worthy of such things. I've always known that it wasn't the *things* that I was jealous of, but now I see it was the mindset that I coveted.

My father raised me to be practical about every decision in life which didn't lend well to following many of my dreams, but I managed to fulfill a few including marrying an even more practical man (Starting to understand the title of this blog?). I get why it is smart to save your pennies, live within your means, minimize your debt, and I would never condone spending $400 on that purse instead of paying your rent or buying groceries for your babies, but I've also come to realize that there is a point to the occasional extravagance beyond the quality of an item or the vanity or wastefulness of the purchaser. The belief that you are *worth* such a purchase is something that I have never known, it's the part I've never understood and, if I don't understand something, it bothers me.

So I have decided it is time that I stop waiting for someone else to gift me with the validation that I crave and I am going to buy myself something nice. Really nice, actually. Not only have I been shopping designer handbags, but I am also thinking of making an appointment at a local jeweler to see about having a custom piece made with the kids' birthstones. Whatever I decide on, it will be something that I purchase simply because I want it... not because it benefits someone else and not because it was deemed appropriate or necessary. I am tired of feeling like the only value I hold is that of a thrift store bargain. If a stupid purse or piece of jewelry is going to help me feel that I am worth more than the rollback discount, so be it.

April 15, 2011

The Buffer

It has been requested that I write a new post. It is not for a lack of things to say or, more accurately, bitch about that I have been MIA (because, Lord knows, I am a rambling machine with a wealth of annoyance). This always happens when my last post was sad or depressing and... raw. It is hard for me to bounce back from one of those. Usually, I try to mask my bipolar tendencies and the roller coaster ride that I call my life. To jump right back in with a post about our fabulous Spring Break trip seemed like it would showcase those idiosyncrasies rather than hide them. And it made me feel like I was painting myself as both depressing and cranky if I wrote about any one of the infinite number of idiots surrounding me rather than write the happy family post.

I like to write, to entertain, to amuse. But, in order to do so, I have to ignore the fact that I am displaying my inner workings... the good, the bad, and the incredibly snarky. When I write something from the gut that highlights the flaws and the chaos inside my head and heart, I tend to curl up in a corner and lay low for awhile until I can compose myself again. I truly envision myself as the monster behind the mask. I see a post like my last one as me removing the mask and letting the monster that lives behind out to have her say for a moment before I hide her back away and press on.

Anyway, this explanation of my absence is meant as a sort of buffer. To be read as: We now return to our regularly scheduled programming. I hope in the coming weeks to write about where we have been, what we've been doing, and what lays ahead. It has been a kind of whirlwind of birthdays and vacationing and spring sports which has definitely eaten into the actual time I have had for blogging, but I seem to have found my footing again and the family has settled back into a rhythm (for now). So stay tuned, there is definitely more to come...

March 1, 2011

Death & Depression

My sister-in-law lost her mother yesterday. She knew it was coming, but you can never be completely prepared to let go. My heart is breaking for her on so many levels right now and it is almost unbearable for me to know her heart is suffering such a tremendous loss. This is breaking me in unexpected ways and I cannot imagine how deep her pain... the weeks (years) ahead of learning to cope and say good-bye. Some of my own suppressed emotions have bubbled to the surface over the past couple of weeks and I am trying hard to keep some pretty rotten thoughts and feelings at bay. As I grieve with and for SIL, I'm also being extremely selfish and making things (internally) about me.

We were told a little over two weeks ago that SIL's mom would be passing soon as she had made the decision to go off of dialysis. It was about this time that I started thinking about my father and his failing health. My dad is not a good man. He's not a horrible monster by any means, but he really doesn't contribute anything substantial to anything in his life or that of anyone else. It doesn't seem fair that my SIL has lost her beloved mom while my dad, who won't really be missed by anyone, lingers on... frustrating everyone, feeling sorry for himself, mooching off society, torturing the various medical personnel that care for him. So my heart is not only breaking for SIL, but it is also heavy with the guilt of thinking, "Why couldn't it have been him?"

My mom is coming home for the funeral Friday. If apathetic describes my feelings towards my father, then, I would have to define my current feelings towards my mom as all out disdain. I am beyond angry that SIL lost one of the most important relationships she will ever have, that her mother's passing is such a grievous loss, and that I will never understand what exactly that feels like. I'm angry that my mother is incapable of being a comforting maternal figure for SIL to help her though this time. Mom will simply show up, fulfill her obligations, then head back to Florida until work starts again in 5 weeks to supply her with an excuse for being too busy for us all.

Somehow, in all of this, I am grieving... and raging. Grieving for SIL and her family. Grieving for the relationships I never had with my own parents. Raging over the unfairness of it all. Wishing that I could switch places with SIL and take her hurt away. Raging that it just wouldn't matter to me. How profoundly screwed up is that? I want to look my mother in the eyes and say, "You know I will never grieve for you this way. You never took the time to be anything that I would miss." I want to hurt her, leave her as empty as she has left me. I never will, though... she doesn't care enough to ever feel anything.

February 27, 2011

Stuck: Week 8

I rocked the new diet in January and lost 21 pounds, but the scale has not budged much in February (I've stalled at the 25 pound mark). I have, however, made my way back to the gym so all is not lost. After the great debate as to where Husband and I should workout, I decided to stick with our current YMCA membership and make the best of what we already have. We have a family membership and I've been going on Saturdays with the kids so I can get a workout in and take them for the open swim. It really makes me feel like super mom!

It took me a bit to get back in the swing of exercising, but I have figured out both a routine that I can tolerate and a schedule that I'm pretty confident that I can stick with. For the longest time, I have been doing nothing but cardio and I've finally realized how much I hate cardio. I would go a few times and then give up because I loathed the idea of getting back on the treadmill. Over the past couple of weeks, I've discovered how much I enjoy strength training. I know the cardio workout is important so I've been doing 15 minutes on the treadmill before hitting the weight room for 45 minutes and then I finish up with 15 more minutes on the treadmill. It has made a world of difference only having to survive 15 minutes of cardio at a time. I actually get annoyed with having to let my muscles rest for two days before working out again.

I'm getting stronger. I'm lifting more weight in most areas, though my upper body is still so weak and I'm struggling to add any weight to my arm exercises. I've also increased my speed on the treadmill by .7 mph which is a huge accomplishment for me. Part of the reason I hate the cardio workouts so much is because I get winded so easily. My lung capacity is expanding, my heart is getting stronger, and I finally feel the results of quitting smoking for the first time in 7+ months. I've even forgotten my inhaler the last couple of times I've packed my gym bag because it simply isn't a necessity anymore.

I'm hoping to get it all together in the coming month. I know I can eat better and succeed at losing weight through dieting. I'm loving how my workouts are empowering me, and how accomplished I feel sticking with the new routine and pushing myself further than I've ever gone. I want to make up for the lost weeks of February in March... spring is just around the corner and summer will be here before I know it. I refuse to spend another summer uncomfortable in everything I wear. Truthfully, no matter what the season or what I've worn, nothing has ever sufficiently covered up the *me* that I so desperately try to hide. I don't want to live like that anymore. I want to be comfortable with who I am and I simply can't in this body that I currently occupy.

February 19, 2011

Drum Roll Please...


I just got back from a killer workout at the gym followed by swimming with the kids. Before the insanity of a morning filled with trying to get everything done so we could head out the door, I tentatively stepped on the scale for my weekly weigh-in. I lost another pound. I posted last week that I would be happy just maintaining this week with Valentine's plans and the like, but I actually managed to lose that little bit more. I'm not thrilled with just a pound, but what this pound accomplishes is pretty awesome... I have officially lost 25 pounds since the first of the year. Technically 30 pounds if you count the five I gained a couple weeks back and had to lose again.

Milestones like this our real motivators for me. If I hadn't reached the 25 pound mark today, I think there is a good chance I would have bailed on my workout this morning and probably swimming since I wasn't already there to take the kids. Let's just hope that it doesn't take me four whole days to recuperate from this workout. I did the exact same workout on Valentine's Day and was too sore until today to attempt it again. Husband says it will get easier. I'm going to trust his expertise as I discovered this morning that, in the two years since we joined the 'Y', I have only used the weight room about a dozen times which renders me pretty much clueless in the realm of strength training. I want to use the weight room at least ten more times by the end of March so I can say that I've gone two dozen times in two years. Hey, once a month does not sound nearly as bad as every other month. That's the story I'm sticking with anyway.

February 16, 2011

VD at the Gym

Get your head out of the gutter! There is no personal trainer at our local YMCA spreading disease. Sorry to disappoint if you were hoping for a juicy scandal...

Husband and I celebrated Valentine's Day a day late this year because our kids had obligations on the actual day and, well, duty called. So we scheduled the in-laws to babysit the following day. They descended on our house yesterday a few minutes before preschool let out which allowed us to make our escape right after I threw a quick lunch together for 3yr-old-boy.

There had been much debate about what we were going to do and where we were going to go during our four hour hiatus. All of the indecisiveness stemmed from the "great gym debate" that I mentioned in my last post. For two years, I have longed to join the *other* YMCA. When we first joined our YMCA, the other one was in the process of being built. Since construction ended, I have drooled and pined over the magnificence of this brand new facility. Everything about it is bigger and better... including the cost.

The other 'Y' is further away from us and costs $18 more a month. Swim lessons for the kids cost more for half the amount of classes that our current 'Y' offers. So, as much as I would love to attend the *free* cycling classes and not be charged above the cost of my membership like our current location, and as much as I would love to drop my kids in the beautiful new child care areas or youth gym while I workout, I will never be able to justify the added expense. The whole situation turns me into a spoiled brat and I kind of freaked out about it right before our date yesterday.

The plan was to checkout the *other* YMCA again to see if it is as wonderful as I remember from the last time we checked it out. I then realized that it probably *is* just as fabulous as I remember it, but that I was going to draw the exact same conclusion as last time... that it is not worth the extra drive and cost... and I was going to end up just as disappointed as I was the last time we went. Probably not the mood I wanted to set for my Valentine's outing with Husband. So I stomped my feet, threw a tantrum, and moved on.

Instead of visiting the oh-so-perfect-too-far-away-too-expensive other 'Y', we went to our current does-the-job-but-man-it-needs-a-remodel-and-free-cycle-classes 'Y'. I don't know if it was because I am angry that I simply can't justify what I want or if I was just determined to make use of what I have, but I pushed myself in that workout harder than I have ever pushed. I pushed myself until I thought I was going to puke and then pushed harder. I typically hate working out, but this time it felt good. Maybe I just haven't been working hard enough in the past and I've actually been bored. Yesterday was a challenge and I rocked it!

We followed up our workouts with lunch and we were good about our food choices. Husband had suggested my favorite restaurant, but I turned it down knowing that the reason it has been my favorite restaurant is because of one dish that I no longer have any business eating... ever again. The meal has got to easily be double my current daily calorie intake. We ended up at Applebee's because of the Weight Watcher selections and the new "under 550 calorie" menu options. Not the most romantic venue, but we were kid free and that is good enough in itself!

Just as a side note: If you know of any other restaurants that offer low calorie menu items and list the calorie content (I do not like guess work), please, let me know. I can eat the same thing over and over, but I think Husband will get sick of Applebee's after awhile. Variety, even if it is only one other option, would help.

February 13, 2011

Reporting In... Week 6

It has been a crazy past few days and I have to be up for church in less than 7 hours, but I wanted to check-in before I call it a night. Saturdays are weigh-in around here and last week was as close to disaster as a dieter can get. I did pick myself up and carry on, though, and I am happy to say that, not only did I lose the 5 pounds I gained last week, but an additional three. Yep, 8 pounds this week... and that's with a Super Bowl party in the mix last weekend.

I'll be happy to maintain this week since Valentine's Day is Monday and Husband and I are going out. I also have a fridge full of leftover marinara sauce and bread sticks from the spaghetti dinner I helped with at our church last night. Mmm... bread sticks. Oh, and MIL had us over for dinner tonight and I did not restrain myself in. the. least. *sigh* I hate genetics.

I'll try to write more in the next couple of days. Husband and I are in the midst of the great gym debate. Stay where we are? Join something closer to home? Splurge on the fancy new facility further away? Screw all of the options and do work out DVDs at home (that one is more an option for me). I hate not knowing what decision to make almost as much as I hate my genes. *I think I might just be a little tired and cranky at this point* We'll talk more later. Night all!

February 5, 2011

Packing (On) the Meat

Today is weigh-in day and, as much as I do not want to report in, I am going to hold myself accountable and report the effects of my falling off the wagon during the blizzard. I gained 5 (FIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) pounds this week. *hangs head in shame* I think it might have been a combination of those damn peanut butter M&M cookies that I just had to bake in the midst of the snowy chaos outside and having to clear out the freezer for the big meat sale that our local grocery store holds once (sometimes twice) a year.

I spent this morning dividing up and packaging the bulk amounts of cow and pig that the man hauled in from his grocery store adventures. Husband spent two hours waiting in line to have everything sliced by the butcher. As depressed as I was to see the number on the scale this morning, I did take some comfort from the slabs of ribs and steaks and pork chops in front of me. Just one package weighed 13 pounds. I'm still down 3 pounds more than that and the package was both big and heavy. As absurd as it is, knowing that I have rid my body of such a hunk of meat made me feel better.

I made it to the gym yesterday in an attempt to undo the sins I committed during Snowmageddon 2011. I even convinced Husband to join me which is the total opposite of what usually transpires with him trying to get me to go with him. He was super thankful as he had "one of the best workouts ever". Good for you, Punk. I, on the other hand, thought I was going to die right there on that treadmill.

I pushed myself and didn't give in after 10 minutes like I wanted to. Eventually, my muscles gave up their protest allowing me to go for over an hour. I increased my speed to the highest I've ever done once every joint in my body stopped screaming. It felt good to get back to it and I burned about 400 calories. I wonder if my body is in shock and refusing to let go of the weight thinking I am trying to commit suicide through exercise and what must feel like starvation after overdosing on cookies for two days. I guess we'll see what happens next week.

February 2, 2011

Is that Snow or Sugar?

Blizzard = Baking = Peanut butter M&M cookies = Cathy is off the wagon.

But I helped the man shovel us out for the first time ever in our almost 9 years of marriage.

So I'm hoping I burned up some of those peanut-buttery, M&M-goodness calories.


Unfortunately, we're not going anywhere for awhile with all of this snow...

...and I still have 3 dozen cookies left. Help Me!

January 29, 2011

It's Been Four Weeks

Four weeks ago today, I decided to change my horrible relationship with food. I'm not sure I've conquered the addiction as of yet; that will probably be a struggle for the rest of my life. There is, however, a good chance that I have a new addiction on the other end of the food obsession spectrum. I am addicted to playing the "game" of staying within my allotted calories while trying to maintain the proper carb/protein/fat ratios for the day.

This new addiction has driven me to do some crazy things. Like actually measuring out a serving of ice cream instead of just eating out of the carton and wondering where it all went 30 minutes later. Or the fact that I find myself cooking two meals in *one* evening... one for Husband and the kids and one for me. I loathe cooking. Don't get me wrong, I'm a pretty good cook. I just find no satisfaction in doing it. I think it's some bizarre manifestation of my terrible food habits. The things that I like to eat, the kids hate. So I end up cooking crap which just makes me feel like crap from eating it and for feeding garbage to my kids... constantly.

Through discovering how piss poor my own diet actually was (Did I ever eat any protein before this?), I have begun to make small changes in what my kids eat. I'm more conscious of making sure that every meal contains a source of protein served along side either a fruit or veggie. I feel better knowing that they are eating just a little bit better and that it's not all carbs all the time. I don't want them to grow up with the same weight/food struggles that I have battled all of my life.

The kids realize that most nights I eat different meals than they do. Sometimes they'll have a side of mac & cheese while I eat black beans, other nights our meals are completely different... last night I made them chicken parmesan with whole wheat pasta while I ate red potatoes with ground beef and salsa... and they get it. They understand that mom is "trying to get healthy". I have stressed the healthy part because I don't want them to obsess about their weight (or my weight) and I simply refuse to let the word "fat" become part of our everyday vocabulary just like the word "stupid" is a bad word in our house.

Anyway, these baby steps are making an impact not only on my life, but the lives of my whole family. My kids are eating healthier and are witnessing my efforts to overcome my food issues. I hope that, as time goes on, they will want to incorporate more of my new diet into their own... or that I will find the courage to implement the changes for them. It is already making a difference in my life. I weighed in this morning and I have lost another 3.5 pounds this week. That makes my total weight loss 21 pounds in four weeks. I have also shaved 3.7 off my BMI since the first of the year.

I feel good, I feel strong. I feel like I can do this not just short term, but for the long haul. I am sick and tired of yo-yoing 60+ pounds every couple of years. I am hoping that this can be a permanent change and that I have the same success that I did with last year's resolution to quit smoking. I recently reached the six month mark on that one and I honestly never thought I would kick that addiction. I guess anything is possible.

January 24, 2011

Guilt

I am the type of person that is ruled, plagued, and defined by my guilt. At any given moment, there is something or someone somewhere that I feel I have let down or failed. I don't know why I am like this or what made me this way, but it is my greatest character flaw... or maybe the source of all my other flaws. No surprise, the number one guilt inducer in my life is my family.

I'll get to my immediate family in a moment... namely Husband since my guilt with the kids is typical mommy stuff. Right now, I want to focus on those other people that fall under the definition of "family". I am not a very good daughter. My parents weren't very good parents once they divorced and they are terrible, uninvolved grandparents. So let's just say I'm returning the favor. I still feel bad about my lack of interest in a relationship with either of them.

I have three siblings counting my two step-brothers. My sister and I have been battling it out ever since her birth just a short 22 months after my own appearance in the world. After nearly 30 years of the constant bickering in our on-again off-again relationship, I gave up. I have no desire to try and salvage something that has always been broken.

I used to be close with the youngest of my two older step-brothers. He actually walked me down the aisle at my wedding because I felt *guilty* asking my step-dad despite the fact that I did not want my dad giving me away. Then we had kids and our parenting styles were so opposite that we didn't know how to bridge the gap and didn't really care to be around the other's parenting (or lack there of) anymore. I don't know why I have such a low tolerance for people and I feel bad that I don't even want to try to fake it.

My in-laws are pretty OK. It has taken me over a decade to get to the point where I can say this honestly but Husband's family, for better or worse, are the only people besides my eldest step-brother and his family who consistently make an effort. I was not what MIL had in mind when she dreamed of her baby marrying someday, but she's no picnic either. We've learned to make the best of it for everyone else involved. Which brings me to Husband.

I love the man despite the fact that our marriage has exponentially increased my craziness. Husband is the type of person who constantly needs to be told what to do... and reminded five times so he doesn't forget... in every situation. He makes me cry then *I* have to tell him how to make me feel better which just ruins it because I had to tell him what to do. If I ask (or bark), he usually will help with whatever I need... unless he forgets first. I feel bad that I nag him the way that I do and that I use him to vent all of my frustrations. Even the ones that have nothing to do with him. Sometimes I just need someone to make whatever it is better without having to explain how to accomplish making that happen. A big part of our (my) problem is that I don't ask for the help that I need because I feel *guilty* doing so. He works, I stay home. I feel bad, like I'm not holding up my part of the bargain, if I ask him to help out more around the house.

I bit the bullet today and asked him to delay his workout to help me clean and, something magical happened, the house got cleaned and I didn't feel guilty! Poor Husband doesn't realize that the bathrooms are officially his domain from now on. I came to a very important conclusion after all of the cleaning supplies were stashed away again and he had left for the gym. I DO NOT NEED TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THIS. I support his job by caring for our kids while he is at work. I then get the benefit of shopping with his paycheck. In turn, he can support me in running this household by helping with the cleaning. He will then reap the benefit of not living in a pit. :)

All of the other chores are pretty evenly divided between the two of us. It was just in this one area... work vs. household... that things weren't right. I resented cleaning since, in all honesty, I do not make the majority of the mess. Today was exactly what I needed even if I did have to spell it out to Husband. He postponed something that he wanted to do so that he could help me with something that I really didn't want to do. It took some of the burden off of me and it made everything else that much easier to bare since I now carry a slightly smaller load... less guilt and fewer household tasks.

January 23, 2011

Ups & Downs

Friday and Saturday were just emotionally bad days. I was crabby and feeling sorry for my fat self and being a spoiled sport in general. Today has been a really good day, which I desperately needed, and it has gone a long way towards lifting my spirits. Yesterday, I went on and on about how I want to be able to *do* things with my kids. Well, I stopped throwing myself a pity-party long enough to do exactly that this afternoon.

My neighbor friend asked if the kids and I wanted to join her and her son at a local roller skating rink for open skate today after church. I really did want to go since it sounded like so much fun but, of course, I grappled with all of the inner turmoil of "can I *do* this?". I hadn't attempted to skate in probably 20+ years and I wasn't very good at staying up then either. I sucked it up and agreed to go. I'm tired of passing up opportunities because I'm afraid. If I assume I can't, I will never know that I can. That's what I tell my kids anyway. What's the worst that could happen... I fall? Well, maybe all of this extra padding will be good for something.

So the older two kids and I went skating, and I did fall. Pretty hard actually, but my daughter was the only witness so it wasn't too terribly embarrassing. And you know what? My daughter found the courage to let go and skate on her own after that. I'd like to think that seeing me fall and get back up inspired her. My neighbor, on the other hand, decided that my daughter let go because she was afraid that I would take her down with me the next time. I have such wonderfully supportive friends. ;)

The point, regardless of the true motivation behind my daughter's success, is that we all got out there and gave it our best. I was up and skating for close to two hours. I was sweaty and more than a little sore when all was said and done. Not sore from wiping out, sore from the exertion. I didn't lose my breath at all, was never in need of my inhaler. When I got home, I decided to look online to see how many calories roller skating actually burns. I was shocked. Given my size and age, I burned roughly 1000 calories! I found a bunch of sites that all confirmed that I burned at least 1000 calories.

I'm so glad that my neighbor friend and I talked about trying to make this a regular outing for all of us. I just wanted to keep going because I had so much fun and the kids had a blast. Now I have the added incentive of knowing that I have actually found a fun workout. I didn't know there was such a thing! I am super pumped and I've regained my focus and motivation. Husband was even jealous of my workout (MY WORKOUT!!!) and said that he needs to start skating, too. This could become a real obsession. Maybe I can celebrate my first weight-loss goal with a pair of my very own roller skates... sparkly wheels and all!

January 22, 2011

Week 3 Weigh-In

I lost another 2.5 pounds this week bringing my three week total to 17.5 pounds. My original goal for the month was 18 pounds but, since I have over a week left of January, I think I'm going to shoot for an even twenty. I'm also going to try my damnedest to drag my ass to the gym with Husband on Monday. He has lost 12 pounds so far this year and has already met is monthly goal. His results are motivating me to add the exercise I know I need as I have spent the last 3 weeks counting and weighing everything I eat while he has pretty much eaten anything he wants and just burned it off on the treadmill. To be fair, I have noticed him eating less carbs.

Secretly, I hate that Husband is losing weight. I am super happy for him and proud of his accomplishments thus far, but it does add some pressure on me. Are my efforts measuring up? Is his way better? I am also confronted with the guilt of "I should be going, too." every time he heads out the door to workout. Why doesn't he share the guilt as he shovels in bratwursts while I'm measuring out my sliver of cheese for the evening?

Bottom line, it's all fun and games when I'm playing the numbers game with myself but, add in the competition, and I become obsessed with the fact that I simply cannot hold my own against him. Despite being out of shape, he is and always has been an athlete. I have always been a lazy couch potato. As a kid, he played soccer and baseball. I was a Girl Scout who probably ate more cookies than I ever sold.

I had a minor meltdown the other night when Husband told me that he burned almost 700 calories running on the treadmill at the gym. I can't run. At all. I get myself to a fast walk and I'm huffing and puffing. I thought quitting smoking would greatly improve this, but it hasn't and that frustrates me to tears. I quit smoking so I could be healthier...as in walk and climb and jog without having to use an inhaler in order to catch my breath. Instead, I gained 25 pounds and still can't intensify my workouts because I end up choking and gasping and feeling like a total loser.

I hear so many people say that their workouts are "empowering". I venture to guess that Husband is one of these people. I am not. I want to be, but I'm starting to feel that it is physically impossible. I always feel like a big *fat* failure doing my stupid 2.8 on the treadmill, wheezing all the way. I hate the gym. I hate working out. I hate feeling like I will never succeed at something I want so badly... to be physically fit, to just walk out the door on any adventure and not worry about the limitations of my body.

At this point, I would totally give up the dream of wearing cute, fashionable clothes in a *normal* size and agree to live the rest of my life in a 200 pound body that didn't physically inhibit me. I've been fat for so long that I've gotten used to coping with the self-image crap. What I cannot accept is the inability to do the things that my family wants to do. Maybe that's what frustrates me the most, knowing that right now I have two choices... I can either hold them back or remove myself from their adventures... and both options suck.

January 20, 2011

Day 20: New Toy

My new kitchen scale came today! I have been using an ancient kitchen scale for the past few weeks and, as suspected, I confirmed tonight that it has not been taking accurate measurements. I've been eating more than I thought (about .75 ounces more per weighed item) which means using the new scale should help me achieve better results.

I pulled a no-no this morning and didn't eat breakfast. 3yr-old-boy and I had places to go and things to do... OK, are super cool adventure was just grocery shopping at the Walmart, but we needed to get it done so off we went with no breakfast for Mom. I wasn't all that hungry anyway. I think my digestive system might have still been in shock from all of that ice cream last night. Here are my lunch and dinner details for today...

Lunch: boneless/skinless chicken breast, fresh pineapple, all-natural pepper-jack cheese, peach & pineapple chipotle salsa

Dinner: whole wheat spaghetti, all-natural mushroom & green pepper sauce, 96% lean ground beef, grated all-natural mozzarella cheese

I couldn't find the almond Green & Black's chocolate bars today so I decided to try a different kind. My Weight Watcher friends need to take note that the NewTree chocolate bars, along with being all-natural, are high in fiber (7g per serving). These babies are soooo good; which they need to be to make them worth the $4 they cost per bar. This is why I have always gorged on things like Reese's cups and Snickers... because they are cheap and you can buy lots of them! I spent $16 on four chocolate bars today. It's a good thing that I'm tracking what I eat and they will actually last awhile.

Daily Totals (including half of the NewTree chocolate bar): 1235 calories, 40% carbs (124g), 31% fat (42g), 29% protein (89g). I learned today that the Tap&Track app that I use on my ipod adjusts the maximum calorie intake based on your weight and goals. I had mine set for losing two pounds per week and I noticed, because I have lost weight, that the program automatically decreased the amount of calories I am allowed per day. I thought it was a nifty little feature. Anything that automatically updates wins my approval as it is one less thing I need to remember to do.

January 19, 2011

Day 19: Dinner = Ice Cream

Ice Cream = Dinner = Try Again... Tomorrow. I finally tried the Tin Roof Sundae and now it is gone. I made the mistake of thinking I could eat out of the carton and restrain myself. HaHaHa. So we will now be done with diet talk for the day because I totally screwed the pooch as far as calories and everything else. Perhaps tomorrow I will share the photos of the wonderfully healthy breakfast and lunch that I destroyed with frozen goodness just a few minutes ago.

Next subject...

I know in the last few weeks that this blog has become almost entirely about my weight-loss and eating habits, but really it is more than that. I like to talk about my family and what we're up to and my lovely little children that every so often become possessed by greedy, rude, insufferable entities. These are also the moments in our family's life that Husband and I start reevaluating our parenting because we just *have* to be doing something wrong for them to be acting so terribly.

Then we realize, nope, not us... they are just rotten little ingrates. OK, to be fair, we have not figured out the right way to teach them how much they actually have and how lucky they are. All of the kids they know have the same lifestyle, if not *better* with more stuff. I am constantly repeating to them that they need to be grateful and appreciate what they have and are given. They continually look at me with those glazed over expressions waiting for me to release them from kiddie hell. They simply do not get it.

A few weeks back, I was ranting on Facebook (yes, I know I spend way too much time there. Thank-You-Very-Much.) with some other moms about the ungratefuls that we are raising. It made me feel so much better knowing that I am not the only one trying to get it right and still somehow falling short. Since it was clear that a lot of parents are struggling with the same spoiled attitudes, I decided to start poking around the Internet to see if I could find any helpful advice. I stumbled across these:

They are personalized Gratitude Journals for kids. Click on the above photo and it will take you to the website where I created/ordered these. Just a warning, you will have to register to see their products. Inside these journals, are prompts for the kids to fill out the things they are grateful for on a daily basis from Monday through Friday. I'm hoping we can do them with homework or maybe even as part of a bedtime routine. I've been meaning to incorporate bedtime prayers for awhile so maybe this can be part of that, too. Fill out the journals and then say our prayers thanking God for the things that they listed for that day's entry.

I don't know if these will help at all, but it's something. And I need to feel like I'm doing everything I can to teach my children to be grateful beyond issuing the empty "thank you's" that they have been prompted to regurgitate on command. Maybe I'm expecting to much, but I want my kids to truly appreciate all of the blessings in their lives. I know in time that these lessons will take root. For now, I need to keep on them and have faith that the "aha!" moment, when they finally get it, isn't too far away.

January 18, 2011

Day 18: Still on Board

I forgot to take a photo of my lunch today as I was wiped out from helping with 3yr-old-boy's preschool class this morning. I ate lunch meat, an ounce of cheese, what was left of the wonderful organic chocolate, and then passed out on the couch for two hours while Husband took the youngest to daycare at the gym while he worked out. I still have yet to make it there this year. *hangs head in shame*

On a related note, Husband told me that he has dropped 7% of his body fat percentage over the last few months. I am super proud of him and just wanted to acknowledge his accomplishment. Right now, I'm the dieter and he's the workout guy. I think, sooner or later, we're going to have to meet in the middle of the two. He cooked an all natural dinner tonight without even realizing it. The kids were less than enthused, but they managed to pick through it and fill their bellies. Baby steps. Itty, bitty baby steps.

I have a bunch of photos in my ipod from days like today where I took one or two meal photos (mostly breakfasts), but spaced the other meals of the day. That's been happening a lot lately which is why I have been so inconsistent with posting totals and pics. So here are the random meal photos from the past few days:


Breakfasts:
all-natural vanilla yogurt w/ grape nuts cereal, an orange
drizzled w/ honey & almonds all-natural vanilla yogurt w/ grape nuts cereal, an orange,
colby-jack cheese, tea w/ honey
oatmeal w/ walnuts & honey, an orange

Lunches:
turkey lunch meat, pepper jack cheese, pumpernickel bread,
shredded lettuce
(this sandwich was so good, I had it for lunch 2 days in a row)

Dinners:
red potatoes, 96% lean ground beef, black bean & white corn salsa

Daily Totals: 1215 calories, 45% carbs (137g), 29% fat (40g), 26% protein (77g). I have a couple of other 'recipes' that I am going to try this week. I found them in a magazine while waiting in the dentist office yesterday. Today's breakfast with the honey & almond orange was from that article. I think it was in an issue of People. Anyway, the orange was delicious this morning and I'm looking forward to trying the grilled banana drizzled with maple syrup. Maybe for tomorrow if I'm in the mood to drag the Foreman grill out. We'll see...

January 17, 2011

I lied.

It's Monday and I am not going to post food photos because I forgot to take them. I am also not going to post my daily totals because I am too tired. So I will just tell you that I did well today and stayed within all of my ranges.

I did find out that I get really, really friggin' crabby when I don't eat enough calories... could have been the lack of protein, too. I ate 10oz of 96% lean ground beef with dinner just to get those levels where they needed to be. Let me just tell you, I was a completely different person after a feeding.

Well, it has been a very long day and Husband just started the Netflix movie without me. Guess he's tired, too, and wants to get a move on so we can get to bed at a decent time. I'll try to snap some food shots tomorrow. G'night all!

January 15, 2011

New Discoveries

I will try to get back to the photo posting of my meals on Monday. I am still doing well with my totals. I always feel when I don't report my daily numbers for a few days that I must give reassurance that I haven't been hiding in my closet with the Girl Scout cookies (again). Today marked two weeks since I got serious about kicking my food addiction. I celebrated with a weigh-in (Oh, joy.) and of course it didn't come anywhere near last weeks 12 pounds, but I did lose another three pounds bringing my total loss to 15 pounds. In just two weeks!

I have discovered some new foods this week that are quickly becoming my new *healthier* friends. They join ranks with the blueberry-pomegranate ice cream that I told you about last week (I still haven't tried the Tin Roof Sundae). Meet my new favorite indulgence: Green & Black's organic chocolate bars. So yummy. Remember, my number one goal is to cut out processed food and remove additives from my diet. That means organic chocolate is allowed. Isn't getting healthy wonderful?

I have also switched to Hormel's Natural Choice lunch meats. I always buy (and consume) the pre-sliced lunch meats from the Walmart deli. Well, the last time I was grocery shopping, I asked the deli clerk to read me the ingredients in the meats I normally buy. It was pretty interesting listening to her attempt to pronounce some of the preservatives that every single one of my "usuals" contained. I'm sure she was thinking something along the lines of, "I am not paid enough for this crap."

Remember that tiny shot of Starbuck's goodness that I allowed myself a few days ago? I was complaining on Facebook about the miniature stature of said beverage and my good friend, Elisa, gave me a suggestion that I can't wait to try (probably after the organic chocolate is all gone). Instead of a short, nonfat Caramel Macchiato (100 calories, 17g carbs, 1g fat, 6g protein), she suggests I try a grande... that's two sizes larger folks... Skinny Caramel Latte (130 calories, 19g carbs, 0g fat, 12g protein). If I wanted to, I could even order a tall which is one size up from the short. A tall Skinny Latte has ten less calories than the short Macchiato. ***Side Note: Elisa is back on the Weight Watchers wagon so I wanted to congratulate her and encourage her to stick with it (and to send me anymore not-really-cheating suggestions that I can share).***

I was so stunned by the size of my $3.48 Starbucks purchase that I took a picture of it! My thumb is more than half the height of that cup. I honestly felt like I was doing an espresso shot or something. I am looking forward to the feel of that tall... OK, grande... in my hand the next time I treat myself to something other than ice cream or chocolate.

January 14, 2011

Added Insentive

It has been a rough few months. I've been tired, moody, and just can't seem to get my sh*t together. Today I did something that has brightened my mood, will give me something to look forward to, and help keep me motivated with the healthy life style change... I booked a cruise!

Husband and I will be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary next year. We had talked about and planned a trip to Scotland and England. We were the only ones that seemed to think this was a good idea. Everyone else (except my bestie) kind of looked at us like we were nuts and we ended up explaining our decision to death. It kind of ruined the excitement.

Well, in this wonderful world of Tivo and DVRs, I don't get the chance to watch many commercials anymore. In a moment of delayed fast forwarding, I caught a Disney Cruise commercial and that was it. I was sold. For the same price that it would have cost Husband and I to go to Europe, we can take the whole family to the Bahamas on a five night Disney Cruise. This is something we have always wanted to do but, honestly, probably never would have done because we couldn't justify it. What better reason to go than to celebrate our tenth anniversary with the beautiful babies that are union has created?

The best part is that the ship and the beaches have activities for the kids where you just drop them off then go on your merry way to enjoy the adult beach, restaurants, pool, spa, ect. So we will have time alone as a couple while the kids enjoy all things Disney. Plus, they give you a pager so if your kid needs you, they can let you know. I won't be all neurotic about leaving them knowing I'm just a *beep* away.

I am so looking forward to sleeping with the veranda doors open, snuggled with Husband, listening to the sounds of the ocean as we cruise along. *HEAVEN* We splurged and got the kids their own connecting room so we won't all be crowding into 300 sq. feet with only one bathroom. I don't think I will ever regret that decision. I love them, but I like my breathing room as well! I'm also hoping we can sneak away for a couple's massage while the kids are enjoying their activities.

Now, we are just crossing our fingers that Husband can get the two days he needs off from work. I think he is pretty confident that he can considering he let me book and make the down payments today. I so needed this. I can already feel the warm ocean breezes clearing out the cobwebs of my psyche. This is going to be the best family vacation/anniversary trip ever!!!

January 12, 2011

Day 12

Really bad day emotionally. Husband and I spent the morning discussing our options with a hard decision that we may be facing. Just when I had decided that I was worn out and my head was going to explode, my (estranged) father called to tell me that a family friend that I have known all of my life passed away this morning. He was 55 years old and a remarkable human being. The man lived more than 30 years beyond his life expectancy (he was born with a genetic disease called cystic fibrosis) and it is pretty unbelievable to me that he is really gone. He was such an inspiration and now the world (and my heart) seems a little emptier in the wake of his passing.

Surprisingly, I resisted the urge to self-medicate with food today. I am an emotional eater though and through. I did *treat* myself to Starbucks, though, which threw my calorie count above where it has been since the first of the year. I was as disciplined as possible ordering the short (do you know how tiny that is compared to a venti?), nonfat, no whip version of my favorite. I feel good about not letting my emotions get the better of me and I'm trying to not beat myself up for going over my calorie goal today.

Breakfast: egg scrambled w/ 96% lean ground beef, black bean & white corn salsa, an orange, oatmeal w/ honey

Lunch: green beans, ground turkey, dried cranberries

Dinner: yellow corn taco shells, ground turkey, taco cheese, black bean & white corn salsa, shredded lettuce, black beans

Daily Totals: 1325 calories (100 calorie caramel macchiato included), 45% carbs (148g), 30% fat (45g), 25% protein (83g). That's it for me tonight. I am spent and my bed is calling my name. Hoping for a better tomorrow...

January 11, 2011

Day 11

Since I posted earlier today, this post is going to be short and to the point. I did want to add that I have been drinking only water since the first of the year except for the times that I listed brewing tea with my breakfast. My big blue water cup made it into today's lunch picture so I thought I would mention it. Alright then, on with the totals...

Breakfast: oatmeal, an orange, all-natural vanilla yogurt, bacon (pork)

Lunch: an egg, black bean & white corn salsa, 96% lean ground beef, black beans

Dinner: boneless/skinless chicken breast, black bean & white corn salsa, black beans, red potatoes

Daily Totals: 1250 calories, 40% carbs (123g), 34% fat (47g), 27% protein (82g). And there was no wiggle room for ice cream today... so sad. Tomorrow is taco night which I am super excited about. I love taco night and I'm anxious to try out the healthier version I've got planned. I'll let you know how things turn out in tomorrow's post.

Weight Watchers


I am a huge proponent of the Weight Watchers program. It has always worked for me even though I suck at it. The reason I say I suck at it is because, despite losing weight successfully while counting points, I tend to eat only packaged foods, stop cooking entirely, and often resort to eating nothing but ice cream, soup, and granola bars. I don't know how to count points for natural foods and recipes made up of multiple foods. Bottom-line, I never made the life-style change.

If it weren't for Weight Watchers, I probably would never have started this all natural diet (I'd also need to be cut out of my barcalounger by now). I know I *can* lose weight, I'm just not happy with the way I've done it in the past and ultimately how I felt eating little more than canned and processed foods. Plus, add the guilt of not cooking for my family because I didn't have the energy to crack open a can for myself and prepare something for them. This time around, I cook two meals most nights or, at the very least, one and a half.

Weight Watchers is so ingrained in my being from years of using it (successfully) and then quitting for whatever reason that I still keep track of my points even though I'm not actually working the program. Every night after I use the Tap & Track app on my ipod all day, I plug my totals into my old WW point calculator. So far, I have been *exactly* on target with my daily totals equaling the points that I should be consuming with Weight Watchers. Just another indicator that I really might be doing something right this time.

January 10, 2011

Day 10

WooHoo! I've made it ten days! I want to give my friend Elisa a big "Thank You" for giving my efforts a shout-out on her Facebook page. It keeps me going knowing I've got my own personal cheerleader out there! That being said, I don't know if I will see an increase in traffic over here (and I'm really wishing I had taken a picture of the awesome all-natural pizza I made this weekend to share with any new visitors), but I just wanted to say, "Hi. I'm Cathy... and I'm a sugar/pasta/grease-aholic who has made a resolution to eat naturally and actually *do* something about my addiction this new year. Now on to today's totals...

Breakfast: all-natural vanilla yogurt, an orange, colby-jack cheese, hard-boiled egg

Lunch: 96% lean ground beef, black bean & white corn salsa, black beans

Dinner: green beans sauteed in butter, 96% lean ground beef, grape nuts cereal

Daily Totals: 1180 calories, 40% carbs (119g), 32% fat (43g), 28% protein (82g). You'll have to trust me that both my lunch and dinner tasted WAY better than they looked... The grape nuts added a nutty, crunchy texture that really livened the whole dish. My totals for the day also reflect the blueberry-pomegranate ice cream I had for dessert tonight. I also have an all-natural Tin Roof sundae (my absolute favorite flavor ice cream ever!) that I need to at least try before Husband eats it all. Gotta love when the man gives me a valid excuse to eat ice cream!