What Do You Deserve?

A couple of afternoons ago I was making my afternoon snack when I caught myself in a dilemma. In my fruit basket were three apples that were well on their way to being rotten, but, since I  hate wasting food, I was battling with myself about whether to use the apples or not. I thought maybe I could just cut away the bad parts, and I justified that once I got it all mixed up with the Greek yogurt I probably wouldn’t be able to tell that it wasn’t as crunchy as I like my apples to be.

Then I was hit with another thought. “I deserve a fresh apple!”

If I can lie to myself and tell myself that I deserve a donut or a slice of cheesecake (or fill in the blank), why would I not let myself “deserve” a fresh, crunchy apple?

I tossed the three deteriorating apples into the trash can, after dissecting them to discover that there really wasn’t much there to be salvaged, and I cut into a fresh-from-the store, delightful, sweet Fuji apple.

This morning, I thought back to that moment when I told myself I deserved a fresh apple, and I remembered that I had seen a book on Amazon about food addiction (although I can’t find it now) entitled I Deserve This Donut and Other Lies I Tell Myself or something like that.

I got to thinking about what we are really telling ourselves we deserve when we cave in to a sugar addiction. Are we really telling ourselves we deserve a tasty treat or are we somehow telling ourselves that we deserve to die? Are we telling ourselves that we deserve all the junk we can shovel in? Because that’s what it is. Junk. And that’s what it’s doing to us: it’s killing us.

My husband saw an old classmate at Walmart earlier today. He had heard that he had “bad” diabetes (isn’t all diabetes bad?). Really, I guess part of what he had heard was that his friend had diabetes and wasn’t taking care of himself. He said the guy could barely move.

“He must have major issues with his feet and legs because he can hardly get around,” Chuck said.

Do I deserve that? Do you? What are we telling ourselves we deserve when we say “yes” to a few brownies? Something to think about.

Tempted by My Dreams

Last night was a rough one. As I was watching a movie on Lifetime, I got a craving for dark-chocolate covered caramels with sea salt, the kind that Costco has. I think they’re made by Sanders.

The fact is, there was no one to talk me down from the ledge, because I didn’t want to be talked down–so I didn’t tell anyone about my struggle. In my mind, it was a done deal: I was going to have my caramels. I decided on a number. Two. The number used to be three, but the last couple of times I had cravings I had cut myself back to two pieces of candy. Maybe a time will come when one will suffice, but that will be when I’m normal; and that may be a long time coming.

Right now I’m a binge-eater. I can’t be trusted with certain foods. My restrainer is busted. I know starting off that the first bite is going to be dangerous. That first bite is just flirting with disaster. So, the trick then is to keep from taking that first bite, because no matter how strong the urge is for that first piece of candy, the second piece is like a runaway train.

The brain is a funny thing. The first piece is justified with “One won’t hurt you” or “You’ve had a great day: you deserve this.” The second piece is justified with “Well, you’ve already blown it now: you may as well have two or three. Or polish off what’s left in the container.”

But then I did something crazy. I actually reached back in the corner of my mind for something–anything–that could save me. I remembered in Dr. Phil’s 20/20 Diet book that he suggested brushing your teeth to head off a cheat. His reasoning is that no one feels like eating when they have a minty, fresh sensation in their mouth. Basically what it does is deal with both the mental and the physical elements of the situation.

How many times have you heard this in your childhood: “You can’t eat that now: you’ve already brushed your teeth”? Brushing your teeth has kind of a finality to it. It signals the end of a meal or bedtime.

The other thing brushing your teeth does is ruin the enjoyment of whatever you pop into your mouth. Truth be told, caramel and toothpaste is not a good flavor combo.

So I got up from my chair and went into the bathroom and brushed my teeth. Then I brushed my tongue. I wanted that minty fresh feeling all over my mouth. And it worked. Toothpaste – one, caramels – zero.

I made it to bed without a single caramel.

After I fell asleep, though, all heck broke loose. I had two cinnamon rolls and there may have been a container of biscuits and gravy involved or a sugar cookie (at least lustful thoughts of a sugar cookie).

All I remember from my dreams is that my old boss brought in Casey’s containers of biscuits and gravy for the whole gang. I wasn’t too interested in them, but it seems like one of them may have come open and I got some on my hand or something. I may have had a taste or two. In my dreams.

Then there was a big box of cinnamon rolls. Some had clear sugar glaze on them, and some had thick cream cheese icing. There were only two or three of that kind in the box, so I had to immediately grab one before someone else got them all instead.

The cinnamon roll was bigger than my hand. I remember meeting the gaze of one of my coworkers. He raised his eyebrows and his mouth kind of fell open as he caught a glimpse of the giant roll in my hand. I couldn’t tell if he was thinking, “Whoa, Dirinda, I didn’t think you ate stuff like that, anymore” or “Be sure and save some for the rest of us.”

To escape further scrutinization, I went out to pre-trip my bus. There was going to be nothing dainty, delicate or glamorous about the consumption of that cinnamon roll and I didn’t want people gawking at me as I tore into it.

I glanced up to see the car of a coworker drive past my bus, so I climbed behind my steering wheel and shut my door so she wouldn’t notice me stuffing my face with the massive delicacy.

In the next “scene,” Chuck and I were somewhere where there were lots of pastries. Two pastry shops side by side, actually. And, again with the cinnamon rolls. They were absolutely huge. There were thinly glazed ones with lots of butter and there were the ones with the thick white icing. Apparently the one I got from my boss wasn’t enormous enough, so I had another.

Then I noticed that Chuck was finishing off his second one, so I asked if I could have another, also. “That’s not fair. You got two,” I said.

“We have to leave now,” he responded.

“Well, can’t I at least have a sugar cookie, then?” I asked.

Whoever said you don’t dream in color should have been in my dream last night because those sugar cookies were absolutely glorious with their pink and blue frosting.

It was one of those nights where I woke up feeling guilty–as if I had really eaten two of the most gigantic cinnamon rolls I had ever seen in my life. No calories consumed, yet I still woke up feeling ashamed and guilty, just as I used to (and still do sometimes) after I quit smoking. In my mind I wake up to thoughts of “Why would you do that, Dirinda? After thirty-four years of not smoking, why would you want to throw that all away and light up again?”

The treadmill stopped on me yesterday morning after only two and a half minutes. I may have been able to coax it along for a few minutes at a time until I got my twenty minutes in, but I wasn’t patient enough–and I was more than willing to use it as a good excuse not to continue.

Yesterday evening, though, Chelsea came into the living room and asked if I wanted to go for a walk to Willow Creek and back. When we got outside, we opted to just walk the streets of our neighborhood under the shelter of the shade trees.

It wasn’t the most strenuous exercise I had ever gotten, but, by the time I was through panting and sweating, my Fitbit registered twenty-two minutes of rigorous activity.

When Chuck got home from work last night, he mentioned that we were going to have to order a motor for our treadmill and both start using it. It is no fun getting old and becoming stiff due to lack of activity.

Let me just say that first day in Mall of America was excruciating: at least it was when it was time to walk to the car. I had decided that my feet would hurt no more if I took big steps as opposed to small steps and I would arrive faster–until my knee started hurting, too, and then I could hardly move at all. I couldn’t bend my left leg, so there I was hobbling stiff-legged through the rest of the mall.

People were looking at me. No doubt they were thinking, “Look at that poor fat lady. She can barely move.”

Right across the bridge of my foot–is that what you call it?–where my toes connect to my feet was quite painful. I was telling a friend about it on Friday, and she said her feet are the same way. She told her husband that it felt like she was being crucified, like there was a big nail going through her feet.

I told Chuck it feels like the blood vessels that lead to my toes are clamped off.

He said, “But we know that’s not true, because your toes are still pink and healthy-looking.” Even if they are numb and feel like blocks of wood in my shoes, at least they still look pretty good.

I didn’t buy my stars for my progress chart yesterday, but, thanks to the recommendation of a dear reader, I did order the book, Full: Food, Jesus and the Battle for Satisfaction on Amazon yesterday. Amazon lets you begin reading your book right away, so I started right in. So far, I’ve loved what I’ve read and can’t wait for it to arrive.

I will keep you posted! Thanks to everyone else who left a comment or recommended a book that was helpful to you! I plan to check them all out!

I hope everyone had a better day yesterday and is having a better one today! Thanks for stopping by for a visit!


Whatever Works

I hope my quest for knowledge starts to knock out my compulsion for food. Today I will hit Amazon and buy a book or two more on food addiction.

I was let down by It Was Me All Along. The writing was good, but the author had had weight-loss surgery. My goal is to find someone who has conquered food without invasive surgeries. Or yoga.

The book I am currently reading I had to put down last night because the author started talking about guided meditations. She said she had grown up in a religious (I’m taking that to mean “Christian” household) where anything not related to God or Jesus was considered questionable or even evil. I would concur with that. Eastern spirituality has no place in my life. I’m not going to start anything that sends up red flags just to lose a little weight.

There has to be another way. My feet still hurt this morning, from my vacation and all that time cooped up in a car, but I took some ibuprofen and plan to get on the treadmill in just a few minutes.

Just as a bunch of small steps in the right direction add up in a good way, so do a bunch of small steps off the beaten path take you somewhere you really don’t want to be. My joints are stiffer and my knee and feet hurt more. It’s movement that keeps your joints and muscles looser. Use them or lose them.

I have a few tops that I bought after I lost my sixty-five pounds that don’t fit me, anymore, and I’m catching glimpses of someone in the mirror who horrifies me. I told Chelsea the other day that I’m starting to collect a new batch of “before” pictures. When someone takes my picture I catch myself cringing.

But today is a new day. I’m starting off with journaling/blogging. When the ibuprofen kicks in I will get on the treadmill. Then I will have a plan-approved breakfast.

At Dollar Tree yesterday I bought myself a composition book. Today I will buy some colored foil stars. Each day, whenever I do my treadmill, I will give myself a gold star. Whenever I go a day eating clean I will give myself a silver star. Each day I blog/journal/spend time reading about food addiction I will give myself a green star (for growing and learning). Each day I put three hours between each snack or meal I will give myself either a blue star or a red star. Okay, I haven’t worked out all the colors, yet, or even what other thing–oh, YES, I have!!! It just came to me! A blue star will be each day that I drink all my water. That leaves the red star for making it three hours between snacks and meals.

I should weigh myself. That is the logical next step. But I’m afraid. I need someone to hold my hand. I don’t think I can face that number alone. I won’t face that number alone, and, yet, I find myself in a precarious situation because I don’t want anyone else to know what it is, either.

Whatever it takes, whatever works, that’s what I will do. If I have to take my Trim Healthy Mama book down off the shelf and read it again, I will do that. If I have to start back at the beginning of my blog and try to catch some of my old enthusiasm I will do that, too.

After my treadmill and breakfast I will buy my foil stars and get started–back to where I was. Wherever I found success the first time I will find it again. Without weight loss surgery, without yoga or any other Eastern religion transcendental meditation.

I want to accomplish better health and weight loss without any foreign agents. I welcome all prayer, and, of course, the help of my Lord. I wish I could learn what it is in me that is getting in my way.

Today I’m feeling overwhelmed but optimistic. Let’s do this thing.

What to Do When the “It’s-too-hard” Voice Gets Louder Than the “Attagirl!” Voice

I didn’t just trip, I fell into a canyon. There were a few months where sugar had me by the throat and I was crying “Uncle!” I gave up. I gave in. I couldn’t walk into the grocery store or Casey’s without surrendering my will to sugar. I drew the line at donuts, though–but isn’t that crazy? Why did I think that sugar cookies were an acceptable cheat, but donuts were off-limits? Why did I think that carrot cake or peach cobbler or anything else on the dessert bar was okay to indulge in, but, what? Potatoes or rolls?!! No way, no how! Are you crazy?! I’d rather die than eat mashed potatoes or a hot, fluffy roll or macaroni and cheese. Biscuits and gravy? Get that poison out of here! But, what, you got a sugar cookie at Casey’s and didn’t bring me one?!!

Oh, the games our minds play.

I almost got to the point where I loathed myself. How could I keep on giving in like that? The “It’s-too-hard” voice was drowning out the “Attagirl!” voice in my head.

Do you remember the old Cherokee adage about the grandfather telling his grandson about the internal fight between two wolves? One wolf was evil, full of anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, self-pity, arrogance, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf was good, full of love, joy, peace, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The grandson asked which wolf would win, and the grandfather responded, “The one you feed.”

I had been starving the “Attagirl!” inside me. Every time I threw a sugar cookie to the “It’s-too-hard” Dirinda, the more she was filled with greed, sorrow, regret, guilt, and self-pity. Boy, was she greedy. One sugar cookie wasn’t enough, and two were just barely enough.

The sorrow that the greed set into motion was too much to bear, and the regret, guilt and self pity were no fun, either.

The real danger is that the “It’s-too-hard” voice teeters on becoming the “What’s-the-point” and “I-can’t-do-this” voice. That’s where the “It’s-too-hard” lies start coming in. Tomorrow I’ll start back, tomorrow I’ll start back, tomorrow I’ll start back soon turns into a month gone by the wayside.

Start pulling for the “Attagirl!” Root for the “Attagirl!” A lot of people like to cheer for the underdog, but don’t think of your precious “Attagirl!” as an underdog. She is strong. She is brave. She is beautiful. She is an achiever. She is a winner. Give her a chance and let her succeed.

Yesterday I fed my “Attagirl!” more than my “It’s-too-hard” voice. I had a peanut butter cheesecake shake for breakfast, Triple Zero yogurt and an apple for afternoon snack and a strawberry cheesecake shake for dinner. Dirinda: 1 – Sugar cookies: 0.

As a matter of fact, I have been helping my “Attagirl!” win all this week. She is getting stronger because I’ve been feeding her. I have been kind to the “Attagirl!” voice, and it’s getting louder every day.

If you don’t think you have voices in your head, think again. Maybe they’re not audible, but they are at the very least quite present in your subconscious. What tape is running in the background of your brain? Is it a self-defeating, self-hating voice or is it a self-preserving, encouraging voice?

Feed the right voice and the right voice wins.

I went to the grocery store this morning and came out with only two cartons of 1% cottage cheese, a carton of unsweetened almond milk and some light whipped topping. Attagirl! Every small victory is a cheer for Attagirl! She’s your friend. Root for her. Give her a leg up. Help her to succeed.

I Know a Heartache When I See One

Lately I’ve been listening to songs with new ears, and it occurs to me how many of them can be assigned to emotions about food. Seriously, I’ve heard at least a few whose subject could be my ugly, yet powerful nemesis: sugar. I am going to try to bring these songs to my feeble mind when I am bombarded by relentless temptations in weak moments.

Here is my first one. Maybe it will help you, too, if you’re familiar with Jennifer Warner’s crossover hit from the seventies.

“I Know a Heartache When I See One”

Look at who the wind’s blowin’ up the road,
Shining like a northern star,
Actin’ like the answer to all my prayers,
But, baby, I know what you really are.

So don’t you knock on my door:
I won’t be home anymore.
You can find me out walking in the sun.
Oh, you hide it so well
It isn’t easy to tell,
But I know a heartache (heart attack, diabetic foot amputation)
When I see one.

Life and Death Are in the Power of the Tongue

Who remembers the old proverb, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof”?

I always understood this proverb to be all about words and how we use our words either to build up or to destroy, but I have been thinking these past couple of weeks about the tongue’s power over my body as well.

The tongue is a selfish member. My tongue doesn’t care if I have diabetes. My tongue doesn’t care about my heart, my joints, my feet or anything else. My tongue cares about one thing: my tongue. My tongue always looks out for number one.

“Oh, that tastes good! Gimme some more of that!” My tongue doesn’t care how many grams of sugar are in something or how many grams of fat or how many chemicals or unpronounceable ingredients or how processed something is. My tongue wants whatever makes my tongue happy.

My tongue doesn’t care if my stomach is saying, “Enough already. I don’t think I can eat even one more bite.” My tongue thinks, “Well, there’s still at least three bites left in the bowl, and I’m having them all!”

My tongue doesn’t care if my joints are inflamed and ache. My tongue doesn’t care if my feet are numb or even if they end up being amputated. My tongue is indeed selfish and not a friend to me or to any part of my body, and sometimes it is necessary to put my tongue in timeout.

It is time for me to esteem other members of my body more highly than my tongue.

I am not doing myself any favors when I give in to the temper tantrums of my tongue. My tongue should not always get its way.

“Deny yourself and follow Me,” Jesus said. I am ashamed to say that I have spent a great deal of my life following my tongue. What a sad commentary. What a poor testimony.

“Live as though your life depends on it.”

“Eat your food like medicine or someday you will eat your medicine like food.”

Sometimes you need to tell your tongue, “Be quiet, you big baby. Stop thinking of yourself all the time and be kind to the other members of your body.”

The tongue is so small and yet it yields so much power–the power over life and death.

Live as if Your Life Depends on It

Chuck decided to get even more serious about his eating after his A1c was higher than last time. He asked me if I would be willing to make him a smoothie every morning for breakfast: that way he wouldn’t have to stop somewhere to get a sausage biscuit.

“Sure!” I said. “But are you sure that will keep you full until your first break? You only drink a fraction of the smoothie, so I’m not convinced you’re getting enough protein.”

He can only drink one of those old-fashioned Coke glasses that McDonald’s used to give away. That’s not even half of the Nutribullet container. I drink the rest of it, and, believe me, I could drink the whole thing, just slurp it right down.

“I can’t drink that much. I get full,” he insists. “I don’t know how you can drink that much.”

“You’re kidding me, right? Come on, you should know me by now. I can suck in ice cream like I suck in air.”

“It’s not ice cream,” he responds.

“Yes, it is. It has almond milk, sweetener, blueberries, whey protein, vanilla, all the stuff that you might find in ice cream . . . ” I don’t tell him it has cottage cheese in it because that’s TMI for him. My goal is to get him to drink it, not turn his nose up at it, and he has been drinking it–all except for about a fourth of an inch in the bottom.

It annoys me that he leaves a little bit in the bottom, but he says that’s only because he has manners and refuses to slurp.

“Take your straw out, then, and just tilt it back and drink it.” But he won’t do it. I guess we all have our quirks.

Since I began Trim Healthy Mama, 1% cottage cheese has become a staple in my house. When it’s on sale I usually buy three cartons. I mean, I go through it! Every single day I squeeze in a shake or smoothie at some point, sometimes two during the course of a day, and every shake has about a fourth of a cup of cottage cheese in it.

For those who do not like cottage cheese, I guarantee, you will not be able to tell the cottage cheese is in there. Just ask my husband. No, on second thought, do not ask my husband because I don’t want him to know.

If you have ever found little curds of cottage cheese in your shake or smoothie than I submit to you that you need a better blender. Early, early on in my THM journey, my Nutribullet was gifted to me. It had been taking me about fifteen minutes to make my strawberry cheesecake shake, and I mentioned my slower-than-a-turtle Oster blender in the THM Beginners group. A very kind friend insisted that she send me a Nutribullet. I was blown away by her generosity. She also sent me my very first tub of whey protein powder (back when Swanson’s was still on plan) and a container of glucomannan.

It was right around my birthday, and I was already down about twenty-five pounds. Let me say, it was one of the best birthdays ever. What a gift! And I use it all the time!! Every single day almost. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

My Nutribullet really put my Oster to shame. It takes me under a minute to blend up a smoothie now.

I didn’t intend for this post to turn into a Nutribullet commercial, but, if you’re serious about Trim Healthy Mama and love to incorporate whey protein isolate shakes and smoothies into your daily meal plan, it would behoove you to get some kind of high quality blender, whether a Ninja or a Nutribullet or even one of those really expensive ones. For my purposes, the Nutribullet works just perfectly.

Where can you find quality whey protein isolate?  Trim Healthy Mama sells it –>HERE<– or you can use Piping Rock –>HERE<–.  I generally buy the Piping Rock, only because I can buy a 1.2 pound tub for $13.99. Unless you can find it on sale, the Trim Healthy Mama is generally $16.99 for a pound bag. (*Post edit: I just checked my link, and, at this point in time, it appears that the Trim Healthy Mama whey protein is cheaper than the Piping Rock: that is not normally the case.)

Yesterday as I was leaving work I happened to look up at a billboard and saw this phrase: Live as if your life depended on it. So simple, yet so profound.

Every choice you make affects your life in some way, whether it’s a food choice or a moral choice–or if you choose safety or recklessness.

I don’t know if it’s just in Missouri or nationwide, but I noticed the department of transportation put up a sign on I-70 that said road deaths were up 6% from last year. I don’t know that this is the reason, but immediately I wondered if it was because of texting.

My son plays basketball and softball (and tennis, too, sometimes) in other towns. Often, to save on gas, he rides with a friend. He told us that one of his friends texts constantly behind the wheel, yet he rides with this friend just to save on gas.

Chuck and I told him we would give him money for gas if he would stop riding with this friend. I would rather pay out gas money than attend my son’s funeral because he doesn’t put as much value on his life as he does a tank of gas.

What you put in your body as food and drink matters. Poor choices lead to poor consequences. This is true across the board, whether you’re talking about nutrition, driving habits, choice of friends, etc.

If you don’t want to spend your life in jail, don’t choose criminals as friends.

It’s pretty basic stuff.

If you don’t want to die early of a heart attack or diabetes, don’t buy processed foods with a lot of trans fats or sugar.

Today is the day God has given you. Live as if your life depends on it.

The Food Expander

I don’t know if Hungry Girl comes on, anymore, because it has been at least a few months since I’ve seen it. One thing I remember about that show is how on one episode she called mushrooms a “food expander,” meaning you can use them liberally to put more food on your plate without putting more calories in your belly.

I sat down to write this entry with a generous sized pizza on a Santa Fe low-carb wrap. Five carbs. That’s all this pizza “crust” has in it.

I browned it and took the floppiness out by putting it in a 425-degree preheated oven for three minutes on each side. Then I spread a small amount of pizza sauce all over the surface with a spoon, added a genDSCF3307erous handful of browned and thoroughly rinsed and drained hamburger that I keep in a ziplock in the fridge, enough mozzarella to cover everything, some colorful, diced red and green peppers and onion, half a can of food expander (oops, I mean, mushrooms) and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese just to pretty up the end result.

This pizza works just as well with pesto sauce, but I had a tiny bit of pizza sauce in a jar in the fridge and wanted to use it up.

Can you have too much pizza sauce?  Absolutely. Can you have too much cheese?  Yes, if you want to lose weight, you have to watch how much cheese you consume.  Hamburger?  Um, I’m not really sure about this one, but I know you can’t have too much mushrooms (or peppers and onions, too, for that matter), so I pile them on.

“Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium (8%), riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D and more.”

A nice article about the nutritional benefits of mushrooms can be found here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278858.php

It’s a rainy day here, and that hot pizza was just what the doctor ordered for lunch!  That and a whole pot of coffee.  Yes, I drank a whole pot of coffee by myself since this morning. Suzanne Somers would cluck her tongue at me since she considers coffee to be a “funky food,” but it has zero calories (when you drink it black) and I’ve been dragging lately so I really needed that pick-me-up.

So now I’m wired. I feel like I could leap tall buildings in a single bound. I skipped up the steps to the post office this morning and up the front steps to our house a few times today, too.

Chelsea had a doctor’s appointment to get a refill on pain meds. She can’t take Tylenol or any kind of nsaids because they hinder wound healing, so she has to take something else.

Her appointment was for 10:20, but, when she got there, they told her they didn’t have her down until 12:20. Since the office is filled with nurse practioners, her doctor was the only one who could prescribe her medication, so getting in to see someone else would have been pointless.

She initially decided to wait in the lobby and maybe they could get her in sooner, but then she thought better of it.

“It may have been all in my mind,” she said, “but the longer I sat there the sorer my throat became. Then I thought to myself, ‘I can’t do this. There are sick people here! I shouldn’t be around them.'”  Plus, she said it wasn’t doing any good to sit there and glare at the receptionist, who may or may not have been the one who messed up her appointment time. Chelsea added, “I may at some point make that same mistake at the salon, and I wouldn’t like someone sitting and glaring at me while they wait for their appointment!” So she came back home in her power chair. To her advantage, it wasn’t raining at the time and had just started to sprinkle as she got to the house and as I pulled into the driveway in my bus.

“Wow,” I said, as I hopped out of my bus and starting walking toward the house. “They already got you in?”

“No, I decided not to wait,” she said. “I’ll just have to go back at 12:20.”

It meant a couple more trips for me, but I didn’t mind. As I said, I am wired! At least that coffee has kept me from needing a nap on this dreary, dreary day. In fact, I just may make another pot! I haven’t felt this good in what seems like weeks. It could have something to do with the fact that I refilled all my vitamins yesterday and started taking them again last night. Laziness and procrastination are not my friends, and yet they seem to be my constant companions. Why would I keep someone as a companion who is not my friend?

I’m thankful for how I feel today, and I’m thankful that I have half a day of being on-plan under my belt! My afternoon snack will be oatmeal!  Thank You, God, for good health and Trim Healthy Mama!

What Goes Up Must Come Down

What goes up must come down. Amen and hallelujah. Last Sunday, as you know, my son urged me to weigh and I discovered, much to my chagrin, that I had gained twenty pounds since–whenever it was that I got down to my lowest Trim Healthy Mama weight.

That prompted me to eat clean for the whole past week. Even though I was dragging a couple of those days and didn’t hit the treadmill, I got my exercise in the rest of the days. Yesterday I even walked to Walmart and back with Chelsea. I wasn’t nearly as red in the face as I was the last time I walked to Walmart with Chuck. The more I make that trek, the easier it will become.

This morning I stepped on the scale and found that I had lost over five pounds since last Sunday! I told Chuck last night, “I better have lost at least two pounds or I’m not going to be happy. If I step on that scale and find out I have gained, I don’t even know what I will do. I have done so well this week: I had to have lost weight.”

Maybe it was the coffee shake I had for breakfast yesterday morning–or maybe it was the excitement of my new business–but I was buzzing all day long. Not once did I feel sleepy.Paparazzi kit

I’ve sold a lot of Paparazzi jewelry over the past couple of days! Never did I imagine I would become a consultant–for anything!–but here I am, having the time of my life. I have been impressed with the pieces I’ve seen so far, and the jewelry basically sells itself and–did I mention?–it’s only five dollars!



I still have lots to learn, but there are training videos to watch, when I’m not so tired from being in the city all day!

I saw something on Extreme Weight Loss a couple of weeks ago that made sense. In truth, I see quite a bit on there that makes sense, but sometimes I actually retain some of it! Ha! The client was a guy who had a weakness for pizza. The nutritionist taught him to make pizza with pesto, instead of tomato sauce; then she put on some fresh, sliced tomatoes and then slices of low-fat buffalo mozzarella cheese on top of the tomatoes. She said that stuff like sausage and pepperoni and other cured meats have been directly linked to heart disease. She told him he didn’t need to put meat on the pizza at all because there is enough protein in just the cheese. We all knew that, didn’t we?  But the pesto was an interesting idea. The client gave the pizza two-thumbs up: he said it was delicious.

Here’s just one example I found on YouTube that shows how to make pesto sauce.

There are others, too, but this is one example. You can learn to do anything by watching YouTube videos. My sister had a couple of friends who taught themselves how to crochet by watching YouTube videos. Chuck learned how to repair our garbage disposal by watching YouTube videos. He saved us the cost of a new garbage disposal and the cost of having a repairman come out to the house.

Thank you for your kind notes of support on my last post. Sometimes I think we all need a friendly reminder or a swift kick in the rear. This weight loss business isn’t for the weak and wimpy!

I had to share with you, though. Five pounds!!  Yay!  Here’s to kicking off another good week tomorrow!

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Cupcake Catastrophe

I’ve been watching Extreme Weight Loss the last few weeks. I learned something last week that I didn’t know and, actually, have a hard time believing; yet, it must be true or Chris Powell, the professional trainer who hosts the show, wouldn’t have said it. A professional trainer should know, after all, right?

The applicant who got chosen for the show was about ten years younger than I am, but she was about my height: at least she was the same height I used to be.

She was walking on the treadmill and Chris told her that a grade of 1% mimicked walking outside. He went on to say that a 0% grade didn’t do anything for you: that’s basically the belt walking itself. I found that hard to swallow since I’ve been spending most of my time on the treadmill at a 0% incline!

I don’t know what to make of that. Obviously, walking a mile at a 0% incline is better than not walking at all, right?

Think of all those months when I only walked on a 0% grade, though. I know I was not just wasting my time. If nothing else it helped me build up my stamina and got me to where I am now: I’m able to walk faster than I did when I first started out and I’m able to do hills, too.

“It ain’t a dead end if it takes you where you need to go.”

I heard this on a Netflix movie the other night and wrote it down just because I thought it sounded profound. Who knew it would actually apply to a concept I would write about in my blog?

All those months of walking at a 0% grade were not a dead end. It got my legs moving and my heart pumping. Hey, it’s a far cry better than sitting on the couch and eating coconut bonbons, can I get an amen?

After watching that episode I decided that a 1% grade was barely steeper than a 0% and surely I could start doing that for my first five and last five minutes–and then I discovered, to my dismay, that my Nordic Trac doesn’t have a 1% incline! It goes directly from zero to two. Well, crap.

I wasn’t sure I could handle a 2% grade, but I just proved a couple of days ago that I could. It isn’t fun and I don’t enjoy it, but I don’t get off until my twenty minutes are up. I do my other hills, too, just as I normally did when I started out at 0%. I can feel my thighs burning more than normal, but I suspect I’ll get used to it if I keep at it.

We went out to eat at Red Robin tonight to celebrate Cameron’s birthday, which was yesterday. I ordered the Whiskey River BBQ burger and bottomless salad. I did eat three of the chocolate truffles that Chuck ordered for dessert, though, so my dinner wasn’t as on-plan as I had planned for it to be!

Despite the truffles, Chuck is making some real strides in making more healthful choices. For his appetizer he ordered the wedge salad. I still can’t get him to stop ordering french fries, though. And he wonders why his blood sugar was 234 when he checked it later. I have told him and told him and told him, “You cannot eat potatoes! They’re horrible for you!” Do you think he listens to his wife? Ha!

To his credit, we don’t have potatoes at home, anymore, and he doesn’t bellyache about it. It may take him a while to get where I am, but he is trying. He is starting to contemplate which things are good for him to eat and which would probably not be good choices, and the word “carbs” is now in his vocabulary. He is even eating the few broccoli florets I put on his dinner plate sometimes.

For Cameron’s birthday, Chelsea ordered Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes. They don’t exactly sound like the dessert of choice for a Baptist Trim Healthy Mama, but, let me just say, these are in the running for the best cupcakes I have ever tasted.

The first time I had them, she had ordered them for my birthday. Then we had them again for Chuck’s birthday. Are you beginning to see a pattern here?  Guess what Chelsea wants for her birthday. Yep, you guessed it. Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes. Karmin, the owner of the salon where Chelsea works, has a mother-in-law who makes these delectable treats. I just can’t leave them alone.

Chelsea always orders two dozen of them. That means everyone in our family gets six cupcakes each. It took me two days to eat all of mine. In fact, everyone has eaten all theirs except Chuck, Mr. 234 Blood Sugar. He has decided to give Cameron his remaining three cupcakes, since A.) he doesn’t need them (and Chelsea and I don’t, either) and B.) it was Cameron’s birthday.

In the area of cupcakes, apparently Chuck has more willpower than I do. I can turn down bread and potatoes all day long, but Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes? Not so much.

Here’s the best way to handle cupcakes: just say, “No, thank you. I don’t want them. They’re not good for me. I can live without them.” Okay, easier said than done.

The other options are to eat one and quickly give away all the others or eat one per day until they are gone or two per day until they are gone or six all in one day so that you won’t have any left to call your name the next day. Don’t think I didn’t deliberate about that one for more than a minute or two. I mean, once I tasted that sugary goodness I did not want to stop.

I would love it if I could THM-ify these cupcakes and also make them Baptist-approved. I told Ann Marie, my afternoon aide, that I was looking for a vodka-free version of Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes, and she said, “But isn’t that why they’re called ‘Harvey Wallbanger’ cupcakes?” Good point. But still … Boy, I love these cupcakes.

Thankfully, we each only have one birthday per year. The rest of the year we don’t have to think about or look at Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes at all. Now that Cameron’s birthday is over, we’re home-free until July.

Cameron and me out for his birthdayHere’s me and the birthday boy tonight on our way to Red Robin in the city. Cameron said it’s his new favorite restaurant. That’s fine with me: I just get their burgers without a bun, and they are just as good. Tonight that’s even how Chelsea ordered hers, and she said she thought she liked it better without the bun.

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