Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cravings are attacking me

I'm having a lot of trouble with cravings, some of which are related to what I see others eating. The rest all seem to come up from nowhere and wreak havoc with my plans. I must admit to being hungry all of the time, as well. Last night, I was awakened by Jack, our new dog, at about 4 a.m. Once I got him settled down, I noticed that my stomach was actively growling. Now, I didn't skimp on food last night. I had edamame, a chicken breast and several steamed vegetable pot stickers (140 cal. for 6) and then, a little later, had a small bowl of chocolate frozen yogurt. I felt satisfied and was pretty happy with my meal -- totally on the fly. So why was I so hungry?

Today, I did great as well. Grapefruit without any sugar (who needs sugar on grapefruit anyway?) and then soup for lunch. I feel satisfied right now, but I know that about 3 p.m., I'll be starving. I'm trying to keep it down to a dull growl by snacking at 2 p.m. on some veggies and a protein, but by dinner time I'll definitely be hungry -- actually, probably by 5 p.m.

My friend Tracie Hittmann, a nutritionist and owner of Tracie Hittmann Nutrition, says she's been adapting an eating plan from a California scientist (at least I think it's California) and she has lost 12 pounds off her already perfect frame and never has cravings and feels great. I'm going to continue the way I have been for this weekend, then I'll weigh in on Monday and start her plan then. She says it's 180-degrees different than anything she's told me in the past. But it's especially suited for people with thyroid problems. As readers may know, I have Hashimoto's Disease, which basically means my immune system is attacking and killing my thyroid. I already have a goiter, which is an unpleasant way of saying my thyroid is enlarged.

So I'm game to try it. So far, its been a really rough time, especially living in the country and the weather too cold to get outside for much exercise other than shivering and dashing from car to house door.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Children and food, Take 1

Boy, this cooking-what-I-want-to-eat thing while children are here is hard! Even as I page through cookbooks looking for what I feel hungry for, I'm constantly editing based on what I think the kids will eat. Last night, it came down to what we had in the cupboard. I decided on the low-fat creamy herb pasta pre-mix that has been sitting around for a while. I defrosted some chicken breasts and added some frozen green and red peppers and onions to the mix as well as frozen broccoli stir fry. In winter, I rely on high quality frozen veggies from Brennans more than fresh because the fresh just don't taste all that great out of season. It was terrific with lots of veggies and, surprise, the kids loved it! But what they really loved was Colin's birthday cake. I used a vanilla cake mix in a bundt pan, then I poured a fat free instant chocolate pudding around the ring in the center. It baked (took a little longer than usual), but most of the pudding went to the bottom and made it come out unevenly. But it was a really moist bit of cake. I did have a small piece.

On Sunday night, I made a terrific lo-fat soup. I cut up a bulb of fennel (one of the fresh veggies I will use in winter) and cooked it in four cups of chicken broth. I added some garlic and onion and a little curry powder, salt and pepper. When it was soft, I blended it it. It was delicious! And totally fat free. I made Tim some turkey soup with orzo and had a bit of that as well. It was also delicious and low fat.

Today I have several meetings at coffee shops. I'm just going to have tea at both meetings and eat dinner when I get home--probably frozen Lean Cuisine, which I like. For lunch I'm going to load up on a salad with lots of veggies.

I still need to do better on getting my exercise in. The problem is that when it's really cold, I have a hard time lately getting out as my back and legs ache. But I have to do it. I also have to start taking vitamins.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I lost 2 pounds this week and I'm thrilled! It's not much, but it's a real move in the right direction!

Last night Tim and I went out for fish and I discovered that one of my challenges will be not to feel like I must 'treat' myself with food when I feel a little down. I had some bluegill and a baked potato and salad. I didn't eat all of anything.

For lunch yesterday, I had a sub sandwich on the go and some pretzels (not enough veggies!). For breakfast I had fruit and cottage cheese.

Tonight, we are having friends over for cards, and I am making fajitas with shrimp and chicken so people can make their own -- I'll set up a little buffet. I'm going to have a big salad for lunch with only veggies to make up for the fish fry last night -- even though I only had a little, it was still fried. They didn't have anything that wasn't! Still, I could have just had a potato and salad, but I'm not quite there yet.

Great day anyhow! I'm more motivated than ever.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dining out hurrah

Went out to dinner tonight with friends. Overall, it was an OK day, but my big problems seem to crop up when I leave the house. One of the best bits of living in the country is that it's a long drive to fast food. But the minute I leave the house, my mind goes into overdrive thinking about the naughty junk I can nosh. I did have a diet soda at Home Depot and some crackers, but not too bad. I bought a grapefruit at Copps that I'm very excited to eat for breakfast tomorrow. I had fruit and a salad for lunch (and a salad for dinner last night).

Tonight Tim and I went to dinner with friends at the delightful and delicious Bistro 101 in Mount Horeb. I had pheasant, which was supposed to come with veggies. No such luck. I peeled off the skin and the pheasant was delicious. It did come with potatoes, but not many. I'm happy to report that I wasn't stuffed at the end. I also had two glasses of red wine. The best part, though, is that I didn't have dessert until I got home, when I had a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich (peanut butter and chocolate, yum!).

Tomorrow I must exercise. I rode my horse and took a long walk with him yesterday, which has left my leg muscles sore. Tomorrow I vow to do some snow shoeing with Tim -- a lovely evening hike or something.

Below is Bob Green's chart that helps you guage how hard you are working from his Web site, As you can see, you should be working out at Level 7, otherwise you're just playing around. I try to get up to 10 for a few seconds several times in the workout (OK, that's a laugh, but that's my fantasy).

0 This is the way you feel at rest. There is no fatigue and your breathing is not elevated.

1 This is how you feel while reading or sitting at your desk. There's no fatigue and your breathing is normal.

2 This is what you feel like as you get dressed. There is little or no feeling of fatigue, and your breathing is still normal.

3 This is how you feel while walking across the room to turn on the TV. Your breathing is slow and natural. You might feel this way in the beginning of a workout.

4 This is the way you feel slowly walking outside. There is a slight feeling of fatigue and your breathing is slightly elevated, but comfortable. You should experience this feeling at the start of your warm-up.

5 This is how you feel while walking somewhere at a normal pace. You're aware of your breathing, which is now deeper, and there is a slight feeling of fatigue. You should experience this feeling at the end of a warm-up.

6 This is similar to how you feel when rushing to an appointment. Your breathing is deep and you're aware of it. This is how you should feel as you transition from warm-up to your regular exercise session.

7 This is the zone—try to maintain this level throughout your workout! There is a feeling of fatigue at this level, but you can maintain the intensity for the rest of your session. Your breathing is deep and you're aware of it.

8 Your breathing is very deep, and though you could carry on a conversation, you don't feel like it. You should only try to exercise at this level after you're feeling comfortable enough at level 7.

9 This is what you feel like when exercising very, very vigorously. Your breathing is very labored and it's tough to carry on a conversation. Take it down a notch.

10 This level is all-out exercise, so difficult that you can't maintain it for very long.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The New Adminisetration

Yes, I'm absolutely happy there's a new president in the White House. But there's also a new administration in charge of managing my life. Basically, I'm commander in chief of my weight loss. And today in this war, a guerrilla war, I'm doing pretty well. Yesterday, I was glued to the television, so food did not tempt me away. For breakfast, I had a low-fat sloppy joe that was leftover from the lunch Tim made the kids. I didn't know they were low-fat until he told me. Then I had two glasses of champagne for lunch as well as some tangerines. Weird, but I was at a friend's house for most of the afternoon and the only other option was pretzels. Finally, I went to a party and I brought some focaccia, sausage and olives for others to enjoy. I basically had one bit of some hummus and pita and one piece of focaccia (they were small -- 2 bites) dipped in some olive oil. There were no veggies and I didn't have time to bring my own. But I did avoid the cheese, the olives, the drinking and the chips that were there. So that was great. I did wake up starving, so I had a piece of fat free cheese at about 2 a.m.

This morning, I'm feeding myself as if I were a guest at a thin person's spa. I had an egg white omelette with broccoli and a pinch of parmesan cheese and green fat free salsa. I'm also having a tangerine as we speak. For lunch, my goal is to have salad. Then I'm going to go for a long snow-shoe outing with Tim. Tonight we are having date night and I expect to be having something healthy like shrimp or salmon and a vegetable.

I did receive my first issue of Cooking Light. It includes a list of 9 Nutritional Essentials for 2009, and since they seem very practical and good sense, I'm sharing them here. 1. Eat a predominantly plant-based diet that includes variety, proteins low in saturated fat and getting in exercise (no duh). 2. Select carbs from whole grains, legumes and vegetables that satisfy such as quinoa, kidney beans and sweet potatoes. 3. Get vitamin bang for your buck by choosing fruits and vegetables high in vitamins (spinach, citrus fruits, cranberries, etc.) 4. Enjoy sweets, but make sure they are nutritionally sound (nuts, unsweetened hot chocolate with fat free milk, blender drinks with yogurt and fruit). 5. Watch the salt - basically no more than 2,300 mg which is equal to one teaspoon. 6. Eat foods that are good for the planet - fruits, grains and veggies cost the earth less to produce. 7. Watch your portions. 8. Choose top quality proteins with best nutrition (black beans, lentils, beef tenderloin, organic chicken breast). 9. Don't worry about percentage of fat in your diet, just make sure it's the right kind (avoid trans fat, keep saturated fat low, unsaturated fats are ok).

There are also some great week night menus from which to choose that replace what might be fast food options -- healthy burger and fries, pizza, cajun, Asian and fried chicken. Fun! Most recipes look easy and fun.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Baby Steps, Baby Steps

Ok. The bummer that was the week I only lost .2 pounds is over and now I'm ready to kick some ass--mostly my own. So at my dinner party last night, I cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts with lemon, herbs and white wine. I made a huge salad with tons of veggies for the vegetable and I also made potatoes for those who needed the carbs. Edamame was the appetizer and it as a huge hit. The sad part is that we had turtle sundaes for dessert (a friend bought), but I did a good job by just using my frozen yogurt instead and only put a dab of sauce and some nuts on top.

Today I had a major McDonalds craving even though all the food there tastes the same—bad. So I didn't have any, although I did have a diet soda. Then I had grabbed a salad at Willy Street Coop since I was on the run unexpectedly later. Not bad!

I also promise not to overindulge in celebration tomorrow!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Frustration! Weigh in No. 2

OK. I have made serious changes in my eating. I no longer feed until I'm full. I'm frequently hungry, in fact. I'm having much healthier breakfasts and lunches and only occasionally flub up. Yet when I weighed in today, I had only lost .2 pounds. Yes, at least it went down, but I really need to make serious weight loss changes in order to lose the weight. I need to recommit to exercise and really making changes. Rats. I had hoped I could fake it for the first few weeks, but I guess not.

OK. So here's my commitment for today. I will have a salad for at least one meal. Two-thirds of my plate will be vegetables for the meal that is not salad. I will not have dessert that isn't healthy. I will closely monitor my amounts.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Recipe of the week

This recipe comes from my friend Sue Statz who got it from (I believe). It's a little high in fat, almost 50 percent fat, so I think I might either take out the peanut butter and use something with less fat if you can, or remove the olive oil. But she said it's delicious. I hardly think one cup will be enough for a hearty eater, so be sure to mix it with a big vegetable salad with a really lo-fat dressing.

African Peanut Stew

1 T olive oil
1 med. red onion finely chopped
1 m. green bell pepper finely chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 celery rib chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
2 T fresh ginger minced
1 T curry powder
1 14 1//2-ounce can of diced tomatoes drained
1 bay leaf
4 c. fat free chicken or vegetable broth
1 sweet potato, cut in 1/2-in. pieces
1 1/2 cups shelled edamame
1/4 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter or almond butter
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 5-ounce bag of baby spinach leaves, torn in bite-size pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
Coarsely ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven. Add onion, bell pepper, carrot and celery, saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, ginger and curry powder and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Do not brown garlic. Add tomatoes and bay leaf; cook uncovered about 3 minutes.
Add broth and sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. REduce heat to low and simmer about 8 minutes. Stir in edamame and peanut butter until combined. Cook until thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro and spinach until spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper.

190 calories per 1 cup serving, 8 g. fat, 5 g. fiber. Serves 8.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just say no

I am interested to see how I do next week when we don't have the kids. The complaining and whining about the food I make that is more healthy is starting to get to me. We did have spaghetti with meatballs last night using lo-fat turkey meatballs, fat free sauce and whole wheat pasta, but there was a bit of crabbing about the vegetables in the sauce. I made them strawberry shakes for dessert with lo-fat ice cream, skim milk, fat free strawberry yogurt and strawberries and a scoop of this vitamin powder supplement. They loooooved it and totally didn't know they had the supplement in the shake. Yay!

I had one too that was fat free chocolate frozen yogurt with vitamin supplement. Kind of a lot of calories at the end of the day, so I'm going to start doing that particular item instead of a meal or with a side of veggies.

It's a wind-chill-advisory day off school, so this post is short. As I've told many, beating children can be a good workout (kidding)! They want cheese and crackers for supper tonight with some sparkling grape juice we got to celebrate New Year's, but forgot to drink. I'll have a Lean Cuisine or a shake instead.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fighting the fight

Lisa: This email came from my dear friend Nancy who is struggling as I am with weight gain and kids. She let me know it was fine to post if I wanted because it is a real story of how one can feel overwhelmed and out of control. I've been there!

Nancy: Today, I went to my obgyn and I weighed more than I ever had. I gained 12 pounds in 2 1/2 months. They had record that 2 years ago, I weighed 25 pounds less. That was even after Kate was born when I thought I was fat. I had a IUD inserted 3 months ago and I have this idea that has contributed to my weight gain. I can't fit into the clothes I was wearing in November when I saw you. Today I went and had it removed. They didn't seem to think it had anything to do with my weight gain. They said my metabolism has probably slowed down (you know starting to reach 40 years old). I feel SO frustrated. After the appointment, I was shopping and Kate wanted a cookie at this bakery and I ate 2/3 of the cookie. I really could have had 10 of them and I would have loved every minute of it. I feel I don't have the strength or will power right now. I am going out tonight with 2 friends to celebrate one's b-day and we are going to this really nice place with excellent desserts. I plan on having some. I feel discouraged tonight. I see this taking me a year or more to accomplish and all I really want to eat is all the stuff I love and crave. This sucks.

Biggest Loser inspiration

OK. First order of business—I've decided not to post info about my wedding. I'm just not that interested in planning for it until my weight is more appropriate.

Second, I'm loving the advice and support I'm getting from friends. Some of it comes from the blog comments, some from emails to me directly and some on Facebook. I truly think about what I'm eating and doing now because I know it's going on the blog.

I changed the menu plan last night largely because we didn't defrost what we were going to defrost. So I made Make Your Own Fajitas, which is a big hit in our house. I get together all of our little bowls and fill them with hot salsa, mild salsa, green salsa, lo-fat cheese, regular fat cheese, guacamole, mushrooms, brown rice, low-fat beans, regular fat beans, low-fat sour cream, chili con queso and chicken and venison with fajita seasoning. Naturally, everything I chose is healthy and low fat while the kids load on the chili con queso and regular cheese as well as the veggies (usually by force) and brown rice they eat on the side. One of my teeth are aching right now and I have to get to the dentist, so I didn't eat too much. Tim is reminding me to eat slower (I'm a breakneck eater) and I really enjoy my time with the whole family together.

I watched the Biggest Loser last night with the girls, Isabelle, 11, and Eden, 7. It was so cute because when I said I wanted to be on the show, Eden said "Hey. You're not fat so you can't!" Nice girl. We braided each other's hair, snuggled under the covers and commented on who was a good sport. We all decided that Tara is the best sport. We also liked that Dan, the biggest guy on the show, was such a trooper to keep upping his treadmill speed. I wept a little when he said he'd never had his body moving that fast before. Bah! (The girls always ask me, "Are you going to cry?" at poignant parts.)

So it has motivated me to push beyond my comfort zone. I've been in my comfort zone—cooking comfort food and not doing much exercise—and look where it's gotten me. So I'm going to do one thing outside my comfort zone a day.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Great Snack Ideas!

My wonderful pal Ann has just pointed out a real potential problem in my menus, and I totally thank her for it. In the afternoons, when it's already a tempting time for me, I have pretzels as snacks, which could wreak havoc with my glycemic index with all those processed carbs. So, I'm taking her suggestion of substituting edamame (yum), carrots with hummus or apples with organic peanut butter. Thanks Ann!

All About Oprah's Webcast

Well, it was a close call, but I wasn't a guest on Oprah's Webcast related to regaining weight. What? You hadn't heard that I was a guest at Oprah's Jan. 5 show (taped in late October)? Well, I was. On a whim one day, I went to Oprah's Web site. I've always wanted tickets. And there was a call for people who had gained weight. Well, that was me. I signed up and then quickly forgot about it. One day, while at the horse barn, Tim ran up to me with the cell phone saying that Oprah's people had called and I was invited to attend the taping for the show! Yay. So Tim, Lisa and sister Holly packed up and headed to Chicago just two days before we moved to the farm.

The show, however, didn't inspire me. I was frustrated to hear mostly about Oprah's story and then, even less desirable, Carny Wilson's. I didn't really relate to them. But when I watched the show on January 5, I heard something that clicked. Oprah said she didn't have balance. Bingo! That's what I was missing. I was happy, and loved much of my life, but I was doing so much for others and trying to make money, that I wasn't taking time to recharge my spirit or to have fun! I couldn't even name three things to do that are fun.

Well, then last week, I got the call that my email response to the follow-up survey sent out after the taping generated the possibility that I would be on the Webcast. And even though that fell through at the last moment, the important result is that I also figured out that I don't always believe I deserve to be thin. I believe I deserve other things, but I can't quite believe that everything good should come to me so I subconsciously sabotage myself. As much as friends may preach to me about what I need to do to lose weight, I do it even more to myself. As Oprah said, she was disappointed in herself and that's just how I felt. Especially after the trio of blows I received over the past two years—those of you who know me well, know what I mean—I've got something to prove.

But I did watch the Webcast last night and you can too if you click here. It was really informative. Bob shared his "6 foods to avoid," which relate to my diet plan, happily: sodas (even diet), white bread, foods with trans fats, fried foods, alcohol (argh!) and high fat milk and yogurt. I'm not totally giving up alcohol, although I'm really limiting it. But everything else is on my list. He also recommends eating three meals and two snacks regularly, which I am doing. He said it avoids food "episodes" (I have something more akin to food "miniseries," but I get the idea).

The other idea I came up with as they were talking is there are two Lisa's. There's the Lisa that lets herself slip, that doesn't do what's right for herself and the "higher self" Lisa. That HS Lisa, as I am going to call her, knows what she should do and does it. That's where I'm going to try to operate because the HS Lisa would never sabotage herself. She doesn't over-commit, she doesn't ignore what is stressing her and she sticks to her daily schedule.

Move over Lazy Lisa and make way for HS Lisa. And thanks Bob G. and Oprah, as cheesy as it sounds!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Menu for First Full Week

Well, I meant to put the Menu for this week up last night, but unfortunately, I was exhausted after attending my first wedding expo as a bride. Luckily, my totally trusted gal pal Tori came with me and ran interference. But, unfortunately, she also revealed her true calling in life, which is as a cake pusher. She made me try more cake bits! I tried to throw part of each bite away. It's hard! We did have some nice low-cal shrimp cocktail and fruit for a snack, but the cake did me in.

Congratulations to my brother for losing 11 pounds in four days by "eating less than Ghandi did."

Thank you to Sue for my Christmas gift of a "Cooking Light" magazine subscription! That will make menus easier to prepare. Here's my repair week menu as follows:

B: Fiber cereal S1: Apple L: 1/2 PB sand, celery, carrots S2: Pretzels and mustard D: turkey, potatoes and broccoli

B: Pineapple and cott. ch. S1: 1/2 bagel w/honey L: Lentil and veggie soup, 1/2 bagel S2: Pretzels D: Grilled chicken and pineapple, green beans, small salad

B: fiber cereal S1: Orange L: Salad w/chicken S2: Pretzels and mustard D: Lo-fat Chicen tortilla casserole

B; Fruit and cottage cheese S1 1/2 bagel L: Lentil and veggie soup 1/2 bagel S2 Pretzels and mustard D: Salmon, spinach and brown rice

B: Egg omelette w/mushrooms S1 Orange L: Salad w/chicken, walnuts and apple S2 Pretzels and mustard D: Pizza for kids/Lean cuisine pizza for me.

B: lo-fat stuffed french toast w/blueberries S1: Orange L: Soup w/ 1/2 veggie sand S2 Popcorn
D Make your own stuffed potatoes

B: omelette S1: Fruit salad L: Soup w/ 1/2 sand S2: nuts D: Venison, mashed "potatoes" (cauliflower puree mixed in) and broccoli.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

First Weigh In

Well, it's only been four days, but I have lost one righteous pound. Not as much as I'd hoped, but I'll take it.

Last night was not a stellar night. My fiance and his kids love pizza. They beg for it. And, even though I don't love pizza, I can't resist the smell. So we ordered from Pizza Hut and I had 3 pieces (301 cal for pepperoni hand-tossed slice, 250 for vegetable hand-tossed slice x 2). Then we went out with some friends and I had three glasses of wine. I kept the wine to a minimum for three hours out with friends, but I probably could have stuck to two. Fortunately I was great at breakfast with fruit and whole wheat English Muffin and lunch when I had a Lean Cuisine hot sandwich. So I only went over about 400 calories. Believe me, I've done much worse on a 'bad" night. So live and learn. I can order salad at Pizza Hut or have a Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers pizza instead.

The other hard part is that I wake up starving every day! This morning I nearly felt ill I was so hungry. I had a huge glass of water and it went away. Now I'm contemplating making oatmeal with fresh blueberries. Yum. A much better choice than I would have made while starving.

Today I'm going to the Madison Wedding Expo with Tori, my maid of honor and one of my best pals. I plan to eat a huge salad in advance so I'm not hungry because the cake pushers will be there with their delectable "bites" which are really about four bites. As you've already learned, I'm not great at resistance right now. Constant vigilance!

I'll post my menu later today.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Day 3 - Back out of the saddle.

Well, yesterday started out really well and ended well. There were some problems in the middle. I had a whole wheat English Muffin with honey for breakfast yesterday (130 cals. for bagel and 43 cals.) as well as a Clementine orange. Clearly not enough, as I would be able to tell the minute trouble hit. After a great meeting in the morning with a very helpful businesswoman, I was planning to ride with a friend at 11:30. Then, while bending over my purse sitting on the table, I literally felt my back shift in one spot. Pain! I couldn't straighten, nor could I sit. Fortunately, Tim helped me and as I walked around, it felt better. Still painful, but better. I couldn't really sit that well, and laying was out of the question. I've been fortunate to always have had a healthy back, so this is the first time I've experienced what others go through. Highly unpleasant and upsetting since your mobility is challenged. I called off the horseback riding and headed into town.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that when all is well, I do well. But the moment there's trouble, I head for the food. Yesterday was no different. I had a small Snickers candy bar while shopping at Home Depot and also had a soda. I had been craving diet cola. The bright side is that afteward I identified the problem and now know that instead of ignoring issues such as stress over a bad back, I have to deal with it before I get in a vulnerable position at a store with candy and soda so avaiable. The funny thing is, I don't even love candy that much. So the Snickers is 271 Cals. I didn't have any other lunch, however. And then had an apple when I got home.

Last night our three children, Isabelle (11), Colin (nearly 9) and Eden (7) returned to us from their mom's. So I tried the bakes potatoe bar and they loved it! I put out green and red salsa, light sour cream, chili con queso, broccoli, cottage cheese and turkey and let them pick and choose their toppings. They ate 1 1/2 potatoes and finished almost all of the toppings (except the salsa). Tim also loved it. I used the turkey, broccoli, green salsa, no fat sour cream and fat free cheddar cheese on mine. Yay! It was about 375 calories (one medium potato is 168 calories, turkey about 110, salsa 36, sour cream 40, broccoli 20). It seems our kids like any food if they can assemble it themselves.

Which brings me to a change we've made recently. I may have mentioned already that 30 pounds of my weight gain came from trying to make the kids like me by only making fun kid foods. But it's not healthy for either of us. So now I'm making foods that Tim and I like and having the kids eat them too. It's more healthy and broadens their horizons. One of of our daughter's friends won't eat hardly anything and isn't shy about telling us that at mealtime. We don't want our kids acting like that at other people's homes, so we're going to start at home. So now we make what we want, but let the kids serve themselves how much they want to eat. They have to eat some of the vegetable (and sometimes I slip veggie purees into foods so they get even more than they kbow). It's working so far, and we have been surprised by some of the foods they've liked. Like swordfish, venison (very lean) and Asian foods.

Tim and I shared a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich later after the kids were in bed, and he liked it so much he had another. That made me a little crabby, but hopefully I'll quit coveting his food. We had a little fight one night after I started my "live-it" (I hate the word diet) when he plopped on the couch munching a huge handful of frosted sugar cookies from Christmas and a big glass of milk. He didn't get how having cookies when I couldn't wasn't the same as me having a slice of dessert when he wasn't because he was full.

Stay tuned, because I think I'm going to have some very interesting news on Tuesday.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Write it down

Everyone who advises me on weight loss tells me that I need to write down everything I eat. So, rather than resist that advice as I usually do, I'm going to follow it since the only time I lost a lot of weight (on Weight Watchers about 5 years ago), that is exactly what I did. No more resistance. I have a huge book on calories and fat grams, but I wanted something easier that I could do on my computer.

What I found was, which I've added to favorite Web sites. Not only will they create menus for you according to your preferences, they allow you to check off what you had and then count your calories. You can create menus of your own or use theirs. It's not perfect, and can take a while to customize, but I printed off menus for the next few days that allow me 1,300 - 1,500 calories per day and the menus will even work for our children, who are returning to us tonight. I had to do some of my own research, but that's ok.

It also printed a shopping list, which I love!

I did really well yesterday, even when Tim and I ate out for lunch. We went to the delicious Edo Garden restaurant in Monona and had sushi and miso soup. Yum! Sushi rolls have about 25 calories per piece, but if you have spicy tuna roll with the spicy mayo, it's a bit more. About 290 calories for six pieces. Still not bad. Miso soup is about 36 calories for a cup. Sashimi doesn't have any rice, but since many of the sushi fish can have a lot of fat (like Salmon), it can add up if you get lulled into thinking "no rice, so no calories." One piece of yellowtail or other tuna is about 30-35 calories per ounce and salmon can be about 164 calories for two pieces. The spicy mayo that is served on Dragon rolls, or anything spicy, is about 100 calories per tablespoon, just like most other fats. I'll avoid that one.

Tonight I'm trying a stuffed potato Make-it-Yourself meal for the kids for dinner. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Day 1 - Facing the Music

Today is the first official day of my road to thin, although I've been on deck since January 2. Here is how this blog will look.
1. On Sundays, I'll post my goals for the week. That includes my menu plan, my exercise goals and at least one lifestyle change.
2. On Saturdays, I'll report how I did on those goals. That means weigh in, temptation success stories and analysis of what went wrong.
2. I'll post wedding plan progress on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those of you not interested in wedding stuff can skip those.
3. On Wednesday, I'll post my favorite recipe of the week and tips I've heard from others. However, anyone can share tips.
4. On Fridays, I'll post my favorite workout of the week.

More about me. I hate running and I hate dieting. But I love food and I love the outdoors, so there is hope. Despite what you may think from reading this blog, I am a paid writer and editor, so I do spend a lot of time on my butt in front of the computer. My hobbies are reading (another butt-friendly activity), horseback riding (where you sit most of the time) and travel (where you sit on your way to a place where you also eat a lot). But I also love canoeing, walking, riding my horse fast, teaching kids to ride horses and swimming. Again, there's hope. And, somewhat oddly, I have also competed in triathlons. The story of how that started is too sad to share (maybe later), but I don't enjoy it at all until it's over.

My plan is to cut out all bad food (fast food, fried food, candy, restaurant desserts and processed foods). Since I love to cook, I'm going to try to make more of the foods one might like at the fast food joints, but in a healthy way. I will have five meals a day—small meals. No more double dipping. And my stepchildren and fiance are going to have to eat the foods that I make which are healthy. For the past year, I've been cooking for this whole new family and, in order to please them, have been ignoring health. Homemade macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, fried chicken, pizza galore and potatoe dumplings are all favorites here. We even had turnover night for a while. The kids do think I'm a great cook now, but the penalty is that I've packed on 30 pounds.

So here's the moment of truth. And this hurts. I weigh about 60 pounds more than I want to. I'm going to have to lose 60 pounds between today and October 17, my wedding date. That's about 9 months if you don't count the month of October when things should be fitted and finalized. That means about 7 pounds a month. I can do it!

My friend Nancy, who lives across the country from me, is my partner. She has much less to lose, but will be a big help.

To everyone who reads this blog, I'd love your support and suggestions. From Web sites to books, please share.

More of my story later.

So that also means exercise.