Archive for January, 2014

A little less eaten; a little more lost

I’ve lost another pound, and I’m afraid it’s the last one. I don’t even want to get on the scale next week! Someone asked me what I’ve been doing and I said “just watching it.” I’m afraid that’s going to stop working and I’m going to have to do something drastic, like cut out all carbs. In the meantime, I continue to eat smaller portions, especially at lunch, and have the occasional bite of chocolate.
As with any long-term goal, the end result will happen because of consistency. Setting a goal doesn’t make it happen; that’s just the first part. One must work continuosly, daily, towards the goal, not giving up, even if setbacks are encountered. And every day, small decisions must be made. Like the decision at my nephew’s birthday party not to take a serving of cake and ice cream… just to take a few bites of my husband’s. And to down it with lots and lots of water. By the way, I learned a great tip awhile ago about parties… to keep yourself away from the snack table, become the unofficial party photographer. It gives your hands something to do besides pick up chips!

Posted on January 26th, 2014 by DaisyMuse  |  No Comments »

Another pound lost, and I didn’t deserve it!

I got on the scale Wednesday with some trepidation.  I had been out of town AGAIN, and on top of that, was visiting my friend Rose, who is arguably one of the best cooks I know.  AND we went out to lunch.  Even with all that, I was pretty “good.”  At the restaurant for lunch, I ordered the spinach salad and the Mexican chicken and rice soup (not the seafood bisque, which actually looked better but was laden with butter.)  And we asked for no bread.  Good move!  At Rose’s house, I ate whatever I wanted, but in small portions.  I was feeling great about myself!

On the ride home, which takes all day, I turned the car off at an exit where I know there is both a Starbucks and a Trader Joe’s.  I love Trader Joe’s, and miss it since moving years ago and not having one close.  I stepped in to walk around and get a change of scenery and purchase some groceries.  Did you know Trader Joe’s has pistachio toffee AND hazelnut sandwich cookies?!  I purchased both as a treat for my family for when I got home.  I had a little sampling of each, which still would have been fine, but then I made the mistake of putting them near me in the car, instead of in the back.  And not stopping for dinner.  Needless to say, too many of each were eaten, just a little at a time.  I wasn’t even full.

Then next morning was my weigh-in day, and to my surprise, I had lost another pound.  Maybe because of all the other days  I stayed true to my plan.  Maybe I’ll see the gain next week.  In any case, I was thankful and vowed to make great choices this week.  Sometimes I do, and sometimes I eat just a little past where I should.  I know what I should do, it just takes constant attention and one good decision after another.

Here are two great substitutions I’ve found, for we all know that when you take something away, if you don’t replace it with something, you’ll eventually go back to it.  (Unless you are stoic, which I’m not… I like to enjoy life!)  First, I was craving chips, which is not normal for me, but nevertheless, my girls had some potato chips on the counter and I wanted some!  I actually had a few, then opened the cupboard and grabbed my sunflower seeds.  Not only do they give the same salty, fatty satisfaction as chips, they have good, healthy fats in them, and it’s not likely you will eat too many sunflower seeds.  The other is a cup of tea between dinner and bedtime.  I add a little raw honey (another healthy option, as long as it is moderate).  I love what the Bible says about honey:  “Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, Lest you be filled with it and vomit.” (Proverbs 25:16)  The mild sweetness makes my tummy happy.  Tea soothes and warms.  It helps me sleep (decaf or herbal teas are best) and helps me to slow down and relax anytime.  I think I’ll go make a cup now.

Oh, and my new washing machine came!  Hoping it lasts as long as its predecessor, may it rest in peace.

Posted on January 18th, 2014 by DaisyMuse  |  No Comments »

Two losses

My washer died today, after fifteen years of loyal service.  It died during a wash cycle, as I was loudly informed while trying to vacuum on the other side of the house and hearing my fourteen year old, the least dramatic child I gave birth to, scream, “Oh no!  Help!”   I turned off the vacuum and ran the distance from the other side of the living room to the laundry room.  “Aak!  Water!”  An inch of water poured from the laundry room into the small hallway and continued into the kitchen.  I grabbed some towels as my husband ran into the room and we began to mop it all up.  Ten or fifteen years ago, I would have been freaking out.  I think I’ve learned over the years that little crises (and yes, this is a little one), are not worth getting upset over.  They happen everyday, and everyone has them.  Feeling sorry for myself because I lost an appliance or my car broke down or a bill accidentally went unpaid and incurred a late fee doesn’t help anything.  It’s not a great time for us to have to purchase a new washing machine.  But even if we couldn’t, I could use my in-laws’ washer (another reason to be thankful they live right up the street), or my neighbor’s washer… I’m friends with two of my neighbors, and we would glady lend to each other.  Worst case scenario, I could go to the laundry mat… that’s what we did back in our first days of marriage.  My hubby and I could go together, and make a date of it.  We could bring some cards, or those books we’ve been wanting to read.  Or plan our dream vacation to Europe while waiting for the clothes… a vacation we’re farther from now, considering the expense of a new appliance, but one we will dream and plan for, because we choose to.

It’s all the way you look at things.  Which is why I am happy about my one pound loss this week.  It seems like I did a lot of work for one pound, but I will be happy I lost one, didn’t gain one.  I didn’t feel miserably hungry.  I gave up wheat almost completely, and my tummy feels better inside.  I enjoyed my week, and it didn’t seem that difficult.

I remember when my last washing machine broke and I purchased this one.  My belly was swollen with child.  That child is now a teenager.  How the time has passed, and my blessings have increased.

Farewell, loyal appliance.  I shall replace you with the exact same model, or the closest I can get fifteen years later.


Posted on January 8th, 2014 by DaisyMuse  |  No Comments »

How it’s going

Right at the beginning of my new resolve, I had to take a trip with two of my daughters and one of their friends, stay in a hotel, and occupy myself during a ballet competition I did not need to be at the whole time.

Did I pig out?

I am happy to say, I spent the time wisely, considering my new plan.  Traveling with budding ballerinas helped.  They didn’t want to eat anything “bad,” so we brought healthy snacks and meals for the hotel.  Here’s what I traveled with:

In the cooler:

string cheese


almond milk

baby carrots

hummus (A little tip… hummus will eventually get all gooey and icky inside due to the ice melting in the cooler and water seeping in.  Only bring hummus if your hotel room will have a fridge.)

In the grocery bag:

almond/rice crackers

almond butter


oatmeal packets

protein bars (the kind with more protein and less sugar)

tea bags

a bit of dark chocolate (I promised to be good… never promised to give up chocolate entirely.  It has antioxidants, after all!)

Lastly, we brought a case of bottled water.  I still had to buy another one!  Ballerinas and dieters get thirsty.

I also brought workout clothes and tennis shoes.

While the ballerinas were rehearsing, and I did not need to be at the theater, my elder daughter and I entertained ourselves.  There was a wonderful riverwalk, so we walked!  Nevermind the temp was in the 40’s that day… five minutes into it I was comfortably warm.  We also used the workout room.  That, plus a lot of incidental walking on the trip helped me not only to move and burn calories, but to feel great.  The last day, we walked around at a street fair, soaking up the sun at a whopping 72 degrees.  (Florida in January is so unpredictable!)  I’m a firm believer in getting one’s Vitamin D, so this was an added benefit.

Outside the hotel, and on the road, I made the wisest choices I could at restaurants.  Asian chicken salad at chick-fil-a (order it with grilled chicken and leave out the friend wontons… do add the salted honey almonds, though!).  No soda!  Not even diet… just water or tea with meals.  I had already kicked the soda habit, so that was easier.

I feel like I’m losing weight.  We’ll see on Wednesday, when I’ll have my first weekly weigh-in.  Check back then for celebration or consolation.

Posted on January 7th, 2014 by DaisyMuse  |  No Comments »

New beginnings

“Take another one, I don’t look fat enough!”  I have never before said that to a photographer!  But here I am, beginning a new journey and writing about it as I go along.  So I had my husband take a “before” picture.

Like many people, I’ve made resolutions before… mostly about diet and exercise, since that’s the issue I struggle with the most.  I have been successful in losing weight in the past, but not for years now.  So I thought maybe, as I begin this new year, I could write about it as I go along, like a journal, and have you follow along with me.  Scary?  Yes!!

A little background in pictures:

Me at 23, at my wedding.  So skinny!:

Me in my early 30’s, at my sister’s wedding.  It had begun to be really hard to keep my weight down.

Me now, in my 40’s (this is my official “before” picture):

(I turned completely sideways at first, but we had to retake that picture, too, since I looked 7 months pregnant!)  Without a lot of excuses or whining, in a nutshell… I can’t eat as much as I used to!  It’s a hard, cold fact that I am one of those people who has to eat less, and watch WHAT I eat as well.  (Confession:  I never had a great metabolism, and even had to watch what I ate in my 20’s… it just worked better then.)

Sometimes I read articles about people who’ve lost 100 pounds, and they talk about how they used to sneak whole bags of potato chips and cartons of ice cream.  I’ve never done that!  I overeat at times, but so do some of the skinny people I know (I observe them with envy!).  Cookie dough is my biggest weakness, which is why I don’t make cookies often.  But overall, with age comes a slower metabolism and lifestyle modifications must be made.  I want to look good, but I also want to be healthy and fit.  I should probably note my starting weight, but I just can’t put it into print.  Let’s just say, I’d like to lose 60 pounds total, at least half of that this year.

Here’s a little about my first day:  I woke up this morning determined, and came downstairs to make breakfast.  As I rounded the corner into the kitchen, there they were, staring me in the face… absolutely delicious peppermint-chooclate cookies from last night’s New Year’s celebration (did I mention I love peppermint-chocolate anything?!).  I was tempted to eat just one, with a little glass of milk, along with my healthy breakfast.  That would keep my blood sugar from getting low between breakfast and lunch, I reasoned.   Somehow, knowing I would write about this very scenario kept me from giving in.  I quickly stashed the cookies in the microwave (along with some other treats I will not be eating), and made sure my skinny 14-year old knew where they were.  Then I made homemade oatmeal and added applesauce, 1 T half and half, cinammon, 1 t brown sugar, and a drop of vanilla extract.  I followed up with a banana.  That, plus my morning coffee, was breakfast.

My goal is to look closer to the middle picture than the top one.  I think we set ourselves up for failure when we set our goals too high.  That was my 23-year old self, and yes, I loved being that thin… but that time is passed, and being a healthy, happy wife and mom is my goal now.  Thanks for reading this!  I hope we can encourage each other on a journey to a healthy body, step by step.

Posted on January 1st, 2014 by DaisyMuse  |  No Comments »