Weight loss support with a spiritual element. I will keep you posted on my journey in the hopes that you will join me in becoming the person God wants you to be. Don't worry about being religious. Come as you are.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Lousy Day

I have been retaining water somewhat and then about once a week I will be up every half hour to pee. I lost 7 lb. between yesterday and today. I also felt lousy from lack of sleep.

It's hard to keep track of the weight when this goes on but I do know that we can be losing fat but the water weight is hiding it.

Just what I needed.

I am thankful that I am not so emotional about the scale anymore. In the past this would have really thrown me.

Small victories mean a lot.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

One Day

I just woke up one day and decided I didn't want to feel like this anymore, or ever again - so I changed. I had lots of excuses for not being able to change, but at the end of the day, they were excuses. Being able to change starts with your decision to change.

This was on facebook and came at a time when I had done exactly this. I didn't want to feel like this anymore. How many days have begun with resolve to do what I know to do and ended with a "what the hell" attitude? The world may never know.

How about you? Are you tired of feeling like a failure and being depressed over things you could change if you decided to change? We don't have to feel that way if we change what is causing it.

Let's change. Let's decide to change and then follow through.

I haven't been around for a while so I'll be surprised if this is read much but I hope it helps the ones who haven't blipped me from their list. I would blip me.

We are still working on the a-fib. My endocrinologist said that the blood thinner would be life long for a-fib. I didn't really want to hear that. The Garden/Home Tour went well. We had about 160 people who were very complimentary and appreciative. I've been somewhat of a slug since the pressure is off. I have done some canning and this is the time of year when I have to water, water, water.

Hope all of you are doing well.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Is a binge connected to a ritual? Norma stated something to this effect in her comment earlier and I have been thinking about it.

The ritual that leads up to a binge.

Rituals are often evident in binge eating; such as a specific pattern of purchasing/gathering large quantities of food, which is usually consumed in secrecy during binge episodes. 

Good information here.

and here 

I know it helped when I was still teaching to just sit down, go through the mail, and have something to drink when I got home because I was so anxious about eating and would often binge at that time.

There is also the brownie situation in an earlier post. Why did we bake them in the first place? What makes us think we can stop at one this time? Evidently we NEEDED the binge for some reason.

The ritual that keeps us in the binge.

While in the binge we must make sure to eat all the things we will have to give up once the binge is over. Until we accomplish that the binge needs to continue. This includes sweet food, salty food, and fast food.

The ritual that leads us back to sanity.

We are spent. The binge has accomplished its purpose whether we know what that purpose was or not. We have punished ourselves sufficiently and now are ready to start another ritual - - -

This ritual is more constructive however.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Can You Do This?

Throw out food.

My post about abstinence/temperance got me thinking about the situation where we have eaten a substantial amount of brownies and then feel like we should finish off the pan before anyone finds out we made them in the first place. Why isn't one of the choices to throw out the rest (after drizzling them with dish soap if necessary)? When did food become such an idol that we feel like we must eat it rather than throw it away? I get a tight feeling in my chest at the thought of throwing out food :-)

I have poured a bottle of wine down the sink because I knew if I didn't I would drink it all. I have told the story before about the Christmas candy, cookies, etc., I got at school one year. I stopped on the way home and threw it all in a trash can on Main Street. It never made it home. Sometimes it is easier to do things like this than it is at other times.

I haven't had young children around much for a while. My two nieces (Hailie - 10 and Madison - 3) have been staying all night on Monday nights because Madison goes to Bible Study Fellowship with me on Tuesday mornings. I have caught myself cleaning up their plates if they don't eat everything. Bad idea.

Are we really concerned about tossing out a few bites of food or do we just fool ourselves that those few bites don't count or that it's like wasting money if we buy food and then throw some of it out? Isn't it also wasting food if we eat it only to have it stored as fat?

It's another game - we get to eat something and it shows we are frugal and don't waste any food if we eat it rather than throw it out. It's a public service really. Being thrifty trumps being healthy.

How easy is it for you to throw out food? Do you have any strategies concerning this?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Abstinence or Temperance?

"Abstinence is as easy for you as temperance is difficult for me."  -unknown

I read this in a magazine while waiting for my doctor's appointment where I had the EKG - was diagnosed with A-fib and you know the rest of the story.

Sometimes abstinence is easier because there is no choice to be made. With temperance there is a choice.

There is a pan of brownies in the kitchen. What idiot made those? :-)

If we have made the lifestyle change of "I don't eat sugar" then it is much easier to stay out of them.

If we start with "should I or should I not" we might as well go ahead and dive in. We can also play the mind game of we will just have one (or two) and then of course we have to straighten up the edges (those bites don't count). We then might just have to eat the whole pan in order to hide it from the family that we ate several of them. We had good intentions of temperance at the outset but that was just a game we play to eat some brownies.

We don't have this trouble with the bowl of fruit in the middle of the table (you know - where the brownies used to be). We don't have trouble with the fresh vegetables. How many times have we felt like we had to finish off a bowl of salad before anybody found out?

Having no choice (abstinence) is the way to go don't you think?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Are We Fat Rats or Slim Rats?

So what? This is my answer to articles such as this.

We still have to play the hand we are dealt. I could see myself in the past reading something like this and thinking, "Aha!"  Just what I thought. It's not my fault after all. I guess these studies serve some purpose but I am still on the side of personal responsibility and accountability. We can use this information however we choose - to validate whichever "rat" we are. I remember reading an observation made by some people watching children during recess. The slimmer students moved more during recess while eating about the same amount as the overweight students. Duh.

We are getting to the bottom of my issues with blood pressure and thyroid. I went to the doctor not too long ago and was given hydrochlorothiazide - a diuretic. Well, I swelled up, had leg cramps at night, racing heart, and was very weak - couldn't keep up at my exercise classes and didn't even feel like going. I stopped taking it. I told the doctor and they said to get right in there. He tried to tell me since hydro-- was a diuretic that wasn't the cause of all this - my skin was really tight on my feet and ankles from the swelling. I told him that was the only thing that had changed. So I was given another BP med. The lower number on my BP reading was around 100 most of the time. My heart rate was so high (156 last Saturday) that I had double vision for a time. My heart rate was consistently over 100 all weekend. I was dangerously close to a stroke.

Yesterday I went back to the doctor and he did an EKG and discovered I was in atrial fibrillation. I was kind of relieved to find out what the problem was so we knew what to treat. I am now on yet another BP med. to slow my heart rate and the generic of Coumadin (blood thinner) to protect me from a stroke. Hopefully this will get my heart back in rhythm or we have to have a cardiologist do something. I may have to go back to work after all. I go back Monday for a Pro-Time check (did I get that spelled correctly?) and will go back to the doctor in a month for a follow-up.

I read up on a-fib and found on the list of causes high blood pressure and thyroid issues - that's me.

I haven't been blogging because all this has caused a weight gain - I lost 8 lb. within just a few days between doctor visits - which means I gained that and more. I also haven't had much energy. This weight thing really messes with my head. Even if we know the reason for the gain it is disturbing. At the beginning of the year I was so excited and was going to get to goal weight. I am going to have to get this heart thing resolved before that can happen.

Hope all of you are well.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Taking A Break

I am going to be on hiatus for a time. Be back one of these days! Take care.

Monday, March 17, 2014


I am going to try to get to the Hatha Yoga class that's offered at the Family Fitness Works  gym where I have a membership. It's kind of at a bad time but if I make the effort I'll get there. It's like anything else - if I want to take the class badly enough I will figure something out. I really need to work on my balance.

Where there's a will there's a way.

Eating right and getting in the exercise is a matter of the will not the emotions.

There is also a kettle bell class I want to try.

Sometimes we just have to march ourselves in there don't we?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

7 Things

I couldn't say it any better than this.


There's a faulty pronoun reference here. It's the retired teacher in me. I notice these things.

My doctor prescribed an additional BP Medication at my last visit. I am going to stop taking it due to the side effects. It is hydroclorthiazide (sp?) It's technically a BP medicine but has diuretic effects. My feet and ankles were really swollen two nights in a row. I lost 6 lb. from one morning to the next. I haven't been able to keep up in my exercise classes. I went to the gym intending to go to a body pump class but felt bad and just went back home. I was helping my son in the yard taking small branches back to a pile for chipping and could hardly make it up the small incline back to the house. I have been having leg cramps at night. I already take cardura for BP and it took a long time to find a BP medication that didn't have awful side effects.

I am going to try Body Pump again on Thursday morning. Hopefully I will feel like doing it. I sure won't be taking that little pill.

Remember if we blame somebody else we eliminate our ability to change. 

Hope all of you are well.

Monday, March 10, 2014

What's Working Now

Routine. Schedule. I cannot wait for a stomach growl to eat, then eat what I want, stop when comfortably full, then wait for the next growl. It works. Others have done it. I cannot.

Having my thyroid issue as a backup explanation for what I weigh has been counterproductive. I do think it contributes and it has been pretty discouraging for me lately. I think an overactive thyroid (Grave's Disease) can help with weight loss but I also thinks it makes a person hungrier due to the thyroid running hot.

I was thinking about my anxiety when I start getting hungry and how hard it is to wait. I thought about how I have fasted for 24 hours - I had decided ahead of time that this was what I was going to do and there was no anxiety and the wringing of the hands over eating so there was not the screaming hunger. I decided I was going to start eating at 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. I have decided ahead of time this is my routine, my schedule. I have been doing well and losing weight. There hasn't been the anxiety that there is while I try to wait for a stomach growl. It's weird though. My stomach has growled and I have waited for my schedule time to eat a meal without the anxiety. Anybody got an explanation for that one? I do eat what is good and what I like but these days it's what is also the right thing to eat. I eat until I am full. I do like to feel full when I am done with a meal so I include things that will make that happen. When I was on Weight Watchers I would eat the meal I had planned but then would still be hungry. I have also never been good at leaving food on my plate. I would rather use a smaller plate that looks full and then eat all of it.

I also think one of the problems I create is buying too much food ahead of time. Even though it is good food I feel like it needs to be eaten before it must be thrown out. I wonder how much produce I have thrown out in my lifetime? I'll get too much cooked ahead of time and there it is in the refrigerator ready to go bad if I don't eat. it. I just like to buy food. This is an issue I need to evaluate and deal with.

Can I get an "Amen"?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Got Milk?

This article answered my questions about dairy. It also addresses the Food Pyramid. I have read in other places that dairy products create a phlegm-like substance in the bowels which this doctor doesn't mention. I have also read that humans are the only ones who continue to drink mother's milk after infancy - and then we drink cow's milk (which is for calves).  I recommend you read this and consider your dairy intake.

I am more for moderation. I just gave up cream in my coffee and am getting used to drinking it black. I can do it. My half/half was very low carb but high fat so it needed to go anyway. I don't eat cereal so that eliminates that milk. I don't drink milk with meals. My dairy is from infrequent cheese and my Greek yogurt. I am not going to give up my Greek yogurt. It is my dessert. I get some of my home made Greek yogurt and add some All Fruit topping which is low in carbs and some stevia and it is like ice cream. As soon as this jar of the topping is gone I am going to add fresh fruit and stevia to the Greek yogurt. I put up the recipe for it a while back. I did work with a person who said she drank milk to quench thirst.

I know the Paleo Plan does not include milk. I consider myself low-carb with Paleo leanings. 

Will your dairy intake change as a result of this information?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

My Niece Just Posted This

Seven Deadly Sins saga #1

Reveling in saccharin and salt-infested veins, I feel these chemicals embarking on a slow death march beneath my skin. I feel the greasiness upon my palms, as I take each overindulgent bite, telling myself that I’m not really doing any harm and can change as soon as I am ready to. I feel the enlarged pores upon my face each time I look in the mirror, attributing it to everything but the food I have so willingly gorged myself upon. I feel shamed by the way my clothing has betrayed me, painfully reflecting my choices in the form of unsightly bulges and too-tight waistbands.

But most of all, I feel disgust.

In my mind, I am that 12 year old girl once more, stuffing her face as a consolation for the disarray of emotions that tormented her. Food didn’t hurt my feelings and call me names. Food never taunted me on the playground with chants of “fatty fatty two by four” or picked me last for the team in gym class. Food never turned it’s back on me, shunning me when the popular kids came around, looking for an easy target for their mockery.

That 12 year old girl only grew older, still using food as a crutch for the hurt and dejection she felt. The men who used her for meaningless sex, the family and friends who didn’t understand her struggles, and the passionate longing to be anything but what she truly was.

But I was so much more than that.

I AM so much more than that.

I rose from the ashes of my former self. I, for the first time in my life, had broken the chains that bound me, holding me desperately in the throes of low self-esteem. I had been victorious, taking 64 pounds of angst from my body and throwing it in the face of the demon that had taunted me for so many years.

But yet, here we are once more. He is wrapping his arms around me lovingly, and making me think that I am not worthy of such success. Enveloping me in a depression, eating to sate my troubled emotions, and find myself tired, lacking vigor, and apathetic about all the things that used to mean so much to me. That the thinning hair and hormonal changes are somehow punishments for such hard and dedication, and only he knows the path back to true happiness. That I am weak and can’t fight these struggles on my own. That I have lost myself, a mere shadow of the person that I used to be, but he is only here to help me.

That I will blame anything but him for the pain that I feel.

We are locked in a battle of wills, and I can’t seem to find my way to the light.


Lying in a torrential, unrelenting downpour of filth upon my body no match for the filth that I have heinously put within it.

My niece Amy and I share this battle. She loves to write. I know some of you will identify with this as well.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

If At First You Don't Succeed

I have always thought this was funny:

If at first you don't succeed, to hell with it.

It is a sad  comment on how many give up so easily when there is difficulty mastering something. "I tried that once and it didn't work".

Maybe "it" would have worked had we persevered.

I have said several times that we learn the most when we fail at something. I will relate that to my quilting. I have had to rip out several seams over the years and it always taught me to either be more careful, pay attention to what I was doing, or read/follow the directions. My husband finished concrete. He said once that you learn the most when you have to tear out a slab of concrete.

When we fail at losing weight why is that the first step to doing it again?

The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead.
The elevator doesn't go all the way to the top.
The lights are on but nobody's home.
Few bricks shy of a load.
Few fries short of a happy meal.
Not playing with a full deck.
Only has one oar in the water.

We don't fail until we give up. It's a no brainer. I am one of the worst offenders when it comes to repeating past mistakes when it comes to eating and drinking and spending. However, even if I do say "to hell with it" I always come back for anther run at it.

How about you?

Monday, March 3, 2014

What is a Miracle Anyway?

You cannot expect miracles to happen overnight. Be patient, be loving, and little by little the change you seek will come.

Jesus told many who came to him and were healed that it was their faith that had healed them. That's the faith I want.

As the first line states, all miracles are not some blast and an instantaneous and miraculous change occurs. Maybe we have a little too high of a minimum for what a miracle is. I've read about the miracle that is the human eye. A baby is a miracle. Two people can create another person who can see, hear, and love. I heard an interesting question somewhere - can't remember where. The question was if science can explain all of this why do we die? I just read in our national geographic that native Americans attribute the beginning of life to lightening. The hand of God has often moved through nature.

Sometimes the miracle is something that didn't happen. It's a miracle I am not diabetic. It's through no fault of my own. Remember the risky things we have done during our younger years? What were we thinking? Some of you may have some miracles you would share?

I have related the story before about one of our English teachers at Eastern Hancock who had lost his leg in the Korean War. He was near death and his Church had set up a 24-hour prayer chain. He told me Jesus came to take him over and he asked if he could stay to raise his family. He lived and has a prosthetic leg. 

What's your miracle?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Are You Looking Back?

You know you're on the right track when you become uninterested in looking back.

Conversely, are you looking where you are going? Remember when we were clumsy kids people would tell us to watch where we were going? It was usually after we had fallen over something that was right in front of us.We weren't paying attention to where we were going.

If we don't know where we are going, we could end up somewhere else.
Was it Yogi Berra who said, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it"? I think it was. I always thought it was kind of funny.
If we don't know where we are going, any road will take us there.

We are like those beginning bowlers who need the bumper pads down the lane on each side so the ball doesn't go in the gutter aren't we?

Have you ever seen those pictures of a mountain scene where the mountains seem closer and less challenging to cross than they really were? Going through the mountains was a shorter distance than going around them however.

Here's to Leigh Costa over at Poonapalooza. She is facing a mountain right now and cannot go around it. She must go through it. Depression is an ugly thing that saps our energy and drains the emotions. Sometimes I think the admiration and all the attention can work against us. We look great to others and are an inspiration but don't "feel" it. Food was our drug of choice. Without that way to deal with our demons what do we do then? The cause of the depression must be addressed. If it is a chemical or hormonal imbalance then it must be treated medically. If it's a deep seated emotion that we can't get to, counseling is necessary.

We can be looking BACK but not know what we are looking FOR.

Ever been homesick? We are away from what we know and where we feel "right". I remember one girl my freshman year at Ball State University who was so homesick for her mother that she cried, threw fits, and talked to her mother on the phone because she was so miserable in this new environment. I was not homesick at all. There was one girl on our floor whose mother had grounded her to her room at BSU from wherever her hometown was. It was pretty funny. Then there was my roommate, Bertie, who was raised in a dysfunctional home by two parents with mental issues - one was clinically depressed and the other was bi-polar. They were a strict Baptist family and she came to college and didn't know why she had a period each month. She washed her hands until they bled. So guess who educated her about menstrual cycles - moi'. I thought it was an adventure. I wasn't on the farm anymore. I tend to be rather pragmatic and practical so all these emotional people didn't bother me at all - I just shook my head and did my thing. There was one girl from a wealthy family who had a boyfriend named Gary who treated her terribly and she would be crying on the phone talking to him. Jerk.

Leigh - this is an adventure and each day is another one where you have been blessed. Stop looking back. While those days brought you to where you are now they have no power to pull you back. You have been too busy on the adventure of your life.

You're going to be OK.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

What Gives?

I have felt like giving up before, how about you?
I have given in to my desire for food I didn't need, how about you?
When I give it all I've got, I feel better about myself and am confident about my future.

Giving up and giving in are both very easy to do. Taking the easy way out, however, robs us of the success that we long for. We make this choice each day. Some days, however, we really don't do anything really bad but really don't strain ourselves either. These days aren't total losses but aren't our best effort either. We can be learning and reflecting during those days I think. We can be convicted of our mediocrity and have that "I can do better than this" feeling. Those days come to us all. I know I have them when I am just kind of "blah" because I didn't sleep well or having a problem on my mind or dealing with aches and pains - you know the feeling.

Things are going pretty well. I am just going to have to wait until this thyroid things gets resolved. I am exercising 6 days a week and have done my plank challenge and a couple of balance exercises here at home. I am making good choices when I eat so that's about all I can do.

Are we giving it all we've got these days?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Setpoint Theory

Setpoint is another term thrown around a lot in the weight loss world. I agree with this guy. Our setpoint can be within a range depending on the lifestyle we have chosen.

I have told people at times when they are very small and are having trouble maintaining such a low weight that if they have to fight to stay there perhaps they have chosen a number that is too low for them. We can certainly go too low for health. Look at the models. Those clothes might as well be on a hanger.

How do we determine a healthy weight for us? The height and weight charts? The Army has to waive its weight requirements for my son Nathan due to his muscle. He is out of the weight range for his height. The muscle weighs more than fat argument works here but like this - if we would take a cubic foot of fat and a cubic foot of muscle the muscle would weigh more than the fat. I think Nathan is 17% body fat.

There are people who are at a normal weight and they don't even know it or care about it. They intuitively know when to eat and when to stop eating. They don't pay attention to what they eat. If pizza sounds good, that's what they have. If a salad sounds good, they have that. Many of them never weigh themselves. I am not anticipating being like that.

I think most of us know the weight that is right for us. It is not based on a chart. We have been at that weight, felt good, and looked good.

That's our setpoint.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Is Giving Up An Option?

 Of course it is.

The biggest weakness in all of humanity is giving up — calling it quits, throwing in the towel. Only do things if they are important to you; forget the things that aren’t important to you. If they’re important to you, then pursue them until you succeed. No exceptions, ever.   -unknown

If it's important to us we make room for it; we plan around it so it is accomplished; we are focused.

Giving up says a few things possibly:

We aren't worth the effort.
It isn't important to us after all.
We haven't thought through the positive and/or negative consequences.
Nobody else cares, why should I?
We don't want to do it.
We would rather do something else.
Change takes longer than we thought, and the process is harder. (optimism bias)
"I wasn't sure that this would work in the first place. I tried it out—it didn't do that much good. As I guessed, this was kind of a waste of time!" (We provide the way out at the beginning)
I'm facing some unique challenges right now. It might be better if I just stopped and did this at a time when things weren't so crazy. (Is there such a time?)
We miss our comfort zone.
We want the results without having to do what it takes to cause those results. 

Real change takes real effort and it is hard work. The only part of this I enjoy is the results. The results have to be worth it. Why would anyone want to work for one or two years to achieve a goal that wasn't all that big of a deal after all. Nobody I know.

I have spent my adult life trying to achieve this goal and maintain it. If it wasn't worth it, I wouldn't keep trying. Who would? This is my third time losing my weight because I achieved my goal twice and then threw it away.

This must be a pretty big deal or I would have given up long ago.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

So Much For Flow And People Watching

I didn't like the body flow class. We started with these tai chi moves to warm up. We did balancing things which I am horrible at (shows I should be doing it I imagine), and it was pretty much all stretching and balancing. I will not make a point to go to that class again. I am thinking of working on balance here at home. I felt like a cow on crutches.

There was a distraction in the class. I tried not to stare at him too much but one of the students was a black man who wore black sweats and a black long sleeved shirt and black winter gloves. He had on a toboggan looking cap that was rolled around the bottom that went around his head over a black scarf. He had a chain hanging around his waist and this stainless still shark's tooth looking thing coming out of his lower lip in addition to other piercings. This is how he exercised. To each his own.

The body pump class led by the woman with little personality was really full. These were people who had probably worked all day and so the tone was completely different from the morning body pump class I took. It was more "stiff".

I went to the body pump class with the man I liked this morning. There was one woman there who talked a lot and laughed at her own comments which really weren't funny. She had something to say all the time so she was the center of attention. She wasn't annoying but needed to be noticed I guess.

I've noticed in both body pump classes how people drop their weights to show everybody how hard they just worked and were maxed out.

Do you like to people watch in your classes? Have you noticed anything interesting about exercising behaviors and group dynamics?

I had a root canal done today - $585. I will have a crown on that tooth done on March 5 - $730.

I will have step aerobics tomorrow morning and Saturday morning. It's all good. Take care.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Sore Back

I went to a Body Pump class last night and made my lower back sore. It is always somewhat sore but this morning it is REALLY sore. I either used too much weight or did something incorrectly or both.

I am thinking of wearing one of those belts that fits tightly around the mid-section for support of the lower back. Have any of you done this or have any information about doing this? I know I see those belts hanging around for the men who lift really heavy amounts. My wimpy little weights would look like baby rattles to them. I have heard that it's not wise to use those belts because one can become dependent on them. If it prevents a sore lower back I am going to try it. I think the belts are to prevent hernias for the men.

This Body Pump class was at a different time than the other one so there was a different instructor. She came in and WOW! Talk about cut. I could see every muscle. She almost looked stringy with muscle. She didn't have much personality and chewed bubble gum and blew bubbles the whole time. She didn't give any encouragement. I am not running her down. She was nice but all business. I couldn't hear her very well. The man I had for the first class was all personality, very friendly, and shouted encouragement as the class progressed. He didn't have a mouth full of gum and he was very good at what he did. I watched the girl and she did do something I haven't been doing. At the top of a dead lift she really tucked in her butt. I could see this in the mirror behind her and, as I said, every muscle showed.

I can't go to my step aerobics class this morning because Historic Centerville is producing a book for our BiCentennial this year. They want a group picture of the board members taken at 10 a.m. and guess who is on the board?

I am going to go to a Body Flow class tonight. Flowing my body may be less painful than pumping it. Hope so. Be careful out there today. I am going to go take some pain pills.

Monday, February 17, 2014

How To Make WONDERFUL Greek Yogurt

I have been making my own Greek yogurt. You will think you are eating ice cream.

I doubled the following recipe because with the size pots I used I needed more liquid so the tip of the thermometer would be in the milk.

1/2 gallon milk - I used the organic, whole milk - you can however, just use whole milk.
2 - 3 Tbsp. plain yogurt
2 c. dry milk
8 - 10 qt. stock pot
4 - 5 qt. pot with lid
metal or plastic spoon
thermometer with clip
heating pad

Place larger pot on stove on high. Add milk to smaller pot. There should be enough water in the larger pot to come halfway up side of smaller pot. My smaller pot had handles on it that sat on the sides of the larger pot keeping the smaller pot in the right position. You are making a double boiler. Clip thermometer to inside of smaller pot with the tip covered in the milk. The burner should be on high and the milk should be stirred regularly. Bring the milk to 185 degrees and hold it there for 1/2 hour. Once 185 was reached I turned the heat down to about 7 and then to about 4 or 5 and that worked pretty well. My stove goes from 1 - 10 on the burner heat. Your stove may work differently. The timing begins when the milk reaches 185 degrees.

After 1/2 hour place the smaller pot with the milk in it in a sink of cold water with ice cubes to reduce the heat to 110 degrees. At this point add the yogurt and the dry milk and stir until thoroughly mixed. Set the pot on a heating pad on medium  for 7 hours, cover with the pot lid and a towel to keep it dark. After 7 hours you will have yogurt. There is one more step to make it Greek yogurt.

I line a colander with cheese cloth - make sure it drapes over the sides - I made it a couple layers thick. Pour the yogurt into the colander that has been suspended over a bowl to catch the whey. I bring the cheese cloth up around the yogurt and secure it with a rubber band. I place this in the refrigerator overnight, covered.

In the morning you will have wonderful Greek yogurt. I use my own fruits and flavorings. There are some NSA pie fillings and some sugar free jellies and all fruit ice cream toppings that are low carb. You could flavor with vanilla, honey, pure maple syrup, agave syrup, stevia or whatever suits your taste. I have saved some old yogurt containers with lids and put a heaping tablespoon of fruit in the bottom, then add yogurt. I add stevia when I eat the yogurt. I canned some apples last year and cooked them with some stevia and cinnamon and used that and I made a cranberry salad that was great in it. I am anxious to hear your ideas for the fruit part.

The whey can be used in baking. It can be used in place of buttermilk but will make things wetter.

If you try this let me know how it worked for you. This made almost 20 individual yogurt containers. You could just "make as you go" and keep the yogurt in a large container and try different ways to flavor it.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Right Way To Fail

This is a complex subject. On the one hand everybody fails. On the other hand, it can become part of a cycle and we have our slogans ready for that. See this post from back in the day:

Slogans or Solutions

I read blogs of people who fail the same way over and over and over ad infinitum. I feel sorry for them because I know it is a defeated feeling. I have asked why they keep going back to what hasn't worked for them. I know it is about sticking to whatever method was chosen because there are people around who have lost with several different methods - they worked the plan. They stuck with it. I think the people who keep failing and are truly disturbed by it need to go to OA - they are past gluttony and sloth and into addiction.

My weight is fluctuating as much as 5 lb. from one day to the next. I am so thankful it has not caused the emotional eating that would have happened in the past. I am just going to have to wait until my thyroid situation is resolved. I went to a Body Pump class on Thursday and loved it. I will be doing that again. I am finishing up this post on Friday to be up on Saturday. Today I will be going to my step aerobics class and then I will be doing a session of the Ultimate Challenge. I am really getting better on the push ups. I am now doing 10 push ups that are getting closer and closer to what they should be. I do a 60 second wall sit, 3-30 second planks, 25 sit ups, 65 squats, 15 lunges, 40 crunches and some stretching. I can tell I am building some muscle. I am also sitting up straighter.

How many times did we fail learning to ride a bicycle? roller skates? tieing our shoes? playing any instrument? sports? Why didn't we let those failures defeat us? We really wanted the reward of success in those areas badly enough to stick with it. Failure can be a good thing if we know how to respond to it.

Be careful out there today.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


You can't calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself.  The storm will pass.
- Timber Hawkeye

Exactly how does one calm oneself? Drinking, drugs, and a binge come to mind. These things don't solve anything do they? They just add another storm.

I've often wondered why I immediately think of overeating if I don't get good news at a weigh in. What in my pea brain makes me think that is a productive way to deal with anything? I must have made that connection way back in my childhood when eating was associated with love and/or comfort.

When our storms pass how much clean up is there to do? The storm passed and it would have passed whether we had decided to trash the house or whether we had decided to protect it.

I guess we all need some insurance don't we? How can we protect what we have worked so hard to achieve? Why on earth would someone take the time and put in the money for a nice house (or body) and then trash it or leave it unprotected? We can protect ourselves by keeping our environments safe. We wouldn't leave an electric heater near the drapes would we? Let's not keep trigger foods in the house either. I know it can sometimes be difficult with others in the house - try this - have an inviting bowl of fruit in the middle of the table and see if it's not eaten without passing it by for junk. Make them hunt for the junk as you gradually wean them off of it by buying less and less and less until they don't realize what you've done.

There will be storms but we shouldn't be the cause of them. If we ask our families for help by not having the junk around we might be surprised at their willingness to help. The storm doesn't have to be a Category 5 or a Level 3 emergency of our own doing. I know when we were little my Mom would get a package of donuts and a 6-pack of cokes on payday. When it was gone, it was gone. We couldn't afford anymore. With 4 kids you can imagine how long it lasted. If we are honest concerning the grocery shopping, the candy, cookies, cakes, and pies aren't really for the kids or the husband - it's stuff that we want and like.

Have you ever noticed that when we let one thing slip, it's easier to let other things slide? For example, we decide we are tired or not in the mood to exercise so we don't. In my case thinking of travel time and the time spent in the class I now have about 2 hours of time on my hands. I am not a naturally active, can't sit still type of person. Staying active is a part of my insurance policy (it costs extra). Those two hours go from burning calories and getting fit to having time on my hands in the house where the kitchen is. The hardest part of exercising is getting started at home or showing up at the gym. I notice hunger more when I have time on my hands to think about it. This day probably will not end well if it goes like other days like this go. Now I probably overeat and won't exercise again tomorrow because I will feel sluggish and depressed. 

Clouds and wind don't always mean there's a storm coming - maybe just a challenge. Let's not over react or be a drama queen. We can deal with these things without trashing everything.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Are You Bound?

Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but
are unwilling to improve themselves. They, therefore,
remain bound.
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen.

I got this quote from Rebecca's blog. She and I have become good  friends and have even met for lunch! It's great to meet a blogging friend in person. Any of you ever done that?

When I visualize being bound it usually involves ropes and somebody being unable to move. However, a person can be bound to something that nobody but that person knows about.

Anxiety can take on a life of its own. We can start being anxious about being anxious over something.

Are we anxious about the next weigh in?
Are we anxious about the family reunion where all kinds of food will be available?
Are we anxious about getting through the weekend?
Are we anxious about getting into our clothes?

Why? It's not like there's anything new happening.

Aren't we anxious because we have failed so much in the past over these things? We are anticipating another failure rather than becoming resolute about overcoming it. We cower at the scales. We throw our control out the window when we get to the reunion. The stress over eating and drinking all weekend is just too much. We won't even talk about those clothes we would like to wear again.

We are so bound to eating that even before this meal is done that we wolfed down and didn't enjoy we are thinking about the next one and how long we have to wait and what we will have.

My Mom used to say somebody had the "bound to's" meaning determined and having already decided to do something. We talk about people being bound and determined.  Those who have experienced how wonderful it is to get to goal weight remember we were bound and determined; we had the bound to's. Today did not revolve around the "if's", "when's", and "maybe's".  Today was another bit of time that it was going to take to get where we were bound and determined to go.

If we fall into old behavior patterns (again) are we not bound to them? If a new behavior becomes a priority can we not be bound to that as well?

Are you changing your "bound to's?"

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Catch 22

"Yellow Rose" Jasmine has an interesting take on the Philip Seymour Hoffman death from heroine. Read the comments as well please.

He was found with the needle in his arm so it is reported that the overdose killed him. Heroine killed him. There is no safe level and everything would have been OK had he not taken too much. This was pretty much inevitable. It's a sad loss. We all know how tough it is to kick something like this. We have kept going back to food. He kept going back to heroine.

Now the whole issue of legalizing various drugs and substances is in the forefront again.

Russell Brand  seems pretty loony to me but I think he makes his case pretty well here. I don't agree with him but this is the position of those who support legalization. I don't see anywhere the mention of personal responsibility and accountability. There are consequences for behavior. When we separate consequences from behavior we will have a nation of fools. I know some people are more susceptible to addiction than others but we all have to do the same things to avoid or recover from addiction.

I am a conservative Christian so you know what my stance is going to be. I believe in boundaries for behavior that come from a source other than ourselves. When everybody does as he/she sees fit (Romans) we become slaves to evil. Light and darkness cannot exist together. If we have the light of Jesus Christ the darkness and evil of this world we call Satan must leave. When we go into a dark room and flip the light switch, the darkness leaves.

Philip Seymour Hoffman had his demons. We all have our demons. His demons killed him. I can have the victory over mine.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The New Scales Are Here!

I am just going to start my weight chart over on the right. It should be accurate now.  If there are any wild fluctuations I will just have to deal with it.

I do think my thyroid is burning hot. I will just be sitting in my quilting room and start to sweat. Sometimes I just feel weak and "not right".

I wish my thyroid would just go ahead and burn itself out and I can take a pill to keep the hormone levels normal.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Good Article

Very good article

here on the muscle/fat discussion from a while back. There are good graphics and good explanations.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Life Lessons

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio .

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.
It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don't worry, God never blinks.

16.. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19.. It's never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Google It

I think this was on a list of over used and annoying popular phrases - anyway.

Google "Cotton Ball Diet" - we are in trouble folks. 

The mental and emotional weakness that doing this signals is breathtaking. The desperation that would make someone choose eating cotton balls soaked in juice over life is hard to wrap my brain around.

What is more alarming is that there was a time in my life when I would have done this. I am old enough now to be able to look back and see God's hand protecting me from myself in more than one circumstance.

We need to be in open communication with the youth in our families. Talk to them about these issues. Help them make choices based on reality rather than on false promises.

I just took the Sunday School kids to the nursing home last Sunday. As we walked around from room to room and sang "Jesus Loves Me" we were in a hall where almost every patient had a tracheotomy. There was one room where a woman had had some fingers and one of her legs amputated.

We talked in the hallway about diabetes and smoking.

There are examples all around us of people who are reaping what they sowed. Let's try not to be one of them.

I just said I wasn't going to post anymore today in my last post which was my second one for the day. I have no excuse. Be careful out there today.

Public Enemy No. 1

Are We Our Own Worst Enemy?

We all know the answer to that one don't we?

My sister at jensgyrations.blogspot.com alerted me to this article. She has a medical transcription business. She has a conservative political/humor/life in general type of blog.

This article is more of an add-on to the one I just published. I think you will get something from it.

Unless my sister finds something else for me, I am probably done posting for today :-)

Define "try"

I have seen a lot of encouraging sayings that read very much like this one does.

They always seem to me to provide a way out.

Trying or attempting or giving it a shot - you know what I mean. These efforts can be half-hearted and can be a part of that vicious cycle of eat/lose/overeat/gain/eat/lose - repeat.

We can say we tried it. We can say we gave it a shot. Were we serious at the outset or were we protecting ourselves from the reality of where we were in the vicious cycle?

These are encouraging words and they are meant to get us going but they seem somewhat of a "weasel" expression. We tried it but we don't need to feel like a failure because after all we tried it.

Am I being a wet blanket?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New Scales

This morning while entertaining the thought that my weight might be in the next digit I weighed 188.5 from the 180.5 I posted earlier in the week. No way. After using the bathroom I weighed 190 and 193 a few minutes ago. I have ordered some new scales.

If it's not the scales, it's my Grave's Disease (overactive thyroid) acting up. I have been having some symptoms of thyroid problems but if it's overactive I would think I would be losing. Perhaps it is burning itself out - beats me.

My emotions aren't going berserk on me thankfully. I had my usual small raisin bran muffin for breakfast and has some yogurt and a banana with some cashew butter on each bite for lunch. It's all good.

Monday, February 3, 2014


This made me wonder. What am I an expert on and how does one become an expert on anything?  It can be education, experience, and learning from those who know more about a topic than we do.

I should be an expert on losing weight. I certainly have spent enough time at it. I have educated myself; I certainly have the experience; I have read about how others have done it. So why am I still at it? So why haven't I reached and maintained my goal weight?

What if someone told me to go home after picking up some ice cream, cookies (for the kids of course), and a bag of candy. They also told me to lay around all day, drink sodas rather than water, and just eat whatever sounded good. Would I take that advice? Hopefully not. So why do we take that advice from ourselves? We advise ourselves to drink a bottle of wine which triggers the wanting of salty things, and lots of it. After a while we want something sweet to finish if off. 

If any of you quilt you may have seen feathers quilted on one. They are pretty challenging. I have watched videos, bought books, bought marking tools and stencils, watched others do it, seen it on many quilts and admired how well the feathers were done - but I kept chickening out. All that time and money put into making a quilt top could be compromised with poor quilting. You haven't lived until you've ripped out a bunch of stitching on a quilt that has the backing, the batting, and the top sandwiched together. What "might" happen was intimidating. I didn't want to take the chance.

One of these last quilts I just finished was a twin size and I decided that I was going to try feathers on the border. No way would I try it on the king size that's waiting to be sandwiched and pinned. You know what, it didn't turn out half bad. I'm rather proud of it and will be showing it to my quilt club at our meeting next Thursday.

Some things we just have to jump in and do. We can read all kinds of books on weight loss and health. We can read about exercise and what it does. We have to do it. It's easier said than done however and we know it. We self-sabotage. We latch on to the excuses and use them over and over. We rationalize what we do because we couldn't stand the hunger. It scares us. I have been thinking about this too. Why does hunger scare us?

It doesn't scare me like it used to but I will admit that when my stomach growls I get anxious. I do not understand that. Food is everywhere. If I miss lunch, it will be time to eat again in about 4 hours. What's the big deal? I am getting to the point of a growling stomach more often. This is a good thing.

I also had a thought yesterday while at Church. I had my usual raisin bran muffin before Church at about 6 a.m. or so. When I make them, I use 1/3 cup of batter for each muffin so they are not all that big. My stomach started growling in Church. It didn't bother me. There is no food in Church. Had I been home I would have made a bee line for the kitchen because for crying out loud my stomach growled.

Don't panic my dear readers. I made it home and had lunch. Close call.

Be careful out there today.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Look see -

I weighed 180.5 this morning - a loss of 5 lb. since my unexplained gain that I was just about ready to blame on the scales :-) See to the right.

I didn't lose the muscle I probably gained while sitting here quilting for two weeks due to the awful weather here in Indiana.

I wasn't in starvation mode and needed to eat more because my body was all confused and holding on to food.

I always put some senna tea in my "tonic" as I call it. I have a 64 oz. drinking jug with a straw and when I get that down in one day that's 8 glasses of water. I do drink some herbal teas so I count that as the other two glasses. I haven't gotten to the place of drinking 1/2 my body weight in ounces of water yet. I would rather lose weight so that what I am drinking is enough :-)

Along with the senna tea (great for the bowels) I put in some of my garlic/ACV/honey mixture. I add just a little crystal light (1 tsp.) to cover up the taste. It's pretty bad. I fill up the jug with water. I have gotten this down two days in a row and let's just say things are moving right along.

In the past that unexplained gain would have caused me to want to throw in the towel and have a binge which I have done more than once.

I can use myself as an example proving my point that staying the course will result in success regardless of a few potholes here and there.

Be careful out there today.

Starvation Mode

Starvation Mode has always been used as an explanation for not losing weight or a plateau. This is another one, in addition to the fallacy of gaining muscle, that I have pondered upon. Picture me like this:

----thinking but not at rest - that's me.

The article I have linked to explains it much better than I ever could.

I have heard people not only rush to explain a plateau or a slight gain through muscle gain; starvation mode is used as well. We aren't in Ethiopia folks.

We should be eating more. Music to our ears. I can't remember ever losing weight by eating more food.

Weight loss is not linear. We can eat, exercise, and drink water exactly the same for two straight weeks and have different losses for each of those two weeks. Accept it.

Let's see - it could also be how the stars are aligned. The wind could be out of the north or something.

The main point here is that this is pretty basic stuff but we need to have an excuse, a rationalization, something, anything to hang on to because weight loss can create some pretty desperate emotions - unnecessary ones I think but I also know I have been there.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Is There Always Room For One More?

One more what?

One is such a small number.

Contrast losing l lb. with gaining 1 lb. There is room for that 1 lb. in our clothes but in our emotions not so much.

This phrase used to be used to describe large families who were about to have another addition to the family. There were already 8 kids so what was one more?

"One more" thinking can get us into trouble. When bingeing I used to keep things in even numbers (don't ask me why). If I had had 11 cookies I would eat one more to make it an even 12. I still don't have an explanation for that. I would count how many peanut M & M 's I would eat. I would keep it in even groups of 5 at a time. Am I the only one who has done this? I still don't have much of an explanation for math having anything to do with overeating.

When we are totally committed to something whether it be healthy or unhealthy we want to keep adding on and try to get to that next level one at a time. It can be one more set of an exercise or it can be one more handful of something and then we might as well finish off the bag so it won't be around to tempt us anymore.

One more day of eating healthy and one more day of exercising can be tacked on pretty easily to the day before if we think we can't keep from it.

It's a completely different mind set between not being able to stop after beginning a binge than it is to beginning an exercise program or beginning to eat for health on a daily basis. We are much more vulnerable to doing unhealthy things. I wonder if it's the rebellion aspect of the eating outside of the boundaries we need to have to lose weight - probably. That's why we need lifestyle changes. "I don't eat refined sugar anymore" has a different mindset than "this diet does not allow for sugar".

Just one won't hurt. I only did it once. One time won't kill me. Every once in a while. One for the road. We only live once. One of these days. I'll just have one bite. I'll just have one more bite. My one and only. Remember Lay's potato chips? Nobody can eat just one. This ad reminds us of how easily 1 can become two and then 3 and on and on one at a time.

One can be a pretty big deal.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Well, well--

I weighed 185.5 this morning (3 times). I was not expecting that 1.5 lb. gain. However, it isn't muscle. I will weigh myself in the morning again. I have been pretty sore from doing the ultimate challenge and I think I have read that sore muscles can retain water. The food has been the same but I have to admit I don't keep a food journal.

I guess it wouldn't kill me to keep a food journal. It just makes this more of a chore to me and I have never done it except with Weight Watchers years and years ago with any regularity. I will weigh myself daily for a few days to see what happens.

This isn't the emotional tragedy it used to be. I read on Marc's blog a saying that went something like, "you don't slash your other three tires because you have one flat".

Be careful out there today.

Monday, January 27, 2014

From Norma

You are spot on, Myra.  No one -- man or woman, of any age, on any routine, will build muscle at the same rate they lose fat.  One weird thing I've noticed about muscle mass --for myself, anyway -- is that once you've built some, it is relatively easy to maintain.  I say this because I stopped working out with my trainer just about a year ago and stopped following a heavy lifting schedule because once I started my job, I couldn't get to the gym in the mornings, and I need to exercise in the A.M. as opposed to evenings to do  my best.  So for the past 12 months, I've been lifting, still, but not nearly as often, not nearly as much weight due to only using at-home  equipment, and not following any sort of plan like I used to.  Yet in that time, I have retained virtually the same body composition (I did have my trainer do a caliper body fat measurement and I'm still 16.7 % -- was 16.4% a year ago) and I'm the same weight (144-146 lbs depending on the day, and I weigh at least 4-5x/week) and I don't feel I've lost any measurable strength or stamina. So the old "use it or lose it" motto is somewhat true but for me personally it seems I can maintain my level of fitness even with a different, less strenuous exercise regimen.

Norma is still following my blog and "coaching and encouraging" me. This was her email today after reading my post that said that we lose fat a lot faster than we gain muscle.  I am glad to be able to look forward to an easier time maintaining my muscle mass once I achieve it. It's news we all can use.

Making A Song Out Of It

OK - I am still on the muscle/fat thing.

I look at the people whom I consider blogging friends who have lost significant amounts of weight. Did they lose more fat or gain more muscle to achieve what they have done?

Was this accomplished by eating less and moving more?

This brings me to the moving more part. We do aerobic activities for the calorie burning effect, endurance, and some toning - mostly lower body. While there is some muscle building I would say not a whole lot - those who wish to gain muscle must do some weight lifting or exercises that use their body weight as the resistance such as planks, pull ups, push ups, sit ups, and squats. There are many more but these are the basics for body weight exercises I would say. My good friend Norma, who used to blog and I miss her terribly, has just told me her trainer told her that a woman who is eating clean, not using any steroid type "helps", and doing exercises for building muscle could expect to perhaps gain about 5 lb. a year in muscle. There are variables of course but for the sake of argument let's even say 10 lb. in a year. The work it takes to do that would certainly burn bunches and bunches of calories. While gaining that 10 lb. of muscle in a year a woman could very realistically expect to lose 80 - 100 lb. - maybe more. There are variables here of course as well - but again - I'm arguing. Norma has taught me well. :-)

So - my point is, that unexplained weight gain in one week is not because of increased muscle mass. There are many other explanations. AND  - we might not know the reason, ever. If it takes a whole year to gain my argument of 10 lb. of muscle - in one week - let's see 10 lb. = 160 oz. divided by 52 = a little over 3 oz. - less that 1/2 cup of water.

Losing fat uncovers the muscle. Think of it friends, we all have a 6  pack under there. If we do the exercises and get the fat off of them - voila! We have burned calories building the 6 pack while uncovering those babies at the same time.

We lose fat a lot faster than we gain muscle.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Good Information

Here is a good site with some information I already knew, some information I needed to have reinforced, and some new information which I am always hungry for (should I use that word :-)?

It made me think about how we rush to help people deal with a weight gain or a hold. If a person has been exercising and writes about a weight gain we all want to rush to tell them that muscle weighs more than fat. This site tells us that a pound of muscle and a pound of fat both weigh a pound. I thought "duh" - why didn't I think of that? A pound of muscle is more metabolically active and is more dense but it still weighs a pound. Bummer. I really wanted to blame that weight from eating too much of the right things on all this muscle I have developed in 1 week.

Hence the video about portion control. I know I have a problem with thinking that if I am hungry (or even somewhat hungry maybe really hungry in a couple of hours type of hungry and just am wanting to eat if I am honest kind of hungry) - you know what I mean. I can really overdo the almonds. I could eat 6 or 8 servings of fruit a day, and I do love my Quest protein bars. My home made yogurt is wonderful. I can overeat on the right things real easily because I want to feed my head and not my stomach.

The video about whole grains is good as well.

I hate when all my excuses and rationalizations are destroyed right in my face with facts. How about you?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Niece

I am giving a plug to my niece Emily Crawford-Margison.


I think those of you who appreciate documentaries and movies will like her work.

Drink Your Water!

You OK?

Remember my race horse story the other day? I wish I had found this picture before I posted that. I just went through the list of blogs I was following and deleted several because they have been silent for so long. They were in the race and stopped.

That's what I did at the end of last year. I stopped. People did ask about where I was and I would tell them I had just lost all interest and the inspiration just wasn't there for me. I couldn't think of topics to write about. I wasn't eating as I should. I only lost one follower but have now gained two new ones so it's all good.

Stopping can be dangerous. There were people following me. I let them down as well as myself. I could have been at goal weight. As it is I am covering ground that I have covered before and I have a horse that's checking for signs of life.

Nothing to do but get back in the saddle.

I am really happy with the challenge I am doing. I just completed the third day on line 1 even though my quadriceps were screaming this morning. I think I am progressing doing the push ups. I do the five as best I can and then lie on my back with a 10 lb. weight in each hand and do some bench presses (25 of them). I know, I know - I'm a beast. After three more days on line 1 I will have a rest day and then I will be clear up to line 2. How are your fitness goals coming along?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fitness Challenge

This is the fitness challenge I have settled on. My problem is the push ups. I have never been able to do them. I struggled to get the 5 done on the first line sloppily - and those were "girl" push ups with the knees bent. When we do push ups in my aerobics class I lie on my back and do bench presses with an 8 lb. weight in each hand. The planks have made my lower back feel better. I was pretty impressed with myself on everything but the push ups. There is a rest day every 6 days so I have decided to stay on each line 6 days and then rest a day before going on to the second line. I'm an animal.

The wall sit has really made my thighs sore. Just looking at the first line it would seem like a piece of cake but try it and you will understand how tough some of those are. The plank and the wall sits are stated in seconds to hold the pose, the rest are number of repetitions to do. Let me know how you did.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


If you have lower back pain, as I do, watch this. I have used one for years and it really helps.

The planks I have been doing are helping my lower back as well.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Did I Win?

I lifted this from my sister's blog: jensgyrations.blogspot.com

When I first saw this, I thought about how to tie this message to most of us and our weight loss efforts. The answer to the question might be - "duh".

This horse has all the first place ribbons all over him and has to ask the question, "Did I win?".

Do we have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Yes. We can win because we are alive, we are free, and if we want to pursue a healthy weight, what's stopping us? Do we know what to do and how to do it?Yes. We have known that for years. In order to win that race this horse had to consistently run, get out of the starting gate effectively, and was not able to run a while, then trot, then walk or stop before beginning to run again. This horse did spend a lot of time practicing and I'm sure had a very strictly controlled diet in order to run with all the energy necessary to win. These horses even wear blinders so as not to be distracted by other horses or the audience. This horse didn't even know when to stop until the jockey let it be known; he was running flat out and crossed the finish lane and got all these ribbons.

Now that this horse has run the race and won it, will it be fed junk and allowed to be lethargic? I doubt it. It wouldn't be able to compete in any more races that way.

Something or somebody has to open that gate so the horse can get started. I wonder how many gates I have opened only to take for granted the race that I was undertaking and never got to the finish line. I have even reached my goal weight twice, had the ribbons, and then threw them away - I didn't realize I had won. I forgot or took it for granted and turned around and retraced my steps back to the starting gate and had all that weight to carry through the race once more.

How is your race going? Even the other horses in the race cross the finish line. They also ran the entire time. Their race was perfect in its own way. I don't care so much about the first place ribbon as I care about a consistent race that has me crossing the finish line one last time.

I'll either catch up with you or wait for you waving my arms and welcoming you to the winner's circle with me. Don't make me have to come get you :-)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Am One Of The Big Losers

Results have been posted and I am #4 this week losing 1.6% of my body weight. The winner lost 2.7% and #12 lost .5%. Only the top 12 were posted so it seems to me if there were 71 in the contest at the beginning and #12 only lost .5% then it won't be long until I win a week if I stay the course.

That's the plan.

That's More Like It

I have lost 3 lb. this week and am very happy about that.

I'll have to let you know if I placed in The Biggest Loser contest tomorrow. The leader will be tabulating today. It was interesting no men were allowed this year. They do tend to lose faster - the testosterone thing. The men have a separate group.

I remember my years in Weight Watchers the women were somewhat cruel to the men in the group because they would have big losses and it was like the women ganged up on them. They would smile as they made their snide comments. Even women who dared to have a big loss were "jokingly" made fun of. Our Home Economics teacher said when she went to Weight Watchers she didn't have a whole lot to lose and really didn't look as though she needed to be there and she would talk about how she was treated by the truly obese who were there. We tend to group ourselves into those with something in common. It must make us feel safe. I would notice sometimes women would come in and tell everybody of their indiscretions for the week and laugh about it. Others would join in and it could become a "can you top this" event.

It's nice to have two places to achieve a new digit. I am now in the 20's for lbs. to go. I imagine it will be at least two weeks before the new digit in weight is achieved. I will say it's not coming off as fast as newly gained weight usually comes off. I took enough time off I guess that the fat got really comfortable right where it was.

I recommend the plank challenge. I did three 20 second planks a couple of days and yesterday at aerobics after we got started my muscles felt like jello so I knew it was more challenging than I thought. It seems to be helping my sore lower back as well. I read somewhere that if the choice had to be made between aerobics and weight lifting, weight lifting is the better choice. Planks use body weight as the resistance as does pull ups, push ups, sit ups, and squats. These can also be easily done at home and don't take much time and I can really see the value of just taking bits of time here and there to do these as the payoff is great for the time invested. Weight lifting can be aerobic as well. We breath hard and the heart rate rises if we do much with weights - our own body weight or free weights. I also read that free weights were better than those machines because using free weights requires us to stabilize ourselves as we lift which uses our core and more muscles as well. It also simulates our movements for things like carrying in the groceries or lifting a child.

Hopefully I am one of The Big Losers this week. I will let you know.

Be careful out there today.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Time to Rumble

Got this quote at Marc's and want to expand upon the message.

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.   -Earl Nightingale

Remember when we couldn't wait for our next birthday? Remember when we couldn't wait for Christmas? Halloween? School to be out? School to start? I used to ask my Mom to count up how many more days it was until we got to go back to school. I loved school.

All those things happened. The time passed and boom there it was. The same amount of time would have passed had we been dreading those same events.

Can we wait and are we looking forward with excitement to reaching our goal weights?

Would we have done something to delay our next birthday? To delay Christmas? Halloween? School? Not on your life. We would have hurried those things up if we could have.

Why do we delay reaching our goal weights? For the sake of the example--if your goal is to reach your goal weight by January 1 of 2015 why would you or I do something to make that happen on January 1, 2016? That's a long time to wait for something. What if our goal is to lose 1 lb. per week? Why would we make it take two weeks to do that?

It's time to rumble and do this isn't it?

I am doing pretty well as I hope you are. I could tell my slacks that I wore to Church today felt looser. I have been doing planks. Those are hard for sure.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Let 'Em Be Fat

This makes me mad. This woman is educated and seems very articulate. Her weight doesn't define her but people like this man who bullies her have appointed themselves the keepers of the pounds. Small pleasures for small minds. Chris Christie also faces this. When people don't have an argument, they make personal attacks. We live in a world like this and I have even caught myself making judgments on obese people - ME - obese for the better part of my adult life. I guess it's that knee jerk, survival of the fittest thing that causes people to do this. She can choose to lose her weight whenever she wants just like the rest of us. We all had to get to the point where we wanted to lose the weight  more than we wanted the food. If we would let these people alone they would probably come to their own realization of what needs to happen much faster. When they are bullied, it just makes it worse as they often find solace in eating. I can identify. How about you?

Obesity receives much more judgment socially than does drinking, smoking, or even drug abuse. Fat people receive more discrimination than these groups as well as the handicapped and the elderly. A food addiction shows for everybody to see but other addictions can be hidden to a great extent. People are more apt to feel sorry for someone who is an alcoholic or who abuses drugs than the obese person. The obese person is just weak willed and a glutton. Isn't that true for all addictions though? Or not. I know a person can die if some drugs are discontinued cold turkey. I don't know if that is true for alcohol. There are many stories of people who have overcome their addictions when some life changing event happens or a strength is found somehow. The obese person can function, do a good job at work, and live a life that doesn't hurt anybody else yet their addiction is deemed more offensive in many cases. The drug addict or alcoholic often loses everything and everybody they have. Relationships are often difficult for all of these people. I have known drug addicts and alcoholics. Obesity is better. Somehow that's not very comforting is it?

Go figure.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Plank Challenge

Here is how a plank is done (forget the hip drop part). Here is the challenge below. I am starting today. I may do a plank in the morning and in the evening hoping to better prepare myself for later in the challenge when it is going to seem impossible. We do these on Wednesdays in my step aerobics class. It's harder than it looks but I have read that this is one of the 5 best exercises we can do. The article I read told us that body weight exercises are the best. We don't need all the equipment. Here are the five as best I can remember:

planks      sit ups      pull ups       pushups      squats

There is a squats challenge and a crunch challenge as well but I thought I would see if there was any interest in this first.   Let me know if you are in!

Day 1 - 20 seconds
Day 2 - 20 seconds
Day 3 - 30 seconds
Day 4 - 30 seconds
Day 5 - 40 seconds
Day 6 - REST
Day 7 - 45 seconds
Day 8 - 45 seconds
Day 9 - 60 seconds
Day 10 - 60 seconds
Day 11 - 60 seconds
Day 12 - 90 seconds
Day 13 - REST
Day 14 - 90 seconds
Day 15 - 90 seconds
Day 16 - 120 seconds
Day 17 - 120 seconds
Day 18 - 150 seconds
Day 19 - REST
Day 20 - 150 seconds
Day 21 - 150 seconds
Day 22 - 180 seconds
Day 23 - 180 seconds
Day 24 - 210 seconds
Day 25 - 210 seconds
Day 26 - REST
Day 27 - 240 seconds
Day 28 - 240 seconds
Day 29 - 270 seconds

Evil Sugar

Good information here.

I have said before and need to reinforce this in my own life on a daily basis - nothing good comes from eating sugar - nothing.

We evidently think it won't be today that we have to suffer the consequences for things like eating too much sugar, smoking, drinking too much, inactivity and a host of other things. My dad did not take care of his diabetes and the last few years of his life were miserable. I watched him go from a man who loved to camp and fish to a man in a recliner who suffered with neck pain and without the ability to speak due to a stroke. He would have been on dialysis had he lived much longer. Each of my dad's "today's" was a reminder that he should have been proactive about his diabetes rather than eating as he pleased and then relying on insulin to take care of the blood sugar.

Each time we eat sugar, binge on it, or treat ourselves we are choosing to take the chances that my father took. If he were here today, he would tell us if it was worth it or not.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What About the Scales?

The Paleo Mom has some good thoughts on weighing here. She also has some other measures of success for all of us to consider.

As I sat this morning and thought about my 1 lb. weight loss for the whole week it occurred to me that at that rate I will easily reach my goal weight of 157 (30 more pounds) this year so what am I in a snit about? I will have to do the same things to keep off the weight as I have done to take it off. It's easy to fall back in to that cavern of thought that whispers,"You worked all week for a l lb. loss?"

I didn't even make the top 12 in the Biggest Loser contest I am in. The person who did win posted that she is following Weight Watchers and never ate all her points. She exercised every day and drank lots of water. She said she did that so she could at least win one week. She plans to relax a little bit now that she has won for this first week. As I said earlier, my win will probably come toward the end (which is in the latter part of March). I should have less competition by then and who knows maybe a 1 lb. loss will win at that time. It's all in how I look at it. This week a 1 lb. loss didn't even make the top 12 but the last week a 1 lb. loss may be the winner.

I'll have to let you know. Whether I win a week or not, I will continue.

Take care and be a big loser this week!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pouting A Little

I really expected more of a loss but it's all good. I got on the scales and thought I saw 181 ($70 prize here I come) and then noticed a little dash looking thingy at the top of the 1 :-) so it's time for a little reflection.

I have found that going low-carb can have one major challenge and that is the mindset that if it has no carbs or maybe 1 or 2 I can have all I want because I am counting carbs. Calories still do count and remember I told you about making my own yogurt and putting my own stevia sweetened fruit in it. It's really, really good. That's all I'll say about that. I need to be a little more careful with the almonds and let's see - salad dressing and fruit.

I am going to tighten the screws a little this week. I am back to aerobics. I really didn't get as sore as I was expecting. I got a pedometer and even with doing a step aerobics class I fell short of the10,000 recommended daily steps. I'll to get in some more walking if I want to reach that goal.

Hope all of you are doing well!

Monday, January 13, 2014

How's the View?

When we get up each day, how's the view? Does the day ahead seem like one of drudgery with things that have to be done, with things that have to be endured?

I must admit many mornings I think about what I have to do without injecting some joy and excitement for having something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. I get tired of being asked how I am some days but when asked I do the obligatory, "and you?" The answer is usually something that refers to when someone gets off work or some "end". I always say, "There are people lying in the hospital right now, and you are not one of them." I have been thanked for that before. I should consider my blessings in the same light.

Tomorrow morning I will send in my weight for The Biggest Loser contest I am in. There must be several in it because the weekly prize for total weight loss is $70!! I thought it was a typo but I guess not. The prize for most pounds lost at the end is $105! They figure a percentage of body weight to determine winners. I would love to win but if someone is just starting and gets the advantage of that first week's water weight loss maybe not - that's OK - I started the contest a week after I had begun using my brain again so I figure I will win later in the contest after people drop out and the new wears off after the first couple of weeks. We have a private group on facebook and there are some who are already confessing and repenting so my strategy is just to keep on keeping on and my day will come if I stay the course.

I will be back at step aerobics today for the first time in two weeks due to all this bad weather. I am going to be sore but I deserve it. I should have exercised here at home and didn't. My bad.

I will be posting my weight in the morning. I am looking forward to it because I have stayed the course but I guess I'll always be a little apprehensive about weighing myself.

Be careful out there today.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Blogging Woes

I have been getting error messages when I try to publish a blog post and have given up a couple of times now. Here we go again.

As you can see I have posted another weight and am now headed in the right direction regarding my weight, my head, my heart, and my habits. I will be weighing on Tuesdays now because a gal at Church started a Biggest Loser contest and I thought "Why not?" - I'm losing weight anyway so I might as well see if I can earn some money for it. It cost $25 to get in and the winner each week gets $6 and then for the total at the end the winner gets I think it was $30 and second place gets $20 so I should be able to get my money back. That used to add more stress knowing that I would be expected to turn in my weight each week but it really isn't bothering me. If this is truly a lifestyle change then all the Tuesdays for the rest of my days will be just another day as I make a string of successful days.

Weight Watchers used to be so stressful for me when being weighed and somebody weighing me and seeing it. They were always encouraging regardless - I was the problem. But then, I was following somebody else's rules and breaking the rules was bad so therefore I was bad.

I'm OK with all of this. We have had some really bad weather and I could not get out for 4 days straight. Got a lot of quilting done but quilting is not a real calorie burner you know. Tomorrow I will be back at my aerobics class so I will be sore. I don't know why I have such a time getting myself to exercise at home but I do. Classes and company work so much better for me.

I have been waking up to a dull headache which I attribute to low blood sugar. I was up this morning at 4:30 with it so I had my raisin bran muffin and some coffee, the headache left, and I went back to bed and got some more sleep. I had a banana when I got up. I will have a big salad at some point today and might make some tuna salad.

I was down to 175 lb. before I left my brain somewhere so if I get too big for my britches :-) just remind me would you? I crack myself up sometimes. 

All in all, things are going well for me as I hope they are for you. It is all up to us isn't it? Be careful out there today.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Slaps Self In Forehead

Read this.

You will be slapping yourself in the forehead as well. Tell me your favorite(s).

I have been going to the bathroom like crazy. My 1.5 days of vegan which is virtually no salt has shown me how much water I had to be retaining. I was told about a coffee substitute as well which I will let you know about as soon as it is delivered and I try it.

Another thing about that vegan plan was that they only recommended 3 glasses of water a day. The rationale was that fruits and vegetables were mostly water and without salt and caffeine in the diet the 8 - 10 glasses a day I have been used to wouldn't be necessary. Whatever.

We have been under a level 2 snow emergency and more snow is on the way. I will be getting a lot of quilting done. Good thing there are plenty of groceries here. Duane or Nathan will get out in their 4 - wheel drive trucks if necessary. It's a man thing.

I just boiled some eggs and am reading up on the Paleo/Primal/Caveman thing. I think I will lift some weights here at home as my aerobics class was cancelled today. We are supposed to get snow and sub zero temperatures so it wouldn't surprise me if Monday was cancelled as well. Onward.

Hope everyone is on track, on schedule, on point, on top of things and all that.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Change of Plans

After watching this I am just going back to the low-carb eating plan that I lost weight with in the first place. Vegan is not for me - too hungry, woke up with a headache, and I can tell it's not going to be a fit for me.

I saw this information at Anna's blog and it just hit home with me that I was doing it right in the first place.  I am going to chuck that stupid chain too.

I have pulled another one of my stunts that is so typical of me. Something new, jump in with both feet, copy recipes, buy the book, get all kinds of groceries, get food made ahead (way ahead this time) and then when sanity returns and the new wears off, I am back to reality.

You have no idea how much quilting fabric I have, how many quilt patterns, how many partially done quilts, and other things that are too many to list.

Giving up the coffee and salt is one good thing from following this for two days, well, not quite - I had a protein bar today about 3:30 when I watched that video. It's back to low carb for me.

Any of the rest of you pull stunts like this?

I am going to boil some eggs.

Be careful out there today.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Chain

Remember those chains we used to make out of construction paper back in the day? We often used them as decorations on a Christmas tree.  I am in a 42 day challenge that is pretty much vegan eating. I have my 42 pieces of construction paper links cut out and each successful day I will add a link to my chain. I write the date on the paper before I add it to my chain. It's just a visual to help stay with it because as the chain gets longer I won't want to have to stop adding links.

Here is the facebook page for it.


I hope address works. If you have a facebook page you could still join in if you need even more group support.

This food plan has more of the good carbs in it rather than low carb which tries to limit all carbs. It's very filling. I was not eating beans but this food plan encourages beans and whole grains like oats.

Getting to my goal weight of 157 is Job 1 this year. I have all the things here I need to be successful - even my brain :-)

Well, we are off the launching pad for 2014 - we have 364 blank pages left in our books for this year. Let's write a best seller. 

This Guy Did It Himself With Lifestyle Changes

Inspiration always helps me. Someone losing this much weight makes me feel like there's always hope. He did it through lifestyle changes which is what I believe is the only way to lasting weight loss. I didn't follow my own advice and now have several pounds to re-lose. I'll do it.