Monday, August 31, 2009

Ice Cream is Not the Center of My Universe

by guest blogger Marea from Rhode Island

One of the first things that I did after returning home from H3 was to buy myself a new bicycle. In Adam’s Goal Setting class, we had to write down 3 goals for ourselves for the next month and how we aimed to achieve them. We also wrote down a reward for meeting our stated goals. He suggested that we might buy the reward right away and then have a friend hold on to it for the month. Well, with summer coming to a close here in New England, I didn’t want to waste a month of riding time, so I researched bikes and bought one about a week after returning home. And I didn’t let anyone hold onto for me.

I am really lucky- I live about a half mile from a bike path that winds along the coast. From end to end, it’s about 15 miles long. I live approximately in the middle, so I just have to choose which experience I’m in the mood for; one direction is more fun for people watching while the other is more scenic. Yesterday, I decided to head South- the scenic route. Round-trip it’s a 15- mile ride. Perfect for my exercise needs, as well as my time constraints; I can be back home in a little over an hour.

I brought my cell phone with me yesterday so that I could post a few photos of it. It is really one of the most beautiful places I know. I used to ride or walk it quite often. Then I got really lazy and stopped. Then I gained weight and felt too embarrassed and out of shape to start again. One of my biggest “aha” moments in SC was getting on my rental bike and remembering how much I loved to be on a bike- carefree and strong.

At the end of the path there is an ice cream shop, a place that I hold responsible for the 10 pounds I gained in June after they opened for the season. Yes, I did eat a lot of it. And I didn’t ride my bike there either, another contributor to that 10-lb. gain. Unlike Nicki, I LOVE ice cream. One of my “adjustments’ to my diet is that I no longer go to Daily Scoop. Their ice cream is 25% butterfat. Instead, I buy cones and a lower fat brand at the grocery store. I still get my fix- albeit not as tasty a one- and I can stay within my calorie budget. I don’t have one everyday, but probably two or three per week.

One of the healthiest habits I picked up in SC was eating fresh berries with yogurt every day. I try to eat local foods whenever possible, and it just so happens to be raspberry season here. They are also “U-Pick”, so there’s the added benefit of some exercise just to get them. The other day I picked a whole bunch and made some jam. I will miss them when the season is over. Raspberries mixed with Greek Yogurt honestly is as satisfying as ice cream- creamy, sweet and cold. Well, almost anyway.

Friday, August 28, 2009

All I Wanna Do is Zoom Zoom Zoom Zoom

. . . . and a boom boom. I did Jari Love Ripped 1,000 at 6am and Zumba at 8pm. My hands are shaking from fatique. Another fun class with rump shaking, directions in Spanish, and the command "Sit on it!" When the Fonz said it I think he was mad, but when Jonnie my Zumba instructor says it, I think she means squat lower. I got my zooma zoom zumba on tonight. My coordination and rhythm are not what you would expect, but I enjoy the opportunity to dance around. Wrong way or not. And a boom boom.

Thursday Exercise Journal
1 hour Jari Love Ripped 1,000
1 hour Zumba!

Thursday Food Journal
095 - Kashi Go Lean Crunch
045 - 1/2 cup skim milk
170 - Tandoori Chicken
050 - Brussel Sprouts
300 - Peach cobbler
070 - Peanuts
180 - Turkey burger with ketchup
035 - Laughing cow cheese
100 - reduced fat Pringles
300 - Macaroni and cheese (I'm eating after the kids again! Bad habit. Argh! That is not just anger, but pirate anger)

Weird Weight Loss Tip
Two-a-Days. This is football speak for two practices a day. I figure on the days when I can double up, I will double up. This is not often possible. Sometimes I don't have time or the energy, but I had it today. Zumba and Jari! My two-a-day. Have a great weekend. I'm looking forward to writing, some slothfulness, happy eating and happy exercising!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Enemy Within

I'm watching Star Trek, which means I'm having a lovely evening. In the episode "The Enemy Withing," Captain Kirk has an evil duplicate who wears a tad bit more eyeliner than the regular Kirk. Oh, I'm for a cornucopia of fine 1968 acting.

Obviously the title caught my interest, since much of this diet voyage is about keeping down your doppelganger, your bad twin, the enemy within. I kept mine at bay for another day. There. Diet advice and a poem.

Wednesday Food Journal
150 - Granola
080 - Yogurt
170 - Tandoori chicken
100 - Steamed veggies
300 - Peach cobbler
100 - Grapefruit
270 - Deviled Eggs
000 - Diet Coke

Wednesday Exercise Journal
6 Flights of stairs
1 hour of yoga (Inhale with Steve Ross)

Weird Weight Loss Tip
Diet Coke and Deviled Eggs. I met up with a friend at a pub earlier today. Pub food is not diet friendly. Fish and chips, fried jalapenos, beer. I opted for deviled eggs and a diet coke. Two unusual treats. Still yummy and fun and better choices than the alternatives. Oh wait, I have another tip. Fight your doppelganger as Kirk is about to do. Must be worth double the calories in exercise. Earlier in the episode he was carrying a "uni-dog." Hilarity. There are no words for how much I love Trek. Keep the enemy within at bay. Happy eating and exercising!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Some Advice From A Writer

My friend Kym and I went to hear author Jonathan Tropper read last night. He has written This Is Where I Leave You and other books. I realized what curious people writers are. I will now share a few key insights from his talk and reading that have nothing to do with dieting, but I thought you might be smart enough to extrapolate some diet and exercise motivation.
  • Sometimes a review might hurt your feelings, but if the review is fair you can take the good with the bad.
  • Writers might want to hide in their writing caves, but eventually (if they are successful) they'll have to get on stage and be the rock star they always secretly wanted to be.
  • You might write 100 pages before you coming into your writing stride. Then you will need to throw out the first 100 pages you've written.
Tuesday Exercise Journal
20 minute walk

Tuesday Food Journal
080 - Yogurt
150 - Granola
100 - Apple
090 - Steamed veggies
320 - Lean Cuisine Lasagna
140 - Sun Chips
050 - Grapefruit
180 - Pita Chips
500 - ???Burger and Fries from Leon's

Weird Weight Loss Tips
This is a mean one, and I apologize in advance for the meanness. Get rid of the haters (not Mafia style, but Minnesota nice). Diet haters. Life haters. People who do no good in your life, but discourage you. Unfortunately, you no longer have room for them. If you are reading this blog and think I'm perfect and all of this is easy. Please remember that I do have sad moments, moments when I cry, when I am overworked and tired, and days when I've given everything to everyone else but myself. I don't appreciate the "I hate you for losing weight" comments. I've put you on notice so now you know.

On the same note, recognize healthy habits in your friends. When we drive through my neighborhood and pass someone running my husband says "You're all winners." There are a lot of runners in our neighborhood. My husband is only half mocking them. Remember that the next person you see running is sacrificing something (housework, family time, job) to run. They are winners! They are doing something for themselves. You should do the same.

Happy eating and exercising!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Peach Cobbler is my Cherry Pie

Think about it. The title actually does make sense. My alternate title was "Peach Cobbler is my Go-Juice." Unfortunately, after bragging about being able to control my ice cream consumption and lamenting about not being able to control my love of peach cobbler, God presented me with an interesting test. On Monday, my work cafeteria was selling freshly made, steaming hot peach cobbler at lunch for a mere $1.39 (US for my Jamaican and British cousins). In pint-sized containers! I bought some, and I ate precisely 3 teaspoons of it. The remainder is now peacefully housed in my fridge for my Thursday or Friday indulgence. The cobbler was yummy.

(Thanks to my husband whose infinite knowledge helped me answer the question, "Isn't there a song about cherry pie?" His response. "80's. Warrant. Hair band." I would never know this kind of stuff without him. He's my Click and I'm his Clack. Speaking of NPR, here's a good segment on interval training.)

Even more sad than my inability to resist the peach cobbler is that I don't really even like the peach part. And I'm a girl from Georgia. I just like cobbler. Skip the peach or blueberries and give me some dough with sugary goo on it. I like pie crust, I like graham cracker crust, and I like cobbler. Once I had this delicious "winter's pie" at Balans in London with strawberries and rhubarb. I can't remember what I ate for my entree, but I can tell you is that the crust of that pie was divine.

My penance for these sins (sloth, gluttony, greed) are listed below. Otherwise known as the diet part.

Monday Food Journal
095 - 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch
025 - 1/2 cup blueberries
045 - 1/2 cup skim milk (my husband and I were discussing just how delicious this combo is for breakfast. I'm a huge fan.)
390 - Lean Cuisine pizza
070 - Brussel sprouts (So yummy and in convenient individual packs! I love more than pie. I love green veggies, too. Brussel sprouts, asparagus, spinach, broccoli. They are also my go-juice.)
010 - Crystal light iced tea
100 - 3 teaspoons of peach cobbler (no clue how many calories really)
140 - Salsa flavored Sun Chips
042 - Peach
I didn't eat dinner b/c workout was rather exhausting. I will try to treat myself to some egg-like substance in the a.m.

Monday Exercise Journal
6 flights of stairs
1 hour Jari Love's Ripped 1,000 (At the 40 minute mark, I flipping h8 her! Then at the end I love her again) You guys should try her workouts, she is awesome and Canadian. And you know how much I adore Canada.

Weird Weight Loss Tip
Have a short term goal. Start with 10% weight loss goal. Did I use this tip already? Someone needs to keep track for me. I get to call my H3 friend Robert when I hit my 10% goal. I'd really like to call him before October, but I'm not rushing the weight loss. This is my marathon. Then once I'm done losing weight, this lifestyle will have to be my new life. I really don't want to rush it, but I do want to call Robert. He is the kind of person you want to have nudging you in the right direction. He will tell you to run the last lap or do one more rep. When you give him a crazy look, he'll do one more lap and one more rep with you. Let's just say that I'm more than half way to my 10% goal, and I hope to call Robert real soon.

Happy eating and exercising!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Party of Five (unreal) Friends

Some friends of mine are discussing five fictional characters they would like dine with. And of course, since many of my friends are writers heaven forbid they'd choose to share a meal with someone real. If you want to see this list done the right way check out Romance Novel TV or my friend Chicki. But today I thought I'd list a few interesting lines from literature that make me think about food and eating.

"It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love . . . ." Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

"And now you come to me -- women with hands and feet as soft as a queen's, with more cooking pots than you need, so safe in childbed and so free with your tongues. You come hungry for the story that was lost. You crave words to fill the great silence that swallowed me, and my mothers, and my grandmothers before them." The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

"I thought they were going to skin me alive. But they gave me food. Delicious food. Once I started eating, I couldn’t stop. I thought I would never stop being hungry." Life of Pi by Yann Martel

"I took hold of his collar and said, 'Come on, boy, let's go home and get something to eat.' He seemed to understand that he had found a friend. He came willingly." Where the Red Fern Grows by By Wilson Rawls

"I asked, it is true, for greater treasures than a little food or rest: I required kindness and sympathy; but I did not believe myself utterly unworthy of it. " Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

There you have it. If you missed 10th grade (or grade 10 as some call it) then I've caught you up to speed on a few books you should have read long before now.

Weight in (weight loss July 12 to date): -11 lbs!!! Next week I'm going to check my measurements. I'm very happy today. I've lost almost two pounds a week since July12. My husband has lost 20lbs! He is a very good healthy eating and exercising partner in crime. I'm so glad H3 put things in the right perspective so we can be more successful this time.

Friday Exercise Journal
6 flights of stairs at work
20 minute walk

Friday Food Journal
170 - Egg white omelet
340 - French toast
390 - Lean Cuisine Pizza
200 - Peach cobbler
200 - Kashi, blueberries and milk

Saturday Exercise Journal
30 minutes yoga
20 walk
1.5 hours cutting the grass

Saturday Food Journal
090 - Boiled egg
180 - Biscuit
230 - Kashi, blueberries and milk
200 - Ham sandwich (light oat bread, laughing cow cheese, ham)
400 - Bruster's Key Lime ice cream

Sunday Exercise Journal
30 minutes playground with kids
1 hour yoga

Sunday Food Journal
200 - Egg white omelet with sausage and onion
180 - Biscuit
200 - St. Cruz Organic Mango Lemonade
230 - Kashi, blueberries and milk
??? - Some coconut rum drink and horseradish mashed potatoes at my sister's house
290 - Seared scallops and angel hair pasta (One day I'm, going to go all Starving Foodie and post the recipe, but for now I'm just proud that I cooked something from scratch!)
400 - Double chocolate with peanut butter ice cream from Bruster's.

Someone out there is wondering about me wasting my calories on ice cream, knowing I don't even like ice cream. Let's just say I am experimenting with food. And I'm guestimating 400 calories for 1/2 cup because I can't find calories anywhere. I'm trying to figure out what satisfies me when. What I can eat with control. Ice cream is one of those things I can control, because I don't like cold desserts, so there is no chance of me eating an entire pint. Now if you left me alone with warm bread pudding or peach cobbler I could eat 2 lbs of that stuff. So I'm working on understanding my psyche and allowing myself some treats to boot. Sue me.

Weird Weight Loss Tips
Cook. I made seared scallops and the process of cooking really squashed my appetite. Chopping onions, smelling the food cook . . . . by the time you eat you're over it already.

As mentioned above, Eat something that you don't love, but is still an indulgence. For me this is ice cream.

I've had two weeks of doing better, but I'm really going to try to do my best this week. Got more real writing to do and healthy eating and exercising! You do the same.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The George Clooney Diet

The most boring, slowest, you-have-to-work-really-really-hard-for-it, moves-like-a-turtle, nothing-exciting-happens diet that really works.

I should have done my homework before starting this blog. But now, five weeks into this thing, I’ve researching some keywords associated with “weight loss” and “diet”. Apparently, I’m doing this whole thing wrong. My diet should be quick, fast, and involve a free trial of some not so thinly disguised caffeine pills. I should be using nitric oxide, acai, or eating from the Hardee’s “Trim It” menu. Because after creating the 2/3 lb Monster Thickburger at 1420 calories and 108 grams of fat, what I really need Hardee’s to do is give me diet and healthy eating advice.

I almost forgot the mysterious and plentiful diet pills (also with free trials) and food based diets like cabbage soup, drinking vinegar, the banana diet. Yes, eating bananas will help you lose weight if you only eat three bananas all day. Not rocket science, folks.

Well, I realized that watching me lose weight the old fashioned way might be boring. I might only lose a fraction of a pound in a week. I may never have six pack abs! Why are you all wasting your time on me? I am not a miracle . . . . yet.

This morning, I came up with the George Clooney Diet. Then I googled it and found out George Clooney was already on a diet. Then he was on a reverse diet. Then I remember that when I want anything ruined, I turn to George Clooney. Here’s how it works.

Step one: Eat reasonable portions of healthy food.

Step two: Use up more calories (exercise) than you take in (eat).

Step three: Increase your activity level to 5-7 times a week. Shoot for an hour a day, every day, but be happy with anything more than you used to do.

Step four: One morning (say this particular morning), you walk by your mirror and notice your underpants are ill-fitting and say to yourself, “Look at that soggy bottom, boys” and immediately reflect on George Clooney and how you only really like his acting when he isn’t taking himself too seriously. The soggy bottom isn't your bottom, but your underpants are now too big and your real bottom is getting smaller! Your bottom can get smaller, that's the real selling point of The George Clooney Diet.

Then you’ll go back to step one eating reasonable portions of healthy food and do it all over again, week after week, on the slowest, least exciting diet you ever heard of. It might work, but no one really cares about that. Do they, boys?

Thursday Food Journal

300 - Kashi, milk, blueberries

090 - Pita chips

340 - Lean Cuisine Panini

000 - Coke Zero (I never drink soda, but I've been have a rough week)

083 - Almonds

042 - Peach

080 - Yogurt

140 - 1/2 Baked potato

065 - 1/2 Salad (bunch of lettuce and some light ranch)

100 - 1/2 cup of chili

100 - 1/4 piece of pizza (really 3 bites)

400 - cup of Bruster's key lime pie ice cream and the only thing I've been craving and denying myself since H3. The ice cream has been in my fridge untouched for a few days. This is my infrequent frequency. Thursdays and Fridays are my toughest days of the week. I wouldn't say the treat made it better. Sort of left me feeling flat. Don't get me wrong it was yummy. It just doesn't have the power over me to do that "mind happiness" thing food used to do. I felt like it was big progress to realize that!

Thursday Exercise Journal

None, nada. Second day of kindergarten for my oldest monster. Meetings at work. Decatur Book Festival meetings after work. I'm barely squeaking this blog in by the midnight deadline. Oops. Too many excuses. I'll try to do some stairs at work on the morrow.

Weird Weight Loss Tip

The Cupid Shuffle.

*A note on frequency. I neglected to post a blog last night because I started working on a short story (Fiction of course. What else is there in my life?). As much as I love talking to you about my diet, I must channel some of this writing energy back into my novel. You’re dying to read it, aren’t you? Well, I’ll be posting a story called “Maize” in October with my writing friends on Petit Fours and Hot Tamales. I would love to hear what you think my story might be about from just the title. Love, comedy, or something wicked this way comes? It is a piece from my novel. If you are out there wishing me well, please wish me well on my writing. And also wish me well on my diet. The George Clooney Diet.

Happy eating and exercising. And happy writing.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fell Off the Wagon . . . .

. . . . But the Wagon Was Sitting on the Floor

This is a picture I took in a wagon. In a corn maze. Tis the season.

I've been a bad bad girl. I've been careless with my diet and exercise journal. I haven't written in them since Friday. Getting ready for kindergarten, orientation, work projects and other stuff. The unpredictability of the weekend doesn't really translate into the ability to catalog how I exercise and eat. Thank goodness for this blog or else I would have really fallen off the wagon. I will recount what I've done as best as I can from memory.

Tuesday Food Journal
050 - Honeydew
050 - Plain yogurt
200 - Ham sandwich (Light oat bread, laughing cow cheese, tomato, mustard and ham)
150 - Kettle salt and pepper chips
100 - 8 oz Santa Cruz Organic lemonade
200 - Chick-fil-A chargilled chicken salad 1/2 packet of balsamic dressing
050 - Waffle fries
150 - Icedream
025 - 1/2 peach

Tuesday Exercise Journal
1 hour Body Works at LA Fitness. I'm assessing the affordability and viability of joining a gym with my work and writing schedule and three little kids. I'm trying to turn my "why nots" into my "why yes I cans." Anyone wants to donate $3,000 to my exercise fund? Doesn't take care of the writing and kids issue. C'est la vie, no? Until then I'm enjoying my one week free trial.

No Zumba! I'm bummed, but family obligations got in the way. I'll try to go tomorrow.

Monday Confession
Not only did I not journal, but I think I under ate calories on both Monday and Tuesday. This is not good for a host of reasons. The big takeaway is that I thought I had fallen off the wagon, but I've actually trained myself pretty well to be conservative. I've eaten when hungry. I've not watched the clock for times to eat. I'm super tired and stressed, but I'm also super happy today! I did not fall off the wagon and today is my oldest child's first day of kindergarten (5K as we call it locally).
This is what school looks like when you are in 4K.
Weird Weight Loss Tip
Pack your lunch the night before. My daughter eats two things. Macaroni and cheese. Peanut butter sandwiches. No jelly or jam. It makes packing her lunch rather easy since I'm not going to send her to school with macaroni and cheese. Tonight, I packed her lunch and mine. Tomorrow, I'll be back on track for writing down everything in my paper journal.

Thanks to Mamie for sharing her words of wisdom yesterday. For the rest of you, happy eating and exercising. And to my big girl, happy first day of school.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What I Like About Myself

by guest blogger Mamie Chen

Last night, as I was getting dressed to go out for dinner, I was feeling a little vain and decided to give my body a little extra help by putting on a Spanx body shaper (a slimming undergarment not unlike the legendary girdles of yesteryear). I had just put my feet through and was pulling it over my legs when I noticed an extremely large cockroach hanging on for dear life near the left leghole. I started screaming and jumping around like mad, fearful that it would hit my leg on the way down, but even more fearful of it running upwards towards my face. This lasted for a full minute before I realized that the roach hadn't moved an inch and that yes, it was dead and just stuck to the garment. Even so, I gingerly removed the Spanx and decided that's what I get for trying to cheat.

One of my regrets from Hilton Head was not being able to attend Beth Leermakers' class on body image. I did see it on the calendar for the week after Nicki and I left, and Beth was nice enough to give me the handouts. My key takeaway (from the notes) is to not get so trapped in a negative body image that it begins to color your self-esteem and your perception of your accomplishments. Even more dangerous than simple "I feel fat" statements are the "Unfair to Compare" statements (I'm not as thin as everyone else around me) or the "Magnifying Glass" statements (Yes, everyone says I have a great smile, but who cares? I still have love handles.)

I know that I have to keep reminding myself of this, especially now that I am back in Hong Kong. According to the standard BMI charts, I am well within the desired range. And while I was in the US, this was acceptable to me. Sure, I have a personal goal to lose some undisclosed weight, but I still felt okay about myself. Now just one day back in Hong Kong, my body image has plummeted back into the negative zone. Here, my admittedly unscientific observations tell me the average woman weighs less than 100 pounds, and I definitely know I am considered fat by the local population.

So this begs the question: should I "cheat" with a pair of Spanx in order to feel a little better about myself? Or should I hunker down, focus on what I like about myself, and achieve my weight loss goal the right way? The desiccated roach answered the question for me this time. I flushed the roach down the toilet, left the Spanx in my laundry basket and enjoyed my evening.

Things I like about myself, unrelated to my appearance:
1. I think I'm a pretty good mom
2. I like my sense of humor - well, I can always make myself laugh, and that's what's important

Things I like about my body:
1. I like my smile
2. I like the way my arms look folded in front of me a la "I Dream of Jeannie". Not that I have much opportunity to stand that way in the normal course of my day, but it is my favorite flexing pose in front of the bathroom mirror.

What my body can do for me:
1. I can dance to "Shout" in 4 inch platform heels without breaking a metaphorical sweat (physically, I was sweating profusely, but that's good)
2. I can sit comfortably, Indian-style in most airplane seats - being this short is always good for that, at least

Weird Weight Loss Tip
Exercise with imagination. I wasn't wearing my heart rate monitor, but I can tell you that dead cockroach got me jumping so high and so fast that I'm sure my heart rate was higher than it was during Amber's cardio-boxing class. And when I got caught in the rain a couple weeks ago, I walk/ran those 3.5 miles at a much faster pace than I ever would have set for myself on a treadmill. So the next time you exercise, pretend you are running in the rain or shaking off a cockroach or facing whatever it is that would get you moving with more intensity.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Naughty Number Nine - Day 22

Number nine will put you on the spot.
Number nine will tie you up, oh, in a knot.
When you're tryin',
Multiplyin' by nine...
With naughty, nasty, mean old number nine.

Weigh In
-9lbs July 12 to date. No weight change this week. Well at some point I was at -10lb, but on weigh in day I was stuck at -9lb. I'm not complaining.

First of all, I'd like to tell you that I gained muscle this week, but I heard a good lecture at H3 about how implausible that is.

Second of all, I'd like to tell you (BOYS CLOSE YOUR EYES) that I'm having women's issues and I just wasted five minutes googling euphemisms for menstruation. Most pleased to see that my favorite periodical, The Onion, ranks as second result. News and euphemisms. Being on the rag is a good enough excuse for plateauing. I will use this as an excuse until there is a H3 class on why I can't use this as an excuse.

As you can tell my head hurts and I'm feeling a little cranking. I had a busy weekend doing writing business stuff (aka Georgia Romance Writers) without doing any actually writing. That always puts me in a bad mood. Less my PMS gets the better of this blog I will now report the happy stuff!

Nicki Does the Right Thing
  1. I carried kashi cereal and a peach with me to GRW in lieu of Chick-fil-A biscuit. I ate the veggie meal, skipped the bread, pasta, and dessert. Brought second peach to be my dessert.
  2. Went to an evening museum event with free alcohol. Opted for Diet Coke in lieu of wine. I normally feel like I should eat my weight at the buffet, but instead I ate lots of veggies and a little bit of meat. I'm guessing less than 2 oz of meat. I skipped the baklava, and ya'll know I adore baklava. I did indulge in fig the size of a plum and a yummy chocolate chip cookie.
  3. For Sunday dinner, I stripped the fried chicken and ate the non-fried parts.
Friday Exercise Journal
2 mile walk. Very brisk 2 mile walk. 45 minutes worth. Maybe even more than 2 miles.

Friday Food Journal
250 - Flax Plus with Raisin cereal
380 - Roasted veggie sandwich
140 - Baked Lays
030 - Almonds
100 - Strawberries
300 - Macaroni

Saturday Food Journal
250 - Kashi cereal
042 - Peach
200 - Roasted veggies
042 - Peach
200 - Ham sandwich
500 - Assorted treats at the museum. Asparagus, green salad, fig, Parmesan, lamb/beef kabob, chocolate chip cookie

Saturday Exercise Journal
30 minutes strolling through a museum in heels. I'm counting this as exercise.

Sunday Food Journal
250 - Kashi Cereal
042 - Peach (I'm in a peachy mood this week. They have been delicious!)
500 - Tomato, basil, and mozzarella sandwich
200 - Mixed greens with dressing
200 - Chicken
200 - Peach cobbler (My sister made it and I had to try it.)
100 - Remainder of lemonade and apple juice abandoned by my kids. Scavenging again. I'm not really sure how to break this bad habit.

Sunday Exercise Journal
40 minutes stroll.

Weird Weight Loss Tips
What would Sanjay Gupta do? At Christmas, I will have a blog call "My Favorite Things" and remind me to include Gupta among them. He issued a four month to fitness challenge in June. So we are a few months late. Check it out. Always better to be late than the alternative.

Periodically, Gupta is nice to my brother-in-law and interviews him about sports medicine stuff. Check out a video clip of my brother-in-law on CNN. Not a weird weight loss tip, but now you know what my brother-in-law looks like!

Final Weird Weight Loss Tip: And just to be the annoying little sister-in-law that I am, here's a plug for my favorite shoes: Earth Shoes. I did lose some weight when I started wearing them last year, but quite honestly I wear them because they are beneficial for people who do a lot of yoga. They keep my calves and hamstrings stretched out. They are comfy. I don't care what Gupta and my brother-in-law say about them. I love Earth Shoes! I'm going to marry them.

Have a happy week. Good exercising and eating to all.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Thank You Without Food

Today is my daughter's last day of school. Next week she starts kindergarten, but I'd like to thank the teachers at her old school before we go. She's been at this school since birth. I love these teachers like they are my family. The problem is that I only know how to thank people with food. This is the South. We are donut and biscuit people. We are not cottage cheese and fruit platter people.

Let's be real, I'm going to bring the teachers food to show my appreciation. And I hope I make a healthy choice at 7 o'clock in the morning! Until then, I have prepared a collage of photos of my daughter with her teachers throughout the years. Next to the photos I have posted this letter:

Thank you for taking care of me since I was 4 months old! Ms. Saadia and Ms. Dina used to cuddle me when I cried. Ms. Monica and Ms. Sadika would make me laugh. Ms. Rebecca helped me learn to go potty and taught me my letters. Ms. Aida taught me to be a good princess and artist. Ms. Morgan taught me how to learn more than I ever could imagine.

I have been very blessed to have had such wonderful loving teachers. All of the good parts of me are little bits of you and your wisdom. I know you'll take good care of my brother and sister, but I will miss you all the same. It has been a wonderful 5 years - my entire life!

Thank you for loving me and helping me grow.

Okay, I'm having a mommy moment. You have no idea how much these teachers mean to me and my family. It is a big leap of faith to trust people with your offspring. You want to thank your teachers by giving them the world, you want to feed them. I hope the letter and fruit platter will be enough.

Thursday Exercise Journal
Sweaty 30. Also known as the 30 minute intense boot camp. Jumping jacks, sprints, all of the drama.
6 flights of stairs. Busy day folks. And boot camp + Jari Love the night before = tired.

Thursday Food Journal

050 - Grapefruit
050 - Cottage Cheese
100 - Honeydew
200 - Ham sandwich
100 - Banana
150 - Almonds
070 - Peanuts
130 - Yogurt and blueberries
120 - 4 Graham crackers
410 - Pad Thai Ethnic Gourmet
100 - 1/2 of snickerdoodle and milk (I'm babysitting 6 kids and warm cookies with milk was our pre-bedtime snack. I know, I know. I'm showing my love with food again, but 6 kids! Guys, at 7pm on a school night you do what you can to survive.)

Weird Weight Loss Tip
Taste something. If you want something, have it, but just a taste. Like the 1/2 of the smallest snickerdoodle ever made that I ate tonight. It was yummy, and I didn't eat the whole thing. The taste of it did help stop the craving. Have a successful weekend. More writing for me. Happy eating and exercising until Monday!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nighty Night

Cat who likes to sleep on my yoga mat also likes to take cat naps with babies

Wednesday Food Journal
100 - Banana
050 - Plain Yogurt
060 - Half Caf (half decaf coffee with skim milk)
340 - Lean Cuisine
100 - Steamed veggies
070 - Peanuts
100 - Plain yogurt and blueberries
203 - Ham sandwich (light oat bread, laughing cow cheese, 1 slice of ham, spinach, tomatoes, yumminess)
200 - Haagen Daz Dulce de Leche Ice Cream (1/4 cup and it was rather filling, but way too sweet. They need to make the same thing, but instead of caramel use peanut butter!)

Wednesday Exercise Journal
10 minute Mini-boot camp (sprints, squats, jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups)
30 minute walk
1 hr Jari Love Get Ripped 1,000

Weird Weight Loss Tip
Sleep. 8 hours burns about 500 calories depending on your weight. In lieu of extra words, I'm getting some extra Z's. More writing tomorrow, happy eating and exercising!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Zumba and a Few Challenges

Me on the computer so obviously not working on my book, but rather looking at google.
Tuesday Food Journal
070 - 1/2 cup Cottage Cheese
050 - 1/2 Grapefruit
100 - Banana
094 - Brie
330 - Pesto Veggie Sandwich (Best - and most rare - thing in the cafeteria at work)
100 - Strawberries
070 - Peanuts
290 - Tuna sandwich (Made with Tabasco and plain yogurt instead of mayo. If I were good like Starving Foodie I'd have a recipe, but I never use a recipe...)
170 - Grilled cheese
235 - Peanut Butter and Jelly (I needed the extra calories for Zumba. See below)

Tuesday Exercise Journal
30 minute walk
18 flights of stairs
1 hour Zumba (with my neighbor who was kind enough to invite me to class)
1 hour yoga (with Steve Ross on Oxygen)

A special thank you to my neighbor for taking me to Zumba. My neighbor is Colombian so I was a little intimidated by her awesome Latin-ness, but the instructor (who was from Belize) did not laugh at me nearly as hysterically as the kickboxing instructor last week. Nothing like a class where the instructions are "arriba," abajo," "shake it," and "grind." It was like a night club without boys.

A few challenges have been thrown my way this week:
  • I going to try to fit into my senior formal dress from college. Yes, I still have the dress. It is super cute. Unfortunately, my college senior formal was, ahem, a few years and dress sizes ago.
  • Write a chapter of my novel for every pound I lose. I've got a chapter to write this week. Some of my writing buddies are going to take the challenge with me. I hope to be skinny and prolific by year end.
  • Go to Zumba every Tuesday for the next four weeks. Struggle part is the time of the class (7pm) and you do remember that I have a job and I have 3 small kids. Oldest is just starting kindergarten and a new school year. This is a very big challenge. Miss hearing me make excuses and complain? Go back to Nicki's Reason's Why Not.

Weird Weight Loss Tip
Exercise in another language. Some how I wasn't nearly as irritated at an instructor shouting dance moves at me in Spanish as I would have been if they were shouting at me in English.

Recycled weight loss tip redux. Don't just dance a party or wedding. Find an organized dance class or dance exercise class. Salsa your way to fitness. Dancing, not the food, folks. Happy eating and exercising!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

When the Poop Hits the Fan

Scat Cat! My cat insists on interrupting my yoga nightly. She doesn't even like me, but she loves me when I yoga. This is the only animal whose scat I'm allowed to view.

I was watching educational television with my kids this weekend and the topic was animal scat. I had never heard that term before. Scat means poop! I case you haven't noticed, bowel movements are a subject of great hilarity for both young and old. You haven't lived if you haven't read the "poopie list". I look forward to a future "old fart" birthday. It just goes to show that pooping is funny and important.

Now a bunch of
Weird Weight Loss Tips about poop.
  • Sorry guys, but you are going to have to look at your poop. Color, size, frequency, consistency.
  • Talk to your doctor about your poop. I get it. You don't want to talk to me about your poop, but you should talk to your spouse, friend, co-worker, and especially your doctor about your poop.
  • Take care of your poop. Drink water, consume healthy oils (avacado, olive oil), eat fiber. But don't overdo it. Excessively cleansing can hurt your bowels as much as neglecting them.
Poop resources
If you don't want to talk about poop now, the
American Cancer Society will get you to talk about it later. Exercising and eating healthy can reduce your chances of many cancers including colon cancer. Get checked or remind someone you love to get checked.

See a video of Dr. Oz explaining poop in less than a minute. I never saw the famous Oprah poop episode, but I did hear about it from my mother. Mothers love to talk about bowel movements and cleansing. Jamaicans call it "wash out". Wash out means you'll drink some tea and spend the rest of the day in the bathroom. As a kid and an avid reader, this day was not nearly as traumatic as it sounds. Good excuse to lounge with a good book.

Sort of related, but mostly not. Starving Foodie blogged about beans! And corn. Come guys, it is funny.

All this talk about bowels is my
final weird weight loss tip of the day. Talking about poop is an appetite suppressant. Also cleaning a cat box is an appetite suppressant. Pretty sure you don't feel like eating that quarter pound Angus burger now. On that note . . .

Monday Food Journal
070 - Plain Yogurt
100 - Banana
000 - In honor of today's blog psyllium husk in my yogurt!
600 - Chicken Fajita Salad
260 - Flax Plus with raisin cereal
120 - 1 cup milk
105 - 1/2 Pop tart (I was scavenging after the kids. Bad habit, I know.)
075 - Frosted flakes (see excuse above)

Monday Exercise Journal
30 minute of yoga
18 flights of stairs
30 minutes in park with kids
1 hour yoga

I have tons of pictures I'd like to post, but really none for today's topic. Scat Cat on Yoga Mat will have to do. Happy eating and exercising.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Better Late . . .

Friday Food Journal
450 - Chick-Fil-A Chicken Biscuit
240 - Palak Paneer (Yummy Indian Ethnic Gourmet)
080 - Steamed Veggies
100 - Grapefruit
150 - Super Green 96 Protein Drink
175 - Grilled Cheese
165 - Fish Sticks
200 - Cookies

Friday Exercise Journal
30 minute walk
12 flights of stairs

Saturday Food Journal
300 - Egg white omlet
045 - 1/2 toast
050 - Fruit
185 - Grilled cheese
160 - Chips
070 - Hot dog
200 - Burger (slider with no bun)
050 - Cole Slaw
050 - Watermelon
180 - Veggie Sausage
100 - 2 reduced fat Oreo cookies! Only 2!!!
075 - Blueberries and strawberries
075 - Whipped Cream

Saturday Exercise Journal
30 minutes walk/run
1 hour at park with kids

Sunday Food Journal
300 - Egg white omlet
045 - 1/2 toast
175 - 1/2 biscuit
235 - Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
060 - 1/2 cup milk
100 - 1/2 cup cereal
135 - Laughing cow cheese and salsa
300 - 1/2 Turkey sandwich
200 - Spaghetti with fat free cheese. Note to self: Cheese needs fat.
150 - 1/2 cupcake no frosting

Sunday Exercise Journal
I did none. Nada. Nothing. Hung with the kids and cleaned the house all day. Not sure how to quantify cleaning, grocery shopping, and a day completely away from technology. No phones, no computer. Let us just say it was a happy day. Don't feel guilty about not working out!

Weigh-In (Weight loss July 12 to date)
-9 lbs. For the record my weight fluctuated about 6lbs during the course of the week. But as of weigh-in, the scale showed 9 lbs. I'm taking it. I may be up a pound next week. We'll see...

Weird Weight Loss Tip
Don't worry about weight loss every day of the week. That's my story and I'm sticking with it. Happy eating and happy exercising!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Just the Facts Ma'am

Thursday Exercise Journal
50 minute walk
24 flights of stairs

Thursday Food Journal
060 - Coffee
150 - Super Green 96 Protein Shake (I love green stuff, it is good. There is also blueberry if you are a wuss)
170 - Tandoori chicken (Ethic Gourmet)
100 - Steamed veggies
030 - 1 square Dove Dark Chocolate
300 - All natural organic pumpkin cream cheese muffin

I'm going to sleep. Busy day at work and home tomorrow. And I've got my real writing to do. None of this imaginary stuff. Send me what encouragement you can.

Weird Weight Loss Tip. Self Delusions.
Am I the only one noticing that you are taking weird weight loss tips from someone who needs to lose weight? Convince yourself that you are your own body subject matter expert and follow your gut, your instincts on what you need to do to become personally successful. Weight loss, writing, photography, bringing sexy back. No matter.

Not so weird weight loss tip. Sleep. Nighty, night. I'll miss you until Monday! Happy eating and exercising.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nicki's Reasons Why Not

  1. I'm too old. Age 34.
  2. I'm too tired. Okay, It's 12:18am.
  3. I'm used to my old skin.
  4. I have three small kids.
  5. I'd like to go to church more often.
  6. I have a full time job.
  7. I'm trying to write a novel.
  8. I'm trying to revise another novel that I already wrote.
  9. Facebook is lots more fun than food journaling.
  10. Facebook is a lot more fun that exercising.
  11. Pretty sure I have a husband somewhere.
  12. I need to do laundry.
  13. I should really wash the dishes.
  14. Never mind cleaning the house.
  15. I don't want to get sweaty before church on Sunday or work on Monday.
  16. I'm thinking of an excuse why I don't want to get sweaty on Saturday mornings.
  17. My volunteer commitments have hit a new high this year.
  18. Georgia Romance Writers. I'm the Vice President of Programs and Conference Co-Chair.
  19. Decatur Book Festival. I'm a stage captain and begging for a good stage.
  20. I have to change the litter box and feed the cat.
  21. The media has graciously told me that it is okay to be large, therefore I don't need to worry about my personal health or fitness.
  22. Don't, don't get me started on the media on black women . . . It is particularly cool for me to be overweight as long as I'm the comic relief. (Now you think of all the things I've said in complete seriousness that you found hysterical. Time for an Arsenio Hall "Hmmm" moment.)
  23. I'm pretty sure I brought sexy back before Timberlake did. So I don't need to lose weight.
  24. I gotta man. (What's your man gotta do with me?)
  25. My weight is my security blanket. Would you make Linus give up his?
  26. I like food. Buying food. Smelling food. Tasting food.
  27. I don't know what my life will be like if I hit my goal weight.
  28. I'm scared.
  29. I'm healthy enough.
  30. Exercising takes time away from my family.
  31. I feel selfish.
  32. I gain weight when I'm both happy and sad.
  33. My body is like a big cushion for my kids. They won't want to cuddle with a smaller me.
  34. I'm smaller than some people, isn't that good enough?
  35. Food is how I show love to myself and my family.
  36. It is easier to be a failure than to be a success.
And one reason why . . .
1. I would like to see a change in myself.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. -- Marianne Williamson

One of my sisters had a harsh conversation with me about my writing last year. She encouraged me to spend more time writing, and I responded with a variation of the list above. She told me to google "fear inadequate powerful" and told me I was afraid of being successful in my writing.

Okay maybe two reasons why . . .
2. Haruki Murakami
I was about to turn thirty. I was reaching the age at which I wouldn't be considered young anymore. And, pretty much out of the blue, it occurred to me to write a novel. I can pinpoint the exact moment when it happened. It was at 1:30 P.M., April 1, 1978. I was at Jingu Stadium, alone in the outfield, watching a baseball game. . .

If you have a chance read this article from The New Yorker 09-JUN-2008 "The Running Novelist". My friend Gaby mailed me the article around the same time I had this conversation with my sister. I think she was trying to tell me something about my writing, too. But, I had a 10 month old baby. But I had a two-year old and a four-year old. But I was working. But, but, but. That was only a year ago.

Murakami started writing, gave up smoking, and started running after the age of 30. He's done all right at these things.

The things we are supposed to do, we will do, in spite of the obstacles. My comma usage is way off there, but you get the idea. Weird Weight Loss Tip: You can list 100 reason why not, but all you need is one reason why to get started. Somehow my writing and personal fitness are intertwined this year. Happy eating and exercising.

Wednesday Exercise Journal
1 hr yoga
6 flights of stairs
1 hr dance party at kids' school
1 hr Get Ripped 1,000 with Jari Love (and I do love her)

Wednesday Food Journal
150 - 2 boiled eggs
120 - Coffee with milk
165 - Salmon salad
220 - Sushi
075 - Honeydew
100 - Pretzels
600 - Burger with no bun at school. I have no idea how many calories are in a school hamburger, but my guess is a lot.
090 - Cheese
050 - Fruit

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Maladies of a Black Girl on a Diet

Sorry I don't have a pretty picture today. You aren't here for the pretty pictures, are you? I'm also sorry about the typos. This is not ever going to be the perfectly copyedited blog.

I’d be lying if I told you I didn't have rough moments over the past three weeks. Tired, angry, frustrated moments. I’m most surprised that I rarely (twice that I can think of) have hungry moments. I thought that would be my biggest complaint. My youngest child woke up at 4:45 a.m. this morning, so I figure today is as good of a day as any to vent. Some things that irritate me about changing my life:

  • The number of plastic containers I now have to wash, or run through the dishwasher each night. Packing my lunch everyday means lots of plastic containers.
  • My arm fat. I hate it so much I can't even talk about it.
  • I don’t like coffee, but when I do drink coffee I like lots of milk in it. Having being up since the butt-crack of dawn, I’ve had today 1) a cup of half caf (half decaf and half regular coffee) and 2) cup of decaf coffee. Due to the volume of milk I like, both cups equaled a whooping 120 calories. But ya’ll coffee just doesn’t taste that good to me without the milk in it. I could have eaten a ton of other things for those 120 stinking calories.
  • When I do a set stair (6 flights to the top) at work, I get a little heated. It is not cool to feel sweaty in my work clothes.
  • My hair is a sweaty mess. Black girls don’t like getting sweaty or prefer to only get sweaty at appropriate intervals. All the sweating is ruining my do, and you know I can only get it did so often. I’m trying to extra condition my hair, but right now all the sweat is like a saltwater bath every day.
  • Sweat acne. I don’t know if this is real or if I just made it up. But I have self-diagnosed myself with this condition!
  • My house is a disaster area. Ok, my house was often a disaster area before the fitness kick, but in addition to 13 Barbie Dolls and 500 Thomas the Train pieces, I’ve got 2 yoga mats, 8 risers, 2 benches, various weights between 5 and 15 lbs, and a 27 lb barbell cluttering in my family room. I don’t really need a bigger house. I need kids and cat to live in a tent in the backyard and forage for food.
  • My current yoga practice is a great source of amusement for the masses. When yoga starts, the kids and cat emerge from the woodwork like zombies. The girls (5 and 3) are older and pretty good at yoga because they’ve been watching us for years. But the boy and the cat . . . they treat me like a piece of furniture during yoga. Nothing like cat fur in your mouth or a hug from a 2 year old when you are trying to Chaturanga Dandasana
  • The haters (I will go into greater detail on them in a future blog) and the “I can’ts.” “I can’t do what you’re doing.” Yeah well, neither can I, but I’m doing it anyway. I’m not telling anyone to do what I am doing. Maybe I watch too much LOST. “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” If it works for John Locke it can work for me, double namaste. (Another blog is forthcoming on all the reasons why I “can’t” do this)
  • My biggest complaint: I feel like I shouldn’t complain!

Weird weight loss tip.
I did a lot of grunting last night in kickboxing class. I know there's a tennis chick who got into a lot of trouble for the noise she makes. I'm guessing each grunt is worth a good 1-2 calories. My favorite part of last night’s class is when the instructor stood between a student and the body bag and made the student kick and punch him. My second favorite part is when upon seeing my form, he burst into hysterically laughter.

Another weird weight loss tip. Hysterical laughter. Good for at least 5-7 calories burned. Happy eating and exercising.

Tuesday Exercise Journal
30 minute walk
18 flights of stairs
1 hour kickboxing

Tuesday Food Journal
060 - Coffee
100 - Banana
035 - Kashi
055 - Plain Yogurt
350 - Tuna sandwich
035 - Cheese (Laughing Cow Light)
100 - Cherries
070 - Nuts
165 - 1/2 Salmon Salad Whole Foods
300 - Sushi
030 - 1 Bite of most delicious sugar cookie from Whole Foods

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Peaceful and Easy

I like the way your sparking earings lay against your skin so brown. And I want to sleep with you in the desert tonight with a million stars all around . . . As you can tell, I’ve got a peaceful easy feeling this week. Some good news to report.

I have it on good authority that Hilton Head Health now has an official beach yoga class! Hooray. Think about how many happy people will be breathing in and out like the tide.

My H3 friend Jeff has started a blog called Starving Foodie. We all have different fitness, nutrition, and weight loss strengths. Jeff knows food. I'll keep you posted when he posts cool stuff.

Unrelated to my diet, I got good news yesterday that I'm a Maggie Award Finalist. I'm rather excited. I only had two things on my to do list this year. Get healthy and final in the Maggies! I'm nervous excited and motivated to keep writing and exercising.

Today is my wedding anniversary. Since we indulged in two anniversary dinners this weekend. I will be spending this evening at a kickboxing class with my friend Kym. A lot more useful than a box of chocolates and some roses!

Weird Weight Loss Tip. Show your appreciation. Thank someone for helping you. They might be willing to help you again. Maybe the realization that you can’t do this alone will encourage you to get help from a friend. Maybe you getting motivated might help someone else get motivated.

Thank you, Karen for the beach yoga. I'm having a peaceful feeling just knowing you've got got a group doing down dogs in the sand.

Thank you, Jeff, for all the wonderful food suggestions and positive attitude.

Thank you, Kym for the kickboxing class tonight. Probably best anniversary gift I could get this year.

Thank you to what's-his-name. Workout partner, jokester, rock, partner-in-crime.

Monday Exercise Journal
20 minute walk
30 flights of stairs
1 hour of yoga

Monday Food Journal
140 - Kashi, yogurt, banana
170 - Tandoori Chicken
090 - Veggies
050 - Grapefruit
070 - Peanuts
290 - Tuna sandwich
100 - Shells and cheese
017 - 2 almonds (silly, but true)

Happy eating and exercising!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Blame It on the Rain

It was pouring on Friday night so instead of exercising outside, my husband and I opted to exercise inside . . . at Target. We spent a full hour doing laps. Dollar bins, electronics, school supplies, house wares, grocery, check-out. Repeat 12 times. It was the final two hours before closing. I’m sure they didn’t appreciate us using their store for exercise, but we kept our pace to relaxed, but purposeful. Some of my realizations from that walk:

I love Target. Other women love Tiffany’s, but Target is my Tiffany’s.
The exercise equipment is completely hidden, but low cost snack foods and movies are on the end caps across the store.
There is a Target brand low calorie frozen meal that is just like Lean Cuisines, Healthy Choice, and Weight Watcher meals.
I like looking at food, but my mind had a hard time circling the food without intending to buy any food.
I don’t just like eating food, I like buying food.
I cannot leave Target without spending at least $100.
Once I reach my goal weight I’m going to focus on reducing my Target addiction.

Friday Exercise Journal
2.5 mile walk

Friday Food Journal
100 – Whole grain waffle
420 – Veggie Wrap
140 – Fruit salad (pineapple, honeydew, grapes)
225 – Turkey burger
030 – Ketchup
100 – Baked Cheetos
040 – Coffee

Saturday Exercise Journal
Jari Love’s Get Ripped 1,000

Saturday Food Journal
150 – 2 boiled eggs
050 – Grapefruit
240 – Oat bread
130 – Baked Cheetos
025 – Oatmeal cookie
148 – Turkey, cottage cheese, veggies
150 – Cereal, yogurt, banana
1000?? – Dinner at Cakes & Ale

Sunday Exercise Journal
1.5 hours mowing the lawn
4 hours of pain from my first yellow jacket sting

Sunday Food Journal
100 – Whole grain waffle
050 – coffee
263 – Turkey sandwich
1,000?? – Dinner at Cakes & Ale

Weigh in: -7.5 lbs despite two nights of ridiculous splurging at Cakes & Ale. I'm still down half a pound from last week. My what's-his-name and I had an anniversary dinner with my parents on Saturday and one on our own on Sunday. Sunday night I ate goat for the first time and found it to be rather delicious. I ate tons of veggies and healthy stuff, but there was champagne and dessert . . . Nothing says thank you for being married to me like food! No regrets. We did some pretty good exercising to make up for the food.

Weird weight loss tip. Circle the grocery store once without putting anything in your cart. Circle the second time and pick up what you need. I made very wise food choices at Target because I had a chance to ponder before I picked up anything.