Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!!

I just wanted to make sure that I wished all my readers a Happy Easter!  I hope that the day goes well for you and that you achieve success with whatever plan you have established.

I know some of you will face this challenge so I want to remind you - WHATEVER AND HOW MUCH you choose to eat is YOUR CHOICE!  It is your body and your life.  It is none of anyone else's business. 

So don't explain, don't apologize to ANYONE if you don't want to.  AND if anyone is giving you a hard time, have a plan of what you are going to say BEFORE you join your family!!  My plan would be to say "Mind your own fucking business" but I realize not everyone has it in them to say that!

My plan is to have a completely free and clear day to eat and eat and eat.  Marc and I and the dogs hiked 11 miles today in addition to doing a P90X DVD this morning, AND I plan to run at least 7 miles tomorrow morning before leaving for Marc's sister's house.  So I am pre-emptively trying to undo some of the damage!

Have a fantastic day everyone!

Here are my boys after the hike:


Friday, March 29, 2013

Feeling good despite the bumps!

Boy am I glad that it's Friday!  It has been a very long and tiring week.  First off, I have been sick.  Just a cold, but I've felt like crap.  I haven't been sick at all in literally 2 years, so I was even more whiney about it then I would have been because I haven't been sick in so long.

I feel better today, but am a little worn out.  Yesterday I had a mental battle with myself because I reaaaalllly felt like crap and did not want to go out and run.  It would have been easy to give myself a pass.  But I didn't.  I told myself to get changed and start running and gave myself permission not to run so far if I didn't feel well.  Of course once I was into the groove I felt better, made it 6 miles, and I didn't regret running at all!  I was glad I had done it!

See, that's the thing - you either want this or you don't.  It means pushing yourself and breaking mental barriers.  I've totally learned that the mental barriers are WAY harder to overcome then the physical ones!

I continue to feel positive in the wake of my revelation last week.  My weight is completely within the limits that I like to see it, and I continue to feel confident and in control.

In other good news, it has been 2 weeks since I got my belly button pierced and it's looking really good.  No sign of rejection so far!  That makes me happy!  

AND we got P90X2 yesterday and will be doing the new yoga from that when I get home from work today.

AND the temperatures have been finally moderating just enough that I feel like warm weather is just around the corner.

I want to send some good vibes out there to everyone - I hope you are feeling as good as I am as this month comes to a close!!  Time to reset and re-evaluate - where are you on your goals?  What do want to accomplish this spring before summer comes in?  Let's make this happen!!!!.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hey, Jealousy

This title today refers now only to an awesome song by the Gin Blossoms, but also what I'm feeling!

I am a member of the website  It is where you can track your daily exercise and connect with other people who are into fitness.  So there is a WIDE variety of people on that site. That includes SERIOUS fitness freaks to people just starting out trying to get fit.

At any rate, I see people all the time asking if certain foods are "okay" to eat and what foods should be eaten after working out or asking advice on how many calories to eat and whether to use protein powder.  All good questions and all things that are useful and important to know.  

At any rate, inevitably I see a couple responses from young muscle bound guys who then list what they eat in a day.  HOLY CRAP!!  They can put some food away, seriously!!  And that makes me incredibly JEALOUS.  

Now I'm not saying I don't have issues - in general or with food - because I do!  You have seen them on full display in this blog.  BUT there is no deep dark underworld sercret - the truth is that I really just enjoy food and like eating!  Food tastes good!

But if you are a 40 year old short woman like me, the numbers break down like this:  My RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) is 1,138.  That means that if I just laid around not moving all day, that's how many calories I would burn.  If I input that I am "very active", which I think I am, into a formula that calculates stuff like this, then my calories burned per day rises to 1,963.  Therefore, theoretically, if I continue to be "very active" and eat 1,963 daily, I will MAINTAIN my current weight.  This is not a complete exact science, but is pretty accurate.

Now let's look at the case of our muscle bound 25 year old.  Let's say that he is 25 years old, 5'11" and weighs 175 pounds.  His RMR is 1,801.  That means that he burns ALMOST as much as me being "active" just by being alive!!!   And if he is classified as "active" he gets to eat 3,107 calories a day to maintain his weight.

Now I know that dems da breaks, as they say.  BUT I think of how much MORE I could eat if I was to get 3100 calories a day.  I wouldn't want to eat crap - rarely do I crave things like that any more.  But the trail mix and extra bananas and bagel (oh how I miss BAGELS) and more rice that I could have at a meal.....  

Picture me now lying down on my stomach kicking my feet - it's just not fair!!!!!!!  So, yes, today I remain JEALOUS!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My blog-aversary!

Today marks one year since I started writing this blog.  Wow.  In some ways I feel like I just started writing it a few weeks ago.  I've really been through a lot over the past year.  

I obviously had major surgery for the first time in my life when I had the excess skin removed.  That has been a life changing experience.  I still have the large scar all the way around that reminds me - every single time I see myself naked that I had it.  But I tend to look less at the scar now and instead focus on my slowly emerging abs.

I see that in that first post that I said I had lost 205 pounds as of that writing.  So that means I've lost another 23 pounds since then.  7 can be attributed to the surgery and the rest due to more hard work.

Those of you who have been reading from the start or close to the start have seen a lot!  You've seen way more of my body then you probably ever wanted to see - from before pics to right after surgery pics!  You've watched as I hit my weight loss goal.  You've seen me flying high and have also seen my total and complete meltdowns.  

I hope that there are people reading that find value in this blog - otherwise it's more like me publicly publishing a diary!   

I'm feeling really good as I continue this journey and please let me know if you have anything that you would like me to talk about in my blog posts!  I'm not sure what the future holds, but I'm looking forward to maintenance and all that comes with it!

Monday, March 25, 2013


What sacrifices have you made along this journey?  If you can't think of anything then either you are extraordinarily lucky or you're missing something.  

I wish that this journey was all about simply cutting calories but it isn't.  There are tons of sacrifices that have to be made, and I'm not talking about giving up certain foods.  For me one of the things that has meant giving up certain hobbies as there simply is not enough time in the day to accomplish what I want to and still have time left over to engage in certain hobbies.

I think that there is also a sacrifice of your sense of self and where you fit in in the world.  What have you asked your family to sacrifice?  Especially for those people with children, I know that this has to be a struggle. 

But what it comes down to is how badly do you want it?  

I have been thinking about this the last few days since my revelation because I have sacrificed so much in the last 3 years and I am wondering if I can start putting some things back in my life that I have sacrificed.  

I have to say that 3 days into this revelation, I am feeling great.  I continue to feel strong and positive about where I am headed.  I realized yesterday while running that I was running because I wanted to run, not because I had a certain calorie number that I wanted to burn off.  It felt good.

And now the weather channel is PROMISING me that spring is within reach.  I can't wait - this summer is going to be fantastic, I know it! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Why so serious?

I had a total revelation last night!!  There I was laying in bed, crocheting and watching "Touch" when out of no where, a thought popped into my head and everything became clear.


  1. A surprising and previously unknown fact, esp. one made in a dramatic way.

I tell my addicted clients all the time that they MUST learn to have fun in sobriety or there will be no reason for them to be sober and they will end up either relapsing or having a clean and sober life but will be miserable.

And then I realized - Am I truly enjoying life?  I mean, I have a good life, and I enjoy it, but could it be better?  Damn right!  Between constantly fighting my weight and placing rigid and inflexible demands on myself, I have narrowed my enjoyment of life.  And, especially for me - who does not believe in any sort of afterlife - what the hell am I doing?  What's the point of being thin and healthy if I don't enjoy the fruits of my labor?

How many more minutes of my life do I want to spend feeling guilty because I ate a piece of cake?  How much more time do I want to spend hating myself because I missed a workout?  I only have so many days left of this earth and why would I want to spend even one more second hating myself because the number on the scale is 3 pounds higher then it "should" be?

The answer my friends, is ZERO!!!  So let me tell you what I am thinking.  This is NOT going to be an excuse to fall back into old and unhealthy behaviors.  I am still going to eat right and exercise.  But my plan is to cut myself some slack!  I am no longer going to obsess about the number on the scale or let it define me, or let it dictate my happiness!  I am going to allow myself times of off plan eating without then berating myself and calling myself names.  I am going to miss a workout at times - life and shit happen - and that is not going to mess me up mentally.

Those are my goals.  And they start TODAY, right now.  I am a good person with a lot to offer this world whether I weigh 115 or 150.  And it's about time I started treating myself better.  I can't help but wonder if my self-hatred is what made me fat in the first place?

Wish me luck, and how would you feel about joining me on this quest of self-acceptance and a fuller more meaningful life?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Loose skin - a RANT!

First let me start off by saying this - I was SO SO SO lucky to be in a position where I could have the excess skin on my abdomen removed.  I absolutely know that and I thank my lucky stars EVERY SINGLE DAY that this was able to happen for me.  It improved my life in so many ways.  I am a very fortunate person.

I am prefacing this post with that, because this post is inevitably going to piss some people off and/or offend them.  I'm about to go off about some things, and if you think you might be offended, you might as well stop reading now.  

OK, don't say I didn't warn you!

I'm breaking this into 2 parts.  I've been reading a lot lately on the weight loss site that I am on about loose skin.  The first thing that people do is say that they are afraid of loose skin.  This is met with an inevitable reply from someone telling them that 1) their skin will DEFINITELY firm up in 1 year and/or 2) they need to try this or that cream and it will firm their skin up.

THERE IS NO CREAM THAT WILL PERMANTENTLY FIRM UP MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF LOOSE SKIN - PERIOD.  And while we're at it, it won't remove stretch marks, either!!

How much loose skin firms up is determined by many, many factors.  That includes:

  • Simple genetics - some people are luckier then others
  • How long you have been obese
  • How obese you were/how much you have lost.
  • Have you had any pregnancies.
Now if you are 24 years old and were always fit and then porked up a little during college and have now lost 30 pounds, loose skin is likely not going to be a big deal.  But if you have been extremely overweight like I was and have lost a lot, you are going to have a lot of loose skin.

There are some things that can help with loose skin:

  • Drinking water.
  • Losing weight slowly
  • Exercising and building muscle
  • Not smoking
I did all of the above AND I had no pregnancies - but does anyone really think that THIS was going to "firm up" after 1 year??!!

I don't believe in lying/coddling people by pretending loose skin in not going to be an issue.

THEN, I see posts from people afraid to lose weight because they will have loose skin.

Are you effing kidding me???  Do you really think that you are better off in life with 100 pounds of FAT rather then some extra skin??!!

Health wise, that is RIDICULOUS!  Getting the weight off will extend your life and make you feel so much better!

But let's forget about health for a minute - even with loose wobbly skin - which you see when you look at yourself naked - that skin  is not all that noticable when you are clothed!!

Does anyone really think I looked better here:

Then here when I had all kinds of loose skin?

Trust me, having 100+ pounds of FAT on you looks WAY worse then some extra skin!!!  Seriously, that is such a stupid thing to worry about.  

LOSE THE WEIGHT, get fit, get healthy and then worry about some loose skin and what - if anything - you want to do about it.

Ok, rant off :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Welcome to spring!

Holy frig!  Mother Nature did not get the memo that is is spring, that's for sure!  As I am typing this, it is snowing extremely hard here.  How incredibly frustrating and depressing!  But spring HAS to come eventually, right?

I don't know about you, but it is hard to keep my spirits up when the weather sucks so bad.  On the other hand, spring itself it about renewal!  So, I know that some of you are out have been struggling to keep on this journey.  So I'll give you a kick in the pants - IT'S SPRING!  TIME TO GET YOUR ASS IN GEAR!!

Let's go people!  Time to start eating right, excercing and getting your life together in general!  Although I'm doing pretty well, I have found myself in a bit of the winter doldrums and consequently in a rut.

I am taking today - despite Mama Nature's fury - as a time of strength and renewal.  Time to refocus and recommit.  Are you with me???

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Set point theory....

I've been seeing a LOT of talk lately on set point theory.  Basically, set point theory says that for each person there is a certain metabolic "set point" for weight and body fat and that is what can make it exceedingly difficult to lose weight and/or body fat AND especially hard to maintain the weight if you do get down (or up in some lucky bastard cases) in the long term.

Since I never lost any significant weight before I started this journey in 2010, I have no experience in the losing-regaining wars.  But I have seen many people who have lost weight and then have had their weight creep back up and it creeps back up to what seems like a set number.  

There are various research studies, but none that have me convinced either way.  Often researchers cite that we have a pattern of eating and exercising and if we fall back into that pattern after losing weight, that we will go back up to where we started.  Other research points out that there are some people that appear to be able to eat in a certain way and they don't move from their weight while others in relatively similar situations eat that way and gain weight.

This is what I can say from my own experience.  My goal is to hover between 115-119 pounds.  A "red-line" is what maintainers refer to as the weight where they are starting to get too high and need to lose weight.  For me that number is 120.  I hit 119 - under the red line in July.  I weighed in this morninat 120.9 - a full pound over my red-line.  And this is what I notice - when I have some times of "naughty" eating, I usually swing way up and then come to rest at 120-121.  My body loves being at 120-121 and it is a continuous battle to get under that number.  

Now, let me point out that I have been maintaining for less then 8 months, and many of those months have been winter, so I'll have to see what happens long term.

But it begs a couple of questions - the first is IS there a set point for my body of 120 ish?  Secondly, how long and how hard do I want to keep fighting to stay under 120?  If I can easily and happily maintain at 120-121 should I just do that or should I keep fighting to get down to 116-117.

I'm not ready to surrender to 120+ yet, but it is giving me something to think about!

What do you guys think about set point theory?

Monday, March 18, 2013

No need to brag....

So I ran another 13 miles yesterday.  Afterwards, I was feeling pretty pumped.  So I posted about the accomplishment on Facebook as well as  

And then I started to feel like a pathetic attention whore.  I'm not one who has ever shied away from attention, that's for sure.  But outright bragging has never been my style.  I don't feel like I have bragged about my weight loss or some of the other things that I have accomplished, but maybe I have.

I am proud of some of my accomplishments, but as you know, I truly don't see myself as anyone's inspiration and I'm not trying to shove anything in anyone's face. I think there is a fine line between giving yourself props and being annoying.  What do you guys think?

In other news, this is the winter that just won't die and I'm getting more and more sick of it.  I can't wait to wear short sleeves and to not leave in the morning bundled up like an eskimo.  And I'm sick of freezing my ass off every time I got for a run!  We explored a new trail in Onondaga County this weekend, and I couldn't fully enjoy it because my fingers were frozen!  I wanted to take a really long walk, but by 6 miles, I was so cold all I wanted to do was get in the car and CRANK the heat.

Ok, enough whining.  The good news is that I got a LOT done yesterday after my run.  The cleaning and organization goals are going pretty well.  That always makes my mood better when I can cross things off my "TO DO" list!!  I hope everyone out there is meeting their goals!  And if you are in one of the warm places - thank your lucky fricking stars!!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Oh yes I did do it!

As you guys know, I have been delighted with my skin removal results - all except the belly button.  I've hemmed and hawed around it and it really has been more of an annoyance - just another thing about my imperfect body that I bitch about.  

But bikini season is approaching.  And yesterday I got a bug up my butt.  This is the result:

Yup, I got the sucker pierced!  He clamped it up and rammed a needle though and literally 10 minutes after I arrived at the place I had a new piercing!

So here's the deal.  Because I had no overhang, this is not considered a real navel piecing.  Instead it is what they call a "surface piercing".  I know nothing about piercings as the only thing I had pierced before yesterday was my ears.  Surface piercings don't have much to "hold on to" and are much more likely for the body to reject them and toss them out.  In fact, some statistics are as high as 70% rejection rate!!

So I am really happy with how this looks - it covers where the hole for the belly button would be so I think it makes the tummy look more normal.  Once it heals - (FINGERS CROSSED) I can put in more fancy dangly jewelery if I want.  I really really hope this takes!

The things I have going for me is that my belly button had basically turned into scar tissue and it is more likely to hold in a scar then in "regular" skin.  Also, apparently the more healthy you are the less likely rejection will occur.  And I fit that bill.   I won't know for sure that it has decided to take for about 6-8 weeks!

So do you guys like it?  And please send healing vibes for it to not reject!!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

A tale of 2 Boxers...

I took these pictures last night when the boys ran on the treadmill.  

It brings up an interesting thought about weight.  Both of my boys are Boxers and they are almost exactly 1 year apart.  They are both fed the exact same food.  They are both allowed to eat whenever they feel like it (free feeding).  They both are allowed the same amount of time and occasion to exercise.

They came from separate breeders.  But they are both from reputable breeders who did extensive health testing on the parents.  And neither of my boys (KNOCK ON WOOD) have any serious health issues.  

But as you can see, one is overweight and one is super thin.  You can't see it all that well in this pic, but Archer (the white Boxer) actually has ribs that show and looked almost too thin to me the other night.  Chakotay on the other hand, is very muscled, but definitely could stand to lose some weight.

So why is this?  It just goes to show that we humans are not the only ones who have issues when it comes to food.  Chakotay clearly chooses to overeat while Archer doesn't.  Someday, I think they are going to find a gene for this.  And maybe it will be like a "treatable condition" and there will be a pill for it.

For now - well, I gotta get Chakotay to eat less and move more - just like his Mommy!  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Scale anxiety!!!

Nope, this is NOT what you think it is going to be.  Do you want to know what my weight is today?  Well, SO DO I, because this morning my weight was LO BAT.  And then the stupid damn thing turned off.  I think I tried it about 7 additional times before realizing the fracking thing was not going to weigh me.  

GRRRR.....  I've been working to get off the weight from last week's pig out fest, and not knowing how much I weighed this morning is totally bugging me out!  Stupid, huh?  I mean, I weigh what I weigh, right?  Knowing or not knowing doesn't change it.

I am very tied to the scale and getting that feedback every morning about where I stand and it's like something is terribly wrong when I can't know it.

I am a member of the National Weight Control Registry - it's an organization that tracks people who have sucessfully lost weight and kept it off.  They happened to contact me yesterday to update my information.  They have lots of statistics showing what "successful losers" do and do not do to have lost weight and kept it off.

75% weigh themselves at least once per week according to their research.  I would be interested in how many weigh themselves at least once per day.  

So, this means I will stop on my way home to buy some batteries!  And then I'll know tomorrow how much I weigh.  And it won't really mean a damn thing, but it will make me happy!!

How often do you guys weigh yourselves?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The soda police...

There has been a lot in the new lately about sugary drinks.  A ban on supersized sodas that was scheduled to go into effect today in New York City was overturned yesterday.  

As I've mentioned here, one of the first steps I made in this weight loss journey was decreasing my Mountain Dew intake.  I used to drink 2-3 Mountain Dews per day.  Do you know how much sugar that is?  I didn't.  A 12 ounce can of Mountain Dew has about 1/4 cup sugar!!  That means that with the amount I was drinking, I was consuming at least a CUP OF SUGAR A DAY just from my soda intake.  Holy frig!  

I miss my Mountain Dew.  I really do.  But that just shows how addictive these substances are!  Think switching to diet is the answer?   Well, you are WRONG.  I have often commented that diet sodas are evil, and I've taken a lot of flack for saying that from people.

Well, guess what?  There is some recent research that supports this - In the March 2013 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition they published a story that found:
  • Diet sodas raised the risk of diabetes more than sugar-sweetened sodas!
  • Women who drank one 12-ounce diet soda had a 33 percent increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, and women who drank one 20-ounce soda had a 66 percent increased risk.
  • The average diet soda drinker consumes three diet drinks a day
Wait, say that again?  YES - the study found that the risk of DIABETES was increased in diet soda drinkers MORE than regular sodas!!

So, I hate to tell you this, but for weight loss and health, you need to toss soda - diet and regular.

As for the ban on super-sized sodas?  I'll be interested to see how this plays out.  There is no doubt that these sodas DO contribute to obesity.  But so do Doritos.  And most fast food - hell, most restaurant food.  So where do we stop?  I don't know about saving the world, but I did make a choice to save myself.  I try to lead by example.  I am far from perfect.  

What example are you setting today?

Monday, March 11, 2013


I say to my clients all the time - "You can do whatever you want in this life as long as you are willing to face the consequences."  

This is my problem.  I don't want consequences.  I want to be able to eat whatever I want whenever I want and not have it reflect on the scale.  And when I see people that are able to just eat - and eat and eat - without seeming to gain an ounce, it makes me want to lay on the floor and throw a temper tantrum.

I am feeling kind of crappy today - I'm sore from running so far yesterday and combined with the "spring ahead" that meant I'm back to waking up in the dark - which I hate - I'm tired and cranky.  The scale did not help this morning as my weight is way up.  Some of that is CONSEQUENCES from last week's choices and some of it is because of water retention from my long run.

So I'm super pouty.  Losing the hour meant I didn't get done everything that I wanted to and I find myself behind in my goals of cleaning and organization.  I did accomplish a few things yesterday including raking out the chicken house - that's a smelly damn job.  But I still have a lot to do.

Ok, so one step at a time, one accomplishment at a time.  How is everyone else doing on your goals?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A new goal....

Well, I think I have a new goal.  It's to run a 1/2 marathon.  That's 13.1 miles.  As you can see from the above pic I actually did that this morning, but not in a competition, so it doesn't count :)

I was going to run 12 but I took a new route that was a little longer then I thought it would be, and I arrived back at my house at 12.30 miles.  Well, hell, if I'm that close, I might as well run the other .75 miles and round up!

I can remember with crystal clear clarity the first time I ran 3 miles straight.  It seemed SO FAR and I was so excited. But I had run a 5K. 

Do you know that I STILL don't think of myself as a runner?  I had someone at the conference look at my calves and say that I must be a runner.  The words "No, I just run a little" almost came out of my mouth. 

So, there's my lofty non-weight-related goal for this year.  What's yours?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A mixed bag...

Hi everyone!

I just returned from a training out of town.  The training was actually really good.  It was on my expertise of substance abuse, but I learned some new things and I continue to be amazed at what research shows and how a drug addict's journey can be SO much like the weight loss journey.  I'll be talking more about that later.

So this conference was held at a fancy hotel.  Let's talk about the bad first and get that out of the way.  The food they served during the conference was actually pretty healthy.  But there was a LOT of it, and I ate and ate and ate and ate.  It was absolutely pathetic.  I just am not able to regulate myself when there is a huge table full of delicious - and free - food.

However, I was pretty successful when it comes to exercising.  I left Wednesday afternoon and made sure I ran before I left.  Then, both Thursday and Friday I got up early and used the really nice fitness room they have.  As I was running on the elliptical yesterday morning at 6:45 AM I asked myself - "Who is this person??"  Who gets up at the crack of dawn when you could sleep in?  I guess that is me, as hard as it is to believe!

So it was a mixed bag this trip.  I weighed myself this morning and of course, I am up a couple of pounds.  We'll see what the real damage is in a few days.  But I know what I have to do to get back down and I will start that!

Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Living well is the best revenge?

On the weight loss site that I'm on, someome recently posted a topic that she wondered if revenge was a "valid" reason for lising weight.  Basically she was dumped by a guy and wanted to show him by becoming thin and hot and show him what he was missing out on.  

There were a lot of interesting responses to that query.  Some people were very disgusted by her and commented that she should be losing weight for herself and no one else.

I don't know how I feel about this - I mean who is to say anyone's reason for losing weight is right or wrong as long as it gets the job done.  Most of my clients are only clean and sober because they will go to PRISON if they use drugs and alcohol.  Is avoiding prison any less of a valid reason then say doing it for your kids?  I would say the same about losing weight.

When I was losing weight, I truly never gave much thought to what other people thought.  I was just focused on what I needed to do.  But I was just talking the other day to Marc and remarked that I bet that people talked behind my back - making remarks about whether or not I would keep at this - especially the exercising, since it's pretty noticable when I go out to run during my lunch hour.  

Because I know human nature, there is no doubt in my mind that people did talk about me and certainly said things about how I would not continue this commitment to a lifestyle change and probably were a little snotty about it.

So there's a part of me that would like to know who said what so I could be like "That's right, bitch, I did it!"  Does that make me petty?  Probably.  But it doesn't make the weight loss any less real.  

What is your main motivation for losing weight?  Yeah, yeah, getting healthy, blah blah blah.  But what about some of your less admirable reasons?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Things I love: Quinoa

I know that I've mentioned quinoa before, but every time I bring it up to someone locally, no one seems to know what it is!  So I thought I would talk about it here.  It's pronounced KEEN-wah.  I'll be having it for dinner tonight with some Haddock! 

Quinoa is a grain that can be used as a substitute for rice or other startches.  However, due to a high protein count, it is also often used as a meat substitute and quinoa burgers are pretty common.  It's taste is a little more hearty and "nuttier" then something like rice.  

It is easily cooked - using either water or broth you boil it up.  Most people thoroughly rinse or soak the quinoa, because it can have a bitter outer coating that needs to be removed and the rinsing or soaking does that.  1 cup cooked has 222 calories - about the same as brown rice.  But it has a much higher protein count and keeps you full for a long time.  It also has about twice the fiber of other grain sources.

I find it extremely yummy and it's extremely versatile, so give it a try!  

Monday, March 4, 2013

What could have been...

Today is March 4th.  Had my father not died of a heart attack he would have been 65 today.  I'm not sure why, but this journey has made me think of my father more then any other point in my life since his death.

Maybe it has the most to do with me getting close to the age he was when he died - 42.  I was 18 at the time, and from then until just a couple of years ago, I was pretty much resigned to the "fact" that I was going to meet the same fate.  Not necessarily at 42, but young and well before my time.  

Things are so different now.  I actually think of myself as having a future.  Which is a good thing!  But it also makes me again reflect on what if?  I wonder what he could have done - what I could have done for him - that would have saved his life.  I realize there is no answer to this.

Marc's niece Maryann (hi Maryann!) is scheduled to have her baby Maxine today.  While I'll never forget my Dad, I'm hoping that next year I associate this day with her birthday instead of my father's and that it's a happier day.

Trying to remember this....

Sunday, March 3, 2013

8 years!!

Marc and I got married 8 years ago today!  Happy Anniversary to us! 

As I've mentioned before, we met in 1989 when I was 16 and he was 22.  It was literally love at first sight.  At the time, I think I would have been described as "chunky but cute".  He was really skinny.  Over the years we both had our weight increase - mine more then his.  We've been through a lot together, and there were times I wasn't sure if we would make it.  But we never broke up, and instead we fought to keep US together.

I couldn't believe it when I looked back at our wedding photos.  First I should let you know that the main catalyst for our actual marriage was Marc getting covered on my fantastic state health insurance - romantic, huh?  So we decided on a Sunday to get married and had the Judge that I work with marry us in the courtroom where I work every day that Thursday.  So this is not a traditional wedding photo!!

Holy hell!  LOL  I loved that dress and thought it looked great on me.

Anyway, I wonder what that couple would say if they could see a picture of us today.  I wonder how 2005 Jennifer would react if I told her that on her 8th wedding anniversary she would start the day off by running 11 miles.  She would call me a psychotic liar I think!!  

Our lives were good then, but they are better now.  Losing the weight together - motivating each other and celebrating our victories - that has pulled us closer then we have ever been.  Marc caring for me after my surgery just confirmed our unconditional love for one another.  I am one lucky woman, let me tell you!

This is us today - 8 years later - before going out to lunch at Applebees...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Welcome March!!

March always seems to mark the unofficial start of spring.  However, here in Northern NY, Mother Nature did not get the memo!  The weather is miserable here - cold and snowy.  I'm getting really super sick and tired of running outside in ankle deep slush and freezing my ass off!

But here's the good news - it HAS to get better, right?  Here's the other piece of good news - it's the first of the month!  Although we shouldn't wait to start anything until the 1st of anything, so often times we do.  So today is a new start if you've had a bad week or month! 

Pretty soon it will be hot out, and you'll want to look great in shorts and tank tops and swimsuits!  You can make a huge dent in weight loss during the spring!  It is 13 weeks until June - what can you accomplish in the next 13 weeks?

For me, March is going to start off challenging.  I will be at a conference out of town for some of next week, and it includes working lunches and continental breakfasts where it will be hard to resist unhealthy temptations and getting a regular workout might prove challenging.  

But who has the power to choose my behavior?  ME.  The same as you!!  If you are waiting for a fairy with her magic wand, I'm afraid you are going to be sorely disappointed.  The only one who can make this journey is you!  You need to find the commitment inside and get to work.  

The other day on the weight loss site someone who had been trying to eat right and exercise for 2 whole weeks started a thread saying how hard this is.  Well, no shit, Sherlock.  If this were easy, EVERYONE would be fit and thin.  

Only you can decide to make the changes.  Only you can do the work.  Are you ready?

I'm ready to walk it with you!  Take my hand and let's go!