Friday, January 30, 2009

No Excuses, No Regrets

I've always been a dreamer.

I can't begin to count the times that I would lay awake in bed and night and tell myself that tomorrow would be the day.
...That I would awaken to a stream of bright sunlight and be exalted to Diet Heaven.
...That I would instantly be a calorie conscious angel- with no cravings, or cheating, or impassioned chocolate dreams.
...That I would get up and get on with it.
...That my body fat would melt away like rancid lard
until all that was left was solid muscle...
(and great boobs).

But I have always been the Queen of Excuses, too.

There's no way I could possibly start my diet until Monday.
Or until I finished off the two cartons of Cadbury Eggs and the five pounds of frozen buffalo wings that called my name in ten second intervals.
Nope, can't do it today- I've got half a cheesecake left, my kids are stressing me out, I don't feel good, and life's too short not to inhale a double order of chili fries.

Of course, the New Year always seemed promising at first- Making resolutions, tossing out bad habits, turning over leaves and burning bridges and all that other stuff that people who have control can manage quite easily.
But that's just it. I was out of control.

New Year's Day was always definitely out as a starting place.
I like my margaritas.
I could almost see myself swell up like a puff fish with alcohol and sodium.
Not to mention the vast array of sneaky snacks that attached themselves like cellulite leeches to my torso.

February was out, too.
How could I possibly diet on Groundhog Day?

And then came the all-dreadful Valentines Day. I used to keep the empty heart shaped candy boxes my husband gave me, just so I could sniff the lid once in awhile and get a chocolate high.

Then there's St. Patrick's Day in March. (Green beer and Irish Stew).
April :Easter. (Those deliciously evil chocolate eggs again !)
May: Memorial Day (grilled cheeseburgers, butter lathered roasting ears, that cute red, white and blue patriotic Jello cake).
June: Flag Day (?? I always thought of something!)
July: Independence Day (Brats as big as my arm and chip dip out of this world).
August: Uhhhh....For those of you who don't know- it happens to actually be National Picnic Month. (Fried chicken, baby!)
September: Of course- the good-ol food-laden Labor Day weekend! (Cold beer, barbecue, and pie!)
October: Halloween (Candy everywhere!)
November: Thanksgiving ( Well, you can imagine the whole spread without my help).
December: Christmas (Cookies, cakes, and every possible treat before the New Year starts).

But this time it's different.
No, I'm not an angel yet.
I am still drawn toward the foods that aren't the best choices, but I study them a long, long time before I do something I'll regret. It always helps me to go away and busy myself for thirty minutes or so or look at weight loss success stories on YouTube.
Then, go back to the kitchen - look at that Danish roll -and spit on it!

I can't make excuses anymore.
I can't try to justify eating binges or extra helpings.
I can't keep dreaming that it will all happen overnight.

Because, you know, it is a journey.
Every single day there's a twist in the road or rain pouring down.
But let strength be your umbrella.
Let your heart be your guide.

Get up and get on with it!
Let no excuses keep you
from your heaven.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


This is for entertainment purposes only. It is not meant to offend. Remember: Diets aren't fun, but they can be funny.

Ambushed In The Underarm Deodorant Aisle

I've made a new habit to steer clear of dangerous food items when I shop for groceries every week. I've trained myself fairly well to avoid those temptations that lurk around every corner. But what happened yesterday can only be described as an ambush. I was caught off guard- amazed at the gall of some manufacturers. I was visibly shaken that they have chosen to make even a trip down the personal hygiene aisle, a dieters nightmare.

Yeah, I was minding my own business. Pushing the cart. Humming some old Eagles tune. Checking my list to see that I needed body wash, deodorant, shampoo, and toothpaste. Should have been easy, right?


What business does Chocolate Pie body wash have amid the soap selections? Or Fruit and Yogurt, Cherry Jubilee, or Lemon Meringue? It's soap, for God's sake! I'm not eating it- I'm washing with it!
I drooled just a bit as I examined the entire array of choices in everything from soap to mouthwash.
Vanilla Sugar Scrub, Honey Almond Body Butter, Tantalizing Tapioca, and Macadamia Body Mousse. There was Pumpkin- scented- Coconut -encrusted- Strawberry- infused body delights that sounded too good to be wasted in the bath. (Unless, of course, your skin absorbed the goodness.)
I weakly wheeled my cart past personal deodorants with names like: Southern Peach, Vanilla Sparkle, Tropical Treat, and Island Cocoa.
Even toothpaste gets in on the ambush with cinnamon, bubblegum, and vanilla mint.

I quickly made my selections, pulling out of the strange hold those bath and body aisles had upon me.

So, last night I took a soaking bath with my Chocolate Cake Body Wash. I was tempted to eat the bubbles, but I wasn't sure of the calorie count. I really did smell good as I got dressed for bed.

"What's that smell?" my husband asked as we lay in the darkness.

"Silky Chocolate wafers?" I teased, "Velvety smooth cocoa mousse?

"No...not that.." he told me, as I realized he was searching for answers."I know what it is, but I can't quite put my finger on it."

"A thin mint? A chocolaty whipped kiss? I suggested, as I wrapped my arms tighter around him.

"! I've got it!! he exclaimed, practically jumping out of bed,"A Chunky!"


So, my advice to you all is -don't be ambushed. Even those foods or food fragrances you think are marvelous -are bound to disappoint in the long run. Purging, binging, or throwing caution to the wind are simply self-destructive. We must always be cautious- acutely aware that an ambush could be waiting at the next family dinner, night out, or birthday celebration.

Stay clean.
Don't be a Chunky.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Super Bowl Inspiration

I thought Wal Mart loved me.

When I started mt diet in January, Wal Mart went all-out to provide huge displays of healthy food choices, end-caps tall with lo-cal snacks, a bakery section with whole wheat, high fiber breads. There were full page ads with the latest exercise equipment, bathroom scales, and the most current diet books. Wal Mart was undulated with work-out clothing, great tennis shoes, and sweat wear.

I loved Wal Mart for considering me- and millions of other non-thin people. I embraced the freshness of the store- the impression that I mattered.
I was thrilled that there was a haven- a shelter- an understanding friend at Wally World.

But sadly, now my giant friend has broken my heart- seemingly tossing me aside and almost forgetting our relationship.

Now Wal Mart is snuggling up with Doritos and guacamole and Pepsi displays. Making out with Party pizzas and thick cheese dips and football shaped Fritos.
I've been dumped for the Super Bowl.

Hey- I want a tight end, too. I want to tackle those bad habits and block those irresponsible choices that left me down and out. I don't want to foul out or fumble on this important journey. I really don't want to be a wide receiver of donuts anymore!

I will keep focused on the goal and finally shed this pigskin. I will continue this power sweep, this forward progress, this scramble to finding thin.
And I don't need Wal Mart as my coach!

I'm your greatest fan.
I care about your progress.
We all can do this -with strength and determination and a winning attitude.

Only 177 days till TOUCHDOWN!
Give me a high-five !!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Comfort and Joy

We had a snow storm last night. Funny how it took an act of nature to put this diet thing into better perspective.

Last year when the experts called for a winter storm watch, I was bundled up in a matter of seconds. I quickly stuffed myself under the steering wheel and headed to town, ready to stock up on necessities before the first flake fell.

But what I considered necessities then were: pecan pies, snack cakes, chips & dip, cheesy stuff, deep dish pizza, giant sticks of summer sausage, and other various calorie-laden treats. I couldn't wait to get back home and curl up on the couch under a blanket- smothering a plate of nachos with everything from the pantry- (and leaving room for a chunk or two of cheesecake). The bad weather gave me an excuse to pig out- to seek comfort and warmth in food.

Shame, shame, shame on me.

This year was different.
This time when I headed to town, I actually thought of real necessities- like batteries and candles and even new footie socks.
I wasn't so focused on the food part.

Yet, I made sure I had an ample supply of healthy meals so that we wouldn't be tempted to graze into Carry-Out Land.
Curling up with steaming tilapia, cooked cabbage, fresh peas and yellow squash last evening was just as filling as my old choices.
And the great thing about it is - I could look at myself in the mirror and not be ashamed.
I did my best.
I stuck to the plan.
I altered my life

Finding Thin will be like finding fun.
Maybe I'll have the energy to build a snowman,
to take a brisk walk amid the crystal covered trees-
shovel a nice wide walkway from the drive to the porch....

It's good to know there are no more excuses. No occasions to totally pig out.

There is only this journey filled with hope-
that leads through the snow storm
and into the summer sun.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Weight-Loss Weirdos

I thought that I had heard about every diet known to man. Even down to the apple cider vinegar deal, the cabbage soup system, and the banana diet. Well, this morning I read about a diet that tops all the freaky things that people do to become thin.

There are such people on this planet that call themselves "breatharians". They believe that food and water are not necessary to sustain life. They claim humans can live solely by the energy in sunlight.

That's it?
You mean we can do away with counting calories, points, and ounces? We can toss those measuring cups, scales, and 100 calorie snack packs? We can forget about the fiber and sugar substitutes and Olean? We can give up crappy diet food for pure sunshine?

Well, according to the Breatharian founder, Wiley Brooks, the process must be learned correctly.
You can't just go sit in a tanning booth and expect a miracle.

But what you can do is send Mr. Brooks twenty-five million dollars which allows you to participate in his empowered ascension initiation workshop. Here you will learn the basics of this program.

But folks, please don't run and grab your check book yet. Here's what his website also says:

Breatharian Institute Of America : The five magical 5th dimensional words.

1. Jot Niranjan
2. Omkar
3. Rarankar
4. Sohang
5. Sat Nam

Start meditating with these magic words for at least 30 minutes a day to begin with and increase your meditating time to 2 hours a day as soon as possible. Repeat them in the exact order that they are.

Do the meditation exersize before drinking lots of diet coke in the 20 oz and 1 liter sizes (with caffeine) in the plastic bottles only. Along with a double-quarter-pounder/with cheese meal at McDonald's only. Always meditate 30 mins to an hour before eating. Try to eat at least one meal a day for a while. Go back to my web site periodically to see if you can start to feel the magic after reading a few paragraphs.

What a nut case! In 1983 Wiley Brooks was was allegedly observed leaving a 7-Eleven with a Slurpee, hot dog and Twinkie.

Think I'll hold on to my twenty-five million. That would sure buy a lot of cabbage!

This story just goes to show that we can't rely on magic, fads, or dangerous drugs to help us lose weight. We know how it works. Eat less and exercise more. That's the only way to "Find Thin".

Hope you are all doing well and that you have a happy face while stepping on the scale today.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Safe House

I'm kind of a home body.

Since this diet started, I haven't really been out of the house for a long enough period of time to get hungry.
I pick up groceries, get gas, and then run right back to the safety of my little diet house.
I know I'm safe here.
There are no sweets, no chips, no chocolate delights.
Here, I embrace my Boca Burgers and Special K.
And I keep out unwanted enticement.

But, my husband and I are going on a weekend trip. That means a car ride past every available restaurant in the world! And a hundred mini-marts, teeming with snack heaven. Signs shouting Pecan Logs! Deep Dish Pizza! ALL YOU CAN EAT!

I know the Cracker Barrels and Olive Gardens will try to seduce me.
I know I'll get those come-on looks from Burger King and Taco John.
I know I'll be thinking Arby's!

But, after my initial salivating, slobbering and sweating,
I'll be thinking of all of you.
Of how we have pulled together in a blogging militia to overcome the interference of unhealthy foods.
Of how we have fought and survived these past few weeks with an unfaltering resolve to finish this journey successful.
This blog bond is stronger than any TGIFriday's ever could be, and more comforting to my soul than angel food cake.

Besides, I'm just going to another little diet house just like mine.

It has warmth, companionship,
reckless bouts of laughter- (that's the part I like)-
and safe harbor.
Yes, I'm going to visit one of my sisters.
(No, no, no...NOT the one who wears size 8 jeans)!

But I'm going to see my best buddy Linda, who has saturated her veins with tuna fish and chicken and rode shotgun with me this entire trip.

Thanks, Linda. I love ya.
We can do this.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Who Cut The Cheese?

"What was that?" my husband asked, peeping over the newspaper, trying to tune his hearing.

"What's what?" I replied, turning another page of my worn paperback, never looking up.

"Thought I heard something- a grunt, maybe. A pop. Do you have popcorn in the microwave?" he asked.

"No." I lied. "It was probably just the dog."

My poor dog. He's gotten a lot of the blame lately. Not only is there no "people food" left on our plates for him since this diet, but he's been my scapegoat.
My body responds to excessive fiber intake by...announcing it's outtake.

In other words, I seem to pass a lot of gas lately.

Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beans- I've doubled my dose of them since I started this diet. We know that normal consumption of these foods can reek gastric results, so you can imagine the huge air buscuit that an overdose causes! Whew!

My family loves the Fiber One Bars. Chocolate chip, caramel, and now in strawberry. They are a great snack or quick breakfast choice when you have to eat and run. But at our house we don't call them Fiber Bars.

They are lovingly referred to as "Fart Bars."

In fact, my little grandson loves them, too. I'm just glad I wasn't present in Kroger the day he hollered, "Let's get some Fart bars! Fart Bars, Mom!"

(Yeah. Bad idea. Maybe we shouldn't give food crazy nicknames.)

But, you know what? I don't care. If I have to fart my way through this entire diet- I will do it!
Might as well be honest and unashamed. There's nothing to be embarrassed about...

According to the Internet, everyone has gas and eliminates it by burping or passing it through the rectum. However, many people think they have too much gas when they really have normal amounts. Most people produce about 1 to 4 pints a day and pass gas about 14 times a day.

Fourteen times a Day?! Wow!

Poor dog....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And Nothing But The Truth

Last night I watched in embarrassment as big-star wanna-bees stood on stage hoping to be the next American Idol. A few of them were obviously mentally challenged, but I considered the others. What made them so sure they could sing? Why would they risk going before those judges to squeak out scratchy, painful sounds that were awarded with a negative response? Some were even made fun of.

Somewhere along the line- in their lives- someone lied to them. Someone thought they were doing them a favor by telling them they had talent. That they could sing. And they began to believe it. Enough to make fools of themselves.

There were no favors done here. Those contestants may never aspire to do anything else but start a singing career. And continue to fail horribly.

That's why we should never tell lies.

Don't tell your best friend that they don't need to diet.
Don't convince your neighbor that size 24 jeans look good on them.
Don't tell your co-worker that an extra 50 pounds works for her.
Don't do it!

You don't have to be like Simon.
You don't have to come right out and say-
"You are fat."
There's no reason to be unfeeling or hateful.

Just steer them gently in a good direction.
Offer to walk with them for exercise or join the gym together.
Plan a lunch date with healthy menu choices.
Bring a great lo-cal dish into work.
Compliment their willpower.
Take your best friend "dream" shopping. Such as: ("Wouldn't it be cool to fit in these?"
"Or I will buy these when I can get into a smaller size.") She'll get the hint without being angry.

Family, friends, spouses, siblings- they all want to help- to make your life happy.
But here's some advice:
Don't lie to us.
Don't do us any "favors" by skirting the issue.
Don't let us embarrass ourselves by wearing lo-cut jeans or tops that accentuate our rolls.
Don't tell us we look good in those tight clothes.
Don't tell us that one donut won't hurt us.
Don't tell us we were probably meant to be big.
Don't make us live the rest of our lives thinking we are okay.
Because we're not.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Really, really look.
Are you comfortable? Agile? Breathing normally?
Do your clothes fit attractively? Is your skin healthy looking?
Can you touch your toes?

I know no one wants to hear the truth because it hurts.
But lies hurt worse.
We cannot continue pretending we aren't fat.

Do this thing. Take this journey. Be your best.
In the end, you will be the star of the show
and the master of your destiny.

So, I guess I've got double trouble.
I can't sing, either!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Red Means STOP

I have to say that so far I've done really well with this diet journey. I am perfectly satisfied with the numbers, although I do wish I would deflate sooner.
I want it to happen today- tomorrow- some time within the next week. But, that's just being greedy and unreasonable.

They say Rome wasn't built in a day, you know. Actually it took about 800 years.
Sorry, but I don't have that long.
Two hundred days is gonna have to do it for me.
(Or at least get a good foundation built!)

The problem with the wait- the string of days that test your willpower- is that you never know what obstacles are going to be presented to you. There is always someone- something- out there that will cause you to trip...

I was minding my business the other day.
I was simply doing a little shopping at Wal Mart - sticking closely to the produce and health food sections- holding my breath as I passed the bakery and deli- proud of myself that this time I didn't even take a detour to survey of the chip choices.

But suddenly- right smack dab in the middle of the store- between the dill pickle and soup aisles-I caught a flash of something red.
Red and heart shaped.

And then a huge double row of rose, pink, and magenta chocolate boxes appeared before me like a fat lady's nightmare.
There was no warning- no neon signs that said "Keep Away!", "Stop", "Go Back and Don't Look Here You Idiot Woman!"

So, I was caught unaware- saliva pooling in my throat like a cat stalking a mouse-my eyeballs bulging and my heart racing till I thought I might lose consciousness.
I could smell the chocolate.
I could feel the love...

But what kind of diet blogger would I be if I let Wal Mart deviate me from my goal?
What sort of person would I be to let Valentines Day ruin my entire journey?
How could I possibly look at myself in the mirror again if I went over to the "dark side"?

I quickly composed myself, made a U-Turn, and pulled out of that dreamy heart-shaped horror. Once I got back into the rice cake aisle, I could breathe again.
Stand tall.
Beam with pride that I stood my ground- that my wish to find thin was stronger than my wish for temporary, gluttony satisfaction.

Be on guard.
Never let your defenses down.
Predict the next turn, the blind spot in the mirror of life-
Be ready and willing to jump, stoop, run, and ignore the forces that weaken your resolve.

It will all be worth it soon.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I See Skinny People

One thing about going on a diet is that suddenly you start to notice skinny people. The way they wear their hair, their fashion sense, what food they are buying at the grocery or what they are eating in a restaurant.

I guess maybe it's because we hope to be there soon- in their shoes-enjoying the life of "little people"... (and we're not talking midgets here!)

What is new and cool in the world of "little"? Besides "skinny jeans" and thongs? Well, I've seen skin tight turtle necks, sweet little Ugg boots, cute furry hats, and giant purses.

Fat women just don't look quite right in any of those things. Of course, that's just my opinion.

A fat woman in a turtle neck looks like a turtle-(A Galapagos turtle). The boots would make her look shorter and more masculine. The furry hat could cause her to be mistaken for a bear, and the giant purse- well- I am sure that there are insensitive people who would assume it was full of candy bars or hamburgers.

That's why I am paying special attention to what I wear.

I can't afford to be gunned down in Wal Mart parking lot because of my choice of head wear or be accosted by a starving dog wanting to ravage my purse.

Yet, I am confident that soon I will be having a complete freedom of choice when it comes to clothing and fashion.

That's a privilege only little people get.

Speaking of little people, my "little" sister called the other day after she went shopping for
new jeans. She found a great pair on sale and said she might possibly fit into a size 8.

I went numb for a moment- trying to soak in the fact that she is actually related to me and always looks thin and hip. Her hair is perfect, her shoes always match the belt, her fitted blouses always hugging the right places, and her bud-donk-i-donk is only a bid-dink-i-dink.

If I didn't love her so much I would hate her!

But she did go on to tell me that she realized she was out of shape. (See- even the little people have problems! Yeah!) It seems her electric toothbrush batteries went dead so she had to brush manually. Her arms were sore all day!

I actually felt sorry for her. Then I went into the bathroom and dumped my batteries-( just to help firm my wing flaps a little sooner).

Let me just say this...
We don't have to aspire to be like the "little" people. We should always and foremost be ourselves. We are unique and extraordinary in our own way. And if we do change, it will be because we want to. It will be because we made the choice to have more choices. If we set our goal to be thin, it will be for a thousand reasons- and all of them will be the right reason.

So, when you finally reach your goal, pick out a cute hat.
You never know how many fat women may be watching you!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Have A Dream

I Have A Dream...

...that someday soon my "skinny" jeans will fit. (And they'll be loose!)

...that I will live longer because of my new food choices. And dance at my granddaughter's wedding. (She's 8).

...that I will no longer pass up Victoria's Secret when visiting the mall.

...that walking a couple of miles a day will be easy. (And fun!)

...that pizza will disgust me.

...that my children will compliment my success.

...that my dog will finally follow my lead and quit eating so much.

...that my husband and I will walk together on a warm, sandy beach. (In shorts!)

...that my fridge and freezer and pantry will never again house forbidden foods.

...that my sisters and I will be told that we "look amazing!"

...that Linda will play the banjo.( I'll tell you about it later).

...that I'll finally find a hairstyle that I can live with.

...that my jean size will be the same as my shoe size.

...that buying underwear will be fun.

...that no one will be able to convince me to eat dessert.

I have a dream that this journey will be life-changing. That these steps we take today will be strides toward our future- securing a part of our youth and extending our lives beyond the borders that obesity created for us.

I have a dream that my children will have the same dream- that they will make choices that prolong their happiness- that will allow them to participate in any endeavor. That their weight or their health will never hold them back from pursuing their future.

I have a dream that these daily steps forward will cause my life to go backwards. That I will feel younger and look younger- and somehow capture that fleeting sweetness in life that we so often ignore. I want to revive romance in my marriage- (lust whenever possible)- and love, love, love, till our days are done.

I have a dream that I will soon look into the giant mirrors at J.C. Penny's and not frown. That I will smile at my reflection. That I will be satisfied and at peace with my body.

I have a dream that I will run again. And not that sloppy hippo-looking skip through the rain to pay for gasoline. But a graceful, muscular leap- (like a butterfly on steroids).

I have a dream for all of you -that the end of these 200 days will only be a beginning. That your lives and those lives that you touch -will be saturated with happier days and incredible new journeys.

There is no better time than now.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Tale of Cinnabon

My daughter has been moving this week and continues popping in with things of mine that she ran across while cleaning. A platter, a lasagna pan, a coffee cup...Finally gathered together and brought back to where they were borrowed from.

But along with those things, she inadvertently left an unfamiliar plate behind on my kitchen table.
It was covered with foil.
"I know you're on a diet", she said, fleeing out the door once again ,"but it won't hurt you."

After the dust settled, I peeked beneath the foil, curious what insignificant, harmless morsel of a treat may be waiting.

It was a "Cinnabon".

For her to think it wouldn't hurt me would be like asking Edward Scissorhands to scratch my back or Dracula to kiss my neck. It was asking for trouble. It was trouble. And I knew there wasn't room enough in my kitchen for the both of us.

I circled it a few times- attempting to scrutinize my enemy. Deciding to approach it slowly instead of making a hasty mistake.

There it was -"Cinnabon". Even the name sounded evil. No good could come of it, I was sure.

It lay there all coiled up in a perfect roll- ready to spring forth all it's cinnamon-y goodness to those less stronger than I. (To those dieters that hadn't started their journey yet.)

But I knew "Cinnabon" had to be alleviated. I knew it was here to harm me- to dig deep into my willpower and destroy me. I wasn't going to let that happen. Even if it meant extreme measures.
Even if it meant sending that beautiful mound of dessert to the landfill.

Cinnabon was watching me. too. Trying to look all sweet and innocent- attempting to disguise all the calories and fat that was coiled up in it's delicate face.

But, then I saw the fear. Cinnabon was beginning to sweat- it's gooey white frosting dripping in thick puddles around the plate- the cinnamon slipping from the rings of yeasty dough in obvious defeat.

I reacted quickly. I lassoed it up into a hangman's noose and pitched it into the trashcan. Then, for good measure I smothered it in warm coffee grounds and onion peels. I was certain then that it wasn't coming back. Cinnabon could never hurt me now.

Then I drifted off into the sunset with my Ab Roller. I had an extreme sense of satisfaction-
knowing I had made the kitchen a safer place. Knowing I was strong enough to fight- and win.

Be brave.
Fight the Fat.
Never let anyone tell you that it's not gonna hurt you.
Because it will.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

And We Will Dance Again

I took a break from the computer this morning. My laundry room had reached the point of no return. I had to take some time to do a little organizing. While I was at it, I straightened the pantry.
My, what fattening garbage I was buying two weeks ago! And like a good dieter- I threw it all out. No need tempting the tempted.

My sister Jewel even called this morning when she discovered there was no blog entry. She claims she was checking to see if I was sick or something. Yeah, right...In all reality, she was checking to see if I had fallen off the wagon.

No, I am proud to say I'm still on the straight and narrow. I have maintained a healthy focus and now I am almost repulsed at my old habits. It's almost embarrassing to think of the times I loaded my grocery cart down with billions of calories in anticipation of a "porking-out" weekend.

It is more difficult to lose weight in the winter. We all crave comfort foods. I have found that if I just keep busy doing other things, that I don't think about food as often. I read, clean drawers, work on some craft projects, interest myself in TV or a movie- take a long bath. I also brush my teeth frequently and use mouthwash so I am less tempted to taste something or snack between meals. And I write everything down in a notebook. That keeps me honest.

I looked up trips to Cancun on the internet the other day. Not that I plan on going or anything. But becoming thin again could make a great vacation possible. The freedom to move with ease- walk the beach- shop the stores- even play golf ...or dance! I haven't danced in ages. Of course, I was never that good.

But a thin woman dancing badly is better than a fat woman dancing perfectly. Don't you agree?

Our future stands before us on the hillside.
It's a mighty climb, but there are rewards along the way. At the end of the journey is a door to a new world- a new life- a new sort of peace, happiness, and self confidence.
But the doorway is narrow- we have to be thin to walk through it- we have to want it enough to be ready- to prepare- to want it so badly that it hurts.

Yes, it will hurt. Change always does.

So, for those inquiring minds- I am not sick and I am still on the right path.
And I want you to know that I am so thankful and happy that you are on on this wagon with me. Let's hold hands and make sure no one falls off.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

All You Need Is Love- (And a Good Diet Plan)

Some experts say that in order to diet successfully, that you must do one thing first and you must do it well. You must love yourself.

Well, duh!

I definitely love myself. Why else would I have hidden extra candy bars from the grand kids, forsaken buying new dish towels for the thrill of a $12 cheesecake, or rolled myself up into a chair and eaten a whole can of salted cashews?

I think what we must do is learn to love ourselves in a different way. We need to learn to respect ourselves. To see our worth. To illuminate the positive things about ourselves and show them to the world.
No, I'm not talking cleavage here! (Although if you have it- why not flaunt it?)

I think we have to see ourselves as thin even though we are..well..FAT!
We must pick up our feet and walk proudly. Hold our head up and be certain without a doubt that we are special in some way. We must try to be graceful, even greatful- with a twist of sophistication and confidence. (Not cockiness.)

You must love yourselves enough to know that it's time to stop the food hording- the midnight binges- the unhealthy preoccupation with certain foods. You must love yourself enough to want to see yourself in smaller sizes, cuter choices, better bodies.
You must love the new you that isn't even here yet.

You must have vision.
Because you do have promise.
Why else would you be on this journey?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My New Food Favorites

I know everyone is on their own idea of a diet. Webster defines defines the word diet as:
A particular selection of food, esp. as designed or prescribed to improve a person's physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease. What works for some may not work for others. Just stick with what you know- what shows the best results.

I am following a Weight Watchers regimen, although I'm not attending the meetings. I have all the information I need and even a nifty "points" calculator. And luckily I have a lot of people to keep me from straying from the plan!

The points are based on calories, fat and fiber content. Each person is allowed a set number of points per day according to their staring weight. As you lose weight, points are subtracted from your daily intake. Another winning feature that makes this work is that you must write down every thing you eat. It makes you realize what a wagon load of calories you were consuming before! High fiber is a good thing to have, even if you aren't following WW. Of course, we all know to limit starches, sugars, sodas, and alcohol.

I've found some pretty good food selections that are low in points- and for those of you who are on another course- these are still great choices.

1. WW frozen treats: My husband and I treat ourselves to an ice cream after supper every night- (if we have points left). We like the Drumsticks (2 pts), Big Wheels (2 pts) and Latte Bars
(1 pt). They are expensive (not for the kiddies)- so I watch for the sales.

2. Boca Burgers: These are an every day staple in our diet. They are vegetable based burgers and are very tasty. We like them with a slice of pickle, fat free mayo and mustard. Can't wait till summer for a thick slice of fresh tomato. You can add lettuce without adding points. One burger = 1 pt. (Buns? See no. 3)

3. Healthy Life or Arnold Select brand sandwich buns: Both these are 1 pt. each. I just discovered the Arnold buns- they are called sandwich thins and are multi-grain. Top one with a Boca burger and veggies and you have only a 2 point meal!

4. Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt: I remember my mom having this around the house once upon a time. It's a mixture of garlic and spices and salt and pepper. It is not tht fake salt stuff because it does contain sodium. But- the great thing is that it is only half the sodium of regular table salt and- to me- it tastes as good. I am a salt freak and this has helped control it a bit.

5. Quaker White Cheddar Rice Cakes: I know- everybody thinks rice cakes are like styrofoam, but I enjoy these. I spread tomato paste on them for a crunchy treat and -for a meal, I add low fat cottage cheese also. These are even better with a slice of fresh tomato to top them off. 1 cake = 1 pt.

6. Bear Creek Darn Good Chili- This is by far my favorite discovery! We had this yesterday.
The package makes 1/2 gallon! You just add tomato paste. I added a can of drained diced tomatoes to mine without adding any sigificant points. 1 cup = 1 pt. Add 5 Keebler Fat Free crackers at 1 pt and there is a 2 point meal. I usually allow about 5 points for our lunch. You can see that this chili can be very filling. And it tastes as good as any chili I've made.

Well, I hope I didn't bore all of you that aren't into the point system. However, you might consider some of the items -just as a change. I think that is a secret of staying focused- filling full and having choices. Food can get rather boring when you're dieting.

But- this is an adventure. And like my sister says- This is exciting!. To think that we have the power within us to sculpt our bodies. That we have the willpower and strength to change our lifestyle- to improve our heath- to extend our lives. It is pure magic!

All it takes is one day at a time.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weigh-In Day

For a week, I have felt like I was crawling through a tunnel.
It was dark, I was lost, and I was hungry.
Every single day, I wondered if I'd ever make it to the end...
If I would ever get through the obstacles and the stern little voices that whispered, "Quit."...

Those voices that said, "Just stop.
Turn around.
Go back.
It's warm and delicious and bright...

...And there are brownies waiting."

My belly growled, but I figured if I could just crawl a little further- just make it till nighttime and then I could go again in the morning. Each day I grew stronger. The path became easier.

And this morning I saw the light.
It was the bathroom light.
And there -on the tile- was The Scale.
It glowed with an aura from a sci-fi movie.
There was a drum roll.

Then I stepped on it -with faith and hope and terror gurgling inside of me as I watched the numbers appear.

And guess what?
Every inch of that tunnel was worth it.

We aren't going to talk numbers here. But I am satisfied with the results.
I know you all are celebrating your losses, too.
If not, then I know it will be next week, or the next.

I know that every tunnel will not be as easy to navigate. This week it might be a treacherous mountain I'll have to scale- or a hurricane I must survive...An ocean to swim or a desert to cross. No week will be the same as the next.

Only one thing is certain.
If you stay focused, you will reach the end of your journey and be glad for it.
And no one can call you a quitter.

I want to thank all of you.
Knowing we are in this together keeps me on track.

Well, gotta go.
I see this huge tidal wave coming at me this week and I gotta surf it.
It's not going to be easy, but I think I'm up to the journey.
Only 192 days left to go.

Hang Ten!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Testing Temptations

Weekends always seem the hardest for me. There's so much down time, empty space, dull moments...It's so easy to fill the gaps with potato chips and candy bars.

Even this morning I have had to be on alert, turning a blind eye toward a dozen glazed donuts. My daughter dropped them by, along with the grand kids...
So, not only am I babysitting, but I'm exercising my resistance to temptation. I've done great so far, but I've only been up for an hour.
A box of donuts on the table makes a long day for a dieter.

So, I close my eyes... Breathe deep...
( No, No No!!! Don't breathe the donut aroma, I scold myself!)

Breathe and focus... Vision a beautiful summer day...
It's warm outside and your husband wants to take you out for dinner or a movie.
You jump at the chance. You know you'll look great in those new jeans and cool cotton top- even your tanned feet will look especially attractive in stylish sandals- your healthy hair, now shinier and fuller than ever- as he wraps his arm around your tiny waist and helps you out the door. He is proud of you. You can tell it in his attentive eyes.

That vision is priceless. That alone is a reward. A reward for what now seems like suffering.

Maybe your vision is different. Maybe it's walking on a beach in a bikini. Running a marathon. Getting off medications. Rekindling romance. Loving your body again.

Whatever your motive is, never forget it.
Keep it in the pocket of your mind and carry it always.

Grasp it.
Squeeze it.
Feel it.
Live it.

Especially when there's donuts in the house.

And remember- I'm praying for you.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Finding Your Cheerio

This morning my husband caught me in an odd position, bending over on my hands and knees- butt in the air, my arms beneath the kitchen table, swiping the floor like windshield wipers gone mad.

"Lose something?" he asked, attempting his failed sense of humor by trying to tip me further beneath the furniture.

I balanced myself on one arm, flapping him away and then going about my business of searching. I avoided confrontation. (He had been extra irritable lately since starting this diet with me.)

"An earring, maybe?" he guessed, holding back a laugh- at what must have looked to him like an horrific bag lady doing aerobics.

"Drop some medicine? A pill?" he continued to quiz- until I finally came up for air and sat glumly in kitchen floor, now suddenly focused on the dust bunnies attached to the toes of my socks.

"Well, Mister," I said, almost sweating. "as a matter of fact, I did lose something... a Cheerio."

His laughter rattled the windows for miles around and set off the United States Geographical Survey's seismograph.

"For your information, Mr. Smartie Pants, that Cheerio equals about 1/50th of a point!" I exclaimed.

He was under that table quicker than Superman from a phone booth!


The importance of the above story was just to let you know one fact- You are not alone.
We are all struggling, suffering, learning, stretching, and agonizing. We all grasp for strength when we smell popcorn, all say silent prayers while passing the burger joints, and all hope against hope that night will fall before we are tempted to grab a forbidden snack.

To me, that Cheerio was as big as an inner tube and as sweet as a strawberry sundae.

Every dieter must find their Cheerio.
You must seek something great to replace the pasta, or fries, or hot baked bread...the pizza, Chinese, or double fudge brownies. You must push that unhealthy stuff to the back door and kick it to the curb!
Face it - you must find a new love.

There will always be at least one small, insignificant thing that you will crave about the "old" food. Don't let it get the best of you. Don't magnify its greatness. Do not give it the time of day.
You deserve better.


Just imagine yourself on a journey like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. She went through a lot of trials to find her way home. It's the same thing with your diet.

First of all, we all should have stayed HOME.
We never should have strayed into the buffets, the all-you-can-eat cafes, the bakeries and the Burger Kings. But, we must find our way back. To good health and good feelings. To the best "us" that we can possibly be.

Sure, it feels like you've been caught up in a wicked tornado sometimes. Visions of the old you- the thin you- the beautiful you- flash by the window in a dizzy swirl. You wonder if you ever had a brain, if you'll ever know your true heart, and if you will really find the courage to finish the journey.

Lucky for Dorothy, she had friends to help her through the rough times.
So do you. Just follow the Yellow Brick Road. Keep pushing on- always look forward. There are only 196 steps left.

Grab hold and let's go for the ride.
But first,
find your Cheerio.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ignoring The Dirty Dancing Doritos

My sister and I came up with the idea that whenever we felt the urge to eat, that we would pick up a book and start reading. Our theory was that most hunger pains are actually just boredom settling in the stomach area.

It's four days into the diet and I have already read encyclopedias A through F, War and Peace, The Holy Bible, and six Reader's Digest condensed volumes!

Yet, seriously.... I think reading does help.
I am shying away from all the magazines I have on hand in my house, though. It seems they are composed mainly of delectable recipes and finger-licking advertisements and chocolate things that no fat woman should ever torture herself with.

I began reading the book Twilight this week. My daughter just happens to own the series of these romantic vampire novels that have inspired the hit-movie. It's pretty good so far. Luckily, about the only thing they eat in this story is blood- so I'm pretty safe.

I can almost get through the entire evening now before I start seeing food images in my head.
Only a few days of fat deprivation and I have almost gotten to the point where I can ignore the Laughing Pepperoni Pizzas and Chuckling Fried Chicken and the Dirty Dancing Doritos.

Another thing that has helped me to cope is pampering myself a little.
No quick showers- I have been relaxing in deep bubble baths, using skin moisterizers and plucking pesky chin hairs on a daily basis.
I really like the hot water, but mostly I like the fact that it's hard to eat Fully Loaded Nachos in a steamy tub.
It's called deterrence, people!!

But do pamper yourself. Don't wait till you've reached a goal to get your hair- your nails-your feet done. Put on makeup, some cute clothes, and brush your teeth between salads and bean sprouts.

We are already half-way into Week One !

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The "Gym"

My niece recently had a baby and she is including "trips to the gym" in her diet and health regimen. She says she feels better already. I am so proud of her.

The last time I was in a gym, my sophomore P.E. teacher was blowing a whistle and telling us all to run a few laps and head to the showers.

There is something so alien about the "Gym". The bright lights and torturous looking machines are pretty scary. Like something you'd expect to see Vincent Price promote.

Heck, the full length mirrors are enough to make me turn around and run.

And, tell me, who was the egotistical designer that discovered Spandex? It's just not right.
That material should be reserved for only the tightest bodies- not be accepted as the universal "Gym" uniform. Believe me, no one wants to see an overweight grandma poured into a red Spandex jumpsuit rolling on a super ball- ready to go flat.

(But, on the other hand, neither do we want to see firm, tan, Michelangelo-statuesque figures slapping their firm, tan butts on the exercise bikes.)

Let me grunt and groan and stretch my jogging suit out in the privacy of my own home. Then if I feel like laying down like a dead horse afterward, no one will freak out and call the paramedics.

I do intend to eventually incorporate exercise into my daily journey. I know that is a healthy way to lose inches as well as sizes. And I have sworn not to buy any new clothes until I can justify paying for all that extra material that I won't even need in 200 days! Yeah, Baby!

If the"Gym" is your friend, then by all means, seek him out. Visit him daily. Embrace him. Desire him. Let him mold you into a goddess. I know I'll be jealous later, but who the hell cares?

I think I'll have a rice cake now and think about the future. I'll be thinner and happier and healthier then...

And I might even wear some Spandex.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Baby Steps

I'm laying some basic ground rules for this blog. I assume that anyone reading this is either curious how much I really weigh or are actually trying to lose weight themselves. We will all be on different kinds of diets. We all have different amounts to lose. We will all go about the process in our own method.

But the way we are connected- the common thread that weaves around us- is that at least we are trying.

I won't tell you my weight, my goal, my progress.
I will merely let you know if I've had a bad day, a good week, a step forward or a slip backwards. I will be truthful in every way. I'll share what works for me. I'll cry on your shoulders and celebrate your baby steps. We are in this together.

Day One went smoothly for me.
Hope yours did, too.

Yee Haw! Only 199 to go!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Day One

As this journey begins, I try to welcome it without being fearful that it will overpower me- that this simple plan to lose weight will become a war- a huge unrelenting battle that will cause me to fold- to surrender- to retreat once again into the wicked world of Krispy Kreme.

I must look at it all with a sense of humor or I will have giant fits of crying- depression-and days of a Who Am I Kidding? attitude. Diets are not fun. But they can be funny. We must all learn to bend... to laugh at ourselves- even when tears are easier to produce. And we must prevail even when giving up may be less painful.

I have told myself that I must start my journey with hope. And I must stay focused. I can't blur my eyes even for a moment. I can't let the edges between yesterday and today become cloudy- I cannot take the chance of letting my choices become foggy- of making excuses for irrational splurging or chocolate fixes.

The line must be drawn. It must be clear. And all the days ahead must be looked upon as bright.
Like the saying goes- "The first day of the rest of your life..."

I haven't been sleeping well. I have hidden in the comfy folds of thick sleep pants and big shirts for awhile now that I become ashamed and self conscious of exposing skin. At night, my belly lays next to me- like a suckling puppy- and I feel it- pet it- wonder how on earth it ever came to be. And the same with my butt. What a strange evasive creature! I rarely see it- but constantly know it is there. Like a meaty fanny pack that insists on skirmishing with me every time I pull on my jeans.

Sounds gross? Even Sad? Well, I said I was going to keep in focus. Now is not the time for denial. Now is the time to take stock. To quit pretending those thirty or forty extra pounds are only five or ten. Time to stop hiding under the sheets, the tummy tamers, the super slimmers...

It is time to look in the mirror completely naked. Turn around. Bend. Jog a little. Vomit if you have to. Might as well get it over with.

But stay focused. Stay focused.
Do your very best. It is only 200 days of your life. You may not be finished with your journey in 200 days, but at least you will have come a long way. And we will all meet together at the rendezvous point come July.

It's time to pull up our big girl panties and begin.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

If Gluttony Is A Sin- I'm Afraid I'm Goin' South

One secret of a successful diet is the process of clearing out the fridge, cabinets, pantry, freezer,
counters, cabinets, trunk, glove box, lunch box, purse, last years coat pockets, old suitcases, and cookie jars -of all forbidden foods. Believe me, this is not a quick or easy process. It takes devotion and discriminate decisions to lay the groundwork for Day 1.

That is why the beginning of my journey does not start till Monday. My house is full of cookies and cakes and pies and nuts and salamis and alcohol, and candies and cheesy-gooey-goodness. My sister and I have elected ourselves the Official Cleaner-Outers. While we are stuffing ourselves with cheesecake and chips, our husbands taunt and tease us. Do they not understand what a great service we are doing for them? Do they not realize that without us as the virtual "Undesirable" Food Vacuums- that they are doomed to failure come Monday?

One positive aspect of the clearing out process is that you get sick of certain things. You have your fill. You no longer see it as a craving. It is so available and delicious that it soon becomes boring and sickening. (Or at least it seems that way after a four day eating spree)...

But, seriously- the only way to not be tempted is to remove the temptation. Replace bad things with good things. Throw out the Twinkies and buy bagels. Toss out the cookies and buy sweetened rice cakes. Dump the whole milk cheese for 2 per cent. Replace ground beef with turkey, fried chicken for baked, and grilled fish for heavy pasta dishes. Cut out the soda. Drink lots and lots of water...You know how it goes. We all know how it goes. It is just the act of actually doing it that becomes the difficult part of living.

Two years ago I started a diet in January and lost 25 pounds by July. I literally threw away whole pies and froze a pound of good salami. At least frozen it was out of sight and reach. I started looking for ways to replace fattening foods with fiber foods. I counted points. I kept a food diary. I rarely felt hungry. My cravings stopped. I bought fun new clothes. I moved easier.

I don't know what happened. Come fall that year, I ate pumpkin pie and Halloween candy and the whole, huge fat world enclosed me once again. And today, I am still suffocating- I am still a prisoner to a strange fleshy suit - a heavy alien body that keeps me from being the sweet graceful butterfly that I feel inside.

The next few days will be like cramming for an important exam. Already it feels disgusting to feed my face to so much crap. Already I can see myself as a cartoon pig. Already I hate myself for violating my own digestive system. But once it is gone- out of the way- looked upon as a bad experience- the clouds will part. On Monday the sun will shine upon a new day. A new lifestyle. A new beginning.

And in 200 days, my wings will float upon happy perfumed skies again. And I will smile.