Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Week 21 Scorecard. And flies.

I'm sensing a pattern.

One week, 2 pounds. Next week, less than 1/2 pound. Following week, 2 pounds...and on and on.

So guess what this week is? That's right, the little number -- minus point 4. My irritating scale still won't even move to odd numbers.

Total so far: 23.5 pounds

I actually wasn't feeling well most of last week, AND we were busy 4 out of 5 nights, AND I didn't work out earlier in the day to make up for being gone in the evening (see the "wasn't feeling well" part) so I really can't complain about a low number.


Why do schools have to schedule Every Event We Couldn't Be Bothered To Do Earlier in The Year in the same two week period? I've got a sophomore in high school dealing with after-school choir practices and a concert, finishing two projects in the same weekend, finals (she was thankfully exempt from most of them)...as well as regular life. Life that includes friends having surgery and babies, which means I'm driven to cook. I feed people. It's my thing. I love it, even when I'm making food that I basically do not eat anymore.

I just read that paragraph, and it makes almost no sense at all. I'm tired and don't want to fix it. Moving on...


Tonight I took a bath -- not a shower, a bath. I love baths, but who really has time more than a couple times a year. Anyway, related to the not feeling well thing, I ran a bath tonight and had no sooner gotten in when a fly dive bombs into the water. Bad choice, when you're a fly.

Sidenote: In my opinion, summer in Texas is akin to the plague of flies in Egypt. From April until November, they're everywhere - inside, outside, in the car, everywhere. My hatred for flies is well documented, and I can kill them with my hands. Yeah, I'm awesome like that.

Anyway, here I am with a fly doing he backstroke in MY bath. Well, it was more like the sidestroke, and not doing it very well. It didn't help that I caused a small tsunami to wash over the fly to ensure he would never. fly. again.

Here's the problem: I was now sharing my bath with a dying fly. Ew. EWWW. But I couldn't just fish him out (get it?) -- what if he'd been holding his breath and as soon as I gave him a reprieve from the water, he'd pick himself up, shake himself off, and fly into my ear! So, I let him stay. This kind of thing is exactly why I take showers.


And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I shouldn't be allowed to blog when I don't feel good.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Week 20 Scorecard

I can't believe I've been doing this for 20 weeks. That's like 1/3rd of a year. Yeah, I do math.

That's a pretty big deal to me, actually. Twenty solid weeks of paying attention to what I eat, making myself move more, not "cheating" or making bad choices for more than a few hundred calories.

On to the countdown...

This was a good week. I've stayed on Paleo, but I will admit to sneaking a couple handfuls of cereal, just because it was there. It wasn't as good as I wanted it to be, so I moved on. Only put feta on my salads twice, not because I couldn't do it more, but just because I knew it would still be good without it.

And I lost two more pounds.

Grand total in 20 weeks: 23.1 pounds. Slightly above average, and that works for me.


My next measurable goal is to have lost a total of 30 pounds before my mission trip to Haiti in July. That's eight weeks from now, and I think I'll be able to stay on track for that. My bigger concern is that after three+ months of Paleo eating, WHAT is my body going to do when I'm not in charge of food??? We've already heard that lunch is basically PB&J because we can take it with us down there -- so I guess I take my "AB" (almond butter) and just deal with the wheat. I might have to make some adjustments here the week before we go - I'd rather have digestive issues here than there. TMI, I know.


Note to anyone trying Paleo baking recipes: Almond flour and coconut flour are not interchangeable. Don't ask me how I know.

To any of you who may have read my post from a couple of days ago, and just happen to be checking back in: Thank you so much for your kind words and support. It was an important day, and I couldn't go without mentioning it. As the weight loss gets more boring (what? it already is? no way...), I expect to write more off-topic posts, so hopefully you'll find something you like around here somewhere.

First up: Recipe review -- things I try from various sources, changes I make, and recommendations. Coming soon to a blog near you...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I Can Only Imagine

A friend sang that Mercy Me song at our son's funeral. Zac was 17, and died in a freak automobile accident ten years ago today.

"I can only imagine...what it will be like..."
The song, of course, is about Heaven, but it seems strangely appropriate to life these last ten years. Eleven years ago, I couldn't have imagined at all what our life would look like without Zac in it. But now, it's just a fact. So I let my imagination go to picture him through the last 10 years:
  • He was getting really good on the guitar, and he loved it. I imagine he'd still be doing something with music.

  • He would LOVE Rock Band/Guitar Hero. Seriously. I think of him every time I play.
  • Napoleon Dynamite came out a couple of years after his death. Not only would he have loved it then, I think it would be a regular viewing event, like most of us with A Christmas Story. "I told you! I spent it with my uncle in Alaska hunting wolverines!"
  • Kids flocked to him. Kiley, Juliana, Michael, Gabe -- He would have been the favorite "uncle" to all of them.
  • He knew he had found the love of his life. It breaks my heart that both of them lost that future. And they probably would have had a very interesting life, playing in the rain with their kids.
  • Eventually, the hair would have been brought under control and eventually he would quit dying it just to see what happens. I just have to believe that.

  • We moved into a new house, and I imagine he would love the media room, watching movies with his dad.
  • His baby sister isn't a baby anymore. He would be so proud of her. And probably take credit.
  • I think he would have loved seeing his brother happy and settled in his life.
In all of my imaginings, Zac is happy. That's the one thing I know for sure is true, even though he's not here with us.

"Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you, Jesus, or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine."

  1. No way he was still.
  2. Knowing Zac, he was jumping around, falling on his knees, AND singing hallelujah. Why pick just one?
And finally, I imagine that, if he'd had the chance, Zac would have been the first one to state:
The most important thing in life is to be yourself.
Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.


In 10 years, a child can go from Kindergarten to within sight of that cap and gown.

In 10 years, the country will have at least two presidents, and maybe three.

In 10 years, "Real Housewives" and Kardashians can be created, for better or worse.

And in 10 years, a family can try to find the new "normal" that is their life.




Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Week 19 Scorecard

I had no idea that Mother's Day weekend ranks up there with Thanksgiving in the eating category. Apparently I've been getting gypped all this time.

Ate out Friday night with friends, cooked for the mom and aunt on Saturday night, then went out Sunday afternoon for Mom's day. It. Is. Impossible. To. Eat. Out. And. Still. Lose. Weight.

There. I said it. We all know it's true. There are not enough workouts in the world to burn the calories you consume with food prepared by someone else. The math just doesn't work. The portion sizes alone will torpedo most healthy eating plans. And the BREAD basket. Just stop it now....

The total week's results weren't awful - no gain - but only losing a part of a pound does NOT fit into my overall goals. I haven't been in this weight range for a while, so I'm not sure my body knows what to do now! Overall total is now 21 pounds.


In other news, Tuesday was the official end of the Paleo Diet 30-day trial. On Mother's Day (two days before the end), I had half a dinner roll. That's the first wheat/flour I've had in a month. It was good. It wasn't fabulous, which is mindblowing to me. In the past, I would have eaten at least two rolls without blinking. Because I didn't want a sudden change in my eating to make me sick, I just took a little of the roll, and ate a couple of bites of the rice that was on my plate. Yesterday I had a cookie - the first sugar I've had in a month. Again, not great, and definitely not worth the calories/sugar. [It was storebought, so I probably can't say sugar is permanently off my list.]

I also took measurements, since the scale wasn't showing a huge drop with Paleo eating. I lost an inch in my waist and an inch in my hips in the last month. I've worn three pairs of pants I haven't been comfortable in for a year or more.

Things I've realized doing Paleo:
  • Bread/wheat cannot be a standard part of my diet. Staying away from crackers as my go-to snack, eating salads instead of sandwiches most of the time -- this will keep my carb addiction from coming back. I will have cereal occasionally, but probably a handful instead of a bowl.
  • Cheese has to be a planned treat, not a habit. It has been the hardest thing to do without, which probably means it was a good idea for me to step away for a while. The mental shift is huge: salads without cheese taste just fine. Who knew?
  • Sugar is added to EVERYTHING. The second ingredient in "sugar-free" coffee creamer? Corn syrup. Seriously.
  • Redefining what makes snack food is a very important step in healthy living/weight loss. My list used to have all sorts of things on it, if I knew the calorie count. Goldfish, Triscuits, cereal, string cheese, chips, maybe a banana. Now, it's almost always fruit, nuts, occasionally carrots with guacamole. I keep bowls of fruit in the fridge - berries, grapes, oranges -- and that's what I grab. Sure, some of those have high natural sugars, but nothing like the carbs I would normally choose.
  • It feels more expensive to eat like this. I go to the store weekly to buy produce and deli meat. But overall, the result has been very little change in the total grocery bill -- we eat what we buy, and almost nothing goes bad by the end of the week. Staying on the outside of the store really does make a difference. If we have to stock up on meat, then sure, the bill it a bit higher, but we were buying that stuff anyway. The difference is that now we actually eat it, instead of deciding that eating out is easier. The dining out bill has been cut by more than half. If we eat out once a week, it's still cheaper than the 2-3 times we used to, especially when you cut the fast food.
  • Measuring food and counting calories/points is a pain in the butt. Okay, I already knew that, but now I'm spoiled and don't want to do it anymore.
My point? I'm not going off the Paleo plan anytime soon. The change in R-Dub's blood sugar levels has been amazing - he's stayed in the correct range the entire month. I sleep better (but still not enough...working on that), and in general feel better.

Thanks for hanging in with me during this experiment! I know it hasn't made for the most riveting posts, but blogging has kept me from straying, which was the whole point in starting this. Now that it's not part of a trial, I can move on to posting about other things, and continuing to check in. I've got some new workouts to try!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Calling Her Blessed.

On Father's Day last year, I wrote this entry about my dad. It seemed only fair that this year my mom would get some attention.

I'm the youngest of four - two boys, two girls -- by quite a bit. My siblings are 7, 9, and 11 years older than me, which of course means I'm the favorite. :-)

Not really. But it does mean that I got to have Mom to myself a little more than the others. Just a few quick memories:
  • Running lines for my various plays
  • Listening to her sing in church
  • Wishing my fingernails were long and pretty like hers
  • Watching her take care of my baby girl when we came home from the hospital
  • Fish sticks and french fries on Wednesday nights
  • Endless games - card games, board games, dominos

For the longest time, if I had to pick a word to describe my mom, I would have chosen "soft." Her skin was soft, and she had a gentle personality - at least that's how it seemed to me. It could have been in contrast to my dad, who was outgoing and louder, and yes, I take after him. I never thought I had that much in common with Mom as a kid - but I was glad she was there to play peacekeeper when Dad and I would butt heads.

"Soft" when babies and children would climb into her lap and nestle. I love that word. And when I see my mom with her grandbabies, "nestle" is the only word that fits.

A few years ago, we surprised mom with a 75th birthday party. All of her kids and most of her grandkids came in, and her sister flew in as the big surprise. I sent out emails to friends and family asking for memories of Mom that I would put into a scrapbook for her. Here's one from my nephew:
[This is not a political statement - my nephew is in the Air Force.]
When I look back, there is one particular incident when I was about nine that makes me think I was not quite accurate in my perception of Mom. I was riding my bike home from a friend's house, rushing because it was getting dark. We lived on an unpaved road, and right in front of our house I hit a rock and flew off the bike. My forehead struck a rock and cut my forehead. I ran up the driveway, blood flowing, and into the house. At that point, I'm crying and calling for Daddy. He runs in, picks me up, and carries me into the bathroom.

And that's when I realized who was really in charge. Mom cleaned me up, calmed me down, bandaged the cut...while Daddy stood there pretty much helpless. Other than carrying me in, he was hopeless in a crisis.

And there were probably 100 more examples I've forgotten.

Because that "soft" Mom has a core of strength I can only hope to develop. I watched her care for my dad in the year he was fighting and losing to cancer. When he was cranky and miserable and taking it out on her, I never once saw her lose patience or snap at him. I've not lost a husband, and can only imagine the pain she was going through. It was bad enough losing a dad, but it has to be different to lose your partner. And she goes on.

Not long after my dad passed away, we got Mom a computer. I think it still messes with her, but she's doing great getting and sending emails (usually chain letters, but who cares!) and even following some people on Facebook! Pinterest is a little out of her reach, but we'll get her up to speed one of these days. She's really good at hidden object games, though.

Of course, I worry about her. Is she taking care of herself? Is she lonely? I don't get down to see her nearly enough. I love that my sister and a brother live near her, and my niece lives with her while she's going to college. But I should go see her more often, and I'm ashamed of excuses about being busy. I'm blessed that she will come up here to see us, even when the traffic is nightmarish.

Just this mother's day weekend, I unexpectedly got to visit with her, as she and my aunt came through on their way to see their brother. R-Dub and I played cab driver, making sure they got picked up at the airport/got to the airport on time, and we'll do it again next weekend. Sure, there are other things I could be doing, but I'm so glad we got to support her this way.

It's harder to write about someone who might actually read what you write. Do I tell the world (or the 4 of you) that she obviously cheats at 42, but I haven't been able to prove it? If you're playing fast card games (Spoons, Pounce, Speed), she sharpens her nails to points to stab you when you go for the card she wants, and then just smiles. Can I say that she reads the same romance novels I do, and that just gives me the weirds? No, I should probably stick to the sweet, lovey stuff. :-)

I'm at an age now when more and more of our friends are losing parents. I know it's a reality of life, but I just can't think of that day. She's the glue - we kids love each other, but we live in different places -- it's coming to town to see her that gets us all together. Her house is and will always be home.

So to my precious momma, I say thank you. I love you for all you've taught me by example. Thank you for showing me how to love my family, how to survive painful experiences, and how to love God. Thank you for the example you are to your children and grandchildren.

"Her children arise and call her blessed...a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise." [Proverbs 31]

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Week 18 Scorecard

Finally. Seems like it took forever to get here, but I guess 18 weeks isn't that long in the grand scheme.

As of this morning, I'm down 20.9 pounds! That's minus 2.4 pounds this week.

Yes, I peed again to see if I could get that .1 -- didn't work. I think my scale likes even numbers better.

First goal met! And only a week later than I originally planned. Now on to the next ten pounds, with the July 15th goal date for a total of 30 pounds lost. I downloaded my reward book!


It's getting hot in Texas. In the last couple of weeks, I went for runs at different times - early on Saturday (before 9) has been my favorite so far. The 5pm runs are just not comfortable anymore -- I went on my lunch hour a few times, too. Still too dang hot.

Sadly, that means it's time to start planning the early morning runs. Unlike last summer, when I was dying doing the C25K plan, I can be really good in my estimates of how far I can run in whatever time frame I have. Yesterday it was 2.5 miles in 30 minutes, which would be pretty much the time I'd have. But to really get this weight off, I need closer to an hour -- so either tag that with Jillian's Shred or some other inside workout. Or, skip outside and do the elliptical or the bicycle for an hour. I don't know yet, but I've got to start thinking more about it. Without a plan, I won't do anything!


Now about Paleo. We've got one week left on the first 30 day test. Now that my body finally let go of a couple of pounds, I'm not doubting this quite as much! R-Dub's blood sugar has been great! He won't be getting off the plan anytime soon.

I've done more research, especially into the debate areas within the Paleo community. There are only a couple that matter to me -- white potatoes and the deal with dairy. I'm doing so much better than I thought I would over the whole bread thing, but cheese is still something I miss every. single. day.

But other than a single wintergreen Life Saver, I've not cheated to any great extent. There are a few place I know I'm not fully Paleo:
  • I have two cups of coffee with sugar-free non-dairy creamer a day. BTW, the 2nd ingredient in "sugar-free" creamer is corn syrup solids. Explain that to me sometime.
  • I occasionally use prepared sauces (BBQ, salsa, salad dressing) that list "less than 2% of the following..." and sugar is on there.
  • I eat a lot of fruit, even though I should probably add the veggies instead. I eat veggies, too, but not so much as snacks.
Hysterical ordering process at lunch on Sunday. We went to Saltgrass Steak House -- steaks used to be a splurge, but now it's just the best choice because of the sides. Anyway, starting with the salad:
Me: What's on your house salad?
Waiter: Mixed greens, tomato, cheese, croutons.
Me: Okay, what's on your spinach salad?
Waiter: Spinach, bleu cheese crumbles, onions, egg, croutons...and something else...
Me: Hm. Well, I'd take a house salad, but it'll only have lettuce and tomato on it.
Waiter: I can add whatever you want. Do you want an egg?
Me: YES! And vinaigrette on the side.
[Repeat a similar process for R-Dub, but he chose the spinach salad.]
R-Dub: No bleu cheese on it.
Waiter: You don't want the bleu cheese?
R-Dub: Of course I WANT it, but take it off anyway.

The salads came out, and there was a little cup with R-Dub's.
Waiter: The other thing on the spinach salad was pecans. I put them on the side because I wasn't sure if you would want...
R-Dub and me: YES! We want them!
Waiter (hesitantly, and I think a little scared): Do I need to bring you some more?

After we ate (an excellent steak and shrimp combo, btw), he comes back.
Waiter: So can I interest you in cheesecake...
Me (grinning): Seriously? You lived through that ordering process and think we will get dessert?
Waiter: Yeah, I'll bring the check.

Just made me giggle.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Just some rambling.

This weekend I did something new - and everyone who knows what Canton is can't believe I've never in my life been out there. Canton, Texas - home of first Monday trade days. For four days - Thursday through Monday -- of each month, Canton has four million people selling 300 bajillion things. And apparently I need it all. [Numbers not official - that's just what it felt like.]

There are some crazy creative (and really, really weird) people out there. Beautifully handmade stuff - everything from clothes to jewelry to furniture - sitting right next to "made in China" items. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it made me laugh.

Y'all know it's almost summer, right? First week of May in Texas is about like August most other places. The booths are housed in big barns -- we didn't make it to the more "flea market" section out in a big field where there's no shade. Sue me. Anyway, the barns aren't air conditioned so you wander around until you find the booth with a really good fan.

I have an addiction affection for dishes and platters. I have no more room for storing them when not in use. This is a bad combination in case you didn't make that leap. I honestly could have come home with 10 platters and still felt like I missed out. I got one small pewter tray (and a little knife and spoon to go with) -- like one you'd use for cheese or bread...you know, that stuff I don't eat any more. Whatever.

So I came home with my haul (it really wasn't bad. Really.) and today I've been trying to figure out how to redecorate some areas of my house. I realized the main reason I struggle with this -- I don't do fake flowers or clutter. In stores, it doesn't look like clutter, but once I get it out in my house, it does. Either I'm just really bad at "seeing" the vision those creative people have, or when it comes to actually putting stuff out, I get stressed. Maybe it's just that I have enough NON-decorative clutter, adding more doesn't sound fun.

Meh, I'll figure it out. I need to go shop my closets. Sometime. Maybe when I'm not thinking about food so much.

OH, food. It was like a friggin' state fair out there -- corn dogs, ice cream, corn on the cob, fried pies, ice cream, funnel cakes (!) and ice cream. I finally found a booth that had cucumbers and tomatoes marinating in flavored vinegars -- I "sampled" for a while, but at least I bought some of it. I just kept munching my almonds and walking fast past the food. [I swear I saw this one woman coming toward me with a plate piled high with homemade potato chips. One was hanging off the edge, and I was calculating the distance I'd have to cover to catch it before it hit the ground. Or, whether I could just knock her down and run with it. I didn't do either...sigh.]

That's enough rambling. Maybe when I finish some redecorating, I'll take pictures. Right now, I'd probably be happy just to get some cleaning done.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Week 17 Scorecard

Bummed. That's what I am. First goal date is today, with the goal of 20 total pounds lost. Sadly, the scale has not moved a freakin' ounce this week. That leaves my total so far at 18.5 pounds.

On the positive side, I didn't gain anything and I was not hungry this week. I had some good runs and tried new recipes. But Paleo so far isn't a big bump in weight loss for me.

I think it might be the amount of fat allowed on Paleo -- I don't think I'm being excessive, but being able to eat nuts and guacamole is probably doubling my fat intake over what I have been eating for the last 4 months. Maybe that sort of change explains the lack of progress.

I've got two more weeks on Paleo. It actually feels good -- I'm sleeping well, I've not had deliberate sugar (no cookies, no obvious sugar additions) and no grain carbs or dairy. R-Dub's blood sugar is staying below 130 which is a HUGE incentive and a sign that this is good for him. I'm waiting to take measurements until the end of the 30 days - to see if maybe the scale isn't moving but changes are happening anyway.

So, a little bummed, but not throwing in the towel. The food's too good.