Friday, March 29, 2013


It's time for our monthly check-in. But before we get to that, I'd like to talk about diet demons. We all have them, don't we? LOL...surely I'm not all alone in this battle!
I actually have two demons that I am battling right now. My two biggest hurdles with healthy eating is my chocoholicism and my enjoyment of celebrating holidays & special occasions. And wouldn't you know it, this weekend is a double whammy, a holiday celebrated with chocolate.
I work hard at counting calories, eating healthily and exercising on all the "everydays" of my life. But when it comes to holidays, birthdays & anniversaries I don't deprive myself of any of our traditions, especially the menus. If I didn't have the food & drinks that I associate with those times, it just wouldn't be special to me any longer.
We are celebrating Easter early this year, just like we did with Christmas, because Desiree is working on the holiday itself. So we've already had our Easter dinner & Easter baskets yesterday. Desiree arrived Thursday and we had Toppers Pizza for supper when she got here. LOL...and I still have several days of over-indulgence ahead because Jesse will be here until Tuesday. Thank goodness we have another month until the next check-in...plenty of time to work off the extra calories :)

One health bonus for Al & I this year...since we don't have a mall anymore, easter chocolate clearances aren't as accessible to us, we'll have to travel out of town and by the time we get there, the shelves could be bare.
Part 1: It's check-in time...either measurements or weight, it's up to you. Do you have any changes to report? As for myself, I weighed myself before the weekend festivities started...I've lost 1 lb. this month :)
Part 2: Do you have any diet demons? What are they? Are you having a hard time with keeping them reined in?
NEXT WEEK'S BLOG: What's Your Workout?
DISCLAIMER: Whenever I use the word DIET in my blog posts I am in no way suggesting that I have invented/discovered some miracle system to lose weight. Whenever I use the word DIET, I am simply substituting a single word to replace the longer phrase EATING HEALTHIER THAN IN THE PAST.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


This was a serendipitous adventure for me so I thought I'd share it with you.
No, I didn't get liposuction or purchase spanx, I just sucked in my belly with amazing results :)

It all started out with a simple command on an exercise dvd..."pull back your bellybutton towards your spine". Sure, I can do that I thought to myself. LOL...turns out I could only do it for about 30 seconds! Turns out my stomach muscles were so slack from years of carrying around alot of belly fat that they just couldn't handle it. In fact, it was so hard to do that concentrating on it made me miss my steps that I was supposed to be doing.

I made a conscious effort to suck in my belly even when I wasn't exercising. For instance while doing housework or sitting watch tv. LOL...some nights I'd lay in bed sucking it in hoping that I'd fall asleep like that and it would stay that way until morning!

I was amazed at how quickly I was progressing...especially when, during the exercise dvd, the instructor would come to a new step saying to suck belly in, and I would realize that my belly was still sucked in from the previous time she told us to. Soon I was able to hold my tummy in with little effort for the whole 15 min. workout and then later on for a 30 min. workout.

I couldn't believe how much good posture could influence the way you look. When I was obese, I didn't want people to notice me, so I would walk around slouched over. But now I walk around with my belly sucked in, my shoulders back, my chest out, strutting my stuff. Darn, I should have been doing this all along, then my belly wouldn't have been sticking out farther than my chest, lol!

Another thing I discovered was the difference in my gait. When I was obese, I'd just shuffle along in flat shoes. Now that I'm able to wear heels it's impossible to slouch and shuffle.

3 other visual benefits of the tummy tuck are:

1. You look taller (which is great if you are only 5'2" to start with)
2. You look younger (even if you've got grey streaks in your hair)
3. You look confident (gotta show love for your body no matter what size it is)


All you need for this one is a tape measure, pen & pad, your belly :)

1. Take your belly measurement before & after doing a tummy tuck.
2. Try holding it in for 1 minutes...was that too easy? Go for 5 minutes.
3. This week, try to incorporate a tummy tuck into your daily activities...while washing the dishes, while waiting in line at the    store, etc.
4. Do a tummy tuck in front of the you like what you see...are you more confident/comfortable in your body?
5. Please share your findings in the comment area.

We'll keep track over several months to see if our before & after tummy tuck measurements change much at all. I wish I had taken my measurements last year when I started. The more you do the tummy tuck, the more the difference should lessen especially if you are also losing belly fat through diet & exercise. How exciting it would be to not have to suck in your belly eh? LOL...I think I left those days behind me years ago...before I gave birth to 5 BIG babies...and before I fell in love with my own cooking & became a chocoholic :)

Personally, I don't think you have to lose alot of weight to feel better about yourself. Even if I hadn't gone down so many sizes, I would have still felt so much better about the size I was in, if I had known how much better I could make myself look by simply doing a tummy tuck to improve my posture. LOL...this is where Al is going to pipe in and start chuckling about how goofy I used to look when I tried to tuck in my belly...I've learned that the key to success is doing it so it isn't obvious you are doing it! Thus, the practice of doing it around the house so that you get used to doing it all the time. Well...not, who in their right mind doesn't want to just lounge around letting it all hang out once in awhile eh...that's why they invented sweats & slippers!

BTW...this free version of a tummy tuck does not get rid of flabby skin or belly just tightens up your transverse abdominis just gives the illusion of a trimmer belly which in turn gives you a boost to your morale.

NEXT WEEK'S BLOG: Monthly check-in


DISCLAIMER: Whenever I use the word DIET in my blog posts I am in no way suggesting that I have invented/discovered some miracle system to lose weight. Whenever I use the word DIET, I am simply substituting a single word to replace the longer phrase EATING HEALTHIER THAN IN THE PAST.

Saturday, March 09, 2013


I was asked how I planned my meals. My way may not be the best for everyone but it works for me (and Al). My meals are primarily based on calorie count...with a watchful eye on amounts of fat, sugar, salt & cholesterol since these were what made me unhealthy in the first place. Other people may have different levels to watch out for within their daily calorie consumption.
I started out by reading food labels to familiarize myself with just what exactly was in the foods I was eating. I soon came to realize that I needed something more reliable than a bunch of figures rolling around in my head. So I looked at a few online food diaries and chose Myfitnesspal.

BTW...another thing I realized was that I had no idea what serving size and portion control were.

If you aren't comfortable using an online tool, just keep a journal and write everything down in it. But first, I advise you to go online to find out how many calories you should be eating based on your age, body type, activity level & amount of safe weight loss.

Then the fun begins, lol, juggling that amount of calories between 3 meals and any snacks you may eat. I've heard alot of hype about dividing up your meals so you are eating smaller amounts more often to boost your metabolism and keep blood sugar levels on an even keel. Please give this a try if you think it will work for you. Personally, I find it too hard to divide a meal in half to be eaten a couple of hours later.

As for the I cook with the intention of having leftovers? The answer is no. I try to make enough for one meal at a time. With the exceptions of homemade soup and roasts. The majority of the crockpot goes into the freezer after having one supper and perhaps one lunch the next day. As for roasts, be it beef, pork chicken or turkey...whatever is leftover after supper, is vacuum sealed in small packages to be used as lunch meat in sandwichs. I try to alter recipes, especially casseroles, so they only feed 2. But some things just aren't doable so I end up leftovers.

I think the trick to staying within your daily calorie range is meal planning. Since my breakfasts are pretty much constant I only have to play around with my lunches and suppers.

I usually start my day out by deciding what to have for supper. Then I log all the ingredients into my food diary to find out the total calories. From there, I can see how many calories are left for my lunch and go from there playing around with different meals to see which one fits.
On days that I am having leftovers for lunch, that turns into my highest calorie meal of the day. Which means, I must choose a low calorie supper such as a grilled boneless skinless chicken breast with steamed broccoli.
On a night where a supper is very high in calories, there is no need for panic, lol, just have a salad for lunch, mine is only 25 calories!
Another thing to look out for while balancing your meals, is bad calories. For instance, if I know I'm going to be having an evening snack because we'll be watching something special on tv, I try to make up for it during the day. For instance, if I plan on having chips & dip with a drink or two that evening, I'm not going to have a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and mashed potatoes with gravy for supper. That would be so counter productive for all the good work put in.
Another example of this is a night when having a dessert. If it's a special occasion and we are going to have a cake, pie, ice cream, etc. for dessert, that's the day to have a lean meat served with veggies for supper instead of a pasta dish or a cheesy casserole etc.

Another thing I try to do with meal planning is spacing out specific food items over the week instead of having them all in one day. For instance, bread is my biggest issue. Prior to last year, I used to eat bread at just about every meal and for snacks. LOL...the blame goes to my parents on that one...whenever we would whine about being hungry between meals, we were told to grab a piece of (white) bread and butter! So nowadays I've gotten myself down to an average of 2 slices per week...which I didn't think possible, but so proud of. For the most part, the only time I have a slice of toast is when Al makes us bacon & eggs on the weekend. But I do occasionally have bread (or a bun) with other meals but I try to limit that to once a week. For instance it may be a sandwich for lunch or a hotdog or burger for supper. LOL...luckily staying within my calorie count prohibits me from eating bread at more than one meal per day or I could slip back into my old habits :)
When meal planning, also take into consideration what you will be doing afterwards. If you have time to do some exercising, then a high calorie meal won't stick with you. But for instance, if you are working nightshift, don't eat a big meal when you get home and then head to bed. I know it's hard to adjust to, you feel like you should be eating supper when you get home from work. But save that big meal to eat when you wake up so you've got time to exercise before heading back to work.
Don't forget to try to work in the daily recommnended servings of fruits, veggies, fiber and water to keep your digestive system rolling all day long :)
This week I challenge you to discover if you are eating too many calories per day.
The first step is finding out how many calories you should be eating. Here is the link to an easy to use calorie calculator:
The second step is logging everything you eat and it's calories. This entails quite a bit of time so if you don't think you can manage a whole day, just try one meal for this challenge.
Please note: pay attention to serving size on nutritional labels of the food you eat...don't just jot down the calories thinking that's what you may have eaten more or less than listed. LOL...this could also end up giving you a math workout!
You can also use an online programme to help you out for food items that don't come with a nutrition label. (I can't live without myfitnesspal!) I found this site for you to use for this challenge that doesn't require registering:
After you've logged in your daily intake and have seen how you measure up to what you should be eating, please return to my blog to share your experience in the comment area. LOL...I want to see how many of you are as flabbergasted as I was when I first found out how over the top my calorie consumption was!

NEXT WEEK'S BLOG: Part 2 of meal planning...the 3 Ps...Plate Dividing, Portion Control, Proper Serving Size
DISCLAIMER: Whenever I use the word DIET in my blog posts I am in no way suggesting that I have invented/discovered some miracle system to lose weight. Whenever I use the word DIET, I am simply substituting a single word to replace the longer phrase EATING HEALTHIER THAN IN THE PAST.

Saturday, March 02, 2013


Since this is check-in week, I thought I'd give you the facts on how to lose weight, 1 pound at a time :)
To lose 1 pound a week, we need to somehow cut out 3,500 calories over a 7 day period.
You can choose to cut out 500 calories a day from your diet for 7 days...
...split the difference with burning 250 calories a day with exercise and eating 250 calories less each day.
The choice is yours!

This time last year I was doubling up on this method to lose 2 lbs. per week. need alot of willpower to do that! You get amazing results but such a strict regimen isn't very enjoyable especially if you love food as much as I do and hate exercising as much as I do.
This year I am still counting calories and exercising...but I am being a bit more lenient with myself. I've started eating more calories (my dietitian would be happy to hear that) and I don't feel guilty if I don't get in one hour of exercising every single day.
I was hoping that this would be a year of just maintaining what I had lost last year but as a result of my unexplainable scale jump back in Jan. I now have 20 lbs. to lose AGAIN.


I am happy to report that I have lost 2 lbs. even after indulging in a box of Valentine's chocolates. No change in my measurements. How did you make out this month?


Can you identify the #1 issue that you think is hindering your weight loss goals? Please comment below with what it is, what you plan to do to right this wrong, and if you need any help or advice :)

NEXT WEEK'S BLOG: Meal Planning


DISCLAIMER: Whenever I use the word DIET in my blog posts I am in no way suggesting that I have invented/discovered some miracle system to lose weight. Whenever I use the word DIET, I am simply substituting a single word to replace the longer phrase EATING HEALTHIER THAN IN THE PAST.