Saturday, October 31, 2009

Skipping Halloween

I don't remember Halloween being such a big deal when I was younger, or even 10 years ago. The boys and I decided to skip the festivities this year. They're too big for the trick-or-treating, I'm too concerned about health and money to enable widespread candy debauchery.

Still, when it came down to the "witching hour", my youngest, who is 12, was dragged off by his friend who was accompanying his three-year-old cousin. I let my son go, as this would be his first go at Halloween in the U.S. After the rudeness he encountered in the neighborhood, we're completely skipping Halloween from now on.

It wasn't the revelers out and about that were the problem. It was the adults at home. Several of them felt it was their duty to verbally point out how my son didn't need to be getting any candy due to his weight. They gave quite a bit more to the three-year-old, and a few extra pieces more to my son's friend, but my son only got one piece from each of them.

I am not upset that my son got the single piece of candy from these rude people. I'm upset that they felt the need to shoot off their mouths about his size. And only skinny, really young people "deserved" to be handed ridiculous amounts of the very substance they believed led to my son's physical size?

I want to go to all their houses, shove their pitiful little candy back into their faces and give them a piece of my mind! And then I will challenge them to do as many squats as my son can do! He beat nearly all his classmates at his tae kwon do class for holding a squat position, and the only person who beat him was a very tiny girl! And after that I will gladly educate them as to how we need to be combating obesity in America, not by promoting and supporting a ridiculous holiday just because it's a tradition (because we didn't even answer the door at our house), nor by verbally embarrassing children who weigh more than others, but by not supporting industry that creates and distributes foods that do not support our health. And then I would read to them about manners and courtesy, how good manners are all about treating everyone with respect. Even fat people. I would point out to them that we fat people are not a headless, silent minority and their personal whipping boys.

I'm thinking of a lot more I'd like to do to them all, because they shot off their mouths at my son, but I will refrain. I reminded my son that what those people said was more about their lack of character than anything, and certainly had nothing to do with him. And I will let it go so that it doesn't become a big deal to him. And I will continue to support my son with healthy food and opportunities for exercise and activities that promote health and exercise good character.

Maybe these people weren't loved adequately. I'm certainly having a hard time with it!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm cold and that makes me want to eat carbs

Just a few days ago, temps were back in the 80s and I was quite annoyed by that. I wanted to be cold! Emotionally, I'm really ready for it to be winter.

So today I was cold. And it was nice. I got out my heavier winter jeans, put on a actually wasn't that cold. Mostly I really wanted it to be cold. And I wanted to eat winter foods to get warm. I made a pot of my brothy charro beans (pinto beans, bacon, onion, celery, tomatoes, green chilies) and a skillet of buttermilk cornbread and we ate well for dinner. During the day, I had brown rice with turkey meatballs and some sauteed spinach on the side. I drank hot tea and coffee.

I kept eating and drinking, hot foods to warm me, all day long. Could not stop and could not get warm! I ended up going for a nap just to warm up under the bed covers and to stop eating. Tonight I've got a little acid tummy from overeating. And I'm still cold. But I'm not hungry any more! Finally.

I think tomorrow I'll be trying more brothy soups with less carbs and more veggies. And maybe I need to increase my protein again. When I'm cold, I eat more carbs and less protein and I think that's why I get hungry. I've got some baby bok choy in the fridge, so perhaps I'll cook that in a broth-based soup with ginger and garlic, scallions and some shredded chicken and soba noodles.

I've also got a small stockpile of winter squash. I've never eaten acorn squash and I'm considering that as well. I just read how spices like ginger, garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg can help increase body heat and help circulation, so a spiced winter squash medley sounds tasty.

Have you noticed I'm not talking about exercise? Yeah, I noticed that too. Hmmm.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fighting the fat cravings

Fatty foods really are my downfall. I love butter. I love olive oil, avocados, mayonnaise. Peanut butter on my celery, cream cheese on a bagel...cheese! I love cheese! Melted, spread, sliced and in a sandwich.

I don't love fried foods, which is a good thing. Last night I indulged, in a moment of weakness, and got some KFC. It was awful! It didn't taste good and felt terrible on my tongue. I'm not going there again!

This morning I got an email from the Real Age website. I subscribe to a newsletter from them. In it there was a link to an article on supplements that helps fight fat cravings. Today I'm going to look at my cabinet and see if my vitamin packs include the calcium/vit D combo. And if not, that's what I'm buying today!

The theory is that when someone is low on calcium they go for foods higher in calcium, like cheeses and other fatty dairy products (oh...sour cream is lovely too!), so getting enough calcium cuts the cravings. After that, adequate calcium intake seems to burn more calories from fat as well. Vitamin D is required for proper calcium absorption. You can get vit D from just 10-20 minutes in the sun every day.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I feel 100 lbs. lighter!

Today was the last day of the Wired for Joy retreat. It was an amazing day for me. I had a huge, HUGE breakthrough regarding anger. I came to understand that I've stayed stuck in anger in order to avoid sadness, and I use humor to release me from the anger. In a small group setting, I was able to go through a cycle, examining my emotions, where the anger came from - fear and shame, and not feeling like I was good enough.  Those were my essential pains. They gave rise to the sadness, and loneliness as well. I was able to work through all of that to come to the conclusion, at the end of the seminar, that I am my own champion in life. And that's what I've been experiencing ever since.

I seriously doubted that statement on occasion throughout the day, especially on my five-hour drive home, through Yosemite. I didn't see much of the park. I cried for the first three hours, solidly, then intermittently once I could get radio signals again and I heard a series of love songs that would tip me over the edge again. I eventually felt free from the sadness, and I came to accept my role as champion of my life. And then a U2 song came on, one that always seemed to trigger tears and loads of guilt regarding my marriage. But with the new outlook, the song's lyrics suddenly sounded pathetic! Weak and cowardly! What a blessing!

There's going to be another seminar in April, this time in Tiburon. I may go to that one as well. In the meantime, I've hooked up with a provider for the method and I think we're going to get to work in the next couple of weeks.

But first, I need some good sleep!

I'm so glad to be home with my boys!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Getting wired for joy

I've been at the Solution Method retreat for just one day and it feels like a week has gone by...I've done that much work! Today is Day 2, and I'm both excited and dreading it. What will I learn today?

Yesterday I attended a class that explained the method. It's a way to retrain the brain to stop going to old, ill-conceived solutions to emotional events that keep one mired in a loop of pain. With this method, we learn to evaluate all the emotions experienced in the moment, to go ahead and feel them, talk ourselves through the pain to find what is at the heart of the matter. We discover our realistic expectation, filter out the unrealistic ones and then decide what to do about it. It's a method that will bring us to joy, real genuine joy. It helps create opportunities for true, adult, mature intimacy on many levels, without feeling trapped by a relationship.

Last night I got a little ahead of myself and tried to work through all my pain surrounding my divorce...I guess that was a little too ambitious of me. I'm not that good with nurturing myself yet, and I got trapped in a downward spiral of emotions. I had to call my girlfriend to help me see the big picture, the humor in my ambition to move on past the divorce in one night. It's so good to have a grounded friend!

Today we talk about how when we're freed from all the energy spent grinding through emotional pain, how to redirect that energy into passion and creativity. I'm really looking forward to that.

If you want to learn more about The Wired for Joy work, you can read about it at The Solution Method website.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A little me time

I'm leaving for June Lake, CA in a little bit. I'm going on a retreat sponsored by The Solution Method, which I've studied in the past for learning how to rewire my brain to take wiser steps in life and not fall into old behaviors that have become my go-to stress reactions.

Like the one I'm experiencing now. Guilt, for leaving the boys alone for the weekend while I'm off learning new stuff and enjoying the mountain air, massages, meeting new people, finding quiet moments to myself just to think. And I'm on the cusp of canceling the whole thing, because the "mommy" in me is freaking out. All sorts of thoughts are crowding through my mind...what if something happens to me and they'll have to go live with their father and their lives will be disrupted all over again just when we were beginning to find our footing. What if something happens to them while I'm gone and I couldn't bear it if anything took my sons out of my life. See, that's the sort of thing that's been churning through my head for two days. The logical, rational being in me is being drowned out at the moment. And instead of packing, I'm screwing around on the computer, playing sudoku, answering emails...I should at the very least be folding the laundry.

I still have about an hour's worth of tasks to complete before I go. Screw the laundry. I'm making a big, sorted pile on my bed and the boys can take it from there.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Goals can change

Today I had a fantastic experience. My boys and I went sailing on the Stars and Stripes Sail USA-11 boat (she won the 1992 America's Cup) and actually got to work on the boat as we sailed around San Diego Harbor. What a ride! It was a beautiful day, with good cloud cover to shade us (no one got a sunburn). I wasn't at all sure about getting my hefty self on the boat, much less actually get out to raise sails, steer, assist with navigation and tactics, tack and jibe and grind winches. But I did it! For nearly three hours. My biceps, triceps, knees and thighs are sore, but its a good kind of sore because I got that way due to something I really enjoyed doing. We even got up to 12 knots, with one side of the boat up in the air. I didn't want to leave!

So, that activity let me know that I really could work as a real crew mate on a sail boat and learn how to do it all, even at 300+ lbs. It would really work my muscles, and I would gain a lot of joy from the activity.

Up until today I wondered if I would be able to do this. I also really wanted it, and I wasn't going to learn if I could do it until I ventured out and took the chance. It opens up other ideas in my head.

But one dream was shut down today, and that's okay. I wanted to build/restore my own boat, live on it and sail it. As I spoke with the other regular crew mates, I came to the understanding that the best boats are those owned by other people, because they're very expensive to maintain and a lot of work. And I suck at that sort of thing! I came to the conclusion that I need to make some new friends, people who own boats and need a crew. Or I can just pay to go on a voyage as a crew mate. And if I want to live on a boat, I can always rent one for a period of time!

I can still learn woodworking. Maybe I'll make furniture. For the new friends who own sailboats.

Monday, October 12, 2009

An opportunity for a paid writing gig!

I got an email from Nature Made today. They've got a contest to find someone who will blog daily, for six months, about natural ways to stay in a good mood. And it's a paid position! So I wrote an extremely long list of reasons why I should have the job, it's posted to their website, and now I just need all my friends and cohorts to vote for me so I can pass Phase 1 towards getting the job.

You've got until October 30th to vote. The site allows one vote per IP address per day. So if you know some people who would be interested in helping me, by all means lead them to the link and ask them to vote for me everyday as well. So far, the leader has over 2,000 votes. We've got some catching up to do!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sleepless in Northern California

I'm having another one of my sleepless nights. They happen every once in awhile, when I get overwhelmed with life, the universe and everything. I couldn't shut my brain down for over an hour after I went to bed, so I got up and got some work done. Bathroom is clean. Clean clothes are sorted and ready to be ironed, folded and put away. Lots of papers have been sorted. Trash thrown out. I watched "Saturday Night Live" (it was lame).

I checked my email. There was a note from Debbie Ford, one of those self-help emotional/spiritual gurus. I like reading stuff from her website, but I've never bought any of her books. I have enough self-help books that I've never read. Somehow, just possessing them feels good, like I'm doing something, or prepared to move forward. Apparently I'm imminently prepared to move forward.

Anyway, in her new book, The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse (what more do I need to cleanse?), she has a poem about letting go of the past. It seemed appropriate for tonight.


Let all those who guide me support me in peeling away
whatever it is that keeps me blind to what's possible,
that keeps me hidden from my greatness,
that keeps me separate from my loved ones.
Today, I ask you to lighten my heart, to lift my burdens,
my worries, my fears, my anxieties, my grief
so that I may know and cherish all that I am.
I see it (allow yourself to see what your life would look
like unhooked from your past and liberated from your
I feel it (remember a time when you felt the whole world
and all its possibilities were open to you),
I acknowledge it right now
and so I know that it is.

See, I was experiencing a good bit of anxiety as I lay in bed. I was feeling crowded because my bedroom was full of laundry that needed attention, paperwork that needed to be filed, books to be put away, dust to be dusted, etc...and it seemed my forward progress in life was constantly being inhibited by housekeeping chores, tires needing rotation, parents needing attention, kids needing to be fed and loved. And once again, I saw the expanse of my life in terms of meeting others' needs and never caring for my own. And then I experienced anxiety for my own mortality and the not know what I currently believed about God and the afterlife, much less what is spiritually expected of me in the current life that buys me a ticket to the afterlife party. And I struggled with the urge to pray out of fear. (I don't like my spiritual life to be motivated by fear. If I'm going to exercise my faith, I want it to be a positive experience.)

So instead, I came downstairs and started another load of laundry, ate two all-beef hotdogs and got on the Internet for a rousing game of sudoku and checked my email. How's that for a late-night moment of personal growth?

Have you read The Official Vanity Club Archives of Chuck Lorre, who is the writer/producer of "Big Bang Theory", "Two and a Half Men" and other shows? They are little commentaries he's written and briefly flashes on the screen at the end of each show. He's got them all online. When you can't sleep, they're a great read. And it keeps me from spending more money at for yet another self-help book.

I need a new therapist. And to go to bed.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Planning ahead for a healthy vacation

When I go on trips, depending on who I'm going with and what we're doing, I either gain at least 8 lb or lose 10 lb. With my upcoming trip to San Diego and L.A., I'd prefer the latter. I started thinking about the trips where I lost weight and tried to determine why. Here are the conclusions I have drawn...
  1. I went with someone who wasn't into food as much as me - and that's usually my girlfriend Molly. She's into food, actually, sometimes more than me, but she's not into eating all the time. Once we went to London for 10 days. We woke up late, finally got to breakfast around 11 at a little cafe across the street from Harrod's, we ate a traditional English breakfast (I just love the big serving of mushrooms!). We were full, so we didn't feel like eating until something like eight o'clock. Although I do recall stopping for a coffee and scone around three o'clock. Dinner was traditional English fare (Molly and I like eating native cuisine wherever we travel), but I never ate more than her. We enjoyed an occasional beer, wine or spirit. We were very relaxed about our food choices, but didn't try to eat everything.
  2. I went with someone who was disinclined to veg - and again, Molly loves to walk. Same trip to London...we never hired a cab or caught the bus. We walked everywhere. We walked a mile to breakfast. Once we were done with breakfast, we hit the streets and walked non-stop, all over the city. London is great that way. So much to see and do on foot. We walked at least five miles a day. I was determined to keep up with Molly, who is a runner. I made her slow her pace, but our duration was pretty evenly matched. By our fifth day, she begged me to stop for a break, telling me that I had worn her out. That pretty much blew me away! I was so proud of myself! And when I got home from that trip, I was rewarded with the 10 lb. loss.
  3. I went with someone who wasn't on a schedule - and that means a stress free holiday. We had the opportunity to sleep as much as we needed. We laughed a lot. We enjoyed ourselves immensely. We took in what sights we wanted and knew we could go back to see more some other time. Our activities were varied and interesting. We scheduled some spa time. We wore comfortable clothes and shoes. And we spent time apart as well to pursue what we wanted to do on our own, or to do nothing at all.

There have been times when I traveled with some who weren't supportive of health, but we did experience some rejuvination. Once I went to Jakarta with a group of American expatriate women. We all stayed in the same hotel, everyone went off to do their shopping, spent time at the hotel spa and then we agreed to meet together in one of the rooms before going out to dinner. We had all stopped at the duty-free liquor store for some wines, so when we got to the room, about 15 of us popped corks, order appetizers and enjoyed the rest of the evening until someone called security. I don't recall losing weight that week. I don't recall much else from that week. I do recall grown, middle-aged women jumping on the beds like school girls, mercilessly flirting with our cute and very young and impressionable "butler" (yes, it was a great hotel), lots of slurring of speach, and an agreement was struck similar to the what-happens-in-Vegas I'm not mentioning any names here. It was fun! Wish I could do that again!

Traveling with the ex during our marriage was never fun. There was a lot of activity. I recall a lot of knots in my stomach, tension, not enough sleep, and being dragged all over the planet in very uncomfortable vehicles in search for the ultimate thrill ride. I ate my way through all those trips.

So this time it's me and the boys. I'm in charge of this trip. I'm doing all the driving. I planned the itinerary, but the boys did have input. We will have one big challenge, getting them motivated to stay active throughout the trip. My older son is a bit of a loner at times. He likes doing some things on his own. He's 17, so I understand that. There might be times when I leave him alone in the hotel. But not everyday. He's going to be spending time with me and his little brother and do family things. Because this is why we're going on vacation, for some fun-based family bonding.

Another issue around vacationing with teens is diet. I remember going to amusement parks with my parents and having to go out to the car to eat lunch in the parking lot. And I hated it. I always wanted to eat at the Blue Bayou at the Pirates of the Carribean ride. I just looked up their menu. Jeez! Talk about pricey! So I understand why my parents preferred hardboiled eggs and celery in the car, but I still don't want to do that. I looked up the restaurants at the San Diego Zoo. I spied out some good, fresh cuisine, lots of veggies and grilled meats available, and some solid teen-friendly selections. Universal Studios is similarly outfitted, both inside the park and just outside along their City Walk. So, lunches are covered.

We're staying at the Holiday Inn. I can choose a healthy breakfast there. But I'm still packing the ice chest for a few snacks. I'm going to bring along some hard-cooked eggs, my stash of Trader Joe's sardines packed in olive oil and Wasa crackers. I'll pick up some local produce (avocados!) as well. Since we'll be in the parks for a couple of days and we'll eat lunch there, I have no problem resorting to soup and salads in the hotel for dinner. There's a Whole Foods just north of the zoo and a Trader Joe's close to the hotel in Hollywood. We won't starve!

I'm shooting for plates at least half full of veggies. I won't be drinking alcohol during the trip. No fried foods. Lots of water.

So, diet is well covered. As for exercise, while we're in the parks, there will be lots of walking. We'll spend part of one day walking the beach. We'll walk all over the historic downtown area of San Diego. We'll rent bikes and ride along the beaches. Walking is involved with marathon shopping. I don't know if we'll average five miles a day, but I'll do my best. I'm looking into a sailing trip or some kayaking. That may be pushing it.

As far as other activities we can do for fun and stress relief, the boys and I are going to see Spamalot one night in Costa Mesa. I plan to do a spa day with my girlfriend when we stay with her. We'll be visiting the Laserium in Hollywood one night, the Beatles show. I tried to get tickets for the U2 show, but it's already sold out. We'll head for the Griffith Observatory one night as well. I would love to go to some art museums, but that will be met with resistance.

I'm dreading the drive. Eight to nine hours to San Diego. Every time we stop adds time to the trip. My car holds 14 gallons of gas and gets about 20 mpg on the freeway. That's one stop at Tejon Ranch before we go over the Grapevine. Around half way to San Diego. We can stop there for lunch, I guess, but I don't remember finding good places to eat there. Starbucks, McDonald's, Foster Freeze, Jack-in-the-Box, Subway...

How about I just pack something.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Laundry day

I'm feeling sorry for myself this morning...that tub of ricotta cost me on the scale. It's one of those foods to which I add extra salt and even though I've been on track with the calories for the last couple of days, the extra salt I tend to eat when I'm sick (so I can taste the food) packed on an extra five pounds over the last two days. I'm not going to weigh myself until we get back from San Diego. I'll just stay on track with the food, drink plenty of water, enjoy my time with the boys and walk a lot.

I have so much to do before we leave!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Struggling with a head cold

I've had a bad head cold for two days! It started after I cleaned the garage on Tuesday. We kicked up a lot of dust that I never got a chance to clear out when we moved in, so since the boys are out of school for two weeks, I took the opportunity to get one of them to help me. It looks really nice now, but I've been sneezing for three days, wheezing and coughing for the last two. I drank a lot of water and homemade turkey soup yesterday (Greek style, with lots of lemon - yum!) But I don't seem to feel any better yet. I just started with the echinacea and zinc, plus an extra dosing of cayenne pepper capsules. I hope that kicks it by the weekend.

Have you had a look at the list of blogs on the right of this page? Those are blogs of people similarly engaged with getting healthy. I noticed that everyone has come to similar nutritionally smart and healthy portions, no gimicks, no miracle products, exercise every day, sleep adequately, and manage stress. Would have saved a lot of money over time if I did all that from the beginning! The latest blog I've added is by Dianne from Fit to the Finish. She's been peeking in on me too...Hi Dianne!

And I wanted to add here, to Screaming Fat Girl, and everyone else who peeks in on me, thank you for checking in and letting me know, in one way or another, that you're there. Because you're really helping me stay on track. I really appreciate it!

Okay, I haven't been eating according to the plan set a couple of days ago, because there's nobody here that will make it for me! And when I'm sick, I just don't feel like spending time in the kitchen. And the boys only want to cook burritos and macaroni and cheese. And they found the last bag of Trader Joes's vegetable pot stickers today. I'm so glad I'm allergic to all of it!

What I did cook today was sauteed spinach with garlic for dinner. I think I had oil-packed sardines on whole wheat bread at lunch. Breakfast was scrambled eggs with shredded zucchini. I snacked on a handful of raw almonds. And I splurged on one item...real bad. I found a tub of ricotta in the back of the fridge...and we made love. See, that's what happens when I only eat a total of 900 calories by the end of the day. I feel really yucky right now. I've never eaten ricotta like that before. Yes, I've splurged on a fat, rounded tablespoon straight from the tub before, but never the whole tub. I must have needed more dairy, because I haven't had any in some time.

No, actually, I just started eating mindlessly. Because I wanted to check out of being a responsible adult for a little bit.

And look! It's midnight! I need to go to bed!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Still struggling with overeating

1800. That's my goal caloric intake. That's what I will need to eat to maintain my goal of 170 lbs. That's the caloric intake I'm trying to maintain now. It's really, really difficult for me. I seem to do fine during the day, until late afternoon through bedtime, when I make up for the difference between what I want to weigh and what I weigh now. That caloric intake is 2500.

If I could maintain the 1800 calories, I could lose 1.5 lb a week. I'd be so happy with that rate of weight loss.

I've been eating around 600 calories per meal, three meals a day, and trying to not eat after dinner. But what really happens...three meals a day, a couple of snacks in the late afternoon. It doesn't matter that they're really healthy foods, because calories are calories.

I've tried having smaller meals. I get really hungry if I eat less than 500 calories! And then I'm even hungrier later in the day! Atleast with the Medifast, I hit a groove with the really low calories and after a week on it I was fine with 1200 calories a day. Perhaps I should just go back to making my own meal replacement shakes. I have three jars of whey protein powder. If I have three 400 calorie meals a day and then have three 200 calorie shakes between meals, maybe that'll help.

So that's what I'll do this week. I still have several boxes of the Medifast eggs, which are soy-free.

Breakfast: Eggs, veggies, steel cut oats - 430 calories

Mid-morning snack: Chocolate banana shake - 200 calories

Lunch: Tossed greens salad, sardines packed in olive oil, whole grain toast - 480 calories

Mid-afternoon snack: Mango-peach shake - 200 calories

Dinner: fillet of sole, Kashi whole grain pilaf, broccoli - 420 calories

That puts me near target for calories. It's a little higher than I want for carbs, but the fiber is at 38 gm, which is great! Maybe that will help me feel full.

I'll try to stick to this format for meal plan the rest of the week. We leave on Monday for a trip to San Diego. I have to plan ahead for that trip too!

Monday, October 5, 2009

That dang omentum!

I put on the dress that I bought at Macy's over the weekend. I sill love it! But I have one problem with it. It's my sticks out in front!

The omentum is a webby membrane that runs across the front of the belly area to hold in the intestines. As Dr. Oz loves to show and tell, a healthy omentum is all lacy and pretty, a creamy yellow color, and it doesn't take too much space. But an unhealthy omentum, it's as bad as having unhealthy smoker's lungs. It's a dark golden color, lumpy and massive, and it squishes and crowds the organs.

The omentum grows excessively when one has a lot a stress. It's why stressed middle-agers have lots of belly fat. My omentum is lumped all in front. When I weighed 50lbs heavier, it was rather firm and obvious. People thought I was pregnant. It still sticks out (which doesn't make for a flattering silhouette at all!), but it's not as pronounced and it's much softer now. I want to get rid of that lump altogether and transform my omentum into something which Dr. Oz would be proud.

I've been scouring the Internet (my favorite hobby) for information on how to address my obtrusive omentum and this is what I've discovered: when one makes an effort to lose weight, the omentum is one of the areas that loses fat first. It won't reduce entirely before everything else, but it does go reduce at a higher rate than the rest of the body. That explains why a lot of my clothes got looser through the middle first before anything else.

Another thing I learned is that no amount of crunches, sit-ups or core exercises will reduce the omentum. But intense cardio will. It seems to be the area where fat required for aerobic exercise comes first. A healthy liver is important as well, and there are nutrients to help support the liver.

To prevent future additions to my omentum, I have to learn how to manage stress much better, because that's a huge contributor. I also need to continue to manage my carbohydrates because an unhealthy omentum just loves sucking up insulin and makes my pancreas work too hard. I'll keep taking Ceylon cinnamon capsules and eating whole grains and low carb fiber sources.

And until that omentum drops down to a shapely form, I'll be wearing my Spanks to manage the jiggles.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A good day!

It's just about time for bed, nearly midnight...but I had to just drop a few words about my day. I went shopping for new stylish clothes. I bought two jackets and a dress, at Macy's and Nordstroms at Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton. I went with my sister, we lunched and chatted at PF Chang's where I ordered the spinach stir-fry with garlic (YUM!) and chicken with veggies that they prepared for me without soy. It was spicy and delicious! Later we stopped for a cup of coffee and a pumpkin bar at Nordstroms. We walked a good portion of the mall. Wish I had worn more comfortable shoes, because then I would have cruised the whole mall. Because I was feeling really good!

Thanks to Eric, our waiter at PF Chang's who got my soy-free order worked out for me. I gave him a nice tip. Such a cutie! But he had no ass! Come to my house, little boy. I'll feed you!

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself..."

"...instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." -Judy Garland

That struck a chord in me today. I was just watching Project Runway. It reminds me about who I used to want to be, and I miss it! I used to want to be a fashion designer. I'm a really good seamstress. In fact, I'm a custom clothier. I love to design. I love textiles and what I can do with them. I love to draft patterns. I want to do this again.

I used to do the work for many years, on a small scale. Wedding dresses mostly. Weddings were my undoing. I don't have the temprament for that sort of emotional work. I don't like working under high-pressure conditions. At the time, I didn't know how to separate my clients' emotional issues from mine, so I took criticism very personally. And I worked like a dog. I haven't sewed for anyone in many years. It was like my talent and my inspiration left me because I wasn't caring for it properly.

I think I'm ready to nurture it again. I think I can earn it back, and I want to exercise my talent again...for me. I'm ready to create my first-rate version of myself, for me, with the intent of allowing my gift to blossom and be useful once again. I'm also toying with the idea of working as a custom clothier and stylist strictly for plus-size professional women. I know I have it in me. But I won't be making that decision yet.

First I have to find my first-rate version of me. From Staging Your Comeback, I'm finding that my primary style is as I suspected, Innovative and Classic, with a bit of Dramatic and Casual thrown in, as the mood takes me. My style buzzwords include: imaginative, creative, elegant, stylish, natural, comfortable, distinctive and striking.

My shape is definitely a triangle, with my hips wider in proportion to my bust. I'm glad to read the author addressing how an older triangle can get thicker in the middle and still be a triangle. That describes me perfectly!

What I never considered before was my vertical proportion. I'm tall, nearly six-feet tall. Sleeves are never long enough on shirts, tops and jackets never fit properly through the waist (they're usually too high). But in the last few years, I've been buying pants at one or two stores that offer a tall length and I've noticed that even if I wear high-heels, the pants are too long. I began to wonder if my proportions leaned toward a long torso and shorter legs. I just measured myself. I'm pretty balanced between my upper and lower torso. I'm just tall, and no one makes tops and jackets sized properly for my torso and arms.

I have an average neck that's gotten shorter with a well-rounded chin. I have narrow shoulders that are starting to round a bit. (Yeah! Shoulder pads!) My bustline is smallish and each breast is racing towards my waistline, which isn't cooperating and is heading south as well. My upper arms are very heavy and sagging, which has gotten more pronounced since I've lost weight. My forearms are starting to get a little slimmer but they're giggly as well. I have big square hands with large palms (the better to milk a goat with, my dear) and the base of my fingers are wider and fleshier than my knuckles (thanks Grandpa!)

My waist is thicker than it used to be, and it's dropped so that my hip length is shorter. So when I buy regular-waist pants, they ride really high. Low-rise pants seem to fit a little better and sit almost at my waist. If I get pants that fit my hips, the waist is huge. My front belly used to be bigger than my backside, before I started to lose weight, but now they're almost evenly split.

My hips are wide, but my inner thighs are really thick. I wish I could lose that first. Well, actually, second, after my batwing arms. No, third, after my big belly too. My knees are chunky (always have been), my calves are developed, but my ankles are actually slender! Big old feet, size 11W. I had my feet measured recently...from the heel to the ball of my feet, I'm a size 10, and from the ball to the end of my toes, I make up the distance with extra long toes. When I buy pumps, the heels always slip off my feet as I walk!

I have a big head too. But you probably already guessed that.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Approaching the cheating hour

I'm getting ready to take my son to taekwondo. And I'm hungry! I took the hoodia earlier, ate half a turkey wrap, took a little nap, picked up my older son from school, came home, felt hungry again so I sliced a piece of homemade whole wheat bread, sliced some tomatoes and red onions over it, drizzled a little olive oil and a cumbled ounce of feta cheese on it. 232 calories. Yum! And I'm still hungry!

I'm trying to wait 20 minutes. My blood sugar dropped before I ate, so I'm still feeling the effects of that. And in those sorts of moments I don't think the hoodia affected me, except a few minutes after I took the single capsule I felt a little nausea and then shortly after that had to go No. 2 in the worst way. If that happens again after I take another dose of it, I'm going to set it aside for emergency purposes.

So between writing and talking with the lawyer and watching the Gilmore Girls, 40 minutes have gone by and I'm still hungry. If I leave for taekwondo in this state, I'm going to fall into McDonald's on the way! I think I should eat something else before I go. Sardines. On a Wasa cracker. That'll bring my calories (lunch and snack) up to 500. Hope that helps!

I forgot to drink my grapefruit juice. Maybe I'll try that first.

I really don't want to lose my resolve and head for a double cheeseburger.


I love how I feel on successfully soy-free days! I got a lot done this morning in the house. It's lunchtime now and I'm not sure what I want to eat yet, but I know I'm starting to feel hungry, so it's a good time to make a wise choice. I think I'm going to try some Hoodia today. I want to see how it affect how much I eat. It's supposed to suppress appetite, but if that's only about hunger, this may not work...we'll see. I'll start with a single capsule, 250 mg, at the start of each meal. There's no soy in this product.

I found a probiotic product that was soy free. It comes in capsule form and I'm ordering it from Amazon. The one I've been taking has really made a positive difference with my digestive tract. I'm much more regular and I seem to be doing better with dairy products. I'm looking forward to experiencing other benefits from this sort of product, but the one I've been taking for the last month has soy in it.

I backed off taking supplements for awhile. I'm not sure I believe in them. but since my diet is so restricted in content, I'm inclined to start taking them again. I've got a big bin of supplements that are all current for use. I think I'll start with the Nature Made Diabetes Health Pack. It's definitely soy free.

I've been taking SamE and l-tyrosine every morning on an empty stomach for the last month and I believe I'm seeing a benefit to that. My mood is much improved and fairly even. My joints are starting to feel better. And since I'm on diuretic and bp meds, it's supposed to help with liver health. I'm also taking l-tyrosine with that, to help with depression and mental fatigue. I'm considering taking 5-HTP for help with mood as well as appetite suppression, but I'll take it at night as it may make me sleepy.

It's 1 p.m and I'm a little hungry, but I'm also sleepy. I'm feeling or nap. I think I'll nap!