Monday, March 31, 2008

Eating, exercise and lots of miles

I've been really thinking about my eating and how I feel. Another thing that I've noticed and thought stomach never 'growls' to tell me that I'm hungry.....what brought that up is that Dr. Ohz said in his book that ghrelin (the hormone that tells you when you are hungry) is working..t.hat's what causes the growling. stomach only rumbles when I'm sick or something.....interesting.

I did go to the grocery store on Friday night. I got the coconut and did make the granola bars. HEAVENLY! ADDICTING! YUMMY! Yes, they are pretty good. I also rode my exercise bike on Friday night. About 10 minutes into my 'ride' my mom called. So I talked to her while riding. We talked for about 10-15 minutes during which time someone else tried to call me. I ignored the call...but when I hung up with mom I picked up the voice mail. It was my friend. I immediately jumped off the bike and called her right back. What a blessing to hear her voice!

Saturday....we worked outside for a few hours! It felt so good to be outside and working! I grilled steaks and potatoes for dinner. Food tastes sooo much better when you actually work for it!

On sunday my eating went a bit downhill. Not only did I NOT exercise, but mom and I baked...I ate! ARRRGHHHHH That is so not cool! Then today, I did at least ride the exercise bike this morning...however my eating and choices of food have not been stellar! At least I'm denying myself. I could continue to eat .....I want to continue to eat...but I'm not. I'm refusing. I had a nibble of pretty much everything at the potluck. I had a piece of cake......taste wise, I know that I'm satisfied. What it is....I know how good the stuff tasted and I'd LOVE to have more! BUT NO! NOt gonna do it!

I'm anxious for my weight watcher meeting tomorrow night. If I heard correctly, my leader is starting a 'challenge' to get us up and moving. It is designed around walking but she had made a comment that we could adapt it so that it could work with biking and other forms of exercise. i've done that as Iv'e thought about my goals and that I want to aim for. I'm going to aim for 25 miles a week. I can get that anyway I can. If I'm doing something that can easily be marked by miles (such as the exercise bike, the treadmill, walking with my pedometer, outdoor bike, etc) I'll count the actual mileage. If it is something like swimming in a pool...actively that is...or manual labor outside or something that I'm actually working.....or even an exercise video. I'm goign to count 15 minutes of that activity time as 1 mile. In this way I can still have and lead the varied exercise life but i can still participate. I"m actually really looking foward to this challenge. I've mentioned it to a few people and they seem to be interested maybe I will have some friends do it with me outside of my weight watchers buddies! That would be way cool! did I come up wth 25 miles a week. Well.....if I were just walking, that would seem like an awful lot....but since I bike and do the elliptical and stuff like that...I can rack up miles pretty quickly. In fact, in the summer when Todd and I do a long bike trip, I'll knock off 25 miles on one trip. So those weeks, the 25 miles will be a cinch. However, on busy weeks or rainy weeks when I can't get out on my bike, that 25 miles will be much more difficult to reach. It will be 5 days of riding the exercise bike for about 20-25 minutes. When I think of it in terms of time on my exercise's not soo bad. I'm also planning on riding my bike to work some this summer. That will rack up 5 miles (round trip). So I think i can do it. :-) Root for me! Join me! It's all good! Of course I'll know more exactly after my meeting on Tuesday as to the challenge!

Friday, March 28, 2008


My weight this morning was 185.0. I'm happy with that. No...don't get me wrong, I'd love for it to be lower. But considering on Tuesday morning I wwas 187....I"m pretty darn tickled to be two pounds lower! I'm not doing too overly bad with eating today. I've got about 10 points for I should be ok.

I'm actually thinking about running to the store (about 10 miles away) to pick up some coconut so that I can make some granola bars tonight. I'm just not sure I want to drive over there for coconut. hmmmmmm..... Todd won't be getting off of work until about 10 or it's not like I have to rush home for anything. I am heading to the grocery store on I could delay making the bars a few days and just get the coconut when I go to the store. Hmmm...I guess I'll probably decide at the moment that I get in my car and pull out of the lot after work.

In my research and looking at the possibility of a gene issue...or hormonal issue, I stumbled across another idea. Leptin. Without Leptin in our bodies, we pretty much eat non-stop...our brain doesn't get the signal for us to stop eating. So that is another option......Doesn't change much of anything..just makes me feel better knowing that this may have been something way out of my control....and knowing makes me feel better and more ready to tackle the weight again.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My sexy honey. He is also losing weight and while he has grumbled because his progress sometimes seems slow, I can see a huge diffference in his body....not to mention his clothing sizes have dropped drastically. (5 pants sizes smaller....go Todd!) Oh yeah, and look at his shirt....That is a mans tee shirt that I used to wear.....tightly might I it's even loose on Todd!
A glimpse of me on top of Maryland Heights. There is a glimpse of the view. Doesn't seem that far up....well the bridge that you see behind me is actually a railroad bridge with 2 tracks! AND NO, I didn't get a picture and copy and paste my body onto the picture...I HIKED up there! It was a warm day.....but up at the overlook it was quite windy! I quickly put my sweatshirt on! (which is why I am holding it...I was getting ready to put it on!)

Ahhh don't you love those pictures when you hold the camer out and take a snap of yourself! This one wasn't too bad. It is interesting because you can see how our faces are thinning out!

A view of my beloved canal! If youwant to know how high I car is parked down on level with the canal (which is wide enough for a vehicle)
Today I'm going to go backwards and talk about my day yesterday before I talk about my weight issues!
Well, last night I was too keyed up and I wanted to get my thoughts down on ‘paper’ about this gene/hormone thing…and I just typed and typed and typed and I decided to write my days activities today instead.

Tuesday night…..what’s up with Tuesday nights and sleeping????? It was the second Tuesday night in a row that I’ve had major issues sleeping! I went to bed at someone around 11:30 to midnight. I fell asleep just fine and slept just fine until exactly 1:45 (I looked at the clock) when I was rudely awoken by Jodi as she struggled to cough up a hair ball. Nope..she never did..poor kitty (yeah to me to not have to clean it up though). I flipped on the light quickly to find out where she was though because a few weeks ago I woke up to that sound and she was on my pillow…OVER MY HEAD…yes, she got booted from bed pretty quickly that night! Well, the cat regurgitation sounds just must have been enough to totally wake me up. I laid in bed……and laid in bed…and laid in bed. Finally at a little before 3AM I got up and went to the living room. I saw the tail end of Andrew Zimern (or whatever his name is..the guy that does the travel and foods thing…great show) doing Minnesota. Then I flipped to the discovery health and watched some Trauma ER stuff…blood and guts stuff. My they show much more graphic stuff at 3 in the morning. Like I totally got to see them pin a broken arm…I literally saw the jagged bones as they had their hands holding them together INSIDE this kids arms. Pretty cool stuff. But anyway, I digress…..At 4 I turned out the light and turned off the tv…I was getting sleepy! I fell asleep pretty easily and slept about 6 AM when I awoke to the sound of splintering glass. I immediately knew what it was. When I had got up in the middle of the night, I had got a glass of water and had it on the bar between the living room and kitchen. Yep…sure enough when I flipped on the lights there on the bar sat not the glass…but Ethel…all innocent. Sooooo I cleaned up the kitchen floor…..I gave the cats new food and water (can’t risk that a shard of glass got into the dishes!). I’m wide awake at at that point and don’t even try to go back to sleep. I watched some “Birth Day” episodes on tv…and play on the computer until I call mom and Todd wakes up.

IN the morning we go to Hagerstown to Lowes and Target. At Target I get a new watch. My old one broke so I’ve been wearing my heart rate monitor…which is a watch and has the time..but is huge, bulky and if I wear it any great length of time (as in over 24 hours) drives me nuts! Then on to Lowes. Today we invested in a small prefab garden shed. We were going to build our own…but decided that we still have so much work around here that needs to get done before we will consider this place totally up to our standards that adding the construction of a shed was just too much. However, we needed something desparately for garden tools…and Todd needed something for his tools. So, we got two sheds. Both the same. 10 by 12 feet. We also invested in a RED riding lawn mower! I love red! J Ok…so I didn’t pick it because it was red. We actually like Troybilt stuff. I had told Todd that I was happy with the one..but he talked me into upgrading to the one above it. For 200 dollars we got 2 more horsepower and 4 more inches on the cutting deck. We are also the proud owners of a wood chipper….that will come in handy while cutting down the brush and trees that have grown. And I’m not talking just a small amount of stuff…..maybe an acre or two.

We rushed home and had a quick lunch and then off we went. We drove down to the Maryland side of the river at Harpers Ferry and parked the car. And up we went. We hiked up Maryland Heights…to the overlook. That is a round trip of about 4.5 miles….with much strenuous uphill climbing….about 1500 feet up. GREAT exercise. The view at the top though. Breathtaking! What a gorgeous view of Harpers Ferry and the surrounding area. I loved the view of my beloved canal stretching out far beneath me! The weather was spectacular! I thought the trip down would be easier…and it wasn’t as intense cardio wise…but muscular wise it was worse. We had to keep the muscles in our legs engaged and leaning back almost constantly….great workout! Here’s a blurb about Maryland Heights from an NPS website….”MARYLAND HEIGHTS, which towers 1,448 feet above the rivers, is the area's most strenuous – and rewarding – hike. In addition to furnishing breathtaking views of Harpers Ferry and the Potomac River, the mountain hides the ruins of many Civil War fortifications. Infantry trenches, artillery redoubts, ammunition pits, and military camps once extended across the heights”

We took a drive and then ended up in Charlestown at the Mountain View Diner. I was doomed when I walked in….they had Salisbury steak as a special…..and I love their Salisbury steak! The problem……it’s HUGE!

We came home and I did some light straightening up around the house. But mostly I just relaxed!

Today I woke up and fully cleaned the house. The toilets are glistening…the tub shines. The floors are spotless. The only thing that is not done is the bed is not remade. I’m washing the sheets….I’ll just put the sheets that I’m washing back on the bed. But other than that…the house is spotless! Woo hooo!

I need to still do my exercise for today. I’m not sure what I’m going to do…but most likely it will be something when I get off of work. I may do a video! J

Woo hoooo…update…the laundry is all folded..the bed is made…All is TOTALLY done!

Since I did it backwards today….lets move onto the main purpose in me keeping this blog. I’m still blown away with the thought of this gene/hormone thing. I feel more at peace with my journey and where I’m at than I have in a long time. I think it brought me a sense of peace. I guess in one way I felt like a failure because I haven’t been able to figure out when my body is telling me I’m full…..well if my body doesn’t do that, I was trying in vain for years! I’m not a failure. In fact, I’m an even bigger success because I’ve lost weight through sheer willpower, without any indicators from within my body to help guide me along. So it is with much peace that I learned about this thing that MAY be something that is hindering me. This discovery has apparently been relatively recent….and they are still working on testing and truly discovering it in humans. But it’s one of those things that I know without a shadow of a doubt that is me. No…it doesn’t fix my problems with my weight. It doesn’t give me a formula to even know HOW to fix my weight issues. But it gives me peace. Maybe that’s what’s been missing!

Lunch is over…we had our bigger meal (our together meal) today at lunch as Todd works all night. So I’ll have my lighter meal when I get off work. That will work for me. 8 points for dinner. I can do that! Especially since I’ve got leftover green beans AND leftover sauerkraut in the fridge. Two zero points foods! YIPPEE!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Frustrations Understood??????

At my meeting last night I ended up showing a gain of 4.6 pounds. Yep, I gained just about 5 pounds! I was sharing with some of my friends that I'm just incredibly frustrated. I am eating aimlessly, mindlessly and simply without reason. I shared that I see a food and even though I just may have eaten a full meal..the thought of that other food is in my head and I MUST have it. WEIRD. I talked to her about how I see food in the kitchen and I just want it....for example, if I see the apples sitting innocently on the may trigger me to think Apple PIe...and then I must get the ingredients and make one! My eating is not a thing of needing or desiring's totally mental. I mentally want this food...there is nothing physical about it! And I keep eating until I'm sick!

I was then sharing with another friend my frustrations and how sick I get of people telling me to 'listen to my body for the signal that it is full'. What the heck???? I"ve been waiting for that signal for AGES....and I have never heard that call. I shared with her a story...true life and it had just happened to me the night before. I got home from work and made dinner for Todd and I. I ate dinner....a nice healthy amount....nothing skimpy probably more than I should have. ANd of course after dinner I cleaned up. I"m still washing dishes by hand as my dishwasher connection is still not up and running. NO problem. I finished washing the dishes and realized that I had meant to make a perogi casserole for Tuesday night. That involved me peeling potatoes, cooking them and making mashed potatoes.....along with sauteing onions and cooking noodles (ok, so it isn't the healthiest's delicious though!). SO it was at least a good 30-45 minutes before I had that mess all cleaned up. I looked over and saw the loaf of bread. That trigged the thought about how good toast I up and had some toast. Now remember, I had just eaten a full meal about an hour or so earlier. (yes, fully balanced...protein, veggies, controlled carbs, etc etc etc) There was no way on this earth that I needed that toast. You can't say that my stomach had not caught up to what I was freakin' 45 minutes later! What was up with that? Well, I went to the computer and I was checking email and playing some games online and about 30-40 minutes later I stumbled across a recipe for muffins that sounded interesting. (yes, those blue cheese muffins mentioned in my previous post). Wow...muffins sound good....Ill go make some. Yes, I ate one! WHy...I now have had about an hour and a half for my stomach to catch up!!!! What's up with this. Oh yes.....a little later I had an ice cream bar...oh and I had some candy. WHY? I couldn't be hungry.....this was not a physical thing....and why the heck wasn't I feeling full after all this time????? SO I was relating to my friend that I just dont' ever feel full...not matter what I seem to do.

My friend looked at me and and actually understood. She didn't laugh like some people do. SHe didn't scoff and say, 'you'll learn...or you just need to 'listen'" she actually mentioned an article that she had read a while back about them identifying a gene that if it is missing causes the 'full' message to not get to the brain. WOAH doggie..this sounds like me.

I was extremely excited about this because I've been talking to my mom quite a bit recently about the fact that I never feel full. I will simply eat until I"m sick...unless I stop myself just becuase I know that I"ve had enough based solely on the amount that I ate and not how I feel. What really brought it to the forefront is because my sisterinlaw or brother had told my mom that my young nephew (1 year old...who is now eating 'adult' food) simply keeps eating unti he is pretty much miserable and sick. THey have to physically remove him from the food area...or remove the food from in front of him. That sparked me to think about the fact this may be something more genetic.

So, this morning when I couldn't sleep, I got up and got online and started researching. I found that they have identified a gene that creates a hormone called obestatin that is made in the stomach and small intestine and it seems to prompt the brain to send out a signal that says 'eat less"....the full signal. Ironically enough the article mentioned that this same gene also produced the hormone called ghrelin...and this is the exact opposite of obestatin...this hormone gives the hungry signal. SO I started thinking......have I ever been truely hungry. No...I dont' think so. I eat because it's "time" to eat.....or socially....or because I get a 'bee' in my bonnet for some food sinply because I love food. But, if I'm occupied I could go hours and days without food and not miss it...and not be feeling miserable without it. IN fact, my first year at BNYC (youth conference) I didnt' eat anything for a week. I didn't want anything...I was too busy and occupied to eat. I wasn't sick I wasn't hungry...I simply didn't eat. BUT, am I thinking this because I'm grasping at straws looking for an answer to these questions.

My questions prompted me to call my mom. I didn't tell her why I was asking these questions...but I asked her if she ever truely felt hungry. SHe started laughing a bit and was said, "when we had the restaurant, I made acomment that I was never hungry...I just ate because." She went on to relate that my grandmother and everyone at the restaurant at that time just laughed and laughed and laughed and called her crazy! I of course have already talked to her in depth about feeling full....she never feels full either.


IT makes absolute sense to me. The pieces click. The information that I read states that they are going to try to work on a drug that can synthetically give us these hormones that we are missing. I'm not excited to have that option...I'm tickled because I now understand why I struggle with how much I eat. I knwo I'm not crazy. And I know that no matter how many times someone tells me to 'listen to my body' I don't have to feel inferior and sit at home fretting because I can't 'hear' my body.

So today I really listened to my body. I woke up at 6am and I was putzing around the house. I was busy and occupied......I thought about food. I knew what I was going to have for breakfast...but I listened to how my body felt. NOTHING. I finally ate at 9am simply because I know that I need to eat to remain healthy. How did I feel after I ate....the same as before I ate. Todd and I went to town and did a few errends. We got home at about 12:30. I had listened to my body the whole time in town. Was I hungry...did I feel any differently...nope. I ate lunch (making sure it was balanced with everything to make it a healthy meal). I stopped eating simply because my 'alloted food' was already eaten! How did I feel aferwards.....the same. No difference in how I felt. Todd and I hiked up Maryland Heights to the overlook. It was a stenuous hike up the side of a mountain....from the bottom to the top. And then back down. When it was over did I feel hungry or any differently? No. We took a drive and went out to dinner. Was I hungry? NO. HOw did I feel after I ate my dinner...which I ate because I knew I had to eat to remain healthy...and because I like the food at that restaurant)....NO DIFFERENT!

It is a relief! Todd was sitting there talking about how full he was.....and I had no feelings like that. In the past, I've always wanted to cry when this happens because it makes me feel like a glutton. But tonight it made sense.

One other thing that makes sense....I've lost a considerable amount of weight.....and I came to the conclusion a few weeks ago that I did it because I simply ate my alloted points and then stopped. So it is possible to succeed even with this issue. It also makes sense why I hated core and why I gained on the core plan. ANY food...even the healthy ones can turn into bad ones when you can't stop....and since I was looking for that 'full' feeling....because on core you can eat until your full/satisfied....I was looking for something that I was never going to feel.

As for my satisfaction with eating. It is not in how I 'feel''s in my happiness with the taste of the foods that I just ate. When I leave a restaurant and I'm's because I enjoyed the food. When I say I'm satisfied, I'm satisfied with the experience.

I think just knowing this, will help me because I now will not waste my time on waiting for that full/satisfied feeling. I know I just need to eat what is a healthy amount (based on my points) and stop there. THAT is what will work. Simply feeding myself what I should be eating and not going over that.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mental journey

This weight loss thing right now is becoming soley a mental journey. I can say its mind over matter as many times as I want...or as long as loud as I want. But until I figure out what's going on in my mind...this weight is not goign to budge.

Why am I struggling so much. I plan what I'm going to do for eating.....and yet I do the exact opposite. I had someone tell me "just don't have bad stuff in your house" Well, I don't have bad stuff in my house....per say, yet I have flour sugar and all the ingredients to make bad stuff. Even if I resist that, even the healthier stuff....if you eat it like it's the last time you'll ever have other words like a pig, then even the healthy stuff becomes unhealthy.

Why do I have such plans and motivation...but my willpower just can't get going? What is missing in this motivation/willpower connection. I've been pondering and have set aside some time today to really think about this deeply.

Am I afraid to lose weight? I'd have to say probably not. I have already surpassed any expectations that I had. I'm thinner now than I have ever been a an I've already passed that mark into unchartered territory....aka scary territory. I'll admit I cried.....not only tears of joy...but also some of fear. It's more exciting to me as I can shop and move. I know that my self confidence has soared and is still positively increasing. I'm tickled with it. I'm tickled with the changes, that I can go into any store and buy something. I'm still getting used to it in my mind....I dont' feel like I belong in those stores. But regardless, I'm tickled with the change. So I don't think that I'm afraid of losing weight.

Being honest with I enjoy the attention that losing weight has gotten me? Am I afraid that if I reach my goal I will no longer garnish that attention? The difference in my body is night and day different...and I get huge compliments and lots of attention becuase of I secretly really eating up that attention and subconcioully trying to delay myself from getting to my goal in order to continue on with it? This one is not an easy one to admit...but this could be it? How though....if I continue to lose weight and get to my goal, I'll still be there...and it will still be word...I dont' want it to be this reason!!!!!

Am I afraid of my husbands reaction to my 'new body'. I know that Todd loved me when I was big and I know he loves me now that I"m thinner. Am I afraid that if I lose more weight that I'll not be attractive to him. Obviously he has no problem being attracted to a big girl....but what about a thin girl? I honestly don't think there is a problem because while he is always very careful about his compliments....he seems very happy with the new me. He's very careful becuase when he does comment on my 'new body' he says that he doesn't want me to feel that he only loves me this way.....he loves/ed me both ways. In fact, he's looked at old pictures of me...some of my 'fat pictures' and shudders at how I looked in comparison to now. So I know he is happy with my changes....and he is more worried right now that I'm falling off the wagon and that i'll gain it back..........ohhhh could I be worried, weirdly enough that he wouldn't love me if I gained it back???? HMmmmmmm

I just don't know. I do know that right now I'm not fighting a battle with cravings or desires or anything like that...I'm fighting a full out mental battle and I have no idea how to attack.

Enough on the weight. Last night Todd and I ate the seven layer salad that I had prepared on Sunday evening. It was good. Todd was quiet about it so I wasn't sure what he was thinking. BUT this morning he was like, "is there anymore of that "seven stuff' that we had for dinner. When I said yes, he was like "Good, I'll have some for lunch today" So I guess that means that he liked it! After dinner I cleaned up and made and put together a perogi casserole for dinner tonight. Now that's a good meal! Todd will put it in the oven and have it piping hot for when I get home at 8PM. I'll probably throw peas or some such vegetable in a pan to have with it...and probably quickly slice some strawberries and put ff cool whip over the top to finish off the meal. And what a good meal that will make!

I love to last week (was it Friday or Saturday) I decided to make biscotti for Todd. He loves biscotti.....I don't particularly care for it so I thought it would be a grand thing to make...something that I don't particularly like. (I usually don't like it because it's way too dry...I like moist and chewy things). Well..unfortunately, I found that I do like the biscotti uncooked dough...and the biscotti between it's two bakings...I like that.....uhh yeah, and apparently I do like homemade biscotti! DRAT.

So last night I decided to try again. I found a recipe for Blue Cheese muffins. I had found blue cheese on sale...and i had a coupon so i got a great deal...and thereby just happened to have some in the fridge..perfect! PLUS, I hate blue there would be no tempation for me to eat any right? I made them. They smelled pretty good while they were in the oven. Immediately after coming out they smelled I had one. Yep, I still hate bluecheese. But I gobbled that whole muffin...down the hatch it went. Then I went and played on the xbox some....I was laying there and this smell started to just waft through the took me a while to truely identify the was those muffins....the whole house stank to beat the band! It was terrible!!!! I had to pitch them out...and even take out the garbage bag that they are in. Todd came home during this drama and he was like......EWWW this house reeks! Oh well......we win some, we lose some!

Tomorrow, if the weather is nice, we may go down across the river from Harpers Ferry and hike up Maryland Heights. It will be an uphill climb....which may be rough on my knees...but I want to try it. We are also going to go to lowes and get a mower, a wood chipper and hopefully the stuff to build a shed for our garden stuff and some storage! Exciting stuff eh? If the weather doesn't co-operate, then we will probably end up going to the gym instead of the hike....which in reality makes more sense because Lowes and Harpers Ferry are in two opposite directions from where we live! If we end up going to the gym....we'll get home earlier than if we end up going down to do the Maryland Heights hike....I want to pick up the paint for the outside (I'm going to paint the outside white...and have green trim) and for my screened in porch....which I'm also going to paint white. If we go to the gym, I'll probably get home I'm thinking that I'll start painting the porch. My reasoning...the stuff we are ordering from Lowes...goign to have it delivered.....we are also ordering indoor outdoor carpet for our screened in porch! I can't wait to get my round outdoor glass topped table on that porch......especially since spring is just around the corner! PLUS I WANT MY GRILL brought over. Todd and i have typically always used our grill heavily..but it's still at the other place...and with it getting warmer I'm getting antsy for it! But that's just moving it.....I want to get that back enclosed porch done!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Famous Mommy

Mommy's famous! OK, maybe not famous, but she did make the paper! Here is a copy of the article.

March 23, 2008
She makes City Farmers Market sweeter
Baked goods made with imagination
Fran Clingan makes homemade goodies to sell at Hagerstown City Farmers Market. This "lamb cake" encrusted with fresh coconut is an example of some of the homemade goodies Fran Clingan sells at Hagerstown City Farmers Market. This time, Fran "Snooky" Clingan transformed what could have been a two-layer coconut cake into a "lamb."
Weeks ago, she created a "groundhog" cake, a Bundt cake made to look as though it were snow covered, with crumbled Oreo cookies - the "dirt" - dusted at the center and a sign that read, "Looking for my shadow." There's a lot you can do with a good cake mold and a passion for baking. Clingan, 60, of Hagerstown, has lots of both. "I've always liked to cook," Clingan said.
The Herald-Mail met with Clingan at her North End home, where "lamb cake" rested on her kitchen counter, with cookie bouquets - iced sugar cookies on sticks - and homemade marshmallows nearby. Her many, many cake molds (including one shaped like a series of trains) were stored away in a cabinet. The "lamb cake" is adapted from another of her recipes, Snooky's fresh coconut cake, for which she uses freshly grated coconut. Since December, Clingan has been selling her baked goods at the Hagerstown City Farmers Market, where she is known as the "cookie lady." But it is not the first time Clingan's cooking has been available for public consumption. Clingan's mother, the late Dottie Thompson, owned the View Street Diner, a mom-and-pop restaurant that was open more than 30 years. The restaurant closed in 2000. Clingan said she was the restaurant's cook during the last five or six years it was open.
"If you've been in Hagerstown long enough, you've eaten at View Street," Clingan said.
Thompson, who died in 2004, told The Herald-Mail in 2000 that had it not been for Clingan and her daughter-in-law, she would not have been able to stay open as long as she did.
Clingan has been feeling the pressure to reopen the diner, but has not yet made up her mind. She considers selling her goods at the City Market a "baby step."

Diner or no diner, Clingan won't be hanging up the oven mitts anytime soon.

Talking with Fran Clingan
Clingan talks a little more about her love for cooking:
Q: If you had a chef at your beck and call, someone who would make up the dessert of your dreams, what would you request?
A: I like fancy things. If I had my way, I'd have chocolate mousse with white chocolate stripes. If I had a chef, I would want something I wouldn't make myself.
Q: Is there any baked good you absolutely would not eat?
A: No, not really.
Q: What are some things your family members request often?
A: My son likes chocolate delight - it has pudding in it. My daughter and I, we like most baked goods.
Q: What sorts of things do you make for dinner?
A: If I'm cooking for my husband, it's hamburger, hamburger, hamburger. Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes.
Q: So back to the chef scenario, if that chef were there to prepare you dinner, what would you request?
A: I probably wouldn't like that because I like to cook. Having this table down at the market allows me to fix so many things - each week it's something different.

There is a recipe for the cake and also pictures....pretty cool eh? :-)

I've been a busy beaver. Mom and dad came down for Easter dinner. So Sunday I putzed around the kitchen all day. I not only did the cooking for Easter dinner, but I also made a seven layer salad to have with dinner for tonight (monday). Then tonight, I made dinner...we had the seven layer salad, almond orange chicken (yum yum) and the rest of the baked butter beans from last nights dinner. I had strawberries with a fruit dip/topping drizzled over the top. (heavenly). After dinner, I cleaned up the kitchen and then immediately messed it up when I put together perogi casserole for tomorrow nights dinner (I had to make mashed potatoes..and i don't use instant, cook noodles, saute I dirtied a lot more pans.) Now I'm done, the kitchen is once again clean and I'm just sitting here relaxing.

The problem...I've been eating like a pig today. I can't seem to get enough food to feel satisfied! What's up with that??????? Oh if I can just stay out of the kitchen....which is literally feet full view!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Two down!

How many days does it take for us to do something before it becomes a habit? Well, I'm two days down. I got up and TOdd and I went for a walk. About 40 minutes....2 miles. And then I came home and rode the exercise bike for a half hour. My legs were sore!

Meanwhile, I've done ok eating wise. However, yesterday I made a treat for Todd. I made him some homemade biscotti. I thought it was a grand idea. I would get to bake, which I truely love to do...and since I"m not a big fan of biscotti, I wouldn't be tempted. Well I found out that I don't like store bought biscotti...but homemade biscotti is pretty good. DARN. I ate some tonight. I actually did have some points left (3) and that is without counting any of my activity points that I earned today. So I'll probably be ok....but still...I would have been better without it!

I'm a little stressed at work. We are getting a new manager...and she had come over and chit chatted with made the comment that since our office is running pretty smoothly that she wasn't going to make any changes...nothing would continue on. We all breathed a sigh of relief. Well today we find out that the head of all branches was sitting with her and helping her do up a 'new' schedule for our office. GREAT. I just turned down a full time position because I needed certain times off. Ok, not even certain times...but a regulated day off throughout the week! If something changes and it doesn't work out, I know that will be GOd telling me to get off my butt and get a job elsewhere.....but I really do honestly like my job. That is such a unique thing for I hate to even think about leaving.

I got home from work and spent some time working on my grocery list. I'm going grocery shopping tomorrow. I washed the dishes that had accumalated since I had done the dishes (at lunch).....gotta love it...I leave the house after lunch and all the dishes are clean...I come home and the sink is full again. OH well....ANYWAY, I then just hung out tonight. Todd worked until just a bit I played a little XBox 360 and then I read. I've got to put the dishes that I washed away...but other than that...nothing else tonight.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Goal Dress

Back when I was still weighing somewhere in the upper 200's and wearing size 24 in my clothing I was out shopping. I had just decided to get serious and lose this weight. Therefore when I stumbled upon a dress that was on and sale and marked down so many times that the end result was that the dress cost $2. It wasn't anything fancy, but I bought it as a motivational/goal dress. It was a size 12 (as a side note, I also bought a different dress in size 10...also for two dollars). When I bought it I seriously doubted that I would EVER get down to a size 12. I was actually shooting to be a size 16....but heck, for $2 I couldn't pass it up. Well, just recently I tried on that size 12 goal dress. IT FIT! Here is a picture of me wearing that goal dress. :-)

One day down!

I know that getting started into a routine is actually one of the most difficult things. You can plan it easily. And once started it is easier to continue on...but getting started. Each week I'm saying to myself.....this week I'm goign to start the exercise. Yesterday we planned to go to the gym...but then life got in the way. So we said, Thursday morning...we are going.......

I DID make it to the gym this morning. Oh my's amazing how out of shap one can become in just a short (relatively speaking) amount of time! I did 20 minutes on the elliptical and then moved to the treadmill where I did 40 minutes of a fast walk alternated with shorts spurts of jogging. After the elliptical my legs were like jelly...they were literally shaking! After the treadmill I was like, "what legs?" tee hee hee Hopefully this will kickstart my exercise program again!

Meanwhile, on my home scales, my weight was at 187 on Tuesday morning. Wednesday morning i weighed in at 186.0 . This morning i weighed in at 185.6. So i can see the weight dropping. SIMPLY from eating healthy! Hopefully tomorrow will be good also...especially since I added back in the exercise! That spurt of fear when I saw 187 may be what i needed!

I'm so close...I've just GOT to keep plugging along. I've heard lots of people over the years say that the last pounds are sometimes the hardest......I think I just need to get over this 180 hump and solidly into the 170''s like some hurdle that i just can't seem to leap over!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

One more skipped

Yes, I skipped my weight watchers meeting tonight. IT was.....uhhhhh...raining. That's why! Seriously, I KNOW that I gained big time this past week. I'm talking about 5 pounds of gainage! That is so uncool. I find myself once again at 187 pounds. NOT COOL! This past week is totally me. I did it to myself. I can place the blame nowhere but squarely on my shoulders. THe only's made me look back some at the last few months. My standard MO seems to be that I lose and get to the low 180's....and then hit a brick wall. I work at it for a few weeks or so and get i have a crazy eating week and gain back to the mid to upper 180's......and then start again...lose until I"m in the lower 180's (or even high 170's) and then hit that brick wall again. Knowing this...I've got to perservere through that period and break through that wall.

The other thing I've been thinking I subconciously sabataging myself in this weight loss thing. I'm so close.....relatively speaking! And all of a sudden I'm stalled dead in the water. Being this close I should be so super motivated to finish this off....but I'm not....I lay really good plans...and then don't follow through. My willpower...well, my lack of willpower is what needs to be discussed!

Speaking of plans. I had the most wonderful idea for dinner tonight. I was making pizza. So I decided to put the toppings tha Todd likes on 3/4 of the pizza. I hate those toppings and won't touch a piece of pizza that has those toppings cluttering it up and messing up the taste (mushrooms and green peppers). Todd would then have leftovers for lunch on some upcoming day...and I wouldn't eat more than what I shoudl have. I had this plan set.......did I do it???? NO, when the time came, I made it 1/2 and 1/2.....and I ate my half! ARRGGHHHH WHY? Why do I do this. WHen I think about it, I think that I did it because "I love pizza" and I want to have as much as I can. I need to keep reminding myself that if I learn to control my intake, I can have pizza a heck of a lot more than I do now.....I can't have it a lot now because I have no control over my portion size...or intake!

So, you may be wondering how I was able to gain 5 pounds in a week. Well....last Wednesday I didn't do too badly, a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner. The problems began on Thursday with the baking of a cake int he morning (and the batter.....big temptation for me)....and the decorating of the cake in the evening (icing.....big temptation). On Friday at work I had a piece of said cake and also participated in the potluck. Friday evening it was cookie making (from 6PM until about 10PM....ahh yummy cookie dough). Saturday was cookie day. Sunday...well....Sunday was sample day at Sam's Club and mudslides in the evening. Monday.....a co-worker brought taco dip into work....super yummy and another one brought in a lime cake (surprisingly tasty). Oh yes, and I treated my husband by making a raspberry cobbler for dinner. Tuesday...I was able to resist all the tempation at work (leftovers) but that last piece of cobbler reached out and grabbed me! I HAVE to stop this trend. I'm noticing that once I start with the sweet things, that stopping the 'habit' or trend or whatever I want to call it is just really difficult!

Watched The Biggest Loser tonight. These people are doing it.....and Ali did it at home for quite a while...I can do this also!

I'm pushing to go to the gym tomorrow! That would help kick start my workouts! I've been so lax on those also! Yes, I've literally fallen apart!

Meanwhile, I hadn't been reading peoples blogs online...and one in particular I had stopped reading because there were no new entries. Well, I decided to clean out my 'fav's and checked hers to make sure that it truely was a dead blog. Well, she had posted a message giving the information for her new blog site. Well..this lady had originally been 300 some pounds...and lost quite a bit of weight...had been down below 200. I haven't checked out her blog for MONTHS......and like I said I just found her. I about fell off my chair when I opened up the blog....she's gained it all back...or almost all. She is hovering right at 300 pounds. How easilly and quickly she gained it back (we are talking 6 months.....100 pounds!) That scares me! Will that happen to me?

NOw that I've spouted my doom and gloom and bad stuff I'm going to go surf the net. It's 11:30...and I"m wide awake. I tried to go to bed and sleep after The BIggest Loser...and it just wasn't happening. TOdd has suffered from some insomnia lately...he's snoring away tonight and here I am...wide awake! ANd really thirsty for some reason. Ususally when I go to bed I don't need anything to drink. Not tonight.....I've had about 3 glasses of water since 9PM...weird! Which means when I do fall asleep...I'll be up every hour thereafter in the bathroom! Joy Joy!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Yep, I was way to wimpy to get on the scales to face the music today. Isn't that sad????? Where has my will power gone. Yep,....I've had two cookies here at work today! Slap my hands!

Meanwhile, I am at work...and looking foward to noon when I can go home. I have no big plans for my afternoon. Todd is working on a community service project and will probably be gone all day. I have plans for dinner...but we may ditch those plans and end up eating out tonight. An old friend that is home on a furlough from the mission field...the Philllipines.... is going to be at mom and dad's tonight with her new baby ( as in born Christmas Eve). So it would be cool to see her. However, if it doesn't work out with Todd's biggie. I'm literally just planning on going home...changing into my 'skivies' (my skivies are my flannel pants and old sweatshirt from my fat days...and boy are those big baggie sweatshirts comfy!!!) and hanging out. I may read a bit...I may play some online Call of Duty 4. Who knows. I'm goign to try to ignore the things that need to be done and take an afternoon for myself. I'm not going to make the bed! I'm not going to do the dishes! I'm just going to relax! I can do my grocery list tomorrow morning right? Or later tonight right? Better yet, maybe I can plan my menu here at work and think about what we want to eat then when I go home all I would have to do is figure out what I need to buy! What a splendid idea....think I'll do it......probably not! :-) And in fact, do you think I'll be able to ignore the unmade bed (yes, for those of you who know me...I've been actually making my bed most every house and all that......BREATHE...I know you'll find this shocking! and the pile of dishes in the sink? Probably not..but I'm going to try....and at the very least hopefully only spend a minimal time doing that stuff.

Speaking of dishes......arrgghhhhhh my dishwasher hook up is not compatable with my new I'm still washing dishes by hand!

Next week should be an interesting one. I'm working a more 'normal' persons work week. I'll be working a lot of days 7:45 until 4. That's all fine and dandy until I realized that Todd works most evenigns.....meaning I won't see much of him....and having dinners together will be touchy. Maybe I should do chili as one of the meals...because that is an easy one that I can make but is just as tasty when I make it versus a few hours of simmering later. hmmmmmmm Wooo meal planned. :-)

Friday, March 14, 2008

cakes, cookies and yummy things

Above is two pictures of a doll cake that I made for my manager for her going away/baby shower party.

Let me tell you...I know I'm not losing any weight this week.....what with making a cake yesterday morning (yeah yeah yeah, I had some cake batter to taste)....decorating that same said cake last night....(yeah yeah yeah, I throughoughly enjoyed tasting and nibbling on icing last night). And tonight I'm making cookies for a community service project that my husband is involved in tomorrow. (yeah yeah yeah...I've nibbled on not only the cookie dough for each type of cookie I've made...but I've sampled each type of cookie!) Eii yiii yiii

Today was super stressful at work. The computers were not working...yet we must continue to do the job...just without computers....and in a bank, that gets nerve-racking...especially when it's time to balance. Thank heavens I balanced to the penny. So I just came home and ate to my little hearts content. Now I'm feeling icky! ARRGGHHH It is so not cool to return to old habits!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'm thinking that I'm going to show a bit of a gain again this week at my meeting. DARN, DRAT, SHUCKS! Yes, I'm royally ticked off. HOWEVER, I know that I have done it to myself. While i haven't been eating very badly.....I just haven't been making the wisest choices. I KNOW that I can't eat my flex points...yet I ate a few...and there you have loss.....probably no maintain...and most likely a gain.

Lets look at the bright side of things though. I've started journalling my food intake again. That is a huge thing. At least now I know where I am with my eating. For a month or so there I had no clue. So that is a huge step in the right direction.

The just seems as if my world is falling apart. I got my car back last week from the auto body shop after a deer ran out and messed up the side of my car (yep, I got hit by a deer!) And within a few nights my car was messed up again. Sideswiped while sitting parked safe and sound (or so I thought). We've made a few purchases...and they are broke/dead out of the box/missing parts. Which yeah, we can take back...but it's just annoying as all get out when it happens. The phones here at work are acting utterly's just not cool.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Stress and old habits

Yes, old habits die hard. I'm still under some stress. Uhh yeah, my newly fixed car is once again damaged (it was sideswipped while safely parked...I wasn't even in it at the time). So what did I do...I went to the kitchen and made a fudge filled chocolate cake...and proceeded to eat half of it (over the next 24-36 hours). NOT cool! That is NOT the way to deal with stress, worry and upset. What made me do it? I'm not sure.....other than old habits. That's how I used to deal with stuff.

I haven't weighed myself the last few days. The ick arrived last Saturday (the eighth) and I know how that can skew my weight. SO I just ignored the scales. I'm proud to say though that I've managed to at least journal my food intake. SO at least I made a positive step in the right direction. I just need to make a BIGGER step!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Warm weather

I'm still on the edge of eating healthy. Not eating exactly as healthy as I could be...but not totally throwing healthy eating over the edge. OH well.

Today the weather was fabulous. I so wanted to get out and go for a jog. However, life is just to busy now. I brought a load of stuff from my corner cupboard over from the other place...and then I had to put that away. I worked outside a bit.....I made Todd and I lunch and I fixed the shepherds pie for's in the frig all ready for to be baked. That makes it easier when i work until 6PM.

We are getting all settled into the new place. It feels like home....I will be so happy when everything is totally moved over...and what isn't being moved is organized and boxed for storage! What a relief that will be!!!!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

AHHH shucks!

Well, what a week! I didn't have a car for a week and a half as mine was at the autobody shop getting repaired after it's run in with a deer. We moved. Issues with my home scales, I worked. Life has just been busy!

The car. They did a superb job on the car. Unfortunately, they were a full week over the 'promised' date! I was chomping at the bit to get my car back. Normally it wouldn't have been that bad...BUT with us moving, Todd now has to drive to work. When we lived above the business it was nice when we only had one car because he didn't need a car every day. NOW, we both need cars to get to work. Well, we could ride our bikes...but it was dang cold...and dark when we get off work! So it was a pain in the buttocks. I bummed rides for a week and a half! But, I got it back yesterday evening!!!! I was so tickled!

Moving. Wow. The new place looks nice. Very homey and comfortable! I'd wager a guess to say that we have moved 95% of our belongings. I still have my washer and dryer to move, my corner cupboard, freezers, and exercise bike. I do have a few small things left also that need to be moved. But we are in...and quite livable. The problem. Well, we ate 'fast' foods or we ate out a good deal this week! That is rough on a diet! VERY rough! I was down to 179.8. Well...I'm back up to 182.4 according to my home scales today. I'll know the exact damage tonight at my meeting.

My scales. Well, I moved them and I went to weigh myself and they didn't work. The battery had gone dead...AGAIN! Didn't I just replace that sucker? Well, I bought a new battery and was able to check my weight this morning. I honestly do believe that if I had been checking my weight daily, I would not have allowed my weight to jump back up three pounds.

Well.......I did jump that three pounds and while I may have been more cognizant and not allowed it to happen, I do have to be honest. The ick should be arriving in my life soon. I say should be because I didn't mark it down last month....wasn't that smart of me???? So that may be causing me to retain water. PLUS, I'll be totally honest and admit that I've been drinking....well, zilch amounts of water! I've been drinking diet soda. And while that isn't the worst thing and didn't add calories and such to my still wasn't what i NEEDED to be drinking! I do really honestly feel that water is an integral part of my weight loss. SOOOO I'm knocking back the 'sippy cup' of water today!

Last week at my weight watchers meeting I finally set and locked myself in to a goal weight. My weight watchers goal is officially set at 164. That is the highest weight watchers approved weight for my height range. At my meeting last week, that put me 15 pounds away from that goal. I guess tonight I'll be 18 or 19 pounds away....shucks! Oh well...that's still a heck of a lot closer than 100 pounds... or 125 pounds...or even 150 pounds. :-)

I'm refocusing myself on weight loss here. I can't let this get me. I've got to continue on and lose the rest of this weight. I've come to far to give up or fail now! Plus, I want new clothes! :-)