Saturday, March 23, 2024

Those Darn Scales

 I have been so excited to have my weekly weigh in!  The scales were moving in the right direction and it was going to be fabulous!  But then, I messed it up!

This past week of eating has been pretty spot on.  I've been nailing it with my fruits and veggies!  I've been eating wisely and things were going well!   Until they weren't!    

Thursday night is my beekeeping class, so I have been typically grabbing a sandwich before the class since I don't get home until about 8:30-9PM.  (which is pretty close to our bedtime).   No biggie.  Eating early should have actually helped my Friday morning weigh in!   But I didn't stop at the sandwich.  I couldn't help myself and went and grabbed a plate (a small plate thankfully) of pasta.   Way too many carbs.  I actually had a bit of two different types of pasta, one of which was lots of cheese and so high calories, with limited nutritional value (velveeta cheese...highly processed).  I actually started to panic as soon as I was done eating!  I knew that I had messed up!   Nothing I could do about it at that point though, because no way will I ever purge!  (Never had, never will!) The only thing I can do is know that this next week is another chance to nail it the WHOLE week with healthy nutritional meals and snacks!

So on Friday morning, I stepped on the scale with a small bit of trepidation.  My weight.  Well it is a mixed bag.  I was showing up from where I had been just on Thursday morning.  WAAAAHHHHH.   Luckily, I was showing myself down about a pound or two.  I'll take the loss, but it's hard to celebrate when you know you messed up a much better weigh in!

Yesterday I had a follow up appointment with the gastroenterologist.    We didn't have much to discuss about the colonoscopy and spent most of the time talking about the acid reflux, which is still wildly out of control.  I admitted to him that after about 8 weeks of him telling me to take the protonix that I stopped taking it (I had actually been taking it about 10 weeks before he prescribed it though).  I saw no difference or change.  So he has changed a similar medication, a different PPI.   Yup, now I will be trying Prilosec.  He also wants me to add in Gavascon as needed.  (Gas X).     I haven't picked that up yet, and had some bad coughing after eating yesterday, and thought about the Mylanta Tablets that the ER doc had told me to take as needed, but my new family doctor had told me to stop taking.    So I took one.....and it wiped the cough out completely in minutes.  Hmmmmm.  I will try the gavascon, but will keep the Mylanta handy in case the gavascon doesn't work.  

My stand up desk arrived on Thursday!   I was able to drag it up the steps and into my office, but I haven't yet had time to put it together!  It is heavy (which is a good thing) but the box is worryingly small!  Ok, not small like 'dollhouse small', but the box is about 2 feet by 4 feet.......I keep telling myself that I knew that the desk top came in two section!  But it is a bit worrisome!   I will get it together sometime this weekend!  

The weekend is here and I was so ready for it.   Today is supposed to be rainy.  This morning we will run to some banks in Hagerstown. I'm assuming we will take the dog with us.  That will be good because we typically play outside with her to wear her out, but with the rain we won't do that....and without it she gets the zoomies!   The zoomies care cute, but with a big hulk of a dog, it's a bit much!   So the car trip will work her brain and she will expend some of her energy into her brain power.  Seriously, her head will be on a swivel for the whole time we are traveling.   (It really is crazy to see  how something like that where she uses her brain will wear her out just as much if not more than playing outside!)    She has learned that banks are fun places to visit!  Jason's bank doesn't give dog biscuits (meanies) but my bank does as does that bank that has our car loan!   We are going to all three today!   But don't worry about the 'meanie' bank.  I can't disappoint my girl, so I will give her a dog biscuit when the tube comes back. (She knows what that tube means too!)   And just a fun picture from one of our previous car rides!

Thursday, March 21, 2024


Here we are, Thursday morning!  My week is winding down and I am ready for the weekend!   But as I sat here reflecting this week and looking forward to the next one, realized a few things.   One, I have a long weekend and two I had a word of the week failure!  Oops!

Early this week I sat down to calculate the previous weeks mileage for my 2024 miles in 2024 Challenge. (post talking about this challenge can be found here).  This is my typical routine.  I close out the previous week and I turn the page to the new week.  When I turn the page, I see the empty margin at the top and I put down my new word of the week.  Many times I don't actually have a word of the week planned, I turn the page, see it and just know what the word should be.  This week I turned the page and thought about the word of the week and what it should be.   Nothing came to mind.  I was stumped.  So I vowed to come back to it.   I just realized, I never went back to it!  So I guess the default word of the week is 'wordless'!

Just because the word of the week was missing doesn't mean that I am not still tracking my progress.  I am still tracking my food.  I am still accumulating miles.  However, the mileage has been a lot lower as I have been really lax on exercise.  I ride the exercise bike to get in a fair amount of miles...but being honest, I knock out those miles fast and furious on breaks from work.   I rely on my step count to make up the rest of the miles and I have been so sedentary that I fear that this week I won't make my mileage goals.  If I make it, I am pretty sure that I won't be banking miles!  That's not cool!


My eating of late has been spot on!  A while back I talked about my frustration on the scales and that I needed to tighten up my calories and my carbs. (here and here)   I have been doing very well with the carbs.  I had one day where I splurged and had a sandwich for lunch and then had pasta for dinner.  But for the most part I have kept it at one serving!  I am not concerned about fruits and veggies and natural sugars/carbs.   The calories.  I have had some days where I have nailed the 1200-1300 calorie count that I am aiming for, but I am still most days sitting at closer to 1400-1500 calories.  So that one is still a struggle.

One thing that I AM doing is trying to focus on upping my intake of fruits and veggies.  I know that years ago when I was doing weight watchers I was eating a LOT of fruits and veggies (even before they were considered free).  At one of the meetings theWW leader was encouraging people to eat more fruits and veggies and people were complaining and lamenting about how it was impossible.   She asked the room if anyone was eating over 4-5 servings.  I honestly raised my hand.  I was the only one that raised my hand.   She got a huge grin on her face and just stopped and waved at me like she was Vanna White and said "there is the proof'.  Because you see, I had just shared at the beginning of the meeting my pounds lost for the week and we had talked about my total/overall loss, which at that point was amazing (as I was really close to reaching my goal at that we were talking overall loss of over 100 pounds).   Zoey loves her veggies also (ok, Zoey loves pretty much any food....well except for lettuce/spinach).

So I am excited to step on the scales for my weekly weigh in to see how I do this week!   That will be in my next post!  :-)

I have been going up to my mom's once a week to work on sorting and cleaning and trying to figure out what to do with her belongings.   It's a crazy thing dismantling my parents life.   Sad on one hand because my parents have things from their childhoods, from their we are talking 80-100 year old memories.   But it's also cathartic as we share memories and laugh.  We have tried to be quite judicious with what we are taking.  For me I have a three point criteria and something has to fit in that criteria before I take it.  

    1.  It has to have sentimental value to ME.

    2.  It has to be something I actually need.

    3.  It has to be something that is better than what I own....making it an upgrade.

So far that has worked. The sentimental items that I have gotten include my dad's toy cash register that my brother and I both played with.  (we used to play restaurant and every restaurant needs a cash register right?  This is all metal and was given to dad when he was about 4 or 5 making it 75-78 years old.

I also took mom's doll bed.   I also played with this as a youngster.  I was REALLY into dolls, so I used this a LOT! At this point, this doll  crib would be at least 72-74 years old.

There are some other random, smaller things.   A few pieces of glassware, some items from the restaurant (my grandmother owned a diner) and probably more to come!  I am taking a fair amount of my parents wood furniture.  It is solid walnut ....and in really good condition, and better than my current furniture!

So there is a lot of shuffling of furniture and belongings here at my house!  But it's fun, and all stuff that brings so many memories. 

The weather has been warm one day cold the next!  I am so ready for spring!  I see signs but it's still cold (at least today!)

Come on Spring!!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Removing the Diet Mentality to Bring Success: Book Review of Thinsanity

 I have long written about my love hate relationship with this weight loss journey that I am on.  I love the progress and how I feel when I'm losing (or have lost) weight.  I love knowing that I am doing really good things for my body.  There is a lot that I love.  However, there is a certain loss of innocence.  I miss the innocence of not thinking about my food intake, I miss the innocence of living a life and not having to think about being healthy.   Is a healthier body worth it?  Yes.  But that doesn't mean I sometimes mourn that loss.

This year I made a vow to read a 'healthy life' related book each month.  I read a lot.  My yearly average  is about 125-150 books.  Many of the books are fluffy and light romance novels, heart stopping thrillers or any variety of fictional works.  But this year, I want to make sure that I am reading something to better myself, at least one book a month!  In the past I have randomly picked up this kind of book, but with no real consistency.  So I decided one a month would be a good start to bring more enlightening books into my life!    That's not a lot in the grand scheme of how much I am reading!  (I made this decision in February so I have an extra book to read at some point to make my perfect 12.)

I was looking for my book last month and noticed the book Thinsanity by Glenn MacIntosh.  I read the description and I was hooked!  Losing the 'diet' mentality sounded like a really good thing for me!  Maybe I could regain some innocence within my weight loss journey!  I was so excited that I didn't even wait for the book to become available through my library.  I went to Amazon and bought it immediately.  

This book started out great!  The author instructs the reader to only read the portions that pertain to them.  I was impressed with this.  Most authors indicate the need to 'read the book in its entirety' to get the full rewards.   But not this author, he clearly told us to skip parts if we have already mastered it or if we feel as if we had already gotten the gist of the chapter and quit simply felt done with the subject.

The book is laid out great!   He has it divided into a chapters that highlight the symptoms of thinsanity.   They are things like negative self image, making peace with food, love hate relationship with food, self medicating with food and healthy habits.   Great subjects!  Each chapter talks about the symptom. The chapters are interspersed with personal stories of people that have left the world of Thinsanity to live away from the 'diet culture' and into a more intuitive lifestyle.  So far so good! 

The problems for me started to come when he started to talk about body image.  He talked about the BMI and how it was skewed so if you were going by the BMI and thought you were overweight.  Since the BMI was not a valid judge you were wrong and thus you were not overweight.  What?  I wholeheartedly agree that the BMI is not the best indicator for weight. After all, I had to get a doctors note to exempt me from the BMI restrictions for weight watchers! I actually wrote about that many years ago in this post.    So I agree with the harsh restrictions of the BMI in terms of weight goals.  But at my current weight, there is no way that anyone would not call me overweight.  Yet this author kept repeating his mantra that "The BMI is wrong so you are not overweight".  These comments had me scratching my head and wondering why I was reading this.


My feelings of discontent with this book were nailed home later in the book when he relayed a story about his patient that had worked for 3 months to lose her weight but then gained it back on her cruise.    Really?   She lost all her weight in 3 months?   Three months would be fabulous but without any major illness or medical intervention not even remotely possible for a morbidly obese person.


At that point reading became a bit of a drudgery for me.  I felt as if he was writing this book for the person that had just a few pounds to lose and not someone that was morbidly obese.  I kept reading though.   Maybe he would turn it around.   Each chapter did have good hints and tips that can help someone on a weight loss journey.  But the author lost me totally toward the end of the book.  100% lost me.


What in the world did he say that turned me off completely?   He flat out said that bariatric surgery is an appropriate potential for people living in large bodies.   What?  I thought the purpose of this book was to live healthy and lose weight!   But no, he went on to say that this book would be great to be used as preparation for bariatric surgery.  

I have nothing against the person that chooses bariatric surgery, however it was not what I was expecting in terms of a book to help me get into a better mindset and say goodbye to dieting forever.  In fact, in my limited knowledge, a person that has had bariatric surgery still has to watch what they eat.  That person may actually have to watch their 'diet' even  more to make sure that they get the proper nutrients.   Hmmmmm...

Either way, I was done with this book at that point.  Was it my personal preconceived notions?  Was I soured by one or two comments at the beginning?   Pick up the book, read it and let me know if I was just having a bad day(s) when I was reading!


 So this book was super disappointing for me.  Not a good way to start my reading challenge for the year.  Don't worry though,  I haven't given up.  I already had my next healthy book lined up and have started reading it!  It is proving to be much better!  So stay tuned for that review!!!

Friday, March 15, 2024

It's 4 AM you Ninny!

I was in the middle of writing a long post about the urge to give up, updates on life, beekeeping and all things my life, health and happiness yesterday  and I stepped away from the computer and poof, it was gone!    ~~deep sigh~~   So here I am again!  This time on the computer (I was writing it previously on my phone).   This post is not getting away from me!

I'm Not Giving up
The last two weeks have been a real struggle.  I have been so frustrated with my weight loss efforts.  Ok, not really with my efforts.  I'm frustrated with the numbers on the scale, how I feel and how my clothes fit.I have been for the last few weeks eating about 1500 calories.  I've been exercising.  I've been doing it!  Yet I'm not losing and in fact I may even have gained a pound or two.   Talk about frustrating!  So I reevaluated where I am and what I'm doing.   I looked back to what I have been doing in the past when I have been successful.   I came up with two things.  Cut calories and lower my intake of carbs.

I talked in my last post about the carbs already.  I know that I can have 1 serving of bread/pasta/potatoes a day.  I've known this for a while.  Yet it seems so innocent to just have a small sandwich at lunch.   Seriously, it's just a sandwich. However, that is true, except that I don't cut my complex carb from dinner.  I'm within my calories so no harm done right?   However, that is not right.  For me this doesn't work.  So back to limiting.   I'm ok with limiting, it allows me to have my much loved carbs but still lose.  (Oh heavens, I hope that this rule never changes!)  I have been working to enact this change.

The second thing that I am working to change is my calorie count.   I have been eating about 1500 calories.   I have LONG known that this doesn't work for me, yet I keep bumping my calories to that 1500 level.   1200 calories is where I need to be.   Yes, I know that seems low, but this has been tested time and time again in my life.  I first discovered it while I was losing with weight watchers.   Every time I tried to eat all of my weekly points, I would maintain or even gain.   Likewise, if I tried to eat my 'earned points' (earned through exercise) I would gain.   I had to keep my calories at the lower level.   I've encountered this numerous more times over the years.   In terms of calories 1200-1300 calories is my magic.   That's not a lot of calories!   So naturally more calories creep in...and if it's just a random day of 1500 calories I'm ok.  But when one day turns into 2 or 3 or weeks worth, then I don't lose!   So I'm getting strict again about keeping it at 1200!  

It's working!  Not fast, but I'm seeing the trend on the scales going down.


Exercise has been really rough this week.   The alarm goes off at 5AM and I have only been able to muster up the gumption to exercise 2 times out of the last 5 days.  I've been just so tired, so sluggish and so unmotivated.  It wasn't until about midway through the week that it hit me.  The time change!   My body has been screaming at me.  It's been saying "It's 4AM you ninny!"  It doesn't seem like a huge difference but 4AM is sooo much worse than 5AM (and 5 AM isn't fun either!)

Beekeeping Class

I went to my second night of beekeeping class.  It is quite enjoyable.  Ok, I love learning new things, so I didn't expect it to be anything else.  However, I almost let my fear of trying something new keep me from it, but the fear was more "where to go, how to find it," etc and not fear about learning something new.  I'm glad I didn't let my fear win.  

Are we ready to pull the trigger on purchasing the set up and the bees?   Yeah, I think I am.  Sure, I"m scared senseless about the prospect but I'm ready.  What may hold me up is finances and time.  It will be a bit of outlay of expenses this year, and not sure we can swing it!   Secondly, there is time.  Ok, not really time, but the timing of all of this.   Shipments of bees are happening literally in 2 weeks.  Some places are already 'out' of bees to purchase.   So being ready at the right time may not happen.   But we will be ready for next year it not.


We have a busy weekend planned.  We HAVE to get those bare root trees and plants into the ground.  We don't want them to move out of their dormant state!  This is a grocery week. It is also a week to clean the bird cage.  There are also a few other things that may or may not be happening!

Recipe Project

I have been working diligently on my mothers recipes.   This has been a much bigger project than I first thought when I took on the project.  So what is the project?   Gathering all of my mothers recipes, digitizing them and compiling them together.  Sounds easy and quick right?  NO, it has been huge!  Some  recipes that are near impossible to read. 

But that wasn't what made it a huge task.   What made it difficult was the fact that mom never settled on any one organization system for her recipes.  She had grand ideas though.  My oldest nephew and I have worked on cookbooks, baking magazines and recipes a few times together and we have laughed so hard because we have come across no less than 5 different organizational ideas for recipes.  Mom tried each one, but never really managed to finish any of them.   The problem with these multiple organization systems and the lack of any set system is that each time she started a new system she copied her tried and true and most used recipes into the new system.  So we are talking multiple versions of some of these recipes.   The lack of system also caused multiples as she had the same recipe written on a card and tucked in multiple books, magazines and drawers.   

Still not convinced this project was huge.   Right now, I am at 450 plus UNIQUE recipes.   That doesn't include the duplicates! 

It has been interesting to see the evolution of mom's baking through the years.  I found recipes from when we were kids.  Very basic and simple recipes.   I found fancier recipes that she used when she was a personal chef for some local priests.  Just this past week I found the recipes from the restaurant.  Yes, my grandmother owned a restaurant for years and my mom cooked there. (I also worked there doing short order, waitress and whatever else was needed).  The restaurant recipes were in my grandmothers handwriting!   The last evolution of my mom's baking was when she baked and sold her baked goods at a stall at various farmers markets.  How interesting to see my mom's life in recipes!

 So what am I going to do with these recipes?  First and foremost, it is for family.  For our use, for our memories.  I have toyed with a book...but where to begin with 450 plus recipes!


I remain  busy and active and taking steps to make my life, my health, myself the best version of me!



Sunday, March 10, 2024

Frustrated and Fighting the Urge to GIve UP

 I have trying to lose weight!  It is the most frustrating experience one can have!  I mean, don't get me wrong; when I am actually losing I feel amazing.  I am on top of the world and all is fantastic.  But when the weight is not coming off it is the most demoralizing and horrible experience.

The weight was starting to come off and things were going well at the end of January and the beginning of February.  I was on top of the world.   Then my mom died.   I actually held it together for the week of her death.   I was so proud.  I didn't succumb to all the tempting and bad foods.  I was doing great!  I had won...right?

Yeah, how wrong I was.  All  can say is that I let down my guard.  In fairness that first week was more surreal.  It wasn't until the second week that it really hit me with the sheer loneliness and grief.  I haven't gained mad weight.  I"m actually still within a 3 pound range...with the bottom edge skirting where I was when my mom died...but more often at the top of the 3 pound range.  SO I guess I should admit to a three pound gain.  What is worse?  I'm still trying to lose and it's just not coming off!  I mean seriously, my calories were never over 1500!  NEVER.

I looked at my food closely and I saw a problem area.  I was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich each day for lunch.   Seems innocent right?  Except that in my personal experience I know that eating bread/potatoes/pasta can only be a one a day thing for me.  By eating it for lunch I should have forwent it for dinner ,but I was not!  So that is what I think my issue is.  I think! I hope! So I'm working to change that!

 I have been working on deep cleaning things around the house.  I have been wiping down kitchen cabinets.  I am also taking the time to move things around in the kitchen.  I've lived here two years and I sat back and really thought about the kitchen to think about what was working and what was 'annoying'.  I have juggled a few things around to hopefully be more efficient and less 'annoying'.   I"m happy with what I have been getting done!

We finally bought some fruit trees for our property!  I am so excited.  THey are bare root trees, so we can/need to plant them soon!  I also got my strawberries!  YIPEE!  I'm so excited!


        3 Apple (Fuji, Honey Crisp, Golden Delicious)
        1 peach

        3 blueberries (three different types...these are Jason's babies)


        blackberries (we have one wild blackberry on the very edge...but these are designed for container                 gardening so will go on our front porch in containers)

    Cherry (a bush)....we have a cherry tree but it doesn't produce...hopefully the bush will be a good                     pollinator for it!


I have also started attending a beekeepers class.  SO we are really thinking about starting our bee colony this year!  WOO HOO!   We haven't given up on the chickens.....but might just do the bees first!


That's about it for here.  Just trying to lose weight and making it through each day!