Monday, May 30, 2011

Dumb Diets

My brother brought up his June/July issue of the Reader's Digest today.  There are several pages of "dumb" things but I thought I'd share with you the Dumb Diets in this article. 

Sleeping Beauty Diet

If you aren't awake, you can't eat, right?  Advocates sedate themselves and sleep for days. 

The Tapeworm Diet

Take one orally, or, according to, "travel to a part of the world where beef tapeworms are endemic" and infect yourself that way.

The Cotton Ball Diet

Begin each meal with an appetizer of cotton balls.  The balls will fill you up so that you won't want to eat as much.

The Baby Food Diet

Babies weigh next to nothing, so it makes sense to duplicate their diet, right?  In this case, replace your meals with pureed peas, fruit, carrots, chicken, whatever.  Just make sure it comes in those little jars. 


Horace "The Great Masticator" Fletcher preached chewing each mouthful exactly 32 times until the food was "purified" and then spitting out what remained.  This way, you get the nutrients with fewer calories. 


Repeat, these are Dumb Diets so please don't try these at home.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Daughter is Joining the Challenge!

My daughter, Danielle, is joining the Slimmer This Summer challenge.  I wasn't sure about it as she just turned 14.  In some ways, I don't think a 14 year old growing girl needs to be counting calories or dieting but she is overweight and needs to learn how to eat correctly. My hopes are that over the next 12 weeks, she will become more aware of what she is eating and learning better how to eat.  She doesn't eat horribly and she is only slightly overweight.  I do see an upward trend though if she continues this way.  So I think this may be a crucial time to 'become aware' and get into gear. 

She is 5'4" and just a little overweight by the guidelines.  She certainly is sporting extra fat around the tummy and sides that would be nice to go away.  As she is a teenager, she is becoming more aware of this and self conscious.  We're not going to do anything extreme and I don't want her to be "hard core" dieting but we're going to write down everything she eats, portion and weigh things and get in some regular exercise.  She doesn't have a blog so I'll just be entering it for her here.

Like me, for her regular exercise has been hit or miss.  She did run a 5K last fall and she did awesome!  Her attitude towards exercise is great, it just tends to get pushed to the side without reminders. 

So together we're going to do help each other. We're both looking forward to it!   I'm not entirely sure the difference in calories that a 14 year old should have compared to an adult so if anyone wants to help, let me know.  My plan as of now though is just to eat well balanced meals in "normal" portions with healthy snacks. Isn't that really what we all should have? 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Note To Challengers

I am thrilled that so many have already committed to this challenge!I'm excited for the upcoming Slimmer This Summer Challenge to start! If you have let me know that you want to join, please make sure I have your blog name and your email address.  I have a page on top of my blog listing all the challengers and their blog. If you want to join or you don't see your name there, email me and let me know and I'll get you added. 

Something is up with google as I am unable to comment on many blogs.  I AM reading, just not always able to comment.  Hopefully they'll get it fixed soon.

Next weekend I'll be putting up a post with a linky for everyones initial post.  That way it will be easiest for everyone to meet each other and see what everyones goals are. 

Remember, we want this to be fun and encouraging but we also want this to be serious. I know we all seriously want to lose weight but we need to stay accountable to the goals that we post.  This is going to take effort for all of us.  There are going to be BBQ's, vacations and parties this summer.  If we are serious about losing weight, these will not be excuses for us, right?  Believe me, I'm talking to myself too. I haven't been doing the best this month and it's important for me to get on track along with the rest of you.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why We Need Specific Exercise Goals

Eat Less; Move More.  Words to live by.

But what does move more MEAN?  I made a conscious effort at one time to get off the couch and move more.  I would actually play or follow my kids around more at the park rather than scurrying to the closest bench.  I would get up and dance with the kids rather than sit in my chair and watch.  Some days I would do some pushups on the sink and do a few leg squats holding a baby.  Some days not.

That was moving more, wasn't it? 

At the end of the day, somedays I would be moving more than before, somedays, I couldn't remember what I had done.  While all that certainly helped some, it wasn't anything close to an exercise plan.

I admit, I've NEVER been in a good habit of exercise. Never. I've gone in treadmill streaks.  I've been on it for 4 days a week for about a month and could certainly feel improvement in my legs and was getting faster.  Then I'd stop.  Then I'd go on the Wii fit for 3 weeks straight, every day. And then stop. I've never been able to do something consistently.  I have a couple of exercise videos, I'll play them for a day or so, then fall flat.  No consistency.

So here it is challenge time and it's time to set some exercise goals.  I have to be more specific than just "move more".  If I don't, it won't work. 

The weather is in my favor and I've been walking more.  Like trying to increase my speed and distance kind of walking.  I plan to do this 3 times a week, minimum, though shooting for 4.  I have specific things that I am going to do each day of the week

I think one of the most important things is to schedule it.  Don't try to fit it in.  It won't work, believe me.  If I schedule it in, like I would a dentist appointment, then it will actually get done.

I'm still working on the specifics but when it's time for the Slimmer This Summer challenge to start, I'll have put in place some goals for 12 weeks.  Twelve weeks is certainly longer than I've ever done exercise consistently (pathetic I know, but true.)  We still have a week and a half to figure out our goals and put them into place.  I'm already putting mine into place and seeing what works and what doesn't.   Plus, I'm really hoping to add and increase to my goals throughout the summer. 

So what are your exercise goals?? 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why We Track Food and Calories

Eight more days until the Slimmer This Summer challenge starts!  We already have a bunch of people committed to the challenge and ready to lose weight and get healthy. 

Here are some answers to some questions:

Why are we going to try to only eat 1200 - 1400 calories?

When I first started on my weight loss journey a couple years ago, I counted calories. It worked for me. I aimed for about 1400 calories and the weight came off fast.  For the last 6 months or so, I've been aiming for 1200 calories and doing just fine.  I'm well nourished, generally not hungry and sure enough, the weight was coming off.  Obviously if you have medical needs for a different amount of calories or some other valid reason, we're not going to be the calorie police here.  We're here to lose weight and we think that this is a healthy standard for losing weight. 

Why do you want us to track our food on our blogs?

This is only a suggestion. I realize this isn't for everyone, but here's the thing;  we're trying to come in under 10,000 calories per week.  You could choose to eat your 10,000 calories in twinkies if you want.  Aside from being malnourished, hungry and most likely sick to your stomach, you will still lose weight.  However, this is a challenge that includes motivation and encouragement.  We'd love to encourage each other to eat different foods and find out what keeps you full and what doesn't.  If you write it down, it's easier to see what food group is missing. For me, today, I was missing vegetables. I came in decent on calories but not enough veggies. 

I also am a boring eater. You're going to see that I eat the same breakfast for like 2 weeks straight. I like to get motivation to try something else.  Not to mention I'm a total foodie and I just LOVE to see what you are eating!  I'm going to try to post my meals daily.  With pictures if I can.

You up for a challenge?  Email me and let me know! 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Need Help?

It's easy to get fat by ourselves. We pretty much did it to ourselves. Granted, we might have been brought up in a not so healthy environment or we might have had obese parents who made junk for us to eat.  But really, are THEY to blame?  I didn't have someone forcing me to drive to the drive through to order multiple double cheeseburgers every day.  Nope, that was all me.  So it's pretty easy to get fat all by ourselves. No help needed.

Now, losing that weight, is another story.  Certainly we CAN do it ourselves. Ultimately it is our decisions and choices that will change our lives.  But isn't it so much easier when we have a support group?  That's why Weight Watchers and a bunch of other diet organizations are so popular, they offer support and guidance. 

Now, I've never been involved in Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or any other well known diet organization. I have fairly recently found the blogging community though. And I am finding it full of support and guidance.

I have found myself in a weak moment, ready to eat something I shouldn't or just depressed about what I did, and I'll turn on my computer and find a comment or a post on someone else's blog that just says what I needed to hear! 

When I started my weight loss blog, about a year ago, I wasn't initially looking for other people to help me. I viewed it as a tool to help me stay accountable and to visually record my results, positive or negative. I have since founds many invisible friends who help in different ways.  It's still ME who is ultimately responsible for what junk I put in my mouth. But it helps to know there are many others who are looking to do the same thing.  

Ready for the Slimmer This Summer Challenge? It starts in 2 weeks so we have plenty of time to write up our initial posts and goals.  Email me if you are looking to join this small band of bloggers getting together to make a summer change.  We're here to support one another!    

Friday, May 20, 2011

Time Flies

Ever notice how fast time seems to go?

I've spend SO MANY years talking about losing weight and basically doing nothing about it.  I can remember thinking in the winter, "If I start now, I can easily lose 30 lbs. or so by the time summer hit when it's time to buy a new swimsuit."  I'd make up my mind, I was going to do it!  The weeks would pass and I would still think, "Well, there is still time."

Then all of a sudden, summer would be there. I'd be making lists for what to bring on vacation, planning summer BBQ's and parties...having lost no weight.  Full of regret. 

Was it already summer?  Wow!  That was fast!

It seems like losing weight takes FOREVER.  We check the scale weekly, or sometimes even daily (guilty!), and it just doesn't seem to move. 

Well, time is going to go on at the same rate whether we are dieting or not.  Let's not let another 3 months, or 6 months or a year go by without doing something about it. Let's start NOW. 

We will FEEL so much better and LOOK so much better. 

You won't later regret if you start now, however, you WILL regret if you don't. 

Slimmer This Summer Challenge. If this sounds like something to get you jump started or back on track, then email me and let me know. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What is Normal?

I had a weird thought the other day.  I'm almost normal fat. From MY perspective at least.  

I used to look in the mirror and quickly look away because, "That can't be ME in the mirror!"  . Major denial going on for sure. 

Well, now I weigh less.  While yes, I am still obese. I can look in the mirror. I don't mind having my picture taken.  I feel more "normal".  I'm as big as one of my friends who I never really considered fat. 

But I'm still fat. And I really, really want to lose weight!

When I look around me, I see a lot of people who are overweight. The majority it seems.  Actually, most the people I consider overweight, are probably obese.  I'd have to be 169 in order to be just 'overweight'.

Heck, I'd feel downright SKINNY if I was 169.  But I wouldn't be. I'd still be overweight.  I've said before, "I don't want to be skinny." (sure I'd like it but I've never been so it seems unachievable.)

So what do I want to be? Overweight? 

What is normal? 

Ready for a challenge!  Email me if you want to join our Slimmer This Summer Challenge!

Today's Eats

Carnation Chocolate Breakfast - 170
8 Grape Tomatoes - 32
Key Lime Yogurt - 100
Pea and Peanut Wrap - 280
Pretzels - 100
1 cup Pineapple - 83
Pea and Peanut Wrap - 280
Steak - 200

Total calories = 1420 calories


I ate more than desired today.  I am shooting for 1200 calories and clearly went over that. The pineapple and pretzels were NOT on the plan.  But cutting into that pineapple was just too tempting. It was perfect. 

Slimmer This Summer Weight Loss Challenge

I've been a part of several online weight loss challenges over the last year. I started out with Biz's challenge which led me to many, many blogs that have helped me so much.  I didn't have too much success with weight loss in my first couple of challenges but they each did help me a great deal. 

One of the reasons I've loved being in these challenges is that I love to help and support people. I don't always have time to read everything and comment all the time but I love visiting people and witnessing their successes and trying to help when they fail. 

My good friend Mir and I are starting our own challenge.  We're calling it Slimmer This Summer.  It will run June 6th through August 28th.  12 weeks, 84 days of commitment to get fit!  We would love to have as many people join us in this quest to get healthier. 

Our goals are to lose weight and move more.  Simple, huh?

Here's what we're going to do in this summer challenge.  We're still working on the details but this will give you an idea of how it will go.

I believe that to be successful you have to have a plan and a goal.  Without it, you're just flying blind. Here's the plan.

1. Blog our goals!! Please do an initial post stating what your goals are. We have 12 weeks of this challenge. How much do you want to lose in 12 weeks? How much water or liquids do you intend to drink daily? How many workouts are you going to do? What is your exercise plan? Measurements? This way you'll have measurable goals to aim for. End goal could simply be an increased level of exercising or entering a 5K run or being able to do X number of repetitions or adding an extra hour a week. The type of exercise and level of challenge is an individual choice of each challenge participant. All the challenge asks is that you be accountable weekly to how you met your goals for calories, exercise, fluids and other personal challenge goals.

2. Tracking food and water is essential.  It was the only way I have found success and if you talk with anyone else who has lost substantial weight, they would agree.  Tracking and journaling is a must.  I am planning to track my daily calories on my blog and encourage you to do the same. We'd love to see what you eat and share ideas!  It certainly isn't manditory though.

3. I've tried different diets and have found that eating between 1200 - 1400 calories works for me. That comes to about 9800 calories per week maximum. Tracking calories keeps us aware of food labels and portioning. If you don't have a food scale, get one. They are inexpensive and essential for accurately tracking calories.  Round numbers, let's keep it under 10,000 calories a week. TOPS. Water or liquids should be at 10 - 8 oz. cups a day.  Good chance your body needs more than that so this is minimum!  Keep hydrated!

4. Get moving!  If you're already sticking to an exercise routine.  Great.  Keep it up and maybe see how you change it up or kick it up a notch.  If you're like me and struggling to get into a routine, well then what the heck are you waiting for!  Let's set some goals and plan our exercise for the next 12 weeks. Exercise should be "challenging", ie, get you to work up a sweat and get stronger. Whether you choose walking, biking, jogging, lifting weights, Pilates, CrossFit, home videos, salsa dancing, it should be for at least 20 minutes and should grow progressively more challenging as the weeks progress. If you start with 20 minutes, then increase it a bit week by week. If you are already doing an exercise regimen that works for you, then simply state your goals for how often/how long and keep accountable.  We need to FIT exercise into our schedules.  It's not going to happen by itself.   

5.  We want to lose weight, so lets stay accountable and blog weekly with results.  We're not going to be the scale police but we expect results.  Twelve weeks is enough time to see some awesome results from everyone.  I'll put a linky up on a post on Sunday night.  You can do a weekly results post over the weekend and post it to the linky on Monday morning so we can all see your progress.

6. No winners or losers. So don't quit! If you have a bad week, get over it and get back on track. That's what we're here for, to stay on track!   Challengers should have fun with this. It should be "challenging", but it should not be a huge pain in the keister. Blogging and the rules are to motivate, not to burden.

7. Challengers should support other challengers. Please consider supporting via comments on blog posts. 
No specific prizes but I do intend to do some giveaways at the end for those who stick with it and stay super supportive. More details on that later.

You are welcome to be in any other challenges as well. We all need as much help and encouragement as possible.

So there it is.  The Slimmer This Summer Challenge. Email me or leave a comment with your email address if you're in! 
Please include the challenge button and link back to this post so others can join as well. Your initial post can be anytime between now and June 6th but I won't start tracking until the 6th. Email me with your initial post.  I can't wait to see what your goals are!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sunny Days

Oh, this week is so much better than last week!  The weather last week was cold, dreary and rainy.  Now, it's FINALLY looking like spring in Minnesota!  Everything is green and gorgeous! 

Here is an awesome quote from Mir's blog Two Years to Happy Weight After:


Last week was stressed and sad for me and I turned to food. Nothing drastic but I was in a bad emotional state for a couple days.  Food did not fix it. It only made it worse. We so all need to remember this!


Today's Eats:
Bagel Thin, Egg Beaters, Laughing Cow Cheese = 175
Key Lime Yogurt = 100
Pea 'n Peanut Wrap = 280
1/2 cup Pea 'n Peanut Salad = 180
Banana = 120
Pretzels = 50
Taco Salad w/2/3 cup meat = 325 calories
Total calories = 1230 calories
Lots and lots of water

Here is the Pea and Peanut Salad Wrap. Lightened up a LOT and with some white beans for more protein and a whole wheat wrap.  Very filling for 280 calories.  Of course, then I went ahead and ate another 1/2 cup about 2 hours later just because it was so tasty!

Here is my awesome taco salad.  I used the same meat I always make, 95 calorie for 1/3 cup. I didn't have refried beans so I used black beans but I think the calories are still about the same. 2 tbsp. sour cream light and some salsa and red onion! Yum!

Monday, May 16, 2011


Okay.  I needed some time to regroup.  I did quit the challenge I was in before. I hate that I did because I hate quitting anything.  But I did. 

I was struggling with a lot of things.  I wasn't following the meal plans perfectly for one thing,  I was staying MOSTLY in it and staying within calories but I was not following it perfectly. Then came the Phase 6 Guinea Pig challenge. I was pretty gung ho at first and there were pro's and con's.  I could see where it would get me focused to continue on afterwards by starting (again) so strict. 

On the other hand, I was cutting some broccoli and cucumbers for my family one evening and totally, desperately wanted to snack on a cucumber.

Cucumber was not on the liquid diet. 

That led to my "Aha moment" so to speak.  I didn't want to continue on a diet where cucumbers are forbidden.  It wasn't what I wanted to do anymore.  I didn't want to feel guilty if I subbed something on the menus.  I no longer wanted to rely on vitamins and jello to get me through the day.  I get that this was voluntary and that I didn't have to continue and I just simply didn't want to anymore. 

I also didn't like the way my blog was heading. I felt that it was becoming all about this challenge.  I originally wanted it to express myself honestly and to record my meals. I was no longer able to do this.  I didn't even want to continue writing on the diet blog. 

I certainly was happy with the results that I was getting.  I learned a lot from this challenge and made some very good changes in my eating.  But I no longer wanted to continue doing it his way.

Another reason is my dad has been in and out of the hospital with different ailments and procedures and it just became too difficult to continue the liquid diet while dealing with that.

So I didn't. I stopped.  I finished my 2 week guinea pig plan and I then opted to quit the challenge. 

I needed some time to get my head back straight.  I thought about just doing it on my own. I've done that before and it's worked.  But I enjoy the support from others. I enjoy supporting others. With the help of a good friend, we're going to continue to use that support and start a summer challenge.  I believe that we both will be more successful helping each other and if we can get others on board, then more power to us!  More details tomorrow about the challenge. 

Email me if you are interested in a summer challenge to get fit and healthy! 


Today's Eats:
Bagel Thin, Egg Beaters & Laughing Cow cheese = 175 calories
Orange Cream Yogurt = 100
Salad w/lots of veggies and dressing = 200
Blueberries = 40 calories
Turkey sandwich = 175 calories
1 oz. peanuts = 160 calories
1 cup Pea 'n Peanut Salad w/white beans added = 360 calories
Popcorn = 100

Total calories = 1310 calories

I didn't plan on eating the stupid peanuts.  I hadn't had peanuts in a LONG time and holy cow they were good.  They are safely hidden in the cupboard and will go to work with the husband tomorrow so no more damage will be done. 

The Pea 'n Peanut salad was really good.  I don't know where that website got their nutritional stats from but mine came in very nice.  I used light mayo and Italian dressing and less peanuts which certainly helped.  Plus I added a can of white beans for more protein.  Because I snacked on the peanuts, I ate it just as a salad, but tomorrow for lunch, I plan to eat it on a tortilla as a wrap.  Yum!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 92 of 120

Whew! Busy weekend!  Finally some sun!  It was nice to be outside for a change and get rid of the gloom and doom. Wait, I forgot, it's supposed to rain all week. Well, it lasted for a little while.

Eating has been good.  I'm short on liquids though.  Funny when the routine is different on the weekends, it just gets out of whack. 

I bought Zumba for the Wii and the daughter and I have been loving it.  We get all the kids together and everyone dances to it.  Everyone even has their favorite song now.  I'm thinking about getting Just Dance for the Wii but I'm not sure about the song choices.  Some I like, some I don't.  It sounds like fun though and I'll bet the kids would love it!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 89 of 120

Busy days.

Busy days makes no time for eating.  Which is good.  :-)

The current plan makes it so you don't have to think, you just eat what is on the plan. While this has been nice for the brain, I'm not so sure this is good for the future.  I've always felt the key to what I needed to learn to eat, learn self control and learn to choose good healthy foods.  This is how I hope to remain successful in the future. 

I love my recipe blog.  I love that I have learned to make healty, nutritious meals that are filling and healthy.  Granted, everything on there isn't super healthy so don't judge!  I look forward to making and creating new heatlhy and delicious meals to enjoy in the future.  There have been a lot more leftovers this last couple of weeks in the frig without me eating them. I've been packing them away in the freezer for my dad too so he's been pleased.  Still, I look forward to enjoying new recipes again! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 85 of 120

Weigh in day! I'm out of the teens. Forever.  It's been a good week and I am looking forward to another good week.  The plan I am on is going well.  I am eager to see how my body responds to week 2 of this new plan. 

I've received several questions about this plan.  Be assured that I am meeting my nutritional requirements and am not starving myself.  Feeling hungry and starving yourself are very different.  I've been full or stuffed WAY more times in my life than I've been hungry.  Stuffing your stomach beyond capacity certainly sounds more dangerous than a few tummy hunger grumbles. 

I also do not feel weak, fatigued or tired. I don't feel that I am doing anything extreme or dangerous. 

Granted, the point of me doing this is to lose weight but it is also satisfying a curiosity for me.  This actually isn't a dieting method that I have not previously believed in. I also didn't know much about it. I've been doing some research and finding out about it and learning more about nutrition.  I'm curious what it is going to do and how my body will react during this time and what will happen after.  Again, it's not dangerous, I'm fine.

Is this the best way to diet?  Who cares. It's healthy and it's working.