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Showing posts from May, 2013

May 31 - Four things

May 30 - Tool

May 29 - Kiss

Back to work

Sometimes I feel like a kid again. Like when I leave later this morning for my part-time summer job. Heh.

And sometimes I feel like such an old lady. Like when I didn't sleep well and need to get a lot of stuff done today. Beginning with a four-mile walk.

Blog, walk, work, bank, grocery, home, pack, make dinner, sleep-sleep-sleep (hopefully better than last night!), wake up tomorrow and boogie on down the road.

That's the plan anyway. AA suggests that you plan the plans, not the results. That's worked out pretty well for me over the years. Cuts down dramatically on the disappointment factor.

I've no great pearls of wisdom to share this morning, and may or may not write while I'm gone.

I'm not even planning that plan!

May 28 - What you're doing now

It's unofficial

Thank you ALL for your super supportive comments on my progress. I still have a long way to go. Anyone looking at me would certainly say, "Oh, what a pretty face. But she really needs to lose some weight." <snort!> HOWEVER, as I mentioned to a friend and to my husband, I see possibility where I haven't been able to see it in a very long time.

The DietBet ends today, but I haven't received weigh-out instructions yet. I reported Sunday that I'd lost 14 pounds during the duration of the bet. That's been corrected to 12.5, as I forgot to account for 1.5 pounds of clothing.

Now you know. I weigh myself NEKKID!

Anyway. I know if you achieve your goal you have to upload pictures and I want to make sure all my ducks are lined up before I take the pictures, but I was pretty excited to step on the scale this morning and drop one more pound. Unofficially. Of course, the scale fluctuates hourly sometimes. (ASK ME HOW I KNOW! Heh) The important thing is I lost the w…

May 27 - Can't live without

The purge beginneth

First, though, iiiiiiittttt's Monday, and that means I've weighed in again and am once more KNOCKED OUT at the number I saw.

When I don't believe the scale (whether I think the number is too high or, less likely, too low), I try again until I get the same result twice. I seriously thought it was too low this morning. But it only took two tries to get the same number. Between last Monday and this one, I've dropped another 4.5 pounds.

That means since April 6 – just 51 days ago – I've dropped 20.5 pounds.

Yes, I'm staying within my calorie target and yes, I'm moving my butt, but I was creating significant calorie deficits between December 26 and April 6, as well, and not getting results like this. I would have to say, in fact, that in my 50-year dieting "career," I've never had this much success.

If you've yo-yo'd up and down all your life, as I have, you surely have some idea of how astonished I am. And if you've struggled and …

May 26 - Fave thing to do on Sunday

A very good day

Turning 62 was just fine. My children and grandchildren all called and sang to me, my brother and sister both wished me a happy day, my husband and mother-in-law included generous checks in their cards, my son sent THREE cookbooks – all of the garden-to-table variety, and dinner out with friends (smoked chicken and roasted green beans) was delightful. (Well, the service could have been better, but the company and the food couldn't be beat!)

I miss my dad and his goofy cards and gifts (the most memorable was a set of three silly little garden gnomes, to "guard" my garden).

THANK YOU for all your good wishes. I hope your next birthday is as lovely as mine was.

After walking 7.2 miles Friday (in honor of Bob Dylan's 72nd birthday), my husband and I knocked out 6.2 (actually went a little over) yesterday. The pace was a bit slower than the previous day, and I had to remind myself that – especially here in southern West Virginia – not many 62-year-olds would even attempt…

May 25 - Us

Here I go again

Today's my day to begin a new orbit of the sun. As I have for probably every birthday since I turned 50, I'm hoping this will be the one in which I finally get it – a way to eat less and move more that results in a body I can stop fighting with, one way or another.

I think both of you know I'm (hopefully) on my way. May this orbit be THE ONE.

The scale gave me a nice gift first thing this morning. Official weigh-in day isn't until Monday, but I've become rather obsessed with collecting scale data lately. Since December 26, 2012, I've lost 25 pounds. Since April 6 (when I started the Whole30, and yes I know I've gone way past the 30), I've lost 18 pounds.

I set a couple goals when I started (again) last year. By 1/1/14 I wanted to walk 1000 miles and lose 50 pounds. I'm ahead of schedule on both: 434 miles (it'll be 440 after I do a 10K – 6.2 miles for 62 years – today) and half the weight gone.

Happy birthday to me.

I hope to take this advice t…

May 24 - GO

About smoothies … and then about some more stuff

Since I haven't read It Starts With Food, I can't say whether I might change my mind about consuming a smoothie now and again. I have no trouble consuming them now, if the calories are in the bank. Since I don't use whey protein powder, I think of a smoothie as a treat or dessert, rather than a meal. I've only made a couple since April 6, one green and one fruit, and I used coconut milk for the liquid. That said, I dumped my remaining homemade almond milk into an ice cube tray and will use it for future concoctions.

Sharon's comment nudged me into adding the book to my Kindle library. I didn't revamp my menu for any other reason than to lose weight. As both of you know, I've tried every weight-loss plan under the sun, for most of my life, and been marginally successful only a couple of times. I say marginally because the two times I was able to achieve what looked like normal on the scale lasted about three years each time, and then the weight returned.

I m…

May 23 - PJs

Remember that Almond Cinnamon Frappe I was going to try?

Well, I tried it, and it's definitely not worth the effort, in my opinion.

Although, come to think of it, there's not much effort involved.

The most time-consuming part of the project is making almond milk. I'm pretty sure the hunter-gatherers didn't have blenders. Or refrigeratos. I'm not sure how they would have actually produced and stored almond milk, but it seems to me that modern paleo eaters squeeze in quite a few items that weren't around when cavewomen were trying to feed their families.

At any rate, if you're interested, here's how Martha Stewart makes almond milk:
HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK1 cup whole raw almonds
4 cups water, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Place almonds in a blander. Bring 1 cup water to a boil; pour over almonds. Let stand 30 minutes. Add remaining 3 cups water and vanilla; blend until frothy. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard solids. Almond milk can be stored in refrigerator up to 5 days. Shake before ser…

May 22 - Change

Tying up some loose ends

I lived about 30 miles from Xenia, Ohio, when a tornado flattened that city in the early 1970s. It was a devastating event, and much too close to home. I remember driving there shortly afterward to witness the destruction. You just can't imagine unless you've seen it. My heart is breaking for Moore, Oklahoma, especially since they've been there, done that, not that long ago (1999). As bad asthe derecho was for us last summer, the physical damage was limited to the loss of some trees. We had a roof over our heads, a place to sleep, and we were able to get water. Tornadoes (and hurricanes) leave nothing but heartbreak and debris in the wake.

Sunday was, as I mentioned, a long day in the car and in a meeting. No exercise that day. No exercise Monday, either. (My exercise is still walking outdoors, but I'm thinking more and more about that seven-minute HIIT circuit.)

I made up for Sunday and Monday by walking a total of 9.7 miles yesterday. Went to the post office in the m…

May 21 - I care about this

How to help

A massive tornado ripped through Oklahoma here in the U.S. yesterday. Confirmed deaths stand at 91 this morning, with the toll expected to rise. Two schools were in the path of the destruction; 21 children are confirmed dead.
From the Red Cross in Oklahoma City:

The best way to help tornado victims is to donate to the Red Cross at or on your cell phone, text REDCROSS to 90999 to contribute $10.

I don't remember what I'd planned to write about this morning. I feel pretty helpless, but every $10 helps someone there.

May 20 - Light

I was not meant for long hauling

Yesterday was another day on the road, this time for a West Virginia Federation of Democratic Women board meeting. The board meets quarterly, and I missed the previous meeting because I was … get ready … on the road! This month I've been on an all-day trip an average of once a week.

Driving seems like a non-tiring activity, but it wears. me. OUT. Especially when I have to drive for three or four hours, spend three or four hours doing something and then drive three or four more hours to get home. Which is what each of the May trips have looked like.

I have 10 days to rest up and then I'm off to Nashville. Which is a seven-hour drive and I'll be there long enough to recover before I head back home again.

Does driving make you tired? I could never be an over-the-road driver, and I give them all kinds of courtesy when I travel. I'm never in such a big hurry that I can't let one in front of me. Those drivers are working and probably way more tired than I am.

So the meet…

May 19 - My Favorite View

What happened to Saturday?

Today is going to be busier than yesterday, but I just never got around to parking my ass in front of the laptop yesterday. Today's business begins in half an hour and I'll be gone all day, so I'm seizing the opportunity now. I hate missing a day, but it just couldn't be helped. (Yes, I could haveblogged on my phone or tablet, but there's just something about a real keyboard. I guess I'm old-school.) I barely managed to post the daily photo.

I'm now 20 days into the Diet Bet. My goal was to lose 7.5 pounds; as of this morning I've lost NINE! Yay, me. I would never have anted up based on my old method of calories in/calories out. That works for some people, but it definitely didn't work for me. (If you're new here, this does. So far.)

I haven't really been missing dairy (well, maybe cheese), but I was flipping through the current issue of Martha Stewart Living and came across an Almond Cinnamon Frappé dessert drink that sounded good. (I love,…

May 18 - Want

May 17 - Season

Deep thoughts …

Not my original ones, but from the little inspirational e-mail I get from Mike Dooley. I read these on the fly and rarely think about them during the day. That would mean memorizing them, and reflecting upon them, and allowing them to sink in. I prefer to be delighted by the idea as I read it. Often I'll say to myself, "Hmmm. Never thought about it like that."

I don't think my life has been dramatically changed by reading these tiny snippets of positivity.

But I know I haven't been harmed by them.

Happy always lasts longer than sad.
Slow never fails to arrive.
And forever has only just begun.

Proving once again, Debbi, that time is always on your side - 


Sometimes, Debbi, when circumstances or disappointments bump you off track, it's the beginning of an even bigger dream coming true, that could
not have come true on the track you were on.

Yeah, always. 


Talking a lot about something that bothers you, Debbi, is a pretty good
sign that you've got something hu…

May 16 - Mailbox

Could you please pass the bacon? And eggs?

So the results of my recent bloodwork came back, and I'm amazingly healthy. I was not worried, exactly, but was very curious to see what six weeks of bacon-and-egg breakfasts would do to my cholesterol levels, which were approaching abnormal levels last fall. In a nutshell:
Total cholesterol: 147, down from 189 (normal is 50-200)HDL (the good stuff): 51, down from 65 (normal is 50-150)LDL (the bad stuff): 86.6, down from 110.2 (normal is 0-130)Triglycerides: 47, down from 69 (normal is 50-150) So, yay, me! Any plan that has me losing weight and lowering my cholesterol while eating bacon and eggs is okay by me.

(I realize the HDL should be going up, not down, but it's still b-a-r-e-l-y within normal limits, and I am therefore sticking my fingers in my ears and going 'lalalalalala.')

I truly think moving one's ass affects the movement of those numbers more than what's on the menu. And I have been committed to moving my ass this year.

All the other major and minor …

May 15 - 7:00

Wasted time.

Or waisted time, maybe.

I just found the program I used in 2012 to track my food and weight-loss progress. I weighed essentially the same in January 2012 as I did this January. By July 2012 I'd lost 11 pounds. By December I'd gained 12.

After several months of beating my head against a brick wall, I obviously quit whatever I was doing (South Beach, I think) and ate whatever I wanted, reversing the s-l-o-w downward trend and eventually reaching a new high. (My stopping also coincided with the derecho and the nine days without electricity after it hit. Nothing like a little comfort food to get you through a crisis.)

No time is wasted, really, as long as you're willing to learn from the experience.

What have I learned so far? Some of the same stuff I've heard (and said) so many times in AA:

I must remain teachable.I don't know it all. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
The difference this year is that instead of quitting, I tried something new. My teachers…

May 14 - Need

Commenting on the comments

Because my brain is dead this morning, I'm going to fall back on a good old blog-fodder stand-by. You've got comments? I respond. ••• VickieMay 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM
Wouldn't you know I have a question when you are gone for the day. If you happen to see this please respond when you can, we are making summer plans (can't book their rental car until they have white water reservations). Two of my kids (23 and 19) are going to be driving through WV (on way from Indiana to east coast) and want to go White Water Rafting somewhere along the way. Do you or your husband know the good companies/rivers? Neither my husband (a West Virginia native) nor myself (a 16-year resident) have ever been whitewater rafting. I know, a travesty, right? Our travels yesterday took us right over the New River Gorge and quite near the Gauley River, which are THE rivers to raft here. If I were you I'd just Google and look for good reviews. ••• MadAnneMay 13, 2013 at 9:06 AM
Do you count calories? I…

May 13 - Sunset

May 13 - Sunrise/Sunset

What if it's dairy?

My daughter called yesterday afternoon to wish me a happy mother's day. We chitchatted for a bit and then she asked how The Project was going. I had hoped to be non-commital, but apparently I am four and can't keep a secret. I'm going to see her in a couple weeks. The last time I saw her was in mid-January, at the beginning of the mission, when I hadn't yet lost a single damned pound. In the back of my narcissistic little mind I wanted to see a dramatic reaction to her mom being 20 pounds lighter (21.5 as of this morning, actually).

Now that she knows, the reaction will probably be underwhelming. OH, WELL. It can't always be all about me, right? EXCEPT HERE ON THE BLOG. Heh.

She knows how I've struggled to lose weight. I was at my lowest adult weight about the time she got married in the early '90s, and she's seen me bounce up and down ever since. She has her dad's body type – tall and lithe – and she stops eating when she's under a lot of stres…

May 12 - Mother

I'd give it two thumbs up …

but my other hand is busy stuffing banana bread into my mouth!

Seriously, the bread was moist and delicious, and something I'll definitely make again. Glad I'm not allergic to coconut. And wishing I could grow them (of course)! But then I'd have to learn how to make flour and oil out of them and seriously? Some things are better left to others. Coconut processors gotta make a living, too, right?

However, I don't plan on making it often. In AA, when one of our triggers smacks us in the face (a whiff of wine, an image of a foam-covered beer stein), we call the feeling we get "euphoric recall." It's not a good thing, and chowing down on banana bread gives me a little bit of that feeling. I would love for food to be fuel, without any feelings attached to it. Does banana bread taste better than bacon and eggs? Yeah, sure. Is it as beneficial for my body? I would say probably not. And I can almost guarantee I'm going to be very hungry when lunchtime rolls ar…

May 11 - Smile

Baking. What a concept.

It's been a while since I've busted out the hand mixer here in the cave. Anything I've had to smoosh together since April 6 has been mixed with a spoon or a whisk. But since I didn't wake up FAMISHED this morning and since I had everything I needed to make this … well, let's just say the oven is on and there's a loaf pan full of a banana breadlike substance in it.

(I crack myself up. I guess "banana breadlike" is better than "foodlike," right?)

It comes out of the oven 25 minutes from now. Ten minutes to cool, then breakfast!

It's not exactly a nutritional powerhouse of a morning meal, with five times as much fat and four times as many carbs as protein. (Yes, I'm a geek and entered the entire recipe into my LoseIt! app. I'm still logging every morsel that passes my lips, a practice I began in earnest – again – December 26.) The recipe doesn't say how many servings it yields, so I picked six out of the air, knowing that a loaf…

May 10 - Stars

Aaaaaand … we're off

Skipped the bloodwork yesterday morning in favor of breakfast before work. I'd planned to go when I got off work at 1 p.m., but after Wednesday's crash-and-burn, decided I wouldn't be able to fast AND work AND drive.

(I probably could have, but it was no problem to rearrange things.) The nurses at the clinic begin sticking at 7:30 a.m., and I plan to be first in line. I'll have a banana in my purse and look forward to eggs AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Which might mean following a short trip to Tiny Kroger.

When you live in the Middle of Nowhere, you don't just go to town. You do go, of course, to take care of whatever pressing business takes you there. But you also run an errand or two because you don't drive 12 miles one way and NOT run an additional errand or two.

In the same vein, I'm heading to the Nash later this month and will most definitely hit Trader Joe's while I'm there. And maybe even a Target!

You guys who live in urban sprawl don't know ho…

May 9 - Snack

Breakfast of Champions

Well, breakfast of this champion, anyway:

Yesterday morning I had a GINORMOUS fruit bowl for breakfast. Tiny Kroger had pineapples for a buck, so I had two of those cut up and ready to eat, along with a couple quarts of sliced strawberries, a bunch of bananas, some kiwis and some oranges. I peeled and sliced and diced and got my five servings of fruits or vegetables all in one swell foop. (I know it kind of sounds like I had two pineapples and two quarts of strawberries for breakfast. I didn't. Half a cup of each.)

Then I went to work, where I dragged around all morning. I came home, ate and rested. A lot. Fixed dinner and took a short walk afterward, then ate a little more. Then went to bed. EXHAUSTED. And HUNGRY.

My normal breakfast looks like that photo: two or three slices of bacon and two eggs, sunny side up. The difference in protein between the two days' morning meals is night and day, and I learned a lesson from it.

I. Need. Protein. Especially in the morning.


May 8 - Shape

Redbud trees have heart-shaped leaves.

From the ridiculous to the sublime

So. Yesterday voters in South Carolina's 1st District elected former SC Governor Mark Sanford – the one who "hiked" the Appalachian Trail – to represent them in Congress. How very classy. And ridiculous. The next time I hear the Republicans chant "family values" I will laugh. my. ass. off.

And then there's Charles, the Cleveland fellow who helped rescue those three young women. You've surely heard of Charles Ramsey by now. When asked about the reward money for helping find Amanda Berry, he said to give it to the women. How classy is that? And sublime.

My heart is singing this morning for Charles Ramsey and others like him. Because he is not alone, there are Charles Ramseys in my neighborhood, and yours, men and women who would not think twice about helping someone who needed help.

Or giving away money they didn't earn.

The astute among you (that would be both of you!) will note this post is being published between 7 and 8 a.m. on Wednesday, when I s…

May 7 - Something beginning with F


Yesterday was a long and winding day, beginning with a four-mile walk that ended in the rain, and moving on to a five-hour Sam's Club/JoAnn's/Kroger mission that began AND ended in the rain. On tap for today? MORE RAIN.

There was an inch of rain collected in the gauge this morning. I sure do wish I'd gotten the garden in prior to this week. But it's easier to plant and pull weeds from wet ground than from rock-hard soil. Counting my blessings.

My focus the past month (I began the paleo plan April 6) has been spot-on, and it's working.

What have I focused on? Basically eating protein, vegetables and fruits; not eating grains, legumes, dairy and sugar, and getting some kind of daily workout done. The eating part has been STELLAR. Astonishingly so.

For instance: I have two packages of lemon sandwich cookies in my car, left from a long-ago road trip. I don't even have to take my eyes off the road to find them, open them and eat them. That's how road-trip food w…

May 6 - Broken

17, 18, 19

It appears I'm kind of on a number roll for blog titles lately. After walking seven miles yesterday morning (7.1, actually, in two hours), I ended up logging 17 miles for the week.

And if you subtract last week's total loss from 18, you'll come up with this week's magic number. Don't feel like clicking through? That's okay, I'm pretty easy to get along with.

I lost 1.5 pounds this week.

Er, um, waitaminute … I LOST 1.5 POUNDS!!!

That's 18 pounds in 19 weeks. I'm feeling Pretty. Damned. Good. about that.

To sum up: Pre-paleo I'd lost 7 pounds in 14 weeks. In the past 5 weeks I've lost 11.

Here's what that looks like. I CRINGE posting the before picture. I only took it so I could crop away everything but the sweater, which was the only knitted item I completed last year. But it's the only full-length photo of myself I can find. Because, you know, fat women don't like to have their pictures taken.

Or at least this one doesn't.


May 5 - Paper

4, 3, 2, 1


of them soon-to-be five-year-old boys.


great day!

But a long day, indeed.

This set of young'ns lives three-and-a-half hours away, which is on the cusp of an overnight trip. We've always made it a day trip, and as the children get older it becomes more and more difficult to leave. We arrived mid-morning, in time to go to the boys' first t-ball practice (what a HOOT!), and didn't leave until 4:30 p.m.

I don't write much about my family, especially my grandchildren, but I'm sure you know how much I'd love to. I just don't think it's my place. It was fun spending time with them and I'm so happy they're all healthy and active and sociable and they love having us visit.

Birthday presents might have had something to do with that. Heh.

My husband and I took everyone out for lunch after practice, to Pike's Old-Fashioned Soda Shop, which was paleo-perfect – they offered a burger in a bowl, no bre…