Thirty-One Gifts

Hi! I'm now a consultant for Thirty-One Gifts! I use it to supplement my writing income.

Follow this link for more info:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Milestone: Over 50 Pounds Gone!

51, to be exact.  I lost four more pounds this week.  I made my goal for the year!  Now, I could take this as a license to eat, particularly the week before Christmas, but I just want to see if I can lose through Christmas.  Wouldn't that be a miracle?  Lol.  I'm a little excited, forgive me.

My weight loss is showing in other ways:  My pants had a hard time staying on yesterday, and that means shopping!  I'm going the day after Christmas.  My fingers are not as chubby.  My feet are even losing!  I don't need a wide anymore!  My face is smaller, and I have cheekbones again.

I have much more energy than when I started, that's for sure.  I get a lot more done, and I feel better.  After getting out the polluted stuff: salt, soda, etc..., then beginning to lose weight, I have a huge appreciation for anyone trying to lose.  It's the hardest thing I've ever done.

But, I'm doing it. :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

Do they ever work?  I've had a bad habit of not keeping them.  My number one goal is to lose weight, which is why I didn't start losing till last March.  On purpose.  I got through the "Resolution" time, all the ads for losing weight that they put on during the first of the year, and my own guilt for not starting.  You may say that's a bad strategy.

This is the first time I've lost this much weight (March to now) and kept it off.

I have wavered some days, but I'm losing without a resolution.  Don't worry about missing gym membership specials, just join when they put the specials on for "bathing suit" season, or start with just food in January, if you must start in January.  Why not start now?

Okay, maybe that's asking a lot during holiday season.  But, you can start with small changes.  I did that for two years before starting to lose.

1.  Cut out soda.  Don't do it cold turkey; do it over a week, weaning yourself off the caffeine gently,           cutting out those awful headaches.
2.  Drink water between drinks at a party or just before a meal.
3.  Get a scale.
4.  Decide where you are going to begin: starting exercise and food intake is difficult to do at the same time, and really sabotages your "live it," not "diet."  You will have these habits for a long time.
5.  Plan meals.  It helps.

That's where you can start, and forget about losing until you've done these things.  That's all.  No stressing about weight, just beginning with a few alterations.  It can be done.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Four Pounds in One Week!

I am thrilled.  To maintain over this period of the year would be a miracle, but to lose, well- that's my Christmas present to myself this year!  I am that much closer to my year's goal.  I have to say, I didn't set that goal in the beginning.  It was only to feel better, breathe easier, and move with less pain.  It's working.

In September, I felt good enough to make a personal goal, the catalyst being my step mom, and I set it at 50 for the end of the year.  50 pounds.  Wow.  No wonder I felt so lethargic and did not want to move. I can't imagine it, but I wish for it.

What helped with the weight this week?  No holiday food, no take-out, no soda, and drinking a ton of water.  I drink a glass of water before every meal now, so that it fills me up a bit.  It's a Weight Watchers trick I learned years ago, and it works.  And, it does not hurt you.

I want to pull Biggest Loser numbers by January.  I think I can, if I'm working out.  My step mom fussed after me today for not exercising regularly, and she's right.  I have the flexibility in my day, more than enough opportunity, and no excuses.

P.S.  Check out this artist on Face book.  He's taking orders now.  Carlos Cabaleiro! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

There Was A Loss Last Week

I was looking at the tracker online, My Pal, and I have 277 in there, and I weighed 276 last week!  I did lose a pound over Thanksgiving.  Whew, all that whining for nothing.  However, I'm going to put it on this week, since I will weigh on Wednesday.  That was a nice surprise!

I can report that not much tastes better than losing weight.  Seriously.  After being heavy for so long, it's nice to see the scale cooperating.  If I worked out regularly, which I have let slide, I would lose weight far faster - like Biggest Loser numbers.  At least up to 6-8 pounds a week.  Basketball was taking it off of me really well.  We are having record warm temps, unlike the rest of the country.  Hmm, looks like the court is calling.

As I decide what I will and will not eat over the holidays, I have to keep in mind that it will take that much longer to lose any that I've gained, and also any that I didn't lose by staying the same.  I must keep moving to lose the weight, because it is the goal, and I shouldn't let all the temptation get me - AGAIN, as it has in the past...

Friday, December 6, 2013

Gained - UGH!

I gained one pound over Thanksgiving week!  I really wanted to still eat and prove that losing over Thanksgiving is possible.  However, my step mom lost last week!  It can be done!  I did have two Thanksgivings.  No excuse, though.  However, I think that I will not make that same deal at Christmas. I always eat more at Christmas than any other holiday.  You know what that means...

Exercise!  Just have to make myself do it, and then I can eat, and perhaps even show a loss.  Basketball takes the weight off the fastest.  Guess I'll go with my hubby on his lunch.  Maybe I'll just go to the bleedin' gym!  Or, I could put on my tennis shoes and take a good old fashioned walk.

I believe I will do that tomorrow.   It's dark now.

Get up and walk off that turkey/ham/etc...!  Join me!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Football Sunday Snacks

Are they necessary, and how much can you get away with?  Because that's what we're doing.  For instance, I weigh over the weekend to "see where I am," so that I know how much I can eat till Wednesday - when I weigh in.  It's my way of cheating, I suppose.  It's still not cool, and I shouldn't do it, but I do.  Back to football...

What is the typical fare for football games?  Hotdogs, hamburgers, wings, beer and other alcohol, chips and dip, sweets, and more.  If you are going to eat, then pick two things in small quantities.  Also, bring your own dish, or eat before you go.

If I go to a football party, then I will eat before I go.  I'm less tempted that way.  If we are having football snacks at home, then I try to make them from scratch, so that I know what's in them.  For instance, switching out the sour cream in onion dip for plain Greek yogurt.  No one will know, as the onion takes over the flavor.  Wings?  Make them yourself on a rack in the oven and season as you want.  Don't fry.  There is always a way to make things healthier.

Don't fumble, cross the line for a weigh-in touchdown!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pounds Going Down...

I've lost three more pounds, and the rings on my fingers need a guard now, just so they can stay on!  I am very excited, because I'm only 7 pounds away from a big number, and that would be great to have lost that much in 9 months, and to keep it off.

If you think you can't do it, you can.  It's all in your head, and then once you get over the fact that, yes - you DO need to lose weight, can't cheat every day, and must exercise, you will lose the weight.  If I exercised more, I would be dropping faster, and that's my plan, for now, but a huge goal for the new year.

Hubby and I must, for our health, lose the weight.  It's not a choice at any age, but we are in our forties, and we need to get it off before major problems occur.  We're doing it!  (Hubby is at a 57 pound loss!)  Slow, but sure, we are heading down in the pounds department, and they are staying off, which is the most important part.  You can do it!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Holidays: License to Eat?

Not really.  You can spin it anyway you want, but eating is eating.  If you are trying to lose weight or need to lose weight, then look up Cooking Light Magazine or online, and find some great low-cal and more nutritious side dishes and desserts for your particular holiday.  Coming up is Thanksgiving, and since we don't have presents, we eat.

My rings are spinning on my hands because I have lost that much weight.  I don't want to screw it up, and I really want 50 or more gone this year.  That would be great!  However, I won't be able to do it if I eat everything.  Luckily, on holidays- as my family can attest, I usually don't eat much when everybody is there, as I am not hungry after cooking it all, but I eat a lot the next day...

Perhaps I'll give most of my leftovers away.  I will have one of those plastic plates with a lid for everyone.  We are seriously having a load of food, so that is reasonable.  Better stock up on containers!  I have no plans keeping all that stuff.  Now, Hubby is a different story...  Oh well, I'll have a plate for him, and he is working like crazy now, anyway.

So, little eating around the holiday, or eat less before and after.  That's the plan.

Friday, November 1, 2013

40 Gone!

It snuck up on me.  I didn't realize that I hit the big 40 pounds of weight loss.  Very happy.  It has been since March, but it has stayed off.  That's the trick.  It isn't really hard to lose weight - it's harder to keep it off, and then we gain again.

Looking ahead to Thanksgiving:  I'm going traditional, with a couple of healthy alternatives... there will be some ingredient changes, but other than that, I'm just going to be careful in my choices.  That's all it is, a choice.  Now, that's not to say that a few dishes won't end up in my mouth a little too much!  I have to be thankful, though, for continued good health as I get through the weight loss to even better health.

Oh yeah, Hubby has lost 57 pounds!  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Don't Eat The Kid's Candy!

I know you.  I used to be just like you.  My ex-husband would raid the Hershey bars, and I would go for the Milky Ways.  My daughter will read this and not be surprised.  She'll probably feel like the kid on the macaroni and cheese commercial, that sees his mother's book club eating his mac and cheese, and says he is going to write a book called, A Mother's Betrayal, an autobiography.  That's what it is, you know.  And, you don't need the candy.

I'm glad my daughter is in her twenties now, and I don't have to deal with betraying her and stealing her candy!  I always used to buy a lot of candy, too.  I didn't do that this year.  First year ever that I didn't buy Halloween candy.  Awesome feeling.

So are my rings, as they are sliding around on my fingers, showing the weight loss in more than just pounds.  With that happening this week, I can say that I'm glad I didn't buy any candy.  Being thinner does feel better than eating candy.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

More Pounds Down!

FOUR in one week!  I am so happy I can't stand it.  That's 39 pounds just this year.  And it has stayed off!  I'm hoping for 50 gone by the end of the year, which will be more difficult with the holidays coming, but I am so motivated by two things: getting over 40 pounds lost and going under another big number.

For all of you that are struggling: it can be accomplished.  I'm not following any type of program, but let's look at what I have done.  Recap time!

1.   Stopped drinking all sodas. (2 1/2 years!)
2.   Drink unsweetened ice tea and water...all kinds of tea, but made by me.  (Sometimes I use Stevia)
3.   Added more fruits and veggies.
4.   Less meat.
5.   Eat on salad plates.
7.   Ice cream novelties (like a frozen yogurt bar), instead of a huge bowl of ice cream.
8.   Cutting out salt, using other spices and pepper.
9.   Weigh once a week. (accountability)
10. Joined with others on Facebook and e-mail who are also losing weight: a support system.

My dinner plate is half vegetables/salad, 1/4 carb, and 1/4 meat.  I drink a ton of water and tea all through the day, and it helps to keep my belly full.

Good Luck on your own journey!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Latte and Exercise

I had one.  From McDonalds.  What's the big deal?  I got a small, and it was good, but it wasn't enough to start a pumpkin revolution!

Perhaps I should try the original and see if that's better.  Does Starbucks have the market on the precious coffee?  I'll get to it this week.  It was in the high 80's here today, so hot coffee is not high on my priority list.

Exercise is, however, and the trip to the gym the other day is catching up with my muscles.  The ache!  But, it feels good.  That means I'm getting stronger.  I love Planet Fitness.  It has everything you could want (except classes), and it's so inexpensive, only $20 for me a month, and that includes hubby!

I'm going to trail it this week, and perhaps combine it with working out on the gym machines.  I've got a fantastic trail, one of the best in the state, literally at my front door, so why not use it?  Where's your place for the best and most calming exercise?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Pumpkin Got Me

I was doing so well, and even blogged about Halloween yesterday, but pumpkin got me.  Since everyone in the world is now coming out with pumpkin spice everything - because of Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte, I want it all.  I'm hooked.

Pumpkin marshmallows are disgusting.  Don't bother.
     "          waffles are yummy.
     "          ice cream is pretty good.

I have never had a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  I know.  I probably should be flogged.  Anyway, when I actually make it to the gym tomorrow to work all this off and more, I may get a small PSL, just to try it. :)

I plan on making homemade pumpkin butter, as I will have control of the ingredients, and I don't with the above.  I plan on making a lot of things pumpkin!  Pumpkin is very good for you.  It's the stuff you put with it that kills the calories for the day: sugar, whipped cream, butter, and more.  BUT, if you use stevia or even splenda, well, you cut out a lot of that, and the rest of the ingredients of things can be modified as well.

Check this link for benefits of pumpkin - there are a lot!  Also, for healthy, yummy pumpkin recipes.

I'll check in tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Halloween and Weight

Candy has a LOT of calories, sugar, and fat.  If you think it's worth the extra weight and the beginning of your descent into holiday madness and the dreaded 10 pounds or more holiday weight, then go ahead and eat your kid's candy after they go to bed.  After all, they won't miss it.  They don't need it.  You do, right?  And those snack sizes are a joke, too.  You actually eat more of them than you would have if you had just eaten a regular size bar.

What do you do?  Two ideas:

1.  Put your child's candy into sandwich bags, and put them in a basket or Tupperware out of sight, like in the top cabinet.  Keeps it out of mind, and you can just grab a portioned bag for the kids when you want them to have some.

2.  Have a party, it's safer, better for snacks, and more fun.  Invite some kids over- and adults, and have a traditional to theme party.  Send the food home with guests.  Ask people to bring their own "carryout" bag, or use your own, and put leftover candy, cookies, and other sweets in the carryouts.  Don't take "no" for an answer!  Remember, you also control the snacks at your own party, so it should be easier to make a few healthy options as well as the junk.

Here are a few ideas for food arrangements that are more healthy than others...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Best Quesadillas

My hubby, in an attempt to cook something healthy for me, made the best quesadillas the other night.  Thought I would share the recipe with you:

1 corn tortilla
1 Tbsp salsa
1/8 cup of Mexican blend cheese
1 Tbsp of plain Greek yogurt
Pickled jalapenos

Take the tortilla, and put it in a medium heated pan with Pam.  Spread the cheese on half, along with the jalapenos (to your own taste) and the salsa.  Heat till lightly brown underneath, and then flip one side over the other, like a taco.  Finishing browning on both sides.  Dip into the Greek yogurt (Takes the place of sour cream nicely and combats the jalapenos!)

I put in on "My Plate" on Live, and how did hubby do?

147 calories per serving.  The above is one serving.  He used real cheese, and I had two of them!  Great Lunch!  He did a geat job!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Losing on Vacation!

I suppose it was the all of the increased activity, but I also watched, for the most part, how I ate.

The loss was one pound on a two-week vacation, and I love it.

I would have sworn I would have gained, as I couldn't control everything.  But more often, I said, "No, thank you," and I didn't feel bad about it.  I just would say no if offered a second helping or dessert.  That's not to say I didn't love my Grandfather's homemade peanut butter-chocolate pie, or Kendra's pumpkin cookies with cream cheese chips... they were worth it.

I broke my soda rule on one leg of the trip, but it tasted good at the time, and I drank ONLY water on the next leg, so I must have flushed all that out!  LOL  Anyway, I also ate vegetarian at one home, so Darlene's chili, jalapenos, green tomato relish, and spaghetti squash were excellent and helped.  I ate more on the first leg, but I was famished after the drive and was the most active I've been for a while.  Why?

This Floridian was not used to all the hills and stairs!  I haven't lived in a two-story house for 20 years, and it is flat here.  But, all that exercise helped me to be more active.  I was on-the-go every day, and there was never really a complete down day.

I've NEVER lost weight on a vacation.  Check off one more victory!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Losing on Vacation!

I'm on a 12 day trip to see all sorts of family, and I've actually lost a pound!  32 down now!  I really thought I would gain on this trip, but there's one element that it has that I am not keeping up at home: being really active.

Part of losing weight when you are over 300 pounds, (not anymore!) is moving.  Really moving.  I've been through North Carolina and Tennessee, which have one thing that Florida doesn't: hills, lots of them.  So, I've been climbing hills and stairs.  My legs and lower back are feeling it, but my stomach is smaller.  I'll take that in a heartbeat!

So, when I go home, I need to do an incline on the treadmill, walk outside for fresh air, and really stay busy.   I've got to get back to yoga, hobbies, getting the house together, and taking care of hubby while he's in his busy season.  I am sleeping better than I have in a very long time, and I know it is due to all the activity.  Got to stay busy.

After all, isn't that what life is all about?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Eating on Vacation

Vacation and food go together, unfortunately.  However, there are ways to combat this evil!

Make food for the car or whatever ride you are in.  I'm on a car trip, so my hubby made chicken salad for me.  A couple of bananas, and I was on my way.  I did have a Frappe, but I had to stay awake!  For dinner, I made sure to fill half my plate with salad, a small piece of meat, some potatoes and a corn muffin.  Gotta have cornbread in the south!  It was a good food day.

Today will be challenging as it is my first full day on vacation, and I'm not in control of everything, only what I put in my mouth.  I'll have a small breakfast, since we are going out to lunch.  I hope there is some yogurt in the fridge.  I'll pick up some if there isn't.  It's my go to breakfast.

Join me on my other blog, Veronica the Vagabond to see updates on my trip!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Low-Cal, Elegant Birthday Lunch

My future son-in-law made a delicious meal for my birthday over the weekend.  Kristina felt horrible about taking me to a buffet for Mother's Day, citing one of my past posts, too.  I explained to her that there were three events that weekend, and I should have chosen one of the events, preferably the one with her, to have my treats, and cut back on the other two events.  I hope she got it.

Anyway, I had small slices of skirt steak with chimichurri sauce, garlic smashed cauliflower, and a side of green salad.  We had the best chocolate mousse I ever had, and it was made out of avocado and dark chocolate as the main ingredients, and don't balk at the avocado.  You can't even taste it - it's a healthy thickening agent.  It was fantastic.  Overall, smaller portions of great food will leave you satisfied.  I loved it.

Now hubby is in the kitchen making an equally healthy meal. :)

Mousse recipe, from Giada De Laurentiis by way of Carlos Cabeleiro...

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli
4 very ripe (8 ounce) avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Fresh raspberries, for garnish
Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Place over a small saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Place the melted chocolate, avocados, agave, cocoa powder, almond milk, vanilla and salt in a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Spoon into glasses and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (can be prepared 1 day in advance). Garnish with fresh raspberries and serve.

Read more at:

Friday, September 6, 2013

Motivation When the Scale is Stalled

You simply keep going.  I've tried to analyze it, get out of exercise, not eat (thinking I would lose more), and more... but the fact is that you have to do two things: exercise and eat plenty.  Yes, calories must be considered, but they are not the only factor.  Drinking water helps flush and cleanse your body and blah, blah, blah ... you've heard it all, right?  Well, it's unfortunately true.

You've got to rid yourself of processed foods as much as possible.  Eat fresh and you'll lose weight.  If my husband did not insist on meat, as he is a typical carnivore, then my grocery bill would be even lower.  I have saved money since eating healthier.  You wouldn't think so, but switching out berries for ice cream or tea for soda, with no sugar, can save money.  Ice cream is expensive and so is soda, pop, or coke - whatever you call it.

Where's the motivation?  Keeping busy with all of the above can give you the motivation to see it on the scale.  Losing over 30 pounds now did something for me.  I am more motivated.  Getting my body rid of toxic food has done it as well.  I still eat fried food every once in a while, but have cut it out for the most part.  I had a diet coke the other day.  It tasted gross.  When I can get rid of a bad habit, I do feel more motivation.

I can do stairs with more ease.  That alone is reason enough to keep going.  That, and I'm not dead yet.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Over 30 down now!

I lost 5 pounds last week.  I've no idea.  I was more active, just a bit, though, drank more water, and ate less - but still, 5 is a lot.  I'll take it!  So, that's 31 pounds gone, and I am going to go exercise today.  This is the most I've ever lost on purpose, so I am thrilled.  YAY!

It's been a hard road just to 31, and I have SO much more to lose.  I was thinking that this morning, and I decided that I would just think about that later, and concentrate on getting under the next 10 pound marker.  If I keep concentrating on 10 pounds at a time, it's better for my mind, but it also keeps going into a different set of numbers, like from 289 to 279.  That's good to see, because seeing that double digit number go into the next set down is motivating.

Gotta go eat some breakfast.  I love berries and yogurt.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Body Image, America, and Obesity

With well over 50% of Americans being in the overweight to obese category, the rise of obesity in children, and my own personal fat - well, even though we are the majority, we are still vilified.  I know, here she goes...  Don't worry, it's painless.  We are perceived as lazy, unhealthy, and gluttonous.  Like we don't know we eat.  Most heavy people I know are extremely productive, so I don't know where that laziness comes from.  Unhealthy, well, not everyone is, but most all are or are headed that way.

How does this fit into body image?

People's perceptions, sneers, and stares are hard to overcome.  You may say, well - lose weight!  Well, I am!  But, most people don't know that I'm doing it.  People judge strangers.  As soon as they "size" you up, they've made up their minds towards the negative about you before even saying the first word.  Not all people are like this, but I''ve found that many to most are extremely judgemental, and even heavy people are as well!  How hypocritical.

When you know people are perceiving you as negative before even talking to them, it makes me feel terrible about myself.  Thus, in the past, I would eat if a child pointed at me or someone said something to me as they passed, like, "Fat Bitch."  I don't anymore.  I'm trying to not allow others ignorance over weight matters to have an effect on me.  I'm not going to lose this overnight, and it would be nice to be able to pick out clothes, or for goodness sakes - pick out groceries, without people staring.  Jeez.  I do need food and clothes.

I'm not usually "preachy," but don't judge someone who is obese before you get to know them.  They may just be the most beautiful person you ever met.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hot Flashes and Fruit

Cold frozen fruit.  In my first summer of Peri-menopause, I can relate that it sucks.  Big time.  I have found a fantastic way to keep cool during hot flashes or just heat in general:  frozen fruit.  I eat them plain to get maximum freeze, but I have put it with yogurt or cool whip as well.

What am I talking about?  When you get your blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries from your local market, freeze them in bags.  I put my blackberries and blueberries together.  You can also use mango, pineapple, and more, but the berries hold up so well, and you can make a better smoothie with frozen fruit, too.  When you start having a flash or you are overheated, start chomping on that fruit, and in no time, you'll be putting on your 3/4 inch sleeve cardigan, like me!

Sitting in front of a fan helps, too.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Another One Down

It's coming off slowly, but it's staying off.  I mean staying off.  I may fluctuate during the week, but the solid 26 is gone.  I hope for good!  Exercise is a priority this week.  I want to lose 2 or more pounds by next week, and the only healthy way is to exercise more; besides, I've slid back into my old routine of no structured exercise.  I do loads of forced exercise, but my body must be getting used to it, because that alone is not taking the pounds off.  Back to the hamster wheel!

I eat well now.  I've cut out most all fast food, although sometimes I have a craving.  It doesn't taste as good anymore, so I've given most up, except for frappuccinos.  I love them.  I make allowances for them.  I have about one a week, so it's a treat and not a daily thing.  Besides, it's too expensive!  I eat a whole heck of a lot more veggies and fruit.  They are staples now, not a chore anymore, and less expensive than the junk.  I ate a bowl of berries last night for dessert, and I was completely satisfied.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Body Image and Weight

A friend of mine has been telling me for years to "dress the package," no matter what my weight was at the time, or that I didn't believe I could.  She tried to take me shopping so many times, but to no avail, I usually ended up with my usual stretch pants and a big top.  I got to where I detested shopping.  Soon, I couldn't shop at those stores anymore; I even got too big for Lane Bryant and had to order my ill-fitting clothes online, receiving them in the mail.

I hated my body, and I'm still not happy with my belly or flappy arms, but I've learned to dress the package.  I never thought anything would look good on me, and I grew up with all thin women - oblivious to my problem of finding clothes.  I remember one outfit my grandmother bought me, and I looked like a grape in it- an all purple jumpsuit!

It was my hubby that reminded me of beauty at any weight, and I shouldn't punish myself with no decent clothes just because I'm big.  It was strange the first time he took me shopping.  In fact, he told me to go to the dressing room, as I was freaking out - knowing that nothing would fit, but he came back with a ton of clothes.  Only a few fit at the time, but it was a start - in a real store!  Fitting in a bathing suit came next, then more stores were added, and I've found I love Wal-Mart's women's section.  I can buy cheaper clothes while I'm losing weight and then branch out some more.

It's been a very long journey, and to most people (those that judge), I look big no matter what I put on, but I like what I wear now, and I wouldn't change a thing.  I dressed the package, and now I like it!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sleep Deprivation and Weight

I've seen research on the fact that people who have interrupted sleep or can't sleep lose less weight than those who get their eight hours.  That's one thing.  Next, you have hunger pains in the middle of the night when you wake, and you eat, because that's what you're body wants.  Right?  Tell me, who eats an apple in the dark of night?  So, your snack is not exactly healthy.

Don't forget how tired you will be in the morning either.  You'll be too sapped to exercise or even work properly.  Sleep is my main component in staying healthy.

What to do when you can't sleep:
1.  Get up and do a small chore (if you won't wake the rest of the house...)
2.  Don't play with your phone or computer. (I know, but I'm a writer.)
3. EXERCISE during the day, so your body will be physically tired and not just intellectually tired from work.
4.  Eat.  You need to make sure you aren't going to bed hungry.  You will have a hard time sleeping and you will most likely eat when you wake in the night.
5.  Read yourself to sleep or put a low, dark, boring show on and listen to it drone on while you fall into sweet slumber.  Now, doesn't that sound nice?
6.  Leave the TV off, turn your thermostat to 70 degrees (or lower for menopausal women!), as that is an optimal sleeping temp, and turn on your fan.  Your fan will lull you to sleep without those pesky commercials.

You may have your own ways to fall back to sleep.  I know I need more exercise.  I also, apparently need to eat more spaced out through the day, so that I won't be night hungry, like now.

These are my favorite ways to sleep, besides on my hubby's chest.  But, that's only mine.  :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Getting Back On Track With Exercise

I have not followed the exercise plan that I set out for myself.  I get all excited, get stronger and on my way, and then I quit.  Now, to be sure, I have been working out like crazy with "forced exercise."  Gardening, painting, cutting trees, and cleaning have kept me somewhat active, at least on those days.  but, there were plenty of other days that I didn't exercise.

It happens.  I just need a plan.  Just get out there and do it.  Easier said than done.  However, I have tons of support, a husband who is trying to lose as well, and we must get back in the gym.  I plan on doing yoga today to get my muscles stretched back out before I tackle the gym tomorrow.  I'd like to start basketball again.

That was really taking the weight off.  Basketball burns more than 1,000 calories an hour, according to Live Strong.

For those of you that have fallen off the wagon of exercise, or if you haven't even started, do one thing today.  Walk 10 minutes.  Do some stretching.  Play with your kids. :)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Family, Friends, and Fat

Even if some in your family or friends circle could stand to lose a few, some will still judge, worry, or talk to you about you being fat.  I can take most criticism now, because I know that people are looking out for me, but it's the mean-spirited way in which some people "tell" me how big I am.  I KNOW.  I look in the mirror every day.  I have arms that jiggle and a big booty.  I may not be happy with my weight, but I'm working on it.

Which means, step aside and let me work on it.  I've lost 25 pounds, and though it's not fast, it is going and not coming back.  That's a good thing.

Have you ever been criticized for your weight?  Of course you have - even if you're thin - because then people think you don't eat enough.  And they tell you.

I have a friend whose family has told her she looks older now that she's lost all her weight.  You can't win.  Hell, I would much rather look a little older and be thin and healthy.  That's fine with me.  But see, you can't do anything to please everyone, so make sure you lose weight anyway.  They're simply jealous.

I think that people that aren't perfect should not tell you how to "be" anything.  That would be everyone.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pounds Are Going!

It's weigh day!  I was 3 more pounds down, for a total of 25 pounds.  It was mostly all diet this week.  Geez, what would I have lost if I had exercised, too?  I need to remember that scale when I don't want to exercise.  Does anyone have a motivator they use to exercise?

I'm sure I have the food down.  I eat mostly all healthy in smaller amounts, and I don't eat if I'm not hungry.  Even if it's mealtime, I will wait till my body tells me to eat.  I also have to eat first thing in the morning, and I never wanted breakfast before.  I think I am re-training my body to want the good stuff.

I passed on chips yesterday, because I didn't want to have the salt in my system for weigh day.  I would usually celebrate by eating the chips...  I know, completely backwards.  I won't today though.  I don't want those three pounds back!  

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Record high temperatures across the country, and we are all sweating our butts off.  It's easy to get overheated in this weather while doing anything, even just taking a walk - if it's at the wrong time of day...

There are ways to combat the heat and still get in some exercise.  Go in the morning or evening hours.  We have sunshine till late for a reason.

DRINK WATER.  Most people don't realize how crucial it is.  I tend not to drink enough while I'm exercising.  If you are sweating out like crazy, you need to be replacing it as you go.  This may seem elementary, but dehydration is a problem in this country, mostly because of soda consumption.

If you have to go out in the heat of the day to get your exercise in, take an umbrella when you walk, to shield yourself from the sun.

One way to get some water in, if you have a problem is to eat a lot of watermelon.  It's a great source of hydration, if nothing else.

Be careful out there in that heat!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Losing Momentum

I've fallen into a little rut.  I have been exercising with the things I've been doing lately, but not any structured exercise; I haven't for a bit.  I haven't increased my food intake, only making a few bad choices.  I gained a pound and a half this week.  I keep playing with that pound and a half.  Back and forth, back and forth, just teetering, and not any momentous movement either!

Gotta get back in the gym and the basketball court.  Wow, does basketball take the weight off me.  When I was playing 3-4 times a week, I lost fast.

My daughter's wedding is in January, so I'd be happy to be in a smaller size.  I know I'd feel better.  I've already picked out a dress, and that needs to be a non-weight motivator.  It's something tangible and real.  You can't always see the weight going, but you can really see it in your clothes... BTW

My pants are falling down!  I have two nice pair of pants that are falling off of me.  I can hardly wear them out anymore.  So, with all the activity I've had lately, moving furniture and boxes - well, maybe it has put on some muscle, and that weighs more than fat.  Maybe some inches are going.  Here's hoping!  Back to exercise.  It worked.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Gaining ... UGH

Weigh Day.  I gained one and a half pounds.  I have been getting plenty of activity this past week, but I did cheat and eat fast food last night.  That was ridiculous!  Right before weigh day?  However, we were exhausted, and neither wanted to cook.  Our weekend and this week are flying by with all sorts of activity.

Sometimes you need junk to remind you that it's bad and doesn't taste the same as it used to.

It makes your fingers swell from the salt.

There are better choices.  I should have at least chosen Subway.  That's our go-to for healthier fast food.

I just have to forgive myself and move on.  Period.  Moving ahead!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Pushing Past Pain

This weekend was a tough weekend, moving furniture and boxes.  I've moved 8 times in less than that many years, and I'm sick of it.  But, things had to be cleaned out, gone through, thrown away, and donated.  Can you believe that The Salvation Army doesn't take the old big TVs?  If they don't, who will?  Anyway, I moved my butt off on Saturday for about 10 hours.

Then Sunday morning hit, and I couldn't move.

I still had one truck to unload and an office to clean.  I had to push past all those muscles that carried the TVs, the couch, chairs, tables, and more - very sore muscles.  Before you cry "Baby," just know that even though I am more active, I am still carrying a lot of weight on aging bones.  I feel like I can't get it off fast enough.  Pisses me off that I let myself get this big.

BUT, I am moving.  My body is active again.  I pushed past the pain and did it anyway.  I need to, as I'll be seeing my 85 year-old grandmother soon, and she puts me to shame on a walk!  :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Freedom From Fat

As my body is changing with exercise and other forms of exercise, lately, moving boxes and furniture - moving things around, and putting stuff in storage - I have realized that I feel stronger.  I can go up stairs easier, without having to stop.  I can go up stairs without a railing, which shows that my balance is getting better.  Also, my legs are much stronger than they were, even though I'm not where I want to be yet.  I want the freedom from fat - NOW.  I want the independence your body feels when you don't feel fat.  Even if you're thin, you know what I'm talking about.  You can have a bloated day.  It's not quite the same, as your bloat can go away slightly faster than all my pounds, but it is a comparison for the purpose of understanding.

However, it doesn't come off fast.  I didn't put it on overnight, but I want it to come off now.  I am working hard to get it off, with this week being extra full of exercise. So, I should be good for a loss on Wednesday.

BTW ... Last week I weighed, although it was a holiday, and had stayed the same as the week before.  I hope the fourth will be lucky for me.  I was good to it!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Weighing Every Day

It's detrimental to your psyche.  You step on the scale every day, and you gain one day and lose another.  Your body fluctuates on water weight, food intake, and don't forget if you haven't had any exercise.  I used to weigh every day, while I was on a million diets and totally obsessed with losing weight.  It was a bad thing.  All I did was gain.  Why?

Because when you see fluctuations every day, you get depressed, and it makes you emotionally eat or worse, go off your plan - whatever that may be, and it will be hard to jump back on the hamster wheel.

I weigh once a week on Wednesdays.  You all know that, but I sometimes weigh on Sunday or Monday, just so I know the weekend, when I tend to eat a little more, didn't ruin my week.  Then I know how hard I have to work to get to Wednesday.  It seems a little nuts, but it does work.  I've lost more so far than I ever have on a diet.  I have always gotten to like 12 or 15 pounds and then trailed off the diet.

Weighing once a week is the best.  However, giving it a mid-week check doesn't hurt.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Stress and Weight Gain

Stress causes weight gain.  When you are under stress, you don't eat properly to begin with.  I have a friend who watches her weight expertly, but when her husband was in the hospital, I saw her eat a 4 candy Whitman's Sampler - at 6 in the morning!  She was not paying attention, grabbing what was close, and just eating mindlessly.  We all do that from time to time.  Why?

When we are stressed, adrenalin is increased, which makes us ravenously hungry.  At first, it decreases appetite, but that doesn't last long.  How do you handle your stress?  If you don't, you'll be in a vicious cycle of eating because you are stressed and then feeling bad because you gained weight.  I know I do.

How to handle anxiety and stress:  yoga, meditation, music, and friends.  These are my top favorites.  Everyone says to do them, but not many do.  that's why we're all freaked out!  Our world is a pressure-cooker.  Anything can change at a moment's notice - whether in the world or your own family.  Stress is everywhere.  However, is you implement the above suggestions, you might just calm down and lose some weight.

For more info on stress and weight see the Mayo Clinic article at the link below.

And WebMD

Friday, June 28, 2013

Vacation and Weight

I've been away this week, and I ate like it: take-out and a bit of junk.  I'll forgive myself; I was on vacation, right?  I should have been more careful, but I did try to eat healthy, and I got my water in.  Had some exercise, but nothing to write home about.

I stopped.  I rested.

Yeah, I got off the world for 5 days: no TV, Internet, or much phone - only texting sometimes.  We listened to a lot of music.  We rented from Red Box, and we caught up on the new and older releases.  I haven't just rested without guilt for a while.  However, I missed my routine, and I was on the Internet only once when I went to the library.

When there's no entertainment that you're used to, well, you go swimming.  We did that, but it seemed the dog had more fun than even we did!  You also demo a bathroom and prep it for tile.  So, I suppose there was a lot more activity than I realize.  At least the weekend isn't over.  I'd love to fit in some basketball.

The thing about vacations is, you really do eat off your plan.  Forgive yourself.  I did.

P.S.  Weigh Day will resume next Wednesday... lol

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Small Goal Achieved!

Okay, so this was a small goal of mine, and it looks as though it has happened: to sit comfortably in a seat for a doctor's office, Target, or a restaurant.  Yesterday, I was waiting for medication at Target, and went to their chairs, as I had no other shopping to do.  I was comfortable in the usually dreaded experience of a public chair.

Being fat is no fun, and that's one of the reasons that I write this column: to remove some of the stigma of the average "fat" person.  On the way into Target, a little boy called me fat, and his mother looked humiliated.  I simply smiled.  Children have no filter, and it's true, I am fat.  One day, I won't be, but for now I am, and I must live with it.

And ... just when the little boy was getting to me, I went to one of those Draft Houses, and I usually don't fit comfortably in booths.  I not only fit, there was room to spare!  SO excited.  That made up for the comment.  I have to remember those little things.  People don't realize that I didn't want to be this way.  It wasn't my life's goal or anything.  It happened.  Now, I'll fix it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Another Pound Gone...

Some weeks the weight doesn't fall off; it dribbles off.  However, my hubby pointed out that everything I've done lately is mostly muscle-building, so I felt better about that.  Perhaps some muscle is going on.  My pants are about to fall off!  I suppose it could be true.

Still, 22 pounds gone is a good thing.  My next goal is losing 10% of my weight, as it's close and I think I can get there quickly.  I haven't logged in my food for about a week, so that's made a difference in the speed that I'm losing.  I have to log in or I will under or overeat, and neither is good for losing.

Back on the exercise wheel and logging in the food!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Kristina Louise Cabaleiro: New Noir

Introducing:  My daughter's blog.

KristinaLouiseCabaleiro: New Noir:  My very young blog has decided to get a facelift. I am going to focus your time and my time in discussing the modern day noir. That world o...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Non-Exercise Activities for Exercise

What?  Yeah.  That's what I said - non-exercise activities for exercise.  Like playing a basketball game for fun.  Or, swimming, bowling, and other things unrelated to traditional exercise, but you still sweat.  For example, I laid down a hardwood floor yesterday, and I feel like I went to the gym for days and days.  I used every muscle, sweat my booty off, and it took 7 hours!  We only took a couple of small breaks.  I count that as exercise.

I painted the front porch today.  As if yesterday wasn't punishment enough, we took on the terrific, at least when we were done it was terrific, task of painting the front porch from red to cream.  Much better, and it matches the house.  I sweated, used every muscle, and felt like I'd gone to the gym.  I count that as exercise.

The FUN part of the chore, is that you have accomplished something immediate and tangible that you can see.  Weight does not come off every week.  So, at least if you have things to do around the house - do them!  Get off the couch and just do it.

Promise each other a back rub when you're done.  It's the best part. :)

Keep on Going

When your head tells you, "Don't exercise!"  Do it anyway.
When your brain says, "Eat that!"  Don't do it.  Really.
When your mind plays tricks on you, saying, "You'll always be fat."  Don't believe it.
When the devil on your shoulder says, "You look fat."  Don't believe it.
When people look at you because of your weight, smile at them and wave.
When you step on the scale, remember the number can be changed.

It's all between your ears, people.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Banana Nut Smoothie

Banana Nut Smoothie  (my own recipe)

1 frozen banana (peel before freezing in a sandwich bag)
6 whole almonds
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk
cinnamon to taste 1 tsp
1 Tbsp honey

Blend all and enjoy!  Delicious for breakfast or any time of the day.

Honey and cinnamon together are natural healers and delicious.

To read about the benefits of honey and cinnamon, click here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Inspiration for Weight Loss

Seems like my sister has been doing not only hot yoga twice a day, but also power walking up to 2 miles a day!  Kelli has middle-age weight, like most of us get, but she's not at all near my weight.  She's started a new routine, one I was doing, and intend to emulate now.  She's down 8 pounds, and she feels great.  She was even told that hot yoga is not enough exercise!  HA!  Tell that to her scale and her body.

I love yoga.  Hubby's idea of hot yoga is a DVD and turning up the thermostat.  With the price of the yoga classes a mile away - well, I need to sell some books for that!  Till then, I have plenty to do around the plant, the gym, walking, and basketball.  I need to try to do at least 2 things of exercise a day, 6 days a week.  One day off.  If I didn't have such a sedentary job, I wouldn't feel the need to take in so much exercise, but it isn't hard anymore, at least not as much as it was, and I can do it.

I'll report back in a week.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Meds and Motivation

I'm going through a medication change, which includes sleepy time medication, and I feel like a zombie!  Time to back off a bit, I think.  I want to be out there exercising, but my body feels like mud.  Like I'm trapped.  I'll update, but I won't go on about it.

Motivation:  Where do I get it?  I'm good at helping others and pumping them up, but why can't I do it for myself?  I do want to be stronger.  I want to be thinner, and I want to be healthy.  I think I need to work on a goal board with goals reached and reward on the other side, something tangible that I can see.  You know?  Like a dream board.

Well, it is, really.  And then there's Darlene in my ear, "Stop thinking, Veronica, and just walk."

She's right.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I'm craving it.  I want it.  I know it's all psychological, but I do crave a Big Mac, some fries, and a coffee.  Man, I'm drooling just thinking of it.

Enough of that!  Good thing it's raining, or I might be tempted.  It's raining hard too, so it's a no-brainer. obstacle in my way towards life-threatening food.  Thanks for whoever is helping me out there.  The feeling will pass, as most cravings do, and in a compromise, Hubby is making his famous George Foreman Grilled hamburgers with homemade oven fries.  Better for me, and better tasting!

Could use the coffee.  BUT, today was weigh day, and I'm up one pound.  Gotta get back to exercising ever single day, even is only a good walk.

That's my goal for this next week.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Pork Rind Incident

I did not buy them.  I did not bring them in the house.  I did, however, eat them in a freaky panic of wanting something now, not something I'd have to cook, and something salty and crunchy.  WHY did I do that?  Temptation.  The worst possible thing I could eat, as well.  I wasn't going to blast this to the world in this blog, but it's the truth.

It's also why I am all swollen and puffy from the salt.  It also real and true.

We all have cravings and in the middle-of-the night munchies.  If they weren't an option, a "red light food," or convenient, I wouldn't have had them to eat.  No more of those will come through the door.  After I munched on those, I did redeem myself.

I put them in the garbage and ate a bowl of blueberries instead of more processed snacks.

I really can't believe I did that.  Tomorrow is weigh day!

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Hey, Everyone!  My book, She's So Bipolar, is FREE for Kindle users from today till Tuesday.  I would love some more reviews on Amazon, and would appreciate anyone willing to take the time to do this.  Here's some links:


Amazon UK

It is available in many other countries!

Some reviews for She's So Bipolar:

"A must-read for parents, teachers, and anyone connected to BPD. Cronin opens up an entire world with her frankness and honesty. Readers with loved ones afflicted by this disorder will have crucial insight into understanding how their parents, siblings, spouses, and friends perceive life. The photos say whatever has been left unsaid. You'll weep, you'll laugh. More importantly, you'll become aware."  - Mindy

"I thought this would be a quick read but it was so intense, I felt like I was going through her mania with her. Excellent for readers who are not familiar with bipolar."  - Darlene

"Veronica Cronin wrote an awesome book about her life as a bipolar person. She describes her life in easy to read and understand words yet you can see that she really knows personally and medically what she is talking about. This is a must read for any one dealing with this disease in themselves or a family member."  - Cheryl

"I have known Veronica Cronin since she was in high school and one of my daughter's very close friends; however, I have not seen her for many years and was never aware that she suffered from this disease. This account of her struggles and how she has learned to cope on a daily basis with being Bipolar is both heartbreaking and at the same time inspires so much hope for those like her as well as their families. This is a must read for them as well as for those of us who do not have first-hand knowledge of this disease."  - Kathleen

Thanks for considering the book!  Have a great day!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Exercise: Seeing Improvement!

This is a an awesome thing:  things are getting easier.  Like what?  Well, after exercising for a few months now, I can report that physical tasks are not as hard as they were before.  For example, I clean an office once a week, and used to have to rest while doing it.  Not anymore.  I put my headphones on and go, therefore getting done quicker, and moving aerobically.  It's not a hard job, but it was at over 300 pounds and being a couch potato.

I am no longer a potato.

Also, my clothes are fitting better, even if the pounds are moving slowly.  I've lost 20, but I want to lose a lot more than that!  I have to remember that I'm working out at the gym on my muscles, and muscle weighs more than fat, so I am happy that I am gaining muscle.  I went to the gym the other day, and not only did I double my time on the treadmill, to ten minutes (I know, but I have a weak ankle).  Also, I use it to get my heart rate up, and then I do the machines, with my heart rate staying high enough to burn calories.  I can feel my abs now, and my arms and legs are stronger.

The weight is such a burden.

I saw a girl, must have been in her twenties, at the gym on the pull-ups bar.  She was going to town on that thing, and she must have done a hundred of them.

I'll be that strong.  One day.

Friday, May 31, 2013


Can I lose 170 pounds?  It seems impossible.  Like impossible, if you didn't get that the first time.  I wasn't always heavy.  I actually grew up underweight, and they were always stuffing food in me to gain weight.  "Eat all that's on your plate.  There's starving children everywhere."  I was even teased for being too skinny as a child.

Then puberty hit.

I've been fighting it since I was 15.  I always fluctuated, but I still stayed thin throughout my teens.  I'll post pics later, but I was little.  I remember that feeling, and it was great.  I want that back.  When I got married, I was pregnant in the first year, and I never recovered.  I ate more than I needed, and I hardly ever exercised.  However, I was put on some terrible weight-gaining medication at age 30, so that didn't help either.

It's a lot to lose.  I have more to lose if I don't get it off.  UGH.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Best Steak Salad

I was writing, and my hubby brought me this delicious salad.  Made with 3-4 ounces of London Broil (bought from the local butcher), spring greens, blackberries, blueberries, a shake of salad toppings, a sprinkle of parmesean cheese, and balsamic vineagar dressing.  It was SO good.  Thought I would share some of what I eat, as people are asking!  So, this is one dinner, with 498 calories.  It's worth every bite.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Weigh Day!

I lost 3 pounds this week, bringing my total to 20.  I gained 6 pounds over Mother's Day weekend, and it's taken me two weeks to get off what 3 days (and a little lack of exercise) has done to me.  It wasn't worth it.  I should have saved all my calories for the day with my daughter, because that was the most important day.  I will next year!

My scale today said 300.  That's the truth of it.  It's ugly and dangerous.  It will kill me - if I let it.

This is what I want my scale to say to me in a year.  It will take longer, but this is a good goal.
Tomorrow: Back to the gym and smoothies.  That was working!

Exercise, Weight, and Moods

I know for sure that exercise really takes the weight off.  The first 6 weeks I was doing my new plan, the weight melted off to 20 pounds, but now, well, I haven't exercised like I did for a week, and I really feel a difference.  I feel it in my body, as I get cramps and stiffness in my joints, and I feel it in my moods as well.

I'm happier when I exercise.  The endorphins do their work.  They make that serotonin pop out, and it's feel good day!  I have to push hard on some days to exercise.  Even if it's fun, like basketball or a walk at the Farmer's Market, I have to make myself do it.  It's not always fun, but it gets results.  Unfortunately, I have discovered that, thought about it, and decided that I simply have to do it.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Much Lower Calorie Count

We just had our dinner to honor veterans everywhere, including many I know, and the calorie count was much lower than my "original" plan from yesterday.  What we ate:

Sauteed Tilapia in Olive oil with Old Bay
Sauteed Yellow Squash with one small sliced sausage (flavor), cauliflower, and carrots.
Watermelon and Strawberry Salsa (recipe below) for the fish

The stats for this meal are as follows:
Calories: 508
Fat:  23  (all in grams)
Protein: 18
Sugar: 23
Carbs: 60
Sodium: 583
Fiber: 7.6

This came out much better than traditional 3-day weekend fare.  And guess what?  My husband ate every bite and thought it was delicious.  He's not one to tell me he likes something if he doesn't.  He would totally tell me if it sucked.  That's love. :)

My Watermelon Salsa:

2 cups of watermelon in bite-size chunks or smaller
1/4 cup minced red onion
cilantro to taste
5 sliced strawberries
black pepper
salt (just a tad)
1 Tbsp honey  

Mix all gently, and then pour over the top of the fish.  Serves 2.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memorial Day Food

Okay.  I did some pre-planning.  For a typical Memorial Day lunch or dinner - or even all day festivities, here's what I might have eaten:

Hamburger with bun, mayo and ketchup
Potato Salad
Hot Dog with bun
Baked beans
2 deviled eggs
Chocolate cake
Ice cream

That used to be typical fair in my house, along with appetizers and alcohol.  Now, for the numbers.  For the meal above, the total calories are: 2,542.  For one meal!!  That does not include a beverage.  The number of fat grams? 114.  Almost triple the recommended daily allotment for me.  The sodium is 4,242 mg, more than twice the daily dose.  The protein is 77 grams, carbs are 456 grams, and the sugars were just over 100 grams. 

BTW, I used Live Strong to come up with my numbers, and the portions were not too small and not too large.

Let's just say that fish with watermelon mango salsa seems a good choice for Monday. :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Death and 100

At my age, I've been to more than my fair share of funerals.  Starting at age 15, when my father died, through a great-grandfather, two uncles, both grandparents, my mother, stepfather, aunt, and a very close friend.  That doesn't include acquaintances.  I gave eulogies at seven of them.  I'm actually pretty good at holding composure and thought about doing it for a living, but I guess most people do their own family - more personal.

Anyway, I'm tired of people dying, losing family, and sick people.  But, there's nothing I can do about that now.  In the words of Scarlett O'Hara, "I'll think about that tomorrow."

What I can think about is how not to die before my time, and I want my time to be long.  My weight and genetics are against me right now, rather obstacles to overcome, but I want another 40 or 50 years.  I'd love to see 100.  Wow.

What would the world be like then?

My grandmother said she was too tired to live to 100, as her father had made it to 99, but I wouldn't mind.  As long as I could be healthy.  That's the trick, and it has been my own personal odyssey.

The weight.

However, it's coming off, and although Mother's Day Weekend killed me in a small setback, I'm back on it.  Wonder what I'd do every day at 100?  Maybe I'll save learning the piano or painting for then. :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Non-Food Rewards for Weight Loss

You can't eat a big piece of chocolate cake for losing 2 pounds.  Please.  I used to play that game all the time, and that's just an example.  It doesn't work; it just makes you bigger.  You should reward yourself for weight loss and working out.  Here's the best idea I've ever heard:
As a suggestion, make it a dollar, but use your own budget to decide on the amount.  Put one dollar in a  jar every time you work out or lose one pound.  Before you know it, you'll have enough to go to a movie, get a new outfit, lotions, even jewelry!  I'm putting mine in for today - $4.50 - for my weight loss yesterday and my exercise today.  Nothing motivates like money, so get out there and decide what you really want, (Mine is a pottery class), and start saving!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Losing Weight!

So 3 1/2 pounds are gone from the Mother's Day gain.  I'm so glad that it was a bit of water in there, too, because it wasn't that hard to get the weight off this week.  I exercised a little, but I didn't overdo it by far.  This week is new, and it's time to get serious again.  I'm going to ignore that this weekend is another holiday weekend, so I'll eat normally.

Why?  It's a good choice, but my anniversary is in just a month, and I'd like a reason to get a new pair of shorts or two. :)  I've been running around in all sorts of sizes, and I now need to go through my closet and get rid of a few of my larger clothes, and find out just what fits!

A good job for a Thursday.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Days Off

I always take Mondays off from the world.  I do a lot on the weekends: gardening, working out, errands, seeing family, and general housekeeping.  My hubby works out in the yard on his stuff, and I work on mine.  When Monday comes, I am exhausted.  I am physically tired, and it's actually like it's my Saturday.  During the week, I stay busy writing and now - working out.

But, today is Monday.  Everyone needs a break, and I try to use Mondays to recharge and work hard for the rest of the week.  Writing is not hard work, but working out is!  It's getting to be more fun than before, and I am starting to see results.  I had a long walk the other night, and my daughter said, "Oh, Mom, we should have gotten a cane for you," and I said an expletive, something to the tune of, "I don't need a #%&&* cane!"  She laughed; I laughed, but I wondered, is that what she thinks of my health?

That means that I should work out harder, although I made the walk just fine.  I mean, I did a 5K a couple of weeks ago.  Geez.  She was probably thinking of my bum ankle.  I should straighten this out!

Funny thing is, I got feedback from my editor, so I ended up working today, anyway.  See?  A writer can never leave her work... it's always in our heads.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Eating out again...

Well, it is graduation time.  Since I had a gain last week, because of three Mother's Day events, and my lack of self-control, I wanted to be careful last night.  My sister ordered surf and turf.  My daughter ordered a fried seafood sampler, others ordered crab legs, scallops, and a huge hamburger.  I wanted it all...

What I did was pre-plan.  I ate a huge bowl of fruit before leaving for the graduation of my nephew, Jordan, and I was surprised that the event did not take very long.  I had a cereal bar if I needed it.  At dinner after the graduation, I ordered a shrimp cocktail and a drink.  That's it.  BUT, they were really large prawns, so it was enough.  I sat there thinking of the scale on Wednesday.  It's really a deterrent.

When I got home, I had some trail mix and water, and it was enough.

Congratulations to my nephew, Jordan Komorny, and I wish my new man good luck as he enters the Air Force.  Pictured below, with his amazing mom, Jennifer.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mood Altering Drug

Exercise!  It is mood-altering.  I've been low all week, and not exercising as much as I should, so hubby finally got tired of that, and took me to the park after work.  We only played basketball for 15-20 minutes, but it was enough to get sweaty and feel a bit better.  I was so lethargic, that I didn't play as long as usual, but it was enough for today.  It may me feel like writing again, and that's a positive mood-changer as well.

Do something you are passionate about.

Along with exercise, I write.  However, I didn't realize what a drug it is until just a few months ago.  I finished the April A to Z blog challenge, while finishing my book for publication, and I was so "up" every day.  Fulfilling your passion, even working on it, can boost your mood as no drug can.  It's better than Prozac, without the terrible side effects...  So, exercise and do something you've always wanted to do.  Mine is pottery, next.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gaining Weight

Six pounds last week!  Well, so maybe the brunch and two dinners out weren't such a good idea.  Or that Whopper.  Yeah, I fell off the wagon.  I got over-confident.  I said, "I got this."

I didn't have a tight grip.

I have it back now, and can feel the salt leaving my body, as my fingers aren't the sausages they were this morning.  Is it all sodium?  No, but I can see where it would be a lot.  I still logged my food into Live Strong, so maybe I'll show you what a bad day is like... once I get up the nerve!  Ha!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day and Food

I did SO well on Friday and Saturday, but Sunday I ate a little too much.  Not really too much, but the wrong things.  I'm giving myself a break for that one day - particularly after two months of logging in my food.  I mean, I'm not perfect - if I was, my name wouldn't be Veronica!

It was good to talk to some of my "mothers."  My mother passed a few years ago, so I was able to talk to the other women in my life that fill that role.  My grandmother being one of those, and in particular, I call her on Mother's Day since my father passed 30 years ago - well, she said she was proud of me.  Now, at 45, that shouldn't seem like a big deal, but it changed my whole mood and day, in general.  Heck, it changed my outlook on myself.  Everyone should have someone tell them they're proud.  It does wonders for your self-confidence.  Even at this age...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Best Exercise

Gardening.  It is through my mom, (stepmother) Darlene, that I have learned and remembered, how much I love to garden.  I used to raise roses in England, over twenty years ago, but have not done much since.  Hubby bought me a rose bush, and I'm all over it.  We have about 25 rose bushes on property, and last weekend I went out to prune them.  They were in terrible shape.  They're much better now, and my house is filled with color and the perfume of petals.

I sweat like a guy when I garden.

It's hard work.  It's a lot of bending, lifting, and general labor.  It's in the sun, so the heat makes you sweat. (I live in Florida)  The sun is good for you: vitamin D goes a long way in changing a bad mood. You feel accomplished, because you can see and enjoy all the hard work, and it feels good to play in the dirt.  I like romping around in the dirt.

I used to make mud pies when I was little.

Thanks, Darlene, for giving me something else to focus my attention on in a good way, improving my mood, and being a role model.  I just imagine her in the garden through her stories, and I wanted to be out there, too.

There are over 100 plants, grasses and bushes in the back yard, just waiting for me to plant them all over the property.  :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Weigh Day

... And three more pounds are gone.  I didn't exercise as much this week, so I was really surprised.  However, I have been diligent about logging in my food for the day on Live Strong's site.  The best thing is, I am not starving, only making better choices.  I do have choice.  I can decide whether to eat it or not, cook it this way or that, and what I buy.

It is a choice to be fat. (For me)

I understand that now.  For so long, I've felt that my body betrayed me - why can others be thin and not me?  However, as I've now lost 20 pounds, I realize that I am doing it.  I can eat ice cream or fruit.  I can have smaller portions or stuff my face.  On a daily basis, I have nothing but choices.

Holidays:  Mother's day is coming up, and I have a big weekend planned, as a lot of you do.  I plan to try to stick to my plan as much as possible.  That means pre-planning by looking up the restaurant menu online, logging in my food, and getting enough exercise.


Liebster Blog Award

I have been given a Liebster Award for bloggers with less than 200 followers.  You have been nominated by me for one.  Congratulations!  Because you won, tell 11 random facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions at the bottom, and then choose 11 bloggers that you think should be highlighted in this way.  Put them on your blog with their links, as well as mine.
Thank you, Allison Bruning!
Allison Bruning - Her Blog
Her books:

11 Random Facts About Me

1.  I lived in England for four years.
2.  I was hit in the face by a flying duck at Disney World.
3.  I have been to 38 states and 12 countries.
4.  In my writing zone, I will write for hours without acknowledging anyone!
5.  I love walking barefoot in the rain with my daughter.
6.  I play basketball every week with my husband.
7.  I married my high school sweetheart – 30 years after we first met.
8.  I have infinite patience for kids, the elderly, and animals.
9.  Dublin is my favorite city.
10. I can take apart an M-16 and have shot a grenade launcher.  (But, I detest guns.)

1.  What fictional character would you love to be for a day? 

Scout, from To Kill A Mockingbird. 

2.  What is the hardest aspect of writing for you?

Consistency and discipline: I wish I could write in long stints every day, but my mind bounces around and I get bored.

3.  What three historical figures would you love to share a cup of coffee and conversation with?

Coffee with Maya Angelou
Tea with Emily Dickinson
And a beer with Ernest Hemingway

4. If you weren't an author, what else would you be doing?

Something artistic, such as a potter.  I will be taking classes, so it may come true, too!

5. On you're deathbed, far into the future, how do you want to be remembered?

As a good mother, writer, and wife.

6. Do you believe in an afterlife?

I am spiritual, but I don’t know what lies ahead.

7. What is your favorite book, movie, and album?

Book – Jane Eyre
Movie – Gone With The Wind
Album – The Beatles Anthology and Anything Eminem

8. Name the worst aspect of humanity.

Rudeness.  The arrogance required to be rude leads to a myriad of problems.

9. Name the best aspect of humanity.

Our ability to be compassionate.

10. If an alien landed on Earth and asked you to go with him or her, but that you'd never be able to return home, would you go?  Why or why not?

No.  I’m an earth girl, and I have too many adventures left on this planet.

11. Do you believe intelligent life exists beyond this planet? Why or why not?

Yes.  Nothing has been disproved to me.

I nominate...

Here are your questions:

1.  What is your favorite book and why?
2.  Are you making a living at writing?
3.  What’s your favorite childhood book?
4.  What would you do if you didn’t write?
5.  Where’s the best place you’ve ever been?
6.  What is your genre specialty in writing?
7.  What is your biggest personal dream, and have you realized it?
8.  Who is your favorite contemporary author?
9.  What movie, book, and TV show would you recommend?
10.  What is the meaning of life?
11.  What makes you laugh?

Here's my links:
She's So Bipolar - Non-fiction book