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Friday, April 29, 2011

Week Eleven: Day Five

Good morning!

We have all been sleeping in a little bit which results in a late morning start which then turns in to me forgetting to post!!  I will make it a point tomorrow morning to hole up in my bedroom alone and post a good one.

Yesterday was magazine delivery day and I worked HARD!  It was actually pretty fun.  I obviously cannot take a bowl of cereal with me for the road (I didn't buy any meal bars this time around), so I just took a couple snack bars, an apple, and a banana.  By 2:45 when I was heading over to pick up the boys I was starving.  I couldn't think straight and was so tired of hauling magazines!!  Luckily, my friend who had been watching Zoe all day was at Subway and offered to grab me a sandwich.  It was the healthiest sub I've ever eaten (read: not so great), but it did the trick and I wasn't left feeling guilty afterwards!  Took the kids to the park after school where we all got super worn out, then headed home.  I slept like a ROCK once I finally got to bed last night!  My parents came over for their final couple hours in town, so the kids ran around some more and actually didn't end up getting to sleep until 9!  Zoe included.  It was rough going since my parents had to go shortly after Shaun left for his final hockey game...of the season.  I got everyone to bed and attempted to watch some tv, but that lasted about 20 minutes before I realized I was snoring.  Ha! 

Today should be another good day!  We have some guests coming over this morning to play, the sun is shining, and everyone is in pretty good spirits this morning. 

Have a great day!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Week Eleven: Day Three

Good morning!

This will be a super short post because I waited too late in the morning and the natives are getting restless.  It happens.  Quite frequently, actually!  I felt too bad about not posting yesterday, so I didn't want to miss two days in a row.

Well, the stomach bug turned out to be something fierce and Monday was downright horrible.  I felt awful through the entire day...slept like a rock Monday night and was 100% on Tuesday!  Weird, right?  I get sick so rarely that I forget what it feels like!  Anyway, I totally stayed on track with the diet, though.  Probably eating too little, actually.  I ate what I could which ended up being my two bowls of cereal and then a bowl of pasta for dinner with the kids. 

Yesterday, however, was great.  Two bowls of cereal, only one snack bar (oops!), but I did make some more of that blueberry zucchini bread at my friend's house and I totally licked the spoon before washing out the bowl.  Tee-hee.  My parents got into town last night (yay!!) and we had jambalaya stuffed chicken, couscous, and salad for dinner.  It was DEEEEE-lish!  I will try to post the recipe later because it was super easy.  I didn't figure up the calorie count, but I split one of the chicken pieces with my mom and used a small plate and made almost half the plate salad greens.  Used Lite dressing, too. 

Today we are heading to Bounce U with the kids, so I will definitely be getting in a bit of a work out!  I am strangely very excited.  Tomorrow is magazine delivery day, so I'll be getting in lots of extra steps and lifting.

I hope everyone has a great day!!!  After peeking at the scale, I can hardly wait until Monday to share!!!!  :)


Monday, April 25, 2011

Week Eleven: Day One

Good morning!!  I seem to have a slight stomach bug or something this morning...not sure if it is due to the diet change?  Anyway, I feel fine, so that's good.  The Nashville Predators made history last night by winning in Round 1 of the NHL Playoffs!!  Shaun and I and some good friends of ours are wanting to go to a Round 2 Home game, but the dates haven't been announced just yet, so we are anxiously stalking nashvillepredators.com in anticipation of finding out.

Well, I am happy to be back on Special K.  Yesterday I had my two bowls of cereal, only ate one snack bar but did get some canteloupe in as well.  For dinner last night we had turkey burgers, green bean casserole (not from "scratch", it was a frozen thing from Green Giant!), and some instant mashed potatoes.  I was feeling kind of lazy....not really the right word because I did go out for a nice walk after dinner!  Just didn't feel like running around my kitchen. 

FOOD/DRINK:  I ate my breakfast cereal a little late since we all slept in a bit and decided to go to the second service at church.  I did eat a snack bar on the way home from church, and then I had to pick up Conner...he had his very first sleepover Saturday night!  I picked him up and we headed over to Harris Teeter where I did some major couponing.  Fun times!  When we finally got home around 3:30 and I put all the groceries away, I scarfed a bowl of cereal and just had to sit down.  By the way, Conner slept from about 3:15 until almost 7:30 last night!  Turned around and went back to bed by 9:00.  Sleepovers are great!  After dinner I did some cleaning of the kitchen (side note for anyone who doesn't know me - Shaun is the cleaner in our relationship.  Regardless of how much I clean the kitchen, he will always have to follow behind me and "really clean".  This is why I will only ever half-ass it so I don't get frustrated when I think I've done a good job and he still HAS to follow behind!)...cleaned up, emptied the dishwasher, then put on my tennis shoes and went for a walk!  Oops...

EXERCISE:  Wrong category!  So, continued from above...I have mapped out a 1 mile route away from my house, so this makes it 2 miles when I walk there and then come back.  If you remember, on Friday I did 2 miles in 37 minutes, so I was trying to beat that time last night.  I did!  2 miles in 34 minutes!  What I find cool, as well, is that I maintained my pace...I checked the time when I got to my turnaround point and it had been 17 minutes.  I tried jogging a little bit just to see how it felt....I'm not ready.  Just being honest.  I will "rest" today.

Well, here's hoping my stomach can handle a bowl of cereal!  Jack woke up vomiting this morning, but he seems to be feeling better now.  I have been trying to think of what he and I may have eaten that others didn't...maybe the canteloupe?  Zoe ate some, too, but she is still sleeping so I can't really tell how she may be feeling.  Sigh.  Pray for us!

Oh, by the way, from my "records" and pictures, it looks like I lost 2 pounds last week.  Perfect!  Even with a bad day, I still had an on track week.  Now, here's hoping this week will show higher results. 

Thanks!  xoxo

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Week Ten: Day Seven

Good morning!

Ooh, such a bad girl yesterday!!  I have decided, after much discussion with family and friends, the cabbage soup diet is no good when you don't have a specific purpose for doing it.  Example:  Starting off a full on weight loss journey!  Needing to lose a few pounds to fit back into some pants that are ALMOST fitting!  Maybe even after a week of eating horribly, like on a cruise or vacation or something!  However.  In the middle of aforementioned weight loss journey - ick.  It was awful.  Didn't feel good.  My heart truly wasn't in it.  All sorts of excuses for the "bottom" I hit yesterday.  I just couldn't even LOOK at the soup anymore!  Not to mention the extreme discomfort I was feeling...my belly was hard and protruding (abnormally) and I was in some crampy pain through my back and chest.  Ugh.  I tried drinking water.  I tried to eat a little rice.  Drinking water wasn't a problem, but I wasn't even a little bit hungry for any rice.  So, we headed off to the easter egg hunt at a friend's church.  I continued to feel bad, but I really wasn't even considering "cheating" - just trying to decide what steps I wasn't going to take to flush out all the steak I had eaten Friday night!  After the egg hunt, there was a lunch of hot dogs and chips served at the church.  Shaun took two of the boys in to work with him, so I was left with just Zoe and Henry.  They each got a hot dog and some chips, I was still resisting the urge to just forget about my meal plan.  As we were about to leave, someone announced there was "plenty of hot dogs left!  Please help yourselves!"  And I did.  I ate a hot dog on the way home and instantly decided to have a break day and immediately began to feel better.  When I got home I realized we didn't have any pineapple in the house (an excellent dieting diuretic) because I had made a "pineapple casserole" the night before, so I ate those leftovers.  Felt even better.  I continued to drink water throughout the afternoon and just plain didn't think about food at all! 

Last night is when I really turned "bad".  Ha, ha.  We drove to a friend's house while Shaun had his hockey game.  There had been a birthday party earlier (which we missed due to naps), so there were cupcakes (ate 1) and then we ordered pizza for dinner (ate 3 pieces).  Sigh.  I wasn't even trying to NOT eat...I have all my Special K "tools" and CHOSE to not take anything to my friend's house for me to eat well.  I was a part of the pizza ordering decision making, so I knew I was going to eat some.  Ah, well.  It was one day, right?  Half a day, even, because I didn't eat that hot dog until noon!  I still drank all of my water.  I have just finished my breakfast of Special K cereal with a banana.  I am back on it and feeling READY!!  I would love to say the hot dog and pineapple casserole and pizza weren't any good...oh, and the cupcake...but - it was all just as delicious as I remembered.  I didn't think once about how many calories I was eating.  I just ate.  Hey, while we are being honest, I just remembered a second cupcake I ate at the next door neighbor's daughter's birthday part!  There you have it.  The End to my day of shame!  Ha, ha.

FOOD/DRINK:  Today begins 14 days of the Special K diet.  I have already purchased four boxes of cereal - Fruit and Yogurt, Chocolatey Delight, Cinnamon Pecan, and Vanilla Almond.  I also have 5 boxes of the snack bars.  (there was a sale at Publix and I had coupons!)  I am ready, ready, ready.  I am SO close to getting below 200 and I just KNOW it can happen in the next two weeks...maybe even sooner, right? 

EXERCISE:  I went for a 37 minute walk on Friday!  Around the neighborhood, focusing on really walking hard and doing some pretty steep hills.  It felt good.  I am pledging 60 minutes today.  It might end up being on the treadmill at Shaun's work, if I find it hard to motivate myself to get out in the sun, but it WILL be 60 minutes.

TIPS/ISSUES:  This might sound funny after reading what I wrote above, but you CANNOT beat yourself up about a day off!  Life goes on.  Every day life continues around us.  As of yesterday morning (this is an early reveal!) I was at 33.5 pounds lost.  That is no small feat!!  I think I was discounting it because I am so eager to get to 40...50....80!  I have already lost track of how far I have come.  Oh, the human mind.  I truly hope to be still at the 33.5 pound mark tomorrow morning when I officially weigh-in. 

Still taking pledges for the ADA!  :) 


Friday, April 22, 2011

Week Ten: Day Five

Good morning!

It feels like a Saturday to me because Shaun is home, but then I remembered - it's Good Friday!! 

FOOD: Yesterday was ground beef and tomatoes day.  Remember how excited I was in the morning?  That did not last.  I think I may have to wait several months before trying this meal plan again.  Whew.  I had a bowl of cabbage soup with ground beef stirred in for "breakfast".  It was delicious and filling.  The boys had school yesterday, and Zoe and I drove out to visit with my grandfather.  It was nice to see him, and I really didn't feel hungry at all the entire morning.  Well, even in to the afternoon!  We got home about 2 and played for a bit before leaving to get the boys a little before 3.  I felt like I should eat something because I hadn't eaten anything since that breakfast, so I heated up some ground beef I had cooked the night before.  It was very tasty, but I really wasn't excited about it.  For dinner last night we had "Pick Your Plate".  Basically anything leftover in the fridge was warmed up and put on a plate...then the kids got to pick which one they wanted to eat!  I also made some quesadillas and biscuits.  Random?  Yes.  Fun?  Yes.

I am heading to the grocery store this morning to get some steak and vegetables!  This is my favorite day on this diet plan.  All you can eat beef and veggies.  We are having friends over this evening for an egg hunt and dinner, so the grill may be going all day long.  Good times!  Also, I see there is quite a great sale at Publix on Special K, so I'm going to stock up for next week.  I think I may even do it for 2 weeks before embarking on the ol' 17-day diet.  We'll see.

EXERCISE:  I took Zoe for a walk yesterday!  Woohoo!  I would guess we walked for about 25 minutes.  I focused on not taking it slow and trying to get my heart rate up a little bit.  I am having to "guess" because I checked the time when we left and when we got back, but forgot to check how much time we spent playing at the little playground.  I know it wasn't 60 minutes, but it was something which is better than nothing. 

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Week Ten: Day Four

Good morning!

Whew, am I ever sick of bananas...and really looking forward to some ground beef this morning!  What a strange sentence.  Ha, ha!

FOOD/DRINK:  Ate 6 bananas yesterday and could only choke down the soup once.  I drank so, so, so much water.  I didn't feel hungry, really.  Just bored?  Actually, yesterday was definitely NOT boring.  We had a great time running around the house during the day, everyone took at least an hour nap, and I left during dinnertime to get some errands done.  I really do think my mind is changing directions and food is becoming less of the focus for me!  Love it!  So, I have to tell about two things I cooked last night.  First of all, dinner was a huge hit.  Beef Macaroni Casserole.  THEN, I made Zuchinni Blueberry bread.  Oh my.  This house smelled SO good.  Both Shaun and I came out from putting our crew to bed (me with the boys, Shaun with Zoe) and just sniffed in hard.  Mmmmm.  I will work on finding a candle company to "bottle" that scent!  Both recipes will be included below, but I did not figure out the calorie count.  Sorry!!

EXERCISE:  Dude.  I hate this category.  I am taking Zoe for an hour walk today.  If it is too cold outside, we will go to the mall!  I PROMISE.  I was talking to a friend yesterday about how I allow myself an out when I have plans with a friend and they have to cancel for whatever reason.  This does NOT mean I have to cancel on myself!!  I am driving out to see my grandfather this morning with Zoe, and was planning for her to nap in the car on the way home.  She sleeps pretty good in the stroller, so I'll wear her out good this morning at grandpa's and she can half-nap in the car, half-nap during my walk.  Perfect.  Consider it done.

TIPS/ISSUES:  Yeah, I got nothing for banana day tips.  Except, keep yourself busy!!  Keep thinking about the ground beef you get to eat the next day!

1.5 pounds ground beef
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 T flour
1/2 cup water
1 cup uncooked macaroni noodles
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown meat and onion together.  Drain.  Add crushed tomatoes, flour, and water.  Cover and simmer for 13 minutes.  Meanwhile, boil macaroni.  Drain and combine with meat mixture.  Turn into casserole dish.  Sprinkle with cheese and bake 15 minutes at 400.

(I am going to write the recipe as it's written, in parentheses I will tell you changes I made)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (okay, my dad bakes desserts for a living.  I called him to ask about this and he has never heard of such an ingredient.  I couldn't find it at Kroger, so I just used another cup of all-purpose flour)
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt (just used regular table salt)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 eggs
3/4 cup canola oil (during my conversation with my dad, he said this is the only oil I should ever be buying.  I used vegetable oil because it was what I had.  lol)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly coat the bottom of 4 mini 5-inch loaf pans or 1 9-inch pan with cooking spray; set aside.
In a large bowl combine flours, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder; set aside.  In another bowl, mix eggs, oil, and vanilla extract.  Add to flour mixture and stir until combined.  Gently stir in zucchini and then blueberries.  (just a note.  This mixture is quite thick.  I used the beaters at first, then switched to a spatula as I was adding in the veggies and fruit.)
Spoon batter into prepared pans.  Bake about 40 minutes for mini pans (this was exactly the right amount of time) or about 1 hour for 9-inch pan or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes before removing.  Serve warm or let cool completely before slicing.  Each mini loaf makes 8 pieces (yeah, right), while the large loaf has 12.  Freeze extra mini loaves for up to 3 months.  (My opinion: there is no way you would need to freeze any of these, unless you cook a bunch at one time!  In the first 30 minutes of being awake this morning, my family has gone through one mini loaf and I am thinking I'm going to have to serve the one I was planning to give to a friend.  I am giving one loaf to my grandfather today and Shaun is taking one to a guy at work, so I can give opinions from them, too, later.) 


Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I was truly convicted at my Bible study today.  This post has not been thought out or prayed about or anything.  Straight from the heart while I listen to Henry scream from the couch about being mad at me.  (I won't let him wear his shoes in the house)

Here goes.  Rather than being "disappointed", i should have commended the ones who DID notify me about their pledges!  Rather than ask for more followers, I should have thanked my 18 (now 19!) followers for their loyalty!  I should not expect others to lift ME up, I need to turn to God and the Holy Spirit for this.  I am being conceited, self-centered, absolutely the opposite of the way I need to be acting.

Ephesians 4:29-32
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

I am going to keep going and stride ahead.  I will let you know there is now $5 per pound being paid to the American Diabetes Association, this does include my own personal pledge of $1 per pound.  I will be redesigning the blog today, and I would love to hear any comments on the changes!  I truly and sincerely thank EVERY single one of my followers and my readers and my occasional "perusers".  I am happy to have this blog as an outlet and a place where I can be open and honest and held accountable for my dieting actions.  I hope this serves as a place where others can come to laugh, maybe cry, maybe learn, maybe agree, maybe disagree. 

Thank you.  If you are reading these words, I appreciate you.  Even if you are reading them in July.  :)


Week Ten: Day Three

Good morning!

I have to admit...I'm a little disappointed.  No new "followers" and only $3 in pledges.  I know times are tough, but when I was selfishly asking you to pay ME, I had over $6 per pound!  What is that?  I'm going to assume it's a busy week and nobody's reading...even though the "stats" page tells a different story.  Hmmm.  Here's a couple things to consider:  You can follow this blog anonymously.  For example, I know of three people off the top of my head - two of which are guys - who have told me they read regularly, yet they are not official followers.  You know who you are!!!  Ha, ha.  Another thing, if you post a comment on here, I have to approve it before it posts for the world to see.  You can post these completely anonymously and I have no way of tracking down who/where it came from.  Please feel free to use this feature to tell me how you really feel!  If you are at all confused about how to pledge, you can post it as a comment and even let me know if you don't want it to actually show on the blog, or email me at aldunkle@msn.com.  Or send me a message on Facebook.  Or send out some smoke signals.  Up to you.  I really want to contact the ADA to let them know I am doing this, but I have to be able to say I have more than $3 per pound pledged!!!  I will accept anything over $0.10 per pound...that would amount to just $6 total!  Please???

Okay, back to diet talk. 

FOOD/DRINK:  I drank so much water yesterday, I was up at least 4 times overnight to use the restroom.  Craziness.  I also had a couple cups of coffee...that chocolate glazed donut stuff is GOOOOOOD.  I'm planning to try the Cinnamon Roll flavor next.  Oooooooh.  Yesterday was fruits and vegetables day.  I did forget to post yesterday morning, so just to let you know veggies day was not bad.  I bought some spaghetti squash and really enjoyed my bowl of "spaghetti"!  The squash topped with stewed Italian-style tomatoes.  Mmmmm.  I also steamed some broccoli to add to my soup, and then the baked potato was, of course, wonderful for dinner.  I made a huge bowl of fruit salad yesterday morning and cut up some cucumbers before leaving the house in the morning.  I dropped off the boys, but I also took on watching a friend's 4 year old daughter.  I would make that trade any day.  LOL  I ate my fill of fruit and finished up the "spaghetti" for lunch.  I also ate about three Sugar Free Jello cups during the day.  Last night I was feeling hungry (and exhausted), so I had a "dessert" of strawberries and Fat Free Whipped Topping.  Ahhhh.  It was great.  Today is Bananas and Skim Milk day!  Not my favorite, but I have my eye on the "prize" of tomorrow morning...adding ground beef to my soup.  Yippee!

EXERCISE:  I took the girls - Zoe and Emme - over to a friend's house.  We had all the intentions of walking, but the kids were playing so good together we sat and gabbed instead!  We did take the kiddos for a walk down a very steep hill to play in the creek for a bit...the walk back up the hill felt like quite a bit of exercise!!  I started off pulling the wagon back up, but (thankfully) two of the three kids got out, so my load lightened up a lot.  Ha.  I not only had the extra 4 year old girl, but the neighbor's two boys came over when my boys got home, so there were 7 kids under the age of 6 to chase around the yard.  It was pretty fun, but I'm sure you can imagine I slept HARD last night.

TIPS/ISSUES:  Follow my blog!  Pledge some dimes or quarters or dollars to the American Diabetes Association!  Keep on truckin'.  Ha, ha.


Monday, April 18, 2011

*NEW* Pledge Drive!!

Money is an idol of mine.  Managing it, hoarding it, spending it.  I am obsessed with money.  Over the past several months I have really been trying to break it down...or at least I thought I was.  Turns out, I was just giving little bits over to the Lord and trusting him, but then still micro-managing behind the scenes just in case He didn't come through the way I (thought I) needed Him to.

Time for a change!  It is likely most people would not agree with certain steps I have already taken, and I am not going to give the details here because of that.  I will just let you know what change I am making that concerns this blog and my followers and readers.

By the way - if you are reading and not "following", please take a minute to click on Follow!  You can do it anonymously, or use a fake name, or whatever...

Okay - I am resetting all of the pledges.  I will contact everyone individually who pledged in the beginning and give you options of what you can do from here.  I realize it is NOT fair for me to be so selfish as to ask people to pay ME to lose weight.  Losing weight is going to result in a happier, healthier, and hotter (lol!) me and this is all the reward I need.  I think the accountability of the blog has already been enough for me to stay motivated and it turns out my husband is quite good at the guilt tripping required to keep me on track!

I am asking you to pledge for charity.  I have chosen the American Diabetes Association.  You can choose to pay monthly, I will still give 4 week pounds totals, or you can pay at the end.  Since this will be starting now, I will back track to my last official weigh-in which was 210.  My new weight loss goal is 60 more pounds, and there are 32 weeks left.

This means, you can figure up your total pledge amount by multiplying by 60.  If I don't reach my goal (what does that even mean??  ha ha), your final pledge will be less.  If I somehow lose MORE, you will not be expected to pay over the 60 pounds.

This is the beginning of my amazing testimonial.  I am so happy I will be documenting it all so the story will be complete at the end without risk of my memory loss of the details!  I have already had proof in the recent past of times when prayer has resulted in things I couldn't have even directly asked to happen...

*I had a rough moment of obsessing over my bank account and fell to my knees and prayed for $1,000.  I thought that was all I needed to just get us on track and back to good and I would be fine from there.  Couple weeks later, $1,200 came in the mail.  It wasn't anonymous, I know who sent it, but it definitely was not expected from this person.
*I was looking in the mirror a few months ago and was NOT happy with what I saw.  Not only the extra weight, but my hair was boring and not my favorite color and my eyebrows needed waxing.  This prompted me to pray laughingly for a hair-cut.  A dear friend called a short time later and referred me to her hair dresser who had "heard your (my) story and really wants to pamper you for free!"  Sure enough, the following Friday I had my hair cut and colored and my eyebrows waxed by a FANTASTIC hair dresser on Music Row!  (I am happy to pass along her name and number, by the way.  She not only does great work, but she is just a pleasure to talk to as well!)
*I thought this would be the ultimate challenge.  As I watched these things happen in my life, I sent up a prayer for $5,000.  Why not?  He kept coming through for me...I wanted to test that, I guess.  I believe I prayed for this in January?  Maybe end of December?  Our tax return came in February and was well over that amount. 

So, surely you see what I mean.  Despite all my best intentions, I have not been able to save any money for our Vegas trip in November.  I realize you may look at the above amounts and wonder where that money went...our van needed quite a bit of work, even part-time daycare for four kids is pretty expensive, paid renters and car insurance a year in advance...regardless.  I am praying for the trip to become a reality. 

All of this to say - PLEDGE for the American Diabetes Association!!  I had gestational diabetes with all three of my pregnancies and was at risk for developing Type 2 if I didn't lose this weight.  It is a serious illness that is no fun.  Maybe we will even organize a walk in the future!  If you are interested in pledging, you can post a comment here or send me an email at aldunkle@msn.com.  I will keep the individual amounts anonymous, if you'd like, but I will post the total amount pledged as they come in.

Thanks, everyone.  Keep reading!!

Week Ten: Day One

Good morning! 

Week "double-digits"?!?  Hooray! 

Yesterday was a great day.  I'm not speaking diet-wise because I was super hungry and the cabbage soup is affecting me in a way it never has before and all the fruit was making my tongue hurt!  However, the church sermon also affected me in a new way, and I talked to some friends I haven't spoken to in a few months and they led me to change things up a little bit.

So much to think about...so many kids running through the kitchen as I attempt to type this...

I will post a separate blog later today about the "change".  It will concern the weight loss pledges.

FOOD/DRINK:  I think I said quite a bit above, right?  Fruit all day, a few bowls of cabbage soup.  Three apples, a fresh pineapple, one canteloupe, two pounds of strawberries, one pint of blueberries.  Whew!  Also, the chocolate covered glazed donut coffee is ridiculously good.  I mean, WOW.  I had about three bowls of soup and drank water, water, water.

EXERCISE:  BOOOO to me!!  Other than walking around Wal-Mart for an hour (can I count this?!), and parking super far from everywhere I went yesterday - nada.  I fully intended to get out there, but the kids really didn't nap at a good time and then I just kept finding things I needed to do!  Excuses, excuses, excuses.  I am taking the kids to the park today for a little picnic, so I'll see if I can get them to walk the track with me for a bit.  I did find a little workout to do on my off-days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), so maybe I can do that at the park while they play!

I'm going to include a recipe for the dinner I made the kids and Shaun last night.  There was not one bite leftover and everyone was mmmm-ing throughout.  Zoe even ate two full plates!!

SMOKEY ORANGE CHICKEN (I halved this recipe)
6-8 chicken breasts
1 cup Orange Marmalade
2 T Liquid Smoke
2 T Soy sauce

Place chicken breasts in baking dish (I used my Pampered Chef Deep-Covered Baker!), season with salt and pepper.  In a small bowl, mix marmalade, liquid smoke, and soy sauce.  Pour over chicken and bake at 350 (uncovered) for 35-40 minutes. 


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Week Nine: Day Seven

Good morning!!

I officially lost 2 more pounds last week with the Right Size smoothies!!  Very exciting...especially since that puts my total at 30.5 pounds lost.  Love it!

FOOD/DRINK:  We should just change this category to FOOD.  Drink = water and lots of it.  LOTS.  Ha, ha.  I also purchased some Chocolate Glazed Donut coffee yesterday and that will be my morning "treat".  It is so good.  Anyway, you may notice I am starting a new plan a day early...this is due to the smoothie powder running out too soon.  I admit I didn't use an actual "leveler" each time, but I definitely didn't expect to run out 2 days early?  The canister says it has 30 servings, I drink 2 per day...it only lasted me 13 days.  Anyway, I have decided to begin the cabbage soup diet today.  You all may remember this from my very first week.  I have two main reasons for doing it again:  1. It provides great weight loss and this may help me get over that 200 pound mark!; 2. It's easy.  I have been reading this 17-day diet book and I think I need a little bit more time to wrap my head around it.  I don't like not having a plan, and I really don't want to get distracted and/or frustrated at this point in my weight loss.  So, there you have it.  My mom is coming to visit next Tuesday, the 26th, and she is going to help me write out a meal plan and grocery list for my first 17 days.  This means, I will begin cabbage soup today, final day of that will be next Saturday.  I will do 8 days of either Slim Fast or Special K, then begin the 17 day diet. 

As for today, it's FRUIT day for me!  I made a large bowl of fresh pineapple and canteloupe last night.  I plan to assemble the cabbage soup before church and let it sit in the crockpot while I am gone.  I also have a bag of apples at my disposal, and a second pineapple waiting to be chopped.  Oh yeah, and red seedless grapes are only a dollar a pound at Harris Teeter, so we have a drawer full of those in the fridge.  Yummy!

EXERCISE:  I wasn't able to focus on getting in my 60 minutes of walking yesterday, so I am pledging to do it today.  I would like to find a track to do it, so I can also know my distance.  Results tomorrow! 

I didn't do the photo shoot Friday, by the way.  It ended up being quite the trying day.  I have to admit I took the kids to the drop in daycare down the street for a couple hours just to save some of my sanity!  It was the perfect amount of time to put away all the laundry, clean the bedrooms, and watch our DVR'ed episodes of The Office and Parks and Rec.  I made lunch for the kids and went to pick them up with a fresh new attitude.  They had a blast playing with "new" toys and being out of the house, so I call that a win-win.

Have a great day!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Week Nine: Day Five

Good morning!!

Feeling great this morning.  A little hungrier than usual, but that may have something to do with the lack of any fruit around the house for me to munch on first thing!  Saturday is grocery day, so Friday ends up being quite the food hodge-podge day.

FOOD/DRINK:  Drank all my water yesterday...and then some!  I believe I have discovered the more I drink, the more I want?  It's so easy for me to suck down 20-24 ounces through a straw, then I find myself wanting more rather quickly.  Anyway, two smoothies and a Southwestern Pasta Skillet dinner!  Yum, yum.  I packed a snack of cucumbers and strawberries when Zoe and I went out to visit a friend with a sweet, sweet newborn baby!!  Today is a rainy, rainy day and it is looking like a fully IN the house day.  Not my favorite days.  However, I do have a coupon code for some free photo books, so I'm thinking it will be photo shoot day here!

EXERCISE:  Got in my 60 minutes of walking yesterday....and more!!  My friend and I took our babies to the park and walked the track...thanks to our need to catch up from several years of losing touch, we lost track of time and almost reached an hour and a half!  I felt fine while walking...sitting down in the car made me realize how long we actually were out there.  Felt good, though, and today my legs feel strong and skinny!  :)  Amazing what one day will do, right?

TIPS/ISSUES:  I have been thinking about writing this for a while, but really wanted to collect my thoughts beforehand.  Unfortunately, "collecting my thoughts" is a little tricky around here.  As soon as I feel they are collected, something else comes around (usually involving fighting, yelling, hitting, etc) and scatters the thoughts back out the window!  So, what I really want to say is just this - YOU HAVE TO WANT IT.  It's that simple.  I am constantly thinking of a cheer from junior high - "You've got to WANT it to WIN it and we want it bad!"  This is so true.  If you aren't truly committed, if you are doing it for someone else, if you are just going along with what you think others/society/church want you to do....it will NOT work.  Doesn't matter what "it" is...this is my thoughts on alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, dieting, tv, porn.  Anything you want to quit, the desire to quit HAS to come from YOU.  Now, obviously, I had a hard time convincing myself to go through with even starting a diet until I started this blog, but I was the driving force.  I truly wanted to stop eating, I just felt I needed a broader support team than just using the people already in my face every day.  Ultimately, I am the one who is truly holding myself accountable by even writing here every day.  I'm going to end my little "rant" here.  The End.  :)

As I said above, today is an indoors day.  Boo to that, but I will likely be able to post some cute pictures with tomorrow's post!  No pledges for walking minutes today, but I will do some exercises to help the kiddos get out their energy.  Details tomorrow.

Have a great day!!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Week Nine: Day Four

Good morning!

I really have very little to report from yesterday...except that it was a rough day! 

FOOD AND DRINK:  Banana, cup of coffee, and a smoothie for breakfast.  This did nothing for my crazy greasy food craving.  I went about my morning of getting the kids ready for church as usual, though, and stayed out of the kitchen.  I drank a lot of water.  After Bible study, I stopped at Sonic for the $1.99 Kids Meals for the kids.  I'm not sure if my intention was to drive myself even crazier, but I very literally sat there holding Zoe's hamburger for a good 10 minutes while I prayed HARD to not eat it.  At this point in my day all I wanted was a large meal and a good nap.  I got one of those...surprisingly for this house, it was the latter!  I resisted the hamburger, I had gotten apple slices for everyone with their meals, so those weren't tempting me, and I made myself a "Just For One" broccoli with cheese sauce snack when we got home.  Calorie count = 45.  It actually did make me feel a little better, too!  The kids all layed down easily, I drank my smoothie and more water, and everyone got a siesta in the middle of our day.  Yay!  This made the afternoon downright enjoyable.  Until the boys got into the mud "swamp" in the neighbors' yard.  Sigh.  Story of my life.  For dinner we had Black-Eyed Pea and Sausage Chili with cornbread.  SO delicious.  I tried to figure up the calorie count, but it made a large pot of chili and I was then confused about how to determine serving size?  Any tips?  I decided to just focus on eating until I was full, then walking away.  It worked well.  And I slept like a rock last night....I'm assuming the kids did, as well.  Ha!

TIPS/ISSUES:  I am getting a little bored with this "routine" of two of whatever per day and one meal.  A friend has recommended the "17 Day Diet", so I downloaded the book to my Kindle and plan to start Monday!  I will give more details later, but I am hoping this will help me through the weekend.  The smoothies still taste good, I think I am just losing some of my motivation with the monotony.  In the past, this 10 pounds before breaking back into the 190's is HARD for me.  I need to focus!  Today I am visiting a friend and we are going for a walk.  Another friend has officially registered for the 1/2 marathon, and we talked yesterday about really buckling down and allowing NO excuses for missing walks!!  I am going to add to my accountability by adding a WALK/RUN category...

WALK/RUN:  Honestly, did nothing yesterday.  Plan for today is walk a total of 60 minutes.  Jenny, if you are reading this, don't worry!  I won't force you to join me for the whole 60!  This may take two different walks to add to my total, but I promise to get 60 TOTAL minutes today.

Have a great day!


Black-Eyed Pea and Sausage Chili
1 lb. sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 bag frozen black-eyed peas, thawed (the recipe calls for just thawing, but I would recommend    
                                   cooking them a bit based on the consistency we ended up with last night)
1 bag frozen corn, thawed (same as black-eyed peas side note)
2 cans beef broth
2 cans tomato sauce (8 ounce cans)
1 T oregano
2 t garlic powder
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t salt

In a large pot (I used a skillet), combine sausage and onion.  Cook until browned; drain.  Add remaining ingredients (I put everything in a crock-pot).  Simmer for 30 minutes.  (I put my crock-pot on high for 1 hour).

Total calorie count was 2900.  Five of us got one bowl full of chili (normal sized bowls), Zoe ate about 3/4 of a bowl full, I took about 4 servings to the neighbor's, Shaun and Conner each had seconds, and I think there was about one serving left...so this adds up to 13?  Let's round down and call it 12 servings?  This would make 242 calories per bowl.  Nice!  This chili was really good.  We had cornbread (170 calories per "serving"), but it would have been awesome with crackers during a football game! 

Okay, bye.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Week Nine: Day Three

Goooooood morning!!

I have to be honest today.  Last night I had a Girls' Night Out with a few friends and we had a few adult beverages.  Maybe a couple more than a few.  :)  Good times!  Much needed break!  Paying for it this morning!

FOOD AND DRINK:  Yesterday I had my smoothies at breakfast and lunch as usual.  However, I switched things up a little bit.  I had a banana in the morning with my coffee, then the first smoothie at 8:45.  I hoped this would hold me a little longer than it does when I drink it by 8.  It definitely worked...I was planning to take a long walk with Zoe during the day, but she ended up taking a nap at the right time and she looked to be enjoying it so much I decided to join her!  What I didn't do was drink my lunch smoothie BEFORE laying down, so it was almost 3 before I drank it!  I was feeling way hungrier than I usually do, so I realize I waited too long.  When I picked up the boys, we went to the park for about an hour before coming home to make dinner.  Onion smothered pork chops and rice.  Mmmmmm.  I did eat dinner at home so I wouldn't be tempted to eat the bowling alley food.  As delicious as it began smelling after a couple beers....I was able to resist.  The nightcap, however, at Buffalo Wild Wings did lead to some boneless wing eating.  Oops!

I confess to all of these extra calories because I think it's important to remain honest and real here.  I hear people often using excuses for "cheating" and giving themselves a night or day (or both!) off from their diet, and I really started this deal with the thought of NOT doing that to prove it can be done.  It's not that I have changed my mind and now think it is not possible...I do, however, recognize real life is going on all the time and you can't sacrifice yourself entirely or you will go crazy!  With all of the drama last week when the power was out for a full day, my daily drama of chasing four small children, the regular drama of just being a human in this day and age!!  All of these factors can make a person crazy!  I'm sure this isn't news to anyone, right?  My point is if you don't indulge on occasion, you will lose your mind with all the daydreams and fantasies of how much "fun" everyone else must be having.  I hope I am making sense here!

All of this to truly say, as much as I want to chow down for breakfast on something greasy, I am sitting here with my cup of coffee, 20 ounce glass of water, and a banana.  I will have my smoothie before heading out the door to Bible study and I know I will make it through this day just fine.  When I got home last night I drank two full glasses of water before bed, so I am not feeling "it" as badly as I could be.  Also, I think it's important to note I had a driver last night, so I was not behind any wheels!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!! 


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Week Nine: Day Two

Good morning! 

Yesterday went well.  I really enjoyed eating with the family for dinner again!  We had cheeseburger pizza and vegetables...the pizza recipe will be below.  It was SO good.  Mmmmm.

FOOD AND DRINK:  Right Size smoothies in the morning and early afternoon!  I mentioned the sale on strawberries last week and we are still working through all of those, so we had strawberries for an early snack.  The kids ate lunch outside in the BEAUTIFUL sunshine and I ran between inside and outside filling requests for more juice, more sandwiches, more strawberries.  My own personal trainers!  Ha.  Eating the smoothie for lunch was a little tough for me because I was kind of hungry, but knowing dinner was right around the corner helped!  I ate a Yoplait Light yogurt for afternoon snack while I prepared our pizza and then practiced some new eating habits at dinner.  See the "tips/issues" section.  Drank all my water and very mcuh enjoyed my coffee in the morning.  :)

EXERCISE:  I don't remember if I mentioned it yesterday, but I DID officially register for the Women's Half Marathon in September!!  You can check it out at www.womenshalfmarathon.com/nashville, if you'd like.  I downloaded the training program and it will begin June 21st.  Leading up to that day, I have committed to walking 45-60 minutes 3 times per week.  Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday.  Exciting!  A little intimidating! 

TIPS/ISSUES:  My new eating habits involve some pretty basic practices.  Fork down between bites.  With pizza, I set the slice down after each bite.  Drink of water between bites.  Fully chewing each bite (I didn't count chews, but I tried to savor each bite fully).  Making it a point to finish my glass of water along with my meal.  I made sure the meal was ready and everyone's plates were served before we all sat down.  We all chatted and laughed through dinner and it was a successful meal!  I was commenting to my husband about how I would have finished off the remaining 4 (very big) pieces in the past...and felt super guilty about it later.  BUT, this time I just packed Shaun a lunch for tomorrow (today) and put the other piece in tupperware for the kids to snack on this afternoon.  AND FELT ZERO GUILT!

I hope you all have a great day.  I am headed to the park after dropping off the boys at school for a full hour "brisk" walk!  Wish me luck!


Cheeseburger Pizza
1 can pizza crust
1 - 1.5 pounds ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T ketchup
2 T mustard (did you know mustard has no calories?!?)
8 ounce package shredded pizza cheese
(the recipe mentions using "toppings" like you would on your cheeseburger, but I just kept it simple with nothing additional.  the suggestions are lettuce, pickle slices, and chopped tomato.  Yum!)

Pre-bake pizza crust per package directions.  Cook first 3 ingredients in large skillet over medium heat until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in Worcestershire sauce.  Combine ketchup and mustard; spread over pizza crust.  Sprinkle with half of cheese.  Top with beef mixture and remaining cheese.  Bake at 450 for 8 minutes.  Sprinkle with desired toppings

Monday, April 11, 2011

Week Nine: Day One (weigh day)

Good morning!!  Officially weigh-in and some picture posting day!!  I sort of can't believe it's been 8 weeks already, but I also am trying desperately hard to not be upset with the smaller results of the past 4 weeks.

Quick recap:  Week one I began the Atkins diet AND started a 30-day body makeover DVD from Gold's Gym.  This video has three 10-minute workouts to choose from (upper body, lower body, and cardio), and I vowed to do at least one every day.  The 30 days is technically up tomorrow, so I will post those pictures on Wednesday morning.  Atkins really didn't work for me, it has in the past but just made me sluggish and depressed and short-tempered.  All things I do NOT need to be with four small children at home!  So, I lasted 9 days on that and then switched to the Special K diet for 12 days.  Loved this one.

Special K diet consists of 2 bowls of cereal with fruit each day to replace 2 of your main meals.  One balanced meal, 2 Special K snacks (amounting to 100-110 calories each), and lots of water.  I found this diet to be super easy to follow and the variety of cereals were delicious!  I ate lots of fruit and got all my energy back (and then some!).  In just 12 days of this diet I lost 7 pounds - compared to losing ZERO with Atkins.  Whew.  So happy I switched!!

The final week of the month I have been drinking Right Size smoothies to replace 2 meals.  I eat lunch as usual (making sure to stay below 600 calories), fruit during the day for snacks, and drink at least 100 ounces of water.  The smoothies are very tasty...unfortunately, both canisters I purchased are the Lean Cocoa Bean flavor and I am getting a tiny bit tired of the chocolate.  Other than just the monotony of the flavor, the smoothies are quite tasty!  I don't own a blender, so I have just been sticking with 8-10 ounces of skim milk mixed in with one scoop of the powder.  In just 7 days of this diet I have lost....

Ha, ha.  Sorry, you have to scroll through the pictures!

Week One:Day One                         Week Five: Day One              TODAY (Week 9: Day 1)

Wow.  I can see the difference so much more when the pictures are all next to each other!!  I like it.

So, I was going to post the scale pictures, but getting the body shots to actually behave and line up next to each took a lot out of me.  :)  I'm not going to line these up all pretty...

To see the first four weeks scale pictures go here.

Week Five: Day One
This is the same picture I would use for Week Six: Day Three when I began the Special K diet. 

Week Eight: Day One (after 12 days of Special K)
And finally...today's weight.  (after 7 days with the Right Size smoothies)

There it is!  10 pounds this month!  This makes my 8 week total 28.5 pounds gone. 

Thank you to everyone who follows and comments on my progress and has been so supportive!!  I feel good, healthy, and am really excited to beat this 10 pound loss over the next 4 weeks.  I did promise myself I wouldn't be disappointed with any month that was at least 8 pounds lost because this is on track to meet my goal, so WOOHOO!!!  Still ahead of the game and feeling great!!

This next week I will continue with the Right Size smoothies, but I am going to begin eating dinner instead of lunch.  I also didn't have any coffee last week, and I plan to begin having my morning cup again.  Seems like the weeks I drink coffee I lose more than the few weeks where I took it away.  We shall see if this is just a fluke.

Quick side note:  this is the "billing" weigh day.  I believe i have talked to everyone and some people have decided to pay at the end so I won't be tempted to spend the money on bills, and this is totally fine!  For the ones who are paying monthly, I have used the money to "pamper" myself a bit...refer to previous posts for pictures of my new nails and hair!  :)


Friday, April 8, 2011

Week Eight: Day Five

Good morning!

FOOD AND DRINK:  Still very pleased with these Right Size smoothies!  Very pleased.  I still don't have a blender, so I am simply mixing about 10 ounces of skim milk with one scoop of powder - in my fancy Right Size "blender" cup?  I forgot exactly what they call it, but it's a re-usable cup with lid and drink spout that has a cool ball in it which helps mix when you shake it!  Fun!  For lunch I ran home quickly to chow on my serving of Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole.  Wow, yum.  SO yum.  I'm going to include the recipe below not because it is overly nutritious, but I know I have some mommy-friends who follow this blog and it is GREAT for kids!  And husbands!  Drank all my 100 ounces of water, ate an apple and some strawberries throughout the day...a successful day, for sure!

EXERCISE:  Yesterday I had to deliver an extra edition of the magazine I deliver once a month, so the boys went to daycare and a good friend watched my baby girl.  I made it a point to park away from each building (rather than pulling up in the fire lane), ran when I wasn't carrying 50+ magazines, tightened my stomach as I bent over to floor racks...I felt good (and exhausted!) by the end of the day.  I still haven't found the DVD.  :(  Today's plan is to go on a nature hike at Edwin Warner Park, so there is some little bit of exercise planned, but I do intend to tear the house apart looking for that stinking video!!  30 days is up on Tuesday and I really want to end being as diligent as I was in the beginning!!

Obviously, since I don't post pictures every day, you can't see the difference, but I really am starting to see it!  My friends at Bible study this week even commented!  I'm pretty sure I don't have to tell you how appreciative my husband is.  :)  I snuck a peek this morning at the scale, but I am not sharing until Monday - my official weigh-in!  I will also post pictures that morning - in the green shirt/brown pants outfit.  Those brown pants, by the way, are quite loose...hooray!

Have a great day!

Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 small onion, chopped
16 ounce (I could only find 12 ounce) frozen corn, thawed
15 ounce can of Sloppy Joe sauce
8 ounce pkg shredded cheddar cheese, divided
32 ounce bag frozen tater tots

Cook ground beef and onions until done, drain.  Combine beef mixture, sloppy joe mix, and 1 1/4 cup of cheese.  Pour into sprayed 13x9 dish.  Top with enough tater tots to cover casserole, and remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 for 40 mionutes or until bubbly.  (I needed 45 minutes and then even broiled it for a minute or two to make the tots brown, but I had refrigerated the casserole before baking it).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Week Eight: Day Four

I have to type this super quickly this morning because there is a full day ahead of me!!

FOOD AND DRINK:  Right Size smoothies for breakfast and dinner were just the ticket to get through yesterday!  Would you believe I made Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole for the family last night and didn't even sneak a bite??  It smelled so good.  I do have a serving set aside for myself for lunch today.  Baked in a 13x9 pan, cut into 12 pieces and the calorie count of each serving is only 328!  I have been eating spinach every day, and have failed to mention that as a tip!  Sorry!!  Holding out, I guess.  :)  I had read or heard that spinach is better for you than regular ol' iceberg lettuce, so I bought a pack and tried it out.  I just bought the pre-washed bag.  What I love about spinach?  1.  Keeps for a long time!  2.  Hardly any calories!  3.  Super good crunch!  I made a "grilled" sandwich last week with 100-calorie thin whole wheat bread "rolls" sprayed with cooking spray, 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese split between the two slices - toasted this, then put a bunch of spinach leaves in the middle!  YUM.  And only 210 calories (because I don't even count any for the spinach, it's like 20 calories for 2 1/2 cups).  One day I added 1/2 a can of tuna to that concoction, another day put some lunchmeat in the middle.  Very satisfying.  I figured out if you "grill" it - or at least melt the cheese somehow, I don't even miss the condiments!  I'm a mayonnaise girl through and through (not Miracle Whip), so I thought that would be super hard for me.  Not bad!

EXERCISE:  DVD still missing.  I picked up a little magazine at the grocery store last week about walking...yes an entire magazine about walking!  Ha.  It has lots of tips about how to increase your daily steps, so I have been thinking about those throughout my day and really trying to focus on taking extra steps.  I have a couple of items I need to invest in - one being a blender to try out some of those Right Size "recipes", and two being a pedometer!  I got pretty excited reading all of the benefits to just walking and making it a point to increase your daily step count.  Also, I am signing up for a half-marathon in September!!!!  Signing up this week.  Running in September.  Some good friends and I are planning to start training at the first of May, and I am so very excited.  It has never been a goal of mine to run a marathon (of any length), but this is a goal I am ready to set!

TIPS AND ISSUES:  Harris Teeter has strawberries on sale 4 pounds for $5 and they are the most delicious strawberries I've ever eaten!!!  Major tip.  Ha, ha! 

Breakfast requests are being shouted from the living room...time to officially begin my day! 


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Week Eight: Day Three (recipe!)

I fully intend to start posting at least one recipe each day for something I enjoy for my 500 calorie meal!  Last week I made spinach calzones one night and every single member of my family LOVED them!!  This made me happy for several reasons...the major one being my kids ate spinach!  The second major reason being that each calzone ended up only totalling 367.5 calories - and they were BIG!!  So, I am sharing this recipe below.  The recipe makes 8, so if you are cooking for one person, I would recommend halving it and only making 4.  I ate mine the next day reheated and it was delicious...there was one leftover after that and the boys ate it within the next couple of days, so it held well in the refrigerator.  I don't know much about freezing foods, but I don't see why these couldn't be frozen and then tossed in the microwave at your convenience!

Tasty Spinach Calzones
10 oz pkg, frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 oz Canadian bacon, chopped
1 T garlic powder
1/2 t salt
15-oz. part-skim ricotta cheese (I think I used whole, so the calories are probably less than I calculated!)
5 oz. shredded Italian cheese blend (I truthfully used cheddar and mozzarella)
1 t dried Italian seasoning (didn't even use this)
2 - 11 oz. refrigerated French bread (canned, Pillsbury)
Pasta sauce (not included in my calorie calculation)

Saute first 5 ingredients in large, non-stick skillet, coated with cooking spray, 6 minutes or until bacon is browned.  Remove from heat.  Combine ricotta, italian cheese, and italian seasoning; stir into spinach mixture.  Unroll each bread loaf on lightly floured surface and cut each into 4 rectangles.  Spoon heaping 1/3 cup of spinach mixture onto half of each rectangle.  Fold dough over filling, pressing edges to seal.  Crimp edges with a fork dipped in flour.  Place calzones on baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Coat each calzone with cooking spray.  Bake at 400 for 18 minutes until golden.  Serve with pasta sauce.

**A sweet friend loaned me a book of recipes called "500 Calorie Dinners", so I will likely be cracking that open soon and sharing lots!!!

Week Eight: Day Three

Good morning!! 

First things first - did you see that "Right Size" actually commented on my last post?  Yay!  Shaun thinks I should be their spokesperson.  I say let's see how the next couple weeks go first.  :)  Now, I feel like I have to assure everyone I am 100% honest in all of my "reviews".  These are truly my feelings and experiences.

Okay!  I missed posting yesterday because our power was out!  It was awful.  Definitely could have been "worse", but we were not big fans of having no power for almost 30 hours.  Monday afternoon some terrible storms came through the Nashville area and our section of town lost power around 1 pm.  We kept assuming it would be back on at anytime...surely by dinnertime?  Well, to quickly end the suspense, we were finally restored at 8 pm Tuesday night.  BOOOO! 

I tell you this little story to share with you a high compliment of the Right Size smoothies.  I mentioned before I have decided to supplement my breakfast and dinner with the drinks.  Monday I was not hungry until lunch time at all!  I didn't feel jittery or anxious or any of those feelings I was fearing.  I did have an orange for a snack, but I ate it mostly because I felt it was important to have something.  I ate lunch around 1 pm, a 500-calorie serving of Sunday evening's dinner, a 100-calorie yogurt in the afternoon (yes, during the storm craze, I still remembered to eat snack!), and I was SO ready to "cheat" by the time Shaun got home that evening.  I'm not going to detail the drama involved around this house with three kids who chose to skip nap, no electricity, no candles, no flashlights.  Shaun got home a little after five and I told him point blank I was picking up fast food for dinner and I was going to be eating VERY poorly!  He immediately told me how proud he was of my progress so far and that I was really inspiring him...his words, "Just because you had one bad day doesn't mean you have to go crazy with food."  I stormed out of the house, fuming and just knowing I was going to ignore every word he said.  Well, I didn't.  I got the rest of the family Taco Bell (yum!), hit up the Dollar Tree for flashlights and candles, and when I got home I made myself a smoothie.  I was thinking, "If I am still hungry after this drink, I will eat a taco."  Guess what?  Not one bit hungry.  Shaun was the disposal that finished off everyone's leftovers and I felt quite good knowing I had followed through with my plan!!  YAY!

Quick side note:  I have read lots of reviews on the Right Size smoothies, and it seems like a lot of people point out the "non-chalky" taste.  I have to be honest.  It does have a little bit of a chalky taste to me.  They are absolutely NOT hard to drink and I have had no problem with any after taste or "protein-y" taste, but you have to use more than just 8 ounces of milk to make it taste totally "smooth".  I did get a little recipe guide with the containers, so I just need to invest in a blender and try some of those!  Adding peanut butter sounds particularly yummy to me.

Tuesday was another successful day despite my inner "devil" screaming to take the day off!!!  Cheat!!!  You are under some extreme circumstances!  Nobody should have to deal with four small children and no electricity!!  Eat some pizza!!!  Well, I ordered two large beautiful delicious-smelling pizzas for our family and the next door neighbors...once again having every intention of eating at least one piece.  FIRST, though, I made myself a smoothie.  I drank that smoothie.  Pizza cravings....forgotten.  These smoothies are awesome!

FOOD AND DRINK:  Making sure to have at least 100 ounces of water each day.  At 7 am yesterday I grilled the meat in our fridge to save it from spoiling, so I had a grilled chicken breast and spinach for lunch.  I didn't get in an afternoon snack because I was running around so much wearing the kids out at the park!  I ate an apple for morning snack, though.  Skipping the morning cup of coffee hasn't even resulted in any headaches.  Woo-hoo!

EXERCISE:  I have lost the 30-day body makeover DVD.  More likely the kids lost it, but regardless of who is to blame I cannot find it anywhere!  Very frustrating.  I couldn't have done the video the past two days, so maybe I was looking very hard.  I will continue my search and, hopefully, get back to doing those today!

Have a great day!!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Week Eight: Day One

Good morning!!  As I sit down to type this, I am enjoying my very first Right Size Smoothie.  It's pretty tasty!  I have the Lean Cocoa Bean flavor and mixed it with just skim milk this morning.  I'm excited to see how it affects my appetite...also, the guy on the phone assured me it has the same amount of caffeine in it as half a cup of coffee.  I am skipping my usual cup of coffee this morning just in case, though.

Well, I haven't weighed myself "officially" since Week Five: Day One.  During Atkins, I was feeling so negative and every time I would check my weight was either up a couple pounds or maintaining at 220.  Boooo!  This morning, however, I was very pleased to see 7 pounds gone!!  I have said I will consider 8 pounds a month as success, so I'm thinking this month should be a good one.  :)  One more week and I only need to lose one pound.  Yeehaw! 

FOOD and DRINK:  I wanted to say I was a little sick of Special K cereal yesterday.  I think that was only due to the fact I ran out of my "special" kinds and was only eating the regular.  Boring.  Plus, the kids ate all my bananas and we finished up the strawberries, so I didn't even have any fruit around to add to the cereal!  I did have a small success story to share.  I have mentioned before that the kids have not had any fast food since I started this plan.  This is a great thing for my family...we were really using that as a weekly (and sometimes twice weekly) "crutch".  Well, yesterday was a full day - I worked the nursery during second service, so we were at church from 8:45 - 12 noon; Conner and I had tickets to see Cats at 1:00 pm; I had to drive out to LaVergne (about 30 mins) to get a disc for my computer - so, I ended up having to stop at McDonald's for Conner between Cats and LaVergne.  Add to this the fact I was only able to cram in a sandwich between church and Cats because I hadn't prepared ahead of time...well, McDonald's smells really, really good at the drive-in window.  Mmmmm!!  I was remembering how delicious their burgers are...and don't get me started on the french fries!!!  I ordered Conner's hamburger happy meal with apple dippers, all the while thinking I was going to just blurt out "and a #2!!".  Guess what?  I stopped with the happy meal.  Conner very happily ate his entire hamburger and full pack of apple dippers, and I very happily munched on an apple I remembered in my purse.  It was a good day.

Today marks day one of the Right Size smoothies.  My plan is to sort of treat this like Slim Fast.  I will do a smoothie for breakfast, fruit for snack, lunch will be a serving from the night before's dinner, 100 calorie Yoplait yogurt for afternoon snack, and a smoothie for dinner.  I haven't decided on the late snack just yet.  Maybe keep some vegetables on hand if I get the munchies.  There really aren't any instructions on the canister of powder for this "diet".  It's supposed to suppress your appetite AND enhance weight loss with it's combination of vitamins and supplements. 

EXERCISE:  I plan to continue this, for sure.  April 12th marks my "30th day" of the 30-day body makeover.  I will post pictures that morning of the transformation.  I kind of have a lot of things going on right now.  Ha, ha.  April 11th I will do an official 4 week weigh in - for those who have been paying monthly, this will be the day I will post those results.  Also, pictures in the green shirt and brown pants.  I took new pictures this morning for my Right Size log.  I'm a multi-tasker by nature, so this is just how I roll.

Talk soon!!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Week Seven: Day Five

Quickest update ever!  I am at my cousin's house and stealing time on the computer while they entertain the kids.  I will start with where I've been...my computer's hard drive crashed and it has been at Best Buy being repaired since Sunday.  Boo!!  :(  Luckily, Shaun's aunt bought me Geek Squad coverage, so this won't be costing money.  However, I have been missing updating this blog!!!

FOOD and DRINK: Still on the Special K diet and love, love, loving it!  I haven't been hungry at all, no grumpy days (well, fewer, ha!).  I'm not even tired of the cereal because of the varieties available!  I will tell you right now I am not a cereal eater.  In my past, I would have told you cereal only makes me hungrier after breakfast, and I have to eat at least two very large bowls to feel any amount of satisfaction.  Now I am covering the bottom of the bowl with either strawberries or bananas, then 3/4 cup of cereal, and 2/3 cup of skim milk  After that, I am ready to go with a full belly and a pep in my step!  I have started having my morning cup of coffee again, but only one.  I get the French Vanilla flavored coffee and only use Splenda to sweeten.  Anyway, I have been eating a meal at lunchtime and keeping it between 500-600 calories.  I joined a website called www.e-mealz.com and have been making some new recipes from there at dinner...I set aside a serving for myself for lunch the next day.  It's working very well.  I am a little sad to move on from this diet plan, but I am looking forward to trying these shakes!!  I plan to start the Right Size smoothies on Monday.

EXERCISE:  I have been doing at least one 10-minute segment from my video almost every day.  I did skip yesterday because I had to do my magazine delivery route and I knew I would be running and lifting all day.  I also missed today because I had to finish up the route and took the kids to the park and am just plain tired!  I have been trying to get in another 20 minutes or so of running around with the kids (actually making an effort to RUN and PLAY) every day, as well.  I feel great.  Just flat out great!!

TIPS and ISSUES:  As I said above, I love this Special K diet and this is coming from a non-cereal lover.  I am drinking about 100 ounces of water every day...still super easy when through a straw in my fancy cup.  I think knowing I will get some of the dinner for my lunch also helps me through watching the family eat dinner.  I'm not ready to recommend the e-mealz website just yet, but we have really enjoyed 2 of the 7 recipes that were on the list for last week.  Like, REALLY enjoyed.  :)

That's all for now!!  I should get the computer back tomorrow or Sunday and will update you with pounds lost on Monday morning, for sure!!!

Talk soon, good night, xoxo
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