Category Archives: Sharing Thoughts

Here I share more about what has led me to the choices I’ve made and my experiences on this journey. I’ll discuss the books, blogs, and people who have informed and inspired me.

Worth Repeating

So very true!
So very true!

My Facebook memory was eye-opening today.  On this day, 2 years ago, I was 6 pounds from a goal of 146.  It was just before two of my doctors (a cardiologist and a pulmonologist) asked/told me to stop losing.

2 years later, I am working to lose the weight I regained, thankfully, nowhere near my highest.

I hope to say within the next two months, that I have “just” 100 pounds to go.  I am losing at my usual steady, slow rate – almost 17 pounds off since January 1st.

I have a new higher goal as my final weight – I really was too gaunt and thin at my “almost at goal” weight of 2 years ago.  I don’t mind  a wee bit of padding on my now “older than I feel by a longshot” bones.

I am doing what worked so well when I lost 216 over a four-year period. A daily calorie limit, and following CALP principles as to meal composition and frequency.

Breakfast today for example, was a Breakfast Bar (explanation to follow) and 1 oz. half and half with my coffee.

Breakfast Bar’s are a recipe I got from a list years ago, that I have amended to suit my husband and myself.  It uses a recipe called Laura’s Sausage to make a homemade breakfast sausage using plain ground pork and seasonings.

You make a 1-2 pound batch of this, spread thin in a rectangular glass baking dish (love Pyrex), bake, drain off grease and pour your toppings.

The original recipe calls for a dozen eggs, 16 oz. of shredded cheese.  I have changed that to just 8 oz. of cheese and added vegetables – 4 diced mini bell peppers in yellow, orange and red, 4 scallions, and 4 large mushrooms.

Once done, I cut this into 8 squares, and it is breakfast for my husband and myself for Monday – Thursday.  Each bar is under 350 calories if made with just 1 pound of the homemade sausage.

I will post the recipe and photos once I get some better photos.

Why am I bothering?

Symbol for Longevity
This is what I seek.

I can understand that some might question why get into this slog of changing my diet in order to lose the weight I regained.
Simple.  I may not have the looks of my 20s and 30s, and goodness knows I still want to polish up my personality, but the goal I have is for longevity.

I want more time to love those I hold most dear, to impact those around me, to create if I am able, things of beauty.

To have any shot at a long life, it means having a healthy weight, a diet that lets my body work its best.

My love of cooking, sharing food and laughter with others, has only grown since childhood. So be ready for future posts with many mentions of cooking, recipes, and the satisfaction of eating myself to thin.

Almost 2 weeks back on plan

I have continued to be ill with bronchitis, and due to the way my body responds to a max strength formula of Mucinex, dropped 13 pounds my first week back on plan.

I am now finishing up my second week, and to my delight, my weight is holding steady at 12 pounds off in under 2 weeks.

Most importantly, I am enjoying my meals, and my body feels so much better when I eat this way.

Brief recap of how I eat. Two meals a day, and any snacks, are composed of protein and a low carbohydrate vegetable.  These are  “craving reducing” meals aka CMs.

One meal a day  will start with a salad (or a cm vegetable), and the meal will contain 1/3 protein, 1/3 low carb vegetable, and 1/3 complex carbohydrate.  This is the Reward Meal aka RM.

A sample cm breakfast is 2 eggs cooked in butter with sautéed mushrooms and/or mini-sweet bell pepper, 1 oz. half and half with my coffee.

A lunch cm could be what I had today: home brined (no sugars used) and smoked turkey breast diced, with fresh kale, fresh celery,1/4 of a tomato, all boiled with a bit of water to make a broth.  I added 1 tablespoon sour cream and curry powder to the broth and  had a yummy “stew”.

I am looking forward to 2 weeks from now, when I can say I’ve been back to normalcy (for me) for a month!

Where have I been?

I call it down the rabbit hole.  All of 2016 was a whirlwind of change.  But first a bit of history.

I was told to stop losing weight in Spring of 2015, after it became clear I was becoming too thin, and the “number” picked as target weight was not appropriate.  I was gaunt, bony, taken off my bp medication due to problems with low blood pressure that landed me in the hospital.

I did not manage maintenance well.  It fell apart when my husband treated me to the most incredible birthday ever.  In July of 2015, we spent 2 weeks of driving from one wonderful resort to charming town, around Vancouver Island BC, then spent 3 days in Las Vegas in an incredible suite at the Venetian hotel.

I planned to be on plan for the BC trip, and took appropriate snacks with me, but within a week was diving into poor eating habits. Not with complete abandon but enough that I gained 20 pounds!  I can gain so very quickly.  I knew it wasn’t “real” weight, and took off 17 pounds of it, in 2 weeks.  Eating almost 1,800 calories per day, so no, I was not starving myself.

But Vegas did something to me. I not only put back on the weight I’d just lost, I began to lose my resolve.  The 20 pounds stayed and I began to (at first) slowly gain.  I was mid-170s by Christmas of 2015.

2016 saw lots of travel – a week plus to California, then 2 weeks in Colorado, a week in Ohio…and I was ill for the first 2 months of the year.  Truly so ill, I could care less what I was eating.

During 2016, we remodeled our home, preparing to essentially flip it. It was a process that unexpectedly led us to living out of motels from April until late June, and that made eating on plan truly challenging.  Stress levels were beyond high.

We moved just after the 4th of July – leaving a state we loved, friends and the church where I was confirmed at Easter Vigil 2016. I am an emotional eater and there were many emotions around this life changing move.

Once in Ohio, we were blessed to find our dream home within 3 weeks, though we continued having to live out of an extended stay hotel until we could close and move in, which was not until September.

I made several up to a month-long attempts to get back on plan, knowing that I was gaining and so very uncomfortable.  I was shocked when I found out just how much I had gained since July 2015, when I had a trip to the ER after a fall, in late August of 2016.

I did semi-well for November but then tossed up my hands, took December off in a move that well and truly made me feel very ill, and really packed on the pounds.

The damage is that I have 124.4  pounds to lose to get to my new maintenance weight of 160.  It was at 150 that I looked so horribly thin, and I won’t return to that weight.  I was in the 260s in November, telling myself okay, 100 to lose.  December was a stunning month for weight gain.

I’m on day 5 of returning to eating the way I feel best, and down 4.6 pounds.  I have my first goal of simply getting back to my lowest weight since August 2016 of 261. My plan is to lose a steady 1.5 pounds a week, and to be at my goal weight of 160 in 2 years.

Then, having successfully lost a large amount of weight twice, I will work as hard as it takes, to be successful at maintenance this next time.  I know that I can, despite being a slow learner, figure this out.

Few folks lose 216 pounds as I did initially (over a 4 year period), without medications, surgery or stringent workout programs.  I know I can lose this 124+ pounds the same way, and it is my deepest desire to then maintain.
If you have read this far, thank you!  I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Well really, I am still here

Just dealing with closing my business, and some travel with my husband.  I have had some wibble wobbles with maintenance, and this 11 day vacation I just took (all around British Columbia) did see me off plan for a fair bit of it.

I came home to see quite a weight gain – one that didn’t make sense for just 11 days.  I realized I’d retained water as my lower legs were not their normal shape.  I got back on plan on Sunday July 12th, and as of this morning have lost just under 13 pounds!  I’m eating over 1,700 calories per day, and per calp rules.  Just to make it clear that I am not starving myself to get this weight off.  I have greatly increased my water intake from the poor intake I had while on the road, and it is this, in my opinion, that has helped me so much.

I feel like myself again.  I truly do prefer eating this way, and am looking forward to being back at my preferred maintenance range of 150-153.

Suddenly I am further down the path

Babies out for a stroll.
Family stroll.

A lot has been happening, and my blog has been neglected as a result.
A brief summary is that after a follow-up appointment with my cardiologist (post hospitalization for fainting), he strongly requested that I stop losing weight for now.  He said I could go forward with losing the small amount I have left to goal, in the future.
I was also told to increase my sodium uptake, and be careful how I handle liquids and food when hiking (salty jerky = good).

It has been quite a shift in focus, and there have been some changes with how I am handling what I eat.  I am using an increased daily calorie limit of 1760, and added in some carbs outside my Reward Meal.  Not just any carbohydrates, but apples or almonds (or a mix of nuts). I plan to add avocado as an acceptable addition at meals outside my Reward Meal as well.

This is all trial and error.  If I get cravings, if my weight does not stay in the 3 pound range I have chosen (an average weight of 150 to 153), then I will again adjust.

During this time, I also made the decision to close my business.  I want to move forward with other things in my life, it was just time.

I will post all my daily weights since the last time I posted them, and now do better at posting regularly again.

OOPS! If you printed out my latest recipe for Citrus Twist Mini Cheesecake…

Please disregard that first version  as I edited the directions to be more precise.
All the ingredients are the same, but I had left out a step re when and how to add some of the ingredients.
Sorry folks, apparently 2 cups of coffee this morning was not enough!

Cookbook Recommendation

Lovely frittata with escarole

This lovely looking wedge of frittata is what I served for my Easter Brunch.  It contains fresh escarole, mushrooms, two Italian cheeses and more.

It is from a cookbook that I actually use, and highly recommend – Into the Sauce! From Our Cucina to Your Kitchen 100% Authentic Southern Italian Recipes from Buca di Beppo.
Published in 2002, use your favorite search engine to go find this!

This recipe is just one of several that I make, and cherish from this cookbook, which also comes with many stories from the founders of Buca di Beppo, family photos, and so much more.  It is especially precious as the restaurant chain was sold in 2008 to Planet Hollywood Intl.    This cookbook rich with the memories of the original founders,  filled with a generous number of recipes, and charming photos of lives well lived, and  filled with delicious food.

Here I am!

Week in review!

On Monday 3/23, I was 155.3 – not happy to see that after Sunday’s new one day low, but relieved that my new weight by average was 154.9.  I had a .3 of a pound gain, and was grateful that was all.  Seeing the new low on Sunday of 152.5 was really encouraging.

Tuesday 3/24/15: 156.0
Wednesday 3/25/15: 155.0
Thursday 3/26/15: 153.4
Friday 3/27/15: 153.9
Saturday 3/28/15: slept late – 152.1, a new one day low.

We shall see what Sunday and Monday bring, but I am happy with this trending down cycle, albeit a slow trending down.

149 – I will see you soon!

When a Restaurant Over Delivers

Since I last posted a daily weight, I had a week with a gain of not quite 1-1/4 pounds. Part of the reason was a restaurant meal out where what was described on the menu was *not* what was served, and this was not a case of ‘more is better’!

I had spent the day with my husband in Oregon (he was on a business trip), and we were having dinner on the way home.  I had had an appropriately balanced, but light breakfast and lunch.  I picked the restaurant from online reviews and after viewing the menu online.  I thought I had some great choices.

My first mistake was in choosing an entree that I knew might be more carbohydrates than usual, and did not include a salad to begin the meal.
I chose to have a “big breakfast”, but in no way did I expect what I got.
I chose to have 2 eggs, chicken fried steak (with gravy) and potato cake. I added a side of a low carbohydrate vegetable. I thought the potato cake would be light, like a polenta cake.  I chose an 8 oz. steak, and knew I might decide to take some of the meal home.

I wondered why the waitress gasped and said “I’ll be bringing you a take-home box”.

What I was served was something out of the theater of the absurd.  One plate with two huge potato cakes and the eggs.  Another plate that was platter sized with a huge chicken fried steak and gravy.  Except it was even more.  It had TWO steaks, one atop the other.

I ate half this meal which was twice as much as I wish I’d eaten, and brought half home.  The steak I brought home, with some gravy on it, weighed 14 oz.  Frankly, I was not amused.

My weight swung up for several days and then has become coming down.  If I ever return to this restaurant, I will be sure to discuss portion size with the waitress before I finalize my order.

I am responsible for what I put in my mouth.  But a restaurant is also responsible for giving me what I ordered – just an 8 oz. steak.  Not what I estimate conservatively was 20 or more oz.