Saturday, October 31, 2009

Weighty Issues

Entered Onederland today!! Woohoo. Just dipped a toe in, but I like the temperature of the water, so I think I will take the plunge. Loss of 1.8? (I don't have my book with me)to 198.8, but seriously, I am thrilled. I was looking at a graph of my progress and my goal, and it seems so doable. I am impressed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

12 hour day today

Too tired to blog!! On plan. That is all!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Working on the blog

Ok, so I decided to see if I can do a little housekeeping here.  Stay tuned.  Oh, btw, on plan today. Did good.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Eating At Work

God, I hate Monday!! I know, don't we all, but I seem to hate it with this visceral hate that I can't seem to figure out how to compare to anyone else's Monday. Like it does any good, they just keep coming and as someone so astutely pointed out, when Monday's stop, generally so does the rest of the week. Guess I should count my blessings.

Man, I really ate alot today. I didn't do bad on points, but I didn't eat really good food. I had too much in the morning. I am finding that I eat like there's no tomorrow at work. What's with that? I don't do that at home. Its not like I don't have shit to do!! Its like I watch the clock to see when its time to eat my next "whatever" even if I am not hungry. I am going to have to get a handle on this. The good thing is, I don't eat dinner, so I can get away with this for the most part, but not sure it's good mind set, and the goal here is health, mental as well as physical.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What I Cook When Dinner is Ruined

Next to Mexican Food, I love Chinese the best. I could eat Pork Egg Foo Yung until I popped.

Yesterday, around noon, I put on a pot of pinto beans that I planned to have for dinner. We love beans and corn bread (no cornbread for me, of course). The house smelled so good all afternoon while I slowly cooked them, adding a couple of pork ribs a couple of hours before they were to be done. When the approached the "almost there" stage, I took a little out of the bowl for final samples and BLECH!! They were horrible! Tough, with skins like leather. I don't know what the hell happened, but we were not eating those for dinner.

So I called for Chinese. Don't you know the closest place delivers? Pork Egg Foo Yung, Kung Pao Beef and House Fried Rice. Yum and Yum. I thought I was going to explode when I was through. It was like I hadn't eaten Chinese food (or any food for that matter) in a month. I ate like a horse.

Even when I wasn't eating to lose weight, I always hated to gorge. That uncomfortable fullness when one has eaten too much just doesn't do anything for me at all. I understood from a fairly early point in my life that I should eat for my stomach and not for my mouth. And last night's Chinese food orgy was strictly for the benefit of my mouth because my stomach was miserable.

On a brighter note, I had saved up quite a few points for dinner anyway because pinto beans are not exactly easy on the old points either. So I had 14 points going into dinner. And when I got up this morning and weighed myself (I don't normally weigh daily, but I needed to know what I had done to myself) I was down about 1 lb. Go figure.

So my lessons are: Chinese food is probably not a healthy choice for me because all concept of portion goes out the window. One should never try to eat 14 points in one sitting. None of this matters the next day!! Woo Hoo!!

I really want this week to be a good one. I have a doctors appt. on Friday for a follow up to a physical I had done in July. Our medical care is provided by Uncle Sam (hubby is retired Air Force) and they are really pains in the ass about weight. I want to impress the doctor with at least a 15 lb weight loss since I saw him last. I think he was skeptical that I would take if off. One way to get me to do anything is tell me I can't!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Weigh in today, down .8 for a total of 11.2. Still haven't broken that magic 200 yet, but next week, I am sure!! And as long as the scale is still showing downward movement, I am ok with that.

I was just doing some recipe searching and blog reading and it dawned on me, "Wow, girl, you are really serious about this"! And I am.

When I was taking care of my mom, I put every available minute into learning about caring for her, what to feed her, how to make her more comfortable, etc. I have never dedicated that much time to myself. It's time I give me some proper time and attention.

I started with the quitting smoking. Now that I have that out of the way, I can take care of the weight. And it's fun learning all of these new things and new foods and different ways of handling the issue. Research and discovery. I feel like a scientist! Now, that's a scary thought!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fiber is good for my digestive tract, not so good for the air quality around me!

Well, I had good intentions to post daily and yes, I know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Maybe they should use that on some of the roads around here, bet wouldn't have so many potholes!

Actually, its all good. I have stayed on track without problem. I am weird in that I don't like dinner during the week. I don't want to cook it and I have no interest in eating. After a long day in the office, I want a beer and an hour or two to just relax. To add to this blissful picture, hubby feels the same way!

So I eat almost all of my points at breakfast and lunch. If I have a really good lunch, today was rotisserie pork loin, spaghetti squash and a bit of couscous, then I am usually still way full come dinner time. I do not eat at all after 5 pm.

So, I may or may not post until WI. I think I am going to use this more as a, God I hate the word crutch, but that's what it's purpose will be, to support me when I am flagging. Right now, I am doing pretty good.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Yum, Steak tonite!

How's this sound?

1 1/4 lbs very lean Skirt Steak

1/4 c Balsamic Vinegar
2 tbls Olive Oil
1 tbls Chopped Fresh Basil
1 1/2 tsps Dijon-Style Mustard (Do you have any Grey Poupon?)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sugar

Combine all the marinade ingrediants and add to a Ziploc bag. Add your steak and let it marinade overnite. Grill to medium rare perfection. 4 oz = 4 pts. With a baked potato and asparagus. I can die happy now.

Life Goes On

You know, I started of writing about my year of caring for my mom and this morning I was going to write about my relationship with my dad, but I don't think that's where I want this to go. In Life gets Teejus I start out by saying life has really sucked for the last 2 years, I was very serious. But in order to not dwell on it, I will just recap.

Mom died 01 Jan 2009
Dad died 06 April 2009
MIL died 06 Sep 2009

And, unfortunately, I don't think we are done burying the elders yet this year. My adored step mom is not doing so well and I have an 80 year old step dad.

My older brother committed suicide in November 2006.

My family has sort of an odd perspective on death. We don't do elaborate funerals, we'd be much more prone to throw a party. As my step mom says "If you don't love and respect me when I am alive, what good can come from standing at the edge of a grave weeping?"

So we let them go and we move on. My doctor is sure I am depressed. I guess I have every right to be, but I am not so sure. I weep easy, but I always have. I think that's just me. I laugh every day (I have some wonderful co-workers) and I have no wish to withdraw from the world nor do I see doom and gloom everywhere. I do wish everything would slow down a bit and let me catch my breath, but that's about it.

I am cognizant that Manic Depression affects my family and I believe that it contributed to my brothers death. I know what to watch for, as does my husband, and while I am sure he thinks I am crazy as a jaybird, it's not a true mental health issue for me.

The picture is an old cabin near the graveyard where my husbands parents are buried (yeah, they are not quite of the same persuasion as my family is. The wailing and gnashing of teeth is somewhat of a cultural tradition). The house is obviously hand hewn and very old. It just spoke to me on so many levels. Every time we drive by it, I feel an urge to stop and acknowledge it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ok, I have to stop. I am hurting so bad from laughing at Mr. Sh*t's blog. And I am not even current yet!

Anyway... WI today, woohoo!! Down 1.6 for a total of 10.4. I will take it. I didn't make a mini goal to break 200 lbs, but within 1 lb and I will enter onederland. I can't wait.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I just want to sleep!

For unknown reasons, I am sleep deprived. I wake up at the screwiest hours and once awake there is no going back to sleep. The doctor prescribed an anti depressant that acts like a sleeping pill to be taken "as needed". Well, how in the hell am I supposed to know if I am going to need it in 6 hours?

I work what is called a 9/80 work schedule. What that means is in a 2 week pay period, I work 44 hours the first week and 36 hours the second, which give me every other Friday off. Its very cool!!

Unfortunately, my husband does not work the same schedule and has to work every Friday.

Which leads us to the reason for todays vituperations. Damned man cannot get up in the morning without waking me up. So get this - he literally grunts and moans on his way to the crapper first thing, then he make all kinds of bathroom noises!! Shortly after that overture, the shower goes on.

Now, you are probably thinking, get over it and you are mostly likely right, but it doesn't end there. He has to come back into the bedroom and turn on a light to get dressed by! HE WEARS A STUPID UNIFORM. ITS THE SAME COLOR EVERY DAY. CAN'T REALLY MESS IT UP. WHY DO YOU NEED TO TURN ON A LIGHT?!

We have had this arguement so many times its stupid and he just doesn't seem to care which makes me even angrier. And then HE gets mad! Ok, now hear this, if someone is righteously pissed at you because you fucked up, you have no right to get mad because they are mad. That is inappropriate. Be contrite, be sad, be apologetic (or not), but damn it, don't be mad.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pondering on childhood obesity

I was just thinking about being a fat kid and how did that happen? We grew up in semi rural Arizona. We played hard, I mean really hard, outside all day unless we were sick. I could climb the highest cottonwood tree in the neighborhood, I wrestled with my brothers, rode bikes through obstacle courses that we made up (and they were tough). We were always banged up, scraped up, cut, stitched, bruised and very, very happy kids. And we were always hungry!!

We always ate breakfast and that was a good thing. Mom made us breakfast, hot in the winter, cold cereal in the summer and it wasn't generally sugary crap. Sometimes it was pancakes or bacon and eggs.

Lunch was usually a sandwich, 3 cookies and a piece of fruit. We didn't eat school lunch very often because of the cost. And they weren't terribly nutritious either!!

We usually had some kind of snack when we got home from school to tide us over til dinner.

Dinner, wow, what can I say? It was generally fried in Crisco. What part of it? All of it!! It wasn't that my mom didn't want to make different things, it was that my dad was King of his castle and dinner would be to his liking, SO THERE!! And his liking was chicken fried steak, french fries with gravy and some horrid vegetable that came out of a can. I hate canned veggies to this day!! Let's not forget bread and butter was served with every dinner. Dinner was served promptly at 5 pm and you had better be there and you had better clean your plate. Hungry or not, like it or not, eat everything on your plate.

My dad never hesitated to tell any of us that we were fat. Maybe not bluntly like that, but the result was the same. At the same time, the King of His Castle insisted that we subsist on the most God awful diet in the world.

We were active enough that none of us should have ever had a weight problem. We not were not picky eaters for the most part, we were just not given good food choices when we sat down to the table. So all of those calories that I burned playing so hard every day were insufficient to counter the french fries with gravy that I was being served for dinner.

Parents, you are responsible for your childrens diets. Feed them all day long, just feed them good things, veggies, fruits, lean proteins. Encourage them to eat when they are hungry and do something other than eat if they are not hungry. Fat kids grow up to be fat adults.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Weigh In this morning. Back later

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Life gets Teejus!! (tedious) Part 2

The first order of business in taking care of Mom was to try and get her kidney function under control. She was placed on a "renal diet with potassium restriction". No bananas, no potatos, no tomatoes, WTF? Worst for Mom was no Chocolate!! I am a good cook, but really!!

But I did it with the help of a great web site dedicated to all those poor souls out there that suffer from kidney disease. Of course we all at the same foods until I started getting horrible cramps in my feet and an RN at the hospital told me it could be a potassium deficiency and she had no idea that we were even eating potassium restricted at the time.

Not long after, Mom's kidneys decided to behave themselves and we got to start eating like real folk again.

We both lost alot of weight throughout this process. Mom lost over a hundred pounds in about 3 months. I lost about 30 in the same time frame. I was so stressed taking care of her that eating was usually an after thought and I was too tired to make much of an issue about it. I couldn't leave her to run up to Taco Bell or McDonalds and I don't like pizza enough to order it obsessively, so I just did without.

Once her kidney function was restored, we started to treat the cancer but the treatment was really hard on her and while the survival prognosis was "good", as broken as her body was the quality of that survival was questionable. We talked about it and decided to stop the treatment and make the best of the time she had left. And boy, did we!!

I baked, I cooked seafood, we grilled steaks. Mom ate like a queen. She never gained an ounce back but it wasn't for lack of trying. I, on the other hand, DID! We also got our hair done, got manicure/pedicures, went for lobster dinners (in the middle of the AZ desert!) and LIVED. That was the best. The picture here is a galette (fancy for pear tart) that I made. We had a great six months together.

Then in November, things started going downhill. Mom started exhibiting signs that the cancer was taking over. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, she ate a turkey dinner with her brother, kissed him good night and went to bed. She basically never got up again and passed away on the 1st of Jan 2009.

All of this is pretty unremarkable, except Mom and I got along like fire and gasoline. I was the only one of my siblings in any position to deal with her so I got the responsibility. The only thing I regret is that we really never learned to get along. I am sure she loved me in her own weird way and I loved her enough to make sure the last days of her life were the best they could be.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life gets Teejus!! (tedious) Part 1

For the last two years, my life has been pretty damned crazy. I would say it sucked but not all of it and not all of the time, of course.

2008 got off to a bang starting actually the day before Thanksgiving 2007. That was the day my mother came to live with my husband and I. She was extremely ill, with kidney failure, Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs or mini-Strokes), anemia, numerous compression fractures in her spine and we would find out the first week in December that all this was caused by a form of cancer called Multiple Myeloma. She was married but my stepfather didn't (doesn't) have two brain cells to rub together and there was no way I was leaving her with someone that kept telling her she needed to "get better and come home and fix me dinner!" Just wow!!

She was released from the hospital I took her home from on the day before Thanksgiving at around noon. Imagine if you will, driving 260 miles with a sick woman in your vehicle. She is in pain, wearing diapers and on oxygen. You smoke like a chimney and every time you light up, you are waiting for the car to go "whoosh"! The trip will take you thru Phoenix, AZ that has a traffic problem on the best days and you will hit there just about rush hour on one of the worse driving days of the year. You had the hospital call all prescriptions in to the local Pharmacy (I am so smart) so all you have to do is pick them up. We made it through this hell to arrive at my home about 6:30 pm. The pharmacy closed at 7 and would not open until the Friday after Thanksgiving. I threw the scrips at the hubby and sent him to Walgreens to pick everything up. There was at least 10, I think maybe even 15, different meds she was supposed to take. I got her in the house, got her cleaned up and into bed while waiting for him to return. Ahh, but on his return..."What the hell! Do you know she didn't have any insurance? Why didn't you pick up the phone when I called?" OH, yeah, he was not a happy man!! I forgot to tell him that yes, I knew that she had no insurance (I didn't hear the phone). $500 dollars in meds later...

She spent the next couple weeks in and out of the hospital. I absolutely hate hospitals but I went with her every time she went. I learned how to give shots, assisted with enemas, cleaned up vomit, fought doctors and nurses who think they are demi gods, and basically got one hell of an education in a very short period of time.

Before I go any farther, if in this post or any future posts, I say anything bad, which I am sure I will, about my husband or my job, that I think they are both a godsend.

I want you to know that my husband is the greatest man ever!! He never got along with my mother, from the first time they met, but he was my rock through the 13 months we cared for her. He works in a job with rotating shifts and voluntarily stayed on swing shift the entire time. He would get up each morning and fix Mom her breakfast and bring her the paper which let me go to my job from 6 am to 11 am and then come home and work the rest of the day from home (Laptops are the greatest!!). Then, when he got home, he would check on her at night before he came to bed or give her meds if she needed them to allow me undisturbed sleep whenever that was possible. Because of this arrangement, we were able to make sure Mom was never left alone for more than a few minutes at a time.

Which leads me to the job. My employer was great through all of this. I was allowed to work half days at home for 13 months. I was out of pocket ALOT, nothing was ever said and I never missed so much as a dime on my paycheck. I work for a very family oriented company despite its size (very, very large company) and I will be eternally grateful to them for their policies toward their employees during times like this.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Best Tacos on this or any other planet

OK, I am so stinking proud of this. Folks, meet the TACOS!! Luscious Mexican Food treats fit for royalty and 3 points per taco or 8 points for a 3 taco serving.
Here's the way we roll around here:
2 lb. 93% Lean Ground Beef (raw) If you can find leaner, use it.
1 cup finely diced potato
Salt, Pepper, chili powder, fajita seasoning, garlic powder (to taste)
24 small (4") corn tortillas
4 tbsp canola oil
3 cups iceberg lettuce (shredded)
2 cups chopped tomato
1 cup diced onion
1 pound low-fat colby cheese or 4 cheese mexican style cheese
1 cup salsa
Add finely diced potato to ground beef along with spices and cook over medium heat until meat is browned but not dry and potatoes are softened. Set aside.
I use Arizona Brand White Corn Tortillas for Tacos and Tostadas. These are 4" tortillas and are 2 for 1 point. If you can find something similar (really thin 4" tortillas) they will probably work.
In a deep sauce pot heat 2 CUPS of canola oil to very hot. Oil should be rippling, but not smoking. Fold tortillas into taco shape gently so as not to break the bottom (the thin tortillas make this easier) and holding from the top with tongs dip rapidly into the hot oil, making sure all of the "taco" gets a bath and remove immediately.
Lay on a cookie sheet, overlapping the next shell on the last one, until all 24 have had their "bath". If this is done right, and the oil is hot enough, if you measured out the oil, pour it back into whatever you used to measure it with (let it cool first) and you should see that the tortillas didn't absorb more than about 4 tablespoons of oil. You need the entire 2 cups for depth in the pot only. Leftover oil can be reused, might have a slight corny taste.
Fill shells using a normal serving spoon. Each shell should take about one ounce of meat. With my spoons, that's about 1 and 1/2 spoon of filling per taco. Do not over fill tacos.
You may have meat left over or you might be short just a little depending on how much you filled the tacos. Play til it works for you.
Put the tacos in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and crispy. Bottoms will stay soft and pliable so you can open them without breaking.
Fill with Lettuce, etc.
This recipe is for 2 dozen tacos because that is what 2 lb of ground beef will make. Freeze any left over meat or use it in a taco salad the next day. Making half the recipe should not affect the Points.

First Ever Post!!

Hey, wow, this is a new world to me! I am not unfamiliar with blogs, just never imagined I would be posting in one of my own. I never even so much as kept a journal, much less BLOGGED.

I am 53 years old, a woman, wife, mother, grandmother and full time employee with a job I mostly hate. I have two ugly stinky pugs (its the nature of the beast) that keep me on the fringe of lunacy most of the time. I will write about them more as time goes on. They are entertaining. I will also post of husbands, kids, siblings, work, and life in general.

The primary goal of this is to keep give me an outlet that will help me accomplish my weight loss goals which, at the moment, are pretty nebulous. I want to lose, I am losing with the help of Weight Watchers, but I haven't set a numberical marker out there that is going to tell me that I made it. I think this is going to have to be more about the trip than arrival at the station. I have been reading and enjoying other blogs (Leading the Weigh, You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat, De-Puffing Pixie, TJ's Test Kitchen among others who will be named as I get around to them again) regarding weight loss and other life journeys, so thought this was a brilliant way to talk things through with myself and maybe make some sense of all of this.

Like TJ, I like to cook and will try to post the occasional recipe. I will even try to do it with pictures!! (I am sooo brave, I can't stand it!) I am working on one at the moment for Tacos. I love Mexican food (seem to be a theme amongst the more zaftig of the weight challenged) but mostly my own. I grew up on the Arizona/Mexico Border and was weaned on the best Mexican food in the world. Nothing quite compares and I am hypercritical about crappy Mexican food.

My next favorite food is Chinese. So if I only ate out, you could see I would be doomed. There is something to be said for poverty.

My favorite beverage is Miller Lite. Sorry Carlos, that Bud can is lying to you!! I always manage to have a few points left at the end of the day. I would often rather skip a meal, than miss a beer. Not sure what that says about me.

I think this might be a good start for my first post. Stay tuned for Tacos.