Category Archives: Food

A Quick Check-In

Happy Easter my friends!

Good things are going on in my life and I have so much I want to write about right now.  I just don’t have time right now to do any of it justice, so the more detailed posts will have to wait.  Here’s some of what has been going on:

  • My dairy-free diet, although not yet perfect, is coming along quite well and I am seeing many positive changes in my health and happiness.  I plan to continue this well beyond the four months suggested by my Dr. and will be adding other healthy eating habits as well.
  • I was spiritually fed by the recent General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I felt like so many of the talks were given for my benefit and that I can incorporate so much from what I have learned.  I’m looking forward to re-watching and reading them over and over.
  • I’ve been able to be more active lately.  Although I still have flares from the Fibromyalgia, I’m learning how to read my body and adjust my activity to minimize the issues that arrive from the flare.  It gives me great hope for additional improvement as I continue to learn.
  • I’ve been making some strides with my personal budget management and debt reduction plan and it is SO LIBERATING!  Debt really is bondage and I’m so hopeful that I can overcome my bad decisions of the past.

and OH SO MUCH MORE.  Hopefully I’ll have some time in the near future to share more.

Have a great day!


Dairy is NOT my Friend

Wow….I’ve not posted in a long time.  Sorry for the radio silence.

I recently found out I have a food sensitivity to ……  DAIRY!  UGH!  No more cheese for me.  No more ice cream.  It wouldn’t be so bad if that was all, but seriously, dairy is in E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.!  Some fast food places have dairy by-products on their french fries.  Caramel coloring is made a couple of different ways, one of which uses dairy.

Let’s just say the past three weeks have been…..interesting.  I’ve tried very hard to stick to my dairy-free regimen.  I haven’t been perfect.  I’ve also been pushing vegetables.  And… 21 days later I can honestly say that I can’t see my future without a daily green smoothie.  I LOVE them.  A particular recent favorite is spinach, basil, orange, (and I put a banana in every one to help with the texture).

You have to know that I really really REALLY loved dairy.  I ate a lot of cheese and ate a lot of ice cream.  I also ate a lot of the packaged/processed foods that contain a lot of the dairy derivatives.  I can honestly say that so much has improved with this change that I don’t think I’ll ever care if I eat any dairy ever again in my life.

I’m sleeping better.  My moods have improved exponentially.  My energy levels are better.  Best of all my ability to tolerate exercise is improving.  I still have issues if I push things too hard, but even when I do the recovery time is much less than it has been for several year.

I see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I’m pretty sure it’s not a train.  :)   I’m doing my happy dance!

Happy Thanksgiving!

My heart is full as I think about all of the many blessings in my life.  This past week has been one of reflection.  I learned that a good friend has a brain tumor.  She is so positive and full of faith.  I’m grateful for her example and pray for things to go well for her as she faces this challenge.  I also learned of the death (self-inflicted) of another acquaintance.  We hadn’t spoken in a while but the last time we did her struggle was evident and I’m so sad that circumstances brought her to the place where that became her reality.  My heart aches for her loved ones and I will miss her bright smile and enthusiasm.

Life isn’t easy.  As I’ve thought about these two situations, I can’t help but think about the fleeting nature of this earthly life.  We just never know how many tomorrows there will be or what kind of challenges will face us.  My only conclusion is that I need to live my life with more purpose.  I want to make every today the best that it can be.  I don’t want to find myself at the end of my life, be it next week (let’s hope not) or 50 years from now, regretting wasted time.

Of course, wasted time will be defined differently by each of us based on our priorities, goals, etc.  I never consider time spent with my family or friends to be wasted, although there are times when I could frame that time in a way that better serves us.  And I guess that is what it basically boils down to–am I using my resources (time, money, knowledge, food, my physical body, by spiritual nature, etc.) in a way that really serves the life I want.

On a separate but somewhat related note:  I do not eat in a way that is likely to help me reach my weight loss/health/fitness goals.  I really have some food issues that are fairly deep seeded.  But mainly….I just really like it.  Thanksgiving is my favorite of holidays.  I’m already salivating over my brother’s pumpkin pie, and the chocolate pudding dessert my mom makes, and dressing, and creamy whipped potatoes in the same bite as succulent dark turkey (you see the problem to which I refer?).  Well, as a counter measure I have agreed to photograph every thing (yes, every single thing) that I eat or drink (except for water) that I consume between Thursday and Sunday.  So….look forward to some fairly boring, but really tasty looking (albeit small portioned 🙂 ) photos of everything I put in my gullet.  🙂  Have a great holiday!

Challenges and Rewards

Are you goal setters? I try to be. Throughout all my years of trying to lose weight, I’ve used setting goals, joining competition, etc. as a way to help myself be accountable–a way to keep my desired outcome in the forefront of my mind.  I like a good challenge.

I’ve decided not to wait for January 1 to set a New Years resolution.  Beginning today I commit to exercising 6 days a week, improving my eating habits, and putting my health first on my list of priorities.  I know it will be a work in progress, but my intent is to see marked improvement weekly.

Because I tend to do better when I have something I’m striving for, I’ve decided to set up a reward for myself.  Yes, I know.  Getting healthy is reward enough, but on those days when I really want to eat a whole pumpkin pie or when the fibromyalgia is raging and I’m so exhausted that getting out of bed is a chore, I need something extraneous to get me through.  Normally I would just set a goal of something like “I want to lose 4 pounds a week.”  I’ve decided that setting a specific weekly goal is probably not in my best interest.  I know from previous attempts that counting calories and knowing how many I burn usually can accurately predict what my weekly outcome will be….if I look at it over time.  However, I have proven time and time again that a 16 pound weight loss over 4 weeks will not present itself as 4 pounds per week—even if that is what all of the number say.  Week one might be 8 pounds with week 2 being only 1 and so on.  So….I’m leaving those numbers to do what they may.  While I may have a goal of losing 60 pounds over the next 90 days I will measure my success in the following ways:

  1. Did I log my food and stay within the 1500 calorie range?
  2. Did I drink my Shakeology?
  3. Did I do my scheduled Turbo Fire exercise?
  4. Did I get adequate sleep?
  5. Did I interact with my accountability group on facebook?
  6. Was I kind to myself?

If I can make it through the next 90 days honestly feeling like I could answer that I did my very best to do those things listed above, I’ve arranged a little reward for myself. 🙂 Exciting!

I’m not sure if any of you know that I LOVE piano music.  I could listen to Jim Brickman, David Nevue, George Winston, John Schmidt, and Paul Cardall all day, every day.  There is just something about listening to piano music that soothes my soul and reminds me that there is God and beauty in everything.

Well, Jim Brickman is coming to Logan in February—a few weeks after the end of my 90 day goal.  I was going to purchase a couple of tickets and invite a friend when it struck me..this should be my reward.  So, instead of purchasing two, lower cost tickets, I purchased a box seat.  Just one.  And….If I meet my goals, I will take myself to a fabulous concert.  If I don’t, I will be giving that ticket away.  Hopefully someone else out there won’t mind going to a concert alone (although that won’t really be necessary as I will be going to that concert—because I’m totally going to rock these goals).

As a side note, how ironic is it that I will be going to a concert titled “An evening of romance” all by myself?  It sort of makes me smile. 🙂  I don’t really mind going to things like concerts or movies or out to eat alone.  I also think it is a bit symbolic.  It has been a really long time since I’ve allowed myself to entertain thoughts of dating or being in a relationship.  I think that my weight has been one of those things I’ve used to protect myself from repeating mistakes and bad choices in that arena.  I mean, I’m not really going to mess things up, get in abusive relationships, or choose the wrong guy if I never date, right?  And I’m so much less likely to date if I make myself as unattractive as possible, right? (100’s of posts I don’t really want to write lurking in here).  However, I’ve decided it’s time to get over myself and open up to the possibility of ….. more.  Perhaps this will be just the stepping stone to get me moving in that direction.


Find out what it means to me….(lalalalala…you know I always have a song in my head 🙂 ).

I don’t even recall what got me thinking about this lately, but my mind keeps wandering back to thoughts about the tie between what we value (or purport to value) and how we utilize our related resources.   Perhaps it came from recently viewing the movie “In Time” (which I highly recommend—I saw it ten days ago and I still find myself thinking about it).  In the movie, people stopped aging at 25 and their currency was time. They were paid for their work in time (actual hours that appeared in a digital clock in their arm).  They paid for their life’s necessities with time. If they ran out of time—they died.  How they used their time and making sure they always had enough time was life or death.  There was a great disparity between those who had a lot of time and those who lived day to day. (I have to admit it also got me thinking about our actual currency and the difference in our current society between those who have and those who have not and the pathway for improving ones position or squandering ones resources—but that is a different post for a different day.)

Time is our one great equalizer.  Everyone gets the same 24 hours in their day.  We can’t bank it.  We can’t give it to someone else. We can’t borrow it.  It is ours and it is fleeting.  Which turned my thoughts to whether or not I appreciate the time I’m given and if how I use that time shows the appropriate respect to both the time I have available and the things I want to accomplish—the person I want to be.

How we choose to spend our time is a great indicator of what and who we value in our lives.  Am I giving the proper respect via my use of time and resources to those things and people that matter most to me?  I say that my faith and relationship with God is my most high priority, but do I give it the proper respect via the time that I dedicate to prayer, learning, and service?   When was the last time that regular consistent fervent prayer was really a part of my daily life? Do I study the word of God regularly? Do I serve in my church callings and my fellowmen with happiness or do I murmur?

I say I want to get out of debt, but do I really show my hard-earned money the proper respect by how I choose to use it?  Do I sometimes (or often) spend without thinking about my long-term plan and showing respect to this valuable resource?  Am I more interested in immediate gratification or in the big picture?

I’m basically obsessed with losing weight and improving my health.  Is this reflected by how I utilize the time available to me? Do I respect this amazing body that God has given me by feeding it healthy nutritious food or do I drown it repeatedly in diet Mountain Dew and other less healthful foods?  Do I get adequate sleep? Do visit the dentist as often as I should? Do I exercise appropriately in relation to how much I value a healthy body?

I value my personal relationships. I think I do a bit better in this area than in most, but am I really doing the best that I can?  Would I be further ahead to, on occasion, turn the T.V. off and go visit someone I love?  Do I know more about what is going on with Castle or the people on Survivor than I do about my brother, or my niece, or my friend?

Do I nurture those talents that I know I have been blessed with, or do I squander this precious gift either by wasting my time or doubting my abilities? Doubt and fear often cause me to be tentative and let time slip away while I’m questioning my abilities.

These are just some things that I have been thinking about lately.  If I were to give myself a grade on how well I do with showing the appropriate respect to the things I value and to the time that I am given, I would have to say that I’m well below average.  Too much T.V.  Not enough planning-which allows me and my time/money/resources to be influenced by and shift with the tide, the wind and anyone with a stronger agenda/plan in place.

But, that is the one great thing about time.  Once it is spent, there are no refunds—but if you haven’t used it yet, you can change your plan and utilize it better.  Luckily we don’t get additional time based on how well we have used our previous time. We do get to start fresh everyday with a new 24 hours.  Money’s a little tougher, but with time and commitment the mistakes can be corrected.

Does my use of time/money/resources reflect what I value? Am I using them in a way that helps me be the best version of myself?  If not, am I willing to change it? How can I best show respect for those things I value?

I’ll be thinking about this a lot.  If you have any insights I would love to hear them.

Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time.  Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” ~M. Scott Peck


Shhhhhh!  Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve recently become obsessed with Bento Boxes!

I admit, obsessed is probably too strong in light of the fact that I haven’t actually purchased one yet.  You see, I’m not really a believer in collecting things.  I am much happier having one or three ( 🙂 ) carefully selected items than being overrun with something I like to the point that I can no longer stand the sight of it.

However, I have been obsessively pouring over the prospects online.  I need to find just the right combination of practical, whimsical, and pretty.

A good resource for all things Bento that I just discovered is  I love the pictures and Makiko Itoh’s writing style is delightful.  You may be asking yourself what the difference is between a Bento and a regular lunch box.  Makiko describes that difference beautifully here (and I just love the video–sniff, sniff).  I love the thought that the Bento is steeped in tradition.  There is just something about making lunch an event rather than a chore.  My good friend Rose and I used to get together to make new recipes and try new things.  One of the things that she taught me is that we eat with our eyes first and that presentation matters. I imagine the beautiful lunches I can make and I’m simply giddy!

I still haven’t found a Bento that I’m ready to commit to yet, but I am so enjoying the anticipation of all the yummy lunches I’m going to bring to work when I find that just right Bento.

Do any of you use Bento?

A Mile In Our Shoes…

This weekend as I was working on a project at home, I caught the blurb on a t.v. program that was advertising what was coming up in the next segment.  I’m not sure what program was on the t.v. as I was very immersed in my project.  Before the next segment aired the channel had been changed to a football game (my brothers were helping me and so the channel was always set for their entertainment–it was the least I could do 😉 ).

In that blub about the upcoming stories there was mention of a personal trainer who was gaining weight so that he would know what his clients felt like and could show them how to lose the weight.  Interesting.  My thoughts have returned to thoughts of this all weekend.  Much to my delight I saw it also mentioned in my facebook feed this morning, so I checked it out.

Drew, a personal trainer, really is in the process of gaining as much weight as he can over the course of six months. So far — 72 pounds –and he still has 4 weeks to go.  Check out his story here.

I can see the benefit to this.  There have been times where I’ve picked a personal trainer or mentor BECAUSE I knew they had been through what I’m going through and could “relate” to me.  I’ve also had excellent luck picking trainers who haven’t ever been anything close to obese.  I have found that most people in this profession really do want to help–regardless of where your starting point is.

I guess my biggest concern would be in what he might possibly be doing to his health.  But….I’ve been obese for decades now and I’m ok, so he’ll probably be ok for the 6-8  months he is dealing with it.

It is amazing to see the change in his physical appearance and to hear about some of the things he is becoming aware of.

Check it out and let me know what you think–smart idea? crazy idea? would you be more likely to choose him as a trainer knowing he has been to the other side?

Conflicting Emotions

I don’t even know where to start.  Today has been the best day!  Today has been the worst day!  I want to laugh and smile.  I want to cry.  I want to eat.

What I really want is to be able to express what I’m feeling in a way that really gets my point across.  I hope I can do justice to the thoughts I’m having right now.

Guess what?  I did a 5K today. Yup.  3.1 miles.  In approximately 54 minutes.  I walked the entire course.  YIPEE!!!!!  And, it wasn’t just any 5k, it was a fundraiser for a baby  whose family I know.  Baby Mason was born with a congenital heart defect called hypo-plastic left heart syndrome.  He has already had two surgeries and will need at least one more–and will likely need a heart transplant at some point.  There were a lot of people from my home town there and it was so nice to see them and get to interact with so many people I love–but so sad to think of everything this little family is going through right now.

AND my friend Kellie, who is so super supportive of anything I want to do to improve my situation, walked with me.  We have set a goal to do one 5K a month through the summer and are looking forward to seeing our improvements.  Thanks, Kellie!

So, here’s the sad part.  When we finished, I was pretty happy with myself.  I walked.  The time was only 54 minutes. But, considering that I haven’t been working out much lately, I felt pretty good about the whole darn thing.   Until I saw this …..

and my “YIPEE!” turned into  a great big “I AM GINORMOUS!”  Seriously.  All of the pride and joy I felt at this accomplishment (which for me was really an accomplishment) suddenly disappeared in the shadow of every bad thought I have about myself related to my weight.  I wanted to cry.  And hide.  Instead, I went to the Maverick to get something to eat (old habits die hard).

The saddest thing of all is what I witnessed at the Maverick.  A woman was working behind the counter.  She was talking to a nice looking, fit gentleman while she was ringing up her customers and they were having quite an intense conversation.  I came in on the middle of it, so I wasn’t quite sure of the conversation’s context.  I heard her say things like, “I just want to be in a room by myself.”  “I don’t want to have to interact with anyone.”  “I don’t want to talk to anyone or be engaged in any kind of conversation.”  “I just want to be able to do my thing and be invisible.”  I wasn’t sure what they were talking about at this point, but I was making a mental note to not make eye contact with the cashier because she didn’t want to be engaged in conversation.

Then the conversation turned and I realized that the man was telling the woman that he would help her at the gym.  He told her that if she was willing to make the effort to go to the gym, he would be there to help her–show her what to do and how to work the equipment and what not.  An older woman ahead of me in line jumped in to the conversation and told the man, “It’s a woman thing, dear.  Women don’t like to do unladylike things–like sweating–in public.”

It was a really uncomfortable conversation to witness.    And that’s when it happened.  The woman said, “No, it’s because I am 35 years old and a complete fat a$$.”  Just as she said those last two words, we made eye contact and I started to cry while shaking my head and saying “NO.  No you are not!”  (I’m crying again now as I write this.)  I stepped up to the counter and said, “I know how you feel.  I just finished a 5K and am having a hard time being proud of that achievement because it is overshadowed by how fat I am.”  She brightened up a bit and said, “How did you ever do that?”  I asked her to come to the gym with me.  I told her it really isn’t as bad as she is imaging.  That the people at my gym are really nice and super supportive. But….she just moved the line along.  Oh, how my heart broke for her and for me and for every other person out there who has ever felt the shame of being fat.

Why are we so mean to ourselves? Why do we let how we look or this one area of our lives where we struggle define us?  I think in a lot of cases, our negative feelings and low self worth are not a result/symptom of being fat, but that  having feelings of low self worth is what caused us to get fat in the first place.  Add to that the times where people have confirmed our low feelings about our weight (I’ve been mooed at by a group of college kids, had a child yell loudly, “Oh my God she is FAT,” etc.) and it is a wonder that this is the first time I’ve seen a grown woman declare in public that she is fat and doesn’t like herself.

It makes me sad, people.  It has to change.  I can’t change the woman at the store.  But I can change me.  I’m proud of what I did today and I’ll be yelling WAHOO! at the top of my lunges until I can no longer here the negative thoughts.


D is for Decide

Yes.  I wrote a post about being consistent and then went totally off the map.  Not very consistent.   Not what I wanted this series of posts to be like.  But hey, life happens and I’ve been dealing with a lot lately.  Which brings me to our friend “D” is for Decision.

I’ve been mulling this over for a few days while I’ve also been mulling over some decisions that I need to make.  In doing so I came across three quote that speak well to my thoughts on why making an actual decision is important.  They are:

Indecision is the thief of opportunity–Jim Rohn

Indecision is often worse than wrong action.–Henry Ford

The indispensable first step to getting everything you want out of life is this:  decide what you want.–Ben Stein

I’m a dreamer.  I think about what I want all the time.  I picture different scenarios in my mind and think about different options.  I even play out various outcomes in my mind–complete with interactions and dialogues.  Don’t get me wrong, dreaming is important.  Dreaming helps us figure out what it is we want.  I get stuck, however, in the place between the dream and the reality far too often.

Decision is the catalyst that moves us to action.  I can want to be fit and healthy until the cows come home (I think they are close–I smelled them last night–or perhaps that was just the dairy down the street) but until I make an actual decision about how I’m going to act, what I’m going to do, what my attitude will be–nothing will ever change.

I have decided that even though I’m not feeling well right now (doctors, tests, and long stories here that I’ve decided I just don’t want to get into here) there are things I can do to make my situation better.  I have decided to:

  • get up every morning, put a smile on my face, and have a FANTASTIC day
  • exercise regularly (I even got up at 6 a.m. this morning to exercise and I feel GREAT)
  • eat healthy things, not too much of them, and LEAVE THE CRAP ALONE (nuff said)
  • be honest with myself and give myself a break when it is really warranted, but stop giving myself an easy ride down the path of least resistence
  • put my health first

So far (and I realize it’s been a mere 14 hours since this decision was made) I feel like a new person.  Making those few decisions listed above has freed me from the bad space I’ve been in lately.  Do I still feel like I was run over by a truck?  Yes.  But somehow, it doesn’t seem so bad today.  Am I hungry and wanting to reach out to food for comfort? Yes, but I have a bag load of good nutritious things to eat in the fridge and I’m sticking with that plan.

I’m no longer willing to let my inaction, my lack of commitment, and my presumed inability to decide what is best for me rob me of the person I am supposed to be.


C is for Consistency

I’m learning that sometimes the things that help us the most–that we need-are the things that seem so small and insignificant.  Yes.  It would be grand to focus our time and efforts only on the things that are larger than life and amazing and noticed by everyone around.  But….it’s hard to maintain any kind of momentum for the long-term focusing only on the fireworks and neglecting rest.

I see this a lot in my life, and not just in the area surrounding my health and fitness.  Perhaps it is just the way I’m wired, but I get bored easily.  I want things now. While that mindset allows me to jump right in to new projects and things that might seem overwhelming to others, it often leads me to leap from one thing to another, one plan to another, one schedule to another (picture a dog chasing its tail) with the only outcome being frustration.

This was brought home to me this week.  I’ve been working with a former (and now current) trainer since the first of the year utilizing his online personal training service.  Say hi to Blake (hi Blake).  (I have a whole other post brewing going into detail about what he has me doing, etc. so I’ll save that for another day.)  Earlier this week, I was reporting my food to him and made the comment that I had eaten the same old vegetarian chili as other days–that I was boring.  His response was just what I needed to hear.  He said, “Boring is good because it’s consistent. Some people think that healthy eating has to be elaborate…I disagree. I have my staple healthy foods that I eat day in and day out which I love! It’s good to get creative on occasion but consistency is WAY more important.”

Consistency is way more important than flash. I need to quit making things harder than they need to be and just get into  a routine that utilizes a few simple things, both with eating and exercise, that I know work for me.

I’ve already shown that I can do it.  After all, my poor eating habits and lack of exercise are the result of consistently doing the wrong things. Habits.  Consistently doing the same things.  That is what got me here.  That is what will get me to where I want to be.