A happy indication of true change.

Scrabble with my Dad and sisters. Note the absence of junk food on the table. 🙂

Hello blog buddies. It has been about three weeks since my last post. Sounds like I’m making a confession! Rest assured, the absence of blog posts does not indicate a lack in my commitment to keep pressing forward on this journey.

Sick no more
Like most of you, life is just crazy busy. I had a third bout of the cold/flu after writing my last post. I finally went to the doctor when my throat hurt so bad I couldn’t swallow. My eyes turned pink and a bunch of gunky nasty stuff started oozing out. Sorry to be gross, but it seriously freaked me out. Went to the doc the next day and he prescribed eye drops and a five day course of antibiotics. He advised OTC pain meds for my throat such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Who’da thunk you need pain meds for a silly cold (other than for sinus headache, which I didn’t have)? He said the virus was causing the nastiness in my eyes. About a day later, my eyes cleared. About three days later, I was feeling pretty groovy. Now I’m back to 100% health. Oh, it feels good to feel good.

A happy indication of true change in traditional family eating habits
I visited my family in Oregon last weekend. It was a surprise trip – my sister “R” needed some help on an important project: Her mother-in-law passed away in early December, and her husband requested my graphic design skills to help put a memorial slideshow together. She and her husband’s family flew me the thousand miles up north to finalize the project for the memorial gathering that took place yesterday. (R let me know that everyone loved the show. It’s such a great feeling to help a family in this way as they both grieve the loss and celebrate the life of their Mom.)

My thinking, headed up to Oregon, is – don’t worry about the diet this weekend. I’ll be with family. We like to eat when we all get together; all moderation is usually thrown out the window. We like our popcorn, M&M’s, red and black licorice, chocolate, etc.

R and I stayed at our sister T’s house to work on the project; our fourth sister wasn’t able to join us. T and her husband are very conscious about taking care of themselves, so there was no junk food in the house. R started Weight Watchers a couple months ago and she’s making fantastic progress; she’s dropped over 20 lbs. She’s got me seriously considering changing from Lindora to WW. I’m ready for lots more variety and choices so I can stay in this for the long haul.

Perhaps it was because we were so busy all weekend on this project. Perhaps it was the fact that we are all actively working on losing or maintaining our weight. But we did not pig out once. We ate our protein bars when we got hungry between meals. It was funny when we each pulled out our favorite bars and compared labels. T pulled out her nut and dried fruit snacks. She also made us fresh carrot and apple juice using the juice machine that she gave her husband for Christmas. Sweet ambrosia!

SodaStream® Fizz Home Soda Maker. Photo from Brookstone.com

T had also recently purchased a soda maker as she and her husband really like sparkling water. She made us a drink and added just a bit of berry flavoring. It was about 40 calories for 8 oz. So good – it reminded me of those New York Seltzers or Crystal Geysers my Mom used to buy back in the 80s and 90s. T got it at BevMo for about $100. The only maintenance cost is the carbonation canister — it’s about $30 to replace. It comes with four large bottles that maintain carbonation for about four days. She keeps the canisters in the fridge full of water so that when she makes the soda, it’s already cold. I love diet soda. I want one! No cans or bottles to recycle. No lugging sodas from the grocery store to car to house. Less clutter and better for the environment. It’s on my wish list. 🙂

We spent an evening with our Dad and brother playing Scrabble, our traditional family favorite, after eating T’s homemade chili with Ritz crackers. We went to church with Dad the next day, then went out for lunch. T and I split a garden omelet plate at IHOP. That evening for dinner, R and I split a chicken dinner plate. In both cases, splitting provided plenty of food and we were each satisfied but not stuffed.

Bottom line? My sisters and I have acquired much healthier eating habits. I was ready to toss it out the window temporarily for the weekend, but they broke the pattern. Getting together no longer equals a free-for-all when it comes to food. And our time together didn’t suffer; in fact, it was better than ever.

R and I finished the weekend at the airport waiting for my flight by enjoying Coffee People mochas and scones—for lunch. A perfect sweet end to a productive and bonding weekend.

As I flew home, I kept thinking about how good I felt… to have finished a major project, to have no regrets over the food I ate or the words I said, to have just enjoyed my sisters—as well as seeing my Dad and one of my brothers. It’s good to connect with the people you love. Must visit more often. 🙂

Lindora works! It really, really works!

An extremely encouraging visit to the Lindora clinic today.

Starting weight: 224.7
Today’s weight: 211.0    -13.7 lbs!

Lost a bunch of inches, too!
– 5.5” waist
– 1.5” bust
– 1” hips
– 2” thighs

Blood pressure: 110/78

I love this program! Such progress in only 3 weeks!!!

I am encouraged by my coworkers who are telling me that I’m having a really good attitude and I’m not being a big whiney-butt about the diet – like when I don’t get to eat celebratory cake. I’m happy that they’re noticing my mood. Cheating is simply not an option. I’m on the wagon. Why fret about it.  I’m amazed at the overall lack of cravings I’m feeling. I credit it to the ZonePerfect bars – one per day, in the afternoon.

Here’s my menu for the past week… (still eating Dannon Light & Fit yogurt; didn’t want to throw it away; need to go find the Ralph’s Carb Master and Fage Greek Yogurt) : )

Sunday, August 14, 2011
Exercise: Nothing formal; walked around the mall before going to a movie

  • 9:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3) (According to Lindora, I don’t need to count the carbs in my daily Metamucil sugar free fiber)
  • 12pm Chocolate Mint Julip: Lindora Chocolate Pudding (7), Diet Squirt (0), 2 drops of peppermint extract (Source: Lindora Lean for Life Recipe Collection. Nasty, ick, yuck, puke. Tasted like toothpaste. Grossed me out for hours. Weird how much a bad tasting snack bummed me out and made me mad.)
  • 2:30pm El Pollo Loco chicken breast (0), Salad (3), ½ c pico di gallo (5), Diet Pepsi (0)
  • 8:30pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • Total carbs: 59

Monday, August 15, 2011
Pedometer steps: 10,983
Exercise: 30 minutes treadmill, 30 minutes upper body strength training

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10:30am  0.5 oz string cheese (0.5), 1.25 oz turkey (0.5)
  • 1pm  ½ c cottage cheese (4), ½ c pineapple (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c cucumber (1.5), ¼ c celery (1.5), Diet Squirt (0) (Notes: Too much cottage cheese! It needs to be disguised more. I can’t believe I’m eating cottage cheese.)
  • 3pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7:30pm  2.5 oz shrimp (1), 1 t olive oil, lemon wedge (1.5), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c cucumber (1.5), Orange (14)
  • 10:30pm  2.5 oz turkey (1)
  • Total carbs: 86

Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Weighed in at Lindora:  Lost 1.5 lbs since Friday
Exercise: None
First bad day on this journey. Felt extremely crummy today—burning eyes, aching body. Thought I was getting super sick; went home early at 1pm. No gym. For some reason I was disappointed that I’d only lost 1.5 lbs since Friday, which is kinda crazy. Felt a little crazy today. Negative thoughts like “what’s the point?” Pushed through it.

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10am  1oz string cheese (1)
  • 2pm ½ c Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c cucumber (1.5), Diet Squirt (0)
  • 4:30pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • Total carbs: 81.5

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Exercise: 20 minutes treadmill, 30 minutes lower body strength training

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10:15am  1oz string cheese (1)
  • 1pm ½ c Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c carrots (8), Diet Pepsi (0)
  • 4pm Coffee with 1 creamer (3), ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7pm Veggie Omelet: 1 egg (1), ¼ c onions (3), ½ Roma tomato (2.5), 1 tsp olive oil, clove of garlic; 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), no fruit
  • 10:30pm Lindora Strawberry & Kiwi protein drink (1)
  • Total carbs: 88.5

Thursday, August 18, 2011
Exercise: none. Did a bunch of necessary errands instead.

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10:30am  0.5 oz string cheese (0.5), 1.25 oz turkey (0.5)
  • 1:30pm ½ c Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c cucumber (1.5), Diet Squirt (0)
  • 4:30pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 8pm El Pollo Loco chicken breast (0), Salad with ½ c salsa (5), Diet Coke. The salad had their cilantro creamy dressing on it, even though I asked for no dressing. I opted to go ahead and eat it. It was so good!

Friday, August 19, 2011 – Weekly Protein Day
Weighed in at Lindora:  Lost 3 lbs since Tuesday!!!!!! Wahoo!!!
Exercise: 30 minutes treadmill, 30 minutes upper body strength training

  • 8am 1 c skim milk (12), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10:15am Lindora Oatmeal Raisin protein bar (13), coffee with 1 Tbsp creamer (3)
  • 1:30pm Lindora BBQ Soy Puffs (8), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • 3:15pm 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5), 1.25 oz turkey (0.5)
  • 5pm ½ c Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt (10)
  • 7pm ZonePerfect Cashew Pretzel protein bar (13)
  • 10:30pm Lindora Strawberry & Kiwi protein drink (1)
  • Total carbs: 64