Category Archives: getting the lard off

New Recipe (Flex Dinner)

The rain has stopped, so we’re about to go grocery shopping. I’m getting the ingredients for a new Leaf Nutrisystem Flex Meal Dinner called, “1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables.”

I’ll make this when we get home. We eat ‘lunch’ at 2:30, so I’ll have plenty of time. “Why in the world would you fix a dinner in time for lunch?” you ask, having read the title of this post.

I’m trying to break through a plateau in my Nutrisystem adventure.  One of the suggestions the Nutrisystem Chat counselor made was that I should try swapping ‘dinners’ and ‘lunches’ for one week and then get back to her. I’ve been doing this, plus the other things she suggested, such as being sure my ‘Powerfuel’ and ‘Smartcarb’ snacks were 80 calories, cutting down on the salad dressing (extras), and eating everything I was supposed to eat for the day, rather than skipping anything.

The result is that it seems to be working!  I’ve lost 1.4 pounds this week, so I’m encouraged.

So, I’ll prepare our ‘flex dinner’ for the week and I will eat it for lunch, while my husband will have a serving for dinner, and I’ll freeze the remaining two servings.

Wish me luck?

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Whine and Cheese

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Today marks the end of Week 8 on Nutrisystem.  I did pretty well for an old, fat broad the first month, but I’ve stalled in the second, as far as any real difference in weight or measurements.  To date, I’ve lost 12.5 pounds and 16 inches.  I’m pleased to have any results at all, but I’m frustrated that my progress seems to have stalled. I’m fighting with the same 3 lbs.

One great thing about Nutrisystem is its online CHAT. Today I talked to Allison J.  I explained my sad problem to her. She wanted to know what I ate yesterday, meal by meal. When she analyzed it, she said

  • she noticed I was skipping my Power Fuel (PF) at breakfast. I admitted that I was skipping it, sometimes making up for it later in the day.  I didn’t realize that WHEN you eat stuff – and in what combination – is very important for your results. (Today for breakfast I ate a Nutrisystem (NS) Blueberry Muffin, and then 2 tablespoons of Cashews).
  • we decided that I was probably eating too much salad dressing during the day, since I eat it with my lunch veggies and also with my salad at dinner. I’ll cut WAY back on the ‘dip’ with the veggies at lunch and try to watch it better at dinner.
  • she suggested that I swap ‘lunch’ and dinner’ entrees for a week and then get back with her next Thursday. I’m guessing that the dinners are higher calorie and that it might be best if I ate those during the day, rather than in the evening when I’m less active.
  • she asked if each of my snacks (PFs and SmartCarbs (SCs) were at least 80 calories. I looked at my log on NuMi and found that my PFs were okay, but my SC was only 65 calories. She suggested that I eat 1-1/2 oranges, instead of just one, to bring the calories up. (Weird, isn’t it? – The idea of bringing the calories up.) I’m supposed to be eating 1200 calories each day, but I routinely came up with up to 200 short.

Thanks to Allison J., I now have several changes to try to see if this breaks through my plateau from Hell.  Hopefully, by the time I report next week, the changes in eating will have wrought some changes in ME!

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Pat on the Head

First 10 Pounds Off

My husband and I were on Nutrisystem once before, years ago. We were successful in getting a lot of our lard off, but we stopped because Nutrisystem kept discontinuing the foods my husband liked until he got fed up and wouldn’t continue. Since then, they have revamped their programs, so we’re trying again, fingers crossed that they continue providing the foods my husband likes.

One of the things they haven’t changed is a nice reward for progress. When our non-frozen items were delivered today, a cute little bear was in my box. It’s a fun, happy way to show you’re trying and you’re starting to get some results. I had saved the bears I got from the last time, so I gave one of them to my husband. He is underwhelmed, but I wanted to pat HIM on the head for his efforts, too. So here are our matching ‘First 10 Pounds Off’ Bears.

Tangible things are important when you’re changing lifestyles. For us, the biggest change is in learning what constitutes a ‘serving.’  I, of course, glanced at labels on the items I buy at the store, and I’ve noticed that many of the labels tell you the nutrition count for 1 serving, but the bottle or package actually contains at least two, if not more servings. I think almost NO ONE actually eats or drinks 1 serving of most things. This was a huge eye-opener for us. The fact that a serving of rice is 1/2 cup, for example, and one of our favorite meals was chicken chunks and soup over a large bowl of rice, meant that we were each eating enough to feed an army.

Making these changes is difficult. It’s much easier to continue on, mentally excusing your behavior, rather than stopping and really looking at what you need to be doing in order to get healthier, feel better, and hopefully increase your quality of life for as long as you’re here.

The scales are tangible, but ‘she giveth and taketh away’, making you happy one day and disappointed the next. My husband and I refuse to stop weighing every day, though, as it is one reality check that we need to keep on keepin’ on with our efforts.

The measuring tape is tangible, but as I’ve whined before, even with going into the bathroom and looking in the mirror while I measure, I’m not always accurate. I’m telling myself that even if my numbers aren’t completely accurate, it’s the DIFFERENCE I’m looking for. Any numbers showing less are welcome.

Looser clothes are tangible. Women’s sizes have always been a joke, though. You can be a lot of different sizes depending on the store where you’re shopping. Again, I’m looking at the actual clothes I have. I’m able to buy some smaller jeans and shorts now, shopping in the same stores, and usually going from the same brand. That’s tangible progress.

The cute poundage bears are a cute, tangible reminder that we’re on our way to being healthier. The more bears we collect, the better we should feel. At least, that’s the plan…

 

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Week 7 – Getting the Lard Off Progress Report

Objective Changes:

WEIGHT:  12.2 pounds down. I have to admit I’m a bit teed off because my husband doesn’t take any responsibility for even thinking about what he’s eating or when, just says, “Thanks” when I bring him the next snack or meal; doesn’t drink the water, doesn’t exercise, and he’s lost more than I have…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEASUREMENTS:   Down 16.3 inches. My husband has no interest in measuring, but he just ordered shorts that are 2 inches smaller in the waist. He put them on this morning and looks GOOD.

 

 

 

 

 

I had high blood pressure even with my medication. I’m now showing normal with my meds. “Normal” is such a beautiful word!

 

My husband is a Type II diabetic. When we started monitoring his blood sugar, it was at around 353 or higher. (Normal is under 100.) This week it was 113!

 

 

Subjective Measurements:

Each week we’re supposed to have one FLEX meal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack, preferably on different days. Our flex SNACK is ice cream after bowling with friends on Monday evenings. Our flex LUNCH is Lunch Bunch with long-time friends on Fridays. We usually don’t do the flex BREAKFAST, since my husband likes Nutrisystem’s oatmeal and prefers to just stick with that. Flex DINNER –  I’ve broiled a thin steak cut into 2 pieces and we’ve had little bitty baked potatoes. We’ve also shared a small container of chicken fried rice from our local Chinese restaurant.

Yesterday I tried cooking our first flex dinner from the Nutrisystem website. It is called “Meat and Potato Casserole.” It makes 6 servings. We ate two and I froze the other 4 servings in labeled individual dishwasher-and-microwave-safe containers. We found the casserole a little dry, but the flavor was good. We had a salad with it. Today I stopped and got some packets of low sodium brown gravy. The package makes 1 cup – way more than enough for the one tablespoon of gravy I plan to pour over each of the remaining servings when we eat them.

I’m not a wonderful cook. The amount of preparation for this meal seemed like a lot to this lazy woman who would rather do almost anything than spend a bunch of time in the kitchen. I used a food processor as they suggested to prepare the carrots and potatoes, but I think the next time I’ll just use my hand-held shredder because clean up will be a lot easier. It seemed that I had half the kitchen messed up by the time the casserole dish was finally in the oven.

That said, I’m delighted to be able to have recipes at my fingertips to help us stay on the good start we’ve made on losing the lard. To complain when I cooked once and had servings for the two of us for THREE meals is a LOT more “poor me” than any of us need or appreciate…. :0)

All in all a good week’s progress. I’m hoping to get off the plateau I seem to be on, but I’m doing healthy things for us.

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Nutrisystem Week 6 Progress Report

I was hoping to be able to report wonderful progress to you, but to be honest, I’m a bit bummed out.

I’ve lost a bit over 11 pounds via Nutrisystem thus far. Since my lardiest – almost 24 lbs.  I’ve been ‘good,’ so my explanation is that when you’re old, it takes longer to lose the lard. I’m encouraged by the fact that I’m still making progress, but the slowness is getting to me a bit. I wish the Nutrisystem website had a ‘search,’ so that I could find the article about plateaus again. If I can’t find it, I’ll go back onto chat to see if someone can guide me.

 

I have found that measuring yourself is an art. I’m following their guidelines and trying to be as careful as possible, but from one week to the next, you would think that the numbers would be close. My accuracy apparently needs some work. My best guess is that I’ve lost a bit over 13 inches via Nutrisystem – almost 30 inches from my lardiest.

Even though I couldn’t swear what my actual numbers ARE, the difference is nice. My clothes are looser, and I’ve gone down a size or two in some cases. I’m moving a lot each day – some days on the official exercises, other days working my heart out in the garden or hauling things around or cleaning. I’m drinking my 64 oz of water each day.

Even though I’m a bit disappointed, my husband and I are doing good things for ourselves. I’m feeling more energetic, needing fewer naps. Each day I feel I’m doing a bit better, and that’s a good feeling. I’m doing what I can to keep serious health issues from my door.

 

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“Knowing” and Dealing With It Two Different Things

Okay. I KNOW that weight loss – particularly as it is reflected by the scales – is a fickle thing. The fact that it’s MORE than yesterday shouldn’t be a big thing. Maybe I retained water. Maybe I gained muscle. Yada yada yada. According to a lot of people, I shouldn’t even be weighing myself every morning – that I should only weigh once a week. Well, I weigh each morning to keep me on track and honest. This morning I weighed MORE than I did yesterday and it’s ‘weighing’ on my mind (hahahahaaha).

It’s one thing to “KNOW” the facts and quite another to deal with the emotional reaction when you hope/expect to be down another .2 lbs and find that you’re actually UP .8 lbs.  I feel that ‘someone’ snuck (is that a word?) some lead into my underwear.

Since I also “KNOW” that I ate only what I should have eaten yesterday, did my exercises, drank my water – the poundage may come off tomorrow. Since I’m old, though, I’ve also learned that it may take 4 days or more to get back down to where I was only yesterday…

Since I know, also, that I won’t get any awards for fast weight loss, and that, in fact, my body will actually do better at keeping the weight off if I lose it gradually, steadily – I’m talking to myself this morning, reminding myself of all the things I SHOULD be concentrating on –

  • feeling good that I’m down 11 lbs and over 13 inches from when we started Nutrisystem
  • that I’m not sitting around feeling hungry
  • that I like MOST of the foods we’re eating
  • that both my husband and I are getting healthier as we lose the lard
  • that our blood test numbers should show significant improvement in August
  • that we’re doing what we can to avoid the health problems we can control
  • that we’ve both gotten shorts one size smaller than we were wearing a month ago
  • feeling grateful that we are in a position to afford a good weight program

Hopefully, tomorrow morning the scales will show me something I like better than what I saw this morning. In the meantime, I’ll continue talking to myself, trying to act like a grownup. :0)

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Good Start

coolnsmart.com via David Michael McCune

 

I lost another pound yesterday, so I’m down 10.6 officially since we started Nutrisystem, and 32.6 lbs down since my lardiest.  I have a long way to go, but I’m feeling good that we have a good start now.

My husband doesn’t have much weight to lose, but he is diabetic and his blood sugar numbers have been a real challenge for about two years now. His sugar was off the chart. He had double vision and pain in his feet. He is now registering the lowest numbers we’ve seen since we’ve been monitoring AND he gets to eat fruit again! He really looks forward to his SMARTCARB snack of an orange or an apple, since it’s been two years since he could enjoy them. He also likes to have some blackberries on his cereal on FLEX BREAKFAST day. His attitude about Nutrisystem is good, and for that I’m truly grateful.

“I” am the one who really needs this program for weight loss. Several years back my thyroid was completely radiated away due to Grave’s Disease. A couple of years ago I said goodbye to my gallbladder, which then made the low-carb diet we were trying to follow a challenge, because my body had trouble handling the fat. My blood pressure is a problem, and triglycerides are high, so I’m hoping that getting the lard off and eating healthy will make my doctor realize I’m serious at our next regular appointment in August.

We both are calmer about portions since we know we’ll eat again in 3 hours. Neither of us has been hungry. My appetite has always been voracious – when we were dating my husband would say, “We need to get you something to eat!” his code for me being ‘snappy.’  My husband said last night, “I don’t see any reason we can’t stay on this plan as long as you want to.”

We quit several years ago because Nutrisystem kept doing away with the choices my husband liked. Finally, he was so upset we had to stop. Now they have SO many more choices – also adding frozen choices – that it will take us several months before we have tried everything. We like the fact they let you know when the deadline is for making changes for our programs, and that we can make changes any time we like up until then.

SO – a Good Start on getting healthier!

 

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Nutrisystem Week 5 Progress Report

Slow, but steady progress in the ‘Getting the Lard Off’ project.

  • Poundage lost through Nutrisystem to date – 9.6 lbs.  Since my heaviest – 22 lbs.
  • Inches lost through Nutrisystem to date – 13.3 inches. Since my lardiest – 29.7 inches.

I’m finding more energy gradually. This helps a lot in my exercise program. Each day I’m doing –

  1. Elliptical trainer
  2. weight exercise for shoulders
  3. over-the-door shoulder pulley
  4. yoga for stretching

FabulousTraveling

Yesterday in particular I felt better than I’ve felt in a long time. I’m having to take less pain medicine for my shoulder muscles. I’m having to do fewer ice and heat sessions. I’m feeling looser with the stretching I’m doing. I’m feeling more energy to do a significant amount of cleaning, gardening, pet care, yard work, etc.

Both my husband and I have lost about 10 lbs since we started Nutrisystem. We both have health issues we monitor quarterly with our primary doctor and blood tests. We’re hoping that the next checkup in August will be a good one – showing distinct improvement. In the meantime, we’re agreed that this is something we really need to do for our long-term health and we’re happy we’ve taken the first step.

 

 

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NutriSystem – 1st Month’s Progress Report

Today we have officially finished the 1st month of Nutrisystem.

I’m particularly pleased by my husband’s progress. He is disappointed that he hasn’t lost that much weight, but he doesn’t have NEAR as much to lose as I do. He’s lost about 4 lbs, but I can SEE a difference in his tummy (though he won’t let me measure or do it himself.) The biggest thing that makes me happy is the lowering of his blood sugar number. It was 117 this morning, the lowest since we’ve been monitoring. (I saw a ‘353’ in my records). Lower than 100 is considered normal, and he actually might achieve that!

He is particularly pleased by getting to eat a piece of fruit daily. We had both given that up entirely before and it’s really a treat to welcome fruit back into our diet. There are some really nice big oranges right now at Walmart and we share one each day. We also have some apples in the fridge, in case the oranges aren’t available, plus some blackberries for fruit on his flex breakfast for the week. He has found several of the cookie snacks really good, and he likes their oatmeal. He thinks the frozen orange dream type bars better than the ones we were eating before the diet!

My Nutrisystem progress to date is 9.2 lbs and 11.8 inches gone. (My total weight loss efforts since my ‘lardiest’ are 21.4 lbs and 26.2 inches.)

Lifestyle changes other than the Nutrisystem eating plan:

  1. I gave up added salt and am buying low sodium canned veggies now.
  2. Neither my husband nor I add any sugar or alternatives to anything.
  3. I am doing more real exercise –
    • elliptical trainer – at least 15 minutes,
    • yoga 30 minutes,
    • over-the-door shoulder pulley – 5 minutes,
    • weight exercise to stretch out shoulder muscles – 5 minutes.
  4.  I’m more aware of what a ‘serving’ is – basically not enough to stick in your eye. That said, I realize that my husband and I have each eaten for 8 to 10 at each meal and that hasn’t done our health any favors.
  5. We are both consciously eating more veggies (we usually have carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes and radishes with some salad dressing with our lunch and then a tossed salad (with lettuces and spinach from our own garden!) with our dinner.
  6. I’m getting more used to drinking the 64 oz of water each day. I drink a 16 oz bottle of water with each meal and sip at the last during the day. My body seems to be adjusting to it, too. I’m not having to run to the bathroom quite so much.

We were both really happy to finally eat our way through Order #1. We were both down to things we really didn’t care for, and so cheered when we finished the last of the first order and could dive into Order #2. It was funny, though, because our first lunch we each had “White Bean Chicken Chili.” We are wusses when it comes to hot, spicy stuff, and this was almost too hot for us to eat! I read the ingredients and found they had put jalapenos in it. We could get it down by having a veggie in our mouth and then adding a bit of the chili in there, too. The flavor was nice, other than the hot, but I went to the website and took that particular choice off of Order #3 for both of us… :0)

We feel that our first month on Nutrisystem has been successful. I enjoy planning the flex dinner we’ll eat each week. (We’ll have salmon and steamed broccoli this week.) My husband is learning to put his glasses on so that he can SEE the color coded choices in his bins in the pantry and the freezer. He is also learning to actually read the directions for nuking his food, rather than just winging it. I’m still spoiling him by bringing his snacks to him (like his 1/2 peeled orange and 2 oz of nuts mid-morning) but he’s learning to be a bit independent, otherwise.

On with Month # 2!

 

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Yesterday’s Harvest

I’m grateful for the harvest yesterday. In the picture above you can see that my spinach plants are not enjoying the heat. Lettuce and spinach are cool weather plants and I usually enjoy quite a harvest before the too-hot begins. I’ll harvest as much spinach as possible because I can freeze it.

 

The head lettuce leaves are still okay, but looking a bit stressed. These plants are happier than anything else, with the exception of the radishes, in the square foot garden right now.

 

I’m sad because the really hot-too-soon in the season weather we’ve been having is causing the romaine lettuce to bolt. I’m not sure how much more I can harvest before the leaves taste bitter and I have to compost the plants.

 

We’ll enjoy the fresh lettuce and spinach for salad each day for as long as possible. I’m not sure whether I’ll get more broccoli, but the hope is that I’ll get more from the shoots from the main plant after the center has been harvested. The radishes and onions are doing fine, although some of the green tops of the onions are shooting up and trying to make seeds. The tomato plants on the other side of the house are growing rapidly. They like the heat. I have a few blossoms, so I’m hopeful we’ll enjoy a nice crop this year.

 

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Flex Meals on NutriSystem

Nutrisystem

 

Learning to actually LIVE with a new way of eating is very different than simply grabbing a package and nuking it. My husband and I will finish Month # 1 on Nutrisystem on Thursday.  Part of the program I like is the “Flex Meal” idea, where you learn to eat out plus learn to cook meals incorporating the new things you’re learning so that you can function in the real world.  You have one flex breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack each week, preferably on different days.

“Flex breakfast” –

  • My husband eats his regular cereal with some blackberries and milk.
  • I eat my old low-carb breakfast of 2 thin slices packaged turkey, a hard boiled egg, some shredded cheese, and a bit of butter, nuked.

“Flex lunch” – 

  • This was easy. We use our “Lunch Bunch” on Fridays. My husband has chicken fingers and I have a nice salad built from the salad bar, including hard boiled egg, ham chunks, cucumbers, shredded lettuce, and a sprinkling of cheese shreds, plus one spoon of dressing.

“Flex dinner” –

  • You can see from the chart above we’re supposed to have 1 smartcarb and 2 powerfuels.
  • What we are doing is cook something we’re really missing – but a lot less of it than we used to eat. Last week we got two thin steaks. (This was a big change because we usually get thick ones to grill.) We love baked potatoes with steak. Instead of the two ‘boat-sized’ white baking potatoes we usually get, we got two little-bitty potatoes. My husband was upset, but I asked him to just try it. He asked in a deprived voice, “Can we eat corn?” while gazing longingly at a nice group of ears. I said, “yes,” not really knowing for sure, but knowing that if he feels TOO deprived, he won’t stay on the new eating plan. I convinced him that we would share one ear.
  • I froze one of the steaks and cut the one I was cooking into two pieces. Lean beef is the ‘powerfuel.” I husked the ear of corn (smartcarb) and broke it into two pieces. We each had a little, bitty potato. (a starchy carb). After we ate last night, my husband came over and said, “You always do such a perfect job that I don’t think about saying anything, but the meal tonight was delicious.”  :0)

“Flex Snack” –

  • This is easy. We go bowling with good friends most Monday evenings. Afterwards, we either celebrate our good bowling or commiserate over lousy games by going to Braums in Fort Smith. We each have one scoop of ice cream and savor every bite. (Mine is chocolate.)

The Flex idea allows us to not feel deprived, keep fun social stuff with our friends even though we’re trying to get the lard off, and put the lessons we’re learning to the test while we’re dieting, so it isn’t just a mindless process, learning to eat this way the rest of our lives.  My husband is trying to keep his sugar under control – a HUGE change for him. (He even calls ME ‘Sugar.’) When we started Nutrisystem almost a month ago now, I gave up all added salt. (I used it on everything – even things that were known to be salty.) I’m hoping this will help my blood pressure numbers.

My husband’s weight loss is 5 or 6 pounds, but the biggest thing to me is that his blood sugar numbers are the best they’ve been since we started monitoring them in 2016. I keep a record, and we started with numbers like 353 (which is future amputate your parts territory). Today it was 122. The goal is under 100, but for the first time since we discovered he has Type 2 Diabetes, we feel we might actually get to the goal.

Official end of week 4 report Thursday. Next quarterly monitoring at our primary doc’s – August 6th. (After about 3 months on the program)

Fingers crossed.

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Nutrisystem Week 2 – Progress Report

Since starting the ‘Nutrisystem for Fat Ladies’ program two weeks ago, there is less of me!

  • Weight lost:  6.6 lbs*
  • Inches Lost:  5.5 inches*

*(Couple this with what I lost before Nutrisystem – and my total loss since “MY WORST” is 19 lbs and 15.5 inches.)

My husband refuses to do anything but weigh, and he’s lost 3 lbs. He’s drinking stuff during the day, but doesn’t want to even think about drinking 64 oz of water per day. He’ll eat fruit and nuts, but fusses about anything else as his PFs and SCs each day, eating some of what I bring him, but not all. He will eat a salad, but fights other veggies, mostly, so I’m doing veggies and dip for lunch and salad for dinner. He’s on the diabetic program, and his blood sugar readings, which we take twice per week, are the best he’s had since we started monitoring him!

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I’m still feeling a bit obsessed with food, since I’m setting the alarm so I don’t miss one of our ‘feedings’ at the zoo, and am fixing PowerFuels, SmartCarbs and Veggies a good part of each day. I’m still needing to ‘read the list’ of what is good, but I’m getting better at it.  I’m finding it easier to drink the 64 oz of water daily. In-between, I have a cup of coffee in the morning and another during the evening. My body is still trying to get used to the different eating regimen, but I’m gradually feeling more comfortable.

My husband and I are going to sit down together at the computer tomorrow and make final decisions about what will be in our order that will ship soon for month #2. He found he had chosen several things he didn’t care for. I’ve been letting him eat some of my choices to get him through this first month and he wants me to help him choose for next month.

I’m learning some general things on how to eat so that we can keep this weight off as we go and through the rest of our lives:

  • Eating small amounts every 3 hours during the day keeps hunger at bay. The combinations keep your tummy happy and your energy on a steady level – probably keep my husband’s blood sugar from spiking, too.
  • Making sure you get enough protein with meat, dairy and nuts, and good fruit rounds out your nutrition.
  • A little bit of bread goes a long way.
  • Meat is used as a flavoring, rather than the main course.
  • The invention of turkey – as in sausage and patties – cuts way down on calories and tastes good, too.
  • Cutting out fat, salt and sugar is a good thing and quite doable.
  • Drinking lots of water is important
  • Making a point of exercise is important for lots of reasons
  • “What constitutes a Serving” is an eye-opener
  • Learning how to eat when NOT eating Nutrisystem is a life skill important to develop a little bit at a time.

I think the weight loss after week 1 is supposed to average 1 to 2 lbs per week. I would be very happy with that. I want to get the lard off and KEEP it off, becoming healthier in the process.

On to Week 3!

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Moving These Old Bones

YourEllipticals.com

Week 2 of the Nutrisystem program suggests that you resume – or start – exercising. No longer having any excuses, I’m trying to work in a session on the elliptical trainer and a session of deep stretching through Yoga each day.

The first day I could only do 15 minutes on the elliptical. Yesterday I was able to do 30 minutes. I wear headphones and an MP3 player clipped to my shirt as this poor old body works out. I use the elliptical trainer because it’s so much easier on the joints than other exercise machines. I can move as fast or slowly as I need to. I can decrease or increase level of pressure needed to move the pedals. I can choose how many minutes I exercise. You can smile, picturing this old broad slogging away on the elliptical in my garage, eyes closed, singing along with my favorite tunes…. :0)

 

fffound.com

I’m not yet using my DVDs for my yoga. I’m moving really slowly on my mat, holding stretches for as long as I can, breathing into them, trying to get my muscles to relax. Relaxing seems to be more of a problem than anything else. That – and getting back up off the floor! :0)  I feel much better after I’ve finished, though – more loose and flexible – so I’m determined to get on the mat every day.

The biggest problem at this point is that with eating every three hours, drinking four 16 oz bottles of water each day and the running to the bathroom that causes, plus the exercising leaves a much shorter day to do everything else that I’m used to doing.

I’ve decided though, that my health is my first priority. I’m trying to do ONE thing on my to-do list otherwise each day, and see how that goes.  Today it’s cleaning off the back porch so that we can enjoy meals out there before summer hits.

We finish Week 2 on Thursday and I’ll provide an update then.

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Folding Myself Into a Paper Airplane – Take 14

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NutriSystem suggested that I NOT exercise during the Turbo 13 week, so I happily followed that suggestion. Thursday of this week we started Week 2 of our programs, so there was no longer an excuse to lay off more formal exercising.

I’m now doing kind of a ‘free-form’ series of really long, slow stretches I learned from the “Gentle Yoga” series by instructor Cat Kabira. I found the series of DVDs through the website Sixty & Me, and I’ve been really happy – both with the website and the DVDs.

I’m stretching for 30 minutes (with Amber, our 93 pound puppy safely behind the gate in the office), trying to relax and move my body into good stretching positions and holding them and breathing into them. I lost some ground by not doing this every day, so I’m going to try to practice each day now.

The other thing I’m doing is 15 minutes on the Elliptical Trainer. We have it set up in the garage, so there is little excuse not to take advantage of it. I’m having to really push to do the 15 minutes, having been quite slothful lately.

Each day I’m getting a bit looser. I’m hoping to shed some stiffness and soreness as I move.

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Confusion Re NutriSystem Solved

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Yesterday I happily started Week 2 of our Nutrisystem plans, carefully having made note of Powerfuels (and lists of) and SmartCarbs (and lists of), as well as what each of us was to eat at the various times of the day.

I got to the point of adding dinner into my NuMi tracker records and discovered that I was going over the calorie limit at the top! I had thought that one of the perks of the Nutrisystem plan was that you didn’t have to count calories, but it was clear that I had messed up in some way. I deleted the veggies I had planned to eat and the snack I had been looking forward to eating after dinner, staying under the calorie limit.

I contacted one of the nice people connected to Nutrisystem via the live CHAT today – one of the great parts of the program, in my estimation. She said that I needed to switch to “nutrisystem’ instead of ‘turbo 13’ as the current stage of my program. (I had thought that when the NuMi page congratulated me on finishing the Turbo week, they would make any changes needed.) The kind lady switched my program stage for me and I was off to the races again.

We ate our first FLEX meal (meals eaten off the plan to teach you how to cope with the real world and not break your new eating plan). We’re supposed to eat one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack as Flex meals each week, preferably not on the same day. We ate our regular Lunch Bunch with our good friends, not wanting to change our cherished time together. My husband had his loved chicken fingers and I had a big salad and a hard boiled egg, figuring I was eating two servings of veggies and one powerfuel.

We are delighted to be eating FRUIT again!  We haven’t eaten fruit in maybe over a year, due to my husband being a type II diabetic and our trying to eat low carb. It’s such a treat! My husband’s blood sugar number yesterday was the lowest it’s been since we have been monitoring it!

We are making changes to our next order on almost a daily basis, finding things we don’t particularly care for, and other things we really like and want more of. The website makes it easy to do that.

So, my confusion and upset from yesterday was solved today. I’ll happily dive into the freezer this evening for a nice entree for each of us and probably an ice cream sandwich!!!

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And So It Begins – Getting the Lard Off – Day Three

We started Nutrisystem on Thursday of this week, the 26th. So far I’ve lost 3.6 lbs.

The Nutrisystem people stress that you shouldn’t weigh yourself every day. They suggest once a week. I’ve always weighed myself every day, though, and I need the feedback that I’m going in the right direction, or at least staying reasonably steady. Even though this is just water loss, I feel happy that I have a good start. I have a long way to go, but losing weight is a great thing to be doing with my time each day. :0)

They also stress not to do any exercise the first week. Well, that’s all well and good, but I’m getting lots of exercise getting up to go to the bathroom all day (and many times at night, too.)  Plus, life goes on, and I need to get things accomplished around here; so, no formal exercise until next week, but I HAVE been being active.

Example – since winter FINALLY seems to be over, we took the snow tires off the Honda Ridgeline yesterday and put the regular tires on. This is a laborious project, but after doing it twice a year for several years now, we have it almost down to a science. My husband does the heavy stuff, like getting the tires onto the “wheel studs.” (I just had to ask my husband what was the actual name for those. I hate to call everything ‘thingies.’) I’m a pretty good go-fer – rolling the snow tires out of the way, rolling the regular tire over to my husband, handing him the wheel nuts, bringing him tools, putting things away, etc. It takes us about half an hour now, when the first time it took us twice that.

I also planted a 6-pack of tomato plants and several squares of radishes yesterday. Since we don’t have our irrigation system going yet, later I got a hose hooked up and watered them.  I rolled up our big fireplace rug and stored it under the stairs in a storage place and then vacuumed the living room, foyer, and office. The big thing yesterday was washing the two large dog bed covers, airing out the innards, then putting everything back together.

Add to that setting a timer so that we stay on our program for the day, eating every 3 hours, and you have much of our day yesterday.

My attitude is better since we’re finally on the road again to getting the lard off. I’m hopeful that as the extra weight comes off, we’ll feel better and better.

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Whisper

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We made it through Day 1 of Nutrisystem. We have to say that they have improved a lot since we tried it years ago. I am eating and drinking out of the ‘magic red box’ (Turbo 13) in the Uniquely Yours for Fat Ladies program, and my husband is in the Diabetic Uniquely Yours program. His reaction yesterday was, “This isn’t half bad!”

Honestly, we were so busy eating or drinking at the proper times we hardly had time for much else. :0)  We weren’t hungry. We did have a pang after dinner when we would usually have an ice cream sandwich or an orange dream bar, but we can have an after dinner snack NEXT week.

I drank the 64 oz of water, plus a couple of cups of coffee, so I got my exercise running to the bathroom during the day and four times last night…

We have Lunch Bunch today. We’ve done this for a hundred years or so, seeing good friends and catching up, and we’ll continue doing it regardless of what eating program we’re on. Starting next week, we can have Lunch Bunch be our flex lunch, as we’ll have our ice cream after bowling be our flex snack. Today I’m going to have a salad and write it up as the one I would have had with my lunch later, as one of my 4 servings of veggies per day. I’ll try to keep my husband on track for the rest of the day, but he’ll make the decision whether to cooperate or not.

I’ve started losing the expected water weight, so my body is recognizing that things have changed. Good start!

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NuMi

Today is our first day on NutriSystem. I’m on the Uniquely Yours (for fat ladies) program and am eating from the Turbo 13 (magic) red box. My husband is on the Diabetic Uniquely Yours for Men. I ate the Maple Sugar Oatmeal breakfast and my husband ate the Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. I don’t care for oatmeal, but it was easy to fix and I found it palatable.

We essentially eat and drink all day –

8:30 breakfast
11:30 Snack One (first week a shake)
2:30 Lunch + veggie
5:30 Snack Two – (first week a nutrition bar)
8:30 Dinner + veggie
+ at least 64 oz of water (I’ll try for a 16 oz bottle of water for each main meal, and then one sipped during the day.)

For exercise, we’ll run back and forth to the bathroom from drinking all the water!

I have to tell you that, since my husband and I tend to use “National Tissue Week” as an excuse to go off our good eating plans, having meals (and especially portions) will be a great wake up call for us. I don’t seem to have the proper whatevers that are supposed to tell you you are full. I could eat a full meal and then eat another an hour later, so I’m also looking forward to only having to go three hours between eating.

The last time we tried Nutrisystem several years ago, they didn’t offer frozen food, and the variety of foods was less than we would have liked. Now it could be months before we can try everything! I’m also hoping that they won’t start discontinuing the options my husband has chosen, as they did last time. That was the thing that made us stop. Now they have as a major focus teaching you what is healthy to eat, what a reasonable portion is, and have you practice flex meals once each week from Week 2 on. This gives you a chance to not only learn how to choose what to eat if you eat out, but guidance as to what to eat for home-cooked meals so that you can learn healthy habits from the outset.

This morning I started NuMi, a food tracker to guide you through the program. You can input your goals, monitor your progress, record what you eat and drink, etc. One of the first questions was where I was in the program. When I input that this was my first day on the Turbo 13 week of Uniquely Yours for Fat Women, it immediately came up with what I was supposed to be eating today. I input my maple sugar oatmeal and it told me how many more calories I had allotted for the day, and showed me what else I would be eating.

I went through the quick tour, then immediately screwed up. I hit the ‘fast entry’ button for breakfast, and then decided I wanted to actually type in what I ate. I had a time getting the first entry off, but finally did it.

I hope that this program will help us, indeed, get the lard off, and teach us how to KEEP it off once we reach our goals. My husband will reach his goal before I do, but I’m hoping he’ll keep me company, continuing to use the program, or be satisfied with my new cooking choices and techniques.

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Almost There!

Our frozen stuff was just delivered by Fedex. It was nicely packed in large styrofoam coolers with dry ice, the whole cooler shrink-wrapped and clearly labeled whose was whose.

We have just finished putting things away. It turned out that our frozen snacks went into the freezer in the pantry. Mine fit in one gallon sized ziplock bag, so I didn’t have to mark anything. Of the three trays I had cleaned out in the chest type freezer in the garage, my husband’s frozen stuff filled two of them to the brim. I put some of my stuff in the third tray, and put others in gallon ziplock bags. It’s really clear whose stuff is whose, so I didn’t have to mark those, either. :0)

 

 

Today is our last hurrah of ‘free eating.’ I’m not sure how we’ll spend it.

Tomorrow morning will start the first day of our Nutrisystem plans.

 

Any time you change your eating habits violently, there will be snags. We have Lunch Bunch Friday. I’ll go to visit with my friends and have a glass of water, opting to religiously stay on the program until I get a ‘flex meal’ NEXT week. My husband has opted to get his regular chicken fingers for Lunch Bunch. One meal off the plan in the first week won’t be the end of the world. He has agreed to do this, so I’ll work on getting him to go with the program as much as possible.

Tomorrow I’ll make us a salad bowl – two cups each for each of us , so all we have to do is dip out the servings when it’s time to eat lunch or dinner. I’ll also plan to serve us a cup each of broccoli with our dinner.  (A serving is one cup of raw non-starchy veggies or 1/2 cup of cooked veggies, so this will be our 4 servings for the day.)

______________________

“Here is a quick glance at what you’ll eat during your first week on Nutrisystem:*

  • Nutrisystem Breakfast from Turbo Takeoff Box  (Husband chooses from his stash)
  • TurboShake (for women) or Nutri-Pro Shakes (for men)
  • Nutrisystem Lunch from Turbo Takeoff Box (husband chooses from his stash)
  • NutriCurb Bar
  • Nutrisystem Dinner from Turbo Takeoff Box (husband chooses from his stash)
  • At least four servings of non-starchy veggies and 64 ounces of water throughout the day

Source: NUTRISYSTEM

(Exercise is taken care of from drinking the 64 (at least) oz of water each day. Our eyeballs will be swimming, and we’ll be running to the bathroom a lot. :0)”

I hope that you are finding ways to take good care of yourself.  Hopefully, this will be the start of our getting the lard off, moving more, and feeling better and better.

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Getting the Food for NutriSystem

 

Our NON-frozen food boxes for the first month were delivered this morning. My husband and I have agreed that we don’t want to start the program until we get all the stuff for the first month. I haven’t received emails that they’ve shipped the frozen portion of our order yet.

I have their pictured diagram of what we are supposed to do the first week on the fridge. I have the Turbo13 red box that starts the program for fat ladies, and my husband has a small box of shake powder packets and the rest of his non-frozen choices.

I eat ONLY from the magic red box the first week and he drinks a shake each day, plus has a hunger-curbing bar the first week, plus his regular choices for the diabetic program. He’ll want to try the frozen stuff first, so that’s the main reason we’ll wait to start until that arrives. I want us to be in sync and as happy as possible that we’re starting to get the lard off together.

Example: he looked at the schedule of his eating for a typical day and said, “Okay. 7am That’s it. I’m not getting up any earlier to eat.” THEN, I’m not going to eat 6 times a day.”  I told him – gritting my teeth – that all this signified was that he was supposed to eat every 2-3 hours during the day, breakfast – a shake mid-morning – lunch – a snack mid-afternoon – dinner – a snack before bed, starting  at 8am and stopping after the after dinner snack. He grumbled, and then said that sounded okay, but that he wasn’t sure he’d eat all the snacks. I told him that if he didn’t, it would actually hinder his weight loss and he wouldn’t get the nutrition he’s supposed to get.  I also reminded him that we discussed all this and we agreed to it before I placed the order. Grumbling again…..  (I think this is all for show. He wants to lose weight. He just likes to drag his feet.)

I cleared some plastic bins to hold our non-frozen choices. I’ll put our stuff away this morning, labeling his food AND the bins so we don’t get mixed up.

I’m starting to read through the material that came with our food, trying to find out if we need to get something special at the store. So far, I’ve found that we need to buy two shaker bottles for the shakes.

I will measure all my parts so that I can hopefully prepare to be very pleased – if I’m a good girl – with the results.

I’m still feeling pretty overwhelmed, but I’m improving.  I’ll wait to start NUMI – their food and exercise tracker – until the first day we actually start the program. Hopefully, we’ll get the emails re the frozen choices very soon.

I’m getting antsy to start!

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Trying to Get Ready for Nutrisystem

The ads for men say, “Eat the food, lose the weight.” Simple, right?

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. My husband agreed to get on the “Diabetic Uniquely Yours for Men, Custom Menu.” As far as HE’S concerned now, it’s ‘Eat the food, lose the weight.” I ordered “Uniquely Yours for Women – Custom Menu” for me.

In order to get him to try this, I had to do a LOT of prep work. We’ve been on Nutrisystem before, several years ago. We quit because my husband was irate that they discontinued all the meals he liked, one at a time. The number of choices wasn’t as good back then, and they didn’t offer frozen stuff as they do now. He’s really gun-shy after our first experience, so I’m trying to run interference as much as possible.

I finally got things so he could sit down in his chair beside me at the computer and he could choose what looked good while I made notes. At one point when we started with his order I thought it was ‘game over,’ because his lunch choices weren’t coming up when we were on the lunch ordering page. I contacted the chat expert, and we finally figured out that do to some error on my part, we had somehow gotten on the dinner page. THAT was why the things he wanted didn’t show. The chat guy, Jeff, helped us figure things out.

I then fought through trying to order MY plan. At first they wouldn’t let me use my email address with another password. I got on chat again, explained my husband didn’t want to receive any emails from them, so I had used my email to order his plan. She figured out a way around the problem, guided me through the maze again, and I was really grateful.

Nutrisystem

Since we placed our orders, I’ve been reading everything on the website, trying to figure out what to expect. You can find answers, but there is a LOT to go through to get them. I’ve finally started a notebook, printed things and put them in the notebook for quicker reference.

I found out through the reading that they ship the non-frozen stuff separately from the frozen stuff. This makes sense because the frozen stuff comes in a truck rigged to carry frozen things. I got the emails that both of our non-frozen orders were shipping today. I can’t track them yet, so I don’t know when to expect them. They’ll send more emails when the frozen stuff ships.

I have cleaned out freezers to get ready to store our food when it arrives. The non-frozen food won’t be as hard to store. I’ve figured out a system for marking my husband’s food so we don’t get things mixed up. He’s sneering at me, but doesn’t have a better suggestion, so I’ll do what I planned and see if it works.

I’m still looking for the cut-off date for changing the items on our next order is. I’m sure that we’ll find things we really don’t care for (at least we did the first time.) I want to be sure I can change our order in time that we don’t get 6 more of something we hate the next month.

I have put up ‘what we eat the first week’ on the fridge in the kitchen. I’m sure my husband will balk at eating 6 times a day, but I will encourage it, just the same. Then, if he doesn’t, at least I tried.

So far, I’m ending up brain-dead by dinner time, after working on this a lot of the day for several days now, trying to figure out what to do when we start. I’ve decided our “4 servings of veggies each day” will be salad with lunch and dinner.  Otherwise, if needed, I’ll have cherry tomatoes and celery ready to put on our plates.

I have some of our flex meals figured out. We have ice cream after bowling once a week with friends. That’s our on-our-own snack for the week. Our on-our-own lunch will be when we meet our friends for Friday’s “Lunch Bunch.” (I’ll switch to making a salad at the salad bar.) Not sure what we’ll do for our on-our-own dinner, but I have time yet. On-our-own breakfast won’t be a problem. I like that they are encouraging us to pay attention to what we’re eating from the beginning of the program, both what is prepared for us and what we choose for our flex meals.

Just “Eat the food, lose the weight.” Yeah.

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Breaking Bad Habits – Getting the Lard Off

 

We have made a major decision on our efforts to get the lard off.

I’ve been cooking low-carb for quite a while now. We’re healthier than we were, but one or both of us keeps cheating and it’s been going on too long. My appetite is enough to kill a horse, and my husband describes me lovingly as, “Mean as a snake” when I’m hungry. He is Type 2 Diabetic (although he doesn’t admit it, thinking you’re only diabetic if you need to inject insulin). He eats what I fix him and THEN also eats no-sugar-added stuff, plus regular stuff he shouldn’t, and then gets frustrated when his A1C numbers are still too high. We had a frank discussion and decided that we have been kidding ourselves and needed help.

We were on NutriSystem before, several years ago. We did well, but we quit because they discontinued all the things my husband liked, one by one, and there weren’t that many choices.  When we quit, we put the weight right back on. :0(

Since then, they have developed a program for Type II diabetics!  There are 150 choices on his plan, plus a LOT of frozen choices, allowing the food to be a lot more appetizing. (At least they sound and look that way in the pictures.)  We ordered the first month’s “Uniquely Yours Diabetic Plan for Men – Custom Menu.”

I got the regular plan for fat ladies – “Uniquely Yours for Women – Custom Menu.” 

We used their chat service for ordering both, since we had a lot of questions and had some problems navigating the site. Both people were really helpful. Our first month’s food is on its way.

I’m trying to get organized for the new program. I cleaned out our freezers as much as possible, since both of us ordered a lot of frozen foods. It’s supposed to come on a truck made to carry frozen stuff. If we’re not here to receive it when they come, they pack it in dry ice that will keep it good for 6 to 8 hours. I think our food is supposed to come within 4 to 10 business days. I’m going to see if I can narrow it down so we can make plans.  I don’t know if the non-frozen stuff comes separately from the frozen or not.

There are several guides on the website. There was a mention of supplementing their food with salad and veggies. I’m trying to look at these, print them, and make notes on what we ordered. We decided to use the auto-delivery system, saving money, and we’re supposed to be able to change our next month’s order if we want to. I’ll have to find out when the cut off date is for that.

The low carb eating plan is a good one, but not when you stray off the plan for excuses, such as National Pickle Week, Friend’s Day, or whatever, constantly, it understandably doesn’t work well.

The new Nutrisystem plan is attempting to guide you on eating sensibly when you’re not eating the prepared foods, so you’re on your own once a week for a breakfast, a lunch, a dinner, and a snack. (We can build this into our lives fairly easily, using our “Lunch Bunch” on Fridays as our lunch out, and our bowling evening as our snack out, and then winging the on-your-own dinner and breakfast each week.

We’re hoping that there are enough choices that even if they discontinue things we like, we can substitute others. Time will tell.

I’m going to use their “NUMI” tracking software, too. I’m planning to really pay attention to the ingredients on what we’re eating, reading labels to get an idea of what we’re eating, how many calories, etc., so I can plan to carry on when we don’t need to be on the plan anymore.

We’re looking forward to actually getting the lard off, instead of just kidding ourselves.

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Square Foot Garden After Storm

We had bad storms with a strong cold front Friday afternoon and evening – including tornadoes, damaging winds, rain, hail, and flying hair balls. I was worried that my fledgling square foot garden plants would get battered.  Yesterday and today we’ve had cold temperatures for April in Arkansas – barely 40 and gusty north winds.

As you can see, the garden is doing fine. WHEW!  Thank  goodness these are all cool weather plants!  I may lose some of my tomato plants, but the rest of the garden is good.

 

 

Broccoli

 

Iceberg Head Lettuce

 

Romaine Lettuce

 

Spinach

It’s almost time to start snipping!  I can gather the outer, larger leaves of the lettuces and the spinach soon. As soon as it warms up a bit, I’ll get some radishes started.

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Progress of a Sort

BOOMSbeat-YouTube_MrFunnyMals

I have a good start on the ‘reboot’ of my low carb eating and exercise plan now.  I’ve been good for a week now, even managing to lose a bit of weight when we went out to eat. I lost 3 lb this week. My totals are: a loss of 17 lbs and 10.5 inches. I’m still playing catch-up and re-lose from my ‘stumble-and-splat’ when I was concentrating on my husband’s need for low or no sugar, rather than paying attention to that AND low carbs. Lesson finally learned.  I’ve also learned that just working hard isn’t a good substitute for actual exercise.

I’m finding some low carb recipes that are real winners lately. My husband is requesting that I include them on the menus for the week! I’m trying to post – if not the entire recipe – at least the link to it. (One lady asked me very nicely to only give the link to the recipe on her website, rather than posting the whole thing with credit, so I’ll comply.) You can find some of them under two categories here: “Cooking/Canning/Recipes/Low Carb” and “Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle.”

One thing that is really helping me keep my head on straight on how many carbs and calories I’m eating is the MyFitnessPal.com website.  This has the best database of foods I have found. On other websites, you have to list each ingredient in a recipe in order to get a total carb count. I just don’t have the patience for that. On this website, you type in what you hope to find already listed. If it isn’t there, you can add it, all on one short form and then click to share it with others or not. This is really great. They also have a reasonable exercise database. You can record what you did and the number or reps or time you spent. I’m trying to stay under 40 carbs and 1200 calories per day. I can change what I’m planning to fix for dinner so that I stay on track. I like that a lot.

For exercise, I’m on my elliptical trainer in the garage most days. I also do careful stretching via yoga, concentrating on trying to convince this old body to RELAX. After all the work I’ve been doing cleaning out my house and working in the yard lately, I find this takes longer and longer. I just hold a pose – breathing into it until I feel my muscles ‘give’ and I’m comfortable. This is helping me feel better. Today I had extra help with that because I enjoyed a wonderful massage! My therapist, Lynn, really listens and does all she can to help me. Today we discovered that most of my sore muscles were on my right side – I guess from all the hauling of Mel’s Mix to the garden. I’ll have to concentrate on carrying the basket left-handed and see if that helps. :0)  If you live in the Greenwood area, you can contact Lynn Moody at 479-629-7601 or via email at lynnmoody42@yahoo.com. I’m so lucky to have found her.

I feel good that I’m again on the way to getting the lard off and feeling better.

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I Know, I Know….

Wondrlust

I’ve told you recently that I was “back in the saddle” on my dieting and exercise. I guess I lied.

Today marks the fact that I’m not giving up. I just came in from doing 30 minutes on my elliptical trainer in the garage.  Right now I feel better, looser. I may pay for it tonight, when I need a crane to get me up out of my recliner; but right now I’m happy that I did that. Later today, after vacuuming the first floor carpet, I’ll do the first yoga-for-old-broads I’ve done in quite awhile, seeing if I can stretch out some muscles.

I just took our doggies out; and while I filled up the bird feeders on the deck, they ran off.  I had a good walk around and around the house, pushing the warning button on the zapper that controls Amber’s shock collar. Our sweet cocker spaniel/schnauzer cross, Molly, is almost completely deaf, so I didn’t bother to try calling her. I walked around, holding the zapper in different directions in back of the house, and then in the front of the house, warning and calling Amber. I was starting to get concerned when Amber came running. Whew!

I also started MyFitnessPal.com up again, realizing that whatever I’ve been doing lately isn’t working for me. We’re eating low carb, but we’re also eating other stuff, and the pounds have been creeping up. I’ve lost ground on my inches lost, as well. To say I’m not a happy camper today is the biggest understatement ever.

But – I’m not a quitter. Even though I’m as old as dirt and the poundage and lard take forever to come off, I CAN do one day at a time and not beat myself up over losing ground. I won’t get points for losing a certain poundage in a certain amount of time. No one will give me an award for there being less of me than there was.

The important thing is that I don’t want to FEEL as old as dirt. I want to have enough energy to do what I’d like to do, rather than crashing in the afternoons. I’d like to move with less pain. I don’t want my life to revolve around what hurts the most today.

I have a lot of fun things I want to do. I want to get up to my newly cleaned out and organized art room and start playing!  I want to spend some time each day getting my new greenhouse organized and ready to plant. I want to use my concrete mixer to mix up Mel’s Mix to fill up my raised bed gardens. I want to think about getting spring plants in.

“I” will be my own reward, doing the things I would like to do. Today is another opportunity to get it right.

taolife.com

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Getting the Lard Off – Progress Report – Jan 2018

Earth Porn

We’ve been down, up again, and all over the place for the past several months in our efforts to get the lard off and move more. We went to our primary doctor yesterday for our quarterly checkup. I can say for sure that two things have remained steady: we’re still alive and we’re still old. This is a new primary doctor for us, as the one we loved moved to Russellville. We lucked out, though, getting a really smart female doctor who listens to us, and works with us. It seems we won the lottery twice on doctors. She approves of our efforts to eat low carb. We’ll see her again the 2nd of May, so we have three months to see some good changes.

I promised to report to you on a regular basis. I find this is much easier when I have good news to report. Not so much when we’ve strayed off the path. We’ve been being good again for approximately two weeks. To date – I’ve lost a little over 18 lbs and 15 inches. We’re redoubling our efforts to NOT use National Pickle Week as an excuse to eat a no-no.

Honestly, if we keep our heads on straight, eating low carb isn’t that tough. The main things I miss are starches, like white rice, white potatoes, pastas, and the salty food group – chips. People tell me a simple thing, like, “Don’t keep that stuff in the house.” The problem is that they are not married to my husband, who says life isn’t worth living without chips. They CALL to us from the pantry! So far, I’m being good.

I’ve been working hard at cleaning things out around the house, so I’ve been moving a lot, even though it’s not with official exercises.

I’m hoping that over the next three months we’ll be firmly back in the saddle of our low carb lifestyle, losing weight and inches. Getting older makes it harder, but we can do it.

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On the Right Track Again – Finally

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My husband and I have had a hard time for the past 6 months or so on our efforts to get the lard off and get healthier by moving more. We simply drifted off the track, endlessly seeing yet another excuse for splurging or ignoring our guidelines. Excuses, lies, and blather followed.

We’ve been trying various things over the past month or so – some successful to a certain extent, but not really being serious on a long-term basis in our heads. Last Monday we came up with a combination that seems to be working for us! There are certain things that are important that we keep – such as my husband’s fruit and cereal in the morning and our orange dream bars at night – but everything else is on the table for discussion.

My husband likes to eat out at lunch. This has been one large problem because we tend to choose the wrong things at the deli, as an example. I have decided to be prepared to fix us a large salad for lunch each day. If my husband decides suddenly that ‘we’ should stop at CV’s and he wants to get lunch at  the deli, he can do that. If he does, I have a go-to meal I can throw together at home, some combination of raw veggies and dip, hard boiled egg, a bit of meat – things like that. For dinner we’re staying low carb. Last night we had a roast from the crock pot and some steamed mixed veggies. My husband is a big boy and can make decisions about whether he REALLY wants to eat half a bag of potato chips while he’s reading in the afternoon… We also chose carefully and stockpiled our pantry freezer with low carb, low sugar frozen dinners, so we’re not derailed if I’m “too tired to cook.” I’m concentrating on drinking more water during the day, as well.

Since last Monday I’ve lost 5 lbs. (18.2 total from my highest weight.)  I’m down 13″ from my starting point so far.

I’m hoping that I’ve finally turned the corner again, taking responsibility for what I put in my own mouth, rather than grabbing excuses out of the air and pointing fingers elsewhere.  I’ve told myself that I won’t be upset if the scales or the tape measure don’t show any improvement from one week to the next. I just want them NOT to INCREASE!

I have not been doing my exercising, again using lame excuses. :0(    We have a 91 pound lab ‘puppy’ who tends to come in and run over me on the floor on my yoga mat, knock me over, or lick me to death. There ARE ways around this problem.  It has been REALLLLLLY cold for Arkansas this month. My elliptical trainer lives in the garage, so I’ve been using the excuse that it was too cold to do that. (The fact that I have walking DVDs in the house has been ignored.) I have also piously excused myself because I have been tackling an area most days to DEEP clean, including taking everything out, going through it all, deciding what to keep, what to donate, and what to throw away before cleaning the area and all things in it and reorganizing. This is a good thing to do – and LONG overdue – but NOT a valid excuse for not doing regular exercise.

I’m giving myself a bit of slack, though, because I HAVE been eating much healthier and taking responsibility, so I’m honoring my promise to

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but I need to put this together with an honest effort to at least do some yoga stretching each day. I’ll concentrate on that this week.

Wish me luck?

 

 

 

 

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Juggling to Get the Lard Off

I’ve been doing well the last couple of days on my latest effort to lose the lard. This is my 3rd day of doing 15 minutes on my elliptical trainer in the garage (MUCH easier when I can get my music to play.)  I’m also folding myself into a paper airplane – doing 30 minutes of deep stretching yoga for old broads – slowly and carefully, as I’ve apparently tied myself in knots over the period I didn’t practice. I’ve done really well on my low-carb eating plan of  40 carbs per day and 1200 calories per day. Actually, I’ve had an easy time of staying under the calorie limit, but I’ve really had to juggle to get my carbs in line!

My laxness lately and the on-again-off-again cold weather here has caused my usually reasonable judgment to nosedive. My husband and I really like the fried catfish sold for lunch at one of the local deli’s. I’m getting two pieces of fish. (My husband gets the full dinner.)  Today I can make us a nice big salad for dinner with kielbasa leftovers from a recent grill outside.  Several times, though, I’ve wanted to serve our leftover beef stew with low carb garlic bread. It’s obvious that any time we go to the deli that idea is out!

The thing that is really helping me adjust my thinking, portions, and meals is MyFitnessPal.com.

I usually eat the same thing for breakfast every day except Friday, when we go to Lunch Bunch (brunch for us.) I can add things as I go, and then figure out the rest of the day thanks to their really superior, easy-to-use database of foods. I can hunt for something, find it and add it to my personal list, or I can add something if I can’t find it. I can keep changing and juggling until the numbers add up the way I want them to. I’ve tried several other record-your-eating-and-exercise websites, and I find this is the best one for me.

It makes me feel good to be giving healthier eating and exercise my best efforts again.

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“Want To” vs “Doing”

Translating intention to action to results is difficult. If I could bottle it, I would be a gazillionaire and could stop entering PCH and MegaMillions.

Trying to get myself to actually DO the things day after day that will get the results I want seems like a pipe dream at times. When I’m eating right, doing yoga and my elliptical trainer, and concentrating on moving more, I feel better – physically, mentally, and emotionally. So why am I still having to MAKE myself do these things, lapsing for a day or two, losing my motivation, failing to take each day at a time?

I am again talking to myself – pretty harshly – since I think I may be like our lab puppy, Amber, and need a shock collar to take things seriously, rather than blowing things off.

THIS TIME – I have my ducks more in a row (if you’ll pardon the pun on the pic above.)

  • I’ve been missing bread a LOT. I’ve now found Bob’s Red Mill Low Carb Bread Mix that is a net 5 carbs per slice. I wrapped it around a hot dog yesterday and bit in with gusto. (I’m still going to try my new weird screaming green silicone bread maker thingie, but I’m finding other priorities at the moment.)
  • Thanks to my son, I found a new nutrition counter and log called “Cronometer” to replace MyFitnessPal, which is good, but the people don’t maintain the website well. The front page hasn’t come up for months. I haven’t tried to add a recipe new to the website yet, but, so far, entering what I eat and logging in my exercise daily is quick and easy.
  • Since my back finally quit hurting (still no clue what I did to cause the situation) – I am able to do careful stretching in prep for getting back to my “Gentle Yoga” DVDs with Cat Kabira.
  • Also, since my back quit hurting, I am able to start catching up with all the house cleaning that was ignored while I vegged out in my recliner on my heat pad on muscle relaxers, ointments, pain patches, etc. Feeling that I’m doing something significant each day to purge/clean/reorganize is making me feel more together and in control of things. (Today’s project is finishing up scrubbing the master bathroom)
  • We’re supposed to get rain today/tonight and a very welcome cool front, lowering the temperatures and humidity that have it feeling like over 100 degrees F. for the past month. We are more than ready, and I’m itching to get back out to my square foot garden and see what’s what. :0)

Tonight we’re having spaghetti and salad, with a bit of bread. (Newman’s Own Marina sauce is low-carb. My husband prefers small elbow macaroni to spaghetti, so I’ll fix that for him. I’ll have spaghetti squash as an alternative to spaghetti, and a piece of my low-carb bread I made.)

SO – desire to be healthier, get the lard off, increase my flexibility and overall health merge with good intention, motivation, means, and attitude to give me a good start. One day at a time.

 

TaoLife.com

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Goals

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Yesterday we had our quarterly primary doctor appointment.

Our doctor was really happy with our blood test results.  I’m doing well on my current dosage for thyroid and my numbers otherwise continue to improve – all in the normal range now, when I used to have high cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. My blood pressure was the best ever. – 124 over 68.  My husband’s A1C showed the best results since we had the scare about a year ago. His number then was 16.1 (this is a ‘call-the-medics’ SCARY number on diabetes). It is now down to 7.3. We’re shooting for under 7, and our doc says this is doable, and he was REALLY happy with my husband’s efforts to cut out sugar. :0)

Now, all ‘I’ have to do is get the lard off.

To date I’m down 25+ pounds and 18-1/2 inches.

We’re following a low carb diet with as low numbers on sugar as possible. I’m trying to stay under 1200 calories and 40 carbs per day.

Yesterday I had my best day ever on steps – almost 8,000. I’m seriously trying to move more – a bit of a challenge lately since my back keeps having spasms. My doc checked it out, confirmed it was in the muscles rather than the spine, and put me on muscle relaxant meds for about a week. He wants me to take them for two days and then I can EASE back into my yoga.  Then I’ll try for a yoga session and a half hour on my elliptical daily.

I’m tracking what I’m eating and my exercise on MyFitnessPal.com. The fixing of problems on their website isn’t great. The main page where you can see how many days in a row you’ve checked in, see how much weight you’ve lost, etc., is STILL not working (over 3 weeks now), but their foods data is the best I’ve seen, so I’m staying with them.

My husband and I are finally on the same page on motivation to eat right. This is really helpful. My willpower isn’t that great, and it doesn’t take much at all for me to throw in the towel and go get a pizza. Last night, though, when we were exhausted from our efforts all day long, my husband suggested we go to Subway. I can get a double chicken, bacon, and ranch salad that is really good and on my diet, and my husband can indulge in a foot long sandwich. He was good last night, except for getting 2 oatmeal raisin cookies… :0)

SO – WE CAN DO IT!

I’m hopeful that by the end of September, I can report a reasonable weight and inches loss. I’ll keep on keepin’ on, and concentrate on

 

TaoLife.com

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MyFitnessPal.com

I use MyFitnessPal.com to help me stay on task in my efforts to stay under 1200 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrates each day.

I’ve been annoyed for the past three weeks or so because the “My Home Page” isn’t working properly. No one seems to be trying to fit it, so the annoyance grows.

I tried two other online free food and exercise websites. I used them for several days each, because there is a learning curve, and ‘different’ seems harder at first. I finally gave up and went back to MyFitnessPal because of their food search feature. This is by FAR the best food search I’ve found. I can look to see if a food or recipe is already in the data bank. If it isn’t, I have the option to add it, and another option if I want to share it with others. I can add foods quickly once they are a part of my personal eating history.

One of the programs I tried required that I add EACH INGREDIENT of a recipe separately, then add them up and name them. They had no record of what I had eaten before, so I had to look each thing up for every meal. Bah – Humbug!

One of the programs didn’t list carbs. I had to list the foods I was planning to eat, then show ‘reports’ to figure out if I was staying under my limit for carbs for the day. Bah – again!

One of the programs insists that you look for things in a certain manner – example: first ‘egg,’ then ‘hard-boiled’ wasn’t listed, so I had to change to ‘custom’ to get another list! (Each time I ate one! Bah-for the last time.

SO – MyFitnessPal isn’t perfect, but for my needs, it’s wonderful, non-working home page and all.

 

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