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How I became slim, trim and healthy. Day 22

Sunday, January 17, 2010


It seems that everytime I pick up The SPARK to read the next chapter, Chris is talking about something that parallels what is happening to me, just at that moment. Yesterday I started measuring my food because that was his suggestion and I found, that the suggested serving of shredded wheat and bran with milk and a banana spilled over the edge of the bowl I always use. I never eat that much so this morning I cut back to 3/4 cup cereal, 3/4 c milk and 1 banana and it filled me up nicely. You know, in most weight loss programs, they only want you to eat 1/2 of a banana. Now, what do you do with the other half?
Another good thing happened too. My mom-in-law, who lives in a retirement home, wanted me to bake 2 packages of Martha White muffins so she could freeze them and have them for breakfast. As I was taking them out of the pans, a piece broke off and I tasted it. It was so sweet, I opted for my cereal instead. Just a few weeks ago, I would have had at least 3 slathered with butter and nothing else.

Last night we went to the annual banquet of my husband's barbershop group. Dinner didn't come until after 6:30, and I was so hungry, I ate everything delivered to me including a wheat roll and 2 slices of garlic bread. Now, some would call this a bad day and go off the deep end the next day. But I look at it as making a choice. I chose to eat the meal served to me and aside from the bread, it was very good, parmesan crusted chicken and vegetables. It was my choice to eat my meal so how could I label it as a bad choice? The dessert was creme brulee with a sugar crust, delicious, and there was no way I was passing that up. One of my goals this year is to reserve desserts and sweets for special occassions and last night was one of those. ANd I have been really good about not eating sweets any other time. So in effect, it was actually a good day.

I'm not going to fill out my nutrition tracker, takes to long and why bother. I'm just starting over again today to track and eat healthy, just as Chris suggests.

Until tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

USARUNNERGIRL 1/17/2010 11:03PM

    Good attitude. Woohoo.

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KASEYCOFF 1/17/2010 11:33AM

    Your husband sings barbershop? So does (did!) my daughter, with Sweet Adelines in Lancaster, PA. One of her concerts that we attended featured the prize-winning men's group 'Old School.' They are fantastic!

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Prelude to Desert Storm

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I can't help it. It's all rolling around in my head and I have to put it down. This will be an incredible story for all to read.

In January 1972, I reported to Officer Training School (OTS) at Lackland AFB in Texas. My recruiter had taken me to the airport and it was late when I arrived. I climbed onto a blue Air Force bus with two or three young men and I was driven to the in processing center. From there I was taken to the women's OTS barracks where I was given a bunk with a roommate who was already asleep. The next morning, up at 0530 and into a line of women, we marched silently, still in our civilian clothes, to the chow hall. All we were told was that we had to keep our heads down and we could not talk at the table except to ask for the salt. That is when I started to drink black coffee, too scared to ask for sugar and cream.

I had always wanted to join the military and finally, at age 23, I had achieved my dream. The Air Force has weight and fitness standards and my maximum weight for my height was 147 pounds. I was at about 145 and struggled to maintain that. There wasn't an ounce of fat on my body, I had a large bone structure and I was 5"7" tall. Nothing was going to keep me from getting into the Air Force so I practically starved myself to make sure I met that weight limit. During my training, we marched everywhere we went so keeping it off wasn't a problem.

To make a long story short, I was commissioned and assigned to Tyndall AFB in Florida. I met my husband at the bar in the Officer's Club. He was assigned to Thailand and I flew over to Bangkok where we got married in order to be stationed together when he got back. We went to Cannon AFB, New Mexico. After 3 years, I was pregnant and scheduled to get out of the service. My husband got an assignment to RAF Bentwaters, England and we were there soon after. My two sons were born in ENgland and we absolutely loved it there. On the way back to the states, we were assigned to Hurlburt Field in the Panhandle of Florida where we live still to this day. I immediately applied to go back into the Air Force Reserves and within a year, I had an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) assignment to Eglin AFB, still in our home town.

I spent 20 years, 2 months and 21 days in the Air Force, retiring on June 1, 1996. My most memorable moment would be the day I was called up in support of Operation Desert Storm, January 2, 1991. All during the 1980's, being in the reserve forces was tough because we weren't that appreciated and it didn't seem like we would ever be needed. People would ask me, "What are your chances of being called up?" And I would answer, "Slim to none." Boy was I wrong. Everything changed on that fateful day in 1991 when I received a phone call telling me to stand by to report for active duty.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIVWIG 1/28/2010 12:05PM

    You got me to go back through your history of Blogs to find another dealing with Desert Storm. I spent 4 years in the Marines and then switched over to Army National Guard. We didn't get called up for Desert Storm, but another unit in our Armory did. I remember how much that and then later 9/11 changed how everyone looked at the Reserves and National Guard. I plan on retiring in 428 days. Keep the blogs comming. I'm waiting with baited breath!!

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MARYALINE 1/20/2010 5:11PM

    My Marine reserve brother went to Desert Storm back then tooo.

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4DOGNIGHT 1/17/2010 9:44AM

    The next segment will have to wait a few days while I take care of everything else I'm supposed to do for the next few days.

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SGKAYLOR 1/16/2010 9:08PM

    Can't wait to read more, great cliffhanger there lol!!!

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    To be continued? I'm hanging on your every word!

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How I became slim, trim and healthy. Day 21

Saturday, January 16, 2010


This morning I spilled the beans! Literally! I was making coffee and knocked the bag of coffee beans onto the kitchen floor! I'm just not good until I have my two cups of regular caffeinated coffee in the morning. And some of these diets tell us to kick the caffeine, oh, come on. Hubby cleaned it up with the vacuum and I got out the broom and finished it off. That's togetherness for you.

Anyway, I had planned a 3 mile walk with my friend Pat today and it is raining. Bummer, I was looking forward to that walk after a mostly cold and sedentary two weeks. I was reading chapter 4 of the book last night and Chris says, "Dieting without a lifestyle change is like patching a flat tire." A Temporary fix won't fix it permanently. That is exactly what I was trying to say in my mantra!! We think alike!! It has been 3 weeks today that I began blogging. And I've lost 2 lbs!!. In the past, I would have been so discouraged by now and given it up. Only 2 lbs in 3 weeks is not a quick fix but I understand now that this is a lifestyle change and while I'm learning, it will take longer to lose. It's kind of like having a new baby. By the end of the first month, you have your routine in place.

There is so much to learn on this site and yesterday I found the second step where it said to measure all of your food according to the portions on the label. Now that makes sense. I think I'm eating 1 cup of cereal but is it really a cup or more than that? Last night I had a bag of 3 cheese tortellini that said 2.5 servings. I cooked it and doled it out into 2 casseroles. Hubby got the most. Then I measured 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce and and topped it with 1/4 c of mozzarella cheese each. Baked at 350 for about 15 min, it was like Olive Garden! Then I added 1 cup each of steamed mixed vegetables on the side. We could not eat it all. I have a full serving of tortellini in the fridge for lunch. In the past, I would have cooked the bag, nixed the vegetables and eaten the whole thing with sauce. Then I would have topped it off with a klondike bar and gone to bed stuffed with heartburn.

Now, here is the trick. This is almost like a full time job. There is a learning curve until you get it down and I'm still learning. No wonder people give up. This lifestyle change is a priority for me, a top goal. In addition, I am weaning myself off of those anti-depressants I've taken for years. For those readers who are on meds, this does not mean you can do the same. I am doing this under the guidance of my doctor and it is a slow process but I now know that I am ready. I am ready for a change. My goals in life no longer depend on having a top producing business where everything else goes to pot. For the first time in a lot of years I feel that I have balance and my family and health are my priority. My 25 year old business was the main income producer for my family for many years and the stress of maintaining that level of productivity took its toll. I felt like I was on a treadmill and could not get off. A hamster in a cage. Our financial circumstances have changed and yesterday I applied for social security. And guess what, now that the pressure is off, I bet my business will continue to fluorish, in spite of myself. And I'll have more fun!

I'm a writer and Chris tells us to write it down on page 52 of the book. By writing it, we can express our feelings and deal with it. The thing is, I never had a reader before and now I've got all of you. It makes me want to keep telling the story and by doing so, I'm learning so much about myself. I've got lots of excerpts of my life stored on the computer and in journals around the house. I found THE DIETER'S JOURNAL that I had purchased in July of 1993. In January of that year, we had purchased a commercial building and I had 2 decorators and we were on the way to our first year as the top franchise in retail sales for my company. In July of 1993, I weighed 160 lbs and my goal was 140. I kept track until July 16 when the next entry was November 1993. I still weighed 160 lbs. Then I quit until Jan 1995 when I still weighed 160 lbs. I quit again until Dec1, 1999 and I weighed 170 lbs. That was my last entry. 10 years later I weigh 185 lbs and my goal is 160. Isn't that sad? To think at 160 I thought I was fat? I was so miserable to be at that weight that over the coming years I gained myself up to 187 lbs and I was taking 7 pills a day for depression and high blood pressure. Just to keep sane. There are 133 pages in that dieter's journal and I have 7 years worth of entries on 19 pages. I never throw anything out so now I am going to have to go through all of my cupboards and find everything else I've written on in the past. I'm on the way to being a whole person.

There is a lot I have to tell you. I've got a Desert Storm story to beat all. Until tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4DOGNIGHT 1/17/2010 9:40AM

    HEbrews! That's terrific. My husband usually makes the coffee, gets the newspaper and feeds the dogs while I snooze. Yesterday I got up before he did so I did it. Learned my lesson.

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AJDOVER1 1/16/2010 6:21PM

    This is great! When I first joined SP I finally purchased a set of measuring cups and spoons. What an eye-opener!

BTW, I know what it's like to struggle in the pre-coffee moments. Get your husband to make coffee, it says in the Bible that the man should make it. There's a whole book called HEbrews!

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4DOGNIGHT 1/16/2010 1:17PM

    I'll have to look for one of those scales. What is avoirdupois? Carol

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KASEYCOFF 1/16/2010 11:29AM

    For what it's worth, I got myself one of those electronic 'kitchen scales' - it's digital, switches from metric to avoirdupois at the press of a button, and since it has a flat 'plate' I can put any of my dishes, pans (it has something like a 20-pound max!), bowls, etc. right on it. Cost about $25.00 at Selfridge's (!) and boy, has it been worth it. :-D

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4DOGNIGHT 1/16/2010 10:52AM

    I can't tell you how excited I am to be on Spark. I can't wait to get to the computer to see what e-mails I've gotten and whose read my blog. I'm a helping sort of individual and if what I say can help someone else, I am helping myself get better. I'll be back today.

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GLOW8211 1/16/2010 10:04AM


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How I became slim, trim and healthy. Day 20

Friday, January 15, 2010


I'm learning so much everyday about diet and health. Sparkpeople is awesome, the articles are tremendous information. Yesterday, in the past, I would have said it was a bad diet day. I succumbed to food items that should not be on my list. However, when I input everything into my nutrition tracker, I was still within calorie range. I ran my report and even though the calories were okay, the carbs and sodium and lack of certain nutrients glared at me like a sore thumb. I haven't gotten to the diet and nutrition part of the Spark Book so my new goal is to start learning more about that to help me make better choices.

Let me tell you what I did right yesterday. I stopped at McDonald's and got their Southwest grilled chicken salad and used less than half the dressing provided. We attended the Chamber of Commerce annual banquet last night and it was a buffet. I passed on the rolls and potatoes and loaded my plate with salad, and a chicken breast. They had the most beautiful and delicious steamed green broccoli, green bean and carrot medley cut into large pieces and that was at least 1/2 of my plate and delicious!!! I selected red wine over beer as my drink and I had a spoonful of dirty rice. (I can hear the other diet program lady saying, "Oh, you shouldn't have had the dirty rice!") I could counteract all of this positive with the negatives of the day but I choose not to do that. Dwelling on the negative is not going to help me lose weight. Learning more about the postive things I can do WILL help me to lose weight and change my life.

I am a fairly postive person, always trying to look for the good in people and situations. But I must tell you that I have suffered from major and debilitating depression for the last 15 years. It was even suggested a couple of times that I go to a hospital but I declined and fought back. Then, as now, I devoured every article and book about depression that I could find. THis was pre-internet and I couldn't just google it. I have a very successful interior design business and for 3 years in the 90"s my franchise was the top in retail sales in the company of more than 500 franchise owners. To have the debilitating depression I had and to plow through it to earn the top designation in the company was an incredible feat, now that I look back on it. I didn't keep my illness a secret, Everyone knew about it and I'm sure they wondered how I could be so successful in sales and so miserable in my personal life.

I think I'm better, I know I am better and I am working with my new doctor to wean myself off of anti-depressants and it is working. Maybe when I get rid of those meds with the side effects of weight gain, the weight will come off faster. My previous doctor whom I loved died of a heart attack 2 years ago. At the same time, my mother-in-law was admitted to the psych ward for hallucinations, my daughter-in-law had a miscarriage and my once thriving business was struggling through the business down turn in the economy. I didn't crawl into bed and pull the covers over. I dealt with it the way I knew how, focusing on what I had to do.
Isn't that what Chris says in the book, FOCUS. I focused on what I had to do to keep my business going, help my mother-in-law, and generally survive. And I'm trying to lose weight through all of this???

I've often said, I would love to write a book. Maybe I can download all of my blogs and that would be a start. It helps me to write things down, thus this daily blog. My ah ha moment for today is that I need to focus on whatever I need to do for today. And that is to tend to my business. While I'm focusing on that, everything else goes to pot. Thus, the dining room table is loaded with stuff I just dropped there when I came in. My 2009 filing is on the floor beside my chair where it has been for at least a month. My unopened mail is in the in basket. The sheets need to be washed. There are no groceries in the house so I need to go shopping. The two bedrooms at the end of the house are piled high with decorating projects, fabrics, boxes, etc. waiting for me to get to them. NOne of that will get done except the filing and business needs and shopping for groceries. Everything else waits.

My question is to all of you who have read to the end of this blog, do you want to know the next chapter? Until tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 1/15/2010 7:46PM

    I can't wait 'til tomorrow!

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USARUNNERGIRL 1/15/2010 2:25PM

    You are doing a great job. Your dinner sounded yummy at the banquet. BTW, a spoonful of rice is ok. Remember everything in moderation.

Sounds like you are staying focused on the positives and that is where you will win both in your new healthy lifestyle and dealing with your depression. You can do it and I would love to one day be able to read a book of yours.

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4DOGNIGHT 1/15/2010 1:05PM

    Well, I hit a snag today when a DR table and six chairs was delivered to a client and it was the color we ordered, blue sky washed but it doesn't coordinate with the wall and draperies we already have up. It is a lot bluer and we need greener. So I have to figure a solution. She and I talked about sanding it down some or getting a faux painter in to rework the color. Oh, it will all come out in the wash but this is the kind of stuff that sent me over the edge in the first place. I also want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over me and skip all the other stuff I was supposed to do today. And I'm going to do that for a while. And then when my husband comes home, at 2:00 we are going major grocery shopping. And then, later this afternoon, I might come back to the business and finish what I was supposed to do today. At any rate, I WILL be caught up on my paperwork and orders this weekend or else.

I just talked to my regional director and told her the problem and she gave me some ideas of what could be done to tone down the color. I feel better and I called the client. She is very nice and I'm sure it will all work out. I still don't like it but oh, well.

Comment edited on: 1/15/2010 1:18:15 PM

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GERMANPICKLE 1/15/2010 12:09PM

  yes please

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KASEYCOFF 1/15/2010 11:16AM


...that is, yes, write a book.
...and yes, I want to know the next chapter.


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How I became slim, trim and healthy. Day 19

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm a slug. Well actually, according to NATURAL HEALTH magazine, of the 3 body types, I'm the earthy type or kapha. Oh, I so wanted to be the creative type - vata or the type A - pitta, but no I'm a slug, oops kapha. Here is the description:
Endomorph, large-boned and slightly overweight. Yes, that's me. Emotional tendency is toward depression. Right on there.

Well, I found out we are nice steady people, the "rock" that others depend on. We are slower by nature and don't like to do anything without a slow methodology about it. A kapha is also prone to inertia, depression and accumulation of fat, weight, phlegm, water and cholesterol with this excess creating a burden on the entire cardiovascular system. The heart has to work extra hard to pump against all that weight.

Lovely. It is really true, even the picture of the girl shows a chunky type athlete which we all would be if we follow the plan. Now listen to this, "Kaphas often use sweet, rich, heavy, greasy foods to sedate themselves and to cope with stress. They don't mind the stagnant feeling that junk food creates."

OOH! This is just like sooo true. When you are stressed or depressed, don't you just run for a gooey chocolate bar washed down by a coke? When you have cake, it's a large piece and you sometimes sneak back into the kitchen to carefully eat a few more bites with a fork, right from the cake itself, making sure that it looks like it was cut that way.

The exercises that we respond to best are yoga and walking. Now, I always knew that. Why on earth do we force ourselves to go to the gym and lift weights next to a vata whose body is thin, long and lean? We are better at slow methodical plodding. But the good part is that regular trips to the spa are good for us to release stress! YES! I can do that and I'm really good at it. I love massages and facials! And a deep-tissue massage is best! WHOO HOO!

Who writes this stuff? But it is all true. Never in my wildest dreams could I ever be long and lean, if only I had known that when I was a kid and believed it to be all right. And stress, boy, right for the chocolate.

This morning my breakfast is two Mary Bee's biscuits. We are totally out of food and desperate for grocery shopping so my husband bakes biscuits. Okay, I ask for one but I get two. Have to clean my plate so I eat two. I did leave off the jelly though. Why, am I succumbing when I pledged to be healthy, stress of course. Last night, my 90 year old Mom in law fell down in her kitchen, hit her head and broke her nose. Hubby spent 4 hours in the emergency room and this morning I have to go over and help her get a shower and get dressed. Her whole face is black and blue. Just another day in the life of a caregiver. I'll do better for lunch. Nothing in the house to eat but I'll find something healthy to counteract the biscuits. Just wish I had a big glass of milk to wash them down.

You can't lose weight and keep it off without changing your life. How true.
Until tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4DOGNIGHT 1/14/2010 4:29PM

    Thanks for all the comments! We are probably related way back when. Carol

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    I love your honesty. I've been in a slump for a few days due to fighting off a cold. Made myself rake leaves for a workout today but didn't enjoy it. I think I'm a slug, too.

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ASTORRES1 1/14/2010 2:38PM

    Nice blog.....thanks for sharing.


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TEENY_BIKINI 1/14/2010 12:53PM

    Such a great blog!!

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USARUNNERGIRL 1/14/2010 12:43PM

    This is a really good blog. I think I am also the same type of personality. Love me a day at the spa. Could we be long lost sisters?

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