DIBANANA   97,988
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Two more days

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The countdown is in full swing. I told you I would drive everyone crazy with going home! I have to work tonight, off tomorrow and the next day I work but as soon as I am done we prepare to leave!

Iím having my last package of tuna tonight that I brought with me. Thatís good because Iím really burned out on the food here.

I will miss the little cat that visits us nightly at work. She is funny. She catches the bats and lays them at the door for everyone to see how well she has done! She saunters over to us at our desk because we are suckers and feed her. We usually have some leftover chicken because it is like eating jerky most of the time. One night I had tuna and thought she would love to lick my bowl. I put it down and she sniffed it and walked away! That proves we eat what we are taught to eat. No one feeds her tuna but in the states cats will knock you down to get at tuna!

So, I plan to re-educate myself. I plan to tell myself I love fish more than red meat. I know I eat too much red meat. I have tried to use ground turkey for things but unless it is in a soup that is spicy I just donít like it. Anyone reading this blog that has favorite recipes for that I would like to have them. Iím determined to change the way I view my meals.

I am a good cook but it takes a lot of time sometimes to make a meal and Iím pretty busy. However, one of my goals is to put my health ahead of everything and if that means spending time cooking that will have to be what happens. I told DH that once we are finished remodeling the house I will expect him to help with the chopping etc at dinner time!

I plan to start having a sit down meal on Sundays with no t.v. I plan to do a sit down meal from now on but Sunday will be special. Iíll put to use my love for doing tablescapes. Iíll make our dinners an event on Sunday no matter what. (barring travel of course)

I guess thatís it for today.
Two more days!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RETURNTOTHIN 4/11/2012 3:59PM

    I eat "the other white meat" pork. buy a loin and have it sliced and it's about 4 oz/slice and I freeze it in individual bags.. Then thaw, cut into cubes, cut up some veggies (onions, mushrooms - lots of them) and "fry" in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (supposed to stop Alzheimers) and 2-3 tbsp of broth, use some steak pepper seasoning I get at Sams.... and yum! -- fries up is just 20 min or so and don't have to cut it after it's hot.

The other thing I do is fry up some hamburger with some onions - after it's fried and drained, I run boiling water over it, then mix in some seasoning (taco, steak pepper, italian, or chili) and store/freeze in 4 oz portions. Then I add it to a salad or a mini hot dish (spaghetti, etc) for a quick one person meal.

I also found 4 oz salmon fillets frozen and pkg separately. I either "fry" it like the pork loin or I bake it.... not too much time.

Yesterday, I bought two butternut squash, cooked them, cut them up, stored them in 1 cup storage cups and froze them. Grab, heat, and eat. Found 1 cup storage cups and 1/2 cup storage cups at WalMart.

Just some thoughts.... it gets easier as you experiment with things.
Oh, I buy chicken legs/thighs (can't stand white meat), clean, skin, cut off fat and store 1 piece per baggie.... bake in oven. Or I cook the meat with seasoning and onions, debone and store in 4 oz serving sizes. Takes some time to fix it up, but then a meal just take a few minutes!

enjoying your blogs! emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/11/2012 3:59:51 PM

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MIKA016 3/27/2012 2:53PM

    Hi Diana! Wow....I thought you had three days left before leaving. It sooner then I thought! emoticon Talking about cats....I had two strays outside my house today making what sound like a crying baby noise. If frightened me because at first I thought it was a baby crying, until I ran outside and spotted the two cats.

I believe they belong to someone, because they look pretty healthy. I didn't check to see if they have collars on. I will keep an eye on them. Hopefully they have homes.

I have recently made a meat loaf with half ground turkey and have chuck ground meat. It was delicious. It's not something I make often because my DH is not fond of meat loaf. He did enjoy it with the half and half.......he even put some in his lunch. I have thought even with meatballs, chili, meat sauce of any kind would be a great idea to use half/half. One of my sparkfriends on the challenge mentioned this idea to me. I love to put chicken breast in the crockpot with broth.....cook until they are tender. I use them for salad or casseroles. Yum! Enjoy your day Diana. :)

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/27/2012 2:58:41 PM

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DONNA2238 3/27/2012 1:29PM

    :0)....beef is so tasty! We do not eat it a lot simply because it is so costly. I do buy ground chuck in 5-20 pound batches as it is cheaper. I read somewhere about not worrying too much about the higher fat as it mostly cooks out anyway...especially if you grill and be SURE to take the meat out of the pan before it can reabsorb it again! I use the crock for bigger pieces of cheaper cuts. So, we cut back to once a week ground and 1-2 times a month other beef. This way I do not feel deprived ;0). Me and deprivation do NOT go well together.

If you can afford to splurge a little, our Wal-Mart has a section of pre-chopped veggies! I could for 6-8 people just about every night so I would REALLY need a few packages for our meals...but it is a possible option for you if you want to save time. I have been buying pre-cut/washed celery stalks! A bit more money but only pennies when I consider how much of a full stalk I throw away...leaves, ends, etc.!

We used turkey for a while and not fans around here. I do find the Spark recipes SUPER easy though so maybe search around there for ideas. I love that for the most part, they suggest foods most have in the house. Enjoy your last days abroad! emoticon emoticon

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There is no place like home

Monday, March 26, 2012

Today was a quiet day for me. I was off work so I was able to do all my Sparking early. I am starting to pack for my trip although I donít have much to pack.
When I left the states I brought American snacks like peanut butter and pretzels but those are long gone. So, I had a little room in the suitcase so I did what girls do! I shopped!

I bought some beautiful Pashima scarves at the market for all the women in my family. They are very soft and very long. So, if someone isnít into scarves they can be used on a table as a table runner.

The lady selling them was nearly out so I was only able to get the needed amount and one for me. If I return for the rest of the campaign in the summer I will purchase more. I really like taking back items that are different.

There is a particular gift I love to take home with me and own several now myself. Even my artist son has mentioned how much he likes them. I plan to send one to my new SparkFriend, Mary Lou, and since she reads my blogs I wonít say what the gift is but I would be surprised if she didnít like it. Iíll put a picture of it on my page after I am sure Mary Lou has received hers.

Hubby went looking for a rocket to take home but, bless his heart, (my mother says you can say anything about anyone if you first say ďBless his heartĒ!) he is too cheap to buy one. I know it is a bit on the expensive side but, for crying out loud, he has been here a year and I have been here 8 months! He can afford it. I have learned to buy something I have really liked while travelling because I have regretted most of the times I have thought the item too expensive. You canít run back to that country and buy it later! My thought is that he deserves a reward for being over here away from home etc. Oh well.

Getting very excited about leaving.

Canít wait to see the grandbabies!

Canít wait to put on those flip flops and not carry a backpack everywhere I go!

Iím excited to be going back to my 100 year old home and my wonderful neighbors and friends.

Iím excited to be going back to my quilting.

Iím excited because I will be able to cook what I need to eat and exercise!

Iím excited that we will have the money to work on those three houses we are remodeling.

Iím sure Iíll drive everyone crazy until I get there with my constant talking about it. But, this was a temporary stop in my life. An adventure and a way to make money. Canít complain but thereís nothing like home.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNA2238 3/27/2012 9:42AM

    Nothing like coming home after time away! Hope you have a safe, peaceful trip home! Enjoy your gifts....and what kind of "rocket" is he looking for? I am having a hard time picturing you all going through customs :0)!

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WINDSONG~ 3/27/2012 3:45AM

    Home, Sweet, Home nothing better.

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MARTI1957 3/26/2012 5:10PM

    Welcome home. Enjoy the journey! -Marti

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MENNOLY 3/26/2012 8:52AM

    I can feel your excitement! Hope you enjoy the last few days of your adventure!

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

My internet is becoming very limited now. Since we are leaving here in five days the internet has run out at work and I suspect they will not renew it before we leave. So, I have to come back to the hotel and do my Sparking. I tried my best to get it done but ran out of time and my blogging is the last thing I do. So, todayís blog is a ďTwoferĒ.

Today I want to talk about traveling and eating right.

I am away from home as my friends know. I will be traveling from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on Friday arrive in Moscow on Friday night, travel to Rome, Italy on Saturday and leave there if all goes correctly on Thursday to go home with a quick stop in London.

To others this sounds exciting and although I will experience a couple of great experiences along the way I will also be faced with many eating challenges.

First, although I canít plan my food for most of the time I can plan to eat a light breakfast the day I travel. I will have airline food for lunch so Iíll have to stay away from the dessert they always serve.

When I get to Moscow I am hoping to have a steak. Iíll try to list what I want for dinner on my nutrition tracker for that day because I am fairly certain on that day I can estimate what I will eat at least most of the day. But, Saturday starts the real test.

I have no idea what or when or where I will eat. I am going to stay mindful and choose as well as I can from the choices I have.

On Sunday we will be off and running around Rome. I imagine seafood will be available so Iíll try to choose seafood for dinner.

From Monday to Thursday I will be working where we wonít have any kitchen or restaurant. We will have to get sandwiches from the vendors or vending machine food at work. We will be working nights and in Rome they open their restaurants late. It will be a difficult time to find any food much less the right foods. I will try to maintain portion controls. They usually furnish continental breakfast at the hotel so I will try to squirrel away some fruit and yogurt for my lunches.

I have worked at this location before and it is in an industrial area so even though when you think of Rome you would assume there is an abundance of food choices but where I work there are not.

So this will be a test for me to see if I can control my eating when I have no control of the situation for an entire week.

Then when I return to the states I will be bombarded with American food choices. The smells and the fact that I have been craving American food for 8 months is going to make it a challenge also. I wonít be able to settle in at home where I can cook for over a week after I return.

So, please keep your fingers crossed for me that I can maintain control during the next two weeks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINDSONG~ 3/26/2012 4:43AM

    You CAN and you WILL! I believe in you.

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MENNOLY 3/25/2012 5:35PM

    You can do it! Try to hit a grocery store in I taly and get some of your food there instead of in a restaurant. In any case it is only 2 weeks and you can manage to at least maintain during that time. You are on a lifetime journey and the next 2 weeks are just a detour! Enjoy your trip!

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DONNA2238 3/25/2012 12:08PM

    You are planning so THAT will most def work in your favor! I guess once the jet lag has worn off you can continue to plan to assimilate back into our good 'ole American fair. Maybe you can plan a 3 item per week deal into your eating plan? Say have i slice of pizza, a burger, and a small ice cream cone over the course of 7 days...then change it up the next week? Just a thought...depriving all together is usually not a good plan since it makes some want it even MORE :0). May I ask what you were doing traveling about so much...work? Pleasure? Sounds very exciting indeed...but tiring too :0). Well, hope you do well over the next several weeks!!!

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MIKA016 3/25/2012 9:29AM

    Diana, I heard you've weathered through a lot of different situations and have become very strong. If anyone is up for this coming challenges you are. Keep up the great work on motivating yourself. It has been very stressful and trying at times, but you have survived and will continue to keep going with your strong will power! You Rock! Enjoy your time in Moscow and Rome.

OK is waiting with all your beautiful family and friends.


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The Good Sister and the Evil Sister

Friday, March 23, 2012

Inside me lives a good sister and an evil sister. They sit on my shoulders and tug at me every day. Sometimes the good sister wins and sometimes the evil sister wins. Now I like them both oddly enough, because sometimes the evil sister is much more fun, but the good sister is the one I like to have in control most of the time. The evil sister has come out during Mardi Gras I must admit. I have to have a keeper during Mardi Gras! Love those Hurricanes!

Today I woke up late and had to hurry to get dressed for work. Iíve not been sleeping since Iím so excited about going home next week. I thought, ďI wonder what I should do my blog on maybe Iíll just write about being tired.Ē Then I thought againÖ. ďWho wants to read about me being tired? We ALL get tired.Ē

The evil sister kept trying to get me to eat something telling me I would feel better if I did, but the good sister reminded me of what I have learned on Spark all ready. She reminded me to listen to how my body feels and deal with my emotions.

I decided I should hold off writing my blog till after all my Sparking is done because somehow when Iím finished Sparking I miraculously feel better!

I was right. I did my points and wrote down my food. All was going well. I felt my mood start to lighten. I started reading the two required blogs so I could comment on them. They were wonderful. I found myself laughing and realized that I once again had let my good sister lift my spirits and told the evil sister to go take a nap!

Remember to read blogs. They really give you insight, encouragement, humor and hope. I love the way people share themselves without worrying about criticism. I want to thank all that have written blogs for allowing us to share in their journey to be healthy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNA2238 3/24/2012 5:07PM

    SO awesome that you would post this! I was having a "not so good" day...AFTER my great day yesterday :0(...I came on here just to look around for a few minutes and before I knew it my spirits were lifted too! THANKS so much for your post on my blog and for sharing about the good sister triumph!

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LKWQUILTER 3/24/2012 7:04AM

    I think the evil sister is really wanting to beat the good sister. lol Love it.

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WINDSONG~ 3/24/2012 3:18AM

    To the good sister I say woo hoo to the evil sister I say watch out!

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JAZZY_JOAN 3/23/2012 9:53PM

    Hi Dianna. I really should read more blogs, but then I should do a lot of things. Sometimes I just don't find the time. I have been taken a lot of time the past couple weeks to hang out with the good sister and it has paid off.
Come to think of it, The bad sister dissapeared today. Well, I was out and she stayed home, so the good sister had final say to it all ..."NO NO NO" and thats final!!

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MIKA016 3/23/2012 9:48PM

    Good and Evil Sisters. I'm so glad you followed the positive and good sister. My mother used to say it takes less energy to be positive then it does being negitive. You are doing Terrific. Keep up the good work. One more week to go!

I try to read a few blogs everyday. They usually lift me up. It's kind of like having a piece of my day to reflect.
emoticon emoticon

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ALPHASENIOR 3/23/2012 9:25PM

    You are my second comment on a blog for today. I'm so glad I read your blog. The difference between your evil sister and mine is that something my evil sister bring a whole choir with her! My poor little good sister is very browbeaten!
But I'm still a work in progress, so things will definitely be getting better and better.
Resist, resist!

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MENNOLY 3/23/2012 7:02PM

    I try to read one blog from each of my teams so that I can feel more connected to my fellow team members. I don't necessarily comment on them and I try to read blogs from people who are not my friends since I will in all likelihood read my friends blogs anyhow.
One more week it will go by so fast! Have a great holiday before you come home.

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Spark Works

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I really wasn't sure when I decided ONE MORE TIME to try to lose weight. I had seen an article on someone losing weight on Spark People. I had never heard of it so I took a peak. I liked it but took a week or so to decide.

I know that unless you are ready it really doesn't do much good to start. All those off and on the diet tries is not a good thing for your body or your self esteem.

I decided for some reason that I have tried so many other ways to lose weight and I thought I knew how to do it in a healthy way. I actually am pretty aware of how to lose but I never got the why of losing weight.

I didn't fully understand the workings of my emotions in it all. It is like a line of dominoes that you hit one and the rest fall.

Through the past 2 1/2 months I have learned so much. I understand myself much more. I am starting to understand how my eating is triggered by different events. I am learning that blogging which I have never done is very therapeutic and that the support that I thought I got in other programs was severely lacking.

Spark People is the culmination of all those things and more I haven't even discovered yet.

I am grateful for having found this program. I truly believe I can do this. My hurry up and lose attitude has changed. I'm content with working on whatever needs work that week, whether it is attitude or understanding or exercising. I still try to "keep it between the lines" but I think I'll be able to forgive myself when I falter.

This is an amazing program. I could not be more thrilled to be a part of it. I can't even imagine how I will feel when I get to goal.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZY_JOAN 3/23/2012 10:00PM

    emoticon SP has my vote too! One can't say enough about it.

Wishing everyone well on their weight loss journey. JO

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HUZZAH39 3/23/2012 4:11PM

    I am in agreement with you and glad we are in this together!

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WINDSONG~ 3/23/2012 2:35AM

    I am grateful for your sharing your thoughts, goals and your desires with all of us.

You are hellping others with your positive attitude.

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VIXSTERLU 3/22/2012 11:57PM

    Glad this journey is sparking you to find the real you!

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MIKA016 3/22/2012 4:22PM

    Diana, It's true about finding the right path. I have gone down so many dead ends before and during Spark people. However since I have been on Spark People those mistakes have been documented in my head and I don't keep going down the same wrong paths. Small Steps... I'm finding my way. So many Ah ha moments have sparked so to speak in my head. Sparking is a good thing! Hugs!

Spark Friend,

Marylou emoticon

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JENNNY135 3/22/2012 4:10PM

    I can totally agree to all that you've blogged about. This is a fantastic website and community.

Keep up learning about yourself and enjoy the journey.

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MENNOLY 3/22/2012 4:02PM

    Isn't it great emoticonWhen I started almost 9 months ago I had a goal of reaching 180 pounds. It was an impossible dream but that was what I wanted. Well I am within a couple of months of reaching that impossible dream and I feel that I can do better. All due to SP. I agree this program is absolutely the greatest thing I have ever done. emoticon

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