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Auntie Roux at 51

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Today was my 51st birthday.

I weigh 80 pounds less than I did a year ago.

I had gastric bypass surgery on March 6, 2011.

Although not without its challenges, I have had no complications, and I am amazed at how my life has changed.

When my husband and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary in August, we went kayaking, horseback riding, and white-water rafting. A year ago (and for many years before that) those activities would have been impossible for me.

We joined a gym together, and we are active and happy. A friend asked what our plans were for my birthday weekend - I said, "We're going out to do cleanup in a park and waterway." :)

A year ago I couldn't get all the way upstairs without resting on the landing and my heart was enlarged. I used a CPAP machine. I couldn't work in the kitchen for more than 15 minutes without my lower back becoming numb. My blood pressure was just crazy, even with medication.

I got my life back. I still have a lot more to lose, but I know I can do it, and I have the support of a few family and friends that mean everything to me.

I with that for all of you facing similar struggles - no matter how you achieve it.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAPECODLIGHT 9/21/2011 5:37PM

    A belated Happy Birthday! What a year you've had! So many positive changes. It's nice to read about your success and happiness.

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INFLATED 9/20/2011 1:32PM

    I have missed your humor. I am so happy for your new vim and vigor. Happy Birthday and anniversary. I am sure the neighbors are pleased to eat your vittles.


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THESOUPGURU 9/17/2011 7:53AM

    Happy Birthday and Congratulations! Keep up the good work and enjoy your new life.

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PUDLECRAZY 9/17/2011 7:07AM

    Ruby!!!! I cannot tell you how happy I am to hear from you. I have missed you and worried about you (ever the worrywart). I am so glad your surgery was successful and you are on the road to a much improved life. Sorry I missed your anniversary, but happy belated anniversary.


Happy Birthday!!!


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CHERIRIDDELL 9/17/2011 1:05AM

    Happy Birthday and Happy anniversary so glad everything is going well!

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ROOBYBEGONIA 9/17/2011 12:36AM

    I had the neighbors over twice this summer - once on 4th of July and again on Labor Day. I'm such a lunatic! I also did a couple of 'special' themed dinners for select neighbors (read: those without children) which were a lot of fun. I took a course in Pig Butchery for Home Charcuterie and learned to cut up a hog carcass. I made Guanciale. Last week I made 5 gallons of Tortilla Soup and sold part of it (enough to cover the cost of making it, no profit, but what the heck.) I bought an electric smoker and on Labor Day I smoked Baby Back Ribs and some chooks (chickens) for the crowd.

My 'big' present from my husband this year (birthday and yule) is going to be a high-end vacuum packer and a refrigerator outfitted for cold-curing - but first I have to clean my crap out of the garage so we can park a car in there and get that stuff in there - lol.

Its interesting that when I went through the psychiatric evaluation prior to my surgery that the shrink was concerned that my love of food and entertaining would be a stumbling block.

I enjoy cooking and feeding people - even when a lot of the time I am making things that I either cannot eat at all, or only in small quantities. When someone has a pleasurable experience eating my food - that is my reward!

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CKAYT56 9/17/2011 12:26AM

    Your b-day picture looks great...glad all is going well for you. I miss your humor! Did you have the neighbors over this summer for a potluck?

So glad you are regaining your health and Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday!

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DALAI_LALA 9/17/2011 12:18AM

    Woo hoo! Congratulations, and happy anniversary!

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Surgically altered Rooby!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Yay! The deed is done, and my chubby a$$ is back home! I actually busted out of the joint on Friday, arrived home, and had SIX STRAIGHT HOURS of blissful sleep in my own bed, without anyone coming to take vitals or draw blood or give me something in my IV. Woot!

I feel a bit like I've been kicked in the belly repeatedly by ninjas, with the bruising to show, but that gets better after every 'sleep.' My weight is actually up a few pounds because of the swelling, but I couldn't be less worried about THAT.

I'll write a bigger post on my blog - - but wanted to let my Spark friends know that I'm safely home!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INFLATED 6/4/2011 3:29AM

    I hope you are recovering without too much pain after your surgery and I hope you are adjusting now to how you have to eat. I hope to see you soon on Spark People.

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CPOKEYRUN 3/8/2011 11:43AM

    Congratulations - first step down - can't wait to hear about your progress!

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CATLADY_56 3/7/2011 2:23PM

    Woo Hoo!! so glad you have gotten through the tough stuff. Its great to be home isn't it. Glad your furbabies are giving you a break.

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    Glad your home!!! keep us updated- I'll be thinking about you! emoticon emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 3/7/2011 3:01AM

    Glad you are home safe and sound!

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SCHWINNER! 3/6/2011 9:28PM

    Woohoo!! Take it easy and let us know how you're doing when you're feeling up for it! Big first step DONE!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 3/6/2011 7:15PM

    Yay! I am glad your surgery went well and that you are safely home and getting real and uninterrupted sleep in your own comfy bed. My surgeries were different, but having had 2 abdominal surgeries, I know ti takes a while not to feel like you have been kicked by ninjas after being run over by a tank.

Sending you love and healing energy!

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ROOBYBEGONIA 3/6/2011 6:54PM

    The kids spent one anxious day and night at home, with visits from our neighbors, and fortunately the 2nd day was grooming day and they boarded there one night. But they were VERY glad to see us when we picked them up from the groomer on the way home on Friday! Parker the Oaf learned very quickly NOT to put his paws on Mommie. And Olive (aka Black Dog, aka Kitchen Dog, aka Carrot Dog, aka Yogurt Dog) has been staying VERY CLOSE to me.

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YOUDONTOWNME 3/6/2011 4:38PM


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ONEBAGONLY 3/6/2011 3:09PM

    Yay! You're home! I'm looking forward to hearing all about your progress. How are the furkids handling it?

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WINTERWINGS 3/6/2011 2:18PM

    Glad to hear you're home and on the mend.

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DALAI_LALA 3/6/2011 1:27PM

    Glad you're home and getting some rest! Woo hoo! Congratulations on having the scary part done... tell us how it goes!

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Any of you here who know me know that I'm an atheist.

BUT...last month, I came across an article about Dudeism, and I had an epiphany! THIS is something I can BELIEVE IN!

It certainly makes as much sense to me as any other religion I've come across. Being a Professional Slacker, I find Dudesim exactly mirrors my deep spiritual convictions and motivations. Plus, I only had to send them $20 via PayPal to get ordained.

I'm now an Ordained Dudeist Priest, and I will be officiating at my first wedding on April 29th. Yee haw! The Dude Abides!


Yep, finally got it! I'll be having a Roux en Y Gastric Bypass on March 2nd! Woot! Only took six short months to get through the process of testing and insurance approval! Silly me - last September I had imagined I'd have it before the end of 2010.

Love you guys!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 2/24/2011 4:38PM

    That's coming right up! emoticon


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ONEBAGONLY 2/22/2011 9:10PM

    I worry I may be to anxious to be a dude but perhaps my devotion to napping makes me eligible.

Next week! Yay! emoticon(I think that emoticon means you will soon be swimming in your clothes but I'm not sure. ?:)
Obviously I won't be praying but I will take a nap next Wednesday to mark the event.

All the best,

Comment edited on: 2/22/2011 9:13:27 PM

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CPOKEYRUN 2/22/2011 3:12PM

    Good luck with your surgery - I will be looking forward to hearing about your successes!

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CATLADY_56 2/22/2011 1:12PM

    emoticon emoticon congratulations on getting a surgery date. We know what a pain it can be to get one.

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DERTREFFER 2/22/2011 12:22PM

    Yay for having a date! Not having one for the prom makes me a sad panda. Not that kind of date? ...oh ... well. Oops!

Hugs! emoticon

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ALEXTHEHUNN 2/22/2011 7:13AM


I work with a guy who had gastric surgery back in September, and he's lost well over 100 lbs since then. I realize your need for weight loss is not the same as his. But my point is that the surgery made such a positive impact in his life.

We'll be thinnking of you.


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SUGARBABY60 2/22/2011 4:20AM

    You will never be sorry that you did it. Will be thinking of you on your surgery day . Best wishes...your life will really change for the better as will your health.

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CHERIRIDDELL 2/21/2011 10:40PM

    I think I like Dudeism better than pastafarianism ,though I did like the idea of the Flying spaghetti monster and his noodly appendage and the fact that Friday is a holy day that way if you claim your husband is Jewish and your child is Christian you can have a long weekend every week!!!!

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SCHWINNER! 2/21/2011 10:22PM

    Congrats on your surgery date!! Glad things are moving forward.

Hm, now when can you come officiate my union?? :)

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DALAI_LALA 2/21/2011 8:49PM

    The Dude abides, my friend...

Gratz on the surgery date! I'll raise a Caucasian in your honor.


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You'll be seeing less of me in 2011!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Yes, its true, and its a GOOD thing.

2010 was a tough year. For the first time in my 50 years I started having some pretty serious medical issues - all of which were related to my weight. I've been on Spark for a long time - and every other program known to fatkind. My weight just kinds of hovers around the same spot. I'm exactly the weight I was at this time last year.

BUT - and that's a BIG but! - suddenly in 2010 things started to happen. My blood pressure suddenly went up to 200/100 in a period of a few months. I was put on medication for that, and finally got that all adjusted, and I started becoming so tired that I was constantly exhausted, and a few times contemplating using a go-cart at Costco. Back to the doc to find out that I now have asthma and enlarged heart.

My doctor asked if I'd be willing to talk to a bariatric surgeon, and I just started crying. I've tried, but... here I am.

Yesterday I started the pre-surgical weight-loss plan. My surgeon expects that my surgery will take place before the end of the month - it will be scheduled as soon as the final approval comes back from the insurance company which could be as soon as this week.

Am I a shining example of what Spark can do for people? No. Am I thrilled to have a permanent surgical alteration of my body? No. Do I want to ride around in a go-cart at 50 because I'm too overweight to walk, and be dead in a few years? Most unequivocally NO.

I'll still be coming to Spark - after all - it has the best nutrition-tracking ability of anywhere on the Web, and great people. But there will be LESS of ME this year! :)

If you're interested in more detailed information, please visit my blog.

I love my homies at Liberal Atheists Hippies, and I'm looking forward to getting to know some new homies at Gastric Bypass Sparklers!

Happy Gnu Ear and SPARK ON!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LLEWIS6879 1/6/2011 12:54PM

    And we (at least THIS LAH!!) loves you too!!!!!!

I'm so glad things are progressing. It might not be effective to be mad at tampons, but it CAN be very gratifying to be mad at your INSURANCE company.....
Especially if you get to give someone an earful.
(Maybe even an ACCIDENTAL earful! Might not have been her fault, but it got her on the phone...)
(And I did pee my pants a little...)

But, when they actually WORK WITH YOU
in that they actually HELP?!?
Now THAT is wonderful.

I know I join not just the Sparkers around you, but EVERYONE in your sphere of influence when I say,

I'll take LESS of you... as long I get it for a long long time!!

Hooray Rooby!!!

Comment edited on: 1/6/2011 1:06:17 PM

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LIBBYFITZ 1/5/2011 9:13AM


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CKAYT56 1/4/2011 5:03PM

    Good to hear from you my Beaverton friend. I hope that all goes well for you and I will be thinking of a new, healthy you in 2011! Take care of yourself and I will keep checking in on you from time to time.

Char in Minnesota

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JANENE413 1/3/2011 8:38PM

    Hey, one foot in front of the other, Babe . . . we need to do what is in front of us. Good luck with your preparation and the surgery. Keep us informed. I will be checking up on you and expect nothing less than you taking care of YOURSELF in the most gentle and loving way--like you would a dear friend.
Hugs and best wishes for you!


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CPOKEYRUN 1/3/2011 5:41PM

    Good good luck with the surgery and the results - I hope it makes (all of) you (that is left) much healthier!

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DALAI_LALA 1/3/2011 11:16AM


Looking forward to seeing less and less of you!


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TRISH579 1/3/2011 8:32AM

    Good to hear from you!

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SCHWINNER! 1/3/2011 8:14AM

    Good to see you here, ROOB! :) SMOOCH!!! I've been following your other blog too, so keep those updates coming!

I'm glad to hear things are progressing and the surgery will soon be scheduled! You can do this and you WILL!

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What I've Learned About Myself - And Changed - With Spark

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A few days ago there was a Spark Newsletter that talked about cleaning out the 'evil' things in your pantry and refrigerator. It really made me think about how Spark fits into my life, and about what I can change, what I have changed, what I'm not willing to change, and the importance of gradual change.

If you want to lose weight, you have to change your lifestyle. It's not about dieting - all we Spark folks know that. You need to reduce your caloric intake, and increase your activity. It's that simple. The benefits can be a better appearance, more energy to enjoy life, better health - and the health part is so important. Something that a lot of 'diets' really don't promote, amazingly enough.

In the last few months, I've conquered high cholesterol through my rather lackadaisical diet and exercise changes. My last test showed my 'good' cholesterol was too high for the test to measure. My doctor said I'm only the 5th person he's ever tested who has had that result. A round of applause for my great-great grandparents!!!! My blood pressure, which had elevated suddenly and rapidly over the previous year (and no weight gain) to the 200/100 range (yeah, I know, stroke zone) is now controlled through medication. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of one of the medications is to make me sometimes feel weak and tired. But overall, I'm in much better shape from a medical standpoint than I was a year ago.

The article in question was, "Where is Danger Lurking in Your Kitchen?"

* Throw out: Thick dressings, white rice, creamers, white pasta, chips, dip, soda, mayonnaise, pudding and just say no to Twinkies!
* Keep: Vinaigrettes [sic], spinach, nuts, sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta, grain rice, tomatoes, oatmeal, carrots, salsa, yogurt, mustard, natural applesauce.
* Put on probation (if they become a problem, get a substitute): High-fat cheese, whole milk, butter, ice cream, eggs, cooking oil, beef.

My issue with this list is that if I am changing my lifestyle, what I can really LIVE with for the rest of my life? Will I never eat Marie's Blue Cheese dressing or eat a steak again? While that might be a reasonable choice for some people, it's not for me. I don't keep creamers, chips, dip, soda, or Twinkies on hand - never did, even when my kids were young. I buy sugar-free puddings because my husband is diabetic and he really enjoys having one for his afternoon snack. I DO have all the 'Keep' items on hand - I always have. As for the 'probation' list, most of those things will always be in my house, with the occasional whole milk and ice cream, the latter generally for company and the occasional piece of homemade pie with a small scoop.

I bought 'lite' mayo - used it once and gagged - threw it out. I'd rather eat dry tuna than put that in tuna salad. Quite simply, I won't buy - or eat - 'fake' food. I've also noticed that clipping coupons is an exercise in futility for me - if there's a coupon for it, I probably don't buy it. I buy 'whole' foods, and that's what I cook with and that's what we eat.

What I have changed - portion control. Increased activity. Although its been a real challenge for me, I've quit eating ANYTHING between dinner and bedtime. I can't say the pounds are melting off, but I feel better and my medical profile looks better. I've met a lot of great people along the way, and look forward to logging into Spark and keeping up with their lives.

Oh, and I really love my Wii. :)

Smooches, and good luck on your journeys, wherever they lead you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 9/13/2010 9:07PM

    I'm with you about the coupons. They aren't for the fresh food - most of them are for highly processed foods.

I have wii envy!


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CAPECODLIGHT 9/6/2010 6:32PM

    I tend to keep the blue cheese dressing out of the house and eat it as a treat when I go out to dinner. Otherwise, if I am being careful about my food intake, it would spoil before it would get all used. That said, I am in total agreement that there are no natural foods that are bad per se - it's all in the portions and frequency!

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SUGARBABY60 9/2/2010 1:50AM

    Your blogs are always good that is why I have missed them so much this summer! glad that your health has improved It is all we really have that is important. so it is good to learn all we can about healthy living. You are such a fantastic cook no wonder you can't stand all that fake stuff... while I on the other hand am a crappy cook and live for the substitutes, LOL Have a healthy Fall season, canning and freezing and preserving all those natural foods! emoticon

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MANXMAG 8/31/2010 3:03AM

    Good blog, Rooby. My general rule is to steer clear of any food that is a product of a science lab.

Good quality, naturally produced food is so flavourful without being mucked about and is so much more satisfying both for body and soul, therefore helping me to stick to the less is more rule. Erm...... surely that's the way our ancestors used to eat before all this technological progress malarky.

If I send you my rhubarb will you send me your blueberries?! The best food of all is the free stuff!


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CKAYT56 8/31/2010 1:48AM

    Thanks for the info on the article. I will have to take a look at it. I still have a couple of those things in my pantry. I have gotten rid of or have quit buying many things. I have been able to stop taking cholesterol meds because of how SP has helped me....well and I will give a little credit to myself for sticking with the program! Good Blog ROOBY!


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HARISHABAD 8/30/2010 12:43PM

    Real food is the way to go, no doubt. I love fresh fruits and veggies, and eat my fill of these as they go in and out of season.

If we feel deprived, a binge is just around the corner. I prevent this by knowing I can carb load if I feel like I need to; a cheat meal just around the corner is a happy thought!

But I have a very tight diet right now (meaning diet, as in what you eat, not "a diet", like the latest fad from the magazines by the checkout at the store). This will change, and has to, as I approach goal weight, which is less than 10 lb. away for me.

Cheers to you for focusing on your health and not succumbing to fads and going the slow and sure route.

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HIPPICHICK1 8/30/2010 10:45AM

    I don't believe any foods are actually "evil." There are some that ought to be marked with a surgeon general's warning though. And I really believe the reason so many people get into trouble with their weight is simply we eat too much in the way of rich foods.
My theory is that we are still cavemen (cavepersons?) who are programmed for "feast or famine." In North America and much of Europe, it's a continual feast. (But if we keep treating Mother Earth the way we do, soon we'll see the flip side of that.)

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LIBBYFITZ 8/30/2010 10:05AM

    I agree there a certain things I will continue with, but in moderation and never have soda or sweet processed foods in the pantry.

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ELSIE_BEE 8/30/2010 8:35AM


And I say it loud, say it proud! Cookies need butter in them, not margarine. Ditto for most other baked goods.

Other than dairy products and meat, I have drastically cut down on the foods that Food Nazis warn me about. I am happier for it. (Note that I've said "cut DOWN;" not "cut OUT.")

Moderation in all things--including moderation itself.

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SCOOTER4263 8/30/2010 7:15AM

    Well, I'm hanging onto my white pasta (although I almost always use the whole wheat. And I've found that I prefer tinkering with recipes and getting used to flavors that are not as sweet, rather than using artificial sweeteners - I like honey and agave or rice syrup, as they have a more intense natural sweetness.

I also love my "real" mayo (Hellman's), but I've found that if I mix it in equal proportions with 0% fat yogurt (Fage Greek), it makes a wonderful salad dressing and sandwich spread and brings the calorie and fat counts into acceptable range.

I"m with you - the designation of particular foods as "evil" is silly and counterproductive.

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JANENE413 8/30/2010 1:46AM

    I always like your sensible, common sense approach to living. And that's what we're doing--LIVING! I grew up on a farm. We had chickens and dairy cattle--hence eggs, milk, butter, and a freezer full of beef. My doctor always asks if I'm omitting these things from my life. I always hedge on answering that one. Having now had a wonderful check up because of SP, I say no, I still eat them in moderation. I cook with olive oil much of the time, but there is no substitute for real, live butter. Food is not evil. We just need to be aware that everything is a choice. Food is a gift to enjoy.

--like I sure enjoy your blogs! Thanks!

emoticon emoticon


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CPOKEYRUN 8/29/2010 11:36PM

    Great blog - and yes, it is a lifestyle change, and yes, we have to live with it our whole lives, so it has to be bearable (and bring us SOME joy!). I personally can totally live with diet dressing and light mayo, but I CANNOT give up chocolate. So, I am practicing moderation (which I have noticed is what "naturally" thin people do!). Glad to hear your health is so improved, congrats!

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WINTERWINGS 8/29/2010 11:15PM

    They'll have to pry the butter out of my cold dead hands but since my doctor says I have "ridiculously low cholesterol" I'm not too worried about it. I buy the extra healthy fat eggs because of my kidlet and mostly only use them to feed her and for baking so I'm not too worried about that either. I used to always buy, and prefered, skim milk but now, with the kidlet, I can't justify buying an extra container of milk just for me and pouring most of it down the drain so I'm on 2%. I eat cereal with a cup of it maybe a couple times a week so I'm not too worried about that either. I think it's good for us having a small child in the household we're both committed to feeding properly.

Good post. : )

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LLEWIS6879 8/29/2010 11:13PM

    I agree completely about the "fake food." I will not, cannot eat low fat, fat free salad dressing or mayo (Sam I Am...)I just eat less of the real thing.
And you'll have to pry my coffeemate Sugar free vanilla creamer from my cold dead hands (although the argument could be made that that is a "fake" food... I just don't care...)

The "fat" stuff is not my problem. The "sweet" stuff is my problem.
But I really don't like the designation of some foods as "evil." That's "diet" mentality. No good.
Congratulations on your wonderful success. Yours is one of the pages I most enjoy visiting!

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DALAI_LALA 8/29/2010 11:03PM

    Darn tootin' Rooby! I still own Pop-Tarts. They've been in there for months. I have one once or twice a month when I just gotta.


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SHADICAR 8/29/2010 10:44PM

    I like your perspective on the changes we make or don't make in our quest to be healthy and lose weight. We can chose to change many things that improve our health, some is just common sense. But some things we are not willing to forsake because we don't like the alternative. I refuse to eat something low fat or non fat if it taste yuck. It has to pass the taste test. Also I do consider others in my household who don't eat the "healthy" options. Like you wrote, portion control is key to my success thus far. Best wishes on the rest of the journey. It does not matter how soon you reach your destination, but that you stay on the path and reach the end.

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CHERIRIDDELL 8/29/2010 10:42PM

    I know what you mean there are changes I am willing to make and changes I am not ,I have enough limitations that I can't control from an accident .I still think your attitude is the best slow and steady wins the race!!!

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