Friday, August 31, 2007

Weigh In Day: Week 14

This week, I noticed something. I noticed that I tend to slack on eating in the evenings. Weird, huh? I come home, eat dinner and then totally neglect my snack. I wondered if I wasn't getting enough calories each day, so I started tracking on Sparkpeople in tandem with my WW points tracking. I never really tracked at night, I would just try and remember to enter what I ate in the a.m. on the following day. After tracking consistently (which I should have been doing all along...tsk tsk) I came to the conclusion that I have consistently not been eating all of my calories. Can you believe it?? All this time I thought I was overeating, which I was on the weekends, but I was severely depleting myself of calories throughout the week.

This week, I ate all of my points, and all 35 flex points. And guess what? I had a 2.4 lb loss. If you notice my ticker to the left, I only have 6.5 lbs to go until I reach my 10% goal. eek! I am so happy!

The lesson learned here is that tracking and being consistent with it, are the best tools to lose this weight. Even if it means I am being held accountable for eating enough food!

P.S. If you are wondering about my Phit-n-Phat workouts and how those are coming, I will have an update on that next week. We have been learning the exercises and gearing up for the week of September 10, when we will really put them to use.

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Tonight, we are headed up to Old Mission Peninsula in the beautiful north country of Michigan. We stay every Labor Day at Chateau Chantal overlooking the Grand Traverse Bay. It's one of our favorite things to do to celebrate our anniversary. (More to come next week about that!)

I am sure there will be lots of wine and good food. We are even going to hop over to the Leelanau Peninsula and do some wine tasting there as well. The air is brisk and cool today, and I am hoping that it will be the same way up north. I just love the feeling of that lake air coming at you!! It's a favorite thing that I adore about this place we call home.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Educating myself about food....

This week, I was invited (and by invited, I mean I requested an invite!) to join the West Michigan Co-Op.

This is an online farmer's market, started by a group called Farms Without Harm.

Lately, I have been extremely interested in where my food comes from. With all of the ailments, cancer, and other horrible things that potentially stem from the food we eat, I thought it was important to start researching this topic. A friend of mine had suggested I join the co-op and I was happy to oblige. Since doing so, my interest has only peaked and boy, oh boy, the information out there is quite distressful.

Barbara Kingsolver recently wrote a book. It's a great book that I am in the process of reading.
It's called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and it is all about her family's quest to eat from the land that they live on, purchase it locally, or choose not to eat at all. For one year. What an interesting experiment and what a lesson to teach yourself and your children. So far the book is very good and is helping me digest all of the information that I am capturing online and in other reference materials.

The gist of my examination so far is that our food system is terribly troubled. Not only is it the way that these animals are treated, but it is also the quality of the meat that is being sold in our stores. I have read up on CAFO's (confined animal feeding operations); their pollution practices, their treatment of animals, their use of hormones and the deregulation of these aforementioned farms. Did you know that human resistance to antibiotics can be directly associated to CAFO's? 70% of antibiotics go to animals, end up in the manure, which then ends up in our water supply. (Waterkeeper Alliance) It's quite sad and sickening to know that there are 250 of them right here in our backyard.

There is also the issue of sustaining local farming communities by purchasing locally grown and raised food. Every new CAFO, sends 10 family farmers out of business. What a statistic. So, we could say in terms of Michigan 2,500 farmers have been put out of business because of these operations. What a sad thing to think about. Especially in a place where farming is a way of life. The food grown on this land, the land that we drink the water from, the land that we live on, is the best food to buy. It sustains the local economy, it prevents CAFO's from maintaining their horrific practices, and it, in my case, gives a whole lot of peace of mind.

This experiment that Barbara Kingsolver has taken on, is one that I am hoping to take on as well. I don't know if we can do it to the point that she is, but we are certainly going to try. It all starts with the West Michigan Co-Op and educating myself about food. I think all too often it's easy to just eat and not think at all about it. Part of my weight loss journey, has been to grapple with thinking before I eat. And that now means that I think about exactly what it is I am eating and not just why I am eating. My eyes have been opened and my viewpoint is forever changed.

Do you know where your food comes from??

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Concerts and Baseball

There is nothing like packing up the car for a weekend in Detroit. We were happy to get out of Grand Rapids this past weekend as we have done for many weekends past, but this one we were extra excited for. August is always a funky month for me and so by occupying my time, I seem to mope less and this is a good thing.

We headed out on a rainy and wet afternoon to attend the Robert Randolph/Allman Brothers concert in Detroit. We had no idea the weather was going to be so gnarly in Detroit, and I was very thankful I had spent the extra few dollars on pavilion seats. The concert was fantastic. We have seen Robert Randolph and the Family Band 3 times now this year. They are so great and we had no idea he was opening for the Allman Brothers so it was an extra treat to have him there.

The Allman Brothers did not disappoint and when Derek Trucks walked up on stage I pretty much lost it. He has his own band and while he tours with the Allman Brothers it was not expected he would be in Detroit. I was so excited to see his amazing guitar skills for the second time this year. Overall, it was a great evening of rock n roll....and we were covered from the rain! Even better.

Saturday we headed to downtown Detroit, where we putzed around, checked into our hotel room and waited for the Tigers v Yankees game to start. I bought tickets a few weeks back (They are HARD to get!) and surprised Curtis with them for our anniversary. We had lunch at the Detroit Beer Co. and hoped the rain would subside. It finally did and we had a blast at the game. Our seats were so good and of course, I was kicking myself for leaving the Nikon in the hotel room. Oh well, that just means we have to go back for more!!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Tuesday and continues to have a great week.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Weigh In Day: Week 13

As I had suspected, I gained this week. 1.6 lbs. I will not be making any excuses for this gain, because I know exactly why it occurred. Today is the beginning of a new week, and I am excited to make some changes this week and see a positive result next Friday.

I will also have a report on how my new Phit n Phat training routines are going. I am getting excited just learning the exercises!! They look very tough, but I think I need a little boot camp action and I am looking forward to it. We have made a goal to work out Monday-Saturday next week. We are going to lump all of our strength sessions into the first 3 days of the week (Corinne says this is okay, because we will be working opposing muscle groups), and then bust out the cardio the following days. I have never done it this way before and I am really looking forward to it!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mama Love


19 years ago, on this day, my life changed forever. August 23 is a day that I wish never existed for me. I wish I never knew what this day would bring for me. I wish, I wish, I wish.

Today is the 19th anniversary of the day that I found out that my mother had taken her last breath. God had called her home. His selfishness (or so I thought at the time) was to have her home during her 40th year on Earth. I was only 9 years old.

I will never forget the horror of that day. Being so far away from home....in a far Eastern country, foreign already. The hot air of that day, the jet-lag, the emotions running high. I will never forget. I will never forget the look on my father's face. The tears, the agony, the pain. How would he tell his daughters this horrible news?? My patience running thin, I screamed, begged for him to tell us what was wrong. Oh it went so horribly wrong. "Your mom is dead" I will never forget.

For a 9 year old, losing a parent is the most tragic thing that could possibly happen. It wasn't just a 9 year old either...It was an almost 14 year old, about to enter a high school, and a 7 year old barely capable of understanding this complexity. Why?? That is all I can remember thinking. Why? The days and weeks that followed were some of the most taxing on all of us. Not just the kids, but the adults too. How would we all cope? How could we, how WOULD we, ever get through this?

To this day I can't stop thinking about how I will get through this. Each passing milestone, each year that goes by, all remind me of what I have lost. I have suffered the greatest of losses. The loss of a rock, of my mama love. There will be nothing in this world that can ever fill that void in my heart. Nothing. Sometimes I think that is what I am trying to do most in my life. Fill up that void. How can I ever possibly do that, though?? After 19 years, I am finally saying that I cannot. There will never be anything that can fill the gap of missing mama love. No amount of tears, of pain, of agonizing over what I have lost, will ever replace that burning mama love.

There used to be years that August 23 would fly by me. I was to wrapped up in myself to remember what this day meant, or to even mark it on my calendar. Denial? Perhaps. In some ways, I was thankful that it had passed, that I had not remembered the events of that disastrous day. As I reflect today, as the tears are being held back with all their might, I realize how woeful my forgetfulness had been. For it is remembering that makes us get through each day. It is the memories that were carved in stone that will forever give me peace. And it is the love of my heavenly Father, of knowing she is in His arms, that brings me to my knees and thanks Him. Thanks Him?? Really, you ask? Yes, I thank Him. For without knowing this great loss, I could never appreciate the lessons that He has taught me. The patience, the faith, the hope...that there, in this place, even peace can be found amongst such deplorable grief.

The pictures I have shared with you today, are the some of my favorites. I like to look at these pictures, because these are the times that I cannot remember. I have no memory of being so small. I do have many memories of when I was older, but it is these that remind me of who my Mom was. She was fantastic. The glow in her eye as she dotes upon me, the silly face in the pictures with my two aunts. That was her. She was elegant, sophisticated, tall, sweet, kind, compassionate, sensitive and she could even be quite the disciplinarian!! She was all the things that I hope to be as I move into probable motherhood of my own. It is her mama love, and the amazing 9 years that I received that make me love and miss her evermore. Mostly, though, I miss what it means to have her here with me. To tell her about all the great things in my life. About the husband that I have that she has never met. To watch her play with my niece, and my future children. Just to be HERE. Each day it gets easier, but it will never be easy. I saw a sign the other day that said "God doesn't give us what we can handle, God helps us handle what we are given" Without that knowledge, I am not sure I would be here today. God has blessed my life. I am a magnificent woman because of the strength that I find in Him. And it is this strength that will get me through one more year.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Letter to sweaty dude at the gym

Dear Sweaty Dude,

PLEASE for the sake of our health, use the sani-wipes to wipe down the machine after you are done. We don't want to step onto the treadmill and fall on our butts because you sweat so much and have not cleaned off the drenched machine. After you didn't wipe down the treadmill that you had just ran 15 miles on, I saw you get on the bike next to me. I was wondering if you would wipe it down when you were done. In fact, my workout went a bit longer than I had planned, because I "had to know" whether you were going to redeem yourself. Did you?? Oh no...you left that one a schweaty mess, too.

So, I am kindly asking you to have some decency and stop being so lazy...I mean you ran 15 miles, and then biked 20 miles, so I don't think you are lazy. I'm just sayin'.....

Thank you,

Management

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On another note, I have gained 4 lbs. I think I might be in the same boat as my friend Tony this week. I really hope that this has to do with my upcoming TOTM and not because of my lack in working out. Yes, Internet, I have been a slacker again, but things are looking up. I just started doing a workout routine from my friend, Corinne, at Phit-n-Phat. I bit the bullet and I signed up for some of her online training programs. Now I have a solid weight routine for my arms, shoulders and legs. Exciting stuff!

Tonight I am doing arms, so wish me luck...I am excited to pump some iron tonight.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Lily and Us


Friday night we had my niece for the first time overnight. My sister and brother-in-law were granted a weekend away while we and my parents watched little Lily.

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about how this would pan out. Would she have fun?? Would we do a good job?? Would she even want to come with me when I picked her up from my parents house on Friday?

As I drove to get her, all of these things were going through my mind. After about 10 minutes of driving her to my house, I knew it would all be okay. She smiled at me from the backseat and said "Fun at Emmy's!!" in her adorable, newly formed little girl voice.

We definitely got a test of what it was like to be parents. Yes, things will be different when it is our own. But, it was a test in our patience together handling a small child. I think we did alright except for the Pack N' Play meltdown (there were directions on the mattress?? Wish we would have seen them!!) which was diverted with one call to my parents house. We dropped her off after a trip to the zoo, and we both looked at each other with a bit of relief and said "we can do this!!" to each other with big smiles on our faces.

I think the kitties were the only ones that were happy to see her go (they weren't to sure about this little, talkative person in their house) and we said we would watch her again in a heartbeat. She is developing into a beautiful little girl, and her vocabulary is really starting to take off. It has been a blast watching this little girl grow up and we look forward to seeing her continue to grow and develop.

And now....here are some photos from the weekend:

Watching Barney with Uncle Curtis:
Petting the "nice kitty"....who really did love her affection!:

Watching the fishes!!:

Friday, August 17, 2007

Weigh In Day: Week 12

I lost 1.2 lbs this week! YAY!

I tried to follow the 8 Healthy Guidelines set forth by Weight Watchers. I did pretty well, except for one day where I blew it.

We have been successful the past few weeks because we have been doing many things differently. We have only been eating out once a week, preparing more meals at home and eating way more fruits and veggies.

Almost 15 lbs. are now gone off this body. I am feeling more svelte (that word is fun to use!) and I can tell that my body is much more efficient.

I also had one non-scale victory this week. I am now officially wearing one size smaller in pants. The larger size is hanging on me. I tried on a pair of jeans today and was so ecstatic when they fit!! There is nothing better than fitting into your favorite clothes.

Have a great weekend!! Until next Friday...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hungry

I am so hungry, I could eat my fist.

That's all...thank you, come again.

Bwaahaaaaaa!!!

Do you ever have those nights where you just can't stop laughing?? Everything is funny, and your gut hurts from all of the muscle spasms that come with uncontrollable giggling?

Last night was one of those nights. Our Tigers weren't funny, but everything else was. This website specifically, is what induced the laughing. If you have never seen this blog, you must!! It is hilarious.

I Can Has Cheezburger

It all started when I decided a few weeks back that putting out the bird feeder, in view of the cats, would be a good idea. You know, keep them occupied when we are gone during the day. Well, Sadie is obsessed with that window. The goldfinches don't blink when they see her, too, which is quite amusing. Last night, I told Curtis we needed to take a good picture of her being silly (wagging her tail fiercely, darting back and forth, HUGE "I am going to get you birdie" eyes) and post it on this blog.

Enjoy laughing...we sure did!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Who is Your Tiger?



The last few weeks have been nothing short of frightening, watching this beloved Tigers team. I have stressed many moments over the last several weeks, hoping that somewhere in there this team was still alive and kicking. Considering the enormity of the losses the last several weeks, it is still amazing that we are 1 game ahead of Cleveland. It must be luck. Or perhaps, they are just that good.

For the past two seasons, we have watched diligently. We have watched this team through this years post All Star break slump, through the playoffs and ups and downs of the 2006 World Series. There is a slogan around here that is pumped through the TV and radio waves. "Who is your Tiger?"

My infatuation with Magglio started early last season. I wasn't that into baseball, but I have always been willing to watch sports and learn the lessons that Curtis teaches me. Early on, I knew I was going to love this team. I started to realize what all the hype was about in my years growing up. I never had any interest in the game, so I never cared about our Detroit team. My grandfather, Grandaddy, loved the Tigers. He would watch them so very often, sitting in his leisure leather chair, hoping that this team could bring the glimmer back to Detroit. Sometimes I wish he could see this team now. He would be so proud.

Last night, this team did me proud again. Specifically, my Tiger, Magglio. He lit up the sky with his 22nd bomb of the season. A 2 seam fastball came at him and he did what he is best at. A 3 run-homer on the board, to bring the score to 6-2. He wailed on that baby! Mario Impemba yelled "There is nothin' cheap about that one!" I screamed in excitement, even danced around the living room for a moment. I have never felt the overwhelming hysteria that is baseball until these past few years.

I have long concluded that this team is all about the momentum. If the team is playing well, if the bull-pen is pitching well, if the offense can convert, then this team will win. Last night proved that. They follow each other into the zone and that is what I love about them. When one of them leads, the others step right behind. We started out the evening cursing off Jeremy Bonderman. We ended the evening kissing the feet of this team. Mostly, for giving us what Detroit has needed for a long time. Maybe even for bringing this 28 year old girl into the understanding of what it means to be a baseball fan. To be a Tigers fan.

Go Tigers! And can I just say, "I love you, Mags!"

(Don't you just love my orange shirt and Mag mask?? I just couldn't help myself!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A little person is coming to our house.....

No, I am not pregnant. Yet.

However, we do have a little person coming to live with us this weekend. Her name is Lily and she is the most beautiful niece an auntie and uncle could ever ask for.

We love her like she is our own. This weekend, we get a true test in taking care of a 2 year old when Lily comes to stay with us. My sister and brother-in-law are long overdue for a vacation by themselves and we, along with my parents have agreed to take this little tornado for the weekend.

My Dad sent me some photos from a few weeks back. We had everyone over to our house and I really wanted my picture taken with Miss Lily. I was going through my collection and I have very few photos so in an effort to bulk up the pictures of me and Lily, I had Dad go crazy with the camera.

It was quite amusing going through each photo and realizing how hard it is to keep a 2 year old still. She wanted to play with the kitties, or go explore and I wasn't allowing that.

This weekend will be a wonderful test of our patience as a couple and we can't wait!

Friday, August 10, 2007

2 YEARS!!

Today is the second anniversary since I started working here. I didn't know this, but my very efficient co-worker keeps track and she informed me this morning.

I work for a heavy equipment dealer, and I have never gone up in a boom lift, or taken a ride on a 'dozer', but yesterday I rode up on this with my boss:



This is a picture from the website. For those of you that aren't construction-philes, this is a hydraulic scaffolding unit. It runs with an engine, and that huge platform is raised and lowered as the masons do their thing.

This is a picture of what it looks like on a building:



Scary, right?

I am deathly afraid of heights and so I was glad when he said that we would only be going up 25 feet. Still, at 25 feet I could feel myself getting a little bit freaked out and wanting "off this damn orange thing."

Luckily, my boss is equally afraid of heights and he let me down without making me crawl down the measly ladder.

Weigh In Day: Week 11

I am down .5 lbs today. YAY! We are back on the exercise track and things are looking up. We took our measurements on July 12 and I decided now that we are 1 month out, that we would re-take them.

So, here they are! This is very exciting. Mind you that I have only lost 2.7 lbs. since then.



July 12, 2007 August 10, 2007 Difference




Hips 46 44 -2
Belly 42.5 40 -2.5
Thighs 22.5 21 -1.5
Chest* 43 44 1
Arms 14.5 13.5 -1

*I think I had my bra on when we took the first measurement. How in the world can my chest get any bigger?? The girls are already massive!

Pretty sweet, huh?

I almost forgot. My darling husband brought it under 200 lbs this week. By a lot. He weighed in at 197.6 which was a 2.5 lb loss! Way to go baby!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Food Scores Galore...

Yesterday, Fresh Market opened about a 1/2 mile from our house. For those of you that are reading here, that aren't familiar with the lack in specialty grocery stores here in West Michigan, this is a big deal. We do not have Whole Foods, we do not have Trader Joe's, but now we DO have Fresh Market.

I have been eagerly anticipating the store's opening and yesterday, I dropped in after work. I was amazed at the selection of diet friendly foods. Brands that I had never seen before were everywhere. Words like "Lite", Reduced Fat", "Fat Free", "Whole Grain"; all jumped out at me. I was in heaven for 30 minutes yesterday. I could have stayed all evening, and looked at each and every item.

The most impressive part was their meat and fish counter. I had never seen shrimp so huge in my life, or steaks so generously cut. They had stuffed sausage, and ground chicken, and turkey burgers the size of my hand. Normally this would be a bad thing, but when you are on a diet, you keep in mind that you can split these items with your spouse, so it's no big deal. I bought two chicken kabobs, and both were 1.5 lbs each!!

I also found Vic's Lite Caramel Corn--2 points for 1 cup, Gourmet Select Hummus--1 point for 1 oz., reduced fat pimento cheese dip (this is good for when we have friends over) and many other delicious treats. We are heading back this weekend because my husband has got to check this place out!

So, it looks like West Michigan is moving away from the circa-1900 grocery store and up the proverbial grocery store food-chain. Yay for us!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Food Score!


I found another must-have diet food in my circa-1900 grocery store.

It was hiding with all of the pizza crusts, and well, we all know that when you are on a diet, you run past those pizza crusts with all of your leggy might.

So, here it is! Food SCORE!
Hormel Turkey Pepperoni

The best food invention. Ever.
Wanna know why? Because I can have Flat-Out pizzas! With Pepperoni!!!!

Since I can't have the Boboli, I wanted to be able to have some sort of pizza-thingy that was easy to make. But you can't have pizza without pepperoni right? These little buggers were eluding me. I am so thrilled to have found them.

I am officially in love with turkey pepperoni. We are getting married next Saturday.

Mission Accomplished

Internet....you kicked me in the butt hard enough. You win.

I exercised last night and it felt good. Really good. We did a weight set of arms (we haven't been doing a whole lot of legs because of all the walking that we do), and we both left the gym nice and schweaty.

Tonight is either a bike ride, tennis or another 3 mile walk.

I think we are back on the exercise track!

Thank you for the accountability.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Exercise Slump #1

Every time I do this WW thing, I end up having a couple exercise blips...you know, when you just don't feel like it. It usually happens after a nice loss (13 lbs will do it) and then I just don't want to do it anymore.

Yesterday was the first day of working out in 10 days and I had to literally pick myself up off of the floor while putting on my tennis shoes. I just didn't wanna go! I felt like a little kid throwing a temper tantrum in my living room. That is hard to imagine, since we have no kids, but that is what it was. A tantrum. Sometimes my husband calls me "baby Emmy"...that isn't a lie, either.

I don't know if it's the heat we have been having, or what. Perhaps it is the fact that in Michigan we get about 90 beautiful days and the last several have been beautiful. I want to go out and do other things. Like weed my garden, or go to a movie, or in tonight's case...go to a free concert at the Frederick Meijer Gardens.

So, please, Internet. Please oblige this request for a kick in the keister. Lord knows that I need it.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Weigh In Day: Week 10

I lost .8 this week. YEE! I am so thrilled with myself. I really, really am.

The great part? I didn't excercise ONCE (not good, I know. Gym is being hit up tonight), and we were at the Crossroads last Saturday where I ate HOT DOGS. Yep, hot dogs. I think I might have had like 10 beers in 14 hours, too. AWFUL. (Laura, I did use your your patented 1-for-2 rule™. It worked like a charm.)

I can really notice the weight falling off now. My clothes are MUCH looser, my body is changing, and when I look in the mirror I am not nearly as grossed out by myself. (You all think I am harsh, but I have to be to fight the fat!)

This weekend we have no plans which hopefully means eating on plan all weekend. It is my mini-goal to do so.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Proof I am almost 30....and almost old.

Last night we watched a new Chris Hansen special about people who steal I-Pods. This is the conversation that took place as I was falling asleep...

(Chris Hansen is in the background confronting a teenage girl about the I-pod that she stole off the top of a car in the Best Buy parking lot...side note: why did I think it was so funny? Maybe it's the way he says "I am Chris Hansen" all like a bad ass and what not....okay, back on topic.)

Me: What time do you have to leave in the morning for Lansing?

Him: 7:25 am or so...

Me: Cool...want me to iron your shirt for you? (I am the best wife)

Him: Sure, thanks dear (NOT!)

Me: Is there water in the I-pod? (re-read that sentence)

Him: WTH did you just say? (laughing that hysteric laugh that he does.)

Me: I don't know. What did I just say?

Him: (laughing)

Me: Good night.

Sometimes the things we say to each other are hilarious. We make each other keel over in laughter. To the point that I can't control myself sometimes. It's pretty awesome when the man that you are going to spend the rest of your life with, makes you laugh...that hard. It's the best way to make a marriage work. You have to laugh a little. Or in our case, a lot.