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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Off the Wagon and On Again

I was frustrated yesterday.  My weight was back in the 253 range.  I have to admit I totally fell off the wagon, including eating sugar.  I did learn something.  I didn't take a bite of anything and think, oh my goodness, that's what I have been wanting.  Nothing tasted that good to me.  The sugar I ate was jelly beans.  Me and jelly beans go way back.  I love them.  I did have to fight the rest of the day going to get some more -- just today, of course, was what I told myself.  But I knew if I got more yesterday, it would be easier to get more today, and off I would go.  So, I'm back today, doing what I know to do.  I got on the scale this morning and weighed exactly the same as yesterday.  But it may take my body a few days to get back to fat burning instead of carb burning.

I had a lot I wanted to get done this weekend.  I want my loft to be in good shape when I have guests on the 11th.  I got my closet in good shape.

It wasn't bad.  The bag is stuff I am collecting to give away.  The chair is a shower chair that I hate to give away because my daughter could need it again and it's the only chair in the house that is not bar height, so I need a chair to climb on to reach something, I use this one.  I have to walk through my closet to get to my bathroom, so it can't be all cluttery on the floor.  But the shelves were looking a little jumbled and I hung the clothes more neatly, etc.  I know people will want the whole tour, so everything needs to be tidy.  It would be nice to have one more closet in this place, but I just have the one.  It's fairly big, but I could use more.  I have stuff stored in my shower stall in one bathroom, since I don't use it.  I usually take a bath, and if I want to shower, there is one in that bathroom too.  I need to organize that too.

I was feeling kind of down on myself for not getting more done yesterday.  One thing I did was I bombed for fleas again.  That meant I had to get me and the pets out of the house for quite a while.  So I had to cut myself some slack.  I can't be doing cleaning in the loft if I am out.  I am going to bomb again next weekend too and hope that will take care of things once and for all.

To take care of the flea problem, I also have to treat my dog and my cat.  I have been trying to do that, but nothing is working with the problem I have in the loft.  I asked at Petsmart what was the best stuff to get.  They said K9 Advantix and the equivalent for cats.  A box of K9 Advantix cost me $84!!!!  And the one for my cat was $60 something.  But I have to get this taken care of once and for all.  Once I get the problem taken care of, I don't think I will have a problem.  Cas is not outside that much and the cat is totally an indoor cat.  The problem came with me from my old house -- long story I think I've told before.

So, my focus today will be on getting more done in the loft.  I need to give the kitchen a thorough cleaning -- wiping down cabinets and appliances, etc.  Otherwise, it was not in bad shape.  I also want to shampoo my rugs, and again next week, so everything is fresh and clean when people come over.  And give the floors a good cleaning.  I will wax them next weekend.

If you walked into my house right now, you wouldn't think I had been doing much work.  Sometimes you make mess to clean up mess.  Guess it's time to distribute those things where they go.


Things are starting to look really nice around here.  I've been working off and on all day.  As is often the case, once I get going, it's hard to stop.  I am feeling so much better about my housekeeping and the atmosphere of my home.  It is so much more peaceful and I feel so much better about myself.  I will keep doing this and that until bedtime, in between watching episodes of Castle.  I have seen these episodes before, but I did not see them in sequence and they make so much more sense to me now.  I love that show.

My eating has been great today.  No problem getting back on track.  The only thing not so good was I drank a Diet 7-Up.  I don't want to make that an everyday thing again.  I haven't done a workout, but at least I have stayed busy all weekend and haven't been a couch potato.  The progress I have made on the loft should leave me more free to do workouts this week.   I know all my talk about housekeeping doesn't seem like it has anything to do with a weight loss blog, but these things are all tied together for me.  It's all part of the metamorphosis I am going through.

That's it for tonight.  Have a great week everyone.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Practicing Being Hungry

Setting that 5:15 alarm did the trick.  In fact, I got up before it went off.  Just knowing it was going to happen kept me from falling back asleep   There was plenty of time to get stuff done this morning.

I am going into the weekend with things in decent shape at my loft.  That means two weeks of maintaining in the books.  It feels good.  I agreed to have a jewelry party at my loft on Friday the 11th.  It is such a big step for me to invite people into my home.  I will want it to be in as good of shape as I can get it.  So I will be working on it this weekend and next.  When I signed my new lease at my loft, they raised my rent.  I came back at them to see if they would keep it the same, just to see if they would.  They would not because everyone gets a 3% raise in rent each year.  But they did offer me two free housekeeping sessions.  So I might use one of those next week (hopefully Friday during the day) to get things all polished up.  I wonder how Cas will react to that, lol.

Despite dropping down to 251 earlier in the week, this morning I am in the 252 range.  I hate it when that happens.  I want to keep my calories down, since tomorrow is weigh-in.  For breakfast, I had breakfast sausage and an omelet, but instead of two sausage patties, I just had one.  I probably should do that every time.  I am chugging the water this morning, partly to help me feel fuller.  Lunch is going to be another serving of the Chicken Monterey I had yesterday, with a side salad.  This evening I want to have another veggie besides salad, because salad dressing twice in a day can bump up the calories.

I really want to bump up my exercise a little (as in add some strength training), but it's difficult with working late so often right now.  That is a goal for next week, but I will be flexible and forgiving of myself if my work schedule does not allow it.  I am planning to go to the gym tomorrow, though, and I plan to do a strength training workout, as well as some cardio -- possibly swimming.  As hard as it is to make my weight move right now, I feel like I have to add a little more to the mix.  Of course, just doing my usual workout more consistently should make a difference (as in 5 times a week instead of 3 times).  I have 4 so this week, and will get one tomorrow.

I need to get back to class and church.  People have been concerned about me.  I had been so overwhelmed, I just felt like adding one thing back to my schedule would make me crack under the pressure.  But this is a positive thing to add back.  I have to train myself to not get so overwhelmed by doing extra things away from home besides work.  I need to be with other people and I need the strengthening my faith brings.  Not that I don't practice my faith outside of church.  It is an integral part of my life, but church adds a dimension nothing else can.  My plan is to go Sunday morning.

I am trying to schedule lunch dates for my boss with various people next month and there are almost no dates available.  Between hearings, meetings and other lunches scheduled, it's tough!  It should let up some after the end of October for our work schedules.  We have to be ready for trial by the end of October, although the trial date itself was moved to January.  But none of the other dates associated with preparation for trial were moved.  That's why we have the crunch now.  I hope I can take a week off in November, although there is another case that will start amping up some then.

I am hungrier than usual this morning.  I have some pork rinds in my desk, but the sodium might affect my weigh-in, so I want to stay away from that today.  On top of being hungry, someone brought bagels from Einstein's today.  I'm not overly tempted, but I have to admit that sounds good.  I can hold out for lunch, though.

When lunchtime got here, I got my salad and was warming up my chicken when Jerry came in and called me to work in his office.  Darn!  So I had to wait a bit to get to eat it.  But I did, and I made it and it was fine.  Maybe I won't get hungry as soon now.

I am having a significant sciatica flare-up.  I don't know if it is the work we did at massage therapy yesterday, or a delayed reaction from the treadmill workout, or what.  I've been having quite a bit of hip issues, but now am having the radiating pain.  Ouch, that hurts!  But, you know what?  I can walk and I am thankful for that, even if it does hurt.  A few months ago, walking was pretty difficult and, at times, almost impossible.  So I'll take a little pain as I work more and more toward my goal.  I went to an empty office and did some yoga cat/cow stretches in hopes that would help something release.  Nothing yet.  I would have been really embarrassed if someone walked in on me.

I am planning my snacks for my jewelry party on the 11th.  I am going to have options for most anyone.  I'm going to make a hot artichoke dip that is low-carb, and I will have chips to dip in it, but also celery sticks and any other veggie I can think of that might be good.  I am also thinking about some bacon wrapped jalapenos with cream cheese.  I think I will have a cheese tray, too, along with some fresh fruit and a little bowl of candy corn, since the consultant is planning a kind of Halloween theme.  I'm not big on Halloween, but I'm sure it will be fun for everyone who likes that kind of thing.

My radiating pain did not improve throughout the day.  At least I got off nearly on time -- 6:20.  I got pretty hungry this afternoon.  I did eat 4 pieces of the pork rind at one time (which was not much).  But later I kept remembering that I needed to practice letting myself be hungry and knowing that I was not going to die (lol) and it would dissipate after a while.  It never did, but I made it until I got home.  I was feeling very hungry by that time and ate a cheese stick while my dinner was cooking.

Dinner is the other hamburger patty from last night, except I am adding some bacon to it.  I am so hungry, I don't think just the sirloin patty will be enough.  I am waiting for my Brussels sprouts to finish roasting and then will put it all together and eat.

Then, I'm going to go walk Cas, in spite of the pain, and I might spend some time in the hot tub this evening, if I feel like it.  But I might just rather hang around my loft.  We will see.

That's it for today.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

All Work and Not Much Play

I overslept again! It's time to do something about that.  I have an alarm at 4:00 to take pain med if I feel I'm going to need it before a morning workout.  I have one at 5:00 to wake me up and give me 15 minutes to get ready to get out of bed.  But I keep falling hard asleep again and don't wake up at 5:15, so now I set one at 5:15, which means get up now.  I've never had trouble getting up when I need to in the past.  In fact, I have had this internal alarm clock that often woke me up before the alarm because I don't like being startled awake by it (when I used a clock radio alarm).  Most often, when I knew I had to get up, I woke up.  But I am extra tired right now, working longer hours, the workouts, etc.  So I'll do what I need to do to make this work.

I have opted not to do a workout this morning and to pick one up Saturday.  I have not been good at all lately about getting one done on the weekend, but that doesn't mean that has to continue.  It will be a good chance to go to the gym and swim.

The reason I am doing this is because I need to catch up on a few chores.  I need to do a little maintenance to keep things more peaceful and pleasant around home.  I haven't cooked, so there are not many dishes, but I have put my dishes in the sink and they need to be put in the dishwasher, the litter box needs attention, my rug needs vacuuming, etc., etc.  It is important for me to keep developing these habits and it is good for my stress level.

If I get off on time tonight, I may take Cas for a longer walk and push the speed a little as an evening workout.  He needs it and there is no reason I can't combine the two.  My right foot is bothering me this morning, so hopefully that won't be an issue this evening.

Another thing I needed to do this morning is prepare some lunch, as well as breakfast.  I don't want the same leftovers again and otherwise, I would have to get another salad or something out.  I've already gotten quite a bit done, but I better get up and get to the rest of it.  And Cas is whining for a walk again, so here I go.  More later.


Breakfast was some breakfast sausage and an omelet with some sauteed onions, poblano pepper and mushroom and pepper jack cheese.  I made the vegetables for the recipe for my lunch, so I made a little extra for my omelet.  Yum!

A quieter day at work today.  I like that and I don't like it.  I like being busy, but it's nice to have a few minutes to think.

Back to massage today.  My soreness is better, at least in my shoulders and neck.  I have come to the conclusion (again) that one thing that causes problems is when I put my arms above my head at night.  I have to keep my shoulders down and I have much less soreness that way.  But sometimes I wake up and they are above my head.  My hips are still sore, but I really think that is the spondylolisthesis.  I'm not sure how much stretching my hips is going to help that (although it certainly won't hurt).  It is caused when the top disc slides forward in relation to the one below.  It narrows the space where the nerves run through and pinches the sciatic nerve sometimes too.  My best help for that is losing more weight in my lower abdomen and strengthening my core muscles.

Massage was good, as usual.  How many of you have an MT that gets on top of you and digs her knees into your butt?  Lol.  Mine does.  Low back and mid back/shoulder blade area were very tender.  It's my profession that does the latter, unfortunately.  The long hours don't help.

Lunch was a new recipe from the low-carb website I told you about yesterday -- Chile Chicken Monterey.  Basically a grilled B/S chicken breast which you top with sauteed onions, mushrooms and green chiles (I didn't have any, so I sauteed some poblano pepper), then top that with pepper jack cheese.  This is definitely a keeper!  I had that with a side salad from Chick-Fil-A.  Yummo!  I'll be looking forward to having the other serving of that soon.

I am hoping not to have to work so late tonight.  I know my boss has been wanting to get away for a workout, so maybe he will save the reports he usually wants to do on Thursday afternoon/evening for tomorrow.  One can only hope!

I saw a recipe for pesto stuffed chicken breast which I want to try soon.  It looks great!  I need to buy some pesto, which I would just as soon do as make my own.  There are so many things you can do on Atkins that you cannot do on a low-fat diet.

I just saw a recipe for a "breaded" baked chicken breast using crushed up pork rinds.  Interesting.  I have another one using parmigiano reggiano and almond flour that I am going to try.

I got hungry again this afternoon.  I had a few pork rinds.  I'm glad I did because...

No such luck on getting off on time.  I worked until 7:45.  I got home and was feeling too tired to cook.  I had left my other serving of what I had for lunch at work, so it was more Green Enichilada Bake or cook something.  So I first had a salad for my veggie, and cooked a sirloin patty seasoned with a blend and a little Worcestershire sauce. and topped with a slice of pepper jack.  I cooked two, but decided I should see if my hunger was satisfied enough with one.  It was.  So I can have the other one tomorrow night.  I just have to do my breakfast and my veggies for tomorrow.

That's about all I've got tonight.  I'm tired.  I'll be glad when we are done with this phase of this case, although I have to admit I enjoy the paychecks during times like this.  But it's hard to work this many hours and focus on getting better as much as it takes.  But all in all, I think I'm doing a pretty good job, all things considered.  Atkins has helped a lot -- I don't have to fight cravings nearly as much.  I've got a piece of fruit to look forward to this weekend.  :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lowering Your Cortisol Levels

I overslept again this morning.  Gah!  I know you're probably thinking, why can't she get a handle on this.  But you have to remember that I am having to take a muscle relaxant, which makes it much easier to oversleep.  Plus I was extremely tired from working 13 hours Monday and then the workout last evening.  So, instead of 5:15, I got up at about 6:00.

The good news is, I did my workout!  I always need a few minutes to work some stiffness out in the morning.  The morning is my highest pain time, typically.  But I got on the recumbent bike at a little before 6:20.  I thought, even if I just do 15 minutes, that's better than nothing.  But, as usual, once I get going, I'm okay, so I did my full 30 minutes doing intervals.  My legs felt very tired when I started, but it got better and, actually, that's a pretty good way to work some kinks out.

I spent a few minutes trying to talk myself out of doing one this morning.  I thought, I'll do one tonight.  But I never know when I am going to get off and we have a deposition in the office today.  Plus, I have much better energy in the morning typically.  I knew if I didn't get it done this morning, there was a good chance I wouldn't do it today.  So, it is done and if I don't do any more formal exercise today, at least I have done that.

The scale was down this morning.  I am at 251.  So, a little more than a pound more and I am in the 240's.  I did do the colon cleanse on the weekend.  I took what they tell you to take before you have a colonoscopy (I have never had one).  That was fun.  It made no difference on my weight Monday morning.  I'm actually kind of glad for that.  I feel like what I am doing this week is working and that it is not just the cleanse that is doing it.  Even if that played a part, it will help me psychologically to finally move out of the 250's.  This is a very tough spot for me to move past, it seems.  I totally forgot to do my liver cleanse drink yesterday and this morning.  I may have forgotten Monday too.  But I have read it should work better after a colon cleanse.  I hope things will start moving better now, weight-wise.  I am eating less and still feeling pretty satisfied.  I have to be careful that I am eating enough carbs.  I am getting leg cramps, which sometimes happens on a low-carb diet.  I need to make sure to take my potassium/magnesium supplement every day, which will help with that.  But I also tend to have withdrawal symptoms if I do not eat enough carbs.  Since I am not eating snacks, for the most part, I need to make sure I get enough with my 3 meals.

Cas is whining for a walk, so I'm going to go walk him and then get ready for work.  More later.


Another busy day at work.  My pain is up a little today.  That is probably from the treadmill workout.  I don't feel like I triggered anything; I'm just sore and stiff.  My legs are feeling it today.  But the more I get into the day, the more I am feeling it, so I am thinking treadmill is not a good option for a while.  Maybe when I get some more weight off.  Carrying weight in my lower abdomen pulls my back more out of alignment (the spondylolisthesis).

Breakfast was the last of the Ham & Swiss Pie.  I'll have to cook tomorrow and Friday morning.  I didn't bring any lunch today.  I could have brought some more Green Enchilada Bake, but I think I need to give that a rest.  I was trying to decide where to go get a salad, and I decided on Salata, where I can have one made up to my specifications.  Those can get a little expensive, but they are good.  I am trying not to eat a main dish salad as often, because the amount of salad dressing pushes up the calories a lot.  But without a snack, I think I am all right.

I ended up having a snack, though.  I got hungry late afternoon and I have to work late, so I went downstairs and got some jerky.  I got a big (individual) package, and the whole thing has 130 calories, so not bad.

I was reading on how to lower your cortisol levels, and I realized I am doing a lot of what they recommend.  Just a few more tweaks, and I should be making some good progress.  I am betting watching murder who-done-its is probably not the greatest thing, although I always enjoy the puzzle of figuring them out.  And I have never been one who gets fearful over these kinds of things.  One thing on the list was listening to music, so I want to do more of that.  I need to develop my relaxation ritual, every night, even for just 15 minutes.  Massage therapy was on the list, as well as yoga (this kind of exercise is better than, say, running because running increases your heart rate which can raise cortisol levels; not that you shouldn't run).  Getting enough sleep is a big one.  Drinking black tea is also good (something in the tea is good for that -- like the English people's ritual of afternoon tea).  Making changes to your diet is first on the list, including reducing caffeine and eliminating processed foods.  Drinking enough water and getting enough fish oil is on the list.  The last one is laughing -- being with a friend who makes you laugh, watching a funny movie or listening to a funny story.  I'm doing much better on a lot of these.  I guess I'll have to drink hot tea this winter.

One thing I am doing for myself is keeping my house cleaner.  It really makes me feel more peaceful.

I finally got to go home at about 8:20.  I had been planning to pick up some dinner at Iron Cactus.  But it was so late, I decided to just eat another serving of leftovers and leave it at that.  It's a good thing I worked out this morning!

I'm going to do a little picking up and head to bed in a bit.  I need to stay well rested.  We're over the hump!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An Evening Workout

Monday Evening

Well, it's 10:00 and I just got home.  I had taken an extra portion of what I had for lunch today just in case I had a late night this week.  I didn't expect to need it tonight because my boss left at 2:00 and wasn't coming back.  And he didn't.  But I had to help an associate get a Motion for Summary Judgment filed in my boss's name.  At least the paycheck is going to be better for the next couple of times.

As I said, I had another serving of the Green Enchilada Bake for dinner.  Since it so late, I'm going to just let it go at that and save the calories.  Wasn't I saying I wanted to eat less this week?  Perfect opportunity.  (Actually, I had a few walnuts (just a few) because I was feeling like I had not eaten enough carbs and was starting to crash.  It brings on these withdrawal type feelings, which would make it hard to sleep.)

I'm tired, but I would like to have a little bit of an evening.  Plus my pets are all excited with me just getting home, so they probably won't settle down very well just yet.  My dog just won't eat.  He acts like he feels fine and he certainly wants my food and he wants his treats when we go walk (which is the only time I give them to him, for the most part).  I guess he will eat when he gets hungry enough.

I probably will go in to work a little late tomorrow.  I'm not going to want to get up at 5:15.


Well, I didn't go to work late.  I was afraid someone would need something for the hearing this morning and nobody would be here.  Sure enough, when I got here at about 8:45, I was the first one from our group here.

Since a couple of you have asked about some recipes I have been making, I thought I would share the info about where I am getting them.  These are for a low-carb diet, which is NOT a low-fat diet.  The recipe I mentioned yesterday was called Green Enchilada Bake.  I am getting the recipes from a site called Linda's Low-Carb Menus & Recipes.  The Green Enchilada Chicken Casserole I made last week was from this site, as well as the stuffed mushrooms, the Korean meatballs last week, the pork chops I made over the weekend, and the Green Enchilada Bake.  Everything I have tried has been awesome.  I think making different things is crucial for Atkins because you could get bored pretty easy.

I still crave carbs occasionally.  I realized yesterday what would do it for me.  I miss fruit.  When I am off of sugar, fruit is what satisfies me.  I am thinking about having 1 low-carb fruit on the weekend, which would give me something to look forward to.  And I could do that without spiking my blood sugar too much.  Something like a peach or some blackberries.  I cannot imagine that would be bad for me.  I will not eat the fruit by itself.  It will be after a meal or paired with something like cheese or peanut butter.  After I get to the next phase, I can have fruit more regularly, but I think this will help.  If I am craving something, I can tell myself I can have the fruit on the weekend.

Breakfast this morning was the Ham & Swiss Pie.  It's easy -- just warm it up.  That's good on mornings like this.

Work is still busy, busy.  However, my boss says he is leaving at 5:00 because he wants to work out.  I just might leave early too, so I can go work out.  It would be the perfect opportunity to go to the gym and I could be home by my usual (or supposed to be usual) time to get home (around 6:00).  I still have not tried the rowing machine and I could also swim, since I got my pool shoes.  I really wanted to get more workouts this week and try to push past the 250's.

I set a goal in about June to be down to around 220 by the wedding that is on October 5.  I weighed pretty much what I do now.  And I have worked pretty consistently since I set that goal several months ago.  I thought it would be "no problem" to at least get below 230.  But it has gotten very difficult to make the scale move.  I have not binged in I can't remember when -- since I got off of sugar, which was on June 24.  During the last few weeks of WW, in spite of staying within my points limit, and going under a number of days, I gained weight.  That has never happened to me before.  I think I can chalk that up to age (being post-menopausal) and, from what I have learned, stress and increased cortisol levels.  That is one reason I did not feel bad about opting to get a little more sleep this morning instead of getting up for a workout.  Lack of sleep and stress have a real effect on being able to lose weight.  Hopefully I will be able to get the workout done this evening.  Just because my boss says he is leaving at 5:00, I have learned not to count on that.  But I feel fairly positive he will.

My puppy-dog finally decided to eat.  I guess he figured out I wasn't going to give him anything else, so he ate the cat's food and his food too, in that order.  I knew he had to be hungry.  I am feeding him what he has been eating for quite a while, but he suddenly started turning his nose up at it.  It was hard not to fix him some kind of alternative, but then he sure wouldn't go back to eating his own food.  Walking him more would help his appetite (and help him to not be so picky), I am sure.

Okay, I've okayed it with my boss and I am leaving in just a few minutes (it's 5:00).  I wish I had my gym clothes with me so I wouldn't have to get my dog all excited that I'm home and then leave again.  I wish I weren't so empathetic.  He will be fine.  I just feel like I leave him enough and it's hard to leave him more, but taking care of myself is important and I feel like if I don't go to the gym, I probably won't get a workout done.  So I'm off!


It's 7:42 and I am done with my workout, dinner and walking Cas.  And my legs feel like they need a break.  I didn't do the rowing machine.  There were a lot of people there and, since I had never done it, I felt self-conscious.  I got on the treadmill and set the time for 20 minutes.  I started out slow with only a little incline.  I kept bumping up the incline until I got to 4 and left it there for a while.  My max speed was 3.2.  I know that is slow, but that's where I am right now.  Walking on the treadmill is a little difficult with my hip and leg issues.  I'm really feeling that "waddling gait" associated with spondylolisthesis.  My hips feel like they don't want to move and my legs feel very heavy, for lack of a better way to describe it.  I kept my heart rate in my target range.  After 20 minutes, the treadmill started into cool-down, but I decided to keep going, so bumped it up again.  I went 30 minutes with little problem except the feeling described above.  I didn't work up that much of a sweat, but the air was blowing on me.  My face was good and red when I got done.

So, I had a 10-minute walk to the gym, 30 minutes on the treadmill, and 10 minutes home.  I was feeling pretty empty by that time.  I ate a salad I had already prepared and another serving of Green Enchilada Bake.  I was thinking I would have something else, but I was too tired and hungry to fix it.  As soon as I finished dinner, I got up and walked Cas, so that was at least another 20 minutes of walking.  So I think I have done pretty well today.  By the way, I like the scales at the gym much better than mine.  They weighed me about the same as what I weighed this morning on mine, with it being the end of the day and more clothes on.  There is at least a pound difference, maybe more than that.  I have always felt like mine weighed me heavier after changing the batteries.

It feels good to have gotten my workout in, even though I didn't do it this morning.  And I saw someone I knew at the gym and she asked me if I was going to come every night.  I told her I would try, but I was working a lot.  But knowing someone there makes me want to more.

I woke up to a very bad dream this morning.  I hate it when that happens.  I cried, it was such a bad one.

After working extra hours last night, the late hour of getting to bed and the workout tonight, I'm beat.  I'm going to veg a bit longer, pick up after myself, and hit the hay early.   Good night.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Working Late

Another busy, busy day.  No time to get any thoughts down until late this afternoon.

Despite leaving my phone at work Friday, and never going to pick it up, and thus not having my alarm this morning, I got up pretty much on time.  I was fairly efficient with my use of time and got my workout done, as well as maintenance chores around the loft.  Maintenance is so much easier than starting with a mess.  I went a whole week maintaining pretty well.  That's a step in the right direction.

Getting my food together was pretty easy since I had made a Ham & Swiss Pie yesterday, so had a piece of that for breakfast.  I packed up a quick salad to go with my lunch and brought a serving of one of the meals I prepared yesterday.  I can't remember the exact name of this, but I think it is Green Enchilada Bake.  It had a crust made from cream cheese, eggs and cheddar cheese (with some seasoning) and the filling was seasoned ground beef with green enchilada sauce, green chiles and topped with Monterey Jack cheese.  You prebake the crust, then add the topping and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  It was a little like the chicken casserole I made last week, but different at the same time.  I made an extra salad for tomorrow's lunch, so all I will have to do is grab and go (will likely be the same thing, since I had 8 servings of this to eat).

I am actually kind of hungry by late afternoon.  However, I know I don't have to work late, so I am exercising my resistance muscle and getting used to occasional hunger, as taught in The Beck Diet Solution.  We shouldn't always feel like we need to eat immediately just because we are a little hungry.  Sometimes it is good to wait.  (So she says.)

Dinner will be a little like lunch.  Again, I can't remember the exact name of the recipe, but something like Chicken Monterey.  It is a grilled chicken breast topped with a mixture of sauteed mushrooms and onions, plus some green chiles, with Pepper Jack melted on top.  Can you tell I like Mexican food?  If I don't have that, I will have the leftover pork chop and faux mashed potatoes I made over the weekend.  But I thought I would wait and have that tomorrow to break up my Mexican themed meals a little.  I will either have a veggie kabob or roasted Brussels sprouts with my chicken.

I want to eat a little less this week and see if I can break through from the 250's to the 240's.  It was slow going last time I got to this point and I finally got past it by eating just protein bars some days of that week.  But those protein bars have sugar and too many carbs for me to do that this time.  And the reason it worked was because I ate less calories those days.  Some of my meals this week I probably need to make a little less cheesy this week to hopefully accomplish my goal.  I also need to get more workouts done.  I only got 3 done last week and the week before.

My swim shoes came in.  So I could go to the pool some this week.  Plus I need to do some yoga to keep that going and I could do my Walk & Firm tape and my Arms of Steel DVD.  I don't want to overwhelm myself, but at the same time, I'm tired of being stuck in this "decade" weight-wise.

The weather is really starting to cool off.  I know to you northern folks it won't sound like it, but it was in the low 60's this morning, which in my shorts and t-shirt when I went to walk Cas this morning, felt deliciously cool.  The temp is only in the 80's today and I think is supposed to get up to 91 tomorrow.  That is a lot better than 100's, though, and low 60's every night.  I need to get to walking Cas more now that it is cooling off.  I've been kind of lax on that.  His behavior has improved inside, which used to be the driving incentive to walk him more before (to tire him out so he behaved better).  But he could still use some longer walks.  I keep letting darkness slip up on me in the evenings (or I have to work late).  I have been taking my morning walks a little later because homeless people sometimes sleep in the park where I take Cas and I don't feel entirely comfortable doing that before daylight.  But they don't do that in the colder weather.  I know I walked him in the dark last winter and it didn't bother me a bit.  It's just that issue that creates the concern.  I've never had any problem except being asked for money constantly.  And Cas barks at them when they stop to talk to me, so that is a deterrent, even if he's a small dog.  He's making noise, which calls attention.  I probably should get me some mace.  Ultimately, I would like to have a stun gun -- the kind that will drop someone 15 feet away and incapacitate them.

Well, I was wrong.  I did have to work late.  It's 7:40 and I'm still here.  Still haven't eaten anything either.  That means I'm going to go with what's already ready when I get home.  Hopefully not too much longer.  Probably won't get an evening workout done.  That's the way it goes sometimes.

Monday, I'm ready for you to be over!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weekends are for Rejuvenating


I'm frustrated this morning.  It's that feeling of someone not being pleased with me.  Yesterday was push, push, push all day long, with multiple attorneys needing things from me and, at times, a real push for "get it done now."  I left last night and forgot to do one thing.  It is something that has no serious repercussions, but I had it in my mind until the last few minutes of being at work and then I ended up forgetting it.  As it turns out, the document I was supposed to send out was screwed up.  I know what happened is my computer crashed yesterday and I lost my changes.  I thought I had fixed all the changes, but I didn't realize it had affected this document, so a lot of his changes were not in there.  My computer is being very temperamental and I have to save often or I will lose my work.

I know I am overreacting -- these things happen and you just deal with them.  And my boss was very understanding.  This is the boss I have worked for for 20 years.  He is semi-retired and I don't do that much for him anymore, so it bugs me that I screwed this up.  But I am being too hard on myself, because I know it came from the computer crash.  I guess I expect perfection out of myself in certain areas.

These feelings really make me want to eat.  That was my first thought.  I'm just going to enjoy something carby this morning, just this once.  Fortunately, I recognized what was happening quickly.  I cannot feed these kinds of emotions.  This pleasing thing is obviously a big thing in me and I need to deal with it.  I guess I just have to confront each time it happens and eventually I will not react this way.

I REALLY overslept this morning.  But this is the first morning in a long time that I have felt pretty rested when I got up.  A lot of the time, I feel like I haven't even rested.  It was pouring down rain, so no walk with Cas, as well as no workout.

I'm still struggling with a headache.  I was reading yesterday that some people who start a low-carb diet have headaches for the first few weeks.  If anyone was going to get a headache from something, it would be me.  I have felt like these were different than my usual ones, so maybe that's what it is.  Regardless, they are no fun.

I want so much to take a week off, but I just can't right now.  I probably can't until November.  But I feel very burned out.  I wonder if I will ever feel caught up on that kind of thing.


Today has been another crazy day.  I am still at work.  Jerry asked me before lunch if I could work late, so I wanted to make sure I ate enough at lunch where I didn't get too hungry before I got home.  I had brought the last of the Green Enchilada Chicken Casserole and was going to go downstairs and get some salad to go with it.  I got more salad than I would have.  I ended up eating only the salad and at 6:25, I am still not overly hungry.  If I get hungry, I still have the casserole to eat.

It has been another day of being up and down and walking around the office a lot.  I'm going to be tired when I get home.  It seems like I went from not very busy a week or so ago to crazy busy, overnight.

I finally got off at around 8:30.  I did eat the chicken casserole at around 7:30.  When I got home I just had a few nuts and that was it.  I usually like to stay up longer when I work late, so I have a little bit of an evening, but I was too tired.  I went to be around 10:00.


The pets woke me up earlier than I would have liked -- that and having to get up to go to the bathroom.  I got up around 8:00.  I only lost .2 pound this week.  That's a little disappointing, except that I know my clothes are looser.  My system has been a little slow and I am going to do a bit of a cleanse tomorrow.  That's all I'll say about that.  :)

I had my breakfast and took Cas for a walk.  I got back and got very sleepy and actually fell asleep and slept another hour and a half.  I had been having lots of cravings and they seemed to be much better after the nap.  When I am having these cravings, I think of different carby things I might eat (I won't eat sugar, even though I am tempted at times), and anything I think of doesn't really sound good.  I think this is just emotional stuff.  Sugar is my long-time comfort.  But I know if I do that, I will be back where I was a few months ago.  When I think about eating chips or crackers, it doesn't seem like what I am wanting.  I just like the taste of sweets.  But I have come nowhere close to giving in.

My loft is improving; I'm making a little more progress on it.  I have just been doing that and having a quiet day at home.  My pain levels are up right now; I hope a break from massage this week will help me catch up a little.

I tried two recipes tonight from the low carb recipe page I found.  Crusted pork chops and faux mashed potatoes.  Both very yummy -- maybe the best pork chops I've had.  Not for those eating low fat, but not that fat loaded.  The crust came from a thin layer of parmesan and topped with a thin slice of onion that caramelizes on top.

That's it.  My life is so exciting.  But I worked more hours last week and I was pretty drained.  I have to rejuvenate on weekends, because this likely will not let up for a few weeks.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Clothes Are Looser


Things have gotten pretty busy and I am pretty covered up at work.  I kind of like it that way, but I am tired.  I overslept this morning.  I have been having consistent headaches again.  I have been thinking they were related to getting off the SF Red Bulls, but it has been long enough now, I think, where that shouldn't be an issue.  I haven't been taking my muscle relaxants regularly (I don't like to, because they make me drag), and I told myself I was going to remember that if I started getting steady ones again.  The muscle relaxant seems to help more than anything.  I would rather drag than wake up with a headache every day.  I need to work on some more of my stretching exercises on my own and see if I can coax them to ease up.  Plus that is good for stress relief.

I was wanting carbs this morning.  I think it is more of a comfort thing than anything.  I googled whether it was an okay thing to take a day off from Atkins every once in a while, and didn't get the answer I would have liked.  Most people say not to because then you are off and it leads to more compromising, etc., etc.  I wasn't talking about a whole day of eating whatever I wanted; just one carby treat.  But I won't do it.  The scale is moving gradually, my clothes are getting looser, so why would I want to mess that up?  The emotional feelings I was having this morning will pass.

I had breakfast earlier than usual (I was hungry).  I had the last of the Ham and Swiss Pie.  It is sooo good.  I am going to have to make it again soon.  Next time I might make it with ground pork sausage.  But I don't know, that would make it higher calorie and it is so good the way it is.

I didn't quite get all my meals together and packed this morning.  The only thing I lack is a veggie, so I will go downstairs and get a side salad.  I brought my own, homemade salad dressing.  Snack was 2 dill pickle spears, each wrapped in a slice of cheese and a piece of deli ham.  That was pretty good.  I like it better than with just the ham.

I did not work out this morning.  I know.  It was the oversleeping and the pounding headache.  :(

Lunch today is leftover Korean Meatballs with the side salad mentioned above.  Cooking ahead makes everything easy.  I just needed to make some veggies.  I am hopeful I will not have to work so late tonight, but I am not holding my breath.  My boss' schedule is very packed, and we have to take moments to work together every chance we get.

I found something that might help with my cravings.  I found a recipe for Atkins vanilla ice cream  It is made with Stevia and has only 3.8 grams of carbohydrate.  Maybe this will fulfill that need for a treat every once in a while.

I was thinking about these cravings that I am having on occasion.  I got to wondering if it was because I needed to move on to the next phase of Atkins.  Here is what I found on the website:

Move to OWL (ongoing weight loss) if . . .

  • You’re already within 15 pounds of your goal weight. It’s important for you to move on to learn a new, permanent way of eating.
  • You’re bored with your current food choices.
  • You’ve been in Induction for several months and are more than halfway to your goal.

You may choose to stay in Induction if . . .

  • You still have more than 30 pounds to lose.

You should stay in Induction for now if . . .

  • You still have a large amount of weight to lose.
  • You’re still struggling with carb cravings.
  • You’ve not been fully compliant with Induction.
  • You still have elevated blood sugar or blood pressure levels.
  • Your weight loss is slow and you aren’t physically active.
So, there is my answer.  I need to stay right where I am.  I don't know why I am still having carb cravings, except for issues I have already addressed.  I stopped the Atkins bars because of that (and that is not even something they say you need to do).  I stopped drinking Red Bull Total Zero and they don't tell you not to have artificial sweeteners.  I haven't been cheating on too many carbs.  I have cut back my calories a bit.  Perhaps the cravings are more emotional than anything.  I know they were today.  And those are a little easier for me to push away.  I really am not having trouble giving in to the cravings, I just have them sometimes.  I guess other people do too, as many fall off the program.

I went to talk to my friend at work about my struggles and she had some bad news about her dog and was crying. I felt so bad to be complaining about craving carbs at a time like that. But I didn't know.

I'm telling you, I don't know if I am coming or going half of the time.  I sent out some bills to be paid for my boss using his card number, the expiration date of which is 06/13.  I remember thinking, oh this will expire soon.  It didn't even register with me that it is already past June.  I know it's because I have so much on my mind.

Snack this afternoon was celery with organic peanut butter.


I just wasn't up to finishing my post last night when I got home.  I didn't work very late, but I was really tired.  I kept nodding off while watching television.

Dinner was brisket.  I didn't have any veggies ready, and didn't feel like fixing them, so I didn't.  But then I ate some nuts later.  Not a lot, but I should have had the veggie instead.  I felt like I was carb crashing because I was feeling withdrawal symptoms.  But I had had all my medication, so it wasn't that.  And I have felt that way a couple of other times when I had not had enough carbs.  The nuts seemed to help a little.  I took a warm bath and went to bed.

I got up with a reasonable amount of energy this morning and was actually pretty productive.  I got my workout done and a few chores done, so that felt good.  I decided that today I was just going to eat meals and not snacks, since I am two days away from weigh-in.  I made sure I was good and satisfied at each meal, with breakfast and lunch, although I got a little empty during the afternoon.

Breakfast was pork sausage and scrambled eggs with spinach and feta cheese, which I topped with a little pico de gallo.  Work was so busy, I didn't have time to think about not having a snack.  It was not a problem at all.  Lunch was Green Enchilada Chicken Casserole and a salad.  My carb cravings are much better today -- no problem.  Thank goodness.  Maybe I didn't eat enough yesterday.  I didn't count them up, but knew I was not overdoing.

If there was any doubt before, there is no doubt today that my clothes are getting looser and I am getting thinner.  The pants I have on today were already a little big, but today they are bordering on being too big to wear.  And the shirt is looking looser too.  I got down below the weight I am at now a few months ago, but I don't ever remember this shirt looking this loose.  But maybe I just don't remember.  I know one way to tell -- soon I will try on a dress I had gotten down to before and see how it is fitting.  Perhaps I am losing differently this way and more fat is being taken from my belly.  I'll be just fine with that!

I have maintained the tidiness of my loft all week and that definitely makes home feel better.  Maintaining is so much easier than cleaning up a mess.  I have more cleaning to do -- dusting, etc. -- but at least things are not cluttered up (at least by my standards).  :)  I still have too much stuff in some ways and need to purge.  But not like sitting around with no place to put it.  Mostly decorative stuff that I have out because I had it already and just found a place for it.  It would probably look better for me to streamline it a little.

I had my massage today.  I am pretty sore from what she has been doing.  It is all for the greater good, but that doesn't mean you don't feel it.  Sometimes I feel like I've had a workout when she gets done -- I just feel all wrung out.  She is going to be out of town until next Thursday, and I am kind of glad I will have the break to work through some of the soreness.  I am doing this to get better, and it is discouraging sometimes to be hurting more than before I did it.  But that is because I am stretching more than I have in a long time.  The muscles have to heal after doing that.  I need to work more during the week on stretching on my own.  The more I stretch (safely), the more things are going to stay in better condition.  I do think I am going to go back to using my neck collar (from my surgery) when I sleep.  I seem to be waking up hurting more.  I am sleeping flat on my back with a neck pillow and not moving in a weird way, but sometimes my head goes to the side and stays that way for too long and that makes me hurt.

Today is an extremely busy day.  I definitely earned my paycheck today.  And I wouldn't be surprised if I took 10,000 steps just at work today.  I'm beat.  I was hungry when I got home at 7:00, but not out of control hungry.  I cooked some hamburger patties with cheese melted on them and roasted some broccoli.  I needed something easy but filling.

That's it for tonight.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Aww Nuts!


I felt pretty good about my weekend.  I buckled down and got quite a bit done yesterday.  I seemed to have more energy than I have had in a long time.  I don't know if it is the liver cleanse helping already, or the adrenal support supplement.  But I felt almost normal, at times, yesterday.

I lay down to go to bed at about 10:15 or so and had to get back up in a few minutes and take some medication.  I was hurting pretty bad, I had been on my feet so much.  I couldn't go to sleep because of it, and when I stood up, wow, it hurt.  My body was really tired, but I was hurting and my mind wouldn't shut down.  I kept having these strange thoughts (not conscious ones, so I was kind of dosing in and out).  I finally dropped off and slept okay until my alarm went off.

I got my loft in much better shape.  It feels much more peaceful now and I feel like I can function more in maintenance mode than cleaning up a mess mode.  The floor needed to be cleaned pretty badly.  My floors are polished concrete, so there is a lot of mopping to do.  And with the critters running around all the time, it gets pretty dirty.  So it felt good to get that done.  It wasn't that everything was a huge cluttered mess, although a little of it was.  My room gets cluttered easily because I spend a lot of time in there and it is so small, the least bit of clutter looks like a lot of clutter.  And I was doing a lot of cooking yesterday, so I was kind of working against myself, at times, and that's what took me so long.

I had a little struggle, a little stumble and a little victory last night.  After dinner I just wasn't quite satisfied.  Still just a little hunger.  I ate a few nuts.  Then I ate a few more nuts.  And then all of a sudden I was thinking, "You know you are going to, so why don't you just go ahead and finish this can of mixed nuts."  So I grabbed the can, sat down and started digging in.  But as I was about to get started, I began thinking about my reasons for wanting to lose weight that I have illustrated in my book.  I really didn't want to think about them.  You know how sometimes you get in that frame of mind that you don't want to think about the right thing to do; you don't want to talk yourself out of doing the wrong thing, you just want to do what you want to do.  I was trying to do that, but those reasons kept pushing themselves to the front of my mind.  And when I allowed them to grab hold, I knew I really did want those things infinitely more than I wanted those nuts.  So I went and put them in the freezer and didn't touch them the rest of the night.

Another thing that comes to mind as to why I let that happen was another rule from The Beck Diet Solution.  Never eat standing up.  I was eating those nuts as I was walking around doing other things.

But anyway, I was proud of myself for making myself stop after already starting to mess up.  I hope it won't have too big of an effect.  I didn't eat as many calories as I could have Saturday, so hopefully they will kind of even out this one time.

I was sitting here at my desk this afternoon and I was trying to get something done and I was literally falling asleep at my computer.  I was trying to decide whether to have a little caffeine, but I felt like I would be back-tracking on my progress if I did that.  So I had my snack, which was some nuts.  I actually was intending to have celery with peanut butter, but I was in the middle of something and didn't have time to prepare that, and I needed something to perk me up.  And it did help.  I was probably carb crashing a little bit.

I did pretty well with my time this morning before work.  I got up at around 5:15.  I did a few chores -- maintenance things, mostly.  I did 30 minutes on the recumbent bike and worked up a good sweat.  It was still dark out then, so I took my bath and washed my hair, then dried my hair before taking Cas for his walk.  I had Ham and Swiss Pie for breakfast, so all I had to do was heat it up.  I had most of my lunch in containers already; I just had to grab them and put them in my bag.  Then got my makeup on and dressed, etc. and off to work by 8:30.  The key was to not get on the computer.  If I get on the computer, I get sucked in too long and I run behind or talk myself out of doing stuff.

Snack was the other 2 stuffed mushrooms I made yesterday.  Lunch was leftover Korean Meatballs from yesterday, plus some broccoli slaw with some creamy coleslaw dressing I made yesterday.  Usually (to me), coleslaw dressing is kind of sweet.  This was not at all, but it was good.

This was as far as I got yesterday.  I ended up working late and didn't get on the computer when I got home, so didn't finish up my post.


I had another slip-up yesterday.  My boss came along at about 4:30 and asked if I could stay late.  I didn't really want to, but pretty much had to.  That bummed me out a little -- I don't know why, just my mood at the time.  So I told myself, since I have to stay late, I am going to eat a few nuts to hold me until I get home.  I ate more than a few.  I probably ate about 3/4 of a cup.  So, when I did get home, I didn't eat anything else.  Hopefully that made up for it calorie-wise.

So, I can already see that these nuts are a problem.  I do fine when they are almonds, individually packed in 100-calorie packs, and I can eat only a few walnuts.  But the cans of mixed nuts are tempting to me.  I took what I had home, because obviously they were too available to me yesterday.  I put all I had in the freezer.  If that doesn't do the trick and I still have more problems with them, I will have to get rid of them.  It's not worth it.  But I would like to have them available for a quick snack when I need them.

Breakfast this morning was another serving of Ham & Swiss Pie.  That stuff is really good!  I definitely will be keeping that in the line-up.

I did get up and get a workout done today, so that was good.  30 minutes on the recumbent bike.  I'm trying to schedule an appointment with the trainer at the gym.

My goal in the morning, as far as housecleaning, is to pick up after myself and leave everything tidy in the morning.  So I got my bed made up and made sure I put everything up that I used, and did some maintenance stuff like cleaning the litter box and giving Cas fresh pee pads (I don't get home for lunch much these days).  At least he has learned to use the pee pads and I am happy about that.  So everything will be tidy when I get home, which makes me feel more at peace.  I need to do some dusting and some polish work in the kitchen this evening (shining up the stainless steel appliances, etc.).  I haven't felt up to joining in with the activities of my Sunday school class lately, and that is partly because I felt like I had to get on top of things with the housecleaning.  I was thinking if I could keep things tidy during the week and do some of the maintenance chores each evening, then I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed and like I can't get out and do something else because I have too much to do.  Staying on top of this will help my underlying stress immensely.

Snack this morning was some celery sticks with organic (no sugar added) peanut butter.  Lunch was some salami and cheese, along with some broccoli slaw.    Snack was some nuts (I had put a serving in a baggie to make sure I ate the proper portion.  I worked until 8:00 and I was getting a little hungry, so I had a little slice of cheese (not a sandwich slice, but a little square).  When I got home I had some of the brisket I cooked Sunday night.  It was really good!  Maybe the best brisket I ever made.  It had a low-carb homemade barbecue sauce on it, and it had really good flavor.  I wanted some more, but I was too tired to cut more off and heat it up.  I had some more broccoli slaw with it (just because it was quick and easy).  I'll be looking forward to more brisket tomorrow.

I'm starting to have to work more lately.  That's because we are getting a case ready for trial.  The case was actually continued until the end of January, but the rest of our deadlines were not changed, so we have a lot to do before the end of October.  I like it in that I can use the money, but I don't like it because I am having to work quite a bit more.  That's why that morning workout is so important.  If I don't get it done then, it likely won't get done at times like these.

Well, I'm tired, so that's it for tonight.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cooking Day

Saturday Evening

During the times I've been sitting down to rest, I've been working on making food plans for the next two weeks (until next time I buy groceries).  I want to make sure I use what I bought effectively and I'm figuring all my calories and carbs to make sure they are in line.  This is taking a lot of time.  The good thing is, as I have done this for a couple of months, I will be repeating a lot of meals and/or dishes, so I will already have a record of how much to count them.  I don't like to put them in CalorieCount because it gives me bad grades for what I am eating.  Lol.  It needs to get with the program.  I am trying to eat around 1700 calories a day and 20 carbs.  I am not counting the liver cleanse cocktail in my carbs, so that is an extra 3.6 (or something like that).

I actually didn't count all my calories and carb grams until the end of the day today.  I came out with only 1468 calories and was right on with my carbs at 19.8.  It is almost Midnight and my dinner is still holding me.  I drank all my water, which for now is 64 oz.  I'm sure I should drink more, but I want to get consistent with at least that much.  No diet soda or caffeine today, except for the Anacin I took to try to get rid of the headache earlier.  I have a bad headache as I am winding down my day.  I feel sure it is caffeine/detox.  By the way, the Green Enchilada Chicken I made last night was oh so good!

I washed my sheets today and haven't gotten them back on my bed yet.  Probably just going to go with the bare minimum tonight and put everything back on like it belongs tomorrow morning.

I'm trying to break Cas of barking at everyone when he hears them out in the hall of my building.  It gets so old.  I used Cesar Millan's method of claiming the door and backing him off until he surrendered.  It took him probably 10-15 minutes with me standing over him and staring him down before he finally lay down and surrendered.  I gave him a little reward when he did.  Next time he heard someone, I told him no as he was going toward the door and he stopped and did not bark.  I gave him another treat.  We will keep working on it until I totally break him of it.  This is one of the things in the house that bothers me the most.  I have cement floors and it really echos when he is barking.  Not to mention being an annoyance to the people in the hall.  Here is my door mat:

I gave them fair warning, lol.  The next thing I want to work on is him crawling all over me when he is not invited.  For one thing, he does not need to think he can do that with anyone who visits.  Plus it can be annoying for me.  He needs to stay on the floor until invited up on the furniture or in someone's lap.  I also need to work on him keeping a proper distance when I am eating.  I confess I am not sitting at the table at this point, and he always hovers very close, hoping for a taste.  He needs to not do that.  I also need to get him accustomed to me sitting at the table or at my desk without him barking.  He barks because he cannot get to me.  Yorkies are lap dogs and Cas certainly follows the breed in that respect.  I love the little booger, and I will love him even more if he is better trained.


Except for a headache that has gone past moderate, I'm feeling fairly decent today.  I guess that shows you how much I am used to coping with having a headache.  Breakfast this morning was a little more time consuming, so I got it together and in the oven right away.  It is a ham and Swiss pie, which I adapted from a recipe in Core Balance Diet.  This recipe would not be appropriate if you are doing a low-fat diet, but if you are on a low-carb plan, this turned out over the top.


1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded (I used 4 slices of Swiss cheese for sandwiches)
8 slices deli ham (I used Hormel Choice, which has no nitrites or nitrates, preservatives or msg)
2/3 cup heavy cream
8 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 T. olive oil (for oiling the pan -- I just used PAM)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Lightly coat deep-dish pie pan with olive oil.  Place half of cheese in even layer over bottom of pan.  Mix eggs, cream, salt, and cayenne pepper in a separate bowl.  Dice ham and mix in with eggs.  Pour half of the egg mixture over the layer of cheese.  Place the other half of the cheese on top of egg mixture.  Pour remaining egg mixture over second layer of cheese.  Bake 40-50 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from heat, slice into four wedges, and serve.

Here's how it came out:

The recipe from the Core Balance Diet is actually called Crab and Swiss Pie.  I have made it in the past using imitation crab, but I checked and it had too many carbs.  Neither of the grocery stores I went to had fresh crab (I don't even know how easily you can get it in Dallas), so I decided to try it with ham.  The CBD recipe also called for nutmeg and only four eggs.  I made it with nutmeg the first time, but I didn't care for that flavor, so I tried using cayenne pepper and loved it.  I doubled the eggs because in the meal plan for CBD, they have more for breakfast than just the serving of pie.  When I have this for breakfast, this is all I have and I wanted two eggs.  I like this Ham and Swiss Pie much better than the ones I was making with the imitation crab, but I'm not a big seafood eater.

I took Cas for his walk while the pie was cooking.  I also had to go by the office and find something for my boss and set it out for him (I was awakened by a text this morning).  Cas is not allowed in my office building, so I tied him to the hand-rail at the bottom of the steps going into the building in front of the security desk, which is where you have to enter on the weekend.  I asked the security guard if he would keep an eye out to make sure no one grabbed him.  I wasn't sure how he would do.  I was upstairs for 10-15 minutes (longer than I thought).  When I came back down, he was just sitting on the step, watching for me and greeting people politely who walked by him.  He didn't bark at all, which I was a little concerned about (that leads me to believe, more than ever, that he thinks he is protecting me when he does that).  Anyway, he was as good as gold.

My new swimsuit came in.  I still have to get me some pool shoes before I am ready to attempt the pool again.  I am having too much trouble with my feet without supportive shoes on.  My swimsuit is a lot like the one I had before, but instead of a size 24, it is a size 16.  It is too tight, but I can wear it.  The size 24 was literally trying to fall off when I was swimming last time.  I'm thinking 10 pounds more will make a big difference.  I don't want to shell out money for a swimsuit that I can't wear for a while, so I ordered it on the small side on purpose.  I like it because it has good coverage on my thighs, which I always feel self-conscious about.  Not that my thighs are overly big for the rest of me; I've just seen some overweight women looking pretty bad wearing just a one piece and large thighs.  That's their choice, but I don't have to make that choice myself.  I would rather cover up until it looks better.  Not going to show you my picture in it until it gets a little looser, but here it is:

Okay, instead of keeping on saying that I need to get me some pool shoes, I went online, found me some and ordered them.  I also ordered me a swim cap and some goggles.  The swim cap is in case I want to swim during lunchtime and don't want to get my hair wet, but I may want to wear it most of the time and protect my hair from the chlorine.  I should be all set as soon as these come in.
Snack today was stuffed mushrooms.  Yum!  I found this recipe on a low-carb website.  I divided it by 8 because I didn't need 30 stuffed mushrooms sitting around that you can't freeze.  I made 4 from the recipe.  Besides the mushroom, they have a little pork sausage, cream cheese and cheddar cheese.
Lunch was a recipe I found on the same website called Korean Meatballs.  The meatballs themselves were very flavorful.  They had minced onion (fresh), garlic, salt and pepper and an egg to bind it.  Then you make this sauce out of soy sauce, water, garlic paste, pepper, sesame oil and sweetener.  It called for Splenda, which I don't have, so I put some Stevia in it (just a few packets).  I couldn't find on the package how much would equate to what it called for in the recipe.  I would put one or two less packets next time.  They are good -- very moist and full of flavor.  With that I had some salad.  Did you notice what was on the plate?  Yep, I ate some raw tomatoes.  My friend recommended that I try Naturesweet grape tomatoes.  I tried them, just biting into them by themselves, with a little salad dressing on them.  I can't say I loved them, but I didn't hate them.  I think I can learn to like these.  She said other than that, don't get any that are not fresh off the vine.
I have to say, my food has been over the top today.  Dinner was leftover Green Enchilada Chicken and a veggie kabob that I basted with a mixture of butter, garlic paste, salt, pepper and onion powder.  I wanted to make sure it had enough flavor, so I put the garlic paste in instead of the garlic powder and a little more than the recipe said.  My butter was unsalted, so I added the salt.  It was just right and oh so good!  Everything I ate today was scrumptious.
My stats today:  1747 calories and 19.9 carbs.  I have a little more cooking to do.  I'm making a small brisket and coleslaw dressing to go on broccoli slaw.  I have lots of leftovers, so meals should be easy the next few days.  And yummy!
I have been productive today, and that feels good.  Some more work this evening and I will feel better ready to face my week.  I have given thought to the housecleaning thing -- whether I am expecting myself to make too many changes at once.  My thinking is that I am trying to learn to relax and release stress so my cortisol levels will get under control, which leads to better weight loss (and health).  I feel so much more at peace in a clean environment, so it is important that I keep working on this.  With the other stressors I have in my life, I need a haven to relax and unwind in.  So I am going to keep trying to do better at this.

I have a great week!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Weigh-In Day

Well, I lost a pound this week.  I had dropped lower than that yesterday, but I think I am retaining water.  I was puffy last night and actually thought about taking a diuretic, but I'm glad I didn't because I had some leg cramps last night.  Besides, that is just manipulating the scale.  Whatever I have lost I have lost and little tricks like that don't change things.

Breakfast this morning was basically the same.  I did add some peppers and onions to my omelet (I think I need to bring in some vegetables at breakfast too, and that's pretty much all I had to put in eggs).  I had bacon with my omelet.

I was feeling that old (psychological) paralysis this morning.  I was dealing with the usual pain and had a significant headache, which I assumed was from lack of caffeine.  I needed to walk Cas, particularly, because I didn't walk him yesterday since I had to be to work early and I worked until 8:30 p.m.  He was whining non-stop, but I just wanted to wait until my head stopped hurting.  I finally got up and walked him and that seemed to break things loose a little.  I am learning that when I feel that way, getting up and doing something -- anything -- helps. 

Honestly, when I feel like this, I totally identify with the symptoms they talk about on that Abilify (sp?) commercial.  I do think it is depression, but I don't want to take any more medication than I already do.  Too much cortisol can lead to depression, so I think continuing to deal with that is the answer. 

This is my 6th day off of SF Red Bull and I still am getting a headache at times.  Of course, I have a headache so often, it is hard to know.  But I felt like this one was caffeine.  My MT suggested a liver cleanse to get all that out of me.  She said to drink 1/4 cup cranberry juice, the juice of 1/2 a lemon and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar every day for a month.  She said is tastes like "ass" but it works.  (I only had white vinegar before I went to the store, and honestly, it didn't taste bad.  Just very tart.)  My concern with it was the carbs.  I checked to see if it had so many carbs it would spike my blood sugar.  It came up to 3.7 carbs, which is not bad.  I think I will try it.  My only concern is that while I am detoxing, I will feel so bad I won't be able to function.  I have been on pain meds for years.  But my MT said once I get my liver cleansed, I will likely lose weight more efficiently because it is the liver that metabolizes fat.  So I think I will try it.  Hopefully the worst of the symptoms will be over in the first 3 or 4 days.  If I start today, I can do part of that over the weekend.

I wasn't hungry for snack at the time, so lunch was a combination of my lunch and my snack.  I had the rest of the chicken salad I made yesterday, wrapped in lettuce leaves, and some small, sweet peppers with jalapeno cream cheese.  Those peppers are so sweet!  And I thought it made a pretty plate (photographer I am not):

 I got out and did my grocery shopping, which I always overdo.  I'm not good at buying for one person.  I will have to keep myself on a strict plan to make sure I use all the fresh vegetables I bought before they go bad.  I probably have enough meat for almost a month.  I guess that's okay; I'll just buy less next paycheck.  With having to make out a food plan every day and not wanting to stray from it, hopefully I will do better about this kind of thing.

I am having trouble getting over this feeling of being overwhelmed.  I am trying to think why.  It just seems to be impossible to do everything I need to do and still rest up for the work week.  I think part of it is I don't take enough time off.  I can't remember when I have had a whole week off and I am ready for one.  I need to do things like get the oil changed on my car, get it detailed, take some things to Goodwill, not to mention cleaning, etc.  I want to get my schedule more like a smooth-running engine.  Maintaining is the key.  Just like with your weight after you get to goal, you can't relax and say you are done.  You have to work to keep it that way.  It is the same with me and all the tasks of my life.  I again think a big part of my problem is watching too much television.  I have to learn to get on a good routine where I do certain things at certain times.  Then when I am done, I can watch a little TV, if I want to.  I need to put myself on a schedule that I stick to.  Of course I haven't been consistent about doing the 30 consecutive minutes of cleaning each day that I had made a goal.  It is so difficult to keep focused on everything at once. Arrrrgh.  I know I will feel better if I can get everything running more smoothly.  So I am going to try to do that this week.  30 minutes a day.  I can do that.

I didn't have my snack until I got home from the store, and I was hungry.  Snack was 1/4 cup mixed nuts.  For dinner tonight I am making a low-carb version of chicken enchiladas.  It is basically like the chicken with the sauce and cheese, and no tortillas in it.  Gotta love Atkins.  With that I am having roasted Brussels sprouts.

I haven't brought in all the groceries yet.  That is going to require multiple trips to my car, going through 3 different doors.  It is a pain.  But really, it's no further than when I lived in a house -- just more doors to navigate through.  I always wish I had help to bring them in, but at least I am burning calories as I do it.

I was just investigating the possibility of being part of a health food coop here in Dallas.  I found one that offers grass fed beef, pastured chicken, etc.  But everything is so expensive.  I would like to get to where I am buying that quality of food, but I'm not where I need to be financially enough right now to be able to do it.  But I will when I can.

With all my reading on PTSD and cortisol, etc., I ordered a supplement for my daughter to see if it might help with her bottomed-out energy.  I just talked to her and she said she thought it was working.  She is starting to feel better!  Yay!!!  I couldn't even tell you what the supplement is at this moment, but this is so encouraging.  She is also going to do the liver cleanse.  She was diagnosed with fatty liver a while back and I read that 80% of the body's thyroid function occurs in the liver (not sure if I said that correctly, but you get the idea).  So, even if your thyroid level is sufficient, it might not be doing the work it is supposed to if the liver is overloaded.  I think this will be a great thing for her too.  I also read that some people drink this cocktail (described above) all the time -- once a day -- to maintain good health.  I think that is a good idea, if it works.  For now, I have to take these pain meds and hopefully it will help with the buildup there and possibly make it easier when I get off of them.  I will probably have increased aches and pains while detoxing, however.

Speaking of which, I took a step while bringing in groceries and had a big spasm in my back.  Time for some cat/cow stretching.  ;)

That's it for today.  I'm getting my dinner going and picking up around the loft, and taking some rest breaks in between.  Have to walk Cas in a few minutes too.  No formal workout today, but I bet I have had enough steps to count as one today, not to mention all the lifting.  Happy Saturday!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Working Late and Sticking With the Plan

That check on my calories yesterday seemed to make a difference.  My weight dropped some more this morning.  I'm a little behind on reading The Beck Diet Solution, but the most recent chapter I read was about planning your food for each day, in advance.  So I am mapping out my meals for the day and checking calories, as well as carbs.  A few tweaks on how I've been eating I think will make the difference.  However, I must have been losing fat because I put on a pair of pants this morning that I haven't worn in at least 3 weeks, and they were noticeably looser.

Breakfast this morning was basically the same, except I cut down on how much bacon I had.  Actually, the calorie count on bacon is not as bad as you might think.  Breakfast sausage is much higher -- and I love breakfast sausage.  I can still have it -- just have to compensate in other areas.

So much is going on right now, mentally speaking.  I am not doing everything right (bad grammar, I know), for sure, but given all that I am dealing with, I am not going to be too hard on myself.  Part of the problem is I am working on so many things at once.  The thing is, they are all interrelated, so I don't have a choice in some ways.  So when I miss a day of working out, although I don't want to do that, I am not going to beat myself up about it.  I am being consistent with my food, and fairly consistent with my water -- although that will improve once I get done with this withdrawal from SF Red Bull, which has been a bear.  I allowed myself to have a Diet 7-Up this morning, but told myself that is the last time.  I don't want to get going on those again.  Once in a blue moon is one thing, but every day is another.  I had a slight headache this morning and, so far, have been able to just cope instead of drinking something with caffeine.

I do need to get a workout in tomorrow, and I would like to do it at the gym.  So that is my plan.  Next week I will schedule the appointment with the personal trainer at the gym (you get two free sessions when you sign up).  I can see what she recommends.  I would like to get an outline for a water workout -- toning as well as cardio.  I hope she will know something about that.  I can't afford to hire a personal trainer right now, but I wish I could.  When I think about money, I think about working more hours, which then takes away from my time and energy to be able to do the actual workouts, so that's not really a smart move, unless I have no choice (because my boss is asking me to work late).  I would also like to take some Pilates classes, but they cost extra.  But the yoga ones are free.  I would like to work up to the spin classes, or something like that, but don't feel ready for that at this point.  I have to work so hard not to trigger too much pain -- it is a nuisance.

My snack this morning is a serving of mixed nuts.  I brought a measuring cup (1/4 cup) and some plastic baggies to measure out servings.  Next week I will incorporate more snacks using some vegetables -- like celery with peanut butter, or cream cheese, or spinach dip, or pimento cheese.  I can also have broccoli or cauliflower with some kind of dip.  That should help with the calorie count.  Nuts are a good choice; you just have to be careful with them because they are calorie dense.

I signed up on the Calorie Count website today because I wanted to use their recipe builder tool.  The trouble with that site, it seems (maybe I am missing something), is they grade your choices by the low-fat standards.  So I get D markings on a lot of my choices, when I am following Atkins.  So I don't think I will be using it much except to figure out how many calories and grams of carbs something I make has.

I was going through my list of reasons of why I want to lose weight (which The Beck Diet Solution recommends doing at least twice a day until you really get it in your head), and my attention stopped on this one:  12.  I want to look good at my kids' weddings.  I made a notebook illustrating these concepts and I was looking for another picture to illustrate this one.  So many of the pictures I looked at, the person either looked too young (like she should be the bride and not the mother of the bride), or too old (I am very young-looking, so I don't mean quite that far), impossibly thin (I don't want to have unrealistic expectations -- the one I already have in there is like that), or else I didn't like the dress, at all.  The ones I put in my book today -- one is still too thin, and one I don't really care for the dress, but I just wasn't finding what I was really looking for.  But it still motivates me.  The first of such weddings could possibly occur next summer, if nothing changes.

This book has been a really good tool.  I can visualize the pictures and they remind me of my reasons for wanting to do this, plus they actually evoke a little emotion about it.  When I get to goal and am doing all these things, I think I will remake my book with pictures of myself in these scenarios.  Wouldn't that be cool?!  Something to motivate me to maintain.

The chapter in The Beck Diet Solution I read today was about going through the food plan you make each day and marking whether you stuck to it or not and noting how you felt about each thing.  For example, my plan today for lunch was some chicken salad I made.  It has the chicken and mayo and a little Dijon mustard, plus a little minced red onion.  I didn't have the celery it called for, but I did have some broccoli slaw and I put that in there for the crunch and to bulk it up a little.  However, I didn't have as much as I would have liked.  I was afraid what I brought would not fill me up; that I would still be hungry or get too hungry too early in the afternoon.  But I didn't!  I was really okay with the smaller serving.  So I noted that in my plan.  The same thing with my afternoon snack, which was pork rinds.  Actually I am starting to get hungry, but it is close enough to dinner that I am not concerned about it.  And because I wrote out my plan and don't want to have to note on there that I ate more than was on my plan, I am not going to eat anything else for snack.  It really is a good tool.

As it turns out, I had to work really late.  I got to practice another concept from The Beck Diet Solution.  You are supposed to purposely practice letting yourself get pretty hungry and not give in to eating or cravings.  It is to build your "resistance muscle."  So I got a chance to do that this evening.  I could have eaten more nuts, or my boss offered me trail mix (which is not low-carb at all), but I didn't want to have to write that in my book.  There was also the thought of eating something else other than what I planned (so I could have something faster), but I didn't do that either.  I came home and cooked what I had on my plan and it was delicious, since I was quite hungry.  So I have had a very good day with my food.

As I said, I worked until 8:30, which I certainly wasn't expecting.  At least it will help my paycheck.  Now I will want to stay up later than usual so I feel like I have somewhat of an evening.

I noticed my feet are pretty puffy tonight, which is unusual, since I have about finished all my water for the day.  I hope to show a good loss tomorrow.  We will see.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Needing Some Energy

I overslept this morning.  I hate it when I do that.  Plus I had a killer caffeine headache and was craving carbs.  Nice start to the day.

I have food in the house, but I am out of certain things -- especially things to provide a snack.  So I stopped by CVS.  I wanted some almonds or something.  They had all kinds of different nuts on sale, buy one get one free.  So I picked up two cans of mixed nuts.  (I may have to get some more, and take advantage of this sale.)  Nuts are a good low-carb snack, but you have to be careful not to eat too many, because calories still count.  So I am going to have to be careful.*  Another reason I stopped was to get some kind of nuts to go on my salad for lunch.  The walnuts were too expensive and I was looking for some sunflower seeds and didn't find any.  So I stopped in at the little convenience store downstairs in my building and got some.  Standing in line, something caught my eye that I had read was a good low-carb snack -- pork rinds.  I decided to try them.  I ate just a few when I got to work and they are good.  When I am craving something like chips, these are a good alternative since they provide the salty, crunchy taste you sometimes crave.  I will have to be careful with those, but I am glad to have some variety.  There is only so much cheese, etc. you can eat.  I was also craving a Red Bull big-time, so as an alternative, I picked up a Diet 7-Up.  Not bad and helped my craving.  However, it does nothing for a caffeine headache.

I need to go to the store to get things for my other snack ideas.  I am just needing something different.  I am trying to watch my calorie count, but I am finding with the kinds of snacks I am eating, now that I have gotten through the first stage of this, just a little satisfies my hunger.

*I'm trying to figure out the best place to keep these mixed nuts -- at work or at home.  I think I am more prone to go off half-cocked on an eating spree at home (if I were going to do it), so I will keep them at work.  At work is the time of day I have a snack, anyway.  I don't need one after dinner.

The caffeine headache has been building all morning.  I had to do something to be able to work -- it feels like my head is going to crack open -- so got another DDP.  I will drink it until my headache goes away and that's it (about a half of one did it).

I truly would like to get to where just doing my normal schedule doesn't feel so tiring and like there is not enough time to get everything done.  If I didn't have to work, it would be so much easier.  :)  Since that's not going away, I just have to learn to make it work.  What is important and what is not.  I do hope that as I get more fit and lose more weight, I will have more energy and life won't seem quite so overwhelming.  As I am thinking about this, I know that the thing that has worked for me best in the past is to get all my workouts done in the morning.  If I am going to do some strength training and some cardio, I need to take long enough in the morning for that kind of workout.  I used to get up at 4:45 a.m. to get it all done.  Or, at least, that part of it done.  Then when I finished, I could start the rest of my day knowing I was done and it felt good.  And that is when I had to drive from Midlothian to Downtown Dallas every day (of course, driving at 5:30 in the morning meant little to no traffic).  The only difference now (outside of where I live) is having a dog that needs to be taken care of.  I so wish he could walk with me to the gym, have somewhere to stay while I work out, and then walk home with me.  That would save me quite a bit of time.  But that is not an option, so I am going to have to find a way to make this work.

If the same is true as it has been before in my life, once I get over a "hump," I will start to feeling a lot more energy from my workouts.  The only reason I have any doubt is because I am older and things in my body don't seem to work the same as they used to.  I have never had this much trouble losing weight, and after I went through menopause, it seemed like all hell broke loose in my body.  I know that is common, but it's not fun.  So hopefully, as I push onward, I will start feeling more energy as I get more fit.

Today, to tell you the truth, I feel pain all over my body.  I think it must be the withdrawal from the Red Bulls.  I am sure my body is so full of toxins from that, and sloughing off toxins often makes me feel like I have the flu.  I wish I had the luxury to stay home and ride this out, but I don't.  I have to keep going.

I've been doing some looking online and have found some yummy-looking low-carb recipes.  It will be good to have variety.  Honestly, except for the occasional carb craving, I am loving this program.  It is so much easier than low-fat, which I believe caused me to become near-diabetic.  We will see the results at my next annual physical.

I've been thinking I would love to be involved in the Christmas presentation at my church this year.  If you are new to my blog or don't remember, I am a singer and have always been heavily involved in music at church and in community choirs until the last few years.  I miss it, at times, but it is also a big time commitment.  For me, music is one of the most beautiful parts of Christmas and I do love getting involved in those things.  However, I think working on my health, etc. is at the top of my list right now, and I just do not feel like I can add anything else to it.  So I guess it will have to wait.  I can still enjoy hearing the music, even if I don't participate in the production.

Here is a weird question.  I have never liked raw tomatoes.  I have tried them at different times in my life and I just do not like them.  I don't mind them mixed into something where I cannot taste them too much and I like them cooked.  Here is the question.  Do you think if I made myself eat them, I would learn to like them?  There are so many yummy-looking low-carb recipes and salads that have tomatoes.  For instance, I think a caprese salad looks so good, but I just don't like tomatoes.  But I was thinking about giving it a try.  What do you think?  I hear that about other things -- you will learn to like it.  I actually want to like tomatoes.  :)

I will be interested to see the difference in my grocery bill this paycheck.  Since I am not buying Red Bulls or Atkins snack bars anymore, that should make a good difference.  Processed foods (if you can call them foods) -- good riddance.

I am very tired this evening.  As I have studied about adrenal fatigue, I think I may have some of that going on too.  I sleep all night and still feel worn out.  I am always tired.  I'm sure the same that is creating the problems for my daughter is happening with me, just to a lesser degree.  I did get a supplement that is supposed to help with this.  We will see if it works.  Meanwhile, I will continue to reduce stress, exercise, eat right, and find ways to relax.  Tonight I was having really bad restless legs syndrome (forgot to take my antidepressant this morning), so I took a warm bath and just spent some time relaxing.  Then I took Cas for his walk.  That seemed to help.  Now I'm going to do one of my yoga relaxation exercises before bed.  If my pets will let me.  Right now Cas is going nuts because he thinks there is some of his treats on my dresser, but there is not.  I gave them all to him in his walk.

I did count my calories today and I need to do some tweaking.  I really wasn't hungry when I got home, so I haven't eaten dinner.  Calories should come out just fine today.

That's it for tonight.  I'm going to go relax.