Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Random Wednesday

1. The first thing for this Random Wednesday is that I am down 11 pounds as of this morning!  The even better news about that is that I dropped below a number that relieved me to no end to drop below!  I've been grinnin' all day, except when I've been crying.

2. Those of you who do not know, I am a bit of a Broadway buff.  I have done a lot of community theater, and have enjoyed portraying such roles as Clairee in "Steel Magnolias", the Rev. Mother in "Nunsense" and Chiffon in "Little Shop of Horrors" along with several others.  In my younger, single days, a few of my theater friends and I would journey into NYC for the day to catch both a matinee and an evening show before driving back home and often finally getting to sleep around four or five o'clock in the morning.  Ah youth.  But it gave me the opportunity to see such shows as "Les Miserables" (my all time favorite), "The Secret Garden", "Phantom of the Opera", "Miss Saigon", "The Good-Bye Girl", "Rent"  and "Gypsy".  Since getting kids, I haven't been able to either do shows or see any in NYC, not to mention that I haven't had time to listen to any soundtracks.  Last night, on a whim, I downloaded "Miss Saigon" to my ipod to take into work with me today (I have the speaker things that go with my Nano).  I'm not sure what was wrong with me today, but by the end of Act II, I was sitting at my desk typing and crying!  I had forgotten how sad a show it is!  In retrospect, I enjoyed the show when I saw it on Bway, but now, having a husband and kids, I just relate to that show completely differently and obviously the way I now relate to it makes me cry!

3. My youngest son is completely obsessed with "The Dukes of Hazzard" to the point that at times, I am ready to pull my hair out.  He has a magnificent imagination and makes up such stories for me such as Bo Duke is a teacher at his school and at recess, Bo let him drive "The General".  The really funny thing is that though I did not birth this child, he is so much as I was as a kid as far as his imagination goes!  I was always pretending to be someone else (A mouseketeer, Sabrina from "Charlie's Angels", Trixie from "The Trixie Belden Mystery Series".) to the point of driving my own mother insane ("Mom, call me Allison.  I'm not answering to my name anymore.")

4. I have just signed up at my Curves for a "Biggest Loser" contest.  I have no idea what the rules are or what is entailed, but I did sign up today.  My goal is to win

5. So, who is watching "American Idol"?  I admit to being a huge junkie and I live to watch the judges interact or generally just for Simon to flash one of those gorgeous grins of his.  Yes, he is terribly abrupt but I usually agree with what he has to say.  As far as the guys go, and they were much improved last night, my votes go to Phil, Chris, Chris, and Blake.  The girls, who we'll see tonight, but based on last week, I like Melinda, Jordan and Lakisha.  Who do ya'll pick?


Tuesday, February 27, 2007


This color is called "spring green" and can you tell I am so ready for warmer weather?

When the Brit and I first got married we had to live with my roomie in a single wide trailer where I had lived for the four years before meeting the Brit.  It was quite a challenge to have three adults, one cocker spaniel and one cat in a place roughly the size of a motel room.  My room was about the circumference of a shoe box with the bed taking up about three quarters of the room.  Oh, and did I mention that Sam's litter box (Rest in peace, dear Sammy...I still miss you!) was in the room right next to the bed?  So if he decided to have a poop in the middle of the night, we generally knew it. 

Because the Brit moved here from England, he had to go through the whole immigration route and basically he had to wait three months to get a Green Card and he could not look for work until he got the Green Card.  I pretty much lived paycheck to paycheck, so finding our own place was not yet an option. 

He finally got the card and started working in October and in January, we finally found an apartment and I must say that it was the coolest apartment ever.  It was a historical house and the landlord rented it out per floor, so we had the entire first floor.  Our windows in the front of the house (The living room and computer room) ran from ceiling to floor.  The floors were hardwood and just the framing inside the house was incredible.  Our living room had bay windows on the side and our kitchen had a complete "wall" of windows that overlooked the back yard.  The kitchen was huge with tons of cupboards and a little bar where you could sit and look out the windows.  We had a back porch, dining room, one and a half bathrooms, a spare room, our room and the computer room.  The only thing that seperated our bedroom from the computer room were pocket doors and both rooms had built in shelves.  The computer room had a fake stone wall, which I loved. 

It was love at first sight.  We had to do a bit of painting, especially in our room as the former tenants had painted the master bedroom pink with light pink trim.  It was like a Pepto Bismol nightmare.  So, we painted, we cleaned and we moved.  Our landlord was awesome; just a nice older gentleman who we got along quite well with.  The living room had a non-working fireplace and to the (I don't know the proper terminology, so forgive me) left and the right of the fireplace it was marble.  Our friend, Tod, came over and painted the mantle to look like marble as well.  We painted the kitchen bright yellow with forest green cupboards and did work on the spare room and the master bath.  Our neighbors on the second and third floors, also rocked (two single girls, so four of us lived in the building in total). 

We loved living there but then problem arose after we were there probably three years.  Fred, our magnificent landlord sold the property to a management company and they were not very reliable when things did go wrong.  We worried about them raising our rent (we paid $495 a month for it and it was really a steal given all the room we had) and the time had really come for us to start looking into buying a house of our own.  Renting is good when it has to be done, but still, you pay all that money each month and it is never yours.  So we started house hunting and found the place we live now and moved.  Interesting side story, from the time we saw the house, until closing when we could move in (the owners had already relocated to California) it was less than a month!  Talk about frenzied!  Anyway, we said goodbye to our first married apartment with a bit of sadness despite looking forward to new adventures in home ownership.

Sadly, two weekends ago, this happened to the old apartment:

The boarded up windows were our computer room and as you can see the whole side of the building was burned.  Thankfully, no one was hurt as one of the girls who lived there when we did, still lived there.  We're not sure what they'll do; if they'll try to fix it (wiring in that place was terrible) or tear it down, but I hope it isn't the latter.  The house is not only a piece of Hagerstown history, but also a bit of history for the Brit and I.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sleeping With Bread

So for weeks now, I've been meaning to start the Sleeping with Bread Monday meme.  If you click on the SWB icon on my side bar, you will find an explanation of what SWB is all about.  In a nutshell, it has to do with highs and lows of the week, or emotions at opposite ends of the spectrum.

So much of how I've felt lately has had to do with how I'm doing on my quest to become more healthy.  Last week, when I was able to hit Curves three days, I was on top of the world.  I am finally back on track with that and even though it is difficult and most days when I get in there I am SO not in the mood, by the end of the workout, I am feeling good that I did it. 

I like feeling in control of things so when I allowed my control over getting healthy to be taken away from me Saturday night, I was very frustrated.  However, in looking back, the only one at fault was me.  We had gone out to dinner as is the rule on Saturday nights and I chose the place: Cafe Del Sol.  I like it because they have a different menu, that consists of salads, paninis, wraps, etc...things that I like and are a treat for me, but that I don't have to feel guilty eating.  Well, then it all went wrong.  JJ wanted pizza, but I know JJ's appetite and though they are not huge pizzas, 14 inch, I know he is only going to eat maybe two slices of it.  I was hoping that Aaron, who also loves pizza, would agree to share one with his brother, but Aaron had his eye on something else entirely.  So, for some reason, I went for martyrdom and decided to share JJ's pizza with him so as not to waste it.  I didn't want to, I was angry about it, but for some reason, I let it play out that way just the same.  It didn't have to.  I could have ordered whatever I had wanted off the menu, but at that moment it just seemed silly to me to order a pizza for a seven year old that was barely going to get eaten.

But, here's what I learned.  Though, I too, am a pizza fan, because that was not what I wanted to eat, it did not satisfy me at all.  It was almost like senseless eating; I ate it because it was there, but didn't enjoy it.  The other thing I realized was that I allowed my control to be taken myself!  Now, I don't quite understand that one yet, but I'm working on it.  What I do know is that it is not something I plan on repeating again.  If I'm going to eat something that would be considered a "treat" for the week, it is going to be something I am craving at the time, otherwise it is just empty feeding.  It didn't taste as good as it normally would have, being angry at the situation cast a negative light on the whole meal for me, and the guilt that followed over eating something that not only was not the best choice, but that I didn't want, just made me see how not worth it the whole thing was.

So, maybe I should have titled this post "Sleeping with Pizza" .

Anyway, we got more of this yesterday:

This is across the street from us.  You can just make out the park behind the neighbor's houses.

Yes, those are still Christmas lights....

Friday, February 23, 2007

A plea

Can I just tell ya'll that I was just at Borders and they have released on DVD the first season of "Fame" the television series!!  I did not buy it, but I wanted to as I LOVED this show when it was on television.  As a theater person, what could be better than a series about kids who were attending a school for the arts?  I have been waiting YEARS for them to release this!

Anyway, now that I got that out of my system...the eating well and returning to Curves has gone really well this week!  My Curves has finally reopened its doors with the extended afternoon hours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday that they had when I first joined.  At the end of the summer, they did away with that and were closed every weekday from 1:00-3:00.  I don't get off work until 12:30 and with the workout being 30 minutes, that was not a possibility.  Then by 2:35, I have child #1 at home, so that threw another wrench into the pot fire waterMold?  What is that saying?.  Then there is always that thing in the winter time where once I am back at home, you may need a crane, or a lot of chocolate to get me back outside again as I hate the cold!

So anyway, I feel pretty confident about what I am doing with my life.  I would feel even better if something else would happen as well.

I often use my blog as ways to address certain people or situations when I'm not feeling brave enough to do it in real life.  I know from experience that the last thing anyone with a weight problem wants to hear is someone nagging them about their weight.  Well, this is not a nag.  This is a true concern that I have for someone I love very much, but who has me scared half to death that if this person doesn't start moving, then I won't have this person in my life for the length of time I would prefer. 

Exercising is tough when you are not in the habit of doing it and it doesn't matter who you are, or what you weigh.  If you are generally sedentary, then getting started is going to be difficult.  Just getting back to Curves this week, I can attest to that.  I'm puffing like a puppy in labor by the end of my second time through the circuit.  What I also know from experience is that it will get easier the more I do it. 

I just want this person to do a little moving and I will meet this person halfway or whatever.  If a walk around the block is where it's at, I'll walk along.  If taking a thirty minute lunch break to walk through the parking lot at work is what does it for you, if you wait until I get off work, I will walk with you if that's what it takes.  I've just been doing a whole lot of reading and fact is, it is different to be twenty or thirty and overweight than it is to be forty and overweight.  You have a  big time risk increase of things like heart attack or stroke or complications from diabetes.  Ten years ago, we would have possibly brushed this off with "I'm only thirty.", but now it is suddenly forty and it all feels differently and way more scary.  There are people in this world who need this person to be around for a long time yet, myself being only one of them.  In order for that to happen, this person needs to change to a healthier lifestyle.  The changes don't have to be big.  See, that's what everyone thinks and it's just not true.  Thirty minutes of walking a day combined with watching what is being eaten will do amazing things.

When I love someone, I want them in my life for the long haul.  Just sayin'.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The joy of being a chick

There are just certain things we gals like and those of us who live with all men do not get to indulge ourselves as often as we should. 

Over minimally the past two years, the list of movies I have been to see include the likes of "Happy Feet", "Down the Drain", "Wallace and Gromit" and I think we did sneak in "The DaVinci Code".  So, three kids movies and a guy film.  I'm not saying I didn't like any of them; "Happy Feet" was enjoyable (anything with Disney animals is all good by me) and "The DaVinci Code" was good just for Tom Hanks alone and the fact that I was actually sitting with my husband watching a grown up movie.  Yet, something was still missing.

As a girl, I often have a strong craving for a good chick flick but not nearly as many opportunities as I'd like to see them.  Over the past year, I have not been to see several films I had a desire to attend.  I decided to put a stop to that today.

After seeing previews on television for ""Music and Lyrics" and loving the idea of the pairing of Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore, I decided it was time to go.  So I went.  And I went alone.  And I had a very good time with myself!  The theater was not crowded at all with the kiddies in school (about 8 of us watched the movie) and I had a small popcorn and diet soda all to myself.  Heck, I had the whole row, my favorite row, all to myself! 

If I had to be a critic, I'd have to say that the movie was not great, but it was enjoyable.  Just a nice, cute little chick flick for my amusement.  I was impressed that Hugh and Drew did their own singing; in fact, I'm going to have to go on iTunes and download their songs as they were catchy.  But I'll tell ya'll what.   Today, alone at a chick flick was like therapy to me.  It didn't matter if my seatmate liked or didn't like the movie as I had no seatmate.  There were no kids chattering on and on to me or asking me if they could go to the restroom.  As it was not a kid's movie, there were no chattering voices behind me or in front of me.  Don't misunderstand.  I enjoy taking my kids to the movies, but let's be realistic; they don't like the kind of movies that I, as a girl, like. 

So, I'm thinking like once a month I'm going to try to do this.  Lisa, you are always invited or anyone else who desires to go.  Sure, I could rent the movies after they are released on DVD, but ever since I was a kid, I loved seeing films on the big screen and now, being an adult, if I am trying to watch a movie at home, there are just too many distractions.  Lemme take that back...I rarely ever TRY to watch a movie at home because there is always something else for me to do, whether it be housework or computer surfing.  And again, I live with the male species and my movies don't so much interest them.

I've already picked my March movie.  I saw a preview for "Premonition" today and it looked good.  I am so there.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dinner Conversation

Brit to JJ: So, what did you learn in school today?

JJ: We learned about Black History Month.

Brit: Oh!  So what can you tell me about Black History Month?  Can you give me the names of any famous black people?

JJ: Cameron.

Brit: Cameron?

JJ: He's in my class.

Brit:  But he's not famous.

JJ: Yes, he is!

Brit (changing tactics): Okay, well, what did you learn about Black History month?

JJ:  They had to sit at the back of the bus.

Brit: Right!  And do you know who didn't sit at the back of the bus?

JJ: The bus driver.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The long awaited quilts

Well, they may not be long awaited by everyone, but Lisa was hinting rather strongly last night that she wanted to see the pictures.

Now, of all the stupid things, the name of the amazing quilting lady is completely escaping me, but I'm hoping it will come or Lisa will fill in the blank in my mind for me and then I'll come back and add it.  However, she did incredible work.  All of her quilts contained some kind of celtic pattern in them (I really wish I had taken notes as well!), some just in the tiny stitches that aren't really picked up so well by camera.  All of her quilts had a story to go with them and I'll relay one of those stories for you with the picture.  They all have titles and one quilt takes her anywhere from 2-3 years to complete.  If I remember correctly, she has only ever sold one and her others will be willed to people.

This one, if I remember correctly, was a gift to her husband.

If memory serves, this one was made for her daughter and the title had to do with each small part of our lives making up one complete life.

This quilt was called "At Home in the Wilderness".  When her first husband was diagnosed with lunch cancer, he only lived for six months.  She uses quilting as prayer time, meditation and to work through difficult times.  After her husband's diagnosis, she asked the doctor what the colors of lung cancer were.  It is those colors that make up this quilt.  It was obviously not finished when her husband passed on and she was still working on it when she met who would become her second husband.  Her future husband gladly accepted the quilt into his world, along with her, knowing what it symbolized.

This last one, is currently her work in progress.  She hand draws all of her designs to scale and works from that.  The whole process is so intricate and time consuming and she loves it.  She has done work for Judi Chicago and considers her quilting to be a thank you to God for her hands.  Truly an amazing woman with an amazing gift.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Yeah, I know...

I keep promising those quilt pictures and I promise I will get there!  Actually, I like to save posts like that for days when I'm not sure of what to yammer on about because they are quick and easy. 

I watched Dr. Phil yesterday and he had on his show via satellite, a man who weighs approximately 1000 pounds.  His name was Bob and one of the things Bob said was something to the extent of "I just don't know how I got here."  I felt tears filling my eyes when he said that because I think that statement is true of anyone who has weight to loss.  I have often asked myself "How did I get here?"

Gaining weight is a process and often we tell ourselves things like "As long as stay below <insert number here> it will be okay."  Then one day we wake up and realize we have reached that number, so we invent another number to try to keep ourselves in check.  I'm imagining that many people probably watched Bob yesterday in horror.  He could barely get out of bed.  He had been in the same room for either three or four years; a prisoner in that room.  Getting to the bathroom was an effort.  I wasn't horrified.  I understood.  I empathized, regardless of the fact that I thankfully, don't have anywhere near as much weight to lose as Bob does. 

But I could.

If I kept on eating the way I used to eat, I could probably easily get close to where Bob is by the end of my lifetime.  Sadly, I often think that people who have never had a weight issue, have great difficulty understanding weight issues.  A person on the Dr. Phil message boards (which I don't generally read, but I was hoping to find out more about Bob as I'd love to send him a supportive, encouraging message) made a remark to the extent of "How could any person of normal intelligence allow themselves to get that big?"  Maybe I'm being judgemental, but I don't think that woman had a clue about food addiction, or genetic factors or any number of other things.  I find that very sad.

Just as some people can't gain weight, no matter how hard they try, there are those of us it just comes so easily to.  Lucky us.  The media is out there commercializing how we are supposed to look and the messages we get are that we are not okay.  I remember a favorite episode of "Designing Women" where Suzanne attends a high school reunion and all night long her classmates are whispering about the weight she has gained.  She won the award at her reunion for the person who was "most changed" and when she gave her speech, she said something to the extent of "No matter what your problem is, alcohol, drugs, etc, people are sympathetic...unless you're fat..."

People just don't see food as an addiction...and I'm not using that as an excuse, but rather, am trying to change that about myself.  But just like a drug addict who has great difficulty staying away from the crack because of how it makes them feel, food is also a drug to a food addict.  It soothes when we are hurt or feeling rejected.  It's how we punish ourselves for our failures due to our weight (I once ate only rice for two weeks because I wasn't the right "size" for a part I auditioned for).  Food, drugs, alcohol; they don't judge us or make us feel badly ourselves.

No matter how much weight I lose, I never want to lose the empathy I feel for those struggling with weight.  I KNOW how hard it is and I get so angry with people who judge other based on appearance, like what we look like makes us more or less of a human being.  I'm not trying to lose weight to look better.  No.  I want to feel better and be healthier and there is a difference.

Bob, if you're out there, I'm in your corner.  You can do this and so can I.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Valentine's message

Happy Valentine's Day!

I know I was going to post pics from the quilting talk we had last Saturday, but that will have to wait another day, as I need to post a little note to my Valentine.

My dearest Brit,

I know that you put up with a lot from me; mood swings, general irritability at times, blog slams, cats, but always take things so incredibly well.  I can't imagine what my life would be like without you; without having you to share things with or to talk to.  You have one of the kindest hearts of anyone I've ever met.  I love the way you not only care about our family, but also about our friends and even about our cats (I know for a fact that some husbands are not quite so understanding about high vet bills in the event of a kitty emergency). 

You have a way of making me feel special, even when I don't feel anywhere close to that and you always have.  I have never in my life felt more beautiful than I did the day we got married, there on the beach, with our closest friends and our families with us.  (ya'll, he cried during the romantic is that??).  I suddenly knew in that moment that my future was safe and that our life together would be a happy one.  Oh, not every day is total bliss and we have had our tiffs, but they never last very long and I think they keep our marriage healthy.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know, before Valentine's Day 2007 comes to a close that you are my friend, my lover, my life, my soulmate and my breath.  Thank you for finding me and for crossing an ocean to be with me.  There aren't too many women out there who can say those words!  Thank you for making our life what it is and for being my Valentine every day of the year.

I love you, forever,
Your blogger

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

An Aside

In honor of a fellow blogger:

Brit:  Who the hell is Monkee?

Me: Another blogger.

Brit: Hmph....the ceiling is crying...hmph.


So today, this happened.

Snow.  The only good thing about it is that I am sick and get to stay home today, which works out well as the kids are home as well.  That bug I was trying to get two weekends ago?  Well, I fought it off as by that Sunday afternoon, I felt completely recovered.  Then last Tuesday night, the same thing happened; scratchy throat, stuff head.  I started popping meds and snoring Zicam and by the next day, again, all was well.  Then Saturday at our Fiber Fanatics meetings, I was really chilly.  We met in a different room because we had a talk about quilting (information and pictures to come tomorrow) and I just could not get warm.  By that evening, my throat was sore and I was sneezing up a blue streak and nothing I did beat it into submission this time.

I'm feeling slightly better today, though my throat is still sore, but despite that, I took the kids over to the park to sled for about 45 minutes until they were cold (I stayed in the nice, warm car other than snapping a couple of pictures.

The white stuff is continuing to fall outside and tomorrow it is supposed to turn to ice (greeeaaat), which I don't drive in because there is no controlling that stuff.

Incidently, the ceiling issue we think has resolved itself with some new cauck around the tub (which I made mention that it needed a year and a half ago awhile ago.  BUT, the Brit is back in the good graces again (Isn't he sweet to be concerned with being in the bad books of a blogger?) because he picked up dinner last night as I felt like crap, and though I would have cooked, it was nice not to have to.

For you prayers out there, please keep Pastor Phil in them.  I got a call from one of our members yesterday who has been vacationing in Florida.  Pastor Phil and his wife are vacationing there too and they were supposed to get together, but he has been too sick to do anything.  He's had what seems to be a flu for quite some time and wound up passing out in a restaurant.  He has been in the ER as well as in Urgent Care and though they have done an EKG and bloodwork, there have been no answers as to why antibiotics are not solving this.  Ya'll know how dear this man is to me, so please, keep him close in prayer.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Venting Post

I am often not one to say what I am thinking when I am thinking it.  The reason for this would be because I am SO non-confrontational and often in a moment of stress, when both parties are stressed, voicing my opinion could result in being snapped at, and I don't handle that well as it puts me in a place of confrontation in order to defend my opinion.

Case in point:  We have had a suspicious spot on the ceiling of our living room for MONTHS.  Ironically. this spot is just below our bathtub which is on the second floor.  I don't know about ya'll, but this has been a source of concern for me for MONTHS.  I do not, however, handle household fixing issues, other than to point out a problem.  I am not the chief bread-winner, nor the one who spends a lot of time watching DIY shows.  I am thankfully, not even the one who pays the bills.  So, if there is an issue, I make sure the Brit is aware of it, and then I leave it alone.  Yes, I have passed the buck and I no longer consider it my problem.

Two weeks ago, I cast my eyes on the ceiling to check out my source of concern and it seemed to be a wee bit worse.  I pointed this out to the Brit over the telephone and he said it had been that way for awhile.  Again, my work here is through. 

Last night, I was searching for a CD I wanted to download to my ipod (the CD cabinet is in the living room just next to the suspicious spot on the ceiling) when I felt like something was crawling in my hair. Reaching back, I felt moisture, so I looked up (Big surprise) to see water droplets coming from the ceiling.  As the Brit was right in the same room, probably watching DIY, I ventured outside of my box to remark, "The ceiling is leaking." 

Now, the other thing about being non-confrontational is that I am non-yelling as well.  I don't even like be near someone who is reacting loudly.  I'm not saying that I never yell, especially since Aaron's therapist tells me to remain emotionless while dealing with negative behaviors, but hey, let's be real.  When you have calmly and somewhat loudly called the name of a child who you know is ignoring you because he is in trouble....well, some things are just outside the realm of reality....but I digress.  So, the Brit throws a little man fit, complete with a few explenatives that send both JJ and I running for silence in the other room. 

Bottom line is that we need a plumber and it is going to cost us a little money, which we have, though spending any of it on plumbing was not in the plan.  But I guess I see things as one cannot expect to live in a nearly hundred year old house and NOT have things go wrong and in nearly six years, I'm not sure we have really put a large chunk of change into something we did not volunteer for (the windows and siding were a choice and not a necessity though we have enjoyed them both immensely.).  And let's face it, this was not TOTALLY unexpected (Hello?  Suspicous spot on the ceiling for MONTHS?) and I think it was simply a known fact that the problem was not just going to vanish, in fact, it would probably get worse over time.  Yeah, well, that's what happened.

Maybe I just view things differently.  Home owners are going to have to deal with repairs.  It's a given, unless you live in "Once Upon Time" where the problems are never related to plumbing or heating issues. 

It's just one of those suck it up and deal moments.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

My top picks

Did ya'll read my comment from the Brit after my last blog post?  He's so sweet and he comes home tomorrow!  I tell ya, a week with not much adult conversation other than on the phone is rough! 

I was thinking today that maybe some folks might be interested in some of my weight loss resources, found right here on the internet.  I have never been one to be shy about using message boards, though I know that not everyone is into that.  But I have always found other people to be a valuable resource and it is always nice to share information, ask questions and support each other.

My favorite site is 3fatchicks.  Now you might think "Gee, that sounds real nice!" but really, it is an incredible site.  3 Fat Chicks was formed by three very overweight sisters who basically decided to go on diets.  I believe two of them changed their eating habits and the third had gastric bypass surgery, but the 3 fat chicks aren't fat no more!  They created the website after their homepage was bombarded with emails from other women who were going through their own weight struggles.

This website is a wealth of information.  You will find diets, exercise information, recipes, calorie conversions, places to shop for plus size, as well as an online store.  At the store you can even purchase the book based upon the website.  If you go to "Community" off the homepage, that is where I spend most of my time.  The message boards hold a variety of topics and support groups for whatever eating program you are following.  The folks there have always been nice and helpful.  Most of them are women, but there are also several men.  For example, Charles has lost over 332 pounds.  The transition is amazing, and I know because there are places to post progress as well as goal pictures.  3fatchicks is my first choice of diet support.

Hungry Girl, I am fairly new to, but have already found it to be a valuable source of information.  I have signed up for daily emails from this site and they hold such things as evaluations on new low fat snacks, cereals, etc that hit the market as well as recipes.  There is also a link for diet news, questions and answers, food information, and weekend survival strategies. 

I also have to mention Gary.  I found Gary quite some time ago when he was a 400lb man who had decided to walk across the United States in order to regain his health and to bring attention to the obesity problem in the US.  I had not checked in on Gary in quite some time, so tonight, I had a peek.  Gary no longer weighs 400 pounds.  He also no longer suffers from diabetes nor congestive heart failure.  He is truly inspirational and looks like he is still walking!

I have a couple of other sites that I am still checking out, so I'll let you know on them once I have a better idea.  The internet is a wealth of information, but it isn't always good information and often I'll find a message board that has minimal activity and when you trying to become healthy, you want interaction with people who are going through the same thing.  At least I do.  I'll keep you posted.

Okay, I have to head out to praise band rehearsal.  Please wish the Brit a safe flight home tomorrow and if you feel like nagging, join me in griping at Lisa for not having a blog up and running by now.  She keeps talking about it, and I keep hoping eventually a blog filled with lots of cats and knitting will turn up!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

It's working

As of this morning, I am down another three pounds for a grand total in under three weeks of seven pounds!  Though in the big scheme of things, seven pounds is not that big of a deal, for me, it is proof that what I'm doing is working.  What still blows my mind is that what I'm doing with food is relatively easy.  Learning to only eat when I'm hungry and making good, healthy choices about what I place in my mouth.  Bottom line is that at Lisa's on Sunday, I ate a sliver of egg custard pie, a sliver of pumpkin roll and a few bites of a jello dessert and the scale still reflected another three pound loss today and I have not yet re-addded exercise to my life.  So what that means is that you don't have to deprive yourself all the time, you just have to be sensible and not go off the deep end!  It is SO working for me because I can have some of the not good for me foods that I like, so I never feel like I am missing out.  I'll need to get myself motivated for exercise soon because I can't just drop weight and not do anything physical or I'll either stall in the weight loss, and/or I won't be toning at all as pounds drop.  I haven't been this excited about losing weight in a long time my whole life because it is totally doable!

We decided on Sunday that we will never have to worry about JJ's grammar.  With Aaron, when he came to us, we battled some atrocious verbage, such as "Mom, I just seen a cat out in the yard.".  It has only been in the last six months that I have not heard that particular verb misused, so the nearly three years of correcting that one finally worked. 

On the way to Lisa's on Sunday, JJ was entertaining us by singing the theme song from "Cops".  His rendition is very much grammatically correct: "Bad boys, bad boys, what are you going to do?  What are you going to do when they come for you?"  Like I was going to correct him and tell him it is "What'cha gonna do when they come from you."  My mama didn't raise no fool.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Single again

Yes, I am single again this week with the Brit once again in Atlanta.  So far, all in all, not a bad day, but it ain't over till it's over! 


So with health being the goal of 2007, I have just signed up for Relay for Life in Berkeley County.  Though I live in Washington County, to the best of my knowledge, my Curves does not have a team walking, so with Lisa being the team captain, it was the perfect fit.  My oldest friend in the world, Robyn, who most of you know battled cancer last year, is also participating in some way, though I'm not sure yet if she is walking.  My family has had been affected by cancer for years and years.  My mother had it, and I lost my father to it.  My grandfather also died of the disease.  I have several friends, whose lives have also been touched by it; Robyn and Nina to name a few.  So in working towards a health goal, it only made sense to work towards something that also promoted health or more specifically, a cure.  It's giving me something to work towards personally for my own health as well as for a greater good.

With that being said, if any of you should take a notion, you can visit
my Relay for Life site and give a donation under my name.  Ya'll know what it's going to....a fabulous cause!

The Weekend

Saturday, as forecast, I was sick as a dog, so I spent the day popping pills, resting, etc and by Sunday, I was feeling pretty good!  Good enough to attend Lisa and Phil's Super Bowl party!  Please know, that I couldn't care less about football; I'm simply not a fan.  However, I am a fan of good company and knitting, so I was all in!

Lisa, as always, had a great food spread (Oh look!  Corn!) and I think considering all the options, I did pretty well with the eating.  Here is Lisa, sporting her Payton Manning jersey, goofing around with Dev, Shell's youngest son.

Aaron takes advantage of some yummy pumpkin roll while Robyn knits in the background.

The football fans gathered in the living room (except for Lisa, who was too nervous to watch).  I'm not sure what was happening here, but I don't think Phil was too happy about it.

Even Shell was off work to join us, as well as to take a turn with the Christmas scarf that my reciepient decided was not long enough. 

So, there you have it.  Wish me luck this week; the kids are already arguing over doing trash, so it could be a long week.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

The Heart of the Matter

Crazy Aunt Purl is starting to really scare me.  Since Friday, I have been mulling over in my mind my next blog post and then Purl, who rarely posts on weekends, not only posts, but talks about the same things that I was planning to discuss, only she does it much more eloquently than I ever could.

I've spent the last couple of days really analyzing my relationship with food and boy, are we complicated!  For the longest time, when contemplating why I had weight issues, I simply figured that I liked food and I had a sweet tooth.  The portion size on my plate is generally not big and I get full at meals rather quickly.  So, I simply thought that it was my choice of snacks more than anything else that had led to my weight issues.

After remembering what happened to me as a child and taking into consideration the assault in New York, I had a new understanding.  It was very difficult for me to wrap my mind around a young child, putting on weight to protect herself, however.  That was, until I adopted kids and took foster parenting classes.  It is amazing what young children will do to make themselves feel "safe", when they have been hurt or violated in some way.  The mind is a very complex thing and it will at times go to lengths that we cannot fathom in order for us to deal with life. 

Once I was able to understand the subconscience physical wall I had placed around myself, then I had to really start looking at my triggers.  It's hard to re-train ourselves to eat to satisfy instead of eating to fulfill a need that food was never supposed to fill in the first place.  Friday, when the plumbing issues were occuring, I found myself standing in front of an open refrigerator door.  I had already had lunch.  So, I talked myself through my emotions as I am starting to realize just what an emotional eater I am, the door of the fridge was closed with no food being consumed...but it was an internal battle.  The good news is that I am starting to be aware of my behaviors, thus I am placing myself in control of them, as opposed to them controlling me.

Purl's post stirred up a lot of feelings in me...fears really.  Fear of no matter how much weight I lose, I am afraid that I will always see the fat girl in the mirror.  Truthfully, there is no one else I know and I think that even to a degree, though not happy with that person, I have come to accept her.  Now, how do I get rid of her as the pounds come off? 

Our self image is so distorted through television, movies, fashion etc.  As overweight children, we are quickly taught that we are not acceptable, through the ridicule of some cruel classmates.  Then when we are already feeling badly about ourselves, we turn on the television and see what we are "supposed" to look like.  But when our self image is being ingrained on our hearts and souls at such a young age, no one bothers to talk to us about being healthy.  It all becomes about what we look like, not how we feel, or how healthy we are or aren't.  It's about pants size, bra size, or how much food is on our plate, and seeing things that way is hard to change.

But I'm trying.  This is the first time I have ever approached weight loss like this and I honestly think at this point, it is much more difficult than dieting.  As far as I'm concerned, dieting is about self-deprivation and reaching for foods you honestly don't like until you simply cannot stand it anymore and eat a piece of pie or cake, or a doughnut.  That one slip gives you permission to completely fall off the wagon, because after all, you already blew it, might as well blow it right and keep on eating all the things that you love that are so bad for you. 

But enough of all that.  This time it is about being aware; of my thoughts, my emotions, my choices.  It's about planning and experimenting in finding new foods that are not only healthy but taste good and are satisfying.  It's about knowing the difference between being full and satisying hunger.  It's about finding other things to fill up that place inside myself that wants something when I'm stressed, tired etc.  It's about knowing that I have permission to have a piece of cake if I really, really want it, but still knowing that after I eat that, I am back on track with health.  Moderation. 

It's a process and I'm learning it.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Freakin' Friday

Today is shaping up to be "one of those days".  Last night, I started getting that funny feeling that you get when you feel like you are maybe getting a cold.  Keep in mind that both the kids and the Brit have been sick and to the doctor over the last three weeks and I have managed to rise above it.  Now, all the vitamin C popping in the world may not help me this time. 

Add to that an ongoing problem we have had since the end of October with our plumbing.  The neighbor across the street had sewage backup in their basement in October, which led to the city coming out and digging a huge hole in the street in front of our house.  Mere days later, while doing laundry, our basement backed up.  The city solved the problem and took care of the bill though they insisted it was not their fault.  Last Friday, the same thing happened again, so we called a regular plumber and to the tune of $152 he unclogged it.  Today, same problem...a WEEK later and I am again waiting for a plumber, thankfully the same one as last week.  I also called the city, and they sent out Billy Jo Bob from the sticks with his chew in his bottom lip to ring my doorbell.  I opened the door and said, "Hi" and Billy Jo Bob said, "What'd I do?"  Yeah.  Okay.  At any rate, the city is going to check the main line again, and the plumber will be here in an hour or two.  It's just a tad odd that we had no plumbing issues until they dug a hole in the street in front of our house.

Add to that the fact that the Brit, who just got back from Atlanta a week ago, is going back on Monday and not returning until Friday night.  I really have minimal issues with this, honestly.  Yes, the kids listen to him better than to me, but I can cope and knowing that I have a Super Bowl party this Sunday and knitting group next Saturday after the Brit returns makes it feel bearable.  I am a little more stressed about him leaving with the probable impending cold I think I'm catching, because when the mom is sick, there is no rest time, especially when single parenting for a week, but I'm sure I'll prevail. 

Now, the point of this part of the story (and Brit don't read any further because I'm going to talk about you for a moment) is that the kids were supposed to go to their grandparents tonight, but grandma called and due to a death in the family, she is not going to get them till next weekend.  So, while I am on the phone with the Brit trying to find out what he wants me to do with the plumbing situation, I mention the fact that the kids are not going until next weekend and he says, "Yee haw, you mean I get peace and quiet on Saturday?" (This would be because they would be away and I would be off knitting).  This comment did not go over well on the soon-to-be-probably-sick-single-parent-of-all-next-week.  I love the man with all my heart, but in a moment of plumbing, fighting illness, not getting much adult conversation next week stress, he may want to hold off on those kinds of comments.

So there you have my day at a glance.  Maybe it will improve.  At least I'm not confronting my father who killed my mother when I was two years old, twenty years later.  Oh right.  That is on Dr. Phil.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Random Thursday

I'm trying to make a conscience effort to blog Monday through Friday, but with that in mind, I don't always something specific to talk about; only bits and pieces of thoughts, information or news. 

1. My eleven year old just informed me as he is looking at a car book that "It would be way cool to have a bed in a van."  Yeah.  Okay, so remind to make sure when he is shopping for his first car, that he goes nowhere near a van.  Yes, I worry about him starting to like girls, and about him driving in a few years and I worry about the biological family history of both these boys.  Hopefully, poor judgment is not heredity.  On a good note, this kid is continuing to excel in middle school!  He got a 96% on his math module today and 107% on a science project (obviously, extra credit was involved.).  JJ has just backtalked his way into an early bedtime tonight.  Once the seven year olds start pushing those verbal boundaries, how long does it take them to catch on to the fact that they can't get away with it??

2. If anyone remembers this, I can now tell you that I have to verbalize it?  I have made it easy for her to leave my life completely.  It was difficult for me, but I suppose it was time.  This is another internet friend (so that none of my real life friends get paranoid, like they did when I posted about it originally!) who I hit it off with a few years ago.  We shared a similar interest and had similar personalities and senses of humor.  We confided in each other about many different aspects of our lives, exchanged Christmas gifts and cards, and generally chatted every day.  She was often my sounding board when it came to the kids and a sympathetic ear when Noah was taken away.    Her life has since moved on in several aspects and I could not be more happy for her.  Truly.  With that came other changes in our relationship, as can be expected as she entered a new season of her life.  I adjusted as best I could, but then it just got difficult.  The last few months if I would see her on-line, neither of us were messaging each other.  From my perspective, I didn't want her to feel that she had to take time out for me out of guilt, when she had so many other things going on.  From her end, I have no idea.  But it's all okay.  I miss her and think about her often and if she ever contacted me, I would be more than receptive.  I guess it's possible she was a "Season" friendship and though I hate those (because of the extreme difficulty I have with goodbyes) we tend to learn a lot from those "season" folks.  Maybe one day I'll find out I was wrong, but if I don't, I have accepted it. 

3. I forgot to mention yesterday in regards to the eating better thing, that I am pretty much off soda altogether.  I did have part of a Dr. Pepper the other day when delivering a meal to Paula's (her father passed away on Sunday unexpectedly), but other than that, it has been a cup of coffee in the morning and then diet green tea, which Lisa turned me on to.  I still need to resolve that water thing, but small steps.  The soda thing for me is HUGE.

4. Weekend before last, we went out with Robyn, Lisa and her hubby, Phil to hear the band Thique play at a local restaurant.  The lead singer of Thique, Lana Spence is not only one of the most incredible vocalists I've ever heard in my life, but she is also the reason the Brit and I met.  If I had not been journeying to hear Lana sing, I never would have met the people who introduced the Brit and I.  I had not seen her in nearly two years (kids will do that to a social life) and I think we surprised her.  For the talent this gal has, she is one of the most down to earth people I have ever met.  No matter how much time goes by when we don't see each other, we just pick up where we left off once our lives come together again for an evening.  She's awesome and amazing!  Visit the band's website and check it out for yourselves!

5. Mandy, leave me a comment, will ya and let me know how "Nunsense" auditions went!

This is Lana and her brother, Billy, who made a special guest appearance.