Saturday, July 14, 2007

MOVING DAY! Come visit the new site!

Blogger will not allow me to simply put a redirect on this site, so you will, unfortunately, need to update your bookmarks.

The address is:

I will NOT be updating this site so please drop by "Here's looking at . . . me!" in its new location!

Read more. . .

MOVING DAY! Come visit the new site!

Blogger will not allow me to simply put a redirect on this site, so you will, unfortunately, need to update your bookmarks.

The address is:

I will NOT be updating this site so please drop by "Here's looking at . . . me!" in its new location!

Read more. . .

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wordless Wednesday #17

I've decided to start participating in Wordless Wednesday as a way of looking at my weight and how it has fluctuated throughout my life.

Here's a shot with my parents in 1958 -- I was not quite 2 years old. I was not fat at all as a young child. But things changed . . .

More on that subject next week!

Read more. . .

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"1 Could Get [Me] $100"

I haven't posted here for a while. Why?

First, let's look at why I'm back at it. Life is Risky inspired me. I was cruising around from site to site as we all do . . . somehow I stumbled onto that site and a post entitled “1 could get you $100 -- Postless." I am a lawyer and she did mention cold, hard paycash, after all, so . . .

Where have I been? Well, I felt crummy for quite a while. Through two rounds of Cipro, to be exact. I had a miserable sinus and respiratory infection which impacted my breathing. I was coughing a lot. We had some very refreshing, cool weather but with it came winds and my allergies went into overdrive. Because I was having so much trouble breathing, I missed a few days of water aerobics and that makes me exceedingly grumpy because there is almost nowhere I would rather be than in the pool jogging with my weights, hopping around, swimming some laps and -- my latest favorite thing -- treading.

While all of that was going on, we had my nephew's graduation from high school and his party the following Saturday, in addition to Matthew finishing up the school year, so we had to attend his end-of-the-year awards banquet and cheer for our straight A's boy. #1Son got a ticket and did not make arrangements for traffic school as he was supposed to, so -- you guessed it -- Mama ended up calling and enrolling him. Then we had to get him there on the last possible day, Saturday, June 9, by 8:00 a.m., come back and take him to lunch at 11:30 p.m., return him to class by 12:45 p.m., go to my nephew's party, then pick #1Son up at 4:00 p.m. . . . it seemed like the whole day got away from us.

As if that weren't enough, we had to go shopping because the heap o' crap pickup that I told BigBob not to buy, but he did anyway, died yet again and I said, "NO MORE. I am not putting one more cent into that Monstrosity (that was the nickname I gave it)." Two days after he had it towed home and parked around the corner (I refused to allow him to park it in front of my house lest anything think I owned it or knew who did), his appendix burst and he ended up in the hospital for a week and home recuperating for several more.

Once he felt better and was almost ready to return to work, I put my foot down and insisted that we buy a Toyota Tacoma. No more FORD products which, as you know, stands for Found on Road Dead. (Sorry, Dad, if you are listening in from heaven. I know that you were a Lincoln-Mercury auto mechanic for 27 years, but I'm convinced that if you were alive today, you would approve of my '96 Camry, '04 Camry and now '07 Tacoma.) At first, BigBob resisted, wanting another BIG pickup, but I was having none of it. "Tacoma or you can sleep in the heap out there." Yeah, I know. I'm brutal. But I was offering a brand new, 2007 pickup in the color of his choice and a 100,000 warranty. In the end, he knew I was right and admitted it.

The salesperson asked him what color he wanted. He turned to me and said, "What color should I get?"

I just laughed and told him, "I couldn't care less. Get PAINT. That will be an improvement." The salesperson stared at us quizzically and poor BigBob had to explain that the Monstrosity had only primer.

I told you it was a heap!!

This is what he is happily driving now. Better? Boy howdy! And the Children's Cancer Society is the recipient of the Monstrosity. Hopefully, they can get something out of it. If nothing else, they can melt it down and sell the metal. I'm just delighted that I will never, ever have to see it again.

So how's that for a catalogue of this, that and the other?

As of this moment, the kids are both out of school and just hanging out, although Matthew is going to attend Drivers' Education next week. He wasn't too interested in learning to drive until the above item came home to stay. Now he's thinking driving doesn't sound so bad.

At last, we are into the long days of summer. Life as usual, but at a much slower pace.

I'm back in water aerobics, thankfully. And back on the eating program.

I was having a hard time there for awhile. In addition to not feeling well, I did something really dumb that I knew I shouldn't do, but I gave into the temptation: I went to the doctor's office and got on the scale. Oh, I had my back to the numbers, but I let them tell me that I was down 53 pounds.

Why was that stupid, you ask? As I explained in Get Off That Scale, those numbers took on a life of their own and I fell off the wagon for awhile. I was already vulnerable -- which I should have recognized and dealt with in a constructive fashion -- because I didn't feel well and life was hectic. So I got a little too cocky about what I have accomplished so far and let myself eat more than I should have at some social events, as well as here at home.

Now you have to keep the words "more than I should have" into perspective. In the old days, a binge would have consisted of junk food like Oreos, ice cream, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, etc. These days, my idea of a "pig out" is too many rice cakes and the small piece of chocolate cake I ate at my nephew's graduation party (the first cake I had eaten in nearly a year). I avoided the chips and dip, cookies and all the other enticing but fat-laden choices, instead opting for some lean turkey and cheese (unfortunately not the fat free variety I eat here at home), a couple of deviled eggs, spoonful of macaroni salad. No bread, no mayonnaise or other condiments.

I didn't gain any weight and I think I still managed to lose a couple of pounds. I don't know for sure because I am not getting on that scale again for a long time.

Today I wore a denim skirt to the office that I dug out of the back of my closet after about six or seven years in hibernation. That felt good. I tried on my favorite plaid skirt that serves as my benchmark and I can button it. Actually, I could wear it, but it is still a little tight so I am going to wait. I will try it on again in a couple of weeks.

With everything that was going on logistically and physically, I did not feel like I had anything to say here about my ongoing journey. At least not anything that anyone would want to read. I should recognize by now that, from an emotional standpoint, that is precisely when I need to confront the issues related to my weight and determination to life a healthy lifestyle and should be writing here. I am going to resolve to do better with that in the future.

And I must say "thank you" to Susan at Life Is Risky because she inspired me. So Susan, I am grateful to you for kicking me in the butt!

As for that treading . . . check back! I'm going to post about that soon.

add to sk*rt

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What are you willing to do?

Really, it's a very simple question, isn't it?

What are you willing to do in order to improve the quality of your life?

Notice that I did not say "lose weight." That's just a nice side effect of a new approach to living. (I'm down 53 pounds so far, if you must know! However, the physical change is more dramatic than the number suggests because I am building lean muscle and reducing my overall body fat percentage.)

That's the question I ask myself every morning. At a minimum. Sometimes I ask myself the same question a number of times throughout the day, depending on whether it is a good day, judged from the perspective of making good choices for myself or, as I wrote about in my last post, a challenging one.

Over at Tales from the Scales, yesterday was weigh-in day and a lot of the participants were discouraged. For one thing, we just had a three-day, holiday weekend. Moreover, the "newness" and novelty of a revised eating plan is wearing off for some of the folks who signed on, I believe.
It's just how I live now . . . it's not a diet.
One of the blog authors suggested that this week participants consider their answer to this question: "What are you going to do differently this week?" In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with that approach and I hope it works for a lot of people.

However, I do not include the last three words when I analyze my own willingness to remain committed to the plan I have developed for myself. Why?

Because I am not on a diet. I have changed my life. Therefore, the question is open-ended . . . not limited to an hour, part of a day, one whole day, a week, a month or even a year. The changes I have made must be permanent. My plan has to just be "how I live" for the remainder of my life. It is the only way I can retain the benefits I am already enjoying . . . and continue to reap more.

add to sk*rt

Trackposted to Right Pundits, Perri Nelson's Website, Blog @, Azamatterofact, DeMediacratic Nation, guerrilla radio, Maggie's Notebook, Webloggin, Leaning Straight Up, Cao's Blog, The Bullwinkle Blog, The Amboy Times, The Florida Masochist, Colloquium, Conservative Cat, Pursuing Holiness, Blue Collar Muse, stikNstein... has no mercy, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker, Right Voices, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

No, overeating will not make me feel better

I feel crappy.

It started a few days ago . . . that familiar ache in my cheekbones, radiating up into my eye and down into my gums. Yesterday, I developed a very stuffy nose and scratchy throat. By last night, I was miserable so it was off to the doctor today. Sure enough . . . the sinus infection has returned and I am back on an antibiotic.

I never had allergies until a couple of years ago, which a lot of people found pretty amazing given that I live in a "Big Valley" that is a notorious allergy zone. Things got really out of control in May 2005, when I traveled to Oregon with the rock band I was playing in. We stayed at a church-run camp. Trying, literally, to be a "good camper," I stayed in one of the cabins. I knew when I walked in that I should run back out the door . . . the smell of mold and mildew was palpable. But it was a long way back to the nearest town via a dark, twisty road that I simply could not navigate by myself with my post-retinal detachment vision. So I fired up the small wall heater in an attempt to rid the air of as many harmful molecules as possible . . .

Ironically, I had undergone a root canal a few days earlier and the doctor told me that the infection in that tooth was probably not completely eradicated when I spent one sleepless night in that cabin. The next night, I did go to a hotel in town, but the damage was done. When I got on the plane to come home the following morning, I could not open and close my mouth because of the pain in my cheek and jaw. Antibiotics, breathing treatments, inhalers followed but it seemed that after that episode, I was always out of breath, congested and miserable.

Finally, last summer, I went to my doctor and declared, "I can't live like this. You have to do something." Allergy testing and injections were the next order of business and, of course, she recommended exercise and weight loss. Duh.

I had attended water aerobics classes previously, but discontinued due to a combination of scheduling conflicts and eye surgeries. I determined that day in the doctor's office to get back in the pool.

It was the best decision of my life.

I also decided to resume using Advocare's Metabolic Nutrition System (as discussed in my previous entry) and adhere once again to a healthy eating plan.

But on days like today when I feel just crappy enough to be miserable, but not fully sick, the temptation to overeat is palpable. Why is that? I know that overeating is not going to make me feel better, but that doesn't change the fact that I want to.

Is it about comfort? Or consolation?

On days like this, knowing the difference between a diet and a healthy eating plan really matters for me.

When following a healthy eating plan, there is no need to be hungry between meals. Physically hungry, that is. It is imperative to discern between true physical and psychological hunger. True physical hunger should never be allowed to continue and I think people who tell you to drink a glass of water to hold it in abeyance are, well . . . all wet.

True physical hunger should be assuaged with healthy food choices and water is not one of them. Yes, you have to drink plenty of water each day, but if you are trying to trick your body into believing it isn't hungry when it really is, you can give it up. It's smarter than that. And by engaging in starvation diets and such silly trickery, all you succeed in doing is slowing down your metabolism. Yeah, you might lose weight but you will find it again -- faster than you can imagine -- once you give up the starvation plan. And you will. Trust me on that. Nobody can sustain it forever. Been there. Done that. Have the clothing in various sizes hanging in my closet as I type this to prove it.

Quiet true physical hunger with food that is good for you, thereby keeping your metabolism running in peak form.

Quiet psychological hunger by distracting yourself. If you just can't, such as on those days when you really feel the desire to crunch or munch, enjoy a snack like carrots and celery with nonfat Ranch dressing or a couple of rice cakes. The vegetables are great for you and allow you to hear that crunching sound you long for! So long as you dip in nonfat dressing, your "binge" won't hurt you at all.

Most importantly, be kind to yourself and acknowledge your success. After all, in the old days, that binge would have been comprised of a package of _______ (insert your favorite binge food) as an appetizer, washed down with _________, and followed up with __________ (insert your second favorite binge food). If your "pig-out" involved carrots, celery, rice cakes or a similar healthy choice, look yourself in the mirror, smile and remind yourself that "you've come a long way, baby."

Now I'm off to the frig for some of those baby carrots . . .

add to sk*rt

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Perri Nelson's Website, Right Truth, Shadowscope, The Amboy Times, Pursuing Holiness, The HILL Chronicles, Right Celebrity, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, stikNstein... has no mercy, , Nuke's news and views, Pirate's Cove, The Right Nation, The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox Daily News, Blog @, The Random Yak, A Blog For All, DeMediacratic Nation, Maggie's Notebook, Adam's Blog, Webloggin,, The Bullwinkle Blog, Cao's Blog, Colloquium, , Conservative Cat, Blue Collar Muse, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The World According to Carl, Blue Star Chronicles, Gone Hollywood, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My Secret Weapon

My "secret weapon" is a product I was introduced to about ten years ago by one of my clients who was a coach and distributor.

Whether you are trying to lose, maintain or gain weight, it is very important that, in addition to eating properly, your plan provides you all of the important vitamins and minerals in the amounts necessary to maintain good health. I use Advocare's Metabolic Nutrition System.

The program is easy to follow: Each day you consume the contents of four pouches. The contents of each of the two labeled "gold" are taken thirty minutes before breakfast and lunch. The remaining two "white" packets contain a total of three tablets and one capsule which are taken with one of those meals, preferably breakfast.

How does it work? Advocare says that the system "includes the appetite suppressants, metabolic enhancers and thermogenic products needed to help control appetite, reduce cravings (especially for carbohydrates and sweets) and gently increase energy levels."

The Metabolic Nutrition System comes in three different formulations: Basic, Maximum Energy and Maximum Appetite Control.

Advocare specializes in providing high quality, safe nutritional supplements, meal replacement shakes, energy bars, skin care products, etc. The products are used by many professional athletes, some of whom are official endorsers. (Click here to see the list.)

What does Advocare do for me? I find that I have more energy, but not that miserable "buzzed" or nervous feeling that results, for instance, from drinking too much caffeine. Proper nutrition regulates and normalizes all functions -- the product assists with that process.

There is, of course, no scientific way to assess how much of one's motivation to eat a proper diet and exert control over the desire eat too much or the wrong kinds of food can be attributed to psychological changes as opposed to utilizing nutritional supplements, but, overall, my desire to power down desserts and other sweets is virtually gone. Ditto the urge to overload on carbohydrates. I look at the slice of four-layer chocolate cake on the dessert cart in the restaurant and experience no craving for it. These days, it just looks like an upset stomach waiting to happen. Ditto the chicken fettuccine Alfredo I used to adore.

It is imperative that you consult with your physician to see if Advocare products are right for you before using them. Yesterday, we took the box setting forth all of the ingredients and nutritional details to our family physician and she recommended that my hubby not use the product due to his diabetes.

To learn more about the products, contact a distributor in your area or contact the company directly at (800) 542-4800 or

In case you're wondering . . . no, I'm not a distributor, so I have no financial motivation to provide this information to you.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis
Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Blog @, Perri Nelson's Website, A Blog For All, The Random Yak, DeMediacratic Nation, Adam's Blog, the so called me, The Pet Haven Blog, Webloggin, Cao's Blog, The Bullwinkle Blog, The Amboy Times, The Florida Masochist, Colloquium, Conservative Cat, Pursuing Holiness, , Blue Collar Muse, third world county, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, stikNstein... has no mercy, The World According to Carl, Pirate's Cove, Blue Star Chronicles, Planck's Constant, The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox Daily News, High Desert Wanderer, Right Voices, Gone Hollywood, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Tips for Dining Out

Thea, one of the founders of the May Day Weight Loss Challenge site, "Tales from the Scales," writes a weekly column, Thea Thursdays. This week she offered some tips to assist in making good food choices when dining out which I enumerate here and expand upon and modify to conform with my own nutrition plan.

Remember that I am only writing about what works for me! There is no single plan that is perfect for everyone!

1. Plan ahead– Thea suggests that, if you know where you are going to eat beforehand, you visit the restaurant's website to review the menu and any nutritional information provided. Alternatively, you might talk with a friend who has been to the restaurant to get an idea of what to expect. She noted that has information about restaurant menus. All great ideas!

I suggest being prepared at all times by keeping nonfat items in the refrigerator that you can put in your bag and take to the restaurant with you.

For instance, I never head out to a restaurant without a bottle of nonfat dressing in my purse -- unless I know that the dining establishment I'm going to patronize offers fat-free dressings. Once you start reading labels, you will be horrified to see how much fat is in salad dressings. When I first returned to water aerobics classes and changed my diet, I stopped by Wendy's one day and picked up a chicken Caesar salad for lunch. I was absolutely mortified when, while munching away after having poured both packets of dressing they gave me on the salad, I read the nutritional information printed there. There were 23 grams of fat in each packet! That meant that I had just poured 46 grams of fat onto my otherwise healthy salad. That did it! I now keep a couple different varieties of nonfat dressing in my office and home refrigerators at all times.

Other foods with high fat content include, but are not limited to mayonnaise, sour cream, butter or margarine, cheese, oil. I have very small Tupperware containers that are just the right size for a serving or two of those items. I put several in a zip-lock bag and throw them into my purse if I know that I am going out to a steakhouse, for instance. Then I order my salad without dressing and my baked potato plain.

2. Order first – If you are with a group of people, try to be the first person to order. This will help you not be tempted by someone else’s (possibly poor) choice. (This has never been a problem for me, but it is worth a try, right? It might help you!)

3. Be picky – Remember, you are paying for the meal that you order. Just because the dish you want is designed with huge amounts of cheese, doesn’t mean you have to order or consume it that way! Ask the restaurant to prepare the dish the way you want! Inquire about how they prepare vegetables so you can avoid butter and oil if necessary. Ask for your salad without any dressing and use the nonfat choice you brought with you. Ditto any dish that includes cheese. Take a couple of slices of nonfat American or Cheddar with you if you are planning to have a burger. If you are going to order salad, take some grated nonfat Cheddar with you and toss it in when your salad is served. dressing on the side. Ask for half the cheese that a dish normally comes with. Ask that the bun on your sandwich not be buttered before they grill or toast it. If you are feeling really adventurous, order off the menu (remember, they have a kitchen full of ingredients back there). This is YOUR food. Take control!

4. Be careful of salads – Not all salads are created equal. Just because you order a salad does not mean that it is necessarily a good choice. Be wary of what comes on it and have them take off anything you don’t want. Some things that can sabotage a salad are eggs, bacon, cheese, fried bacon, croutons, cream dressings and avocado! I agree that they are SO good, but they are also SO high in fat calories.

5. Be careful! Ask for a to go box as soon as you sit down – If you are going to a sit down restaurant, ask for a to go box as soon as you order. When your food comes, put half in the box and enjoy the other half. If you want, you can even ask the server to put it in the box before they bring it out. Anyway to avoid temptation. This is unnecessary if you have made good choices in the first place. Order that nice big leafy salad with eggs, chicken, turkey or lean ham, cucumbers, carrots, etc. and add your own nonfat cheese and dressing. Enjoy! Eat until you are satisfied. You must keep eating in order to maximize your metabolism and reduce your body fat percentage. If you count calories and put your body into starvation mode, you will lose lean muscle along with or instead of the fat -- and gain back every ounce you lose once you come to your senses and stop starving yourself. That's why diets fail. Healthy eating succeeds. (Trust me . . . I'd been on every one of those diets at one point or another . . . big mistake every time.)

6. Drink your water – Some of the hunger you are feeling might be dehydration, but it shouldn't be if you are drinking an adequate amount throughout the day. Promise yourself to drink a whole glass of water before the food comes. This well help you to NOT overeat. If you are indulging in an adult beverage (or 2, or 3), have glasses of water in between. Trust me, this one will serve you well! Sorry, but I just don't agree with this philosophy because of #5. Drinking water is not a substitute for eating well. Moreover, you deserve to enjoy your meal after you have put so much thought into making good selections. Have a glass of wine -- enjoy it because it is actually good for you. Just don't have more than two glasses. Water between? Not necessary.

I never leave the house without several packets of Crystal Light in my purse. I keep extra boxes in my car and office at all times. When I go to a restaurant, I ask for the largest glass of water they can give me -- ideal size is 16 ounces because each packet of Crystal Light is designed for that amount. Then I pull out a packet and make that water into lemonade to enjoy with my meal. No need to order soda!

7. Skip dessert – This is an especially tough one for me! I have a tendency to look at the dessert menu BEFORE I look at the food menu. If you order, share it with someone. If they don’t want to share anything (my husband is not a sweet eater. I don’t get it either), then don’t order it. Keep good dessert choices on hand at your house (pudding, jello, RF ice cream, etc.) so that you can indulge your sweet tooth after you get home.

Good dessert choices for me are a Special K or South Beach Diet snack bar or some rice cakes. Summer is coming so I may keep some nonfat Fudgesicles in the freezer for after water aerobics on a really hot day.

But I never eat "normal" desserts for one simple reason: Once I start eating, I can't stop. There is no such thing as "just a taste" or "just a bite" so the only solution for me is to never start eating cakes, candies, cookies, etc. And sharing is not an option given that my husband was recently diagnosed with diabetes.

8. Forgive yourself – O.K. So you had every intention of making great choices, and you just didn’t. You know what? It’s O.K.!! Enjoy the food that you’ve eaten and pick up where you left off when you eat your next meal. Don’t beat yourself up about it!

Very good advice. But more importantly, keep it in perspective. Last week, my hormones were raging and I wanted to eat everything in sight! I did eat more than I normally do, but "normal" is a relative term. In the "old days," I would have chomped down on chips, cookies, ice cream or buttered popcorn, to name a few things. My idea of a "pig out" these days is when I eat all six of the rice cakes in the pouch, instead of one or two. So it is important to forgive yourself, but also to remember how far you have progressed in your thinking and approach to healthy eating. Identify, as I did, the source of the desire to overeat or overindulge and, once you recognize it and acknowledge it, move on, determined to learn from the experience. It's just like any other area of your life. If you make a mistake in your work, do you forgive yourself, learn from your error, and move on from that point, most likely never making the same mistake again? The same principles are applicable to your journey toward better health and nutrition, right!?

9. Vitamins -- Thea did not mention vitamins in her post, but in my next entry, I am going to share with you the "secret weapon" I discovered about ten years ago . . .

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Is It Just Me?, The Virtuous Republic, Blog @, Perri Nelson's Website, Committees of Correspondence, Mark My Words, Big Dog's Weblog, DragonLady's World, Webloggin, Cao's Blog, The Bullwinkle Blog, The Amboy Times, Colloquium, Jo's Cafe, Conservative Cat, Right Celebrity, third world county, Stageleft, stikNstein... has no mercy, The World According to Carl, Walls of the City, Pirate's Cove, Blue Star Chronicles, The Pink Flamingo, High Desert Wanderer, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"I get it!"

That is what Tony Soprano shouted at the end of this past Sunday's fourth-to-the-last episode of the all-time best show in the history of television, "The Sopranos."

It's also what I was mumbling to myself a couple of hours later.

Earlier in the day, I was channel surfing and stumbled upon "The Soup" on E! which I love. They showed a clip of Rosie O'Donnell, as they have been doing every week for the past year since she joined "The View." E! has never had as much material for "The Soup" -- what will they do when she leaves?

Anyway . . . Rosie yammers a lot about menopause. Last week, she announced that she was sure she was in menopause because her "friend" didn't visit her for several months and she even gave away all of her "stuff." Then her "friend" came back for a visit and, according to her, brought about 45 people along for the fun.

Boy, can I relate.

In my case, six months of bliss were followed, three months or so back, by the return of my "friend" -- with a vengeance. I can't say that I wasn't warned . . . I was. Several friends and co-workers told me to be ready because when I least expected it, I would be paid an unwelcome visit. Boy, were they right.

So you'd think I would have caught on sooner. This past weekend, I wanted to eat everything in sight. Everything. In. Sight. My usual snack items -- rice cakes, Special K or South Beach Diet bars, yogurt, fruit -- just weren't cutting it. I wanted to have a binge the likes of which I haven't indulged in for a long, long time.

Late Sunday evening, I realized why when my "friend" decided to drop in for a nice, long visit without calling first.

Hormones. The dreaded hormones. That explains why I wanted to not just overeat, but eat the wrong kinds of food. Food I haven't had any desire to eat for ages. Food I walk right by in the grocery store without even a twinge of regret because I know the adverse effects it has on me.

So Rosie . . . I hear ya, sista friend. Loud and clear. "I get it." This is my second such surprise visit from my "friend" after months between with no phone call, no e-mail, no telegram, no word at all. And I don't know about you, but I hate it when people just drop in without calling first.

At least I figured out what was wrong and things have already improved. Today was a good day . . . I got totally back on track. I even did something I hadn't done in ages: I made an omelet for lunch for myself, #1Son and Big Bob. It was so simple, but delicious: I diced up some 97% fat-free ham and threw it in with some shredded nonfat sharp cheddar cheese. (Don't let anybody tell you the stuff has no flavor or doesn't melt. Wrong on both counts.) I would have added a tomato that BigBob grew in the backyard, but they are still a little too green.

So how are you doing with the May Day Weight Loss Challenge or whatever program you are utilizing? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Why I Love Water Aerobics

In my experience, water aerobics are the best form of exercise. Here are my reasons:

* Comfort ~~ I exercise strenuously and really sweat, but I don't care. I just splash some water on my forehead and keep going. That's the most important reason why water aerobics is the perfect form of exercise for me. I hate to sweat. Ever. Anywhere. For any reason.

* Community ~~ There is a group of wonderful women who also attend class regularly. They are friendly, chatty, and always make me laugh. They always have great stories to share. And if I miss class, they notice and ask me where I've been.

* Fresh air and sunshine ~~ I love being in the outdoor pool when the weather permits. I've always loved to swim and hang out by the pool. That was the one thing I hated about selling my house and moving into my parents' home -- I had to give up the neighborhood pool. So going to the pool at my health club is the next best thing.

* Low impact ~~ The buoyancy of the water cushions the impact so it is a safe activity for me, given my history of retinal detachments. That also makes it a good form of exercise for folks with joint problems (subject to physician approval, of course).

* Improves breathing ~~ Since resuming classes, my asthma has improved dramatically. I still use my albuterol inhaler before class if I feel that I need it, depending on weather conditions, etc.

* Self-confidence ~~ For the most part, my classmates are women. All of the really buff guys don't come into the pool area during class. When I was younger, this would have been a much more important consideration than it is now, but it is still nice not to have to worry about who is watching you jump around in a bathing suit.

* Whole-body workout ~~ Water aerobics provides a cardiovascular workout for your whole body -- legs, arms, stomach, tush . . . With a slight variation in movement, you address another muscle group. So you can always engage in another kind of exercise, too, but it is not necessary.

* Variety ~~ The many different kinds of movement ward off boredom. Jogging, walking, treading, jumping jacks, cross-country, bunny hop, frog jump, rocking horse and several variations of each are just some of the different moves and, as noted above, slight variations change not just the routine, but the emphasis. I really enjoy intervals (timed periods of all-out effort), especially without touching the bottom of the pool (more strenuous).

* Pump it up ~~ To add intensity, use weights (some people call them buoys) or webbed gloves that increase the resistance level. What I love most is using the heaviest weights and jogging like crazy. It feels great to get my heart pumping and really works off the fat!

* Self-paced ~~ You adjust the level of intensity, depending upon your condition and endurance. Unlike some sports, you can start out slow and gradually increase the difficulty as your stamina improves. In any given class, people are working at infinite different paces and that's just fine. The important thing is that they are there.

* Burns calories ~~ Water aerobics burns more calories than many other sports and is a great way to eliminate fat and develop lean, healthy muscles.

Here are some helpful resources:

* Water Aerobics
* How to Perform Water Aerobics to Improve Lower Body Strength
* How to Perform Water Aerobics to Improve Flexibility
* Water Aerobics Exercise
* Water Aerobics: A Fat Girl's Guide to Taking the Plunge
* Water Aerobics Equipment

What is your favorite form of exercise? What works for you? Are there any forms of exercise that you avoid? Why? Leave a comment and a link to your site!

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This article is an entry in Middle Age Shed's "Carnival of Dieting Tips" and The Biggest Loser Carnival at Don's Biggest Loser Blog.

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