Sunday, December 30, 2012


While there are many things that I do consistently, there are other things that I am not so good at.  I have episodes where I overdose on fats and sugars and because I don't make sure to vary my diet I many not be getting some of the essential nutrients to keep my body healthy.

My main priority is to increase my fruit and vegetable consumption, eat more starchy carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread and pasta, eat less processed food, and drink a litre of water every day.

Skin, hair and energy levels suffer from poor eating habits.  Once I establish good habits of eating I should see an improvement in my skin, hair and energy levels.

Lastly, but not any less important, I need to add some form of exercise.

With all these things in mind, I have written my 2013 Fitness Goals:

  • Eat breakfast every day
  • Eat 5 or more portions of fruits and vegetables a day
  • Limit Chips & Burgers to less than once a week
  • Use fruit as a snack
  • Drink water or herbal tea (lemonade is okay)
  • Incorporate mil, cheese & yogurt in daily diet
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week
  • Cover up when out in the sun
  • Wear sunglasses every day
  • Exfoliate no more than once a week
Two more days before I weigh-in.

BTW: when I weighed myself this morning I was at 182.6 lbs

Thursday, December 27, 2012


As you know, I work for The Cheesecake Factory Inc.  I started July 16th, making it almost 6 months.  Some of the benefits of working for them is the bounty of food and beverages.  As a result I have gained nearly twenty pounds.  THIS IS NOT GOOD.

Last week a communication went out to all staff members at the Corporate Center announcing the 2013 Fitness Challenge.


The competition will run from January 2nd through March 29th.

Weight will be assessed by percentage of total loss.

The initial weigh in will be Wednesday January 2nd from 9:30-10:30 am in the galley.

The mid-way weigh in will be on Friday, February 15th and the final weigh in will be Friday, March 29th.

**There will be prizes mid-way and at the final weigh in**

I have made a commitment to myself to participate in this challenge.  There are two reasons:

1.  I need to get fit and healthy enough to participate with Allisa on the Washington DC trip scheduled for the end of March.

2.  I want to look healthy and fit.  When I have been my healthiest I looked great and felt good about myself.

It's time to start taking care of me so that I can do more.

Come join me in this journey.  Comments are welcome and I would love to get status updates on your journey to a healthier you.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


170.6 lbs

Today me and the family will be getting a little more exercise than I have had for a few months.  We are going a Theme Park.  So a lot of walking...

Walking is good for your health.  Everyone should do some walking exercises every day.  I will let you know how I do...


Friday, February 3, 2012


DAY 28 - 170.2 lbs

Today is officially my last day on Disability and I will be returning to work on Monday.

Establishing Healthy Habits is really important so that I can continue becoming more fit.  Benjamin Franklin once said:  "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise".

An essential part of healthy living is establishing good sleep habits.  This means that I can't stay up all night with Victor watching episodes of Voyager or Babylon 5.  Prior to that we were watching Charmed and Grey's Anatomy.

Simple fact: Healthy sleep is just as important to your health as exercise and a balanced diet. You can't live life to the fullest without it.

How much sleep does a person need?

In my home everyone has made declarations on how much sleep they need.  Sometimes this results in heated debates... :)  I say I need 8 hours of sleep; Victor says that he can function on less than six.  My kids try to function on less than 6 hours of sleep.  I know they need more...  So, I have researched the information on the internet (take it as a grain of salt). has this to say about sleep:

"Individuals vary greatly in their need for sleep; there are no established criteria to determine exactly how much sleep a person needs. Eight hours or more may be necessary for some people, while others may consider this to be too much sleep.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that most average adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Newborn babies, by contrast, sleep from 16 to 18 hours a day. Preschool-aged children typically sleep between 10 and 12 hours a day. Older, school-aged children and teens need at least 9 hours of sleep a night. Women in the first trimester of pregnancy have been observed to need a few more hours' sleep than is usual for them."

There are a few things to remember.  Habits to help get good sleep:

  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol use before bedtime. Some studies have shown that caffeine consumed early in the day can have an effect on the ability to fall asleep at night. 
  • Have and adhere to a regular bedtime and waking schedule
  • Maintain a comfortable sleep environment, including a comfortable temperature
  • Do not lay in bed awake, worrying about not sleeping (or anything else negative). This produces anxiety that can actually make the problem worse.
  • Get regular daily exercise (it is recommended that individuals avoid exercise two hours prior to bedtime

  • Thursday, February 2, 2012


    Although I haven't recorded my progress on a daily basis for the past two weeks, I continue to work on getting fit and staying fit.  One of the things I haven't done in this process is to take measurements and to officially document my progress.  So, today I will take and write down my current measurements so that I can properly assess my progress going forward. 

    I know, this is a little gutsy and daring for a usually very shy and reserved person.  However, I must be true to myself.  So, here are today's measurements:

    169.6 lbs / 28.9 BMI  (I have a really nice scale that measures four different components)

    Chest:  38"
    R. Arm:  14.5"
    L. Arm:  14.5"
    Waist:  36"
    Hips:  41.5"
    R. Thigh:  24.5"
    L. Thigh:  23.5"  (The difference between the thigh measurements could be from the physical therapy)

    There has been some weight fluctuation over the past two weeks.  Over the past 4-5 months I have lost nearly 20 lbs.  Some of the weight I lost prior to my surgery on October 28th.  I guess it was about 8 lbs.  I was trying to lose some weight so that there was less weight for my knees carry.  The rest of the weight has been since I have been home on disability.

    There are a few things that have changed over the past three months:

    1)  There isn't a vending machine in my kitchen - I guess I need to avoid the vending machines at work when I return to work on Monday.

    2)  Added a little exercise to my daily routine.  Since getting rid of the crutches and the brace I have gone to the mall a couple times and walked around.  Victor and I have also gone to the Farmer's Market the past few Saturdays.  The walking is helping me to strengthen my left knee.

    3)  I love Voltage Mountain Dew.  I was drinking them every day before my surgery.  After my surgery I slept most of the day.  I detoxed my body from the soda.  I still have one every once in a while.  I never drink a whole one any more.  I will open one to drink and then it mysteriously disappears - It turns out that Aislyn enjoys Voltage Mountain Dew and will snake mine when I am not looking.

    4)  I have become more aware of the food I eat and I will choose healthier foods when going out.  The grocery shopping has changed a little as well.  We used to fill the cart with cookies and crackers and other snack type foods for the kids.  The problem:  I would eat a lot of those snack foods.  We asked the kids what kinds of things they wanted for after school snacks.  Their choices are pretty healthy.  We buy more fruits and vegetables.  We bought a box of clementines and half was gone in a day.  Yesterday I bought a flat of strawberries.  1/4 of the strawberries were consumed last night.

    A few small changes a little at a time will make a difference.  So, I will keep moving forward.

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    DAY 14 - OVER ATE

    Yesterday, Evan was out of school - new semester starts on Monday.  When my kids are home we enjoy each other's company by eating together.

    I ate way too much.  So, today I don't feel so good.

    In the evening Victor and I dropped the kids off at Golf 'n Stuff.  We went to Topper's Pizza.  Victor ate almost a whole medium pizza.  I had a baked Turkey Bacon sandwich with Kettle Chips and a rootbeer.

    We then went to Lassen's to pick up some items.  I love their Molasses cookies.

    Then we went to Barne's and Noble.  While their Victor ordered a slice of Pumpkin Cheese Cake and a large Carmel Apple Cider. 

    After three hours of play we went back to Golf 'n Stuff to pick up the kids.  On the way home we stopped at the donut shop and picked up a dozen donuts - my favorite...  apple fritters.

    Friday was definitely my junk food day.  I am paying for it today.

    Friday, January 20, 2012


    Yesterday was a busy day for me.  I weighed in at 171.6 lbs with 38.6 % fat...  nice...

    Ryan and Jody Maloney - the happy couple - married on the beach - and me.

    Victor and I had a few errands to run before we attending a wedding at the beach.  Because we had a late start one of our stops was to get something to eat.  When Victor asked where I wanted to go and eat I mention a few places that had fruit bowls or salads. 

    One of Victor's favorite fast food places is Wendy's.   He likes their fresh cut fries with sea salt.  Their okay.

    When we finally got to Wendy's I chose one of their salads:  Apple Pecan Chicken Salad Half-Size

    This salad contains: 
    Iceberg, Romaine and Spring Mix, Blue Cheese Crumbles, Dried Cranberries, Apple Chunks.
    This salad is served with Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing
    Total calories is about 340.  Not bad for a mid-day snack that tastes really good.  I like this particular salad because it has the perfect combination of sweet and sour.

    In the evening we went to dinner with friends to celebrate our birthdays (mine and Victor's).  We went to Wood Ranch.  It can be really hard to eat right here.  The food portions are larger than normal and it can be easy to over eat.

    I ordered a House Salad with ranch dressing on the side:  Lettuce mix, fresh white corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, croutons and avacado.

    For my entree I ordered Top Sirloin with mashed potatoes.  I had them butterfly the steak and ended up eating half.  Brought the other half for my 16 yr old son to eat. 

    Extras that kill the diet:  Barq's Rootbeer, dinner rolls, fried chips (with salsa). 

    It is okay to splurge a little - as long as you don't do it every day.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012


    I still have the sniffles and my joints are a little achie.

    I weighed in at 172.4 lbs this morning.  So it looks like a gained some water weight while I have been under the weather.  It could also be that I am pre-menstral.  Most women will gain water weight before and during their cycle.  I am no exception.  So, when I weigh myself during that week I scoff at the scale and in my mind I say: "You don't know anything.  I really don't weigh that much!"

    During my teen years I would have terrible acne during this time of month.  To hide it I would cake on foundation.  During my twenties I would do whatever I could to hide the blemishes.  This meant that I would put on cream, consealer, foundation and powder.

    Sometime in my late 30's I stopped worrying about the pimples and started wearing less makeup.  I noticed that I had fewer breakouts. 

    Shortly after I turned 40 I started looking at my skin more closely and noticed that it looked better.  I became more selective about what I put on my face.  I have actually taken the "less is more" approach.

    Since I have been out on disability, recovering from reconstructive surgery on my left knee, I haven't been wearing makeup.  When I have plans to leave the house I will apply the war paint.  All of my makeup is natural.  I will apply light powder to my face before applying the eye liner, eye shadow and mascara.  I use lip gloss with a tinge of color.  Depending on my mood I will apply a light pink blusher or a light bronzer to my cheeks.

    I learned over the years to keep my hands off my face and this has made a huge impact. 

    I woke up with one blemish this morning that will be gone in a couple days.

    Everyone has their own personal preference when it comes to keeping their skin clean.  I have oily skin.  The less I do with it the better.  When I clean my face I use Oil of Olay cleansing clothes.  My face gets clean and doesn't dry out. 

    My face is soft and healthy looking.  I believe that drinking water makes a huge impact on how skin looks, so I drink a lot of water.  I carry water with me from room to room so that I always have it with me.

    I also enjoy fruits and vegetables.  These also keep my skin looking nice.  When I get the munchies I will eat carrots, celery, broccoli, sweet peas and cucumbers.  During this time of year oranges and tangerines are plentiful.  This week we bought a bag of navel oranges and a box of clementines.    The whole family enjoys citrus fruit.  The clementines have been treat/snack food in the evenings when we are watching tv with the kids.

    For all you crazy makeup addicts, try not wearing it for a day.  You will feel better.  Love your skin.

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012


    Not much activity over the past week because I have been sick.  The trick is to drink lots of fluid.  I am feeling better and will continue tomorrow with better results. :)

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012


    I slept in a little this morning because I have a cold.  When I got up Victor had already been up for a couple hours.  He had a business meeting and had cleaned up the kitchen a little.

    I eventually dragged myself out of bed and weighed in at 170 lbs.  My scale also measures percentage of body fat.  I am at 39% body fat.  Not so good.

    I started feeling under the weather yesterday morning.  When I went to physical therapy I also noticed that my knee was a little tender and swollen.  The therapist explained to me that when our bodies are infected with a virus it attacks the weakest parts of our body.  Most people think that colds are just in the head.  They're not.  Colds can be in your knees. 

    Today my knee is still tender; I have a runny nose and a sore throat.

    The best way to take care of yourself when under the weather is to get plenty of rest and drink lots of water.  A little bit of apple juice works too.

    Today I will be taking it easy.

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012


    This morning I arose about two hours earlier than normal.  I weighed in at 169.8 lbs.  Yes, I gained about a pound.  It could be from the late night french fries that Victor insisted that we get from Wendy's after 9:30 p.m. last night.

    Part of my recovery from the knee surgery is going to physical therapy two days a week.  I go Tuesdays and Thursday.  The routine is the same very day.

    1.  Heat pack for about 10-15 minutes with electrical leads
    2.  Ride the stationary bike for 5 - 7 minutes
    3.  Total Gym (leg press) a minimum of 10 reps one to two times.
    4.  Toe Raises - a minimum of 10 reps one to two times.
    5.  Leg Lift - a minimum of 10 reps one to two times.
    6.  Hip Machine - 2-4 lbs - 10 reps one to two times.  Three different positions.
    7.  Chair races
    8.  Leg hang
    9.  Ice pack for about 10-15 minutes

    The physical therapist will spend about 10-15 minutes working the knee and measuring how straight my leg is and how far I can bend my knee.

    Physical therapy will continue after I have returned to work.

    These simple exercises to help me become mobile are a good place to start getting back into shape.  You don't have to go to an extreme exercise routine to get fit.  Sometimes less is more.

    Monday, January 9, 2012


    I woke up this morning and weighed in at 168.8 lbs.  Once again I lost nearly 2 lbs in one day.  There could be many reasons for this.  I am drinking more water and I have added fiber to my diet.  Simple changes like this can result in rapid weight loss in the beginning.  The weight loss will slow down and exercise will become more important to maintain continuous weight loss.

    Last October I had reconstructive surgery on my left knee.  As a result I was prescribed various pain management drugs with the instructions to make sure that I drank a lot of water and that I should take a laxative to prevent dehydration and constipation. 

    Without going into great detail about my discomfort; I experienced both the dehydration and constipation despite my efforts.  After one very sleepless night I decided that I needed to go back to what I knew about my own body and how it responded to various foods and supplements.  I sent Victor to the store to buy orange juice and I started taking ginseng again.  These two very simple changes to my diet helped relieve my discomfort.  Both ginseng and orange juice reminded me about the necessity to maintain fiber in my diet. 

    However, when you are recovering from major surgery it is very difficult to maintain normal eating habits and sleep.  It was not easy for me to get back into the swing of things.  Now that I am committed to get back to a more healthier me I have taken steps to make sure that I am eating right.  Adding fiber back into my diet is part of eating right.

    What are the best sources of fiber?  Well, let's get back to the basics with a simple list of fiber sources:

    • Whole grains (bran has the highest fiber content); this includes breads and cereals, whole-grain pastas, and brown rice
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Legumes (such as dried peas, beans, lentils)
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables

    When foods are processed, fiber is often removed. Foods made from white flour (bleached or unbleached) are poor sources of fiber, including white breads, pizza crusts, and regular pasta. In general, foods that are less processed are higher in fiber.

    Some high-fiber foods - such as some breakfast cereals and convenience foods - are also high in sugar and salt, so take care to read the label before purchase.

    There are fiber supplements that can be taken, however they are not the best source and do not provide all the benefits of natural sources of fiber. 

    What you need to know about fiber:

    Supplements provide only a very restricted type of fiber.  Eating a diet of high-fiber foods usually incorporates various kinds of fiber, and that's healthier.  Fruits, vegetables, and oats have plenty of soluble fiber.  Whoole grains, bran, legumes, and many fruits and vegetables are full of insoluble fiber.  Both soluble and insoluble fiber add bulk and softness to the stool. Insoluble fiber remains pretty much unchanged by the time it reaches the intestines, whereas soluble fiber acquires a soft, jelly-like texture. Both make stools easier to pass.

    In my personal diet I have included both natural fibers like fruits andd vegetables and have added a fiber supplement.  I picked up a bag of Total Lean energizing chews from GNC last week.  I chose the wild berry flavor.  Each chew has 2 grams of fiber and I take one about 30 minutes before I eat.  I still drink lots of water and include ginseng in my diet.

    Every person is different and only you know how your body responds to different foods.  I know what works for me and I will continue with that.

    Sunday, January 8, 2012


    So, I step on the scale and weigh myself.  I weighed 170.2 lbs.  Is it possible that someone can lose almost 2 lbs in one day?

    It must be possible, because I did. 

    This afternoon I was sitting on the couch playing with my rings and noticed that I could remove them from my fingers.  I was able to put my rings on other fingers.  I actually had fun for about 20 minutes.

    I came to the conclusion that I must have had some water weight yesterday.

    Today I went to church and then relaxed on the couch.  I studied a little and wrote a little.

    Tomorrow I plan to be a little more active than I have been.  One step at a time to reaching my goal of being more fit this year.

    Saturday, January 7, 2012


    Today I woke up and decided that I needed to take a good look at myself.

    I will be 44-years-old this week and by most standards I would be considered obese.  When I look in the mirror I see a woman that has struggled with weight management since her twenties.  At the age of 25 I was admitted into a program for eating disorders.  When I was my most fit I was 125 lbs and wore a size five. 

    When I began working on my self-esteem issues and how I viewed my body I weighed 109 lbs and was a size 2.

    At my heaviest I was over 200 lbs and wore size 16.

    Today, I am 172 lbs.  Depending on the style I wear a size 10 dress; somestimes a 12.

    It has been over two (2) months since I had reconstructive surgery on my left knee.  I am currently participating in physical therapy to regain complete mobility and range of motion.  The surgeon indicated that it would take about a year to completely recover.  I have been instructed not to jog or run or to push myself.

    So, what do I do to become fit until I am able to participate in healthy lifetstyle activities?

    I am educated enough to know the simple things:

    1)  drink lots of water
    2)  get enough sleep
    3)  eat more fruits and vegetables
    4)  cut back on the sweets and the sodas
    5)  keep on going to physical therapy

    I am hoping that as I record my attempts and progress, I will continue to be driven to become healthier and more fit.