Currently viewing the category: "General"

Happy birthday, Dona. After all these years, I still miss you.

Dona Davidsmeyer Beale,
Dec. 21, 1946 – June 7, 1980

I love this picture of the two of us (I’m on the right). This absolutely had to the be our worst hair day ever. Taken Thanksgiving 1979. Our last Thanksgiving. I know you’re singing with the angels. God rest ye merry.


i really didn’t expect on my journey that i would consistently lose week to week. i have really been blessed that since starting 150 days ago each week i have shown a loss …. until this week.

Okay, i was prepared for a plateau. But GAINED two pounds? I made it through my birthday losing weight. I made it through Thanksgiving losing weight. And, now, this week, where i stayed on track the whole week except for one meal, and i GAIN two pounds? SMACK! (The sound of my head beating against the wall.)

Intellectually, I know that i could not possibly have gained two pounds this week. That would have meant me eating 7000 calories over maintenance. That did not happen. Even with my one meal off, i was in calorie deficit all week. i know it must be water retention, or hormones, or the phase of the moon, but, THE SCALE WAS UP TWO POUNDS!!!! (*sob* *sob* weeping into my non-caloric beverage).

it’s not fair. I know, life’s not fair, but in the back of my mind i was hoping that at least my new lifestyle would be fair.

This is temptation in my path. I was one pound away from my Christmas goal weight. I was so proud that i was going to hit the goal two week before Christmas. So much for that plan! This is going to be a push to make that deadline. And, geesh, I’ve got three batches of fudge and several batches of cookies to make before Christmas. Maybe I’ll have to wear a gag while making them.

Wish me luck everybody. I am definitely going to make my Christmas goal weight. Despite cookies, despite fudge, despite my stupid scale!


Thanksgiving has come and gone. So much to give thanks for – family, friends, food, and the joys of portion control. Traditionally, the Thanksgiving meal is my meal to prepare. I always thought I got the easiest of the holidays in my family. What’s hard about cooking a turkey? You throw it in the oven and forget about it for five hours, what could be simpler? Of course, you have to stuff it first, and I make some of the best stuffing in the world!

This year, I had a couple special considerations for the meal preparation this year. First, I needed to keep in mind my own journey and to make sure I didn’t self-sabotage my efforts thus far. Second, my 89-year-old father is on a severely salt-restricted diet. Keeping those two goals in mind forced some changes from my normal Thanksgiving meal preparation.

In recent years, I’d foregone making the mashed potatoes from scratch. Publix supermarket makes superb real-potatoes mashed potatoes, it hardly seemed worth the effort to do it myself anymore. But checking Publix mashed potatoes and then looking at the other various pre-pared potatoes available on the market, I found that all were terribly high in sodium. So, this year I once again made my own mashed potatoes from scratch. I bought the Gold potatoes and boiled them in pure, salt-free water. I kept the skins on, to add flavor and keep the natural nutrients. I added no salt to the mash, but did add lots of other spices. Thinking of me, this time, I kept the butter out and instead added fat-free sour cream — but added the whole milk, which I love. The potatoes were a great success and I even got to enjoy them myself, in moderation, of course.

I bought canned gravy, but that’s nothing new. The only woman in my whole family who has ever been able to make gravy from scratch was my adorable Great-Aunt Pauline. When she passed, she took the recipe with her, and thus ended the era of scratch gravy in our family. I was delighted to see that Heinz bottled gravy is only 35 calories per quarter cup. So I could enjoy gravy with my golden potatoes — in moderation, of course.

I didn’t want to muck with my traditional stuffing, so the recipe remained the same. So, I had to severely moderate my normal consumption of it. But it was nice to see the family enjoy the stuffing as usual. Just because I’m obese doesn’t mean my family should be deprived.

For decorations, I made the cutest little cornucopias for each person’s place at the table. They were very simple to create. Just take an ice cream cone and dip the edge in chocolate. Then sprinkle with gold sugar and let dry on some wax paper. On thanksgiving morning, just fill them with a mixture of Chex mix, peanuts, and candy corn pumpkins. I also used pumpkins with THANKS written on them for the centerpiece.

Best of all, when making the cornucopias, I wasn’t even tempted to dip into the chocolate. And I didn’t eat any of my own of the cornucopia contents. I stuck to what I was really looking forward to: turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. I did have the desert that friends had made and brought. Vicki made chocolate and peanut butter cake which was no sodium. It was delicious! They insisted on leaving the uneaten portion of the cake. I thanked them for it, and made sure that I didn’t have another piece and just brought the cake to share at coffee hour at church. Wow! I have really made progress on my journey. In the past, that cake wouldn’t have lasted a day in my house.

Give thanks for successes on the journey!


Well, I’m 51 days into my journey and I’ve had my first really bad choices day. Went 285 calories over my daily limit. I know, not the end of the world. But I made bad choices for mid-day snack and bad choices for dinner. I could have easily made better choices and stayed within my calorie limit for the day.

And a shame, too. Because I made good choices for lunch. I had brought my lunch (lettuce, tuna salad, carrots), but there was a buffet lunch provided at school. I skipped past the bad choices there, and made myself a lovely yogurt parfait: strawberry yogurt, fresh fruit, and a small amount of granola. More calories than I planned for lunch, but a healthy choice.

I had planned to have two ounces of aged English cheddar cheese for my afternoon snack. But that was when I had planned to have my light-calorie lunch. Once I’d made that lunch change, I should have shifted plans and skipped the cheese. It would have been easy to change, since I had my uneaten lunch. I could have easily substituted the carrots from lunch. That would have put me “even”, calorie-wise, for my plans for the day. And considering I really wasn’t very hungry at snack time, the carrots would have easily satisfied me.

Strike one for the day.

Tuesday is Trivia Night at Wings and Things. I usually plan ahead to have one of my favorite bar food, leaving plenty of leeway calories. Tonight I had planned on having chicken wings. But, I was up in terms of calories from lunch and up from y midday snack. Did I alter my plans and have a lesser calorie, but equally enjoyable, bar item? No, of course not. I had the wings. Did I forego the blue cheese dressing (which would have kept me within the calories of the day)? Of course not.

And here’s my take away for the day. Lesson learned: don’t be married to my “plan” for the day. If I make one change, then I have to re-evaluate the entire day BEFORE I eat anything further. Regardless of my planning, I still have to be flexible. Next time, I need to make smart choices ALL day.

Tomorrow is another day. Shake it off and continue on.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.