Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Finding a Weigh Out of Fat: Volume II

This has not been a good week for me with my weight loss! I guess all the traveling and eating out has finally caught up with me. I think I've actually gained a couple of pounds and I am not happy about it. But. To dwell on that is just too frustrating so I'm going to put this down to experience and do my best to learn from it. (She said with tears in her eyes and teeth gritted tight. lol).
Last week I asked for any tips you guys wanted to share with everyone else. You left some pretty good ones. Lynne over at Lynne's Little Corner of the World gave what could arguably be the most important tip to remember: Don't expect miracles! So often, we'll start a weight loss plan and if we don't see dramatic results right away, we get discouraged and quit. The irony of that sort of thinking is, if you're losing more than 2 pounds a week, odds are you're doing something unhealthy anyway and you're probably going to gain all your lost weight back as soon as you stop whatever "diet" it is that you're on. Keep in mind, people: It took a bit of time for your arse to get to its current size...give yourself a break and understand that it's going to take time to get that chunky butt back to the size it ought to be. (I know, I know...I speak so eloquently about the human body, eh? lol). Lynne also suggested that we drink plenty of water, get in our daily recommended amount of calcium and that we write down everything we eat (you'd be surprised at how much you actually eat in a day). Also, it's important to not deprive ourselves of something we really, really want. The key is to learn to eat that special treat in moderation! (That means no diving head first into that vat of ice cream! Use a spoon, not a shovel!) Finally Lynne says we should exercise (even just a little bit every day) and that we should forgive ourselves when we slip up (I'm working on that one this week myself) and that we should be accountable to someone. Good advice, every single bit of it. Donna over at Cottage Days and Journeys also recommends exercise. I know! It sounds like so much work when you say those words, huh? But it's necessary, it truly is. You've got to get your body moving more, that's all there is to it. Take a walk in the evenings or early mornings. Park further from the door when you go to the store. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. You've all heard these things before and there's a reason people keep saying them - in order to lose weight once you reach a certain age, you not only have to eat right, you have to move more, too. And vice-versa. Exercise alone won't shrink that butt of yours. You've got to watch what you're eating, too. (I came to that realization the hard way. lol) Donna also shared a favorite saying of hers: Success is a decision. Think about that for a minute. All of us reading this and interacting with one another have made a decision to do better for our own good. Just taking this first step means we've achieved one level of success. One step at a time, people. One step at a time. And every step forward is a success. Jodie at Mommy of a Princess has changed up a lot of the foods she brings into her house. She's switched to whole grain pasta, brown rice, etc, and she only buys the snacks that are 100 calories or less (Speaking of which, have you tried the Nabisco Itty Bitty Nilla Wafer packs? OMG - I love Nilla Wafers. These packs are only 80 calories - 2 points for Weight Watchers. You just can't beat 'em!). Anywho, Jodie is also exercising more and she's also recognizing the fact that you shouldn't deprive yourself of something if you've really got a craving for it. Again, just eat that "something" in moderation. I think it's important for all of us to understand that we shouldn't be doing "diets". We should be doing "lifestyle changes". That means we need to learn the fine art of portion control - you can eat any darn thing you want, as long as you exercise portion control. Well - you shouldn't be having something outrageous for every meal, but you get the idea, right? Kathy at Remembering the Moments recommends Leslie Sansone's DVDs. She says that you can do these DVD's in your home and don't have to worry about bad weather, etc., and that's why she enjoys them so. That and she likes Leslie's personality. I, personally, haven't ever seen one of these, but they might just be worth looking into. Especially with winter headed our way (I can dream about cold weather, can't I? lol) Kathy says that the most important thing we can do for exercise, is to find something we really enjoy doing, be it walking, dancing, belly dancing, hula hooping or whatever! That's actually a great point. If you enjoy the activity, you're much more likely to keep at it. Good advice, Kathy! Mary at Book Fan-Mary exercises five days a week (Go Mary! You're my hero! lol) and she also journals. I know it seems like everyone is recommending pretty much the same thing over and over, but that's because these are tried and true methods that work. Exercise and journal. Exercise and journal. And cheat a little bit so you'll know you're human. (As do most of us, I believe the best weight loss plan must include a little wiggle room for the occasional cheat. Nobody can be happy if they're constantly feeling deprived. Just don't cheat too much or you wiggle will fast become a wobble!) Joan from Joan's Journeys left a little recipe for some Pita chips using butter flavored Pam. She also puts it on her no-fat popcorn. Cool, huh? Which sort of brings me to Robin @ Thrifty Miss Priss who suggested that we do a recipe thing in the future (seems like maybe she and Joan were on the same wave length there). What a great idea! How about we do that for next week? Any of you have a good recipe that works for losing weight, either post it in my comment section or e-mail it to me. I'll compile them for next week's Finding a Weigh Out of Fat post, that way you can print them all out at once if you want to. This shouldn't be too difficult to compile - heck, there's only about eight of us involved in this at this point. So you might could even send more than 1 recipe, if you've got them. I have a recipe for chicken that is out of this world. You'll love it. Randey's gotten to where he asks for it 2 and 3 nights a week. I've also got a pretty good dessert recipe, too. And I'd really like to have some recipes for vegetables. That's the hardest part of fixing dinner for me now that I'm trying to cook healthier. I'm from the South, you see. Most of my vegetable recipes call for tons of butter or bacon grease. lol We eat a lot of salad around here, but it'd be nice if I could serve something a little different every now and then. So send me your favorite low-cal or WW or whatever works for you kind of recipe! Can't wait to try them!
I'll close this post with the best tip I received last week. I think you guys will all love it as I do. Robin @ Thrifty Miss Priss said that the one thing that keeps her going is "fitting into smaller clothes because nothing tastes as good as THIN FEELS"! LOLOLOL I love that! I'm thinking of etching it onto to my refrigerator door. :)
P.S. Vee @ A Haven for Vee asked me last week what was I doing for exercise. To honest, I've been a real slacker lately. All that traveling kind of got me out of the habit. Bad Kari. Bad, bad Kari. But before my slump (a temporary one, I'm sure) Randey and I were walking around our neighborhood for about 20 minutes in the evenings. We usually went out about 4 nights a week. And tonight I rode my bike for the very first time. Yeah. I need a little more practice with the bike before I venture too far from home. lol Oh, and I wanted to tell you guys that another of our blogging friends, Sandy over at Dream, Create, Inspire, has started a blog with her 2 sisters, Linda and Debbie, about losing weight. They've named their blog Three Hotties Trapped in Fat Bodies (gotta love that name!). Go on over and check them out if you get the chance!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An Example of a Self-Absorbed Voter

I recently received an e-mail from someone regarding a story about one of the candidates running for office. This e-mail was sent to just about every address in this person's contact list - we're talking lots and lots of people. Unfortunately, this person failed to verify the story before he forwarded it to everybody and their brother. This is a giant pet peeve of mine. I deplore getting these sorts of things because: A) who needs or wants incorrect information on any subject ever, and B) you can pretty much find out enough genuine information about the candidates to help you make up your mind about them without resorting to make believe. Well, one person on the list who received this forwarded e-mail chose to address that very issue. She sent her reply to everyone who had received the forwarded e-mail and she clearly expressed her dislike of receiving unverified information. She even went so far as to suggest that those sorts of stories be researched at a place such as for authenticity prior to forwarding it to dozens of people. Personally, I thought that was a fabulous idea and it's one I actually preach about often. Check your facts before you share information! It might just save you from looking like a bigoted, ignorant jackass at some point. Anywho, as I said, I agreed with what this person said about verifying the information, etc., but then she said something that just blew my mind. She said this:

"And in case you're wondering about my own political stance, I vote for the person who is going to do the least amount of damage to my quality of life. They're both going to screw me, it's trying to figure out whose (sic) going to screw me the worst and then vote for the other guy. "
Hello!! Lady! Can you be anymore self centered?? Do you honestly think that YOUR personal quality of life should be the deciding factor in who becomes the most powerful human being on the planet? My gosh, woman. Talk about leading a sheltered little life! You must be one of those "special" people. You know the ones...the ones God liked best, that's why he made you a middle class American, right? I mean for must be some kind of greatness all unto yourself to actually think your quality of life is what democracy is all about.
This attitude just burns me up! This person doesn't seem to care about character or leadership qualities or strength or ideas or plans for the future. Heck, no. She's not worried about poverty here in this country or across the planet or famine or war or terror or oppression. No, ma'am. And she's certainly not worried about some farmer or sheep herder on the other side of the planet who may be murdered for speaking out about his quality of life. No, sir. This woman is worried about her very own, personal quality of life. Wow! What a fine example of American patriotism. What an exemplary example of a member of the human race. My heart is just swelling with pride knowing that this chick has my e-mail address now. Yippee! Not.

Geez. Hope this election turns out okay for her. Wouldn't want something like world democracy to spoil her plans for the future. And I certainly wouldn't want something like the plight of strangers to touch her oh so perfect middle class American lifestyle. After all, God did put her soul into a free body in a bountiful land with all the comforts of modern living. If he'd of wanted her to worry about something or someone other than herself, he'd have had her born poor or better yet, into a body on the other side of the world.

Yeah, I know it's harsh and I know I should work at being a tad bit more accepting of others concerns, but my first thought when I read her little missive was this: What a woefully ignorant, self absorbed, narrow minded wench. And, two weeks after receiving her opinion, I still feel that way about her. Why? Because this is AMERICA! The heart of democracy! We should be voting for the person we believe in, not the person we think will do the least amount of harm to us. I firmly believe that America is supposed to be about optimism and opportunity, not cynicism and contempt!
What about you? What do you believe America is about?

Monday, August 11, 2008

We Are Family!

This past weekend, I traveled to Birmingham, Alabama for what I'm calling the "First Annual Cousins Get-Together". Actually, it was more like a Mini-Get-Together than a full-blown one. And calling it an "annual" event might be jumping the gun a bit, but I'm sure hoping we manage to turn it into such a thing. Anywho, Randey, the boys and I drove to Florida Friday (we had to bring our granddaughter back to her mom) and then my sister Sherri and her daughter Megen and I drove from Florida to Birmingham early Saturday morning and met our cousins, Kristie and Sunshine, for some cousin "bonding" time. lol We started out with some shopping which naturally gave us all an appetite for lunch. Here we are at P.F. Changs: From left to right: Sunshine, Sherri, me, Megen and Kristie. I had never eaten there before and was excited to get to try it. I gotta tell you, their Mongolian Beef and Pork Fried Rice were fabulous (so much for that Weight Watchers will power I've been so proud of lately!).

Here's a picture of Sunshine, all laid up in a chair at Pottery Barn.

And here's a picture of Megen, Kristie and Sherri telling Sunshine to get her butt up out of the $1600.00 Pottery Barn chair. lol
Once we fed our faces, we headed to the hotel for check in. Then we went to Sunshine's house and visited for a bit and then headed back out for more shopping. Kristie and Sunshine's brother, Trey, wanted to join us for dinner. And even though this was a chick weekend, we let him. (ha!) Here he is with Kristie.
Who could resist that face? And here we all are together:
That's Sunshine, Megen, Trey, Kristie, Sherri and me. We ate at a place call Firebirds and it was delicious! I had a pepper crusted steak that was so tender, it was all I could do not to inhale the whole thing. (Yeah. Weight Watchers did indeed take a beating this weekend.)
Here's a picture of the place we stayed at, the Ross Bridge Golf and Spa Resort (we didn't do any golfing or spa-ing, though):
Check out the pool area. Sweet, eh?
Check out the waterfall going into the pool. Luckily, I didn't bring a swimsuit and even luckier, it was sort of overcast Sunday morning or I might have been tempted to swim (and nobody really wants to see that, trust me. I swim like a rock).
Sunshine went home Sunday morning to tend to her youngest son while Sherri, Megen, Kristie and I partook in the breakfast buffet at the resort. Had we known how much the breakfast buffet cost, we might have partook in an Egg McMuffin instead. Yowza! Check out the bill:
Yessir. Sixty nine dollars and 76 cents. For four people. And not one glass of champagne in sight!

Here's Megen, Kristie and Sherri looking down onto the pool after breakfast. (They were still in sticker shock over the cost of breakfast, hence the leaning on the banister. lol)
Another guest at the hotel offered to take our picture together. We kind of scratched our heads over this "sculpture" when we first saw it. Then we figured out that it represented the University of Alabama Roll Tide (from l to r: me, Sherri, Megen and Kristie).
There was also an Auburn War Eagle "sculpture" hanging from the ceiling. I forced Kristie to stand in front of it so I could take her picture:
Speaking of Kristie, I have to tell you guys something awful that Kristie accused me of (I'm still shattered by it). She and I were bedmates Saturday night and, first of all, she told some wild and crazy tale about me snoring. Oh please. Like such a delicate flower like myself could possibly snore, right? Then she said some garbage about the noises I make when I sleep. Some nonsense about me moaning ever so slightly as I snoozed...well, let's just say she accused me of dreaming impure thoughts, okay? Now I ask you...what kind of cousin says things like that? Anybody who knows me would naturally assume I sleep like an angel, a quiet and sweet tender angel. Kristie was obviously tipping back a few brewskis when the rest of us weren't looking because I mean really! Me, snore? Never. And me make strange and obnoxious noises in addition to snoring?? P-u-l-e-a-s-e. But, thanks to her spreading these vile tales about me (and by spreading, I mean she told me, Sherri and Megen!), I'll probably have to bunk alone on the next Cousin Adventure. I don't know that I'll ever get over her scandalous accusations. (heavy, heavy, painfully sad, sigh).
Oh okay. So maybe I do snore. A little. Maybe. So what? But I'm not owning up to the other stuff. Uh-huh. No way. And now that I've cleared that up, let's move on, shall we?
Sunshine and her youngest met us back up at the hotel later on and we headed back towards Kristie's home to do a little more shopping before the weekend ended. Randey and the boys drove up from Florida and picked me up around noon and we four headed straight home to Texas. Approximately 10 hours later, we pulled up in our driveway.
It was a wonderful weekend with the cousins and I really hope we can make this a regular thing. Special note to Michael and Wallace: We've now proven that this generation can get together and have fun without any conflicts whatsoever! (As long as you don't count Kristie's bizarre-o talk about my sleeping habits, that is! ha!) That means you guys need to start getting serious about whether or not you want to join in on the next one. We're thinking of meeting in Vicksburg, Mississippi next time. No dates yet (although Trey has expressed a preference for Spring or Fall). Don't worry - we'll "talk" plenty before any plans are set in concrete!
Now that all the excitement of this last trip is over, though, I have to say I'm pretty much maxed out on my traveling this summer. Between the trip up north to Montana, South Dakota and Minnesota, the trip to Oklahoma, the first trip to Florida, the second trip to Florida with an add on to Birmingham, Alabama - we've traveled more than 7,500 miles (all by car!) since school let out in May. It's all been great fun and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but I'm ready to chill out here at the house for awhile now. I need my rest, you know. After all, Christmas is right around the corner! LOL