Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven years ago today,

our lives were changed forever. Afterwards, our country came together as one and stood united like no one in the world thought we could. Since then, we've managed to tear ourselves apart from the inside out. We don't need terrorists to bring us down. We have hard core Democrats and Republicans who are doing a fine job of that for us. Senator Joe Lieberman got it right...too many political leaders today are indeed guided more by loyalty to party than loyalty to America.
I urge you all to rent, borrow or buy the movie World Trade Center and watch it tonight. Remember what happened to us. Remember the tragedy. Remember the tears, the heartache, the fear of that time. Then remember how we came together as one nation. Remember the solidarity, the support, the camaraderie. Most importantly, remember this phrase because no truer words were ever spoken: United We Stand! Divided, we fall. It's time we all came together again and stood as one.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Finding a Weigh Out of Fat, Volume #...Whatever Number it is We're Up To!

Today I want to talk about WHY it's good to lose weight. I mean, it's really a lot of work, isn't it? and sometimes you can find yourself asking just exactly why is it that you're striving so hard for a smaller butt. Lots of reasons, of course! Your health, for one. Losing weight can help lower your chances of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., etc., etc. The more weight you lose, the better able you are to get out in the world and MOVE! You know when you climb a flight a stairs and find yourself gasping for air? That's because your poor heart is working double, maybe even triple time just to pump blood throughout your plus sized body. Give your body a break and take some of those pounds off! Your heart will thank you, your lungs will thank you, your legs will thank you. Lose some weight responsibly, though! Talk with your doctor to make sure the plan you pick is right for you. And remember - any "diet" that causes you to lose more than 1 to 2 pounds a week probably isn't one that will teach you how to keep that weight off. Despite popular belief, it doesn't take a ton of will power to all but starve yourself to death. It does, however, take will power to focus on what you eat, when you eat it and why you eat it. Paying attention to those things is what will help you to learn the healthiest way to eat. Let's see now...another reason to lose about "attitude adjustment". Yeah, I said it. It's nothing more than a stupid, misleading myth that fat people are jolly. Fat people aren't jolly. They just happen to shake when they laugh because it takes a second or two for their gut to catch up with their mouth. Fat people are, whether they want to admit it or not, usually pretty darn unhappy with being large. Every single time I heard a fat person say "I like my size, I'm happy with my size. I may be fat, but I'm healthy", I would think to myself, "Well, it's great that you're so happy being fat, but I'm miserable. But since you've said it's okay, I'll work on convincing myself that maybe it is". I know a lot of people will be ticked at me for saying stuff like this. Don't care. For the most part, we all got fat because we ate the wrong stuff and a lot of it. Nobody in their right mind sets out to get fat. And nobody in their right mind is happy with being fat. Remember that old commercial where the kid says "when I grow up, I want to claw my way to middle management"? Would that have been anymore believable if the kid had said, "when I grow up, I want to be huge so that I can huff and puff my way thru life and watch the rest of the world be active"? Of course not. People don't want to be fat. It's just that so many of us don't know how to change our eating habits and our lifestyles without seeking help. Many of us also think it'd be too hard and would deprive us of too much. That's that "food is my buddy, my friend, my pal" mentality working on you. Get rid of that thinking! I've said it before and I'll keep on saying it; Food is fuel for your body. Period. Stop letting it be fuel for you emotional well being, too. Finally, here's one more reason to lose weight...CLOTHES SHOPPING! As many of you know, I've had a bit of a struggle with the weight loss this past week and a half. It's not a big deal, but since I was doing so well before that, this roadblock has kind of slapped me upside my head and left me reeling. Imagine my thrill when I was at the store and found a cute Halloween shirt and a Christmas shirt and realized that the MEDIUMs fit me! I haven't been in a size medium of anything for years. Many, many, many years. So while the scales have not reflected the effort I've made this past 10 days, the clothes shopping certainly did. A medium. Woo-hoo! (I'll post pictures of those shirts later. They're just novelty shirts, but I love them and can't wait to wear them).
Speaking of clothes shopping, I want to share the names of some clothes manufacturers with you. Why does something like this occur to me, you ask? Because I'm easily amused and some of these names just leave me laughing. Take for instance this one: Sag Harbor. I'm sure most, if not all of you, have heard of this brand. I've probably even bought some of their clothes at one time or another. But can I ask you this? Who in the heck at that company thought that calling a women's line of clothing SAG HARBOR was a good idea? It sounds like a place where your boobies go to retire. Geez. But while Sag Harbor is probably THE worst name for a women's clothing line, their prices are at least fairly reasonable. These pants, for example, cost $18.00.

This next brand is actually the brain child of hip hop rapper, Nelly. Anybody heard of him? He's had several songs out that even an old, dorky woman like myself can enjoy. Well, apparently Nelly likes a shapely woman (a man after my own heart, eh?). In honor of that, he's named his new clothing line Apple Bottom. This just conjures up an image of a giant, double-bubble butt and that's something I'm not looking to have. Love the singer, hate the name of the clothing line. By the way, should you decide to take a bite out of this particular apple, these pants from that line will set you back $81.00. Too rich for my blood. And my butt.
Anybody ever heard of this next brand, Affliction jeans? Now, call me crazy, but unless I'm very much mistaken, an "affliction" isn't a good thing, right? I even looked up the word in the dictionary. The official definition:
af·flic·tion : /əˈflɪkʃən/ Pronunciation Key - [uh-flik-shuhn]; noun
1. a state of pain, distress, or grief; misery: They sympathized with us in our affliction.
2. a cause of mental or bodily pain, as sickness, loss, calamity, or persecution.
And someone thought this was a good name for a clothing company?? Uh-huh. Well, I guess they make up for that confusion with the price tag. A pair of Affliction jeans could set you back $222.00. Sounds like your wallet will be afflicted more than your arse, if you ask me. Here's a picture of what you get for that kind of jack:
Next is another fairly common name, although not one I own personally. Baby Phat. While "Phat" may stand for "Pretty Hot And Tempting" in some circles, I'm not buying it. Yeah, sorry, but I'm not wearing anything with "phat" and/or "fat" in the name. And I darn sure wouldn't wear this brand and have it emblazoned across my thighs, like this pair has. So what do they charge for labeling your body as Phat in ginormous script? $69.00 a pair. This next brand isn't so bad, it just makes me think of some poor old woman who got left out in the rain too long: Rusty Women's Wear. I'd just as soon not be referred to as Phat or Rusty, thank you very much. Besides which, see these ugly britches by Rusty? $46.00. I just don't think these puppies look like $46.00 worth, do you? See these next pants? They're from the "Horny Toad" line of clothing. Yeah, you read that right. Horny Toad. I won't comment further on this name. 'Nuff said, eh? Oh and this particular style is called the "Audry" pant and will cost you $74.00.

I only mention those because of these:
The Horny Toad "Hepburn" pants. Poor Audry Hepburn. What'd she do to offend these guys? Oh, and in case you were wondering, the Hepburns can be had for the low, low price of just $70.00 a pair.
Now for the serious shoppers...I give you the "People's Liberation" brand. You can put your rebellious butt in a pair of these for a mere $171.00. For jeans, yeah, that's what I said...$171.00. Maybe I'm just cheap, but I think the only thing being "liberated" with a purchase of these jeans will be your money from your wallet.
This next company wins the prize for ugliest product and goofiest name. The United Nude Shoe Company, featuring the Porn Toe off white shoe. These horrendous monstrosities will cost you $175.00 if you want to strut your stuff in a butt ugly shoe with a titillating name. In other words, I'm sure Paris Hilton owes 7 or 8 pair but us average, every day folks probably don't own so much as a shoebox with this brand name. Although, if you do, please let me know. I've heard they're very comfortable. (snicker, snicker)
Finally, here's my favorite brand. Although, I'd like the CEO of this company to know that if he changed the name, he might sucker more Average Joanns into shelling out the big bucks for his clothes 'cause just hearing their name was enough to let me know I need waste no more time shopping for their product. This is the Rich and Skinny Clothing Company. Ahhhh. How I aspire to such great heights. Rich and skinny. Oh it's just too much to think on. No point in reaching for the stars when your feet are firmly encased in nothing more than a pair of cheap-o sandals from Cato, eh? Anywho, should any of you want to slap a little "Rich and Skinny" label on your arse, you'll have to shell out about $231.00 a pair. Wonder what's their cut off size for wearing these? I mean, is a size 6 still considered skinny? A size 8? Maybe a 10? Or do they turn their noses up at anyone past a 4?
Oh well, it matters not. Even if my butt gets small enough to wear these, I suspect my wallet will never get fat enough for them. Back to Cato I go....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Everything comes in chocolate...except tomatoes

I'm having a rough time these past two weeks with my weight loss plan. I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be doing, I'm staying within my points, we've been walking 4 times the past week (which is 4 times more than we went walking the past two weeks!) and I still can't seem to get past this spot on the scales. It's starting to wear on me a bit. As I've been ruminating on this dilemma, I've come to realize that America is not a weight loss friendly place to be! Just about everything in our society is geared towards getting us to over consume, in one way or another. Ad execs aren't stupid. They know that we Americans love our food like no other place on the planet so food is what they use to sell their products. Okay, so they use sex, too, but that's not the point of this post so we'll leave that for another time. Back to the food issue. Have you ever noticed how many products use food names to attract us?
Take paint, for example. Check out some of the names given to various paint colors:
whipped strawberry
sweet melon
hint of cherry
raspberry sorbet
pumpkin custard
buttercup squash
golden butter
top banana
fruit compote
lime burst
sonic plum
rich chocolate
smoked almond
chocolate raspberry
sugarcane pink
My gosh, after having looked at those color choices, I'd have to take a lunch break just so I could focus on my decision! Then there's clothes. Clothes "colors" are just as tantalizing. How about a lovely sweater in a color called:
pale ale
berry crush
Godiva (that's just WRONG!)
candy pink
You could even pick up a coat to complement your sweater or shirt. Coats come in colors like:
Yummy, right? You can even dress your bed as deliciously as you dress your bod. Sheet colors come in:
And bath towels! Just as tasty. You can have, I mean colors, like:
real pecan
chocolate truffle
toasted almond
lime zest
lemon twist
Starting to feel like maybe your furniture isn't good enough for your life's menu? Try buying a couch with one of these color fabrics:
salt (yes, I said salt!)
and the ever present
You can even have your wooden furniture finished in stains called:
You can have curtains and window shades in colors called:
chocolate (of course)
wine red
Feeling kind of unappetizing yourself after you've lavished all that yummy goodness around the house? Don't fret. You can color your hair is all manner of tasty flavors like:
chocolate mousse
cherry cordial
caramel kiss
iced mocha
spiced chestnut
caramel glaze
chocolate macaroon
cinnamon stick
almond rocca
french eclair
butterscotch creme
toasted coconut
iced meringue
dulce de leche
creme brulee'
'Course, once you've done that, you'll need to find the perfect lipstick to complement your new color scheme. Try one of these:
peach luster
raspberry ice
juicy apricot
candied apple
cherry desirable
Will the madness ever end?? It seems like I can't turn my head a quarter inch without encountering something that's been given a name geared to make me salivate! It's no wonder America is fat. And since I've sat here and typed out all these delicious food names, I now feel the need to go visit my kitchen. Wonder if I can convince myself that the bowl of cherry tomatoes I'm eye-balling is actually a box of Godiva chocolates? Yeah...I didn't think so.
At the behest of Shabby in the City, I am entering this post into Scribbit, Motherhood in Alaska's September's Write Away Contest . I hesitate to do this, as I have read Shabby's entry and mine simply doesn't compare. I'm telling you now, her post is outstanding. Actually, forget my post...head on over to Shabby's and read hers. She's managed to turn the subject of color into a world of envisioned wonder. Go read it - I think you'll see what I mean!

"Finding a Weigh Out of Fat" Recipes

Here's a few more recipes that you guys might want to try:

First, let's go with the Cheese and Mushroom Quesadilla
(1 serving, 3 points per serving for WW)

1 burrito size whole wheat tortilla
1/4 cup salsa
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup shredded fat-free Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp fat-free sour cream

Spread one half of the tortilla with salsa and sprinkle with the mushrooms and cheese. Fold unfilled tortilla half over filling. Heat a medium size skillet over medium heat. Spray with nonstick spray. Gently place tortilla in the center of the skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes or until crisp. Carefully turn quesadilla over using a spatula. Cook 3 minutes more. Remove from skillet and carefully cut into 4 wedges. Serve with sour cream. (To serve 4, increase quantities to: 4 tortillas, 1 cup salsa, 2 cups chopped mushrooms, 1 cup cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream.)

Spicy Mexican Rice
(4 servings, 2 points per serving)

2/3 cup Mahatma long grain brown rice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped green peppers
1 cup canned tomatoes
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 cups fat-free beef broth

Spray a skillet with nonstick spray. Place over medium high heat until hot. Add rice, onions, bell peppers, saute until rice is lightly browned and vegetables are crisp tender. Stir in tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until rice is cooked.
I've actually cooked this rice and the boys love it. I'm pretty fond of it, too. Remember, though, that not all long grain brown rice is created equal so check your labels before you decide to use a different brand. Also check the cooking times for the rice. For example, Uncle Ben's long grain brown rice cooks for 25 minutes, while Mahatma takes 45 minutes (learned about this the hard way!).

Finally and just for the Halibut, here's a fish recipe (get it? Halibut? Heck of it? Never mind...):

Baked Halibut
(4 servings, 4 points per serving)

4 (1/4 pound) halibut fillets
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp plain dried breadcrumbs
2 tbsp capers, drained
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup minced flat leaf parsley
4 lemon wedges

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with nonstick spray. Place the fillets skin side down in the baking dish; sprinkle them with the lemon juice. Brush each fillet with olive oil, then sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, capers, salt and pepper. Bake until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Spoon any pan juices over the fish and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve at once, with the lemon wedges.

I don't eat seafood or fish myself, so I can't give a personal recommendation as to how this tastes. If any of you decide to give it a try, let us know how it turns out, okay? By the way, this recipe as well as the Cheese and Mushroom Quesadilla recipe come to you courtesy of Joan over at Joan's Journeys. She's the best, isn't she?