Friday, November 30, 2012

Shock to the system! or two....

Two shocks to the system lately!

First of all, two weeks ago when I was  agonizing over what I should do about not losing additional weight (no, I am not done with this topic yet, bear with me kids), I decided I needed to NOT be a quitter and finish what I had started.  One thing I had to figure out was why my weight loss had stalled- the answer was obvious, since I continue to get in a minimum of 300 calories of exercise virtually every day, it was my food.

After some soul searching and a discussion or two ( and an out and out double dog dare ya) (ahem, youknowwhoyouare) I "discovered" that the coffee I was drinking and drinking and drinking had a minimum of 90 calories in it because of the  yummy wonderful peppermint mocha coffee creamer, and consequently  I have given up virtually all coffee for the next 5 weeks. GULP!  I already have cut it back to 1 cup or less.  As I get closer to December, I am weaning myself off of it completely.  IT IS KILLING ME PEOPLE!!!  Anyway, if you multiply out the 4 cups of coffee per day and the 90 calories, plus the careless chocolate eating, handfuls of chips, crackers and all that other stuff that got me into trouble in the first place, you have a girl on maintenance when she really just wants to lose a tiny bit more.  THIS is a major shock to the system!  Of course after the first week it isn't so bad.  My body quickly adjusted to less caffeine and I feel great, actually.  After Jan 1, I will return to drinking coffee, I will just be ultra aware of how it can affect me!  I will stick with one cup, and if I have a second at some point, it will have to be black.  So now that it is "out there" my friends can keep me to it and NOT offer me any!  :)

Second shock to the system:

I was at yet another meeting at school Wednesday, but this one was low stress as we were working on our school website, and I needed to figure out how to get a pic from my phone to a website so I could download said pic onto my Weebly page.  I have Photobucket, which is not my favorite site, but decided that it might work for his application.  So I pull out the phone (ha, who am I kidding, I picked up the phone from its place right by my computer) and opened up photo bucket which I haven't used for quite a while, like since last spring, and there right smack in the middle of my screen is this picture of me.  And it was quite a sight:

The screenshot of what I saw

The photo in question

Even though I have seen this pic quite often, it hasn't been for a few months and it was shocking.  I must have gasped as everyone at my table looked at me and asked what was wrong.  I showed my phone to them and they were astonished.  2 of them had never known me like that, and the rest said that they didn't think I looked like that at all!  It was nice to hear that, but pictures don't lie. Well, maybe they do, as they flatten and alter things slightly and don't get me started on "photoshopping" but this was not touched.  I teared up a little, and was told to be proud, be happy.  That wasn't the underlying issue though. I am not sure exactly how to explain the feeling of shame, relief, joy and astonishment that went through me.  It was lightening fast and very powerful.

I did make a before and after photo series that I will be posting here and there when I hit my goal, but I am going to put one of them right here as I don't want the above pic to be the lasting image from this post!

I am sort of over it now.  Kind of.  Well, maybe not, I can hardly stand looking at these. And that is a good thing, as I am not going back.  Ever

Until next time, be a joy giver!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What a difference (less than) a week makes!

It was interesting to realize that I had taken almost the exact same pictures, only 5 days apart from each other, how different the mood of these photos are.  

What a difference a little snow makes!

Ruger- happy and relaxed

Ruger a little more agitated!

Until next time, find your joy no matter what the weather!

This is gonna be a long cold winter...

I took a walk outside today after all the kids left. I needed to get out but,  man,  was it cold out there. Because I previously decided that I need to over estimate the amount of clothing I should wear outside this is what I had on:

I was laughing about everything I had in by the time i finished undressing. So yeah I laid it all out and took a pic. I was pretty comfy, slightly warm when I got ino the area where the woods sheltered me from the wind, but the hood and mittens went back on when I turned into the wind again

I had decided that it would be a good idea to add one layer to what my gut feeling is, as I am colder than I am used to. Today I went with an extra long underwear shirt and wind pants. And I was right!

Walking list:
Wind pants
2 pairs of wool socks
Long sleeve insulated shirt
Running coat
Head band
Wool mittens

What can I possibly add???
I know I need better insulated tights and shirts. That is where I'm going to start!!

But at least I was warm!  And THAT was a joy!

Lemon Meringue Pie

I know this is not in my usual vein of posting, but I was making lemon pie for dessert on Thursday morning- at 6 am- before I went on my Turkey Trot, and I was thinking how much I really love baking.

So if the quality of the photos here is sort of poor, be assured it is because of the early hour and the blurry state of mind I was in.

Little cookbook tucked inside my own BC cookbook.
I make Lemon Meringue Pie from the little battered Betty Crocker recipe booklet that my mom had.  It is actually the pie section of the Betty Crocker cookbook she had, and somehow she had these pamphlets as well.  Anyway, I have the poor thing, it has seen a lot of pie baking slops and spills.

I do not care what any food snobs say, I do not make my own pie crust.  I CAN make pie crust, and I don't mind making the crust, but I DETEST cleaning up after pie crust. So I don't make it!  The pie crust is the least important part anyway.  At least to me.  So good old Betty makes an acceptable rolled up thing, and that suits me fine. Anyone who is tsking in their mind at me, can come and clean up the mess and I will be glad to make it.

I love the process of making lemon meringue pie.  I like to separate eggs, I like to zest the lemons, I like to squeeze the juice.  The smells are fantastic, the feel is wonderful and eventually, the taste is sublime.

Fresh ingredients make a wonderful dessert for a special day.  

The sugar and corn starch get cooked until thickened, slowly getting ready to be mixed with the egg yolks for richness.

The egg yolks are blended with a whisk and then the hot thickened emulsion is added a tiny bit at a time to the yolks.  This blends the two liquids together and doesn't cook the eggs. This is the tricky part of the process.  I have only goofed it up once in my life!  

There are no pictures of me doing the whisking as I need both hands for it.  And so therefor no hands for photo taking!  After the egg yolk are heated, then I add it back to the rest of the hot sugar and cornstarch mixture.

The next addition is the fragrant lemon and the creamy butter.  This is how the pie becomes awesome.

Pour the hot lemon mixture into the warm baked pie shell.

Next step is the meringue, which is kind of fun too.  The Kitchenaide mixer makes things so much easier than how I used to do it, with a hand held mixer.  Whip up the egg whites and cream of tartar until they are nice and shiny and hold a peak when you put a spatula into it.

Add sugar a little at a time until it is dissolved, then add vanilla.

Dollop the meringue onto the hot lemon and bake that baby until golden brown!

Lemon Meringue Pie
from the Betty Crocker Cookbook

One baked pie shell

Mix in saucepan- 
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch

Stir in  gradually - 
1 1/2 cups water

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Boil 1 minute.  Slowly stir about half into 
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten

Then blend the mixture back into the other half of the sugar and cornstarch mixture.  Boil one minute longer and remove from heat.  Stir in

3 Tablespoons butter
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind

Pour into baked pie shell, cover with meringue. Bake until light brown- 8 - 10 minutes at 400 degrees.


3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Whip until foamy.  Beat in gradually

6 Tablespoons sugar 
then 1/2 tsp vanilla

Continue whipping until stiff and glossy.  Will hold a peak when touched with a spatula.


I was super hesitant to step on the scale today.  I was so hungry yesterday and there was temptation everywhere.  I wish you got "credit" for all the foods you don't eat.  Like all the butter you have left off your toast, for the saying "no hashbrowns" when in reality they are your favorite thing in the world (almost) to eat, for the coffee and creamer that you didn't have...... for eating only 3 pieces of fudge and a cookie when the tray in the front room for the hunters has your favorite kinds. (Because you are stupid enough to pick up 3 pounds of cookies at the cookie walk.... but we won't go there) What else was there yesterday?  Oh, there was the free snacks at the craft faire, there was my favorite jar of soy nut butter in the cupboard, there is my secret stash of chocolate...... there is stuff EVERYWHERE to eat.

Then we went out to eat with friends and I caved and had wine.  I was planning water, but I just couldn't stop myself when I found out they had Riesling.  And it was a pretty good Riesling I must say, and so when one has only eaten 3 pieces of fudge, a cookie and 2 Clementines since 10:30, you can imagine the wine went straight to one's head!  And yet I managed to make good food choices, because I am committed to getting this last couple pounds off.  I am not sure how that happened!  After my second glass of wine, I ordered alfredo with no meat and extra veggies and the sauce on the side!!!  That was perfect, as I only ended up using about 2 tablespoons of it, well maybe a quarter cup.  I was a little tipsy!  I had just salad at the salad bar, just a little dressing, no creamy anything, because I am pretty sure there was meat in everything anyway.  I gave away my garlic toast, and only ate about a third of the massive serving of pasta that they gave me.  And NO one felt the need to comment on my lack of meat intake, finally.  Not the visitors, not the MA, no one.  Of course I had to hear the whole if she turns sideways she disappears thing, but that is fine. These visitor don't see me very often.  And it is somewhat entertaining to hear that.  And I really wanted a 3rd glass of wine, but knew that wasn't going to work very well.  So when I got home I drank my weight in water!

So this morning, after knowing that I probably didn't record everything I ate yesterday, that the choices I made were not the BEST, that my sodium intake was undoubtedly higher than normal on account of the restaurant food, I was hesitant to step on the scale. As long as I was around 147 or 148 I was fine with that.

Imagine my surprise when I saw the number 146.4.  I was sleepy...... what was my old number??  146.6?  146.8?????  Did I just lose .4 pounds?????  OMG!!!!!!!!

I got to my 75 pound weight loss.  That number was so significant to me.  It is the symbol of doing something I NEVER imagined I could do when I began this journey. 75 was never part of my plans.  50 was a milestone and I had hoped I would reach it.  The rest is just icing on the proverbial cake or extra chips in your cookie.  When I reached my limit of being heavy 2 years ago, I clearly remember thinking that if I lost even 10 pounds I would be happy.  Because 10 pounds would help my knees, would make me feel a little better, could improve my health- I read that many times!  So I did that and that beginning few weeks was so hard.  I remember the old Debi FIGHTING all the time. She wanted to continue eating like she had, though most of it was secret.  Much of it was "healthy" food that was eaten in excess or "unhealthy" food that was eaten on the sly or in smaller quantities.  She wanted to stay the same and she had to be told no!  And she is a stubborn thing and still will pop up once in a while.

Recently the old Debi has been acting up.  She has insisted on having 4 or 5 pieces of dark chocolate and increased her coffee intake to 4 cups plus creamer.  She was eating nuts in the morning and Nutrigrain bars in the afternoon, and she can ferret out a cookie within a half mile!  I spend a lot of time resisting those habitual wants, let me tell you.  So with help from a loseit friend or two  (thank you!!!!) I cut my calories WAY back recently in order to finish this trip.  I was challenged to give up my vices, to only eat to my calorie budget for the day, to not eat back ANY exercise calories in order to be a success in my mind.  In order for me to not be a quitter.  To really achieve a goal that I didn't have a clue I would get to when i started.  Sometimes it is better not to know what your final destination will be when you start, because it might be too over whelming.

I'm not quite there yet.  I will not be told not to quibble over a pound plus.  That it doesn't matter.  It does matter to me.  I have 1.2 pounds to go to get to 145- a pipe dream number.  An amazing number to a non-number girl. A number that i never imagined I would see.

So on I go, I will be working on this last leg of my journey for the next week or so. And who knows what will come next!  But it is sure to be joyful!

Tomorrow I will reweigh and will get my loseit 75 pound badge!  And it will rock!

Until next time, be a joy giver!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Old Stone House

    The Old Stone House
 Walter De la Mare 
Nothing on the grey roof, nothing on the brown,

Only a little greening where the rain drips down;

Nobody at the window, nobody at the door,

Only a little hollow which a foot once wore;

But still I tread on tiptoe, still tiptoe on I go,
Past nettles, porch, and weedy well, for oh, I know

A friendless face is peering, and a still clear eye
Peeps closely through the casement
as my step goes by.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland

So winter arrived in a huff last night.  I noticed the dropping temperature in the early afternoon, the wind picked up a little later and then there were the impending clouds of doom!  Lol, well maybe not doom, but HOLY cats.  Winter got us good!  Paid us back for enjoying MUCH above normal temps for a week- she was not pleased that she was so late to the party.  
Impending clouds of doom!  Lol
Early morning through my window

Lola and she was not thrilled either!
So last night around 9 it started snowing and blowing.  The house was so cold when I got up this morning- it seemed forever before it warmed up.  In spite of the appearance, I decided that a walk was definitely in order. And so I asked Sarah Jane if she wanted to go..... and I got a yes!  And then we sweet talked Greg into going too!  He was not convinced.  Then Sarah pulled out the cute smile and the  whole "we need you to keep us safe", to which I was almost rolling on the floor with laughter.  As if SJ and I can't take care of ourselves..... but that's ok, Greg, you were a trooper!

As we started off, it didn't seem too bad, but then we hit Hwy E. and the proverbial hell broke loose.  It was COLD and windy.  REALLY cold and windy!  But off to the stone house we went.

Beautiful branches

So I started by sneaking off to the poor broken down wooden house across the road - which was looking sort of grim.

The stone house was bathed in a snowy glory.

The white of the snow outlined the usually invisible barn


The snow plows were out in force!

Favorite tree in the snow
It was a really good walk!  We all had a good time- well I'm going to say we did. Greg might have a different comment, but hey, it's my blog!
Until next time, be a joy giver and make sure you get your exercise today!

**Speaking of my blog, I am going to be posting more soon and it will be totally out of order, but you know that is how I roll!