Friday, December 30, 2011

A new year is right around the corner......

Good evening friends!!

I can hardly believe that it is December 30th! A New year awaits us in just 48 hours and as always, I approach every new year with great excitement for what will lie ahead in 2012! For the first time in a VERY LONG TIME, this new years eve will be one of celebration !. Every year on Dec 31st, it seems that I would find myself depressed and usually weighing about 10# more than I did 364 days prior. There were usually some tears shed and a vow to make the new year one where I would be thinner. For years & years I have literally OBSESSED about my weight.  Well, this year, I feel I made some headway in the weight loss dept and even though I really haven't done anything spectacular weight loss wise since Halloween, I am down 40+# in 2011, I am in the mid 170s and I am wearing a size 14 MISSES comfortably. It is such an accomplishment for me as I cant remember the last time I sported a size 14. I didn't have one thing in my closet in a size 14. Everything was size 16, 16W, and 18 & 18W. I have since cleaned my closet and every last 16 & 18 have been donated or taken to consignment for sale. Its a GREAT feeling to purge my closet of those "FAT CLOTHES!!!" I NEVER EVER want to wear a sie 16 or 18 ever again and I vow to you all here & now, I never will again! Being a size 18 was such an unhappy place for me. I can remember getting dressed for my daughters first communion a few years ago and trying on umpteen outfits only to find that none of them looked good on me. It made me want to cry!!Although I am not at the weight or size I had hoped to be at the end of 2011, I am still going to celebrate where I am now and how far I have come this year. I have tackled depression and am emotionally so much better, and happier than I have been in years. Thank you wellbutrin! :) I am learning to be patient with myself and to forgive myself if I have a bad day or week instead of just throwing my efforts to the wind & giving up, as I have done MANY MANY times in the past. I have made the commitment to myself that I will get tot he finish line this time, and no matter what, I will never quit!! I am worth every effort and every penny spent to better myself & my health.

I went back to my health club to rejoin the other day. Because I have a slow thyroid & had a history of a hysterectomy , I had to have medical clearance from my Dr. to go back, but all the paperwork is in, the clearance is completed and I am ready to get back to exercising again and getting this last 27+# off! NO MORE DILLY DALLYING!!!!! So I have set a goal for myself and I am going to make a goal poster for myself and hang it in my office or perhaps on my fridge to remind me of where I am going . I was a sales director for Mary Kay Cosmetics for many years and I always told my consultants that without a goal, you are a ship out at sea floating with no port in sight.You have to have a plan and KNOW where you are going! I refuse to drift aimlessly any more!

So I am not going to rattle off a new years resolution to lose weight to you all. Instead, I am going to share with you the itinerary of my weight loss plan and the course of action I plan to take to get there. I will also share with you my "ships blog" (lol) along the way documenting my successes, struggles, and victories in my weight loss journey. I am going to make my Goal Poster this weekend and I will post a picture to share with you either tomorrow of Sunday. Its a new year, a time to start fresh! I am excited to embark on this journey and I invite each of you to accompany me and make your own "itinerary" of where you would like to go this year. We are all in this together and it is such a great blessing to have all of your encouragement & support!!!

So as we say goodbye to 2011 and welcome in 2012, lets all set our compasses for SUCCESS this year!! The only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary!!! Lets all get to work and make our dreams finally come true!!

Here's to the BEST year ever!!!!!! Happy 2012!!!!

Big Hugs to you all!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

My coconut bread recipe

Hello friends!
Its late, but I just baked a loaf of coconut bread for the week & it turned out fantastic so I had to share what I did. This loaf was better than the last one.  It is very dense, filling and is low points on WW....only 3 pts per slice! I top mine with 1 T. of the Natures Hollow jam & a few fresh berries. I feel like I am eating a slice of cheesecake!

Sherri's Lemon Coconut Bread Recipe
Mix the following ingredients in a stand up mixer with the beater blade:

1 stick Land O Lakes Light Butter (cut into small pieces. I did not have mine at room temp)
3 eggs
3/4 c egg beaters
1 T lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3 T. lemon juice
3/4 c. unsweetened vanilla or original almond breeze
2 oz light cream cheese (Naufchatel)
1 T vinegar (I didn't have apple cider vinegar)
1/2 cup Ideal brand sugar substitute (new product. Its Xylitol! :)
Mix all above ingredients until blended well.

Then add
3/4 c. coconut flour (sifted)
2 tsp baking powder
Mix until well blended

Spray loaf pan with Pam & Fold batter into loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 50-55 mins checking every 20 mins. Allow to sit in loaf pan about 20 mins then invert on cooling rack. Slice when cool. My loaf yielded 10 slices. I know some of you girls can get 12 slices out of your loaf. I haven't been able to do that.

I gotta tell ya girls, this came out AMAZING!!!! Nothing short of a little taste of heaven! I think the difference was the light STICK butter and the Ideal sugar substitute. I was hesitant to try it (Ideal) but when I tasted it, it was very good & no bad aftertaste. If you see it on your grocers shelves, don't hesitate to buy it. I think it is great & not too expensive either...around $4.50 for a large pouch. I'm not crazy about baking with Truvia. Its OK, but I notice an aftertaste with it.

I had the end slice with a little natures Hollow Apricot jam & it was so yummy! I just wanted to share my little tweak of this recipe with you girls. The original recipe was taken from Dawn & Rosalie's Blogs. Kudos to you ladies for sharing it. I'm hooked!!!!

Have a great night!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Good afternoon friends!

Well, its hard to believe it, but here it is....CHRISTMAS! Merry Christmas to each and every one of you and a big special Happy birthday to Jesus!! While I was getting ready for church this morning I found myself singing happy birthday to him. It seems December is just filled with so much commercialism of something that is so beautiful & sacred. How has this happened? Anyways, I always try to make sure that I take time out to wish him a happy birthday...he is the guest of honor you know!

As I sit back and reflect here a while before I get ready to go to my sisters house for Christmas with my family, I am reminded of all the things that I am so grateful for; A husband who loves me for who I am regardless of how much I weigh or the times that I have taken him for granted, 2 beautiful daughters who are healthy, beautiful & smart, Both of my parents and 2 of the best sisters a girl could ever ask for, a lovely home in a nice neighborhood, a good job with good people that I love to be around, good health, and some of the best blogging girlfriends in the world! Gosh, when I think about it, I have blessings chasing me down & overtaking me! :) Last year on this day, I was down with a bad case of the flu. I missed Christmas with my family and I was in a heavy state of depression. It was a very sad ending to 2010. As I think back on 2011, while it still had its trials & tribulations, for the most part, it was a pretty good year. Mentally, I am so much better & stronger and I feel like perhaps in the coming months I will be able to get off of my antidepressant. Weight wise, I am 42# lighter and I am wearing 3 sizes smaller clothing than I did at this time last year. Now THAT has been a real accomplishment! I am happier, and just in general so thankful for every day. Dont know why, but I am feeling quite melancholy today. Last night, I had my sister in law over for dinner. She is my husbands last living sibling and outside of friends, she has only us. We had a nice dinner...ham, roasted red potatoes, salad, rolls, jello salad.....all pretty delicious. I brought out a tray of some cookies that I made (only did 1 batch of 4 different varieties. I used to do about 12 different kinds. No wonder I was so big! hahaha!) as I was unwrapping the saran wrap from the tray, my youngest daughter made the comment that last year we didnt have any cookies because I was so depressed. It kind of took me aback to hear that. You just dont realize how much depression affects the people around you. So I am thankful to God for lifting my depression this past year and while I dont think I am just yet at 100%, I am getting very close to it. With a new year just around the corner, I am excited to usher 2012 in and I am so excited to see what I will look like next year at this time! I got a new camera from the hubs for Christmas so I am attaching my picture from last year along with my updated photo taken this morning with my new Nikon camera. Maybe now I can post more pictures!!! :)

 (Sorry, I was sick on christmas. The only full shot photo I could find)

(42# lighter! yay!)

So in closing, I want to wish you all a day filled with happiness & peace and surrounded by those that you love & cherish. Take your right arm & place it on your left shoulder & your left arm & place it on your right shoulder & SQUEEZE....and know that you have just received a BIG HUG from me!!!!

Merry Christmas!!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hola Chicas!

Hola Chica Choos! (one of my friends used to call me chica choo & I loved that name!

So last night was the big party for work and I am happy ot report that I did pretty well. There were alot of great food choices and I feel like I did well in making good selections. There was a wonderful salad, (w/ ranch dressing!! yay!) Steamed veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, zucchini) salmon, roast beef, a chicken breast with a raspberry sauce on it that was delicious, fresh fruit, rolls & butter & some of the most delicious looking desserts ever!!! I had a little something before going because I had eaten at 11:30 am & was pretty much starving when I got home from work. At the party, I had a yummy tossed salad, 1/2 of the raspberry chicken breast (hubby ate the other half) one small slice of roast beef, and about 2 bites of the salmon (that was actually really really good!) I had a few pcs of fresh fruit, some of the steamed veggies (about 1/2 cup) I skipped the roll & butter but I did get a slice of Italian creme cake. I had intentions of eating only 1/2 of it but OMG, it was spectacular and its something I rarely ever get so I ate every last bite! :) It was worth it! I was waiting all week to go to this dinner & I feel like I did really well passing up all the other temptations & catered lunches at work so I don't feel bad about it at all! I told myself at the beginning of the week that if I didn't want to weigh in this week, I didn't have to. I gave myself permission to enjoy myself,however, I found myself not wanting to partake in all of that food. It just wasn't worth it to me. Instead, I weighed in today as normal and I actually lost .6#. I was thrilled and I will take it! Getting through this week was challenging at times, but I prevailed & I wish I could put into word how great I feel about myself. I AM stronger than I ever thought I was and I have proven to myself this year that will determination & "Want"power, anything is possible! I hope I don't come off as bragging....not intended to come off that way. It is just such a victory for me and I wanted to share it with you all because I know you know where I am coming from. I seem to be stuck in the 170s again! Just looked back at my weight tracker with WW & I am teetering between 176-178. (sigh) Its frustrating but at least Im not gaining.

So another party tonite but I'm not worried about it in the least. I know I can keep it under control. So that's my thoughts of the day. I hope you are all doing well and are having a great weekend!

((HUGS)) to all of my Chicas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

So I gotta tell ya.....

Hey there girls!

Well, gotta tell you this...that lemon coconut bread is that dang BOMB!!!! Holy cow!!! I feel like I am indulging into something so decadent and it has barely any sugar and only counts as 3 points on WW to boot! I had a bowl of hearty chili & 4 crackers in it ( I gotta have a few crackers in my chili!) and a slice of coconut bread with 1 T of Natures Hollow Raspberry jam & about 9 berries (blackberries & raspberries mixed) and can I just tell you, it was fabulous!!! I think I am gonna make my next batch of coconut bread with the 3/4 c almond breeze again. I really like it with the cheesecake texture. I feel like its dessert!

So I also gotta tell you, even though this week has been loaded and I mean LOADED with food at work I have been super good in following my plan and I can honestly say that the worst I have been was to eat 2 small pieces of white cake on Tues that were cut into approx 2 inch squares. They were really good & worth it or I wouldn't have had a 2nd piece. We had 2 lunches catered by the surgeons, bagels this morning from another one of our surgeons as well as one of the girls made cinnamon rolls too and today was also the hospitals BIG employee Christmas dinner and I am proud to say I didn't eat any of it! I am finding that I do have will power and that the pull of the food doesn't have the hold on me that it once did. Tomorrow (Fri) is our staff Christmas dinner at a very nice hotel. I am looking forward to that and I am planning to enjoy the nice meal. It was my plan all week to reserve my indulgence for Friday and I cant believe it but I have stayed true to my plan. I hate to toot my own horn, but I am really proud of myself. This is a victory for me indeed!

I did another day of BFC meals and I feel really good. I don't feel impulsive and although I was hungry when I got home from work at 6pm, I made a really yummy pizza on a low carb flat bread & loaded it up with lite mozzarella, turkey pepperoni, turkey sausage & mushrooms & it was worth the wait! So good and so filling! My hubby did get a 2# box of Daffins choc covered nuts & I did have a couple of them for dessert (about 4 small ones, looked like almonds)To me it was worth it. And I had a half of an almond milk smoothie that tasted like a frosty. I could only eat 1/2 of it but it is low sugar & low carb (a WW smoothie mix) but i enjoyed it.

So that was my day. I am pretty tired. This week at work has been super busy! I think that everyone is trying to get their surgery done before Christmas.

I know you are all probably falling over seeing another post from me, 2 days in a row now. Pick yourselves up girls! Its for real! hahahaha!

Have a great night!
Ho Ho Ho!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Time to report in....

Hello Dear friends!

Well, today was a day off for me but it sure didn't feel like it. I feel like I haven't stopped since I got up & I am feeling the effects now...I'm pooped! I had so much that I wanted to accomplish & that fell kind of flat. My youngest daughter usually rides the bus home but it was early dismissal at 1:30pm so I had to pick her up because the busses don't run for the catholic schools on early dismissal days. What a pain in the butt that can be, especially when I have to work. So I felt like my day got cut short by having to pick her up. I wanted to pick up my prescriptions (didn't get there), wanted to go grocery shopping (got that done..yay!) and am in DESPERATE need of my hairspray which I can buy at wholesale price at a local cosmetology school (its $22/can but worth EVERY penny!!! Love it!! Kenra 25 volume spray in case you are wondering) and I didn't get there cuz its across town, and I need to return some things to Kohl's & Sam's club which I didn't get done. I could go up to Sam's tonight but to be honest, I really don't want to. I just don't feel like dealing with the crowds. I did get to run the vacuum & clean up the kitchen a bit and I made an excellent pot of chili for dinner. Kind of winged it & it came out yummy!!! Very thick  & hearty!

So I gotta tell you, I have been feeling a bit inspired by you, my peeps! Seeing Rosalie & Amber getting to meet Jorge & all of the success stories just make me want to work a little bit harder to stay on track. Also, seeing that picture of Kay looking so skinny a year later....I want that to be ME next year too!  So today, I thought to myself, I am gonna track my food really close to BFC guidelines & I feel like I did pretty well. Now don't get me wrong now, I am still on WW & plan to stay on WW however I thought I would just monitor the carbs & sugar intake because lately I feel like it has gotten a bit outta control. I get home from work & I literally want to chew off my arm because I am so hungry & then I get something sweet & I am off the track & riding the train  into Candy land! (lol, not really, I just thought that sounded cute! But I have been indulging in too many sweet things & I need to reel it in!) So I carefully watched my S/C all day & although I know its not the 15/6 Jorge recommends, I only went over by 8 in the sugar dept & 1 additional carb serving so my S/C total for today was 23/7. Not too bad for me. I felt really good & felt like I could suck my tummy in. I didn't feel bloated at all & feel like I had a really good day. So here's what I ate:
1/2 c egg beaters 0/0) w/chives & 1 slice (1/2oz) 2% milk reduced fat cheese (0/0)
2 slices Trader Joe's sprouted wheat bread toasted (0/14)
1 T light butter
1 T Natures Hollow Raspberry preserves (OMG! Sooo good!) 0/8
1 C Chocolate Almond Breeze, unsweetened (0/3)
1/2 c raspberries (2/8)
Total  S/C 2/31gms carbs  or 2/2

Mini pizza
Arnold thin (2/22)
1 T pizza sce (1/1)
1 1/2 oz light mozzarella (0/0)
1/3 c turkey sausage crumbles (0/0)
8 slices turkey pepperoni (0/0)
This was really yummy! Def will have it again!

1 c chili (7/1)
1/2 c strawberries in 1 container nonfat plain greek yogurt w/ 1 1/2 pkts Truvia (soo yummy too!)

Snack 1 slice of coconut bread with some natures hollow on top (1 T)

 I cant remember the S/C of the bread but I know its low. I have everything written out on my tracker & the final count was 23/7 per my calculations. I went over my pts by 2 but I ate very little fruit which is free so I think I did really well calorically speaking. On a side note, my coconut bread came out kind of on the heavy & moist side. I made Rosie's lemon coconut bread. It is edible & I have been trying to put my finger on what it tastes like & it dawned on me this reminds me of cheesecake! Heavy & dense & moist. I am thinking its not supposed to be this way but I will eat it up & try again. Perhaps I had too much liquid? I added an extra 1/2 c almond breeze instead of 1/4 cup. I'm thinking that's what did it.

So that's my day in a nutshell. I know this sounds pathetic, but I am so tired right now, I feel like I could fall asleep here at my computer! Cant wait til 10pm for bed!

Hope you are all doing great!
Love to all

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mornin Peeps!

Good morning Skinny Peeps!

Its a crisp December morning here in Erie, PA. The sun is shining but it is chilly, only in the upper 30s and they are calling for snow tomorrow, 1-3 inches. I am ready for it though. Snow always gets me in the Christmas spirit!! :)

Yesterday was a very sad day. It was the anniversary of my best friends husbands death. He was only 49 and took his own life last year. She has had a year filled with sorrow, health problems galore, financial woes & bankruptcy, a mentally ill child and feelings of being responsible for his death. what a heavy burden to carry! I pray every day for her that God will lift this heavy burden from her. She doesn't deserve the things that have happened to her. I pray that 2012 will be a "corner turning" year for her. She has started to smile again & that is a beautiful thing to see!  I took her out to my favorite day spa & we got pedicures & then we went to grab some lunch...grilled chicken salads that were so yummy!!!! She has been my best friend for over 24 years and she is more like a sister to me than a friend. She has a chronic life threatening illness that will someday take her life, which I fear may be sooner than later. Every hospitalization she seems to get a little bit worse, but yesterday, she was so good! she has bouts of congestive heart failure related to this disease so it is difficult for her to do anything that requires alot of walking or activity. She is younger than I am, only 44. She also has kidney problems related to this disease & has been on the verge of dialysis so many times.When I visit her, she usually spends most of the time in tears, sobbing. I cant put into words how it hurts to see her in such pain. I took the day off from work so that I could spend some time with her. I didn't want her to spend the day in bed crying and I told her that she needed to be ready to leave by 11am and that we were not going to spend the day watching her wedding video & looking at her wedding album, which was what she wanted to do. I told her that we are getting out of the house & we are going to do something. It was great to just sit & relax & chat. She is one of those friends that no matter how much time has passed, when you get together with them, after a short time, you are both back on the same page and its like no time has passed since you last saw them. She and I both have busy lives & we are the type of friends who "don't keep score". We never say "well you haven't called me in months" . She is a true friend in every aspect and I feel so blessed that God allowed our paths to cross that first day of nursing school in 1987. She is a "keeper"! All in all, we had a very nice day, considering the underlying circumstances of the day & I am going to buy her a gift card to the day spa as a Christmas gift & take her back there again, maybe for massages and a pedicure next time. Sorry to have such heavy content in this paragraph but I know many of you like to hear what is going on in each others lives, & that is what is happening in mine. I'm so happy we got through the day without incident. I was prepared for the worst.

AS far as the weight front goes, well, my scale battery went kaput yesterday. Got on yesterday morning & it gave me 4 different weights and all of them were NOT good numbers!!! So I bought a new battery yesterday & got on this morning & it looks like I'm down about 1#. I will take it in December and 2 weeks before Christmas! I have decided that I am just not gonna stress over the scale this month. I am just gonna do my best to stay on plan, eat right & try to stay the same or lose a little (hopefully) for the rest of this month. I didn't think that it would be this challenging but I have to admit, it has been. My sister and I have decided that it is time to reign things in & buckle down but we decided that it will be best to do that once we get through Christmas. I'm just gonna try to keep myself "in check" in the meantime.

I hope you are all doing great! I have to get myself moving. Every year we take an angel card from the tree from church & sponsor a needy child with a Christmas gift. We have a 10 yo girl and they wrote that she needs a pr of shoes. How sad. I am going to get her a gift card (I think) for the shoes because that is something you have to try on, in my opinion and I usually always get them a toy of some sort. So I am off to get showered & to go shopping! Yay!

I hope you are all well & I'm sorry I was off the radar for a couple of days. Have a wonderful Thursday!!!!

Hugs to all

Friday, December 2, 2011

A quick post!

 Hello friends!

I only have about 10 minutes to write a quick post so here goes! I weighed in today (opted not to weigh tomorrow after the party) and am down 2.6#. Yay!!! Only 1.2# to lose to get back to where I was before my little gain. Why is it so easy to gain back & so hard to lose again?! Not fair!

So I am getting ready to go to my work Christmas party. There are 2 of them. The one tonight is at our Medical Directors house. The best part is, I can walk to her house cuz we are neighbors! Yay! I made mini cupcakes to take & they are so cute! And yes, they are the full fat & full sugar thing. I know, I know! I'm looking forward to seeing my co workers....its always lots of fun being with them. Gosh, I am so lucky to work with such fantastic people!

So after I weighed in, I went to my favorite consignment store, the Sassy Peacock & took some jeans & tops & shoes that no longer fit me. Out of 8 pr of shoes they took 6 to sell and out of 19 articles of clothing they took 15 so I am happy. I had everything clean, pressed & on hangers and I think that presentation is everything! They are a very nice ladies consignment store & i LOVE shopping there! I bought a pr of jeans about a month ago for $13.99!! A pr of Size 14 Levis. And I just bought a really cute brown top with beading around the neckline for 10.99. Really cute stuff! So I am hoping they all go to a good home & to make a few bucks to boot. :)

I bought a new pr of black jeans to wear to the Christmas party tonight & I am wearing a pretty Christmas sweater & a cute new pr of boots that I got at Kohl's. Tomorrow, I will sit in on my WW meeting & then get some stuff done around the house. I am all decorated for Christmas & so glad to have that monkey off my back!

On a side note, just wanted to send a shout out to Amber & Rosalie on meeting Jorge. What an awesome thing to happen & I loved seeing your pictures & reading what happened. Exciting stuff!!!

Well, I better scoot! Gotta pick up my dtr from school in a bit. Have a great Friday!!!