DAY 7! Made it a WEEK!


Yes, we made it a week!  Friday last week was a test for us… both Joe and I wanted to say screw it and get fast food for lunch and/or dinner.  But we didn’t.  We managed to hold off, perhaps because neither of us wanted to leave the house, but regardless, we made it.

Joe made a homemade lasagne on Sunday and it was fantastic.  He used whole grain lasagne noodles, which to me, does make a difference in the taste, but one I can live with.  He used light ricotta, fresh spinach, and our favorite jarred sauce.  Yes, jarred sauce.  He usually makes his own sauce, but this was a rush job and required immediate saucing.  Our favorite sauce:  Classico Sausage and Peppers.  It’s rich with the teeniest bite and has big chunks of green and red peppers.  (And I’m not a fan of green peppers!)  The great thing is that because we are a family of 3, this lasagne will last for several days unless we freeze it.  We are serving a 3×3 inch square piece and we had a huge salad with it, complete with romaine, tomatoes, and shredded mozzarella with light Italian.  YUM!

We decided the other day that Joe will continue to do the grocery shopping, at least for a few more weeks, if not longer.  I’ve never been a great grocery shopper when it comes to buying from a list.  Sure, I can get what’s on the list… but I ALWAYS end up with more than I find on the list, especially snack foods.  Joe is a very disciplined grocery shopper.  RARELY does he get anything not on the list, and if he does, it’s ONE loaf of bakery bread because it was freshly baked or ONE frozen meal that looked interesting and tasty or ONE cut of meat that is on sale… you get the idea.  Me, I usually get home with 2 bags of Cheetos because we haven’t had them in awhile or 2 bags of M&Ms because they’ll look good in the cut crystal candy dish or a dozen donuts because tomorrow is Friday.  Who’s with me?

I figured out one thing about myself so far.  My appetite is a spoiled toddler.  We’ve all known someone who has a toddler who is so incredibly spoiled, the parent gives in and gives her every little tiny thing she whines for just so she will STOP MAKING NOISE!  It’s just easier to give in than to deal with the main issue… saying NO and dealing with the consequences.

My appetite is that spoiled todder.  I’ve spent DECADES giving into everything she wants.  Candy?  Sure.  Donuts?  Why not.  Cookies?  They’re fresh.  Mac and cheese?  Who doesn’t like seeing a little kid enjoying their mac and cheese?  The alternative is to listen to her whine endlessly… by way of hunger pangs, headaches, shakiness and blurred vision.  Sometimes, the hunger can be like a panic attack.  There’s this feeling that if I don’t consume exactly what that damned brat wants, I’ll pass out.  So, I’ve spent many many years spoiling her and giving here whatever she wants whenever she wants it.

And Joe has been my incredibly supportive enabler, giving in to the voracious little beast… um… brat… whenever she whines to him.  He makes such wonderful cookies and breads!  He missed his calling as a baker, quite frankly.  He’s made bagels, donuts, english muffins, cheesecakes, pumpkin spice cakes, drop cookies, chocolate this and yummy, heavenly that.  Hence, my spoiled little hunger monster claps her hands with delight and devours whatever he makes.  It’s a win-win(-win) because she gets to eat, I feel satisfied because she’s not bitching at me anymore, and he gets a happy, satisfied wife.

Right now, at 8:36 at night, 2 hours post lasagne, my little food mongrel is whining.  She wants something sweeeeeettt to end the day.  I have two choices:  We have enough grapes for my breakfast so I don’t want to eat those.  So choice #1:  I can ignore her and the teeny headache I’m developing (despite pain relievers) will throb into a monster migraine-like pain.  Or choice #2:  I can grab 2 (and ONLY 2) Stickos and make them last awhile.  It is an hour after the Plan states I can have an evening snack, but a headache will only make things that much worse to the point that I give in to my toddler and give her the entire can of Stickos.  (These are cookies that are similar to Pirouette cookies by Pepperidge Farms, except the tube part is lighter and the filling is soft.  We get them at the Asian market Uwajamaya.  4 of them is a serving, so 2 is a nice snack.)

Will she EVER grow up?  Will she ever just let me eat what I need to and not DEMAND that I give in to her childish demands to run amok in the bakery or candy store?  I wish I could just stick a sock in her ever-widening mouth so she’d at least shut up and let me get on with my life.  Perhaps someday, if I’m successful with the Plan, she will finally grow up and be satisfied with what I’ve always lovingly called “adult food.” 

I am an incredibly lucky woman, though.  I was heavy when my husband fell in love with me.  We met over the computer, pre-Web, and I sent him a picture of me.  Not only did he not disappear (like a few guys I’d met online before him had), but he actually still expressed interest in meeting me!  He is notoriously anti-photo, so when we met, all I had to go on was barrel-chested, dark hair, dark eyes, and tall.  He never led me to believe he was built or handsome; he was honest, as was I.  But when he finally did lay eyes on me, he hugged me and said, “You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met.”  <swoon>

Despite trying diets, surgery, and eating healthy, my weight has fluctuated tremendously.  But Joe has NEVER said a word other than he wants me to be healthy so we can be together for a long time.  He prefers a rounded woman with curves and flesh, so he’s quite happy with what he sees and feels.  <blush>  And I love him even more for accepting me for who and what I am, regardless how others might see me.  He’s working on adapting some of those tasty treats he makes to be whole grain (whole wheat is NOT good enough), low or no sugar, and low fat.  I know they are still not calorie-free, but at least my toddler will be satisfied with a touch of sweet occasionally that is otherwise mostly healthy.

Okay, enough of my philosophizing for one night.  I actually typed through my craving for something sweet!  Woohoo!

Off to bed.  Night!

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Day 6 – Weekend and Weather!!


Greetings… I almost didn’t post a blog tonight because I’m just out of sorts today.  I don’t know what it is, just a general feeling of malaise.  Just a “don’t bug me” kinda mood.  BUT… it IS the weekend.  I’ll tell you all about my job sometime this week.   It’s not overly taxing physically at all.  It can be a mental challenge at times, though.  Just suffice to say I’m just brain tired.

AND we made it 1 week on the new plan!  Woot!  We’re going to get a Papa Murphy’s cheese and onion pizza tomorrow.  Their smallest size which should be more than enough.  Woot!  We had the best dinner today!  Joe got some nice big baking potatoes, and we had a variety of toppings.  And for the first time ever, the Kid ate his baked potato!  I think he’s got the clue that he either eats what we eat or he will go hungry.  He will learn to eat healthy!  So we had steamed brocolli, salt and pepper, green onions, bacon bits, cheddar cheese grated fine, and while I used cottage cheese for my dairy topping, Joe used fat free sour cream.  This was the best dinner we’ve had in a long time!  So satisfying and as long as we kept the cheese and bacon bits to a minimum (and we did), it’s pretty healthy, too.

Yes, it’s late Saturday night in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  It has been raining just about all day and WE LOVE IT!  It’s after 11 p.m. and the boys have headed off to bed.  I’m downstairs at my gaming PC with the cats.  It is so quiet… I hear our Scottish Fold cat snorting occasionally, the faint tick of the battery operated clock on the wall, occasional whirring from my desktop computer, and the click-clack of the keyboard.  Every so often, a car spashes past the house so I know it’s still raining.

THIS is why we moved to Oregon.  THIS weather.  The chilly overcast and rainy days and invigorate us so much.  We got this in the SF bay area in California over the winter, but not this early and not this calm.  EVER.  There is just something about the sun-free days that bring calm to our hearts and minds here.  I know the overwhelming majority of my reads (and my local friends) will disagree with me on this point year after year.  For some reason, most people want sunny and warm (not hot necessarily) days so they can go out and do activities with their families, but not us.  Rainy days will usually find out out driving around, finding peace and strength in the cool rain.

And being the weekend, we did some chores this morning… the Kid can now vacuum without his headphones on, Joe did some cooking, and I cleaned a bathroom.  Done.  LOL!  Then we did our favorite activities.  The Kid spent some time on his computer, working on levels on a Mario simulation program he found somewhere, and Joe and I played World of Warcraft.  Yes… I’m a gamer.  It is one of the things I find most fun in life.  Now if I could only find a way to play while on an exercise bike, I’d be beside myself with glee.

Speaking of glee, the show “Glee” will be coming back in the next few weeks and I couldn’t be happier to see a show return.  That show is so fun to watch, and we are especially happy to see Jane Lynch get recognition after so many years of loving her work.  She is priceless as Charlie’s psychiatrist on “Two and a Half Men,” but you have to catch her in some of the Christopher Guest mocumentaries to truly appreciate her talent.  I suggest “A Mighty Wind” in which she has a sizeable part.  She is amazing and very opposite of Sue Sylvester, her character in “Glee.”

Well, I’m done with WoW for the day and my eye are getting heavy-lidded, so I’m off to bed.  I hope your weekend is as fun and relaxing as mine, especially with more rain in the forecast for the next several days.  <sigh>  Life is good.

Day 3 – How did this happen?


To paraphrase Bob and Doug McKenzie:  “And welcome to Day 3.”

So far, so good.  Same breakfast as yesterday, and last night, we had the same dinner as the night before.  Gotta love leftovers.  The kid is doing a great job… he had broccoli and half a PB&J in his lunch yesterday.  And last night, he ate half of the lasagne he was served as well as the entire salad.  Of all the carbs he loves, he’s not a fan of pasta.  Strange, that.

So I’ve been pondering the “how did I get here” question.  I’ve seen pictures of myself as a child, and I was no bigger than most kids.  I grew up in Massachusetts on an Air Force base.  There were a number of kids on our block in base housing, and most of them were my friends.  We played outside a LOT, climbing trees, playing with our Barbies and GI Joes, playing in the sandbox (when there wasn’t cat poo in it), playing tag and freeze tag.  I was quite active.  But I loved to eat.

My mom is an excellent cook.  She made homemade noodles, cobblers, and bread.  We always had dessert.  We always sampled what was cooking, tasting from the pot or bowl.  “Finish your dinner” was a standard phrase.  I can’t remember if they pulled out the “kids are starving in <3rd world nation>” or not, but it was close.  And while we were putting away leftovers, we always had those last few bites.  She also made plenty of things I didn’t like, such as liver or stuffed peppers (I don’t care what anyone says… scoop out the stuffing and it tastes like peppers!).  When she made things I didn’t like or when we had a babysitter, I’d get my favorite:  Kraft macaroni and cheese.  Yum!

When I was 10, we moved to California.  Ah, land of sunshine and fruit!  Peaches fresh off the tree!  Grapes nearly year-round!  I loved fruit… and I ate a LOT of it.  I’d have 4 peaches in a sitting… yum!  But that’s just fruit, I hear you saying.  Here is an interesting site regarding sugar in fruits: Sugar Stacks.  There is a lot of sugar in fruits.  Granted, it’s a more natural sugar than candy and there are many good things in fruits as well, but at the volume I consumed fruit and the other snacks my mom had on hand, I started to gain weight.

I was lonely.  We had moved all the way across the country.  There was no email or iPhone or internet in 1973 so I was effectively cut off from anything or anyone I had known.  I was teased at school for being a little chunky when we moved to California and it just got worse.  I made a few friends but I always felt like I was a little on the outside.  Food was my constant friend.  It didn’t tease me or say it didn’t want to go with me.  Being tested as “gifted” at age 11 didn’t help matters much either. 

Kids can be cruel.  Food is always friendly.

Exercise makes me uncomfortable.  Always has, always will.  So even as a preteen, I avoided exercise when I could.  I loved riding my bike, though I didn’t really see that as “exercise.”  It was a means of freedom.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a great home life.  I just wanted to do what I wanted to do.  Maybe it’s because I was an only child.  Maybe it’s because it was the 70s.  Or maybe it was just me wanting to spread my wings.

Dad was in the Air Force and worked quite a bit.  Mom was (and still is) a church musician and choir director, and when I was in my early teens, she was also going to school at night.  Dad joined her at night classes for awhile, leaving me alone at home.  I’d make a pot of spaghetti (at least 2 servings worth), put parmesan on it, and I’d eat that while watching TV.  And this was AFTER dinner.  I think back to that and cringe.  I was obsessed with food, with feeling satisfied, with carbs.

Carbs, carbs, carbs… I’ve rarely met a carb I didn’t instantly bond with.  Cupcakes, cookies, chips, crackers… yum.  Just saltines and ice tea, a favorite snack.  Cake, bread, doughnuts, pastries, pasta.  <sigh>  I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the picture.  Oh, I love fruit, too… a diet of fruit and bread would be my idea of heaven.  The hell with proteins… gimme carbs!!

So I can see it goes WAY back.  I don’t remember much about my diet before the age of 10 or so.  Does that mean that food wasn’t my focus before then?  I know I ate cereal.  I told my mom when I was 3 that I didn’t need a mom because I could get my own breakfast.  Yeah, she wasn’t happy to hear that either. 

Okay, enough meandering down memory lane.  Not an entirely bad experience on the lane today, but there’s still more delving to do later.

Enjoy your day, dear reader… I’m nearly done with my breakfast and the MT plate is, indeed, empty.  C’mon people… DICTATE already!  🙂

Day 2 – Steady as we go…


So here we are in Day 2. Day 1 ended on a fairly good note. I had 4 Lorna Doone shortbread cookies while playing last night. Better than 10, right?

As we forge ahead, I’ll try to tackle my stressors… those things that cause me to want to eat without hunger. I’ll also be looking at other times that I want food but I’m not stressed. I need to figure out WHY I eat and figure out a different, more positive thing to do instead. There will always be those times when it’s okay to give in A LITTLE… 2 cookies rather than 4 or 1 piece of Dove chocolate rather than a whole bag. You get the picture. I’m worried a little about “that time of the month.” I’m a chocolate fiend for about 3 days and it’s very hard to withstand the craving. We’ll see what happens.

So here I am with my breakfast, checking out the news before I get to work (the queue is empty again… only 3 jobs yesterday!). In a huge coffee mug, I put 2/3 cup low fat cottage cheese, 1 packet of equal, a few shakes of Dean and Deluca cinnamon powder, and 2 rather small handfuls of loose granola (not the chunky kind). I mix that up nicely, then put in over a cup of grapes. The grapes are from Costco and they are HUGE, so I just topped the mug off with grapes. This is my favorite breakfast, regardless what the rest of my diet is at any given time.

What is so interesting about this particular breakfast is that when I was growing up, my mom would eat pineapple with her cottage cheese, adding a little sweetener to the cottage cheese first. I would gag when I’d see it. I mean, cottage cheese is a savory food! What’s with the sweetener!?! GROSS! Of course, I’d let her know how gross it was because the switch that tell us not to say something… well, mine is broken. But when I got older and was searching for an easy breakfast that was comprised of more than toast, I remembered my mom’s sweetened cottage cheese thing. I still don’t care for pineapple with it, but I love it with peaches, nectarines, grapes, or berries. Yum! I don’t use any citrus fruits because they seem to curdle the cottage cheese for me and apples are right out. Bananas are iffy. For me, it’s the moisture in the fruits that help make the dish.

For dinner last night, Joe made a very tasty turkey lasagne that we’d gotten from Costco. Normally, we’d eat most of it for 1 meal, but we ate the serving size indicated, along with a salad, and it was satisfying. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all, which is preferred but not always the end result. For dinner tonight, we will have leftovers and a salad.

After dinner, we played and watched TV. Joe and the Kid went to bed around 8:00 p.m. which left me to my own devices. THAT’S when the food situation gets dangerous for me. I had some peanuts by my computer but all that was left equalled roughly a small handful. No problem… nice little snack. A half-hour later, I hit the Lorna Doones. Perhaps because they were there, on the computer desk, just waiting for me… yeah, I need to NOT have food available.

As for liquids, I have 2 travel cups of coffee in the morning (nursing them all morning while I work) then at lunch, I start my iced tea period. I drink iced tea the rest of the afternoon and evening from a large insulated straw cup. I love that thing because there is no moisture to drizzle down the outside and get all over everything. I use 1 Equal in the tea.

I work upstairs in a cubicle in an office room (my WoW machine is downstairs… neither the twain shall meet!). Here at my desk, I have a jar of Emerald Dry Roasted Peanuts (YUM!) and a half-dozen Nature Valley Fruit and Nut granola bars in the drawer. In a container on the desk, I have Costco dried fruit and nut mix. If I can limit myself to a handful (modest) once a day, I should be good.

Okay… enough of this for now. There is actually work in my queue. For our non-MT visitors, I’ll tackle “What is an MT and what do you do” at some point this week. Until then, just know that I work at home and I type for a living. It’s a pretty sweet and interesting gig, even if it’s not very profitable.

Have a great day!

Welcome to the MT Plate!


This is Day 1.  Yup, day 1 in my new life.  I’m glad you’ve decided to join me on my journey.  Hopefully, it’s a long one.  First, a little about me.

I’m a mom.  I’m a medical transcriptionist.  I’m a gamer (WoW and DSxL).  I’m a scrapbooker.  All but one of these things is a sedentary activity.  I’ve always been overweight to some degree.  Right now, that degree is higher than I’m prepared to share.  Perhaps in a few weeks or months, I’ll post a picture, but not yet.  I’m married to a wonderful man who is also overweight (and, I must add, has NEVER complained to me about my weight AND thinks I’m as beautiful today as I was the day he met me… yeah, he’s a keeper).  And we have 1 son who is 10 years old and who, up until 2 years ago, was a skinny tall kid.  Now… well, he’s still tall.

I’ve spent tons of money on various methods of weight loss over the years and ultimately failed on all of them.  My husband and I have tried various weight loss methods together as well to varying degrees of success.  My most successful was gastric bypass surgery (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) in December 1994.  I lost 125 pounds approximately and I felt great.  I could cross my legs!  I could walk a few miles and talk at the same time.  I could do so many things!!  I was still obese, but I was feeling better.  And feeling better leads to carelessness… and ultimately, failure.  I’ve since put back on just about every pound I lost.

That brings us to today, right now.  We are starting a new life program… starting a new way of thinking, of behaving, of eating.  We ARE NOT using the “D” word because that’s not what it’s about.  That word insinuates a temporary status that will end at some point.  What we’re looking at is changing the way we live.  It’s harder than giving up alcohol or cigarettes or drugs, quite frankly.  One can give those up successfully and never touch them again.  But one cannot give up food forever.  Well… one COULD… but one would be quite deceased.

We are not following any type of plan or program.  Ultimately, we KNOW what we need to do.  We need to take in fewer calories than we use.  Fewer calories (and BETTER calories than we’ve input recently) and more movement.  Period.  We know what foods we should and shouldn’t consume.   Joe loves to cook and has, in the past, done a great job in re-making our favorite recipes in a way that is more healthy and still tasty. 

We just have to DO it.

So… today is Day 1.  I’ve decided to share my battle with whomever wants to read about it.  If that’s no one, then fine.  If there is someone else out there who wants to join me, just leave a comment, and we can do this together.  

Next up:  The Plan and the Goals.

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