Tuesday, June 30, 2009
It definitely works for those who can turn it into their lifestyle. On South Beach, I lost inches and felt my clothes fitting less snug. I noticed a flatness in my stomach area and my arms seemed to shrink. It is definitely an awesome feeling, one that I wish I could rejoice in right now. Alas, I am back wearing snug clothes and lamenting over chunky arms, abs and thighs. And I know more than ever I need to get back into shape.
While I'm not where I want to be fitness or nutrition-wise, it's not a total loss. Trying South Beach taught me how to eat for long-term health, not just short term dieting. It taught me to include lean proteins, healthy carbs, and the right fats at every meal. I learned how to cook more with vegetables and some creative ways to use fruits. I also learned that 2% (lowfat) dairy does not taste bad and not all products which claim lowfat/nonfat ingredients are necessarily healthier. Many of them contain loads of sugar!
Since going off South Beach, I haven't stuck to eating the way I know I should, and I haven't been consistent with exercise. Since dropping my stringent following of South Beach, I've been eating foods I can do without most of the time. On a positive note, I did start walking 3-6 times per week, alternated with jogging (which is a struggle for me). Yet once the kids got out of school for the summer, I stopped going my 2 mile route and am lucky if I get in 1 mile of walking/jogging.
I want to get back into my 2 mile daily route, add in some weight training, and get back to eating healthier.
My main goal right now is to lose some weight so my clothes shopping trips will not be so depressing. I hope to share my first success in weight loss with you in about 4 weeks. I will try to keep you updated on my daily/weekly progress with eating healthier and amping up my exercise routine.
Here's to a smaller size! ;)
Friday, April 10, 2009
to remember you
because I want you here.
I don't want
to remember your smile
I want to kiss it before it fades away
I don't want
to remember your kiss
I want to taste it on my lips
I don't want
to remember your laugh
I want to hear it fill our home
I don't want
to remember your sound
I want to melt under your breath's tickles
I don't want
to remember your touch
I want to feel its warmth
I dont want
to remember your heat
I want it to blanket me when I am cold
I don't want
to remember you
because I want you here.
2009 Patricia Beline Barton
~ This is dedicated to my sister who recently lost her husband of 28 years to End Stage Renal Disease. I love you Reesa, and am here for you always. ~
Friday, March 27, 2009
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
I initially read this book to determine whether it was appropriate for my 11 year-old daughter to read. Although it is considered a YA novel, any book (fiction or non-fiction) with a theme centered around the holocaust, is a novel I want to preview before allowing my child to absorb.
I was immediately drawn to the short sentence structure and quick action. From the beginning, the reader is drawn into an eight year-old orphan boy's innocent view of a world where he must steal, and become virtually invisible, to survive.
It's a quick read; I read it in one day. It is the boy's innocent and honest view of the world around him during one of the most horrific times in history that kept me turning the pages.
The boy's innocence and naivete to the chaos and pure hatred surrounding him is touching, and rather humorous at times.
Although Milkweed is a work of fiction, it made me wonder how close it came to the inner workings of a child's mind during this time period.
While the central theme revolves around the time leading up to the holocaust, it only takes the reader through the time when Jews were relocated out of their homes to the ghetto. It touches briefly on the time of deportation, when those housed in ghettos were put on trains for human shipment to concentration camps. However, it never visits the horrors of an actual concentration camp.
Some of the prevalent messages that stood out for me in Milkweed were those of hope, love and inner happiness at a time when Nazi occupation colored the world gray with irrational hatred and unfair brutality.
I found myself lingering with thoughts of the book long after I read the final page.
After reading Milkweed, I would allow my daughter to read it. I think I would rather read it with her though, so if she had any thoughts or questions we could talk about it along the way.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
My review follows:
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Before reading this book, I never knew about the Clutter murders. This book introduced me to what happened on November 15, 1959 to a family of four in Holcomb, Kansas. The tragedy was heartbreaking. Four lives taken without mercy by two men who seemed without conscience. In Cold Blood also delved into the mindsets of the townfolk, the deputy and his assistants investigating the murder, the killers' families, and the killers themselves.
I didn't think I would enjoy this book at first because I don't particularly like reading of murder. It deeply frightens me and delivers me into the nightmare imagination of what could certainly be a possibility for me or those I love.
However, the best part of this book was learning about the psychology behind murder and the psyche of two men who decided one night to wipe out a whole family. Although I was obviously horrified and saddened for the family that was killed, a part of me also felt pity and sadness for the murderers who lost large portions of themselves throughout their struggling existence.
In Cold Blood delivers an unforgettable and unflinching trip into the spirit, emotion, and mind of each soul affected by murder.
View all my reviews.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
I have A LOT of goals. There are many things that I want to accomplish during my life, and I am continuously trying to find a way for organizing my goals so I can better focus on each one.
I've read numerous books. I've bought software. I've utilized Word and Excel. I've tried finding useful applications online. In my desperate quest, I have found a mixture of helpful information and tools. Yet, I remain bewildered.
I am not sure if it's the way my brain works - all chaotic and mult-linear - or if perhaps, I want too many things. Because even with all the information and tools available in books and online, my goals remain numerous without much progress.
I can't seem to find focus or clarity. I'm all over the place and not a lot gets done.
So today here I sit: wanting much but accomplishing little; craving more with less motivation; needing a spark but only finding my energy depleted.
Can anyone say nap?
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Let me take you back a couple Saturdays ago to Valentines Day. Yes, Saturday is the ever-joyous cheat day. What a wonderful day for Valentines Day to land. It meant I could cheat without feeling guilty.
Randy had been saying for weeks that he was craving sugar cookies like I make every year at Christmas time. So I decided to make him some for Valentines Day, a first for me. Hopefully, these sweet, scrumptious cookies would make his day. I would cut out hearts, X's and O's. I would frost them and sprinkle them with reds, pinks and purples. I was so excited to get started!
I prepared the dough the day before because it needs to be refrigerated before rolling. Then it was time to hunt for some heart-shaped cookie cutters, something I surprisingly don't have in my cookie cutter collection, because as I said, I'd never made Valentines Day cookies before. This turned out harder than I thought. Apparently, everyone else needed heart-shaped cookie cutters too, because each store I went to was a bust.
I finally found some at Michaels, but not without using my keen digging skills to locate an abandoned package of nested hearts that was hiding under a strewn stack of stars, butterflies and various other cookie cutters. When I presented them at checkout, the employee asked me if there were anymore. "Nope!" I proudly declared. "I dug for that one." She went on to tell me how lucky I was because these heart-shaped cutters were a prized commodity. Who knew they'd be so wanted around Valentines Day? ;)
Anyhow, the cookies turned out great, and in addition to the heart-shaped ones, I put together some letter cutters to spell some important words!
(taken from Betty Crockers New Cookbook)
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tspn almond extract
1 large egg
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Mix powdered sugar, margarine, vanilla, almond extract and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Heat oven to 375. Grease cookie sheet lightly with shortening.
Divide dough in half. Roll each half 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes eith cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheet. (You can sprinkle with some granulated sugar at this point before baking, or wait until baked and frost them yourself!)
Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack. When cool, frost with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (recipe below), and decorate with sprinkles.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup stick butter, softened
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 to 2 Tablespoons milk
Mix powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl. Stir in vanilla and milk.
Beat until smooth and spreadable.
I have used this recipe year after year at Christmastime. I would love to experiment with another sugar cookie recipe to try something different. Maybe I'll find a recipe I like even better. If anyone has a recipe they like, I'd love to try it! Post it in the comments if you'd like to share!
By the way, everyone LOVED the cookies! :D
Until I post again,
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
My kids love them too.
During the week, when I can't eat them, it is hard seeing them sitting in my cupboard. Sometimes I'll buy ones I know I don't care for (but my kids like) so I'm not tempted during the week.
Then Saturday comes. It's poptart time.
Those commercials that try to make poptarts look plain and boring in comparison to a toaster strudel? Hogwash. Poptarts are yummy!
I came across the coolest little website a few days ago for poptart enthusiasts! At www.poptarts.com there is a section for "kids" and a section for "moms." I don't believe you need to be a kid or a mom to enjoy a poptart. So if you love poptarts, and you aren't a mom or a kid, never fear. This site is for you too.
Register at Poptarts' Sprinklings Club for samples, coupons and other giveaways!
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
After a long day at my sister Reesa's, we decided it was time to figure out what to get for dinner. El Pollo Loco sounded like the healthiest fast food option, and Randy, Reesa and I agreed this was the perfect choice.
Our conclusion: "I guess we'll wait." [peals of laughter]
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
In a nutshell:
- I am still on South Beach
- I am still on Phase 2 (fruits and whole grains allowed)
- I am still using Saturday as my cheat day
- I have slipped a bit and cheated on non-Saturday days
- I have weighed myself once since starting this diet so I have nothing to compare it to
- I measured myself at the end of Phase 1, and have not measured myself since then
A bit more detail:
I am still on South Beach
I am determined to keep this up and see where it takes me. I need to add exercise to the equation, but for now, I have the eating thing down. I enjoy eating healthy because it makes me feel good. Not only that, but fast food has begun to taste horribly salty. I tried Taco Bell for the first time since starting South Beach on Saturday, and both Randy and I felt it was overpowered by sodium. We ate enough to satisfy our hunger, which wasn't very much. We threw the rest in the trash. I used to LOVE Taco Bell. Now, I say tacos and burritos made at home are much better.
I am still on Phase 2 (fruits and whole grains allowed)
Phase 2 is supposed to last until you lose the weight you desire. Once you reach your goal weight, Phase 3 (a maintenance phase), comes into play. I don't know how long it's going to take to reach my goal because I am beginning to see this as a lifestyle versus something I will only do for a temporary time. I like eating healthier. Also, my goal does not involve weight since weight can fluctuate with water and muscle, etc. So for now, I am just eating for health. And of course, to look better in my clothes.
I am still using Saturday as my cheat day
My cheat days are what keep me going. I can't be perfect all the time. And it's not like I stuff my face with candy and cake on Saturdays (okay, maybe I do sometimes!) But I enjoy being able to have a regular flour tortilla instead of a whole wheat one, or a bowl of icecream that I love so much. I don't want to give these things up altogether, but allowing myself just one day a week makes it easier to be good the rest of the time.
I have slipped a bit and cheated on non-Saturday days
Like I said, I'm definitely not perfect. For example, on Sunday the 18th, I blew my diet by eating tortilla chips. Lots of them. Then the following day for dinner, I ate a regular hamburger on a white bun with regular American cheese. Should've not eaten the tortilla chips, especially in the amount I consumed! The hamburger is okay as long as it's lean beef (like only 10% fat) which I'm not sure if it was. And I definitely shouldn't eat the white bun or the American cheese. Cheeses are okay as long as they're 2%. And lighter cheeses are better than yellows and oranges. For instance, swiss cheese beats cheddar. Plus, I ate a whole tray of mint lifesavers. And full sugar candy is a definite no-no.
So I slipped pretty good. I'm pleased though that I didn't allow these setbacks to discourage me from continuing. I just kick my slip-ups behind me, and move on.
I have weighed myself once since starting this diet so I have nothing to compare it to
I don't have a scale at home and I guess that's a good thing. Weight can fluctuate so much that a pound loss or a pound gain doesn't mean much. Especially when you start drinking more water and lifting weights. But I weighed myself at my sister Reesa's this past Saturday, and I was surprised. It was still high. And I know I've lost inches. So either, I was even heavier (egads!), or I just haven't lost any weight. Either way, I still have a long way to go. Weighing myself this once gave me more resolve to keep going and reminded me not to invest in a scale!
I measured myself at the end of Phase 1, and have not measured myself since then
Measurement is the way I am going to monitor my progress, since it's my size I'm more concerned with than how much I weigh. While I did measure myself at the end of Phase 1 (and there was proof that I lost some inches! hooray!) I haven't measured myself again. Yet.
While I have been walking and doing some ab exercises, it hasn't been consistent enough. I am convinced I need to implement an exercise plan around my diet to see more progress. I just haven't quite done that yet! :) So until then, I will hold off my measurements.
It has been one month since I began South Beach. Overall, I am pleased. I feel better and I am learning to enjoy healthier options. Now if I could just enjoy exercise... all would be well.
Until my next post,
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Today is Saturday, but I don't want to cheat. I've worked so hard these past two weeks, and accomplished physical results, that I am afraid to jeopardize my efforts.
This morning, at the insistent pleas of my kids, I made homemade Belgian waffles. I had to take a trip to Trader Joes first to pick up some milk before I could prepare them. While there, I found some whole wheat flour tortillas and whole grain bread that have minimal sugar and will be great for dinners throughout the week. I also picked up some Cannelini Beans (white kidney beans) and chicken sausage for a healthy stew recipe I want to try.
When I got home, I started to make the waffles and decided to sneak in some whole wheat flour. The recipe calls for 1-1/2 cups flour, so I put in 1/2 cup of whole wheat and mixed it in with regular flour. I wanted to eat a waffle too, and I just can't bring myself to fully cheat! I guess that's a good thing. No one was the wiser to my healthy addition and they gobbled up the waffles.
You don't need a belgian waffle maker to make waffles. But they are yummy!
Any waffle maker will work. Here is the recipe I used, taken from my Fanny Farmer Cookbook 13th Edition:
Mix the eggs, milk, and oil in a large bowl or pitcher. Stir in the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and mix until blended Heat the waffle iron, brush it with some oil and pour in enough batter to just fill. Close and bake until the steaming stops and the waffles are crisp, tender, and brown.
When the waffles were done, I gave my waffle a smidgen of real butter and dripped about a tablespoon of syrup on it. Normally, I would pour about a cup all over them, but I didn't want to intake that much sugar. I read the serving size of the Aunt Jemima syrup we had in the cupboard: 1/4 cup provides 32 grams of sugar. Wow! So a tablespoon is MUCH better. I drank a cup of milk with my one waffle and felt full.
I guess you could say I'm semi-cheating today...but still keeping myself in check. Hopefully, icecream doesn't enter the picture today, because when it comes to icecream, serving sizes don't exist!
Until I post again,
Friday, January 16, 2009
*If you are interested in more specific South Beach information, including recipes and food lists, check out http://www.southbeach-diet-plan.com/
I refuse to weigh myself during this process, but instead took measurements for physical proof of change in my body.
*Beware ~ my initial measurements are frightening!
Jan 2: (At start of Phase 1)
Jan 16: (After 2 weeks in Phase 1)
Loss all around! I am so happy. Not to mention that this is with minimal walking for exercise. I did no weight lifting or excessive cardio during these 2 weeks. I can only handle so much at once. Yet I am left to wonder how many more inches I might've lost if I had begun a routine exercise plan during this time.
Now that I am entering into Phase 2, I intend to begin exercise to boost my efforts. I will post my progress, and do another measurement check in about a month.
Anyone ever tried South Beach, or any similar diets and weight loss plans? How did they work for you? Did you meet your goals? Any suggestions so I can better meet mine?
Until my next post,
Thursday, January 15, 2009
My best intentions were to start this blog at the beginning of the new year. So cliche, right? So I decided to rebel instead, in classic Trish fashion, and start it mid-January.
I mainly started this blog to keep myself accountable for my goals. I am an ace at procrastination, so it helps to know others are onto me, whether I'm working hard or hardly working. I need the proverbial kick in the butt to keep myself going sometimes. And these goals are important to me. So I figured, why not share them? My goals fall into the following categories:
- Health and Fitness ~ Not only do I need to lose weight, I am most interested in feeling better in my clothes, having more energy, and living to enjoy my grandchildren someday with a fit mind and body. I see a struggle-free clothes shopping session in my near future!
- Music ~ I love it, want to hear it everyday, and feel I need it when times are not only rough, but when I want to have a great time. I want to experience as much music as possible while I am alive. I also have the ability to play guitar, but I want to drastically improve by years' end. Lots of practice required!
- Writing and Literature ~ I am a book nerd. I can live without TV or even movies, but don't deny me a good book. I could live in a library. Not only that, but I love expressing myself with written words. I decided since it's something I like to do, why not write more often? It would be an added bonus if I could make money doing so. Write and submit Trish, write and submit.
I will be tracking my goals as I progress through them, not only for myself, but in the hopes that others will also share the goals they are working towards. Also, I do writing prompts from time to time to propel my writing. I will be posting these prompts, so if you feel the urge, don't hesistate to try out a prompt or two and share your personal results! It will be fun to see the various prompt writings!
Obviously, this blog wouldn't exist at all if it weren't for the gentle nudges received (almost daily) from Meesa. ;) Since the notion crossed my lips to the keyboard and onto my computer, Meesa's elated encouragement inspired me. She is actually the main reason I am doing this, because I know even if no one ever reads, shares, or comments, Meesa will. This definitely gives my blog purpose.Thanks Meesa!
Until the next post,