Sunday, September 2, 2007

Just back from a month in China and down 10lbs.

Hello everyone, I have just returned from a month in China with my daughter. Our link is on the right to our blog. Feel free to check it out. My intention wasn't to necessarily lose weight but the heat, business and different foods helped to play a role. I was also busy and active all day. We are home three days and our jet lag has been brutal. We are struggling with eating as we don't have an appetite and trying to get our schedules back before we both go back to school on Tues. Yikes, it has been a rough time and am hoping to keep the weight off.
How are other's doing on this journey?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Why Don't Pounds Melt Off In The Heat?

Just a question - especially here in Arizona we should be shedding them so fast in the summer.

Finally found my scale. And wish I hadn't. It has been some time since I had weighed myself, and I had gained. I think what will help motivate me is to weigh myself daily. Then I know what extra effort I have to put in the next day.

I did have good news today though. We had a wellness check-up at work. And while I sucked at the step test (not even making it the full 3 minutes), my cholestero;, my HGL and all that were in the desirable range!

I will close with a quote from Dr. Eisenson of Duke University: "You'll have bad days and even bad weeks. As long as you don't give up, you're still making progress."


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I am doing my very best to get some poundage off before my sister's far, down one and half pounds. I would like to lose at least 6 or 7, preferably more....we'll see, though. I tend to lose really fast, plateau, etc. It's a never ending cycle......aaaaaahhhhhhhh!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Okay, Donna - how did you fare in California? Were walks on the beach or playing with the dog of any benefit?

I participated in our employer's step program which ended July 1st but I'm proud to say, I'm still hitting the treadmill. Well except for the 114 degree days when it got to 90 degrees inside the workout room. My newest "difference" is once or twice a day walking up the stairs to use the restroom on the third floor of my building.

We've got a fitness assessment in a week and I don't want to be (too) embarrassed.


Friday, June 22, 2007

New Mantra

Someone had posted earlier about having a mantra that was helping them stay on the right path. For me, what has been working over the past week is:

Same effort, same results....different effort, different results

This has helped remind me that if I keep doing what I've always done (no exercise, poor eating habits) then I will yield the same results (out of shape and overweight), but if I can manage to change my habits then I have the power to change the end results.

I've lost 4 lbs over the past week using this mantra. I've been greatly decreasing my food serving size, limiting sugars and fats, and have stopped the constant snacking. Still need to work on the exercise part. ;)


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

You're right about the photos...

Janet, amen...I'm right there with you. Sometimes when I look back at old photos I think...huh, I looked pretty good back then. Then I remember how fat I thought I was at the time and how much time was wasted on not doing things I could have been doing because I was embarrassed about my weight.

I don't want to get old and look back on my entire life and think of wasted time, which is one of the reasons I'm trying to swing into action now. Can anyone else relate to this?


My mother has been dividing her photos up between my brother and me and I got my group a couple of weeks ago. My question is, why can't we like ourselves when we were younger? I look at some of these pictures now and think how great I looked. If only I had thought that back then maybe I would have taken better care of myself. Now when I see pictures of myself, I am still disgusted but try to find something positive to build on.

Janet H.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Janet, I say go right ahead...

and blame at least 5 lbs on muscle. Don't they say that muscle weighs more than fat and that's why sometimes when people re-shape their bodies, the scale doesn't go down as much as they expected.

Good for you for working out and building some muscle!!

I need to figure out how to think differently about exercise. I've always seen it as torture or punishment for needing to loose weight. Can anyone help me get motivated to get my butt on the treadmill? You would think the China trip would be incentive enough, but it's just not doing it for me. I need to somehow change my attitude about exercise.

I think part of my problem is the daily muscle pain of fibromyalgia, which I've been dealing (or actually, not dealing) with for years. I was diagnosed by Mayo in 1992, but have seen suffering with this for at least 7 years before they figured out what was wrong. Finally it was diagnosed and reading the medical info on fibro was like reading the story of my life. I finally knew what was wrong and why I felt so much pain everyday. Exercise is one of the best things for fibro sufferers, but getting on that treadmill when all my muscles already hurt is not easy...years later I still haven't got moving.


Donna :)

Popeye, Here I Come.....

I was fairly fit in college. I worked out a lot and I felt good. I have never been a tiny little stick, but I was thin enough and I was in good shape. I always lamented my legs, though. And my arms. As I've said, I'm not a "small build", so I was always embarrassed about my legs and arms. They were so....manly, I thought (as in large!) They had a lot of muscle and I was embarrassed about it. Then I got married and had kids. Working out went by the wayside. Then, when my youngest was 2, I decided that enough was enough and I started working out again. It's kind of weird, but I'm proud of my muscle now. I have always had short, stocky legs, but at least my legs are muscle! And my arms have never been those tiny, svelte arms of actresses, but they are strong! It's a good feeling. To know that my body is healthy. Now, I won't lie and say that I'm perfectly happy with my body, because I am SO not. And I don't want to become a body builder or anything (gross!) but I do like to see some definition in my arms. Plus, I can blame say....5 pound, on muscle? Tee hee. Oh well, it was worth a try.....:-)

Hope Simpson - Not the Biggest Loser

Okay so I have been battling this weightloss thing forever!! I have tried EVERYTHING including surgery. I have a gastric lap band. Still not successful! I want so desperately do this before we go to China. So today, I packed my lunch and my husband Scott's as well. Did really well untill my co-worker brings in chocolate fudge!! Then tonight I had a PMS craving for mexican. Blew everything else out of the water!! Anyhow, my gym is getting ready to have a biggest loser contest this fall and I am going to try really hard to do well!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007


I just joined this blog and wanted to introduce myself. My name is Bernadine and I'm an older single mom to the adorable Katie who was 21 months old on the 5th. I'm looking forward to "meeting" you all and hopefully learning some ways to get the weight off and to keep the weight off. I have a great, great deal of weight to lose and need all the help I can get. I want to be around to see my grandchildren some day.

I loved the article from the magazine

I spent some time looking at the article and thinking about it. I know that for me I am a very emotional stress eater. I am thrilled to think of some new strategies and ideas to keep me on track. I really need to get back to not eating after dinner. My downfall is snacking at night in front of the tv or on my computer. I am on my own so nobody to talk to so off I go and eat. I am working on no snacks after dinner but I am finding it is a hard habit to break.

Anyone else struggle with nighttime eating????

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Admin Rights

I have been giving admin rights to everyone who joins this blog. This way anyone can invite people to join, add to the links in the right column (add your adoption blog links if you'd like), and add links to any sites you think would benefit the group.

Donna :)

Monday, June 4, 2007

The Power of a Vision

I just read an article in Real Simple magazine (my fav) called What's in Your Future? about the power of having a vision. If you can visualize what you want, you can get it. You's motivation, which is something I have been severely lacking lately.

This article really got me thinking about what my vision would be...what it would actually look like and how being able to actually envision it clearly might help me get and stay motivated to reach it.

Here's some steps given in the article:

4 steps to fulfilling your wildest dreams:

1. Find your vision - Answer this question: If absolutely anything were possible, what would I love to happen in my life, my work, my relationships?

2. Build the castle - Flesh out and color in your vision of what the best outcome would look like. Write down every detail: what you'll be doing, what you'll be wearing, whom you'll be with, how you'll feel. Ask for inspiration from close friends and family members.

3. Set the date - Write down the exact day, month, and year when you will have brought your vision to life. We're not saying, "About six months from now"; we're saying, "Friday, November 9, 2007." This isn't the time to be vague.

4. Commit - Reaching your castle is not something you're just thinking about. So try the exercise on the following page to help you make a detailed plan - and follow it.

Here's the exercise from the article:

Once you've identified your vision and committed to achieving it by a certain date, you'll need a detailed plan to reach your goal. Here's a method that I use to help my clients fulfill their vision. Imagining that you've already achieved your goal. Then work backward from that point in time, asking yourself step by step how you got there, until you're back where you are right now.

Take a blank piece of ruled paper. On the top line, write your vision (that is, the answer to "if absolutely anything were possible, I would..."). Put a deadline date next to it. On the bottom line, write today's date.

Now ask yourself these questions: "What would have happened just before I reached my goal? What did I do right before I got there?" Write the answers on the second line, below your vision.

Now proceed line by line down the page, asking yourself, "And what would have happened right before that to make it possible?" Fill in the answers as you go along, and keep writing until you reach today's date. Don't be tempted to start at the bottom and work your way up. It's much harder and less productive-believe me.

Repeat the same exercise using different answers. This will give you more than one path to take and different options to pursue if there's ever a bump in the road.

Finished? This is your map, your plan. Follow it with boldness, joy, and the anticipation that you will succeed.

In the article, the writer shares her vision of running down the beach holding the hands of her future grandchildren. Her vision is so clear and defined and she wants it so badly that she stays motivated to stay on track with her plan to get there. Her plan is to not only be alive when her children have children, but to be healthy and in shape enough to run on the beach with them. As she is making choices in life, she sees her vision and lets that guide her.

I really liked this article and I'm going to go through the steps and do the exercise she outlines to see if it helps me develop a vision. Anyone care to join me in this?

Little finds...

I love to cook and I recently placed my first order from a company called Penzey's. So far everything I've tried I like. Especially the Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle. I initially bought it to put on bread. I made spaghetti one nigh and since I had made too many noodles, I decided to follow their directions on the jar (sans the oil) and tossed a few sprinkles with the hot pasta and it was really good. Not a substitution for drowning in sauce but a nice change. I used a high fiber whole wheat pasta and I plan on trying with spaghetti squash soon. Will let you know how it turns out.

I've also made their Creamy Peppercorn Dressing. It's really thick but I made it with light mayo and light sour cream and so far have only used it for dipping veggies in. I will thin it with some milk and use for salads.

Late on My Intro

Helloooo. I'm Susan from Life as I Know It. I've battled my weight for the past several years. About 3 years ago I joined Weight Watchers and lost about 40 pounds or so but when Will went to Iraq I had to decide what I wanted to focus attentions on and losing weight wasn't it. I ate out most every night. I ate at Tac0 Bell so much they got to know my voice in the drive through and I had to start going to another one on the other side of town. That and Big Macs were my staples. I gained 8 lbs that year. Fine with me. Then there was our trip to China. While I gorged the whole time we were there, I lost about 18 lbs when we got home but have slowly picked them back up.

The town I work in is very small and choices for lunch are limited and everything is fried, swimming in grease or coated with gravy. They just opened a Y and rather sit at my desk trolling the internet, I joined it. I want to go 4 days a week and I have some but normally I can make 3. I've also started taking golf lessons on my lunch hour. Like I said, very small town can get across who thing in 5 minutes - with stop lights. I'm loving being outside and between it and the Y, I feel so much better. I've lost about 5 pounds and am on my way to hopefully being successful this go round.

I can't wait to read everyone's successes and to swap some recipes and fun food finds.

Isn't it the truth?

click to enlarge

Saturday, June 2, 2007


My name is also Janet and I work with Donna. Our employer is currently pushing a walking program which I'm participating in. My "yuck" moment came last night when I looked in the mirror opposite the treadmill I was on and saw my thighs explode above my knees. When did that happen? Probably in thes last ten years of wearing slacks all the time. Yes, even during Arizona summers.

Hi All

Kim here.

I know some of you from Precious Panda's and some from the Disney trip.

5 years ago my sister and husband and I went out to the Utah high desert to visit family and did some touring in the backcounty. My sister took one particular picture of me hiking up to see petroglyphs, and that was my Uh Oh picture! I hardly recognized myself and to whom did that pot belly belong anyway. (If I can find that thing I'll post it just to keep myself honest)

I got serious and lost 30 lbs and kept it off for 2 years. Then we got into a situation where my husband had health problems and my job had (even more than usual) stress problems and I decided I just did not feel like being dilligent.

so - 25 lbs are back and I get to start again.

This is serious for me - my left knee is actually a bit "defective" plus I have 2 separate back injuries. My body really can't support extra weight, and my lower back is nagging me about this poundage even now.

My personal challenge - I am vacationing in July with my sister and a good friend who lives in the Durango Colorado area. Sis hikes EVERY WEEK and my friend does hikes to the top of 14K mountains as a hobby. Me - I have a desk job. And I'm starting menopause.

They have promised to keep the first big hike shorter for me - but at altitude that is still going to be tough.

So - some weight has to go and some muscle better get added or I won't survive long enough to get to China, much less carry a child around.

My biggest challenge is actually work. These people are carb pushers! Why are there skinny people in this world who manage to eat all that white flour. Wish I understood how that works.

Weight watchers is not my style for multiple reasons. I used South Beach last time, and although I am dreading the first two weeks I'll use it this time too. I appreciate the chance for mutual support. A place to quietly whine and rant sounds wonderful.

So - do we have a ready set go date, or do we just clean the fridge now? (I'm making homemade chicken veggie soup for this weekend - can I get bonus points?)


I am here

Hi Everyone, My name is Susan Rizzo, Donna and I became friends on a great trip to Philadelphia we both took with our Precious Panda LID group. I am waiting for my first child, a girl from China. I have been keeping myself busy while we wait for our referral with friends, family and food. The last trip we took did it for me enough is enough. I saw a picture of myself and thought OMG! I don't want to be the "FAT MOM". I was so happy to see Donna start this group, because I for one need all the support I can get to stay focused on my goal of being more healthy. I want to be able to run and play with my child but, most of all I want to be around for her.

Friday, June 1, 2007

hello everyone!

Hi everyone this is Shauna and I am a single mom to an 8 year old from China. I lost a lot of weight the first 6 months home with MacLean and then a few years later I was rowing and lost even more weight. Well the bomb dropped when I got injured rowing and for over 2 and a half years I had what can only be described as a pinched nerve down the whole right side of my body. i could barely go to work as a special ed teacher and look after MacLean. So excercise was gone and I gained weight. Now I am pretty healthy and back to trying to walk, and eat more healthy foods etc. But I am struggling with nighttime eating and just not getting out enough for a workout between work, child, activites and not enough money to pay a sitter everynight. I feel like I need some support to help me out. We are going to china for one month this summer to do a homeland tour and to volunteer at an orphanage so I would like to drop a few pounds before we go.

Thanks for listening and I look forwar to this group.


Thanks for the invite Donna! My name is Emily (aka Ladybugsmom), I began working out regularly a year ago in May. I have improved my strength and stamina and have shaped up, but I still have a ways to go. I would like to shed some additional pounds and continue to improve my strength.

We expect to be waiting for several more months with an LID of 1/11/06, hopefully we will have our referral or travel by Christmas. Here's to improved health, weight loss and our dear children who are waiting for us.

My next round of personal training starts June 4 and for me it really helps to work out with a trainer, it makes me accountable and makes me work harder.

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Hello there, everyone! My name is Janet and I am so happy to join this group. I'm happy because it's called "HEALTHY" challenge, and my main focus is on health! I have lost 57 pounds so far and still have 20 more to I'm on my way, but am having a REALLY hard time getting rid of these last pounds!!ARG! What motivated me to get start to get healthy? Well, sit down and listen to my crazy story....

A year and half ago, some wonky things started happening to my body. Strange thing number one- my nipples started to bleed. I know that it's a fairly personal thing, but hey, we're all ladies here, right? So off I went to the doctor, where I was informed that I might have breast cancer. That was a shock! I was 31 and scared! I went through all the testing and....NO CANCER! I was VERY grateful, but what on earth was causing the bleeding?

Strange thing number two- horrible periods, strange mood swings, lots of hair growth and acne on my face. What on earth? A lot of that I had had for years, but it seemed worse for some reason. So...back to the doctor to figure it out. They found a tumour on my pituitary gland in my brain. I was scared to death, but my doctor assured me that MANY women actually have it (it's called a "pituitary adenoma") and I did my research, and the doctor did PLENTY of tests. Sure enough- it was benign, and it was really small. Still, if affected my hormone levels and thus all the strange things. I'm on hormone therapy, and getting regular blood tests done. I have had NO growth from the tumour. My doctor assures me that it is non-cancerous but is just a pain for me. So.....

I started to take my health VERY seriously. You start to realize after almost having breast cancer, then almost having brain cancer (I thought) that life is so precious and that you do NOT want to miss out on anything because you can't do things. I started to exercise every day, and I LOVED it! I feel so much stronger now, so much healthier. Just tonight on our walk my son feel off his bike and I ran to him. I was taken aback when I got there that I wasn't even the least bit out of breath. Such a good feeling.

Anyway, that's why I'm here. I want to continue on with this healthy journey. I don't want to be a stick. I know I will never look like a model. But I want to be healthy and happy for my family, and for me.

It's Time!

As some of you know, we are expecting our referral any day now! Whoohoo! I have been meaning to “loose a few” for the past couple of months now but it just hasn’t happened. I think that once I get my referral, some of the stress eating will subside (I hope!). I want to be healthy and strong for my trip to China. I want to be smiling and proud in every picture and not be jumping out of the way every time someone points a camera (or video camera) my way. I am hoping to carry my daughter in a sling most of the time (to promote bonding) so I want to have the upper body strength to do this. Having done this before – I remember how much my arms and back hurt – I swore that next time I would do weights before our trip!
I also want to bound up the steps of the great Wall of China – not be the person huffing and puffing at the back of the pack.

I am excited to be joining this group and hope this helps motivate me to get off my butt.


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

It's time to take control...

It's amazing how looking at a photo can give us motivation to take control of our life.

This photo was taken on our Waiting Mommas Disney trip. I don't look great, but I didn't think it was that bad so alarms didn't really go off at the time...

Later that month I saw this photo (courtesy of my brother, thanks a lot Jim) and was horrified. Oh my God, do I REALLY look like that? My poor hubby didn't bargain for this. I am SO embarrased. For me, this is the ultimate "before" photo and it's time to make some changes for the future.

I want to come up with a plan for a healthy lifestyle. I'm not talking about a crash diet to loose pounds fast...I'm talking about an exercise and eating plan to get me moving in the right direction.

I don't want my daughter to be the one with the "fat" mom. I want her to be proud to call me "mom" and I want to have no restrictions when it comes to doing activities with her.

I'm inviting everyone to join me in this wellness challenge. If you're interested, I can add you as an author on this blog and we can use it as a group forum for posting our ideas, challanges, successes, concerns, monthly goals, etc. Once we get going, I'm planning on setting the blog up so that only authors can view the blog. I feel this topic is personal and doesn't need to be shared with everyone out in Blogville. E-mail me here if you would like to join in.