Monday, December 31

do you know what you just ate?

Clam Chowder

We met when I was about 7 or 8. I remember smelling it when I came home from school one day. Please note that what I am about to describe is not a discredit to my mom's cooking because she is faboo. Trust me. But the smell of NE clam chowder, clams and potatoes simmering in HOT MILK... ugh. I said to mom, "Mom, I don't think I will like it". In spite of my protests, I found myself sitting in front of a hot bowl of chowder. I dunno, even the name "chowder" sounds like a way to purge your body. "Eat it!" I stared. "Eat or you get nothing else". I still stared. I could tell my dad was starting to get uncomfortable. I could see his almost pleading glances for me to at least try it. But I COULDN'T. It was HOT MILK & CLAMS! Didn't anyone understand? They didn't but I was forced to eat it and almost all of it. It was only when I began to "purge" that I was never forced to eat the evil clam chowder ever again. I have two other foods that fit into this food group: Brussels sprouts (which I can now tolerate) and liver (don't EVEN post that it's because I haven't had it cooked the right way because I can't even stand the smell, let alone the taste).

This food group is the one where mom was at her finest. Every now and then, mom would serve up something a bit "kid untraditional" like lamb or periwinkles. She's creative but that's not what I'd call it when she got me to eat these things. She would flat out trick me. She'd cook it up, make it look like a burger and then when I was done eating, all the while "mmm-ing" thru it, she'd ask me "do you know what you just ate?" Many of you posted that my mom looks like a blast. Oh she's a blast all right. Trouble in its' highest. UP TO IT... always.

Now, there were things I would have preferred to not eat but for the most part, I cleaned my plate. Vegetables weren't my thing but I usually ate them all because I didn't have the option to not eat them. Sometimes my stubborn streak would flare and there would be something on my plate that I was NOT gonna eat. That meant pullin' an all-nighter at the kitchen table. Peas, sometimes, was one of those things. I am like my dad. He enjoys cookies, cakes, pies, donuts, the occasional fruit (like watermelon), meat and potatoes. We are like two peas in a pod. Speaking of peas, he would eat my peas for me - it was either that or I would probably STILL be sitting at the dinner table.

When I moved about a 6 hour drive away from my ever feeding mommy, I rebelled and to be honest, I think I ate maybe zero vegetables for the first few years that I was away from home. I'm not including salads here. Now, I'm a little older (11 years to be exact) and realize that I cannot fulfill my vegetable requirements with iceberg lettuce alone so last week I branched out into another section of the grocery aisle. I actually picked up zucchini, fresh tomatoes (which I really love) & carrots AND used them. That's a big deal for me because my veggies always go bad... always. Tonight, I made spaghetti with turkey meat sauce. While the onions, garlic and fresh tomatoes sautéed, I decided to spice up my life a little and add some zucchini and canned corn to the mix. At 7.5 pts per serving I had a pretty darn good meal.

Thursday, December 27

Chourico & Salad

So tonight there's a little lesson about my heritage. I am part Portuguese. You can thank this woman for all that entails.

Meet.. my mom.
The Portuguese are Latin, romantic, passionate and hospitable. Please interpret that last word to mean that everything and I mean everything revolves around food. Now my mom, bless her heart, weighs about 98 lbs soaking wet but eats enough to sustain a baby elephant. Where the food goes, only the Lord will reveal it to me? And yes, THIS is the burning question I will ask when I sit on God's lap and uncover the hidden things. But I digress.

The Portuguese love to cook, eat, cook & eat and most importantly FEED YOU. I can remember when I was a little girl the first thing my vovo (Grandma) would do is sit me down at the kitchen table and start bringing food over to me. This leads me to one of my favorite foods that I grew up with.. Portuguese chourico. Basically, chourico (as seen on Emeril.. BAM!) is pork, fat, wine, paprika and salt. Then it's smoked. For more info, click here. Once that whole process is done with, you can eat it unheated in a sandwich or like many of us like to do, we sauté it with a bit of olive oil, throw in some onions and call it a day. I have a 'thing' when I visit Massachusetts which if you are all caught up on your reading know that I was there last week. I stock up on Chourico because it's very hard to find outside of New England. I found chicken chourico in Maryland once but that was almost blasphemous.

Tonight, my featured dinner:

It turns out to be approximately 4 pts per serving. Then throw in a salad lightly dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar and you have a 6 point meal... YUM!

Wednesday, December 26

I don't know what to post about today....

So, I'll post pictures! :) I got a new camera for Christmas and I have been very camera happy. My brother went as far as to call me "the papparazi". Nice.

This is my view of Polly's head as she sits in front of me
(the background is the cold but beautiful New England snow)

That's my daddy. My mom said this picture is too dark. I say it looks artistic.

That's my brother and my niece Faith. I love this..

That's moi after the dye job. I took a TON of pictures of me. Doesn't look too much different. My hair is very dark except for the grays that try their darnedest to reveal my age. I worry about how much I enjoy taking self portraits. Many more where this came from sooooo... if you are tired of my face (who could tire of it???), you might wanna break from my blog until I get this camera thing out of my system. As a side note, I am waiting for Mel to get back to Maryland so she can take some "before" shots of me. I can hardly wait (sarcasm to the 'shots' comment).

Me again. I'm eating out with my family. If the papparazi do it to famous people, why can't my family do it to me?

Both girls enjoying Polly's new bed. Sadie is on left (camera shy) and I forgot to mention that she is Polly's mommy. I am sitting for her while Mel is away. She has settled right in as you can see.

That's all for now. Thanks for stoppin' in. I hope you enjoyed your stay at the El Foto Tina. Please come again soon. Ciao.

Tuesday, December 25

Merry Christmas All...

To all of my blogging friends, I wanted to make sure I wished ya'll a very Merry Christmas. Right about this time some of you are stuffed to the gills from a wonderful dinner (and desserts) or are pooping because of the constant activity in and out of your homes. I had Christmas last week with my family in Mass as I had to work this week, so today it was just me and the dogs. A quiet day, but not such a bad day if I do say so myself. Did some cooking, tv watching, napping and just got in from a nice brisk walk in the cold December air. Well anyway, I hope you all had (and are having) a great day with family and friends and that Santa was good to you this year! Hugs.

Monday, December 24

Losing weight makes no sense sometimes...

So this weekend I decided that I had enough "fun" and was gonna get back on track. After all, I had eaten out at least 4 times last week, had Burger King TWICE and believe me I got the whole nine there, didn't make it to the gym, and the list goes on and on. I don't know why but I decided that I couldn't stay down for long and maybe what I needed was a week like last week to just relax. I went back to Mass for the weekend to see family and meet my niece for the first time and didn't walk around consumed by thoughts of food.

Meet Faith....

She was such a blast. OMG! And what a cutie. I'm so honored to have met her.

I'm back in Mary-land.... I had to work today (only a half day) and now I'm home, just relaxing. I'm not spending Christmas with anyone (just me and the dogs) so tomorrow I'll be taking it easy again and watching some marathon on t.v. I'm sure.

Oh yeah, about my title. After all the crap I ate last week, I lost 1.6 pounds. HOW does that happen?

I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas and that Santa brings you everything that you wanted and more. Oh yeah.. I got some great stuff for Christmas. A 14 piece set of Cuisinart cookware, digital camera, cash, dvd burner.. I'm pysched! Ok, I'm pooped as I managed to find things to do (like dye my hair - see the picture) until about 2:30 am. Yaaaaaawn. And HUGS.

Friday, December 14


No real post today as I am feeling like poop tonight and need to crawl back in bad. Didn't want to leave you completely post-less so I am sharing a funny that I got from my friend...

These men are installing and setting solid steel pillars in concrete to stop vehicles from parking on the pavement outside a sports bar in downtown Norman OK. They are cleaning up at the end of the day. How long do you think it will be before they realize where their vehicle is parked?

That SO would happen to me!

Thursday, December 13

Will you be my friend?

So, I just created a Facebook a few days ago. Like I needed anything else to feed my insomnia tendencies. I tried creating a badge for my blog but it took up SO much space. Will try again later. Do any of you facebook? I'd love to add you to my friends list. Send an email to me and I'll get right on that.

On the DEC front, I've done 1/2 of my elliptical time this week. W00T! By the way, did you know they added "woot" to the dictionary? Tonight, I'm hittin' the gym and will do the other half of my elliptical & some weights work.

It's really quiet at work these days... we're waiting for a big torrential rainstorm to bring in the business... and while we wait, I Facebook.

My hometown is getting hit with some snow! I'm so jealous... Hope you all are having a great day. I will try to pry myself away from my new addiction to catch up on posts. *Hugs*

Tuesday, December 11

i tHiNK my ScaLE is mEsSIng WITh mE

Ok, so today is weigh in Tuesday. *insert sarcastic yay here* I was a little nervous about today because as far as calories and points go, I was around 1400-1500 calories all week long with the exception of three days. I should mention that I had two kick ass workouts and bowled for 3 hours. So at least I was moving for three days last week. I was still nervous though.

Well, I got on the scale and it said 183.0 which means up 0.4. Poop! Oh yeah, I did a lot of that this morning too! Sorry, TMI. Anyway, for those of you who obsessively weigh yourself, when it's WI Tuesday, I do just that. I get on and off the scale about 10 times, just to make sure it's the same. Well, around my 10th time getting on and off the scale the numbers starting shifting between 181.4 and 183. WTF!!!! So now I'm really obsessed until.... you guessed it.. until the number stayed at 181.4. I got on and off the scale about 10 more times just to be sure but it didn't budge anymore.

So the verdict is DOWN 1.2. Maybe my scale is possessed, maybe it's messing with me or maybe it just needs a new battery. Either way, I'll take the loss. Oh and in addition to my scale "victory", my measurements have changed for the better. My hips are down one inch (how is that possible) and my waist is down a half inch. Woowoo!!

Saturday, December 8

Bowling, Butt Muscles

I bowled a 113 tonight.. TWICE. Woohoo! I know that doesn't sound impressive, but trust me, I have zippo skills when it comes to the big balls. ZIP. I am proud to say that I even beat my uber competitive bff. I didn't promise I wouldn't tell. She has the pictures to prove it. I'm waiting for them to be uploaded so I can prove it. WOOT! In all my bowling fun and jumping in the air EVERY time the ball knocked at least one pin down, I think I pulled a butt muscle. Nothing serious, just a slight limp. No worries. I also stayed up past my bedtime tonight and bowled about one hour into rock-n-bowl.. that's when they turn the lights out, everything is glow in the dark, and the music gets crankin. Some of the new tunes that are out there are a little gross. I think Mel and I are getting old because we kept wrinkling our nose at each other and mouthing "what is this?". There was one dude there, probably twice my age who was shakin' it like a Polaroid. It was HYSTERICAL. Oh and then I started dancing when that one song came on that says, "now slide to the left, now slide to the right, cha cha now.. smoooooooth"... Here it is for you to enjoy. You won't be able to help yourself. Get up and move.. ACTIVITY POINTS BABY!

I'm partied out and I'm up early tomorrow. I'm off to bed, just wanted to post that it was a good night and that my buttocks are thanking me.


Sorry I've been AWOL for a few days but I am here to explain. Good reasons I SWEAR! So, of course my "friend" (which is nobody's friend if you ask me) stopped by to visit on Wednesday night, just before bed. I had worked out that day like a mad woman and when I came home, I felt like I might be able to examine the contents of my stomach. I wondered why I was feeling so rough (and exhausted which is always my first clue). I bathed (I take a bubble bath almost every night) got out and I think I was checking my email when I got that uh-oh feeling. I went to the bathroom, checked it out and sure enough I had a visit. When I was a teen & actually before birth control, I never felt like this. Awful cramps so bad that I'm nauseaus, hunched over (one of the guys at work said "what's wrong? Headache?") and many times breathing like I'm about to have a baby. But now, every cycle seems to get worse. That night I took a sleeping pill, turned on my heating pad because the cramps started pretty much right away and then went to sleep.

This morning I woke up and was in A LOT of pain. I ate Advil for breakfast along with some coffee and all day long I could barely stand it. I worked a full day but I don't think it was a productive day. I don't remember much from Thursday except coming home, soaking in a hot bath, climbing into bed, and moaning from all of the stupid pain. I was gonna work out this day but I could barely stand up, let alone move my ass on an elliptical.

I didn't have to go into work.. YAY.. and my cramps were as horrendous as the first night so I stayed in bed with my trusty heating pad. My goal was to work out in the afternoon before our office Christmas party/dinner. THAT didn't happen. I moaned and groaned ALL DAY to the point where my dog was whining because she was worried about all the noise mommy was making. :( While in bed I got a few texts asking if I was going to the dinner and wrote back about my condition and that I would try and do they have anything illegal. :) I got a text back from two friends saying that one would try to bring something and the other would definitely bring something for me.

Christmas Party
Friday night was the night of the office Christmas dinner. We had it at a restaurant by the water called Macgregors. Sounds classy but it was actually very relaxed (it had a NEON sign out front). It's always weird seeing our installation crew actually in regular clothes and showered. But anyway. My illegal meds hookups arrived (they remain nameless so as to not incriminate). One of them FORGOT and the other slipped me a yellow pill with a V on it. Yeah, you guessed it. And you can guess who is remaining my friend. So I took the little pill with the V on it and soon after started to feel tingly in my face and soon after that I got the giggles. I felt very removed from my environment.. it's the only way I can describe it. I kept asking if I was talking too loud. Embarrassing. Tingly, giggly but the cramps AND my headache went away. YAY! That was until the nausea kicked in. Boo! You see, I had very little appetite and I was not in the mood for my filet mignon (which I took two small bites and SAVED flex points for). I took a bite or two from my mashed potatoes, ate 4 onion rings, my salad and called it a day. Oh yeah, I did eat a little of my apple pie a la mood... less than half. I ended up eating only 20 of the 24 POINTS I'm allowed. I left the party with a designated driver and came home to, you guessed it, my comfy cozy bed. BUT that was not before I tried to fix a very annoying computer problem. I guess I was jazzed up from the umpteen diet Pepsi refills. Anyway, I'm less high now and am happy to report I have zero cramps. YAY!

Ok, so I'm supposed to work out 3x a week for 30 minutes each session doing some type of cardio. I worked out 2x this week doing a total of 1hr and 45 minutes. So that's not bad at all. No strength (s)training this week. I'm hoping to either maintain or of course lose. I feel like I've been eating a lot this week (because I've been eating my activity points) so if I don't have a loss I may eat less of them next week.

Hope you all are having a FABOO weekend. I'm going to a bowling birthday party tonight so that should be lots of fun. Pictures of the Christmas and bowling party to come later. I'm out.

Wednesday, December 5

Nausea = High Intensity??

I worked out on the elliptical for 45 minutes at high speed (my heart rate was between 175-183 pretty much the entire time). I am whooped and nauseas. But you know what that means DEC-ers.. 15 more minutes until I've reached my cardio goal. WOOT! It's almost worth the nausea. :)

I decided regarding the whole activity points thing to do what is right for my body. I know my body and what it takes for me to get in motion. So with that, I'll use some math, some knowledge about how my body feels and responds and will do what is right for me... what my body is telling me that it needs.

I'm off to bed but I will post again.

OH YEAH... we got our first real snow.. just a few inches but AWESOME. I'm hoping Santa brings me a dig cam for Christmas so I can stop taking pictures with my cell phone. See below (Note the piece of the logo on my hat under the hoodie.. I wore this same outfit to the gym and got some very dirty looks. Still wondering? PATS baby!)

Tuesday, December 4

Down, down baby.. down by the....

182's.. WOOT. Down 1 pound. Take THAT mean scale. Sweatin' to the oldies DOES pay off.

Monday, December 3

One hour baby!

Did it again.. one hour on the elliptical and kept my heart rate at a minimum of 163 the entire time. Came out to about 10,000 strides and 4.5 miles... woo woo! That's me tooting my own horn.

Now for my confession:
This weekend I felt like CRAP.. just mentally and physically and didn't even want to get out of bed. On Saturday morning, I went over to Mel's house in the morning to help take some Christmas pictures. That was crazy with a capital C. Imagine four kids, ages 4, 3, 3 and 1. Now imagine me trying to capture a nice family moment AND their attention. OMG. The hubby was the best kid of all. And by best, I mean worst. ;) It was cold and windy and the kids looked so darn cute. I think we got one picture that they could live with...I just wish there were more options for mommy to choose from.

This is what she decided on:

I like it! And it's very hard for this fam to take a bad picture. They're all so pretty!

After a very eventful morning, I went back home. I was SUPPOSED to do errands, I have a list like 8 billion miles long of things I need to get done but I just couldn't muster up the mental energy to do it. I HATE when I am like that. So I spend the rest of the day in bed, sleeping and watching tv. Later that night I took a sleep aid to be sure that I went back to sleep and that I did. I woke up the next morning VERY groggy. Ugh. I figured Sunday would be better but I was in an even crappier mood than the day before. Emotional and drugged out do not mix well on me. I ended up in bed AGAIN the entire day. I've been eating okay. Not great, not horrible, just so-so. Now we are up to date.

Wake up. Crappy mood, day 3. Wonderful. I barely want to get out of bed, let alone face other people at work. But I do it anyway. I stop at the local DD to pick up some treats for fellow co-workers and head in. It was DEAD today. I mean, I had 7 voicemails but nothing important at all. My boss asked me how my weekend was and I just about burst into tears because he was being so sweet when I said "not great". Dum, dee, dum. Day rolled on as normal. Except for my appetite which is part of this confession. I felt as if I could eat my arm. I was HUNGRY all day. I ate my lunch at about 11:15 and by 1:30 when evil Ryan announced that he was going for Chinese and did I want any (btw, he knows I'm doing ww).. I exclaimed YES! I got an order of pork fried rice and ate 1.5 servings. Ouch. Thank God my flex points started over today or I would have been in TROUBLE. Just a little nervous about tomorrow's WI because we know that Chinese food loves sodium. Anyhoo... the boss let me go home early (around 330) and I rested for a while (like I haven't been doing that all weekend, I know). I decided at 5:00 I was gonna get up and head to the gym and that I did. Got on the elliptical and exercised my buns off (hopefully) for an hour. Hence, the earlier tooting of the horn. I feel better. They say exercise can do that to ya. Yay. :)

Oh yeah, this is DAY 3 of D.E.C. (December Exercise Challenge) and I have 1 of my 2 hours on the elliptical done. Woot woot again.

Btw, tonight the team from where I was born and raised plays in my current home state. GOOD LUCK BOYS!

Saturday, December 1

Have you seen this? 20 Worst Foods

Twenty Worst Foods

Ricki Lake's Weight Loss

Very inspiring read and video... for any who are interested.

Ricki Lake's Loss - Read & Watch

Are you eating enough?

Thank you all for the responses given to my question about activity points, etc. I'm a bit of a 'googler' when it comes to these things so I found an answer that made sense to me AND it was on the Weight Watcher's website.

First, Steph was right. I think for any of us that have gotten our butts in gear, a big KUDOS to you (and me too) because in addition to eating right, exercising is right up there with getting us on the path to the smaller butts that we know we all want. And it can be DAMN hard to get our asses off the couch and get movin' so let's not discount what it takes to do it!

Second, I also think we need to be sure we are eating enough for our bodies to survive and actually BURN calories. Sometimes that involves straying a bit from the formula and figuring out what is right for us. After all, we are uniquely made right? For example, there are some of you that are near your goal weights and have decreased your caloric intake drastically because of your weight loss and then presto, chango, you stopped losing weight. And then when you increase your caloric intake a bit (by way of Points), the weight starts coming off again. Why is that? I've read on someone else's blog that she figured out the calories she was eating came out to about 900+ calories a day... She stayed within her points and was doing what the program said she should do, but the weight refused to come off. Little changed by way of exercise and foods she was eating but still, the scale was stubborn. She figured out that she was eating way too little for her body and when she increased her food intake, she started losing again. When I see a grown woman eating less than 1000 calories each day AND exercising, I have to ask the question, WHO is that healthy for? You have to know I ask these questions from the perspective of someone who has struggled with eating issues, both over and under eating.

Third, I don't think that activity intensity needs to be subjective or a guessing game. WeightWatchers along with many other health websites gives us a formula to use to figure out our activity intensity. I read on this site the three different tests you can use to measure activity intensity. Basically, you can do one of three things: 1. the talk test 2. determine if heart rate is in the target zone 3. perceived exertion. Interesting and helpful, I thought.

I was thinking today that what may be moderate intensity for one, may be high intensity for another. For me at 182 pounds, it takes a lot less effort for my heart rate to get within the maximum level than it does when I am 40 pounds less. I don't agree that most activities are not high intensity. I think that it needs to be taken into account who is doing them. I may be able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded (and btw, I can't right now) but my grandma who weighs over 200 lbs may not be able to speak when she reaches the top. And I'm sure if I took her heart rate, she would be near if not over 70% of her maximum heart rate.

After all that, the other thing I was poking around on the internet looking for an answer is "when I earn AP, do I have to use them all?". Again, I found many subjective responses, which if you haven't noticed, I prefer a more black/white answer. I LIKE FORMULAS! :) Some said, eat them if you want. I had a leader that said you MUST eat them ALL. I've read that you eat them if you need them. How do you know if you need them? Is your stomach growling? Are you ready to faint from exhaustion and lack of food? Can some of you share what you do with your AP? What works for you guys?