Tuesday, April 29

MA bound

Sorry for being MIA.. just dealing with the family stuff, my emotions...and really letting God deal with me and be my "very present help in time of need". I haven't fallen too far off the wagon but it hasn't been my focus either. Just wanted to let you guys know I'm doing okay, sad sometimes.. but God is faithful.

I'm heading up north to be with the family tonight, spending one day (because I can't afford to be off longer than that) and then driving back thru the night Wednesday, after the memorial.

I have some sentences I want to share, many things on my heart.. more to come soon.

I love you guys, thanks for the support and being there for me in this tough time.

Here are some flowers for you all!

Tuesday, April 22


I feel like for the past few months, every few weeks or so, I've known someone who has passed.

This time, it's my family. My auntie..

I'm a little numb right now... feel so removed because all of my family is in Mass.. I'm waiting to hear about arrangement details and then I will head up.

I covet your prayers.

Monday, April 21

Sink, Swim or Float?

I was talking with a friend this weekend and she was shared with me a story about why (and how) she began taking swim class at her college. As part of her major, she was required to take physical education and she basically kept putting it off until she was forced to make a decision. Now everything about her HATES to exercise so she went looking for the easy A, leading her to sign up for a beginner's swim class. The instructor asked the class to do a few different exercises and when he noticed her, he caught on to her rather quickly and pulled her aside and asked why she was in that class. She said, "to be honest, I wanted an easy A". He appreciated her honesty and with that said, "you will get an A in my class but you will work for it". He switched her to the advanced class.

In this advanced class, she saw students flying across the pool. She could barely swim for 3 minutes without struggling for breath. That was only the first class. And he told them that the next class he would double the time that they spent swimming. On this went until she got to 15 minutes and there she thought her capacity had been met. It wasn't. She now swims for 30 minutes and when she gets out of the pool, she is no longer winded.

Her teacher told her in the beginning to not worry about speed. He would rather that she do it right and be slow, then be fast and sloppy. So she focused on technique. She thought she knew her strengths but week by week her teacher would say "let's work on this"... and then she would realize that she had been doing it incorrectly the whole time. Each week, she relearned technique and with that her speed began to increase. Next week, she will begin taking the lifeguard class.

There are many great applications in this. First, about our capacity. We think we know what we can or can't handle. And then we experience something that pushes us, makes us go beyond ourselves, reach for something deeper. Swizzle is always saying to me "Tina, you CAN do this..". I love that because those words come after I've had a stinking horrendous day and yet she can see beyond the bad day to what I can do tomorrow. Second, every single goal we've set for ourselves doesn't need to be accomplished today - it may take months, or even years. The time doesn't matter as long as we get the technique right. We may have off days (man, like I did this weekend) but that comes because of years of bad habits that we are trying to undo. Those set backs are ok, and like someone wrote to me, are needed.. They are like challenges to keep us moving forward - which is the key in all of this. Continue moving forward.

With that said, my food:

Saturday, April 19


You guys are so gracious and kind to me. With your "you didn't do too bad".. "drink more water"... "it could be worse... "

Oh sweet niblets... yesterday was atrocious!!

Here's a recap... evil co-worker suggests Chinese for lunch. I eat Chinese for lunch but kinda nibble and don't really eat a whole lot. But the problem is I brought my leftovers home for dinner. And ate the whole dang thing. I should mention I started my morning off at Chick-fil-A... because I'm a little mad at Dunkin Donuts right.

I'm on point today and one "off" day isn't gonna kill me but Lordy lord lord.. I'm thinking that maybe I shouldn't have licked the brownie pan clean this morning. Thankfully I did Pilates. And don't have any more Chinese food in the house. But I have a baby shower, which I am planning NOT to eat at... hanging out with some girls and then hanging out with my teens tonight.

It's 74 out.. and is supposed to be like 80 something.. yesterday was 85!! So that'll keep me from having a huge appetite at least.

Must .... drink.... water...

Friday, April 18

Progress Pictures

Disclaimer: I have never professed to know how to garden. I just plant things and hope that they stay alive.
The "Befores" (last year)
The "Afters"

This "little" guy looks like he got into mommy's steroids. I was feeding them Miracle Grow.. I guess it worked!
The little bugger in the last pic is sprouting up in a few places in my garden... I know they aren't weeds (I've been know many times to say to my neighbor "this is so pretty" and she says "I'm pretty sure that's a weed.. ") ... LOL. I'm pretty sure they turn into the tall plants seen in the first picture.. eventually they bloom and have bright orange and red flowers. I just have no idea what they are or why they are popping up in random places.
On the bulges topic, I did take some close portraits last night... Because I'm starting to lose inches, I'm curious about what will happen with my face in the next month. Stay tuned.. they WILL get posted.

Thursday, April 17

Half Inch

Oh yeah... I'm down a half inch in in my waist in 18 days.... WOO HOO!!

I want to stay positive so no scale numbers and no other measurements.. YET.

Wednesday, April 16

Food post...

Just sharing my food tonight... UGH, although somehow I still managed to stay in my calorie range. Don't ask me how that happened.

If you're looking for a read, please read yesterday's post. Kinda personal, but wanted to share a little bit of me.

Funny thing is today I was feeling a little vulnerable when no one was responding... Thank you to those you wrote to me.. I know that I'm not alone in my struggles - your words are an encouragement.

Thank you friends!

Tuesday, April 15

Shampoo Girl...

Courtesy of Tina's Canon

That picture is of the teens in our church. Once a month, they run the church service. Greeting at the door, leading music, opening and closing prayers. Those are MY kids and I'm so proud of them. I had no idea what I wanted to write about tonight until I started thinking about this.... it's not really a weight post.. more a "getting to know Tina" read...

This afternoon after a bunch of annoying things happened at work, I updated my facebook status to say "Tina is very annoyed right now". I received a message on my wall that said "... don't be annoyed because you're beautiful and you have a really good shampoo girl.. " She is a teen in my church and is probably one of the sweetest people I know... and I could have just hugged her. That led me to another thought...

I'm not sure if I've shared this but from 1999-2004, I was a teacher at a school for kids that have different learning challenges (ADD, ADHD, ED, Asperger's, Dyslexia..). I taught Math to grades 5-12, Chemistry to the high school and computers/sign language as an elective. It was hard work, long hours, little pay... but the reward of seeing a kid complete my course.. when they were pronounced as failures and they would never succeed.. I can't explain the feeling.

During this time I was battling with my own demons.. alcohol and depression to name a few... I mention this because my best moments were when I could forget about myself and focus on someone else - my problems seemed infinitely smaller in comparison.

Years later I no longer struggle with alcohol but sometimes battle a little with depression. Not clinically like I was but just sometimes feeling a little down... worrying about my problems, my weight, how many friends I have, what people are thinking about me, being far from my family.. I kind of got in a rut and I really noticed it recently. So I decided to do something about it..

I am starting to hang out with our teenagers in the church again and am realizing that they need me. They need my investment, my care, my concern.. and maybe even the wisdom of my years. These kids are quite awesome.. they face so many challenges, many times as soon as they get out of bed. It's my privilege to be their friend..

This walk of faith, life we live.. man, it's bumpy sometimes, right?

Monday, April 14

Thankful or not?

Today I broiled.

So no injuries, burns or other wounds to declare. The story about my icky burn is not too fabulous. Basically I was making chicken noodle soup, a few of the noodles stuck to the bottom of the pan, I tried to get them up and then the boiling hot water splashed on my shirt, the shirt stuck to my skin.. and the rest is history... blistering, ouchiness history. Apparently my bff received an email that my pictures were gross (and they thought they were sores)... so I opted to just take them down altogether. I feel a bit censored. :o)

I found out today that I owe $2,000 to the IRS. I guess it could have been worse... I'd like for it to be better.. but what's a girl gonna do. I just recently heard "maybe you can't control the situation, but you can control how you'll behave in that situation". So instead of thinking about my monthly payment, how this will hurt for a while.. I choose to be thankful for:
  • life (seriously... I shouldn't have made it to 29)
  • a roof
  • a bed to lay my head
  • an awesome job
  • food in the fridge
  • people that genuinely care for my life
  • the ability to exercise and feel the burn when I have a great workout
You guys are the best! I'm off to do my Pilates.. OUCH.

Sunday, April 13

Kitchen Casualites

Do you think Betty Crocker is trying to send me a message? First, I forget to turn the stove on. Then I forget to put food in the oven. And now, when I've managed to successfully pull off steps one and two, I do this..

picture removed by author - trust me, it was gross.

That's a second degree boo boo on my stomach. Yes, it still hurts like h-e-double hockey sticks.

Saturday, April 12

Hungry VCR

Courtesy of the view from my front yard

Aah, TOM has moved on. And I've been cheating on you guys with the warm weather.

This morning I was excited to find that it was quite beautiful out - it's been in the high 60's, mid 70's for the past 3 days - and I decided to get some things done. I love spring cleaning! Polly and I drove to DD.. I got a lite latte (and a donut, shh don't tell) and headed back to the house to do a little gardening. I did some weeding and then it started raining. My hair is not the type that looks all cute when it gets sprinkled upon, so inside I went.

I thought, hmm.. what will I do? PILATES! So I searched for my video (yes, VHS.. I bought it years ago), found it and went downstairs and popped it into the VCR. Then I remembered that I never did quite figure out how to hook that thing up (my DVD player and satellite box work just fine thank you very much). So upstairs I went.. and connected my other VCR to the TV in my room. Success! And then the VCR ate my tape. It still won't give it back. Aaargh. Talk about try and try again.

Can I just say I love the internet? Nothing was going to stop me from exercising today so I figured if you can find toilets that weigh your #2... then I certainly would be able to find an exercise vid or something.. and boy, did I.



I did three videos... One ten minute abs workout.. one five minute abs workout (TOUGH).. and the other was a five minute "Legs to Die For" pilates vid. They were all good (the last, the narrator was a little annoying)... but they were all tough. Any of you use the interweb for your exercise videos? Recommend some to me..

I'm off to enjoy the 70's weather and take a walk with Polly. Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, April 8

How'd you do that?

Today would not be the day to check out my food log. I know because I said that, you probably will anyway.. but I'm warning you, it ain't pretty. Just remember, I told you not to look.

Tonight my evil precious TOM has descended... and that means in the next few hours Tom's friends, Cramps will be stopping in. I hear that Migraine may be in the neighborhood too. Tom's parties' suck! *smile*

On another note, I thought that because I've been asked this question a few times by email and on my blog, and I need a distraction from complaining about my hormonal issues, it'd be a good idea to answer this.

How do you get your food chart into your blog?
I know that everyone has their own way but I love the world of screen shots. A friend of mine introduced this idea to me probably sometime last year and then I recently thought, why not use a screen shot for my blog too, instead of creating charts all over the place. Who has time for that?

Screen shots are just that... shots or pictures of your screen and then saves them to your computer as picture files (.jpeg, .gif, etc). At home & work, I have a program called SnagIt.. but that program gives you a free trial then you have to pay. I have also used ScreenHunter 5.0. That is a completely free program and does the same thing that SnagIt does..

1. Download a screen shot program.
2. It is easiest to have open on your screen whatever you want to take a picture of. For example, if you want to take a picture of your Spark stuff, open Spark, get your table on the screen in front of you and then... You more advanced kids, can use a HotKey.
3. Open/run the program. These programs are pretty user friendly. They say things like "click here to capture the whole screen" or "capture just what I select".. things like that. Select what you want to capture.... the program will save it to your computer.
4. Go to your blog. Type lots of words (or none at all) and then click the Add Image button. Find your image as if you're looking for a photo.. and then upload.

It's as easy as 1-2-3-4! Let me know if you're trying it.. or if you need help. I won't laugh. Me promise.

Monday, April 7

Sumo Wrestler

Something to think about...

"... when sumo wrestlers want to gain weight, they deprive themselves of breakfast. It messes up their metabolism.."

Giant, cloth diapers anyone? That's what I thought.

My weigh in sucked today... as I thought it would. TOM is near and combine that with the water factor and not eating enough... and you have a 3.8 pound gain... Not discouraged... even though I thought I kicked @$$ this week (my first week back)... Better WI's to come, right? I know I sound all positive but today would be one of those days to delurk and lend some kind words...

Oh, my eating did NOT rock today... Unless I can count skittles as a fruit serving???

Sunday, April 6

Cooking Lesson #102

In this segment of Cooking with Tina, we will learn another very important cooking tip.

As previously mentioned, the stove or oven should be turned on. Check.

I'm one of those that pretty much has a list of sites I hit on the world wide web as soon as I settle in. My blog, facebook, email... I got a little carried away with Facebook tonight and found myself catching up on the Scrabble and Scramble games... then all of a sudden, I said "oh shoot".. my turkey burger is probably burned. I headed down the stairs, smelling what I thought was a crisped turkey burger. Not even close. I had left it sitting ON the stove instead of IN the oven.

On another funny note, tonight someone mistook me for a Nigerian woman that comes to our church. That's funny because I'm always saying "no, in fact, we DON'T ALL LOOK ALIKE". The Nigerian thing was a first for me.. usually it's mixed something or other, Indian, sometimes people get it right and say Portuguese... n-y-way....

I got on the scale tonight... just to see.. and my weight has gone up... I know I shouldn't have weigh myself at night.. and my WI is tomorrow but I was just curious. I really think that I haven't been eating enough. I've stayed within my POINTS all week (today was my only "off" day)... only using a few flexies here and there... so overeating has not been the issue. I'm sure it's water (not getting enough) and not enough food and that my TOM is right around the corner... I'm not gonna have a bad attitude about it though... I'm in this... feet first... *big splash*

Saturday, April 5

Diaper Changes

No, I'm not pregnant. And no, I didn't just have a baby. Nice try though.

Polly's in heat... and BOY is she ornery... more than her usual self. She is testing her mommy's patience and right when my own TOM is about to arrive. Lovely.

I had a very good week... eating, exercising wise. I love posting my food... that little extra accountability I feel when I know that someone (the entire world freakin' wide web) will be able to read about my indiscretions. I'm thinking that I may do a weigh in every 10 days, instead of every 7.. we'll see though. You know I will at least sneak a peek on the 7th day!

In honor of both spring and all things hormonal, I've posted pics.

Friday, April 4

Five On Friday

  • 5 everyday favorites
  • 4 mood lifters
  • 3 reasons to get out of bed
  • 2 people you love
  • 1 thing you love about yourself

5 - comfy clothes when I get home from work, Polly, morning coffee, bathtime, Tivo watching

4 - a good laugh, an unexpected email, a really great message at church, forgetting about myself

3 - paycheck, Polly is doing the pee pee dance, can't reach the alarm

2 - my dad & Jesus

1 - I kill at word games like Scrabble & Boggle.


Thursday, April 3

A Tip & The Neighborhood Bully

A tip
I've been on track for 4 days.. wahoo!! And part of that staying on track is making sure that I eat breakfast (and make it at home - it's just healthier that way). This morning, I was making my usual four point ham/egg/cheese sandwich... Bread in the toaster. Cooking spray in the pan. Egg in the pan. Then I waited. And waited. And began to wonder after a few minutes why my egg was not cooking. Probably would have helped if the stove was ON.

Yes, I'm fantastic.

Neighborhood bully
The other part of staying on track has been exercise, daily exercise, which means walking the Boxer. We were enjoying a nice brisk walk in the cool April air last night when I heard growls and barking. The next thing I knew a dog twice Polly's size was charging at me and her. I don't know if I have mommy instincts or not but I ended up getting between the two dogs. It felt like forever... the dog kept circling me trying to get at Polly. Polly was scared and kept trying to hide behind me! She's so friendly and especially loves to play with the big dogs... I don't think she's come across a mean one yet.. until last night. That dog actually nipped at Polly's behind! The owner came rushing over, apologizing over and over and explaining that she got loose from her.. but geez lady... get a handle on Brutus especially since you SAW us walking by. Thankfully in spite of my stupidity (who gets between two dogs??) we're both ok...

Wednesday, April 2


I promised to upload my food for tonight.... and here it is. So far I'm staying away from Rita's... day 3...

I don't like ice cream...

... but I love me some Rita's.

What is Rita's? First of all, shame on you. Second, it's Italian ice and I never make it thru the summer without going.. everyday. Thankfully the ice is fat free.. the custard, I'm not so sure.. I'll have to double check those numbers. But I ask if you're seeing daily servings on Rita's on my food diary, could you please harass me a little? Thanks.

And for those of you going thru Polly withdrawal, a video. Please ignore the eye crusties which aren't quite crusties and pay close attention not to my annoyingly high voice but to how little I actually do share with her..

You'll see.

Don't worry, food will be posted tonight!

Tuesday, April 1

Out with the old...

Whew, Day 2 of being back on track. It feels good but I must admit today I was HUNGRY. I ate breakfast, packed lunch, one snack and then after working an 11 hour day I made it home to make dinner. My fridge being empty has had a positive effect on my eating right. You should try it!

I want to start broadcasting what I eat. Like I did yesterday. I may not do it everyday.. but I want to try to do it as much as possible. When I have thoughts like "I'd better not eat that because the whole world will be able to see why I am squeezing my boobies into a size 34 when I'm a size 41 (give or take an inch or two)" - it helps to have my bloggy world accountability. I really am trying again. Which leads me to my NSV....

Tomorrow is Wednesday... actually in one hour it will be Wednesday. And for me, that means sales meeting day. More times than not, I've been the little baker. Brownies, cupcakes, streusels... all POINTS unfriendly foods of course. Well, today while I was closing out my day, I decided to do something healthy... something I can eat too because Lord knows I hate watching other people eat.

Voila! I made an extra one too so my fridge wouldn't be lonely.

I'm thinking about heading back to the WW meetings. I did so well the first time around (lost 43 or 45 lbs) and had a really great leader. I'm wondering, who prefers online to the meetings?