Archive for January, 2011

The Diet

Jan 19th, 2011 Posted in Dieting | no comment »

So Garfield was right.  Diet is DIE with a t!   I haven’t been posting much because I have been really, seriously, horribly, awfully miserable with this diet.   It’s kind of hard to explain, though I have spent a lot of time trying to explain to my friends and my pain dr.   It’s hard for people not having the experience (or not being *me* I guess) to grasp my particular problem with it.

The diet itself is that not bad as diets go.   It’s not about portion control so it’s not like we are starving because we are eating a teaspoon of food.  It’s not about counting calories or weighing food, so it’s not like we are eating .05 ounce of celery and a 1 ounce skinless chicken breast.  It’s not about bland “diet” food, so we aren’t eating boiled chicken breast and lettuce salad with no dressing.

Phase 1 was kind of rough, I will not lie.  Not being able to eat fruit was really hard.  I love fruit and not being able to have ANY fruit for 2 weeks was brutally hard, but not having pasta, rice, and bread for 2 weeks was a bit frustrating, but not that bad.    Now we can add “good” versions of those things slowly back in to our diet, so it’s all fine.  To clarify “good” means 100% whole grain breads, 100% whole wheat pasta etc.  In other words, no white flour/refined flour/sugar type stuff.       I can have my granny smith apples and most other fruit again so that’s all good.

The problem I was (am to a certain extent) having is that fact that I was losing NO weight.   John was losing weight just fine, though he hit a bit of a plateau when I first made him the Peanut Butter cookies (shown in the previous post) 😉   He’s losing weight again now, though.   I, on the other hand, was NOT cheating AT ALL and was losing nothing.

This was exceptionally depressing for me and really, really frustrating.    I didn’t expect the pounds to just fly off me since I have a lot of factors in play, but I didn’t expect to be 2 weeks in and have lost NOTHING.   I guess I should have been happy that I wasn’t gaining weight, since when they first suggested I switch to a low-fat diet, I immediately GAINED 20 pounds (which triggered a thyroid test, when I complained about that and they are now trying to regulate my meds for my “sluggish” thryoid).

We went and got a new digital scale that is larger so it’s easier for me to stand on (and read), but it wasn’t being any kinder to me than the old one. lol   Today, a friend told me about Live Strong and how he and some friends are using the Myplate option there to keep a food diary.   He is considering gastric bypass and I have been trying to talk him out of it in favor of losing weight himself naturally, so I told him I was willing to do whatever with him and encouraged him to try this South Beach thing with John and I.  He is in California, however, so we can’t really do it “together” in terms of getting together.

So I signed up for the Live Strong dealy so I could keep a food diary with him and we could encourage or nag or tease or whatever we end up doing to each other with it and it’s actually really cool and I think I will like it a lot.   It appeals to the..shall we say…tedious (some would say retentive)…side of me.   There is a lot of good info on the site and it keeps track of a lot of great stuff for you without having to pay for the “gold” membership.    I may consider paying for the added perks, though if it keeps me happier because I’m tired of being sad all the time.  We will see how that goes.

Anyway, I decided I should weigh myself to put in the right weight for the chart thingy which I was SUPER dubious about because we had our first cheat day (which will be the topic for another post) and it was like 3:30 am, so not exactly ideal weighing conditions, but I figured I probably couldn’t be much more miserable than I had already been (unless I had gained weight, but I didn’t really think that was going to have happened) and it was a FESTIVUS MIRACLE!    According to the new scale, I have lost 5 pounds!!!!

So at that rate, I will be dead before I reach my goal weight, but whatever.  It’s progress at least so I will take it and hopefully things will start looking up and maybe if I am not so freaking miserable all the time, I can actually get a little more exercise in (we got the wii fit plus and some other games…yet another post) and it will go a bit faster.

Cookies on the South Beach Diet

Jan 7th, 2011 Posted in Dieting | one comment »

John has been very sad that he can’t have his usual peanut butter cookies since we started the South Beach Diet.  Today I decided to surprise him with an attempt at some Phase 1 friendly peanut butter cookies.

He says they are not too bad.  I tried one.  They are a little sweet for me, so I think I need to cut the Splenda down a bit more for *my* taste, but he likes them.  If you try them, you might keep this in mind if you don’t like things really sweet.  It is really more of an aftertaste from the Splenda, I think.  It tasted fine eating it, but afterward, I was like wow, that is really sweet!

They held together better than I expected and I have to say I’m a bit proud of myself.    John informs me that he STILL has to use self-control when eating them which he doesn’t like, but at least he has a cookie substitute.  Which is better than what I have for my favorites, which is a big ole bupkus!   lol

Here is what I did:


1 cup Peanut Butter

1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend

1 egg

dash vanilla extract (I didn’t measure.  I just tipped the bottle over and back quick like)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees;

2.  Mix together ingredients in bowl;

3.  Roll into balls and place on baking sheet.  Flatten with fork to make cross-hatch pattern;

4.  Bake for 10 minutes

That’s it!

Extra Cash

Jan 6th, 2011 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

So one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to work on my various online stores more.   I have been really (really really….really) lax about this ever since the last Cafepress fiasco and while I am still making money from my stores, it’s not what it could be if I was actively working them.

I am always interested in other ways to bring in a little extra money, though.  Since I’m disabled and can’t work anymore, I like having my own spending money to be able to buy gifts for John or buy stuff I want to buy just because I want to buy it.   John doesn’t really say I can’t buy stuff, but before I was disabled, I always worked and had my own money and that was one of the hardest things for me to handle about the disability.   Possibly even the hardest thing.

I found a site called ChaCha, which answers all sorts of questions that people either send in through the website or texts or calls and then they are answered by Guides.   You can sign up to be a Guide and get paid to answer questions.

Before you get all excited, it’s pretty marginal pay.   You can get paid by points (which are then converted to cash at the end of the month) or by cash and they offer 2 methods for payment.  You can have money directly deposited in your account if you have earned $150 or you can get a “pay me now” debit card option which you can do at any time , but there is a $2 fee anytime you add money to your debit card.

I am very new to this, in fact, just started being an actual Guide today, so I can’t really explain how it works all a lot of detail just yet, but I will keep you updated as I progress.

You get points for every question you answer and the point payout varies based on how many questions are answered per month.  You always get .02 per question answered if you go with the cash route.   If you go with points, the top point earners get their payouts doubled, as I understand it, so there is some incentive to use the point system for people that are going to be very active doing this.

Now, this does not sound like very much money and it’s not something you are going to get rich doing, but you can work any time of the day or night on your own schedule, which was very appealing for me, particularly since I tend to be up in the wee hours of the morning a lot of the time.

You do have to take a timed, multiple choice, 20 question quiz before you proceed and once you pass that (it’s easy), you have some orientation videos and then a readiness exam before you can start answering questions for real people.   You do only have ONE chance to pass the readiness exam, so you need to be sure you are comfortable with the process before you start that.  They have a lot of instructional materials for you to look at, though so you should have no problem getting read for the exam.   The exam, is answering 10 questions as though you were a guide.

It does take 2-4 days to get your exam results (according to the email), but I got mine back in a little over 24 hours.    If you do decide to sign up and want to use me as a referral, we both get a bonus of some kind for being on a team (I don’t really understand it yet), but you just put in my email towal at towal dot com (enter it like a regular email address in the field).

So far it’s been fun.  I’ll make another blog entry once I get a little more versed in the ropes 🙂

Christmas Miscellany

Jan 4th, 2011 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

A few miscellaneous things from my camera 🙂

John got me this Agent P (a/k/a Perry The Platypus).  I am ALL about Phineas and Ferb, so was very thrilled by this gift.

I was sort of surprised that John asked for this one.  While it does have the old “kitty paw” logo vs the new Bobcat logo they use now, he usually isn’t much for when the colors aren’t the normal team colors.   Last night he was wearing this shirt and he said he really liked the shirt, but he did think it was weird that it was purple.

My friend Ashley sent me a skein of Lion Brand Wool Prints yarn, in Autumn Sunset.   I had never used wool yarn before.  I’m not a big fan of wool myself, so I had never been keen to try any of the wool yarns.   This yarn was great to work with though and I will absolutely get more of it, when I’m allowed to buy yarn again 😛

These are not the best pictures, unfortunately.  It was kind of dark in here when I took them, so they are a bit dark and the one with the flash is kind of bright.  I decided to include it so you can see some of the detail a bit better though.

A couple obligatory pet pictures 😉

Bun, who someday we will conquer his allergy issues and he will be freed from his head gear, laying in the cat bed on the table behind my desk (next to John’s desk).

Orion, a/k/a  Office Cat taking a snooze on John’s “reader”.    Usually the cats just sit on there and throw all John’s stuff on the floor one item at a time, but I guess she was tired on that particular day.   If you enlarge the picture and look close, you can see she has her paws folded over her face.  So cute!

The South Beach Diet

Jan 2nd, 2011 Posted in Dieting | no comment »

John and I are starting the South Beach Diet today.  It was recommended to us by our internist.  I have debated whether I even wanted to blog about this at all, but then decided why not.  Maybe it will be motivating or something.

So we have somewhat different reasons for needing the diet.   John only needs to lose about 20 pounds.  I, ideally, need to lose around 127* (ugh).  That is probably not happening for me, because I am realistic.   I will be happy with any weight loss.

To be very frank, I’m not horribly upset about my weight.   I have been overweight for much of my life and it’s never really held me back from doing what I wanted to do.   I’ve held the jobs I wanted to hold, I’ve had kids, I’ve been married.   It probably hasn’t helped my back situation, but it’s not the cause of it.  I have some congenital conditions that would be there whether I was overweight or model thin.    I would probably be in the same place I am today regardless of my weight, in terms of the disability.

While I did go through a period of having high blood pressure it was caused by PAIN, not by my weight.  Since my pain has been under control, I have been off high blood pressure medication and my blood pressure has been excellent, even with eating salt.

My triglycerides are good.  John’s are not (his reason for going on the diet more than needing to lose weight).  His triglycerides are now so high that the machine can’t even read them, but he weighs less than I do.   My triglycerides are 1/3 of what the machine reports his as before it freaks out and gives up 😉

Would I be healthier with less weight, well of course.  I do not deny that.  However, I can’t do a lot of stuff that I used to do and miss doing and torturing myself about food is not something I am willing to do on top of it.   I have enough issues that make me depressed without adding food to the mix.

So the Dr. mentioned the South Beach Diet a few months ago and our Dr. is great.  He doesn’t ever force anything.  He tries to work with what I’m willing to do without pushing me, which just shuts me down.   We bought the book and a little food guide and we were going to start it, but had a lot of food in the freezer and then it was our birthdays and the holidays, so we decided to wait until the first of the year.   So here we are!

If you aren’t familiar with the South Beach Diet, it’s a 3 phase diet.   Phase 1 is pretty strict in what you can/can’t eat.  Phase 2, you start adding foods back in and Phase 3 is the ‘maintenance” phase.    If you don’t need to lose a lot of weight (like John), you can just start on Phase 2.  John, is starting with me on Phase 1, which means he will lose his entire 20 pounds by the time I start phase 2 I’m pretty sure, particularly given how men lose weight so much easier than women.    I just go around repeating my triglyceride number to him and I feel better though 😉

We are going to “weigh in” once a week, on Saturday and we are keeping a spreadsheet to track the (hopeful) weight loss.    I ordered Wii Fit Plus and The Biggest Loser for the Wii, which John will be able to do and I will hopefully be able to do some of the stuff in them and we will see how it goes from there.

*If you read this entry when I first posted it, it said 177 pounds.  I am very bad at math.  It took me a few hours of tossing around in my head 177 pounds REALLY??? to realize that I made a math error.

Random Cata Screenshots

Jan 1st, 2011 Posted in Gaming | no comment »

Here are some random screen shots from World of Warcraft’s newest expansion Cataclysm.  I have never really blogged about playing WoW before, but decided now was as good a time to start as any 😉

I am still undecided on Cata.  I like some things.  I hate others.  Pretty much like everything in WoW 🙂    Some of the zones are very pretty though.  I need to get some screen shots of the underwater zone, because it’s really pretty.

This is Thrall’s new home on a big rock.

The maelstrom, beside Thrall’s big rock

This one cracks me up.   There are these herbs you can get that turn you into various plants.  This one actually is a grave moss graphic, but as you can see my friend Vampy is now known as Peacebloom, the Kingslayer!  (very scary!)

(click to enlarge)

This is in Uldum, which is a really pretty zone, I think.   This is my main, Mori (a mage), on her Headless Horseman’s mount flying to turn in a quest, but the full moon was pretty so I decided to take a picture.