Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dude, I Suck

I have not blogged in over two months.  I got busy at work, you know how it goes.  I will say, in my defense most blogs I read are written by women who either stay at home with their kids or work but don't have kids, I rarely seem to find a blogger who works full time and has two kids under 5.  I am not saying that these other women have more time on their hands it just kind of seems that way or perhaps, I am just looking for excuses. 

All that being said I was totally excited to see one of my favorite bloggers offering a workshop.  I figured if I am going to pay for her workshop I should at least have some up to date posts on my fledgling blog.

Also, my husband is currently unemployed.  He has toyed with the idea of creating his own blog.  He has started a site for all of his nature photography and concept for an apparel company so I actually think the workshop will be more beneficial for him.

Who knows; at least I posted today.  :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I have found my new favorite blog.  I started reading his posts from day 1 of his journey in 2008.  You know it is good if you are reading old posts.  On this particular post he talks about daydreaming about his family, their future instead of dreaming about food.  I realized and I mean stone cold realized that  I do not allow myself to dream about my children's future and my future with them.  On the rare occasion when I think about my daughter getting married or having a baby I start to sob so I push those thoughts away because I am afraid I will never stop crying.  What the hell is that all about? 

Dude, seriously, what does that mean?  Am I afraid I won't be there; that it won't happen; that I don't deserve happiness; that I think I am doomed to be miserable and have a horrible family life? Am I afraid that I will still be fat in that future?  I know that this also means I don't pay as much attention in the moment with my family either.  I have known this for a while but I haven't really examined it.  Fucking blog, here I go bringing shit out in to the light.

More on this later....I need to ponder.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

They Don't Call Me Bottom Line Erin For Noth'n

My friends call me Bottom Line Erin because I am know for saying things like, "Here's the bottom line friend of mine, if he is texting other girls he really isn't that in to you." or "Bottom line, this sh_t isn't getting done today." or "This is a great power point deck Bob but how does it impact the bottom line."

I do like to cut through the bull and it is this nature that has helped me tremendously in my career and sometimes very well in my personal life.  I can honestly say I didn't dick around with too many men who wasted my time.  I probably put up with more  bull from friends over the years but that all ended when I got married. 

In my personal life and my career I have had to learn to temper this attitude, soften it if you will, back it up with data, learn to be a little less focused so I actually hear my children when they are calling my name, things like that but I am getting this wonderful motivated feeling after reading some other bloggers this morning.

We just moved to a new state where the weather sucks and the scenery is lacking compared to where we lived before.  My husband made it clear that next summer we are going to go home and rent a house on the beach.  I am in total agreement.  So I have 10 months to improve how I feel about my body, how my body looks and my energy level so I can party it up on the beach next summer with my family.  

Other than tracking on the weight watchers site, writing this blog and my monthly focus I am not doing much else to improve things.  So here is the bottom line - September's monthly focus is exercise so I am going to do the couch to 5k program three days per week starting next week.  I am also going to do a weight lifting routine my trainer designed for me at my company gym twice a week.  October's monthly focus is healthy eating so I won't make any grand statements about food right now however I will continue following weight watchers in September and if in October food things need to be tweaked or tightened I will take that on in October.  Tomorrow I weigh-in so that will give me a great starting point for my upcoming activity blitz.  I will write about that tomorrow.

In the mean time let me rant about Weight Watchers for a minute.

I have done several versions of Weight Watchers.  I have tried to do other diets in combination with Weight Watchers.  As my good friend Sheri said about herself one time, I am a point counting savant.  I am also decent at counting calories when I want to.  Of all of the plans this current version of Weight Watchers, Weight Watchers Plus is the best.  A meeting leader told me she worked with her engineer husband to figure out the new formula and she said each points plus breaks down to about 40 calories.  On the last plan, each point was about 50 calories.  Being able to eat fruit at zero points is awesome.  I have learned in other programs that people don't usually get fat from eating tons of fruits and vegetables so I always cursed having to count points for fruit so I feel the new plan really fits what works for me and counts points/calories where it really counts - with your starches, fats and proteins.

You can now drink just about any zero calorie beverage and count it towards your consumption for the day but I stick to the old rules and only count water and herbal tea.  I might start sharing this part of my tracking and you will see days where it looks like I drank nothing, but all I did was drink Diet Coke all day, awesome, I know. 

I do believe taking a multi vitamin every day is a game changer.  I think it helps me feel more satisfied and energized.  So I think I will start sharing that part of my tracking too.  I feel a spreadsheet build coming on.

Posts that inspired me today:

Creative Weighs
The Kind Weight Watcher
Escape From Obesity 

That's all for now folks. 

What I ate on 8.23.11

No Breakfast.  Lunch was Chipotle with my husband. 

Chipotle Steak Bowl  18pts

Southern Chicken Sandwich from McDonald's for Dinner - 11pts

Cheese & Crakers for a snack - 9pts

Cherries - 0pts

Ice Cream - 9pts

I will post more later about how I work weight watchers my goals etc..

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What I eat

Many, many bloggers I read post what they eat on a daily basis some even add pictures.  I love to see what other people are eating.  It has inspired me to eat better or on occasion go on a hog wild Internet hunt that leads to driving all over the city to stores I would normally ever shop in to find the one favorite product a blogger loved. 

So to all the bloggers I read, never stop sharing.  I know you have reset your diet plan, food philosophy, mind set a thousand times and I love that you share it because I know I do the same thing.  Sometimes two or three times a day. 

Right now I am enjoying Weight Watchers On-Line.  I can track what I eat and I am given a moderate plan that if followed will give me results.  I dream about being a vegan because I think it will make me waif thin not because I think eating cow is wrong so probably all the wrong reason right?  Which is probably why I have never been able to stick to it. 

So all this being said I think I will start posting what I eat every day with points included if I have the time.  I will post the good, the bad and the ugly.

Here is yesterday:

Grapes - 0pts
Egg White Omelet with Spinach, Mushrooms, Tomato - 2pts
Salsa - 0pts

1 Cup Chicken Lasagna - 7pts
Salad - 0pts
Dressing - 2pts
Bread - 5pts
Candy - 2pts

2 Eggs - 4pts
3 Corn Tortillas - 3pts
1oz Cheese - 3pts
1 Cup Ice Cream - 9pts

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Writing About My Life

Once again it is all Penelope Trunk's fault.  She wrote this great post in her "How to Blog" section so now I feel compelled to write about myself but in an interesting way because my life may not have been as traumatic or interesting as many others but according to some published authors and professors from the number one writing program in the country, apparently, I have skills.  Personal narrative, memoir what ever you call it is my favorite vehicle and I love to start with a random prompt and just write away for 10 or so minutes to get something started.  My plan is to post these writings, maybe with regularity, just to get it out there.  Maybe I want to show off, maybe I want to see if people think I suck, maybe I just want to couple what some people think I do best with all my other posts about body image, career, food etc.  I kind of feel like I am not really putting myself out there and showing my struggles and wins if I don't share this part of me. So here it goes.  I wrote for 15 minutes.  I looked up a prompt on a generate on-line and the prompt was:

"The streets were deserted.  Where was everyone?  Where had they all gone?"

It was winter and I had fallen on the ice.  Four-year-olds don't have far to go to hit their head on a stair ledge but this one was covered in inches of hard season-long ice. 

I was left outside of my grandparent's trailer.  Mom and Dad were inside.  I could hear yelling.  The sky was grey and getting darker.

Movement in winter coats is hard enough but the fake-fur lined hood of my plaid wool coat was firmly tied below my chin.  Snowmobile boots and mittens kept me close to the trailer.  The snow in the yard was almost as high as me.

Whatever was going on inside must have been important.  My mother had told me to play outside.  She bent down, fussed with my coat and used her sing-songy voice.  I looked around noting the impending darkness, the snow, the lack of things to play with in a retirement community trailer park but it was clear I was staying outside. 

I was told later the fall made me pass out.  That my Dad was so frustrated from the talk with my grandparents that he took off.  That my mother;'s brother had to drive me to the hospital.

I remember the drive.  The top of his car was gone.  The breeze was cool on my face as I lay on my back in the back seat.  The streets were empty, no one else was around as we floated down the road.  I saw a dark sky full of stars.  A sky I wouldn't really see until 20 years later in the Mojave Desert but there it was a blanket over me.  I remember laughing at the sky.

I woke up in the hospital.  My dad was there in a chair near my bed, his long stringy hair hanging over his face as he rocked forward his hands cradling his forehead.  My big sister was there with the same stringy hair.  She came right at me as I opened my eyes.  My mom was behind a curtain crying.  A nurse was nodding her head as she listened to my mother sob. 

"We were telling my parents," her breath jagged, "that we are getting a divorce."

Personal Change

I love to set goals and then not meet them.  I shouldn't be so hard on myself; I have attained many goals despite serious obstacles but in general I like to plan more than execute.  I read an article  recently that seemed like a pretty good road to success and I was very impressed with how the author of the host site had changed his own life.  So I created my list of essential new habits to create.  I set a side one habit each month for the next few months.  Since the author suggested it I started with positive thinking.

I have done most of what he suggests but I have not made my efforts public beyond my husband who found the whole idea rather amusing which aggravated me to no end, but think positive, right?

At my mid-month check-in on my progress I have found that the bulk of my negative thinking is around my body image, my weight and how I correlate those things to how I feel about myself and completely annihilate my self esteem.  I often think things like:

"I will always be fat.  Why bother?"
"My husband doesn't want me to change."
"Having kids ruined my body I should just except that I am a frumpy fat mom."
"If I lose weight I will probably just cheat on my husband."
"I can't drink alcohol or coffee so I should be able to eat whatever I want." (Oh yeah, I am Mormon, forgot to tell you.)

The truth I have put next to these negative statements go as follows:

I will not always be fat.  I have not always been fat.  I was not a fat child despite thinking I was, I have been thinner and healthy as an adult and I can be again.  My husband does want me to change.  He may not want to change himself but I know he wants me to be happier and healthier.  Having children does not destroy our body.  I am a person not an image and certainly not a frumpy fat mom image.  I don't cheat.  I never have so why would that ever change.  I chose not to drink alcohol and coffee.  I could drink them right now if I wanted to but I consistently chose not to.  Life is better without them.

The thoughts in my head seem to be changing as I focus on the positive side of these things.  I feel like I am making choices instead of just doing bad things over and over again because I can.  It reminds me of the the first time I joined Weight Watchers.  Portion control was a revelation.  I think I will add a positive message to my post-it notes tonight:

"I can eat pizza every day."


Pablano Hatch Huevos Rancheros

This is my first food blogging post so please be kind.  My camera, well my cell phone, doesn't take fabulous shots but hey, I am trying.

We just moved to a new city and I have been wanting to check out a local Mexican market.  It all came together last Saturday and I have found the perfect spot for most of my international food needs.  The corn tortillas made in the store were incredible and the diversity of chilies available was inspiring.  They had isles of food from all over the world but they did not have my holy grail of international foods, Telma Brand canned Hummus. 

They had fresh Hatch chilies.  I have never cooked with these before but I new I would figure something out.  Below are some photos.  The hubby requested scrambled eggs and I added sliced tomato to my stacks.

That is my son in the background chewing on his hand.  So cute!

Pablano Hatch Huevos Rancheros

2 Hatch Chilies
1 Pablano Chili
4 Corn Tortillas
4 Slices Tomato
4 Eggs
1/2 to 3/4 Cup Chicken Broth
1 Tablespoon Flour
Salt & Pepper
1/2 White Onion, Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
A few Tablespoons of raw diced white onion

Roast the chilies over an open flame on the stove top until charred and black on all sides.  Toss them in to a zip-lock bag and seal.  While they do their thing chop your onion and garlic.  I was out of olive oil so I sprayed a pan with Pam and sauteed the garlic and onion until soft.  Then I peeled the black off the chilies, diced them and added them to the pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the flour over the veggies in the pan.  Slowly add some chicken broth and stir until slightly thickened.  You can add more flour/broth if needed.  Also, before you add the flour you can toss in a pat of butter or two or a little more olive oil but I am trying to lose weight so I left it out. 

Let the sauce rest and thicken while you scramble and cook the four eggs.  Heat the tortillas in a paper towel in the microwave for a minute.  Then layer on a plate in this order:

Tomato Slice

Tomato Slice
Raw, diced onion



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thank you Our Best Bites

I just read this post ( and was reminded of where I long to go in my journey.  They say you can never go home again but I would like to try.  My father is an incredible gardener.  We canned vegetables every year.  We never ate anything from a box and avoided cans as much as possible.  My dad thinks cancer comes from pesticides and metal-canned food.  Most of my family growing up had a garden and canned their own food.  It was about survival.  It was about being poor.  It was about losing your land.  I come from hearty Dutch ancestry that slogged it out on muck farms in the Netherlands for centuries and then came to America to farm, pray and raise their children in peace.  My great grandfather lost his farm in South Dakota during the Dust Bowl and had to work in a factory for the rest of his life.  A vegetable garden wasn't a grand statement like the Home Farming Movement or a hippie adventure to connect with the earth it was just what you did. 

Maybe it will be what I do.  This year we are renting a house so no garden but we can stock up and can some farm picked stuff no problem.  When we get a new house?  We shall see.   

Chasing the Dragon

Last night I posted my weight chart for the past 6 years and detailed some of the diets I have been on.  I wanted to dig in to that topic a bit more.  I never dieted until I was in my twenties.  I always and I mean always thought I was fat.  People said my mother was fat, including herself and so I just floated through the world thinking the same thing about myself.  I spent long hours alone as a child and would eat everything in the house, which thankfully wasn't very unhealthy food because my mother was always on a diet.  You could say I was bigger than other girls but I wasn't really over weight until my twenties when I stopped playing sports, sat a desk all day and ate whatever I wanted.  My first goal when I got disgusted with my body was to start exercising.  I loved food too much to try and change what I was eating.  I would start taking long walks or join a gym, lose a few pounds and start feeling better and then for what ever reason I would stop working out etc...

My first official diet was in college.  My mom was doing Atkins so I thought I would try to cut all the carbs out of my food.  Within three days I was light headed and didn't feel right so I quit.  I tried the Susan Powter low fat thing for a while, that didn't work at all.

After college I joined Weight Watchers and for the first time paid someone else to put me on a diet.  It worked well.  I learned about portion sizes and some other good basic nutritional information that I have never forgotten but often failed to use.  I remember saying to my mom back then in a bit of a superior tone - I can eat pizza every day so there is no reason to eat the whole thing in one sitting.  I can have one or two pieces a day if I want.  The look on her face was something I will never forget.  It was disbelief.  She couldn't believe that I would ever quit eating whole pizzas, she couldn't, so how could I.  She said several times then that I had never dieted before and that I would learn.

I did learn.  I learned all about defeat and the horrible cycle.  You can see that it has continued through multiple rounds of Weight Watchers and other programs. 

Over Eaters Anonymous was successful in the sense that I lost weight.  I also changed my life forever.  Working the steps to completion once has forever changed my perspective on my life and brought me to a whole new level of living.  I stopped working the program after I got married and children came in the picture.  OA required a level of commitment and time that I haven't been able to muster since.  I have tried a few times, gotten a sponsor etc, but I never stuck to it. 

Over the years, aside from the official diets I have tried vegetarianism, veganism, counting calories, low carb, slim fast, diet pills, etc........Many of them work, none of them work for long and I don't work them for vary long.

I suppose this is where most people make grand pronouncements about how they are going to change.  I am not.  I will keep writing and making some adjustments, one meal at a time, one day at a time and we will see what happens.  I like to chase the diet dragon and go back to old plans thinking they will work and I will feel the same way I did in the beginning of Weight Watchers or OA.  We can see how well that works.  Hey, for now.  I will just keep you posted.  :)   

Monday, August 15, 2011

For my friend Lyn

Escape From Obesity ( is a site I have been reading for a very long time.  It is my favorite weight loss related website.  She made a great observation in her latest post about weight loss stories on-line.  To paraphrase, the stories are of two kinds, the first is the person loses 100 lbs and then gains it all back the next year the other story is losing and gaining the same 20 or so pounds and then giving up.  I think these are the kind of stories that make it in to blogs but Lyn's story is different and probably more real than all the others I have seen.  No where is this more evident than in her list of weight loss and gain over the past four years.  I decided to share my own list. 

I was compiling multiple spreadsheets that I have created over the years along with weight information I have stored on Weight Watchers and SparkPeople.  I was amazed to find that I have a record of my weight at least once a month for the past 6 years and sometimes every week.  CRAZY!!!!  I knew I was obsessed.

The best part about this exercise was that I actually felt good about the information.  I started filling in life events like pregnancies and diets I was on that coordinated with the weights and I liked the picture it painted.  I was able to actually forgive myself for many angry little things I say to myself.  I realized I have put my body through a great deal and it hasn't given up on me.  My body has given me my children. 

So here is the list with all kinds of supporting data.  The diets are OA=Overeaters Annonymous (Not really a diet but we will discuss that later), WW=Weight Watchers, HMR=Medically Supervised Meal Replacement Program.  Enjoy.

05/01/05222Started Overeaters AnnonymousOA
06/01/05207 OA
07/01/05198 OA
08/01/05192 OA
09/01/05186 OA
10/01/05182 OA
11/01/05176 OA
12/01/05176 OA
01/01/06174Met my husbandOA
02/01/06180 OA
03/01/06184 OA
04/01/06184 OA
05/01/06189Got engagedOA
06/01/06182 OA
07/01/06184 OA
08/01/06186 OA
09/01/06189Got marriedOA
03/12/08215Moved to New House 
05/01/09244 WW
06/01/09228 WW
07/01/09230 WW
08/01/09227 WW
09/01/09233Diagnosed with HypothyroidismWW
10/01/09228 HMR
11/01/09223 HMR
12/01/09220 HMR
01/01/10222 HMR
02/01/10217 Vegan
02/01/11241 WW
03/01/11241 WW
04/01/11241 WW
05/01/11247 WW
06/01/11253Moved to Another State/New JobOA
08/01/11247 WW