Dying in the Carpool Lane

Dying in the Carpool Lane

I’m a true foodie to my core, but I must admit, I really enjoy Chick-FIL-A breakfast biscuits with a crispy side of tots.

This morning, on the way to school I hit the drive through to get that yummy chick-fil-a breakfast before speeding off to the next school in my dreaded carpool lineup.

Finally, breakfast half eaten, I arrive at the last school of the morning. Eldest daughter is dropped off with goodbyes and I love you kisses and best wishes with confirmation of the time I’m expected back this afternoon. Now I can finish my breakfast while I navigate back to the house.

With my biscuit fully consumed, I have only a few tots left as I start to plow my way through the impatient sea of minivans and SUVs. Traffic slowing to a near standstill, I dip my tot into my tiny vat of chickfila sauce.

Then something happens. My years (like nearly 45 of them) of eating experience failed me. Rather than swallow that little chunk of sauce soaked potato, I inhale. Not in the eat fast way but in the “oh-my-God-I’ve-got-potato-in-my-lungs” way.

A fit of coughing, the likes of which I’ve not experienced before, overwhelms me. People behind me honk to speed up the line, which mind you was transitioning from stationary to snails’ pace. I try to scoot up, not letting my fellow carpoolers down, fully understanding my carpool exit strategy responsibilities. But, HELLO, I’m dying in here.

I continue to cough, wheeze, and gasp. Tears are streaming down my purple face. This is it.

With a phlegm filled hack I pound my chest and see stars, thinking I’m going to pass out. I cough so hard I’m sure I scared birds out of the trees and somehow misaligned newly forming planets. After all I was dying. I can be mildly irritating. The universe would give me a pass on that right?

Thoughts run through my head like “Who will pick up my kids?“and “Man, are the people behind me going to be pissed when I die and block their way out of here.”

Then the unthinkable happens.

With that last ginormous, raging hack I pee just a little. My thoughts are interrupted. “Did I just pee?”

My lungs still aching from lack of air, I convulsively cough again.

Did I just pee again?

By now I’m turning onto the main road. Mighty fine carpooler here. Now no one will be blocked in the driveway by my dead, urine soaked body.

I continue down the main road. Coughing. Peeing. Coughing. Peeing. All for another mile or so.

Wiping tears off my cheeks, it dawns on me. I don’t want to die in carpool covered in spit, phlegm, and pee with potato chunks and chickfila sauce stuck to my purple face.

I want to live! Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus! And you’re right Dorothy, there is no place like home. Damnit.

With a new lease on life and a serious debt owed to my guardian angel I’m off for a shower and an upholstery shampoo. Having used up a fair amount of today’s luck I really hope I don’t trip on the soap.

Dear Lord, Why Did You Make Cows So Delicious?

Dear Lord, Why Did You Make Cows So Delicious?

Dear Lord, why did you make cows so delicious?

Many people believe different things and I’m okay with that. I will, however, tell you now that I am a Christian and this particular blog entry is written from a Christian perspective. I never mean any offense. I’m writing from my heart.

There many things that given the chance, I would love to ask God. Among these are why do humans fight over stupid stuff? Why do dogs chase their tails? Why do kisses taste good? And why, oh why Lord, are cows so delicious? I wonder sometimes why humans are lucky or played depending on how you look at it because we get to truly enjoy your food my dogs are happy when you feed them but they never seem to take immense joy in their cable I watch nature shows and bears never seem overly excited to catch fish I guess we’ll sometimes look happy when they eat Beisel decided if it’s the food or the thrill of the hunt that makes them happy on and on I think appraisers catching the food in my picture and as happy as a human of her food have you ever seen someone who looks so happy and content to be at a buffet but there’s no such thing as restriction hockey see me around town? You know the person who doesn’t know that all you can eat isn’t meant as a dare me again food taste good

I wonder sometimes why humans are lucky,  depending on how you look at it, because we get to truly enjoy our food. My dogs are happy when I feed them, but they never seem to take immense joy in their dinner.  I watch nature shows and bears never seem overly excited to catch fish. I guess wolves sometimes look happy when they eat, but I haven’t decided if it’s the food or the thrill of the hunt that makes them happy.  On and on.  Have you ever seen someone who looks happy and content to be at a buffet where there’s no such thing as restriction? (That would be me.) You know, the person who doesn’t know that all you can eat isn’t meant as a dare? (Me again.)

Food tastes good, otherwise there be no Weight Watchers or Overeaters Anonymous. People wouldn’t be struggling. This along with other great things people get to enjoy like the smell of fresh air, soft babies, or the beautiful sound of a loved one’s sigh of contentment makes me believe cows and a multitude of other things are delicious because God wants us to have joy in life at every turn in a weird way this makes me even happier to be in Weight Watchers where you have less stress in eating. I am never deprived. Honestly, I’ve tried other programs and can’t believe I ever thought pre-packaged, sometimes powdered food replacement was ever a good idea. With a sense of what is good and wonderful in our lives, we need not deny ourselves the most basic life-sustaining forms of joy.

So my friend, watch your portions and track track track. AFterall, we are meant to enjoy food.  Or God wouldn’t have made cows so delicious.


A Future So Bright

A Future So Bright

A Future So Bright . . .

Awww, a little blue . . . My brother left today. I was lucky he decided to stay an extra day! However, I did miss my WW meeting and weigh in so I’ve got to reschedule for later this week.

Today we are a tired happy family — a family whose number increased by five over this weekend. You know how sometimes you will have a friend and your spouse or vice versa and it makes it more difficult to plan dates because you don’t want to force a yucky situation on your spouse. Often times that friendship will just fizzle out . . . Well, what are the chances that the four of us really loved the five of them? In most instances, probably not very high, but I must say it is exactly how it happened. We had a veritable family love fest. Ha!

Both of my children and my husband loved this new part of the family 00 and after talking with my brother this evening, it is pretty apparent his family feels the same about us. Yay! Wouldn’t it have been AWFUL if he thought I was a bore! Yikes!

Ahhhhh, this weekend was probably one of the best and most important I’ve had in years. I’ve been smiling all day!

I still can’t get over it. I laughed a ton — cried a little and felt loved the entire time. We NEVER MISSED A BEAT!!!

So here I am in week three of the WW program. During my time with WW my focus has shifted greatly. With the snow storms of the last couple of weeks, I was able to spend quite a bit of time on WW journaling, blogging and tracking. With careful calculation, I would track my points every day and plan out all of my meals.

Well, since Friday I have not obsessed over WW — AMAZING! (I’ve only obsessed about my brother — as you well know) I even found myself falling into a rhythm where I didn’t think about points and would only enter items into the tracker before bed although I was always conscious of where I stood point wise. I also tended to eat the bulk of my calories in the evening which is probably not the healthiest way to attack your day, but amazingly I staying on program. (The program was always at the back of my head steering me in the right direction.) This was the first time in my life I can remember going through an emotional even and not using food as a crutch, a balm, a reward or an escape. Could this be step one to becoming whole?

This weekend was a success on so many levels. I’m getting a foothold on my out of control eating. I’m bringing my family together. Heck, I even earned 54 (yep 54) activity points this week — even with company. All I can think is “My Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades” along with a slinky bikini someday VAVAVAVOOM 🙂

Lion of an Appetite

Lion of an Appetite

Lion of an Appetite . . .

Today my brother and I went to the zoo. I would never have imagined going to the zoo with him, let alone with our children. It was so fun and we were in total synch.

We had such a great time and truly enjoyed our time with our children. We learned so much about each other. Like the fact he is in his thirties and has never been on a carousel/merry-go-round. Or that I don’t like raw onions — I only want to eat them when they are cooked. Silly stuff really but the kind of stuff that fills all of the nooks and crannies — tiny vacant spaces nestled in your knowledge of someone. My picture of him is becoming more complete — therefore I am becoming more complete (and hopefully a little smaller too)

The program is starting to become more routine. I was surprised at how easy it was to stay on program. I packed an orange and a banana in my bag to snack on at the zoo I drank water instead of a soda from the snack pavilion.

The one thing I didn’t count on, was with all of the excitement and all of the time outside walking the expanse of our little version of the Serengeti, was the lion sized appetite I came home with.

I blew through an amazingly large number of points in one meal — dinner. I thought I was totally over budget. All in all, I only went 5 points over my daily points!

I FELT ravenous. Almost out of control hungry and even though I blew through so many points, the fact that I had stayed on program the rest of the day made this a day I don’t have to feel ashamed of. Of course, weigh in is tomorrow — oopsie)

Well, tomorrow starts a new week for me — week 3 on the program.

The Speed of Light

The Speed of Light

The Speed of Light

My baby brother is coming to town. I am excited to see him and his wonderful family. (His son is pictured with me in the blog pic — about 12 years ago)

I’ve only seen my brother twice in the last 25 years or so. It blows m mind when I think of that. Time doesn’t just fly, it zooms by so fast I can only barely comprehend it — it is as fast as the speed of light.

I think it is the “lightspeed” at which time zooms past us that has me at WW. My health was something I was going to see to when I had time. Well, realistically, when do we ever have time? I mean, it took what seems like no time at all to gain over 100 pounds.

Health isn’t something you see to in your spare time. You need to make it a vital part of your life. We live in a country with wealth to spare. Our children are afforded opportunities other children dream of — but I can’t recall anyone ever impressing upon me the vital, absolutely imperative need to protect my health. Duh.

We had gym class, health class and for those of us who are a little older, home ed. But no one told us how it really is when you are seriously overweight and unhealthy.

No one ever told me how hard it would be for me to tie my shoes or paint my toenails — or how or how hard it would be to get up and down off the floor. No one said it would make sitting in small theater seats uncomfortable or make travel almost unbearable. Nobody said it would be harder to be taken seriously in many areas. No one said it would be extra hard to look good in clothes. No one said I’d miss out on fun stuff with my children because I’m just too tired. No one said my children would never get to go to a water park because mommy was too embarrassed;

I’ve missed out on some great things — now don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful life and I love every minute of it most days. I just wish I had had the sense, when I was young, to preserve my health.

Of course, on the flip side, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet all of you.

Excuse Me While I Eat This

Excuse Me While I Eat This

Exklks mwe wfile y edw tski” she said with her mouth full.

Most simply — excuse me while I eat this” is the translation.

More deeply the translation is Excuse me while I stuff this in my mouth because I’ve had an awful day”.

I used all of my daily points today and dipped into my extra points and used five. Seriously five. Remember that box of candy I was given early in the week in the teacher’s lounge? Well, lets just say I tested it — a sort of quality control if you will. All in all, it is amazing that I only used five extra points.

I woke up this morning and one of my dogs had been sick in the night. He vomited and had diarrhea in my living room. I was totally disgusted and did not have the extra time to clean it up so that pushed me behind. (and yes, of course, I cleaned it up.) Also, we’ve had snow days the last two weeks. It has been very cold. I went out to my car and found that I was nearly out of gas and getting gas would make me even later so I coasted into work on fumes. I got to work and the heat wasn’t working in my wing of the building. Yay. I get to teach with my coat on. The internet connection was down so the video I was going to show my 20th-century American history kids wouldn’t play on my computer. We ended up watching it on my phone. Luckily it was short, only about 2 minutes.

Then I had an encounter with the emotional mom of one of my Roman History students. She was waiting outside my classroom. Her son is failing. It is a shame, but he won’t listen. He refuses to do homework and acts out every single class day. He had the gall to tell his mom that his low grade (38) is because I don’t teach. The most incredible thing is that he actually persuaded her that this is true. I pointed out that he is the only one of my students failing, because even those who have trouble are willing to work hard to complete the extra credit I offer. I understand that Roman history is not everyone’s first love but it is a fascinating subject if you give it half a chance. He gives it no chance and I have bent over backward to help him and he refuses to be helped.

Well, I stayed calm and talked to her about his options, but this was just one more thing — the straw that broke the camel’s back. Now I think it will all work out in the end, but I hate that I had to defend myself when I had done nothing wrong. Of course, it was all made worse by the fact I am starting my period in a day or so and I’m irrationally sensitive at that time anyway and I’m expecting a house full of people all weekend and I haven’t cleaned my house yet (except for the mess the dog made.)

So I buried my frustration in a chocolate caramel nut piece of candy. Normally it wouldn’t have been a big deal because I love saving enough points to cover a dessert. It makes me feel like I’ve finished the day’s worth of food. It is the sort of ritual that helps me turn off cravings later in the night. But out of frustration I over-indulged in dinner and had three, count them 1, 2, 3 fish tacos and a beer so there wasn’t really any wiggle room. And I was saving the extra points for a family reunion this weekend where BBQ will be served. Mmm

Now I know it isn’t the end of the world. I know tomorrow will be a better day and that I will do better — but it IS alarming that I can get so easily flustered. Hormones shouldn’t make me lose my sense of purpose and focus, nor should a sick dog, a car with no gas, being late for work, an unheated classroom and an emotional mom who is scared for her child’s education, a dirty house and company in route as we speak.

My goal now is to become healthy. Thin is just a nice side effect of a healthier me. This is something that should always be in the front of my mind. I can’t lose sight of it because I want to be around to see my children grow up. Being overweight by significantly more than 100 pounds limits my future and I swear my future is worth preserving.

So here is to WW and staying on program. I wish us all a successful day tomorrow…

Free Fruit and Other Things to Get Excited About

Free Fruit and Other Things to Get Excited About

Free Fruit and other Things to Get Excited About

Today was really cold. When I woke up it was 16 degrees with a wind chill of -4. Well needless to say I did not go walk or even step outside to go to my mailbox. I mean wow — not the usual weather for north Texas.

School was closed so I didn’t have to go to work. I decided to spend a great deal of my day connecting with friends. It is always fun to touch base with friends you don’t get to see regularly.

One friend mentioned a big four letter word — DIET. I refuse to call what I am doing a diet because of all of the negative implications that ugly word brings to mind. And quite frankly I haven’t yet encountered a single thing I am not allowed on this program. The only thing required of me is accountability. So no, I do not count WW as a diet. I often refer to it as a program but not a diet.

My friend then proferred a wealth of advice and went on to tell me about the wonderful new diet she is on. Why, she has lost an amazing 18 pounds already since the second week in January. At first my ears pricked up and I thought “amazing, I want to lose 18 pounds in a month”

She went on to tell me she had found a miracle product which “Really works”.

I’ve never believed in a magic pill or in this instance a liquid that would work magic. Like people always say; I didn’t get this way overnight — I cant become thin overnnight either.

Amazed but now a little suspicious I went on to ask her more.

Me: Do you have to spend hours in the gym?

Her: “Oh no, I don’t work out at all.”

Me: How often do you take this miracle product?

Her: Just a few times a day, super easy to remember because you are so motivated by the outstanding results!”

Me: “Is it expensive?”

Her “ No, as a matter of fact, my food bill went way down.”

Then she added:

“All I have to do is limit my food intake to 500 calories a day.”


With WW we don’t count calories — as a matter of fact, I’m sure I would find that if I did count calories I would see that my free fruit alone is more calories than she is allowed all day. I suddenly felt sad for my friend.

I don’t know about you, but that is not how I want to live. What happens when she is finished with her diet and tries to eat real food again? She hasn’t learned anything in this process and her old habits will return — only this time probably ten fold since her metabolism will be wrecked.

At first WW seemed slow and I wasn’t sure I would have the patience for it. I mean 1 lb a week seems like a lifetime when you have over 100 pounds to lose.

Now, as I sit here with my tummy full of turkey chili verde and a whopping 8 points left in my day I contemplate dessert. It won’t be big. It need not be big to make me feel complete and stated. Maybe a ginger cookie and a glass of milk.

I am thrilled with WW and the fact that I don’t have pressure to lose 18 pounds in one month. I am thrilled that I am learning how to control my portions. I am thrilled that the accountability portion of the program isn’t as scary as I thought it would be.

So here’s to free fruit and veg. I am so thankful now, every time I have (a) banana, blackberry, tomato, carrot, strawberry, apple, peach, pear, cabbage, orange, mango, raspberry, pineapple, green-bean, bell pepper, broccoli, celery kiwi, watermelon, spinach, grape, clementine, tangerine, grapefruit …

My Brain is Hungry

My Brain is Hungry

My Brain is Hungry

We ate dinner at a restaurant which does not have nutrition info posted, available or on-line. I did my best with the tracker to come up with point values. In order to err on the side of caution, I upped the points values to be sure I was covered, so today’s tracker total is completely padded.

Even with the extra padding I put in the tracker for my points, I ended the day within my daily range and am feeling pretty good. However, I’m hungry. Now my WW leader Lori says you need to decide if you are tummy hungry or head hungry — in other words are you truly hungry or is it just your head telling you to eat for one reason or another. Well, I thought long and hard and realized I am not tummy hungry. As far as my tummy goes, I am totally satisfied, but my brain keeps telling me I need more.

I could back off the points padding I did on the tracker and eat something else, but I am trying not to eat for the sake of eating. The dilemma is I really don’t know why I am wanting food so badly right now. Quite frankly, I’ve been wanting stuff all day. It started int he teacher’s lounge when all of the teachers were gifted with a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day. I stayed out of them. Then when I took my daughter to swim team practice, the fried chicken place across the street was cooking up yummy things and the parking lot smelled delicious.

I’m not sure what is happening today but maybe it is a sense of anxiety. I’m anxious about my family coming to visit this weekend. I’m also about to start my cycle and that always makes me hungry and I overall don’t have a sense of ease about things. Yet I couldn’t tell you exactly what is making me freak out. I just wish when things get tough I wouldn’t reach for food.

Maybe it is just this is week 2 of WW and the first week came so easily because we were snowed in (by Texas standards, for the week and school was closed and I didn’t have to get into a new diet and my old routine at the same time, while this week I do.

So here I am getting ready for bed thinking about the big box of chocolates on my kitchen counter. I’m thinking about how great donuts would be for breakfast. I’m thinking about how id love to prepare a huge BBQ feast for my brother this weekend. I’m thinking about everything I shouldn’t be thinking about.
I know someday I will succeed and I won’t weigh a bajillion pounds anymore, but I’m wondering will I ever be able to escape this hold food has on my every waking moment. I’m truly a slave to my addiction and am wanting to break free.

I really expected the hard stuff to come later when I was sick of WW and sick of dieting. I really love the program now and am excited about a new life. However, I can’t help but wonder, should it be this hard this soon?

I Bet 25 WW Points on the Superbowl . . .

I Bet 25 WW Points on the Superbowl . . .

I Bet 25 WW Points on the Superbowl . . .I hate to gamble.  I hate to get nothing for my money.  I  went to a casino once, lost about $12 then decided it wasn’t for me. My mom and other friends said I did it all
I hate to gamble.  I hate to get nothing for my money.  I  went to a casino once, lost about $12 then decided it wasn’t for me. My mom and other friends said I did it all wrong. They said I should have gone with a certain amount of money, prepared to lose it all and consider it money spent on an entertaining evening…much like going to a movie or play.  Well, this concept made a lot of sense to me even if I have no desire to go back to the casino, so I put this theory to practice today for the Superbowl.
I ate well all week and saved my extra points.  I went into today anticipating using all of my points and 25 of my extra points.  I ate like a kind, queen really, and enjoyed the day.  I didn’t stress abut points at all but I DID track my points like a good girl 🙂
I made a luscious Irish stew with dark beer and butter eve.  I made nachos later in the day and had the two I allotted for myself.  My children made homemade rice krispy treats.  I had a little of everything and went over in points — just like I had planned.
This took the stress out of the day.  Just like at a casino, I knew that I was willing to bet on the superbowl — 25 points.
Now weigh in is tomorrow and I probably won’t see a big loss if any, but I’m still okay with that because if I’m going to make this lifestyle change and not feel the deprivation associated with DIET than I need to feel in control and not the least bit tortured by my chosen life.
With this technique, I will master life’s celebrations which are usually accompanied by food and learn that I am controlling what I don’t eat just as easily as I can control what I do eat.  This is my journey.  I will learn not put myself down or have any internal negative speech for blowing it and it makes the approach of tomorrows weight in nothing to be afraid of.
I have a friend who ate super clean today for the superbowl.  I am so very proud of her — but no more proud of her than I am myself.  I had a plan lived it, rocked it. Totally socked it.  Yay me. (and way to go Packers!)
Finga Lickin’ Good

Finga Lickin’ Good

Finga Lickin’ Good . . .

So how many points is the miscellaneous foods you lick off your fingers or the spoon?

I didn’t even realize I was doing this ’till today when I prepared peanut butter sandwiches for my children. I licked the spoon and instantly though. “Wow, that peanut butter tastes phenomenal.” It was probably one of the most calorie rich, fat dense foods I’ve had all week. I was seriously doing the eyes rolling back in my head, ecstasy laden happiness face. Then “snap” I was quickly thrust from my happy place. How many points have I used up this week licking spoons, forks, knives, fingers?????? I didn’t even realize I was a serial finger licker. (Isn’t it odd what you find out about yourself when you try to change your life!)

I thought long and hard and had no recollection of what all I have added to my intake this week. I’ve probably licked a dozen spoons this week. So I journaled a spoon full of peanut butter today, even though I doubt I got that much — but I wanted to be safe rather than sorry.

The big bummer part is that I have been saving my extra points for Superbowl Sunday and now I wonder how many I actually have . . .

So beware my friends, of all of the sneaky points clamoring to live on your thighs and spoil your weigh in. 🙂