Wednesday, November 16, 2011

10 Pounds Down!

Whoop Whoop Whoop... I lost 5 more pounds. 10 pounds down. Weigh 310 - 10 = 300 lbs.

Never did I think I would celebrate weighing 300 lbs... but I am seriously doing a happy dance...

I am almost to my first big goal. Big goal psychologically and emotionally... to get under 300 lbs... Yes I checked that scale several times... even double checked to make sure it is balanced... lol...

I looked at the pictures earlier in this album and I was under 300 lbs. All the way down to 275 lbs in one photo. At that point I was still dealing with the uncontrollable binging. Diet then binge pause repeat.

It is truly a blessing to be free of the binging. Yesterday was truly a test of that... lol. My stress levels went off the charts. I did have some cravings... of course. I also had some chips, as well as some ice cream.

Here is the difference. I had around an ounce of chips and a bit of dip rather than a couple bags of chips and a couple tubs of dip.

As for the ice cream. I had 1/2 cup of chocolate ice cream.

It is so freeing to be able to have chips or ice cream without eating myself into oblivion, and being ill afterwards.

1. Under 300 lbs is my first major goal:

2. Next is 294.5 lbs. that will equal a 15.5 lb loss. 5% of my heaviest recorded weight lost...

3. 279 lbs is my next goal: that will be 31 pounds down and 10 % of my heaviest recorded weight lost.

4. Next up is under 275 lbs. 275 lbs is the lightest I was in those pictures I'd posted earlier.

5. Next up is 263.5 lbs... 15% of my heaviest recorded wt. that will be 46.5 lbs down.

6. After that my next huge goal... or rather marker. Under 250 lbs. This one is a biggie for me. Psychologically and Emotionally this one is a HUGE one.

7. Next up: 248 lbs. 20% of my heaviest recorded weight for a loss of 62 lbs.

8. Next on the roster: 232.5 lbs. 25 % of my heaviest recorded weight for a loss of 77.5 lbs.

9. Next up 217 lbs. 30% of my heaviest recorded weight. 93 lbs down.

10. 201.5 lbs is the next one for 35% of my heaviest recorded weight gone gone gone... 108.5 lbs down.

11. Under 200 lbs is my next Huge psychological/emotional goal. It has been over 20 years since I've been under 200 lbs.

12. 186 lbs. is the next in line. That is 40% of my heaviest recorded weight. for a loss of 124 lbs.

13. 170.5 lbs is next up. 45% of my heaviest recorded weight gone gone gone... for a loss of 139.5 lbs.

14. 155 lbs is next up. That will be 50% of my heaviest recorded weight off my body for a loss of 155 lbs. Wow... this is a biggie.

15. Under 150 lbs is my next major major goal and almost to my goal weight... hubba hubba!

16. 145 lbs is my goal weight. For a loss of 165 lbs. Good by to over 53 % of my heaviest recorded weight... Yeah Baby!

Well, hmmmm... wow. There they are, incremental weight goals all the way to my goal weight. I am going to cross them off as I go along. I am writing each one on my dry erase board as I reach the one before it. After wiping that one out... love that symbolism...:)

Of course these are just numbers. Not actually that important in themselves. What they represent is what is important.

I could just go for the numbers. I've done that in the past... dropped a bunch of weight and gained it plus more right back on. Frankly I am not interested in doing that.

For me, these incremental numbers represent a change in lifestyle. A person that is stronger now, and continuing to grow stronger yet, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

They represent freedom from what was entrapping me in layers upon layers of fat.

They represent Freedom to Live my Life.


Friday, September 02, 2011

August Results... September Goals

Throughout the month of August I was all over the place. I started out with a goal of working out to Turbo Jam. Much to my dismay I found that I am not yet in the physical position to do the floor workouts. I admit this rattled me.  I am going to have to slowly build endurance and strength throughout my abdominal muscles before I can do the floor exercises safely.  At this point they result in extreme muscle spasms just below and within my rib cage. This is extremely painful, and makes it very difficult to breathe as the muscles contract uncontrollably forcing the air out of my lungs. 

So change of plans. Upright exercises only.  No horizontal exercises on the floor.

My stress levels went off the charts this August as well.  Happily I did not binge. This is a good thing. Unfortunately I did blow up like a puffer fish.  There had been weight loss earlier this month. However when I weighed at the end of the month I showed no weight loss. This was one of my puffer fish days. My fingers looked like bloated sausages, feet were swelled, face swelled; and so on.  Most of the swelling has receded however I have not gotten back on the scale. I don't believe I will until the end of September.

So as far as weight goes. I had bounced up to 313 dropped down to 308 then bounced back up to 310.

I know I am building muscle. But I will admit the weight bounce, and swelling is rather daunting. 

There have been physical changes.  I can now lie on my back on my bed and not feel like I am drowning.  It's been a long time since I have been able to lie on my back without an incline.

Another positive event was being able to get out of my friend's lawn chair easily. Since my surgery in January getting out of a chair like that has been difficult to say the least. Even before the surgery it was challenging. This is a good thing, my abdominals are getting stronger.

September's Goals:

Work on improving nutrition. I've been working on this but there is definitely room for improvement.

2 a day workouts:
a.m. walk 30 minutes/turbo jam 20 minute
p.m. walk 30 minutes/cardio dvd... variety of different workouts.

keep food journal

take vitamins

log workouts on beachbody

The end of September I will weigh and measure.  I will have photos taken again as well.  Although with the amount of weight I have to lose I'm not sure how much difference it will show.  I guess time will tell the story.

Life is a journey, one day one step at a time.
Mary E. Robbins

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 10 and still at it.

Turbo Jam: Cardio Party Today... Jamming off the calories...

I feel better this morning, than I did yesterday when I got up.  Frankly yesterday morning bit the wad. Today my throat is not as swelled up. Made a mistake and had a late snack night before last.  It would seem it was reflux central even with the nexium. Acid burn in my throat and left eustachian tube.  Gargled with some peroxide and mouthwash mixed... seems to help. Took some benaydryl in case some of the swelling was allergy related. Alfalfa is in bloom again.

Did Turbo Jam 20 minute, and ab jam yesterday. Tried to do the floor part of the workout. body is not ready for that yet. started to shut down my breathing.

It seems that the muscles where the top part of that patch is attached have issues with that particular movement. I can do it standing up. Doesn't put as much stress on them. So I'll work it standing up until I build up their conditioning some more then do it on the floor.  One day one step at a time.

It is seriously nasty when they spasm and compress my lungs. Hard not to panic with the pain from the cramping... then add on the breathing restriction because they are compressing my lungs.  It's not a good thing.

I am getting results from the standing ab work. (I can feel it)  I'll keep at that and slowly move into the horizontal stuff.

I had to have the surgery to keep my guts from falling out. Now it's just dealing with the aftermath.  I'm glad the docs caught it before it got any worse. That patch reaches from my bikini line to the base of my rib cage. Someone, I can't remember who, asked me if it would stick out and show when .. actually they said if... I lose the extra fat.  I don't think it will sick out or show as it is attached under my abdominal muscles. As in between my muscles and my abdominal lining.

The surgeon stitched it in pretty good. I am still cautious of ripping it loose.  It is still healing into my muscles; It will be for at least a year.  I can lift my cast iron kettles now. I actually helped to unload the dog food last week. Doesn't sound like much, but there were 22 ... 50 pound bags to lift and empty into steel barrels.  I was cautious, and made sure I "lifted correctly" and I actually got it done without a tearing sensation, or lower back pain.  Before the surgery when I was unloading the truck, during and after, it would feel as if my guts were going to gush out; and my back would be screaming in pain.  Not any more! YaY! 

So it's step by step... day by day rebuilding my muscle strength and endurance. Using caution this time around... I do not want another of those surgeries... EVER! 

So the horizontal floor work will have to wait a bit... and I'll keep working on the vertical crunches to strengthen and build endurance... as well as burn off this fat suit.

Life is a journey, one day one step at a time.  Hey while you are stepping... don't forget to appreciate the view around you. If you look there is beauty everywhere.

Mary E. Robbins
Independent Beachbody Coach
Robbins Run Ranch

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Day 7 and still rocking along.

Good morning peeps...
I was deciding between Hip Hop Abs and Turbo Jam as my primary workout for this month. I made my decision yesterday. I like Hip Hop Abs; however I chose Turbo Jam ... I like it too and am going to have it as my primary workout....for this month. Possibly the next 3 months. I am curious and excited to see how much my measurments change... :)

I thought the shakeology was what was making me sick to my stomach. I didn't drink any yesterday... still sick to my stomach but no diarrhea. Diarrhea the night before. Now I think it's adjusting to the workouts. It's been a while since I've gotten nauesous from working out.

should have taken an asprin before I went to bed last night. Tossed and turned... woke up several times from muscle aches and soreness.

I am not stopping!

I am going to add the shakeology back in. Excellent vitamin/mineral/calcium load there. However I am going to add .5 scoop rather than a full scoop to start. Let my stomach get used to it in smaller portions, and build to the full load.

Between the Shakeology, 90X vitamins, and working out my food cravings have stopped. Hehe... major victory there.
My first weight goal is to lose 5% of my weight. 310 lbs multiplied by 5% = 15.5 lbs.  My over all goal is to lose 165 lbs. 
One day one workout at a time... working my way to a healthier me... :)
Life is a journey, dropping some fat along the way.
Mary E. Robbins

Thursday, August 04, 2011

4 days in... so far so good

For the past 4 days I have engaged in physical activity... logged my calorie intake, water intake, vitamins, and sleep amount.

Today I am starting to feel the difference. Yesterday I was short on sleep and hyper reactive to any input from anyone. Today I am on a more even keel and actually feeling physically better. YaY

They say it's 21 days to a new habit... I am curious to see how I feel at the end of 21 days.

I intend to go on from there working on change step by step.

I will be happy to be rid of the excess weight on my body and excess junk in my house and life... lol...

Life is a journey, some travels are an adventure
Mary E. Robbins

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Family Reactions to Behavior Changes... weight loss, working, out etc

August first 2011, I made a decision. I made no grand announcements, set off no fireworks, made no grand production. But, I must have done something differently because the reactions have already began. Actually they started yesterday.

What I did do was make my mind up that I was done letting other people's reactions, and or drama cause me to sabotage my efforts to improve my health. Perhaps my attitude shifted a bit. Well yes it shifted quite a bit... I hit the "I'm so done with this nonsense level" on my tolerance meter.

I made up my mind that with or without my husband's support I was taking this fat off my body and getting into shape. I started logging everything that goes into my mouth, logging exercise... oh yes and working out. I started refusing extra food.

Wow did that trigger a reaction. The food pushing has begun. In full force I might add. He says he loves me more and more each day. We've been together since October 1990, married October 1991. It's great that he says he loves me, and I am sure he does. But for some reason he seems terrified of me losing weight or changing behaviors.

In the past when he has started these behaviors, I would get upset, binge, and give up after having spent days in a miserable swirl of depression while he was out on the railroad.

Within the last 8 months or so I discovered my binge trigger. Totally ingrained behavior from early childhood. I had no idea what was triggering my self destructive behavior, and I've been working on said issues for quite some time. This one was buried very very deep.

My husbands reactions to my efforts have encompassed saying he was supportive, to fussing about my food choices, complaining about foods he normally likes, waiting until he knows I've given up on him getting up to join me for breakfast and gone ahead and eaten... then whining for me to fix him breakfast and eat with him. To neglecting his blood sugar to a near crash on the low side to, abusing his body with too many carbs on the high side. To insisting that I eat more than I want, to sulking and being petty, to deliberately starting an argument over some totally unrelated illogical matter.

I actually do love this guy, and most of the time I actually like him. Although I will say I am none to fond of his behavior of late. I'm not sure how to explain it. I am just done. I am done letting other folks insecurities and crap behaviors rule my life. I am done being manipulated into behaviors that I know are detrimental to my self. If that's selfish, then so be it. I've allowed these manipulations for a long, long, time so I suppose it will take a bit of time for it to sink in that they are no longer going to work. Truth be told I'm not sure I have the patience to wait out his fear of change.

I am not going to back off on my quest to be a healthy balanced individual. This fat needs to come off my body it is killing me.

I hope he can adjust and come along with me on this journey. If he doesn't start taking better care of his own body he will not be around long either. I refuse to be left here unable to function... I suppose that is a big part of my determination. That and I do not want to live the rest of my life in this miserable fat suit!

Other than venting, what is the purpose of this post? It's a heads up to folks making adjustments in their lives. The people around you may react in rather un-supportive ways even though they say they support your efforts...

Yes it's wonderful you are losing weight... have another piece of pie...

Life is a journey, sometimes those you are with are moving in another direction...
Mary E. Robbins

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Goodby May, Hello June... Arrragh I stalled!

WoW, May is dead and gone.  So are my goals for that month. For some reason I seemed to get stuck in place.  Jet ski without it's rider circling around the same patch of water until it's fuel ran out.

That was me this past month. I started out great guns, rock n roll... then phttttt...  Circling for days, then completely ran out of fuel. So what happened?!  Feel like I'm digging around in the decomposing carcass of last month.  What happened, and what can I do to change the outcome for this month?

I lost focus, lost control of my time, and frankly hid in farmville. I allowed the changes in living arrangements to overwhelm me.  It's been a challenging adjustment having David at home all the time.

Even more so trying to regulate his blood sugar. When it get's high it triggers outbursts of uncontrollable rages. I had to decide this month whether I was going to stay here and subject myself to his rages or walk away.  His rage triggered a panic attack, and depression in me.  When his sugar is not spinning out of control he is a good guy. But when he has a piss fit and does not regulate his sugar he is a monster to be around.

It took me most of the month to decide what to do. Tough decision, we have been together since 1990. There have been fits of rage throughout the time we have been together; however the were more positive times than awful.  But then he was gone 3/4 of the time working on the train. So who actually knows how much of the time he spent spinning out of control.  I only know what he was like around me. He seems to lose all cognizant function when he is caught up on the rages.

The challenge is to sort out how much of it is temper tantrum, and how much of it is directly related to blood sugar that is too high.  His behavior has been reminiscent of my Uncle Gene's behavior.  Never knew which person you were going to be with and he could switch without a second's notice.  When he was nice he was wonderful, when he was raging it was like Freddie Kruger on acid. Made life around him like walking through a live mine field. Never knew when you would step on a mine.  I wonder now if he had blood sugar problems as well, because he acted as if he didn't remember his "episodes".  David is the same way.  I thought he was just trying to not take responsibility for his crap actions to start with; but I have come to the conclusion he has no clear memory of his actions when he is in rage.

Dealing with my Uncle growing up nearly pushed me over the edge into a complete psychotic break.  It took me years of work to stabilize; and it's a tenuous stability at that. (anyone that has been through that kind of on going abuse can tell you that)  David's episodes triggered some pretty destabilizing reactions within myself this past month.

I made the decision to work with him a bit longer and try to help him stabilize his blood sugar.  He is going to have to take responsibility for himself at some point... time will tell what happens.

I acted out and ate too much food, and crawled into my shell and hid.  For some reason it seems like the fatter I get the safer I feel.  Looks like I've been hiding in a fat suit.

So; what am I going to do to change my situation.

1. I am researching diabetes, looking into healthful alternatives. Reading, researching.

2. Made a weight loss goal for myself. I would love to lose 20 lbs of fat this month. That works out to an average deficit of 2,334 calories per day. I am not going to starve myself, I am going to keep track, eat healthful, and increase physical activity.

3. How am I going to accomplish the calorie deficit: gardening, hip hop abs, oxycise, turbo jam, house cleaning, walking, incline trainer.

4. Structuring my time. Not set in stone but a daily plan; with my to do list.

5. Accept the fact that there are some things I can not change. Realize that I am not responsible for the things I can not change.  I am however, responsible for those things I can change.

Yes the Serenity Prayer is a Litany in my life.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

So be it!

Life is a journey... new discoveries around each twist in the path...
Mary E. Robbins

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

So... What's Different This Time?

There's the question. What is different this time around?  I have started and given up, or fallen flat on my rather round face innumerable times over my 51 year lifespan. Started on a fitness goal, or race training, or diet. 

I did accomplish some goals as well. Ran the Tulsa Run (15 kilometers / 9.3 miles) , the Pepsi Challenge ( 10 kilometers/ 6.2 miles). Backpacked over 20 miles. Graduated University with my Degree, did some post grad work in selected subjects. Got married, still married going on 20 years, bought a ranch, paid off the mortgages. Yes we are living mortgage free! YaY!  Did some traveling. Got to know my Dad after being isolated from him as a child. Had the pleasure of a great relationship with him. Ran my own business. Took some time out due to physical issues. Looking at ramping up again.

So there have been some accomplishments. Actually quite a few.  The thing is, how to word this. I never thought of myself as successful. I was always punishing myself for falling short of some imagined guideline. It is amazing how a mindset like that can strip the joy out of life.

I would have to say that is the difference.  I actually have been quite successful, if you compare my accomplishments to my bucket list. Amazing how a simple change in perspective can completely alter your life.

I no longer feel like a fake. Like I am going to be found out for the failure or fake that I felt I was.  I am who I am. Amazingly enough, I actually like myself. Yes, that is amazing to me; because I did not feel worthy of being liked or loved for many years.  I was always stumped by the love your neighbor as you love yourself turn of phrase; because I didn't feel love for myself. 

I loved my horses, I loved my dogs, humans I had problems with.  I always felt like I had been judged, and found to be lacking in worth. The dogs and horses were honest and didn't play vicious games. There was no trying to sort out what their intent was.

With my childhood family there was no sorting out intent. Not for me anyway. I learned at a very early age that I had caused pain, that I was less than, that I was there to do "chores" and that my completion of said chores was lacking no matter what I did.

Ever since I was a small child I have always been rather direct with a highly logical mind. As a result the passive aggressive, round about methods of my family members were somewhat frustrating to me to say the least.  Their behaviors never made any sense to me, but they certainly imprinted. I got the message loud and clear, I did not deserve to be happy, I deserved to be punished.  (Side note: my father was not a part of this situation. He was excluded from my life until I was an adult- I found out after we got to know each other that both of us were direct logical people)

I am not saying my family was deliberately cruel. Well, yeah, sometimes some of them were. However, I remember decorated Christmas trees, long summer days on my horse, and first days of school. 

I listen to my mom now and I hear the same thought patterns coming out in her speech.  She has never broken the pattern, perhaps she does not want to. I don't know. What I do know is that the only person that can change those ingrained patterns is the individual. It's all over the place. People who have nothing to say unless they are making fun of, or denigrating another person. Miserable people feeding on the misery of others.  As well as those laid waste by the venom of others continually repeating the litany in their subconscious.  It's a sad destructive cycle.

I learned early on that if I loved something, or wanted something, didn't matter what it was, that it was leverage against me.  That it would be taken away at a whim, because I didn't deserve it.  The more I wanted something, the quicker it would be taken away. If I lost interest or just gave up, then here it is, let me give you this. Aren't I great because I gave you this. Don't you want it, Oh you do, let me take it away.

I moved 800 miles away when I finished high school.  Little did I know that I was taking it all with me. It's amazing how we carry with us the torture we are trying to leave behind.  

It took years and a lot of work to discover what was behind my self destructive behavior. I saw myself as obese when I wasn't. I punished myself by binging and binging, and gained weight uncontrollably.  I gained until I was over 300 pounds and just kept gaining.

Then through the pain and anguish, a discovery was made. I was continuing the punishments from childhood. Rather than a horse halter or tree switch, I was beating myself with food. Actually it was dual purpose. The binging was self punishment- as well as subduing my emotions.  I was eating my emotions. 

When I made the connection, the "discovery", of what was behind my binging; it was as if a light switch flipped on.  Illuminating the root cause behind years of struggle and pain. It's amazing, I am actually free.  Just makes me giggle with glee. That's not to say that I don't have down times, I do. But now they are not compounded by compulsive binging. I am actually feeling my emotions in the moment rather than subduing them with food (or whatever else I could ingest). 

There are days I would just as soon not feel my emotions. When the grief hits over my Father's death, or Min Min's passing. However I am feeling those emotions, I am also feeling joy at remembering conversations with my dad, and snuggles with my Min Min.  I miss them both, and would have liked some more time with them. However that was not to be. So I am dealing with it.

Note the "dealing with it" as in allowing myself to feel the emotion and letting myself work through the grief. I am also feeling joy as I hear a meadowlark sing, or see the full moon crest the horizon.

I am living my life in each moment. Appreciating the crisp morning air, and a hot cup of strong coffee. I finally see life as a gift rather than as a curse.  I now understand love your neighbor as you love yourself. 

I am free to be. I see what was behind the weight gain, and now I am free to do what I need to do to take care of my body.  I am free to lose fat. I am free to get physically fit. I am free to enjoy the process of becoming healthy. I am free to be. Free to live. Its an amazing feeling.

I look around and I see so many people living in bondage. Misery painted across their faces.  Some show it by their obesity, some by anexoria, others by a variety of compulsive behaviors. 

I wonder how to help them be free as well. I know they have to do the work, to make the discoveries themselves. My hope is that perhaps, just perhaps, my story can help others on their journey to freedom.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Enough Already...

Well I've decided! Grand isn't it to actually make a decision. Yup, I decided, enough already! Grand little announcement isn't it!?  I have a tendency to be a caretaker. Perhaps another word for it would be enabler. Now that doesn't sound so charming and nurturing does it? No perhaps not.

I am actually very good at it, being an enabler that is.  I've tons of experience from early childhood on.  Someone's not happy, what can I do to make it better, how can I help you, it MUST be my fault that you are a miserable ---- hmmm, should I use the word I actually thought.  I think I'll let you fill in the blank.

How did I get this way; that's actually another story entirely. Short version, it was strongly reinforced from very early childhood on. Displease someone, anyone, and the result was a tree switch, horse halter, or whatever else was handy. Usually a snapping tree branch. You know those feel much like a horse whip. Well perhaps you don't know, but I can tell you from personal experience that they do. They also raise the same kind of welts, and cut skin the same way. So I suppose I could say that enabling behavior was whipped into me, literally. The spare the rod spoil the child bit was a well chanted litany in our home.

There was nothing, that I knew of, that I could do about things then.  However; I can do something about this self-destructive enabling behavior now. Taking responsibility for other people's behavior sets you up as the recipient for all sorts of, less than desirable behaviors and situations. It tends to sneak in when you actually believe you are "only helping".  Often there is a fine line between "helping" and "enabling".

So here we are, back to what brought me to this decision. Actually it's a decision long time in coming, that has waxed and waned for years. Truthfully I am not sure just how it's going to stand now. At any rate, this is where I am now. Digging through the years of emotion buried in the fat that I've packed onto my 5 ft 7 inch frame.

Back on point, the series of events that brought me strongly to this decision came to a head yesterday.  An absolutely miserable day it was too. The irony of yesterday being an absolutely miserable day is not lost on me, I've been looking forward to nice warm weather for months.  It was a lovely spring day, no wind, mid 70's wonderful day outside. Even though it was totally marred by a totally crap attitude by my life partner.

He has been acting out like a monstrous two year old brat, no change that, his behavior has been more devious than that. More like a spoiled bratty teenager that didn't get his own way; ever since the doctor told him to cut his food intake down to 1800 calories, cut back on his alcohol, develop a regular sleep pattern, and get some exercise. She told him his A1C was totally out of line.

Hence the creation of a nasty attitude, looking for someone to blame for his own irresponsibility. Three guesses who jumped into the fray to "help"; more the fool I. I have been cooking only meals that are in that calorie range. Got him a journal to use to count his calories; and have been including him in food prep decisions.  Asking him what he thought; if he liked the meals had any ideas and so on. Only to hear snide depreciating comments. I get it that he's frustrated. No surprise there, I am too. I get it that he's looking for someone to blame for the situation he is in. So sorry I am no longer accepting that position. Want someone to hold accountable for, or blame for, the mess you've allowed your body to become. Look in the mirror. It's all on you.  Just like the 161 lbs I have to lose is all on me.

So how is this "Enough Already" decision going to play out?  Well, I'm  not sure. I am going to continue to plan out meals that are in the 1800 daily calorie range. I told the doctor I would, and I need to do this for myself as well. I am not however, going to fawn after my life partner asking him what he would like; or to even help plan. If he wants any input he will have to step up and make the effort to become involved. Nor am I cooking separate meals, if he doesn't like what I've prepped.

I am no longer going to be asking him if he has his journal, insulin, vitamins, etc.  How he handles taking care of his body is up to him. Perhaps, I am hoping anyway, he will step up and do what his body requires him to do to be healthy. I hope so because I actually do love my husband, and would like to have some quality time with him. I wish I could just "fix it" but I can't, it's up to him. That's been a very hard realization to come to.

I suppose the final comment that was a reality check for me was. When I asked him if  he was ok, and did he like the meal. After I'd spent considerable time sorting out the calorie counts and remaking the recipes, as well as prepping the meal.  He snapped at me, and when I asked him what was wrong he said: I am miserable, and you may as well be too. I had already done everything I could think of to try to help him and this was a bit of an eye opener. It was also the last straw after another day full of petty nastiness.

He is miserable because he is choosing to be miserable!

Hence the journey to Enough Already!  I am done. I love him, but this behavior is not acceptable.  I am no longer taking responsibility nor blame for his, nor for anyone's, choices other than my own.

Today is a new day.
I am thankful for peace in my heart and mind.

My husband is in God's hands, and responsible for his own choices.

Perhaps, now that I will no longer be treating him like a bratty child he will no longer act like one. No I am not blaming myself for his behavior, only accepting responsibility for my culpability in said situation.

Life is a journey, sometimes there are boulders in the road. It's up to you how you respond to them.
Mary E. Robbins

The End of March 2011

Ok this is the third time I tried to start writing this post.  So here goes. March 31st 2011, and I got on the scale this morning to a charming weight of 306 pounds. Kinda disgusted with that. But it is what it is; going on from here.

I suppose I could make all kinds of excuses, but truth be told there aren't really any.  I knew I was eating too much but did it anyway. I will say things seemed pretty pointless and I developed an attitude of "what's the point".  It's crazy frustrating when you are trying to change your lifestyle and those you live with are acting out over it.  It's seemed like every time I worked out or lost a pound he would go and get ice-cream or pie. Oh yes, I know I am fully responsible for my own actions. I crashed and burned in a nasty depression.

So here I am, 306 lbs.  There has been an interesting development. The hubs had a doctor's appointment and she chewed him up and spat him out.  I knew he was eating himself to death, but his sugar reading was really bad.  Doc told him to reduce his consumption to 1800 calories a day. She also increased his long acting insulin.

The first day was full of temper tantrums and whining. Today has been better about the eating. Both of us are doing the 1800 cal.  It is such a relief to not have him stuffing three meals down his throat at one sitting.  Really helps to actually be making these changes with someone rather than going against the tide.

He wanted some new bib overalls and thought he wore a 38.  Surprise, surprise, he ended up with size 44 before they fit right. That was a bit of an eye opener too.  I haven't done any better since I had surgery either. Very limited activity and yes some emotional eating too.  I've gained 3.5 inches on my bust putting it at a resounding 51.5 inches.

Truth be told I kinda freaked out over 1800 cal a day too, but there is actually plenty to eat depending on how you choose your food.

I've been really worried about the hubs. He has been home since the first of the year and really packing it in. This visit to the doctor was a good thing. Maybe we will have some more years to enjoy... rather than just existing sliding into an unhealthy demise.

I am really looking forward to no longer carrying around 161 extra pounds.  Rather than looking at the total weight to lose, I am looking at one day at a time, changing lifestyle, and 5 to 10 percent of my weight. They say losing 10 % of your weight can make a huge difference in your health. I hope they are right.  So here we go... looking at 10 % of my weight; that would be 30.6 lbs. When that is off I'll look at the next 10%. That first 10% lost will take my weight down to 275.4 lbs. Still seems like a lot but it's under 300 lbs. That is something to celebrate as far as I'm concerned.

When I got on the scale this morning I was afraid I was over 310.  I was very relieved that I wasn't . That in itself was a victory today.

Finally got wifi set up so I can use the interactive trainer in my treadmill.  Started on that today too. Kicked my behind. WoW, it's amazing the difference the incline makes. That was quite the workout, huge difference from walking or running on a relatively level trail.  This training program jumped up to 26% incline. I lasted 15 minutes. May not be very long, but I'm going back at it again. I have Ifit for a year before I need to renew it. I am determined to make good use of it.

Slowly working on de-cluttering my home as well. Wish I could instantly have that done, but its a process to be sure. I read an article that said clutter had a negative effect on weight loss. I can believe it. Get frustrated over the mess and just go eat. Look at the whole thing and become overwhelmed and go sit in the corner of the couch and hide. Been there done that. There is so much friggen mail. Good grief. It's not just mail though.  Making changes, one day one trash can at a time...

Life is a journey, sometimes the trail is twisty
Mary E. Robbins

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Yesterday I rocked it on the treadmill. Today it trounced me

Yesterday I rocked it on the treadmill. Today it trounced me. But I got it done.
2 miles, intervals with max speed at 4mph. Amazing the difference a day can make. When I finished working out yesterday I was full of energy and excited.  Today I am so tired, that after I finished lunch I fell asleep in a chair.

No I did not sleep in my sweat soaked clothes. I would have been a stiff miserable mess then.  I changed into dry clothes before I ate lunch with my husband.

I keep thinking about what that trainer said. That walking was a waste of time for most people, as far as a workout goes. I have to wonder if he was misquoted in the article I read.  Perhaps there would be little benefit if a person was to leisurely puttz about exerting very little energy.

But I can say with considerable certainty that walking with effort is no waste of time, as far as health benefits are concerned.

Merely a week ago I was gasping for air at 3 mph, today I slowed the treadmill down to 3 mph to catch my breath before jumping it back up to 4 mph for an interval. I kept repeating intervals throughout the 2 miles. 2 mph, 3 mph, 2.5 mph, 4 mph and so on.

I am not sure how much faster than 4 mph I can go at a walk; before I have to break into running for distance. I am going to find out though. 

Feels like a sticker weed poking me above and behind my navel. Uncomfortable, but I don’t think I’m doing any damage.  I’ll sure be glad when that mess is entirely healed up.  I wonder though if I will always feel that patch. I don’t know, guess I’ll find out, time will tell.

A sad movie came on the television while I was napping; and I woke up rather melancholy. Time to adjust that attitude… ugh.  I was watching Law and Order UK when I dozed off. What can I say I enjoy that program. Glad I have it taped; so I can go back in and find out the ending of the story. Lol.

Last night the air smelled wonderful, with the aroma of rain.  This morning brought a borderline damp chill in the air. You know the kind that makes you want a wooly sweater and a hot cup of tea and honey and you still have a chill. Now it’s snowing. The wind is not blowing though, so that is very good. We seriously do not need a spring blizzard. 

The dogs are starting to blow their winter coats. Last year they didn’t blow coat until June. Then it was a grooming race to pull their undercoats out of their guard coats so they wouldn’t overheat. I’m a bit hesitant to start pulling their coats now. A few more weeks and we should be past the possibility of a spring blizzard with those monster 6 to 7 foot snow drifts. If we get a storm like that they are going to need their coats.  They do love playing in the snow though.

Have laundry waiting to be folded and more to wash, notes to review and phone calls to return. So… just decide.

It’s snowing, nothing I can do about that. Good for the pasture anyway. What I can do something about is how I respond. I choose to have a good day. I choose to increase my energy level and improve my attitude.

Just decide…

Gotta rock it…

Later taters.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

I Rocked It!

I Rocked it!
March 5, 2011 4:00 PM

1.75 miles today. Max Speed 4mph. Yeah Baby!

Yes I am celebrating 1.75 miles with a max speed of 4mph!  This is another day another step towards completing the half marathon the end of May 2011.

I read an article where a trainer was saying that walking was really not a benefit to most folks.  I thought ok, hmmm.... I disagree. Walking is always a benefit. When I was back in University 30 odd years ago running distance. Walking 1.75 miles at a max speed of 4 mph would have been me walking to classess. Today it was a workout. Eventually it will be a stroll for me again.  But today it is a victory.

I've gone beyond maxed out before. Way beyond on weight lifting and such.  I leg pressed 350 pounds when I was in highschool. Could dead lift a railroad tie around 6 years ago. Lifted my mother who was way over 200 lbs several times a day 2009 - 2010.

January 18th, I had surgery.  I had an umbilical hernia 3 inches across. Now it's fixed with a patch the size of a sheet of copy paper. In 2005 I had surgery that cut through my abdominal muscles from my navel to my bikini line.  The Doc reinforced the entire area.  I told him the lifestyle I've chosen to live; and he fixed it accordingly.

It will be around a year before it is completely healed.  So I am paying attention and slowly building my endurance.  I am looking forward to getting back into Hip Hop Abs and Turbo Jam.  I am not sure of the time table yet.  One day one step at a time.

3 weeks ago, I could barely walk on that incline trainer at 2mph.

So Today... I am celebrating 1.75 miles at a max speed of 4 mph.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.

Mary E. Robbins


Sunday, February 06, 2011

Bit of a Bonus for Coffee Lovers: Coffee May Protect Against Disease

How's that for a bonus for coffee lovers?!  You know, I lost count years ago the times I'd been told to quit drinking coffee. Of course, as with all things, you need to use a bit of commons sense. Oh yeah and what's that word?  I remember, it's moderation.

I started drinking coffee around 46 or 47 years ago now. I was a little girl and I HAD to have coffee with my grandmother.  You know I just had too. lol.  She had this coffee mug. Seemed Huge to me at the time, probably isn't any bigger than the one I use now though. It had this cartoon bloodhound on it, the coffee hound. Brings back good memories.

Of course at the time my coffee was mostly fresh whole milk with a bit of coffee in it. I was maybe, 4 years old or so at the time. I turned 51 yesterday and still enjoy a good cup of coffee. My Grandmother Owen, has long since crossed over to the other side. She passed away, in hospital,  after a gall bladder surgery in October 1969.  We were very close, I was 9 when she passed. I still miss her, she was a Grand Dame.

She stood a bit over 6 ft tall and could be quite imposing. What I remember most was brushing her long silver hair, her sour cream sugar cookies (usually baked during thunderstorms), and sharing coffee.

Perhaps we'll be able to share a cuppa on the otherside one day...

Life is a journey, enjoy a cuppa along the way.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch

Article Below... enjoy


5 Surprising Health Benefits of Coffee

By Susan McQuillan

Before you put down that mug for good, there's something you should know: This caffeinated beverage may actually be a boon to your health.

The next time you enjoy a cup of coffee, enjoy the fact that it may be protecting your health.
If you're sensitive to caffeine, there's no doubt that drinking coffee, especially multiple cups of coffee, may have some adverse effects, such as nervousness, restlessness, stomach upset and insomnia.  And if you're a long-time, heavy coffee drinker and you suddenly quit, you may experience withdrawal symptoms like headaches, fatigue, confusion, and mild depression. These are all symptoms associated with caffeine, however, and they are likely to affect you only if you are sensitive to caffeine.

Coffee contains many chemicals other than caffeine, including some that appear to be good for you, such as disease-fighting antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances.

If you drink several cups a day without suffering side effects, you may well be reaping a variety of health benefits. Coffee does a few things you may not know about, such as:

Lowers blood sugar. And as a result, at least eight clinical studies have shown that heavy coffee drinkers are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nondrinkers and those who limit themselves to just one or two cups.

Protects against dementia and Parkinson's Diseases. Since type 2 diabetes is linked to dementia and coffee lowers the risk of developing diabetes, this may be the link.

Increases your resting metabolic rate. Your resting metabolic rate is the rate at which you burn calories when you're doing nothing more than sitting around breathing.

Lowers your risk of developing liver and colon cancer. And at the same time, coffee is unlikely to increase your risk of developing any type of cancer.

Fights cell damage. Coffee naturally contains more antioxidants than green tea, and roasting the beans brings out even more beneficial substances.  Antioxidants interfere with a normal body process known as oxidation, which damages and destroys healthy cells and leads to disease.

And here's a bonus: Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees contain substances known to raise both total and LDL (bad) blood cholesterol levels. But if you use a filter when you brew, coffee won't raise your cholesterol because the filter catches these substances before they drip into your cup.  So if you're concerned about cholesterol on the rise, stay away from espressos, lattes, and instant and pressed coffees.

Harvard Medical School: Health Communications

Kansas State University: Nutrition News

Oregon State University/Linus Pauling Institute: Coffee

Coffee Health Benefits : Coffee may protect against disease

Monday, January 31, 2011

The 20 Worst Foods in America... Seriously... OINK!

I started reading this Eat this Not that article and thought ... I have got to help get this message out... So here goes.  It actually made me a bit sick to my stomach to think of how many calories are packed into some of these entrees.

See for yourself

Life is a journey, awareness is a valuable asset.
Mary E. Robbins

article to follow: Men's Health Magazine/Eat This Not That
Another year, another 20 catastrophic dishes. You'd think by now restaurants would start to get the message, but that just doesn't seem to be the case. Sure, some of last year's worst offenders have vanished, but the abundance of possible replacements is frightening. This past year was especially bad for the food industry. In an effort to outdo each other, restaurants and fast-food chains ratcheted up their efforts to create the craziest, most calorically damaging menu items we've ever seen. And succeed they did. The battle of the bulge has been taken to a whole new level, so protect yourself from the enemy by avoiding these 20 destructive dishes.

Want more great swaps, shopping suggestions, and general nutrition information? Buy Eat This, Not That 2011! today. 

20. Worst Kids' Meal

California Pizza Kitchen Kids Curly Mac 'n' Cheese

1,038 calories
38 g saturated fat
1,651 mg sodium
Pasta robed in melted cheese will never pass muster with the nutritionist set; nevertheless, there are some versions out there you can feel good about feeding your kid. Bob Evans, TGI Friday’s, and even Burger King all serve reasonable versions of the kiddie staple. CPK decidedly does not. This bowl represents about 70 percent of the calories the average 6-year-old should consume in a day. What’s worse, it delivers as much saturated fat as an adult should consume over the course of 48 hours. Good news is you can dissuade them from ordering the mac by suggesting the pizza instead. We doubt they’ll object.

Eat This Instead!

Kids Hawaiian Pizza
463 calories
8 g saturated fat
1,165 mg sodium

19. Worst Supermarket Meal

Stouffer's White Meat Chicken Pot Pie (large)

1,160 calories
66 g fat (26 g saturated)
1,780 mg sodium
Of all the frozen options that fill out the supermarket aisles, none is more dubious than the pot pie. It sits in the freezer like a leaden bomb, ready to explode waistlines with a troubling mix of oil, cream, butter, and refined carbohydrates. (The package claims it serves two, but really, when have you ever split a pot pie?) The good news is that there are more than a few safe options for those looking for the rich, comforting flavors of a pot pie without the caloric consequences. This version of chicken à la king from Stouffer’s is our favorite of the bunch.

Eat This Instead!

Stouffer's Chicken a la King
360 calories
12 g fat (4 g saturated)
800 mg sodium

18. Worst "Healthy" Sandwich

Blimpie Special Vegetarian

1,180 calories
59 g fat (18 g saturated)
3,540 mg sodium
Goes to show the risk in trusting buzz-terms. A “vegetarian” sandwich might sound like a guaranteed lean lunch, but after Blimpie tops it with multiple layers of cheese, an onslaught of sauces, and crushed Doritos (no joke), you’re left with a hunkin’ hoagie that gnaws through nearly your entire day’s fat allotment and more than 1½ days of sodium. You’d be better off with a towering bacon Dagwood (but really, you’d be best to opt for the vegetarian-friendly Mediterranean Ciabatta).

There's more where this sandwich came from: The Craziest Food Creations of 2010.

Eat This Instead!

Mediterranean Ciabatta
450 calories
8 g fat (3 g saturated)
1,720 mg sodium

17. Worst Fast Food Burger

Wendy's Triple Baconator

1,350 calories
90 g fat (40 g saturated, 3.5 g trans)
2,780 mg sodium
America has caught bacon fever, making way for a market flooded with bacon-infused chocolates, bacon salts, and yes, even bacon sprays (spritz yourself with the essence of pig!). This profusion of porcine is a trend Wendy’s is taking full advantage of with its line of bacon-buoyed burgers. Consider the recipe here: three quarter-pound beef patties interspersed with nine strips of bacon, three slices of cheese, and a big smear of mayonnaise. It’s fat on top of fat on top of fat, 10 layers in all—a tower of nutritional terror.

Eat This Instead!

Double Stack with Bacon
400 calories
21 g fat (9 g saturated)
990 mg sodium

16. Worst Side

Five Guys Large Fries

1,464 calories
71 g fat (14 g saturated)
184 g carbohydrates
213 mg sodium
Americans consume more French fries than any other single vegetable. Scary stuff, especially when you see just how punishing a side of deep-fried potatoes can really be. The worst part is Five Guys offers no sensible solutions. There are no other sides on the menu, and even if you downgrade to a “regular” order, you still wind up with more calories than if you ordered one of Five Guys’ little bacon burgers. You’re better off ordering two “little” sandwiches and skipping the fries.

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Eat This Instead!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
470 calories
26 g fat (9 g saturated)
715 mg sodium

15. Worst Food Hybrid

Domino's Chicken Carbonara Breadbowl Pasta

1,480 calories
56 g fat (24 g saturated)
2,220 mg sodium
Edible bowls just might be the pinnacle of American gluttony. Next thing you know, restaurants will be serving Pepsi from cups made of chocolate. It sounds ridiculous, but the concept is exactly the same: refined carbs (pasta) served inside of refined carbs (white bread). It’s kryptonite for diabetics (and anyone who values self-preservation). The result isn’t just a stratospheric escalation of your blood sugar levels, but also the consumption of more than a day’s worth of saturated fat, 92 percent of your sodium allotment, and a punishing glut of calories. Skip the terrifying Frankenfood and stick to what Domino’s is known for: pizza.

For more fast and informative nutritional and health tips, follow Eat This, Not That! on Twitter.

Eat This Instead!

Hand Tossed Pizza with grilled chicken, green peppers, and shredded parmesan (2 slices, medium pie)
430 calories
16 g fat (7 g saturated)
1,030 mg sodium

14. Worst Fast-Food Breakfast

Hardee's Loaded Biscuit 'N' Gravy with Large Hash Rounds

1,530 calories
110 g fat (26 g saturated)
3,020 mg sodium
Biscuits and gravy fall pretty low in the hierarchy of healthy breakfast options, and the two hockey pucks of sausage that Hardee’s throws on top don’t help matters (especially when you consider that the gravy is already studded with sausage). What that amounts to is a full day’s worth of saturated fat before you tack on the side of spuds. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then this is one of the most important meals in America to avoid.

12. Worst Salad

TGI Friday's Santa Fe Chopped Salad

1,800 calories Rumor has it that Hollywood elite turn to the Friday’s salad section when it comes time to gain weight for onscreen roles. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but get too cozy with these leaves and you can expect some dire repercussions. The average entrée-size salad packs a walloping 1,216 calories, making it one of the most dangerous sections of an already-disastrous menu. It comes as no surprise that the Santa Fe emerges as the worst of this sad heap; Mexican- or Southwestern-themed salads—with their abundance of shredded cheese, greasy proteins, and tortilla chips—are the worst species of salad. If those are the flavors you’re after, why not a crunchy taco from Taco Bell? You could have a dozen for the same caloric cost.

Eat This Instead!

Cobb Salad
361 calories

11. Worst Chinese Entree

PF Chang's Doube Pan-Fried Noodles Combo (served with beef, pork, chicken, and shrimp)

1,820 calories
84 g fat (8 g saturated, 3.5 g trans)
7,692 mg sodium
The human body needs about 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day to function properly. Anything beyond that is unnecessary, and possibly dangerous. And sure, Chinese food is notorious for its higher-than-usual salt factor, but few dishes we’ve seen come anywhere close to this number. It packs enough of the white stuff to meet your body’s needs for more than 5 days. And the rest of Chang’s menu isn’t much better. Stick with the Hong Kong Beef and plan to avoid the saltshaker for the next couple meals.

Shed pounds and gain muscle with a personalized workout routine at My Men's Health.

Eat This Instead!

Hong Kong Beef with Snow Peas
620 calories
28 g fat (6 g saturated)
1,852 mg sodium

10. Worst Ribs

Outback Steakhouse Baby Back Ribs (full rack)

2,012 calories
160 g fat (59 g saturated)
2,600 mg sodium
Keep in mind that this caloric heft comes without the addition of Aussie Fries, which will invariably adorn most of the plates at Outback. Nor does it take into account the free brown bread and salad that comes with every entrée order. For all that you can factor in an extra 800 calories or so, bringing the total damage dangerously close to the 3,000-calorie threshold. That much energy will add nearly a pound of fat to your body, which means if you start eating this meal once a week, one year from today you’ll have 41 extra pounds of baby-back body fat hanging from your midsection.

Eat This Instead!

Outback Special (9 oz)
445 calories
23 g fat (11.5 g saturated)
610 mg sodium

9. Worst Burger

Denny's Smokin' Q Three Pack

2,020 calories
110 g fat (22 g saturated, 3 g trans)
3,570 mg sodium
Okay, technically this is three burgers, but the idea behind the mini-burger is that the restrained vessels will help you knock off some calories from the hulking mothership burger that inspired them. Rarely, though, does it actually work out that way. In fact, after searching high and low, we still haven’t found a single slider or mini-burger safe enough to order. Skip them all, but these especially, which up the caloric ante by crowning the not-so-mini patties with both bacon and onion crispers. They may look harmless, but this trio will knock out your entire day’s caloric allotment.

For the most up-to-date sex, health, and workout advice, follow Men's Health on Twitter.

Eat This Instead!

Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich
520 calories
35 g fat (8 g saturated, 0.5 g trans)
620 mg sodium

8. Worst Drink

Cold Stone Creamery PB&C Shake (Gotta Have It size, 24 fl oz)

2,030 calories
131 g fat (68 g saturated, 2.5 g trans)
153 g sugars
A couple years ago, Baskin-­Robbins’ milk shake line could have easily claimed the top five worst drinks in America, but when it decided to reel in some of the caloric excesses, Cold Stone’s PB&C was left exposed as the biggest bully on the block. And the damage is severe: This blended peanut-butter-cup concoction makes it possible to slurp down a day’s worth of energy with a mere 10-minute straw session. We hope Cold Stone decides to follow Baskins’ lead and downsize this atrocity, but if not, we’re happy to keep doling out the negative publicity.

Eat This Instead!

Sinless Oh Fudge! Shake (Like It size, 16 oz)
490 calories
2 g fat (2 g saturated)
44 g sugars

7. Worst Breakfast

IHOP "Big" Country Breakfast

2,040 calories
55 g saturated fat
159 g carbohydrates
4,500 mg sodium
Here’s the anatomy of a breakfast disaster: Take a 12-ounce steak, bread it, fry it, and then cover it with gravy. Then, on the side, drop three eggs and three buttermilk pancakes. Does it not occur to IHOP that this is actually three full meals? And that two of those meals—all but the eggs—are the sort of indulgences that should be eaten only in extreme moderation? If this is the first thing you eat in the morning, don’t even bother getting out of bed.

Find thousands of new, easy food swaps to save your waistline in Eat This, Not That! 2011.

Eat This Instead!

Turkey Bacon Omelette for Me
470 calories
25 g fat (11 g saturated)
890 mg sodium

6. Worst Mexican Entree

Baja Fresh Charbroiled Steak Nachos

2,120 calories
118 g fat (44 g saturated, 4.5 g trans)
2,990 mg sodium
If the full day of calories doesn’t get you, then the 2 days of saturated fat will. If that saturated fat doesn’t bring you to your knees, then the 2 days of trans fat surely will. If the trans fat doesn’t wreak total havoc on your system . . . we could go on like this for days. Is it just us, or is it slightly disturbing that you could eat eight full steak tacos and still take in fewer calories than what’s found in this plate of cheesy chips? Stick to two tacos and save nearly a half pound of body fat in one sitting.

Eat This Instead!

2 Original Baja Steak Tacos
460 calories
16 g fat (4 g saturated)
520 mg sodium

5. Worst Appetizer

Outback Steakhouse Kookaburra Wings

2,145 calories
185 g fat (75 g saturated)
3,711 mg sodium
Outside of Outback, a kookaburra is an Australian bird that makes a noise like a chuckling human. Inside Outback, “kookaburra” denotes a piece of fried chicken that’s been lacquered with egregious amounts of fat and sodium. Even if you have two other victims to help defray the damage, you’ll still wind up with 715 calories and well over a day’s worth of saturated fat. It would be easier on your gut if you just skipped the appetizer and instead wolfed down a Burger King Whopper on your way to dinner.

Cut carbs and save calories with one of these           7 delicious low-calorie beers.

Eat This Instead!

Grilled Shrimp on the Barbie
315 calories
21 g fat (9 g saturated)
561 mg sodium

4. Worst Pizza

Uno Chicago Grill Classic Deep Dish Pizza (individual size)

2,310 calories
165 g fat (54 g saturated)
4,920 mg soidum
In all the years we’ve been putting this list together, this pizza from Uno’s is the only item to never budge from the hyper-caloric countdown. While a number of burgers, salads, and pastas battle it out for the dubious distinction of being America’s worst, there is simply no competition for this nightmarish creation. With a day’s worth of calories, more than 2 days’ worth of sodium, and nearly 3 days’ worth of fat, bread, cheese, and sauce have never been stretched to such extremes.

Eat This Instead!

Cheese and Tomato Flatbread Pizza (1/2 pizza) and a house side salad
495 calories
22 g fat (8 g saturated)
1,065 mg sodium

3. Worst Chicken Entree

Cheesecake Factory Crispy Chicken Costoletta

2,494 calories
85 g saturated fat
1,677 mg sodium
Here’s the secret to stuffing more than a day’s worth of energy—mostly from fat—into a plate of chicken and vegetables: First, pound the chicken until it’s paper thin. That provides the most possible surface area on which to attach oily breading. Then, cover the whole plate with a layer of butter. In this case, Cheesecake uses what they call “lemon sauce,” but don’t be fooled. You don’t get 4 days’ worth of saturated fat from lemons. To complete the caper, toss on a few token asparagus spears to make them think they’re eating healthy. Yeah, right. Nice try.

See if your favorite chicken meal made our list of the The Worst Chicken Dishes in America.

Eat This Instead!

The Factory Burger
737 calories
15 g saturated fat
1,018 mg sodium

2. Worst Dessert

Uno Chicago Grill Mega-Sized Deep Dish Sundae

2,800 calories
136 g fat (72 g saturated)
272 g sugars
Uno Chicago Grill has a dangerous obsession with deep dishes. Not content merely serving the worst pizza in America from those calorie-collecting troughs, they use the same vessel to dish out the worst dessert in the country, too. The crust is replaced with an enormous cookie, the tomato sauce with a thick river of molten chocolate, and the cheese with a mountain of vanilla ice cream. The only thing keeping this from the bottom slot in our Worst Food countdown is the fact that Uno’s encourages sharing, but even if you split this dessert four ways, you’ll still take in more than twice as many calories as you would with a hot fudge sundae at McDonald’s.

Eat This Instead!

Mini Hot Chocolate Brownie Sundae
370 calories
16 g fat (8 g saturated)
38 g sugars

1. The Worst Food in America

Cheesecake Factory Bistro Shrimp Pasta

2,727 calories
78 g saturated fat
1,737 mg sodium
The troubling truth is this entire list of America’s Worst Foods could be fueled solely by the Cheesecake Factory’s atrocious fare. No restaurant combines elephantine portion sizes with a heavy-handed application of cheap cooking fats more recklessly than the Factory folk, resulting in dishes like the 2,582-calorie Chicken and Biscuits and the 2,455-calorie French Toast Napoleon. But it’s a relatively healthy-sounding plate of shrimp pasta that wears the tainted crown, delivering to your bloodstream more saturated fat than you’d find in three packages of Oscar Mayer Center Cut Bacon and as many carbs as you’d slurp down from 1½ cases of Amstel Light. Gross.

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Eat This Instead!

Grilled Mahi Mahi
237 calories
1 g saturated fat
364 mg sodium

Friday, January 14, 2011

So, have your blown your fitness resolutions yet?!

Seriously check this out peeps. Just how hard are you working out.  January 12th, 2011.  Twelve days into the new year. So, how many of you have made fitness, weight loss, and or exercise resolutions or goals?

Yeah me too.  How many of you started out strong?  Really strong, only to find that by now you are seriously dragging it... if you are continuing at all.

Here's a thought; yes I actually do have, ease off a bit. Take it a bit easier and build up over time.

I jumped in with a 120 minutes of walking with trekking poles. Of course the cramps in my back the rest of the day kept pulling me over backwards, leaving me nauseous and miserable.  Nearly knocked me out of my resolution saddle so to speak.

After I'd pulled that stunt, I had a Doctor's appointment, with my cardiologist  Yes my heart is fine (YaY!).

He said something that stuck with me. Slow down and pace yourself. Starting to strong, overdoing it is a big part of what causes people to quit.

So here I am, pacing myself. I am sure I will over do it again... but I am making an effort to workout for 100 days for 30 minutes a day. I really want to keep this commitment.... I also want to be able to walk that half marathon the end of May.  I've tried to get there for several years and kept tripping myself up.

That's right I tripped myself up, three guesses how.  Yeah I figured you'd get it.  I over did it and crashed. I went for the marathon last year; worked way too hard too fast and crashed. I was so discouraged that it's taken me the rest of 2010 to get moving again in a positive manner. Of course I gained back the pounds I'd lost as well as another 30.

Now I'm taking them off again, conditioning again; and taking it at a much slower pace.

I watch the Biggest Loser (love that show) I see those huge weight losses and the balls to the wall conditioning. Last year I tried to do the same thing they were. On my own with the rest of my life going on as well.  Were I at the Biggest Loser ranch, doing only workouts, with the constant support of trainers I would go for the balls to the wall too.  But since I'm not, pacing myself for the long haul is the thing for me.

My life responsibilities and desires do not stop because I want to work out.  For me it's living my life in a healthier manner.... for the rest of my life.

John's article is posted below... be sure to read it.  It is well worth the effort.

Life is a journey, may yours be filled with positive surprises.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch


Wrong is the new Right

It’s day 12 of the 100 Days Challenge and the lessons are coming in faster than the miles. I’m sure my wife, Coach Jenny Hadfield, is feeling vindicated by what has transpired. She had the idea for creating a world-wide, interactive, incentive program. I didn’t even know what a world-wide, interactive, incentive program would look like. It turns out, it looks a lot like the 100 Days Challenge. There are 10,000 people, on 6 continents, doing everything from running and walking to Wii Fit and Zumba.

As surprising as the numbers have been, it’s been my own reaction that has been equally as surprising. I’m a “ready – shoot – aim” kind of guy in a lot of ways. As a free-lance musician I more than once got myself into a difficult spot because I said I could do something when I clearly could not. So, my telling people that I would exercise for 100 days in a row, and then inviting them to join me isn’t exactly out of character.

Here I am, 12 days into the 100 days, and I’ve already found myself getting in the 30 minutes NOT because it was what I really wanted to do that day but because I feel like I’ve committed to it – to myself and to the 10,000 others on the list. It’s not like I think the world would end if I missed a day, but I don’t want to miss a day.

What I’ve discovered that I’ve been doing wrong, and I’ve been doing it wrong for YEARS, is that I ALWAYS exercise too hard. Even when I tell myself I’m just going to do an easy run, or walk, or cycle, I somehow manage to do just a little bit too much. I go just a little bit too far. I go just a little bit too fast. And I get just a little bit injured.
I started this challenge with the same mindset. Day one, I was gung-ho. I went at it with enthusiasm. It was a new year, a new day, a new chance. Day two I went after it again. And day three.
About day 4 I discovered that I was tired. There was fatigue in my legs. My attitude had begun to falter. My enthusiasm was already running out. I couldn’t quit, I had made the commitment. But I knew I had to do something differently.

So I backed off. I mean I REALLY backed off. The goal was to move intentionally for 30 minutes a day for 100 days. 30 minutes. Period. So I slowed down. I took it easier. I got in my 30 minutes, checked off the day on my sheet, and was happy.

Now, at day 12, I’m beginning to feel the benefits of taking it easy. Taking it one day at a time. Being happy with what I did do instead of upset by what I didn’t.
I’m going to do this challenge. I don’t have any doubts now. And I will have learned the most important lesson I have ever learned. It’s always better to do a little to little than a little too much.

Waddle on,

John “the Penguin” Bingham, Competitor Magazine columnist
Author, The Courage to Start, No Need for Speed, Marathoning for Mortals and Running for Mortals.
Have a question for John? E-mail it to
John "The Penguin" Bingham (98)

Monday, January 10, 2011

12 Quick Workouts for Work or Home

I came across the following article in my facebook account it was posted as a weekly tip by Weight Watchers.

It seems that so many times when we think of getting healthy or "working out" we think of heavy duty gym or treadmill workouts.  In truth making slight changes each day can make a significant difference in our fitness.  Changing our lifestyles to a more healthy way of living, being proactive rather than heading to the doctors to treat the results of our sedentary self-destructive lifestyles. 

It's wonderful to do the P90X workout series. Absolutely terrific, I think it's a grand program.  However, it can also be totally overwhelming to the point of hopelessness. 

My point is just move. Take one step at a time, and build to the extreme stuff ... if you want to.  If you don't want to build to the heavy duty workouts, then don't. But move, put on some music and enjoy yourself while folding clothes, dance around the living room. One moment, one day, one step at a time.

Life is a journey, it does not have to be a torture.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch


12 Quick Workouts for Work or Home
Article By: Megan Gressor
You don't have to "work out" to benefit from exercise. Any activity will improve health and aid weight loss — as long as you keep moving.
The human body was designed to move, yet many of us now scarcely stir, spending all day in sedentary jobs and then driving home for an evening of television, surfing the Web or video games.

Our modern entertainment habits and labor-saving devices — from cars to computers to elevators — are having disastrous effects on the national waistline. A quarter of us never engage in physical activity at all, according to the American Heart Association, while 60 percent of adults don't get enough exercise to keep fit. The result of this, combined with poor eating habits? The epidemic of obesity and associated health problems currently gripping the United States.
The good news is that weight gain can often be avoided or reversed with regular physical activity. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week — the U.S. Surgeon General's recommendation, as well as part of the Good Health Guidelines in Weight Watchers PointsPlus™ Program. Any activity that you enjoy and resolve to stick with is fine. "Exercise" doesn't have to mean working out at the gym or engaging in competitive sports: It can be any physical activity, including gardening or housework, that gets you moving and using energy.
It isn't even necessary to pack that 30 minutes of activity into a single burst; it can be achieved in shorter increments — such as three 10-minute sessions — throughout the day. Try to increase your physical activity in as many ways as you can. Below are some tips for doing just that, whether you're at work or at home.
At work

  • Walk to work, or at least get off the bus or train a stop early and finish the journey on foot. If you drive, try to park a distance from your office.
  • Program regular breaks into your workday to move around the office.
  • Take the stairs, not the elevator.
  • Go for a 20-minute walk at lunchtime.
  • Visit your colleagues in person, rather than calling or e-mailing them.
  • Stand whenever possible (while on the phone, for example).
  • Time to kill before an appointment? Try walking up and down the hall or doing some calf raises.
At home

  • Walk or ride a bike to the store instead of driving.
  • Hide the TV remote, and get up to change the channel. Better still, turn off the TV and play with your kids, or take your dog for a run.
  • Wash your car manually.
  • Recruit an activity buddy: You're more likely to persevere if you exercise with some company.
  • Keep comfortable shoes handy in the car; use them whenever an opportunity to exercise arises.
Be sure to reward yourself when you reach your exercise goals.
Build it up
One half hour of moderate activity a day is usually all that's required to maintain adequate physical health. If you want to boost your cardiovascular fitness, gradually add more vigorous activity, like running, in-line skating or jumping rope, to your regimen until you've built up to 30- to 60-minutes sessions, three to four times a week.
10 reasons to get moving
Need an excuse to get active? There are at least 10 that we can think of! Regular moderate exercise...

  1. Makes you feel great
  2. Helps boost your metabolism
  3. Burns off calories, aiding weight loss
  4. Tones muscles and improves shape.
  5. Helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  6. Can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers
  7. Improves sleep, promotes relaxation and combats depression
  8. Increases strength and flexibility
  9. Keeps bones healthy and prevents falls in the elderly
  10. Helps you maintain your desired weight for a lifetime

12 Quick Workouts for Work or Home