Monday, December 29, 2008

Oh, the undoing!

I stepped on the scale this morning and it said 276. Two pounds down from Sunday which is when I got started back to clean eating. I still have 4 lbs to go to get back to where I was before I fell into the sugar bowl. I hate that I have to spend this week undoing what I had done the week before Christmas. What I hate most is that the food I ate was not even worth it. It's not like I had gourmet meals or something. I actually think that after eating clean for a couple of weeks my taste buds didn't appreciate me eating crap.

I seem to be easy prey for giving in to the pressures of others when it comes to my eating plan. In the January 2009 issue of Clean Eating magazine, there is a great article about this very problem. It's called "Surviving Sabotage" by Peggy Hall on page 66, if you have the magazine. It gives great ideas on how to avoid the people who mean well in your life, but that just don't get that you are changing your eating habits. This article gives great tips on what to say when you don't want to accept the food that's being offered. Even if the food was made "especially for you." You don't have to eat it. I'm always afraid I'll upset the person if I turn it down. Now I have a new strategy for handling these situations. I can say "thanks, that was so nice of you. I'll have some later, I'm kinda full right now" or "you are such a good cook, can I take some home for later?"

The main idea is to "use positive language (avoid trigger words like no, can't, shouldn't, diet, lose weight, etc.)," "express gratitude," "acknowledge the effort" and "suggest an alternative." This method will make the giver feel good and you will escape having to eat something just to make them happy. Of course, sometimes you just have to accept the food. That does not mean you have to eat it. Just set the plate down and continue to talk or do whatever so no one notices you aren't eating it. That part sounds difficult, but I used to work with a girl that always took a piece of the birthday cake or donut or whatever was being offered during office celebrations and when she got to her office, she threw it in the trash.

I want to be like that. I want to fly under the radar of the saboteurs in my scope. I want to say "I've had plenty, thanks. I'm going to pass on dessert for now." And in saying that, know that my decision to pass is okay and that no one got hurt by me saying "no thanks."

Anyway, if you have the mag, read this article. It will give you tips on how to stick to your eating clean diet.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sugar Can Bring You Down

A week before Christmas I started eating sugar after not having it in my diet for 2 weeks. The day before Christmas, I began to feel sick. My chest hurt and my head hurt and my sinuses were very congested. I have not been sick in awhile. The day after Christmas, I didn't get out of bed till 4 pm. For me, that is unheard of!

I read in something last night that sugar can weaken your immunity. I so believe that is what I did to myself. I was feeling very good and then dove into my old eating habits and viola!, sick! I've been looking all day for the book or magazine where I got my info but can't find it. I know I didn't dream it. I hate it when I can't find something. It will bug me until I finally find it. I thought it was in my Eat-Clean Diet Book, but I've looked at every page twice and I can not find it! Oh, well, moving on.

I got on the scale this morning (Saturday) and I'm up almost 6 pounds. Which probably is mostly water since all I have to do is have one piece of pie or one serving of pancakes and I gain. I know my body and how it will react so I honestly can't say I'm surprised. I planned to cheat and that's what I did. Tosca says in her book that "cheating is learning" (pg 150 of the Expanded Ed.). Learn from how cheating makes your body feel. And if you don't want to throw away all your hard work, put the cheating behind you and start fresh from that moment on!

So that's where I am with my diet. I'm ready to put my cheating behind me and get busy losing more weight. I know that eating clean works and that is what I'll be doing for the 6 week challenge! Thanks, Karen, for getting us back on track! You ROCK! I can't wait to see how much we all lose in these next 6 weeks!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!

Hope you all have the best holiday! Stay safe and be cool! Be good to yourself and who ever you're with!

I would like to say thanks to all of you that take the time to read and comment here at my little blog. It is always so nice to "see" you all everyday. You are all dear to my heart and I wish you all success at whatever makes you happy and great days ahead.

Love, hugs, and best wishes!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Weak Momentum

There is no excuse for what I am doing to my body. I am fully aware of what I'm eating and yet, that does not stop me from putting it in my mouth. Ever since I fell into the vat of sugar last week, I've weakened my momentum. I will rebuild it, but it will take me a few good meals!

Thanks, by the way, to all of you who've left such nice, supportive comments. They really do mean a lot to me and I read them over and over. I am beginning to understand why blogging is my tool of choice! You are all important to me.

While I am not really eating clean this week, I am trying to make good choices. Because of the hectic holiday happenings this week I am too stressed to think. Since eating clean is new to my family, I need some time to introduce them to this new and better way to eat. This Christmas, is not the time to spring all this new info on them. Now, some of you may judge me on this decision but I know my family and until they see that life will go on while eating clean, I think this is the best way to secure the future of eating clean.

I've decided on New Year's I will create a yummy clean meal and let them know that in 2009, we will eat clean. We will be healthy. I will lose weight and exercise will become my BFF. :)

My family is always supportive of me, so I don't think I will have a hard time convincing them that clean is the way to go. My mom has some really bad habits and since she lives with me now, that will be my biggest struggle. When I was little she used food as a reward. I think everyone did back then. She would fix cakes and fudge and beg me to stay up and watch TV with her. So late night snacking has always been with me. She still likes to bake cakes and make goodies. It has been really hard having her here because she doesn't understand that I have no full switch. If she makes a skillet of corn bread, I want to eat 2 or 3 pieces. And when she makes pancakes, I want 5 or 6. She does not have a binge problem like me. I never know when I've had enough. It must be nice to have such control.

Anyway, I hope everyone has the best holiday! Stay safe and love the ones you're with!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hello, My Name Is...

sugar addict. I really didn't want to post this but I'm trying to be real here, unashamed to admit my downfalls and exuberant to share my successes. This week has not been a good one for me in regards to food. After Monday, my eat-clean diet took a dumpster dive! I totally caved. Damn, I hate that I still have to fight with myself about food choices.

I was given some fudge last week and I put it in my drawer intending to take it home and give it to my family. I found it Tuesday and, well let's just say, it was good. Really frickin good. Then yesterday we had our office lunch party. It's with all of us in the business office and secretarial areas. Someone plans it each year and brings a dessert and we all do the White Elephant gift exchange game. The person that planned it this year ordered from an Italian place so we had salad, which was good, and pasta. Three different kinds of pasta. I was okay with that. I had a lot of salad and a small serving of the spinach lasagne and one piece of garlic bread. Then I had dessert. It was some kind of whipped cream pudding cookie crap and I ate it.

I have been spiraling out of control ever since. I have had cookies and candy. I feel like crap, too. I've been very sleepy today and groggy. Like in a stupor. I am disgusted with myself because I could not just walk away from the temptation. My first thought is that there is no hope for me in the future. I mean, even if I can get most of this weight off me, will I be able to look at candy and cookies and not want to consume six peoples share?!!

I am getting a grip because I don't want to undo what I have done since Dec. 1st. I am sick and tired of losing and gaining the same pounds. I read your blogs and you are all doing so well. I am proud of how so many of you are sticking to your plan. I will keep reading and working on getting the sugar out of my diet. Thanks to all of you, too, for the great support you send out everyday!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Damage Control

Well the party last night was really nice. They had a nice buffet with Caesar salad southwest style, baked fish in a lemon sauce, roast beef, chicken breast (I didn't have the chicken, I eat it all the time), little polenta squares, roasted green beans, sweet potatoes sliced thin in a white sauce (I have no idea what this was but I had a slice of the potatoes with not much sauce), and some kind of barley mix with tomatoes (this was good, interesting!). So I had a little of everything. Did not go back for seconds. Had one glass of Merlot. Then it was time for the desserts. A friend brought me a plate with 3 of the little mini desserts: cheesecake, lemon meringue pie, and pecan pie tartlet. I ate all 3. I know, everyone else was doing it so likewise, I ate them. They were good, too.

Today, I'm over it. I don't have any bad feelings about the meal. Nor am I having any trouble putting it behind me. I have eaten my meals as planned today and don't feel like I'm missing anything. I think the clean eating has really left a mark on me. I really looked forward to eating my food. Well, I have to be honest, I think I have daydreamed about that lemon meringue tart. Damn, tart!

It's going to be okay. I think I looked pretty good, too, last night in my new outfit. I got a lot of compliments. Everyone looked good in their dressy duds. It was fun and I'm glad I went. In the future I think I will be okay with a little indulgence every once in awhile. I hope!

PS I guess you noticed I said nothing about the Scale today. I did not step foot on it since I ate all that stuff last night. I'm sure I'd be disappointed or shocked, or both. I will see what the Scale says in a day or two after I've been back to my clean eating. :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Weekends Are Rough

Yesterday, I spent my whole day cleaning out my garage. It's something I feel like I'm always doing and yet, never get finished. I keep trying to purge old stuff but more stuff just seems to appear out there. It's like some kind of 5th dimension. Creepy.
Since I was so busy with that lovely job, I got a little off my clean regime. I had too much sodium I think cause I'm up a pound today. I swear, if I even look at salt, I bloat like a sponge. I don't think I over ate, I just made some wrong choices. I added cheese to an omelet that I made and ate late last night. I'm not upset, just a little annoyed.
Tonight is our Christmas party for work. It's at a fancy-schmancy place and I'm a bit nervous about the food and open-bar. I don't really drink much (I did when I was younger, much younger) and haven't felt very comfortable in social situations since I've been so overweight. I always feel so self-conscious and get uptight. I don't even have anything to wear. I'm going out today and see if I can find something. Wish me luck!

Well, after much shopping I settled for this outfit for the party tonight. I had something else in mind but I couldn't find it. Shopping for clothes is not something I really enjoy. At least not for the size that I'm wearing. Next year when I go shopping it will be for MUCH smaller size!!

I also didn't plan well for my shopping spree and started to have a blood sugar blow out. I stopped at Jack in the Box and got their fajita chicken pita. It was okay, 300 cals but the sodium is a killer. I will try to do better at the party but this day is looking like a total loss. Tomorrow I owe my body a clean break and some exercise!

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Friday And We Have Egg Rolls!!

It's the holiday season. Oh, boy. This year I am going to avoid the unhealthy treats and goodies that end up on my desk. The intention is appreciated, but this year I will be looking at these treats with different eyes. I want to think of them, not as things I can't have, but see them for what they are...not good for me. Seriously. I will only eat the treats that I know are clean. This will be my mantra for the holidays and the coming year! Now that I've said it, I'm already worried that I will lose my grip and slip into a fatty food coma.

Every year one of my co-workers makes home-made egg rolls. They are divine, but they are deep-fried. I like them and always wish she shared more than 2 per person. So this morning she showed up in my office with her "gift." I graciously accepted them. Placed them on my desk and continued to eat my oatmeal! They are on a paper plate covered with foil. I have not laid eyes on them. They are cold from the fridge so I can not smell them, thank heavens. I will not eat them. The question is now what to do with them. I think I will take them to my son. He's 25, rides his bike almost everyday, so I don't think they will be a bad once a year treat for him. However, if I think they are not healthy enough for me, should I pass them on to someone else and let them be unhealthy?

The holidays will be different this year, I hope. I plan to remember why I am doing this and stay true to my decision about getting healthier and thinner. I want to be "fine in 2009." This morning the scale said two seventy three. Woo Hoo! I've lost 12 lbs in 12 days! I rode my bike yesterday for 3.5 miles and even though it was colder than I would have liked, it felt great to be riding again.
Have a great weekend of shopping, walking, tennis, golf, riding, lifting, or whatever makes you happy!! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


What is that fluffy stuff that's flying around out there? Snow? Nah, not here in Southeast Texas. is snow!
That's right. We are having a little snow down here. Of course it won't stick but it's cause for celebration! We rarely have weather that's cold enough to freeze. I love it when we do. I think I'm a displaced northerner!!

Today the scale said two seventy five point two. So, since Monday's weigh-in I haven't lost a full pound, yet. I'm not having trouble sticking to my plan. Even when my mom is sitting on the sofa next to me eating a bear-claw pastry. Thank goodness I don't really like those things. Although when she was munching on some Fritos earlier it almost got me. Crunchy salty things are something I really like.

After watching her eat those things I felt a little disgusted. One, because I wanted some. :( And two, because I know how gross they are for what's in them. I don't want to like those foods anymore. I'm wondering how will I feel in a few weeks about them if I get a whiff when someone is eating them. I wish I could have the gene removed that makes me think that I will enjoy those foods. I want gene manipulation to cause me to violently dislike that crap.

The best part is I didn't eat any Fritos. I consider this a small hurdle but I made it just the same. We have to take our victory's where they come!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

If It Tastes Too Good, Beware!!

I work at a private school (not a teacher, glorified secretary) that in our area, is known for it's lunch room delights. We have so much to choose from: soup bar, salad bar, sandwich bar, hamburgers or veggie burgers, and the hot food line. They even have a frozen yogurt machine which I stay clear of. I can usually find something good and "clean" everyday so I don't bring my lunch. This is a blessing and I have appreciated for the last 8 yrs. Whenever I want to eat healthy, I can, and vice-versa!!

Yesterday I went through the hot food line and got steamed broccoli and sweet potatoes ~not mixed together :) ~ and some cottage cheese off the salad bar. I was so excited about the sweet potatoes! Yes, they are part of the eat-clean diet!! Woo Hoo! Now for the bad news. They tasted really, really good. Too, good. Was something lurking on my sweet potatoes?! There was not a sauce, not visible signs of anything other than good ole 'taters. So I ate them, even though deep in my soul, I knew they were too sweet.

When I went to the lunch room today, I asked one of the cooks if the sweet 'taters had sugar on them. Yes!? What the?? Why did they feel the need to take a perfectly wholesome food and taint it with sugar?? I hate that! What's worse is I knew when I was gobbling down each sweet tastey bite that I was eating sugar. In a weak moment I reverted back to eating what I knew I shouldn't. And the rest of the day I could feel that sugar slowing down my thinking and making me tired. From now on, I will ask first if they have added stuff to the food that looks safe. I don't want to have to bring my own food, but I will if I have to. It must be due to the holidays that they think they need to make rich food this week. Well, and the kids are having reviews for exams so maybe they think the kids need sugar. I wish they would realize how much better off the kids would be if they didn't add all that crap.

So on my plate today I had their Tilapia baked in Jerk Sauce (probably has sugar), lima beans, and spring salad with blue cheese chunks. It was all good but I'm worried that I need to bring my own lean protein. I may just bring my own chicken breast or tuna, etc. so I don't have to worry about getting sugar that I don't want. Geez. People. Leave the freakin' sugar out of the food!

Today the scale didn't move. Well, I knew it might not. It's just messin' with me. Never fear, scale, you will go down!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pink Monday

This morning when I took the dogs out the sky was pink and blue. The trees had a pink and gold glow about them. Such a pretty morning! I took a picture and will add it later as I had to hurry off to work.

9 lbs gone!!! In one week! Wow, am I motivated or what. I can see the benefits already from eating better. And not just the part about losing weight. I feel more energetic and I'm sleeping better. I do need to work on getting more sleep though. I am a real night owl and never want to turn off the light!

Gotta go for now since I'm at work. ;)

Here's the picture I took this morning. I had a long day at work but after coming home, I went for a walk (1 mile), ate dinner, the went to the store. Are you freakin' kidding? When I tell you I have more energy, I am not joking. LOL! Being anemic I usually come home and fall on the sofa and that's all folks. I love this diet!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Clean Diet Rocks!!

This is day 7 of my choosing to eat clean. I love it. The scale said two seventy-six point six. My official weigh-in day will be tomorrow and that is when I will post my total weight loss for the week.

I am feeling so in control of what I am putting into my mouth for the first time ever. When I was doing the South Beach diet, I felt deprived because I thought I couldn't have fruit or grain. I know the strict part of SB was only for the first two weeks but since I was losing, I thought it was because I wasn't eating the fruit or grains. After a few weeks of that kind of deprivation my body would demand that I eat bread or chips or something I couldn't have. Clearly, my body was trying to tell me something...I need grains and I need fruit!!

So, here I am to tell you that I've been eating oatmeal with flax and wheat germ, and Ezekiel 4:9 tortilla's, and sweet potatoes, and apples, and bananas, and blueberries and guess what?? I am losing weight like crazy! I eat rather simple meals because that's the way I like it. Taste-y but simple. I shop faster at the grocery store because I don't linger in the aisles looking at foods that are full of crap that I don't need. I think my bill is even less.

My focus on the coming week is to continue eating clean and get busy exercising. I love to ride my bike so that will be my cardio. I will also start doing some weights. I am challenging myself to lose 30 lbs by the middle of February so I've got to get moving!

I just got back from riding my bike for the first time in, oh, about 4 months. It's so beautiful out today and I was glad I got out there. I didn't ride as long as I used to but I'll work up to it. I'm a little sore in the saddle! lol! Rode for 2.66 mi. in 16 minutes.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Food Find Review - Flax Snax

Wanted to share another food find with you. Deerfield Farms Snackin' Flax Granola Bites. Have you tried them? Oh My Gosh! I love them! At the drug store yesterday I was feeling hungry and grabbed these goodies. They really are yummy. I had some today with my hot tea. A very healthy snack. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Change is Hard

Even when you want it, change is hard. For years I have not eaten breakfast before leaving for work. I usually manage to grab a bite of something around 10-ish and then eat lunch by 12:30 or 1 PM. Now that I am making an effort to eat "clean"er, I wanted to try having breakfast early. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were great! I ate my oatmeal with the tasty flax and wheat germ (which I do love!) before leaving the house and I think on those days, I had my appetite under control.

Thursday, however, I reverted back to my old ways. I just didn't give myself enough time in the morning to eat. I am not a morning person. Not that I don't like mornings, I like them just fine. I just like my mornings taken slowly. If I could go in to work at 9 am, that would be so much better for my new eating habits.

Anyway, yesterday I felt nervous that I might eat something I shouldn't. I had a nagging hungry voice that kept telling me I needed to eat. I ignored it. It was hard. Change is hard.

Today, I overslept! I usually get up at 6 AM and today I opened my baby-blues at 8:48 AM. Talk about hitting the ground running. I called my boss (who didn't even know I wasn't there!) and told her I was on my way. She was really okay about it and said she was glad I wasn't sick but to come on in. Good grief. I pulled this kind of thing when I was in my 20's and used to party till the wee hours. Now at age 51, what's the deal.

So today I will have to eat my breakfast late again. I did take a second to jump on the scale this morning...two seventy-eight point six. Not bad for 5 days. I am excited to see change happening and that I'm feeling good and positive about this diet choice. It is very do-able. I just need to get myself organized and on a better schedule.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Feelin' It

Day 3 of my new way of eating. I feel really good! The scale said two eighty-one this morning. Of course I've been tinkling like crazy so most of what I'm losing is water. I must be a sponge! When I cut out bread I always lose the bloat. I am drinking a lot of water which also accounts for feeling better, too.

I am having a little trouble with eating all the meals. I really don't eat all day (who'da guessed) so fitting in all the meals is getting trick-y. I already seem to have more energy and I fell asleep easily last night and got up before my alarm went off this morning. So good things are happening!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Coming "Clean"

Two eighty-five. That is the number that appeared on my scale this morning. There. I said it. Well, I typed it. Same difference. I have been too ashamed to say it to anyone. I'm telling it here because I want to make this the first step in my new clean lifestyle. My thinking is if I see it on my blog I'll be more motivated to get and stay serious. This is more important to me right now than anything. It's time I realized I am important enough to take care of like I take care of the other people in my life that are important to me.

I've been reading my books and planning my menu and am ready to step up to the mirror and get my life back.

Today I'll be going shopping for groceries. Good food. Lots of fresh veggies and fruit. I am excited to get back to losing. Seriously!
And now for something completely different!! I was reading Cara's blog and found out about this really cool contest. I do love a contest!

I entered the Mary Lou's Weigh Platform Giveaway!

Check out Roni’s Weight Loss Blog for more information. This thing is just what a scale junkie needs!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Day After...

It's Friday, there's left-over turkey & dressing and cranberry sauce in the fridge. Along with a few bites of broccoli casserole and green beans. There are even a few slices of pumpkin pie left. I didn't gorge on the food this year like I have in the past so I don't feel bad today! Go figure.

And...the day was very relaxing, calm, and without any upsetting events. Yes, Carla, it was a little sad. To think that some folks let money rule them is very sad to me. But whatever, on to brighter days!!

I am so excited! I got my "Eat-Clean Diet" book today! Just in time, too. I need to get all this sugar out of my system. Do you remember the pie I told you about last week? Well, it multiplied and now I've had more pecan pie than most of you, I'm sure. I'm feeling a little sluggish and pretty sure that's from the sugar.

I hope everybody that celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday had a day they were thankful for. In my 50+ years I have had many, many reasons to be thankful and I know there are more to come.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ah, the '70's

This is me at age 21 (I think). I thought I was fat then! That dress belonged to my then roommate, Betsy. She had less in the chest area than I did so the dress fit her differently. I thought, since it didn't fit me "right" that I must be fat.
I don't remember ever really feeling like I was thin. Or that my size or shape was acceptable. Well, maybe when my dad died. I had lost down to a size 8 (my then husband was a real food natzi). But since there was a lot of sadness going on, I only know from what other people told me that I looked really good. Not the kind of thing you focus on at a funeral. That was many years ago. I grieve for both my dad and my size 8 little black dress. Hope that doesn't sound morbid!
Anyway, I found this picture when I was cleaning out some drawers the other day. I know I can never look quite like that again, but look at my face in that picture; I think I knew I looked good. Back then I was always trying to fit into someone else's dress. Now I just want to fit into my own dress. I think I'll know when I hit a size that I can live with, too. It may not be a size 8, but it will be the right size for me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Food Find Review

I thought it might be fun to hunt down new snacks or foods and give you my take on them. Once a week I'll try to share a new find. Here's what I found yesterday...
I am trying to stay clear of crackers and bread. Haven't gotten my Eat Clean Diet book yet but still trying to make "clean" choices. However, I really am a sucker for a cracker. At Kroger yesterday, I found (on sale, of course!) these Kavli Crispy Thin, all natural whole grain crispbread. They are really good and light with a nutty taste. They have a lot of flavor for such a thin cracker, and I mean thin!
Here's the nutrition info:

Kavli Crispy Thin, all natural whole grain crispbread
A Fat Free, Cholesterol Free Food, No Trans Fats
3 pieces, 50 cals, 0 fat, 45mg sodium, 11g carbs, 2g fiber, 1g sugar, 1g protein
They are imported from Norway - no artificial additives or preservatives
ingredients: whole rye flour, water, sugar and salt
I had them with a little cheese and they were sooooo good. Almost sinful! Three pieces doesn't sound like a lot but they are the size of a graham cracker, just much thinner.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Piece of "Pie"

Every year at work for Thanksgiving we are given a pie. Not just any pie. My favorite pie. Pecan Pie from The Pie Factory. I looooove pecan pie. We always get it Wednesday the week before Turkey Day. Last year I was a real glutton and ate the entire pie before the turkey was thawed!

This year, I have a new perspective and goal. Lyn at Escape from Obesity has hit the nail on the head for me! I will listen to my stomach and stop when I am full. I plan to eat mindfully and check out what a portion size really is, not what I perceive it to be.

Thanks, Lyn, I needed your awesome advice to get ready for T-day!
ps - sorry that's not a pic of a pecan pie...all I could find!

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's "Know Your Numbers" Monday!

We had a free health screening at work today. I think it was to get our drug deductible waived. I never pass up an opportunity to get my finger pricked! LOL! Anyway, this is good timing since I'm planning on going "clean."

The cool thing was they gave us our results in like 7 minutes! Here are my numbers:
Waist circumference - no thank you!
Blood Pressure - 130/82 (not too bad)
Body Mass Index - 43.1 (ugh!)
Total Cholesterol - 158 (good, I guess)
HDL - good chol. - 34 (uh oh! this needs work)
Triglycerides - 182 (oh my gosh!)
LDL - bad chol. - 88 (finally, something okay)
Ratio TC to HDL - 4.6 (should be lower)
Blood Sugar - 119 (this is kinda scary)

Well, since it's early in the week I plan to use this info to kick myself in the butt and get going. It's now or never and I don't want to say never. That is not in my vocab!

Gotta go shopping for some fresh veggies, TODAY!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Taking Steps

Today I ordered The Eat-Clean Diet by Tosca Reno. Katschi over at *Fitcetera* says eating clean has changed her life. If you read some of her recent posts, you can tell! You are an inspiration, Katschi! I can't wait to get my books.

After cleaning house today, I hauled a bunch of tree limbs to the curb. Tree waste pick-up is this week and a friend of mine was so nice to cut some branches off my roof for me. I wonder how many calories that burned? It was so cool today and sunny. A California day! (can you tell - I'm a Texan who is always California dreamin'.)

What a great day, filled with hope for the coming week!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Blog Name

So, I decided to change the name of my blog. The "Thinner.Me" name made me feel too pressured to get "thin." Not that I would mind being thin, I just don't want that to be the only reason I lose weight. I've been thin and I know that the thin-ness is not what made me happy. It was the confidence I had in myself that allowed me to have fun! Being a confidant woman again is really my goal here.

With more confidence I hope to express myself again through my art, photography, and writing. I used to love to draw and paint and write. Some days I may write about my eating and some days I may write to be creative. And you never know, I just might share some of my drawings!

Anyway, if you've been reading my blog in the past, hang in there with me! I am usually quite private about my art and my feelings but lately I think it's time to open up. I've had my life on hold for fear of getting hurt (yes, the love of my life cut my heart out). But like I tell others, life goes on and mine needs to, too.

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What phase would you call it?

I haven't blogged lately. I haven't dieted lately. And I don't even think I feel like blogging about dieting any more. I hate food. It is the enemy.

I've been so very tired lately so I went to the doctor. By my blood tests she said I am extremely anemic. Well, I don't eat much red meat because it's "bad" for you. I try not to eat carbs cause they're "bad" for you. I'm sick and tired (literally) of watching every morsel that goes into my mouth.

I want to focus on what is "good" in life. Like riding my bike and walking the dog. I'm taking iron to build up my blood so maybe soon I will actually feel like doing some physical exercise. Right now, I'm just tired of being tired.

My blog is about dieting but I'm thinking about changing the main focus to something else. Do any of you feel like switching gears sometimes? I don't want to give up on my self about getting thinner. I'm just tired of the daily fight with food.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yikes! Ike!

Looks like we'll be getting some of the hurricane this weekend here in Houston. I will not evacuate! I repeat, I will not evacuate. I went through the nightmare of Rita a few years ago and that feeling never leaves you. I was stuck in traffic for 26 hours trying to get to a little place that is only 65 miles from my house! No bathrooms, no stores open. I had my cats, dogs, son in his car and we all barely made it to our destination on gas fumes and grapes.

I don't care what they say, I'll take my chances with the wind and rain and I'm "hunkerin' down" in H-town!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hungry, Hungry Hormones

That's the only thing I can use to explain the pathetic "lifestyle" I've been living these last few weeks. I am 51, after all. And, I think the hormone monster is having it's way with me! Since last month I didn't have a, you know, monthly thing, maybe my female parts are about to go on hiatus.

Okay, so that may not be a good enough excuse, but that's mine and I'm sticking to it. Otherwise, I'd have to just say I have no control over what I am putting in my mouth. I've even been overeating healthy stuff. In the past I would overeat on junk. Now I crave healthy foods but I eat too much of them. Whole grain this, sugar free that. It's still fattening when you eat too much of something. Good grief. I need help!

And exercise?! What the freak is my problem. I love to ride my bike but the thought of getting on it just makes me tired. I've got to get a grip. I wish the cooler temps would hurry and get here. I am sick of all this sticky, hot, humid air. We have had less humidity in Houston for the last day or two and it has made me feel soooo much better. Come on weather maker...please can we have some cool?!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Feel free to feed the fish!

I know, this has nothing to do with my diet but lately I've been needing a diversion. I found these cute little fish on someones blog and just had to have them. They will follow your mouse around and if you want to feed them, just click anywhere in the "tank" and you will see little bits of food. They swim over and eat it up. It doesn't take much to get me excited, can you tell?!

Anyway, back to the diet. What diet?!! I have so not been on any kind of healthy plan. I don't know what my problem is. I think I'm just bored with all this thinking about food and what to eat and what not to eat. I wonder what thin people do with their time since food is not an issue usually for them day in and day out. It just gets boring.

Of course, I'm not giving up. I can't or I would balloon up so fast it would make your head swim. I think I just needed to regroup and figure out a better way approach losing more weight.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Why Can't I Eat Just One???

Last week I decided to move on to Ph. 2 of South Beach because I was craving carbs like crazy. When I went shopping I bought some cookies from Kashi. They looked so healthy and yummy. That should have been a big warning sign for me, right there. But I bought them anyway.

I got them home and had one with a cup of coffee. No problem, I thought. I've got this thing licked. I am behaving like a normal "on my way to thin" person. So confident that I could have these cookies, in my house, and not feel compelled to scarf them down uncontrollably.

Well, last night, I got the package down from the shelf and proceeded to scarf down 4 cookies likety-split. They are 130 cals each and I don't even want to think about how many carbs. They were sooooo good. But after the 4th cookie I realized the first one tasted the best. So why did I have to eat 4!!! I feel like some kind of addict. I wish I did not have to eat at all.

I am going back on Ph. 1 and try again. I do think some of this is pms cravings but I am really sick of using that excuse, too. Maybe I just need to give up breads and grains for life. I just can't seem to control myself when they are in my house.

What's that saying about "man can not live on bread alone?" Not true, I could live on bread alone. But for me the saying needs to be "woman will live by leaving bread alone!!"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Talking to Myself

Last week I had a talk with myself. I asked myself what do I really want these days and my answer did not surprise me. I want to be healthier and thinner! Duh! So, why then do I continue to eat like a person who does not care? I know what choices to make but I get lazy and start eating things that are not of the healthy variety.

I lost 3 lbs last week! Woo! Hoo! I don't know whether I should count them or not since I lost those 3 lbs a few weeks ago. Yes, I gained some over the past few weeks. That is what happens when you throw caution to the wind and binge on crap. So now I'm making up for my mistakes. But I am learning that I feel better when I am not eating junk so I guess as long as I'm learning, all is not lost. And I realized that the stuff I was pigging out on really did not satisfy me. I don't know what I expected it to do for me. I didn't feel guilty about it, I just didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

Thin really does feel good. I know, I've been thin before. Now I just wish I could wake up and be just that, thin. It was easy to gain the weight but it sure is hard to lose it. But I can do it! I just need to keep telling myself that!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

HYC and My Own Personal Challenge

I got on the scale today and as I expected, no loss. But I can't say I'm surprised. If your efforts are half-a**ed, then you can't bitch about no weight loss, right?

Sooo, I'm taking a new approach to my diet. I've been doing Phase 1 of South Beach and my craving of whole grains has gotten the best of me. To much munching. I am going on to Phase 2 and giving myself a challenge: "30 pounds by Thanksgiving." That works out to about 2 lbs a week and I think I can do that if I ride my bike 3 to 5 times a week. I rode today and even though my bum was numb after 20 minutes, I hung in for 40 minutes.

I have at least 100 lbs to lose so 30 will put a good size dent in my over all goal. I am so glad to know so many of you that are out there fighting the same battles...and winning!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I love coffee. I didn't used to be a coffee drinker but a few years ago I got hooked on the stuff. Now I want it all the time. I usually drink 2 cups in the morning and 2 cups of decaf in the afternoon. I like it with Splenda and low-fat creamer. I've tried to quit the habit but it's no use, I really like coffee.
Saturday morning I was on my way to my mom's house and decided to stop in a Starbucks instead of make coffee at home. I rarely ever go to Starbucks because it's so pricey but today I decided to treat myself. I stood before the big menu board and had no idea what to order. The guy in line ahead of me ordered a grande "red-eye." That sounded interesting but I didn't see it anywhere on the board. So many milks, so many flavors, so many kinds of this and that. When the girl, excuse me, barista, asked me what I wanted, I suddenly felt like I was on stage and couldn't remember my lines. What did I want? I felt so intimidated. There were people behind me, I just said, "grande regular coffee, please."
Whaaa! I know! Chance for a treat and what do I do? Order "plain" coffee. I think I definitely have a phobia for ordering at Starbucks. I looked up the list of phobias but I didn't see one for that. I wonder how I could get my phobia listed in the medical journals?!
Anyhoo, my coffee was delish and my heart rate returned to normal after adding half-n-half and Splenda. I asked the guy that ordered the "red-eye" what it was - it is a shot of espresso in regular coffee! Hmmm, next time?
Tomorrow we go back to regular working hours at my job (8am to 4pm) - boo! hoo! It has been so nice working from 9 to 3. We only get shorter hours during the summer. I work at a private high school so we are gearing up for the kids to return. I don't teach but I work with the students sometimes.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Stormy Weather

Rain!!! I love it. I really do. Especially when I get to stay home and not drive in it. We were under threat of a Tropical Storm, named Edouard (please, can we just use numbers?!). The outcome of this storm has mostly been rain and some auto accidents from crazy folks thinking they can still go fast on slick roads. People, be careful!! Anyway, my place of employment decided to give us the day off in case the storm became a hurricane. So now I'm at home enjoying the cooler, although wetter, day.

This is supposed to be the HYC weigh-in day for me but I have not been eating right lately so I think I will skip the scale today. I need to remind myself why I am choosing to eat right. Why can't I make the right choices day after day. Why do I feel the need to eat crap? What does that say about what I think of myself. I think I like myself. I mean I don't get up every morning and beat myself up (verbally). Do I want to lose weight, or what?!! Yes!!! I really do but sometimes it seems like I'm on a big teeter-totter. One day I'm up and the next day I'm down. I have been doing that thing again where if no one else knows I'm eating it, then it does not matter. Well, it does matter and I just need to get a grip.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Getting to Know You...(humming the tune)

I have not ever done one of these surveys but today I decided to do this one. I like the questions and it is fun to focus on happy thoughts! Thanks, Katschi, for posting this on your blog.

What time did you get up this morning? 7:00 am
Diamonds or pearls ? pearls
What was the last film you saw at the cinema? I can’t even remember it’s been so long. I usually rent movies.
What is your favorite TV show? Medium, Saving Grace, The Office, Biggest Loser, Wipeout, Mad Men
What do you usually have for breakfast? eggbeaters omelet
What is your middle name? Renée
What food do you dislike? Liver
What is your favorite CD at the moment? Sheryl Crow
What kind of car do you drive? Honda CRV
Favorite sandwich? Falafel
What characteristic do you despise? pettiness, lying
Favorite item of clothing? When I’m thinner I want it to be a little black dress, literally
If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Greece
Where would you retire to? Vermont
What was your most recent memorable birthday? They are all good memories, I love birthdays!
Furthest place you are sending this? the stratosphere
Person you expect to send it back first? fellow bloggers
When is your birthday? January 15th
Morning person or a night person? Night person
What is your shoe size? 8 or 9 depending on whether it is open toe or closed toe, I have a long big toe!
Pets? 2 cats, 2 dogs
Any exciting news you’d like to share with us? Nothing exciting right now.
What did you want to be when you were little? A dancer. I never got to take any dance lessons, though.
How are you today? Great. Motivated to stick to my eating plan.
What is your favorite flower? Hydrangea
What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to seeing? Retirement
What are you listening to right now? Nothing except the air blowing from the a/c vent. I’m at work :(
What was the last thing you ate? boiled eggs
Do you wish on stars? Yes! And b-day cake candles!
If you were a crayon, what color would you be? turquoise
How is the weather right now? Very hot and steamy!
Last person you spoke to on the phone? My mom
Favorite soft drink? I don’t drink sodas much but I like a diet orange soda sometimes.
Favorite restaurant? Mexican
Favorite color? Green, all shades of it.
What was your favorite toy as a child? swing set, Chatty Cathy, bike
Summer or winter? winter
Chocolate or Vanilla? chocolate
Coffee or tea? coffee
Do you want your friends to email you back? Yes, of course!
When was the last time you cried? watching the news
What is under your bed? under bed storage boxes, dust, dog toys
What did you do last night? watched tv, cooked dinner, played with the dogs, read a diet memoir, and dreamed of me being thinner!
What are you afraid of? Not being able to physically do the things I want to do like hike and kayak.
Salty or sweet? sweet first, then salty, then sweet…
How many keys on your key ring? 3
How many years at your current job? 8 years
Favorite day of the week? I’d like to copy Katschi and say “any day I’m not at work”!!
Do you make friends easily? I like people but I’ve had trouble trusting some. I think I make a good friend and would like to have a best friend. Have not had one of those lately.
How many people will you send this to? I will put it on my blog but I will probably not send it to anyone in particular.
How many will respond? I hope a few, this is interesting!

If anyone else wants to participate, please do!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Oops! Jennette Fulda was on The Early Show today!

My bad, I said she was on the Today show but that was not today. Sorry if I led anyone astray! :)

I do hate to sweat!

It has been so hot here in H town. In the summer I get off work at 3 pm. THE hottest time of day! I can remember when noon used to be the hottest time of day. What's up with that? Has the world tilted or something. Mr. Sun you are too close for comfort.

I missed the Today Show today. I meant to record it since I had to leave for work. Jennette Fulda from Half of Me was being interviewed. I just love her. She is very inspiring. Hope it went well for her!

I am going to try to make myself ride my bike today. I should not have to talk myself into it but I hate to sweat. Maybe if I ride fast enough I won't notice it?!

Monday, July 28, 2008

When I am Thinner...

I keep a mental list going in my head about what I want to do when I'm thinner. I'm sure we all do it. You know, to keep hope alive! :)

Anyway, here are some things that are on my list lately:

1. Look cute again (although since I'm 51 now, not sure how cute will look on me)
2. Wear heels and a dress (not too high but at least 2.5 in.)
3. Go to dinner and not focus on what NOT to eat
4. Flirt
5. Take kayak lessons and if I like it, buy a small kayak
6. Ride in the MS150 again from Houston to Austin
7. Ride my bike on a tour...anywhere
8. Wear jewelry that's flashy
9. Join a yoga class
10. Flirt, oh, I said that already :)

Have a good week all!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Two Weeks Later

I didn't realize I had not posted for two weeks! Not much has been going on, just the usual hot summer nonsense. I have strayed from my eating plan a little but have not taken a dive off to the deep end, if you know what I mean. As a result the scale shows a gain of 3 lbs. Not bad really for me. I can gain from just looking at bread. I don't even have to smell it.

Since the NYC trip got cancelled, I went to visit my mom for her b-day. We had a nice visit, went out to eat, went shopping, etc. We split a burger and I even had some home style fries but the rest of that day, I ate like a thin person...I feel like something in me is changing. I don't obsess about food anymore. Notice I did not say I don't think about food anymore, just not like someone who is desperate for food. And even when I think I might want to pig-out, I talk myself out of it. Who am I and what have I done with myself? I'm liking this new me-way-of-thinking, though.

Any hoo, I hope all of you out there in blogland are having a good week and a good weekend!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Life Happens

My trip to NYC is off. I was going next week with my mom and my son but my mom is having some health issues and travel at this time is not what she needs. I am a little disappointed, of course, but am also concerned about her health. We were going there for her b-day, she will be 74 this month. Normally, she runs circles around me but this has really got her down.

This weekend I came across a snack that I probably should not have discovered. You know the kind that makes it hard to stick to one serving? Any hoo, my new snack find is called Oogie's Gormet Popcorn. Yummm! A little higher in fat than I'd like to see but such a burst of flavor. I tried the Smoked Gouda flavor. Very good.

I think I took out some of my frustration on that bag of popcorn this weekend. I really wanted to do something fun this summer. My life seems to be stuck in a rut. Oh, well, things could always be worse...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Afraid to Dine Out

I've lost 2 more lbs so far this week! I think my motivation is coming from knowing I will be in NYC soon. I wish I didn't need to have a motivating reason as big as that, but for now, whatever works. It's keeping my head focused on the right things to eat.

I was invited to dinner tonight with some co-workers to celebrate a birthday. To a Mexican Food restaurant, no less. My mega favorite food to eat. I could feel myself losing control just thinking about eating there! I hate that! Being the superstitious dieter that I am, I told them I would not be able to join them. That sounds weak and ridiculous but I know me and I know how easy it would be for me to be tempted to indulge.

Maybe someday I will have a better grip on myself. After I've lost a more significant amount of weight. Right now I just don't want to break my losing streak! Do you ever feel superstitious about your diet? It sounds crazy but it never took much to throw me off my game. This time I'm playing to win. I know in the real world I will not always be able to avoid food situations, but today I can, and I will.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Gainage Gone - HYC Check-In

Well, you were right, Katschi, those 3 lbs were an illusion! (I love how you phrased that, it made me feel less threatened!) I've lost those 3 plus one more, yay! I've almost lost 20 lbs. C'mon body, you can do it!

Lately, I've been craving lemons. I made some Crystal Light Lemonade the other day, but I added some real lemon juice and a dash of salt in my glass. It reminded me of all the summers my friend, Sharon, and I would eat lemons with salt! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Of course, it helped wear down the enamel on my teeth but we didn't know any better back then.

I think I'll make some lemon chicken tonight. Yummmm!

Friday, July 4, 2008

This is what happens when a fat woman falls!

So yesterday I took a big mailing for work to the post office. Eight buckets to be exact. I knew we needed some empty buckets since we used up all the buckets for this mailing so I walked up the two little steps of the post office dock, grabbed a stack of empty buckets, turned to go down the two little steps and--slipping on the last little step--fell on my ankle first then my wrist and finally my big butt!

Oh, the pain! All I could think was "I'm going to NYC in a few weeks-please don't let anything break!" Several hours later the doc said nothing was broken, just a sprained ankle and bruised wrist (and I already knew I had a bruised butt so I didn't even mention that to him). I am really glad that is all the damage I did. This is the second time I have fallen in the last 6 months. Is this some kind of new trend for me? In the past I have always been able to catch myself and trip gracefully, but never fall. My core really needs work!

After I left the docs office I stopped by a BBQ place and hobbled in to get some chopped beef and sliced links. I was really craving fatty beef I guess. Anyway, when I got home I scarfed down some of both along with 2 slices of light whole wheat bread. Later I soothed myself with 2 (count 'em) Slim-a-Bear fudge pops. I think I got a little out of control. This morning I weighed 3 lbs heavier than yesterday. Now I know I didn't eat that much BBQ so I'm guessing that is water gain. It still sucks though!

So today I'm back on the Beach and sticking to Phase I! Hope everyone is well and enjoying their 4th! Eat well and be safe!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tempting Templates

I am trying out new looks for my blog. It may look different from day to day till I get bored with trying to be creative. ;) I am still a newbie about how to gussy up stuff on the web but I'm learning. I am so impressed with some of the blogs out there! How do you learn how to do that stuff?! Are there classes?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

HYC Check-in

Well, after a strict first week on Phase I of SBD I've made a major jump in the weight-loss game. Seven pounds! I know better than to get my hopes up for another week like that but it sure gets me motivated to keep at it. I retain a lot of fluids all the time when I eat breads and grains so I'm guessing a lot of my loss is water, but hey, it's gone now and I don't care whether it was fat or water!

I've been riding my bike and think that was key for losing this week, too. My neighborhood is a nice place to ride. I don't know a lot of my neighbors but we always wave and speak. A couple a few blocks over are expecting their second baby but I wouldn't have known it if I didn't ride past them while they were walking their dogs. Most of the time everybody is busy coming and going but in the evening it's like social hour for the walkers, joggers, and bikers.

This weekend I plan on making some deviled eggs and coleslaw with Kaylyn's dressing to go with some kind of meat. Maybe hamburgers without the bun. Hope everyone is well and happy -- no matter what the scale says!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Finally the scale moves again!

After sticking to my SB diet all last week I've lost some more weight! I knew if I did Phase I, my appetite would get control of itself. And even while I visited my mom I didn't stray from the Beach.

My mom, 74 yrs old next month (July), decided it would be fun to go pick blueberries. There is a great place in Plantersville, TX, called The King's Orchard. They have fruit and veggies you pick yourself and then they charge you by the pound. We were only interested in the blueberries. I am not eating them right now so I will freeze mine.

Anyway, were out in the heat of the day and my mom wasn't drinking her water and, well, you guessed it, she sorta fainted on me. She didn't totally pass out but it was close. She was way too hot! The owners of the orchard came out and helped get her inside. As soon as she cooled off, she was fine. Back to her chatty self. We both laughed about it on the way back to her house. If the day had not ended on a good note, I would never want to look at another blueberry!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wow, Thanks!! And Cool Air Rules!

I was just reading all the comments left from the other day welcoming me to the HY Challenge. Thanks guys! I am really looking forward to getting to know you all. I've stayed carb-free since Monday and I feel better already. I cooked chicken tonight using a recipe I found on Kaylyn's Kitchen. It's called Chicken Picatta with Fried Capers. Yummmm! I love the capers and the lemon flavor in the sauce. Hardly feels like I'm dieting.

My AC is fixed!! It had to totally be replaced but I had the extended warranty so I only had to pay a deductible. I feel really blessed; and cooler!

I took this week off from work as vacation. Not going anywhere, just needed some time off! Running around, watching movies, riding my bike. Love it!

Pedal Power Can Set You Free

I love to ride my bike. Walking just does not cut it here in Texas where the temp at 8 PM is still near 90. I have always loved to ride and I guess I always will. I love the wind in my face and soaring around corners. I sound like a true bike geek. Anyway, I keep trying to come up with a nickname for my bike but I can't seem to pick one.

Today I had jury duty at the municipal court house. I didn't get picked, but it was close. I spent the whole day waiting, and waiting...I did read a lot. I'm reading another weight-loss memoir, Passing for Thin by Frances Kuffel. I love this book. I can really relate and it makes me feel like there is still hope for me yet. I, too, can be thin!

I'm doing Phase I of South Beach this week. Had a headache this morning and I'm sure it's from sugar withdrawal cause I have really binged on crap lately. I know this works, I just have to stick with it...

Monday, June 16, 2008

How much sweat equals a pound?

I was on my way to visit my mom on Friday driving on the freeway in Houston when it happened. The cool air I was enjoying while listening to Sheryl Crow became less than cool. The temp outside of course is near 90 but my A/C usually freezes my fanny off. What the crap is going on? I still had an hour to drive before I could get some nice cool air and a glass of peach tea.
Well maybe if I sweat a lot, I'll lose a pound.

Tuesday Morning has some really cool stuff but you can spend a day in there and still feel like you must be missing a real find. It is kind of like being at a garage sale, only more organized. Not my favorite thing to do, shop endlessly on a Saturday, but mom liked it so that was okay with me.

This week I am sticking to the South Beach way of eating. I lost a pound over two weeks and really need to lose a little faster than that this summer. It is too freakin hot here in Texas. You would think as a native I'd be able to deal with it. But I never, never, never will.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Obsessive Scale Jumping

Do you ever get on and off the scale when you weigh yourself? I think I am hoping that by some miracle, I will lose a pound just by getting on and off several times. I hate that I get obsessed with the thing. It calls to me in the morning as soon as my alarm goes off. I strip off my gown (thank heavens no one can see that!) and get on the scale...ever so gently. Like I'm sneaking up on it. But it lets me know I'm there...every ounce of me.

And when the numbers do not meet with my approval, I shrug and say "I'll get you tomorrow." I used to get depressed if I didn't lose everyday. I'm 51 now and I think I've finally realized that as long as I'm making positive changes everyday, it will pay off. I just have to stick with it...and try to stay off the scale.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Summer 2008

It is time. Time I was honest to myself. I need to lose this weight for the last time. I am sick of always being on a diet. I can maintain fat. That is nooo problem. But I'm sick of looking in the mirror and seeing someone besides me. Who is that fat girl? Where did she come from? Who the crap does she think she is?

Well it's over, chick. A new thinner me is about to take over!

I've been reading Half of Me, Jennette Fulda's blog. And, I've been reading her book "Half-Assed: A Weight Loss Memoir" and I must say she has really motivated me. I will be sad when I finish the book but at least I can read her hilariously entertaining blog! If you want to see what I mean, check her out by watching this video.